Wednesday the 23rd of October I played at Soupanova with the wonderful Mark Fernyhough for our debut gig as a trio. Between Mark's powerful vocals and Lukas Creswell-Rost's electric guitar amazingness, I had a great time providing the bass and a few of the solos. And this was just a warm-up... we are opening for Suede on November 18th at Huxley's (which, incidentally, is today!).
While I'm on the subject of Mark Fernyhough, we can skip ahead to Friday where we did a last-minute gig, decided on the day of at about noon, at White Trash Fast Food. What a surprise! Even though we don't exactly fit into White Trash's usual guitar/drums/bass/vocals combinations, we had some super enthusiastic reviews from the audience. As for me, I got comments along the lines of how amazing my "cello shredding skills" were, and for our slower songs, how the cello helped really pull at those heart-strings. It was fun!
But I am getting ahead of myself - that week included another "debut". Enda Gallery you may know as the Irish singer-songwriter I've worked with in the past, along with Iranian percussionist Shooresh Fezoni. Enda has been juggling a few hats recently with his new musical project MercuryMercury, which he started with his friend and electronics guru Dave Mooney. The two have been blending Enda's folk-like melodies and vocals with the clean, clear sound and driving beats of dance and electro music, creating a project that really brings the best of both worlds together.
The treat this time was that we added Dave to the Enda Gallery project, blending the two musical concepts together and using our combined skills to do justice to Enda's music as well as a couple MercuryMercury songs as a four-piece band. If you missed it on Thursday the 24th of October at Alter Roter Löwe Rein, be sure to stay in touch for our next concert, which will no doubt include a few more world-premieres of Enda and Dave's work, as well as never-before-heard versions of songs Enda has already recorded acoustically on his first album.
In other news, Velvet Starship just added a backup vocalist, Michelle, to the band. You can check out our latest rehearsal recordings on the blog, and see what kind of shaking it up we've been doing there, including the latest version of Jesus in Vegas with Michelle. If you like what you hear and have a place where you'd want us to play, just get in touch!
Last but not least, I taught an Improvisation Workshop this past Saturday the 16th, geared towards musicians who want to learn the basics of improvisation, and who have done little or no improvisation before. We got together for a day-long, intensive course, where we first worked on a few basic group exercises for improvisation and go over some tips, tricks, and technique which can help you get started no matter which style of improvisation you want to work with. In the afternoon we created a few improvisation "tunes" that we prepared together, to be performed that very evening in an open concert for family and friends, but because of some scheduling issues that didn't get a chance to happen. However, our lovely group will meet again, under the name Five Nation Improvisation, for a few tunes before one of my next upcoming gigs!
In case you missed it but wanted to go, I will be teaching another Improvisation Workshop in the near future, and will post about that when it happens as well
Hope to see you all soon!