IT'S safe to suggest that Benjalu underestimated just how exciting their reunion would be to their fans. "When we got together we thought there might be 150 people there, and that would be nice, and then it sold out in 36 hours or something ridiculous like that," Benjalu bassist Anthony Morris says. "There's obviously still some Benjalu heads out there that are pretty keen on it and enjoy our music, so that was pretty heartening." The one-off reunion show at the Kahibah Sports Club on December 16 will be the first time Benjalu's Ben Gumbleton (vocals, guitar), Nick Saxon (guitar, vocals), Luke Elsley (guitar), Nick Cook (drums) and Morris have performed together since a 2015 charity show at Lizotte's. The first rehearsals for the Newcastle indie-roots band start this weekend. "We've played together for so long and probably did over 1000 shows, so I think we know each other so well and played together so much, that we have a very natural chemistry," Morris says. Morris, Elsley and Saxon still regularly perform together in Newcastle band Trip Fandino with drummer Duncan Brown, while Gumbleton has found national success with electronic-indie project Boo Seeka. "We've played together for so long and probably did over 1000 shows, so I think we know each other so well and played together so much that we have a very natural chemistry," Morris says. "From my personal experience with me, Nick and Luke in Trip Fandino it's all very natural. I'm sure when Gumby and Cookie join in it'll be the same." The gig is raising money for Newcastle children's charities Charlie's Run and Run DIPG. Once merchandise sales are factored in, the show is expected to raise $15,000. Morris says the old bandmates remain close friends, it was just a matter of finding time to schedule a reunion show. "We're all living in different areas now and doing different things so it's always been tricky to find a date that works for everyone," he says. "It all just fell into place. It was fairly late in the game, about eight weeks ago it got locked in. It was that we finally had a date that lined up and it was something we've wanted to do for years." During the early 2010s Benjalu were arguably Newcastle's best band, known for their energetic live performances built on the back of constant touring. Their eclectic EPs Reflecting On (2008), Shadows in the Sun (2012), The Battle (2013) and Boondoggle (2013), which blended indie rock, folk and roots influences, led to appearances at Bluesfest, the Big Day Out and Peats Ridge Festival. However, by the time they finished a national support tour with US indie-roots band Dispatch in 2015, outside pressures saw Benjalu call it quits. "There was maybe a lack of motivation there and then the work stuff was creeping through and we were getting to an age where family life was creeping through as well," Morris says. "I don't even know if it was a conscious decision at the time to pull back, but it just happened naturally and gradually, which was probably the best way to do it. "There wasn't animosity at all." If you missed out on a ticket for Benjalu's reunion show, you might be waiting a while. "Not at this stage, but you never know what's going to happen when we eventually get in a room together to jam and that spark comes back," Morris says, when asked if Benjalu will play more shows. "But at this stage, there's no other plans." Benjalu play the Kahibah Sports Club on December 16.