Stephen Large is the long term keyboard player of UK band Squeeze, as well as Musical Director for pop artists Caro Emerald (September 2014), Rebecca Ferguson and Duffy. Other MD experience includes legendary US soul group Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, James Brown‘s sax legend Pee Wee Ellis and his own highly acclaimed 60s-influenced combo, Lord Large.
Recent recordings include a jazz album with Rebecca Ferguson at Capitol Records Studios in Hollywood with producer Troy Miller, alongside bass legend Chuck Berghofer (Frank Sinatra, and numerous recordings including the famous bass intro to These Boots Were Made for Walking), drummer Clayton Cameron (Tony Bennett/Sammy Davis jr), Tenor Sax – Rickey Woodard (Ray Charles), Alto/Flute – Bob Sheppard (Herbie Hancock/Stevie Wonder), Trumpet – Scotty Barnhart (leader Count Basie big band), plus full string orchestra.
As a keyboard player, Large has worked with, amongst others, Babyshambles, Paloma Faith, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, Rumer, Imelda May, Quantic Soul Orchestra with Spanky Wilson, Terry Reid, Pete Doherty, The Noisettes, Johnny Depp, music hall with Colin Firth, as well as being a founder member of jazz outfits The Rag ‘n’ Bone Club and Ronnie Scott’s Rejects.
Large received some web notoriety after an appearance with Squeeze on the US Jimmy Fallon Show, during which he played a keyboard solo on the recently launched Apple iPad for the song Pulling Mussels (From The Shell). This appears to be the first use on live TV of the iPad as a musical instrument. Further TV appearances include The Jay Leno Show with Duffy, X Factor and Dancing on Ice with Rebecca Ferguson, The Ellen DeGeneres Show with Squeeze, Parkinson with Rod Stewart, dueting with Glenn Tilbrook on Later With Jools Holland, and playing Grandma in CBBC’s Big Babies.
He left Christ Church College, Canterbury with a first class degree in art and music, and had an early breakthrough with the band Koot, who were initially signed to the Warner Records label, releasing album Skyjacked through Some Bizarre in 2001. Koot also contributed the song Sunshine At Last to the soundtrack of the film Saving Grace. After a spell as keyboard player for the Mercury Award nominated and Q Award winning band The Electric Soft Parade, Large contributed his skills to recordings by The Ordinary Boys, Graham Coxon, The Shortwave Set, Sonny J, Simply Red, Lucky Soul and Marina and the Diamonds, amongst others. He is also a long-term member of Glenn Tilbrook‘s marvellously monikered band ‘The Fluffers’, for whom he has co-written songs with. Further MD experience includes work with Clare Teal, Gary Kemp, Ali Campbell, Nerina Pallot, Wreckless Eric and others.
Co-writing credits include music for Billy Connelly‘s Billy’s Route 66 (2011), CBBC TV show Big Babies and the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage (2008 and 2009), as well as songwriting with Chris Difford, Andrea Britton, Imelda May and his own band Lord Large. Large has worked with a range of producers, including John Williams, Liam Howe, Jon Kelly, Steve Booker, Andy Wright, Jim Abbiss, Stephen Street, Dangermouse and others.
Stephen Large has also produced String and Brass arrangements for Rebecca Ferguson, Noisettes, CocknBullKid, Marina & the Diamonds, Squeeze and Clare Teal.
Lord Large is the result of a close collaboration with drummer, writer and producer Andrew J Jones, with whom Large has worked since their days in Koot. The group’s debut album The Lord’s First XI, released on the Acid Jazz label, has been championed by the likes of Paul Weller, Mark Lamarr, Robert Elms and Gary Crowley, and has seen Large working with a range of legendary soul singers, including Clem Curtis of The Foundations, Dean Parrish, Linda Lewis and The Peddlers‘ Roy Phillips, as well as the more contemporary talents of Squeeze’s Glenn Tilbrook, Andrea Britton and ex-Freakpower /Kitten and the Hip trombonist Ashley Slater.