Catching Up with Ben Dey and the Concrete Lions Before they hit the Park

Ben Dey and the Concrete Lions:

Yup, the Ben Dey kids will be playing in Pretoria with Jeremy Loops so we figured we’d catch up with them and hear how it’s been going. The band is as playful as their name suggests so:

Ben Dey & The Concrete Lions: The Sirens:

Richard Chemaly (RC): Lekker! Last time we spoke…well actually you spoke to Brett…you were on your way to touring Europe. How was that? Pick up any new tricks and tips you’d like to share with the kids?

Ben Dey (BD): Aside from being detained for 8 hours in Heathrow, the UK was fun. Ongama and I had some lekker little shows. I guess, the biggest learning factor with such trips is organization. A trait most of us musicians lack. One needs to be ‘portable’ and move with ease through new environmental pressures. 

Axel Rose or Dexter Holland?

RC: Also since last we spoke, you grew your hair…or maybe you just stopped tying it up? An homage to Axel Rose or Dexter Holland?

BD: That’s what a year away from varsity does! At some point, I may need to get the clippers out. As lions, we do need our manes though…

RC: You’ve also been in the scene for a good couple of years. I remember MC’ing your gig at Fête de la Musique back in 2016. In that time you appear to have somewhat of a meteoric rise playing all the major festivals locally and touring the world. You even said the SA scene is a lekker pond but there’s a whole ocean out there so I guess the question begs to be asked, what’s left?

BD: Wow, that’s a while back! Fete del la Musique was one of our first shows outside Cape Town. You ask what’s next? I guess the answer is more. The detail is yet to be known. At present, all I can do is keep the train moving forward. Forward is progress. When studies culminate, I hope to move where the music takes me. 

A ‘concrete lion’ is a domestic cat…

RC: Concrete is an exceptional material. You have to pour it in slowly otherwise it takes forever for the heat to escape and the concrete doesn’t set. Do you think you would have gotten further, faster if you went for Iron Lions?

BD: A ‘concrete lion’ is a domestic cat. A being that lives and thrives in the comfort of the urban environment and yet deep inside is still connected to the wild. We as humans are the same. Detribalized and lost, music allows us to connect back with the primitive form and communicate truth. Iron lion is a good rhyme though!

RC: On a serious note though, the lineup seems pretty sick. Why is it that artists don’t take advantage an invite other artists onto the stage to do a song collaboration or something whenever this opportunity presents itself? Anyone on the lineup you’d like to be on stage with?

BD: As artists, we do need to show more empathy. Every musician on the lineup is great. It’s always an honor to play alongside diverse talents.

RC: Outdoor gigs are always lekker. I would imagine that, being lions, your crew would like the notion of not being caged. What’s the influence of that going to be on your set?

BD: A lion in the wild is happier than the lion in the Zoo. We love playing in close contact with the Earth. 

RC: Shot Ben…Looking forward to your set!

BD: Cheers mate!

Jeremy Loops in The Garden:

THIS SATURDAY, the 8th of September, Pretoria celebrates Spring with ‘Jeremy Loops In The Garden’. If any more of a reason is needed to go, then the local line-up joining Loops on the day is a POWER one.

Here’s the complete line-up and times for “Sunburn & Wonder Presents: Jeremy Loops In The Garden” on 8 September at the Pretoria Botanic Gardens:
10:00     S&W Djs
12:00     Kalden Berg
13:00     The Ceramics
14:00     Little Ringo
15:00     Skinnee Sunrise
16:00     We Are Charlie
17:00     Ben Dey & The Concrete Lions
18:00     Rubber Duc
19:00     December Streets
20:00     Jeremy Loops
End        S&W Djs