Live Review: Ben Harper @ The Palladium

The Palladium is best known for hosting musical theatre and televised variety shows, so catching an acoustic show by Ben Harper at the venue feels a little incongruous.

Ben Harper at The Palladium in London on 27 April 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

Ben Harper at The Palladium in London on 27 April 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

He feels the same way, it transpires. A few songs into the show he apologises for wearing denim in such a grand location. He does, however, point out that you can now spend as much on demin as you can on a tailored outfit from Saville Row and jokingly stipulates that of the number of good causes he supports, one important one is “denim as formal wear”.

Ben Harper at The Palladium in London on 27 April 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

Ben Harper at The Palladium in London on 27 April 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

Jests aside, the evening is packed with his heartfelt and often darkly serious songs, including Welcome To The Cruel World, Excuse Me Mr. and Fight Outta You, while covers include Mazzy Star’s Fade Into You.

Ben Harper at The Palladium in London on 27 April 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

Ben Harper at The Palladium in London on 27 April 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

Harper plays a range of instruments including a lap guitar given to him by his grandfather 25 years ago, which he says has travelled with him to every show, as well as a range of both acoustic and electric guitars and piano.

Ben Harper at The Palladium in London on 27 April 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

Ben Harper at The Palladium in London on 27 April 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

Later in the show he brings his mother, Ellen, on stage for some songs from their upcoming collaborative album Childhood Home, which will be released in May 2014. The quality of songs and performance proves a worthy addition to the nights this famous theatre has seen and Harper’s audience of young and old do not leave disappointed.

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Live Review and Photographs by Imelda Michalczyk. Ben Harper at London Palladium Sunday 27th April 2014.

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