Mar 13 2014

Maggie Reilly at The Half Moon, March 2014

Good afternoon folks,

Maggie Reilly Half Moon

I mentioned in my previous blog post that on Tuesday I’d be playing at the marvellous Half Moon in Putney with Maggie Reilly so I thought I’d drop another quick post with some photos and a short video from the show.

Maggie Reilly and Davie Dunsmuir

We got a great crowd and it was really exciting to play another London show as the majority of our gigs are over in Germany and Scandinavia. As well as playing a lot of the material from Maggie’s latest album Heaven Sent we played all the hits and  some of the more folky material from her album Rowan.

Processed with VSCOcam with x2 preset

The band for this show and the forthcoming German tour next week consisted of Davie Dunsmuir on guitars, Gordon Dougal on keyboards and acoustic guitar, Tony Soave on drums and myself on bass. We were also lucky to be joined by two special guests; Stuart MacKillop joined us for a few songs, as did Alan Darby who played with Maggie back in the Cado Belle days.

Alan Darby

And as it was a a hometown gig for me I was able to bring my Warwick Triumph bass for a few tunes in the set. Love that bass…

Simon little with Warwick Triumph bass

So the German tour starts next week. You can find all the dates on my previous post. Whilst I did manage to get a few videos from the Half Moon show, unfortunately the app I was using decided to delete almost all of them. So all I have to show you is half of Moonlight Shadow from the end of the night. Enjoy…

I expect the next post will be after the German tour. I’ll try to get some more videos in the meantime. Until then…

Gordon Dougal on guitar
ps. The majority of the photos in this post were shot by Phil Ross. Many thanks to Phil for allowing me to use his photos from the show.


Dec 19 2012

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like…

Well it’s coming to the end of the year and I thought I’d better drop a quick post to let you in on all the latest news.

On Sunday we had the last of the Clare Teal Christmas shows at the Chapel Arts Centre in Bath. We’d already played the Christmas show in Southampton, Exeter and Maidstone. And in the traditional fashion, there were festive costumes involved for the big Bath show…

Photo By Nicki Szlovak

Yes indeed, it was my turn to be the Christmas tree this year folks. And let me tell you, it wasn’t easy playing the bass in that outfit. And it was particularly tricky playing the bass, the ukulele and a kazoo whilst dressed as a Christmas tree…

Bass, Uke & Kazoo...

Clare and Grant surpassed themselves once again with some awesome costumes. Inflatable outfits are quite clearly de rigueur this year…

Clare Teal on horseback

Ben the SnowmanGrant's Xmas Turkey

There are big plans for next years Christmas tour. Bigger and better than ever. Our next regular show will be at Pizza Express Dean Street on January 24th. Hopefully see some of you there…

As you should all know by now (and if you don’t: shame on you!) the new trio record with Jez Carr and Mike Haughton  Foreground Music, Vol. I was released last week. It’s been getting a great response and has already received a couple of lovely reviews. Check out Oliver Arditi’s review in his Review Of The Year post. The album is available via Bandcamp for a mere £5.00. Gr grab yourself a copy.

And while you’re at it, you should also check out the new EP by our very own Grant Windsor and drummer Richard Spaven. Their new project The Sure Co. released The Sure Co. 5ive on Jazz Re:freshed last week. You should definitely check that out too. It’s also available on iTunes…

So that’s the new music covered. Now onto the big news of the week. Tomorrow night I’ll be playing Shepherds Bush Empire with Duke Special.It’s gonna be a great show with lots of special guests and support from The Shellac Collective and Michele Stodart. We’ve got the big lineup reunited once more. Am currently dusting off the tailcoat and top hat. The Undertaker is making a comeback for one night only. Frankly, you should all be there…

Duke Special, Shepherds Bush Empire Flyer
I suspect this won’t be the last blog of the year, but in case I don’t manage to post again before Christmas; have a good one. I’ll be upstairs at Ronnie Scotts on New Years Eve with Kai Hoffman’s band Kai’s Cats. Should be a great night.

Until next time…

Photo By Nicki Szlovak


May 14 2012

The Lowdown On The Artwork…

Hey guys

Well, you asked for it so here it is. This post does once again come with an Amber Geek-Alert. You have been warned…

Since I released my latest album [un]plugged a few weeks ago I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the artwork. This is the third release for which I’ve put together my own cover art. So for those of you that wondered; here’s the process I used this time.

Those of you that know me well or follow me on Instagram (@simonlittlebass) will be very much aware of my little obsession with iPhoneography; that is, the art and technology of iPhone-based photography and photo-editing. So it will not surprise you that the [un]plugged cover was almost entirely put together on my iPhone. Only the text was added separately using Gimp for Mac (a free and rather excellent image editing program), and that’s only because I haven’t found the right iPhone app(lication) yet…

1. I started out with an image of what is left of Gotham City Hall in Six Flags New Orleans. Hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the site is set for demolition. I edited this image with the fantastic iPhone app(lication) Snapseed to give it a more gothic feel and darken the sky. I always start with the crop and auto-correct functions, then play about with the Tune Image settings and Drama filters. I think I may have also used the Tilt-Shift to add focus to the centre of the image. The first stage looked like this…

2. I then put this image through Tiny Planets. This is a fun little app(lication) that twists an image one of two ways into a circular pattern. I mess about with this a lot. The results are pretty haphazard at best and you have no real control over the final image but occasionally it comes up trumps. The resulting image looks like this:

3. It was at this stage that I transfered to my laptop and added the text to the bottom right corner. Gimp also allows use to match the colour of text with a colour from the image itself. I went with one of the grungy grays from the building.

4. I then immediately went back to the iPhone (!) and put this image through ScratchCam. This is an excellent app(lication) if you have time to fiddle with it and download all the extra filters (which are all free but not included in the initial download). I tend to use the random button to generate a few different options as a starting point and then edit in more detail from there. This is how I got the folded and torn look…

5. Now, as you can see here, the image became rather washed out in ScratchCam so I went back to Snapseed and essentially repeated the steps in mentioned earlier; mainly using the Tune Image and Drama functions to bring the colours out once more. The resulting image is the final cover art which we all know and love.

Hope this answers some of your questions regarding the artwork. I love the fact that you can manipulate images to this degree and sophistication on a mobile phone. I’ve been playing around with the applications a great deal over the last year and am only just starting to scratch the surface. As for the musical applications, well that is another post entirely…

Hope you’re all enjoying the album and don’t forget to tell your friends and help spread the word.

Just out of interest, here’s a couple of other images I put through Tiny Planets so you can get some idea of the possibilities. Out of the applications I use regularly, this one is the least consistent but often comes up with the most surprising results (Both these images were heavily edited in either Snapseed or Iris before being run trough Tiny Planets)…

Until next time…