UK & European tour with Alessi’s Ark

AlessisArk-UKLive1Chuffed to announce I’ll be heading out on the road with Alessi’s Ark for a UK tour and a few dates around Europe this April/May.

Alessi releases her third album ‘The Still Life’ on April 15th on Bella Union records (home of Explosions In The Sky, Flaming Lips & Fleet Foxes). We then start the tour at the Southbank Centre in London the week after.

The new album has quite a colourful, layered sound so performing these tracks as a three-piece should be interesting, but there’s a few toys and tricks we’ve been playing with – rehearsals have been a lot of fun so far! I’ll be playing a variety of instruments including electric guitar, bass, keys and melodica…

Listen to a couple of tracks off the forthcoming album below. If you like what you hear, do come along and see us – tickets links are here.

New Flight School EP

At 3 EPs and about 6 gigs over the last 6 years, we’re not the most prolific of bands. But myself and a couple of friends I’ve known for years have recently managed to finish off a few tunes and put together a 4-track release and a new website. For a band that hardly ever plays together to release an EP recorded at a home studio, I think it’s a pretty good effort. The production is probably the best I’ve managed on anything so far – although some good demos being recorded with Miri at the moment as well.

Anyway, here’s the tracks. You can pay what you want for it, and the first 200 get to download it for free. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter or have a look at our rather nice new website.

New Miri video: Red

I’ve been playing live with Miri for a few years now – first as part of her backing band, and now acoustically with a percussionist, but just recently have started to write and record with her a little more. And it’s been pretty good fun. First track to surface is a song Miri wrote called ‘Red’ – recorded at Spare Room Studios.

There is also a making-of video which you can view here – I have to admit I completely forgot most of the time that there was someone with a camera in the corner of the room, so throughout most of it I look pretty stupid with my ‘concentration’ (read: gormless) face on.

New guitar, new tracks…

This is Martin. Say hello.

Martin’s full name is “Martin X Series CE Custom” and moved into my home this last weekend. He hasn’t shut up since.

This means that my trusty (but battered and bruised) Tanglewood won’t get quite so many outings, but it’s still sounding good. I’ve just uploaded an instrumental track I recorded a while ago – had intended to work on it a bit more, but actually it’s sometimes hard to re-visit things. Anyway, I just wish I’d recorded this with Martin…

Also uploaded a remix of a Switchfoot track that I made for a competition. It really couldn’t be more different to the song above! The decision to start it was really a procrastination technique, thus further keeping me from finishing this Flight School EP, but never mind…

Moving on from Music Room

Last Saturday was my last gig in charge at Music Room – very sad, but I know I’m leaving it in capable hands – for proof of this, see video highlights below – all the performers are under 18, as were all of the crew that did the stage management, sound, lighting and the video (watch on youtube to get full experience of the ‘hub’)!

So after nearly three years, I’ve moved on from running Music Room for YMCA London South West. I had a great time building it up, creating the studio and recruiting a fantastic team to help out. Also been a privilege to work as part of a much larger organisation (something I’ve not done before), and given the unique purpose and history of the YMCA, it certainly creates a great community atmosphere in which to work.

But running the tuition stuff as well as various musical projects has meant that I didn’t quite have the hours I needed to put into it, so better to hand over to someone with the hours and fresh enthusiasm for the project. I still hope to be around at the odd gig night though!