Monday, 14 May 2012

New Formation

As some of you may be aware, there have been some changes in the band over the recent months. I have decided to part company with two sterling characters, Marti Bowley who was playing bass, and Pete Maidens who was playing electric guitar.

At the start of the year, I came to the conclusion that instead of leaping from one style to another I have no idea how to go about creating, perhaps I should linger a while and refine the sound I’ve worked on up until now. With that in mind, this year I want to concentrate exclusively on the ballads, and doing them damn well. No more over pronounced phrases, no more pomp, and a few changes in the formation of the band.

Marti and I had played together almost since I put the name Marmaduke Dando out there in 2007. Many of the armpits of London we trawled through whilst honing our instruments, often trying times, but always bearable with a level of camaraderie equal to the quality of this fine fellow. Unfortunately, in 2011, Marti came to the conclusion that he wasn’t as good as he’d like to be the double bass, and wanted to revert to his original instrument, the electric bass, in order to concentrate on something he knew he was good at. Despite protestations from myself, the rest of the band, and many of our close friends, there was no changing his mind. We tried to work the electric bass in to the band during 2011, but I felt toward the end of the year that it wasn’t quite the sound I was after. Even more so with what I’m hoping to achieve this year. Marti is a phenomenal bass player, and it has been a pure pleasure to work with such a high standard of musicianship.

Pete joined the band in 2010 on guitar and took to the role with great gusto and displayed a natural musical intuition I’ve not witnessed before. We played many a fine show together in the last 2 years, at festivals, on boats, in pubs, and yes, in a few armpits too. All of which were a rollicking good crack that wouldn’t have been the same had he not been a part of it. Yet again, a damn fine guitarist that I could not have been more lucky to have worked with.

In the new formation I’m looking to put together, there will be Andy still on drums, Sonia on the piano that will come out to the fore a little more than in the past. I’ll be taking on some light acoustic guitar duties and singing, hopefully, in a more natural style. I say hopefully, because having any objectivity about one’s own voice is near on impossible. It takes time and constant reflection, in my experience. I’ll also be adding a double bass player to this line-up, along with some softly blown trumpet.

I sincerely wish Marti and Pete the best in their onward musical endeavours. Chaps, it’s been an absolute pleasure.

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