The LV Project

Listen to the LV Project on Soundlclick

As many of you may know, I’m a bassist based in Central London; I’d been playing with drummer Pierre Helliofor some years in a variety of soul, funk, rock and reggae-minded projects and I was delighted to get a call from him one day to consider working with a jazz project Pierre was already involved in. You have to understand that jazz, in many of its forms had been one of the major passions of my life. I’d spent most of my life listening to it, studying it and practising it. But, partly because of my choice to play electric bass, I’d had a lot less jazz gigs than I’d have liked. I’d had more Ghanaian Highlife gigs than jazz gigs and definitely played Louie Louie more than I’d had jazz gigs so I jumped on the chance to rectify the situation.

OK, new band, new gig, new players, new tunes to learn. The upside was the incredible players; the fact that we had a similar attitude to playing passionate music with controlled dynamics and an enthusiasm to interact with the audience; and the fact we played often at a lovely intimate venue with a fantastic atmosphere; and we could play just about anything we wanted. The downside was that the gigs were 10:30pm – 2:30 am and that the pay was on the light side.

I enjoy playing regular 4 hour gigs and you definitely get to warm up and express yourself during the sets. I joined LV Project, then called The Lyveden Project in July 2008. After our debut at a school fair we have been gigging together at least twice a month ever since and built up a fabulous rapport. They actually play at Jazz After Dark in Soho more regularly than that but with other wonderful guest bass players as I cannot easily find a balance between regular late night modestly paid gigs, family and church. The compromise I’ve come to is to play twice a month at Jazz After Dark.

Now LV Project are regularly rehearsing (for the first time in our history) in order to introduce some material and prepare to record a CD which we hope might lead to more gigs playing at more reasonable hours of the day and possibly even at rates that might recompense the effort we put into playing.
The band

  • Polish born guitarist Maciek Pysz – a rhythmically sophisticated and exciting, inventive player.
  • Irish born singer Kate Hayes who has an elegant way with jazz phrasing
  • Alternating with
  • The exciting Susana Lang Lenton on vocals, originally from the Canary Islands who leads here own excellent band that plays regularly upstairs at Ronnie Scotts
  • Alternating with
  • The wonderful jazz singerPepa Nieblafrom Spain
  • The breathtaking Pierre Hellio from Brittany on drums
  • Yours truly, alternating with Len Bendel, Jerelle Jacob and others on bass

You can find us on Youtube:
My Favourite Things
Out of Nowhere
Song for My Father
And MySpace
The old site
The new
And on Facebook

Current sets might include:
500 Miles High, Affirmation, Afro-Blue, Ain’t No Sunshine, Autumn Leaves, Behind the Veil, Blue Bossa, Canteloupe Island, Chameleon, Chan Chan, Cissy Strut, Crazy, Desafinado, Fever,Footprints, Girl From Ipanema, Good Times, I Feel Good,Impressions, Jeep on 35, Midnight Hour, Mr P.C., Mustang Sally, My Funny Valentine, One Note Samba,Out of Nowhere,Red Baron,Softly As In The Morning Sunrise, Night and Day, All of Me, Solar, Song for My Father, Spain, Stratus,Summertime, Sunny, Superstition, Take Your Mama Out, The Red One, This Masquerade, Tu Me Das Vida, Valerie, You Don’t Know What Love is, All the Things You Are, Signed Sealed Delivered, Captain Marvel, Masterblaster, Armando’s Rhumba, My Romance, Manha de Carnaval . . .

Come down to Jazz After Dark some time and check us out, it’s a great atmosphere and a groovy adventurous band. Hopefully we’ll have some other gigs to tell you about soon too! Next dates are 3rd and 4th April at Jazz After Dark, Greek Street, Soho. The sets start with jazz, bossa, samba and fusion and the last set usually morphs into funk and soul if the audience is that way inclined.

And, courtesy of The Swell City Guide, who reviewed of one of out March gigs, some new tasty photos of the band.

LV Project

Kate Hayes

Maciek and Phil

Kate again

LV Project

12 thoughts on “The LV Project

  1. There’s something rather delicious about starting in with a new bunch of musicians and everything just clicking together.

    I love jazz. Love listening to it and, when they let me, sitting in with friends’ jazz bands.

    Let’s see . . . play music you love with great musicians, but the hours and pay are suckish OR better pay & hours, but be trapped in a forever loop of Louie Louie and Brown-Eyed Girl? Gosh. Eenie, meenie, miney….

    I feel a post coming on.

  2. Hey Phil!
    That’s a choice I make every day, a concious choice. I walked away from a very successful Pink Floyd Tribute band I was in for 10 years – to play jazz, funk, fusion and all the music that I love so much, for a lot less bread. But honestly – though I’m somewhat broke, I am so much happier. We’re not getting any younger; I had to ask myself if I was doing what I really wanted to do.

    So I say go baby go! I do wish i could come see you (and maybe even sit in?); I’ll need to find a way to make that happen.
    Cheers, mate! And nice site, BTW. 🙂

    the NAIL

  3. Thanks Neil,
    I’d love to that!

    Yeah, the paid cover/function gigs cane at a good time as I was trying to support 3 people on a teacher’s salary in central London – though my lovely wife always contributed. I wouldn’t mind the odd nicely paid covers gig as I enjoy playing that music too (if not as much) provided there’s not a huge commitment.

    Ideally the jazz gigs’ll start happening at more reasonable hours for slightly more reasonable money and then I’ll be happy.

    I very much dig what you’re doing now musically Neil.


  4. Hey Phil,

    Great post. It seems a shame that there aren’t more jazz bands that incorporate electric bass. There are quite a few traditionalists that may not feel it delivers the right timber or quality for a faithful sound. I personally like the idea of pushing the possibilities of electric based jazz in the spirit of Miles and the fusioneers of the late 60s and 70s. It is a passion for music is what keeps me going through my working life and gives me the energy to study and play.

    Good to hear you have a residency with your band and long may it continue.


  5. Pingback: LV Project May and June live dates « Phil Wain

  6. Hi Phil,
    I covered your show at Jazz After Dark in February…it was really good and we had an amazing time. Thanks for posting a link to our website.

    : )

  7. Pingback: LV Project July Dates « Phil Wain

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