We are really pleased to announce that Oliver's 'The 3 Ages of Magick' album, featuring YES guitarist Steve Howe, is due for re-release on the Esoteric Recordings label on the 30th September 2013.
This album was originally released in 2001 and hasn't been available on general release since 2007, a year before Oliver started working with Steve in YES.
Following the critical sucess of the Ravens and Lullabies album with Gordon Giltrap, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to hear Oliver's work with another classic guitarist 12 years earlier!
This expanded and remastered release features 3 bonus tracks, 'Hit 'n Myth', 'The Faerie Ring' and a demo version of 'The Storyteller' titled 'Dream Weaver'. The album sleeve features a background story on the making of the album as well as unseen photos from Oliver's personal archives.
On Sunday Oliver was the guest on Paul Baker's Soundscapes show which was broadcast on ARfm.
In between playing 'Moneyfacturing', 'Fiona's Smile', 'A Perfect Day' and 'Credit Carnival', Oliver was interviewed by Paul live on air about the 'Ravens & Lullabies' album. They also chatted about some interesting bits of information regarding previous album releases and bands Oliver has worked with.
If you missed the show but would like to hear what was said you can listen again by visiting mixcloud.com ('Moneyfacturing' starts at 25 minutes and 50 seconds and Oliver's interview begins at 33 minutes).
Firstly there was a two day rehearsal with my Dad, brother Adam and sister Jemma at Blackfriars in Gloucestershire for the Wakeman with Wakeman with Wakeman and Wakeman shows.
These rehearsals were closely followed by 2 shows on the Saturday evening one after the other! It was pretty exhausting but really good fun and the two sold out shows were really well received. It was a beautiful setting and we gave Dad a hard time with the stories we told too...
I will be putting some photos up on the photo album portion of the website soon. The evening consisted of music from all of our careers, for the record I played 'LJW' & 'A Mayfair Kiss' from Ravens & Lullabies and an 8 keyboard version of 'Elizabethan Pirates' from the 'Heaven's Isle' album.
Another rehearsal followed on Sunday, this time with Paul Manzi and Gordon Giltrap in preparation for Radio 2...
Gordon and I, together with Paul Manzi had been invited to record a live session and interview for Bob Harris on Radio 2 and so off to London we went! It was an amazing experience, one which I will remember for a long time. We performed 'LJW', 'Fiona's Smile' and then an acoustic version of 'Ravens Will Fly Away' with Paul Manzi singing.
The album continues to sell well and is still receiving rave reviews which is very rewarding.
Gordon Giltrap & I are also delighted to announce that our track 'Moneyfacturing' from the 'Ravens and Lullabies' album has been nominated in the 'Anthem' category of the Progressive Music Awards 2013
Prog Magazine has scoured the activity in the progressive genre for the past twelve months and come up with what they feel is a perfect representation of the best artists and releases of the last year. Winners will be announced at Kew Gardens on September 3, and the results are decided by a public vote. so if you feel inclined and would like to see us receive the award please vote using the below link
Gordon and I will be heading out for another tour of the UK towards the end of the year in 3 different formats. We will be taking our 2 man duo show around to some new venues as well as a few places we've been invited back to. We are also performing a full band show as headliners of this years Summer's End Festival in Gloucestershire. In November we will also be touring our duo show as special guests of Barclay James Harvest which is something we are both really looking forward to. The current dates can been seen in the section below or by clicking the 'Scheduled Concerts tab in the menu...
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.