Folk - Benji Kirkpatrick

Benji Kirkpatrick, the singer-songwriter who is headlining this week at the Royal Oak, lists among his influences the psychedelic guitarist Jimi Hendrix, and you can hear this on his instrumental Song For Longhair, a crazy, jarring, twanging piece which you wouldn’t expect to hear anywhere near a folk club. Benji is the son of the squeezebox maestro John Kirkpatrick, and the singer Sue Harris, and has over the last ten years garnered quite a reputation as being a powerful and accomplished performer in his own right. It’s not easy to crawl out of the shadow of illustrious parents, but Benji has done so, establishing himself as a sought-after act on the folk circuit, while putting out two well-acclaimed albums, ‘Dance in the Shadow’ (1999) and ‘Half a Fruit Pie’ (2004). Time Out called him a ‘fretboard wizard, which he’s had to live with ever since.

Tonight Benji is playing on his own, but he is also a member of no fewer than three bands, Mr Gubbin’s Bicycle (with his father, amongst others), Faustus (with Paul Sartin and Saul Rose) and the remarkable folkie big band Bellowhead, who are winning rave reviews wherever they play and have just released their first album, Burlesque, launched last week at an amazing Dickensian-themed bash at Bush Hall in London. Folk’s not dead! DL

Folk’s not dead: Benji Kirkpatrick plays a Faustian act with
his bouzouki

Royal Oak, Station St, Lewes
When? 7.30pm
How Much? £4.50
Royal Oak Folk Club
(w) Website