The SB Band- Walk to Zamberk
Last year I spent a bit of time with the SB Band. After a summer of gigs they started to record an album that has now been released. In February the band arrived at Sawmills Studios in Cornwall.
Sawmills is a remote house on an estuary in Cornwall, and the only access is by boat at high tide, or a walk down the railway tracks. I arrived one morning to take some photos for the Album and had a great time listening to the recording and watching producer of the year Bruno Ellingham keep a really clean, warm sound in the studio. The band had a good dynamic going on, joking and enjoying each others company but really serious about the work they had to do.
I wandered around outside with the music echoing across the creek. I learned that part of the success of Reef’s ‘Mellow’ was the fact that a microphone was placed on the other side of the water. The bass speaker is outside in a shed, and those low tones throbbed through the winter trees.
I am pleased with the photos. The old sawmill is full of warm colours and a mellow vibe. Later that evening we stopped for dinner for a couple of hours and then the band went back into the studio until late. At about one in the morning I had a look around and noticed that everyone was having a great time- focussed on what they were doing, loving the creative process, and not wanting to stop making music.
The album is out now on itunes, and on CD and vinyl. It sounds really good- I have often been asked to describe the sound, and it has been really hard to explain it as a genre. It’s not rock, it’s not folk, it’s not country, it’s not blues, and it’s not country-soul. But it has parts of all of these in a modern, tight, rambling way. The SB Band comprises Amy Newton, Dominic Greensmith, Gary Stringer and Jack Bessant. There is a fair amount of swapping of instruments throughout the album and live it can be quite hectic making sure guitars and leads are in the right places.
I took some footage too during the day, and thought I’d put it together for a track called ‘Walk to Žamberk’. Last June the band played a festival in the Czech Republic called ‘Jamrock’. After a late night in the festival bar we walked back to the town of Žamberk in the early rays of a warm central european morning. Not wanting the night to end we joined in with a crowd enjoying good beer in a bar on the town square. It felt damn good sitting in the sunshine.