New free album from cancer-fighting rocker

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Rocker Ben Markus is turning the amps up to 11, as he refuses to let cancer stop his career.

Ben has released the free album Aurora, made up of tracks from his entire 30-year recording career.

And while the set does not cost a penny to buy, anyone downloading it is asked to make a donation to the charity Cancer Research.

Ben, who lives in Peartree Bridge, said: “The common strand is that it’s the songs I really liked from my career.

“My son is on the track Life Is Cruel on lead guitar and he really shines. There was - I want say a rivalry, but as two guitarists we obviously played the same instrument. Since I’ve been having my treatment though I have swapped to bass; this was the first guitar solo he’s done with us and it’s really impressive.”

59-year-old Ben was diagnosed with terminal cancer three years ago, but has defied doctors’ expectations when they told him he had just 12 months to live. Aurora is the second album released since he received his diagnosis, and he is already making plans to go back into the studio next month.

The oldest track is Wide Room which Ben laid down in 1984 at Pace Studios in Milton Keynes, a venue which is now a chip shop.

There are also three songs from the sessions for his most recent album Manhattan Exile, but Ben’s favourite song on the album dates from 1992.

He said: “It’s called Tell Him, and we recorded it in Studio 3 in at Abbey Road.

“I went in a 6pm, we came out at 9am, and it was one of those moments which you just really enjoy.

“We had a 48-track machine which was state-of-the-art for the time, and there were two guys called Gordon Marshall and Rich Taylor who did the horns. It was one of the best things we’d ever done and it still is.”

NAME can be downloaded now from www.soundcloud.com/the-markus