Fourteen years have passed since I first put tentative finger to chunky laptop to bring to you a glimpse of our world of music, fun, food and travel. Since 2001, the internet has become a huge part of all our lives and that objectionable word ‘blog’ is now familiar to us all but I still prefer to use my original ‘tour diary’ description. These pages have evolved into a lot more than I ever imagined and along with myself, others use them to jog the memory for reference or simply to reminisce.
Since our last adventure in 2013, much time has been spent in Mark’s London studio making the Tracker album, of which we are extremely proud. Fans of the band have been vocal about it in a hugely positive manner and I have been touched by many of your comments and congratulations on this site.
Early last week, the day finally arrived and we had our band reunion at our chosen rehearsal facility in South West London. It was fantastic to see everyone again, band and crew. We have quite a team of familiar faces assembled for what proposes to be quite a tour. As I write, we have completed our rehearsals in South-West London and production rehearsals in the ‘George Lucas Stage’ at Elstree Studios. This is the moment where the entire production is assembled including stage and lights. Our new lighting designer, Mark Henderson and operator Tellson James can get their teeth into the new lighting rig, in the flesh, so to speak. The band have been getting used to operating under show conditions and our back line crew have been hard at it working out how on earth they are going to manage the myriad of guitar and instrument changes during the course of our show. It never seems to get any simpler and Glenn Saggers is a perpetual whirlwind of activity, passing in front of my rig between each song with yet another perfectly tuned MK drool-worthy axe with an amplifier setting to match.
The inimitable Laurence Adams returns as our trusty keyboard tech and sound boys Dave Dixon (FOH) and Kerry Lewis (monitors) will be working their collective magic to bring superior sound to both audience and band.
Mark and I checked out the new trucks, all 5 of them!
Catering boys, Dave and Chris are back and in better form than ever and this year are joined by Steve Bond. I really don’t think they are capable of serving up a mediocre dish. We have all been re-acquainted this week with some quite stunning meals as the boys’ culinary creativity excels once again.
On a more sombre note, our long-serving merchandiser and dear friend Paul ‘Cod’ Tallowin, will not be with us on this trip. Cod passed away unexpectedly last year. His unique brand of warmth, exuberance, friendship and hard graft will be greatly missed by all.
So, welcome once again to another adventure, the ‘Tracker diaries’ brought to you via my laptop computer, from a succession of hotel-room desks and dressing room couches. The band is on massive form, the banter is flowing freely and Mark’s ever expanding repertoire of songs is being tapped appropriately. I’m looking forward to sharing (a word which has revised connotations these days) with you some of the moments, the highs and lows, the goods and bads, the joys and pains from the road. G