Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond

Entries Tagged as 'Birmingham Bass Night'

Birmingham Bass Night II – featuring Yolanda Charles!

March 30th, 2013 · 1 Comment

So, we’re back at Tower Of Song, May 19th, 8pm, with a very brilliant headliner… Yolanda Charles.

Click here for the Facebook event page.

Yolanda has long been one of my favourite bassists, having first heard her play with Urban Species back in the early 90s, then seen her with Carleen Anderson, Paul Weller, Robbie Williams… Her session career is an insane list of massive names – in the studio or live, she’s trusted to do the job and bring something amazing to the gig.

Of late, Yo’s been concentrating on her solo project, The Deep M.O. – an absolutely killer funk/soul band that she fronts on bass and voice. She VERY rarely plays completely solo, so we’re in for a really special evening.

Here’s a video of her playing solo, and then her album with The Deep M.O. which you need to own:

Tags: Birmingham Bass Night · Music News

Birmingham Bass Night – A Resounding Success!

March 19th, 2013 · 5 Comments

So the first Birmingham Bass Night was a resounding success. A comfortably full venue, some amazing music and a good time was had by all.

I feel really lucky to have had such a great line-up for what was really the pilot for a regular event. Russ Sargeant played a beautiful opening set, including an exquisite cover of The Blue Nile’s Let’s Go Out Tonight… so often when an instrumentalist decides to sing a number, the verdict is ‘brave but unwise’, but Russ has a voice to match his bass skillz… hope we get to hear him sing again! He’ll be back at another Birmingham Bass Night soon, I promise 🙂

Then me, doing my thing. Running a night and playing at it can be a stress, but I’ve done it enough and have stripped away the unneccesary stuff well enough that I had no such troubles here. It helped that the venue, Tower Of Song, is SO musician-friendly. There are way too many ‘music venues’ these days whose primary concern is selling beer and musicians are just the bait to get people in the building. Tower Of Song is run by a dedicated and talented musician, Tom Martin, whose primary concern is to run a venue where music gets heard in the optimum environment. It makes a huge difference to how you play to know that your music is respected in that way by the people hosting you… almost house concert-like.

I played A Year Afloat, The Kindness Of Strangers, Hello and an extended new version of Grace And Gratitude (a request fromSarah in the audience… was happy to oblige 🙂 )

Then our headliner was Lorenzo Feliciati. As I said in my introduction on the night, hearing Lorenzo’s musical world grow over the last 10 years has been a joy. He was already an amazing musician when I first met him, and has continued to stretch himself and find new vehicles for expressing himself musically. Definitely a kindred spirit. Of late, he’s put together an amazing band called Naked Truth, with Pat Mastelotto of King Crimson that combines fusion, ambient, post rock and deep improv to amazing effect. His latest solo album Frequent Flyer is also magical.

For Birmingham Bass Night, Lorenzo teamed up with Dave Walsh – a brilliant drummer from Leeds – for a duo set that covered Miles Davis and Alan Holdsworth tunes (Holdsworth for bass and drums duo?? yup.) and some of Lorenzo’s own compositions. It was a wonderful contrast to the more mellow sounds that Russ and I conjured up to have something that was at times ferocious and funky as well as gentle and contemplative.

All in a marvellous night. Thanks to everyone who came! PLEASE feel free to post your own thoughts and observations in the comments (there’s been loads of talk about the gig on Facebook which has been great, and it really helps with the promotion of the event to have positive audience feedback to link people to 🙂 )

We’ll be doing another one in May.. stay tuned for an announcement about the line-up ASAP!

Tags: Birmingham Bass Night · Gig stuff · Music News