We’re very pleased to announce that Kevin Robinson and Jerry Brown will be joining us for our forthcoming EP launch at the Half Moon, Putney on August 4th. Kevin plays Trumpet and Flugelhorn and Jerry Brown drums. A busy year means that the players on the recordings Dave Land and Paul Jones will be unavailable for the launch in 3 weeks.

kevinrobinsontrumpetKevin is a stalwart of the UK’s jazz/soul scene, with credits ranging from Courtney Pine, Jazz Jamaica All Stars and Matt Bianco to Incognito, The Brand New Heavies, Lauren Hill, Will Young, Paul McCartney, K-Class and himself!

Kevin and Gordon first met on tour with Mr Hermano (Mr Bongo Records) when the band toured European venues and festivals during the summer of 2001 following the success of their single “Free As The Morning Sun”. The record became a world-wide club smashand was voted Sasha’s record of the season in Ibiza.

Jerry GreenJerry is one of the UK’s foremost drummers, having played with Courtney Pine, Angie Stone, Roy Ayers, Incognito and Julian Joseph amongst others. His use of electronics with acts like Girls Aloud, Jamelia and Westlife has established him as one of the industry’s main ‘go to’ drummers for cutting-edge sounds mixed with rock solid grooves.

Jerry was drumming for Matt Goss when Gordon was pulled in to play a few gigs around the UK, including Tea In The Park, The Scala and one of the Hyde Park festivals. The two have stayed in touch ever since, performing together on many occasions. 

We’re very happy to welcome these master performers to the band, really looking forward to the results on the night! you can buy tickets by following this link: buy tickets for Eat Logic at the Half Moon Putney August 4th 2015

Making Your Own Band Video (part 3)

This is part 3 of our blog on shooting your first band video. You can find the previous parts of this article here: Making Your Own Band Video (part 1) | Making Your Own Band Video (part 2)

8) The Performance. Our band are all used to shooting in TV studios and doing videos for record labels, so most of this stuff wasn’t necessary to bring up, but here are some pointers for those without that experience. If you’re miming, it’s important to know how you’ll look on camera. It’s sometimes hard to convey the energy of a live performance, particularly for drummers and sometimes vocalists. For this reason, wherever possible hire a PA system and ACTUALLY PLAY along to the backing. This will convince the viewer much more. Of course, make sure that your chosen location is ok with the noise levels that are necessary to do this. The film studio we hired had mirrors along the back wall too, so we were able to see how we looked during each take. I’d highly recommend this.

You’d be surprised how many times I’ve come across musicians who don’t know the parts they’re miming to on videos. It may sound obvious, but learn the parts as if you’re preparing for a live gig. Have it down to the same standard and it will come across well on the video. Remember on a gig if you fluff up it will mostly go unnoticed, but on camera every detail is recorded and much more noticeable.

9) Be realistic about the number of songs you plan to shoot. Even if you’re having fun, shooting your own band video can be very tiring. On top of this, a photography studio can get very hot and this can take its toll on the band’s energy over the course of a full day. I don’t recommend more than 8 hours for a shoot, although I know many will be happy to go all day and all night. IMHO, keeping the workload manageable always makes for better quality outcomes. My own advice is to plan for NO MORE than 3 songs to get the best results. I’ve tried for more and the overall shoot suffered as a consequence, due to lack of good usable footage.

10) Have fun! This may sound like a given, but believe me, making your own band video can be a very stressful thing when you’re all in the moment. Being well prepared will help to keep the tension at bay and keeping the mood light and relaxing  is going to make everything run more smoothly. Make a day of it, bring your favourite wine, beer, non-alcoholic drink, tasty snacks etc and let yourselves go. Having fun in your video will sell you so much better and the interaction of happy people on camera is an important part of the performance.

If you have your own experience of shooting a band video and have any further tips for our readers, please get involved on the comments page. We’d love to hear from you.

Happy shooting!

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Making Your Own Band Video (part 2)

This is part 2 of our blog on shooting your first band video. Click here for Making Your Own Band Video (part 1).

5) Be clear with everybody about EVERY detail of the shoot. Trust me, leave NOTHING to chance. If your sax player played soprano on a track you’re shooting, but normally plays tenor, make sure you have that conversation – “you know you’re bringing the soprano to the shoot as well as the tenor, right?”. This will save wasting (costly) hours of shooting time and cab fares (assuming you’re shooting in the band’s home town) waiting for the correct instrument to be sent. You KNOW I’m speaking from experience, right! 😉

6) What to wear. Unless the band has very aligned ideas style-wise, or costumes you regularly wear to gigs, leave nothing to chance here. Discussion before the shoot is essential when making your own band video. Don’t expect people to read emails properly, make sure you have a personal conversation with everyone involved. I made the entire band email me ‘selfies’ of themselves in their proposed costume, which helped to co-ordinate our look much better and also put my own mind at ease leading up to the shoot.

If visuals/styling isn’t your strong point, try to involve another band member or someone in your network who thinks more along those lines. I work alongside one of the band’s singers who has a very strong sense of fashion and a fabulous wardrobe to boot! If you don’t have an immediate idea of what the band should be wearing, it’s a good idea to do some surfing to find out what other bands in the same genre are wearing. I tried to plan our look around Nu Jazz/Hip-Hop/Jazz musicians in the 50s and 60s and then tweaked it for our age group. ‘The older you are, the smarter the look’ is a good general rule.

7) Research lighting for films well in advance of the shoot. If you’re unable to get access to a lighting rig beforehand, I recommend watching a LOT of You Tube tutorials to understand the basic concepts. Plan as much as you can what kind of lighting you’re after for each segment and try to get into the studio as far in advance as possible (I recommend a minimum of 2 or 3 hours before the shoot) to play around with different lighting effects. If you get the lighting right from the get go it will pay dividends when you come to editing.

If you’re hiring your own lighting (we did), try to glean as much as you can from the hire company – there’s always some good insight or invaluable nugget of information which comes from people who are working professionally every day in their given discipline. Be well researched in advance, so you know what to ask.

Please follow this link for part 3. If you liked this blog, please head to our ‘subscribe‘ page and join our mailing list. You’ll be kept up to date with new posts, offers exclusive to members and free goodies such as tickets to gigs, mp3s etc.

Making Your Own Band Video (part 1)

VM_BeginnerVideo_00It’s not generally my habit to write blogs on subjects I’m not an expert on, or at least reasonably competent at, but ‘making your own band video’ is something I’ve been through and thought it might be helpful to share the process with anyone who’s considering doing the same. There were some excellent lessons I learnt along the way which are definitely worth passing on to first-time video makers. 

1) Stop thinking like musicians organising a gig and start thinking like a director/storyboard writer/lighting technician/wardrobe department/continuity person etc. If the band are equally invested in the outcome, each one of you could take on one of these roles, as long as communication is transparent between you. If you’re on a tight budget and not bringing in a DP (director of photography), then you’re going to have to fill all these roles and more. Worried about micro-managing? DON’T BE! Nothing is too insignificant if you want a successful shoot. That said, WHENEVER PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE, TRY TO BUDGET FOR A DP, or if you’re lucky enough to be good friends with one, get them on board by hook or by crook! A good one is worth her/his weight in gold.

2) Carefully plan your camera work. If it’s a self-shoot, decide what camera you’re using and organise a pre-hire/buy well in advance to try and get to know it. I bought an SLR which shoots video, as it’s a less expensive option, yet can provide great results for the level of investment. If you’re not using a DP, designate a camera person and make sure they know what you’re after. Bringing some friends or family members to help you shoot is a good idea, but make sure they have some aptitude for camera work! Setting up a few practice shoots beforehand is not a bad idea either. Try shooting a friend’s band at a gig maybe, but make sure you get permission from everyone concerned. If you can think that far ahead, it’s definitely worth storyboarding some aspects of the shoot, for instance panning shots or particular angles (arty shots etc), although make sure there’s plenty of leeway to capture the magic too.

3) Don’t shoot in a rehearsal studio! It’s unlikely that the space you rehearse in is suitable for making your own band video. To get good camera shots requires ceilings much higher than the average rehearsal space with plenty of room around the edges to move around the band and back away from them. It’s totally worth spending a bit extra on a space designed for photo shoots/video work, and these spaces often come pre-fitted with lighting and an infinity cove etc. Make sure the space has all the PA requirements you’ll need though, as some photographic spaces will not provide this and you’ll need to hire it in.

4) Recording and filming live vs miming. Yes, I KNOW in an ideal world some of us would prefer to shoot and record all at the same time. This is definitely possible, but is going to cost you a SHED LOAD more. For a start, you’ve no real choice about hiring a DP in this scenario, as you need real experts on board (check with your DP that they’re experienced at this side of things, as this is NOT something they can ‘busk on the day’). Recording everything live will entail hiring in a mobile rig with multi-tracking capabilities, technicians with a good knowledge of syncing to video and some expensive interface equipment capable of doing just that. The video cameras necessary for this kind of work are a LOT more expensive to buy/hire, more complicated to operate etc and it’s also going to take forever to mix the audio and match takes up before you can even START on the video editing. Trust me, if you can mime to a pre-recording, it’s going to save a bundle of time, money and energy!

Please follow this link for part 2. If you like this blog, please head to our ‘subscribe‘ page and join our mailing list. You’ll be kept up to date with new posts, offers exclusive to members and free goodies such as tickets to gigs and mp3s etc.