search for something...

search for something you might like...

Playing to the Chaplain David Benjamin Blower performs We Really Did This and We Really Existed at Warwick University

Playing to the Chaplain

David Benjamin Blower performs We Really Did This and We Really Existed at Warwick University

by Ancient Champion, Columnist
first published: June, 2019

approximate reading time: minutes

We all walk into the future backwards, Because the past is our only reference...

David Benjamin Blower
Live@The Chaplaincy
Warwick University

Driving. It's rarely straightforward is it? Ditto leaving the house at any time. Combining leaving the house and rush hour driving... Ultimately that meant that by the time the man previously previously known as Warren the Shoe, and now previously known as the Bearwood Mountain Man, and I reached The Chaplaincy at Warwick University, having taken various detours and endured afternoon traffic jams, the pizza was chewed over and cold and the available pop was flat and warm.

And so it goes, getting to and into this David Benjamin Blower performance, which perhaps ranks as one of the three weirdest gigs I've attended, well ever... The others? I know you'll want to know that amongst those are Spacemen 3 at Dingwalls; I saw what appeared to be a huge gap in the audience directly in front of the stage and bowled towards it, beer in hand, only to upend myself entirely when I crashed into the kids sitting on the floor, that I hadn't seen in the darkness, and of course, arse over tit. As they say. And the journey home fucked up by our minicab driver being arrested by the police, in the middle of north London nowhere. There are others for other reasons, Atari Teenage Riot in Anaheim, Killdozer, Kevin McCarthy, Tricky and Jonathan Richman, that last man alone maybe three weird ones on his own. All weird and all great. And so...

David Benjamin Blower's new record, We Really Did This and We Really Existed, is receiving all kinds of deserved plaudits. It's a dynamic confluence of acoustic instruments and eclectic electric possibility. It is to be immediately and patiently absorbed. It's one of the LPs of the year and the best recording of music and lyrics as a piece to come out of Birmingham, since, I don't know, probably since Steel Pulse's Handsworth Revolution. It's pure genius demands attention.

At the Chaplaincy, a tight circle of fans surround David as he unfolds his music stand, picks his ancient parlor guitar from the ground, sits not necessarily relaxed. He does this, performs in intimate spaces. It suits the words and the music.

In front he surveys the pizza, the soda, enervated, dessicated maybe even before we drove.

David explains that he'll perform We Really Did This and We Really Existed in its entirety and that it will take an hour or so, and he will add the between track poetry musings which add so much, and while available on disc don't make it to Spotify.

The melody of The Two Horses and Everything Is Changed ease you but don't prepare you for the oncoming maelstrom. It's the apocalypse out there and we are here to talk it over with David. It's like a Sweeps Week Disaster Epic and we're aboard the good ship Hale-Bopp. Should we worry?

"We all walk into the future backwards
Because the past is our only reference...
And only rarely does the present demand
That what we turn and refer to what's stood there ahead of us."

Even with the stripped down guitar and vocal only sound, the power of his songs, like the single, The Soil, is there, heavier than heavy metal.

The performance then, beyond captivating for an hour. The audience entirely and utterly wrapt. Not breathing between songs. And then it's over. There's an awkward silence, like something I saw once when the Teenage Fanclub played the Jabberjaw Coffee Shop on Pico, drained the room, with their outlandish noise, to nervous exhaustion.

At the Chaplaincy, David ends with an offer to lead a post show conversation about catastrophe...

For us there was a parking problem and we had to beam back up we had to go.

Essential Info:
David Benjamin Blower website here
On Bandcamp here

Ancient Champion

Ancient Champion writes for OUTSIDELEFT while relentlessly recording and releasing instrumental easy listening music for difficult people. The Champ is working on Public Transport, a new short story collection that takes up where 2021's Six Stories About Motoring Nowhere (Disco City Books) left off. It should be ready in time for the summer holidays. More info at

about Ancient Champion »»



All About and Contributors


Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]


If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]


Ooh Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha May 29th

outsideleft content is not for everyone