The UK, despite what might be happening now had in the late 80’s and the 90’s a huge, brilliant and hugely respected soul scene that was indeed global. Lisa Stansfield, Soul II Soul, Sade, Omar are just some of the names that put the UK music scene on a global stage.
Of late one can argue our soul scene has not been as large but regardless of size it is still here-thankfully. I came across this album called Shades of Green by a duo called L.A.M.P. The album is that brand of milk chocolate, smooth soul (with occasional forays into reggae and funk) that allows you to drop the two step and not look like you are trying to disguise the fact that you cannot really dance. Every cut just had me nodding my head like I was possessed by the soul demon who takes over your limbs. From track one to thirteen Andy Compton on production and the intriguingly named Ladybird ooze out classy numbers-its full of great melodies and great musicality-they should be a treat live!
Ok first off let’s talk about how Bristol and Paris came colliding into a beautiful musical marriage?
Andy Compton -It started two and a half years ago, when one of Ladybird’s dj friends in Paris insisted she hit me up to do some collaborations! We worked together on a Rurals song, via the internet and the song was a great success! I suggested she flew to Devon to work on some new music. We did another four song which ended up on The Rurals Ocean album we then started working on her album, so she started coming over often. We also started doing gigs together in Europe, and did 5 tours of South Africa.
Explain your back stories into music?
Andy Compton- I grew up on a farm in Devon, but my parents were big music lovers. My dad used to play drums in bands, so he was happy when I started playing the guitar at 12! When I was 13 I got my first electric guitar and started a band with friends, this moved on to many other bands and an obsession with guitar music theory. By 15 I was teaching guitar in local guitar shops, and gigging regularly. When I was 16 I moved up to Nottingham with my current group, but ended up turning into a full on raver!! I sold my guitar to get some decks and started dj’ing, then in ’93 started producing house music and soul.
Ladybird-I grew up as a teenager in a Yoga Ashram in Australia listening to African American music from Stevie Wonder, Debarge, Minnie Ripperton, Sade ect. When I came to Paris I started to to sing in an Acid Jazz band inspired by the label Talking Loud but I really started getting work as a deep house artist .
Andy you have been prolific in terms of producing explain your process to creating music?
Andy Compton – I always start with a blank mind and go with what I’m feeling, quite often the first chords played are the ones used! I’m not a person who spends time getting things perfect. I like to capture a feeling before it passes, if needed I will have other players in to do extra, keys, sax etc… once the music is done I pass it along to the vocalist.
And you Ladybird.
Ladybird-I get in inspired to write lyrics from the music and of course and from what I am going through in life at the time.
And of course explain how you work together?
Ladybird-The music is normally done separately and before hand, so the work together is mainly recording the vocals and getting the vocal sound polished.
Ok the album first the name Lamp Shade of Green what’s that stand for and what inspired this soulful piece of laid back magic?
Ladybird- It’s a bit of a throwback to the Roy Ayres’ project RAMP, which he produced in the late 70’s; an album full off love, good vibes and positive energy!-L.A.M.P stands for what ever you want it to!
The album traverses many genres but in essence it feels an album dedicated more to that soul vibe is that wrong or right?
Andy Compton- Soul music is where it’s at for me whether in house, reggae, whatever…there has to be soul!
Ladybird- Yes definitely stems from soul !
Never Gone Stop reminds me of the Brand New Heavies’ Classic Apparently Nothing-true?
Andy Compton- I actually haven’t got any music on Acid Jazz! I’m more of an early 70’s music lover. We did the jam in the studio and Ladybird did the finishing touches with the vocals…
Ladybird-(lol) , yes I guess I listened to a lot of Acid Jazz back in the day!
Are you going to be dropping the formulaic mode of dropping videos or is it strictly gigging it?
Andy Compton- We’ve done four vids so far! Shot in Paris and my home town Bristol. We will be releasing them soon and we are also planning release parties and gigs.
Where is the UK soul movement and do you think it will ever gain the same degree of success think; Lisa Stanfield, Soul II Soul?
Andy Compton- I’m not totally sure as I do not really keep tabs on what’s going on. I just live in my cave! (studio) of course I know soul acts like Amy Winehouse and Duffy etc have been huge worldwide….we hope to fly the flag as well!
Is there a new UK soul movement right now?
Andy Compton- Yes it’s starting with L.A.M.P! Actually there’s a lot of great things happening in Bristol at the moment, some amazing artists and players-I am blessed to be here at this moment.