The dust has settled on our Beatles shows in Cheltenham followed by the Floyd show the following week in Witney and it’s now time to let you know what is happening going forwards.
I came up with the idea for this band around 13 or so years ago. I could never remember the how or the why, but it had a long gestation. I subsequently discovered that it originated from a drunken conversation at a party with an old friend named Dave Sturdy. Ask me about it over a beer in the bar after a gig, it’s a fun story. His band, The Long Players, are based in Malmesbury and do their occasional one-off album tributes in a very different way to us. It’s a community of players, sometimes up to 40, all getting involved to raise money for various local causes. For them, it’s about the participation for musicians and audience alike. I’m happy to admit I unknowingly plagiarised the concept if not the methodology!
But now, after 7 different projects in over 3 years, many gigs in various venues utilising 4 different PA companies, and most importantly benefiting from the expertise of 29 different musicians, it’s time for us to take a little bit of a break. These shows really take some organising and are incredibly time consuming. The commitment required from all those involved on stage is huge, and not just in the time spent at home learning the material. There is the rehearsal requirement which needs to fit in around everyone’s work responsibilities and other musical projects, the evenings and weekends spent away from home, the time spent travelling to and from our rehearsal venue deep in the Cotswold countryside. We do of course pay everyone for their performances but we are, unfortunately, not in the position to pay them to rehearse, or even to reimburse travel expenses. Looking ahead, I hope one day we may be in a position to remedy this. Everyone that has played in this band has gone above and beyond in their enthusiasm and commitment to what we do. I cannot praise them too highly or thank them enough. They are all wonderful people and I am forever indebted to them for their total professionalism and good humour. And that’s not even mentioning the friends of the band that have been with us along the way. They have also played a massive part in getting us to this point and I extend my heartfelt gratitude to them as well.
This is NOT the end of The Album Project – far from it! Once batteries have been recharged we WILL be back. I have bookings already offered to us and pencilled in for the second half of 2019 and ideas are being considered for future shows. I’m already fairly decided on what the next one will be based on audience feedback. But these projects need to be more appealing to the musicians involved and therefore need a life outside of the venues we currently play. This means that in the coming downtime, some more planning and thinking about rejigging what we do and how we do it is in order. There are currently ideas for a couple of slightly different shows to go alongside our current format. I will of course announce these as and when we are ready to go. We just need a bit of a rest and a breather.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over the last 3 years. It has been a privilege to play for you. I can’t wait to play for you again.