Photo by Ian Dunn http://www.principlephotography.co.uk/
Just wanted to give you all a heads up and share the blog from jake (below) regarding the cancelation of certain Jake Morley shows. Sadly, and not really down to lack of effort, love and commitment, we have to pull some shows, including our London Dingwallls date, (check my tour dates page to see which ones remain) This is down to poor ticket sales, and not wanting to piss off fans or promoters by playing big rooms to small crowds (lovely ones all the same)
I'm gutted and tired after just getting back from a very long day of driving after playing our first date at Manchester's fantastic Deaf Institute and will use this time to to come back fighting fit, playing well and rested. Was an awesome show last night. Thank you to all who came.
Jakes record "Many fish to fry" was the reason i came back to playing music as a living, it was my first record back after Nizlopi split and was produced by my dear friend Phill Brown, it's a record that has spawned wonderful things, great friendships, adventures even a red van. A record that took (me) a slightly broken man and helped make me strong again, so proud of it and all the great people and team surrounding it, so yep will take a little time to process this and put it into perspective (after all it's only a tour) but it matters, this is a musicians life and i have to say my little ego is hurting.
So heres what the man himself has to say.
Hope to se you at a show soonhttp://www.jakemorley.com/2012/05/important-tour-news/
Life on the Road
Well I lead a charmed life, I’ve just completed two legs of touring with the lovely Paper Aeroplanes, first leg was headline shows and the 2nd leg was supporting Ellen and the Escapades http://www.ellenandtheescapades.com/
They were awesome every night, was great to go on before an act that were so dynamic, we all became very close to, such great people, definitely a band you’d like to be in a bus with on a tour of America. Go see them/buy there record.
What I think is great about going out on the road every night is meeting new people, working the audience and transcending any sound issues, which I have to say there really wasn’t many.
Playing with Paper Aeroplanes is a nice challenge for a busy double bassist like me, firstly there’s fitting in with a duo that have been going for years and have a very strong and established connection both as great friends and as a musical partnership, it means they’ll often be ok with being quiet, were I’ll never shut up and keep asking everyone about how they’re feeling about everything (can be very entertaining and part irritating, I’m sure) It reminds me of how things were between me and Luke sometimes, were often a raised eyebrow says it all.
2ndly playing on delicate, melodic and often sensitive songs, means I need to play less and work on tone, (as I’m sure Sarah would agree) this is a work in progress for me, I love the great Danny Thompson and he had a way of moving sound that had massive impact without loads of notes, he once said to me that I play more notes live in one song, with Nizlopi than he had in his whole career (whoops) It was a different time, felt very free and it was my band to express myself, but me and Sarah had many chats about it and some of the later shows were just so much better for me taking a step back and leaving loads of space.
I’m going to miss touring with them and I miss the road when I’m home, often feel that is were I’m most comfortable.
Saying that I go on tour with the amazing Jake Morley http://www.jakemorley.com/
this may and it will be the last tour of this Album, so get tickets while you can.
There have been a few releases over the last month; I’m all over the New Polly Paulusma Record http://pollypaulusma.com/wp/
“Leaves from the family tree”
And Jake Morley Released A Live Ep With one of my fav tracks of the year “Ghostess” Was released for record store day and the artwork is lovely
Anyway practicing Has been an issue, never any real quality time, so have had to make do with 30mins here and there but it’s all sounding good, have a new set of strings on my bass and now they’ve settled in I’m a happy man.
Well I shall try and blog regularly whilst on tour put pics up etc… and generally keep you all posted on what’s going on.
Till then keep busy and stay well. X
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Just a quick note, to point you at my up and coming shows.
I’ll be gracing the stage with the lovely haunting melodies of Paper Aeroplanes in March and April and then stumbling over many notes with the wonderful Jake Morley in May, also a one off full band Polly Paulusma Show in May at the Troubadour. These will be all unique shows, every night will be different and I urge you to come along, support, sing, dance even get naked (if that’s your thing) and bring as many friends, family, loved ones and people your not sure about to as many shows (or if your me) to all of them. http://www.thejpdoublebassblog.com/tour-dates.html
Cool well I look forward to seeing you at a show, come up say hi, will love that it makes us feel meaningful.
Now practice. X
leaping into this
Good afternoon all, I write this listening to the pre mastered version of poly paulusma’s new record of which me and a great drummer Rastko are all over it, was such a great record to make, was given so much freedom, playing chords on the double bass (and thanks to Neil –on-guitar) my bass sounds massive, a big purring bear of a double bass sound.
So what’s been happening, well after to long a break (for me) The Jake Morley band (plus Fraser) got together to play, we spent the day shooting a few live in the studio tracks and then for are first gig back together was none other than at the world famous Jazz Café, ironically named as far as I can tell (it’s not had Jazz on for quite some time), although I’ve seen some great Hip Hop there and to be honest do Genres really matter?
It was a truly special gig, felt like the album launch all over again, got to play some new tunes to, which are awesome, def looking forward to the 2nd record. We also Played a BBC Showcase, which was actually very cool, we played the BBC Canteen, thought it was going to be quite a hard and tough audience, but it was great, the crowd were very receptive and appreciative, fingers crossed for good things to come.
Funny, the start to this year has been very slow Music wise, last year I played nearly every day and sometimes 2 or three times a night with different artists at different venues, the problem being I did a lot of work for free to get myself out there, be seen /heard etc… and with the help of many others built up other artists profiles, got them gigging organized etc… but this year I decided on a change, no more free stuff and that I would get my business head on, my hard work last year has def paid off but still it is slow, so my question/dilemma is what on earth do I do with all this spare time. Well after watching far to many Poirot’s (yes I love a good detective) I pulled my socks up, my practice has waned since giving up my lessons summer last year and being so busy had made it almost impossible to maintain a good schedule, so with the idea of turning negatives into positives I went out to find a teacher and with the help of a great musician devise a practice schedule that works for me, stretches me and stops me watching Poirot. So now I have it, it’s 4 hours a day, an hour at a time with 10 min breaks in between, focusing on piece playing, tone, left hand, bowing, scales, studies and new material, it’s great and I can feel it really works for me, I had a session on sat (with lyle Zimmerman) a week into my new schedule and I was flying, it takes commitment and sometimes I’d rather be in bed than doing it but those thoughts help no one so here’s to sore fingers and new musical horizons.
A lot of what got me out of my rut was a book by Geoff Thompson “The elephant and the twig” Basically it’s 14 rules for success and happiness, frankly when I started reading it I’d have settled for happiness, it’s well worth a read and has, as you’d expect many great tips and ideas but the jist is, if you have a dream follow it, no matter how hard, in fact it should be hard it should be earned, “through hardship to the stars” and for me something just clicked and I realized that I wasn’t trying as hard as I should, making contacts, following up work, even practicing and this is why I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t doing what I love well, and the well part is important, in order to perfect something you must practice perfectly so yep I’m following my heart to be the best person and double bassist I can be.
Thanks for reading X
Happy New Year Ya’ll.
Well It’s been a great start to the new year, just finished recording with the lovely Polly Paulusma in Cambridge at absolute studios, me and the very fine drummer Rastko spent two days laying down the foundations to her third record, was sounding awesome, so very excited about how it will sound with polly and strings etc, this is one to listen out for.
December was strangely busy, always a weird month for me, although I’m fully aware I can change that (and intend to) and often struggle to find much joy in any of the Christmassy stuff that happens. 2010 I worked for crisis in east London and bloody loved it, I couldn’t recommend it more, this year however I messed that up, as I promised my time elsewhere and the way I behaved meant that I didn’t end up doing either, (rubbish) so 2012 christmas… actually I’m going to leave that there.
So in what was looking like a challenging month (self inflicted) I embarked on a short tour (the unplugged tour) with Sam Brookes, Pete Roe, Emily and The Woods and Hot Feet, all amazing acts, we’d all do 20-25 min sets, totally acoustic and then at the end of each set all collaborate together, the idea that by the last date (St Pancras Old Church) we’d have a full set of collaborated music together, this we achieved easily and was a lot of fun to, highlights for me were Bristol and London, I really dug deep at these shows, playing with everyone on the bill at some time or other. I love the idea of bands/acts all working together, aiding each other and influencing each other rather than the silly competitive nature of most of the music industry. We aim to take this show back out on the road in 2012. I also recorded with the very talented Jamie Lawson which was a real treat, I’m enjoying this playing with lots of different people lark, I intend to do more of that this year ahead.
Plans for 2012, well, a lot of recording projects are in the pipe line, I want to gig hard this year, play many festivals and make ends meet for a change, I’d also like to teach double bass more than I do and in the coming months will set up an advise/ lesson part to this blog, I love sharing ideas so hopefully this will be a space to do that.
I wrote a huge number of new years resolutions but really they’re more reminders than anything else, I use new years as an excuse to start over, blank page etc.. I had a great start to the new year and wish that to continue.
Well all that’s left for me to say is, have the best new year and I hope to see and hear from you on my travels far and wide.
Best wishes. X
The end of tour’s/the end of an era.
Well normally I blog very rarely, but as so much has happened since the last time I felt I wanted to write.
Jake Morleys tour, finally/sadly came to an end in the town I grew up in and the Arts Centre I attended to watch many great bands and films (Warwick arts centre) it was a stressful gig, badly organized but luckily, with this team, of musicians, tour managers and (a soundman who went at it), we salvaged the gig from the jaws of defeat, and played a great show, a fitting end to a wonderful tour.
Thankyou to my friends who came down to visit and show support, felt very healing, has been a year of healing, rekindling old friendships, returning calls to absent friends, clicking back in with my old label and part of that process was getting back on stage with my brother, Luke.
Nizlopi graced the stage at the union chapel on Tuesday the 22nd, it had been over 3 years since we had played in the uk together, and there’s been an awful lot of water under the bridge since then.
So how was the gig? What did it feel like to get back on stage? Are we getting back together? Why did we do it?
The gig was very crazy, there was so much love in the room towards us, was deeply humbling and moving, was a very emotional gig for all that I spoke with after (which was many) and for me it was a challenge that I met head on, I got a massive spike of adrenaline when I hit the stage, one I’d not had in a very long time, but things were different, I was calmer, more focused and a lot more at peace with things, the gig itself was full on and it felt very speedy and quick.
Beatboxing and playing double bass is pretty knackering, I used to train very hard to be able to beat box (for our sometimes 2 hour shows), so I felt a little unfit, not been running as much as I’d like recently but we played well and gave everything we had to meet the flow of support and love we got from the crowd.
After the gig I spoke to people who’d flown across the world to be there, people who wanted to say thank you for the opportunity to say goodbye and thank us for our contribution to there lives. And that’s the thing, we weren’t so much of a band, more of a musical force and one I’d like to think of as one for good.
When we accepted Tony’s invite to do this gig for child line. We knew that it would perhaps muddy the waters. Are we getting back together? Was asked many times. And the straight answer is no. It was a pleasure to play with luke again, we built something so good, which I gave a massive part of myself to but now is the time for Luke to finish his solo record, (which I’m sure will be amazing) and go out there and gig by himself and spread his wings.
For me I love playing double bass, even just at home on my own. I have loved playing with all the wonderful people I’ve played with this year and being a big part of some of there journeys has been an honour, I shall continue to do this, although I’m gonna get better at the business side. I would love to teach more, there’s something so fulfilling about imparting your knowledge and watching someones love grow for music and the double bass.
Why did we do it? Well because it was time to forgive and forget, as the Americans say, “closure” we have been great friends this year and have done amazing work on our relationship, which made getting on stage not only possible but easy to. When we played ulu 3 years ago (our last gig) I wanted us to be clear, say goodbye, have the right people there and do it with a genuine smile on our faces, then wasn’t the time, but the union chapel was.
I’d like to thank, everyone who attended, put there arm around me and showed love and support, before, during and after the show.
Thanks so much. Xp.s Photo Above taken by the wonderful Adam Dickens http://www.adamdickens.com
Well it's been a bloody long time, a bloody long tour and i've never wanted to sleep as much as i just have. So what's been happening? me and jake have toured the country up and down several times, spending 11 days i think in Scotland alone, we've made many friends and played some amazing gigs.
I was torn at keeping a tour blog, would it be that interesting reading about, load in times, little niggles with the bass etc... and it posed the question what is the point of me blogging at all? when i was in Nizlopi i had to take my blogs down as they were too personal and in fact i named a few people i was annoyed at (never good) but alot more fun to read, 'than i woke in a travellodge now driving silly miles to play 45 mins repeat 50 odd times'. So here goes i thought i'd write about everything but the gigs.
Touring is a great laugh, it's hard work to but essentially (especially the scottish dates) allot of fun, me and jake havn't toured together before and i have somewhat of a checkered past when it comes to behavior on tour, or losing the plot, but things are different, i'm healthier both physically and mentally than i've been in many years but still my thoughts/worries were how'd we get on, would i wake and find him in his pants trying to throttle me with a guitar string or would he decide that perhaps i'm a bit boring with nothing to say. Well neither happened, one of the highlights of the tour has been how close me and jake have become, he's a man i have a massive respect for and good deal of love for to, he played awesome show, after awesome show, taking us from 5 drunks with bowel problems to 5 thousand people at the Hammersmith Apollo, a gem of a man.
We debated everything from my sense of humor/sarcasm to the jury system and the pluses and negatives of it.
You get alot of time to reflect on tour, like i say alot of your time is spent driving or hanging around, this never really changes (sorry to burst any bubbles) so the new 10.7 version of me spent some of this time thinking/reading up on things i'd like to improve on, relationships, which i'm rubbish at, bare foot running which i now do and i'm good at but alot of inner work, trying to meditate/walking meditation and trying to speak only when i know what i want to say, i tend to speak like i play Double Bass, lots of notes and then bit by bit i hone it in till i've nailed what i'm trying to say (a scatter gun approach).
Lying was brought up alot, mainly to do with a book by Sam Harris, which i've barely read, where the general point is that it's never right to lie, interesting idea i felt as i tend to over exaggerate what i do or big up my achievements, i often say i practiced longer than i have or run more miles than i have etc etc... so i would say i'm a lier but the mistake i made when i mentioned this to my partner and friends was that i presumed everyone lies but no it seems not, i'm def on my own there and so it caused all sorts of interesting conversations, where one person said i should perhaps seek therapy, my response was "oh not again".
Recently Boundaries have come up alot, i've never really had boundaries, something you get established when your a child, so mine are a bit all over the place, this is put into sharp focus, in relationships but also in my working relationships, i'm a tour manager and at times should lead the way, make decisions etc.. but it seems at times my lack of boundaries have caused more than a little confusion, trying to be everyone's friend rather than actually doing the best thing for the job in hand, so in good boy vain i'm reading a book on boundaries to, so with a bit of luck i shan't lie anymore and have wonderful boundaries.
In amongst all the wonderful Jake Morleyness, Nizlopi (my old band) were asked to play the Union Chapel for Child Line, set up by the lovely Tony Moor, all acts that are playing have played the legendary Kashmir Club. My feelings on this were so all over the place, Nizlopi was like living all my dreams, but as kipling realised that success and failure are both imposters, it took me a long time to get this, for me the good times in Nizlopi out weigh the bad but they were so extreme, we worked hard over many many years, touring up and down the country earning nothing, hemorrhaging money but making life long friends and the music we loved and believed we were here to make, we then had a number one in the uk and ireland and sold nearly a million singles and slowly disintegrated after many great gigs all over the world. Eventually splitting almost 3 years ago to the day. I was a very messed up person by the end of nizlopi, thought it my right to sell out venues, spend lots of money, i was a cliche, lead a totally immoral existence and hurt alot of people very close to me, this i'm not proud of but i've learnt massively from it, years of rebuilding has taken place since, jakes record was my first record back, "feet" was the first track that had moved me into action for at least a year. So yep some heavy shit had gone down and was very worried that this union chapel gig could put me back but you know after a bit of a wobble it's all been cool, the first rehearsal went really well, we could still play, i could kinda beat box but more importantly the work we and i had done on our friendship (which was in taters) had really paid off, we were playing as friends, so the music began to sing, i think it's going to be a great gig and i'm looking forward to our last show together as a marker in the sand in how far i've come, as the americans say "closure"
Well i feel thats brings us up to date, jakes last tour date on friday in my home town of warwick (at the arts centre) although it's actually coventry but don't tell anyone and i believe there's a party to try and enjoy on the sat but thats for another time.
Well it's been a busy time, Have survived the many miles driven, run and played this last week, had the best time rehearsing with Jake morley, harry mead and kev pollard. It's been great getting new material in the ear holes and under the fingers, look out for sneak previews of these over the next few weeks on jakes tour.
As jakes tour manager there's just so, so much to do all the time but thankfully a great new addition to the team Lisa Smith, has saved me from going a little stir crazy, (well ok i've always been a little crazy) She'll be selling merch and generally being brilliant, go up to her and say hi at the shows.
Gigs wise We supported the lovely Paper Aeroplanes in cardiff On friday, a great gig in clwb ifor bach, a truly wonderful venue have many fond memories from the Nizlopi shows there. Sat was Southsea festival and it was awesome, it looked like it was going to go really wrong, (sound man hadn't plugged stuff up before hand) but it was great and he worked his arse off to make it sound great, there's a real sense of community with all the artists and i know that may sound a bit naff but we're all friends and all supporting/routing for each other, Fiona Bevin was there, Paper Aeoplanes, Gideon Con, the list goes on and the glue was Kev Molloy, he put this line up together and it was awesome, buy that man a drink.
Sunday was T on the farm where i got to play with not only the lovely Jake Morley but the just as lovely (and to be honest) better haired Emily And The Woods, it was such a beautiful festival near Trowbridge and we met some lovely, lovely people and had a real laugh.
Tunes driving round have been the new Paper Aeorplanes Ep, Crazy jazz and when no ones around the odd bit of loud rock. The Jake Morley tour starts this wed and in honour i've bought new pants and socks, so even if i look messy and dirty my under garments are clean.
Thanks for reading and sorry for the lack of grammar and the awful spelling, can't be good at everything, although something would be nice. X
Jake morley, and me hard at work.
The pre tour rock and roll has already began.
2nd day in the Jake Morley House hold of Rehearsal, music and running. it's all going really well, we've been here since monday night where we played on the amazing bbc wales with Alan Thompson, we played three tunes and caused a great amount of havoc. We split our days between rehearsing new material tightening up existing tracks and tour management duties, which involves sitting at a laptop in a beautiful cafe in cardigan Bay and sending tons of e-mails, oh the joy. This is my first attempt at blogging i intend to blog regularly and use this for sounding off about all things musical.
Van listening at the mo is The new Laura Marling album, Fleet Foxs new album and Ed Sheeran's new album all throughly recommended. One thing i'm not getting much is individual double bass practice but this i shall rectify tomorrow with an early start. Thanks for reading and pls feel free to comment back. X