Jeff Wootton, best known for his work with Damon Albarn in Gorillaz, is set to perform at Manchester’s Night and Day following the release of his debut album The Way The Light.
Wootton joined Gorillaz as lead guitarist in 2010, aged 23, playing alongside Mick Jones and Pul SImonon of The Clash as the band embarked on their first ever world tour. He later joined Albarn on his solo album.
The Way The Light was recorded between Tootton’s hometown Manchester and Topanga, California, where, inspired by Brian Eno, Wootton and engineer Mark Howard (Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Daniel Lanois, U2) constructed studio installations in houses, recording for a few weeks before dismantling the set-up.
“Brian Eno is a great theorist and listening to him taught me a lot”, says Wootton. “Many of the records he made were not recorded in conventional studios, where the control room is in a separate room to the live room. Having the musician and the engineer working together in the same room can give a record a great ‘feel’, which I hope we’ve captured on the album. I also experimented a lot with sonic’s like Eno would do, especially on the guitar.”
Wootton plays everything on the album apart from the drums (supplied by Mark Heaney), and as one would expect from such a respected and in-demand multi-instrumentalist – he has also collaborated with Massive Attack, Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, and Damo Suzuki from Can – the musicianship displayed throughout is outstanding. Sonically, The Way The Light is inventive and experimental but with a debt graps of melody.
Jeff Wootton performs at Manchester’s Night and Day on 23 March 2016.
Jeff Wootton – image courtesy Sophie Jarry