Whats On

Kevin Bennett and The Flood

Having served his apprenticeship in rock bands – Moving Pictures, The Honeymoon and Chasin The Train, indigenous singer/songwriter Kevin Bennett began The Flood as a vehicle for his earthier, more narrative music. The Flood ploughs the same fields as Don Walker, The Dingoes, Paul Kelly and Archie Roach with an ‘Australian-ness’ that flows naturally through the songs.

They have performed at the Byron Bay Bluesfest, The Dreaming Festival, Gympie Muster, Narooma Blues Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival and are regulars at Tamworth. Along the way, he has toured with The Band,The Highwaymen, The Neville Brothers, Kim Richey, Kevin Welch (culminating in a live album and DVD), Loudon Wainwright, Gregory Page and many more. KB was honoured to be included as part of The Dingoes, in their 2010/11 reunion tour and guesting on their subsequent albums ‘Tracks’ and ‘Live At Last’.

In the recent past KB has also been part of Bennett, Bowtell and Urquhart, a harmony-driven alt-country trio which has taken both Best Group and Alternative Album Gold Guitars at the 2017 awards and Vocal Collaboration in 2019. ‘Is this the best, most original and accomplished collection of alt-country songs (tinged with gospel, blues, soul) since Kasey Chambers’ The Captain? A true rarity: glorious harmonies with songs of depth and honesty, happily free from the Aussie jingoism of utes, mates and the mythical outback. It’s forged out of the Australian experience but, in its level of playing, singing and songwriting, it could hold its head high in any company.’ Bruce Elder review of ‘Weeds’ by Bennett, Bowtell and Urquhart.

The Flood’s 2019 offering, ‘Blood Red Ties’ is concerned with family, roots, country and ALL the ties that bind. It speaks to, and is informed by, the Australian landscape and the people of this wide, brown land. ‘Should a fuss be made about perfectly reasonable, humanist, thoughtful ideas that don’t pander? I mean, this album is not just a solid mainstream country record in parts, it’s also in other parts a reminder that alt.country has a longer history than a revival in checked shirts and questionable beards. It has a lot of good songs, and a lot of very good playing.

There isn’t a huge surprise that Kevin Bennett isn’t bothered hiding his questions about casual xenophobia*, grasping what a connection to the land means beyond owning it for a couple of generations, and escaping abuse that goes beyond family to a wider, uglier society.

Most of the songs on ‘Blood Red Ties’ turn on pretty much that question of how you value character, whether it is the man whose luck has turned even worse in ‘Just Another Town’ (“His birthday present wintercoat from Vinnies ‘79/Kept the Melbourne chill from his Sydney bones, in the wintertime.”), or the one searching for redemption in ‘Spaghetti Western’ (Gaarruma Li) (“His wide eyes are flailin’ like butterfly wings/He hears music in the slipstream when the siren sings.”)

‘Down The Line’ doesn’t just pay homage to a great Australian tradition of bluesy country rock as represented by The Dingoes, it brings them in to play on the song – yes, that’s Kerryn Tolhurst on steel! – and burnishes that tradition. Bennett still puts his faith in the women and men around him, not a myth or a higher power. That faith may be the most radical thing of all on this album……’     Bernard Zuel review of ‘Blood Red Ties’ excerpts

The current line-up is KB (Vox/Guitar), Glen Hannah (Guitar/Vox), Wayne ‘Killer’ Kellett (Bass/Vox), Gary Carruthers (Guitar, Banjo, Mando, Harmonica/Vox) and Mik McCartin (Drums/Vox). Rhythms magazine calls The Flood ‘the best Australian roots band since The Dingoes.’

I f****n love ‘em’!……..Tim Rogers BUY TIX HERE …