This year was another busy one, filled with fun and varied gigs. Here’s a little of what I got up to with the 5 main projects I’m involved in.
In January we tracked Harry’s first album, English Americana, at Resident Studios. Several songs were recorded live as a band, which is always a great way to work, and my vintage Ludwig Super Classic sounded beautiful in the live room at Resident. Drums for some of the other tunes were tracked remotely at my studio space, which worked well – Tom Hill did a great job of mixing the record. English Americana got some airtime on BBC 3CR over the summer, and we played a few shows in support.
Atiptoe released our mini-album +Venture in May. I put a lot of work into this record, from writing, recording, playing drums and keys to designing the artwork and editing promo videos, so it was great to finally get it out in the world. We then went on tour with Redwood, hitting Brighton, Bristol, London, Nottingham, Hertford and Bracknell. I’m taking a step back from playing live in the band – it’s been an amazing 6 years with some of my closest friends and I’m really proud of the music we’ve made together, but my energy’s focused on other projects for now.
I started playing in LOOP’s live band this year, and got to do some great London shows and festivals. I also took more of an MD role on this gig, creating playback and designing a setup that would best recreate her electronic pop sound. Playing-wise the gig is very different to everything else I’m doing, with much more of a focus on precise parts and sounds. LOOP had the Introducing Track of the week on Radio 1 in December and is releasing an EP soon through M:UK; I’m looking forward to working with her more in 2017.
Marc launched his album Promise in October 2015 but it was this year that we promoted it extensively, playing shows at churches all over the UK. I grew up listening to Marc on the old Vineyard records and love his music, so it’s been an absolute pleasure to get to play drums for him. Towards the end of the year we also got involved with Dave Griffiths’ Big Window tour, taking worship music to secular venues in cities including Oxford, Southampton and Bristol. Each night featured sets from Dave, Marc and Danny O’Callaghan, all brilliant Christian artists and songwriters.
Longfellow played our biggest headline show yet in February, at Bush Hall. We then spent the rest of the year working on our debut album after signing a publishing deal with Cooking Vinyl in June. The record was tracked at Toy Rooms studio in Brighton with producers Andy Britton and Mike Rowe, who were great to work with. We pulled each song apart and worked on their arrangements; once these were set, we recorded them live as a band and then overdubbed other parts as needed. It was amazing to have more time to experiment with tones and parts, and I’m really happy with both my playing on the album and how it sounds as a whole. Look out for the record next year.