Last Saturday we had a great day with the guys at Quay West Studios in Gosport. We were there to put our new promotional video together in collaboration with Future Epic Productions.
First of all we (well Nick actually) put the audio together. Dan took an age to set his kit up as usual (after delaying us for half an hour because the front door was locked – which it wasn’t). Then me, Dan and Owen (guitar) recorded each of the tracks. On top of our rock solid foundation Nick recorded keyboards, lead vocals, backing vocals and horns (trumpet/trombone).
Once the audio was nailed the laughter started because it was video time! We got dressed up in our nice tweed gig outfits and were filmed miming and playing along with the audio we’d recorded earlier. This was done with all six of us to start with followed by two lots of three then individual shots. All in all, that’s a lot of videoing!
We’re delighted with the finished product which you can see on the homepage. Massive thanks to Nick at Quay West Studios and Dave at Future Epic Productions for their time, skill and professionalism. Check out their websites here:
Quay West Studio
Future Epic Productions
We had the pleasure of playing at a new city centre music venue in Bournemouth in December. It’s called ‘Madding Crowd’ and it’s located next to Debenhams above Pret A Manger. Look for a TV screen above a door and you’ve found it.
From a band perspective it’s an absolute dream because they’ve installed a great PA system and there’s a resident piano, drum kit, bass and guitar amp set up ready to go…..but you probably don’t want to know about all that! What you will want to know is that it’s a brilliant and intimate venue with a killer range of beers and ciders on tap. They really have done an incredible job.
The bar staff and sound engineer were all friendly and welcoming and really know their stuff. Music is their passion and it massively shows. The ‘Madding Crowd’ lager is definitely worth a few pints.
Please consider going to a gig there soon because to keep a city centre venue open costs some serious cheddar. In fact live music used to be on there 7 days a week but I think they’ve had to cut that down. There was talk of us doing a monthly gig there too but I don’t think that’s going to materialise.
We live in an age where it’s very hard work to get people to attend gigs and support live music (unless the band is a household name). Unfortunately, questionable shows like X Factor and BGT have moved in and made it easy to experience their version of ‘music’. There’s some incredibly talented people out there doing it the hard way: practicing from dawn til dusk, gigging as often as they can and mostly for no financial reward in the hope they’ll get noticed. Blimey this is starting to turn into a rant so let’s move on!
We really hope Madding Crowd continues and goes from strength to strength. Bournemouth, Dorset and frankly the world need live music venues like it and we wish them every success. See their website here.
Alex aka Mungo likes to consider himself the musical director of the band. He’s not sure if his band mates agree, but he tends (without too much backlash but a lot of interruptions from Hayley) to call the shots at rehearsals.
Alex grew up in Boston, Lincolnshire and learned piano and trombone. His musical tastes developed in long car journeys with his dad who would play cassettes (remember those?) of The Eagles, Dire Straits, Tina Turner and Elvis Presley. He did a music degree in Essex, whereupon a chance meeting with our esteemed bass player, Tim, would change the course of musical history forever...
Years later, bored of his teaching life, he decided to play trombone on cruise ships during which time he met his lovely wife Michelle, with whom he settled in Dorset and they now have two beautiful children.
A multi-instrumentalist, but technologically dim-witted, Alex loves to surround himself with great friends with the know-how and truly loves being a member of Stone Groove - the hardest working band in the south.
I seriously doubt anyone will read this blog post so it’s really just for self-aggrandisement! I love my basses and rig so I’m going to dedicate this post to them in all their maple, alder, rosewood, walnut, mahogany, steel, nickel, plastic, circuit board and neodymium glory.
I own five bass guitars. A lot of people tease me about that (my wife and parents in particular) but compared to most guitarists I know it’s not that many. One of my basses was bought from a guy near Liverpool who owns almost forty! This is what I’ve got:
Fender (USA) Marcus Miller 5-string Jazz 2002
Fender (USA) Select Series 4-string Jazz 2014
Fender (USA) Precision FSR 58
Musicman Stingray Fretless 4-string 1999
I like having a few basses to choose from because it makes me feel like a real man. Ha ha, just kidding! I tend to play one for a month or two then freshen my playing up by switching to another. I’m definitely a jazz man as I love the sound of the dual pick ups and narrower neck (the Ibanez has an incredibly fast neck too by the way).
For slap you can’t beat the Marcus Miller Jazz with the scooped EQ – it sounds like so many of the classic recordings that we bassists grew up listening to! Plenty of tunes in the Stone Groove set call for the fifth (low B) string so it’s good to have that too.
I use an Aguilar rig which I absolutely love. The sound is as clean as you can get and the head and cabs are incredibly light. The head is a Tonehammer 500 which gives 500 watts of power in a 1.8kg package (consider my previous head was 600 watts in a 12.5kg package and you’ll understand why my arms are so long). The cabs are SL112 (1 x 12in) and, again, are super light. I use two of them unless the venue is very compact.
Is anyone still reading this? I doubt it! So how about strings? Well my favourites are Dunlop Super Bright Nickels and D'Addario XL ProSteels - both handle the funk really nicely.
From Tim (Big T)……with love x
Our lead singer, diva in residence and chief bigger up of crowds is the selfie and social media obsessed Hayley Ostler!
Hayley started singing at the age of 2 and competed nationally in both singing and dancing competitions winning 11 gold medals (blimey, well done!). A jazz fan by choice, Hayley loves Amy Winehouse and postmodern jukebox style music but she has plenty of experience singing rock, soul and other genres.
At the end of virtually every Stone Groove gig you can find a group of people hanging around the stage wanting to tell Hayley what a good voice she has. We try to keep her ego on the down low….and fail, but then any decent lead singer needs to have a bit of an ego and swagger or they'd be rubbish on stage!
Hayley has sung in many different venues around the world and has bumped into a few musical celebrities along the way who have told her to pursue her dream. In fact she once told Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues that she had no idea who the Moody Blues were when he paid her a compliment. Oops!
Above all Hayley wants an audience to enjoy their night and she will do her utmost to ensure this happens. She is very keen on audience participation and will have you singing and dancing until your face hurts from smiling!
Hayley is the heart and soul of Stone Groove and we love having her as part of our group.
Stone Groove love playing at weddings throughout Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset and the entire South - we even go further if you cross our palms with silver! We know what it takes to get the party rocking once the formalities of the speeches and meal are over.
We get many questions from brides and grooms in the lead up to weddings so this is what this post is for, a sort of wedding band FAQ!
What music do you play? Check out our standard set list here but please note we have a much larger list of repertoire we play. We regularly play at themed gigs e.g. disco, rock, funk and can adapt our wedding set lists accordingly.
Do you supply lighting? Yes, we always supply lighting for ourselves (the stage area) and can also supply lighting for the dance floor too: mirror balls, moving heads, lasers, scanners, haze/smoke/bubble/snow machines and so on if needed.
Can you play our first dance? Yes, we'll happily learn your first dance with either a female or male vocalist.
We want our wedding party to be fun, how can you help? We have inflatable air guitars and microphones we can bring which guests enjoy. We can also dress up a bit e.g. disco wigs, funny masks etc. Hayley (lead singer) is known to occasionally get guests to sing on the microphone, including brides and grooms......we've even joined conga lines once or twice in the past! The funner the better as far as we're concerned.
Can we use your PA system for music after you've finished? We usually leave the PA set up until an hour after we've finished playing (between midnight and 1am typically) for DJs, iPads etc. If you need it longer that's fine but we may charge a bit extra. When we aren't playing we usually supply music to keep the party going.
Can you set up before the meal to avoid disruption? Yes we can. If your wedding is in a marquee it's sometimes good to have a dividing curtain (reveal curtain) we can set up behind.
What do you need? Two 13a sockets (we draw no more than 6kw) and an area roughly 3m x 8m. A stage is always nice plus a room to change in but we don't insist on these.
Do you do encores? Absolutely otherwise our feelings would be seriously hurt!
What do you wear? Our standard outfit is all black with bright coloured ties and Converse All Stars but we can also dress in black tie, matching suits or tweed. From time to time we do themed events e.g. disco and dress appropriately!
We were thrilled to be asked to headline the inaugural Stalbridge Yulefest on 8th December. The organisers had put together a seriously cool event with six live bands, Oktoberfest bar, various snack stalls, Christmas market and a tent for kids. The site was incredible with a large marquee housing the stage (complete with epic lighting) and bar plus tipis with a fireplace and acoustic stage, Santa's grotto and more.
We played the 9-10pm slot and the set we put together consisted of recent pop music such as Justin Timberlake's Can't stop the feeling, Pharrell's Happy and Taylor Swift's Shake it off as there were some kids still present plus a few party classics including Superstition and Word up.
The oompah band that played before us did a great job of getting the crowd going so packing out the dance floor was no problem for us right from the start. Hayley (lead singer) got one of the younger members of the audience on stage to sing part of Can't stop the feeling which went down a treat.
The 500 strong crowd loved our set and the organisers have already asked us back for the 2018 edition, but this time over two days! Stalbridge Yulefest really was a great event - it's rare that new events like this sell out in their first year, so well done to the organisers. If you're free on 7th and 8th December next year we highly recommend it because you can party the night away but also get in the Christmas spirit and do some festive shopping. Hope to see you there!
Big it up for Dan 'The Man' Stedman. Well, he calls himself 'The Man' but we haven't received any proof yet....other than his two children of course. In fact, Dan recently welcomed his second child so he's been a bit quiet lately. Hopefully he's managed to squeeze in a bit of time on the kit if only to get away from the smells and sounds of newborn baby.
Dan has been drumming for around 30 years and loves funk and soul. His favourite groups are Incognito (I completely agree with that one), Brother Strut and Nils Landgren Funk Unit. His number one track is Incognito's Always There which you can see/hear below courtesy of YouTube. Dan's idols are Frankie Tontoh and Virgil Donati.
Over the years Dan has got more involved with sound engineering and recording. He's our guru when it comes to both (along with Andy V) and controls the awesome 6.8kw sound rig we use to smash our funk out!
In a nutshell, Dan is a very talented (and awesome) guy and we're lucky to have him onboard. There you go Dan, now fork over that £20....
Every good band rehearses. We met recently to add a few grooves to our set list. Thanks to Hayley aka 'HO' our lead singer for multi-tasking so efficiently with mobile phone in hand AND singing at the same time! Imagine what she could accomplish if she managed to concentrate on singing - "GOOD EVENING WEMBLEY!" - ha ha!
PS: Yes, I usually stand up to slap-a-da-bass but I had very tired feet and couldn't be bothered. Dan (drummer) always gets to sit down anyway...
www.stonegrooveband.co.uk #bringingthefunk #partyband
Whoa, just realised I haven't done a blog post yet for the all new blog page! I'm a beginner at this so go easy on me....
Thanks for visiting our website. We're a group of musicians who love to keep it funky and deliver a kick-ass show (both might be quotes from School of Rock - the last one definitely is!). Anyway, you're probably here because you want to book a wedding or party band and we really hope you choose us.
Why should you choose us? Well, we like to think we have a damn good list of music that keeps the dance floor full but then every band will tell you that. What makes us different is our line up with two keyboard players that double on trumpet and trombone. This opens up a whole new world of repertoire. Usually bands with horn sections are more expensive but this approach gives more bang for your buck. Secondly, we have an incredible sound and lighting rig to deliver an ultra slick show. Then there's our sense of fun and great on-stage personalities - wigs, hats, sunglasses, props, inflatable guitars and microphones for your guests, that sort of thing.
Our fee (within 60 miles of Southampton) is £1400. Considering what you get for this, it's a very competitive price.
The diary is filling for 2018/19 so please get in touch soon to start planning your event. We look forward to hearing from you and, most of all, keep it funky.