Ultimatum: The Showcase

Welcome to September! Ben Scott here, creator and performer of Ultimatum. 

My my, what a year it has been at Ultimatum HQ! So many incredible things have been going on behind the scenes, with equally as many incredible people involved - and it all came to a climax on August with the Ultimatum Experience Showcase! 


The Day Begins

The day began with a good dose of nervous excitement. Literally thousands of hours have gone into getting Ultimatum where it is today - and despite being a good few shows in already, this was the first time I had presented it to an audience of well-seasoned industry personnel and clients for whom I have upcoming shows (so I really didn’t want to mess it up!). 

The showcase was held at London’s prestigious Music Bank rehearsal studio, in the stunning Studio 1. The adjacent studio was hosting rehearsals for Strictly Come Dancing - so after navigating our way around a great many coffee-swilling celebrities, we got cracking on setting up the room.

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Guests Arrive

We got cracking with performances from 1pm having spent the morning sweating an awful lot to get everything set up in time! After a big push from Ben Scott and the incredible team on site, it looked absolutely stunning as guests began to arrive!

The Team

A huge thanks to lighting designer Craig Greenhalgh, and sound engineer Alistair Bean, who both did an absolutely superb job in having Ultimatum look and sound as amazing. Furthermore, thanks to videographer Hürcan Erme Yilmazer (whose visuals are presented in this blog post) and photographer Lauren Marsh for capturing some stunning visuals of the day! And of course, not forgetting the tireless manager Iain Martin, who has believed in the project wholeheartedly since day one.

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Thank You

…for checking back in to Ultimatum, and I look forward to meeting you all at an event soon!

Ultimatum: The Skills

How is everyone’s 2019 so far? Ben Scott here, the creator and performer of Ultimatum.

I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to some of my wider work within the music industry as a performer. As a signed-up and fully subscribed member of London’s professional musician community, I’m certainly not in a minority in having a great many projects ongoing at the same time.

In creating a project like Ultimatum, I had to call upon a vast array of skills, all of which have been honed through the diverse range of projects I’ve worked on over my years as a professional musician. Principally these can be boiled down into four categories:

  • Performance

  • Musical Direction

  • Frontmanship

  • Music Production

Let me explain…

Live Performance is perhaps the soul reason many musicians begin to study their craft in the first place. The feeling of moving thousands of people by expressing yourself on an instrument you’ve dedicated your life to is one that words are not fit to describe. Here’s one of my highlight gigs of 2018, when it was a huge privilege to play drums for Tom Walker in a show at Cardiff’s BBC Biggest Weekend.

I had the great pleasure of perfuming with The Beach for a number of years, and here is a video of us performing his hit single Bite My Tongue at Brixton Academy. During this period I came to know world-renown music director Kojo Samuel (Plan B, Jess Glynne, Jessie J), who in addition to the aforementioned artists, was the musical director for The Beach. I learned a huge amount during this time, and it led to me becoming a musical director in my own right, where in 2017/18 I was privileged to work with a selection of up-and-coming artists in ensuring their live show was the best in could possibly be.

What is a Musical Director?

The job of a musical director is to facilitate every possible element concerning the live music of an artist. It’s a huge responsibility. Whether that’s souring musicians for the artist, handling budgets on behalf of the label, or engaging with modern technology in order to boost the overall performance - the list is as endless as the musical director chooses!

And finally Music Production. Ever since I’ve known how to write a song, I’ve produced music; both for myself, with other artists, and of course - for Ultimatum! Here’s a great clip of Canadian-German artist Bülow who I perform with, and who I learned a great deal from in her masterful blend of music production, and her integration of it in a live music environment. While I didn’t produce this song - I wish I did!

When it comes to Frontmanship, it has been a great privilege to take this role, as well as band leader, for high-end events entertainment act Festival Sons. It’s a hugely enjoyable band to be a part of, and we’ve been lucky to perform all over the world t0 clients including Google, Topshop, and a great many happy couples!

Thank you once again for reading and discovering more about the Ultimatum story!

I can’t wait to bring ultimatum to you!

Ultimatum: Piecing it together

Hello again lovely Ultimators! Ben Scott here, the performer of Ultimatum writing to you directly. Today is a behind the scenes glimpse into how I went about building Ultimatum; I’ve had a lot of people asking how it all came together, so heck why don’t I just tell you?!

It all started with a phone call to my fantastic manager Iain, that went a little something along these lines.

A Phone Conversation in july 2018

Ben Scott: Hi Iain. So what do you think about an epic one-man show, where I do everything all at the same time while playing a bunch of absolute bangers and surrounded by synchronised lights show, smoke and pyrotechnics?

Iain: Erm hello Ben, yes sounds g- hold on…let me just…what??

Manager Iain more than a little pleased to be in charge of lights for the day!

Manager Iain more than a little pleased to be in charge of lights for the day!

Ben Scott: *lots of boring technical information, explaining how we’re now in a time where music technology is so powerful it must be harnessed and used to create things that people have never seen before*

Iain: Is this going to be like the time you said it would be a great idea If we have revolving ice-cream holders, or when you said “it’s about time people had shoe umbrellas?”

Ben Scott: Definitely not like those times I promise.

Iain: …OK let’s meet.

Everything set up and and ready to go!

Everything set up and and ready to go!

And so began my month-long studio exodus to figure out how on earth to make it happen.

After an awful lot of hard graft and banging my head against a desk, it came together, and surpassed all expectations the team and I had. The following photos are from the promotional video shoot!

The brilliant photographer  Adam Prosser  took huge amounts of care in placing all the equipment in just the right spot.

The brilliant photographer Adam Prosser took huge amounts of care in placing all the equipment in just the right spot.

Only part one of the load-in!

Only part one of the load-in!

Finally, check out this time-lapse of setting the whole thing up!

Ultimatum: Playing to Twenty Thousand people - what's it like?

Hello Ultimatum followers! Ben Scott here again, the creator and performer of Ultimatum.

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It’s been a brilliant week of rehearsals and Ultimatum show programming - I just can’t wait to bring it to you! I wanted to take a moment to share with you some more of the experiences I’ve had in my professional career as a session musician, which contributed to creating Ultimatum. Principally, the experience of performing in front of crowds of tens of thousands - and the pressures and mentality that come along with being able to handle such extreme circumstances! 

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Firstly: you’ve got to keep your cool. Walking out on stage to that many people isn’t exactly something we do everyday; so confidence in your ability to nail the job is paramount. There’s no room for asking questions now - so you’ve got to be right in the moment, 100% present. Trust that you know what you’re doing.

Secondly: Know your gear. In live performance, any number of things can go wrong at any point…and you’ve got to know how to solve them at the drop of a hat. Guitar string broke? Speaker blown? Drum stick snapped? The audience doesn’t care what problems you might have - they care about listening to the music…so solve it however you must and do so in style!

These are just a few things that I remember when performing to any audience, no matter how big or small. 

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…and finally: Enjoy it! A performer who isn't enjoying them selves will be noticed, even by the last person in an audience of 20,000! We can continue to enjoy ourselves as a performer by remaining relaxed when on stage, not getting flustered, and trusting ourselves.


Check back in soon for another Ultimatum update. And keep your emails and questions coming - I love to help out wherever I can!

Ben Scott  // Creator and Performer of Ultimatum

www.benscottlondon.com

Ultimatum: Thank You!

Hello wonderful Ultimatum followers! Ben Scott here, the performer and creator of Ultimatum.

This is just a quick post for me to to pass on my sincere thanks for such an incredible response to this project so far. Thank you especially to those who have written directly. It’s been an incredible journey to get here, and I couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come. With bookings already confirmed this year, it’s full steam ahead! Production rehearsals begin imminently and I’ve got a few very special tricks up my sleeve that I can’t wait to bring to your next event!

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Ultimatum: The Beginning

…and so it begins! Ben Scott here, the creator and performer of Ultimatum; a revolutionary new form of corporate entertainment and high end wedding entertainment. I’m SO excited for what’s to come in 2019 and thought I’d open things up with a little hello to the wonderful people viewing the Ultimatum site.

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I wanted to kick things off by telling you a little more of my own story, and how Ultimatum came to be. I graduated from the Academy of Contemporary Music in 2010, and was lucky to begin my career as a session musician very shortly after. My first work was with an American singer, signed to Island records at the time, and called Alex Winston. Over the period of two years I toured the world and recorded with her, meeting international artists and producers along the way - in turn leading to new work, and new friends. It was during this time that I was lucky to find myself in the studio with Ed Sheeran who, at the time, was the new signing for Atlantic Records and busy recording his first album ‘+’. Not long after that I was delighted to receive my first framed record!

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Over the following years I would find myself performing, song writing, producing and directing dozens of incredible artists from all over the world, playing on stages I could have only dreamed of performing upon as a kid - from London’s Brixton Academy and Hammersmith Eventim Apollo, to Glastonbury and Isle of Wight festivals - among hundreds of others.

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Ultimatum is the amalgamation of all of the experience and expertise built up through my years as a performing and studio musician. It’s absolutely everything I have to give creatively, and it’s a true joy to perform on each and every occasion.

Using a combination of cutting-edge music technology, instrumental performance and frontmanship, my aim is to bring you the best entertainment you can possibly get, rivalled by no one and the only one of its kind in the world. Thank you for reading, and I can’t wait to meet you!

Ben Scott

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