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The Bens

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(2003 – 2003)

The Bens is the name adopted by musicians Ben Lee, Ben Folds and Ben Kweller when they toured and recorded as a group for their The Bens Rock Over Australia tour in 2003.

They toured Australia, playing nine concerts, in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Newcastle and Surfers Paradise. A tenth at a Melbourne shopping centre was cancelled.

Lee, Folds and Kweller would play individual sets at each concert, but at the beginning and end of each one, all three would play several songs as a band. They all also improvised on various instruments and ‘jammed’ for the crowd. Two performances were recorded live for the Live at the Wireless (the Melbourne concert) and Live at the Basement (one of the Sydney concerts) radio series.

They recorded a four-track EP, which was initially only sold at venues, but was some months later released in Australia and overseas. Several live tracks from the two radio recordings were included on the Japanese release. One track from the original EP, Just Pretend, made it into the Triple J Hottest 100, 2003.

Though various combinations of the three have toured together at various times, as of 2005, they have not reformed as a group, and have not recorded any more material. Although rumors of a United States or United Kingdom tour persisted for more than a year afterwards, these have largely subsided and both major fan-sites have since allowed their domains to expire.

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