We caught up with Assoc. Prof. Andrew McKinney about his Glasto performance

9 August, 2022

BIMM London’s very own Head of Bass and Associate Professor, Andrew McKinney, performed at Glastonbury Festival 2022 as part of Jarvis Cocker’s project, Jarv Is…

And what a set it was, opening with a cover of his original band, Pulp’s ‘She’s a Lady’ went down a storm. A mix of Jarvis’ solo work and Jarv Is… tracks followed including a hit, adapted for a television audience, to ‘Pr**ks Rule the World’.

One of the best things about studying at BIMM Institute is the opportunity to learn from people who have direct connections and experience within the industry, great people with extraordinary stories who are actually doing it. So we caught up with Jarv Is… bassist Andrew McKinney to learn about his Glastonbury experience.

Firstly, let’s get the intros out of the way…

I’m a session bass guitarist – my main gig for the last 15 years has been the James Taylor Quartet. I’ve done various other things, been a regular dep on West End shows, and then for the last five years have also played in Jarvis Cocker’s latest musical project – Jarv Is…

How was Glastonbury? That’s a pretty big one for any musician…

It was an awesome experience! It’s a special festival, so to be a part of that felt incredible. It was pretty surreal going on stage – I had been watching it at home before and hearing it all on the radio, so to actually be there was hard to take in.

The gig was pretty wild – some monitoring and technical issues, but that couldn’t detract from the experience. My wife and lots of friends were there; we had a great day and party afterwards!

How did you get the gig as Jarv Is… bassist?

I did a gig with the Heritage Orchestra for the BBC Proms at The Albert Hall. It was all the music of Scott Walker and Jarvis was one of the singers. After the gig, Jarvis asked me and the drummer, Adam Betts, who is also the senior drum lecturer at BIMM London, if we’d do a show with him on New Years’ Eve in Reykjavík as part of the Norður Og Niður Festival curated by Sigur Rós.

He had some songs he’d been working on, so he was putting a new band together for this.

Since then, we’ve done various gigs, festivals and tours, plus released an album, Beyond the Pale, in 2020. We also recorded songs for the soundtrack of The French Dispatch and a BBC TV series, This Is Going to Hurt.

Jarvis and his band perform ‘House Music All Night Long’ on Glastonbury’s Park Stage

How does it feel to be back playing shows again?

It feels great! I’ll be honest and say that for me, the lockdowns were quite good – at least to start with. I had time to chill out, relax, spend time with my family, get fit, and do some art. But when I first did a gig after lockdown, I cried on stage – I had missed it so much more than I realised!

Do you get nervous when you perform? If so, what do you do to overcome it?

Not really – I’m lucky. If I get nervous, and I was for Glastonbury, it tends to be a few days before. After that, it feels like it’s too late to do anything about it, so the nerves tend to go.

How do you bring your onstage experiences back into the classroom?

Well, I try not to start every sentence with, ‘I was doing this gig once and…’, but the occasional story related to something we are studying can be helpful to bring some theoretical things to life. Plus, it’s been beneficial in the course and module design – reflecting on professional situations I’ve been in, the challenges and processes, and how they can be modelled in the classroom.


Orchestral gig with Jarvis Cocker in Paris since the massive Glastonbury performance.

Being awarded the title of Associate Professor must’ve been pretty special. Can you tell us about that?

I had never thought of having an academic title before, but when BIMM announced their professorial appointments framework, I read the descriptions, and it sounded like I could be eligible. There was an option to apply under a ‘Creative Arts Practitioner Pathway’, which was about recognising your professional performance experience and your education experience.

It felt pretty good to summarise all the aspects of my work in music and education in one place, and I was pleased to be recognised for it.

Clearing is now open at BIMM so there’s still time to apply through UCAS to study with us in 2022. Find out all you need to know about applying through Clearing and our current courses here or alternatively, call us on 01273 840346 or email us at [email protected]

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