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The Lamb Surbiton
73 Brighton Road, KT6 5NF Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
With song, harmony, melody and rhythm being the main focus of Aquilina, it’s very difficult not to focus on anything else. The group started when Joseph Aquilina met double bass player Paul Baker outside the Royal College of music and asked Paul to have a jam. After many phone calls, failed attempts at meeting each other, they finally met, jammed and decided to work on Joseph’s material. Egyptian Violinist Samy Bishai answered an advert in the Loot newspaper and joined the group. Joseph’s old friend from his anarchic teens, Chilean drummer Lenin Alegria, now plays drums after an invitation from the band to complete the quartet.
Aquilina’s music has always been tricky to describe or put into a category, but one thing the remains certain, is that the majority of listeners with whatever fad they may be into: they like what they hear. Joseph’s voice producing powerful emotive tones fits perfectly with the skilfully played acoustic instruments, creating sonorous arrangements anchored by Lenin’s drumming. Comparisons have been made with Arcade Fire, Jeff Buckley, Nick Drake, Chris Cornell, Seal, Sting and the Dave Mathews Band with a North African and Eastern European flavour making their sound a little bit more open to “Worldy” influences as some may describe.
Aquilina has had several members join and leave the band including cellist/singer-songwriter Jeni Saint, Percussionist Martin Pyne and Drummer Nikolaj Bjerre (session drummer and formerly from the 90s trip-hop band Lamb). Other musicians that have worked and will feature on future recordings include: Zoe Rahman (2006 Mercury music nominee) on Piano, Oli Savil (Basement Jaxx) Percussion, Idris Rahman (The Soothsayers and producer of Mercury Nominees Basquiat Strings & Mercury Nominee Zoe Rahman) and Calum Cook (BSO, ECO, LPO) on Cello.