Welcome to 2014 and I really wish everyone a wonderfully healthy, happy and prosperous year full of creativity and fun.
Looking back over the last couple of years I realise that perhaps unwittingly, so much has been leading up to 2014 and hopefully all the hard work put in by so many will prove successful.
In the early hours of this morning I couldn’t help but think how wonderful it’s going to be performing the 14 shows of Journey to the Centre of the Earth around the UK with a great team of people and musicians with of course the missing music finally included. Already serious offers are coming in from around the world to stage the show and that will undoubtedly carry on well into 2015 and maybe beyond.
The album completes with the new Roger Dean artwork, will appear in many guises by March at the latest and will have a world-wide release. These will include box sets with Return to the Centre of the Earth and another which will include the only film of the original Journey from Melbourne Australia plus a booklet relating its history and with quotes from many who took part from day one. We’ve also uncovered some photographs from the period that we certainly have never seen before.
Sometime in the first half of the year, OUT THERE will finally get a worldwide release through Cherry Red Records and this will just be the beginning of many re-issues during the coming months and years.
There are also two very exciting projects that will almost certainly come to fruition which will move me off in yet another musical direction and that is very exciting for me in this, the year I officially become a pensioner!!!!
Moving away from music, it’s going to be busy as King Rat and many of the events the Water Rats will be putting on will be open for anyone to come along to. It’s planned to have the big Water Rat’s Ball in London on November 30th, hopefully at the Roundhouse and will be an amazing event with, all being well, many musician friends of mine on stage with a line up you probably couldn’t afford to book if it wasn’t for the charity connection and also a rare opportunity to see musicians and singers play together who under normal circumstances wouldn’t.
Tickets will be available to reserve sometime in March when much of the line-up will be confirmed and as with the Journey dates, there will be a couple of week period where the RWCC will get first crack of the whip.
It’s now 100% confirmed that I will be off to Israel for a piano concert at the Reading 3 concert venue in Tel Aviv on January 20th. This will be my first trip there since 1988 when I performed with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra and Caesarea performing The Gospels in its original form before the re-write a year or so later.
In January I also have quite a few days booked in the studio with Erik to record some piano based music for a library album and also to start preparing the template for the Journey shows to give to all concerned.
I’ll also be spending at least one day in the studio with Susie Dent as we put our plans into action for a series of podcasts which we have been working on for some time now.
This year I have decided to make all my resolutions actually achievable and they virtually all include music and health, which are actually joined at the hip in many ways because unless I get myself a damn sight fitter than I am currently, I won’t be at my best to do what I really want to do this year.......
........and so first on the list is to lose 4 stone in weight. (25 kilo). I have given myself a pretty strict regime which is the only way I will be able to do this and this includes carrying my “fitbit” with me at all times... (Xmas present)!
Having now got a really good team of dedicated people around me for the music side of things, I am keen to really get many musical projects that are currently stored in my brain in the filing cabinet marked “Really Want To Do”, up and running. These certainly won’t all get done in 2014, but I hope it will start the ball rolling for many years to come.
As regards forecasts, that’s always a tricky one and one I rarely get right, but I do sense some very interesting collaborations are likely to happen during the year.
It has to be said though that none of what I do could be achieved without the wonderful support I get from so many people who for some reason or another, like what I do. I have made so many friends over the years from meeting people at concerts and other events that really does make everything so worthwhile. Add to this a great team of people and musicians around me who both aid and inspire in all we try and do and of course to Wayne, who has done such a remarkable job with the website of which I am so proud. I can recall to this day meeting him at Heathrow Airport as I was about to fly out to Japan and he showed me what a website could do on his laptop...........this was all new to me in August 1996, and here we are, 18 years on and there’s no doubt the immense role the RWCC site has played in all I have done since then and hopefully has many more years ahead of it.
So that’s pretty much it really. The year is bound to bring some surprises and a few twists and turns here and there, but there is a plan, and a pretty good one at that, so I’ll just have to see where life takes me in 2014.For sure it will be an adventure and it’s truly lovely to have you all along for the ride.