So this week we came across some live footage of Ben Owen performing at The Sugarmill in Stoke-on-Trent, which shows just how good a performer and musician Owen really is. And this led us to looking at Owen’s youtube channel which, if you haven’t had a look, is full of cover songs. So we’ve had a look through and picked our five favourite.
5. I Will Follow You Into The Dark (Death Cab For Cutie)
Brilliant for more reasons than just the poster incident at the beginning of the video, Owen’s ukulele cover of this Death Cab For Cutie classic is pretty impressive – and I’m not especially fond of ukes! This tenderness of the vocals, combined with the simple ukulele instrumentation, make for one good cover.
4. Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie)
Part of the live performance that has occupied the airways at Fresh Beats all week. A powerful cover of a classic song, with vocals that partially emulate Bowie’s unique vocal style while also staying true to Owen’s own style. A good mix of cover and original interpretation.
3. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (The Smiths)
One of many of Owen’s collaborations with the talented Emily Davis. This is a fine cover that stays true to the original, while also differing just enough to stand out. The notable slight melody change in the chorus works perfectly and – dare I say it – possibly even better than the original, taking the rendition above and beyond.
2. Slave To The Grind (Skid Row)
The only thing that outshines the impressive guitar work on display in this video is the fantastic vocal performance by Owen himself, demonstrating so much musical versatility that it’s impossible not to rank this track high on the list.
1. Party Rock Anthem/Poker Face (LMFAO/Lady Gaga)
Owen’s refreshing acoustic & violin folk-styled medley of Party Rock Anthem and Poker Face is the undeniable best cover of his. The musicianship is fantastic; the vocals are the right mix of tender and powerful; the approach is inventive and well-executed. There is no criticism of this track – it’s a near-flawless interpretation.
Agree with our list? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!