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:

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


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

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


CRISIS in the studio


Brisbane covers band CRISIS recorded a couple of tracks in the studio over the weekend. It was a great opportunity for me to hang out with some fine musos, and shakedown the spanking new Cubase 6 setup at the same time. Which, unusually for a new software and hardware combination, seems to be working pretty smoothly so far. Thanks to Simon, Marty, Garry and Dan!

Here’s a snippet of “In The Midnight Hour”. Check out that first-take vocal from Marty.


Soundscape – Golden Band

PRESENTING, the first in a series of soundscapes created by some bloke with the original multitracks and too much time on his hands.

Should be a few more on the way soon.

For those who just came in, Golden Band is a key track off my first album, Two False Idols. It sounds almost, but not completely, unlike this.


Baritone Guitar Conversion

I’ve faked the baritone guitar sound in the past (“If You Knew”, plus a couple of upcoming tracks on the new album). I’ve even used a Variax guitar live and programmed a patch with each string detuned by a fifth. But when I stumbled across a baritone stratocaster neck on ebay at the right price, I figured it was time to try building the real thing.

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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..)