Friday, 6 January 2012

Les Nemes: Bass Master Class

I've been lucky to play with some fine musicians in my time; particularly lucky with bass players.
Marcus is the consummate bassist; although I think that his natural style is showcased with Miracle Mile, he can adapt his playing to any environment, which is why he has been so popular with all genres and has worked with folk as disparate as Mark Knopfler, Steve Earle, Daniel Lanois, Rod Stewart, The Manfreds, Tinita Tikaram, Emmylou Harris, Sting, Tasmin Archer, Al Green, Lulu and Baby Spice (to name but few, phew...)
Marcus's adaptability is the total antithesis of Les Nemes (Haircut 100) who played bass with early Miracle Mile and features on our first two albums 'Bicycle Thieves' and 'Candids'.
With Les you get... Les. His style is his own; melodic, rhythmic and on occasion, borderline bonkers, but always brilliant. Rather than sublimating himself to the track to provide the traditional 'drums & bass' foundation, Les comes in the side door and tries to make things... more interesting. No chord charts for Lazlo; he'll listen to the vocal melody and work himself around it; invariably coming up with something quirky enough to call a hook. I think that this was what made Haircut 100 so special; there were so many creative elements rattling about, without any actually rubbing up against each other and grating; no one else could've made such a sound;  Nick's melodic vocals and wonky lyrics, Phil Smith's brilliantly arranged brass parts and exuberant sax lines, Les's playful bass; all added to a spicy soup that could only put a smile on your face.
Les is about to launch a website for budding bass players; I can guarantee that it'll be anything but dull.
Have a look here to see the man himself telling you what to expect.
A free banana (or fish) to the man who can come up with the best beginning to Les's opening punchline...

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