Ben River: singer songwriter

Estimated reading time:2 minutes, 37 seconds

Everyone on Islington Faces Blog has a story. Ben River, 31, is taking up a musical residency in Islington at the innovative venue/bar House of Wolf on Upper Street. The free gigs start on Wednesday 3 July and will be held every Wednesday after that, from 6-11pm. Ben may be from West London, but he clearly rates live music in Islington. Interview by Nicola Baird

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Musician Ben River will be playing at House of Wolf every Wednesday from 3 July. It’s free to listen…

What instruments do you play?
I write most of my songs on guitar and add other instruments afterwards. [See him playing his song Little did I know on the Emirates cable car across the Thames here.]

How did you start learning guitar?
I grew up in Ladbroke Grove, I’ve lived there all my life, it’s quite a unique community and I love it. I was about 14 when I picked up a guitar for the first time, I joined a band not long after that, started writing songs quite intensely and I haven’t really stopped since.

Why are you working solo?
I just enjoy writing on my own. I do play my songs live with other musicians though.

What’s your elevator pitch for your music – eg, at the House of Wolf?
On the flyer it says ‘A live alternative folk residency from Ben River with full live band’.

Where are the live music venues  you can recommend  in Islington?
Upper street is full of music venues, you can’t walk more than five minutes without finding one, I played at Filthy Macnasty’s in Amwell Street, EC1 a few months ago, that was a good night. House of Wolf isn’t far at all from Highbury & Islington station, It’s an interesting venue, so people should enjoy exploring it.

Who do you hope will be watching at House of Wolf (eg, family, friends, etc etc)
I enjoy playing to anyone, so the more the merrier.

How do you prepare for a gig?
Music is what I do. So I’m either writing, recording, rehearsing or playing live.

Are there any singer-songwriters you admire?
Quite a few songwriters inspire me but I’d have to mention Bob Dylan. What he’s done has been a great inspiration to me.

Ben River’s gigs at House of Wolf start on Wednesday 3 July and every Wednesday after that, from 6 o clock till 11, there’s no charge to get in, everyone is welcome. House of Wolf is at 181 Upper Street, N1, tel: 020 7288 1470.

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This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.