Ben Craven releases blu-ray “First Chance To Hear”

“First Chance To Hear” blu-ray cover

To celebrate the release of my album Last Chance To Hear back in March 2016, I held a launch party at the Caxton Hotel in Brisbane. A small room was booked upstairs and everyone was invited.

I had no band at my disposal. Even if I had, the rehearsal effort required would have been the equivalent of going on tour. I briefly considered playing a solo acoustic show but thought it would be more fun to present a virtual band performance. Armed with backing tracks for drums, bass and occasional keyboards – plus the disembodied voice of William Shatner – the show was billed as Ben Craven & Friends.

With a handful of cameras and audio feeds, the entire show was captured for the high-definition blu-ray release, First Chance To Hear. The audio has been remixed in 24-bit stereo and 5.1 surround. Some of the lighting and camerawork is not completely perfect, so I’m calling this an “official bootleg”!

First Chance To Hear marks the launch of a new record label imprint named Cleanskin Records. Here in Australia, a “cleanskin” is a wine sold under a different label by the winery. It could be for reasons like excess stock, an experimental blend or wanting to supply directly to the public. Similarly, Cleanskin Records exists for musical projects outside the realm of big releases and big marketing budgets, such as live shows and high definition surround remixes.

All copies of First Chance To Hear will be burnt on-demand, numbered and signed by the artist (me)!

View the trailer here:

Blu-ray disc and 24/96 stereo audio download now available from Bandcamp!

Technical specifications:
Duration: 96 minutes (approx)
Video: 1080p 24fps HD video
Audio: 24-bit 96 Khz LPCM stereo, 24-bit 48 kHz 5.1 LPCM surround
Media: Duplicated using high quality Verbatim recordable BD-R. Region-free. Backup for personal use is encouraged.

Revenge Of Dr Komodo (New TuneLeak!)

Hi and welcome to the first TuneLeak for 2015!

Revenge Of Dr Komodo – available for purchase here!

In this new track, Progressive Rock and Rockabilly ignore the advice of their friends and spend an unforgettable night together in an unbridled fit of forbidden passion. The result speaks for itself.

Revenge Of Dr Komodo is most likely the third part of a new mini-suite for my new album, Last Chance To Hear. But all those part numbers get confusing after a while, so this time I gave the track a proper name. The villainous Dr Komodo bears no relation to the otherwise similarly-manic bass player in the accompanying video.

The usual TuneLeak rules still apply! If you’re kind enough to purchase Revenge Of Dr Komodo, you’ll receive the same amount as a discount off the album when it’s released.

And for the eagle-eared amongst you, Revenge Of Dr Komodo also marks the triumphant return of the duck from Diabolique

New TuneLeak – Spy In The Sky Part 1

My new “TuneLeak” is up now – an instrumental called “Spy In The Sky Part 1”.

It’s the first part of a three-piece suite I’m tinkering with. This was the easy part. It started out as an introduction to the song proper, but grew from there in a fit of procrastination as I realised how challenging the next part would be.

Anyway, it’s now streaming and for sale at TuneLeak. Which means, if you’re kind enough to purchase it, you’ll get a discount of the same amount on the album when it comes out.

Everybody wins!

Episode 3 of The Forbidden Show Of Mystery

The fantastic phenomenon that is The Forbidden Show Of Mystery surges onward and upward through to a third episode, showing no sign of abating!

All aboard as Ben Craven & The Section take you on a nautical voyage from hell with a special extended version of Captain Caper, as heard on the recent release, Dissected.

Vintage footage from the ship’s log is also featured, including a rare acoustic rendition of Psycho Killer from the Great & Terrible Potions album launch.

Dissected – Now available for download!

Dissected

Dissected

After completing my last album, Great & Terrible Potions, I began thinking about how I could possibly perform it live.

Upon returning from the hills, still screaming, I fell in with a three-piece band instead. Throwing the original song arrangements out the window, we rehearsed over a period of months, generally late at nights so as to avoid all natural light. Practising the subtle arts of refining and distilling, we pieced together new versions of old and not-so-old songs.

Unfortunately we found ourselves forgetting some of the new arrangements, so we decided to spend a day recording in the studio. The audio release, Dissected, is what happened that day.

Luckily the cameras just happened to be rolling. The resulting film, which is also called Dissected, captures our performances and documents the shenanigans and tomfoolery in which we engaged.

Several takes of each song were recorded and filmed throughout the day. The eagle-eyed amongst you might think you spot the odd “continuity error” during the film. These would, of course, be nothing of the sort whatsoever. In fact, they would be much more correctly interpreted as exciting opportunities for artistic editing decisions by the director.

Dissected is now available for download and preview

  • At Bandcamp (audio only)
  • In the Music Store on this website! (audio and video)

View the trailer:

Episode 2 of The Forbidden Show Of Mystery

The runaway hit progressive-rock-musical-variety web show of 2013 is back. That’s right, Episode 2 of The Forbidden Show Of Mystery is now live on YouTube!

In this episode, there’s a clip from “Dissected”, the upcoming audio/video release from Ben Craven & The Section (which I’m sure I’ll be telling you more about in another post very shortly). Plus we have a a couple of Pink Floyd covers thrown in for good measure. Watch it now and get extra cheese, for free.

All in all, I can think of many more unpleasant ways to spend a quiet evening. And that’s my personal guarantee to you.

Theme From The Forbidden Show Of Mystery

By popular demand, here’s the full version of the theme for my musical variety talk show. The boys from The Manhattan Mob and I are actually up for an Australian Independent Music Award for this tomorrow night!

Introducing… The Forbidden Show Of Mystery!‏

Introducing… The Forbidden Show Of Mystery!

The world’s premier progressive-rock-musical-variety-chat web show!

Join me on the very first episode when Australian proggers Ben Craven & The Section (that’s us) are interviewed by Kevin Mulryne (the voice of Yes Music Podcast) and perform selections from the albums Great & Terrible Potions and Two False Idols.

Future episodes of The Forbidden Show Of Mystery are in production, however in order to maintain appropriate levels of both forbiddance and mysteriousness, their exact content and scheduling cannot be revealed at this time.

But you can tell by the lovingly-crafted insanely-catchy lyrically-diverse theme song that I mean business.

I am hopeful that The Forbidden Show Of Mystery will eventually claim its rightful timeslot at approximately 3am on community television.