Accidental Engineer

Well, it’s not so much of an accident I suppose, I’ve not made a secret of my interest in recording. But it is a nice coincidence that three recordings have all been released so close together…

First up, I had the pleasure of recording Trevor Watts and Stephen Grew live in Liverpool last year, and Trevor mixed the resulting recording which has just come out on the Fundacja Słuchaj label from Poland. It sounds great, and was the first time I got to use my Golden Age Project ribbon mic in action, which Trevor ended up preferring on both his alto and soprano.

Solo guitar album from Jose Dias, out now on Clean Feed.

Next is a session at MMU in Crewe, featuring my friend José Dias and his solo improvisations to silent films. Only the music remains, and it’s a luscious ambient record is glorious stereo (we used two U87 mics that the uni has…), and plenty of my Earthquaker Levitation reverb on the guitar. Pleased that this is out this month on the Portuguese label Clean Feed, click the picture to find out more (it’s on all good streaming platforms too).

And last but not least, I’ve already told you about it of course, but in case you missed it, I recorded the new Beck Hunters album. Mixed by Alex Bonney, it’s out now on Discus. But you already knew that, of course.

P.S. Here’s a picture of me at it again, recording my brother’s quartet recently. Sounded great, keep an eye out for it in the future…

New Releases 2019

I’m writing this from day two of the sessions for the next (fourth!) Sloth Racket album, in an amazing studio near Leeds, photos on Twitter as per usual. Anyway, I had two new releases out in January, both very different from each other, both I’m really proud of. Read on for the details…

First up is the new Beck Hunters album ‘Has It Been Found?’ – released on Discus* again, recorded by me and mixed by Alex Bonney. Beck Hunters is Mick Beck, Johnny Hunter and myself and we’ve been improvising together as a trio since about 2012 I think. Every time we play we managed to surprise ourselves.

And then, just a week later, came ‘Awakening’ by Nick Walters & the Paradox Ensemble. Nick’s first release as the Paradox Ensemble was way back when I was still involved in running Efpi records. Since then he invited me to join the band, along with a few others, expanding the line-up to 13 musicians, and the new record is out on 22a records. I’m told it’s number 3 in the iTunes charts as I type, but you can and should buy it from Bandcamp, of course. Or in person at the album launch gig at Church of Sound in London on 22nd Feb. This is my first time on vinyl, and my first release it a while that you can actually dance to…

Last but not least, while I’ve got you here, you might be interested in my pedals? I’ve been filming a series of me talking about how I use them in various Beats & Pieces Big Band tunes, mostly exclusively for our backstage subscribers through our Bandcamp page (a very valuable way of supporting the music!), but we put one on YouTube too, take a look here if you like.

Cheers for reading!



*coincidentally, it was Martin from Discus that first introduced me to the studio we’re in with the Sloths right now, the Chairworks in Castleford. We did the Storytellers record here too.

Improvisation Videos

Here is a collection of videos of me improvising that I’ve found and/or uploaded recently.

First up, here’s a short solo I filmed at Rodrigo and Angela‘s house.

And a couple of visits to Mopomoso in London, first with Beck Hunters earlier this year…

… and then last year with Steve Beresford, Seth Bennett, Shaun Blezard, Julie Kjear, Shelly Knotts and Rachel Musson.

Hope you enjoy!

The Hunt Is On!

Last year, Beck Hunters (the trio of Mick Beck, Johnny Hunter and myself) released our debut recording The Hunt Is On on Discus Records. You can have a purchase of it here if you’d like. Or, more excitingly, you could come along to one of these gigs and buy from our beautiful selves in person! I’d really like to see you, so I hope you can make it…

Beck Hunters UK Tour 2015

Thu 5th FEB – Over the Top, 78 Kingfield Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield, S11 9AU 7:30pm

Thu 12th FEB – Noise Upstairs @ Fuel Cafe Bar, 448 Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M20 3BW 8:30pm (improv night with open jam sessions, BH set at 9:30)

Sun 15th FEB – Mopomoso @ Vortex, 11 Gillett Square, London, N16 8AZ AFTERNOON SHOW 2:30pm

Wed 25th FEB – Safehouse @ Good Companions, 132 Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 3TE 8pm

Sat 14th MAR – Halton Mill, Mill Lane, Halton, Lancaster LA2 6ND 8pm

“Agressive when it needs to be, but comfortable winding down into unhurried, meandering humour, it sounds like a miniature Art Ensemble at play.” – Daniel Spicer, The Wire, 2014

“…truly mind-blowing, ranging between a cardiac arrest, epileptic fit and a nervous breakdown. The trio are extremely tight, threatening to unravel before skilfully coming back into sync.” – Rob Aldam, Now Then Magazine, Oct 2013

“Ne esci curioso e in vita. Roba non da poco.” – Kathodik, 2014