Band playing

“The Other Way has a totally unique sound and aesthetic, with a message that is urgently relevant to today.” James Keay, Gifford’s Circus

We play dystopian soul, with soulful lyrics about ecology and the future of humanity, a healthy slice of jazz and improvisation, and bird song as part of the instrumentation.

This music was written by trumpeter and composer Rowan Porteous. The ideas began to form themselves while he was trying to straddle two different careers, one as a gigging musician, the other as a nature conservationist. Rowan has been gigging since the age of 12, playing with afrobeat artist Tunday Akintan, latin flamenco band Fernando’s Kitchen, and Gifford’s Circus band, among many others. He has also had, from early childhood, an uncontrollable desire to look at little creatures, and to do something to save biodiversity from the ecological and climate crisis. This culminated in him working for the St Madoc Centre in South Wales for a few years as an education and conservation ranger. The pull of music was strong, though, and he ended up doing nature connection drum circles in the woods, imitating the rhythms of bird song.


The Other Way band concept began to take off when Rowan found the right musicians to do it. It is ecological Soul music that tries to illuminate the human spirit in its connectedness with nature. It synthesises jazz and soul influences like Wayne Shorter and Robert Glasper, with a slice of electronica in the disembodied bird song. It uses grooves and improvising to support the songs, which tell stories about possible human futures against the background of ecological upheaval.

“Off kilter punk jazz with a funky edge” Mike Flynn, Jazzwise Magazine

What our fans have been saying . . .

”Love this! Dancing away, and wow that trumpet sound is AMAZING!”

”I love it! Spontaneous genius!”

“Absolutely incredible stuff!”

”Stop what you are doing and check out this beautiful original music. In this age of “no live music” it’s great to see original compositions and improvisation. Split screen arrangements and covers are cool but this video is a glimpse into what makes live music amazing.”


Rowan Porteous

Trumpet, electronics, composer. Rowan is the Mystic principle of true cause channelled in fleshy matter. He works to defend the fountain of joy at the centre of existence through sonic outpourings. His other hobbies include giving up biscuits.

Elly Hopkins

Elly, a vocalist who is the essence of the living cosmos in the form of a human voice. A diamond reflecting timeless stories of love and pain into a thousand shimmering phrases, drenched in the screaming consciousness of all beings. Her favourite biscuit is a shortbread finger.

Billie Bottle

On vocals and keys. Billie likes to meditate upon the brevity of life, the delicate and complex forces that bind experience together, and the sources of artistic inspiration or rebirth. She also makes a very good halloumi sandwich.

Emma Holbrook

On drums! Emma is an astrophile meanderer and sardonic night traveller suspicious of those who claim to know the truth. She takes her bins out on a Thursday.

Guillaume Ottaviani

On bass. A swirling vortex of blistering funk and spiralling harmonies in the form of a man. an unholy Goliath of groove whose polyrhythmic tentacles embrace the multiverse. He likes his coffee with milk and no sugar.