Boogie woogie pianist Ben Waters will be joined by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood for some special concerts at Fulham’s Under the Bridge venue.
Well known as a member of The Rolling Stones as well as Faces and the Jeff Beck Group Ronnie Wood will join boogie woogie pianist Ben Waters and his band for a night of music to celebrate the music of Chuck Berry. Ben is just as well known in his own field and it was more than ten years ago that Ronnie saw Ben’s talent on the keys and knew they had to do something together.
Ben Waters told The Irish World: “He’s a fantastic musician and a great guy to have around. In fact, it’s the most fun I’ve had in any band any time, famous or not famous. He brings a massive amount of energy to it.”
Ronnie has also brought some big names with none other than Imelda May among the faces that have joined in with their previous performances.
“The first time we ever played together for this line-up, the first gig was something I set up in a local theatre. What happened was we had two gigs booked in at Ronnie Scott’s in London so Ronnie said, ‘Let’s rehearse somewhere’. I said, ‘Well if we can rehearse in our local theatre which they’ll give us for free, we can do a concert in the evening to say thank you’.
“Of course, Ronnie being Ronnie, it sold out instantly and he turned up with Imelda May. I never met her before then. She was absolutely brilliant.
“Then the next night we did Ronnie Scott’s and his old mate Rod Stewart turned up and jumped up and sang Rock ‘n’ Roll Music. The next night his old mate Jeff Beck turned up with Johnny Depp. They did half an hour with us. I was amazed what a great musician Johnny Depp was.
“It goes on like that. The last time we played in London he was out walking the dog and he bumped into Lulu who lives around the corner from him. She came along and sang. It’s always like that with Ronnie. You never know who’s gonna turn up.”
Ben has been travelling to Cork for their famous Jazz Festival for years: “When I was about 18, I started going to Cork every year and I got to know so many people down there.
“A fantastic thing happened actually. This is what I love about the Irish. That festival’s been going for 41 years and there was an old guy there who had been to every festival since it started. That year he was too ill to go because he was in hospital. They set up a piano at the end of his bed and asked would I go and play piano for him and I said yeah.
“I didn’t know the guy at all so I went there in the afternoon and he was half asleep so I gently played for a bit and as he came to, I played a bit more rock ‘n’ roll. After half an hour, I went and saw him. I said, ‘Hello, I’m Ben. It’s nice to meet you. I’m sorry you’re not very well and I hope you get better soon’. And he went, ‘I hope you do too’. Great answer. I love things like that.”
Ben has a very famous cousin in the singer and songwriter PJ Harvey. The cousins have played together at family occasions and PJ has joined him Ben on one of his albums: “She’s a legend. Very proud of her. She’s the only person in history to win the Mercury Music Prize twice.
“She’s really inspirational. She works really hard.”
The Ben Waters Band with special guest Ronnie Wood play Under the Bridge in Fulham on Monday 16 March and Tuesday 17 March and The Helix in Dublin on Friday 20 March.