Concert Review: Ben Ottewell, September 24, Drake Hotel

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During his time in Gomez, Ben Ottewell has always stood out among the three singers in the band. Even when he wasn’t taking the lead, his distinctive voice with its gravelly tone added much to their sound and was often used almost tactically, deployed during a chorus or at the moment when it would have the greatest effect in a song. It’s hardly surprising then that out of all his bandmates, he’d be the one to branch out into a solo career.

With three solo albums under his belt, including his latest,  A Man Apart, Ottewell took to the stage at the Drake Underground on Sunday night and played a set made up of numbers from those albums alongside a healthy serving of Gomez songs. While new songs like “Watcher” and the title track from the new album were well received, the biggest crowd response definitely came for Gomez songs such as “Bring It On,” “Free To Run,” “Rhythm And Blues Alibi,” and especially set closer “Tijuana Lady.”

A friend at the show on Sunday described Ottewell’s voice as a whispered scream. It’s true, he’s got that raspy voice and he can absolutely belt it out when he needs to, but at the same time it’s also a very delicate, soft voice in many ways. That softer side becomes even more apparent when it’s just the man and his guitar alone on stage.

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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