“She’s simply awesome, oooh
She dashed by me in painted-on jeans
All heads turned cos she was the dream
In the blink of an eye, I knew her number and name“
Welcome to June, and though we have mainly made The Premises a Platty Joobs free zone (that’s Platinum Jubilee in posh English slang) we can’t help but boast that we had the King-like Billy Ocean in, preparing for his world tour, as befits the workingest guy in the biz, who also clearly flirts with Royalty, based on his Caribbean Queen lyrics as above. Now that we’ve got an image of Her Maj frolicking in spray-on jeans in front of the awesome Mr. Ocean, we can’t un-see it. So take down yer bunting and read on to see what we’ve been up to in the heady world of music on Hackney Road
PIANO PERFORMANCE COURSE – SMASHED IT!
Last month on possibly the sunniest day of the year, Studio One became a jazzy nightclub for the climax of our sold-out piano performance course with each student joining Denys Baptise on sax, Dominic Howles on bass and Winston Clifford on drums. Tutors Nikki Yeoh, Robert Mitchell and Tim Richards had coached the players (ranging from ages 18 to, er, older than that) to play like old hands who’d been in jazz quartets forever. The best bit was a sort of piano relay race for the final number, with each student coming up to play 30 seconds with the band. It was dazzling and the most fun. We’re definitely gonna run this course again, so register your interest and get advance notice of dates: firstname.lastname@example.org
ANNUAL PIANO WEEK – WILL SMASH IT!
And for all you keen pianists who could not make the live performance course, never fear, as we are just few months off our annual summer Piano Week, also led by Nikki Yeoh. This course focuses on recorded performance, with five days intensive tuition leading up to a fabulous studio recording with Winston and Dominic (see above). This is our 24th year of running this course and places go quick, so get in now! Dates are 31st August to 4th September. Early Bird price of £395 (including master recording). To register, email: email@example.com
LANGUAGE OF RHYTHM SUMMER SCHOOL
Heads up for a course NOT being run here but by one of our studio regulars, Steve Marshall. This will be led by the performance company State of Emergency, and will be a five-day immersive course for musicians and dancers from 3-8th July at Dartington Estate, Totnes, in beautiful Devon. Some FULL bursaries are available. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
We were happy to partner with The-Latest in the recording of a landmark BBC Radio 4 drama-doc, ‘The Amazing Life of Olaudah Equiano’ (c1745-97) the freed African slave who became a key figure in the abolitionist movement. Listen here (and see if you can spot a cameo of our CEO Viv Broughton playing a baddie!)
CATS – THE MUSICAL (sort of)
Thought you’d like to know that our much-adored former studio cat, Doris, has retired to sunny Clapton on Sea (well, there’s a view of the River Lea) with the lovely Iona in her spacious, Zen flat. Doris is spending her days happily dining on the finest food, being lazy, doing crosswords and watching keep fit videos while mainlining Dreamies. Alright for some.
Meanwhile our new studio cat, well, when I say new, I mean slightly used by one careful owner, is the very handsome shy boy, Ezra. He mainly hangs out in the office as he adjusts to his alarmingly-new wild rock and roll lifestyle, but if you’d like to meet him, do pop up and say hello as he does best on a one to one basis. Bribery helps.
WHO’S BEEN IN?
In the last month we had the aforementioned Billy Ocean, FKA Twigs, Dora Jar, Jarvis Cocker, Ezra Collective, L Devine, Angel Olsen, Kamali, Cobey Sey and the London Contemporary Orchestra, Boy Bleach, Knucks, Daisy Brain, Anna Calvi, Nayana Iz, Attawalpa, Scritti Politti, Marc Almond, The Waeve, Abby Roberts, Keziah Jones, Carcass, Rachel Chinouriri, Miles Kane, Ava Wave, Mo Pleasure, Jordan Mackampa, Sad Night Dynamite, Green Tea Peng, Black Country New Road, Kate Nash, Nemhesis X, Emeli Sande, Grand Union Orchestra, Kathy (Sister) Sledge, Amaarae, Patti Smith (see below!) with Seb Rochford, Curved Air, Yolanda Charles and all the 16 PMEP piano players!
TIM RICHARDS PIANO PODCAST
One of our esteemed piano tutors Tim Richards has made a series of podcasts called Jazz Piano Library. Each one features a famous jazz or blues pianist, with a special guest joining the discussion each time. He’s covered Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner, Red Garland, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Bud Powell, Herbie Hancock, James Booker, Keith Jarrett, Professor Longhair and Dr. John. In the near future he’ll have Nikki Yeoh as guest and they’ll be talking about and playing the music of Chick Corea. Listen here.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
Indefatigable Premises regular Cath March – musician, writer, puppeteer, educator and all round good egg, brought 30 children from Holmleigh School’s Year 5 in to record their “Out of the Blues” material with Kate Shortt directing and accompanying on piano, Loz Speyer on trumpet and percussion support, with puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew operating Little Nap, one of the earliest marionettes made by John and Lyndie Wright of the Little Angel. The session, partially observed by your correspondent, was a consummate exercise in multi-tasking. It was recorded by Gary Stewart, and will be featured on the Invisible Needs website shortly, once Cleveland Watkiss has mixed in some magic in Studio A.
And finally… despite increased overhead costs, we guarantee there will be NO PRICE RISES THIS YEAR AT THE PREMISES. See you again soon!