Artist: Ben Caplan & the Casual Smokers
Venue: Northcote Social Club, Northcote, Victoria, Australia
Date: Friday, 3 January, 2014
Who?: A facially hirsute Canadian with a huge gravelly voice, strumming stuff and occasionally bashing keys backed by violin, stand-up bass and drums.
Crowd?: A couple of hundred appreciative inner-city types (and one annoying couple who eventually got asked to leave).
Best Bits: The astounding voice- sure there is a Tom Waits aspect, but the lungs are bigger, the melodies more eagerly pursued. The whole gypsy/folk vibe sans pretense.
Could be Better: I was keen on hearing his Fairytale of New York cover.
Dream Venue: A riverboat, a galleon, a medieval marketplace
Dream Lineup: With fellow Canadian Serena Ryder, the also gravelly Ben Weaver… and the cast of Fiddler on the Roof.
Worth a Second Look?: Absolutely. If you’re in Sydney catch him on Wednesday.
Give us a look: