by Peter Nicholson.
Dlugokecki (pronounced Der-loo-go-ken-ski) have supported million-selling artists such as David Gray, Snow Patrol, Corinne-Bailey Rae, The Proclaimers, Passenger and Lu Lu on their world tours, playing to thousands of people. They’ve also had their songs used on numerous TV shows, played festivals across the word including the South By Southwest Festival in Texas and, being a Southampton band, the Isle of Wight Festival.
With the pandemic causing a hiatus in every part of the music Industry, Ben Dlugokecki was undeterred. After the inevitable cancellation of his 2020 tour after only a few dates, he decided that the music should go on. So the locations of the gigs were substituted for rooms in his house! “The Social Distance Tour” was born. It was featured all over the news, including the BBC and Yahoo News. “Venues” includes Ben’s kitchen, garage, and even the downstairs toilet!
This “tour” idea summed up Ben’s personality. Each time I meet him he seems to be the eternal optimist and only too happy to help, or to try to make someone’s day better. I once saw him play as a solo act to a packed venue, and when one party arrived late and were disappointed that they’d missed his set, he picked up his guitar, joined them at their table and proceeded to add a 30 minute set of requests to his show. Others soon gathered around, and Ben was in his element as a true entertainer.
After a three year break due to the pandemic, Dlugokecki returned in 2023 with the release of a new single ‘The Optimist’, and a 7th album due in October. ‘The Optimist’ recently spent two weeks at number one in the South Coast Chart.
‘The Optimist’ is such an apt title, following the difficulties experienced by the whole music scene over the past few years. This bold and uplifting track features the wonderful harmonies that resonate when Ben and Lottie Cuthbert sing together. The song builds wonderfully and incorporates drums and percussion that are reminiscent of Irish Folk songs. It wouldn’t be out of place as the final song in a spectacular stage show. Ben and the whole band are among Southampton’s real talents.
Locally, Dlugokecki will be playing at Wickham Festival and the Wave Festival on Hayling Island this Summer. Ben has a vast repertoire of original songs and covers, so whether you get to see him as a solo act, or as a band, you won’t be disappointed.
You can find the new single on all the usual streaming services and find out more about the band at : dlugokeckiofficial.com/
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