Seb Rochford

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Seb Rochford
Sebastian Rochford performing in October 2008
Sebastian Rochford performing in October 2008
Background information
Also known asRoom of Katinas
BornAberdeen, Scotland
GenresJazz, experimental, folk
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Associated acts
Seb Rochford at Winterjazz in Aarhus, Denmark 2018.

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

He was born in Aberdeen[2] and has a large family of two brothers and seven sisters. His father, Gerard Rochford, is an accomplished poet in the north east of Scotland. He is married to Matana Roberts.[3] Seb is of Indian descent through the side of his mother, who was Anglo Indian.

Rochford has played drums for Polar Bear, Acoustic Ladyland, Basquiat Strings, Oriole, Menlo Park, Ingrid Laubrock Quintet, Bojan Zulfikarpasic's Tetraband, and Sons of Kemet. He 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.[4]

He has 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 drummed on the first Babyshambles release, a limited edition single "Babyshambles", released on the High Society label.[5]

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 five 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. 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 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.

In 2006, he collaborated with Gwyneth Herbert in a production role for her album Between Me and the Wardrobe.[6]

Held on the Tips of Fingers and In Each and Every One were nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2005 and 2014 respectively.[7]

His new band Pulled By Magnets made its debut in London in late-2018.[8]

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.

Awards and honors[edit]

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 received a Mercury nomination in 2007 for the self-titled debut album by Basquiat Strings With Seb Rochford.[9]


With Polar Bear

With Théo Girard Trio

  • 30YearsFrom (2017)

With Andy Sheppard


  1. ^ Mike Barnes. "Is this the hardest-working man in music? | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  2. ^ "RateYourMusic". Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Verity Sharp with Seb Rochford and Matana Roberts BBC Late Junction Sessions". BBC. BBC. 2 June 2016.
  4. ^ an interview in Platforms Magazine, an on-line arts magazine
  5. ^ a column on Time Out's website
  6. ^ Colin Buttimer (3 August 2007). "Gwyneth Herbert Between Me and the Wardrobe Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Albums of the Year". Mercury Prize. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  8. ^ ""Music written from a place of honesty about where I am and how I feel about the physical and non-physical world": On PULLED BY MAGNETS: Sebastian Rochford interview - marlbank". Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Basquiat Strings With Seb Rochford". Mercury Prize. Retrieved 1 June 2015.

External links[edit]