Benny & The Clones – The Clonely Road To The Top

With four impressively well crafted albums under their belt and numerous live shows around North QLD, it was a surprise when Benny & The Clones took out an award recently for the rib tickling, ‘Benny & The Clones Go Camping’ short film in the Port Douglas ‘Port Shorts’ film festival.

I caught up with guitar player/singer Dale Priem ahead of their showcase set at The Panda Room Boatchella gig this Sat 18th Feb..

“Benny Radford (main singer/main songwriter) and Benny Kuring (drummer, singer, songwriter) have been playing together since High School. After relocating to NQ twenty-odd years ago, Radford started recording a whole bunch of songs in his home studio. He recorded all the instruments himself (bass drums guitar vox etc) – he thusly gave the name of his studio band ‘Benny & The Clones’, as in: he was all the musicians – ie clones of himself. It was sort of a working title. Long story short, when me and Kubes (Benny Kuring) heard the songs, we reckoned we should put together an original band and perform those songs live, and the name stuck. Ben Radford is still by far & away the chief songwriter, but the songs have all morphed and changed over the years influenced by the other band members and live performances.”

And what about those moves into the film industry? Dale explains..

A few years back we were tasked with recording a radio jingle to promo the local film festival. Through that we met the unofficial ambassador of the festival, Aussie actor Stephen Curry. After a few beers at the local brewery, Steve triggered our imagination with an idea of contributing a short film about writing the radio jingle for the festival AT the festival. That resulted in ‘The Jingle (The Clonely Road To The Top)’ (below)

The latest film ‘Benny & The Clones Go Camping’ (below) was basically a sequel, and according to Dale the move that “topped their previous record of seventh place in the Port Douglas Muso Hot Dog Eating Contest..”

Well settled into the laid back Port Douglas lifestyle, Dale held his cards close to his chest when asked about new Benny & The Clones music to follow up their brilliant 2019 ‘Crisis Management’ album “We have no plans for any specific new album recordings, but Benny always has a ton of ideas, jam recordings, and old unrecorded songs lying around. Come to think of it, we never actually ‘officially’ launched our previous album. Covid happened!”

Todd Macalpine

Benny & The Clones play Boatchella at The Panda Room on Sat 18th Feb 2023, along with Finding Time, Carinda Christie Band, Hidden Pillars, and The Brazilians. Tickets available through Trybooking.

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