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Personal Notes

2016 / 2017 UPDATE

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2016 / 17 updates

October 2016:

So it’s been a while since I put an update on here…my apologies! The good news is I’ve been incredibly busy since my last update. During 2016 I launched my remote sessions service officially. After doing remote sessions for years I made it public and it’s been going great with more and more independant artists using my services to record live acoustic drums and electronic drums / programming. More details here: Remote Drum Sessions I recorded a couple of country records which are due for release this year and have more music waiting to be recorded for 2017.

I also took on the job of Musical Director for the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham for their Christmas Pantomime. Lots of programming and writing as well as charts for the band and I also played drums for the 7 week run. We had a lot of fun and broke box office records from previous years with over 42,000 coming through the doors to see the show over the 7 weeks.

January 2017:

5 days off with the family on a short break then straight into rehearsals for the current tour I’m on. After her come back tour in 2015 which I played, German artist “Michelle” has returned with a 29 date tour of Europe for which I’m playing drums and doing a bit of singing. We rehearsed in Gaga Studios Hamburg again run by a great chap called Hans Jurgen. He is a top guy and runs a great recording studio, details here: http://www.gagastudio.eu

We hit most major cities in Germany on this tour and we play Switzerland and dates in Austria also. See dates here: https://www.semmel.de/michelle-ich-wuerd-es-wieder-tun-live-2017.html

The rest of 2017 looks to be busy with more songwriting / studio sessions until more touring around August time….more on this as it happens.

Once again thanks for reading and please keep up to date daily with my twitter/instagram and Facebook pages. Links on my site.

Keep rocking peeps. Peace & Love!

FEBRUARY 2015 TOUR UPDATE – “MICHELLE” – GERMANY

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Back on tour during February/March with Universal artist “Michelle”

 

Hello all you lovely people on the web and social media sites if you’ve followed a link from my various feeds such as FB, Twitter or Instagram! Welcome to my first update on the site in 2015!!! Just a little update really as I’m prepping to go back out on the road. Last year I toured briefly with a big German artist called Helene Fischer playing percussion (lots of it!) but this time I’m back on drums with a German artist called ” Michelle”.  I’ll be honest…I don’t know a lot about this artist but it’s a pop show so I’m planning on using a hybrid kit made up from DW acoustic drums and Roland V-Drums. I love them both equally just like a father loves his kids favouring neither one more than the other. It’s the only way to view it in my opinion. Dance drums just sound better on the machines that make that sound and rock tunes sound better with loud ass acoustic drums! I get the best of both worlds with DW and Roland. The tour is short but should be a lot of fun and a lot of programming judging from my preliminary listenings of the material! I’ll be working with Musical Director Christoph Papendieck again on this which is always such a great pleasure. He is like a machine on the board of keys! In a good way of course! Plus he’s worked with such a great array of amazing artists and sets the bar high which I like.  Oh… I forgot to mention I’ll also be playing acoustic guitar and singing on this tour. I know, I know I should stick to the drums but they wanted an average guitarist who can’t sing and I said instantly ‘I’m your man!’ Haha!

For my German speaking friends the tour dates can be found here – http://www.semmel.de/de/suche/?wpf_crawler=Michelle 

Hope to see you on the road my friends. Stay well and be nice to one and other.

BS.

LEONA LEWIS IN BERLIN 2014

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Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

Sorry for the silence recently via my web blog. It’s been a busy time at Stone towers or rather on numerous planes and tour buses!

A few months back I had the pleasure of working with a great singer by the name of Leona Lewis originally of X-Factor fame. Since being on that show she has carved an incredible career for herself and had many hit songs. She has recently signed a new deal with Island records so I’m interested to hear what she’ll be doing artistically for the next album. It was a pleasure to have been asked onboard to play drums with her in Berlin and we had a great time bashing the tunes into shape. Originally I was booked for an acoustic show but we did some acoustic versions of some of her hits and a few covers, then a whole bunch of fully produced tunes from her back catalogue. I was actually quite shocked as to how professional Leona was and how she is a stickler for the details much like myself. I had kind of expected her to be what you would expect a typical X-Factor (new to fame) pop star to be like… all about the designer clothes and diva attitude and less about the music and how to craft  a show into something that is entertaining, musically respectable and honest. Leona was a true pro and spent a long time working on vocal parts and making sure she was happy with the vocal arrangements. We had a lot to do in a very very short space of time which is not new and I’m used to that but it was a lot of fun for me and the rest of the band…and I hope for her too. The show came together and was a good mix of acoustic and full band music which I hope we did justice to?

I played cajon / shakers and tambourine on the acoustic tracks which were kindly supplied by my percussion company AA Meinl who are based in Germany. Man…these percussion instruments always sound great which is why I use them and the range of shakers are just out of this world. I have a lot of shakers in my gear stores and always enjoy choosing the right one for various situations. I love that I can get so many different textures from them. Sad I know but I love shakers! I used the SH8BK and the Luis Conte signature SH4BK shakers on this gig along with a CAJ3MB-M cajon with a sure Beta 91 inside and an SM57 on the front. Along with these I used a mounted TMT2-BK and an incredible Artisan AE-MTA2B hand tambourine. The artisan stuff is just the best! Along side my percussion I had a small DW Collecters series kit with Remo coated ambassadors, my Zildjian cymbals and signature Vater sticks/splash sticks.

Although we’d known each other for a few years it was only my second time working with danish guitarist Peter Honoré. The first time was with Brian McFadden for a one off show in London which again was very little prep time and a full show of 25+ songs with only one day rehearsal! There is a pattern forming I can see it!! Anyway, it was a real treat working with Pete and indeed the rest of the great line-up of musicians on this gig. I especially enjoyed the company of the bass player 😉

The band were –

Leona Lewis (Artist)

Luke Juby (Piano/MD)

Peter Honoré (Guitar/Ambience)

Marizia Skeete (BV’s)

Charlotte Mckay (BV’s)

Logic (Bass/clicks & pops)

Ben Stone (Drums/Percussion)

Here are some pics from Rehearsal and the after party which was a lot of fun as you can see. Catch you soon on the road and thanks for visiting my site.

BS.

Leona Lewis 2014

Luke Juby doing his MD thing

 

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

 

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

Moét

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

Leona Lewis 2014

 

ONE OFF TOM JONES SHOW IN RUSSIA

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image image image image imageI’m sitting on a train traveling back home writing this after having just done a one off show with Sir Tom Jones on the 8th March 2014 in Moscow, Russia. Actually only the second show Tom has done in 2014. It was such a great pleasure to play and spend time with the legendary singer again after a break of 18 months since the last show I did with him in Dallas, Texas.

Moscow which I’d never travelled to before this show, was an interesting place. I can safely say I would not want to travel back there for anything other than a tour but I had a blast and was put up in an incredibly swanky luxury hotel/village which is never a bad thing in my book!

The band for this gig consisted of some of the finest musicians I know and we had a great time performing and having fun on and off stage as I always do with these great people.

I hope to upload some video footage soon of some of our performances. Keep a look out for this in the coming weeks.

It’s about time for some sleep now. See ya at a show soon.

BS.

The Tom Jones band in Moscow where –

Trevor Mires – Trombone

Henry Collins – Trumpet

Francis Walden – Saxophone

Jamie Moses – Guitar/Vocals

Alex Meadows – Bass

Sam Grimley – Keys/Guitar/Vocals

Christoph Papendieck – Keys/Vocals

Sophie Hiller – Background Vocals

Laura Critchley – Background Vocals

Ben Stone – Drums