21st Century One Man Band

Are you the only talented member of your rock band? Tired of having to split your income with a gormless drummer, a holier-than-thou bassist and an unreliable guitarist who is better looking than you? Then live looping could be your answer. Today’s technology means that with with a quick push of a pedal or a button, a performer can record a brief clip of whatever instrument he or she is playing and play it back indefinitely, adding or erasing elements at will throughout the course of a song. In other words, you can play everything yourself.

Here’s KT Turnstall with a very clever performance on Jools Holland – her TV debut in 2004….

This is Andrew Bird, who makes judicious use of violin and whistling….

And this chap, Reyn Ouwehand, is a looping specialist from Holland. This is his live ‘cover’ of a Bjork/Brodsky quartet song…

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5 thoughts on “21st Century One Man Band

  1. russellworks@gmail.com'
    ian russell
    September 15, 2010 at 14:05

    Does this mean I don’t have to wear the cymbals between my knees?

    The late Charlie Gillett was a fan of Son of Dave who described this method of one-man-band performance on his show. Though, I think, the late (everyone’s dying!) John Martyn was a pioneer in this art.

    And I’m sure Jools Holland introduces her as Katey Toadstool.

  2. Worm
    September 15, 2010 at 18:14

    There’s a guy like this who plays every saturday night at my local pub in cornwall, armed with only a keyboard, a foot pedal and a set of flashing lights on a pole. His one-man mastery of Roger Miller’s ‘King of the Road’ is spectacular.

  3. johngjobling@googlemail.com'
    September 15, 2010 at 18:28

    You are indeed blessed Worm, living as I do in an area where the default musical instrument is a windbag with a pipe sticking out and the only repertoire military rabble rousing dirges, I can but envy you your access to such delights. As for multi tasking musicians can there be anything more musical than Rosie, oh Rosie I’d like to stick my nose between your toes, as performed by one Don Pheasant,

    Or was it Partridge.

    At least it sounded like stick my nose between your toes.

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