Sep 24 2012

Two Shows At Hideaway This Week!! Voice and Diva

Hello folks,

Thought I’d drop a quick post to let you all know about two great shows we’ve got coming up the Hideaway in Streatham this week.

On Thursday we have our monthly showcase gig Voice. We have six vocalists performing this month including Helen Theophanous, Mark Jennett, Halima Ihonde, Melissa Cantzlaar, Lorna Marshall and Arorah, plus our very special guest for the evening Anthony Strong. The band features myself, Janette Mason on piano and Frank Tontoh on drums. promises to be a hoot.

Then on Saturday we have our bi-monthly Diva show where we feature four excellent vocalists and a wide variety of music. This time we have Martin France on drums and Paul Booth on sax in the house band. The featured vocalists are Juliet Roberts, David McAlmont, Nina Ferro and Sarah Ellen Hughes. Many of you have probably seen me play with Nina before in her band so you all know how awesome she is. We were lucky enough to have her guest at Lea DeLaria’s Wall To Wall show at Pizza Express Dean Street last Tuesday which was one of the best shows there yet. And I am so excited to be playing with David McAlmont. I’ve been a massive fan of his since the first McAlmont & Butler album came out in the nineties and have wanted to play with him forever. I really hope he does Yes.

So there you go. You should come to both shows. Just bring tents and camp out in the Hideaway carpark Thursday to Saturday. Actually don’t do that. I shouldn’t think the Hideaway would thank me for that suggestion. Or Streatham Council for that matter.

Just come to the shows. See you there x

ps. Here’s a video from the last show I did with Nina Ferro at Hideaway. This is Lesson Learned..

Dec 2 2010

It’s Christmas Time!!!

Hello folks,

Oh yes, it’s that time of year again! The time when the normal gigs simply dry up and are miraculously replaced by a plethora of festive extravaganzas. Having just got back from Maggie Reilly’s tour in Germany, I have spent the best part of today thrashing away on a ukelele; an instrument I simply cannot play (yet). But, full of Christmas spirit, I shall persevere and conquer the little beast for your listening pleasure! Those of you who made it to one of Clare Teal’s Christmas shows last year will probably have some idea of what I’m up to. Those of you that didn’t, will simply have to wait and see…

So this is just a quick little post to let you know about some of the Christmas fun we have planned for you this year.

I will be at Pizza Express Dean Street on Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th with Lea DeLaria to launch her brand new Christmas record Be A Santa (out now worldwide on Warner Jazz). These two nights are going to be fantastic and will more than likely be selling out already, so if you want to come along, get booking now! (0845 6027 017) We have Ian shaw guesting on the Tuesday show too. The band will feature Janette Mason on piano and Mark Fletcher on drums. It’s going to be a riot…

And as soon as these shows are over, I shall be throwing myself headfirst into Clare Teal’s Festive Fiesta!! Oh yes indeed folks; there’s gonna be costume changes galore and some extreme multi-instrumentalism from all concerned. We don’t like to make it easy for ourselves! We’ll be playing just six shows this year. Here are the dates for your diary:

  • 10th Exeter Barnfield Theatre
  • 15th Burnley Mechanics
  • 16th Pizza Express Maidstone
  • 17th Farnham Maltings
  • 18th Bath Chapel Arts Centre
  • 19th Bath Chapel Arts Centre

These special gigs were a huge hit last year and we’re adding even more Christmas stuff to the show, as well as the traditional ‘greatest hits of 2010’ set up front. Definitely book early for these shows; especially the two Bath gigs which were rammed last year and I’m sure we’ll have some special guests somewhere on the way too. Keep an eye on my Twitter feed for updates…

And of course, with Christmas just around the corner, what better gift to impress your friends than a copy of my new solo album Mandala?! I’ll be selling copies at all of the above shows too. Goes without saying really…

See you there. Must dash, I still need to learn how to play in Db on the ukelele  🙂 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