It was back in December 2011 that Thelonius first got together at Factory Studios in Bristol to rehearse.

Back then it was Dan, Tim and Richard, fresh out of a bruising but rewarding experience with a UK hip-hop crew, who decided to revisit the music that was closest to their hearts.

That music was dominated by J Dilla, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, D’Angelo’s Voodoo, Pete Rock and DJ Premier as well as the new kid on their block Robert Glasper and his team of wunderkinds, The Experiment.

What was needed Gumtree was Tom with a penchant was a jazz piano player and the first one up on Mcmahon-Hore, a classically trained budding genius for EST and Thelonious Monk.

The first rehearsal was one big laid back groove as Thelonius put T.R.O.Y. through its paces and quickly followed that up with Stakes is High, Ex Girl to Next Girl and what would later become Spanish Joint.

Rehearsal followed rehearsal and in late Jan 2012, a call from ace local promoter Deirdre Ward landed the first gig at the Big Chill Bar in Bristol.

The live set now included tracks by A Tribe Called Quest, Common and EST as well as those hip-hop classics that started it all.

In the early days, the band thought about trying out DJs to broaden the palette but a chance meeting at an End of the Line gig saw the arrival of Imogen, her saxophone and her oboe.

Imogen’s skills were instantly put to good use on the originals that had been stewing in the recesses of the ATM rehearsal rooms with Dan and Rich trying to reduce the number of notes and Tom, Imo and Tim all trying to increase them.

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