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.