If you’ve come across The London Essentials, you’re unlikely to forget the encounter any time soon. You might recall five debonair gentlemen arriving at your table and breaking into song, surprising you and your friends with their joyful energy, effortless musicianship and typically British charm. Well, you can count on seeing them again, because they’ll be at any party worth attending for some years to come. Just ask George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, John Legend or Dr. Phil. These are just some of the stars that The Essentials have impressed over their whirlwind career. Inspired by a stint in Nice (Europe’s street music capital), actor and drummer Ben Matthews returned to the UK to form the group in 2010, setting out to transcend the way that music is traditionally performed at events. “I started looking for a certain type of musician; someone who could act, who really got it. I was inspired to try something different,” says Ben. Namely, to do away with the formality of the stage and bring the music to the people, affording the spontaneity, dialogue and humour that makes The London Essentials experience what it is. The band’s repertoire reaches from the swing of the 1950s to the sass of modern-day pop, by way of a wealth of classics in between. With this range, they quickly found success on the road, making dance floors out of city streets, dining terraces and beaches, and gaining fans all the way. Now, with their popularity ever growing, The Essentials are often required to play to thousands of guests, but they always preserve the intimacy of the performance. “The idea is still that it’s a private concert where the audience is practically part of the band,” says Ben.