Archive for July, 2007

Here are the UK dates!

Monday, July 16th, 2007

I’m about to board a Large Ocean Liner for a six day trip, so it’s time to publish info about the UK dates! Here’s the current state of affairs:

*edit* These dates are updated as of September 6, 2007

10/3 – ICA, LONDON
10/4 – CONCORDE, BRIGHTON
10/5 – ACADEMY, BRISTOL
10/6 – PICTUREDROME, HOLMFIRTH, YORKSHIRE
10/7 – ACADEMY, MANCHESTER
10/8 – ACADEMY, BIRMINGHAM
10/9 – BARFLY, CAMBRIDGE
10/10 – ACADEMY, ISLINGTON

10/11 – WHELAN’S, DUBLIN, IRELAND
At the ICA (as I blogged previously) I’ll be doing a special performance to mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik. I have a special place in my heart for this event as Sputnik was so evocative to me as a kid. I’ve checked with some of my friends and contemporaries and we all share this feeling. So I will be inviting some of them to join me onstage, in the guise of The Radio Science Orchestra. This is the ensemble formed by Bruce Woolley, to whom I owe a great deal because he hired me to play keyboards in his first band The Camera Club in about 1978. He is now a very accomplished Theremin player, and has a motley assortment of oddball musicians who variously comprise RSO.

Another friend, David Hoffman, has produced a feature-length documentary about Sputnik, entitled The Fever of ’57. It debuted at the Seattle Film Festival a few weeks ago and got rave reviews. David collected rare footage of Sputnik as well as the reaction to its launch around the world. The film is fantastic and I hope it makes it into theatres this Autumn. To my delight, David offered me the footage to project as part of my stage show. This is too good to be true, so over the next couple of months Bruce and I are going to try and compile our own edit of the footage, and compose an original soundtrack that we will perform live at the ICA as the first part of the show, which I have entitled Sputnik And Beyond. The rest of the performance (and the rest of the UK tour) will be my own one-man show, drawing on The Sole Inhabitant material, plus a couple of brand new songs.

sputnik.jpg

UK…. more

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

I think it’s just fabulous that in spite of me saying my UK dates may yet be changed around, lots of Forum members are not only buying tickets to gigs I haven’t yet formally announced, they’re also deciding which curry restaurant to meet up at before the unannounced gigs!

The UK promoter LiveNation is trying to add some more gigs Up North (which to us Southerners means anywhere from Enfield to the Arctic Circle.) In the meantime, plans are being fleshed out for my ICA show and the homage to Sputnik, which will be a little different from the rest. I won’t formally list them until they’re 100% solidified so watch this space. That said, I am delighted if people rush out and buy tickets, because some of the venues (eg the ICA) may add a second show if they sell enough seats!

It’s been asked if I am planning any meet’n'greets for this tour. Well yes in the UK and Canada at least that is the plan, as I haven’t toured there since about 1783. In the US I’m not so sure… I did them last time I toured in the NE USA but the schedule this time is pretty insane, basically 16 performances in 16 days, so I may have to skip it for the sake of my voice. Believe it or not, shouting for an hour over DJ music is actually more of a strain than singing. However, even when there’s no official m’n'g I usually end up doing some spontaneous ones.

UK update

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Sorry for the delay in announcing details of my October UK dates. There are a few variables that need to get sorted out, eg visa issues, equipment carnets, and so on. I am putting together a UK retail version of ‘The Sole Inhabitant’ CD and DVD with a label there (more news to come) and they want to get involved with the gigs. But it’s possible the venues may still be changed around, and more dates added in addition to the six that I see TicketWeb have prematurely announced! This is compounded by the fact that the promoters Live Nation are up to their eyes in summer festival work and we need to co-ordinate with them on the venues, video projection, and so on. Plus, some of my regular crew/band are otherwise engaged and I have to find replacements. So if you can hold on a few more days, I’ll publish the exact details as soon as I can.

I’m getting very excited about returning to England. I’m thinking hard about how to balance showing off half-completed new songs, versus adding old ones that people seem to want to hear so badly. Either way, I sense the UK audiences will be all ears, and perfectly willing to go along with whatever I play, with the same kind of warmth I felt at the Scala last year.

I’ve written about this before, but I’ll say it again. It was a huge surprise to me when I walked onstage at the Scala and the place was packed to the rafters with cheering fans. When I left the UK in the late 80′s I felt so much hostility, from the Industry, from my peers in the musician community, and from the press. Perhaps it was just the ugly twilight of the Thatcher era. But I realize now that underneath it there was always a strong following, a hardcore audience that really connected with my music and got what I was trying to do. So strong in fact, that they were still there for me 18 years later when I finally came back. I hope I can reconnect with them this time around, as well as making new friends who were too young to remember. This will be quite an adventure!

Canada dates added

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

Hey folks, here are the Canada dates I promised:

9/25 — Mod Club, Toronto, ON

9/27 — Cafe Campus, Montreal, QB

… and I’m delighted to announce that the support act for these two gigs will be none other than long time Dolby/Alloy fanatic, graphic novelist extraordinaire and all round madman Crackers with his band Science Ninja Big Ten.