I had the great privilege once again to play for the amazing Sir Tom Jones this year. I have to say that like a fine wine he just keeps getting better with age. I played the US leg of the tour and as always feel very lucky to get to make music with a band of such talented musicians. The band was –
Scott McKeon – Guitar
Ben Jones – Guitar
Owen Barry – Guitar
Dave Bronze – Bass
Ben Stone Drums
Gary Wallis – Drums/MD
Paddy Milner – Piano / Hammond / Synth
Henry Collins – Trumpet
Trevor Mires – Trombone / Sousaphone
Francis Walden – Saxaphones
We played a lot of re-worked material from his back catalogue but played in a more stripped down fashion. A little bit more bluesy / gospel style showcasing each of the musicians in different ways. In many ways it was a very musical show and a far cry from the pop tours of late where the music is often the last consideration after the lights and video screens. We played a bunch of classics in the set that Tom loves like “Cry To Me”, “I Wish You Would”, “Take My Love” and “Wonderful World”.
If you get the chance to see Sir Tom this year or next please go do it. He is on top form and it’s been my great pleasure to sit behind him on stage once again.
Ben has been playing off and on with Bonnie Tyler Dep’ing for his good friend, drummer Alex Toff for many years now. Bit of trivia for you – Bonnie is an iconic artist who happens to live 15 minutes from Ben’s home in South Wales. Ben has toured countless countries with the Welsh singer from Beirut to Norway.
Ben started off this years work with Bonnie helping to prepare a promo show for the Zoe Ball breakfast show on BBC Radio 2. An acoustic performance re-working some of her classic hits as well as a cover of Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s “Human”. Ben played percussion using his unique take on producing multi layered real time percussion by strapping instruments to any limb possible! Ben uses Meinl Percussion, Ortega Guitars Stomp pedals and Aston Microphones exclusively.
Ben will record a live DVD at the London Palladium later in 2019 to celebrate the release of her latest studio album entitled “Between The Earth And The Stars”. Keep an eye out for this raucous band tearing up all of Bonnie’s hits as well as songs from her new album plus some classic blues songs either in person at a show or via the live DVD. Release details to be announced.
“MD’ing is one of my favourite things in live music.”
I have been incredibly fortunate to have been musical director for a number of shows over the past year or so. This is an area I have always wanted to work more in and thankfully I have been afforded that luxury. It’s always a lot of work but something that is so rewarding for me. It suits the way my brain works.
BBF – Boy Bands Forever – Early 2017 I got involved with a new musical called Boybands Forever which is a comedy take on the construction of a famous boyband such as NSYNC or Take That! It has it’s serious moments too but it’s really a celebration of the music of boybands! I worked with a serious creative team who I’d been involved with on previous big shows I’d played with Helene Fischer back in 2015. BBF was written and directed by German TV personality Thomas Hermans https://www.quatsch-comedy-club.de and the show was masterfully choreographed by Marvin A. Smith http://marvin-a-smith.de Musical Supervision by Christoph Papendiek and yours truly as Musical Director.
Boybands Forever musicians include – Ben Stone (MD/Drummer), Matt Round (Bass), Toby Chapman (Keys), Martin Mayer (Keys), Luke Juby (Keys), Ryan Haberfield (Guitar), Matt Bishop (Guitar) and Gary Wallis (Drums).
Putting together a new musical from scratch was a lot of work and a lot of fun. All the arrangements and new versions of classic boyband songs were done over a 3 week period with the help of my great friend and wonderful musician Toby Chapman. After Toby and I had done the initial work I set about implementing Marvin’s ambitious changes and “live show” elements. We worked closely for two weeks writing and designing epic versions of these famous songs to bring this huge spectacle to life. We have now done three full tours of this show amounting to well over 100 shows in Arenas, Concert Halls and theatres all over Germany, Austria, Belgium and Switzerland. Possibly coming to a UK theatre near you soon?? Who knows but the thought is nice.
Everyman Theatre – Cheltenham – I’ve been lucky enough to continue to work with the great team at the everyman theatre in Cheltenham which is run in conjunction with Mark Goucher Productions on their annual pantomime. I brought with me my knowhow from working as a programmer/Sound Designer in London’s west-end and on many other pop tours from stadiums, arenas, theatres and clubs to give what was a regional pantomime a real pro sonic flavour. Big pop numbers as well as tunes from musical theatre played with all the trimmings you’d expect from a Take That concert meant this big budget show has gone on to break it’s box office records year on year in the past 5 years that I’ve been involved which is testament to our team working on the show. I’m writing this in 2019 which is sadly the last year that I’ll MD this show. I wish the new team there the best of luck in their next production. On to pastures knew…
If you’d like to get in touch with Ben about MD’ing your next tour please use the contact page here.
Firstly sorry for the lack of updates. It has been an incredibly busy few years! Work Work Work!! Thanks for your understanding and I hope you keep visiting my website to keep up to date with what I’m up to. It’s very much appreciated :-)) BS.
2018 saw Ben play for the first time with the incredibly talented Argentinian singer Semino Rossi. A voice like silk and a real passion for music made for a very strong bond between drummer and artist!
A very successful tour and live DVD filmed in the great city of Berlin, Germany during May of 2018 saw Semino and Ben form a great friendship as well as a song writing partnership. More on the song writing in the near future!
The long awaited and much talked about return of Phil Collins to the stage is set to be a huge spectacle taking in some amazing venues two of which are the Aviva stadium in Dublin and Hyde Park, London.
Joining Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins on the bill are Blondie (Dublin & Hyde Park), NPG-New Power Generation (Hyde Park), Starsailor (Hyde Park) and KC & The Sunshine Band (Hyde Park).
Above: Ben Stone & Mike Rutherford at Harley Davidson 100th Anniversary festival in Rome.
Above: Mike+The Mechanics pre-show selfie in Germany
Ben will be back playing with Welsh female rock legend Bonnie Tyler during 2017 for a couple of dates on her current tour. Ben is covering for her regular drummer Alex Toff on dates in Chile and Lebanon during 2017.
Ben tours with German Universal Music recording artist “Michelle” for 29 date European tour.
Michelle made her comeback in 2015 with “The Hits” tour after a lengthy hiatus. Michelle then went onto become a judge on the German TV show DSDS (German Pop Idol). Now she is back in 2017 with a 29 date live show covering Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Ben is playing drums and singing a little on this tour which finishes on the 19th March in Cottbus.
BENSTONEOFFICIAL.COM is very pleased to announce that the new Hornal album is out now on all major platforms.
Entitled “The Game Begins With The Lights Out” which is a lyric from the first track on the album “Staring At The Sky” which has been co-written by Ben.
“The Game Begins With The Lights Out” sees Ben’s old bandmate the multi-talented Iain Hornal collaborate with some heavy weight artists to bring his incredible album to life! Featured artists include – Sophie Elli-Bextor, Graham Gouldman (10cc), Kevin Godley (10cc/Godley&Creme), Billington & Quinn, Mike Stevens (Take That, ELO), Anna Krantz, Dan Gillespie (The Feeling) and Ceiran Jeremiah (The Feeling).
To purchase this special album please click on the links below :
So it’s been a while since I put an update on here…my apologies! The good news is I’ve been incredibly busy since my last update. During 2016 I launched my remote sessions service officially. After doing remote sessions for years I made it public and it’s been going great with more and more independant artists using my services to record live acoustic drums and electronic drums / programming. More details here: Remote Drum Sessions I recorded a couple of country records which are due for release this year and have more music waiting to be recorded for 2017.
I also took on the job of Musical Director for the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham for their Christmas Pantomime. Lots of programming and writing as well as charts for the band and I also played drums for the 7 week run. We had a lot of fun and broke box office records from previous years with over 42,000 coming through the doors to see the show over the 7 weeks.
5 days off with the family on a short break then straight into rehearsals for the current tour I’m on. After her come back tour in 2015 which I played, German artist “Michelle” has returned with a 29 date tour of Europe for which I’m playing drums and doing a bit of singing. We rehearsed in Gaga Studios Hamburg again run by a great chap called Hans Jurgen. He is a top guy and runs a great recording studio, details here: http://www.gagastudio.eu
After a busy 2015 on the road with European artists Helene Fischer and Michelle, 2016 sees Ben appear on the DVD/Blue-ray/Album releases from these shows.
Helene Fischer’s Farbenspiel Live Die Stadion Tournee played to over 1 Million people during the tour and covered almost every major stadium in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Denmark
Helene Fischer – Farbenspiel Live Die Stadion Tournee
With over 2 million sales of her last album Helene Fischer is at the top of her game so it’s no surprise that the lavish production of the Farbenspiel Live tour was the most succesful in the history of german music! Ben played electronic and acoustic percussion for the stadium tour and appears on the incredibly succesful live DVD, Blue-ray and live double album recorded at the Olympic stadium in Berlin. Ben would like to thank all of his tour sponsors for their incredible support and commitment. A big thank you to Zildjian, DW drums, Meinl Percussion, Remo drum heads, Vater drumsticks, Roland V-Drums, Protection Racket cases, 1964Audio iem’s, Groove Juice cymbal cleaner and Replay clothing.
After a few year hiatus Michelle comes back with a new album and best of tour for her loyal fans. Die Ultimative Best Of Live Tour covered Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium playing some of the most beautiful concert venues these countries has to offer. The live DVD and album recorded in Berlin brought together some of her best and most loved hits in one show. Ben played both acoustic and electronic drums for this tour as well as a neat little percussion set-up for the acoustic spot which also saw him take lead vocals for a song. Ben would like to thank all of his tour sponsors for their incredible support and commitment. A big thank you to Zildjian, DW drums, Meinl Percussion, Remo drum heads, Vater drumsticks, Roland V-Drums, Protection Racket cases, 1964Audio iem’s, Groove Juice cymbal cleaner and All Saints clothing.