#SONGOFTHEDAY “Just Pretend” By The Bens

The Bens was a rock supergroup consisting of Ben Folds, Ben Kweller and Ben Lee 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. 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.

In 2003, they also contributed a track, “Wicked Little Town”, to Wig in a Box, a tribute album to the Hedwig and the Angry Inch.Though various combinations of the three have toured together at various times, they have not reformed as a group, and have not recorded any more material. Although rumours of a United States or United Kingdom tour persisted for more than a year afterwards, these have largely subsided. In a brief interview after a show in Raleigh, NC on July 31, 2010, Ben Kweller confirmed that “The Bens” would be performing as a group on an upcoming European Tour.