Where is the year vanishing to? I can’t remember a moment to draw breath, but midway through March I realised I had to as the long drives and lack of sleep were seriously beginning to take their toll and so new rules have come into force. I now tend to stay at a hotel after shows if they are a long distance away as driving back is not proving easy. It used to be that coming home after a show was uneventful and quite time efficient as there was little on the roads but since the powers that be have decreed that every major road in the country shall be coned off, dug up or closed after 11pm, it has proved impossible on a couple of occasions to even get home.
I really have enjoyed the concerts and there are just four left now and all in Scotland and I am really looking forward to these.
April continues in the same vein as being another busy month and I will be recording with Erik on Thursday 9th. This is another session for Cleopatra records in California and also some music for Starmus, the festival I did with the ERE and Brian May last year in Tenerife.
On Friday 10th I will be at the Granary recording with a young 14 year old soprano, the extremely talented Emmie Beckett. She is with the same management as myself, (United Stage International), and all around her predict a very bright future.
Then on Saturday 11th I set off on my 12 hour journey to Inverness. Providing the road works aren’t too bad I will enjoy the drive and stop off at a few picturesque places for the odd cup of tea. (Looking at the map, the route I’m taking isn’t actually littered very much with picturesque places for the first few hundred miles, so maybe I’ll take a flask)!!
On Friday 17th I will be having a meeting at the Boston Gliderdrome about what could be a really fun weekend later in the year, that of a sort of RickFest which is an idea dreamed up by Rob Ayling at Gonzo who release quite a lot of my stuff and also with whom I am in partnership with, with my merchandising.
The idea is to have a weekend with a difference based around some of the musical lives I have had! The format is not cast in stone but could well be along the lines of the Saturday being that of a dinner, speeches etc. and also music from myself with guest singers I have performed with over the years and then...wait for it...dancing to finish off to the sounds of The Atlantic Blues...which was the name of the first rock and roll band I was ever in, in 1962. The idea is to put a rock and roll 12 bar band together to basically have some fun, with guest musicians as well.
Sunday would be The Strawbs, and I would join them on The Hangman and the Papist and Where is this Dream of Your Youth and then there would be The English Rock Ensemble.
Lots of side stalls with rare memorabilia and possibly a side room showing films as well in the afternoon.
It’s all in early stages and as I have said, nothing is cast in stone at all so the plans for each evening could well change so don’t quote any of this as Gospel!!
On the 23rd I fly to Vicenza and I am so looking forward to performing at the Teatro Olimpico which is the most stunning theatre I have ever seen in my life.
Then on the 28th there is the launch of the next Starmus event in Tenerife although the launch will be in London...shame, I think I would have preferred the launch in Tenerife!!!
On the 30th I will be recording a Vintage TV programme which should be fun. I also have a BBC Radio 3 programme to record and the programme about the Tour Bus....very, very funny indeed.....will be shown on BBC 4 on Friday the 24th of April at 9pm.
Looking ahead into May I have a very interesting meeting to attend about some concerts in India, (a country I have always wanted to perform in), and also there is the Viv Stanshall birthday concept at Bloomsbury theatre on the 9th. It’s always a lovely evening so do come along if you’re free.
Looking a little way ahead into June. The English Chamber Choir will be performing at the Granary on Saturday the 6th and I will be joining them on piano and doing a couple of pieces from A Suite of Gods arranged especially for them and also a new piece which I have written for them and as it’s likely never to be repeated again, it’s a concert not to be missed!
And... looking a little further ahead into the future....there is a very strong probability of a small festival in Smallburgh which is just north of Norwich and a beautiful setting. The festival will run over the August Bank Holliday weekend and will have a main stage and a marquee stage. I understand that bands already on hold are Barclay James Harvest, Hawkwind, The Strawbs, Gordon Giltrap, The Cadbury Sisters & Steeleye Span. We are provisionally on hold to perform Journey to the Centre of the Earth with orchestra, choir and the ERE on the Sunday evening which would be fantastic to be able to perform it again. There will be more news on this within the next couple of weeks so keep regularly logging in to the website.
And...finally...looking way ahead to Xmas, December 7th and 8th to be exact, I have somehow managed to get Oliver, Adam and Jemma to agree to another show together in similar style to the very successful two shows in Gloucester a couple of years back. We will have 4 nine foot model D Steinway pianos to perform on and once again I have foolishly agreed that each of the kids can have a microphone and they will not be censored by me.... Tickets are greatly limited due to capacity so quite seriously I’d get in quick if you fancy these guaranteed fun nights.
Well that’s it for this month. I will admit to being exhausted just reading it all back, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. See you next month.