Sunday, 20 February 2011

UK Jazz Tour - Gigs 2, 3 & 4 of 12 - Royal Albert Hall and Northumberland

What a great week. Three sold out gigs in a row!  I could get used to this... :-)

But before I update you on those 3 gigs, let me tell you about my recent brush with royalty!  At the beginning of the month I was chosen to perform at a fundraising event for Aid to Zimbabwe.  Also performing was one of my influences Annie Lennox ( I do a cover of the Eurythmics song "Here Comes The Rain Again" on my latest album "Licorice Kiss") and if that was not enough, also present was HRH Prince of Wales.  Here are a couple of snaps of the event.   I was just a few feet away from Prince Charles himself!

There was beautiful singing from a national choir 

Prince Charles doing his "meet and greet" (Sadly I was in the 2nd row!)
Then to continue the Royal theme, the 2nd gig of the tour was for Valentine's Day at the Royal Albert Hall (Elgar Room).  For our dressing room, George and I were shown to the Queen's Retiring Room.  So within a week I was rubbing shoulders (well almost) with Prince Charles and sharing his mother's dressing room! 
The Queen's Retiring Room

It was a lovely evening.  It was the first of the sold out performances and took place in a beautiful setting.  And George accompanied me on a bright red grand piano that was donated by Elton John.  (I will resist making a joke about another Queen here.)

Next up was our gig at the Queen's Hall in Hexham.  (Again the royal theme.  This is getting spooky!)  It was a very very long drive but so worth it once we arrived.  The audience were lovely and very enthusiastic.  Met some really warm and friendly people. 

Queen's Hall Arts Centre - So good to see they actually put my posters up!

We performed a request for the birthday girl on the left
Nice to see 3 generations out enjoying jazz
Audience waiting for us to start - A lovely lady called Jen and her friend

Then we had a day off in Northumberland.  It was pretty cold and rainy but that didn't stop us making an excursion to Lindisfarne aka Holy Island.  A beautiful place - although think we could have appreciated it much more if we hadn't been battling the elements.  There were so many scary "Danger" signs about being stranded on the island when the tide came in that I was worried that we would get stuck and miss our gig at the Maltings in Berwick that evening!

Dave and one of those scary signs!

Dave, George and me - trying to look as if we're not being pelted by wind and rain...
(Castle just visible in background)

The "beach"

The Priory and graveyard
Then on Saturday night it was off to the Maltings Theatre and Cinema for our performance in their Henry Travers Studio.  When we arrived it was a huge empty room with lovely vaulted ceilings but when the lighting was on and the tables and candles put out their was a lovely atmosphere.  Once again the audience were enthusiastic and very welcoming.  Northumberland - you rock!
The beautiful entrance to the venue

Just loved the lights - had to take another photo!

Soundcheck after the lighting but before the tables were put out

Moody pic of Milo...


...and George during soundcheck

Some lovely audience members

And more lovely audience members


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