We hope you all had a fantastic summer, wherever you are. It looks like they’ve decided to start summer in late September, here in the UK, just as the Brit Floyd guys and girls are set to embark on our first European tour.
We’re extremely excited about this tour, which kicks off at the Konserthus in Oslo on October 7th.
32 dates have been confirmed so far, covering nine countries including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Holland and my old stomping ground, Switzerland.
Damian, Ian, Carl, Emily, Rob, Ola, Jacquie, Arran, Rick, myself and of course, our fantastic crew are all really looking forward to giving our European friends a Floyd fix!
Thanks so much, once again, to everybody who made it to one of our UK dates this year. Your support, as ever, is greatly appreciated and we look forward to seeing you again soon. My personal highlights from the 2011 UK tour include London’s Royal Albert Hall and O2 Arena, the three shows at Liverpool Echo Arena, plus the festival dates at Glastonbury and The Isle Of Wight, but I enjoyed every gig. The crowds were fantastic and each venue in each city offered something new and exciting.
Okay, Guitar-Geek Alert (for the next few paragraphs, at least):
For this upcoming tour, I am hoping to have my new guitar: A Suhr Custom Classic. Its arrival is looking tight because of the scheduled delivery date, but hopefully it should turn up just before we leave for Olso.
John Suhr of Suhr guitars is a former a master builder for Fender and has built instruments for artists such as Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton and Peter Frampton. Being left handed, I have spent years in pursuit of the ultimate Stratocaster. Lefties are rare in most high street guitar stores and a well-made lefty is especially difficult to find.
I own a few left-handed Strats and although they all sound great, each one has presented a different problem in a touring environment. I won’t bore you with all the details, but my old black Strat from the 2008 and 2009 North American tours, for example, just won’t stay in tune, no matter how many modifications it has undergone.
For the past year or so, my main Floyd guitar has not been a Fender at all, but a Musicman Silhouette Special. The Musicman Company was originally co-founded by Leo Fender, so the guitar itself is essentially a Strat in terms of its tone, but the pickguard and headstock differ from Fender’s traditional design. However, my Musicman guitars out-Strat my other Strats, play great and stay in tune, so they’re real workhorses.
That said, I’m looking forward to the arrival of the Suhr guitar and to playing something more Classic looking for future Brit Floyd shows. Plus this guitar has a few hidden extras under the hood, making it the perfect instrument for The Classic Rock Show gigs too.
Okay, here’s a bit of shameless self-promotion for anybody looking to take up guitar lessons:
My guitar buddy, Nick Radcliffe and myself are weeks away from launching an online guitar tuition course – Frethub.com
Frethub is a fresh and comprehensive online guitar course offering hundreds of video lessons taught by two highly qualified and respected teachers with over 40 years of combined professional experience.
Our videos are taught in a down-to-earth manner and presented in a logical and progressive order, providing the consistency and familiarity you get from taking private lessons.
Our aim is to give you a solid foundation and equip you with the necessary tools to learn and recognise the techniques used in the making of the music you love.
From beginners through to advanced players, there’s plenty here to help you become the musician you want to be. You will have unlimited access to a huge catalogue of video lessons and downloadable backing tracks, all in one centralised and convenient location.
I’ve attached a link to our Youtube trailer below and the site itself should a up and running my mid October 2011. Membership is very cheap too! It’s a fraction of the price of private tuition, so it’s an ideal Christmas present for anybody looking to start learning, regardless of previous experience.
I met Nick whilst playing guitar for Queen’s We Will Rock You show. He’s currently back in the West End. Playing in Rock Of Ages alongside Justin Lee Collins and Shane Ward. Nick and I have been filming content for Frethub for the past 18 months, in between touring and we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved. It’s effectively an online syllabus for guitar, so we’re both very excited about launching the site.
Okay, plug over!
I thought I’d finish by showing you some pictures below of a house formerly owned by a certain David Gilmour. My Dad took these pictures recently, but I believe Mr Gilmour lived there until the early 90s.
I grew up less than a quarter of a mile from the man himself and although I never met him, my Dad would occasionally see him at his local pub.
All the best, fellow Floyd fans!
See you soon,
(Pictures and links below)
Frethub link on Youtube
Above – A still from a recently shot Frethub guitar tuition video. Note my left-handedness has been reversed in order to make the lessons easier to follow.
Below – Some photos of David Gilmour’s old house, less than a quarter of a mile from where I grew up.