More recycle bookings…

Been busy over the last couple of weeks lining up the musicians for the new few RC gigs – lots of the people have had on my wish-list for ages are now booked! Yay!

August 23rdSebastian Rochford, Andy Hamill and me. This is a bit of a dream line-up. Seb’s one of my favourite drummers I’ve ever played with. We did one gig together in Brighton a couple of years ago, and he listened so well to the loop stuff, and played beautifully. An immensely creative chap, and Mercury Prize nominee last year, no less! He’s in Polar Bear and Acoustic LadyLand and plays with lots of people in the F-IRE collective.

And Andy Hamill. As well as officially being of the nicest people in jazz ever, Andy’s also one of my favourite double bassists anywhere. If you’ve heard either of Theo’s last couple of albums, he’s the low end on there, but has also played with 4 Hero, Carleen Anderson, Shea Seger, Theo Travis, Mark Murphy, Nitin Sawhney, Chris Bowden, Boris Grebenshikov, Cara Dillon, Tracey Thorn, Kylie Minogue, Ben Castle, Ursula Rucker and Harry Hill!

I’ve been wanting to try a trio with drums and double bass for ages, and feel so lucky that the first time I get to try it is with two musicians of this kind of quality. Wow.

And then, as if that wasn’t enough, on Sept 20th, we’ve got saxophonist Jason Yarde, one of the most celebrated young british jazzers of recent times. An outstanding performer, composer, improvisor – a really really interesting musician, who will add something completely new to the RC vibe, for sure. Another huge talent.

And with Jason and I, making a very welcome return, Leo Abrahams – currently out on the road playing guitar for Roxy Music, is also Brian Eno’s guitar monkey, and has worked with Imogen Heap, Nik Kershaw, Ed Harcourt, Paul Simon and a host of other great people. He was excellent last time, he’ll be just as great this time.

And at the moment, it looks like October is going to be BJ Cole and Ingrid Laubrock joining me. How lucky am I? Yay!

Friday Random 10 again

Here’s today’s random playlist…

Talking Heads – CrossEyed And Painless (Remain In The Light version, not the ‘Stop Making Sense’ version)
Steve Lawson – Behind Every Word (yay for me!)
Talking Heads – Once In a Lifetime (this time it is from Stop Making Sense)
Duran Duran – Wild Boys
King’s X – Honesty
Kate Bush – Somewhere In Between
Galactic Cowboys – Speak To Me
Window On The Deep – BJ Cole
Stevie Wonder – Knocks Me Off My Feet
Kings X – Alone

two appearances each for Talking Heads and King’s X? Is iTunes making taste-based suggestions for what I should listen to – ‘stop listening to crap 80s pop songs, and get back to listening to lots more Talking Heads and King’s X’ – as advice goes, it’s up there as some of the best I’ve received in a long time!

The New Standard…

The New Standard – that’s the name of the show that Julie McKee and I are doing at Edinburgh this year – it’s a show over unlikely cover-versions, where we take songs from all over the musical map, and treat them as though they were ‘standards’ – ie, we just take the melody, words and chord progression and do what we want with them.

We’ve ended up with songs by Stevie Wonder and Slipknot, Curtis Mayfield and The Cure, Green Day, Kate Bush, Gorillaz… etc. etc. It’s a great set, and we’ve done top notch arrangements. If you head over to you’ll find yourself on our myspace page, which has four tunes on it for you to have a listen to. They’re just demo live recordings, in my studio while we were rehearsing and working out arrangements. Hope you enjoy them!

While I’m here, here are the dates for this week’s gigs – hope to see some of you there –

Tuesday 20th June – CB2, Cambridge. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £6
Wednesday 21st June – Recycle Collective at Darbucka, with Special guests BJ Cole and Emily Burridge. Doors 7pm, Tickets £6.
Thursday 22nd – Escobar, Market Street, Wakefield, Yorkshire – 01924 332000
Friday 23rd – Oceans Eleven, 1-2 Church Walk Leeds, 07906 140 294
Saturday 24th – (2pm) Riffs Guitar School, Stockport, 0161 484 5208
Saturday 24th (8pm) Iguana, Manchester,0161 881 9338 tickets £3 adv. £5 on the door.
Thursday 29th – Traders, Petersfield, 01730 233 022 £5 adv/£6 door.

Gig preparations

Just been practicing for tonight’s gig supporting BJ Cole at the Half Moon – I’m still learning the songs from Behind Every Word, trying out some new arrangement things, working out how to make the tunes as good as they can be live.

Support gigs are always interesting because the audience have certain stylistic expectations based on the headline act. Fortunately, BJ’s music background is so varied that anyone going to see him is surely going to be expecting anything from solo steel guitar arrangements of Debussy tunes to full on clubby dance stuff. Hopefully my noises will meet with appreciative ears.

See you there.

my beautifully flawed design work…

Spent a bit of time this morning updating and redesigning – it looks lovely, until you change the font size in your browser away from the default. Then it goes all weird. Must find out how to do scaleable boxes in CSS… the Lovely Rev. G gave me some tips, so will check them out.

Anyway, I like the look of the site, and it’s up to date. Will finish it at some point, I’m sure. :o)

Had a rather nice lunch today with BJ Cole, catching up on news, planning for the gig on Thursday at the Half Moon, and then finally letting him hear his own fine work on ‘Scott Peck’ from the new album. What a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

Sales update – the new CD is selling really well, thanks so much to all those of you who’ve already ordered it. The sooner you do, the greater my peace of mind over the cost of releasing it in the first place! :o) I hope y’all are enjoying ‘Lessons Learned From The Fairly Aged Felines’ (if you’ve had any trouble with the download process, let me know and we’ll sort something out…)

New track on MySpace…

Just added a new track to my MySpace page. It’s a track called ‘Scott Peck’, which features the truly marvellous BJ Cole on pedal steel. He’s great, he is.

The bio on the page has been updated as well, to include the info about the new album, and this quote –

“Steve Lawson is a brilliant musician. I’ve known about him and listened to him for many years. He may not be one of the most famous bassists but he is definitely one of the most talented.” – Victor Wooten

Which is nice.

Enjoy the track…

Some MySpace Props…

as they say in the hood.

A few MySpace links to various coconspirators –

BJ Cole – genius of the pedal steel, plays on one track on my new album.
Cleveland Watkiss – Recycle Collective regular, one of the greatest singers I’ve ever heard, let alone worked with.
Calamateur – Scottish singer/songwriter and found-sound experimentalist. Writes really beautiful songs, and we’ve got a duet album coming out some time in the next few months.
Theo Travis – Saxophonist… you know who Theo is by now, right?
Leo Abrahams – guitarist at the last Recycle Collective gig. Bloomin’ marvellous.
Orphy Robinson – vibes/percussion/trumpet/weirdness. An amazing musician and composer.
Trip Wamsley – solo bassist, composer, player and writer of gorgeous music. New album coming out soon.
Jeff Taylor – played at the first Recycle Collective gig. Great singer/songwriter.

There you go, I’ll add some more soon. Click on those, have a listen, if you’re on myspace already then leave a comment, buy the CDs of the stuff you like, and check out their gig lists!

OK, The Recording Really Is Finished…

Yup, this time I’ve finished. Got a great version of the title track, Behind Every Word, that co-pilot Shark agrees is marvellous. So now I’m back to mixing. Have been mixing some of the tracks this evening, and they’re sounded great, in my humble opinion.

Currently listening to my tune ‘Scott Peck’, which features BJ Cole on pedal steel guitar. He sounds so great, it’s amazing. It’s tough to pick favourites on the album so far, but the two tracks with special guests – that one and ‘One Step’ with Julie McKee are both pretty special. Though so is the opening track, ‘Blue Planet’, which was the first thing I recorded for this album, and features a bass line loop played on my Rick Turner Renaissance fretless that sounds beautiful. Sod it, they’re all great. ;o)

Learning the songs…

This is the fun bit – learning the stuff that came out all improv-y and naturally on the recording so that I can play it live!

A couple of the tunes should be fairly easy, given that I’ve had them written for a while – ‘Deeper Still’ (that’s the tune for Eric Roche, it now has a name, write it down so you know what I’m talking about in future) is easy enough to remember, just a bitch to try and play in tune! Scott Peck is fine, cos I know it, though it’ll be odd going back to playing it solo now that I’ve been listening to it for a few days with BJ Cole‘s pedal steel part on it. HappyHappy I can remember, fairly well, as it’s very easy and fairly short.

I’ve just learnt ‘Nobody Wins Unless Everybody Wins’ – a fun little tune with lots of multiply of sync’d loops to get thing to come back a long time in the future. I can play that.

Now I’m just checking out the title track on the album, trying to remember how it goes! Am listening to it at the moment. And have just remembered what happens in the middle. G2 no. 1 routed through G2 no. 2, both of them recorded into the looperlative… the hardest thing to remember is how to set it all up before the tune begins, which aux sends to route to where, which buttons to push to make sure the right things are being recorded into the Looperlative.

In other news, loads of people have been checking out the tunes on my MySpace page – major amounts of plays! MySpace is, indeed, as Imogen Heap’s manager mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago ‘the new radio’.

Right, back to learning these songs!

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