Concert: AWAKENINGS, STAFFORDSHIRE U.K.: 13th JULY 2013
This was the gig that I'd been waiting and wanting to do for quite some time. I had a slot back in 2009, but because of a serious family situation, I had to pull out. So you can imagine my sheer delight when I got the confirmation of my Awakenings date.
This particular event had been important to me as it is often attended by what I suppose are my peers in this here electronic music game, and I relished the opportunity to show what I could do. I am known for having a bit of a mouth and some would perhaps describe me as opinionated, but I'm not one for pidgeon-holes, however, I do think that when you talk a hard game, you should try and prove yourself justified in what you say.
Now for this one, I brought along my son, Callum Raeburn-Fellowes, who was a week off his 15th birthday when we performed the gig. Callum had been showing an increasing interest in making music, proving himself very able as a drummer and demonstrating a genuine desire to both make and peform music, no matter the genre. We talked at some length prior to starting our rehearsals and he convinced me that he was really was quite serious about wanting to do this.
We collated our equipment in the months leading to the event, even designing and building our own 4 x pad electronic drum unit out of an old wardrobe, 8 cork-backed table mats from Asda, some cheap piezo transducers and Zimmer frame. Yes, you read right, a Zimmer frame. We added 2 Simmons SDS9 drum pads to the unit using a broom handle and jubilee clips, then hooked our strange contraption up to an Alesis DM5 drum module. It worked a treat. I took a lot of mickey taking from a number of musicians and friends, but the looks on their faces when callum started to play will remain with me forever.
We had a terrific day, and performing live music really is really something quite good that a father and son can do together. I otally recommend it. We were second listing on the bill, allocated a one hour slot. Soon enough, it was our time and we played our set with a few bumps and mis-timings here and there, but Callum and I are of similar natures and we simply laughed our way through the mistakes. To our pleasant surprise, the set was very well received and we had a lot of really nice and encouraging comments afterwards. I spent time preparing a video backdrop to accompany the music, and act as a kind of cue for us whilst we were playing. This too received some very complimentary comments. One thing I was pleased about was that people picked up on our enjoyment - Callum and I are the sort of people who really get into what we're doing and if we're having fun, we show it.
The organisers were very happy with the turnout, the opening act was the excellent looping guitarist Nick Robinson and the headline act was Air Sculpture who are perennial crowd favourite and to be between those two quality acts served us well on the night. Here are a few of the comments on left on forums
I thought Neil's set was excellent, for me one of the best in terms of complete mix of styles and delivery that we've had, and a great video (which very nearly didn't happen).
Next up was Neil Fellowes and his son Callum, during their hour they put a lot of variation into what they did, some great playing by both with some very strange bits of gear? i'm sure Neil will elaborate LOL ;-) (we used vintage test signal generators)
I very much enjoyed Neil Fellowes & his son's set. It was a different syle of music than is normally heard so was refreshing to hear. Callum was great on the drums. Dad & son were obviously enjoying playing their set. The visuals were superb too.
Such was our perceived success of the night that, during the 5 hour drive home through the night, Callum and I talked about making a studio version of the set. "Structures Of Paradise" was released on Sunday 13th July 2014, one year to the day following the Awakenings performance, and is made up of recordings Callum and I made during rehearsals, recordings made by the Awakenings team of the actual performance and some studio overlays/elements created in my GTK Studio. At the suggestion of our friend Duncan Goddard, we released the album under the name of F/R-F - our two names on the album cover took up a lot of apce!!! The album is available as a digital download from Bandcamp and you can find that HERE