The Off Key Hat
David Holmes. X-Press 2. Tim Goldsworthy. Simon Beckingham. Piers Martin. Ashley Beedle. Andy Blake. Jagz Kooner. Name dropping? No. Just merely being factual and casually throwing them into the hat with an intention of painting you a picture of sorts. How the band formed is a mystery even to them; reminiscent perhaps to waking up on a strangerâ€™s sofa but with perks. Each member has been seduced and tickled behind the ears by deranged italo, cosmic disco, electrofunk, acid and arrpegiator orientated dance music. Their combined vital statistics read like a winning top trump card and hereâ€™s an attempt to condense it all without bragging;
Darren Morris (Synths & Bass) is a heavyweight in the music arena; you wouldnâ€™t fancy being in the blue corner if he was in the red. With over 180 recordings to date and guest artists in the form of Candi Staton, Cerys Matthews, Kurt Wagner (Lambchop) and Edwyn Collins, you know exactly what youâ€™re messing with. Darren frequently rubs shoulders with David Holmes, Ashley Beedle, Tim Goldsworthy and Jagz Kooner.
Next up is Leon Mayes (Synths). His obsession with recorded music is bordering on perverse and youâ€™d be well advised to have him onside in a music pub quiz. This man has thrown some gold plated parties in his time (an introduction to Simon Beckingham aided this cause) and he has held hands creatively with the likes Neil Thornton, Piers Martin and Rodaidh Macdonald of the XX.
Michelle Manetti (Vocals & Drum Pad) has a name which says it all really. She owns a black belt in performance and a voice which takes you somewhere else entirely. Music has been spotted pushing her the swings because they get on like a house party on fire. She has taken her vocal chords for a joy ride with Bah Samba and worked as a freestyle live PA alongside the following DJs to name a few; Joey Negro, Howard Donald, Sharp Boys, Prok & Fitch and Sunset Strippers. When Michelleâ€™s not flirting with a microphone & fronting up the band she works triumphantly as a DJ throughout various big name clubs.
The Off Key Hat were unleashed from captivity in 2009 thanks to releases under Andy Blakeâ€™s â€˜Dissidentâ€™ label. At the tail end of 2009 T.O.K.H had their name stamped on limited edition vinyl by â€˜Untracked Recordingsâ€™ and their first gig at Plan B slapped October 2010 round the face. T.O.K.H have now landed in the lap of Yam Whoâ€™s â€˜ISMâ€™ label and many well respected mixers & DJs are playing with the bandâ€™s eagerly awaited album as though itâ€™s a musical sandpit.
There is nothing elevator about The Off Key Hatâ€™s music and if it was played in a lift then itâ€™s only going up and I suggest you push the emergency button.
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