Hope you all had great holidays and have gently eased back into the familiar, grey-tinged drudgery of an English January.
An equal blessing and curse regarding this job is never, ever knowing what’s around the corner. You can be playing classic prog folk rock (frock?) one day, then playing beautiful, acoustic pop gems the next…
I had a great UK tour with 70s prog folk rock legends, The Strawbs. Bit of a roast – each song was generally eight minutes long with several movements and quick-fire time signature and tempo changes – but SO much fun! Three brief afternoons rehearsing (with lengthy lunch breaks, of course), and we were off in the van, progging around the provinces. Without mentioning exact ages, these guys formed the band in 1964! Just for some time-line perspective, that’s barely a year after Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. Salvador Dali used to go and watch them play! As you can imagine, the anecdotes ran as freely as the wine.
Despite our own advancing years, my friend Adam Wakeman and I were frequently referred to as ‘the youngsters’, or simply Wakey and Flakey. Despite the age gap, I have to admit to regularly being one of the first to bed after post-gig drinks – I couldn’t keep up with them! Everyone was a joy to play and tour with, and Strawbs fans were equally warm and generous. Here’s a clip. You can’t really see me, but rest assured I looked fantastic:
The day after that ended, I was extremely honoured to do some dates with a lovely up-and-coming singer-songwriter called Dido. Mark my words – I think she’ll go far. Again, an absolute pleasure to work with. First gig was a filmed performance at Abbey Road studios. No pressure then. Here’s a clip:
There’ll be more to come over the next few months in support of her new album ‘Girl Who Got Away’, out in March. I can’t wait!
I recently played various percussive odds and ends on Phildel’s debut album. Here’s the first song to be released:
And here’s a radio session I played with Sophie Delilah at the Beeb:
I played on a couple of tracks on my friend Ana Silvera’s album that was released last year. I truly think she’s a UK treasure in the making. Highly recommended!
Other than that, I’ve been writing and recording with several people at www.wandsworthstudios.com which I’m excited about. More on that soon, I hope. In other news I’ve quickly risen from ‘No Hoper’ to ‘Well Below Average’ at squash. Watch out…