April was yet another month of changes to the proposed schedule with Italy being postponed due to the Icelandic volcano going nuts! At the time of writing this GORR, no rescheduled date has been set but as soon as it is it will appear on the website.
It was also a month of very much making preparations for the latter part of the year. Erik Jordan and I did quite a lot of recording of guide parts of the music that is going to be added to the original Journey to the Centre of the Earth of which the first concerts could be as soon as August in South America. (There are also concerts planned for Australia and England).
More meetings as regards concerts for the future took place throughout the month and some, such as a proposed King Arthur spectacular, being put into the early planning stages for 2012.
I also met up with my great friend, the artist Rodney Mathews, and quite a few ideas arose from that meeting too.
There were two concerts during the month, both of which were thoroughly enjoyable. One was at Llandudno and the other in Edinburgh where I met up with my good friend Ian Rankin who actually decided to come to the show as part of his 50th birthday celebrations! (I did tell him I could think of far better ways to spend a birthday than listening to me)!
The David Croft and Jimmy Perry tribute lunch was tremendous. Loads of actors and actresses that had appeared in such gems as Hi-De-Hi and Dad’s Army paid tribute to them. Amongst those there were Paul Shane, Sue Pollard, Frank Williams, Bill Pertwee, Ruth Madoc & Vicky Michelle.
Bobby Davro put on a spectacular fund raising event in Woking for the Woking Hospice. There was a cast of millions and I was really proud to be part of it.
One of the most enjoyable evenings was spent at the Keyboard Tech department of Thames Valley University where Jon Lord and I did a Q&A with some of the students. The hour and a half seem to race by and both Jon and I enjoyed ourselves immensely and it was great to be amongst musicians who are genuinely keen on honing their skills and learning about their art.
Jon and I also talked about some future joint concerts together which hopefully will happen next year. We both love the use of orchestras and it seems a very natural progression.
So we head into May …..and very much a mixed bag again with a lot of preparatory work being done for future projects. More recording in order to finish the piano works at The Granary, and talking of pianos, delivery of one extremely lovely Petrov Grand Piano which will be arriving from Dubai …..as a present from my great friend Jim Davidson.
There’s also some “leisure” in for a change as well. I’m playing in one of the Comedian’s Society Golf days and also will be attending the blue plaque unveiling or Sir John Mills at Pinewood Studios. Sir John was a lovely man who I was most privileged to get to know in his later years and the family as well.
There are three piano concerts planned …all details on the website. They are at The Parc and Dare Theatre in Treorchy on Saturday 8th, Southend Palace on Sunday 23rd and the Hinkley ACT on Sunday 30th.
On Monday 10th I will be part of a big concert at the Royal Albert Hall. I am led to understand that the Russian Premier, Mr Putin, will be in attendance. He could be in for a shock!!
It’s possible that the cancelled Rome show could be rescheduled for the month as well as mentioned earlier.
At the end of the month it’s The 4 Churches Festival, again, all details on the site. This is our fourth festival in five years and is extremely popular and great fun too. Everybody welcome ….if they buy a ticket of course!!!
Finally, May the 18th sees another year fly by for me as I hit 61. Last year I locked myself away for the entire day, but this year I might just go out for dinner!
All in all it’s a very busy time. The new self-publishing book company is taking shape nicely as is the radio production company. Both should be fully functional by the end of the summer.
It’s May the 1st as I write this, and once I’ve finished I’m going to spend the rest of the day gardening!…..that’s what aging rockers do !……The prog-rock rockery needs attending to and the new borders are a bit “Close to the Veg”…………sorry, dreadful pun, it must be the “Fragile” nature of the soil!More next month!