site logo

Submotion Orchestra Biography

Last updated: 10/12/2012 06:12:51 AM

‘It blew me away…Somewhere between Cinematic Orchestra and dubstep – just right!’

– Gilles Peterson

Submotion Orchestra have rapidly built up a reputation as one of the most interesting and original projects emerging from the UK today. Drawing upon dubstep, soul, ambient electronica, jazz and dub, their unique music is at once delicate and heavy, spacious and dense, highly atmospheric but firmly rooted. Earth-shaking bass and drums combine with lush keyboard and trumpet textures to create the perfect bed for the fragile beauty of Ruby Wood’s vocals, and the celestial effects of sound designer Ruckspin.

‘A welcome break from the endless amount of unoriginal and formulaic music kicking around these days’

– Till Late Magazine

Formed in Leeds in 2009, the band quickly made a splash on the scene, with their live gigs leaving audiences open-mouthed, and their debut EP on Ranking Records drawing raves from everyone up to Radio One’s Gilles Peterson, while their now-legendary weekly residency at the tiny Hukaz Bar in Leeds gave fans the unique opportunity to see the band create new material up-close and personal. Festival gigs at The Big Chill, Latitude, Outlook, Bestival and many more followed in 2010, and their debut album is currently being completed.


Tommy Evans has been playing professionally since the age of 14, later going on to study jazz at the Leeds College of Music. He writes for and performs with a large number of bands, including reggae act Gentleman’s Dub Club and jazz act IDST, as well as running the renowned Leeds jazz night The Spin Off. Most recently, he was commissioned by Marsden Jazz Festival and Jazz Yorkshire to write a special suite of music for its 2010 festival.


Danny has been playing percussion for as long as he can remember, with Cuban and Brazilian styles being his particular speciality. As well as being a first-call studio and live player, he’s toured Europe with leading funk act Breakestra. His wife Donna’s incredible cakes have sustained Submotion through many hours of rehearsal.


Chris Hargreaves, affectionately known as ‘Fatty’, is the group’s perpetual voice of optimism. He has played bass guitar and synth bass with a range of artists, as well as touring extensively throughout the world. Fluent in soul, hip-hop, reggae and dance styles, he’s performed with Andreya Triana (Ninja Tune), Homecut and Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra (First Word), Takura (Chase and Status) and many more.


Another graduate of Leeds College of Music’s jazz course, Ruby sings in a large number of projects, including soul/hip-hop band Extra Curricular, accapella group Solaris, and her own solo project, Loopology. She is also an accomplished steel pan player, having started her musical life playing in steel bands.


Ruckspin (aka Dom Howard) has been DJing and producing music since the age of 15. A classically-trained viola player, his tunes include the classics ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Heart Murmur’ on Ranking Records. As a heavily in-demand DJ, he’s performed at venues such as Royal Festival Hall, York Minster and Croatia’s Outlook Festival, alongside residencies at Sub Dub, Central Beatz and Vagabondz. His favourite

album is ‘Music for the Jilted Generation’.


Taz Modi is a well-known keyboardist in the North, appearing with acts such as The Haggis Horns, Eddie Roberts and the Fire Eaters, Matthew Halsall (Gondwana Records), Jenna G, Malena (Freestyle), Homecut and Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra (First Word) and many more. His musical obsessions include The Beach Boys, the Fender

Rhodes piano and ‘Songs in the Key of Life’.


Simon Beddoe, known to friends as Bobby, has played with some of the best contemporary jazz groups and musicians in the country, including If Destroyed Still True, Dave Kane’s Rabbit Project, The Haggis Horns, LIMA Orchestra and many more.