QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“I could never make love to music because I’m not into the woman, I’m into, wait, what did the saxophone play in the sixth bar? Oh man, Jesus, that was not good!” — Burt Bacharach to David Toop (GQ, 1996)
Yeah, OK, we’re not gonna do a straw poll about what is your go to, doing it music, but you know, if you are a musician, you could well, like the late, great Burt, be put off your stroke, so to speak, by a bum note. Priorities, people!
YOLANDA CHARLES MASTERCLASS
In other news, Yolanda Charles MBE ran a blinding workshop here last month for bassists and drummers. We had wonderful feedback and the price, we think, at £75, was great value for the experience. There’ll be more to come from Yolanda so watch this space. Bass player Nicholas Klyne, who attended the course, said, “Yolanda’s ability to work with, meet and support each person from where they were was brilliant and I deeply appreciated the non-judgemental environment that was created and the chance to play with lots of different drummers and bass players.”
CRASH COURSE FOR BACKING SINGERS
Also in Feb we ran another hugely popular course, this time for Backing Vocalists, in partnership with gospel artist and top-flight session singer Lurine Cato MBE, who brought in Norwegian pianist Leif, fresh off the plane and onto the keys, and on the last day, recording artist and former Amy Winehouse backing singer Zalon Thompson, whose phenomenal track You Babe, was the basis for the final session. Lurine kindly but sternly whipped everyone into pitch-perfect shape, so that by the time Zalon arrived, suited to the nines, he had a great-to-go BV lineup, with multiple harmonies and sounding like pros. Again, watch this space for the next course or email email@example.com to ask to be notified.
CLOCK SONGWRITING CAMP
We’ve been working in partnership with the CLOCK YOUR SKILLS programme, who ran a song writing workshop here last month and the participants came up with some stellar stuff, both in composition and in the recording studio. We stuck our noses and oars in to see what was going down and got a blast of a tune Victor and Lasanta were working on, an atmospheric soulful track called Breathe In, Breathe Out. Victor particularly benefited from the feedback by PRS Members Council President Michelle Escoffery who talked about adding and releasing tension to the track. We asked Lasanta how she would categorize the song (every artist’s least favourite question – we pull no punches) and she said contemporary R’n’B. She said the process had been “difficult but good, in a challenging way.” More info from: www.clockyourskills.com
ART OF ARRANGING COURSE
Hurry, we have just two places left on this brilliant course run by Janette Mason, over two weekends: 25 March and 1st and 2nd of April. If you’re a composer or songwriter with a hit song in the making, with lyrics and top-line melody, Janette will give you the tools to arrange your song ready for a master recording, which happens with a pro band on that final day. Learn about form, harmony, style and structure, preparing lead sheets, working to a click track and getting your song 100% ready for the master cut. The cost of the whole three-day course is well below our normal studio recording costs, so you get a fantastic sounding, master track at the end. Price held at £345 including an intensive vocal lesson and plenty of time to rehearse your song with the band. More info here and to grab one of those last places email quick: firstname.lastname@example.org
JAZZ PIANO PERFORMANCE COURSE
Oh, we had us a time last year, at this lively and workshop-heavy live piano course run by the irrepressible Nikki Yeoh with Tim Richards and John Crawford. This time they’ll be getting you ready for your big performance on 7th May, backed by a killer band with, wait for it, Binker Golding on sax, Dominic Howles on bass and Mark Mondesir on drums! You can read a fuller course description here, but on the last day it’s the all-important live performance and party (all free!) for friends, fans and family. Reserve your place now (£275 for all three days) here: email@example.com
WHO’S BEEN IN?
Amongst many others last month we welcomed… Trigger Fish, Self Esteem, Decades, James McVinnie, Sam Gellaitry, Tomorrow’s Warriors, I Can Community Church, Boy Bleach, Yiddish Twist Orchestra, Dan D’Lion, PP Arnold, Fi McCluskey, Esprit D’Air, Certain Blacks, Folded Wing, Luke Haines, Dylan, Black Country New Road, Liberty Church, Slow Thai, Isobel Waller Bridge, Danny Silverstone, The Barbican, Areena, Yazmin Lacey, Julian Siegal Orchestra, Mark Lockheart, Glory Choir, Funk Houses, Biig Piig, Elephant Kind, Sad Night Dynamite, Yellow Days, Kirsty Dillon, Moonshine Heavies, Jazz Jamaica, Nubya Garcia, Gabriels, Eliza, Sarah Gillespie, Robyn Hitchcock, Patchwork, Ven Bee, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, The 6ix, Carcass, Adam Washington, Becky Hill, Perhaps Contraption, Rachel Chinouriri, Tall Poppies, Motown in Motion, Jocelyn Brown.
BRIT AWARD WINNERS
Great to see some of our regulars scoring big at The Brits last month, including Becky Hill (Best Dance Act), Fontaines DC (International Group), Flo (Rising Star) and the fabulous Wet Leg (Breakthrough Artist and Best British Group). Huge congrats you guys, and a Premises fry-up on the house when you’re next in!