Friday, 31 December 2010

END OF 2010

For the last few months of 2010, we've mostly been working hard to get new material up to match fitness for the Three Trapped Tigers album, which we'll be recording from Jan 4th. Ultra excited about this, and 2011 in general for many other projects.

In between writing and rehearing, we played a few festivals, including End of the Road and Bestival in the UK, and some abroad - most notably Nowa Muzyka in Katowice, Poland. Excellent trip, featuring a personal year highlight: watching Autechre at midnight with only the moon illuminating the stage, crowd and dis-used mine surroundings. Add incredible sound and some of the most inspiring, uncompromising electronica I've heard for ages = perfect darkness! [Also had a brief chat with Mary Anne Hobbs from the side of the stage]. Check out this video from about 12:50 for our feature [amidst esteemed company!]:

TAURON NOWA MUZYKA KATOWICE from kuba kossak on Vimeo.

Other items of note from the past months:

Remixed The Temper Trap [out on
'Conditions Remixed']:

'Rest' The Temper Trap [Three Trapped Tigers Remix] by mattcalvert

Remixed our labelmates Gallops:
'Defbox' Gallops [Three Trapped Tigers Remix] by mattcalvert

Had the MA album The Last and my Bygones EP mastered by Peter Beckmann. [Both out in Jan/Feb 2011 respectively.]

Performed on Resonance FM in an electro-acoustic duo with Cake [Tom Challenger from MA]. Looking to make a duo album in 2011.

Performed with UNKLE/The Heritage Orchestra again, at the Union Chapel.

Played some jazzy guitar on Kylie Minogue's Xmas single. [Honestly!]

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


Had two UNKLE projects coincide, a massive concert at De La Warr Pavillion in Bexhill with the Heritage Orchestra on the 10th and doing a Tigers remix of 'The Answer'.

'The Answer' UNKLE [Three Trapped Tigers Remix] by mattcalvert

Also involved in the gig were Ross Stanley [from MA] on piano, my twin brother John on bass/synths, Jez Wiles on percussion and Graham Fox on drums. And then about 20 string and brass players. On the actual gig there was a huge lazer display which no-one onstage could really appreciate - the very top photo [by Iestyn Lloyd] is from the back of the hall. Back in Dec 2008 there was a Heritage concert at the Union Chapel playing UNKLE's 'End Titles...Redux' album, so this was a continuation but with more of their classics like 'Rabbit in Your Headlights' and songs from their new album 'Where Did The Night Fall'. John and I go way back with Heritage leader Jules Buckley, since we were 15 and he was 18. We played on the 2006 album (as did Ross, Cake and Betts) and I had one of my pieces recorded for it.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

2010 Blog - Backdating

I've started this blog, so far as a retrospective - in photos, videos, tracks and text - of 2010 now that we're half way through it [Jan-June posts are under 'June'/'July']. It's been a productive time, and looks to carry on this way - if the rest of this year goes to plan we'll see a Typewritten EP and first Three Trapped Tigers album recorded, as well as the release of my Bygones EP and the MA album The Last. Thanks for taking an interest.


Been a studio-based couple of months. The above screenshot is the kind of thing I've been looking at all year. We mixed the MA album over a week in May. Can't wait to show it to everyone. Props to Alex Bonney [Leverton Fox] for keeping the mix in check, and to Ben Lamdin [Nostalgia 77] for his engineering skills.

The Bygones EP was originally recorded back in April 2007(!). Betts did the drums at home one afternoon. The next day I drove to my folks' place in Devon and spent a few days in the spare room finishing it. Ben Trigg played cello on one track. At the end of May 2010, I added and replaced a few things but mostly the original recording is intact. I then mixed it with help from Alex again in June. Look out for late 2010 release.


[Photo by Snowtown]

Even though we only got to play 4 songs, it was a great night supporting Rolo Tomassi at the Camden Underworld on May 28th. They played their new album Cosmology in its entirety and it sounded killer – lots of great ideas, very inspirational. Such a cliché to say this about a second album from people so young but it does sound ‘more mature’ even if it's still hectic as hell in places. Amazing gig, this shot from during their encores says it all:

[Photo from here]

'I Love Turbulance' Rolo Tomassi [Three Trapped Tigers Remix] by mattcalvert


On May 3rd I played at Cheltenham Jazz Festival with an incarnation of my acoustic project Typewritten, accompanying silent films. Jamie Cullum curated some things for the festival and when I bumped into him randomly in November he told me that I should expect a call. It was nice of him to involve me considering I have no real profile of my own.

Typewritten has been up to 9 people live. I could only really bring 4 and therefore enlisted some serious multitasking monsters: Ben Bryant [amazing percussionist/drummer/vibes player], Tom Mason [double bass/violin/anything else you give him] and Ivo Neame [incredible pianist/sax/clarinet player who's also great on tuned percussion and drums]. I also did some live sampling, a break from the usual Typewritten all-acoustic philosophy.

So refreshing after all the volume of TTT and MA to play acoustic guitar, banjo and enjoy some of my friends' playing. Cheers to Tom Richards, the first friend of mine to join Cullum's band and basically bigged me up to him.

Jamie Cullum’s blog

Reviews: 1 2
Photos: Renate Kerntopp

'1' Three Trapped Tigers [Typewritten remix] by mattcalvert



Played two gigs with Acoustic Ladyland, subbing for Chris Sharkey (who's amazing). Pete, Seb and Ruth - great musicians and such nice people, which only made the privilege of being onstage with them more enjoyable. It was liberating to just wig out on guitar, improvise, noise up, and not worry about keyboards or computers. It was a shame I was only doing two gigs but hopefully I'll be involved in the future of the band somehow.

Straight after the second gig in Newcastle I had to make a 7 hour bus journey through the night back to London so that I could rejoin with TTT and drive to Holland the next morning. Ugh.


The European dates were amazing. First up, a big, city festival Motel Mozaïque in Rotterdam with Fuck Buttons and others on the bill. Fun gig.

Next night, Belgium supporting Fuck Buttons. Some dude mistook me for FB's Ben Power after the show:

Him: "Hey man, I really like what you guys are doing. I don't think anyone else is doing anything like it.”
Me: "Hey, thanks for saying so man”
Him: "I mean, you two have a really great chemistry onstage…”
Me: "Us two? What about...oh...hang on..."

Finally, Domino Festival [photo by VInce Kmeron] - an immense Brussels city festival headlined by 65DOS [big supporters of ours] and Fuck Buttons, with us on second. IMMENSE. What a privilege.

For gigging, EUROPE rules. The gig reps, crew and staff are all so friendly and helpful. You get nice hotels. You get fed really well. I even get the impression that the audience are less militantly trendy and just more open. [For added Euro pimp shit, look here at how the Domino festival stage stuff works: all set up on risers ready to wheel on/off for quick turnarounds - so simple but pretty common in Europe.]


UK tour for EP3. Cardiff and Bristol we had to cancel as Betts was stuck in Mexico due to the Icelandic volcano debacle. Our support band Talons played anyway and reported that Cardiff was rammed....damn. So we kicked off in Manchester [Deaf Institute], followed by Edinburgh [Electric Circus], Birmingham [Hare & Hounds] and Brighton [Freebutt] which was awesome. Here's us debuting 13 at that gig:

Last stop - ICA, London. I'd never been to this venue but I'm glad to have played it considering there's talk of it closing. Immense. Great vibe to the gig, loads of mates, loads of actual fans who'd come to see us...even promoted by friends of ours RockFeedback - it was sold out we were told. Everyone said the sound - especially the bass - was fucking loud. Well, better than it being fucking quiet.

FLY review

Now that we'd released and toured 3 EPs as planned, it felt like the end of 'Phase 1'. I'm proud of we've achieved without being signed or really having any financial support. Instead, we been lucky to have just some serious believers who've worked their asses off for us and made stuff happen.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010


Finished recording an EP with a banjo-wielding singer called Olivia Lila Preye. Banjo conjures up so many redneck connotations for most, but it can sound really sweet, and her odd-timey songs (math-folk?) are interesting, unusual and beautiful, so I really enjoyed getting into them. We'd started working together in November 2008 but other than a few days here are there the songs sat in the can til March 2010.

John Blease played drums and did a few percussion loops. Ben Trigg played some cello. I did the rest - synths, drum programming etc. Stay tuned for mixes/release.


With no money [or internet for all of February] I had no option but to stay home and work for a few weeks on the new MA album. The live parts were recorded on Dec 16th @ Fish Market studios, with Ben Lamdin engineering.

For those who don't know: Ma is led by saxophonist Tom Challenger [or Cake, as we call him] of Outhouse/Red Snapper. Before I joined, Ma had existed for some time as a trio with Ross Stanley on organ and Dave Smith on drums. They recorded a great album Jyketie in 2008 that sadly very few people have heard or probably even know about. They began to change direction when I saw them with Steve Arguelles guesting on live sampling [also a drummer, check his duo Ambitronix / his label Plush]. Ma had never sounded like a regular organ/sax jazz group but now they sounded even more original.

After seeing this I basically invited myself to join them around May 2009. I used to do live sampling with [TTT's] Tom Rogerson, it's actually how we started off - in a group with Cake too. The two Toms also did a really interesting duo record last year Cable Street Shorts [recorded at Urchin Studios].

MA is the one band I'm in where I don't play guitar. I did some synth stuff on the record, but otherwise it’s just live sampling/processing of feeds from Cake, Ross and Dave mostly using Ableton Live.

On the 20th MA did a gig for the Loop Collective's Loop Festival at the Vortex [above photo from soundcheck: Alex Bonney, who was also on hand to assist with live sound]. A few weeks later it got aired on Jazz on 3.

'Noir' - MA. [Live @ Vortex 20.02.10] by mattcalvert

Tuesday, 29 June 2010


We were delighted when we turned up at Barden's Boudoir on Feb 5th to find Beatcast setting up to film and multitrack record the whole gig as we’d been talking about doing live recordings. I was still jet-lagged from being in Malaysia for the last two weeks of January and I think by the time we played I'd been awake for 36 hours. They also did an interview outside in which you can see I'd been up longer than usual. Was a great night [put on by Different Class Radio] and good to have our August 2009 tour partner Gold Panda DJing after us.