Very, very proud to be a part of the new Hamilton Yarns album, The Orchard. They’re one of my favourite bands and have made loads of fantastic and unique records. I played a bit of synth and guitar. You can hear and buy it here.
I made a remix for Landshapes, it was mostly made in the back of a van on motorways which probably steered me in the krautrock direction.
This is just a quick update about a few things I’ve been working on recently, partly to remind myself:
- recorded some double bass for Fear of Men. Look out for their debut album proper in 2014. Also stood in on bass for them at Simple Things festival in Bristol. They write amazingly catchy perfect pop songs.
- I was honoured to get to contribute to the upcoming record from one of my all time favourite bands, Hamilton Yarns. I played a bit of guitar, vibraphone and synth.
- I’ve been working on the music for two plays by the brilliant playwright Annie Siddons. It’s been a fantastic new challenge for me and an absolute privilege to work with so many talented actors and the director Justin Audibert.
- Not sure what’s going to happen with them, but I’ve really enjoyed working on remixes for the likes of Landshapes, Nick Mulvey and Emiliana Torrini. Some time soon I’m going to put all my remixes online in one place.
- Have nearly finished the new Sons of Noel and Adrian record, I’m exceptionally proud of it. We recently enjoyed an inspiring little tour of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia which has spurred us on. Ben Hampson is mixing it as we speak.
- I’ve just about finished my first solo album, thanks to a last minute recording session with the exceptional drummer Tom Heather.
- Played a couple of shows with the Moulettes, the God of Hell Fire himself Arthur Brown joined us on stage. Also played on their new record with an absolute all star cast.
- Did a tour with The Mariner’s Children supporting Bear’s Den, they were incredibly fun guys to tour with and I hope to do so again. They’re set for world domination in 2014, look out.
- Nearly finished the Emma Gatrill album too and I’m really proud of how it is sounding.
- Had a great time playing gigs with Rozi Plain and Rachael Dadd too, always a pleasure
- I got to play a bit of trumpet with Animal Magic Tricks at a Brighton show, she’s an incredible songwriter and I’m hopefully working with her on making her next album which I’m very excited about
Peggy Sue have announced that their new album Choir Of Echoes will be released on 27 January 2014 via Wichita Recordings and Yep Roc Records. The guardian have the exclusive first play and some nice words here.
I played various brass instruments on this one, the first single is up for free download or you can stream it above.
I played my last few festivals of the year with Willy Mason at the weekend (many more to come with other bands). It was an absolute joy playing with him (and bandmates Gardner Allen and Raymond Black). You can watch some highlights from our set at Latitude Festival over at BBC 6Music.
Also last week I played a BBC Radio 3 session playing guitar with Bella Hardy. You can listen to that here. I’ve now done sessions for BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6… any suggestions on how to get a Radio 5 Live session would be much appreciated!
My festival season began with a baptism of fire this year – a warmup show at Southampton Joiners playing with Willy Mason, The Mariner’s Children AND Emma Gatrill, three hours sleep in a Travelodge on the M3 before an 8am ferry over to the Isle of Wight festival to perform with Willy Mason before getting the hovercraft (yes, HOVERCRAFT!) back to the mainland and a train to London Waterloo arriving just in time for soundcheck with Woodpecker Wooliams for Yoko Ono’s Meltdown Festival.
Now I’m in the studio with Campbell Austin, AKA T.S. Idiot. He’s a fantastic songwriter but he keeps taking the piss out of me for having a website. I know you’re reading this Campbell: GET WITH THE TIMES, MAN.
Besides Campbell, it’s been an absolute pleasure to play with a load of exceptional musicians for the first time: Sam Walker on the multiple keyboards / shaker / cape, Anisa Arslanagic on viola and violin, Hannah Miller on the cello, Ollie Austin on the drums, Bjorn Dahlberg on bass clarinet and Jim Mortimore on bass. I’m looking forward to playing with many of them on the Moulettes recording sessions, which take place immediately after these in the same studio with the same producer (Joe Gibbs). It’s nice to be working Monday to Friday with these guys then three or four festival appearances each weekend for the next month or so – good to have some kind of routine.
Also off to Corsica Studios tonight (great venue) to support Landshapes at their album launch. I’ll be playing with Eyes & No Eyes, and also played trumpet and tenor horn on Rambutan, the album that Landshapes are launching.
I’ve just returned from snowy Worcestershire after five days of recording with the incredibly talented Steve Aston. He normally plays rhythm guitar in with various other gypsy jazz or ‘jazz manouche’ musicians, but his original compositions break away from that style. They are almost all waltzes, many of them very slow and weighty but interspersed with volatile bursts of energy. They’re very interesting harmonically, with a definite influence from Steve’s love of the two Ericks – Sartie and Dolphy. It was great to play with the exceptional violinist Matt Holborn and guitarist Andy Morris of The Downing Street Years (catch them live if you ever get the chance), and to meet so many members of the European gypsy jazz fraternity, everyone a ridiculous virtuoso. Check out Remi Harris and Bar Zalel here. Bar produced the album and Remi was kind enough to host us in his beautiful house.