Country funk band playing Willie Nelson, Dillard & Clarke, The Band, etc, and some originals.
James Stallard - vocals and rhythm guitar
Oliver Boyne - lead guitar
Jim Driscoll - keyboards
Nick Kulukundis - bass
Paddy Forwood - drums
Psychedelic trance band, specialising in parties, raves, etc. Currently our set is improvised around a series of colours and elements, lasting about two and a half hours with projections.
Meru - vocals, guitar, percussion
Jim Driscoll - keyboards, samples
Nick Kulukundis - bass, samples
Ollie Turner - drums
Alex Middleton - keyboards, samples, DJ support
Chris is a fantastic singer-songwriter that I met through Nick Kulukundis. He writes beautifully simple and poetic songs and I absolutely love them. Here is a link to his Soundcloud page, and here is a link to his (also excellent) blog.
Chris, Nick, and I are recording a CD of Chris's songs. It will be ready when it is ready. But Chris and Nick already made a CD several years ago, which is available here. (It was Steve Jobs' favourite album apparently. No shit.) This new one will be similar and yet completely different. Of course.
The Hex Project
This is in its very early days. In two parts.
Part One. A series of songs, based on the wonderful folk song archive on Wiltshire Council's website. At the turn of the century, a fellow called Alfred Williams went round collecting Wiltshire folk songs. But he was a poet and interested only in the words, so he didn't make a note of any of the tunes. So there is this vast archive (check it out here) of (mostly) words without tunes. No doubt there are some people who will be able to work out what tunes went with some sets of words, folk songs (being no respecters of county boundaries) tending to appear in variant forms all over the country. But from my point of view, this is a vast collection of lyrics waiting for tunes to be put to them. A gift to a songwriter, especially a lazy one. I am mining this collection. Avidly.
But being the slightly autistic, system-obsessed freak that I am, it is not enough just to write a few songs based on these lyrics. Oh no. There has to be some kind of structure. So my plan is to write, based on lyrics from the Williams collection, six songs in each of the six modes (alright, alright, I know there are actually seven modes but I can't get my head round the seventh at all, it sounds pretty weird, and medieval music theorists ignored it as well), giving a total of thirty-six songs in all. I am about four songs into this project. As I say, early days. Now I have this lovely website, I might try and make a rough recording of some of them and post them here.
Part Two. Find other musicians to form a sextet to play these songs. (See what I mean about being system-obsessed.) This band will be called The Hex Sextet (or maybe The Sex Hextet, or is that a whole other kind of band?). I would love it if this band can also be actors, so we can perform Lydia Shears live. That would really make my day. We'll see how that goes.
Nick Kulukundis is a bit of a geek like me. He is, as it happens, a computer geek, which I am not. But he has this lovely artefact (picture opposite). This is one of the first bits of computer memory, made at Harvard in the 1940s by a Chinese guy called An Wang, who turned up out of the blue and ended up designing the very first form of computer memory. The pictured object (which is about four inches by four inches) is one of the actual things that he built. It can store one bit. There's eight of them babies make a byte, and a billion bytes make a gigabyte. That means that your iPad has the equivalent of about thirty-four billion of these things inside it. There's progress for you.
Anyway, me and Nick have hatched a plan (talked about it at least) to form a psychedelic ska band. And I would like to call it Dr Wang. I have some songs already (some from the end of the Drug Squad era, others more recent). All we need now is to record. I see this as a studio project, but it would be lovely to play some fierce and crazy psychedelic ska with a full horn section. You can but dream. But I kind of feel ownership of the genre of psychedelic ska already (see here for what The Drug Squad got up to).
Watch this space.