Former soldier’s son Ben Legge is riding the crest of a wave after his band was thrust into the spotlight thanks to an unexpected performance on a German TV show.
The band have now racked up more than 180,000 hits on You Tube with their Internet hit Old White Scruffy Bones, a turnaround for the band that split up two years ago after having limited success.
Ben said: “It is just amazing, we can’t believe it.” Ex-soldier and BFG employee Alan Legge is now managing the band, featuring his son Ben as lead guitarist and backing vocalist, alongside his German bandmates, Maxi Dobberphul on lead vocals and guitar, Nils Vossgroene on bass and Hendrik Schulte on drums.
The band’s new chapter started a few weeks ago, when Ben booked tickets for a TV show on ZDFneo in Köln.
While sitting in the audience, Ben was picked out of the crowd – during the Prism is a Dancer feature – by the presenter to talk about his musical talent. Ben was taken aback when the presenter proceeded to show a documentary about Ben’s old band The Travelling Stone, who split up in 2015.
Ben was further shocked when he was handed a guitar and the curtain pulled back to reveal his old band members – Maxi, 25, Nils, 23, and Hendrick, 26 – were there for a reunion. Despite not having played together for two years, the band played their song Old White Scruffy Bones.
Ben said: “I just couldn’t believe it, I thought it couldn’t be real. I only bought a ticket for a television show and now this. I didn’t know if we would ever meet again and now we are performing gigs together again.”
Alan, who works in Bielefeld as a Vehicle Planner, said: “I am so proud of Ben. The band just started playing and they had not rehearsed at all – 15 minutes of national television. I still can’t believe it.”
The band, formed originally in 2012, has since seen an incredible rise in popularity. They have performed at a variety of events including playing to more than 1,000 students at the university campus in Osnabrück, a gig at the Harley Davidson bike shop and a rock festival on the north coast of Germany. They have played an incredible six gigs in the two weeks since the TV show aired in April.
The band have now pulled together resources to record their hit song and create a music video.
Alan managed to secure a recording studio for the quartet in Dodesheide, Osnabrück. The venue used to be Mercer and Imphal Barracks and the band recorded their video in what used to be the officers’ mess.
This led to being guests on Chris Keen’s BFBS breakfast show, where the band members talked about their rise to fame, and their newly-recorded single was aired.
Alan said: “I was down in Sennelager and just thought I would nip in to speak to BFBS. Next thing we were in the studio giving an interview and they played the song on air.”
Ben said: “Going on BFBS was a fantastic moment for us all. It was a magic moment, a childhood dream come true.”
Alan is understandably proud of his son’s achievements, particularly as he has a huge passion for music himself. He said: “My mum was passionate about music, as was my uncle. Mum was not a professional musician, but she influenced me a lot. She was into classic, jazz, rock, blues, everything. That rubbed off on me and has now rubbed off on Ben.
“I have a huge music collection at home and I love to listen to new, talented musicians. There is some great stuff out there, but it is just such a cut-throat business.
Alan was in the Army for 24 years, serving in the Falklands, the Gulf War and Northern Ireland over the course of his career with the Royal Army Medical Corps.
One of the highlights of his career was working at the Royal Army Medical College – which now forms part of Tate Britain.
Alan said: “It was a fantastic post. I spent under two years there. Every fourth Sunday at Westminster Abbey they carry out the Ceremony of Turning the Pages from both World Wars.
“I used to join in the parade and that was just fabulous to do.”
A few years later, Alan returned to Germany and took up the post of the last RSM of a BMH (British Military Hospital) in Germany.
Alan said: “The honour of organising the closing down parade was one of the highlights of my career.”
Since then Alan has worked for the health alliance (now the Health Service) in Mönchengladbach, on the German net, then for a beer company and then back with the medics in Münster. After Münster station closed, he worked in Herford and then moved to Rochdale Barracks in Bielefeld as a Vehicle Planner.
Alan and his wife Marlies are understandably proud of their musician son. They currently live in Ostercappeln, a small village east of Osnabruck. They also have a daughter, Jacqueline.
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind and they have many positive comments since the TV show relaunched the band.
So what is next for the Travelling Stone? Alan said: “They need to have a little bit of a break now.
“They need to step back and concentrate on writing songs. They have another four in the pipeline, which they need to get into the studio to tweak and record.
“I am also trying to secure a gig at The Hyde Park in Osnabruck, which happens to be where I met my wife.”
The band are thrilled to be back together and are basking in their newfound success. Ben said: “We are all very grateful. It has been busy but it has been a lot of fun.”
● The Travelling Stone’s You Tube channel can be found at: www.youtube.com/channel/UCf3idfBUFhDH-pBDR0mcXHQ
● To see the band being reunited visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFlhbZOCF4U