End of Year Update (Bassicly Speaking November 2016)
Maybe it's been the best year of my career? Maybe not, but it's been a cracking year!
The top highlights for me have to be playing as a 3 piece with Dead Method at Glastonbury not once but twice. Going on tour to Germany in the summer, watching all of my students pass their exams and strive in their achievements & playing with The Special Brew at some great venues across the UK.
So whats in store for the last 2 months of 2016 & what have been up to since July Bassicly Speaking!
We've been running through sets, tightening up parts & mostly writing & recording new parts for releases. We have a guitarist & drummer now. My favorite tracks we've written have to be JBS which is influenced by James Blake & 16 Something (Can't remember the name!) which is 16 minutes long and has sections composed & refined by each member. Once we have a few solid sets together as a quintet we will be performing,live all over the place! Check out the upcoming gigs list at the bottom of this for shows.
Working on a few new-old tracks as part of this Soul band the last few months. A few shows here & there but we are all busy professional musicians. We had a private show at the old Rugby Club my father used to play at Penallta RFC which was excellent. We are still taking bookings & making an effort to book more private functions. Check out the upcoming gigs
at the bottom of this for shows.
The Special Brew
We've been stupidly busy! Playing amazing stages across the UK. From Cardiff to Dumfries then to Salisbury & to Dorset! We played another leg of the 2-tone Tribute tour with Special Kinda Madness which will be recommencing next year with huge venues including the O2 academy's in the UK. We played the Specialized charity event in Dorset featuring the legendary Sal Polichetti of Sonseed on bass (I switched to Piccolo Bass for this) This has honestly got to be the funnest band I'm in & everyone's a great player! Check out the upcoming gigs list at the bottom of this for shows.
Lessons are going tremendously well & I couldn't be prouder! Every single student has passed their exams with flying colours. At the moment I am working with Maestro Music & Sarah Hodges Music for this years Christmas concert for our combined students to raise money for Parkinsons UK. Along with this we are holding a sponsored practice-a-thon to raise money for the same charity. New students have been starting via Skype from all over the world & some in person. The next few months we are getting ready for the next exam period & other goals to further student's education in music.
Session & Dep Work
I've been quite busy playing bass on sessions & depping on a few gigs. Recently I traveled to Leeds to play on a young Folk singer's debut album coming out early next year. I also depped with a Bristol Funk outfit at two consecutive private functions. Hopefully more will come but studio recording is getting hard to find these days, but remote sessions are on an increase at least. I've had to decline a lot of dep work unfortunately due to my hectic schedule, but feel free to contact me.
Composing & Arranging
I'm currently composing 4 orchestral tracks for a welsh language film. The tracks are 16 minutes in length & will be cut, edited & placed into the film at the editing stage. I've composed 1 and a half tracks so far.
Along with the orchestral work I'm also constantly writing for my bands & my own compositions which will become public one day soon!
Recently I was asked to direct an Elvis tribute show here in Wales. I'm currently in the planning stages & grouping together touring musicians who are available. Along with directing the band I will also be playing double bass & bass guitar.
I managed to get a lovely signed copy of bass player Phil Mann's Chord Tone Concepts. Phil is a busy London based player (originally from Wales!!) who is seen keeping the low end down in the pits of musicals, Jazz groups & much more. His book is amazing! It guides you through every iteration of arpeggio & chord tone you will ever need.
While at the Dorset Specialized event I won a bass guitar. I spotted the bass & was told it was in the silent auction. Unfortunately I had to leave the event earlier & left my bid with our manager Wayne who placed in on my behalf. I won! The bass has been signed by some great Ska & Reggae greats & will be cherished in my collection.
My custom made German slimline double bass arrived in tip top condition & with flawless play-ability! I've installed a Shadow pickup & attached by bow quiver too. It's taking a while to get back into playing an upright, but it's going well.
As part of the Markbass family I received the new Little Mark Ninja 1000W head & a 4x10 & 1x15 cabs! It's a hefty but amazingly sounding rig that I will be using on the larger stages I will be performing on. The sheer power & transparent sound from this rig make it perfect for my style, sounds & groups!
Other Bits & Bobs
I played about with the order of my pedals on my board & have come to great sounding order, utilizing an online bass pedalboard planner.
Been jamming with an old friend Stephen Symonds. An excellent drummer & musician. We've been running through some great Vulfpeck tracks such as 1612
I recorded a bass cover of Casablanca (Rags & Riches) by Bad Manners which uses both electric bass guitar & upright parts throughout. It can be found on my Facebook page.
The new website & blog have received great interest & I have had amazing feedback!
Inquiries for tuition, dep work & remote sessions are up, partly due to a new advertising campaign & becoming a more recognized player on the various scenes in & around the UK.
My schedule now includes a minimum of 4-6 rehearsals a week with 5/6 groups (permanent member of 4) Plus all other private lessons, sessions & shows.
Playing Kaya Festival with Dead Method (Got my car stuck again!)
Playing Dorset Steam Fair, Salisbury City Hall & Dumfries with The Brew.
Composing over 12 tracks in 2 months.
Really applying myself to my new practice regime for bass & double bass.
Playing the 2-tone Tribute Tour dates with Special Kinda Madness which has been an amazing experience & seriously amazing show!
Thanks to company's & individuals during the last few months.
Markbass for the new amps & cabs.
Elixir for a stupidly huge amount of strings.
Roqsolid for my new cab covers.
doublebassbags.co.uk for a double bass case.
Xvive & A Strings for my wireless system.
Thanks to guitarist Dan Jones for depping with The Special Brew at our headline gig in Southampton.
Plus many more! Sorry if I've missed you!
Saturday 26th November - The Arch Bar & Night Club, Neath - playing with The Special Brew
Saturday 3rd December - The Lord Nelson, Pontlottyn - playing with The Special Brew
Saturday 10th December - The Garage, Swansea (Skabertawe) - playing with The Special Brew
Saturday December 17th - The Claude, Cardiff - playing with The Special Brew
Wednesday December 28th - Cefn Social Club, Merthyr Tydfil (P.E) - playing with The Special Brew
Saturday 30th December - Ex Servicemen's Club, Taffs Well (NYE) - playing with The Special Brew
Sunday 1st January 2017 - The Junction, Hengoed - playing with Red Bug
Sunday 1st January 2017 - The Junction, Hengoed - playing with Just Dandy/House Band
I hope you have enjoyed this update & thanks for reading!
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Please feel free to contact me regarding booking my services etc.
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