Posts Tagged ‘singer’

October tour with James Cook (and a spooky dare-to-dream story)

A few of weeks ago I had a message from singer/songwriter James Cook asking if I could join him the following week for a tour in Germany promoting his new album ‘Arts & Sciences’. I met James last year when I was on a tour of Germany with Robots In Disguise; James was the support and we had a lot of laughs so I didn’t hesitate to chart his songs and pack my bags!

I LOVE GERMANY! The venues are always great, musicians get treated really well and the people are so welcoming (and they’re organised and have health food stores all over the place – amazing!). As soon as I arrived we did an unexpected acoustic gig together in Rees, near the border with Holland, supporting Chris Pureka (whose music is completely wonderful – check her out here) which was a great way of playing together for the first time!

The next day we rehearsed the set in a florist’s shop (as you do) where we rocked the room so hard that a heavy plaster cherub fell off a wall and hit me on the back. I don’t stop for angels! Played on through, spurred on by the disco pig on the counter next to me

After a gig in Aachen we were joined by James’ violinist, Anne-Marie Kirby, and we played in Dusseldorf, Ratingen, Offenbach (where we met another great band, Sky Architects, from Denmark) and then on to our last date of the tour at White Trash in Berlin

I had a great week with some lovely people!

And the weirdest thing…

In 2006 I went to see Imogen Heap on her ‘Speak for Yourself’ tour. Her support band was a group called Nemo and I remember seeing them and loving their set; it was a gig that made me really feel and believe that I could make a career out of playing on stage myself. I remember their stripey drum kit, their tall bass player and their singer who did a little side to side dance.

One year later I joined Robots In Disguise and became friends with their tour manager – a very tall guy called Milan. Yep… you guessed it… Nemo’s bass player.

And here I am in October 2012 playing for James Cook, watching him do his little side to side dance (he was Nemo’s lead singer) from behind a stripey drum kit (the one I saw on stage with Imogen Heap).

Full circle!

 

Shanghai – Elle Style Awards with High On Heels

In November I was very fortunate to be asked along to a glamorous gig with an all female collective (DJ, singer, sax player and me on percussion) called ‘High On Heels’ at the Elle Style Awards in Shanghai.

After two 8 hour flights, many naps and several films on the in-flight entertainment we arrived in Shanghai. The hotel we stayed at was possibly the most amazing one I’ve ever been to – I’ve never had a TV in a mirror above the bath before!

So after enjoying a late night bath with a cup of jasmine tea, chocolate biscuits and some bizarre show that I can only imagine was ‘China’s got talent’ I had a relaxing day to enjoy the hotel and eat plenty of gorgeous food before sound check. Here’s what my percussion set up was like -

It made a nice change to have someone do my hair and make up (usually I slap it on myself in dimly lit venue toilets). The stylist wanted me to have a mohican, which worried me…

But it started out as this…

And ended up like this…

UK brand Aqua Aqua lent us some stunning dresses to wear for the evening, which you can catch a glimpse of in this VIDEO

There wasn’t much time to see anything other than the hotel and venue because straight after the gig we left for the airport and had another two 8 hour flights. I had a great time with the High On Heels girls though and enjoyed the small amount of time I spent in Shanghai. Hopefully I’ll get to go back sometime to see a lot more of the city!

 

Laura Fares (Sam Sparro)

This month’s feature is on Laura Fares, drummer for ‘Black and Gold’ singer Sam Sparro and a Zildjian/Pro Mark endorsee to boot. I met up with her in London to find out about life playing for a Grammy nominated artist and how she found her way into the music industry.

What age did you start playing drums?

I started really late – I was probably around the age of 17 or 18

You grew up in Argentina. Did you start playing the drums while you were there or when you moved over here?

Yeap, I started in Buenos Aires when I was at high school. I was just messing around with an all girl band, the typical teenage sort of band, just messing around and getting drumming books, reading and doing it on my own. I was self taught for a couple of years and it was a hobby, but then when I moved to the UK years later I thought ‘Ok, I’m going to actually study and follow it up’.

Did you move to the UK for drumming?

It was just life really. I wanted to travel for a bit – spent a bit of time in Spain and Italy and then I ended up in the UK. After a couple of years I just wanted to literally go to music school and do it properly, so I did.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE AT WWW.MIKEDOLBEAR.COM