Neil Cowley Trio - Session #7

Neil Cowley Trio - 2Seas Sessions #7

Should you not know the Neil Cowley Trio then you are are in for a big treat. A little background on Neil reads like a who’s who of all things Funk & Jazz.

Playing, recording and touring with the likes of The Brand New Heavies, Gabrielle, Zero 7, Adele & Stereophonics or his own amazing projects like Fragile State and now the Neil Cowley Trio, Neil is an ever morphing musician of huge talent. BBC Jazz award winning, Jools Holland playing and all round nice man, this is going to be just superb. “In a jazz world full of introverts, Cowley is a rare musical extrovert, someone who can actually communicate with a broader audience. It’s something to cherish.” – The Guardian

As a young boy pianist and composer Neil Cowley studied at London’s Royal Academy where his prodigious talent saw him performing a Shostakovich piano concerto at the age of 10. Turning his back on his classical career early on, he entered the world of old school RnB, soul and funk and by the age of 17 had begun to work with many successful bands including The Brand New Heavies, Zero 7, and his own chill-out duo, Fragile State. In 2005, disillusioned with making computer-based music, Cowley returned to his first love, the acoustic piano and formed the Neil Cowley Trio. Defined by powerful riffs countered by poignant, delicate passages and witty, whimsical romps, Cowley’s jazz-meets-rock ethic has earned him plaudits from across the musical spectrum. To date they have released four albums – Displaced (2006, winner of the 2007 BBC Jazz Award for Best Album), Loud… Louder… Stop (2008, hailed by Mojo as a “Modern Classic”), Radio Silence (2010), and their current, highly acclaimed release, The Face of Mount Molehill (2012), a recording that nourishes Cowley’s fondness for grand, commanding sounds and showcases his burgeoning talent as a composer and arranger for trio and strings.

2Seas Sessions #7: Neil Cowley Trio Videos



2Seas Sessions #7: Neil Cowley Trio Image Gallery


Phat Bollard - Session #6

Phat Bollard - 2Seas Sessions #6

We were very happy to have had the super alternative Phat Bollard over to Bahrain for one of our 2 Seas Sessions.

Phat Bollard are a travelling Cornish busking band. Hailing from Cornwall, England, they survive by busking the streets, touring the UK and living out of their van. Generally a five piece unit featuring two guitars, mandolin, washtub bass and percussion, they raise a ruckus with joyful noise and highly nuanced songs that deal with some of today’s most important issues.

They travel around the country playing in different towns and cities as they go. They sometimes take bookings for festivals, gigs and private functions if they like the sound of them and it seems 2Seas Sessions was something they liked the sound of. They shot into the public eye in may 2015 when a video of them busjing ended up on the BBC and they haven’t looked back since gathering quite a following around the world.

2Seas Sessions #6: Phat Bollard Videos



2Seas Sessions #6: Phat Bollard Image Gallery


The Leisure Society - Session #5

The Leisure Society 2Seas Sessions #5

The genesis of The Leisure Society spans back to the friendship made by Nick Hemming and Christian Hardy. We had the pleasure of the Leisure at 2Seas Sessions Nick, Christian and Mike played an amazing set for us, check it out.

The Leisure Society is an English rock band formed by Nick Hemming and Christian Hardy of Burton upon Trent. Hemming was formerly of early 1990s indie band She Talks to Angels, which included actor Paddy Considine, film director Shane Meadows and bassist Richard Eaton. Hemming wrote and performed music for the films A Room for Romeo Brass and Dead Man’s Shoes. He was also a member of The Telescopes. In 2006 Hemming moved to London to work with multi-instrumentalist and producer Christian Hardy; the pair have subsequently built a live band drawn from members of Brighton’s Willkommen Collective and further afield, notably Mike Siddell who previously played violin with Hope of the States and The Miserable Rich and currently performs with Lightspeed Champion and Troubles. Other members of the band played with The Miserable Rich and currently play with Sons of Noel and Adrian and more.

The Leisure Society have been recipients of considerable critical acclaim, being dubbed the English answer to popular U.S acts such as Grizzly Bear, Department of Eagles and Fleet Foxes. Their debut single, The Last Of The Melting Snow, was honoured with a 2009 Ivor Novello nomination for Best Song Musically & Lyrically. In July 2009 the band signed with UK label Full Time Hobby, prompting the re-release of The Sleeper with a bonus EP entitled A Product Of The Ego Drain. In September 2009, Brian Eno cited the band as “The only other thing I’ve been listening to lately with enthusiasm”, calling it “Such a beautiful album”. This prompted a meeting between Hemming, Hardy and Eno at Eno’s London studio.

2Seas Sessions #5: The Leisure Society Videos



2Seas Sessions #5: The Leisure Society Image Gallery


Muntu Valdo - Session #4

Muntu Valdo 2Seas Sessions #4

We are over the moon to have had Muntu Valdo join us in the studio for a 2 Seas Session.

Muntu Valdo, is a Jazz guitarist, harmonica player and singer from Doula, Cameroon. He has performed on-stage with Ali Farka Toure, Manu Dibango, Richard Bona, Lokua Kanza, Eko Roosevelt, Lionel & Stephane Belmondo, Keziah Jones, and Alpha Blondy, and has played at Womad music festivals. Muntu Valdo describes himself as a “Sawa Boy”, hailing from the Sawa people who live in Cameroon’s coastal region. With a guitar in hand, a harmonica at his lips and at his feet a deck of pedals – dubbed his “sorcerers,” Valdo performs and records an array of musical parts that create his multi-layered grooves via a series of loops. Totally amazing musician.

Muntu Valdo belongs to the Sawa community who populate the length of Cameroon’s coastline along the Golf of Guinea. His father is from the small village of Dibombari, 30km west of Douala, his mother from the Malimba Islands out in the Atlantic Ocean, famous for their oysters.
Muntu then is a Sawa, a child of the coast, a child of the
mangroves and of the water, a child whose birth was hailed
and blessed by the « Miengu » (mermaids) who are known to
protect or destruct people and populations depending on
their humour. Eighty kilometres east of Douala, the
economic capital of Cameroon and its most densely populated
city, is the town of Edea. It’s here, inside his
grandmother’s small house perched on the banks of
Cameroon’s longest river, The Sanaga that Muntu was born.
As a young boy his nickname was Muutu (from “Muut’esucudu”
which translates as “good student”), because of the
exceptional ease with which he could memorise and recite
stories and legends. With time Muutu will become Muntu.

2Seas Sessions #4: Muntu Valdo Videos



2Seas Sessions #4: Muntu Valdo Image Gallery


King Size Slim - Session #3

King Size Slim 2Seas Sessions #3

If you do not know the name King Size Slim in musical terms at least, then you are in for a absolute treat.

Heavy Weight Blues is how Toby describes his sound and he is not joking. One man HUGE sound, funky as you like and what a cool fella. Foot tapping blues, folk, reggae, soul with supreme lyrics. As you can may guess we are huge fans. We also got a little sneaky interview with Toby just to add to the mix. He is not a British Blues Award winner for nothing you know.

In 2005 Toby Barelli aka KING SIZE SLIM began experimenting with a new sound. A sound fully conscious of its roots but with a new story to tell. Having spent the previous 4 years touring and recording with TwoTone pioneers ‘The Selecter’ along with other Ska and Reggae luminaries, the sound was always going to be rhythm led, heavy on the bass and rootsy in the melody.

Big warm tones from his resonator guitar with a powerful and direct vocal style became the trademarks of the sound. Add rolling grooves, multi-layered percussion,vocals, harmonicas and myriad shakers to create a heavyweight acoustic sound that shouts loud and kisses sweet.

Performing around 150 shows a year across the UK and Europe built Toby Barelli a reputation as a powerful performer and a must see act on the roots, acoustic and blues live circuits. Shows at the legendary 100 Club, Camdens Jazz Cafe, Islington Union Chapel and Blues Kitchen announced KING SIZE SLIM to an enthusiastic London scene.

2Seas Sessions #3: King Size Slim Videos



2Seas Sessions #3: King Size Slim Image Gallery


Wizz Jones - Session #2

Wizz Jones 2Seas Sessions #2

Mr Wizz Jones is a true legend, at the ripe age of 76 (as we type) Wizz has been around the block and some.

We had Wizz over at the studio for a fantastic acoustic session and even got time to sit down with him and have a little chat. This resulted in a very long interview that we captured on film.

Before we get onto the interview, lets have a little talk about the fabulous acoustic set he done for us at 2 Seas Sessions. We always like to get 5 or 6 tracks from any artist that comes to the studio and thought at his age we would struggle. Little did we know that Wizz is a hardcore player and a trooper and we ended up with 9 tracks.

Wizz was joined by his son Simeon who played sax, flute and harmonica as well as backing vocals. Both of them true Gentlemen and a credit to the music industry. Take a look at the session they did, it is just wonderful.

So the interview, Wizz chats away about all sorts of things and people, including Rod Stewart, Billy Connolly, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton and may many more. We have edited the interview in to bite size pieces so you can enjoy them.

We will later upload a full length video interview. If you are not aware of the Magic of Wizz Jones then get to know now, if you do know him then you are really going to enjoy this interview and the acoustic session he did for us.

2Seas Sessions #1: Wizz Videos



2Seas Sessions #1: Wizz Interviews




2Seas Sessions #1: Wizz Image Gallery



HBR / Hassan Bin Rashid - Session #1

Hassan Bin Rashid 2Seas Sessions #1

So delighted to kick off our acoustic sessions with Hassan. He tipped up at the studio with a few legends as well.

HBR played six songs for us including two fantastic cover versions. One from the Stone Temple Pilots, Interstate Love Song & one from Zeppelin, Black Dog. Hassan took care of the vocals, while Hamish Stewart played bass, Danny Cummings kept the groove, Jamie Moses played acoustic and a little electric guitars and finally Melvin Duffy played steel & slide. You have to check this out.

Danny Cummings – John Martyn, Dire Straits, Luz Casal, Johnny Hallyday, Tina Turner, George Michael, Les McKeown, Penguin Café Orchestra, Elton John, Pet Shop Boys, Simply Red, Daniel Bedingfield, Talk Talk, David Sylvian, Mark Knopfler, Depeche Mode and Bryan Adams

Jamie Moses – Queen and Sir Tom Jones for many years, toured and recorded with Mike and the Mechanics, Bob Geldof, The Pretenders, Chaka Khan, Amy Winehouse, Gary Barlow and Tony Hadley to name but a few.

Hamish Stewart – Average White Band (AWB), Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, David Sanborn, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr again to name a few.

Melvin Duffy – Tina Turner, Robbie Williams, Jools Holland, UB40, Elkie Brooks, Chris Difford, KT Tunstall, The Waterboys, Joe Cocker, Squeeze and First Aid Kit

2Seas Sessions #1: HBR Videos



2Seas Sessions #1: HBR Image Gallery


Phat Bollard come to 2Seas

Phat Bollard are coming over to take part in our 2Seas Session.

The UK's finest buskers Phat Bollard, social singers and all round right on people will be with us early March.
More info to come as we get it. In the meantime take a look at them:

As featured on BBC and other international News:

Busker anthem is surprise UK election hit

Phat Bollard

The group Phat Bollard makes a living travelling around the UK playing to passersby in city centres. A mobile phone recording of their song "Millionaires", which criticises big business and peoples' attitudes towards the homeless, has been viewed nearly three million times on Facebook.

Full Article & Video:

King Size Slim in the house

We have just finished our 2Seas Session number 3 with the fantastic King Size Slim.

King Size or Toby as his mum calls him was simply a joy to be around and what a player.
We got down business and recorded six tracks, including a few off his forthcoming album.
Plenty of good vibes going on here that is for sure, the cups of tea were flowing and we had loads of laughs.
King Size Slim, All those that don’t know must get to know.
Pure passion coming your way soon. Why Not check out the gallery we have on the site to keep you in King Size Slim while you wait:

King Size Slim - 2Seas Sessions #3King Size Slim - 2Seas Sessions #3

Neil Cowley Trio - Coming Soon

Should you not know the Neil Cowley Trio then you are are in for a big treat.

Neil will be coming to the studio for a 2seas Session very soon. A little background on Neil reads like a who’s who of all things Funk & Jazz. Playing, recording and touring with the likes of The Brand New Heavies, Gabrielle, Zero 7, Adele & Stereophonics or his own amazing projects like Fragile State and now the Neil Cowley Trio, Neil is an ever morphing musician of huge talent.

BBC Jazz Award winning, Jools Holland playing and all round nice man, this is going to just superb.

“In a jazz world full of introverts, Cowley is a rare musical extrovert, someone who can actually communicate with a broader audience. It’s something to cherish.”
The Guardian (full article here)