Firstly, a very happy new year to you from all of us here on the Isle of Man. Thanks for the Xmas cards and good wishes they are all much appreciated.
Keen today or what!
A shorter bulletin than usual, as mentioned in the last edition, mainly due to the fact that not a lot happens over Xmas period and so this is very much in way of an update although one or two interesting developments have taken place.
At the end of January, Rick will be joining Jon Anderson in the South of France, to help piece together the new album. Recordings will be done there and should some of them turn out really well, then they will be used as basis for the master recording, which is set for April and May. At the end of February ABWH will be performing three concerts in Spain, and then go straight off to Japan for a March tour. It is tentatively planned to stop off in Hawaii and selected USA cities on the way home in order to help finance the enormous cost of this section of the world tour.
March 17th sees the band performing as joint headliners with Whitney Houston in New York for a benefit concert in aid of the USA Aids Foundation. This is also to celebrate Arista's anniversary. Fifteen years we are led to believe.
Back eight years ago, Rick wrote and performed the theme music for this BBC television programme. Amazingly enough the programme is still running, a new series started on BBC 1 over Xmas. Even more amazing is that Rick's signature tune has survived and is still in evidence.
This should guarantee next years Xmas card from his publisher!
On the 8th of January, Rick will be appearing live on the Jameson Show where it is hoped he will perform on the piano, and also that they will show a clip from Phantom of the Opera, which incidentally is now booked for an end of January release. Whilst not enjoying mammoth viewing figures in the United Kingdom, it is interesting to note that SKY has a massive following in Europe, numbering many millions, and so reaches a vitally important area other channels cannot reach.
The programme Rick did on Tolkien, is now set for broadcast on January the 18th. It is nearly certain that Rick will also appear live on Daytime Live and as well as giving his comments on the programme, may well play the piano live. If this is the case, expect something from Sea Airs. It is heavily rumoured that to accompany the programme on Tolkien, they have used music from Country Airs and Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
The play Wild Revenge is now in full preproduction. To recap, it stars Karl Howman (Brushstrokes) and Twiggy and is backed by the Noel Gay organisation, Rick has been commissioned to write and record the music. More on this as things progress.
Rick has been commissioned to write the music that is to be piped through a set of caves in Wales. Rick can neither remember nor pronounce their name at the moment so more details will have to be given in the next bulletin. The caves are due to open to the general public sometime around May so should be worth a visit. It is almost certain that a recording of the music will also be on sale at the caves as well. The music will obviously vary according to the size and "mood" of the different parts of the caves.
As some of you may have read, the Gospels show in Manchester was sadly cancelled due to lack of support. Under normal circumstances, Rick and the lads would happily play to two people, if that was all there was but when it comes to charity shows it is pointless going ahead if they are going to lose money, and to the organisers at the Boys Brigade in Manchester, this is exactly how it looked. Because it was felt that the Boys Brigade members would support such an event in large numbers a larger than usual venue was chosen, that of the Manchester Apollo, which in turn meant much higher overheads than usual. Sadly the BB members and their respective churches did not choose to support it, and so therefore had to be cancelled, albeit, with much regret. Rick would like to make it very clear though that Mr Gary Smith, who was organising the event, worked his proverbial nuts off on this, and really could not have done much more to try and get the show on. Anyway, The Gospels went ahead on the Isle of Man, at the Gaiety Theatre, and sold out all eleven hundred tickets. It was attended by His Excellency Major New, the Queen's equerry, who came backstage afterwards to meet the lads, and the choir, which was made up of some of the finest singers on the Isle of Man. The evening was a great success, and it is hoped to repeat the show next Xmas. This year the profits went to the Gaiety funds, next year they will go to another Island charity.
The Gospels then trundled the length of England and ferried itself across to the Isle of Wight for its return Xmas performance. This year it was held at St. Thomas's church which seats 590 people, and duly 500 people crammed themselves in to hear Rick, Ramon, Tom, Wop, and Davy perform with the wonderful assistance of the Ryde School Choir, who have now become quite dab hands at the music. A large Indian curry followed the event, and a not too pleasant hovercraft crossing to Portsmouth followed that event! It is hoped that the Isle of Wight can also become an annual event we are always on the look out for places to perform the Gospels, so we will keep you informed. A lot of you expressed disappointment that the Gospels in the guise of the Word, was not repeated over this Xmas, a feeling felt by all of us here as well.
In next March's bumper edition, there will be the results of the Xmas competition. It is quite incredible how much some of you know and some of you think you know! Anyway a lot of you have had a go, which is nice, and all will be revealed in the March issue.
Also in the next issue we will be answering some more of your queries, which do come in at a rate of knots.
Well that about covers all that's happened over Xmas, but as usual the year is shaping up nicely and is bound to bring some musical surprises along the way.
Text scanned, OCRd and checked by Jon Hinchliffe