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Double Talk Review

Mojo Magazine **** (4 stars)

Travis' ambient and jazz leanings unite on this wonderfully trippy record featuring the leader's saxes and flutes, Mike Outram on space -rock guitar and Pete Whittaker's haunting Hammond. With Robert Fripp guesting, a groovy track called Portobello 67 and a rather beautiful cover of See Emily Play, this is a rare, fine English psychadelic jazz.

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Transgression Review

By : Martin Burns - DPRP - Dutch Prog Rock Page

Tenor saxophonist and flautist Theo Travis is well known in prog circles for his work with Steven Wilson, early Porcupine Tree, Gong, Soft Machine Legacy, The Tangent, Bill Nelson, Keith Tippett and with Robert Fripp in Travis and Fripp. Transgression is his first progressive jazz based album since 2007's Double Talk, which has provided his band's name.

He is working again with Mike Outram on guitar (Steven Wilson, Herbie Mann, Carleen Anderson, Jacqui Dankworth) and Pete Whittaker on Hammond organ (John Etheridge), who both appeared on that 2007 album. They are joined by Nic France on drums (Steven Wilson's Grace For Drowning album, David Gilmour's Live At The Royal Festival Hall DVD and Kate Bush, Robert Wyatt and Allan Holdsworth).

As one would expect from musicians with such pedigrees, the music on Transgression is expertly played, full of subtleties and fire. The music is more than well served by Steven Wilson's mixing and mastering of the CD. As the keen-eyed reader will have noticed, there is no bass player on this album. So the low end is provided by Whittaker's Hammond playing and by the low notes out of Travis' tenor sax.

The album opens in a fierce fashion with the Mahavishnu Orchestra blast of Fire Mountain with Travis' tenor blowing up a storm, seemingly forcing the other band members to keep up. The music is jazz, but it is jazz that heavily channels English progressive rock and jazz of the seventies, eschewing the funk and fusion elements of American progressive jazz-fusion. It is a terrific opening.

Bookended by quiet Floyd-like guitar and organ passages, the title track just about edges it as the standout track on this collection. It moves from the atmospheric opening to darker, harder tones as it shifts through the gears. There is an incandescent solo from Outram that then makes Travis up his game for his free-blowing tenor solo. However, this still remains an ensemble piece, with Whittaker's organ and France's drumming moving from the sensitive to the storming in support without being overwhelmed. This is fabulous music by anyone's standards.

What follows these two engaging openers is just as good. There's the relaxed Peter Green meets Carlos Santana latin-jazz blues shuffle of Smokin' At Klooks and the moody atmospherics of Everything I Feared, co-written with Dave Sturt of Gong and Jade Warrior, which has brilliantly delicate flute work on it. The gentle Canterbury influence can be found in the cover of Robert Wyatt and Philip Catherine's gorgeous Maryan. The flute-led melody, underpinned by subtle drum and organ, is quite haunting.

The other lengthy track, though not up to the 25 minutes of the original version, is a cover of The Tangent's A Place In The Queue. Here, the band work as a unit producing a soulful and plaintive sound. I must mention here Whittaker's outstanding Hammond work. If you are looking for a reference point here I would steer you towards Thijs van Leer's sound on Focus' song Focus III. Like any good cover version, it sent me back to listen to The Tangent's original.

If I have a caveat it is in the form of the lounge jazz of Song For Samuel, which I thought was a little bland at first, in a seventies sitcom-theme sort of way, given the quality of the other compositions on this album. But on repeated listens, it is saved by changes in dynamics and by a delicate, quiet guitar solo.

Overall, however, this is a blindingly good album of melodic and exploratory progressive jazz. But at the same time, it remains modest in that wistful English Canterbury way, so that it ensnares you in its heartfelt charms. Let's hope that there is not an eight-year wait for a follow up.

Conclusion: 9 out of 10

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Theo Travis Podcasts

Theo Travis Podcasts

Theo Travis has presented Two 2 hour shows on Progzilla Radio which are available for Podcast.

Edition 97 - featuring a selection of tracks that Theo Travis guests on, by Steven Wilson, The Tangent, David Sylvian, Gong, Porcupine Tree and others.

Click here for Edition 97

Edition 147 - Theo’s guide through some great rock and prog sax tracks – including Pink Floyd, Van Der Graaf Generator, Traffic, Hatfield and the North, Steve Hackett and others.

Click here for Edition 147

Theo Travis continues his 'Transgression' tour into 2016 with his Double Talk Band with added dates - see Tour Dates page for details.

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Double Talk Review

Jazz UK

Superb multi reeds and flute player Travis with his new band including guitarist Mike Outram, organist Pete Whittaker and drummer Roy Dodds - plus telling orchestral guitar electronics from Robert Fripp on a couple of tracks dedicated to Paller Mikkelborg. Travis' sound range is amazing, from Lucky Thompson - breathy to Ronnie Laws funk, and he doesn't hide his unashamed enthusiasm for prog-rock's heart-on-sleeve melodies swell pedaleffects and church organ sounds. But just when you think it's getting too Gothic, along comes a groove track with some screaming Larry Young-like organ, Outram sounding like a demented 80's house anthem and with the often underused Dodds really kicking. The band is on the road in this month and next.ere ...

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David Gilmour

David Gilmour

Theo had the honour and great pleasure of playing saxophone, flute, clarinet and keyboards with guitar legend David Gilmour during his European tour dates in September 2015.

Theo featured on such tracks as 'Money', 'Us and Them', 'Shine on you crazy Diamond' and tracks from the new Rattle that Lock album including 'Faces of Stone' and 'the Girl in the Yellow Dress'.

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Soft Machine

Soft Machine

It has been decided that Soft Machine Legacy shall drop the 'Legacy' tag from 2016. Legally it is entitled to do this as the Soft Machine name resides with those who were last in the band - ie John Etheridge, John Marshall and Karl Jenkins. Karl has indicated he has no objection to this and both John Etheridge and John Marshall are of course still in the band.

There will be a UK tour in March 2016 re-launching the band.

See Tour Dates page for details.

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Theo Travis’ Double Talk: Transgression Review

By ROGER FARBEY (All About Jazz)

The chiming notes of a very Mahavishnu Orchestra sounding guitar open the tension-rich "Fire Mountain" hotly pursued by Theo Travis' intense tenor sax soloing and coruscating axe work from Mike Outram. 

A change of pace is heard in the title track, beginning slowly but gradually building-up in pace and volume, Outram's fuzzy guitar twinned with Travis' sax comprise the melodic driving force, all underpinned by organ from Pete Whittaker and crackling drums from seasoned percussionist Nic France. The pressure continues to build courtesy of a keen ensemble riff reaching a climax until it dies back into the opening reflective sax-led balledic theme.

"Smokin' at Klooks" is a steamy blues-fest, Outram's guitar channelling Peter Green's memorable solo on "Black Magic Woman" and Travis producing a light, bluesy solo on flute. The catchy "Song For Samuel" benefits from Travis' articulate tenor sax, conjuring-up the breezy feel of "Off The Wagon" as performed by one of his sax heroes, Tubby Hayes and more lithe guitar ensues from Mike Outram.

A sultry head introduces the slower "Everything I Feared" underlaid by an organ bass pedal line over which surfaces Outram's stinging guitar and a dazzling echoey flute solo from Theo Travis. 

The only track not written (or co-written) by Travis is the wistful and deceptively complex "Maryan" by Robert Wyatt and Philip Catherine, which again spotlights delicate flute with organ accompaniment offering an example of exquisitely beautiful sensibility. 

The stately-paced "A Place In the Queue" is replete with magnificent glissando guitar and soulful tenor saxophone over plaintive organ chords, but then gathers a head of steam just over halfway through with biting guitar and an ensemble passage leading back to the opening melody. The closing track is the short and pensive "The Call" clearly demonstrating that Travis' blues-inflected tenor can sound as good as it gets played slowly and with feeling. 

Theo Travis really needs no introduction given his history of collaboration with music giants such as Robert Fripp, Gong and Soft Machine Legacy, not to mention the dozen recordings he's produced under his own name over the past twenty years. He has also contributed to various works by progmeister-extraordinaire Steve Wilson, who expertly mixed and mastered this album. Transgression will undoubtedly win many prog fans over to jazz and given the high quality of the compositions and superb performances all 'round, this album can justifiably be termed a cooker

Track Listing: Fire Mountain; Transgression; Smokin' at Klooks; Song For Samuel; Everything I Feared; Maryan; A Place In The Queue; The Call 

Personnel: Theo Travis: tenor sax, flutes, Fender Rhodes; Mike Outram: guitar; Pete Whittaker: organ; Nic France: drums, percussion 

Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Esoteric Antenna

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New Album 2015 - 'Transgression'

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Trailer for new album


Recently Theo co-hosted a radio show on Progzilla radio on which he played 4 tracks from Transgression as a special preview and also played tracks from his career on which he features as soloist. These include-

  • JBK – Saday Maday
  • Porcupine Tree – Don't Hate Me
  • Gong – Wise Man In Your Heart
  • Gong – Bodilingus
  • Theo Travis Double Talk – Everything I Feared/li>
  • Nine Horses – A History of Holes
  • Travis & Fripp – So There
  • Theo Travis – The Munich Train
  • The Tangent – DIY Surgery
  • The Tangent – Aftereugene
  • Theo Travis Double Talk – A Place In The Queue
  • Steven Wilson – Remainder The Black Dog
  • Francis Dunnery – Still Life In Mobile Homes
  • Bill Nelson And The Gentlemen Rocketeers – Adventures In A Yorkshire Landscape
  • Soft Machine Legacy – Kings And Queens
  • Anekdoten – If It All Comes Down To You
  • Theo Travis Double Talk – The Call

You can download the podcast here-


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New Album – Pre-orders

PRE-ORDERS FOR CD AND VINYL SPECIAL PACKAGES CAN BE PLACED FROM MAY 20

On 6 July 2015, Theo releases his ninth solo album and his first solo album in eight years, with his band 'Double Talk'.
Transgression was recorded in January 2015 at Koolworld Studio in Luton and Steven Wilson applied his studio skills to the album as he mixed and mastered it in his own No Man's Land studio, just before launching his own 'Hand Cannot Erase' world tour.
Theo says "It is an instrumental, bluesy, progressive jazz album. It reflects many of my influences and inspirations and I think it is both personal and of broad appeal – at least if you are into melody and powerful bluesy electric jazz with a strong 1970s influence. After a recent gig by the band, a member of the audience said to me 'This was the first time I've ever heard you play in your own band. Having heard you live before with Gong, Soft Machine, The Tangent, Steven Wilson, I knew it was going to be excellent – and it was' which was a very pleasing response to the music.
The line-up includes Nic France on drums, Mike Outram on guitar and Pete Whittaker on Hammond organ. "It is very much a live band and the album was recorded in the studio but all playing together live and watching each other intently. I think that immediacy and excitement comes across. I've written most of the music and much of it reflects my love of music from the late 1960s and early 1970s when the boundaries between Jazz, Rock and Experimental music were more fluid, though I think the music we have recorded still sounds contemporary. You might be able to hear the influences of King Crimson, Mahavishnu Orchestra as well as late Talk Talk, and ECM artists such as Terje Rypdal and my friend Palle Mikkelborg."
The album also includes an instrumental version of a track co-written with keyboard player and composer Andy Tillison – the title track from the Tangent's third album A Place In The Queue. There's also a cover of Robert Wyatt's tune Maryan and a track written with Dave Sturt of Cipher and the recent Gong line-up called Everything I Feared. The track Smokin'at Klooks is a tribute to Klooks Kleek the North London Jazz and Blues club open in the late 1960s, which was in a pub near where Theo used to live. A small club – it used to host such names as Keith Richards, Peter Green, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix! A real melting pot and springboard for so many great musicians and so much great music.
Nic France played on Steven Wilson's Grace For Drowning album and also on David Gilmour's Live At The Royal Festival Hall DVD. He also was the original drummer with Loose Tubes and has played with Kate Bush, Robert Wyatt, Alan Holdsworth, and Working Week.
Mike Outram played on two of Steven Wilson's albums as well as with Herbie Mann, Carleen Anderson, Jacqui Dankworth and with poet Michael Rosen.
Pete Whittaker plays regularly with guitarists John Etheridge and Nigel Price and was a touring member of The Wonder Stuff and Catherine Wheel.
The album is released on CD on July 6 on Esoteric Recordings and there will be a vinyl edition on Tonefloat records – a 12 inch album, plus for the first pressing a bonus 7 inch of the remaining tracks.
The release will be followed by a UK tour in the Autumn of 2015. An early London preview gig has already been announced to coincide with the release – July 2 at the Vortex 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ (020 7254 4097) http://www.vortexjazz.co.uk/events/2015-07-02/
=================
THESE PACKAGES WILL BE ON OFFER FROM THIS SITE FROM MAY 20

'Transgression' Special Package Pre-orders

Exclusive to pre-orders from this website are a very limited number of special packages – 100 CD packages and 100 vinyl packages. See below for details.

CD Special Package
1. CD – signed by all 4 members of the band
2. Exclusive Photo print of the band signed by all 4 members of the band
3 Exclusive Photo print of TT – signed by Theo.
4. Two exclusive Double Talk tracks. High resolution downloads (24 bit /48k) personally e mailed to you
a) Goodbye Pork Pie Hat – recorded live in concert at Teignmouth Jazz Festival Nov 2014
b) Fire Mountain – alternate and longer studio take of storming first track on album composed by Theo. Mixed and mastered by Steven Wilson.

Cost- UK £21 + £2p+p (£23.00)
Rest of world – £21 + £5.50 p+p (£26.50)

Vinyl Special Package
1. Vinyl edition of album – including 12 inch LP plus 7 inch single – signed by all 4 members of the band
2. Exclusive Photo print of the band signed by all 4 members of the band
3 Exclusive Photo print of TT – signed by Theo
4. Two exclusive tracks. High resolution downloads (24 bit /48k) personally e mailed to you
a) Goodbye Pork Pie Hat – recorded live in concert at Teignmouth Jazz Festival Nov 2014
b) Fire Mountain – alternate and longer studio take of storming first track on album. Mixed and mastered by Steven Wilson.

Cost for vinyl package (incl 12 inch plus 7 inch)
UK – - £26 + £4 p+ p (£30)
Rest of world – £26 + £8.00 (£33.00)

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New Album! Theo Travis' Double Talk : "Transgression"

New Album! Theo Travis' Double Talk : "Transgression"

SPECIAL PACKAGE PRE ORDERS NOW OPEN

On 6 July 2015, Theo releases his ninth solo album and his first solo album in eight years, with his band 'Double Talk'.

Transgression was recorded in January 2015 at Koolworld Studio in Luton and Steven Wilson applied his studio skills to the album as he mixed and mastered it in his own No Man's Land studio, just before launching his own 'Hand Cannot Erase' world tour.

Theo says "It is an instrumental, bluesy, progressive jazz album. It reflects many of my influences and inspirations and I think it is both personal and of broad appeal – at least if you are into melody and powerful bluesy electric jazz with a strong 1970s influence.

After a recent gig by the band, a member of the audience said to me 'This was the first time I've ever heard you play in your own band. Having heard you live before with Gong, Soft Machine, The Tangent, Steven Wilson, I knew it was going to be excellent - and it was' which was a very pleasing response to the music.

The line-up includes Nic France on drums, Mike Outram on guitar and Pete Whittaker on Hammond organ. "It is very much a live band and the album was recorded in the studio but all playing together live and watching each other intently. I think that immediacy and excitement comes across. I've written most of the music and much of it reflects my love of music from the late 1960s and early 1970s when the boundaries between Jazz, Rock and Experimental music were more fluid, though I think the music we have recorded still sounds contemporary. You might be able to hear the influences of King Crimson, Mahavishnu Orchestra as well as late Talk Talk, and ECM artists such as Terje Rypdal and my friend Palle Mikkelborg."

The album also includes an instrumental version of a track co-written with keyboard player and composer Andy Tillison – the title track from the Tangent's third album A Place In The Queue. There's also a cover of Robert Wyatt's tune Maryan and a track written with Dave Sturt of Cipher and the recent Gong line-up called Everything I Feared. The track Smokin'at Klooks is a tribute to Klooks Kleek the North London Jazz and Blues club open in the late 1960s, which was in a pub near where Theo used to live. A small club – it used to host such names as Keith Richards, Peter Green, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix! A real melting pot and springboard for so many great musicians and so much great music.

Nic France played on Steven Wilson's Grace For Drowning album and also on David Gilmour's Live At The Royal Festival Hall DVD. He also was the original drummer with Loose Tubes and has played with Kate Bush, Robert Wyatt, Allan Holdsworth, and Working Week.

Mike Outram played on two of Steven Wilson's albums as well as with Herbie Mann, Carleen Anderson, Jacqui Dankworth and with poet Michael Rosen.

Pete Whittaker plays regularly with guitarists John Etheridge and Nigel Price and was a touring member of The Wonder Stuff and Catherine Wheel.

The album is released on CD on July 6 on Esoteric Recordings and there will be a vinyl edition on Tonefloat records – a 12 inch album, plus for the first pressing a bonus 7 inch of the remaining tracks.

The release will be followed by a UK tour in the Autumn of 2015.

An early London preview gig has already been announced to coincide with the release – July 2 at The Vortex 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ (020 7254 4097)

Click here for Show Information

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London Double Talk Date

STOP PRESS!!!

My band Double Talk with Mike Outram on guitar, Pete Whittaker on organ and Nic France –have a London date previewing the material from the new album 'Transgression' Thursday July 2.

It is at the great jazz club in Dalston – 'The Vortex'. Please come along. It is going to be fab!

11 Gillett Square,
London N16 8AZ
020 7254 4097

http://www.vortexjazz.co.uk/

Hopefully see you there.

Cheers

Theo

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Daevid Allen – A Personal Reflection

Daevid Allen was born in Australia in 1938, but his springboard to musical legend came after he moved to the UK in 1961. He was a founder member of Soft Machine in 1966, but became best known after starting madcap psychedelic rockers Gong. The band are best known for their Radio Gnome Trilogy, made up of the albums Flying Teapots, Angel's Egg and You. Although he left Gong in 1975, he resuscitated the band in 1991 and played with them until their last album 'I See You' in 2014.

I first encountered Daevid Allen in 1999 when, through a series of happy accidents, I joined Gong at short notice for a European Tour filling in for Didier Malherbe, playing saxes and flutes. I had heard little of Gong's music and was barely aware of Daevid though I knew some of Gong member Steve Hillage's music, particularly his album 'Fish Rising' which I thought was great. Joining Gong was a turning point in my musical life. For 10 years I toured the world and recorded with Daevid and the band, playing saxes, flutes and some keyboards and I co-wrote much of the 'Zero to Infinity' album. I recently read of Daevid Allen's music being 'like Sun Ra meets Vivian Stanshall meets DIY punk meets a really big fucking bong' and I think that just about sums it up!

When I met Daevid, I was immediately taken with his openness, his love of music and words and his sense of wonder and almost childlike curiosity about the world. He was continuously excited by all things artistic and creative. He took great delight in words– whether poetry, lyrics, puns, or just the fun of language and games with word play. I spent endless hours with Daevid and Mike Howlett on tour buses around the world joking and playing with words and rhymes.

With Gong, Daevid was very happy to be an equal part of a group and although he was the soul of the band, wrote the majority of the music, did most of the singing and fronted the band, he was very generous with sharing out songs and instrumental solos and encouraged everyone to write music for the group. He also shared out songwriting credits in a far more generous manner than most in his position would.

Daevid was a talented guitarist and a great improviser. There was a wonderful freedom of spirit in his playing which I enjoyed very much – much more than all the technically accomplished rock guitarists who have everything worked out and pre-prepared. I once heard his soloing style described as like an airplane taking off and you never knew how it would land and I think that was right. Anything could happen and his solos were unpredictable. When one is truly improvising, things don't always work out- but that is the risk you take. Daevid was wholeheartedly improvising and some magical music and guitar playing resulted. His glissando guitar technique which he said was inspired by Syd Barrett was wonderful and at times awe inspiring – washes of sound, harmony and textures floating in space. He also said that Syd Barrett was the original inspiration for singing with the strong London accent – a characterful style of singing that he, Robert Wyatt, Richard Sinclair (of Caravan) – and later David Bowie – all adopted, at least for a while.

Daevid not only started off the bands Gong and Soft Machine (both which I have enjoyed playing with for many years) , he also recorded many solo albums, and formed University of Errors, Brainville, Magick Brothers and various other groups. He was a catalyst for an enormous amount of much music making and musicians and poets worldwide were drawn to him for his creativity and his huge enthusiasm for life.

He loved jazz, free form improvisation, songs, experimental music, folk music, nursery rhymes, noise music, chanting and all sorts of fringe musics. He used to wind people (including myself!) up by saying he 'hated the Beatles'. He also said he 'hated Prog'. He embraced punk and new wave music and there was often a youthful and fiery energy to his music, from his band Planet Gong right up to the end. On the very last Gong album – 'I See You' there are almost punk like thrashes that sound like a band of seventeen year olds – not a 76 year old man – and certainly not a music icon from the 1970s.

Daevid was kind, fun, inspiring, encouraging, endlessly creative, and an original thinker. A big fan of the Goon Show, his crazy humour was loved by millions though he also saw it as having a revolutionary edge to it too. I think it was in the subversiveness. The Flying Teapot trilogy, Radio Gnome and the Pot Headed Pixies were all wonderful inventions – charmingly bonkers. He was not one to toe the line and could often be contrary – sometimes infuriatingly so. One funny anecdote I remember was that he went to a legalise cannabis event in Hyde Park in around 2001 as a special guest as he was such a leader of the counter-cultrure movement. You would not believe how many people I have heard say that they had their first trip listening to Gong's music. Anyway Daevid went to this event at Hyde Park and in front of a big crowd, stood up and said 'Ban cannabis! It's terrible for you! And the throng of people in their stoned haze just cheered – 'Yay! Great!' Hilarious and very Daevid.

Of course being the age he was Daevid was right there when it was all happening in the 1960s. He lent Jimi Hendrix his first amp when he came to London, and enjoyed playing chess with him. He played alongside all the rock greats when they were starting out. He was in Paris during the riots in 1968 and the Stonehenge and Glastonbury festivals in the early 1970s. Gong were one of Richard Branson's very first bands on Virgin records. I loved to hear his stories about those times.

I always felt that Daevid was 'the real thing' not someone trying to be a rock star or a poseur. He was living the alternative lifestyle full of music, poetry and life before such a thing was even invented. An artistic beatnik, an intellectual hippie, a comic surrealist and a poetic musician. A true original and an inspiration to so many.

All over the world I have encountered so much love for Daevid and his music. He has now had his last cuppa tea and left us on his flying teapot to another place. Farewell and bon voyage. I feel honoured to have known him. And thank you for the music you daft old bugger.

Theo Travis
March 2015

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Cipher : Pandora's Box


Looking for more Cipher Soundtracks? Click this link to see more!

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New Double Talk Band Album

Nic ,Theo, Mike, Pete – Koolworld Studios Jan 2015

​Just spent two amazing days in the recording studio with my band Double Talk comprising Mike Outram (guitar), Pete Whittaker (organ) and Nic France (drums and percussion). We recorded various versions of eight tunes including some serious epics and some powerful bluesy prog jazz. Some wonderful playing all round and the tracks are sounding stellar. A few things still to do, but very pleased with the results… Watch this space…

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New Double Talk Band Album

Just spent two amazing days in the recording studio with my band Double Talk comprising Mike Outram (guitar), Pete Whittaker (organ) and Nic France (drums and percussion). We recorded various versions of eight tunes including some serious epics and some powerful bluesy prog jazz. Some wonderful playing all round and the tracks are sounding stellar. A few things still to do, but very pleased with the results… Watch this space…


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