I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the love and support you have shown over the past year. I hope everyone out there had a great Christmas.
2016 turned out to be one of the busiest years of my career to date, with the greatest number of live shows my band has played in many years, as we toured “Written in the Stars”. The response we have received to both the album and the touring has been overwhelmingly positive. When it comes to artists who have a substantial back catalogue that forms the backdrop of an audiences’ life, it is not always easy presenting new music to the public, so I would like to thank everyone for listening to “WITS” so intently. Ongoing creativity is important to me and we have set out on a course with “WITS” that certainly deserves to be continued. However, at the same time, I understand fully that the Wishbone Ash back catalogue remains dear to our audiences hearts and wish to assure everyone that this will continue to form the core of my live shows. It’s all about getting the balance right, which I as a Libran understand only too well.
As we look forward to 2017, we have another busy year ahead. First on the agenda is the live DVD/CD “The Beauty of Chaos – Live at the Citadel”, a recording of a complete concert in St.Helens from Feb 2016, which features the full “Written in the Stars” album live as well as many Wishbone favourites. We hope to have this ready to coincide with our Spring touring for 2017, although no release date is set as yet. We will be touring throughout 2017 in support of “The Beauty of Chaos” and as a special bonus these shows will also feature a performance of the entire Argus album, as we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the original album’s release. I will also be working on archive Wishbone Ash recordings for the “Wishbone Ash: The Vintage Years” boxed set being released by Snapper Music. As stated before this has the involvement of all original members of the band and I personally will be kept busy remastering classic recordings as well as mixing unreleased concert material from the archives. We’ve uncovered some real gems so far and the plan is to include as part of the package full CDs of some classic concerts from the vaults such as recordings that were made for “Live Dates” and “Live Dates Volume II” but not included in those albums. Again, no release date is set for this as yet – we’ll keep you posted as things develop.
So, we’ll be looking back fondly in 2017 but also moving forwards behind the scenes as we plan to start writing and recording the next studio album. It’s early days as yet, but already there are various musical ideas, themes and working titles kicking around. We plan to get into the studio in between our touring commitments to start developing these ideas and knocking some new music into shape. The experience of working with my band on “Written in the Stars” demonstrated just what talented and creative chaps they all are and we’re all looking forward to the next stage in our creative journey.
Lots of people to thank –
Firstly my extended family - mother, wives, sons and daughters, their partners, brother, sisters and brothers in law and all the magical grand daughters and grand sons, nephews and nieces, cousins, etc and my close personal friends, thank you all for your love and support.
As always I thank my band (Danny Willson, Tim Brown and Misha Nikolic) for making it happen musically as well as being great companions on tour, my manager Martin Darvill and his team at QEDG (Maria Lundy, Daniel Earnshaw, Adam Sargent and Nathan Parsons), my long-time confidante Gary Carter, who in 2016 took on the role of UK concert agent in addition to his existing webmaster duties, broadening our circuit of UK venues considerably, our overseas agents Markus (Germany) and Rudi (Holland), our on-tour team of Mark Emery (aka “Hobbit”, sound) and Sandra Ford (merchandising). We also welcome aboard our new publicist Sharon Chevin at The Publicity Connection. Sharon comes with many years’ experience in the specialist field of rock music publicity and presently handles many name clients. Sharon did a great job on our recent UK tour and we look forward to developing this relationship further in 2017.
Last but not least we can’t let 2016 go without paying tribute to the many great musicians we have sadly lost over the past 12 months – David Bowie, Lemmy (Motorhead), Glenn Frey (Eagles), George Martin, Keith Emerson, Dale “Buffin” Griffin (Mott the Hoople), Prince, Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Greg Lake, Rick Parfitt (Status Quo), George MIchael to name just a few. With this in mind, can I just mention that in modern times we seem to have become somewhat disconnected from both birth and death, which clearly was not always the case. They are “life” events, full of intense emotion and mysteriousness that can be quite overwhelming.
I was recently given a book by a Wishbone music enthusiast that dealt with “Regressive Hypnotherapy”- something I am interested to try. It deals with the impact of problems concerning past lives and I found it fascinating to read about so many personal experiences with this process. I am aware that it had quite a positive impact on how I now think of “Death”. Reincarnation is a concept proposed in many religions – Buddhism, Hinduism and Ancient Egypt spring to mind. The book is called “Same Soul, Many Bodies” by Dr Brian Weiss. I am not trying to preach here, merely pointing out something that I think can be beneficial for anyone searching for understanding and help with this inevitable subject.
To conclude - I thought I might mention a relevant quip from the wonderful Carrie Fisher on being asked about ageing –
“My body hasn’t aged as well as I have” - Brilliant - I can completely relate.
Wishing everyone a very happy new year – see you in 2017.