INTRO: Ben Hawling

Hi, hows it goin’?

Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, I hope that the latest Spotisfaction playlist is filling your ears and softly soaring through your atmosphere.

My name is Ben Hawling and I will be flooding the Spotisfaction pages with regular reviews and the occasional rant. These reviews will consist of both album and gig reviews, plus a few band profiles every so often in an effort to keep our collective Spotisfaction fingers on the pulse of what’s hot, musically. I will also be conducting a weekly “Band back catalogue appreciation” feature (yeah, working on a better name as we speak), where I rummage through the back catalogue of a different band each week so that a whole host of new fans can be introduced to fine music. This will also allow the more loyal fans to reminisce, and their appreciation be born all over again.
Based in the glorious Cheltenham town, I am a resident reviewer for the visionary Cheltenham Underground imprint, so I will be posting regular nuggets of local talent. I will also give the heads up of any mind-blowingly awesome artists that play at the Cheltenham Underground showcase nights, and where you can find them (in a non-stalker way…….well, maybe).

The reason behind my involvement with the Spotisfaction blog is purely because I long to be part of something that is groundbreaking, and that thrives on delivering music in all it’s forms to those who may not have access to it. But on a more personal level, it is down to the enjoyment and appreciation of the mixtape itself. Spotisfaction allows the 15 year-old me, sat alone in my bedroom, to finally share all the mixtapes that I compiled from odd tapes and CDs. Just as the mixtapes got me through the drudge of school, I hope that the playlists and discussion that you will find on Spotisfaction carry you through the harshness of modern day life and on to a higher plain, wherever that may be.

If there’s any albums/gigs/bands that you want me to review or take a look at, please feel free to contact me on twitter (@benchs25) or via my email address,

We are all part of something spectacular, and most importantly, real. Let’s embrace it!

Thank you,

Ben Hawling



Hey guys, and welcome to my Spotisfaction blog. I will be contributing reviews, articles, features, general stuff intended for debate.

I’m very pleased to be here and helping to grow the size and scope of the site. I was really very impressed with what Dave and Thom had achieved here, keeping it growing, gaining momentum and keeping an interested following. The growth of Spotify has really been phenomenal, and when Facebook was tied in and the social, collaborative nature of Spotify went through the roof, and all via an interface and technology which was almost perfectly realised, I had to contact the boys. I could see where this could go: there was the potential to be one of the first sites to provide music news, reviews and blogs where all its content was linked to instantly listenable, legal material. I really think that this, right here, could be a first. I haven’t encountered another independent internet blog that ties all of its content to an entirely free, entirely legal and legitimate music streaming service.

I’m unbelievably enthusiastic about the potential, but only if you’ll stick with us, continue to listen, to read, to contribute. That last one is the most important. Spotisfaction’s raison d’etre is its collaborative nature. We don’t just want you to provide playlists, we want your news, your reviews, your opinions, your ideas for features. We want to try to create a community driven, Spotify enhanced musical encyclopaedia of a blog. Spotipedia? Blogify? No, Spotisfaction.


The Spotisfaction playlists won’t stop, and please don’t stop submitting them, because we still intend these to be the most frequently posted things on the site. It’s just that we’ll supplement these with an archive of album and artist reviews, news posts, and general blogs like this one.

A little about me I guess. Well, I recently applied to be on the news team at Latitude festival, and I had to describe myself in 50 words. Here are my 50 words:

“I am a passionate musician, editor and blogger. I have a wide taste in music and have stewarded at many festivals with Oxfam for 5 years including Glastonbury , Reading , and WOMAD. I work in digital editorial, and also help to run an online music blog, contributing reviews, articles and featurettes.”

Living and working in central London, I keep myself involved in as much as possible and will be trying to review as much as I can. I also review for, a company that allows unsigned bands to have their music reviewed by people working in the industry. Expect a diverse (I trust) list of reviews and playlists – my previous submissions have been Dubstep, Acoustic and Metal mixes. I have a blog on Piracy that I think will be posted in the next couple of days to give you all to chew on while I disappear to Glastonbury on Saturday. I’ll be reviewing Glasto for you all next week and you can continue to follow me and my other goings on via Twitter:

Please keep the submissions coming, be it playlists, news, reviews or ideas for features. You can email them all to me at or submit them through the site as normal.

[James TAE]