My school art teacher, Miss Summers, and best friend Chris MacKenzie introduced me to Scott Walker’s music when I was a teenager and I have been a fan of this mysterious collection of songs for some time now. In August, the Heritage Orchestra played a BBC Prom at the Royal Albert Hall, performing these songs for the first time in public ever. Was an honour for me to play woodblocks and a variety of other percussion, including the infamous chimes and bells, featured heavily on these recordings. What a night! Scott Walker was in the audience and guest singers were Jarvis Cocker, John Grant, Susanne Sundfor and Richard Hawley. One to remember….
Had the great fortune to be asked to play alongside Soundspecies and Eastern-Cuban folkloric masters, Obbatuké. Other acts on the bill included Plaid and DJ Tennis. The event, organised by the wonderful Mañana//Cuba, was a true collaboration between pioneering electronic artists with traditional Afro-Cuban musicians. It was so satisfying to be blending musical and cultural ideas together in one big pot, one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever been a part of.
Happy to say I am playing a few shows with the excellent Goldfrapp this summer, including Latitude Festival, Somerset House and Blue Dot Festival. First one was on Friday in Madrid at Tomavistas Fest – great fun and a lovely bunch! Heres to more…
Most of this month was taking up playing with Paolo and the lads. A show in Switzerland (Zermatt Unplugged festival) followed by a South American tour, taking in Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Not shit!
Zermatt Unplugged is a truly wonderful festival and to be up in the fresh mountain air was sublime. A great show and to be joined by a top string quartet was magical, as was hanging with friends in the Ronnie Scotts Quintet who were also playing.
The tour was incredible – we ate our bodyweight in steak and tacos and enjoyed all the local beverages – Pisco sours, Caipirinhas and all the others 😉 Also saw some tango, Mexican wrestling, spectacular views, Samba and plenty more… Gigs were all knockout as the fans have been waiting 10 years to hear the man in person. Electric atmosphere!
A great month has been had with lots of music being made. Recording for Matt Calvert’s (Three Trapped Tigers, Strobes) solo project “Typewritten” has been completed and I’m very excited about hearing the end result. Speaking of recording, I did a couple of sessions at Abbey Road Studio 2 this month for producer Nick Tauber (Thin Lizzy, Marillion) – what a sound in that room, unbelievable. I also recorded the soundtrack for The Treatment – a play running at the Almeida Theatre. The session took place at Air Studios and the reference was “Birdman”, the great film from last year featuring Antonio Sanchez’s fantastic drum score, so I was happy! I also played a show at the Gateshead Jazz festival with Trish Clowes, Ross Stanley and Chris Montague.
Ecstatic to say that the long awaited second album by Brass Mask, Live, is OUT NOW! It has had some great reviews and I’m extremely proud of it. Go get it and take a listen :
Back with the big man Goldie again for 4 special gigs in two nights at Ronnie’s. Always special playing at this club, more so with this band as first time playing new material on which I recorded. As you can see from this video, the place went off. Felt like we were on a ship, sailing through a storm. So. Much. Fun. Well be doing this again….
Happy New Year to one all. I brought it in playing a glorious gig with Paolo Nutini and the gang, in Edinburgh. Growing up, this gig was always on the telly and I used to love watching it so to get to play this iconic location at this time was very special. We did two nights – 30th and 31st of December and as you can see, the fireworks were a bit of a let down….