Scottish busker Ben Monteith wows the Glasgow audience with a rare, intimate and rocking performance with his full band. 

Glasgow busker Ben Monteith has been turning heads in Glasgow’s city centre over the past 4 years. Not just locally, but nationally and globally online too. Fans from other parts of the UK have travelled up to Glasgow just to be able to purchase Monteith’s brilliant first EP Safe directly from Ben himself.

Tonight sees Monteith performing tracks from his heart warming EP, plus a number of popular covers and some good rockers for good measure. Monteith walks onto the stage to a rip roaring Glasgow welcome and immediately launches into the opening track “I Wish” from his EP. Covers by Bastille and The Script’s “Man Who Can’t Be Moved” is stamped with Monteith’s own style, and with the full band sees more rocking versions of all the covers performed tonight. Monteith and band get the Glasgow crowd in a frenzy with the cover of “Drown’ by Bring Me the Horizon. The audience does not need a second invitation to sing along.

There is no denying the huge amount of talent, soul and presence that Monteith possesses when he is busking out on the street in Glasgow, but with the band in the intimate venue, this intensifies. The Glasgow man’s voice is immense, and this shines during a cover of Blink 182’s “I Miss You”. Monteith advises the Glasgow audience that after 4 years of busking he didn’t expect to be doing what he is doing now. “You guys made me do it. Buying my music, downloading my tunes. You even made me make my own tee-shirts”, Monteith exclaims before launching into another song “It’s Your Time” from his EP.

Tonight Monteith touches souls. Whether it’s with his unique cover versions or his own material you can’t help but be touched by the power and emotion of the man. A cover of Christina Perri’s ballad “A Thousand Years” is one of the most beautiful, intimate moments of the night as the Glasgow crowd sing along. “Iris” is dedicated to Monteith’s wife and Michael Cleary on the second acoustic guitar shines here for this one. The wide variety of styles Monteith covers shows his diversity. Some are chart pop hits, some rockers and “Ain’t It Fun” demonstrates the band can have a lot of fun, as it is the most upbeat song of the night, with the crowd clapping along to the deep, energetic funky groove.

A string of further rockier covers provide a harder edge as the crowd goes crazy during “Mr Brightside”, as Monteith asks if anybody feels like jumping around? Monteith’s Dad included as he briefly gets the crowd going by getting up onto the stage. Monteith makes Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” his own and finishes the main set with his own song “Safe”, of which Monteith explains he wrote this for his wife when she started chemotherapy and ‘she kicked cancer’s arse’. Again one of many beautiful, heartfelt moments tonight.

Monteith returns for the encore on his own, performing an amazing intimate version of John Legend’s “All of Me” on acoustic guitar. Everyone in the room sings this with him, of which a lot of mesmerised female voices could be heard. The highlight of the night was Monteith’s own song “Home”. Monteith starts on his own for the first verse, then the band returns with Donal McCruden on drums joining in first with a pounding driving rhythm and beat. Marc Bull on bass compliments the rhythm majestically and Timmy Allan provides solid licks and solos brilliantly on lead guitar. Clayton provides fantastic support as second guitarist and a lot of smiles and fun throughout the night. The band are tight throughout and during this song are on another planet. The song gets heavier towards the end and sees Monteith and band at their best and in their element.

The band end the night with Monteith’s most popular and famous cover online (over 32 million views on Facebook), The Fray’s “How To Save a Life”. This is a fitting way to end the night with the crowd dancing and singing along to every word.

Ben Monteith

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Event Date: 29-July-2017

About The Author


Hailing from Northern Ireland and living in Glasgow, Scotland, I have been a lover of a wide range of different music for many many years. With a passion for photography I love combining writing about great music, with shooting great images of bands or artists, capturing the mood, atmosphere and painting an accurate picture of a gig for those who weren't there.

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