EAST, October 2003
Splash Point Records
MAKING a sizable splash in the Jazz world is not an easy task. But one Seaford-based label's inaugural release has already been touted as one of the finest singer-songwriter albums ever. Even Prince Charles has a copy. Singer and
pianist Liane Carroll has recorded and toured with Paul McCartney, Gerry Rafferty and Ladysmith Black Mombassa and is finally gaining worldwide respect.
Recorded at Splash Point Records' studio - a tiny room in an estate house in
Seaford - 'Billy No Mates' captures the energy, wit and humour of the Hastingsborn diva. 'I have a feeling she will be really big,' said founder Neal Richardson. 'She is very energetic and always gives 110%. The job is made easy for me
because she's so well known.' Over a cuppa at the studio, Neal tells me he has finally achieved his dream of having his own recording studio, a dream he has had since he was 15.
'I wanted to create an environment locally, get people involved and create a little scene. My friends in London said it wouldn't work but there is so much talent in the area. We're booked up well into next year.' As we chat we can hear the faint but beautiful strains of Neal's next project; an album by his wife Sue, the 'only' female singer/trumpeter in the world. 'Our aim is to support musicians by producing and selling quality recordings and giving a sizable percentage of the
profits back to the performers.' After meeting, the couple travelled the world as the duo Impromptu for years, but after entertaining 34 countries decided to set up camp 'somewhere near the sea'. 'I named the label after a place in Seaford called Splash Point where the waves crash over the rocks. It's my favourite place in the world.' Neal smiles as we watch Sue sing over the guitar of Andy Drudy, who, incidentally, plays the scene breakers in hit US show Friends.
He leans over, 'someone said there are only two types of music, good music and bad music.'
And whether you're a jazz aficionado or not you have to agree this is good.