My music

 

Bands

Cat’s Cradle

Current band playing intricate original acoustic folk with Gaz on tenor banjo, Jules on bodhran, and me on Mandolin

Website: http://www.catscradleband.uk/      Rough take of Sandango:

UK original acoustic folk band cat's Cradle

Black September

Terrible name choice: not my idea, I left over it. Dark (you don’t say) and eclectic indie experimentation. Albums released on Pomona Sounds, UK

Learning Silence is a song about being in an earthquake in Tokyo, which I have a suspicion may well be the end of me. My lyrics about being in the moment leaned heavily on the Zen parable: a monk is running away from a tiger; he comes to a cliff, jumps over and hangs from a sapling. Looking down he sees another tiger waiting for him to fall. Just then he sees a wild strawberry within reach. How sweet it tasted! Towards the end of the song there is a speech by Captain Ahab from Moby Dick by Herman Melville.  Featuring Mitsuko on vocals:

bs-1-cover-copy

Slaphead

Indie pop band. We split up, as it turned out the week before an offer came in to release something – classic move. ‘Damnation by perfection’ demo:

Seize the Day

First band, playing art/folk. Ropy as a ropy thing cassette 4 track demo of my song Dead Puppeteer with a young Lou Rhodes on vocals, later of festival electro darlings Lamb. It’s about overcoming the unconscious patterning acquired at an early age that can hamstring us in relationships – I’m surprised someone hasn’t come up with a system of psycho-analysis based on that by now. Warning: contains the word ‘inane.’

seize-the-day-band

Playing with others

Chumbawamba.

Played mandolin on indie album chart topping album Anarchy  and fiddle on similarly successful Shhh album by great political band Chumbawamba (famous for Tubthumper which was no. 1 in many countries round the world including the US, the UK and Japan)

shhh_chumbawamba_album-cover

Sportchestra

Punky multi-participant double album about the politics of sport. A classic of its genre. Wait a minute, there is nothing else in this genre. Played fiddle, whistle,  mandolin and banjo and designed the cover. Sportchestra (101 songs about sport)

sportchestra_101-songs-about-sport_coversportchestra_101-songs-about-sport_booklet

Yoshiaki Takahashi

Yoshiaki meets Geoff Read album released in Japan. I recorded him in a club in Tokyo then added stuff at home. The loudest voice in music, as I discovered when we did hilarious musical battle with the crowds on a busy pedestrian intersection competing with blaring music from shops. He won.

yoshiaki-meets-geoff-read-cd-cover-s

Yoshiaki’s song Taro is laughing is about Taro Okamoto (1911-1996), a Japanese avante garde painter, sculptor and muralist famous for his huge sculpture Tower of the Sun in Oska and anti-nuclear peace mural in Shibuya (below). Yoshiaki on guitar and vocals, me on unfeasible fiddle – makes me laugh every time:

taro-okamoto_shibuya