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Laurence Cottle

Born in Swansea, into a musical and theatrical family, Cottle was one of three brothers who helped their father (a pianist) in his variety act. “We were all encouraged to play the piano,” he continues, “and also to take up a second musical instrument.” Cottle chose the trombone, while the eldest brother took up the trumpet and the middle brother the clarinet. With little music in school, he remembers going to a private trombone teacher, “where I did all the grades.” At the same time, his father realised that his growing family had the necessary instrumentation to set up a trad jazz band, and so throughout his early teens Cottle toured Wales and the West Midlands, gaining valuable “playing” experience.    

“When I was 16,” says Cottle, “my father decided that he wanted to switch the band to being a dance band rather than a ‘trad’ band, and that’s when I first picked up the bass.” His first bass was a Kay that he put through an old Selmer valve amp. “I soon got tired of that,” he comments, “so I bought a Fender Jazz that I fed through an Ancron unit. That was a lovely instrument – I played that for a long time.” Surprisingly, Cottle never had any formal lessons on the bass guitar and eventually moved up to London in the late 70s to see if he could hack it with the best of them. “I was lucky, because my saxophonist brother Richard was living in London, and he had just completed a world tour with Stevie Wonder, apart from doing some work with Mick Jagger and David Bowie.” 


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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Fire Horse

ECN Music


Earthworks Complete

Summerfold Records


Heavenly Bodies –...

Summerfold UK


Straight Ahead To The...

Dash Hoffman Records


Live At ReVoice!

Roomspin Records


Black Dog

From: Fire Horse
By Laurence Cottle

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