Focus: Ben Catley | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
I’m a guitar-driven acoustic musician, from Newcastle originally, but I’ve been based over in Perth, Australia for about 12 years now – and I’m coming back for my first show in four years. At The Cluny on August 3rd.

What is it you do?
I generally play really high-energy music, which has allowed me to play festivals as a solo artist across Australia, New Zealand, UK and Asia. I will always love kicking in some wild energy to get people moving, but in recent times I’ve also really enjoyed weaving some more relaxed and delicate instrumental pieces into my live show. 

How long have you been doing it?
I’ve been performing as a solo act and touring for about 7 years now, but I started playing guitar when I was 8-years-old. So guitar has been one of my longest-standing loves. 

What inspires you?
I get really inspired by other people who work hard and show real conviction in their craft or expression. So I tend to write about a positive mindset – often in relation to my love of fitness and keeping driven. Good old nature inspires me too. Whether it’s the vast, beautiful landscapes of Western Australia where I live at the moment, or if it’s the wonderful coastline of the North-East of England or The Lake District. 

And musically, I get inspired by heavy metal, classical piano, chill step electronica, acoustic folk, world music and anything with feeling.

Tell us about your music.
I guess the music is acoustic blues/roots/folk/rock with the main focus on the guitar. I like to challenge myself as much as possible with my playing, in an effort to always keep evolving. I do some fret-tapping and over-the-neck style playing, which allows me to create some real interesting sounds, while keeping myself on my toes. 

I’ve released a few different EPs in the past couple years, as well as a couple of tracks featuring the legendary WIM HOF (also known as the ‘Ice Man’). I still can’t believe I got permission from his management for that. It was pretty cool to sample his voice from his breathing exercise and put it over some upbeat acoustic music! 

What have you got coming up in the future?
I have my show at The Cluny to kick off this UK tour, which includes shows/festivals in London, Lancashire, Scotland, Berwick and Norwich. Then I’ll head back to Aus to carry on with shows. I also have my third EP of chilled acoustic instrumentals, Cloudcabins Vol.3 to release later in August. 

Where can people find out more about you?
You can listen to my music on any streaming platform. And I post any tour or new music updates on Facebook and Instagram. Maybe hope to see you at the Newcastle show on August 3rd!

Tickets for Ben’s show at The Cluny on Thursday 3rd August are available here.

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