I’m a musician. A bassist, to be more precise (electric, not upright).
I play solo quite a lot, but am also fortunate that I get to collaborate with a lot of amazing people, often quite a long way outside the ‘traditional’ role of the electric bass (though I’m not averse to doing bassy things on songs if required. In fact, I quite enjoy it).
A lot of my musical happenings sound on paper like the forfeit to a dare, rather than a career plan – one recent project involved the release of almost 11 hours of duo improv live recordings, with Daniel Berkman – a multi-instrumentalist playing electric kora, electronic hand percussion, synths and ukulele. Trying to work out what to do with the recordings of 10 complete shows that are entirely different and all worth listening to is tricky. Now available as a download, we initially released it all on USB Stick (now sold out), with a double CD ‘best of‘ alongside it. It’s pretty exciting, and rather unique.
I’ve done a lot of gigs – big gigs, small gigs, medium sized gigs… from opening solo for Level 42 on their Greatest Hits tour in 2002, to house concert tours across the US with singer/songwriter Lobelia, once doing 8000 miles in a rental car in 2 months.
Recently I’ve been collaborating with some amazing people – gigs with Divinity Roxx, Beardyman, Reeves Gabrels, Jason Cooper (The Cure), Andy Gangadeen, Jon Thorne (Lamb), Rob Turner (GoGo Penguin), Jem Godfrey (Frost*)…and recording/songwriting with Tanya Donelly, Briana Corrigan, Mark Kelly (Marillion), Roy Dodds (Fairground Attraction) and more…
- London Jazz Festival
- Edinburgh Fringe
- Manchester Jazz Festival
- London Bass Guitar Show (see magazine cover there for evidence 😉 )
…and have gigged all across the UK, US, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Holland, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal…
What Else? Ah yes, I ran an acclaimed improv night in London called the Recycle Collective that coupled my bass playing with two other musicians each night for a series of exquisite improvised music gigs, featuring some of the most amazing musicians in London.
I’ve played improvised music at Italian silent film festivals and avant garde extreme metal in fringe London theatre festivals. I’ve soundtracked photographic exhibitions in Germany and played the first ever live gig at the top of
The Gherkin (sorry, 30 St Mary Axe) in London. A lot of amazing, surprising, exciting music.
I’ve released a lot of albums. a LOT of albums – 13 solo ones in the last 13 years, and somewhere in the region of 17 other collaborations. Lots of them have had rave reviews in magazines, radio play and been used in short films. All of them can be bought on a single USB stick, if that’s of interest,.or you can subscribe via Bandcamp and get all the solo stuff and a load of exclusives. I’ve also played on quite a few recordings by other people. From gospel singers to rappers, electronica artists to indie rock bands.
I’ve ended up being written about in some big newspapers too – The Times, The Guardian, The Independent (I also wrote an obituary of John Entwistle for the Independent On Sunday, but that’s from a different bio…), as well as in Bass Player (US), (the cover of) Bass Guitar Magazine, Jazzwise, Guitar Player (US), Bassist, Guitarist, Total Guitar, Bassiste Magazine (France), Bass Quarterly (Germany), Strumenti Musicali (Italy). As yet, I’ve not been profiled in Heat, More, Grazia, Take A Break or any trade mags for the building industry.
Radio has been quite friendly too: my music’s been played on BBC Radio 3, BBC 6 Music and numerous regional BBC stations around the UK, as well as college and internet radio across the US and Europe…
Somehow, in between all that, I’ve found time to teach – I lecture in music and music-economy-stuff at two different uni/colleges, do a fair few visiting masterclasses and lectures in music schools and universities, as well as private bass teaching at home in Birmingham. I also do a lot of work utilising social media at events in the arts, culture and charity sectors in the UK, with organisations like the Arts Council and the British Council. And then there’s New Music Strategies – fixing the internet for musicians, one great idea at a time.
Oh, and I wrote a novel. About a band. It’s called Rock And Roll Is Dead. And you need to read it.
Busy times, eh?
I leave you with some nice things people have said about me. Don’t just take my word for it 😉