Bass player Tom Robertson came to BIMM Manchester last month to take part in a Masterclass, sharing his experiences as the bass player for Jake Bugg’s band, as well as other career experiences to date and his tips for a working life in music – all punctuated with live samples of his terrific bass playing skills, complete with BIMM backing band.
The Masterclass was hosted by Manchester Songwriting Tutor, Jez Wing. Tom opened proceedings with a live rendition of a Jake Bugg number, with Jez supporting on keyboards and BIMM students providing the musical backup.
After the performance, Jez and Tom began a conversation giving Tom chance to talk about the different singer-songwriters he has performed with, leading to his current working relationship with successful young British artist, Jake Bugg. Tom appeared on five of the tracks on Jake’s Number One selling eponymous debut and has been performing with the singer ever since, including gigs at the Royal Albert Hall and Jools Holland.
Tom talked to the students about his passion for his instrument and stressed the value of challenging yourself as a musician whenever possible. The band then took to the stage for another Jake Bugg hit, after which Tom discussed topics such as the importance of networking and the practicalities of life on the road.
Discussing his favourite experiences with Jake Bugg, Tom picked out their support slot for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds as being a particular cherished memory. A Q&A session with the students was followed by one final live song, rounding up a happy Masterclass, not least for Tom himself:
“The students were really bright and asked fantastic questions,” said Tom. “It was a really nice change to get to play music with them, they were really great players. I loved the atmosphere.”
BA2 Guitar student Jake Pattinson got the chance to be one of Tom’s temporary bandmates:
“It was really cool to get to play with Tom and perform some Jake Bugg tracks. I’ve always been a massive fan of his!”
BIMM host Jez was very happy with the session:
“Tom gave a fantastic Masterclass. He gave a real insight into touring and working with contemporary musicians. The insight he offered was really valuable.”