06.22.04 London, England

Carling Apollo Hammersmith

I Was There
4
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Evening with BHIC. Doors at 7pm. Show at 8pm. 5,000 cap.

Who Went

  • Doc's picture

Comments/Reviews

rag_n_roll28796's picture

This was my first time seeing the man that is Ben Harper, and what can I say the gig was just flippin awesome. Ben Haper and the IC were full of energy and every song had the individuality that it deserves. One fucking gd gig, I can't wait till the next time. Cheers Ben you're a legend.

P.S. cheers to the guy that shouted "shut up and listen to him then" couldn't of put it better myself.

typhens42982's picture

6th concert this month by far the best.
first time seeing ben harper after being a fan for the last 4 years it wont be the last
fucking amazing!!!!

anonymous's picture

what can i say
the man is an absolute genius. the second time that i saw BHIC and it was just as quality as the last.......with an added bonus - Amen Omen. i think you will agree that that song is an absolute gem and when he failed to play that the first time i went i was a little disappointed but he served it on a platter this time and i lapped it up like a beauty.
the set list was very good and when he stopped through walk away to laugh at that dude it was a golden moment. even though the guy was right to shout as there were a couple of drunken twats who ruin the beautiful sounds that are produced from the boys.
all in all a great night and look forward to the new album.

flipflopscooby44977's picture

It's nearly a week now and still these smiles from our faces will not retreat. My 1st and by no-means last BHIC show-WOW! Now i say show yet this surpassed any gig i've ever seen- even Verve at V 98. The way Ben performs, as though he's singing just to you, and the amazing atmosphere (with the exception of the twats we all remember) made it seem like one big party, something i imagine was felt at Hendrix and Marley performances (unfortunately before my time). Big thanx to the Apollo staff, as had torn knee ligaments week before which forced me to miss Chilli's, they gave me, my girlfriend and indeed my crutches great viewing positions. Some of you are peeved that set was short, totally understand but is'nt it usually the case that the mindless few spoil it for the majority; though personally i would pay the ticket price again to hear just one of those 'hair stand on the back of your neck' tunes. My girlfriend didn't really know Ben beforehand, now she's totally hooked. Only prob now is that everything else will pale into insignificance, how can it get better?! Well let's jus say that when him and Jack (Johnson) get together live again... a return tichet to Oz or the US will be purchased faster than i could carve up a speed bump (bodyboarder) who drops in at my local break. BEN HARPER AND THE INNOCENT CRIMINALS.....YOU ARE THE MAN/MEN!!! Surfboy n Jax

johannegorge66568's picture

Already posted one, but I just had a quick look at the gig of 23rd. June, and feel the need to express my frustration:

- gig of 22nd: 17 songs, and a few people feeling that Ben has shortened up the accoustic bit
- gig of 23rd: 22 songs, and a lot more accoustic songs + I'll Rise

So, as sure as I am that 1+1=2, I believe that we didn't get the best of BHIC because of some dumbs & dumbers who felt that they had to tell the world of her LUUUV for Ben (BTW - not sure Laura Dern, his wife - who was listening on the side, appreciated it). Next time, just open your ears and shut your big mouths up, thank you very much!

Aaaah, I feel (almost) better...

Jo

PS: of course, a real "thank you" for the "shut-up-and-listen-to-him" hero of the night.

anonymous's picture

I have to admit it was the first time I had managed to see BHIC (I live up North and don't always have the time/cash to visit the city) and they surpassed my expectations. I have the live DVD, etc but the personal experience is even better - music is heavier and Ben's voice was great. He is a true genius of our generation and long may he play this wonderful, original, herat-fekt music.

Cheers Ben and the guys.

Keith Wilson
Chesterfield, Derbyshire

iguana's picture

first tiem ive seen them live and i thought it was fantastic. i know people got anoyed with the shouters but personally i just think thats part of what gives individuallity to a live show. if everyone was silent then that guy wouldnt of said "shut up and listen" and ben wouldnt have stopped and laughed and i think its stuff like that that gives performances individuality. however i would really love to go see him in australlia where hes huge and does bigger gigs. 5000 people has the advantages of it being a more intimate atmospher but id still like the experience of being an a huge sea of ben fans. as for the set list, i thought it was great. lookinh at wednesdays set i dunno which i preffer. they had the better acoustic set but we had steal my kisses (one of my favs, along with burne one down which was played on both nights) and i think if i had a choice id chose that over the longer acoustic set. maybe next time hes here, if im rich enough ill treat myself and go both nights. how excellent would that be.

anonymous's picture

As I have been asking for pictures of the show, I would like to thank you for posting so many yesterday!
Well, as said above, it's been a few days now and the magic still hasen't left me...
Thank you for giving it to us!

alexbenyon14870's picture

Bitching aside thats the best gig I,ve ever been to, when I'm old and grey I can tell people I saw the Hendrix of my day, Ben Harper is a Voodoo Chile

ross_harries20005564's picture

Awesome. Truly awesome. Yes, there were some cretins in the crowd who showed a complete lack of respect, but let's not dwell on that. Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals are a phenomenal band. I was rendered utterly speechless by "Where could I go." Rarely ever have I seen a singer abandon himself to a song with such fervour and passion. It's Thursday night and I still haven't fully recovered!

anonymous's picture

In my opinion the Astoria gig last year definitely was better (as others have stated), but the more intimate the venue the more likely that it will be. It is a shame that the crowd behaves as it does - I don't think anybody was interested that it was Heather's birthday and you can talk to your mates at the pub before the gig, on the way home after or on the weekend. I'm always miffed why people would pay 25 quid and not listen to the performer. And judging by the following evenings set list, he did cut his acoustic encore down markedly (and in particular Another Lonely Day).

Luckily this was a brilliant performer (who can also handle those situations admirably) and he always shines through. The way Ben and the ICs put so much in to their gigs, you could never imagine that a bad performance would be possible (like the lack lustre RHCP in Hyde Park). During the gig I thought it could not have been better. All the musical variety was there with Ben playing four guitars six songs in to the set (with no guitar for a couple of those). And the Two Hands/War finale with some crazy dancing was the strongest finish I've witnessed.

In hindsight however there were a few things missing. Personally I also would have liked to have seen Glory & Consequence performed live for the first time. The set list also lacked covers this time around, such as the Drugs Don't Work and Sexual Healing to add some variety. The new songs were very good though. I also assume that due to prohibitive costs in London or early curfews that there's never a support act here, but we do get a 2 hour plus set.

Despite all these pedantic points, during the gig I was in a very happy place only visited at BHIC gigs which linger on for days (like at this very moment) and at the end of the day that's the telling factor.

Thank you Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals.

Yonathan Gal's picture

This was my fiest time seeing Ben and the Innocent Criminals and I was looking forward to it for months after missing the Brixton gigs...

I was so pleased to get to the very very front and for the most part, it was an incredible experience that I'll remember forever... The 2 new tracks were amazing (especially Where Could I Go) and the set list was very good, but it was alittle shorter than I expected, the gig had finished by 10.20... And I can't help feeling that maybe Bne cut his acoustic set short, and I can't blame him. There were some real IDIOTS in the crowd and I don't know why they wasted their money, they shouted over his music and Waiting on An Angel and Walk Away were partly spoiled by a few people... I felt embaressed to be a part of the audience at one point and hope that it won't put Harper off coming back to England... But I don't wanna sound like it was all bad, it's just annoying coz we probably would have got Another Lonely Day and maybe another aswell form Ben if people had enough respect for a musician to play a song...

Burn One Down was amaaaazing - The bongo solo was brilliant and Ben was on fire most of the night... Steal My Kisses, She's Only Happy in the Sun and Amen Omen were also huge standouts... and of course closing with War was superb and worth the entry fee alone! Anyway, I'll finish up now, I can't wait to see Harper and the Innocent Criminals again, I just hope the audience will be a little better... But overall, an absolutely incredible experience and one that me and my girlfriend will never forget. :)

neil2642's picture

Well another pair of 4th timers here, and this gig was the best ever.

Yes the brain-donors shouting over the acoustic set was a bummer (and my concern is that they may be a reason Ben doesn't play London so often), but BIG THANKS to "Shut Up and Listen To Him" - seemed to work.
Far fewer interruptions than the last few gigs.

So. . . was Ben ON FIRE last night or WHAT?! Never seen him smile so much or seem so into the music as he was. The band were as impressive as ever (Where does Leon get that smile from? Lit up the whole venue!) and Juan's bass playing had all the excellence we've come to expect, but (if possibly) was more melodic than ever.

Whoever mentioned earlier about how personal a gig this was. So many of Ben's songs are really special to the two of us, and the sensitivity and immediacy of his performance cut straight to the bone.

Another comment - You know that annoyance when a live band just plays new stuff you've never heard and misses the hits you came to hear? The new songs haven't had time to grow on you etc. etc. Well there's another blow for Mr Harper! Both new tracks were fresh, passionate and touching and we can't wait for the album!

Thank you again Ben and the guys!

anonymous's picture

It was my second Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals gig, and, like last time, I left the venue with a multitude of mixed feelings. BHIC are R-E-A-L artists whose performances are staggering and full of emotions. I could be so moved or on the contrary so excited by their music. I guess it is the same for the other people who came to see them... So why on earth some people are unable to pay some respect not only to the artists but also to the audience by shutting their mouth?!! No wonder BHIC play more in other european countries like France or Germany!!! Just think...

Ben ainsi que les Innocent Criminals la prochaine fois je viendrais vous voir en France promis jure!!

anonymous's picture

Has anyone ever seen him put down the guitar and just sing before? What an incredible vocal performance. The man is a genius.

soh262744's picture

4th time too seeing Ben and the boys (although Wolverhampton '97 remains a bit of a haze ;O) ! )

I always go away from the gigs saying 'I've never seen a singer put so much, and so much of themselves into their songs", but truly felt it last night with Ben (who was on top form as usual) The London crowds DO spoil it though on occasion - I felt Ben might have done some more solo stuff but for the idiots WHOOPING it up. Let the man just play cos that's what we all go for!

Sonny, London

natalie.mccloskey69057's picture

All I can say is I have been to all the recent london gigs and this one confirmed that I will not be going again. Why ? Because of the ignorance of the crowd talking and shouting the whole way through.

stephencave33472's picture

Oh my God!! Ben, thank you. After so many years of missed opportunities to see the band, last night was long time coming. Alreday knew what was coming - or so I thought. Ben's incredible ability to play to each person in the audience personally, blew me away. I have a history of gettin a bit emotional listening to greaqt performances - the odd tear has rolled down these cheeks mid-solo or at a huge crowd response over the years - but this was something else. As I'm sure we all feel - Ben wrote and played most of those songs last night for ME! Know what I mean? Thank you Ben, thank you Innocent Criminals, and especially thanks to mr Shut-up-and-listen-to-him!! He was sat directly behind me, and we all shook his hand for that. Especially at the start of Walk Away - the most beautiful thing I've ever heard. .....I believe in a better way.

anonymous's picture

Wow, this was the first time to see BHIC but they probably the best band i've seen live, they blew all my expectations out of the water!

Ben was so energetic on stage jumping about all over the place, constantly switching guitars and a voice that is so mind blowingly good. The Innocent Crimminals how ever blew me away I was expecting Ben to be good but the IC were incredible each having thier own awsome solo. Such a good band to see live they filled the accademy with such tremendous energy.

Can't wait to see them again, highly recomended if you haven't seen them yet what are you waiting for?

johannegorge66568's picture

Another 4th timer adding a note...

Pure pleasure again last night, despite the long wait under the rain (it must be Wimbledon). Be careful, Ben, we could get used to it! But for the time being, I could go to BHIC shows again and again without boredom settling in. It's that good!

Guitar solos are awesome (Jeezz! He's really good at it), and the Innocent Criminals are just fab!

Can't wait for the next album to go out. Just wondering how close we are to see it in the shops. It doesn't seem to have a title yet. Wher Could I Go was really magical.

Thank you to BHIC.
Jo

stiab3's picture

This was my first BHIC gig. It was everything I expected. Ben and his band are fantastic. Not only is Ben Harper a good singer/soundwriter but he's a great musician and the band is fabulous. . . especially the bassist and the percussionist. That solo in Burn One Down . . . breathless!

Personally, I think Ben Harper is the Bob Marley of this generation. I've always felt cheated that I never got to see Bob Marley Live (too young) but I've seen Ben Harper and thats got to be the next best thing . . . especially when he sung War with With My Own two Hands.

Very good gig!

I'll see him again at Glastonbury on Saturday.
Looking forward to it.

s3

anonymous's picture

Also my 4th time seing Ben Harper & the INC on stage. Although asotria remains my favorite, this gig was just fantastic!
After hearing "Take my hand" and "Where could I go", cannot wait for the new album to come out. By the way, when will we be able to listen/buy it??? Hoping very soon!!!
Please, post some pictures from the gig. It jsut helps to keep the magic aalive for a bit longer.
Hope to see you back in London very soon to "shut up and listen to Ben"!

anonymous's picture

This was also my fourth Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals gig, and despite them putting on the best performance I have seen from the band thus far, the set-list really let them down for me personally. I have seen all of the songs played tonight at the three other London shows I have see previously (Astoria, Virgin Megastore, Brixton opening night) other than the two new tracks (which we fuckin amazing btw) and Gold To Me. My down-points for this gig are 100% personal, I wish they played a better set (never heard Glory & Consequence live, so i'm praying for it to be played at Glasto) , but i guess thats luck of the draw. Next time BHIC book a London show, i'm gonna wait for the second night to be announced because I know that will have the better set-list.

Overall, amazing performance (as always), but personal problems with set marred my experience.

ROLL ON GLASTONBURY!!!

iz113's picture

OMG 4th time seeing ben and by far the best.... i believe that is Ben and the IC at their best!!!

what a show!!

and when the dude screamed "shut up and listen to him" and ben stopped and laughed!! classic!

peace
andy