The Musical Background To The Soul Camp
Updated: Feb 8
We’re so often asked where our experience and understanding of hosting unforgettable corporate outdoor events comes from. A recent enquiry from a potential new client - who are themselves of a similar musical background - has prompted this long overdue blog post!
So here’s the thing...
I’m Pete, the founder of The Soul Camp, an ancient muso, quite dyslexic and a self proclaimed punk, Nature lover and hippy. That’s it in a nutshell but there's a lot more if you’re interested!
I was the guitarist and lead singer in a band about 500 years ago that did quite well (for a while!)... for a giggle check out this video of my band. The weird drum guitar-like instrument you see my old dear friend Ross playing, is The Jamma. I invented it back in the 80’s.
Having spent about 100 years redesigning it, I'm re-releasing The Jamma in 2023/4. It will blow people's minds now that tech has finally caught up with my concept 30+ years ago!
I spent an afternoon with Michael Jackson teaching him to play the Jamma (he used it on HIStory album). I’m 99.99% sure I can say I am the only person in the world to have played Michael Jackson’s music to Michael Jackson with an instrument I invented. It was a kinda breakbeat version of Billie Jean that I’d created and I played live to Michael in the studio where he was recording HIStory in New York’s HIt Factory.
Also demoed the Jamma to the (really lovely chilled, not-up-their-backside bunch of guys you could possibly meet), called U2 back in 1984 on their Unforgettable Fire tour in Germany. We were recording our first album in 'nearby' Dussledorf and met them backstage after their gig. But I didn't bother to follow up their request to contact them after the demo... as I was 20 and busy being a budding rockstar... no regrets about that at all then...
Oh and many more... Moby had some excellent design modification suggestions, Frankie Knuckles fell over (literally) when I first played it in front of him. Billy Ocean (what another truly lovely person!) and I spent a long time working together with it. And on, and on... I am actually drafting a book about my experiences.
Oh, and I contributed to getting Jools Holland kicked off and the closure of the seminal music show The Tube. This video unfortunately doesn't show the really funny bit where Jools exclaimed “oh f***!” live on the show just before this clip (which is why we are both really trying not to laugh during the interview). He’d accidentally triggered the Jamma (called The Rhythm Stick then) that I was holding and an *extremely loud* snare drum sound echoed around the studio. He said that live and I, without thinking, exclaimed “oh s***!” because he’d sworn on live early evening TV and I was thinking ‘s*** you shouldn't have sworn...’. A beautiful irony! The show was closed soon after that and another swearing incident.
Anyhoooooo.... So after a wonderful spell of many years loosing the plot and being depressed and all sorts of fun feelings, I started a non-profit ethical club night Planet Angel back in 1999.... It's still a well respected socially inclusive nighttime experience where people from any background can chill, connect and dance without fear of prejudice. I’m extremely proud of Planet Angel and the things people say about how it's helped them in life.
Then I founded The Soul Camp, dunno what 15 years ago? And an award winning small family friendly festival that ran for several years. I love being outside so slowly my love of Nature, groups of people having fun, music, smiles and positive festival vibes, gave birth to The Soul Camp.
It went well, but earned no money. But I lived in my 50 quid tiny caravan in a field and loved it.
Then corporate clients started to book and I realised that actually, I could carry on the good ethical aims of The Soul Camp, and provide all the fun, wellbeing, festival-yet-professional vibes with our corporate clients as well. And, actually maybe earn something as well! ‘Et Voila’ as they say in France Rodney.
There you go, dear reader. I’m a person who is passionate about Nature, a person who loves to see people enjoy themselves and connect peacefully, and experience the beauty and the amazing benefits of the outdoors.
That’s why we do what we do, why we put so much energy in, and that is why we care so very much about your event and your Required Outcomes. We set our sights on completely understanding and surpassing them.
We are an open and honest, social bunch of people, so maybe see you round the Fire Pit one day?
BiG LOve Pete xxx