Mo Ansar: Lead Vocalist and Guitar
After many years of high profile work in the front line of politics, journalism and the media, Mo’s decided to pursue an unrequited passion in music with the establishment and launch of his band, Solomon.
Playing acoustic guitar and performing at open mics in Winchester and Southampton, Mo got together with a group of musicians who were all regularly based at the Railway Inn, Winchester to form the music collective, Solomon. After being showcased at The Railway, Solomon made a successful festival debut at the Highbridge Festival in Hampshire.
Song writing for over 15 years, Mo’s influences span blues, soul, the chroniclers of the 60s and to contemporary writers from the modern era. His writing flows from his views on politics, spirituality and social justice. Mo’s inspiration draws on a life spent combating the politics of prejudice and division in society, his work championing freedom, equality and human rights – themes of hope, unity and peace.
Solomon now play out of Southampton and have a monthly residency at “The Social”. With their new home at “The Loft”, Solomon are now based at one of Southampton’s hottest live music venues hosting local and international artists.
Ally Swift: Lead Guitar
Ally first picked up the guitar at the age of 8 and after lessons, so began a lifetime passion with music.
Over the last ten years, Ally has been a founder and key musician in several Southampton bands including “The Stealers”, who were signed to a local independent record label, with their first EP available at HMV.
Re-emerging on the local music scene at open mics, jam sessions and supporting local acts, Ally played alongside the other members of Solomon on a regular basis. The progression from jams to rehearsals and gigs was rapid, and this now sees Ally now in a core role Solomon and in close partnership with lead singer, Mo. Developing new material and working with fellow lead guitarist, Karan, on creating a unique Solomon soundscape; in addition to his role in Solomon, Ally also plays with a popular local band “The Hedgehogs” whilst continuing to support various local musicians and artists.
Karan Master: Lead Guitar
Growing up on alt rock and punk, Karan developed his early songwriting skills from
observing The Smashing Pumpkins and At The Drive In. His rapid development as a lead guitarist, sees him recognised among his peers for his work and creativity.
Determined to fuse melody and weight with groove, Karan moved into funk and blues influences. Since moving to Southampton with former band “A Gentleman’s Film”, Karan has been working as a professional musician across the city.
Karan joined Solomon in late summer 2016, and is also currently lead vocalist and guitarist for Southampton-based pop punk band, “The Emergency Please”.
Inspired by artists like Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer and Jag Tanna, Karan’s writing has developed from filling the soundscape to playing intricate call and response, to virtuoso solos alongside Ally Swift as part of a new and exciting Solomon sound.
Tim Thevarajah: Drums
Having played on the local music circuit for a number of years, Tim joined Solomon in 2017.
Citing influences as varied as Tu-Pac, The Roots and Gangstarr, Tim’s approach to drumming with Solomon, revolves around cool, funky grooves, solid beats and creating a magical energy to bind the group together on stage.
Sian Unwin: Bass
Sian is the resident bass player for Penquin and Red Letter based in Southampton and is an experienced depping/function performer and tutor. Having received the Peter Evans prize in her final year of University for the highest mark in performance, her attitude and sheer dedication towards music is remarkable. Having performed alongside and supported artists such as Gary Crosby, The Peter Edwards Trio, WorldService Project, Roller Trio, Empirical and Denys Baptiste and performed in festivals such as Marvellous and Share the Sound Festival and SMJC (Southampton Modern Jazz Club) she is no stranger to performing at a high standard.
Sian’s musical influences are diverse, with particular input from bands and artists such as Earth, Wind and Fire, Level 42, Marcus Miller, Brian Culbertson, Light of the World/the Jazz-Funk Collective and Incognito. She has also received valuable advice from Otto Williams, Christian McBride, Marcus Miller and Jasper Høiby that has truly expanded her knowledge. Sian is a varied and adaptable player, able to slap the bass for punchy and slick funk lines, settle on the syncopated and complicated grooves of Latin, walk through fruity jazz standards or even provide harmonic stability in pop or folk. As a teacher, she is also enthusiastic and experienced, providing musical education to people of any age or interest with a passion for music
David Martin: Keys and Harmonica
A successful musician for 35 years, David has been part of the Southampton music scene for much of that time. He has played in several blues bands, and a Beatles Tribute band amongst many others.
David’s father was a huge Frank Sinatra fan and he grew up listening to big band, soul and blues. His early musical influences were the prog rock bands of the late 1970’s; Pink Floyd, Yes and Genesis, citing a draw towards the strong melodies of these bands rather than the heavier style of Led Zeppelin which was popular at the time. David favours the piano style of the late Richard Wright of Pink Floyd, and has tried to develop a ‘less in more’ style where melody is really important. The same is true in the way David plays harmonica with an emphasis on creating motifs to complement the melody.
An accomplished session musician, David plays regularly in jam nights. He is an avid sci-fi fan, and enjoys Star Trek over Star Wars any time!