by Peter Morris
AUSTRALIAN UK-based folk-punk troubadour, Benny Mayhem, is returning to his home town Albany to perform with his band on Sunday.
Benny recently released his new single Song For Absent Friends.
Written in a hotel room in the Austrian Alps, the song is a mix of Benny’s trademark folk-punk sound with Sunnyboys-style Australian power pop and a touch of Californian punk.
“I lived in Albany for 11 years, growing up at Middleton Beach, Lower King, Spencer Street and Burgoyne Road,” Benny said.
“My family moved around a lot, but each place had its own magic.
“Hearing the railway shunting at night, walking the jetties and wharves, bushwalking and fishing are all happy memories. And the rain on a tin roof.
“I have a song called Kinjarling, the traditional name for Albany in the Menang Noongar dialect, and means ‘place of rain’.
“I wrote that when I was 29-years-old and it describes many of my fondest memories.”
Sunday’s gig will be Benny’s third trip to the region since he first returned as a solo musician in 2014, helping with the Anzac Albany commemorations.
He performed at the Stirling Terrace Mess Hall and conducted workshops at TS Vancouver naval cadets, where he and his father were once cadets – as well as at Denmark TAFE.
Benny moved to Perth with his family in 1994.
“We didn’t intend to stay away for long, but in those days the big city had many more opportunities than we had in the county so I lived there for the next 18 years,” Benny said.
“I threw myself into the original music scene where I was very active for a long time – especially with my punk/rock’n’roll band Project Mayhem, which is how I became Benny Mayhem.
“The old band were very successful locally and performed for 10 years straight. We were a band of buddies and eventually we decided we all needed to do something else for a while.
“I had never travelled, so I moved to London. But I didn’t really have much of a plan of what to do when I got there.
“So I did what came naturally and became a full-time professional musician.
“I took every opportunity I could and that took me right across Europe, including the UK, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
“I’m now able to take that experience and build on it here in Australia and especially WA, which is my home and a place that will always be dear to me, wherever I may find myself.”
Benny will perform his own brand of folk-punk at the King River Tavern, Millbrook Road, on Sunday May 21.
Tickets will be available at the door.