On Thursday 20th November, The Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) was delighted to welcome back Kylie Minogue’s live band. Yamaha endorsed artists Dishan Abrahams (Bass Guitar) and Tom Meadows (Drums), plus Xenomania’s Luke Fitton (Guitar), delivered three very special rhythm workshops. While acting as a masterclass, these sessions also gave three ACM bands the rare opportunity to perform through a stadium stage set-up and receive feedback on their performance.
Taking place in Guildford’s Electric Theater, Dishan, Tom and Luke showcased their versatility in playing various styles and highlighted the professionalism required to be a part of the touring machine that is Kylie Minogue’s live show. The trio discussed the difficulties as well as the rewards of being part of such a high-scale production, emphasising the importance of being proficient, reliable, and well-prepared with the ability to think on your feet. While they mentioned that a lot of the material they perform live does not require virtuoso technical abilities, the challenge lies with recreating an incredibly high production value live (e.g. finding the perfect gear for the ideal sounds), and dealing with the logistical aspects of the show. The band’s meticulous attention to detail when it comes to re-inventing certain sounds comes to show when looking at their extensive set-up that left many students in awe. Luke stressed the importance of putting one’s artistic ego aside in this job, as all that counts as a session musician is making the overall production sound as good as possible.
“It’s so rare to get the opportunity to experience these kinds of incredible pop bands so close to the end of a huge world tour. They were playing the songs and using gear that had been on a stadium stage just 2 days before, and they sounded great! These opportunities are priceless and really give our talented students a unique and inside perspective into the world they’ll be entering.”
Jono McNeil ACM Fellow and Vocal Tutor
A variety of ACM students had the chance to meet the band and showcase their favourite Kylie songs. As well as receiving constructive feedback on improving their live session skills, each band had the chance to play through a worldwide touring rig.
ACM is proud to give its students opportunities like these, preparing them for the industry they will be entering.
Check back soon for EXCLUSIVE video footage from the ACM masterclass!
About Dishan Abrahams
Hailing from the western coast of Australia, Dishan Abrahams began his love affair with the bass guitar after picking up the instrument in his mid teens and playing in multiple church, club and bar bands. After studying Jazz at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Dishan continued to play as many gigs as possible, touring and recording music before moving to London to pursue his musical ambition.
Since making the move to London, Dishan has been fortunate enough to play with some amazing artists and musicians on some incredible shows including Kylie, Leona Lewis, Nicole Scherzinger, Sugababes, Christophe Willem, the London Horns and many more.
For more information about Dishan Abraham, follow him on Twitter.
About Tom Meadows
Tom Meadows began his journey into the rhythmic world during his early teens which soon took him into the London jazz and latin club music scene. Following a chance meeting with Mark Roberts, Tom began to explore different musical genres and new approaches to playing the drums which led him to tour with the likes of Jamie Hince (The Kills), Alt-Folk/Country artist Rosalie Deighton and with rock/metal band Apes, Pigs & Spacemen.
Meadows has also recorded, performed and toured with a number of pop acts including ex-Spice Girl Emma Bunton, Lucie Silvas, Girls Aloud (Chemistry Tour // Greatest Hits Live at Wembley DVD // V Fest 2006 // Vodafone Live Music Award), Jamelia, Duffy, Christophe Willem and Kylie Minogue (Aphrodite // Aphrodite Les Follies World Tour).
About Luke Fitton
At the age of 19 Luke was headhunted to join pop production house Xenomania, and developed his skills in the studio. Up until late 2009 Luke was the lead guitarist in pop/rock band Vagabond gaining a great deal of experience writing, recording and performing on the road. Since leaving the group Luke has been fortunate enough to play for some fantastic up and coming acts as well as known established artists.
In October 2010 Luke joined Kylie Minogue’s live band as her lead guitarist and went on to complete the spectacular ‘Kylie Aphrodite Les Folies’ world tour completing 77 shows across 27 countries.
Luke has recently enjoyed success as a composer writing music for Sky’s UEFA Champion’s League coverage with his track ‘Gonna Get Ya’ as well as making an impression on the UK top 40 with his track ‘Tears’ for rock band The Pictures.
For more information about Luke Fitton, follow him on Twitter.
ACM would like to thank Dishan Abrahams, Tom Meadows and Luke Fitton for dropping by Guildford and for taking the time to share their experiences of the international music industry.