A fascinating yet mood-settling visit to the BBC’s historic Maida Vale Studios in north west London today in the company of MU National Organiser for Orchestras, Jo Laverty, and photographer Jonathan Stewart. We were there to support the BBC Singers who received the devastating news last week that the BBC were axing the entire group after ninety-nine years of top class performing and recording.
Category:News & events
Album notes 2
Here is the second write-up of the ideas and influences behind the songs on my forthcoming album, plus details of the remaining seven tracks and what they mean to me.
Tribute to Horace
A marvellous afternoon at Casa do Frango, a Portuguese restaurant in Borough Market, London Bridge, in the company of MU colleagues and partners.
The MU has announced the details of the summer’s Delegate Conference today, following the distribution of a printed brochure to all 33,000 members.
MU fights visa fee increase
The Musicians’ Union (MU) together with other music industry bodies has signed a joint letter from UK Music to Kemi Badenoch MP (Secretary of State for Business and Trade), setting out our serious concerns for the future of US touring should the proposed increases in the US become law.
I travelled up to Birmingham on Friday to oversee the installation of the MU stand at this year’s Guitar Show, organised as ever by Jason Hunt and his team. Joining me during the two-day weekend event were the excellent duo of Stephen Brown and Benson from our Midlands office.
Following the customary build up day, when Mark Batchelor and I joined Neil Davies at the Business Design Centre in Angel, Islington, this year’s Music and Drama Education Expo was fully underway this morning.
An impromptu day proved rewarding as I marked my birthday with a trip down the Thames in the company of my wife Julie, my son Ben and my stepdaughter Lisa. The destination being Battersea Power Station with a view to seeing what had been constructed, following all its years lying empty since the legendary landmark was decommissioned in 1983.
A superb afternoon at Abbey Road courtesy of Revival, as producer James Reynolds steered the team in completing vocals, bass and piano for their next set of releases. On hand were star names Jools Holland and Emeli Sande, who joined us to add their world-renowned talents to the tracks, plus Mousse-T and choir leader Peyton and his host of excellent vocalists.
Always a pleasure to visit Greg Fitzgerald in Canterbury and to work on tracks in his rurally based studio. Thanks to a quality contribution by session supremo John Thirkell on trumpet and flugelhorn horn, we polished a final mix of Promises at Midnight, which now features a heartening balance of horn flourishes and lead guitar courtesy of the excellent Ashley Blasse.
A productive morning with Steve at Prinststore in Kingston preparing a lyric sheet as an insert for the Waterloo Sunrise album. This gave the opportunity to include more of Jonathan Stewart’s superb photographs on the reverse, as we were able to fit all of the lyrics on one side (albeit at 7 point!)
Awards at the Empire
The UK Americana Awards returned to the Hackney Empire tonight and reminded us all of the huge value and reward of a supportive community and uplifting live music. The Awards ceremony is the culmination of a week in Hackney featuring an industry conference, which was attended by 300 delegates, plus two nights of showcase gigs with 80 artists across six venues.
A relaxing lunch with the MU Comms team today at The Woolpack in Bermondsey St. Great to catch up in real time with colleagues Isabelle Gutierrez, Maddy Radcliff, Autumn Sharkey and Katerina Baranova.
A cracking evening at Night Tales in Hackney, as the UK Americana Music Association kicked off their annual Conference with a superb series of performances by former winners of the Bob Harris Rising Artist Award, all backed by the Northern Cowboys supplemented by the excellent CJ Hillman on pedal steel and guitar.
Help Musicians and the MU have launched a census to generate the first ever comprehensive picture of the UK’s music-making population.
Stacey Brothers Band
Mark Batchelor and I met up this afternoon at the Nellie Dean pub in Dean Street, Soho, ahead of attending a superb performance at Ronnie Scott’s by the Stacey Brothers’ Big Band Steel Dan Project: aka the Royal Scammers. The 14 piece band deliver an amazing collective sound and reflect the depth and nuance of their world-renowned inspiration.
The MU today welcomed the new Report by the Select Committee of the Department for Culture, Digital, Media and Sport (DCMS), recommending more of a focus on fair remuneration in the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) process examining music streaming.