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Check out blues artists, Tom Gee Band’s video preview of Swapping Stories

  • date
  • 29/05/2014
Clarissa Hall, creator of the Swapping Stories album trailer, tells us what it was like to work with Tom Gee Band

3 months sounds like a long time to be working on a 5 minute video, but that’s nothing compared to the amount of time and effort Tom Gee Band have put into their debut album, ‘Swapping Stories’. I’d first heard of blues artists Tom Gee Band a while before their EP ‘Better Things To Do’ was released last year and I was excited to be asked to come along to film some behind the scenes of the new recording.  I caught up with them in the studio at the start of February when they already had a large portion of the hard work done, and even without vocals, brass or a finished guitar track it already sounded like the best work they’d written yet.  I really enjoyed the couple of days I spent there, trying to stay out of the way and be as invisible as possible with my camera so I’d catch the real atmosphere and creativity of the process.  David Sudall the drummer, who was first to lay down his parts for the album, didn’t let that stop him from coming back into the studio regularly to help make decisions and did a great job at capturing even more footage of those memorable moments. After the long days in the studio came the organisation of the album launch party.  The HiFi Club in Leeds is a great venue and suited the occasion perfectly.  Tom Gee Band’s set that night was probably one of the best I’ve ever had the chance to record.  The crowd was loving it, the band were clearly enjoying themselves, and it was so great to hear the songs I’d heard be changed and played a million times over in the studio finally be revealed to the public.
Blues artists Tom Gee Band Album Launch HiFi Club Leeds video trailer still
Since the album launch the band have been busy travelling the country, playing their new material for hundreds of people.  Having been to Cheltenham Jazz Festival before I knew I had to bring my camera along to capture the completing footage for my trailer.  The afternoon acoustic set they played in the Woods drew quite the crowd, but their set that evening was really what they had been looking forward to.  The audience loved the new material, even providing the band with a standing ovation at the end.  Seeing this really made me understand why they put so many months of long days and late nights into recording the album.  The hard work certainly paid off and I’m glad the album is getting the recognition it deserves. After all those weeks of getting in the way with my camera, sitting down to create the Swapping Stories video trailer proved tricky as I had so much to work with it was hard to know where to start. I wanted to showcase the talent and variation the album contains to make people want to hear more, but also show the personalities of the band and make it enjoyable to watch. Between trying to choose mere clips from 11 tracks of catchy riffs and runs (Matt’s saxophone solo was a tricky one to cut short but I just had to use as much of it as I could) and sifting through the hours of footage I’d managed to gather up over the months, keeping this video short was not easy! One thing I did notice in this edit (apart from the abundance of hidden dancing talent the band should really bring to the stage) was just how tight they are as a band, especially considering there are eight of them.  As I was syncing live footage to tracks from the album recordings I really wasn’t expecting it to fit as well as it did, but there were some clips that just landed perfectly in time – couldn’t have planned it if I’d tried! I’m really happy with how it turned out and I think it shows the relaxed nature of the band and their blues artists talent as well as giving you a taster of what the album has in store!

Now onto the next big project… which single needs a music video?

Buy ‘Swapping Stories’ from our online shop.
More Tom Gee Band videos can be found on our official YouTube channel here.
See more of Clarissa’s work on her YouTube channel here.

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