Ben Kaplan in Privatclub last week

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Ben Caplan played in Privatclub last week to a reasonably small but enthusiastic crowd. If anyone wasn’t a fan when they came in they sure as hell were when they left. The man has a huge beard but his personality’s still bigger. It’s a pretty good test of a performer’s mettle if he can take a crowd with him with nothing but his voice and a guitar. He played quite simple guitar – nothing flashy – and sometimes jumped onto the piano. But his voice slipped from a quiet whisper to a huge angry sound and back again with ease. His songs are varied and intelligent. There are singalong choruses aplenty. And one thing that’s special: Ben Caplan is really fucking funny. He had everyone laughing even before he got them all singing along. A magical moment was when he announced that there wasn’t enough madness around, that everyone was shoring it up and that that was bad for you, so he had them turn off thelights and got everyone to scream as loud as they can. Everyone loved it. Ben Caplan is a smoking, whisky-drinking, balladeering, honey-voiced raconteur with a very very big beard and a personality to match. If you hear of him playing, go and see him, I promise you’ll love it.

Review by Noel Maurice