Hello and welcome to the blog of singer-songwriter Ben Hemming. Well it’s been a pretty amazing couple of weeks to be honest, as always lots has been going down so I’ll try and be brief and try and fit it all in here. If you’ve been following me on my Facebook page you’ll know I’ve just got back from a little trip to Istanbul and Ankara were I played a couple of warm up gigs in perpetration for the tour I have lined up across Europe this summer, but more on that later… Firstly I’ve got to say what a truly amazing place Istanbul really is. I was there for just under a week and didn’t even scratch the surface. I guess I was blessed to have such a great guide in my percussionist Gultekin, but I’ve never been to a place were you can guarantee a party till 6am any day of the week even on a Sunday! I guess that’s what a city with a population of over 15 million will get you! (makes London’s population of 8 million seem tiny!) And after 7 nights of parting my liver was truly glad to be back in the U.K. even if I wish I wasn’t!
Hitting the stage at Manhattan, Ankara.
After flying in on Friday I spent the next day or so getting orientated before playing on Saturday at A’pera which coincided with Gultekins birthday so ended up being a cracking night. I can’t say thank you enough to the management who couldn’t have been more accommodating, and to all the people who came down! I then spent the next couple of days drinking, and bumming my way around the city, and I’ve got to say I’ve never seen so many cats! At any one time you were totally surrounded and out numbered by them! Then after some last minute organization we booked in a gig in Ankara (Gultekins home town) and jumped on a plane to play at Manhattan. After smashing out a set to a very appreciative crowd, we went off to hit the town before I had to catch the plane back to London early the next morning, we even managed to sneak in another intimate performance in a rowdy local bar!
A truly memorable experience and a great way to finish off a trip that was a great way to warm up for my tour of Europe in the summer. Speaking of which I can now announce the following dates I will be playing come the summer, I’m still waiting for a couple of venues to confirm, but I’ll be sure to give more info on that as if happens. 28th May – Onze Bar, Paris 5th June – Cafe Fincan, Berlin 19th June – Cafe Szafe, Warsaw 24th June – The Liverpool bar, St. Petersburg 18th July – Cafe Fiasco, Oslo And last but in no way least, my song ‘Black Heart’ has been chosen to feature on the cover CD for next months The Blues Magazine out at the end of April. You can watch the live version of the song as part of the Camden Project on my YouTube Channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z84XmZZg2rc