Blues for Plankton
I\'m based in Brighton, UK and have been playing and recording original material solo and in various line ups since 1991. My sound takes in folk, jazz, blues and alt. Country, influenced by songwriters like Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Danny Schmidt, Beck and Van Morrison, at the same time digging Neil Young, Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash and Nick Drake, and composers Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington. Blues for Plankton features several wonderful musicians I had the privilege of working with in the studio on this album, including Dave Whitford (Christine Tobin, Hans Koller Big Band) on double bass, Martin Harley (Martin Harley Band) on slide guitar, Ben Lee (Heritage Orchestra, All Jigged Out) on violin, and Sam Walker (Turning Green, Shona Foster) on drums and organ. My lovely lady Naja Skott Olesen also sings harmony vocals with me on one track. It was recorded over a three month period in 2007 during down time at Round the Corner Studios in Brighton. I finally got around to forming a band to play it live in May 2008; Steve Thompson on double bass and Giles Gobat on drums. I\'ve also played with (among others) Jon Thorne (Cinematic Orchestra), Buster Cottam (The Hat, Lou Rhodes), Grant Allardyce (Super Collider, Mountain Firework Company), Mark Treffel (Blue States, Astrid Williamson) and Mike Simmonds (Alice Russell, Natureboy). I\'ve released two albums: Saw The Sun, in January 2007 on independent label Round The Corner under band name Mab, and Blues for Plankton, end of August 2008 under my own name. I also recorded an EP Bye Bye Blackbird in 2002, and several cassette albums between 1994 and 1999, but who\'s counting? I\'m currently recording songs for my third CD, which will be called Angels and Jackals. This is shaping up to be an altogether sumptuous and intricate beast! About Blues For Plankton: \'It\'s deliciously unrushed... Amidst this musical master-class sits Messent\'s startling lyricism. Simple, downbeat stories bleed with emotion as Messent talks with a Van Morrison-esque level of introspection and reflection. It\'s equally serene and poignant and lends this glorious LP a further level of quality.\' (Stephen Jasper, Fresh Deer Meat) Other kind words: \'...full of mellow subtleties, lonesome riffs and fine vocal moments...\' (MW, drownedinsound, EP review) \'...an unfussy and bare vocal strength with an acute edginess redolent of Neil Young.\' (live review, Sanctuary Cafe) \'Soulful jazz-tinged experimental songs crammed to bursting point with pop hooks, soaring highs and enough melancholy to leave even the most hardened of gig-goers with an open jaw and a lump in their throat...\' (Ric Blow, The Greys) In the last three years I\'ve played sets at both Glastonbury and Bestival, written an arrangement for a live collaboration between The Hat and the London Swingfonia big band which was performed at Glastonbury 2005 in the Lost Vagueness ballroom, together with dates at popular local venues such as The Greys, as well as the 12 Bar Club, Betsey Trotwood and Green Note in London. I am also part of the Sound Tank collective, set up in October 2004 to provide a focus for quality, original live music where independent musicians get paid fairly. It has hosted artists including Lou Rhodes and Jon Thorne's Oedipus Complex.