In April 2015 I contacted Weasel Howlett. I needed a percussionist to bring some rhythm and sonic energy into my new piano-based songs. We had previously met through The Home Fires and agreed to hook up. Immediately I realised that I had found what I was looking for and Weasel seemed to enjoy himself too. We connected. Which was a good thing.
We started working on a few songs that I had recently written and for the past 18 months, have been regularly rehearsing together, developing a full set of new music. The music has been well received live. It is refreshing to play with just one other musician. There is plenty of space in the music for us to be experimental without standing on someone else toes and, as a result, we both enjoy performing in this set-up. Each time we play one of our songs, it comes out different to the last time. Piano and drums as a duo seems unusual, but it works.
Weasel has an eclectic taste in music and has performed in many bands of many genres, including death metal. This has allowed me to steer my music back towards my rockier roots whilst still incorporating the folk element unearthed within me by The Home Fires. We have even experimented fusing classical music with drum and bass. The recording below is a piece of footage taken at one of our first ever jams. It is a reworking of ‘Abraham’s Theme’ originally composed by Vangelis.
So where are we going to take all this?
Our current goal is to record an album. We have been recording demos of songs throughout this year and have enough material to make a good start on a full album. We recently came to the conclusion that in order to capture our live energy, we need to put down the drums and piano simultaneously. So, we have booked The Wood Room at Real World Studios in November 2016 to do just that.
Sleep, Atlantic-O, Release, Hope and Abraham’s Theme are amongst the first songs we will record in the studio. We will add strings and ‘extras’ back at my place afterwards. Then in 2017 we will go back to The Wood Room for the next phase of recording piano and drums. The Wood Room is perfect for us because it is local, has great acoustics, has a stunning Bosendorfer grand piano in situ and comes with the talented Patrick Phillips behind the desk.
We have booked a few gigs prior to the recording to help us fund the project and to ensure that we are well rehearsed for a live recording. These gigs are listed on this website.
Working with Weasel has been an exciting period of my musical life and journey. Once the album is completed, we will organise a tour to promote our music. Until then, you can keep in the loop by registering your email on the home page on this website (I will let you know when the recordings are ready to buy) and you are welcome to come and support us at one of our upcoming gigs.
P.S. Although there is very little audio footage of us playing (hence the reason for recording!!), here is a live performance of a tune we recorded last autumn at The Pound Arts Centre in Corsham, Wiltshire featuring Bethany Porter on cello.