The Herbaliser Band
More than 15 years into their musical journey, The Herbaliser just keep getting bigger, stronger and better. It all began in the early 1990s when West London duo Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba discovered a shared passion for hip-hop, rare groove, funk and jazz. James Brown, DJ Premier, Lalo Schifrin, David Axelrod and Serge Gainsbourg were their youthful heroes.
book tickets via the main Hay Festival website
The studio became their first instrument. Both avid vinyl collectors, Jake and Ollie began using the freshest sampling techniques, coupled with Jake's musical knowhow from playing guitar and bass. Later, they added guest rappers and vocalists. Later still, a full live line-up of brass, strings and cinematic textures. DJ Malachi plus Easy Access Orchestra players Ralph Lamb and Andy Ross became regular Herbaliser collaborators, expanding and enriching their sound.
Ollie and Jake proved their DJ skills with the acclaimed 2004 mix album Herbal Blend and their 2006 mix for Fabric. In between, they returned to the studio with Take London, released in 2005. A multicultural manifesto celebrating the UK capital's unique mix of soul, funk, hip-hop and reggae, it featured the triumphant return of Roots Manuva alongside Jean Grae, who by now had left her What What alias behind. A rave review on the BBC Urban site described Take London as "tailor-made for cruising over Waterloo Bridge at midnight, preferably in a blacked-out mini with a Union Jack painted on the roof."
The Herbaliser band have toured all over Europe, the US and Canada, plus Turkey, Russia and the Baltic states, as well as dates on the island of La Reunion, two hundred miles off the coast of Madagascar. In addition, in 2009 they released "Session Two," a follow-up to 2000's live album.