There Be Potions Here

The promo cds have arrived! I think they look pretty sharp:

Promo CDs!
Meanwhile I’m having a tremendous time (re)learning the guitar and keyboard parts for the new tracks I’ll be playing at the album launch. It appears that ease of performance did not enter into any criteria for what appears on the album!

Don’t forget the Great & Terrible launch is at the Caxton Hotel on Friday 12 August, from 7pm. If you’re in the Brisbane area, please come along. Entry is free!

Album Launch

So we’ve booked a date and venue for the launch of my new album, Great & Terrible Potions!

Venue: Caxton Hotel, Caxton St, Brisbane (Australia)
Room: Cocktail Bar
Date: Friday 12 August
Time: From 7pm
Entry: Free!

I’ll be performing some new (and old) songs on the night. Mate of mine and fellow upstanding citizen Luke Sorensen will be playing a set earlier in the evening, after which he will probably retire to the bar. We’re planning to film the show, so be sure to wear your best sandals.

Meanwhile, Roger Dean is currently adding the final touches to the artwork and it really looks unbelievable. The cover painting has already fused with the music and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to imagine one without the other now. Innit.

Of course, the new cd will also be on sale at the gig. Remember that someone has to buy it first before it gets torrented. But if you can’t wait that long, you can catch a sneak preview (or even pre-order the thing) here:

www.greatandterriblepotions.com

Hope to see you at the launch! More details when they come to hand…

Press Release – AUSTRALIAN MUSICIAN TEAMS UP WITH LEGENDARY PROG-ROCK ARTIST

After 12 months of tweaking, Brisbane’s Ben Craven is finally ready to release his new album with the finishing touches being made by renowned UK artist Roger Dean.

Craven’s new album, entitled “Great & Terrible Potions” is a modern day progressive rock album that has been 5 years in the making. However like all good prog-rock (progressive rock) albums, the final touches are vital.

Enlisting the assistance of Roger Dean seemed a natural progression given the heavy influences of 70’s prog-rock bands within Craven’s music.

Roger Dean, who rose to fame in the 70’s and 80’s through his designs for prog-rock band “Yes” is credited with transforming the status of album covers from mere packaging to works of art.

Uncovering and updating an unreleased piece of art, Dean has provided a cover that will go down in the halls of prog-rock history alongside his most famous work for musicians and bands such as “Yes”, “Asia”, “Uriah Heap”, Rick Wakeman and Alan White.

Dean, whose bubble logo for the band “Yes” is part of rock history, also designed Craven’s new logo. Craven said, “It is an honour to be working with an artist whom I’ve grown up with and surreal to believe that he appreciates my work enough to put his name (in art) to it”.

To celebrate the release, Craven and Liquid Online Media will also be selling limited edition vinyl copies of the album complete with a traditional gatefold sleeve featuring the Roger Dean artwork.

To register your interest in the album, visit www.greatandterriblepotions.com

Craven’s album, Great & Terrible Potions, is scheduled for release in July 2011.

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact Shayne Locke at shayne@liquidonlinemedia.com.

 

Desert Combover

Desert Comb Studio has had a makeover!

As part of a carefully orchestrated invasion of the north, another room in my residence has now been claimed in the name of live performance and breathing space. Meanwhile the control room, where I recorded my forthcoming album Great & Terrible Potions, remains as control roomy as ever.

Which means I’ll be in a position shortly to offer production and recording services to other artists and bands out there. Stay tuned for more details, or by all means give me a yell if you have a project and you’re looking for a great introductory price..

We're gonna need a montage

Before and after (so far..)

Solo gig this Friday

Just a quick note to let you know I’m playing a solo set this Friday night at the Queens Arms Hotel, Fortitude Valley (Brisbane). A few old songs, and a few new ones, transformed from my usual lush arrangements into a single guitar.
I’m supporting Nik Phillips who’ll be performing a showcase later in the evening, so it really would be the height of rudeness not to stick around afterwards for all that entertainment and the many opportunities to enjoy alcohol responsibly.
Full details here:
http://us1.campaign-archive.com/?u=14d38611b148d04eee5a813b6&id=154850b2a8
Would be great to see you there!

Just a quick note to let you know I’m playing a solo set this Friday night at the Queens Arms Hotel, Fortitude Valley (Brisbane). A few old songs, and a few new ones, transformed from my usual lush arrangements into a single guitar.

I’m supporting Nik Phillips who’ll be performing a showcase later in the evening, so it really would be the height of rudeness not to stick around afterwards for all that entertainment (and the many opportunities to enjoy alcohol responsibly).

Full details here..

Would be great to see you there!

New Album Update!

An extended period of silence on the blog-posting front can only mean one thing.

I’m ensconced in the studio.

The next album is coming along swimmingly now. All the instruments have been recorded, and just this last week the vocals were completed.

Now I’m in the final mixing stage. And I’m struck with a strange sense of deja vu reminding me of mixing Two False Idols. That is, I went into it expecting sonic clarity, before discovering just how much sweeter echo made everything sound. Vocals, guitar solos, squeaking brakes, you name it. Vocals, guitar solos, squeaking brakes, you name it.

But on this new album, some of the musical arrangements are so completely over the top that, without a dry sound, the individual instruments just get lost in the mix. So as a rule of thumb I’m taking more of a documentary-style approach. I’m simply reporting on all the tracks that have already been recorded and trying to bring them out in the best light.

Man, but this slide guitar here sure sounds great with a bit more delay. And geez this lead vocal has so much more presence with a bit of echo. And these band-shifted radio signals sound much scarier..

Live at Ric’s Bar last Monday

First up, I’m pleased to report there were no train wrecks.

Secondly, here are some fantastic photos taken on the night by Michelle Aziz. I’m sure you’ll agree the execution more than makes up for the photogenic limitations of the subject matter.

And thirdly, if that wasn’t enough to knock all of us to the ground and leave us panting for more, here’s a bona-fide bootleg-quality video of the first live performance of Golden Band, well, ever.

My name is Ben Craven and I write songs for 10-piece prog rock bands. Then I massacre them by playing them solo.

Setlist:
Great Divide
Enough About You
If You Knew
Captain Caper
Over
Not Me It’s You
Look Away
Ready To Lose The War (new song!)
Golden Band

Solo gig 20 July – Update

More on my gig at Ric’s Bar (Brunswick St Mall, Brisbane) next Monday night…

I’ll be stumbling out at 9:30pm, hopefully after the consumption of several confidence boosters.

Highlights-to-be include the live debut of Golden Band, the acoustic premiere of Not Me It’s You, and a sneak preview of a new song, Ready To Lose The War, from the upcoming album. As long as I finish the lyrics in time!

I’ll also be introducing my new second guitarist, Bruce. He plays exactly what I tell him:

Boss RC-20XL (Bruce!)

Solo gig on 20 July

Breaking news is that I’ll be playing a solo spot at Ric’s Bar (Fortitude Valley, Brisbane) on Monday the 20th of July, supporting my new best mates, Disnae Matter.

Which means now I finally have to figure out how to do justice to songs originally arranged for, inconveniently, five guitars, two keyboards, Chris Squire, a string orchestra, and a virtuoso triangle player. So Golden Band will either be delicately glorious in its intimacy, or a train wreck. Be sure you’re there when we all find out which!