The Summers End Festival, which takes place on October 4-6th at Lydney Town Hall, are thrilled to
announce a very special event on the Saturday Evening of the Festival.
"Ravens and Lullabies" will be an unique electric performance by Gordon Giltrap (electric and
acoustic guitars) and Oliver Wakeman (keyboards). Joining them in this exclusive one-off event will
be two old friends of the festival, Paul Manzi (Arena, Oliver Wakeman Band - vocals) and Johanne
James (Threshold - drums) plus a bassist to be named.
Gordon will be best known to Prog fans for his trio rock albums in the late 70s, and for his hit
single "Heartsong" while Oliver's eclectic career has involved several solo albums, two albums with
Clive Nolan, appearances with The Strawbs and Bob Catley and an eventful three and a half years in
Although the two of them have been touring extensively as a duo, this will be Gordon's first full
electric performance for over 30 years, while Oliver will be playing his first major concert with a
full band since his departure from YES in 2011. The set will revolve around a performance of their
superb album "Ravens and Lullabies" released earlier this year on Esoteric Antenna, which mixes
intimate acoustic performances with full-blown Prog, but will also contain some pieces from both
men's back catalogue.
Festival co-promoter Stephen Lambe says: "This is a huge coup for the festival and it's thrilling that we have been able to persuade Gordon and
Oliver to bring the "Ravens and Lullabies" band together and play this amazing and unique concert
just for us. Little did I know when I saw the Gordon Giltrap band in 1979, or indeed Oliver with Yes
in 2009, that I'd end up welcoming them onto the Summers End Stage in 2013."
It's been a couple of months since I last wrote an update about what has been going on in my music world and reading about the passing of Peter Banks this morning has prompted me to sit down at the computer keyboard.
I thought that I would start with a few thoughts about Peter. For those of you who aren't aware of Peter and his work, Peter was the original guitarist with Yes back in the late 60's and worked on their first two albums. I enjoyed performing Astral Traveller when I was in Yes and it was great fun to play on a track that was linked to this early incarnation of the band.
However, Peter and I did work together on a couple of my albums back in 1999 and 2001. My first rock record 'Jabberwocky' (a collaboration with Clive Nolan) featured Peter heavily as the main lead guitarist and he came up with some amazing parts.
He worked in a slightly unusual way in so much that he was a great improviser and never played the same part twice - he'd give you lots of great solos in their entirety to chose parts from. He also had a wonderfully jazzy style which was best represented on the Jabberwocky album with his great solo in Coming to Town. I'd originally written the jazzy chords with the idea of having a sax solo (in fact the original demos have me doing a sax solo on a keyboard) but when Peter put his jazz solo down, all thoughts of a sax solo were soon forgotten.
The record came out whilst I was working on my next album 'The 3 Ages of Magick' which featured Steve Howe. I played Steve some of the album and he was genuinely impressed with the guitar work he heard - 'Is that really Peter..?' I remember hearing him say in his studio in Devon during one of our arrangement sessions.
Peter & I got together again for the followup to Jabberwocky, 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' and again Peter came up with some great - completely unique - guitar lines. His solo on my track 'By Your Side' is particularly gorgeous and completely unexpected in construction and approach.
Peter and I kept in touch for a while afterwards but as is often the way, paths take different directions and I hadn't been in contact for a few years. But I am proud to have met Peter and I'm even more proud that I have some of his performances on 2 of my albums. RIP Peter Banks, thanks for the music.
Ravens & Lullabies
March saw the release of my latest project 'Ravens & Lullabies' which is a collaboration with another unique guitarist - the wonderful Gordon Giltrap. The first few reviews and reactions have come in and I can only say thanks for the wonderful things people have been writing abut the album. We really seem to have hit on an approach that people seem to relate and warm to. I really hope the album has the opportunity to reach as many people as possible as I am really proud of the project and people need to hear Gordon on an electric guitar again.
We have been overwhelmed with the speed at which the initial pressing of the limited edition sold out - they had all gone before the album was actually released which involved a quick repressing to meet demand. A very encouraging start indeed!
If you are unsure about the style of the album, you could always buy this months 'PROG' magazine which features one of the tracks ('Moneyfacturing') on its cover-mount CD as well as a great 3 page article in the magazine.
We are currently touring the UK in support of the album, having performed twice so far with another 11 dates due over the next couple of months. We will be following up with a longer run of dates later in the year as well as performing a shorter set as special guests of Barclay James Harvest later in November. If you get a chance, please do come and see the live show, we have a great time of stage playing pieces from the new album and from Gordon and my past musical endeavors and people are often complimenting us on the on stage interplay which is very rewarding.
Following the tour we have been invited to appear as gusts on Bob Harris's show on Radio 2 for a live session and interview. This will be recorded in June for transmission in July which is something I am really looking forward to.
I will also be this weeks guest on the Dutch radio station Paperlate where they will be playing tracks from the new album and interviewing me. The show is to be broadcast on Sunday evening and all details can be found at www.paperlate.nl.
Some of you may remember that I recently played on my friend Paul Bond's song Blue to help raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital who were instrumental is saving his son's life from cancer. Paul wrote to me recently to let me know that the download song raised over £1000, so if you were one of the many who downloaded it then thank you very much indeed for contributing to this worthy cause.
On a final note, I would just like to thank all the people who have written such nice things about the album on the web. It is very much appreciated and hopefully it will help spread the word!
All the best to you all, and I hope to see some of you at the upcoming shows.
'Ravens and Lullabies' - Gordon Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman
There will be two different releases of the album. A standard single CD with the following 13 tracks
2. Fiona's Smile
3. From the Turn of a Card
5. Maybe Tomorrow
6. Wherever There Was Beauty
7. Is This the Last Song I Write?
8. A Mayfair Kiss
9. Anyone Can Fly
10. A Perfect Day
11. Credit Carnival
12. One For Billie
13. Ravens Will Fly Away
The 2CD limited edition will have a second CD featuring the following tracks
Live recordings taken from the 2012 tour:
1. Nature's Way
2. Isabella's Wedding
3. Progress of the Soul
4. On Camber Sands
5. Lutey and the Mermaid
New studio recordings:
6. Praeludium (from the Well Tempered Clavier)
7. The Forgotten King
Details about pre-ordering will follow soon - we promise!
'Blue' Charity single by Paul Bond available for download
Oliver, along with bass player Nick Beggs (Steve Hackett band, Porcupine Tree), appears on a new downloadable charity single from RedBox's guitarist Paul Bond.
Paul's son, Josh, has been fighting against the serious cancer illness Burkitt's Lymphoma and has been treated at Great Ormond Street children's hospital for nearly a year.
Paul is better at describing what he is trying to achieve and so here is a message from Paul.
"This is it people! ... Please share the living daylights out of this!!!!
My song 'Blue' is available for download. Suggested donation of only £2.00 and ALL profits go to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital who saved the life of our boy Josh.
This year, he contracted Burkitt's Lymphoma which is an ultra-aggressive form of cancer and it has taken a NINE MONTHS stay at Great Ormond Street to get him through it.
This song is a love song from a father to a son and is dedicated not only to Josh, but also to ALL of the lovely children who we met during our stay at this incredible hospital, many of whom will be enjoying Christmas at home and sadly some who didn't manage to conquer their battle. Roseanne, Danny and Malachi - we won't forget you xxxx
I have specified that the money goes to the Oncology wards. We see nurses scrabbling around for machines because they have to share them between so many rooms, so we know that there can be improvements made and I just want to give SOMETHING back for saving the life of my little boy Josh (www.facebook.com/JoshuaBondUK)".
If you would like to download the single then the details are available from http://www.paulbond.co/CharitySong.aspx. It is a great song, and the cause is even greater. So if you like a bit of a classic rock then look no further, safe in the knowledge that you'll be helping children at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Guitar Legend and the next generation of keyboard wizardry join forces for a new record!
March 2013 will see guitar legend Gordon Giltrap and keyboardist Oliver Wakeman (following his years of touring with the classic progressive rock band YES) release their debut collaborative album 'Ravens & Lullabies' on the Esoteric Antenna label.
The album is a 13 song collection of hard hitting memorable rock pieces coupled with thought provoking lyrics alongside acoustic duets featuring their fine instrumental interplay.
The project was initiated with a phone call from Gordon to Oliver in early 2012 requesting Oliver's keyboard services for a new rock album. Within 24 hours Gordon had phoned again suggesting a full collaboration instead and the 'Ravens & Lullabies' concept was born.
Gordon and Oliver spent 2012 writing and recording the album which features a return for Gordon to his rock roots following a 30 year absence and Oliver's first recorded works since his departure from both Yes and Strawbs.
It has been recorded and mixed by 'Threshold' guitarist Karl Groom (who also mixed the Yes 'Live In Lyon' record which featured Oliver on keyboards).
The album will be available in two formats, a single CD featuring 13 new pieces and double pack special edition featuring a Bonus CD of live recordings taken from their 2012 tour and re-recordings of pieces from Oliver and Gordon's past catalogue.
The new album features performances by the following well respected musicians.
Paul Manzi - vocals
Paul has performed with the Oliver Wakeman Band for the last 6 years (appearing on the live DVD 'Coming to Town') and is the current vocalist for the rock band Arena.
Steve Amadeo - Bass Guitar
Steve, an in demand Jazz/Blues/Rock session bass player, is currently performing with Blues guitarist Aynsley Lister.
Johanne James - Drums
Johanne has been the Threshold drummer for the last 12 years.
The album also features a special vocal appearance by Benoit David, Oliver's old band mate from Yes, on the track 'From the Turn of a Card' written by Oliver during the Yes recording sessions of 2010.
Many of the pieces were debuted and refined during their acoustic duo tour in September and October 2012 where they performed sell out concerts across the UK. The tour will resume in March 2013 to coincide with the release of the new album.
One of the most innovative acoustic guitarists in the UK today, Gordon Giltrap has developed his own unique style, much copied, but never bettered. It is impossible not to be awestruck as he coaxes incredible melodies from his instruments; you almost suspect a second pair of hands. He is well known for his varied musical output and 'Heartsong' (a hit single from the album 'Perilous Journey' in 1977) is instantly recognized as the theme for the BBC TV's long running 'Holiday' programme.
Following ten solo albums in a variety of styles, Oliver Wakeman joined the legendary band 'YES' in 2008, touring with them up until mid-2011. A live CD and triple vinyl release, 'In The Present - Live from Lyon', was a fitting bookend to his period in the band. He also worked with the folk rock band 'The Strawbs' and appeared on their last studio album as well as their 40th Anniversary CD release. Appearing in venues across North and South America, Europe and the UK with YES, Strawbs and as a solo artist, he has become a well respected live performing musician to add to his other talents as composer, songwriter, lyricist and producer.
Gordon says "Working with Oliver is like a breath of fresh air. I knew of his reputation as a fine musician, and it made perfect sense for me to tap into his creative energy, not only to bring out certain elements of my musical gifts but to create something new and exciting, at the same time giving a nod in the direction of our respective Progressive Rock roots"
Oliver adds, "After working with YES, the chance of working with another legendary artist was an opportunity too good to miss. I am having a wonderfully productive time working with Gordon and feel we are creating something genuinely unique in our 'Ravens & Lullabies' project."
Many of Gordon's fans have been asking for years when he is going to return to his rock roots and others wondered what Oliver would write after the Yes experiences...