Aubade EP Now Available

We are pleased to announce the release of our first duo recording Continue reading

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‘Identity Parade’ at The Waterline, Dalston, 31st May

Excited about doing our second ever gig as ‘Identity Parade’ tomorrow at the fantastic new waterside bar ‘The Waterline’ in Dalston. Here is a preview: Continue reading

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The Chinese way, with Friendly Fires

Thought I’d share some photos and experiences from my latest jaunt with Friendly Fires, this time all the way from China!

The Great Wall

Our time in Beijing was brief, so upon arrival after an eight and a half hour flight the first thing we did after checking into the hotel was to embark on a trip to visit the Great Wall of China.

My feelings were mixed on arrival.

Steep Steps

Continue reading

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New Tracks Up

We have uploaded a couple of tracks from our debut ‘Identity Parade’ set at the Amersham Arms on May 1st.  The band is a trio consisting of Tom Hewson (keyboards), Peter Ibbetson (Drums) and myself. The gig was a lot of fun, and if you like it you can catch us next at the ‘Waterline‘ in Dalston on Thursday 31st May.

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New project ‘Identity Parade’

We have an SE Collective gig at the Amersham Arms this coming Tuesday 1st May supporting the excellent Alex Merrit Quartet (feat John Turville, Sam Lasserson and Jeff Williams). Here is some info about the band:

Nathoo/Hewson/Ibbetson ‘Identity Parade’

This new SE Collective trio was formed as a natural extension/synthesis of three projects, a duo between Nathoo and Hewson, a duo between Ibbetson and Nathoo, and a trio involving Hewson and Ibbetson. New material has been written by all three musicians drawing influence from artists such as John Taylor, Paul Motion, Tom Rainey and Tim Berne.

‘Blending improvisation with the heavily scripted, and lush harmony with manic atonality, they fuse thrashy grooves with introspective soundscapes’

Also, Tom has some exciting new toys to make noises with, and I may or may not be experimenting with some talent enhancers of my own! (We’ll see how the next rehearsal goes!)

It’s £3 before 8:30, £5 after. Hopefully see some of you there!

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Video of the MAP Album Launch now online!

After a long, drawn out shouting match with my computer, YouTube and the internet, the entire performance from the MAP Album Launch is now available to watch online. I have put all the footage in order in a playlist. Here is a link to that playlist: MAP Album Launch Video

Special thanks go out to our fellow SE Collective organisers and followers, Jon Shenoy and ‘Draw By Four’ and of course everybody that came down for creating a really great buzz on the night. We thoroughly enjoyed the entire evening and hope you did too!

The album is now available for download at the following sites:




CD Baby

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Very excited about our album launch at the SE Collective @ The Amersham Arms tomorrow. We will be primarily playing tunes from the record but might throw in a couple of newbies that we have been shedding as well.

Also joining us and releasing a new record are Jon Shenoy’s ‘Draw By 4’, a joyously groovy band led by shit hot tenorist Shenoy.

Really hope to see a few friendly faces – it should be a great hang!

Links to check out: for album tasters for all things SE Collective including timings, location etc. self explanatory…

MAP are: Alam Nathoo – Alto/Tenor Sax, Marcus Penrose – Bass, Peter Ibbetson – Drums

Draw By 4 are: Jon Shenoy – Tenor Sax/Clarinet, Kristian Borring – Guitar, Will Bartlett – Organ, Dave Hamblett – Drums


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… ‘and then there’s also my philanthropy work’

I care about your welfare, and as a result I recommend listening to:

Sonny Rollins Live in Europe 1959

Its actually about 3 or 4 records

Shame after this he stopped performing for two years because he thought he wasn't up to the hype.

‘Happening’ is the word that I would use to describe the majority of the tracks on this record. The hugely under-rated (in my opinion) rhythm section for the bulk of them comprises of Henry Grimes on bass and Pete la Roca on drums, and they are a hard swinging, fiercely reactive fold to the ever inventive Rollins, and in short, between the three of them, they just make me want to move/look like I’m practising for a local gurning competition . Other than the few tracks from ‘Live at the Village Vanguard’ (1957), I hadn’t heard much Pete la Roca, but on this evidence, I bloody love his playing. Really hip sound from the kit, dancing ride, very melodic accompaniment. He sounds so ideal for Sonny Rollins. Obviously he thought so too. Also, Henry Grimes sounds badass, combining a big, deep sound with relentless driving time.

It is also some of my favourite Rollins that I’ve heard – he seems to be able to do absolutely anything he wishes with the time and harmony at any tempo. Just within the first track ‘St Thomas‘ I can hear so much of the influence on the language/phrasing/attack/harmony of so many of the great modern players. And not just tenor players. There are a couple of phrases that sound like Kenny Garrett based his entire style upon them.

I could go on. This was never meant to be (and still isn’t hopefully!) a review, just an enthusiastic ‘share’. It’s brought/bringing me a lot of joy. You might enjoy it too.

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Expect the unexpected at Brockley’s Jam Circus, Thursday 8th March

This Thursday 8th March, a bunch of us will be playing at the excellent Jam Circus, the first set to be played by the house band, the second opened up to jammers.

The band is led by guitarist Josh Drew (check out his blog here) and has developed over years of weekly jams at the Royal Albert in New Cross with a regular pool of local professional musicians. The premise of the band is that all the music is improvised but is not genre specific – one minute can sound like something you would expect at a Pink Floyd gig, the next, thrashy punk that could morph into an afro-beat influenced dance track.

Josh will be bringing the group to Jam Circus on a monthly basis, so stay tuned for future jam nights.

It is free entry, and starts 8:30/9ish. So come and join in! All instruments and abilities welcome.

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Highlights from our trio debut @ E17Jazz

Yesterday I did a gig with Tom and Pete, our first as a trio, and I enjoyed it very much. Despite not having performed in this combination before, the freedom that those guys allow me and each other to really explore outside of ones comfort zone is extremely liberating, enjoyable and rewarding. I look forward to further developing with this line-up, continually building on what is already a firm base of musical trust. In the meantime, I recorded a bit of it to share with anyone interested.

Tom and I also did a bunch of new originals as a duo in the first set, but I failed to record that. One of Tom’s tunes had a particularly enthralling harmonic character, so hopefully we will record it sometime soon.

Stay tuned.

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