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Chris performing with the legendary Al Green - Let's Stay Together (LIVE on Jonathan Ross - 18 June 2010)

CHRISTOPHER HOLLAND - biog/discography

Chris took up the piano as a small child growing up in Greenwich South East London. He started piano lessons aged seven but soon started playing by ear (which was a bit painful at first). He found it more satisfying spending hours on end in his bedroom practicing and recording his first song, ‘It’s Getting Late' when he was just 12.Using a very old reel to reel tape machine and RMI electric piano that was handed down from squeeze. It was around this time in the late 70's that his elder brother Jools would rehearse with Squeeze in their front room. When they all finished and went to the pub he would sneak in and have a play on their instruments, including a brand new polymoog synthesizer that sounded something like a space ship taking off. His twin brother Rich would also jam along on the drums.

By his early teens while still at school he formed his own band B Sharp playing mainly organ and singing, featuring Rich on drums, James Butler (school friend) on bass and Lisa Covington and Lorriette Saunders on guitar and backing vocals who he met at a local party...They made their first TV debut at fifteen years old when they were spotted by Mick Robinson for a new show he was presenting for the BBC.

He left school at 16 to concentrate on the band, touring extensively around the country for a couple of years before being signed to Miles Copeland's IRS Label, releasing a couple of singles While The Goings Good and Tell Me Straight produced by Pascal Gabriel [S-Express, Inspiral carpets, EMF]

In between working on his own music he has continued to tour and record with various other artists including Green On Red, Squeeze, Stereophonics, Paul Weller Tom Jones (to name but a few). As well as regularly playing organ and writing with Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.

In 1999 he released his first solo album Cosmic Harmony Companion (on Beautiful Records BT003CD) containing some of his earliest compositions and featuring various guests musicians including Sam Brown, Kim Leslie, Rico Rodriguez, Gilson Lavis and Pino Palladino. This self-financed debut was recorded in-between various tours during 98/99 but with limited funds to promote it confidently slipped into obscurity. A follow up studio album 'Hoopatasso' was released in 2002 in a very limited number of just 250 and was only available at live shows, This served as a taster for Brother sun Sister moon (BT004CD) which was officially released in the summer of 2003 to much critical acclaim, featuring Ash Soan (ex Del Amitri, Faithless) on drums, Lisa Covington [ex B Sharp], Ron Box on guitars, Dave Swift on bass and Sam Brown providing B vocals. This was partly produced with Laurie Latham and Ron Box and has a very uplifting and summery feel about it…

Continuing to tour throughout 2004 as well as doing various solo acoustic shows and festivals, he spent the summer recording a one off project/collaboration with original B Sharp guitarist Lisa Covington. Featuring 13 original songs, using a wide range of vintage keyboards but with a definite ear to the future Butterfly Effect was released in 2005.

In 2006/7 in between touring Chris put the finishing touches to his 3rd studio album 'Everything you can imagine is real ' recorded again with Ron Box ..Featuring Melvyn Duffy-pedal steel, James Evans-clarinet and Edwina Hayes taking vocal duties on one track and providing beautiful harmonies throughout.
It has a warm folky/country feel and has many received great reviews, becoming album of the week in music week magazine.

2008/9
Chris has been doing various production and session
work incl performing with Al Green and Dave Gilmour and meeting up with his old mate ,record producer,musician Ethan Johns(kings of Leon,Ray Lamontagne,Paulo Nutini)
and subsequently recording on Tom Jones Praise and Blame album..

2010.
In between working with Jools and the orchestra,
Chris is currently working on over 30 new songs for a new double album due out next year
including various early demos and guests, including collaboration with the amazing Katy Shotter

2011/12
While continuing to perform with the Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Chris and sound engineer Ron Box have been working on a double album released on Holland's own Cosmic Harmony Records label It features singers Katy Shotter, Edwina Hayes and Siobhan Parr. Corner Green includes 24 original compositions a beach boys cover and one co written with Chris Difford it is set for release on 13 August 2012

In June 2012 Holland performed with Jools and Ruby Turner and at the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II among Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Shirley Bassey,Cliff Richard, Annie Lennox 'Madness' and many other notable performers.

 

 

 

Chris Holland Discography

Albums Chris appears on

1985
1989
1992
1994
1996
1997
1998
1998
1998
1999
1999
2000
2000
2000
2001
2001
2001
2002
2002
2002
2002
2003
2003
2004
2004
2004
2005
2005
2005
2005
2006
2006
2007
2007
2008
2009
2010
2010
2012

Squeeze
Green On Red
Green On Red
Jools Holland R & B Orchestra
Jools Holland R & B Orchestra
Jools Holland R & B Orchestra
Jools Holland R & B Orchestra
Squeeze
Jools Holland R & B Orchestra
Jools Holland R & B Orchestra
Christopher Holland    
Sam Brown                   
Jools Holland R & B Orchestra
Paul Weller                       
Glenn Tilbrook             
Jools Holland   
Jools Holland    
Christopher Holland
Stereophonics           
Jools Holland  
Squeeze      
Christopher Holland         
Jools Holland R & B Orchestra
Christopher Holland’s Cosmic Harmony
Tom Jones and Jools Holland
Jimmy Scott
The Fields  Mark Flanagan 
Jools Holland R & B Orchestra
Sam Brown
Ray Davies
Chris Difford
Jools Holland
Christopher Holland
Jools Holland
Jools Holland
Ruby Turner
Tom Jones
Jools Holland
Christopher Holland

Cosi Fan Tutti 
Live at the T and C Club
Too Much Fun
Live Performance
Sex Jazz and R and Roll
Lift the Lid
Jools Holland Best Of..
Domino
Best Of
Sunset Over London
Cosmic Harmony Companion
Reboot
Hop The Wag
Live at the Albert Hall (DVD)
The Incomplete Glenn Tilbrook
Friends Volume 1.
The Swing Album
Hoopatasso
Handbags and Gladrags
Friends Volume 2.
The Big Squeeze
Brother Sun Sister Moon
Friends Volume 3.
Butterfly Effect
TomJones and Jools Holland
Someone to watch over me
Down the Wire
Swinging the blues dancing the ska
The very best of Sam Brown
Thanksgiving Day
Songs from the Weald
Moving out to the country
Everything you can imagine is real

Best of Friends
The informer
I'm travelling on
Praise and Blame

Rocking Horse
Corner Green

 

Christopher Holland Sept 2012

My earliest musical memory was probably the sound of my mother singing sweet lullabies to me and my twin brother in our cot.. several years later, and a little older and wiser the most vivid and influential music I would hear would probably be the sound of my elder brother Jools (by about 9 years) rehearsing with his band Squeeze in our front room. This was a magical time for me growing up in the late 70s, hearing all these great songs coming out of our sitting room, which they practically took over, much to the delight of our neighbours. So when they had finished and went down the pub I would sneak in and with my twin brother Rich, we would start having a bit of a jam on their instruments so I guess that’s where I got the bug..

When I was about 12 I started writing my own songs and formed a band B sharp with Rich on drums, where we gained a local following and even got to perform two songs on a new BBC TV show, age just 15. A few years later along with guitarist/singer Lisa Covington we were signed to IRS records by Miles Copeland (Sting's manager) and toured extensively around the country even supporting squeeze on one of their UK tours resulting in the release of a couple of singles with two of the most sought after producers of the time, Pascal Gabrial and Dennis Herring.

When I was 17 I had a motorbike accident which left me in a coma for a few weeks.. I can’t really remember that much about it but it was almost like a kind of awakening, when I finally pulled through it made me appreciate each day and moment as much as possible, which has probably also had quite a strong spiritual effect on my song writing in many ways too.

Around this time in the late 80s early 90s I started doing quite a bit of session work, which resulted in the amazing opportunity to tour around the globe with various bands including, Squeeze, Paul Weller and USA band Green on Red, which lead to recording an album with them in Tuscon,Arizona in 91. I also joined Jools’ Rhythm and Blues Orchestra around this time, which I have continued to do on and off over the years, which has been a great opportunity to play and record with a diverse range of other artists and musicians including Al Green, Paul McCartney, Barry White, Ray Davies, Kylie Monogue etc etc.

As much as I enjoy playing live and trying to enhance other peoples songs one of my main loves has always been writing and I love the creative side of being in the studio.. Ive always had an 8 track set up at home, which has expanded over the years, to include a large collection of vintage analogue keyboards, which I’m slightly addicted too. With the advent of the cd becoming a popular listening format in the 90s it was suddenly possible to make my own cd, start up my own label and produced my first self financed album Cosmic Harmony Companion, without any major record company being involved, which exactly is what I did in 1999 and have continued to do every 2/3 years since.

‘Corner Green” my latest, 5th studio album, released on 13.8.12 is the most diverse, time consuming and emotional record I’ve ever made.. A lot of the songs just seemed to pour out after my father passed away a few years ago and it has been quite a labour of love just getting them down in some form or other while they were still fresh. So with 26 tracks all together (including some bonus demo songs) it’s been quite a task and a lot of hard work and experimentation, but i’m very pleased with the over all results.

With thanks to the help of the magical studio engineer Ron Box, without whom ‘corner Green’ could not have been, i’ve loved and learned a great deal from this whole project.. (Like next time record the whole thing live in a week.. haha)

Over the years I think I’ve learnt to not worry so much and just go with the flow more , as everything always has a way of working out for the best.. and each experience, good or bad is a lesson that teaches you something..The older I get the more i’m enjoying making musc as there’s always something new to learn or the perfect song still to write.. To be really good at any particular art form, one has to have worked on it for many years, to master it’s particular structures and after 30 years I still feel I’m only half way there..here’s to the next thirty.

Christopher