Lots of news leading up to the end of year tour plus a few surprises which we are sure you will appreciate.
Firstly the sad news. Due to the fact that Ambient Records is now run entirely from the UK, both Marie and Karen have now left the fold and taken up positions elsewhere. This also means that we are looking for smaller premises as we no longer need huge amounts of space in order to store stock.
Before you start rubbing the address out though, we should say that any move is highly unlikely before the end of the year as no change will take place until Bajonor House is sold.
Also please note that in future all mail order and telephone enquiries are being taken on 01624 844134 - the fax number remains the same at 01624 844135.
Classical Connection Review
The last three Classical Connection shows were held during July and August at Stafford, Hastings and the final show on the Isle of Wight - all of which were a lot of fun.
The Isle of Wight concert was held outdoors at a stately home and was quite spectacular, to do especially with the accompanying thunder and lightning. Luckily the rain held off virtually until Rick and Alan had left the stage but not before the audience had left, or the crew had packed the gear away.
A "bye bye" classical connection party was held in the manor house and a good time was had by all to mark the last show.
It is highly unlikely that the Classical Connection show will ever be resurrected before the turn of the century but both accompanying CDs have just been released in Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium and Portugal, both to excellent reviews, and so overseas performances may not be out of the question - (Rick's jokes between numbers will be out of the question though!)
At the end of August, Rick went to Germany for one week in order to do press, radio and television promotion for Classical Connection. It and the response was tremendous.
All this in spite of the fact that Rick got off to a bad start by missing his plane from Manchester - the truth is that the day before he had flown in to play in the Norman Wisdom Golf Classic, driven to the airport the following day, and on checking in, realised he had forgotten his passport! (It should be noted however that this "lapse of brain" in no way compares with a certain bass player who will remain nameless although we still talk to Davy Paton, who actually went to a Buxton in East Anglia somewhere, whilst everyone else in the band went to Buxton in Derbyshire)!
Numerous other possible ventures were discussed for Europe during the promotional trip, most of which are discussed in this newsletter and all of which could be tremendous if they come to fruition.
At the moment of putting this newsletter together Jon is in California working on material that Jon has gathered from everybody over the last few months.
By the next newsletter more details should be available as to when recording will start and finish as well as prospective release dates and possible touring. Hazarding a guess, which is always difficult to do where YES are concerned, we would imagine that the album would be scheduled for release around Easter next year with a summer/autumn tour of the USA and Europe to follow.
That's about it for YES news at the moment but things should start buzzing in the next couple of months so look out for the next newsletter.
The Word and the Gospels
A wonderful evening was had by all back in July at Rochester Cathedral where one of the best ever performances of The Gospels took place.
With a superb massed choir from surrounding areas joining Rick on stage, plus Tony Fernandez on drums, Adam Wakeman on keyboards and Ian Lavender doing a superb job of the narration and all set in the beautiful cathedral setting, it really was something rather special - sincere thanks go to all at Rochester who helped make the evening such a success.
A superb reception was held afterwards which culminated in the band and crew ending up in the nearest Indian restaurant until the early hours of the morning! (Transportation to Hastings the following day was not without its difficulties and numerous stops)!
Apart from the odd charity performance, this was the first time that Adam and Rick had appeared on the same stage, but certainly will not be the last as this newsletter will report.
The gospels is next scheduled to be performed in Scotland on December 5th.
Further details can be obtained from Alan Waddell who can be contacted via Candy at the office - we understand that reaction for the forthcoming performance has been excellent and tickets are already going very well. The line up will be identical to that of Rochester, but with the inclusion of Alan Thomson on bass.
Although it is a long way off, a large church in the Isle of Wight has also contacted us wishing to have The Gospels next Easter performed there.
Also whilst in Germany, Rick had discussions with Sattva Arts, who distribute all Ambient product in Europe, with a view to doing a special performance of The Gospels in a Portuguese cathedral with orchestra and choir as well as a large band. This would be recorded and the narration dubbed in at least four languages in order to accommodate different countries.
Should this reach fruition we will obviously do our best to offer package trips to Portugal for this very special one off event.
The Marcher Lords
Some of you may recall that the Softsword recording all came about from Rick's association with The Marcher Lords who specialise in recreating famous historical events with huge spectacular presentations - Rick wrote the music for the Rochester festival in one such production of King John.
This year saw The Marcher Lords in Stafford, and apart from Rick performing there with the classical concert, Rick also wrote the music for the fantastic production of Wars of the Roses which was being performed in the castle grounds.
Rick and Nina managed to see part of the performance of Shakespeare's Henry V which was nothing short of spectacular and the trip to Stafford was completed with a performance on stage, with Rick at the Classical Connection concert of the mediaeval instrument the gemshorn played by Belinda Blakeney, the wife of Geoffrey Davies who produces and directs the marcher lords).
Preliminary talks also took place as to the possibility of a performance of The Six Wives of Henry VIII with The Marcher Lords - this would be done with Rick performing live as against the performers working to prerecorded music.
It's nice to report that we mow have Phantom Power, Wakeman Live and the Classical Connection in stock. All sell at £11.25 + P&P;.
For those of you with extremely large bank balances we can now get copies of the legendary White Rock film, but after seeing the quotes from the film's owners we recommend those with weak hearts shouldn't even bother to call!
These videos will also be available on the forthcoming UK tour.
Classic Tracks is now mixed and completed - we understand a deal has been signed in the USA and for parts of Europe, but at the time of going to print we know little more. It is hoped to have some import copies to sell during the UK tour, although at present we do not know how much they will cost or even if we will be able to get hold of any.
A tour has been offered in order to promote the CD in the USA for early 1993 obviously though no dates can be confirmed until the YES schedule is known.
Rick Plays the Classics?
Negotiations have nearly reached fruition over Rick recording three CDs of classical music but with his own arrangements and interpretations. They would basically be piano orientated but with delicate accompaniment on other instruments - each CD would feature one composer. Rick has decided on the three composers he wishes to use but at this juncture is not telling!
The same company are also talking to Rick about other projects, all of which would appear in the mid price range and be accompanied by extremely heavy promotion.
Full details will appear in the next newsletter.
At the time of going to press, no further details were available as to a release date anywhere in the world. Rick hopes it is prior to Xmas though, as the income from this record is badly needed by the charity "ASSIST" who benefit from the recording.
Rick also hopes that an edited single will also be available at the same time as the CD.
Wakeman with Wakeman
After much speculation, the format of the new UK tour has been decided, and unique it is too - it will be the first time, and it must be said, the one and only time, that Rick and Adam Wakeman will ever appear together on stage on a full scale tour.
Also joining them on stage will be Tony Fernandez on electronic percussion and Alan Thomson on bass and classical guitar. Alan is particularly pleased to have "the greasy dago" joining him on drums as he feels that being the butt of Rick's jokes might now be shared a little more evenly.
Frank Fallows will be tour managing and looking after the merchandise - Ian Barfoot will be in charge of the sound and Stuart Sawney has the stage equipment as his main responsibility.
The decision for Adam to join the fold was more of an accident than anything else. Rick had already decided that it would be a great idea to take another keyboard player out with him in order to allow him to perform pieces that he had never been able to do before.
He had found that he had considerably more freedom when there was another keyboardist around under certain circumstances and the more knowledgeable amongst you will know that on at least three occasions Rick has worked with another keyboard player on stage. Steve Gray with Sky, Tony Kaye with YES and Julien Colbeck with ABWH.
Rick has been determined that this tour would be quite different from those of previous years and is keen to use material that he has been unable to play before due to the fact that there were so many keyboard parts on record that
it would have been impossible to perform without Rick having about six arm transplants !
Adam is at present completing demo tracks in Rick's studio as part of the preparation for his own solo album which is due to be released around about the middle of next year. At present there are at least two deals "on the table", but nothing will be finalised until the completion of all the tracks, which feature Adam on keyboards and vocals.
Whilst discussing the UK dates and Rick's ideas, father and son both saw the advantages of working together on the tour. Fur Rick it would give him the chance to introduce new music and new ideas to the show as well as giving Adam the "considerable opportunity" to show off his performing talents - Adam also knows a lot of the material (for pretty obvious reasons), and was keen to show "dad" where he was going wrong!
There is no doubt though that this tour will only happen here in the UK once, as both father and son are keen that Adam pursues the advancement of his own writing and performance.
However two separate European promoters are already chasing the rights for this particular show to tour Europe early in the new year - once again though, nothing can be confirmed until the YES schedule is known. Discussions are also well under way to film the concert for a video release and possible television. More news about this in the final newsletter of the year.
An album entitled Wakeman with Wakeman is at this very moment being recorded on the Isle of Man at Bajonor Studios and as well as old favourites and some hopefully pleasant surprises. The tour will also feature tracks from the new CD.
It is very much hoped that the CD will available before the tour commences, but of course it will be on sale at the concerts along with all the other merchandise being specially prepared for the tour.
This will undoubtedly be one hell of a show, never to be repeated, and certainly one not to be missed. A full list of the dates confirmed so far are printed at the end of this newsletter. For details on the missing dates please contact Candy during the second and third weeks of October.
The Christmas Party
The Christmas party is now a reality - the response from you all has been quite tremendous and we just hope that now that we have set the ball rolling that you won't all change your minds, or else it could be one hell of a lonely bash!
After checking out numerous hotels and possible dates we have decided it is to be held on December the 9th at the Britannia hotel in Manchester.
We have chosen Manchester as it is the most central point in the UK and also easy to get to by either road or rail.
The evening's festivities will be held in the biggest function room at the hotel, The Crystal Suite.
There will be a full sit down Xmas meal, (selected by Candy, so blame her if you don't like it), special vegetarian meals can also be arranged without any difficulty, providing you let us know beforehand.
The evening's entertainment will be in the form of an after dinner cabaret which will include a couple of numbers from Rick and the lads as well as a couple of surprise guests which Rick intends to keep under his belt until the actual day.
The cost for all this is only £21.50 per person and for those of you who wish to stay overnight, we have arranged a special rate of 7pound;18.50 per person at this luxury hotel - we have already reserved a certain number of rooms to insure against disappointment.
We do have to set a limit of the number of people that we can accommodate for the evening and so we genuinely suggest you confirm as early as possible for this fun Xmas evening.
As an RWCC member you can invite as many friends as you wish as long as all the bookings are done through you as a member.
During the evening, we will be having an auction and raffle with great prizes - all the proceeds from this will go to a local charity, yet to be chosen.
Initial bookings can be made by phoning or faxing candy although we will require final confirmation in writing.
Rest assured this will be a party not to be missed! Dress will be smart but casual, which probably means that Tony Fernandez will have to find his tie, Adam will have to buy a tie, and Alan Thomson will have to borrow a tie!
We all hope that it will turn out to be a really great event that can hopefully turn into an annual one.
- Oct 28th (Provisional booking), Weymouth
- Oct 31st The Maltings, Berwick upon tweed
- Nov 1st Forum 28, Barrow in Furness
- Nov 2nd Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight
- Nov 5th Octagon, Sheffield
- Nov 6th Central Hall, Chatham
- Nov 7th Secombe Centre, Sutton
- Nov 8th Assembly Rooms, Walthamstow
- Nov 9th Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
- Nov 11th Pavilion Theatre, Worthing
- Nov 12th Victoria Pavilion, Ilfracombe
- Nov 13th (Venue unknown) Penzance
- Nov 14th Princess Theatre, Torquay
- Nov 15th Playhouse, Derby
- Nov 16th Theatre Clwyd, Mold
- Nov 18th Parr Hall, Warrington
- Nov 19th Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow
- Nov 20th Leisure Centre, Mansfield
- Nov 21st Wyllyot Centre, Potters Bar
- Nov 22nd Leisure World, Colchester
- Nov 24th Civic Hall, Aylesbury
- Nov 26th Charity function, Weston Super Mare (ring Candy for details)
- Nov 27th Oakengates Town Hall, Telford
- Nov 28th Civic Theatre, Leeds
- Nov 29th Town Hall, Oswaldtwistle
- Nov 30th Arts Centre, Southport
- Dec 2nd Brentwood Centre, Brentwood
- Dec 3rd Civic Hall, Camberley
- Dec 5th Gospels Concert, Glasgow (ring Candy for details)
- Dec 7th Leascliff Hall, Folkestone
- Dec 9th Xmas party, Manchester
- Dec 11th Gaiety Theatre, Douglas Isle of Man
- Dec 12th Gaiety Theatre, Douglas Isle of Man
Over the coming weeks we are endeavouring to fill in every available gap, hopefully starting the tour on the 28th of October, working right through to the "Christmas bash" on the 9th of December, before going to the Isle of Man.
The two shows in the Isle of Man will be very much a Christmas affair and Rick has put together a show which also includes a choir and his great friends "Rosser and Davies" who ever since seeing them live earlier this year, Rick has raved about. The two shows are set to really round the year off nicely.
Anyone interested in coming to the island for either or both of these shows should contact Candy as she may well be able to help you with hotel? Guest house accommodation to suit your pocket. If enough people were coming over then it may even be possible to organise extra special deals.
Manx airlines do special fare cracker flights from some UK cities, and the steam packet also offer special deals.