updated 23.7.2008

Recently the main project on Cannon Hill has been 'that difficult' second album from The Green House Band. Keeping you bang up to date - Big Sun, the second album by The Green House Band, is now available for download from iTunes and all the other major download sites, as part of the Fledg'ling catalogue.

The Green House Band features Madeleine Worrall (vocals), Michael (Greg) Gregory (drums), Dave Berry (bass) and celebrated arranger (Five Guys Named Moe, Oh! What a Lovely War, etc.) aka The General Man of Mystery - Whoops I've told you too much too soon already - Neil McArthur: yes it was he who also once played keyboards avec L'Arvey et les Bangers du Mur. Oui, le mystère continue... L'Histoire, c'est Formidable! Most of the material has been specially written, and Greg and myself produced the final mix. The debut album was highly acclaimed by Mojo and fRoots amongst others, and featured the last recording made by Tim Rose before his sad death in Autumn, 2003. Listen to some clips here! and prepare to download it from iTunes IMMEDIATELY!
Please visit www.myspace.com/bigsunbytes and register as a friend to see more info and reviews!


I had a long, warm and friendly chat with Ashley Hutchings at the recent BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, regarding a reformation of The Albion Band as featured on the Rise Up Like The Sun album. This is now under discussion between the members of the original band.

 

Guess what? I seem to have unsolicitedly acquired a brand new capacity! I am now a third of The Omega 3, playing bass guitar, guitar, mandolin, banjo and who knows what else. I have revamped and updated their website, which has now gone live. Check it out!!! We just did a hugely successful sell-out gig last night in Weybridge, Surrey. The bookings are now coming in steadily.

 

The celebratory concert at Sidmouth for John Kirkpatrick's 60th birthday on the 8th August last year was a great success, with John appearing in the first half alongside guests including Chris Parkinson, Martin Carthy, John Tams and Derek Pearce, then climaxing after the interval with the full electric band (comprising Michael Gregory, Paul Burgess, Dave Berry and myself), playing together for the first time in 10 years.

 

Early in June, I spent a very enjoyable couple of days at home in Cannon Hill Studio, recording drums and mixing a track with Ric Sanders, Vo Fletcher and Greg for Ashley Hutchings' forthcoming Morris album, ending up with a smashing session in the Hand in Hand on Wimbledon Common, a very favourite old Youngs pub.


This was closely followed by another couple of days with Jon Davie (bass) and Tom Leary (fiddle) recording some tunes for a new album which could result in a revival of the Rough Band, with Bill Caddick.

I am coming to the end of a full summer of theatre darling, appearing in
The Five Wives of Maurice Pinder on E-Bow guitar at my much-loved haunt, the National's Cottesloe, and the Open Air Regent's Park musicals (Lady Be Good and The Boy Friend), as well as being first deputy on bouzouki (tuned GDAD) for the massive new Lord of The Rings show at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, the score for which was certainly a challenge, including some nice Celtic-styled stuff written by Finnish band, Värttinä. The reviews have been mixed, but the crowds are responding well, so time again will show the wiser...

Last November (06) I was in Ann Arbor, Michigan, US, working on the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of The Tempest, starring Patrick Stewart, my first theatre work for two years. I featured on electric guitar (no problem), balalaika (slightly off-schedule) and oud (fretless 11-string Arabian lute-like horror-piece!). Rupert Goold's terrific production was at London's Novello Theatre in March, 07.

Slowly progressing in the lofty Cannon Hill Studio are several other projects, one of which is an album with Anthony Ingle, vastly overlooked erstwhile Albion Band Wurlitzer Maestro, involving ex-Home Service rhythm section Jon Davie and Michael Gregory. The tracks were recorded live in the old-fashioned way, senza click, and have now enjoyed fiddle, brass and vocal overdubs. Bill Caddick has added some fine lead vocals and ex-Gryphon colleague Brian Gulland has also contributed. The final three tracks have just been laid down and are awaiting overdubs and mixing. Get a prehear...

Also involving Greg on percussion and drums is a new album project with ex-Roaring Jelly members, Derek Pearce and Clive Harvey, now reformed with Da'aboth Te'He'Ling, as the Omega 3.

Fastlane Roogalator, the band led now by three sons of the late, great singer songwriter, John B. Spencer (Tom, Syd and William), have also completed work on four new tracks for their second album at Cannon Hill Studio.

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