Graham Graham Beck

my world

Graham Graham Beck

Keyboard player, performer, singer-songwriter, 'audio soundscapist', lover of all things analogue, & the bloke who pops up with the 'odd' TV appearance, here & there.

My music doesn't fall into any particular category, although 'Alternative Theatrical Pop' seems to emcompass what I'm doing at the moment (particularly my stage act, which has become more comedic recently - I think a spot on the Hull Comedy Festival 2019 has confirmed that). There are elements of pop, rock, rock 'n roll, jazz, vaudeville, ambient, electronic noodlings & other accidental sources, particularly when I'm recording. 'Live' performance takes the music in a more-Surreal direction, with various stage props used to 'enhance' the songs, & this is where 'lo-tech theatre/vaudeville' comes into play - 'play' being the operative word here.

Albums - exploring the peculiarities of the ordinary

I've tried to capture my world on record (well, on CD at any rate), with songs & instrumentals that delve deep into the things we all take for granted - the things that surround us everyday & make us (& me) what we are. Life is strange now, so maybe it's life imitating art/art imitating life, or both.

Anyway, all seven solo albums, 'A BATHFUL OF NASTURTIUMS' (2013), 'LO-TECH MUSIC FOR HI-TECH PEOPLE' (2015), 'REVERSING SIDEWAYS IN AN OPPOSITE DIRECTION' (2016), 'LEISURE LAND' (2017), 'SOUNDS FROM THE TENFOOT'(2018). 'NO GIGS 'TIL FILEY' (2018) & 'SWITCHED-ON BECK', can be bought from the 'Buy' page (physical CDs), or can be downloaded via Bandcamp, & indeed all major digital platforms - just search for 'Graham Graham Beck'. There is also the 2012 Menu album, 'TAKEAWAY', available only as a digital download/streaming from Bandcamp, Spotify, Amazon Music, iTunes...

Still, taken from Gnome video (2016).

Performing @ Freedom Festival, Hull (Sept. 2016)

Kardomah94, Hull (2018)

A Potted History

I followed a 'musical path' whilst at Hull Regional College Of Art during the 1970's, with the help of AMM drummer Eddie Prevost (who taught me improvisation), & fellow student Eric Goulden (who basically changed my life, musically, forever!). We formed RUBY & THE TAKEAWAYS (with Eric, guitar & vocals, Arthur Smee, drums & vocals, & myself on electric piano & vocals)...............

3 years later, & back in Gt. Yarmouth, local band PARISHEIGHTS came together - when I really started writing my own numbers. Next stop............

London: In bands PENGUIN FURY (which included bass player Charlie Sinclair, from Kilburn & The Highroads), DEAR JOHN & lastly THE WORRY DOLLS. In between, I was working on solo recordings, collaborations & gigs.

Hull: Past bands have included HULL MAN, THE ORDINAIRES, BRAZIL, FRANK, BIG SPIDER BECK (duo), MENU (psychedelic pop duo) & FEAR OF BICYCLES (experimental/jazz/rock/noise-thing)...& apart from my own solo performance/recording, & other ambient/jazzy/electro/improvisation stuff, I've taken part in Art-based webcasts & events (see 'Art' section for more details). There have been occasional gigs with WRECKLESS ERIC, as well as playing keyboards on 5 tracks of Eric's 2004 album, 'Bungalow Hi'.

Humber St. Gallery Space, Hull (April 2017)

The present

SOLO - Playing/singing/acting-out my own songs, under the name (& alter-ego) of GRAHAM GRAHAM BECK. There have been numerous live performances around the UK, & further afield - just me, a home keyboard & a growing number of cardboard stage props. By 'blurring boundaries', I hope to take the audience to a new experience, as I did with the two appearances on ITV2's BRITAIN'S GOT MORE TALENT. The judges seemed slightly puzzled, perplexed & amused - I suppose I do have that effect some time. After singing, ACTION MAN WITH A GIRAFFE'S HEAD, DAVID WALLIAMS said, "You could make a whole series out of this." ALESHA DIXON commented, "That has got Britain's Got More Talent written all over it."...& there was a standing ovation!

With six solo albums under my belt, there have been various radio-plays on BBC6Music & BBC Radio Humberside (plus other commercial, local & online radio stations). The 7th album, SWITCHED-ON BECK, will be out by the time you read this. Gigs & festivals have been waylaid/re-scheduled for next year. Stay tuned for more news!

Videos

There are numerous videos 'out there' to accompany my songs (besides the typical live performance videos), & the now once-a-month 'AT HOME WITH GRAHAM GRAHAM BECK' live videos on Facebook (which can be watched afterwards on Youtube). Videos of songs include 'Action Man With A Giraffe's Head' (2018) & 'You Are A Giant' (2012). There are stop-frame animations for: 'Fig Roll Overkill' (2013), 'A Song For Those Not Listening' (2014), 'I Think, Therefore I'm Not' & 'Merry-Go-Round' (both 2015) & 'There Are Plastic Gnomes At Asda' (2016). Plus, there are my two Britain's Got More Talent appearances, from 2018 & 2019. All of the above videos can be seen on my Youtube Channel.

See the dedicated 'Music Videos' page for examples.



Discography

- 'SWITCHED-ON BECK' (GRAHAM GRAHAM BECK - Oct. 13th 2020) - a mix of songs & instrumentals, with the emphasis on electronic keyboards/synthesisers & with inspiration taken from Walter Carlos' Switched-On Bach. Featured on the album are Moog, Roland, Casio & Yamaha keyboards, drum machines, arpeggiators & sequencers...With very minimal guitar. There's even some human vocals!

- 'NO GIGS 'TIL FILEY' (GRAHAM GRAHAM BECK - Nov. 5th 2018) - songs, plus a couple of instrumentals, related very much to the seaside. Playing all instruments, all analogue, on the album + drum machines, percussion & vocals.

- 'SOUNDS FROM THE TENFOOT' (GRAHAM GRAHAM BECK - May 16th 2018) - an ambient/field recording journey through Hull's unique tenfoots. Found sound, atmospheric keyboard work & drum machine.

- 'LEISURE LAND' (GRAHAM GRAHAM BECK - Oct. 13th 2017) - part-instrumental album, with a hint of the seaside. Playing all instruments/percussion, samples & vocals.

- 'UTTERANCES' (various artists, on the 'LINEAR OBSESSIONAL' label - DEC. 2016) - a free download-only compilation album. 120 tracks, all 2-minutes each. A diverse collection of human voice-based pieces. Experimental. My track is no.40 - 'HipHopSkipJump' (spoken word + DJ Stylophone & keyboard).

- 'REVERSING SIDEWAYS IN AN UPWARD DIRECTION' (GRAHAM GRAHAM BECK - 2016) - playing all the instruments (& percussion) on the album, plus vocals.

- 'LO-TECH MUSIC FOR HI-TECH PEOPLE' (GRAHAM GRAHAM BECK - 2015) - mainly all-analogue music gear. Vocals + keys, guitars & add. percussion.

- 'A BATHFUL OF NASTURTIUMS' (GRAHAM GRAHAM BECK - 2013) - vocals + all sorts of things, with guest musicians.

- 'TAKEAWAY' (MENU 2012) - vocals, piano, various synths, Hammond B3, Moog Theremin, loops, samples & FX.

- '3 1/2' (FEAR oF BICYCLES 2012) - playing on all tracks (various keyboards & devices, samples , FX).

- 'ONE DOVER SOUL' (ALAN CLAYSON - 2012) - on tracks 'Celestial City' & 'Teenage Runaway', playing piano. Produced by Wreckless Eric.

- 'SERVE HOT WITH CUSTARD' (FEAR oF BICYCLES 2011) - a three-track EP - playing on all tracks (keyboards, samples, FX

- 'THIS IS NOT A CD' (FEAR oF BICYCLES 2010) - playing on all tracks (keyboards, samples, FX).'FoB' (FEAR oF BICYCLES 2009) - playing on all tracks (keyboards, Moog Theremin, FX & 'rubbish guitar').

- 'YOU ARE LISTENING' (209 RADIO, various artists - 2005) - 'Awakening', solo recording playing Moog Theremin & FX units.

- 'BUNGALOW HI' (WRECKLESS ERIC - 2004) - on tracks 'Same' playing piano; 'Ladypower' playing synth & harmonium; 'Zulus' playing synth & Hammond; 'Local' playing piano, synths & Farfisa Compact; 'Housewives' playing synth.

- 'ONE MORE BITE OF MY HEART' (PETE BITE, 7" vinyl single, 1984) - on Loose Records. Cat. no. LSE5). Playing grand piano & organ.

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