A few months ago, I had the pleasure of recording an original song in my studio; Lady Will You Be My Friend is a song from the debut novel On The Edge by retired Norfolk GP Tony Ashman – the song appears in the text of the book, and is sung by one of the main characters at a pivotal point in the plot. Without giving too much away, the song has quite an impact on the narrative!
James Porter Recording Lady Will You Be My Friend On Guitar
James Porter Recording Lady Will You Be My Friend On Guitar
Because the character in the book is a guitarist and singer, I was able to ask my friend James Porter to play guitar on the session at my studio in Norfolk. I then sang the track, and mixed it.
The finished track is now available to listen to on YouTube here:
Very excited that I’ll be back on drums with Jade MayJean and the 20SIXTY band in May this year, headlining the Framlingham Gala Fest on Monday 27th May with Jade’s original songs from the hugely popular 20SIXTY album which came out last year.
The festival is at the Framlingham Castle Meadow over three days from 25th – 27th May, and admission is free for all.
A recent article on the Sistema Europe website has put the spotlight on Sistema In Norwich’s ‘Performance Project’ – a brand new Sistema initiative for 2018-19.
Over the course of 12 concerts and just under a year and a half, Sistema in Norwich will engage with circus groups, the Norwich-based Vagaband, fellow Sistema-influenced groups and established musicians and composers from across Europe.
The project also provides the young musicians involved with the chance to compose for a variety of scenarios and formations, with pieces for soloists, ensembles, brass and wind sections all finding their way into the schedule.
The Sistema Performance Project thus increases Sistema in Norwich’s social impact, provides its students with additional performance time and accelerates their personal development, promoting self-confidence, resilience and leadership – all while building upon Sistema in Norwich’s existing connections both at home and abroad.
Sistema Europe website
The circus performance in collaboration with Lost In Translation – which took place in October of last year – was an exciting and innovative project, expanding our students’ horizons and bringing them into contact with other forms and settings of orchestral performance.
It is always gratifying to gain the recognition of the international Sistema community for our work, and it is an honour to be a part of a global musical movement with the history and pedigree of Sistema.
And with eight more Performance Project concerts scheduled throughout this year, there’ll be plenty more opportunities to check out the great work of Sistema In Norwich for yourself. Head to the NORCA & Sistema In Norwich website for full details of dates, venues, ticket prices, etc.
I am delighted to be able to report another term of exam successes for my students – with candidates taking exams on piano and on drums, ranging from Initial Grade up to Grade 5, with a 100% pass rate once again.
Big congratulations to all my students for their hard work and perseverance, and for their fully-deserved exam success. Now, keep practising – and onto the next exciting new challenge!
Delighted to be back at the King Charles Hotel in Gillingham tonight, to celebrate the legacy of the legendary Excalibur Nightclub – which, in its heyday between 1989 and 1998, hosted artists such as The Prodigy, Salt N Pepa, Rick Astley and Bros, amongst others.
Ultra ’90s will be onstage from half-past-ten, to give the Excalibur Nightclub the send-off it deserves.
I am delighted to announce that I’ll be playing percussion in a live orchestral performance for The Pisces Rising – a popular YouTube channel which re-orchestrates well-known theme tunes into large, epic-sounding masterpieces – at this year’s Summer In The City YouTube festival at the ExCel in London.
The performance will be on the main stage at half-past-five this Saturday, 11th August.
I don’t generally make ‘New Years resolutions’ – but one thing I did want to do as of the start of this year was to update this page more, and be more active here. So far, not so good…!
So what has been going on? Lots of work with Sistema in various local schools, which I am still enjoying and finding really rewarding. And lots of gigs with Ultra ’90s – in all it’s various flavours (Original, Fresh and Jam), both on drums/percussion and as a keys player and MD.
And in between all of that, we have had the eleventh annual Keyboard Camp this year, just one week ago. (More on that in a later post…) And I have been trying to get my studio setup and fully functional at my new house!
Having moved house at the end of summer last year, it has taken a little while to move all my gear across and start to get myself familiar with the new studio space. The big plan for this year is to get my recording work properly up-and-running, so I am going to try and start pushing that online a little more as I get everything finalised. Expect pictures and sound clips from the new studio sometime later this year!
There are also a few other exciting gigs and other opportunities coming up soon, which I shall be writing more about due course. I am currently writing this in a Costa just off the M5, on my way to another run of gigs in Devon on drums with Ultra ’90s – I’ll be home on Thursday night for a day or so, before heading straight back out on the road.
And as the year goes on, I hope that I’ll be able to stick to my ‘non-resolution’ of writing here more – and uploading ‘on-the-go’ a bit more! And, most importantly, that I’ll keep playing, keep teaching, and keep learning.
It has been a pleasure to play drums and percussion for Ultra ’90s – the hugely popular, one-of-a-kind ’90s dance tribute show show from PX Productions – for several years now; and when the show expanded in 2015 to include two lineups, I was delighted to be included as the original percussionist for the new incarnation of the show, Ultra ’90s Fresh.
Now, with demand for a good, healthy dose of old-fashioned ’90s dance music still outstripping supply, PXP are expanding the lineups once again…
As well as continuing to gig on drums with Ultra ’90s, and on percussion with Ultra ’90s Fresh, I am proud to say I shall be taking on the running of the third new lineup – which has been dubbed Ultra ’90s Jam – as the musical director, keys player and male vocalist.
I am very excited to have the opportunity to further expand my work with such a highly professional and well-regarded outfit as PXP – and I am always grateful for the chance to develop new skills (such as learning to program DMX lighting in ChamSys MagicQ), to learn to work with new equipment in different environments, and to push myself further as a performer.
It is an honour for me to have been trusted with this important role, and to continue to be such a central part of the ongoing success of Ultra ’90s.
I am looking forward to the first show under the Ultra ’90s Jam banner, at Hopton Holiday Village on Saturday 6th May – and to many more successful gigs beyond that… As ever, keep an eye on the Calendar for gig dates, so you can catch Ultra ’90s Jam at a venue near you.
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