Mikky Ekko, The Cat Empire, That bloody book that I’m writing ‘So I’m On A Bus…’
So I’ve been incredibly busy, and as a result, I’ve been pretty slack with my blog. I’m going to hopefully rectify this, as actually write some blog worthy articles, rather than the usual “Hey guys, this is what I’m up to at the moment” posts.
But in the meantime, hey guys, this is what I’m up to at the moment!
This Sunday I’m playing some trumpet with the fantastic MIKKY EKKO (best known for his huge duet with RIHANNA). We will be supporting ONE REPUBLICat THE ROUNDHOUSE, which will be my third time returning to the iconic venue. The acoustics are insane in that space, especially for brass. It’s going to be a fun show.
Recently I’ve got in the backline technician game, with my main client being THE CAT EMPIRE. I joined them on their European leg of their massive 2013 world tour. It was a pleasure working with such insane musicians. Australia’s finest. Their sets were different every single night, and it was an absolute joy to work and travel around Europe with them. My next showing with them should be their headline set at BOOMTOWN FESTIVALin the summer.
This video is from our Belgian stop. The whole set!
So my humour book SO I’M ON A BUS…is pretty much finished! The final stage is illustrations, which I’m collaborating with Leopold Bayker on. It’s all getting a bit exciting now. The home straight! More on this as soon as I’m further down the pipeline.
In the meantime, here’s a little teaser sketch of how I’m likely to look in the book…
This year I will be playing with Sam Duckworth again, but this show is going to be a bit special. A unique collaboration between some insanely talented artists in a one off special headline set in the Left field Tent on the Sunday at 9pm.
I don’t want to give too much away, but I thought I’d give you an insight into just some of the artists I’ll be joining on stage in two weekends time.
Tim Elsenburg is the man behind SWEET BILLY PILGRIM. Glorious experimental pop from the previously Mercury Award nominated songwriter. He has such a soulful voice, and his songs are laden with colourful rich instrumentation.
JEHSTis quite frankly one of the best most underrated rappers the UK has every produced. Deep, dark and totally relevant. One of the best lyricists in the game.
ANNIE REW-SHAW is quite astonishing. She has a beautiful voice, and her songs are subtle but epic. Click the photo and check out ‘Shadows’. It’s one of my favourite songs I’ve heard this year.
RIZ MC aka Riz Ahmed is one of the most hard hitting lyricists of recent times. His music is innovative and experimental, but it’s when he’s stripped right back that his lyrics really knock you for six. He’s got a seriously cool website too, check it out HERE.
There will be other massive special guests too, so if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket for Glastonbury this year, I strongly urge you to check it out. It’s going to be awesome.
So I missed MONDAY FUNDAY. Lots and lots. Every week, getting to play the best damn alternative party jams all night long. It was epic.
So I’ve decided to bring it back for a one off party. I’m taking over Friday for a FRIDAY FUNDAY.
Our faithful residentS DANNY BLANCO and FRANDISKO, both return. But I’ve also managed to get SAM DUCKWORTH along for the ride too, so it’s going to be a bit of a pre-party before Village Green Festival the next day. It’s by all means going to be an epic night.
It’s happening on Friday 12th July at The Sunrooms. FREE ENTRY before 11pm. Hope to see as many of you down for the return of Monday Friday Funday!
Stagecoach also happen to make rad happy pop rock too. I was always curious as to when their next album would see the light of day. So when they said they needed some trumpet laid down, I was more than happy to say yes. It reminded me that most of my favourite sessions have been gained by networking through friends I’ve met over the years.
I’m proud of the track that I feature on, but the album itself is fantastic. A perfect summer album, with elements of Weezer and Pavement all thrown in for good measure. You should definitely pick yourself up a copy from HERE.
So I’ve been fairly quiet as of late on my blog. And not through laziness, but down to the fact that I’ve had to prioritize life over creative prospects. Money makes the world go round unfortunately, and getting made redundant from one of my jobs at the beginning of this year sent me on a bit of a financial spiral that was hard to recover from.
Thankfully I’m back on my feet (just about) and I’m back getting involved doing the things I love to do: writing and making music. Lovely!
It’s a great scheme which cuts out all the middle men. For the first time Sam is releasing this with no labels; the money you pledge goes direct to the making of the album. And it’s a cracker. Trust me.
Amazing Grace is more than just an album though. It’s a bigger project altogether, one that we are taking to Glastonbury this year. I can’t say too much at this stage, but it’s exciting to be involved with this. Very exciting.
I also have a new band calledKIITES. I’m back on drums with this. We’re recording at the weekend, so I shall have sounds for you soon. They are a lovely bunch though. That chap on the far right is my step brother. It’s always nice to be in a band with your family! Please like our page on FACEBOOK and follow us on TWITTER.
Those of you that do know me will know that I’ve been flirting with the idea of writing a book for a long time, specifically regarding my adventures on buses. I started writing Facebook statuses with general observations and humorous events that I’ve seen over the last year or so. I get lots of amazingly positive feedback from my friends all the time, to the point that I’ve affectionately been dubbed ‘The Bus Man’. Catchy right?
Well what started as a fun idea has now evolved into a genuine project. I have a small publishing deal for “SO I’M ON A BUS…" and I’m currently focussing most of my efforts on hopefully getting this out by Christmas. I’m collaborating with an illustrator as well as a few other people to get this finished. But it is a bit mental that I may be able to call myself an author by the end of the year, and it’s all down to all the positive comments I’ve received from all my friends. So I thank you for that.
I’ll keep this blog updated more frequently. Hell I might even use it for you know, blogging and stuff. What a crazy idea.
MY TOP 5 ALBUMS 2012. Cos you know, it’s fun to make lists innit.
5. BRETON - OTHER PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS
There were a lot of great live electronic acts this year, but of all the releases this year, Breton’s Other People’s Problems was definitely the most innovative and forward thinking. A marvellous collection of quirky pop songs.
Best track: Edward The Confessor
4. DEFTONES - KOI NO YOKAN
The best album from Chino and co since White Pony easily. An astonishing comeback. There are few bands that could produce such an eclectic concoction of ideas. In the hands of others, this would sound vague and messy. Deftones instead invite you into their world. Truly memorising.
Best track: Leathers
3. PORTICO QUARTET - PORTICO QUARTET
This is one of the most contemporary jazz albums you will ever hear. Simple grooves, layers and layers of haunting hung led by a pulsing double bass, eery vibrato-glazed saxophone all merge together to make one of the most beautiful modern masterpieces you’ll ever hear.
Best track: Ruins
2. TOTALLY ENORMOUS EXTINCT DINOSAURS - TROUBLE
In a year that saw house music become a dominant force, there were acts that crossed over electro-pop and 2-step seamlessly. TEED were one of these acts. The sheer originality of the substance and intricate grooves really made this stand out above all other dance acts this year. A near perfect collection of bonkers dance music.
Best track: Garden
1. TAME IMPALA - LONERISM
Album of the year? Album of the decade for me. Taken psychedelia, a genre that most would associate as having died 45 years ago, and made it sound crucially relevant once again. An unbelievable album, incredible songwriting littered with urgent fuzzing guitars, drowning in blissful synths and electronics.
I’m in the studio throughout April. Working very hard on my first G-TWIN EP. I’ll concentrating on this a hell of a lot this year. More so than my session work this year (may still do some shows with Get Cape of course!).
So yes, watch this space, as I’m getting very excited about my new creation. x
I’ve made money, I’ve only just broken even (more often than not), and I’ve lost a lot money throughout the years. When you lose money, it’s very hard and frustrating to try and decipher why people won’t come to gigs, especially if they are great line ups. I did give up promoting for a long time, as I couldn’t stand putting in so much effort and risking my own money to try and do something for the relevant local music scenes, when there appeared to be such a lack of support or interest in gigs in Southend.
But I find myself always coming back to gig promotion, as I love gigs, and I think a good live music scene is so important in an age where music and live music footage and streams is so accessible on the internet. Bands playing music live is just the best thing in the world.
It really is hard work. But when it pays off, and you get people through the door and everyone has a great time and sings your praises for keeping the faith, it really makes it all worth while. The most recent success for me was Tellison (check the mental video footage HERE).
I’ve been given a fantastic opportunity to put on great gigs week in week out with the backing of The Sunrooms (which I’m incredibly grateful for!), and I have some fantastic bands likeCourts, Hoodlums, Suffer Like G Did and Flash Fiktion all coming up soon. We also have excellent resident DJs in LO-FI BEATS and DANNY BLANCO who keep the music diverse and banging right through the night.
If anyone would like to play Monday Funday (every Monday!) please feel free to email me at email@example.com with your music links and I’ll happily check it out :)