To begin with, our rehearsals have been great, loads of fun, and we have a new member of the band, Matt Rollings who is filling in for Jim Cox. Jim's ongoing inner ear problem prevents his flying and with the continent hopping nature of this tour it became impossible for him to go without air travel. Matt is playing piano and B-3, he's a friend and a brilliant studio musician from Nashville. In fact, it was Matt who played piano on 'Vic and Ray' and 'Rudiger' on the Golden Heart album. Matt and Jim are old friends so it's a natural fit for him to come on board for the tour. We spent the first couple of weeks of February in London revisiting many songs then took a few days off and returned for a week of full production rehearsals complete with lights and PA at Bray Film Studios in Windsor, U.K. Bray was the studio where all the Hammer horror films of the late 50's and 60's were shot. I was always a big fan of these movies with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, so it was a thrill to be there. We stayed nearby at Oakley Court Castle which was also used in the filming of these Hammer movies whenever a haunted castle was needed! Getting back to production rehearsals, I can tell you that the sound and lights for this tour are top drawer, elegant, warm and wonderful.

From Windsor it was off to Johannesburg, South Africa where the tour begins. The weather here is absolute perfection and upon arriving all us sun deprived Yanks and Brits met down at the pool exposing yards of white flesh, enjoying a fab South African Sauvignon Blanc, eating hamburgers and trying not to get too sun burnt, Now we're rested, relaxed and ready to do a bit of rocking. I'll leave it here and post some more notes from the road after these first gigs.

So long for now,


Shangri-La Tour (2005)admin