Benson, Brendan : Stoke Sugarmill

Jack White's bessie mate proves his worth

Few could argue that Detroit hasn’t earned its current status as the rock ‘n’ roll capital of America, but, as Brendan Benson would no doubt testify, the ghost of the MC5 doesn’t necessarily haunt all Motor City native. That’s not to say that Benson and his four-piece backing band can’t rock – as their vigorous rendition of hard-edged power-popper ‘I’m Easy’ proves – but it’s the sizeable slices of buoyant jangly summer-pop that capture the rail-thin troubadour at his best. The vintage harmonies of ‘Tiny Spark’ contribute to an as-yet undiscovered summer anthem whilst ‘Good To Me’ is sprightly enough to have inspired the all-conquering White Stripes into covering it. However, within that lofty patronage lies the biggest tragedy of Brendan Benson – it would seem that were it not for the endorsement of the modern day Mr. and Mrs. Midas, most of us probably wouldn’t stop to buy a Big Issue off him, let alone buy any of his records. And for that, we should all feel very, very guilty.

Hardeep Phull