Jul 31 2010

Video

Closed Hand Full of Friends with Foy Vance, September 2012 at The MAC, Belfast.

Generation Sex with The Divine Comedy, 2002 at La Route Du Rock Festival.

Wilderthorn {We Do Requests} On the saw…

Niamh McNally Why Did You Leave Me So Blue?, live at Hideaway 2013

Playing with Kerry Jo Hogkin at Hideaway, February 2013 (with bass solo)

Playing with Ian Shaw at the Drawn To All Things album launch at the Bloomsbury Theatre…

Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most, with Kate Eden at The Bull’s Head June 2010.

More videos coming soon… fear not!

x


May 25 2010

Another Little Update…

Well it’s been pretty manic here at Little Towers folks…


At the beginning of the month I was back in Denmark with Maggie Reilly for the Korsør Open Air Festival. We were on a rather interesting bill with various 70′s bands including ELO, Sailor, The Rubettes, Suzi Quatro, and Showaddywaddy (!). I was in and out of Denmark in one day which proved a tad strenuous, but (crappy weather withstanding) we had a fantastic time on stage. It was great to play a big festival with Maggie again and I certainly blew the cobwebs away from my little Warwick amp. Haven’t been able to crank it up like that for a while but when you’re stood next to drum-monster Steve Alexander it’s only right!

Clare Teal’s new album is coming along very nicely too, thanks for asking. It’s based on the Great British Songbook tour and features some lovely arrangements by Grant Windsor. Grant, Ben and I were recording some backing vocals just last week and Clare is in the studio right now putting down her final vocals. We’re expecting that one to be ready in the Autumn so keep your eyes peeled.

As many of you already know, I’m off on tour with the marvelous Duke Special later this week. We’ll be playing fourteen shows around Ireland over the next three weeks starting in Letterkenny this Thursday. The Uk leg of the tour was a great success and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and playing the new material. The tour features music from the Duke’s The Stage, A Book & The Silver Screen boxset, including of course most of the songs from Mother Courage & Her Children which we performed at the National Theatre last Autumn. Expect copious bloggery on our return! Here’s a list of where you can find us…

Last Sunday was Lea DeLaria’s birthday show at Ronnie Scott’s. And let me tell you, it was a blast! We played two long sets which allowed us to pull out some great tunes from Lea’s back catalogue that we haven’t done for a while. It was great to revisit a couple of the great Gil Goldstein arrangements from Lea’s first two albums: Tatooed Love Boys and Cool were great fun live. We also had a couple of very special guests. Ian Shaw came up and joined us for a couple of storming duets with Lea and the marvelous Justin Bond (aka Kiki from Kiki & Herb) performed a number with his MD Lance Horne and totally brought the house down. The whole show was such a scream and Lea got a big standing ovation at the end of the night. Hoping we’ll be back there soon…

So, what other news? I hear you ask…


Well the new Divine Comedy single At The Indie Disco came out on Monday and has been getting a lot of airplay this month. The download bundle features two B-sides, On The Barge and At The Indie Disco Mk1 and the video. Surely that’s more than worth £1.79 of anyone’s money?! Off you go…

And finally I have one important date for your diaries. I will be performing with the lovely Kate Eden at the Bull’s Head in Barnes on the 25th June. This show will feature Janette Mason on piano and hopefully some special guests. We are going to film this show so it promises to be a very special night…

And don’t forget to check out Kate’s sparkly new Reverb Nation page and sign up to the mailing list so we can keep you up to date with all forthcoming shows!

Right then. I have another sitar lesson in a couple of hours and really should be brushing up on my meends (Ha!). Although I have yet again broken the 2nd string. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt playing the sitar over the last few months it’s that there is literally no end to the amount of money one needs to spend on strings. Mine has nineteen strings and it is a rare, nay freak occurrence for them all to be on and in one piece at once. Boring? Probably. I am meaning to do another post in the near future about my experiences learning the instrument, but frankly right now I’m far too busy!

Until next time.. x

Feb 18 2010

Back on the road with Maggie Reilly..

Hello folks

It’s been rather manic here so apologies for the distinct lack of bloggery. I’ve been involved with a number of projects over the last few weeks which I thought I’d take a moment to let you all know about.
The main development over the last fortnight, as those of you who follow me on Twitter will know, has been the little Danish adventure with Maggie Reilly. I drove up to Glasgow in the new bass-mobile a couple of weeks ago for three days of rehearsals. The lineup this time was slightly different and consisted of the usual core band of Maggie, Stuart MacKillop on keyboards, Gordon Dougall on rhythm guitar and keyboards and me on bass with the new additions of Ali Murray on drums and Jim Condy on lead guitar. We added a few new songs to the set this time including Replay, Echoes and Talking To Myself (which has become a favourite of mine live). I had no idea how cold it got in Glasgow compared to here in London. My Winter wardrobe leaves a lot to be desired and I found myself battling with the elements on more than one occasion. But that was nohing compared to how cold it was in Denmark…
We arrived in Denmark on the 10th to be greeted with huge mounds of snow, the like of which I have never really experienced. Apparently the Danes have not had snow like this for at least seven years and this kind of cold weather was particularly unusual, but it transpires that they are far more adept at dealing with the snow than us Brits. In fact we had no trouble at all with the roads or flights. Deep joy.
Our first show was at Rampelys. This was one of the first venues I’d payed in Denmark when I first started coming over with Maggie and it was great to revisit the place. It’s a great little folky club in Silkeborg with a fantastic Mexican restaurant underneath it. Needless to say we visited said restaurant straight after the soundcheck. It’s one of those clubs that seem to be quite common in Denmark where it is run by a society that pool their resources and bring in the acts they want to see. We were sold out with about 250 in the audience and ha a great time.
We played the Stubhuset in Stovring the following day, a slightly larger arts centre type venue with a much larger stage. The stage at Rampelys is a tad small for our six-piece lineup (it was tricky when we played there as a five-piece several years ago!), so it was great to have a bit more space. We had another appreciative if somewhat quieter audience. Maggie and Jim added in a bluesy version of Jesus on the Mainline which went down well.
We moved on to the Kielgasten in Holstebro on the Saturday. This was another venue we’d played before and one of my favourites (in fact, it was the place we played after my journey from Hell from Paris with TDC if you remember that particular blog post..). It’s a great little rock club, probably around the same size as the others (250/300 capacity) and has just the right atmosphere for a proper gig. It is a mixture of seated areas and standing so you feel far more connected to the audience. My favourite venue in Denmark is still the Train in Aarhus, which is entirely standing. The Kielgasten was definitely the best show of the run; I’m looking forward to going back there soon.
By this point the weather had warmed up a little bit, although the snow was showing no sign of melting. Our final show was at the Huset in Nakskov. We were playing at four in the afternoon on Valentines day as part of some kind of Maggie Reilly Valentines spectacular! I must admit that I was slightly concerned about such an early show but it proved to be a lot of fun and the audience were really marvelous. We had to get up incredibly early to drive down from Holstebro and catch the ferry but it was worth it. The staff at the Huset were lovely and really looked after us. There’s a chance we’ll be returning there in May for a little warm-up show before the Danish festival we’re playing.
I really look forward to the little ferry crossings in Denmark. Sad but true. This is mainly due to the marvelous hotdogs they invariably sell on board. Anyone who nows me well will know that I am virtually always unable to resist a good hotdog/chillidog and these are definitely right up there with the best. I managed to convince all the non-veggie in the band to get in on the sausage action too. Actually, Gordon didn’t take much convincing…
We had a lot of fun on this little Danish run. It was great to be out on the road with the guys again. We should be back in May so keep you’re eyes peeled for upcoming dates on my MySpace page.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been involved with a few other projects of late. A couple of days ago I recording some bass for my friends Sorana Santos and Chris Lane, aka Lyrebird for their forthcoming EP. Chris posted a little video of me recording on The Art of Staying Alive this morning. Thought you might like to have a look…

You can check out their music on Reverbnation and keep up with the progress of their EP on Twitter. They are well worth go to see if you get a chance…
Yesterday I found myself in the studio of a certain Mr Paul Pilot recording some saw for Duke upcoming tour dates and also for the fantastic band My First Tooth, who are incidentally also avid Twitterers. I recorded two tracks for their forthcoming album. Their music sounds great and Paul is doing a fine job of producing. I’ll let you know when it’s out so you can all go forth and purchase… Paul couldn’t resist having a go on the saw before I left and let’s face it, who could blame him?!
The big news this week is that I will be playing at The Bull’s Head in Barnes with the lovely Kate Eden in a quartet featuring pianist Alex Hutton and Josh Morrison on drums. Be there or be square people! We’ll also be playing The Spice of Life next Wednesday and the Ignite cafe at the Albert Hall on Friday 26th so there is no excuse for not making it down to at least one of the shows…
Anyway, must dash I’m afraid. I have sitar lesson number four this very afternoon and am in serious danger of being late if I continue writing. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post; feel free to share it all over the internet and leave lovely comments. I do as always appreciate your feedback.
Until next time x