Bang The Drum

Dominic Bailey-Clay is an in-demand producer, multi-instrumentalist, new(ish) Dad and all-round good egg (see pic). And, furthermore, he’ll be hitting things for Bike to The Future.

Solid State

Dom is one of those musician on whom many rely but of whom few are aware. He is responsible for producing some of the truly great acts to emerge from our environs and beyond. At the mixing desk, he’s an absolute legend but is also not afraid to get his hands dirty and muck-in on a multitude of instruments.

I first met Dom when he was working with local heroes Port Erin, with whose bass player I was performing in Rivers of England. We spent many a happy hour together at Glastonbury festival. Which became increasingly happy, the more I accepted the offers of shared herbal cigarettes…

Mixing it Up

Having become aware of Dom’s wizardry in the studio, I approached him to mix some tracks for my recent solo album ‘Never There at All’*. Not only did he do a blinding job, making sense of my sometimes over-complicated arrangements, he also augmented these with great session playing of his own. Replacing sampled electric guitars with real ones, layering acoustic drums on top of pre-recorded loops and dirtying-up Hammond and strings samples, Dom transformed my efforts into something way better than I could have achieved alone.

Spreading The Love

So, it was a natural step to introduce Dom to Rivers of England (with whom I play drums). He duly produced our recent EP ‘A Quarter to Eight in Spring’, with stunning results. Stand-out tracks are ‘Time Rolls On’ and Dom’s re-mix of our take on ‘Always on My Mind’. The latter has been enjoying radio play as far afield as Germany and Macedonia (no – me neither), so we’re poised for that long-awaited breakthrough!

Stage Presence

With all that behind us, it’s a joy to have Dom make a guest appearance in Bike to The Future. Dom joined me – briefly – onstage for my last Fringe show ‘Think of a Conclusion’, so he knows the ropes. He’ll be the one at the back, keeping us all on pointe and driving home the groove.

Did I Mention My Album?!

As mentioned, Dom produced my solo album ‘Never There at All’ from his wonderful studio, Nine Volt Leap, in Melksham. I can thoroughly recommend both to any musicians out there looking for a convivial recording space and a proactive producer. Dom has a terrific range of drums, synths, guitars and other instruments on-hand to enhance your performance. His studio also boasts an impressive array of vintage outboard effects, to get that unique sound you’ve been searching for.

Several songs from ‘Never There at All’ feature in ‘Bike to The Future’, so what better way to prepare yourself for the show than to grab yourself a copy? ‘And how would I do that?’ I hear you say. Well, it’s funny you should ask…

Free Download

* Just forward me your booking confirmation (to brian@madmusik.co.uk) and I’ll send you a link for the album download.

And to get your booking confirmation, you’ll need to book. Which you can do here:

Mr Bassman

Introducing Jason Albarin, who will be making a guest appearance on the bass for ‘Bike to The Future’. It’s fair to say that if you’re where Jason is, you’re generally where the party’s at.

Plucky Fellows

Jason and I first met as fellow rhythm-makers for blues-funksters Plucky Purcell. In that line-up, I was on drums, whilst Jason played percussion. At the same time, we performed in opposite configuration (Jason on drums and me on percussion) with retro-alt-popsters Thompson’s Lovechild.

Jason is largely responsible for my song ‘Avin it Large’, which featured in the ‘Think of A…’ fringe-theatre trilogy. He was part of a posse of Bath party-heads, who would show up at gigs and festivals with alarming regularity. They would dress to the nines and generate good vibes through their exuberance and general merriment.

For One Night Only

Plucky Purcell were playing at Sunrise festival one year. It was a great vibe and we had the whole place dancing to our funky grooves. Afterwards, I was taken under the wing of said crew and given a make-over. So, with glittery face-paint, fluffy jacket and curly wig to disguise my normally staid appearance, I became – for one night only – one of them. And ‘ad it large!

Want to Know More?

If you really want to know more, you’d better listen to the song. And if you want to listen to the song, the best way to do so would be to claim your free download of my album ‘Never There at All’. And to claim your free download, just forward your booking confirmation for ‘Bike to The Future’ to me at brian@madmusik.co.uk .

And to get that, click here:

Don’t Tell Anyone…

Yesterday, posters for my up-coming show ‘Bike to The Future’ were delivered to the Rondo, where I will be performing on 29th October. (Please put that date in your diary and do book your tickets early*).

An Open Secret

But there’s something you ought to know. And this is an open secret within the theatrical community. If you are involved in that world, it may not come as a surprise but others might think it strange.

The truth is, when you put together a theatre show, things happen in a peculiar order. One of the first things you generally do is create promotional images. Then, you’ll write some ‘blurb’, describing your masterpiece to prospective venues. After that, you design posters and flyers to attract audiences. Then, you write a press release for the media…

Something Missing

So, what’s the big reveal? Well, something’s missing from that list… The show!

I’ve worked on many theatrical productions, as composer, musician, writer and performer. And, in most cases, the show itself hasn’t been created until all of the above has taken place. But don’t be alarmed.

In order to produce all that promotional material, you really have to know what the show is going to be about. You need to have a clear vision of the mood, style and flavour of the performance. And you must be sure you can deliver, when it comes to putting it all together.

New Adventure

This new adventure follows on from my trilogy of ‘Think of a…’ Fringe shows. The structure will be similar to those. The audience (you, I hope) will be taken on a journey by way of a sequence of songs and the stories behind them. Along the way, there will be the odd surprise (well, it won’t be a surprise anymore – duh!) and some special guests will be joining me.

So, all I need do now is write the thing! Well, the songs are written. The structure is in place. Special guests are booked. And everything else will follow. I can promise you will be royally entertained and look forward to having you along for the ride (pun intended) 😊.

Free Album Download

*Email me your purchase confirmation (brian@madmusik.co.uk) and I’ll send you a link to download my recent album ‘Never There at All’ for free.

Well That Was Weird…

Monday was the first performance of ‘Think of a Song’. No, don’t worry, you’ve not missed anything – this was the non-public part of the performance. If you haven’t fully grasped the concept of this show, let me explain…

All in the Mind

But first, I want to share my experiences from Monday’s show. This was performed in its entirety, with no breaks or edits. The space was empty, save the film crew, audio technician and myself. What was disconcerting was the sensation that, having thought the introductions (the part that will be heard on 31st May) in my mind, I than had the strange sensation of not knowing whether or not I was actually singing out loud .

It was clear that I was playing the guitar but I very nearly forgot to externalise the vocal more than once, as I had become accustomed to the voice inside my head. This was an interesting and disconcerting part of the experiment and, I have to admit, adversely affected my performance. It should not have been a surprise, since I always think of my shows as being a dialogue with the audience. Yet I came away with the distinct feeling of having in some way let myself down.

Experi-Mental

As an exploration of the role of the audience within a performance, this has – then – already yielded some significant results. All the more fascinating to see how it goes ‘on the night’. That is, the ‘second night’. Let me explain:

On May 31st, I will be performing the introductions to my songs in front of a live audience, who will then join me in thinking the songs as I play them through – silently – in my mind. Yesterday, I performed those same songs, in the same space, out loud and thought through the intros. This was all captured live on camera and digital audio. Footage from both performances will be edited together following the live show on May 31st and audience members will receive a CD of the songs they have just thought. Clear? Thought not!

Please don’t forget to book your tickets while they are still available. These can be ordered from Bath Festivals Box office on 01225 463362 or online here .