Born on December 6 1962 in London to Glaswegian jazz musician and bandleader, Tommy Watt, and journalist and feature writer, Romany Bain, it was in 1981 that Ben first appeared on London indie, Cherry Red, as a young nineteen-year-old experimental folk artist. His first single was produced by the maverick Kevin Coyne. With his second - 1982's 'Summer into Winter' EP - he coaxed alt-folk icon Robert Wyatt into collaborating on two tracks, and soon his work was drawing comparisons in the press to Tim Buckley and John Martyn. His guitar-playing also set him apart, taking non-rock inspiration from Martyn, Joao Gilberto, Nick Drake and Vinni Reilly resulting in rich folk-jazz voicings. His early work culminated in his debut album - 1983's 'North Marine Drive' (UK Indie Album Chart Top 10).