The Bays
The Bays
The Bays

The Bays Profiles:
So Simon turned up and immediately fitted straight in...

The Bays
The Bays
The Bays
The Bays

After Smugg left we needed someone who could fill a role that was complex and difficult in ways that differ from the rest of ours. Our roles are based quite a lot on technique. His is based more on taste. He has started instigating a few ideas now but mostly it’s about him being incredibly flexible and layering focal points on the bedrock of what the rest of us are doing. It’s easy for me in a way because if I have an idea I know will work I’ll just pound it out and everyone will support me but Simon is usually in the position of blending in and tuning samples to what he’s presented with. This is much harder than it sounds.

4 years old and little Simon is having real problems getting to sleep.

He used to throw away his pillow, pull back the bottom sheet and lay awake for hours listening to the sound of himself banging out little rhythms on his cowboy and Indian motif mattress and his brothers headboard the relief of which was not too dissimilar to a cactus.

His father was an obsessive listener to classical music.

Whilst playing a record those in the room with him were banned from speaking or moving.

Reading was out of the question.

The only point of focus being the music itself and Simon's father stood in the centre of the room, one hand held aloft and his face contorted in concentration and deep appreciation.

10 years old and Simon's discovered multitracking.

Though there was a piano in the house he used to tinkle on now and again, most of his time was spent with two shoebox shaped Phillips tape recorders. He'd record himself bashing away on a milk bottle on one tape machine, then press play and record that and a live take of himself hitting some bricks and stuff on the other.

Synthesisers suddenly appeared in Simon's world when a mate of a mate at school lent him an old synth called an Oscar which had step time sequencing and he spent hours programming the keyboard riff from No More Heroes by The Stranglers.

A couple of years on and Simon is playing percussion.

Whilst out at a club called The Fez, Patrick Forge is playing and all Simon's mates are saying "go and tell Patrick Forge you're a percussionist" so eventually Simon goes up and says "hi Patrick I'm a percussionist".

A couple of days later and Simon bumps into Patrick Forge in Reckless Records.

"Hi Simon I was talking to Giles Peterson the other day and he said he needed a percussionist and so I put your name up - I hope you don't mind"
"Er no, no not at all"
"They're called K Creative".

No one had heard him play a note yet.

After that his many studio and live collaborations took him everywhere from the High Street of main stream pop to his natural habitat in the murky backstreets of the electro underground.

Once he was asked to do an Art of Noise support DJ gig.

Simon thought the decks to be put at the back of the stage and it was just a low key party warm up kind of thing...

until

walking out in front of a packed house at the Shepherds Bush Empire, it was so silent you could hear someone rustling their toffees in row M

and the decks were centre stage

under a spotlight.

The first thing he did was knock over his beer whilst scrabbling in his record box for his first tune.

The best thing about this gig was the promoters had thought he was an act and so had given him two dressing rooms.

Two dressing rooms. Two lots of beer.

As you are probably aware Simon has recorded a substantial amount of material under the name Palmskin Productions.


The Bays
The Bays

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The Bays
The Bays