Seb Rochford

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Seb Rochford
Sebastian Rochford photo.jpg
Sebastian Rochford performing in October 2008
Background information
Also known as Room of Katinas
Origin UK
Genres Jazz, Experimental, Folk
Occupation(s) Musician, Songwriter, Bandleader
Instruments Drums, Guitar
Associated acts Polar Bear, Babyshambles, Carl Barat, Basquiat Strings, Menlo Park

Sebastian "Seb" Rochford is a British drummer and bandleader who spans many musical genres.[1] Rochford leads British band Polar Bear.

He comes from Aberdeen and has a large family of 2 brothers and 7 sisters. His father, Gerard Rochford, is an accomplished poet in the north east of Scotland. He is married to Matana Roberts.[2]

Band associations[edit]

Rochford plays drums in bands such as:

Seb Rochford has also worked extensively with Joanna MacGregor and Andy Sheppard and leads the band Fulborn Teversham and has an improvising duo with Leafcutter John. He also has a solo project called Room of Katinas.[3]

He has also drummed for Pete Doherty, with his band Babyshambles, in the early days of the band, and has continued to make guest appearances with them. He drums on the first Babyshambles release, a limited edition single "Babyshambles", released on the High Society label.[4]

In 2008, he drummed on the David Byrne and Brian Eno album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.

He has worked with Corrine Bailey Rae and Herbie Hancock.

He drummed on 5 songs on Carl Barat's solo album released on 4 October 2010.

In 2011 he drummed on Brian Eno and Rick Holland's album Drums Between The Bells.

In 2006 he collaborated with Gwyneth Herbert in a production role for her album Between Me and the Wardrobe.[5]

Rochford produced and co-wrote a four-track EP with UK Hip-Hop MC Mikill Pane, "The Guinness & Blackcurrant EP", which was released independently on 24 October 2011.

Rochford has also collaborated with American theremin player Pamelia Kurstin.

He played live with Brett Anderson on Later Live... With Jools Holland on 1 November 2011.

In 2014 he played on Paolo Nutini's album "Caustic Love"

In 2016 he toured with Patti Smith

Polar Bear[edit]

There have been six releases by Polar Bear:

Held on the Tips of Fingers and In Each and Every One were nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2005 and 2014 respectively.[6]

Days And Nights At The Takeaway[edit]

In 2012, Seb engaged in a 12-month digital 'singles club' under the project name Days And Nights At The Takeaway (a reference to his studio, located in an old takeaway in North London). Each single consisted of a collaboration with another musician or musicians, in a wide variety of styles, and was backed by a remix by a third party. Collaborators included Jehst, Spoek Mathambo, Jason Moran, Soumik Datta, Leo Abrahams, Drew McConnell, Brian Eno and Oliver Coates. Remixers included Micachu, Pete Wareham, Tom Skinner, Simon Bookish and Chris Sharkey. The series was released through The Leaf Label.


Seb's range of influences include Napalm Death, Venetian Snares, Björk, Prince and contemporary electronica as well as a large dose of jazz. His phenomenal technique and imagination have made him one of the most in-demand British drummers of modern times.


Seb won the BBC Jazz Award for best newcomer in 2004, and has been nominated as best musician in 2006. He was also nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2005, 2007 and 2014. Seb also plays drums on Adele's Mercury Nominated Album 19. Rochford also received a Mercury nomination in 2007 for the self-titled debut album by Basquiat Strings With Seb Rochford.[7]


  1. ^ Mike Barnes. "Is this the hardest-working man in music? | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-08-19. 
  2. ^ "Verity Sharp with Seb Rochford and Matana Roberts BBC Late Junction Sessions". BBC. BBC. 2 June 2016. 
  3. ^ an interview in Platforms Magazine, an on-line arts magazine
  4. ^ a column on Time Out's website
  5. ^ Colin Buttimer (3 August 2007). "Gwyneth Herbert Between Me And The Wardrobe Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Albums of the Year". Mercury Prize. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Basquiat Strings With Seb Rochford". Mercury Prize. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 

External links[edit]