Jed thrilled to play his part in music act that’s going places
WELLS guitarist Jed Hampson is about to embark on a major tour with music sensations Ross From Friends.
The talented trio that make up the act have signed to record label Brainfeeder, and with an album, Family Portrait, coming out at the end of July, will be touring in the UK and Europe before spending three weeks on the road in the United States.
It’s more than former Wells Blue School student Jed could have dreamed of when he was growing up in the area and playing in local bands.
“I was always in bands when I was in Wells. Playing in and around Somerset and Bristol was really rewarding and something that I put all of my thoughts into,” he said.
“My aunt and uncle live just outside of Wells, and they always gave us a place to rehearse which we were so grateful for. I think their walls might have only just stopped shaking, so they’re probably quite grateful that I left.”
It was while he was at University of London college Goldsmiths that he met Felix Clary Weatherall and the two began to make music together.
“When I got to 18 I wasn’t particularly sure what I wanted to do so I applied to a few universities outside of Somerset to do music – I felt like if anything it would give me three years to work stuff out and learn what life outside of Wells was really like,” said Jed.
“They were some of the best years of my life and really helped me to grow and develop as a musician and as a person.
“Whenever we had to do a group project, I would always team up with my friend Felix and just make really goofy stuff. We were working on a fake art installation towards the end of our degree – in which we wore turtle necks and asked people to queue up for about 20 minutes in order to listen to a pre-recorded loop of art-speak gibberish – and he asked me if I wanted to help him work out how to play his own music live.
“I have always adored the stuff he produces and I was really excited, particularly as he makes dance music and the general trajectory for dance music producers is that they go on to become DJs rather than performers.”
Jed, whose mother Tanith is well known from her time at Wells Trading Post and brother Nick is head chef at The Bishop’s Palace cafe The Bishop’s Table, says he was lucky to grow up in a musical household.
“Music was pretty central to everything – my dad was a musician, and earlier on in my life lots of his energy was directed into thinking creatively about it. As well as this, my mum’s involvement in the punk scene in the Eighties really shaped her and all throughout my life we’ve shared similar interests. From an early age it was something I was really inspired by, and I’m really happy and quite proud to be able to keep it central to my life too.”
With Jed on guitar and Felix who “triggers all the samples and generally dictates it”, the Ross From Friends trio is completed by John Dunk who plays saxophone and keyboards.
“Since starting about two years ago it’s really taken off which is wicked,” said Jed.
“We’re lucky enough to get to do a lot of touring throughout Europe, as well as Australia and Canada. It’s taken me to some unusual places too: remote towns in Lithuania; the Albanian riviera, a bowling alley in Bristol…
“There is an album coming out, and off the back of that we’ll be heading out on a massive tour in the UK and Europe, before spending three weeks in the States.
“Unfortunately there’s no date pencilled in at The Bishop’s Barn, but we’re playing in Bristol on October 2.”
• Picture: From left, John Dunk, Felix Clary Weatherall and Jed Hampson at the Maida Vale Studios for a live session for Radio 1