Steven Wilson Tour

A friend of mine Theo Travis ( a great Sax and Flute player) is currently on a world tour with  Porcupine Tree member Steven Wilson.  I don't know much about prog rock but having checked out Steven's album I have to say I think I could be a fan. Have a listen to this fabulous track 'The Watchmaker'

 

     If you like this then they are performing at the Albert Hall on Sunday 20th Oct 2013. I'm intend to go and check out the gig. What a great band!

Bangkok

1st June 2013

It's taken me an embarrassingly long time to get around to writing this. In March I travelled Bangkok in Thailand to perform a concert with various artists. It was a long way to travel to play one concert and therefore hard work. However I did get a morning free where I took a river boat to the floating market in Bangkok. A lot of the river boats are thin vessels with shallow bottoms and very powerful ex Vietnam war, American jeep engines. All this resulted in a very interesting journey to say the least. These things are seriously over powered.

 

 
  I didn't expect Bangkok to have so many small water ways within the city. I did have to be careful not to swallow the very dodgy looking river water however! I'm pretty sure EVERYTHING gets dumped into the river. We were being taken to a floating market away from the main river. The market was surrounded by overhead roads and railways which looked like something out of a Mad Max film. It was in a fascinating area which you can see on the video below. Although it did dawn on me at this point that we were not the only tourists that get brought here. The place was busy!

 

 
 
 Once on "dry land" I found the floating market fascinating; the below video shows a traditional Thai music club which seemed to me to be there to entertain the workers in the market as well as us tourists. They didn't really seem interested in being tipped (at least I think not). I have no idea as to the name of the instrument the chap in the video is playing but I liked it (I think I liked it).

 

  Every nook and cranny was filled with a floating restaurantno room for anyone to sit on the tiny food prep boats so the meals were passed up onto a larger restaurant style area. Very well put together I thought. Anyway all of this didn't last long and sadly we had to return to the hotel to prepare to fly home. Below is a little clip of what I was up to at the gig the night before. On this gig I play some keyboards, sax and back up vocals which is enjoyable as it's very different from playing sax all the way through a concert.

Dubai

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                       Recently flew over to Dubai to play a concert which was a short but much needed relief from the British weather. This winter in the UK has definitely been one of the longest, wettest and coldest. It's really started to get me down. So 3 days in Dubai ought to fix it? I have to confess I have never had a strong desire to visit Dubai due to the massive amount of money spent on a city that really hasn't been thought out. The place has had so much money invested into it and yet is so characterless because of it. The amount of fuel based energy used per person in Dubai is larger than any person in any other city in the world. Lots of air con basically! I did see a very interesting programme on my return to the UK which was about a smaller town outside of Dubai which has been designed in a more Eco friendly way. The buildings and apartments were built so that each floor shadowed the floor below to block out the sun. The streets were narrow so that the sun light could not glare down onto you, also air vents were feeding fresh air mixed with water spray (not air con)  down from the top of the buildings to street level to keep the streets cool. Dubai as you may have guessed has not gone for this. Everything is indoors and air conned to death. Anyways the concert went well and I returned to a cold London town, I now understand why people go there for short trips to recharge their vit D count. The pic below is from the concert.

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Buy my new album here.

RobHughesLive-medium

                                                                                           
This is my latest album which was recorded at Pizza Express in London. You can buy a hard copy  from here or buy it on itunes where you can hear some preview tracks. The album feutures

Roger Beujolais - Vibraphone

Francesco Mendolia - Drums

Rick Laughlin - Piano

Henrik Jensen - Double Bass

Randolph Matthews - Vocals

ABC with Orchestra

ABC 5

 

 

December brought a fantastic gig with ABC and the Southbank Sinfonia playing the Lexicon Of Love on it's 30th anniversary. I had the pleasure of playing the gig at the very old and interesting Drury Lane theatre. The concert sold out on the day of sale so I hope we get to do some more as it's an amazing sound. Playing with an orchestra always brings about it's own idiosyncrasys as an orchestra is used to following the conductor. This can clash with a band as the musicians in a band always follow the drums. Anne Dudley was conducting the orchestra and made the joining toegther of two different styles seamless.

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             Martin Fry put in a fantastic performance which had the audience both on their feet swaying but also listening intently. I guess the thing about reliving an old favourite album for some people is that the music is known so well by the audience that they sometimes know it better than the musicians!

ABC 3

Recording Session

January 2013

Happy new year! I can't believe it's 2013 already, 2013 sounds like something out a futuristic space movie! Anyway I hope it's going to be fun. Last year (that sounds like ages ago now) I put a camera up in a studio to capture what goes on during a recording session. On this occasion I was recording for Pete Cox's new album. As you can see in the video I built up some horn lines and the added a solo at the end and talked a lot! I hope you find it interesting. Pete's album will be available to buy from itunes on the 13th Jan 2013.

 

Cape Town and Jo'burg

I flew out to South Africa in November to play 3 concerts with various artists. On a day off we were driven outside of Cape Town to a winery owned by Ernie Els. It was my first time to a winery and I have to say it was a delight. The countryside as you can see is amazing, truly breath taking. Below are a selection of pictures from our trip. Whilst getting over the fact that I was being asked to drink throughout day I was also being taught about how the different wines are made. I have to say some of that information has now strangely disappeared from my memory. It was fab to walk/stagger into the cellars where the wine is stored. On some of the more expensive red wines the barrels are only used once and then disposed of or used to hold less luxuriante wine.

             The pictures at the bottom show the stage during soundcheck as well as myself and Vinzenz (bass) relaxing at the rather wierdly styled venetian style hotel we stayed in when we played Jo'burg. However at this point in my life being able to lie by a pool is rare so I loved it. Finally there is a great shot from one of the gigs taken by Benitha Vlok out in Cape Town.

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Album Launch

Live - Rob Hughes

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  Here are a few pictures taken by audience members who attended my album lauch on the 28th October, thank you to everyone that came down. Top left is Roger Beujolais on Vibraphone, myself in the middle and Rick Laughlin top right. The band also consisted of Paul Carmichael  on double bass (in the picture below) and Sophie Alloway on drums (her head is popping into view in the pic below) with speacial guests Rueben Fowler on Trumpet and Zeetiah on vocals. The ever on going 'change of season' cold that seems to come round more often than the seasons change was upon me so I was feeling very sorry for myself. However musically there were some great moments. I really enjoyed playing at this venue, the guys who run the Forge do a good job. I wasn't aware until the gig that it is a non profit making venue (No that's not because it hosts jazz!).  The acoustics are great if your line up is not too loud. P1040330

New Album - Rob Hughes Live

 

 I'm so excited about this record and can't wait to perform it. Below is the album cover art work designed by the fab Max Steckelmacher (photgraphy and design). The wooden scultpure itself was designed by Neville Gabie who kindly let me use an image of his sculpture. Check out his website by clicking on his name. You can buy the album from this site (send me an email) or you can download it from itunes.

RobHughesLive-medium

Live duo gig with Randolph Matthews

 

Sunday 16th Sep 2012

Sunday night was such fun! I performed with Randolph at the new (well 2 years old new) Kings Place. I feel silly that I have never been down to have a look at the new concert hall before this. It's built on 4 different levels and is truly beautiful. It has a restaurant which backs onto the grand union canal where you can take canal boat rides. There was a festival on the weekend we performed so there were lots performances all over the building. Randolph and I had rehearsed twice for this performance which was really interesting as we discovered some interesting musical ideas. We performed Randolph's music (above) and some of my own (below). If you like what you hear our next performance is at the Map Cafe on Sat 24th November.

 

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