The Genesis of Jimi and The Strangers
Born on the 11th March 2014 over a miller's plank table and a 10 pack of Stella, Jimi and The Strangers is the collaborative brainchild of James Robert Strange Mortimer and Lee Marshman Thomas.
The conception happened way back in 2011, when Lee founded and created the online live streaming music channel www.whitecollarzoo.com. White Collar Zoo, which started life as a song, began live streaming bands and musicians through their first music venue Jam Café in the heart of Nottingham's creative village. It was through White Collar Zoo that Lee formed friendships with some of the best musical talents in and around Nottingham and the big beyond.
It was during this time that Lee met Jimi.
Fast forward again to the 11th of March 2014. White Collar Zoo was no more due to a David vs Goliath type side story and Lee was convalescing from an Achilles tendon injury (The injury was sustained during a football game whilst he attempted a sideways bicycle kick clearly ending in disaster). Jimi had the day off from real work stuff as it was his birthday and decided to give Lee a call to see what he was up to. That call turned into an invite to pop round for a cup of tea and a biscuit at Lee's apartment in the Lace Market. It soon became apparent that Lee didn't have any milk, so the hot beverage turned into the cold beverage Stella Artois, 10 cans of it to be precise. It was on this day that Lee, driven insane by boredom due to his useless leg, was manically writing the future songs for the yet formed entity Jimi and The Strangers, and Jimi, who in turn is an accomplished musical maestro and awesome singer, picked up the first song sheet from the very large pile of song sheets and started giving it a bash. That first song, I'm Not Perfect, birthed the collaborative partnership between Lee and Jimi, and the band Jimi and The Strangers.
Jimi and Lee began to write in earnest, with Lee becoming chief lyricist/writer, executive producer and manager, and Jimi becoming chief melody maker, band leader and musical director. The two now form an extremely productive and creative partnership which has produced a catalogue of over 45 songs. Influenced by an eclectic mix of different musical genres, bands and eras, the duo write what they feel, when they feel it and normally facilitated by the odd can of Stella Artois (330ml).
Through the beautiful relationships and contacts made through the White Collar Zoo days, Lee and Jimi began to reach out to some of the finest musicians Nottingham and the UK has ever produced. Musicians like Arwel Hughes, one of the baddest bassists ever to hit the Nottingham music scene. Arwel, who first came to the duo's attention in Royston Duxford, has played in numerous bands throughout his career, including Kundalini and Shod. The other band members include the drummer Jim Farey, the heart and driving machine behind a load of different bands based in and out of Nottingham, bands like Reverend Ribble & The Ginger Nuts and again the awesome Royston Duxford. Ursula Donnelly brings up the strings with Dave Newton leading on the guitar, we also have Ben James who performs in probably all the bands in Nottingham and our female vocalists Esther Leonard and Alexa Hawksworth, fantastic musicians and creatives who add the silky duets and backing vocals that make the Jimi and The Stranger songs come alive.
These fantastic musicians are just some of the artists that make up the fluid composition of Jimi and The Strangers. The band profile will continue to change through time due to the variation in the songs written by Lee and Jimi. It was this fluid composition of the band that became the underpinning idea for the band name Jimi and The Strangers (and of course the fact its Jimi's middle name).
Next Steps - The Film Project
The band continue to work in the studio (ROFL Audio) so they can release their album which will be out this year (2018). They have already released three singles, these are:Travelling Mystery, You Ain't Right and the alt-rock classic Keep On Killing Me.
There is also a film project in the pipeline. The script, which has been written and developed by Lee, is a mockumentary focusing on the exploits of the band. The film team are looking for development and shooting funding, applications are being filed shortly, more details available on request.