Ben Poole: Live at Royal Albert Hall Review

Ben Poole’s latest Live at Royal Albert Hall is a release of the live show that he recently did on the BBC’s John Paul Jones Show. Royal Albert Hall is a venue steeped in blues rock history hosting in the past such greats as Eric Clapton, and Joe Bonamassa.

Ben’s debut was not filled with the shredding guitar of most blues rockers and neither is this one. The overall all tone of the album is very laid back focusing more of the soulful singer songwriter side of Ben. The album opens up with what is probably the most rocking tune – “Let’s Go Upstairs” off his debut album. After that things slow down but with “Love Nobody No More,” which starts out with a funky unhurried rhythm that builds slowly to an expressive solo. Ben throws in the first of the many covers on this album with another funky interpretation of “I Know (I’m Losing You)” which is an old Temptations tune, which picks up the intensity as the song progresses. Toward the end we are treated to a growling distorted guitar solo where you can hear a bit of Deep Purple.

Ben’s cover of the Otis Redding classic “Mr. Pitiful” is a cover that while respectful of the original, the time dedicated to it could have been better served featuring another original off the debut album evidenced by the excellence of the next track. “It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way” gives us some excellent smooth vocals and a great solo that starts around the 3:00 minute mark. The slow jam continues with the slick “Leave It On,” which is another slow jam that never really builds to a conclusion though. This is all followed by the extended length blues of Freddie King’s “Have You Ever Loved a Woman,” which is the end of the live portion of this album. At the end we’re treated to “Starting All Over Again,” which is studio track. The guitar riff to start the track and the first few vocal words reminds me a little of George Michael ‘s Faith.

While Live at Royal Albert Hall is a short album at only seven live tracks and one studio, it does a give us a glimpse into what Ben’s future is. He’s a heck of a soulful singer and uses his guitar to great effect without overpowering you with guitar hero machismo.

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Let’s Go Upstairs
– It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way
– Love Nobody No More

The Big Hit

– It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way

Review by Kevin O’Rourke

Buy the album: Amazon | iTunes

One thought on “Ben Poole: Live at Royal Albert Hall Review

  • November 6, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    The cover of “(I Know) I’m Losing You” is fantastic. The Temptations did it. Rare Earth covered it. Rod Stewart covered it, too. Ben Poole’s version is killer!


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