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.

SB band sawmills

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.

Stringer Bessant

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.

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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.

Lee Robertson Photography

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Lee Robertson

Lee Robertson

Lee Robertson lives in Crackington Haven, Cornwall. He makes websites and short films and enjoys writing, surfing, filming, hiking and photography.

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