LIFE IS FOR LIVING, NOT JUST WORKING
There are so many awesome things in life .. My ladyfriend, our children, feeling the cool of the ocean as you dive in after having been sitting in the hot sun for ever, sunlit-dappled forest walks, laughter, good food and wine, and sharing all those things with other humans. But music is on a whole other level..
Music.. sound… you are in me all the time, and I want to explore your every nook and cranny. You pulse through me daily and with the help of some fine fellow humans I’ve managed to experience some very different sides of you.
This week I’ve been mainly eating…
Bands and Music Projects I’ve been involved in
Bristol in the mid ‘90s was a hotbed of creative activity and there was only one place where musicians and creative types all seemed to find work.. BT! This band of young dudes all met whilst working there and went on to play Glastonbury Festival in 1999, 2000, and 2001 along with many other festivals, and garner a reputation for searing live sets. Not much survives in terms of video footage (apart from the 2004 mobile phone footage below) but here are some of our tunes for your ears :
Stoloff & Hopkinson
I met Mr Hopkinson after having been invited to join the celebrated Minto art studios (later to become BICA – the Bristol Institute of Contemporary Art) on Jamaica Street. Our love of French hip-hop, fine suits, and electronica led us to collaborate on some dope albums together. We played all over the shop including the Big Chill festival, the Cube Cinema, The Arnolfini and even a tour of Russia! The highlight of our videos (of which there are quite a few on Youtube) was our pre-gig film which would play when we were meant to be on stage, the first part of which you can see below. Check dis shnazzizzle out :
2nd World War
My good friend Greg started jamming with a German chap called Swen, playing guitars and singing in a country way. I joined them later on with an old drum machine, a xylophone, and a synth.. I was essentially the rhythm section of the band along with doing backing vocals and an occasional xylophone lead. We did a few shows around Bristol and actually recorded a 7inch for Evil Kitty records with none other than John Parish (long time collaborator of PJ Harvey’s and an amazing musician in his own right) on production duties. This was sadly never released but we got a good recording out of it. 10 years on, we’re still fine tuning the album.. one day it may even see the light of day (though we all have young children now so give it another 20 years or so).
I was invited to tour Japan with some mates, each of us with our own solo projects, by the independent label Sunday Tuning. Hopkinson & I had already released a 7inch on the celebrated Angel’s Egg label (in fact if you go to their site you can see one of our very early S&H stencils on the door of Screen One printmaking studio on Jamaica Street from back in the day!). The tour featured Greg Edwards (see 2nd World War below) who played his melancholy guitar and sang of heartbreak, Matt Ward playing a whole bunch of instruments while dressing up in kooky outfits, and I had a little synth-pop thing going on. We did a bunch of shows around Japan and had some great times, culminating in a couple of sweet videos for Stoloff by the lovely Noriko Oura.
Other random stuff
I’ve been playing in bands and with other people since I was 16 or so, and the bands above are the ones that lasted a few years or were particularly important to me. Apart from the ones below, I toured France rapping in French with Bristol’s own Statik Sound System and also did some French fluid rap on stuff by Invisible Pair of Hands (Jim Barr from Portishead with Jesse Morningstar) and Boca 45. But there were many more projects that I was involved with, some of which you can find below. Thanks for listening!