Name: EDD KEENE – THE GREEN MAN
Mission: LIVE LOOPING
I met Edd in Reading back in 2007 at the Global Cafe. We have kept in touch loosely over social media, but I have bumped into him a couple of times at Eden Festival in Scotland and have seen him performing his amazing set quite a few times now.
Edd is a multi instrumentalist live looping artist, singer songwriter and a session musician. “I have always been a musician and have all always loved to play live. I like to write a song, or have produced some sort of recording, or do a show at least once a week. It’s something I have always done and have never thought of stopping, I think it’s a fantastic addiction!” He has been performing in bands since 1995 playing a wide range of instruments, but he started his live looping act in 2007. “This has become my main outlet for my music over the past 10 years, although I still play in lots of bands.”
Edd is self taught on mostly all his instruments. His first instrument was the violin, “but I only ever seem to be able to play Klezma on it! Then came the sax, the sexiest of all instruments. I had about three sax lessons at school but the guy who taught me just wanted to jam, and to be honest I think that was the best thing that could have ever happened to me because it just made me want to jam with everyone all the time.” At 15 Edd started playing the drums. “The drums are great and I have probably played as a drummer more than anything else. Its amazing how much the drums hold bands together. Learning not to go crazy on them all the time is a very big lesson, but at 15 that’s kind of all you want to do on them.” Then he started playing guitar just because there was always one kicking about. “Then the bass, and I have to say, bass guitar is one million times different to playing guitar. Playing the bass made me realise how important the bassist is to a band! Then I bought a flute off a mate of mine and got loads of session work with that. I’ve played on works for Future Sound of London, Paul Weller, Oasis and Noel Gallagher, DJ Food and loads and loads of other artists. The flute has done me well.” At one time Edd ended up being in eight gigging bands at one time playing different instruments in each!
One day Edd tackled his fear of singing in front of people and incorporated a loop pedal “I realised I could play all my instruments at the same time! That was an amazing moment for me and now it’s been 10 years. I had my anniversary gig last night (Saturday 8th April 2017) in Reading.” When performing he records and layers together saxophone, flute, guitar, bass, percussion and vocals through the loop pedal. “It is always live, I don’t pre-record anything. A lot of the time I am told what I play is very enchanting and relaxed. I used to write a lot of Grunge and Rock when I was younger, then I got all Folky and slowly that got darker and darker which I liked a lot. Then I got into Middle Eastern styles of music which was followed by Funk and Jazz. I’m really enjoying playing Reggae at the moment, lots of fat bass lines and horn sections.”
Edd has toured mainly at festivals across the UK with his live looping act and has also performed at festivals in Europe and prestigious venues. “I played a show at a festival in Finland a few years ago. I arrived at the airport to two guys in suits who ferried me off in style to a lovely hotel and I was treated really well. Then I arrived at the festival and was led over to the stage I was to play on. It was great, I felt like a rock star. We went passed a massive big stage and I thought, ‘Oooh that looks like a good stage’ to which the guy showing me the way said, ‘Yeah you’re not on that one’. We went on passed stage after stage, with each one getting smaller and smaller. I was lead almost out of the festival, along a canal, round the corner and down a very long and wide alley between two huge buildings. ‘There’s your stage’ said the guy, and as I looked at where he was pointing I could see this tiny stage made out of a pallet at the far end of the alley. ‘Oh’ I thought… I did a soundcheck to an empty alleyway on my pallet, there was one guy there. I could hear all the other stages blaring out from far away. I was getting quite disheartened at the fact that I had come so far and was probably only going to play to this one guy. But still, I was prepared to play the best show I could possibly do. I finished sound checking and went off to prepare myself for this epic performance to one. When I came back I was in total shock! The alleyway was full! I had only been gone for about five minuets, but there they all were! At first I was so very pleased, and then I was a bit daunted by it. But it went so well! It was great, I got fantastic feedback and people were calling out ‘we love you’ from the audience, which made me go bashful and feel like a plonker. But I have to say that that was probably one of my most favourite shows. You NEVER know how it’s gonna go! You never know whats around the corner. And in my case it was a pallet and a shit load of people who love Live Looping!”
For Edd one of the funniest shows he’s ever had to play was where the stage was right next to a sauna. “There was a fence around the outside of it with fabric on and you couldn’t see over, it was hiding all the happy naked people. However, they had a trampoline! So during my set, behind the audience, all I could see was naked people appearing mid air over the barrier, all their bits bouncing about in the breeze and big grins on their faces! It was enjoyably distracting!”
Edd has three albums out already and is currently working on a fourth. He is hoping to do more shows abroad and make some more videos for his tracks. “I have one that I did fairly recently with a friend of mine, Kayleigh, it’s for my track ‘We are one’, and it was so much fun! It should hopefully be out soon.” Edd also has a lot of festivals booked in for this year so keep an eye out for all his listings on his Facebook page.