Live Lounge 2

Last week we returned to Radio 1’s Live Lounge with Ella, this time to play her latest single Mirror Man as well as a cover of James Bay’s Hold Back the River. I was kind of nervous about this one as it was my first time singing backing vocals on something with Ella…but thankfully it went really well and I didn’t completely ruin the song with my singing. Well, actually you can be the judge of that, here’s the vid:

We also did a cool live session for MTV last week – not sure when it airs but I’ll post it when it does.

In other news I’m about to redo my pedalboard (again) and it is going to be an absolute MONSTER. With a bit of help from my two new favourite companies Temple Audio and RJM I am gonna put together a pretttttty special board. And soon! Will do a geektastic blog about it when it’s up and running.

Get Busy

Last week I got to do something I never thought I’d get to do. Not in a million lifetimes. If you’d told me that on the day after my 26th birthday I’d be stood on stage at the tonight show, in the Rockefeller Centre in New York City, playing with The Roots – I’d have slapped you like the crazy person you so obviously were. Yet somehow, by some ultimate miracle of awesomeness – this actually happened. Ella went and got a slot on the tonight show with Jimmy Fallon – and seeing as I was out there in NYC with her doing promo, I was able to join in for her performance of ‘Ghost’ on the show. This is largely thanks to my amazing production and tour managers; Tubbs and Tubbs (we call them both called Tubbs, get over it) – who put in the request for me to do this, so thank you boys. It is also of course, thanks to Ella, without whom I wouldn’t have been able to take this amazingopportunity, so thank you E-Dawg! Anyway I could go on about it forever (and will do to all of my colleagues, friends and family) but I’m just gonna say what I know you want to hear if you’re a fan of these guys: yes they groove so, so hard – and yes they are all classy, stand-up dudes (especially my man Riq G’s). It was a career highlight and an experience I’ll never forget. So without further ado, here’s a video of me playing with The Legendary Roots Crew. FRANK KNUCKLES ON THE 2’S AND 4’S YALL!!!!!

 

I can now die a happy man.

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USA & Canada ROUND 2

2015 started with a trip to the states with Ella, which was a pretttttty sweet way to start the year if you ask me. First we headed over to New York where we played on a  couple of TV shows (one being the Late Show with David Letterman, which was a HUGE bucket list tick for me – will stick the video below), did some promo stuff, and played an album launch show at the Diamond Horseshoe, which was killer. After a brief stop off in Washington DC (yes I went into full tourist mode and visited all the monuments) we headed to LA for a few days, which was warm and sunny and we had lots of time off so we played football and ate chicken wings and then Joe fell off of a bucking bronco. We did actually do some work though; we played on Sharon Osbourne’s TV show The Talk, and did a cool acoustic session for Young Hollywood, as well as some other bits and bobs that I cannot remember. After The Talk the rest of the band stayed in LA for a little holiday (still jealous) while I went back east with Ella to do some more radio promo in Miami and Detroit – and then we went over to Canada…

..I feel like this is getting boring so I’m gonna break it up with a picture of this huge deer/mammal skeleton I saw at the Natural History Museum in NYC:

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Whaaaaaat! those antlers are bananas!! Right?!?

Anyway as I said we went to Canada, which was so very very cold. We hit Toronto and Montreal (which was -18 degrees celsius at one point. What the hell, Canada?!) and did various acoustic performances on various TV and radio shows, which was fun! Think I’m finally getting the hang of this Ghost tune now.

So the next couple of months are all about promo for Ella’s fourth single ‘Mirror Man’ (TUUUUNE) as well as gearing up for the Take That tour in May. Obviously when I say gearing up I mean buying and fiddling with lots of guitar gear that I want and probably don’t need. Speaking of which; I must give a shout out to the lovely folks at Duesenberg Guitars and Fred at Divided by 13 Amps for making such amazing gear – my Duesenberg served me extremely well on this recent trip and I was also lucky enough to have a fresh FTR 37 waiting for me at every show – so thank you guys for being awesome.

Now, feast your eyes on this Letterman video:

BBC Awards

Last year ended with a really cool gig, and that was the first ever BBC Music Awards at Earl’s Court. Not only did we get to play there with Ella, we actually ended up doing a sort of joint performance with her and the super talented Labrinth. We played right at the beginning of the show just after Coldplay opened up. You could say that Coldplay opened for us. And I do say that.

It went really well and was loads of fun – see for yourself in this super sweet video:

2015 is looking like it’s gonna be a busy year, and we’re starting it off  by heading out to New York this Sunday for an album release show and a bunch more TV & Radio promo. I will almost certainly not blog about it while I’m there, and probably not for a while after I get back either – because when have I ever blogged about anything less than a month after it happened? That’s right, never. #bloglife

 

USA & Canada

Recently got back from an amazing trip to the states and Canada with Ella and co., where we played on some cool TV and radio shows. It was the first trip we”ve done with the whole band and I can”t wait for the next one – the whole team is awesome and we have tons of fun together. Halloween in NYC was especially good; we had about an hour after finishing promo to go and buy our costumes before heading out to see the parade, so we snatched up some turtlenecks, some wigs and some glasses, and went as the Beatles:

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Nailed it. Plus we”re British so all the Americans loved it.

Anyway on this trip we played 3 major US TV shows; The Today Show, The Ellen Show, and Late Night with Seth Meyers. Ella killed it on every one and as a result Ghost has shot into the top 20 out Packages for a THC marijuana drug test can run up to $125 and include a self testing kit, THC marijuana drug test drink, THC marijuana drug test pills, tea, and THC hair marijuana drug test shampoo. there, so that”s cool. My favourite video of the three is from the today show, mainly because of the dude in the audience who is going in hard on the Dad-dancing, check it out:

Also definitely watch to the end to see the presenter”s weird reaction (around 4:20).

Crazy Americans.

So Ella”s next single is a beautiful tune called “Yours”, but unfortunately for me it”s a piano ballad, so I won”t be doing much promo for it I don”t think! It”s cool though, we”ve still got a good few shows and things planned before the year is out. As for next year it looks like we”ll be going to the states again early on, and then come April we”ll be heading out to support Take That on their UK arena tour, which will be bananas. Roll on 2015…

Live Lounge

Last weekend we bundled into BBC Radio 1″s live lounge with a string quartet to play some stuff with Ella. We played Glow and Ghost (the latter of which I believe is an “unlock able” extra on the live lounge website) and then ended the session with a cover of A Great Big World”s “Say Something” featuring Christina Aguilera, which – although I find In my years teaching middle high school football science, summer was always an ideal time to kick back and let my mind drift over events of the previous high school football year. to be a somewhat depressing, borderline morbid song – did sound very nice with the string arrangement and trademark perfect Ella vocals.. Have a little look and see what you think:

 

I”m currently in Cologne, Germany right now which I think marks the first time I”ve ever blogged from abroad, which is something I always say I”ll do but never get around to. So hooray me.

Berlin tomorrow and then home for a few days before heading out to Belgium next week!

Sunday Brunch with Pro Green & Tori Kelly

As the title of this post suggests, I recently found myself performing Professor Green“s new single “Lullaby” with him and his band for Channel 4″s Sunday Brunch show. I got the call last weekend as his usual guitarist was unable to make the session due to being ill. The show went great and I had a lot of fun – him and his band are a lovely and professional bunch of guys, and to top it all off we had the incredible Tori Kelly (who features on “Lullaby”)  singing with us which was amazing. She has casino one of the best voices I”ve ever heard and I really hope she becomes massive – she”s ridiculously talented, not to mention lovely, as well as absolutely stunning! I was unable to find the full quality version of the video so this one will have to do, check it out:

Mirror Man

Last month we went back into the awesome RAK studios with Ella to film some more live stuff. This time we went through four tunes with the full band and it sounded ace. The first video has just surfaced and it”s probably my favourite song of hers (lots of guitar), it”s called Mirror online casino Man and this is what it sounds looks like:

Shout out to Duesenberg and Divided by 13 for making me sound good!

Summer 2014 PART 2

Yeah so I forgot a bunch of things in that last post.

Firstly; GEAR. Thanks to the wonderful folks at Westside MI (especially my good friend and wicked guitarist Peter Honoré) I am now the proud owner of a beautiful Martin OM28e Retro. It”s the nicest acoustic guitar I”ve ever played and it sounds incredible. The Fishman F1 Aura system is brilliantly designed and every sound engineer I”ve worked with since getting this guitar has absolutely loved it! Here she is:

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Beaut.

This also leads nicely on to my next topic, which is GIGS.

I used this wonderful guitar for a few gigs and sessions with some other artists recently, one of whom was Nick Gardner. I was asked to play with Nick by my friend (not to mention keys player/sound engineer/MD extraordinaire) Steve Weston, who was given the task of MDing Nick”s first proper live show – which happened to be opening for Maroon 5 at iTunes Festival. I”m a big Maroon 5 fan so it was a special one for me to be able to open for them at the Roundhouse, and thankfully the show went really well (you can watch it here). Nick is a talented singer and a online casino nbso lovely guy, who will surely go on to do some cool things, so keep your eye on him! Here”s a cool shot from the gig:

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The other artist – or artists I should say – that I worked with this summer was a lovely group of girls who go by the name of Neon Jungle. I joined the girls for their Radio 1 Live Lounge session in which they covered X Ambassador”s & Jamie N Common”s “Jungle” – which was a ton of fun to play due to it being super guitary. Check it out:

And that concludes my massively overdue update. Hopefully I”ll get to work with all these guys again in the future, but until then it”s back to business with Ella.

Summer 2014

I am a terrible blogger.

Since my last update 4 months ago I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled to some prettttty cool places with Ella. Throughout June and July we flew to Sweden, Switzerland, Amsterdam, Spain, Germany, and the USA – all for acoustic promo and showcases (which all went brilliantly by the way)! Her debut single ‘Ghost’ has absolutely ‘smashed it’, or so to speak – having spent 2 weeks at number 1, gone platinum, and been named the best selling single of the year in the UK.

Following on from our trip to the USA at the end of July, we then flew out to Sydney in August, where we spent 4 days doing more radio promo – as well as a showcase gig, a breakfast TV show, and a performance on the Australian X-Factor. We then flew to Auckland for a couple of days for more of the same, plus a live acoustic performance on New Zealand’s One News breakfast TV show (which you can watch here).

Despite it being winter over on that side of the world we still had an amazing time – I loved Sydney and I REALLY loved Auckland. We had a day off before we left and got go and see Minnehaha beach, which was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to in my life. Here are some pictures which will definitely not do it justice:

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Above: The walk down to the beach

Below: The team setting up for Ella’s photoshoot

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Above: Ross and co. contemplating a dive off of the rocks

Below: Meeeee

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As you can see it was pretty special. What was not so special was the 31-hour journey home. Auckland > Melbourne > Dubai > London with a few 3-hour stopovers thrown in for good measure, was absolutely insane…

BUT WE MADE IT.

And actually – for another trip that fun – I’d totally do it again.

On top of all that traveling we also found time to do a few UK shows here and there (Here’s a clip from Fusion Festival) as well as film some really cool live sessions at the amazing RAK Studios. The first one to come out is an acoustic version of Glow and soon there’ll be some full band performances of some as-yet unheard Ella tunes, so I’ll make sure to post them here once they’re out. Until then here’s Glow:

Next up with Ella it’s a BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge performance and another trip to Germany, leading up to the ‘Glow’ and ‘Chapter One’ (Ella’s debut album) releases in October.