April 2020 – Weird Times!
It’s been a while since our last blog and normally I like to talk about all the exciting gigs and tours that are coming up. Well, we are all in the same boat so I’ll try not to complain but a lot has happened in between. I like to use this blog to provide an insight into the life of a jobbing musician so here’s some ramblings for you to read….
Last year was an amazing year for gigs and experiences. After finishing 3 years as principal guitarist in London’s official Motown Musical I took a leap into the unknown which is a worrying time for any musician in London when their cushion of an 8 performances a week show abruptly ends…along with an income and you suddenly find yourself at home wondering what people do with their evenings. Ahhhhh Netflix. etc
Anyhow, the summer ended up being packed with festivals, performing with the very talented pop legend Nik Kershaw where I got to meet numerous popstars I grew up listening to in the 80’s. Yes, I’m fairly old! I had an embarrassing encounter with Midge Ure from Ultravox and ‘Band Aid’, who I blunderously told that I was a huge fan. He’s great but, a fan? Sometimes nonsense blurts out in awkward situations.
I also had a chance backstage reunion with the manager and members of the Gabrielle band I toured with in 2004 (remember Dreams and Out of Reach?) and finally got to meet and hang out with the brilliant Richard Barrett, writer and teacher for ‘Guitarist’, ‘Guitar Techniques’ and ‘Total Guitar’ magazines. I had been covering for Richie in the Tony Hadley band for years but we never actually met. We talked about him possibly being involved in FretHub at some point.
The autumn kicked off with a tour of Brazil with the Queen Extravaganza official (QuEx)…top of my list of countries to visit. It was of course a blast but a schedule that included 11 flights in 14 days. Imagine that now….a flight! A nice little corporate show in San Diego on the way home too.
The greatest joy of last year was visiting a Queen rehearsal to get a profile for my Kemper of Brian May’s actual rig with him playing THAT guitar. I will write about this in a separate blog. Surely the most valuable Kemper profile in the world? No, you can’t buy it…I’m sworn to protection.
This year however started well with a QuEx show in Chicago and having landed the role of setting up the guitar rigs for the Official We Will Rock You musical tour of UK and Europe, I got a contract with Royal Caribbean cruises to do the same on their ships. Sadly that was due to happen in May so I shall be sat in my garden instead.
After your long running musical has closed, you always hope that your friends and deps have landed themselves a show and will trust you to dep for them. I’ve been lucky enough to learn and dep on 5 West End shows since Motown closed….School Of Rock, Tina the Musical, Only Fools and Horses (with the brilliant Paul Whitehouse), &Juliet (the songs of Max Martin) and most recently Pretty Woman (Bryan Adams songs). Only 2 days before my debut on that, the West End shut down. Who knows when it will reopen but the latest new I have heard is July at the earliest!!
Next year starts off with a 3 month tour with QuEx so hopefully life for everyone will be back to normal by then.
I’d just like to add a warm welcome to all the new members and I really hope you enjoy using FretHub.