Well that was an action packed trip. I’m just back from 4 days away in Amsterdam, which included a trip to the Rijksmuseum to see the Rembrandt-Auerbach exhibition, Haim at the Paradiso, lots of fantastic food and even more coffee!
It’s straight back to work today though with another rehearsal for Kirsty McClure’s recording session, plus lots of admin and AIR/a-n writing. Kirsty’s songs are sounding amazing and I hope to do them justice later this month.
In other news the 100 Club tickets are now on sale. Needless to say this one is a biggie and I will be pretty awe struck to stand on a stage that was once home to Muddy Waters, BB King and the Rolling Stones. We are hoping to stage the EP release around the date (29 July) which will give us a good lead up in terms of promotion.
In terms of the EP, things are moving slowly forward and I have been working on the artwork whilst on holiday. It’s exciting knowing we’ve already got such great tunes in the bag and I can’t wait to put them out there!
Anyway, if you fancy purchasing a 100 Club ticket, here’s the link
It’s been a busy week taking in rehearsals for some session work I am doing later this month, plus a trip to Newcastle.
I’m providing some guitar work for Kirsten McClure, a great singer songwriter based in north London. The tracks are incredibly beautiful with some killer hooks and melodies. Apparently the producer has done quite a lot of work with Van Morrison so it should be interesting.
Later today I’m heading off to Amsterdam for a couple of days rest. It’s my first holiday in just over a year, which seems quite strange but it’s kinda the life of a musician/artist/journalist! We’re seeing Haim on Monday evening at the Paradiso, and will hopefully take in some blues venues along the way. It’s going to be good to recharge the batteries in advance of a pretty manic couple of months!
See you next week!
Last night we played a great gig at the Old Queens Head in Islington, London. It was an early evening slot in front of a packed crowd, most of which were sat down and tucking into their Sunday roasts. Although this may not sound conducive to a killer atmosphere it worked really well. We played a couple of tracks off the new EP including Wake Up! It sounded pretty thunderous, mostly due to the Cat’s Eye Fuzz/Fender amp combo. All in all we were pleased with the response.
One thing worth mentioning here is the positive treatment by the promoter Chris Musicborn. Having been doing this gigging malarkey for just over 15 years I’ve come across both ends of the spectrum, from people who treat you like Elvis to others who speak to you like you’ve just slapped their nan. Chris definitely resides in the former category. We will be working with him again.
I never understand why some other promoters are so unprofessional. I see a lot of young bands getting treated like shit, whether it be buying into pay to play scenarios, or simply by being spoken to like they are a bunch of idiots. Part of the problem is that in London there are queues of artists lining up for the opportunities. So bands are scared of kicking off for fear of being blacklisted, and promoters don’t have to worry because there are thousands of musicians saying ‘yes’ no matter how bad the terms of agreement.
Of course there’s always two sides to the story and I’ve played with some pretty unprofessional musicians as well. However, more often than not it is the artists who come off worse. Put simply, musicians should be valued for their artistic skills and work.
Here’s a short highlights video of this week’s recording sessions at Universal.
This week we’ve been back in the studio at Universal working on some more tracks. One of them is real pile driver called ‘Get It Back’, a brand new song that was written mainly on the spot during the session.
We’ve been recording the band live in the room, so no click track or overdubs. Essentially this means jamming through the tunes and picking the takes with the best vibe. There’s obviously a lot of bleed on the tracks but the overall feel is great.
In terms of equipment, for the last session I borrowed a vintage 1964 Vox JMI 1964 AC30 top boost. This amp has a killer tone, particularly after having heated up for an hour or so. Again, this was recorded pretty straight with zero effects. Just my Les Paul and a quality amp – it certainly packs a punch!
In other news, we’ve had a gig at the famous 100 Club confirmed. It’s supporting Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion, a great band who have been getting a lot of press recently for their new CD The Blues Don’t Scare Me. Check it out if you get a chance.
I’ll be posting more details on how to purchase tickets for this one soon.
After a busy week including a trip to York, some more recording and lots of writing, last night was time to let loose at Ain’t Nothin’ But. As usual it was a packed audience, with some familiar faces (including my parents!). I played a couple of sets with some pretty talented guys, including harmonica player Marco Farris, guitarists Marc Burguera and Tsukasa Kataoka and singer and guitarist Barry Jackson.
We played some new material plus a couple of new covers including Blues Suede Shoes and If You Let Me Love You. On the latter Marc and Marco played some particularly tasty stuff. I also played some slide with the house band during Barry’s set. It’s a slow learning process but I do feel like I’m improving. Hardly Duane Allman though…!
In other news, we are fast approaching the next full band gig – next Sunday at the Old Queens Head in Angel. It should be a busy one, not only for the music but the fact they serve a decent roast at the venue (you can even book tables at the event). Yorkshire puddings and blues… a winning combination!
Click here for more details.
Last night I had the pleasure of playing on the same bill as the legendary Ian Siegal at Ain’t Nothin’ But. All I can say is what a great player and lovely chap. He’s a Liverpool fan but you can’t have everything eh?!
The bar was packed as usual and my own two sets went down well. We did a mix of covers and originals, with Shake Your Money Maker getting a pretty raucous response from the audience. My track I Got your Number also got people tapping their feet. An acoustic version of If You Let Me Love You with saxophone sounded pretty strange but definitely in a good way.
Anyway, check out Ian’s new album Candy Store Rock, particularly I Am The Train – great tune!