Norman Watt-Roy

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bass_town
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Norman Watt-Roy

Post by bass_town » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:49 am

OK, I'm gonna throw Norman Watt-Roy in the mix.
Norman Watt-Roy is a british bass player who was essentially a session player/journeyman in the 70s through to the current date.
His claim to fame was as a member of Ian Dury and the Blockheads but he also had other famous gigs such as doing some session worh for the Clash and Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
He tends to be on the old school funk side of things, not known as being a slap player, he instead relies on a heavy finger playing style to to get a similar percussive effect
For those unfamiliar with his playing, I would suggest the following:
Ian Dury and the Blockheads - Hit me with your rhythm stick
Ian Dury and the Blockheads - What a waste.
Those are two fine examples of the sort of basslines he could bust out.
In terms of live stamina, I'd rate him up there with Steve Harris.
I first saw a video of him when I was about 10 and that was the defining moment that made me want to play bass instead of guitar.

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john
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Re: Norman Watt-Roy

Post by john » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:03 pm

Yeah, Great bass player for sure.

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Re: Norman Watt-Roy

Post by foal30 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:59 pm

some good lines on the first FGTH record for sure

he's got a bit of a fan club too... cop youtube for all sorts of 'pub gig' NWR goodness if me finnbass comrades are telling the truth
Slave to the Rhythm Changes

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Re: Norman Watt-Roy

Post by bass_town » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:58 pm

He's been doing a bit of stuff with Wilco Johnston as well, another good bastard of the era.

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Re: Norman Watt-Roy

Post by ryla » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:36 pm

Had the real pleasure of seeing Norm play with Wilco Johnson at the Gluepot years ago, very memorable performance not just from his bass playing but his overall prescence and intensity and a demonic 'bass face' - one of my faves.

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Re: Norman Watt-Roy

Post by bass_town » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:03 pm

Awesome. Would love to get to seem him at work. Could've seen him play with a version of the Blockheads when I lived in London, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. No Ian Dury, no Charlie Charles, no Davey Payne. Too much good *BANNED* missing...

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pins
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Re: Norman Watt-Roy

Post by pins » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:43 pm

I am so terrible with actually knowing who plays bass with so many bands,but as soon as you mentioned "Ian Dury and Hit me with your rhythm stick" my brain sparked and fizzed,momentarily started and I recalled what a great bass line in that tune ! yes !

And if Norman Watt-Roy is his name I dig his playing too,which now will lead me into some of my own research which is always good.

And funnily enough I have been recently learning to play and sing :shock: "Sex and Drugs and Rock an Roll" by the same band,I guess thats Norman playing bass on that tune too ?
I find the song some what "appropriate" and always puts a smile on my face,and thats all I need.

The gig at the gluepot would have been gold ryla.

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Re: Norman Watt-Roy

Post by martyforrer » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:55 pm

Hey Chris, I had a jam with Jas and Ursula on Sunday.... bloody excellent.

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pins
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Re: Norman Watt-Roy

Post by pins » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:03 pm

I didnt even know it was on,another subtle hint maybe :)
I was slogging around a farm,sweating all the previous nights grog out,by the glass, in bloody jandles(took my socks forgot the boots) shooting any varmint that moved :lol: was fun but would sooner been playing bass too tbh.

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Re: Norman Watt-Roy

Post by ryla » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:36 pm

Incidently, my fave ian dury number is "the crown of Englands Glory" (live in some pub by the sounds) - a real crack-up- check it out.

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Re: Norman Watt-Roy

Post by bass_town » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:20 pm

THere's a sweet DVD floating around called 'Hang On To Your Structure'. Ian Dury and the Blockheads live at the Hammersmith Odeon from some time in the mid 80s.
Very worth a purchase. Some mighty playing from Watt-Roy. The Crown of England's Glory isn't on it, but it's got a great guest spot from Wilko. Some mean drumming from Charlie Charles too.

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