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


Jun 11 2012

Help Support Barnardos With The Oldie Composers

Hello folks,

Today is the official release of the Oldie Composers EP. With over 250 submissions, the four finalists had their songs recorded at Maida Vale studios in April (you can check out my photoblog from the sessions) and today sees the release of all four songs on iTunes and the Charity Goods website. I’ve just got home from the launch with Sir Terry Wogan at the BBC and we’re all very excited about the project…

The EP features performances by Anthony Head, FTW, Clare Teal and Andrea Ryder; with a stellar band including Marcus Bonfanti, Nick Mason, Ian ‘Squeezy’ Watson, Steve Rushton, Grant Windsor and Bond. And me on bass obviously…

You can buy a CD of the EP if you prefer from the Charity Goods website (there are a limited number available), but the best way to support the charity is to download from either iTunes or their site. The songwriter with the most downloads will win the Oldie Composers competition so you’ll be voting with your downloading! Although this is a charity EP, so if I were you I’d just download the entire thing…

You can have a listen to the tracks on iTunes (just click this link) and grab a copy of your favourites. At the moment it looks as if FTW’s version of Loves Forever is in the lead, but I’d also highly recommend checking out Anthony Head’s version of Cry by Marina Florence and Clare Teal’s Peace For The Child by Maggie Duffy. Not that I want to influence the outcome of the competition, obviously…

Big congratulations go out to all the finalists. The songs all sound great thanks to the sterling work of our producer AD Chivers. And as always big thanks are due to Hellen Bach (@HellenBach) and Norman Macintosh (@BigNormski1) for all their hard work in making this happen. Between them they have raised millions for children’s charities. You should follow them both on Twitter immediately to keep up to date with their various projects and see how you can help.

So please do share this post, tweet about the EP and tell your friends on Facebook. All proceeds from the downloads will go to Barnardos and we need your help to spread the word. Hopefully Radio 2 will be playing some of the tracks over the coming week so you may well hear us on air at some point too. It was an absolute pleasure to be involved with this project and I hope we can build on it for the future to make this a regular fund-raising event for this great charity.

Enjoy :)

 


Apr 24 2012

New Solo Acoustic Album [un]plugged Out Now!!!

Hello folks,

It’s that time of the year again. The time of year when I release another solo album. But this one is different. This one is acoustic. My third solo album [un]plugged is officially out now and available for download right here.

Well, I say acoustic. As the title suggests it’s not entirely acoustic in the traditional sense. The entire record was made using my new Breedlove acoustic bass and my usual live-looping setup. This time I’ve used minimal effects from the Pod X3 Pro and Lexicon MPX G2, concentrating on bringing out the natural sound of the instrument. I’ve been blogging about the writing/recording process quite a bit, so hopefully you’re all familiar with how I came to record an acoustic record after my previous offerings. This album is quite different.

I mastered the album yesterday with Steve Alexander (the other half of Little Alex). The ceremonial naming of the tunes ritual was performed last week, with a couple of interesting results. The final track listing is as follows:

  1. frostbite
  2. into the out
  3. lie down & be counted
  4. repetition is a form of change
  5. sigismund
  6. kalimba
  7. breathe
  8. the avant gardener
  9. midas’ barber

And just like The Knowledge of Things To Come and the Rejectamenta EP the music here is presented in glorious 24-bit better-than-CD quality for your listening pleasure. You can stream the whole album right here if you fancy…

If you like the album, please click the ‘Like’ button on the Bandcamp page (the music tab above will magically transport you there), tweet about it and share the player on your Facebook profiles, blogs etc. This will be such a big help in spreading the word. And you’ll know who amongst your friends will like this music much better than I will…

I really hope you all enjoy this record. If you’re a music blogger and want to write a review then let let me know and I’ll send you a copy. Every little helps.

I look forward to hearing what you think…

Simon x