He’s like a metronome – it’s ****ing weird!
Hello! I am a professional musician, in my twenties, based in the UK.
I specialise in percussion (drumkit, orchestral percussion and a variety of ethnic percussion) and keyboards (piano, electric piano, Hammond organ, synths, etc.); I am available to hire for studio sessions and live work across the UK, or abroad. I also write and/or arrange music to commission and produce the tracks in my studio here in Norwich. In 2014 I released my first solo album, Bones From My Back, featuring sixteen original songs.
I also teach music, both privately, and in local schools and youth music projects – including working as a percussion tutor for Sistema In Norwich, and working with musical theatre students at Music Arts Project.
If you're interested in learning more about me, or in more information about my teaching, or performances, please navigate around the site using the links above.
Thank you for taking the time to look around my website - please don't hesitate to get in touch!
We’ve now been in Milan at the SEYO Summer Camp for three full days (and when I say ‘full’, I really do mean that – they have been three long, intense, full-on, exhausting days!), and it really is a fascinating experience.
A few things have mainly struck me so far… The standard of the students participating is very high – in the advanced orchestra, where I am working with the percussion section, we have been able to focus on little details, points of technique, performance advice, and other minutiae, almost right from the start. The students are all excellent players already, and this makes for very interesting, dynamic sectional rehearsals with a lot of ideas being thrown around and a real rehearsal process being very much in evidence!
The incredible passion and enthusiasm of all the teaching staff is also plain to see. Given the number of different countries participating, and the fact that as a team of tutors, many of us had never met each other before and we have just been thrown together from different Sistema-inspired projects across all of Europe (each with their own, slightly different, customs and ways of doing things!), I think we have gelled pretty well. From my point-of-view, I feel privileged to be working alongside a fantastic percussion tutor in sectionals, and under conductors in full rehearsals who really know what they want from a piece of music and have a vision for the performance. I think this mix of nationalities and backgrounds is perfect for an experience like this, and means that we (the tutors) end up learning lots too.
Finally, it is abundantly clear what an amazing opportunity this is for all the students who have come on the course! The chance to learn from some top professionals from all over Europe, and to play big, exciting orchestral music, is enormous. As is the chance to be inspired by the National Children’s Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (part of the El Sistema programme, with some children as young as six), performing in the breath-taking setting of La Scala.
Thanks to the hectic schedule here, this is the first time I’ve been able to post any updates – bar uploading a few iPhone pictures ‘on the fly’! – and I don’t know when I’ll be able to write anything properly about it again. I shall try to post more details when I get an opportunity, though. So after another very long day of rehearsals, and with another early start tomorrow morning… Goodnight!
Day three, and we’re all rehearsing onstage in the Teatro degli Arcimboldi this morning, except the strings! They’ll join the rest of us later this afternoon for the first tutti rehearsals.
Intense first sectional rehearsal in Milan, working on Shostakovich’s Festive Overture (Op. 96).
I wanted to write a little bit about the gear I am using on the road with live ’90s dance music show Ultra ’90s this summer, and share some of the reasoning behind why I’m playing this setup and why it suits this show so well. Here we are in setup at Golden Coast in Woolacombe, Devon, from behind the kit:
The kit I’m using is my Carrera custom ‘Sound’ kit with an 18×14″ bass drum and 10×6″ and 14×10″ toms; it’s perfect for touring, as it’s small and lightweight (which helps in reducing the strain on the stalwart Ultra ’90s van which has to carry to the entire rig from place to place!) thanks to the thin birch shells, but the toms still have good projection despite their shallow depth. The toms are also close mic’ed with Sennheiser E604 drum mics. The bass drum is fitted with a mesh head, and all the bass drum sounds are triggered with a Roland RT-10K, going into an Alesis DM5 module.
I’m using two snare drums here – my 14×5.5″ steambent maple Carrera Tunkan Ingan prototype is my main snare, but I also have a 12×5″ Mapex hammered steel snare as an auxiliary snare. This drum is tuned up very high and snappy, and it also has a Roland BT-1 trigger bar on the rim; this triggers a massive dance music clap sound from my Roland SPD-S. There’s often little variation in dance music drumming, so all the contrast and interest in the parts comes from adding and taking away layers of sound; playing a rimshot on the auxiliary snare means I can layer an electronic clap with an acoustic snare sound with one hand, and still be free to play the hihats or the ride cymbal with my other hand, so I can switch to this from my main snare going into a chorus or anywhere where the track feels like it needs to ‘lift’. Both snares are mic’ed with Shure Beta 57s.
The SPD-S itself (on the right, next to the floor tom) I use to trigger various samples – as well as the electronic snare and clap sounds, I have rising sweeps and bass sub drops to use when appropriate in the music. Also on the same stand is my iPad, which is running Presonus UC Surface – a remote control app which communicates with the mixing desk for the show via a closed local WiFi network. The whole show is run to a click track, so being able to have full control over my own foldback mix for my in-ear monitors directly from the iPad is fantastic! I use ACS T3 in-ear monitors; playing sets of (sometimes) up to two hours without breaks, I really appreciate the T3s’ clarity of sound, and the comfort in my ears.
I like to vary the cymbals I use quite often, so I don’t always have an identical cymbal setup to this. I quickly get bored of using exactly the same configuration of cymbals every night, so it’s fun to switch things up every so often and get different sounds out of the kit. The combination of cymbals in this picture, however, is one I really like and have been using quite a bit recently…
The hihats are 14″ Paiste 2002 Sound Edge hihats, which are great for this type of gig as they are bright and cutting with a lot of definition. The main (left) crash is a 17″ Paiste Signature full crash – it has a bright, glassy crash sound which really cuts through the mix (even with all those layers of synths!), but it’s also great for sensitive washes on quieter sections and build-ups. The ride is a very new acquisition, but one I’m really liking – a 20″ UFIP Bionic ride, with lots of stick definition without being too ‘gongy’ and overpowering. The second (right) crash is rather an interesting one; starting out life as an 18″ Dream Contact crash/ride, it has been modified and repaired by the very talented Benjamin Camp at CymbalMagic into an explosive, trashy ‘effects’ crash with dark and complex tones – it’s great for accents, and introducing a bit of contrast into the sound of the show. All the cymbals are nicely picked up by the overhead mic, which is an SE Electronics SE4a.
On this show, I also use Pellwood Rock Classic Short sticks and Axis X-series pedals – both of which feel just right, and are comfortable for playing for long periods with no breaks, without getting tired.
The Ultra ’90s gigs are always really fun, and touring with these guys is something to which I really look forward; having the right gear to take on the road makes sure I can always do my job to the best of my ability, and put on a good show for the crowds every night.
The long-awaited hard copies of this spring’s Jamie Roe Band EP, Reach For The Tide, have finally landed! Contact Jamie through the website to order your copy now.
Unsure? Listen to a track from the CD here:
I am delighted to have been chosen to be one one of the tutors going to this year’s Sistema Europe Summer Camp, which is being held in Milan, Italy; a colleague from Sistema in Norwich and I will be going with a delegation from Sistema England, to work for eight days with students and other tutors from Sistema-inpired projects based across Europe.
This is a very exciting opportunity for me to work with some fantastic music professionals and to learn from them – and to be more involved with the Sistema movement as a whole, to just here in Norwich but throughout Europe.
Keep checking back here after 21st August for more updates on my time working with the Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra in Italy, and all the wonderful activities we get up to!
Here’s a quick promotional video for the new Ultra ’90s Fresh lineup, featuring me on percussion:
I’ll be playing at a variety of music festivals with Lucan Mills and his band this summer. The full details of all Lucan’s shows will be available on his website, but I will hope to see you at the festival appearances I am doing this year:
- 02/05/15 – Almost Summer Festival, Shoreditch, London
- 15/05/15 – Great Escape Festival, Brighton
- 08/08/15 – Kaya Festival, Margam County Park, Port Talbot
As always, you can keep track of everything that’s going on over at the Calendar page.
I was one of two keys players involved in making this record, which was done at 4D studios in Milton Keynes, and it’s been a very interesting and creative journey, working with Lucan and the rest of the band, to get the tracks to this stage.
The EP will also be available to buy – either digitally or as a physical copy – later this summer, so keep an eye out for more details.
I will also be playing various music festivals with Lucan and his band over summer this year, so I shall post a list of those dates as soon as they’re available, too.