How’s it going, folks?
Just finished another great weekend of gigging, including Friday night with Soul Strutters returning to Café Rene in Gloucester, which is always crazy, busy and full of mad and wonderful people dancing all night! We have never had a dull gig there, and can’t wait to get there again in December!
Saturday, we had a lavish wedding down in Cornwall, which was a hell of a journey there and back, but having Barney for company in the car and listening to Abbey Road on loud it doesn’t seem that long trip. We really were looked after, and it being an open bar for us as well as all of the guests plus ample chocolate brownies and paella, you really can’t go wrong!
Sunday I returned to The Brass Pig (which is every other Sunday from 3pm if you wanna catch me there) playing a solo piano set, followed by one of the best Hatchet Jam Sessions for a long time! A big mix of drummers, keyboard players and guitarists came to play with the house band; some who have visited our Session a long time back and some newbies too! It’s always great to have fresh new players who have recently moved to Bristol to study Music, looking to jam and meet fellow musos. I personally think it’s the best way to jump into the music scene here in Bristol, or anywhere in fact with a music scene! (Or if there isn’t a scene as of yet, then host a Jam Session and start the scene yourself!) There’s no better place for like-minded people who are open and welcoming to play with others, and who want to create music there and then from fresh.
I have been to Jam Sessions in the past, back in university and other places when I was not as confident a player as I am now, and I have found that some hosts have not been that welcoming or who have given a judgmental impression, for example, just because I didn’t play a certain scale type in my solo ….What a load of bollocks! Who cares? If it sounds all right, and you really mean what you are playing, then that’s what counts. You don’t have to be the most technical player or fastest etc. Because that can all be taught in a book, but when you actually feel it and play with utter conviction that separates you from the flock. I think coming across as hostile or disapproving to another musician can be completely crushing – those who are experienced and those new to playing publically or with others! I do like to think that the lads in the house band and myself try to be as hospitable to players who are of any level of ability, because confidence is a big part of playing and performing. (This is all my opinion and rambling through experience though) So if anyone fancies a jam with the house band consisting of Keyboards, Drums, Guitar and Bass, please come along to The Hatchet on Frogmore Street from 5pm every Sunday. You can use our equipment and/or kick us off our instruments, or bring your own. You even get free beer too!
Barney and I have also been working on an EP consisting of 8 tracks throughout this year, which is a collaboration side project, consisting of only original weird compositions, with various time signature changes and unfamiliar chord progressions. Seeing as we play together in Soul Strutters, Madilan and Jackson, we thought it was time we write some crazy music, just the two of us.
I’m hoping it will sound exactly how one would think Madilan and Jackson would sound together. In fact we both can safely say, our jam Session at The Hatchet has been the best practice for us and the most creative time where we are just put on the spot and have to start a Jam of various chords and literally take it from there. Over the past 2 years of hosting the night, we have recorded some of the spontaneous jams and listening back to them you can hear preliminary versions of a handful of Madilan tracks as well as Jackson compositions!
So we do not have a title for our project just yet as nothing really sounds right! As soon as we have decided a sensible name we will both be announcing it.
Some names that have been flying around so far:
….Need I say more?
We are really lucky and proud to have our musical genius and friend Jeff Spencer to mix and produce it too. Look out for teasers and snippets coming out in the next few weeks!
Anyway, this Friday I’m playing down in Brighton with Madilan and Saturday Soul Strutters are playing a private event then Sunday we have the Jam – So not as busy as last week where I had a 10 consecutive day marathon of gigs, so it’s nice to be taking it easy on the gigging front.
At the moment I’m organising a video shoot for 2 songs; 1 from my Time EP and another from the new previously unheard material, and really stoked to have Laura Palmer filming and producing them, who was the very talented and well-respected NME photographer who I got to take the photos for my Jackson shoot. So by festival planning time (the end of 2015) I shall have 2 live videos out for all to see J, and hopefully bag me some festivals in 2016!
Only 2 weeks until the big launch! Got the posters about town as well as listings on every gig listings website for Bristol I can think of – So get down to The Golden Lion on the 15th October for the first ever Jackson gig – With an 8 piece band and support from Schoolboy’s Death Trio! £4 on the door from 9pm. It will mean so much to me for the night to be fully packed, so please come along for a night of original FUNK SOUL GROOVE HIP-HOP CRAZY music! Written by yours truly.
Thanks for reading, and stay in touch!