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Introducing LJA Brown. Musician.

What, another muso in our midst???

Musical bunch, the far easties. Just 5 minutes ago we were here chatting about that there Gaptooth, and now it turns out there is another superb and over talented instrumentalist among us.

Remember Mr LJA Brown? Yes, the one you saw at Red Door the other night with the big beard…played a storming set followed by some serious northern soul, yeah, that one… Anyway, he has some giggery (we said giggery, not giggidy for any Family Guy fans! ha!) planned for 13th April in the middle east{london} at Servant Jazz Quarters, and then he is only releasing a bloody an album straight after on 17th April, under the name Vivan Comma Close. What a busy boy!

Fancy getting to know him better? Scroll down to find out what is hot on his decks right now and his top tips for East Ham life…

THE INTERVIEW

EB: What were you doing before we rudely interrupted you?

LJB: Honest answer? I am currently in the middle of trying to source the whereabouts of a Spanish guitar that was supposed to arrive in the mail a few weeks ago. I’d like to say it’s languishing somewhere in Andalusia, but I think Barnstaple is more likely.

EB: We heard a rumour that yoooose guys live on the edge (the EAST edge that is)… Which bit is your hood? (Um, we don’t need your full address and postcode, just an area unless you want us camping outside hoping to snatch an earful of your soulful sounds through the bedroom window!)

LJB: A mate of mine, a die hard Hammers fan, introduced me the other day to some friends of his with the preface that you could throw a bread roll from the Boleyn Ground and it’d land in my back garden. Though he must have a hell of a throw because I’m really a lot closer to Central Park

EB: Tell us a bit about why you like the east side?

LJB: I’ve lived in various parts of the east end since my early twenties. It’s pretty much been my world since then. I get nose bleeds as soon as the District Line gets past Aldgate East. It can be ugly and hard-faced, but within that there’s always a lot going on. I never feel like I’m missing out on anything round here.

EB: Top Tip for new East Enders? Know any good breakfast spots? Best pub? Awesome takeaways? Luthiers? Record shops?

LJB: Parkside Cafe does a proper cup of tea, out of an urn like it should be and the colour of burnished copper. That’s more important to me than a latte, and harder to find outside of your own kitchen. Other than that your best bet is to go to High St North and get the best Dosa in London for as little as two quid. Bargain.

EB: What’s hot on your decks right now? Apart from Ole Viv obvs…

LJB: Well, the ole Viv I’m currently listening to is Vivian Stanshall, in particular his album Teddy Boys Don’t Knit. Other than that I’ve been getting into some Congolese guitar players, in particular Docteur Nico (who I heard blasting out of the stereo of an old Datsun on Barking Rd the other day) and Franco Luambo, he had a band called L’OK Jazz. As for something new, may I recommend Bas Jan – Serafina Steer’s new group. Oh, and Tom Loffill who I played with the other day at the Red Door. 

EB: Tell us a bit about the awesomeness that is LJA Brown… What’s your inspiration man? Do you have a muse?

LJB: A lot of the time songs come from me trying to work something else out that I can’t do. I’ve recently been trying to learn how to play Jazz guitar. I’m hopeless at it, and don’t have the discipline, but out of that I’ve got all these ideas for new songs. I think they sound like Jazz but when I play them to actual Jazz musicians they tell me I’m way off. But I quite like that. It’s my version of things.

EB: What does 2016 hold for you and your merry band of muso’s? Gigs? Side projects? Conquering of obscure instruments?

LJB: I have my album Vivian Comma Close coming out in a few weeks and a launch gig at the Servants Jazz Quarters, which I’m really looking forward to because I’ve managed to get some really cool people to play as well.  Other than that I will, hopefully, be doing some more gigs this year with my new band and maybe a festival spot but I don’t know yet. I’ve recently started to teach myself how to play the piano, not particularly obscure, but I’ll be honest with you my Sackbut has been giving me no end of grief. I’ve just realised that the name Vivian has been used three times in this interview (four if you count the last one).

EB: Round cheese or square cheese?

LJB: Round, just so long as it’s served in a square hole.

We hope you enjoyed that as much as you enjoy his album. Feel free to check out his tumbler here as well as his totally most excellent Instagram feed (non music related but 100% Newham related so it’s a win win for us!).

For anyone curious about his house style,  his blurb says: LJA Brown is a songwriter whose approach assimilates a wide range of musical styles and idioms as a means of giving structure to his own personal narratives of a half-real/half-imagined milieu. Rhythms of Bossa Nova, the social/everyday commentary of Calypso, or the headlong nihilism of 50’s Rockabilly and 70‘s Punk, LJA Brown weaves each of these differing approaches to music making into his own self-taught lexicon. The result is a scrapbooked collection of stories traced through the last century’s musical geography.

We say ‘Ooooh, he’s dead good isn’t he. Did you know he is from East Ham’???.

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