For its 25th year of operation Ben’s Centre CEO, Daryl Bishop had grand plans for a celebration of the charity's achievements over those years but the pandemic sadly (and understandably) put a dampener on things.
Seeking alternative ideas to mark the occasion that people could get involved with from their own homes, the idea was born to produce a song to celebrate the founding of this essential charity back in 1996 when Ben, a local Police officer recognised the futility of repeatedly arresting street drinkers that used to frequent the Peace Gardens area and releasing them without support.
Sheffield-based folk singer Sally Doherty was approached and asked if she would be interested in helping out. Within days of asking Sally to create something for us, she had penned a masterpiece and got to work gathering contributors to help the song come to life.
On the track you can hear Sally’s beautiful vocals, unique instruments such as the Balalaika Primo (a Russian triangular 3-stringed instrument) and the Cittern (as well as the guitar) played by Shez Sheridan and an accordion played by Winkie Thin.
These are all complemented by chorus backing vocals provided by local men and service users. This was all complemented by Lyndon Hobson who mixed and mastered the track.
Sally performs an array of music styles from jazz to folk and has composed for the BBC as well as having a long-spanning solo and collaborative music career. Sally has played all over locally and internationally – she is currently performing a run of shows with Paul Kilvington at Cubana’s in Leopold Square.
To top it all off, former Leadmill artwork producer, Martin Bedford has also created the single’s impactful cover art.
Ben’s Centre and Sally are also working with the amazing local company LensGo Visual Media to produce the music video which will be coming soon.
LensGo are based down at the incredible SteelYard Kelham and have already produced a great promotional video for Ben’s Centre, and work with many other charities in the city to create visual media.
The Ballad of Ben’s is available now on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, Amazon Music and sallydoherty.bandcamp.com