Harper surprises Bluesfest with reunion
BEN Harper surprised a large crowd at the opening night of the 22nd annual Byron Bay Bluesfest by by reuniting his trailblazing band The Innocent Criminals for the first time since 2008.
Harper was billed to close the Mojo stage program last night with one of his other bands Relentless7, who played with him at his last Bluesfest performance in 2009.
''Hey Byron, we missed you,'' Harper said as he took the stage with The Innocent Criminals, before launching into a reggae version of With My Own Two Hands.
Speaking from the US before arriving in Australia, Harper promised his opening-night show would represent Ben Harper ''past, present and future'' and said he was working on a new album with Innocent Criminals.
He followed through on his promise with an all-encompassing set, mixing up styles and swapping from slide to acoustic and electric guitar for tracks including Ground on Down, Diamonds on the Inside and Burn One Down.