stevelawson.net

Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



Creating Spaces Where People Can Respond To Music…

February 27th, 2015 · 4 Comments

[big gig update blog-post coming later, but this was bubbling in my head so needed writing first… 😉 ]

Right, this was inspired by a couple of brilliant thinker-friends. Partly it was this blog post by Corey Mwamba (an exceptional musician, thinker, doer and advocate for music) about The Family Album, and his audience-focussed rethink of jazz/improvised music programming, and partly by the work of a theatre company called Coney, particularly their co-director Annette Mees, whose thinking on pretty much everything has been of immense value to me over the last while… Their amazing work on new ways of experiencing theatre, of devising experiential work for audiences is truly remarkable (their upcoming show, Early Days (Of A Better Nation) is touring in the run-up to the election, and is unmissable)

Anyway, here’s today’s brain-ramble, on which I welcome your thoughts and input…

…disappearing down a wikipedia wormhole of synonyms for outmoded terminology that appears to have no analog in the useful terminology world, I stumbled on Cymatics – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cymatics

cymatics by evan grant.

And I’m now thinking about how it works as a metaphorical space for thinking about visible human/audience responses to music… [Read more →]

Tags: Musing on Music

A Month of Sundays (3 Gigs in Birmingham)

August 3rd, 2014 · Comments Off on A Month of Sundays (3 Gigs in Birmingham)

Following on from last week’s lovely gig with Julie Slick and Andy Edwards, I’ve got TWO more Sunday night gigs at Tower Of Song in Birmingham coming up:

August 10th : Jem Godfrey, Steve Lawson, Andy Edwards – Jem’s band is Frost* (which Andy used to be in), he’s also played keyboards with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. If that wasn’t enough, he’s an Ivor Novello award winning songwriter, writing massive hits for Shane Ward, Atomic Kitten, Holly Vallance… He’s very, very good at whatever area of music he turns his hand to, so expect amazingness. [Ticket Link] -0- [Facebook link]

August 17th : Lobelia’s Lazy Sundays presents Briana Corrigan + Steve Lawson – Briana was the original vocalist in the Beautiful South, sang on all the early hits. Since then, she’s released two wonderful solo albums, written and performed in plays and a one woman show called ‘Mum’s The Word’. She’s properly brilliant, and I’m VERY excited to see what we come up with together… the plan is to write/arrange/rehearse/plan a show in 3 days. There’ll definitely be songs, music, maybe some spoken word stuff, story-telling, poetry… who knows. It’s going to be lovely, and you need to be there. [Ticket Link] -0- [Facebook Link]

So, two in a row. Very different, but equally magical, I promise.

And if you’re wondering what you missed last Sunday, here’s some lovely video of the opening 12 minutes of the show (it’s shot in HD so choose the 1080p option and watch it full-screen!) :

See? Loveliness. :)

Tags: gig dates · Music News

Tour blog Pt 2 – This is The End (or ‘how we lost money on a successful tour’)

July 8th, 2011 · 7 Comments

So we’re back in England, tired, jetlagged, weirded out by being away for 2 months. It’s the longest I’ve ever been out of the UK in one stretch, for sure.

So let’s look at some tour facts ‘n’ stats: [Read more →]

Tags: Gig stuff · Music News · travel

New Album Update And Tour News

May 6th, 2011 · Comments Off on New Album Update And Tour News

OK, we’re here in New Jersey, playing a house concert tonight. Jetlag is the worst I’ve had in ages, which is probably due to flying with a toddler. :)

Both Lobelia and I managed to finish up our solo albums before we set off. Which is very exciting!

My new solo album is called ‘11 Reasons Why 3 Is Greater Than Everything‘, and will be out via bandcamp on May 18th, and via iTunes/Amazon etc. not long after that… That picture at the top of this post is the cover art, and there’ll be individual art for each track too, as well as extensive sleeve notes. And of course, I’ll blog some more info and thoughts on it here over the next few weeks.  [Read more →]

Tags: gig dates · Music News

London Gig With Michael Manring – October 20th!

September 17th, 2010 · Comments Off on London Gig With Michael Manring – October 20th!

Yup, Michael and I are back at Round Midnight! Last time we played there we sold it out, people were queued up outside trying to get in, so I heartily suggest that you call and book in advance.

Click here for booking/ticket info.

Playing with Michael is one of my very favouritest things to do as a musician, and listening to him play is one of my favouritest things to do as music fan. So I’m happy as Larry. (Not sure who Larry is, but he must be over the moon right now.)

Here’s a lovely lil’ video from last time we played there:

And here’s our free-to-download live EP, recorded in California a few years back:

Steve Lawson and Michael Manring live at Don Quixotes by solobasssteve

Hope to see you there – PLEASE share this link around, invite friends, and c’mon down. It’s going to be a GREAT show, and probably my last ‘public’ show in London before the end of the year… and I think Alex Bershadsky is joining us, which will be cool.

Tags: gig dates · Music News

Promoting A Gig In A Week (Cincinnati, July 6th!)

June 30th, 2010 · Comments Off on Promoting A Gig In A Week (Cincinnati, July 6th!)

OK, this is going to be fun, and you can help – we’re playing in Cincinnati, in a week’s time (or less, depending on when you read this). So we need your help to get the word out to the lovely people of Cincinnati, OK? :) [Read more →]

Tags: gig dates · Gig stuff

New House Concert Video

May 13th, 2010 · 3 Comments

We’re just back from a fabulous run of house concerts in England and Scotland. All kinds of good times were had, friends were made, internet chums suddenly existed in meat-space too, and a lot of very fine music happened. Big, big thanks to the truly awesome people who hosted the gigs in Leeds, Camberley and Edinburgh. Expert humans, one and all. [Read more →]

Tags: gig dates · Gig stuff · Music News

Curating a Live Event: Never Settle For Less Than Greatness.

March 15th, 2010 · 18 Comments

Following up my last post about recommending awesome things, I want to tie the same ideas into putting on events. The trigger for this was the Antwerp Looping Festival which I played last Saturday night.

A bit of background – the ‘festival’ was one night, 6 artists, in a gorgeous little theatre venue in Antwerp, organised by one of the performers – Sjaak Overgaauw.

The whole idea of a ‘looping festival’ or any other non-genre- or personality-specific festival is fraught with possible marketing pitfalls – if there’s no inherent style of music, or artistic/culturally-thematic link, how on earth do you make it work? What are people coming to, and why? Who are you going to market it to? [Read more →]

Tags: New Music Strategies · tips for musicians

Music Plans for 2010

January 27th, 2010 · 3 Comments

2009 was a fairly easy-going year, music-wise for Lobelia and I. We played a load of US shows in January, and a handful of other shows across the year, but it was mainly pretty low-key stuff.

Gigs:

2010 is already shaping up to be a much more musically-focussed year. I’m in the process of booking some solo house-concerts for the end of March/Beginning of April – the open dates are

  • March 29th (near Birmingham),
  • 31st (near Exeter) and
  • April 1st (near Swindon) –
  • the 30th already has a gig booked in Southampton (more details ASAP).

If you want to host a house-gig on any of those dates, and are near (or between) those places, please drop me a line.

Then Lo and I are doing some duo shows at the beginning of May – on the 6th we’re in Leeds and the 8th in Surrey (more deets soon) – if you’re anywhere between those two, we’d be happy to come and play on the 7th, or either side of those dates. Do drop us a line.

And at the end of May we go out to the US, mainly to take Flapjack to meet the family, but we’ll be doing some house concerts and ‘house consulting’ as well – if you’re interested in hosting something (or putting us in touch with a music school/university) please drop us a line.

Recording:

It’s now nearly 4 years since I released Behind Every Word, and while it’s currently selling REALLY well thanks to Bandcamp’s wonderful download sales platform, it really is time for a new album. So I’ll be working on that very soon – just need to get the tech side worked out. Hopefully will have that available for the US shows.

In a couple of weeks time, I’m going into a studio for a day with Mike Outram – guitar-monkey extraordinaire. No idea what we’ll come up with, but if its releasable, that’ll be out sometime soonish as well.

And then there’s the archive – I’ve got a whole load of fascinating music languishing on hard-drives. There’s a duo album with Italian guitarist Luca Formentini, a strange-yet-beautiful experimental duo album with free improv trumpeter Jeff Kaiser, a quartet live recording with Jeff, saxophonist Andrew Pask and bassist Steuart Liebig. (that last one is really interesting cos I thought the gig had gone pretty badly, then listened to the recording and really liked it :) )

And there’s also a double album’s worth of live stuff with Theo Travis, recorded on the tour we did after For The Love Of Open Spaces came out. That really needs to be heard. So maybe I should work on that first.

Suffice to say, there’ll be lots of cool music from me this year, if something else doesn’t get in the way.

For now, here’s the album with Theo Travis – have a listen, and then pay whatever you like for it if you want to download it.

Tags: gig dates · Gig stuff · Music News

A Decade In Music – The Solo Bass Years.

December 22nd, 2009 · 2 Comments

First Ever Solo Gig, London, December 1999

My first ever solo gig was at the Troubadour in Earls Court, London, on Dec 15th, 1999 – 10 years ago last week.

The eve of the new millennium, and a gig that started with a lie (the lovely chap who booked the gig asked me if I had a whole set of material after seeing me do one solo tune in a band-gig. I lied and said ‘yes’ :) ). It wasn’t the first time I’d played solo bass in public – that was a product demo at the National Music Show for Bassist Magazine in Nov 97. I also played weird improv noise stuff for a contemporary dance company in Nov 98.
[Read more →]

Tags: Gig stuff · Music News · Musing on Music