‘The Liam Gallagher of magic’: Crawley’s own magician reveals his secrets to a career in magic
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The Magic Mod made a name for himself in the bars and clubs around Crawley and was noticed early on by the Mod scene in the town.
His career started with a Paul Daniels magic set he got as a six-year-old and from there, it has blossomed into playing gigs all around the UK. Ben even remembers being inspired to do magic from the Cherry Lane Adventure Playground.
Music plays a large part in his performances and he says when people see him on stage, they first think he is a front man of a band and are surprised to see him perform his magic on stage.
The Magic Mod has performed shows with the likes of Paul Weller, Liam Gallagher, Reverend and the Makers, The Libertines and Pete Doherty.
Although he travels across the country, his heart still remains in Crawley where he lives with his mum, and believes the town has lots to offer - Tilgate Park being one of the places he enjoys the most.
The Magic Mod hasn’t always had it easy and in lockdown it was particularly difficult for him to work due to restrictions on the entertainment industry.
Through thick and thin, he has cemented his career in the magic scene and wants to inspire others, especially his son Lonnie, to take up the art of magic.
Ben said: “I was about six years old when my Mum and Dad got me a Paul Daniels magic set and the love was pretty much there.
“When I first lifted the lid of the magic set, I practised everyday. I was learning nearly 10 tricks a week as it was so easy to pick-up, and the next thing I know I’ve learnt about 50 to 60 tricks.
“When I eventually learnt all of the tricks, I was putting on magic shows for my Mum and Dad. I would charge them a couple of quid to watch me, you’ve got to make a bit of pocket money when you're a kid.
“Six years old was when my first love of magic started.”
“It's no surprise and secret that I’m heavily influenced by music. A lot of people know that my passion goes back to The Jam, that’s why I’m called The Magic Mod. I love The Kinks, The Who, The Specials, Madness and the list goes on.
“Obviously Oasis. Love Noel and Liam Gallagher’s solo stuff. I could be here all day talking about music. It’s something I really love. The music works so well with the magic because when I go to a show people think I’m a frontman of a band. People said I was the Liam Gallagher of magic.
“I’m proud to be from Crawley. Growing up in the town, there used to always be something. At Cherry Lane Adventure Playground there was always a clown or magician there. I used to love it. Obviously when I grew up I wanted to do more in my hometown. I did a few gigs in the bars when I was 19 or 20.
“Since then I haven’t done anything. It’s a shame because I’ve been successful in my career and I want to give Crawley more exposure.
“Crawley is already on the map with its football team beating Leeds in the FA cup. I remember years ago when I watched the team against Manchester United. Everyone was talking about Crawley. I’m proud to represent my hometown. I always make it known that I’m Crawley born and bred.
“I made a good name for myself in the Mod scene of Crawley. People used to go to the scooter rallies and Mod dos when they did them at Goffs Manor and Reds Bar. I would go with a deck of cards and make a bit of a reputation for myself.
“I’ve always had a good backing and love from the people of Crawley, which is brilliant because you always want people from your hometown to be happy. If I can make people proud that’s the dream. I’ve been on numerous TV shows and I’ve always mentioned that I’m from Crawley.
“Crawley is going places and I love Tilgate Park, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. I’m not just saying it because I live there. Nice little vibe around Crawley and long may that continue.
“At the moment I’ve got five dates to my tour and I’m planning to get another five. Starting off at Dover, we then go to Scotland, Doncaster, Birmingham and Belfast. Working on dates for Liverpool, Glasgow, Brighton and finishing it off in Crawley.
“I’ve got inspiring words for anybody who wants anything out of life. Magic isn’t for everyone. People might see the success I’ve had on the internet, but I've been very fortunate. It seems to have fallen in the right place, but it’s not always been like that.
“There have been times when nothing has happened, sometimes years. It’s very easy to fall out of love with the magic after all that time, but it didn’t stop me from doing what I wanted to do. The inspiration I take is that just do what you love to do.
“If you knock down enough doors there will be a pile of gold at the end of it. I’ve got great support from my Mum, Dad, partner Nadine and now my son Lonnie.”
You can follow The Magic Mod on Twitter and Instagram.