Ben Adams

Ben Adams



Ben Adams is a rare find in pop these days. In an industry only just getting over the ripple-effect of one-too-many TV talent shows, not only can he sing, write and produce his own material, at the tender age of 25, he's already gained enough experience in the music industry to call his own shots. Ben's musical endeavours surprise and exhilarate at every turn, and he's ripping up the rule books of what constitutes pop music and doing things his way.

These are no idle claims. Ben provides an unselfconscious alternative to the devaluing effect reality TV has had on the genre. "The pop industry would have us believe that young music fans are too stupid to grasp or embrace new ideas" Ben states. "That's rubbish. Music has to be able to evolve and change, otherwise it gets stale”. Ben is currently working on what will be his 6th studio album, his 1st as a solo artist.

Flicking through Ben's new tracks, from the slick, world-class “Won’t Do You Wrong”, to the classic emotional highs and lows of the killer ballad "Boo Hoo" and the frenetic nightclub sleaze of "Get Off My Girl", the whole thing sounds like Ben has simply crowbarred open his iPod and shaken his entire record collection into the mix, and so it comes as no surprise when Ben casually admits that his entire life has been consumed by music. 25 years in the making then, Ben's debut solo album doesn't disappoint. It's dizzying stuff, veering from jazz to R&B to pop to soul and often doing all that in the space of a single verse and chorus, but the wide array of styles is no accident - and nor is the quality of the tuneage. "Pop music has really suffered from the 'It'll do' mentality", Ben shrugs. "But I didn't want my career to be 'quite good' or 'just good enough'. I wanted to smash the whole thing apart."

Ben grew up in Middlesex, in a modest house listening to the likes of Madness, James Taylor, Michael Jackson and Tracy Chapman on his mum's stereo. Raised single-handedly by his mum without much spare cash around, Ben found that from singing solo in school assembly to picking up classical piano, oboe and violin in music lessons, and then combining all that with an emerging passion for musicians like Prince, Queen and Stevie Wonder, he could escape into the world of music. And while it may seem unlikely in the context of the drinking, dirty dancing and dubious circle exploits of new songs like "Get Off My Girl", at only ten years old, a cherubic Ben Adams was one of the UK's top choristers. Having won a scholarship based on his musical talents he found himself based at St Margaret's Westminster Abbey, regularly performing for some eminent audiences (The Queen, The Pope), touring through all the major cities in Europe with the Choir, all leading up to recording two classical albums - "Benedicamus Domino" and "Laudate Pueri". The experience would prove useful for his next career step. "If you are classically trained, which I was, it pretty much equips you to sing any kind of music. I'm thankful I was taught to sing at such a young age because it teaches you how to maintain your voice, which is really important, especially when you're on tour."

His experiences in the choir turned him onto all types of music. "Anything to do with music excited me. I remember sitting at home every Friday watching Top Of The Pops, and wanting to be on it so much. I'm very lucky the way things panned out." In 1997, Ben joined a band called A1 and between 1999 and 2002 they scored 3 albums, a string of number one’s and Top 10 hits across the globe, - all but two of which were written or co-written by Ben. A1's finest hour came with the first single from their third album. Kick-started by Ben during a frustrating group songwriting session, "Caught In The Middle" was ostensibly about an unhappy love triangle, but with hindsight its themes spotlit the musical tensions facing A1 as they approached their third album, and signalled a huge change in musical direction for the band.

Gone on that third album were the high-octane disco stylings of the band's first two albums. In their place was a sophisticated guitar sound courtesy of sought-after producer Mike Hedges (U2, Travis, Manic Street Preachers), who had been invited to work on a handful of songs and was so impressed with the band's songwriting that he stayed for the whole album. "Caught In The Middle" became one of A1's best selling singles; a reward, for Ben, that proved versatile songwriting had a place in the charts and that pop fans are only too happy to be challenged. "A1 was a great experience but I always felt it was a rehearsal for my solo career. I am a lot wiser to the industry so I can avoid the usual mistakes people make first time round. It's like anything - the more you do it, the better you are at it."

When A1 came to a natural end, Ben was bombarded with all the predictable offers of work you might expect to head in the direction of someone who public persona had been permitted to


A1 - Here We Come (August 2001)
A1 - The A List (August 2002)
A1 - Make It Good (May 2002)

Set List

Set list provided upon request. However set list changes from show to show.