I’ve got a nice run of festivals this summer with a few different projects, so thought I’d post the dates here. Come and check them out if you’re able to.
This time I thought I’d just pick a few of my favourite moments from the year.
Playing with Holiday Oscar at Bestival in September was a real highlight. Everything came together for this show – the vibe was super relaxed and fun, the band gelled together with minimal rehearsal and the crowd responded really well, singing along by the end of the set. I loved recreating Charlie’s songs live and choosing which kit/percussion parts to play. I ended up with different implements in each hand for every song, using a mixture of sticks, brushes, mallets, tambourines and a shaker as in the above track.
In May I went on a short European run with LOOP supporting Jonas Blue, hitting Cologne, Amsterdam, Paris and London. As well as playing drums, I edited the above tour video. It was amazing to play in new countries and some great venues, my favourite probably being Luxor. We sustained a few technical issues, but these were all overcome and the shows went great. Tickets for LOOP’s first headline show on 17th January available here.
I recorded drums for Lucio & Dina Santana’s album Amor/Love in July. We tracked 11 songs in an 8 hour session (including setup), which is the most I’ve ever done. With the exception of one song I hadn’t heard any of the tunes before, so it was a case of listening to the demos, briefly discussing parts, doing 2 or 3 passes then moving on. Despite the time constraints it was a really rewarding session and I’m pleased with how the record came out. Stylistically it ranges from CCM pop/rock to more acoustic songs and even bossa nova on one track. My ’70s Ludwig kit sounded perfect in the room we used, and it was great to work with Marc James again, this time in the role of producer.
I’ve also done more remote session work this year – get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about recording drums for your project.
Thanks to everyone I worked with in 2017, looking forward to more next year.
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.
2015 was a busy year. I was fortunate enough to work with some amazing people and play every type of gig from weddings, theatre shows and festivals to TV and radio sessions. These were some of the highlights.
In March I joined Longfellow as a permanent member, which became my main focus for the rest of the year. We played London shows at venues including Scala, the Electric Ballroom and the Hospital Club, and festivals including Live At Leeds, Nibley and Radio 2 Live at Hyde Park. We also flew to Amsterdam in August for a day of radio sessions promoting the Benelux release of our Remedy EP. Playing on national radio at 8am on a few hours’ sleep was very testing, but fun.
In May I had the opportunity to play my first TV session, on TBN UK with Samuel Lane. This was also challenging, not only because of the pressure of playing an hour-long set on camera, but also due to volume restrictions in the studio. Playing at a low level but maintaining the intensity and feel was hard, but definitely a useful experience. The session will air in early 2016.
Atiptoe toured a little in 2015, but were mainly working on our new record, due out next year. The above picture is from the drum session at Stakeout Studios, with Chris Coulter engineering.
Towards the end of the year I set up my own studio space, which means I’m now able to do remote drum sessions. Please get in touch with any enquiries, and check back for more details and examples of tracks recorded here.
Looking forward to bigger and better things in 2016.
So on Tuesday I’m heading out to Germany to play ZMF Festival with Rae Kelly! Loads of other cool acts are playing, including Patti Smith and Janelle Monae, and it should be amazing. I’ll also be recording some video of the trip, so watch out for that.
Head to http://www.facebook.com/raekellymusic to hear a few of the tracks we’ll be playing.
Picture below from rehearsals…