Phill Howley is a professional drummer, composer, producer and educator. Over the years he’s worked and recorded with a variety of bands and musicians, including Liz Green, Louis Barrabass, The Bedlam 6, Paddy Steer and most recently Manchester based ethio-trad, folk-hop band Honeyfeet. He’s also one fourth of the genre defying Shyfinger who have just release a new album entitled “Zoo for the Blind”. Phill leads our programme for young songwriters – Sing City, with weekly sessions and live nights on a Wednesday evening at Band on the Wall. Find out more… 

Phill Howley’s Spotify Playlist

This is in no way a definitive snap shot of my musical taste rather a glimpse into what I’ve been listening to over the last month. I hope you enjoy it!

The Night — Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

This is one of my all time favourite songs. I love everything about it, from the opening bass line to the organ and strings, it never fails to put a smile on my face and reminds me just how much fun music can be.

Remembrance — Yuseff Kamaal

I can’t stop listening this album. The playing is incredible and the tasteful way in which they support each other is a lesson in musical decision making. It’s the absolute business!

In Time — Sly & The Family Stone

I could have picked anything off this album as there’s not a weak link anywhere on it but I just love the wonky riff, the use of early drum machines and the fact that it’s just SO FUNKY!

Snitch — Jordan Rakei

Perfect morning coffee music, this track was brought to my attention by my good friend and long term musical brother Fran Lydiatt (Shyfinger) it’s got that D’Angelo vibe to it but it’s even wonkier. I really love his voice, plus the stuff he’s been doing with Richard Spaven is really worth checking out.

Descarga Fania — Fania Allstars

If this doesn’t get you dancing then maybe you just don’t like dancing. Listen to it all the way through really loud, it never fails to get me playing the air trumpet.

Time After Time — The Bad Plus

I love this trio and I love the original of this song (it’d be a guilty secret if I believed in them). So when I heard this it blew my mind. They have such a beautifully abstract approach to interpreting songs and their interplay is almost telepathic. I go to this when I need to quieten down and just take a minute.

Taming the Dragon — Brad Mehldau

Two of my favourite players at the minute, they’re at the absolute vanguard of improvisational music and I love the way in which their vocabulary has as much to do with electronic music as it does with Coltrane and Miles. Plus I love the lyrics!

Avant Gardner — Courtney Barnett

I know it’s been out for a while but I’m still really into this double EP. Her lyrics are so playful and vivid which, coupled with the woozy guitar and the completely ridiculous guitar solo, has meant that I’ve been listening to this far too much.

Street Parade — Earl King

I had to have some New Orleans in this list and this is an absolute classic. Earl King, The Meters as the Rhythm section Allen Toussaint as producer arranger, nuff said! Please do yourself a favour and listen to the whole album.

Clap Track 4 — Dorian Concept

I love the chant like nature of this tune and how beautifully produced it is. It goes from something so sweet and optimistic and then just keeps expanding and expanding.