Author Archives: Tom

Amongst many other beautiful things, a week in Las Alpujarras region of southern Spain (below the Sierra Nevada national park in Granada, Andalucia) yielded these three timelapses taken from our gorgeous house. The timelapses are very much a work in progress, but enjoying the learning curve….

Music  by the awesome, though currently on long-hiatus, oso.



Very happy to be taking The Katet on a 7 date tour in February. Look out, UK! for more details... for more details…

The Wolfpack 2: Frostbite

Two years ago, one dark night, I got a call from my very talented producer friend Garry Boyle (responsible for recording The Katet, Thunkfish & Horndog Brass Band amongst others), which went along the lines of “In the studio, need horns. Coming?” I called Matt Hawke, for he has trombone and a car, and we headed straight to Granton, and came up with some lines for a tune that some of Garry’s friends, along with Mike Kearney, had just written and recorded, simply for fun and experimentation. The result was the first ‘Wolfpack’ tune, ‘Mama Told Me‘.

On Monday, I met some of these guys for the second time, plus more more new faces, and we did it again. I hung out for the whole thing, inputted a bit more this time, and invited along Jonny White to join me on horn duties. I think we did the Wolfpack justice once more. Free to download and share:

The Katet – Chess

The Mike Kearney Ka-tet has rebranded as THE KATET. Simpler, isn’t it?

And what’s more, we’ve recorded 3 banging A-sides to go with 3 EPs for release over the next 9 months or so.

Here’s the first of them, complete with awesome video by Gavin Brown, and Mike:

Orkestra del Sol

I’m very pleased to say that, having depped a little (on alto/soprano sax) in 2011, I’m joining the incredible Orkestra del Sol as a permanent member (on tenor and soprano saxophones) in 2013 (founding member Oli being on maternity leave). The gig schedule is distinctly more modest than previous years, and all in August, but I’m looking forward to each and every one in its own way.

In May we spent a week in beautiful Atalbeitar in southern Spain rehearsing, and closed the Sunday night of Knockengorroch festival in Dumfries. While in Spain we made this little film, which is the nicest memento of the week I can think of. Cheers to the uber-talented Stephen Talneau for making it happen.

Orkestra Del Sol – Return of the comeback from Stephan Talneau on Vimeo.


I am still to work out entirely what IRèNE are about… and I can’t quite remember how I stumbled across them in this big old mess we call the Internet. But I do know I ended up on their label’s Soundcloud listening to their track Gant (below) and being rather excited.

Here’s a band, from France, made up of half saxophones (their line up is listed as drums, guitar, sax, and sax & electronics, in addition to a sound engineer), yet this track seems to deny the presence of sax entirely till a healthy 1’18” in. And when the sax does arrive, it is certainly no jazz fest. Single notes, as confident and simple as a metal guitar’s crunch… The track is a simple, 5 minute instrumental progger, as much jam-band style rock as anything jazz. Certainly no improvisation in sight, though.

As it happens, their album Nek has only just been released (October 2012) on Carton Records. And based on Gant, I promptly bought it. I wouldn’t say Gant is a typical track, but the raw simplicity of it is to be found to good effect through this album, although a little more experimental, maybe even improvised, in other parts.

Effects – where to start?

Starting off trying to get one’s head around the potential successes and pitfalls of wind instruments and effects, a sensible place to start would be YouTube… but once you get into it, there’s a limited amount of real information for a beginner.

This interview with Dengue Fever’s David Ralicke presumes a fair bit of prior knowledge of various pedals properties, doesn’t touch at all on microphones, and contains no actual audio of the sax effects he creates, but does touch upon a lot of the big pitfalls. Making it at least a realistic place to start, and could help you avoid or understand some of the common potential problems.