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Birmingham Ort Welcomes Canada's Ben Caplan

Hey Cats,

Start the year as you mean to go on and get to more live music. Yesterday I went to my first gig of the year and what a fine show it was. If you follow me on social media you would have already caught me raving about Ben Caplan and how excited I was getting to finally see him live. I was even more stoked when I heard it would be at Ort Cafe which is such an intimate venue. By day Ort is a vegan and veggie friendly cafe and by night you can catch live music, poetry and art shows. It is almost like being in someones living room hosting small crowds of around 70 people.


It wasn't until we arrived we realised we were going to be treated to not one but two support acts. First up was the talented Taryn Kawaja along with Ben Caplan from Canada. Bringing alluringly haunting vocals that are beautiful and full of soul, Deeply poetic lyrics accompanied by pop piano it would be near impossible to ignore what an amazing performer Kawaja really is, I think we had 6 songs in total including the delicate yet dark 'How to be (Microscope)'.


It was amazing to see some homegrown music from the next support Kate Wilkins. A lovely voice and some thought provoking lyrics, I really enjoyed Dancing on the edge of blasphemy I am not sure if that was the song title or just the chorus but it was catchy and inviting.  Wilkins also brought some more piano to the evening and some acoustic percussion which added to the relaxing vibe, so much so I sank into the sofa and could almost forgive that I couldn't see from the steadily building crowd.

I somehow dragged myself up with the help of some craft beer to get in position for the eagerly awaited Ben Caplan. Even in such a small venue the man knows how to make an entrance. The music starts, the double bass strummed, the drum rumbles and the melodica set a folky tune but no Ben. Everyone watching one door when suddenly he appears through the crowd. Kicking off with 'Birds with broken wings' the biggest smile grew across my face. Taryn accompanied on the melodica and through the set brought piano, and vocals too, The chemistry, flow and all round positive vibes oozed from the whole band.


Charming and witty Ben knows how to work a crowd. In strange Birmingham style a strange old man in a huge wig interrupted his tale of the last time he was in Brum, but Ben handled him with respect and politeness eventually being awarded for this with 3 rings from the eccentric gent. I hope Caplan knows Birmingham is full of strange yet wonderful people. The interaction was amazing getting the crowd to clap and even sing along to 'I got me a woman' the Jewish folk inspired songs got the crowd moving. Often compared to Tom Waits I can see where this comes from deep voices, amazing presence and hypnotising poetry in the lyrics. 


Full of energy and a voice that warms the soul with manic pianos, laughter and all round awesomeness Caplan owned the evening. Every song felt like a favourite with 'Belly of the worm', 'Lovers waltz' and 'Down by the river' being among them. Sadly we had to duck out to catch the last buses home but the music spilt out onto the streets and captivated us in the the cold night air. 

A truly special special evening. Have you heard Ben Caplan's music before?


34 comments:

  1. I have never heard Ben Caplan's music before but I really enjoy live music. Not the big names, just the local acts. To me they have more talent than a lot of the X Factor singers they churn out.

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    1. He is so good if you don't like the x factor stuff you may just love him x

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  2. I haven't heard Ben Caplan's music before but I wouldn't say no to a night of craft beer and live music :)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by <3 You should totally check him out he is so talented and has a real versatile style. Also the sharp's was really nice x

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  3. I have never heard Ben Caplan but am about to go and google to check it out.

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    1. Please do he is so under rated for how awesome he is! Thank you for stopping by <3 x

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  4. I have never heard of Ben Caplan, but there is something about live music that you just cant beat. Glad you had a good time

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    1. It was a really nice chilled night but he got even the quietest of the crowd interacting! Thank you for stopping by <3 x

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  5. Listening to live music is such an experience. I am going to New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville later this year and can't wait to listen to the live jazz, blues and country. Even though I am a pop and rock music lover, being there in the moment with the bands will be amazing.

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    1. Wow I am so jel! New orleans is meant to be amazing and if you like that style of upbeat music then you may just love Ben! Thank you for stopping by and let me know all about your trip! <3 x

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  6. I have to admit that I have never heard his music but will have to Google him now

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    1. Get on it he is so good try Birds with broken wings and thnak you for stopping by <3 x

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  7. I have heard of him but have never listened to his music. He sounds like a great artist.

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    1. He really is and so were all the supports don't forget to check them out too! Thank you for stopping by <3 x

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  8. One of my aims this year is to go to more live gigs as well - I live within walking distance of Camden, so it is an absolute travesty that I''m not making more use of it. It sounds like you had a wonderful night, and the venue looks really nice too. What a lovely way to start the new year off! :)

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    1. I had no idea you lived in London! For some random reason I thought you were northern! x

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  9. Sounds like you had a great time, I love it when I discover a new act through the supports - I have discovered some of my favourite bands that way.

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  10. Craft beer + live music sounds like my boyfriend's perfect night out.

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    1. Haha then your boyfriend has great taste! Thank you for stopping by xx

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  11. I have never heard of Ben Caplan, but it sounds like you had a great time x

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    1. I had the best time you can't beat live music in small venues. Thank you for stopping by <3 x

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  12. Never heard of Ben Caplan. but then again my music tastes seem to have ended with Britpop...

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    1. You really should check him out he is really cool! Britpop was pretty awesome too tho I love blur! Thank you for stopping by <3 x

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  13. One of my plans for the year is to listen to more music from acts I don't know. I'm off to google these straight away as they seem interesting.

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    1. That is a great aim lets find more awesome music together! Thank you for stopping by x

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  14. I enjoy watching live music a lot. So entertaining.

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    1. Me too! Thank you for stopping by <3 x

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  15. Sounds like you had a really great time, I'll check out this artist xxx

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    1. please do you wont be disappointed x

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  16. What a great venue - I have never heard of Ben Caplan, but bet it was a brilliant evening. Kaz x

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    1. It is such an intimate lovely place! Thank you for stopping by <3 x

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  17. I'd never heard of Ben Caplan but I'm off to find out more right now!

    Louise x

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    1. I really hope you like him he is pretty cool and I think has a good range for everyone to enjoy x

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