Final destination in sight - April 11
Rob Townsend & Roger King
Amanda Lehmann & Steve Hackett
Nick Beggs with his pink ukulele
I once referred to my studio as "The ship". With its blue and white walls and expanses of wood it does indeed have that feel, but perhaps even more to the point, the albums I make invariably feel like a voyage of discovery. This one particularly has that feel. I might as well be on the African Queen one minute, sailing downstream into dark unknown places, on the Queen Mary the next celebrating on the high seas and then experiencing the dangers of the ghost-ridden Marie Celeste followed by an ancient Greek galley negotiating the narrow straits between Scylla and Charybdis.
We're certainly gaining momentum as we now speed through the clashing rocks into the unchartered waters beyond. It's often in those final moments that we can experiment with confidence. This album is taking on its own energy and personality and the journey with the elements give a sense of both the ever changing moods and a constant flow.
Most significantly, we've been picking up our crew on the way! Roger has been with me all along, steering a steady yet adventurous course. Amanda then came onboard, taking us through from exquisite Celtic harmonies to the heat of India. Captain Gary O'Toole upped the energy with his primal rhythms and cascading percussion. Nick Beggs explored the extremes between the exciting throb of his heavy bass and the fairy dust of his pink ukulele. Finally, Rob jumped onto the ship, replete with a sack full of every kind of wind instrument imaginable! The four winds went into a whirl and blew us into unknown waters...
This album marries the most recent creations and destinations with songs and riffs from an earlier part of the voyage before we switched to a virtual train from home for three years while the ship was marooned in the legal dock of a desert island.
We've sailed to many places on this journey, from the northern wastes to the tropics, and from the lands of Eastern Promise to the Pioneering Wild West. We've entered waterways of the inner mind and imagination whilst also transforming the vessel into a spaceship to explore the outer reaches of our solar system. This album promises to be an Odyssey (and at times odd-at-sea!) and I hope everyone will enjoy the voyage. Jump aboard for a moment and hear a medley linking some of the elements...