Ben Reed

On the day //Prog// speaks to him, session gun and solo artist Ben Reed is re-shelving and re-alphabetising his enormous vinyl collection. He has around 10,000 records, only a few of them on CD, and he doesn’t do digital – he’s never downloaded nor streamed a song in his life. “I would never listen to music digitally,” he says from his cosy attic studio in West London. “One of the main incentives of making music for me is to see it spinning on my turntable.”

Well worth a spin, his excellent current album //Bandaged// is his fourth solo work after 2004 debut //Tall Story//, //Who Dreams Of Hyssop// (2009) and //Station Masters (2016). As a jobbing bassist Reed’s played for a diverse roster of hip artists on the XL and Domino labels, and notably appears on //Blond//, the smash hit album from progressive hip-hop star Frank Ocean, and David Byrne’s 2018 LP, //American Utopia//. There was a day in the studio with the “absolutely lovely” Peter Gabriel in 2016, and while that material never saw the light of day, it points to Reed’s own proggy leanings.

“All paths were leading to prog for me since I was a child,” says this music obsessive. “The first album I ever owned was //Moog Party Time// [1973]. My parents had Beethoven symphonies, Holst’s //Planets// and Geoff Love’s //Big Love Movie Themes//. Then my hippie uncle gave me the [1968] Island sampler, //You Can All Join In//, and that’s how I discovered stuff like Fairport Convention and Traffic.”

At just eight his mind was blown by Floyd’s //Interstellar Overdrive//, Zappa’s //Hot Rats//, and //In The Court Of The Crimson King//. A cool teacher gave him //Close To The Edge//, and Yes has been the musical love of his life since – Chris Squire was his first bass inspiration, along with Bowie’s //Ziggy Stardust//-era sideman, Trevor Bolder.

All these ingredients – plus Reed’s degree in jazz music composition – can be tasted in //Bandaged//, a revelatory dive into his magpie imagination. With proudly English diction and laconic, melancholic vocals he delivers jazz-twisty lines, tight harmonies and smart, sometimes surreal lyrics. Two highlights, the insistently groovy //Tale Of Cleopatra// and dark closer //Smiling//, draw on works by the late poet Elizabeth Ardean.

Caravan/Soft Machine’s Jimmy Hastings performs some of the exquisite, Canterbury-esque horn lines, and while acclaimed pianist Ross Stanley (Steve Howe Trio) and pedal steel legend BJ Cole add class, Reed takes care of pretty much everything else. From sound to style, //Bandaged// is admirably analogue and likeably lo-fi. Reed’s bass amp’s from his former primary school’s PA, the speaker was salvaged from his parents’ now-defunct church.

“There’s unlimited amounts of digital jiggery pokery these days,” he says. “At the end of the day my favourite kind of music is a strong melody, chord sequence and structure, played and sung as well as possible by guys in a room, recorded as well as possible. I want to trust what I’m listening to.”


Line-Up: Ben Reed (vocals, bass, drums, guitars, keys), backed by an impressive roster of guest performers.

Sounds like: A jazz graduate who’s been mainlining Caravan, Zappa and Todd Rundgren while locked in the finest musical instrument shop, circa 1976.

Current Release: Bandaged, out now on Cherry Red.


— Grant Moon

From "Limelight - Ben Reed" Prog Reprinted with permission.

PROGRESSIVE TRACKS SHOW #543 (“Don’t Just Fit In, Stand Out!”)

November 20, 2023

THE PROGRESSIVE TRACKS SHOW #543 (“Don’t Just Fit In, Stand Out!”) There’s no use living your musical life in the crowd… Break out!  Be Different!  Celebrate that you Stand Out! Mike says that goes for artists and listeners alike. PLAYLIST CHROMB! – “La cérémonie” from Cinq on Dur et Doux Records (2023) [01:30] Harpo Jarvi […]

Flight of The Sky Pilot – Episode 28 (Podcast 36)

November 19, 2023

Flight of the Sky Pilot – Show 28,  first broadcast 19 November 2023   contact me at Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: RSS

November 12th Progmeister Show

November 12, 2023

1. Impossible Tightrope – Steven Wilson 2. Foreplay/Long Time – L. Doley/M. Portnoy/L. Jelusick/H. Linder/J. Hoekstra/J. Johnson 3. Northbound – Tony Patterson / Brendan Eyre 4. Song Of Angels – Jerry Harrison 5. Down In Mexico – Manfred Mann 6. Black Dog – Led Zeppelin 7. Chains Fall To Gravity – Orphaned Land 8. Breaking […]

The Beginner’s Guide To Prog – Edition 59

November 8, 2023 Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: RSS

Tales From The Tiger Moth Edition 200 – A Day At The Musicals (200th Show Special)

November 4, 2023

Tales From The Tiger Moth – A Day At The Musicals (200th Show Special) Edition 200 – 4th November 2023 Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: RSS

The Prog Bus 052

November 1, 2023

The Prog Bus With Dave Watkins 1st November 2023 The Prog Bus is exclusive to Progzilla Radio every other Wednesday 1800-2000 UK and every other Sunday 0400-0600 UK. email: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: RSS

The Progressive Rock Show broadcast Sunday 29th October 2023

October 29, 2023

If you would like to contact Graham, please email Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: RSS

The Beginner’s Guide To Prog – Edition 58

October 25, 2023 Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: RSS

The Prog Mill 388 – 22 October 2023

October 23, 2023

Edition 388 of THE PROG MILL for Progzilla Radio (608 in total), first broadcast 22 October 2023, is now also available to listen to anytime or download. As always we bring you two hours of melodic progressive rock, this week with a fair amount of jazzy influence. I’m joined by Richard Swan of The Progressive […]

Podcast 256: KrazzLoft Vinyl Show, September 17, 2023

September 18, 2023

The KrazzLoft Vinyl Show airs LIVE from Southern California every Sunday at 4pm PT, 7pm ET, Midnight UK, 1am CET on Progzilla Radio. Replays air the following Saturday at 12pm PT, 3pm ET, 8pm UK, and 9pm CET. Email The Krazz with questions, or music suggestions for future shows at KrazzLoft Vinyl Show Facebook page: Play […]

Bobcast – NTAPS 321: Ham Hock

September 13, 2023

Voyager – Prince of Fire Bill Fay – ’Til The Christ Come Back ESP Project – The Dead Dark of Lollipops Amoeba Split – Thrown to the Lions The Lathums – Say My Name   Wig Wam – Do Ya Wanna Taste It   Jethro Tull – Dogs in the Midwinter Field Music – Stay […]

The Beginner’s Guide To Prog – Edition 54

August 30, 2023 Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: RSS

The Ancient One Show No 219

August 9, 2023

The Ancient One Show No 219, one of the Mixed Bag series, is now available as a podcast. Featuring music from Norway, Germany, Sweden, France. Ukraine, Poland, Italy, UK and one band classed a multi-national. Playlist. 1 La Torre Dell’Alchimista – Resviglio (excerpt used as Intro) 2 Edison’s Children – The Surge (The Disturbance Fields […]


June 27, 2023

THE PROGRESSIVE TRACKS SHOW #523 (“What Once Was”) ​​Music that makes up a story (yeah, one of those shows where Mike ‘thinks’ there’s a story). Story or not… there’s some great new music to be heard. PLAYLIST: Miscellen – “Freak Out At Funland” from Silver Tongued Psychodrome on Miscellen (2023) [01:45] Hannu Saha & Pakasteet – […]

Podcast 238: KrazzLoft Vinyl Show, April 30, 2023

May 1, 2023

The KrazzLoft Vinyl Show is broadcast live Sundays from the KrazzLoft Broadcasting Studio in Eastvale, California, USA. TITLE ARTIST ALBUM YEAR Day-O Harry Belafonte Harry Belafonte At Carnegie Hall 1959 Smile Boy Smile Budgie Impeckable 1978 Fire Dance Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow Bent Out of Shape 1983 Walk These Streets Pearl Handled Revolver If the Devil […]

Podcast 388: Northern Star 23rd March 2023

March 27, 2023

Northern Star 23rd March 2023 YCFSOTPAOTTBYCFAOTPAOTT 388!! Theme Pallas – Northern Star Captain Beefheart & His magic band – Who Do You think you’re fooling That didn’t happen. Public Service Broadcasting – Inform Educate Entertain Steve Thorne – They are flesh And if it did, it wasn’t that bad. 3RDegree – A Nihilist Love Song […]