Soul-mod-jazz supergroup Trio Valore has been the exciting next step for two key members of Paul Weller’s live band.
Drummer Steve White (The Style Council, Paul Weller, The Who) and Britpop bassist Damon Minchella (Ocean Colour Scene) are joined by rising keyboard star Justin Shearn for a gig at Shoreham’s Ropetackle on Saturday, February 1, at 8pm.
As Steve explains: “The trio started when me and Damon left Paul’s band. That was seven years ago. People don’t realise just how long ago it was!
“We just wanted to do something a bit instrumental, something a bit back to our roots.
“We got the trio and made a record. It did really well, and we toured for a bit. Then Damon had a bit of a mishap and put a hand through a glass window, which stopped his bass-playing for a year. Fortunately he teaches as well, academically.
“He is doing a doctorate. He is going to become a PhD, so he had that.”
Steve meanwhile found himself working with the late Jon Lord.
But now the trio are back with a vengeance. They played Italy four times last year and will be back there again this year, in among all sorts of other commitments including Croatia.
Since the first incarnation, keyboard player Seamus, also ex-Paul Weller, has stepped back, and Justin has come in.
“We are just finishing up a new EP that should be out in April. We are in Spain in April, and we are also going to Croatia, and we are doing a big mod fest the first May Bank Holiday. I love having the freedom to be a lead instrument rather than backing.”
Though, Steve is quick to point out that Weller similarly valued Steve’s playing. Steve’s drum solos were always a feature of Paul Weller gigs.
However, after a quarter of a century working with Paul, Steve knew it was time to move on.
“If you are really honest and look at Glastonbury 2007 footage, you can see it was time.
“After 25 years, I just think that we had run out of ideas. One thing I didn’t want to happen – and does happen – is that people tend to fall out. I just came off from that gig and thought ‘That’s that’. Paul didn’t really have to say anything.
“We shook hands, and that was that.
“He had already told me that he wanted a different band. People tend to get upset, but I had always conducted my career with Paul on the basis that tonight’s gig could be the last, and that attitude worked for 25 years. It was a mutual thing. We had had some amazing music, and we had had some great times, but Paul was clear. He just wanted to do something different.
“I was 17 when I joined The Style Council. It was an amazing time, great albums. That whole time from 83 to 87-88 was a really, really golden time for the band. I absolutely loved it.”
Call the box office on 01273 464440 or visit www.ropetacklecentre.co.uk.