Ben Hughes, Gig Review. Studio 2, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

The age old question of how to warm up an audience to the point where the inner thermostat is making the mercury rise to the occasion, but not peaking too soon so that it blows out any possible enjoyment as the night progresses, is one that always makes for great debate on a night out. You want someone with class, with poise, great demeanour and content but someone who also knows exactly where to take the audience too, the cup of perfect tea surrounded by those would overfill the saucer is always more enjoyable.

Ben Hughes is not only the perfect cup of tea but his performance ahead of The Scott Poley Project’s album launch was so admirable that it was an occasion to allow the bliss of future gigs as part of his audience to stir the boiling pot just a little bit more; to feel the new beginning of something very special in the Liverpool night time arena.

The night it must be argued would not have been the same without Ben Hughes’ contribution to the overall heart thumping stance in place at Studio 2, an evening in which The Scott Poley Project pulled out every single ace in a hand full of wild cards and took home the metaphorical pot laid out in the middle of the table. With an affable and winning smile, armed to the teeth with songs that truly hit home, Ben Hughes made the evening start not only with a ban but a veritable fireworks display, one interjected with great humour and warm personality.

In the songs, Be With You, Let Myself, the brilliant Take Me Back, Now I Can Let Go and Wait With You, Ben Hughes made the old gig thermometer sparkle into life and saw the red liquid, the colour of Liverpool’s lifeblood, both political and socially, rise to a point where The Scott Poley Project would have to order a new one just to take it further; it was a night where Ben Hughes brought the crowd along for the ride and nobody minded that it was one of scenery, speed and luxury.

Ben Hughes is a man to watch out for, a man to be in the same room as to keep the musical fire burning bright.

Ian D. Hall