“To keep a band together you simply need a gimmick. The gimmick I use is to pay them money.” Duke Ellington
Ah, getting paid is our kind of gimmick, better than say, getting fined for playing a bum note or making a wrong move as per James Brown. Of course, we’d like to say it’s all about love and passion and doing what you were born to do, but we see the less glam bits here, the endless rehearsals, the sheer graft. (Don’t mention blocked drains, Ed). So yeah, you have to do the transit van and petrol money thing for a while before you get to the lovely lucre bit. Then make sure your band leader channels the Duke’s gimmick.
FITNESS MASTERCLASS FOR MUSICIANS
Whether you move like Jagger or lean more towards the Liam Gallagher hands behind the back stance on stage, there’s one thing every performer needs as well as musical talent and that is stamina. Dancer, athlete and personal trainer Iona (www.ionafit.com) is running a two-hour masterclass for performers and musicians to improve strength, agility, and that all important stamina. So chuck out your energy drinks and come do some serious sweating with super fit Iona. There’s 90 minutes of a steadily paced workout including strength training, followed by a 30-minute Q and A on nutrition, energy cycles and injuries.
Sun Nov 5th from 11am-1pm. £20 for members, £25 for non-members. To register: email@example.com
THE ART OF STAGE PERFORMANCE WITH CARROLL THOMPSON
And speaking of getting stage fit, we are delighted to tell you that we have a brand-new course coming up in January which will help you figure out and master the YOU that goes on stage. Go from shoe gazing and embarrassed murmurs to owning that stage and making it your personal playground. Queen of Lovers Rock Carroll Thompson brings many years of expertise and playing regularly to huge audiences and there is nothing she doesn’t know about delivering a top performance, consistently, and transmuting the fun she’s having, to the audience. Topics include: stage anxiety, stage persona, audience connection, confidence, and consistency in live performance. Thompson says those first ten seconds on stage matter the most, to show you mean business… show business! The course ends with a performance and little party for friends and family. 26th, 27th and 28th of January. Times TBC. LIMITED TO ONLY 12 SPACES SO GET IN EARLY! For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
GOSPEL RECORDING COURSE
This is another new one and we are giving you a long lead time because you might want to consider getting this as a Christmas present for that Gospel singer in your life. In conjunction with the Gospel Music Industry Alliance we are running a four-day intensive course on the specific techniques for recording Gospel Vocals – a very different skill set to live singing. The course will give you all the knowledge and practical exercises you will need to deliver your best Gospel recording performance and culminates in your own professional recording in studio A with a band of top musicians. The course runs from 21-23 of February and the cost for the lessons and recording session (and the recording itself) is just £395 all in. A great present for a passionate Gospel singer, or yourself. Not for beginners. Info: email@example.com
LURINE CATO’S BV COURSE RETURNS
Another early heads up for the ever-popular Backing Vocal course run by Lurine Cato. Really only by doing the course do you come to learn all the different skills you have to consider to have a good chance of getting a BV gig. It’s not just about supporting the singer and making the right moves, but being part of the whole performing experience. I’ve sat in on a few of these lessons and Lurine’s a tough cookie but makes sure everyone has fun while working hard. You should already be a good singer with some experience, and to arrive BEFORE time to get in your warm ups. Again, a great idea for a present for keen singer you know, or yourself. The course runs from 22-24th of Feb with work friendly hours. So 7pm-11pm on the first two days, and 11am-4pm on the Saturday. Lurine has been known to bring in a guest singer so you could wind up getting a very happy surprise. £195 for all three days. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a busy half-term here in October as 17 secondary school students descended upon us to sing in Clive Brown’s Voice Jam choir. Clive worked his magic and got the initially seemingly shy and retiring young’uns singing three-part harmonies, solos, raps and improvs. They recorded Let It Be and Close Your Eyes, and really made the songs their own, working in all sorts of cool riffs and beats. The students worked hard but played even harder, enjoying a fairly raucous but fun party after the recording. We were over-subscribed this time but we WILL be holding another one in February half-term, all FREE! New sign-up forms will go out in January, but it wouldn’t hurt to register interest now.
WHO’S BEEN IN?
Last month we welcomed amongst others: D- Influence, Brand New Heavies, Funkbabies, Glory Choir, Sylvie, Bristows, Guillaume Jambel, Triggerfish, Kris Derry, Elephant Kind, Fran Lobo, Solomon, The Weil’d Things, Louis Dunford, Duke Street Big Band, Ashcircle, Picture Parlour, Brown Penny, Dylan, Leah Antonia, The Life and Death, We Walk The Earth, Black Country New Road, Alfie Whitbread, Louis Dunford, Martin Creed, Osibisa, Folded Wing, Trinity Laban, Fossils, Joy’s Slash Mob, Luke Powell, Issy Wood, Bat 4 Lashes, The Staves, Nilufer Yana, The Long Good Fridays, Octahawk, Laura Mvula, Nina Simone Legacy, Gi-Gi Moss, Mary Burgers, Moving Mirrors, Springfield Quartet, Cairo, Kawala, Sekou, Nate Brazier, Matt Felix, Bedlam, Wendy Bevan, Charlie Cunningham, Flyte, The Jam, Pulp, Gretta Ray, Jake Tily, NSG band, Do No Harm, Goldie, Soul 2 Soul, The Outpouring, Albion, Tomorrow’s Warriors, Byte The Music, Gretel Hanlyn, Rachel Chinouriri, The Huzband, Tenacity, Varun, Olivia Dean, Tara Dillon, Spearmint, Paul Williams, The Kills, Josef Shadwell, Shiva Nova, Hope James, Sound Walk Lab, Eva Liu, Gemma Rogers, Fazer Daze, Buzzy Lee, Satsuma, Meet Me @The Altar, Lola Young, Now Ex, Vanessa Brown, The Zeroes, Becky Hill and last but definitely not least, new afrobeat megastar REMA (above). Maybe in November, will see you here!