ARCHIVE NEWS ITEMS ... 2003 >>
- Plainsong Live CD
- Blue Rose are planning to release a CD recorded last year in Holland. This two (possibly) CD set will be on sale during the summer. The feedback is that it is a wonderful recording and truly captures the live sound of Plainsong.
- Summary of the year - 2003
- Andy has had another very busy and productive year, having been involved with the production of two albums and two tours. The early part of the year was taken up with Andy mastering Hoovering the Moon, Willy Russell's debut album. A tour with Plainsong followed and then later Andy began work on producing Tim Firth's new album interrupted briefly by a series of gigs with Willy Russell. Oh, and yes, Andy played a one-off gig with the reformed Rutles!
- The Plainsong UK tour in March and April proved successful with Julian Dawson rejoining Andy, Iain and Griff. The new album Pangolins was well received, with the cover providing lots of comments! The European leg of the tour in May went well and a festival appearance at Tolder was added during August.
- WILLY RUSSELL
- The early part of the year was taken up with Andy putting the finishing touches to and mastering Willy Russell's impressive debut album - Hoovering The Moon. Then, during July, Andy led a band consisting of some of the musicians who contributed to the album for a series of gigs in Britain and Eire.
- TIM FIRTH
- Work finished on Tim's as yet untitled debut album just prior to Christmas, so expect a release sometime in the Spring. Andy co-produced this album with Willy Russell and of course contributes to the recording. Other contributions come from members of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Loreto Murray, Elaine Grainger, Paul Allen and Mark Griffiths.
- And - in case you hadn't noticed - we finally outgrew dreamtree (thanks to virgin.net for three years of freespace) and have recently moved into andyrobertsmusic.com with lots of space and a new fast server!
Please bookmark / add to favourites this new site.
- We have big plans and a site re-launch in the next month or so. Watch out also for a competition or two, some MP3's (who said at last...) and more great news soon. A big thanks to everybody who emails with comments and recollections. Keep tuned ...
- Tim Firth Album
- Andy and Tim Firth spent last week recording vocals. Willy Russell (who is co-producer for the new album) Loreto Murray and Elaine Grainger contributed to the tracks. The final mix for the album could happen during December and the project completed before Christmas if all goes to plan.
- Tim Firth Album
- Last week Andy and Tim were at a Liverpool studio recording a string quartet. The players, all from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, were chosen and lead by Ken Johnson (Ist Violin). The others were Celia Goodwin (2nd Violin), Rob Shepley (Viola), and Gethyn Jones (Cello). The arrangements were largely Tim's own inspiration, which Andy scored and conducted. Andy and Tim had previously spent a day in Willy Russell's Liverpool Office recording (with Willy) Hammond Organ. more news soon...
- Willy Russell web site launched
- Willy Russell's new web-site - willyrussell.com was launched just a couple of days ago (link from the credits & links page). Copies of his new album, HOOVERING THE MOON, which is currently on limited release and Andy Roberts co-produced are available direct from the new site.
- Mike Harding played a track from the new album on his Radio2 show and called Willy "One of the country's great songwriters..."
- As well as details of Willy's musical pedigree, the site gives background information on his plays, musicals and recent novel - THE WRONG BOY.
- Tim Firth Album
- Back from Denmark - Andy continues working on the new Tim Firth album. He is currently scoring string arrangements for several of the compositions. Tim co-wrote Calendar Girls, the new film starring Julie Walters and Helen Mirren, which is currently hitting the headlines. He also wrote the new Johnny Vegas and Paul Kaye film, Blackball, directed by Mel Smith about a rock'n'roll lawn bowls champion!
- Tim, like Willy Russell, is a songwriter and musician, as well as a writier.
Andy, Iain and Julian ...
- Plainsong became a three piece last weekend for the Tonder Folk Festival in Denmark: 29th - 31st August. Mark Griffiths was unavailable to play the event, so the gang of three - Andy, Iain and Julian - reverted to a trio and played a tight performance. tour photos here >>>
- Willy Russell in Oswestry
- Willy and his band played two great gigs at the Walls Restaurant in Oswestry last weekend. With packed houses on both evenings, the audience enjoyed full sets with Willy, firstly reading from Wrong Boy, followed by the whole band playing a selection of Willy's compositions from his new album HOOVERING THE MOON.
- The band composed some of the musicians who have contributed to the new album. Andy Roberts (guitar & vocals) led the band, ably assisted by Tim Firth (piano & vocals), Mark Griffiths (bass & vocals), Paul Allen (drums), Iain Matthews (vocals & guitar), Dorie Jackson (vocals), Loreto Murray (vocals) and Phil Beaumont (percussion).
- "In Words And Music:
WILLY RUSSELL with special guest TIM FIRTH and the band led by ANDY ROBERTS
- Willy Russell's new album will be premiered at two gigs at the Walls, Oswestry, on the 18th & 19th July.
The performances will be mixed media events with Willy Russell reading some extracts of his work, Tim Firth performing some of his material and then a full set from Willy and the musicians who have contributed to his new album - HOOVERING THE MOON. The band - led by Andy - will include Mark Griffiths, Paul Allen, Tim Firth, Dori Jackson, Loreto Murray, Iain Matthews and Phil Beaumont. Both days will be recorded and filmed.
- TICKETS are available direct from the venue on:
Tel: 01691 670970 - Fax: 01691 653820 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Galway Festival
- Willy Russell will appear with special guest Tim Firth and a band led by Andy Roberts at the Radisson SAS Hotel, Galway, as part of the Galway Festival. The date is Monday 21st July and tickets are on sale now from the Galway Arts Festival web site. (link from the credits & links page). Willy will be joined for this Festival event by fellow dramatist/songwriter Tim Firth (piano/vocals), musical director Andy Roberts (guitar/vocals), Mark Griffiths (bass/vocals), Paul Allen (drums), Iain Matthews (vocals/guitar), Dorie Jackson (vocals), Loretto Murray (vocals/keyboard) and Phil Beaumont (percussion).
- Willy Russell
- Andy is currently overseeing the mastering of Willy Russell's new album. The album is likely to have a limited release to coincide with the live performances of the WR Big Band during July. These performances will be recorded and filmed. More news soon...
- Galway Festival
- Andy will perform with Willy Russell at the forthcoming Galway Festival in Ireland.
- Those fans who ventured out to one of the recent gigs will know that the Plainsong sound of the four guitars and four voices on stage produces an experience that is a little different from the the sound on studio albums. Well - this Plainsong tour may produce a live album! In Tuebingen, Germany on May 6th the gig was recorded for a possible future release. Watch this space.....
- The tour got off to a great start on Wednesday night at Birmingham MAC when Plainsong, supported by Ad Vanderveen, played two long sets to a packed house. The band played numbers off the new album PANGOLINS and a selection of rarely played favourites from their nine albums including AMELIA EARHART, VOICES ELECTRIC and SISTER FLUTE. Some of Plainsong's back catalogue is available for sale at the concerts - and of course - the new album. Catch Plainsong during the next three weeks.
- Tim Firth
- Andy is preparing for another recording session - this time with Tim Firth who has enlisted Andy to produce his new album. Tim is a writer whose work includes Neville's Island, Preston Front and Border Cafe and has contributed episodes for The Bill. Tim is currently enjoying success on the West End, London with 'OUR HOUSE', the musical he scripted which features the music of the group Madness. 'OUR HOUSE' won the 2003 Olivier Award for Best New Musical.
- Like Willy Russell, Tim is a musician and he and Andy should begin the initial recording just prior to the Plainsong tour.
- What a year - 2002!
- Andy has had a very busy and productive year, having been involved with the production of two albums. The recording of the eagerly awaited Willy Russell album is complete and Plainsong's new recording for Blue Rose is nearing completion ready for a release prior to a comprehensive tour.
- WILLY RUSSELL
- I have been lucky enough to listen to the early demos and more recently to the rough mixes of this remarkable first album. Not surprisingly, the lyrics contain those sharp social observations, which you might expect from a playwright and author who brought us 'Educating Rita', 'Shirley Valentine' and more recently Willy's first novel 'The Wrong Boy'. Musically - it is top notch - Willy is an accomplished tunesmith.... remember this is the man who wrote the musical 'John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert' and The West End hit 'Blood Brothers'. Andy acted as Producer and Arranger, and of course, plays on this album.
The release of this album will cause more than a ripple....
- The new Plainsong album is a delight and contains a dozen tracks or so. It's a typical Plainsong record in that some tracks are jointly written by members of the band together with a couple of covers. The sound is a little different from previous Plainsong albums, but still with those wonderful harmonies and great musicianship. In short - It's a gem! Catch Plainsong on the following tour dates during March and April in the UK. (which are still subject to change) The German tour will follow during May.
Next year's tour promises to be exceptional...
- Plainsong in the studio
- The recording of the new CD from Plainsong is progressing well after two weeks in the studio. I visited Andy, Iain, Griff and Julian at their recording location last week to take photos. The tracks I heard, engineered by Andy Metcalfe, sounded wonderful and hold one or two surprises for Plainsong fans.
- Photos here >>>
- Plainsong in the studio
- Plainsong will begin recording their new album next week. Plainsong founder members Andy Roberts and Iain Matthews come together with Mark Griffiths and Julian Dawson for the recording at a studio in Somerset. The recording is scheduled to take about three or four weeks and the completed CD will be available to buy direct from the web sites of Andy Roberts Music.com, Iain Matthews.com and Julian Dawson.com in the Spring of next year.
- Willy Russell
- The latest update to the Willy Russell news is that vocals from Kate Rusby have been added to some of the tracks and the voice of Barbara Dickson is scheduled to be added later in the month. As yet no title for the CD and no release date have been decided for this eagerly awaited album.
- Poetry Please
- Roger McGough presented a special edition of his Radio 4 programme Poetry Please live from the Birmingham Book Festival on Sunday 13th October where he was joined by Andy Roberts. Andy performed two pieces: 'Just For Me' (poem set to music) and 'I'm in a Stew Over You'.
- Willy Russell
- Andy is putting the finishing touches to the, as yet untitled, Willy Russell album. This CD will feature Mark Griffiths, Herbie Flowers, Rohan Kriwaczek, Louis Borenius, Andy Cutting (Kate Rusby Band), Loreto Murray and the wonderful Kate Rusby herself. He will be in the studio recording the final vocals and mixing during the early part of October.
- Great Plainsong News
- Plainsong have appeared in various formats over the last few years. The latest plans are to record a CD in November this year and tour the UK in the Spring of 2003 and Europe later the same year.
- The new line-up is Andy, Iain and Griff and they will be re-joined by Julian Dawson, who last appeared with Plainsong on the Sister Flute album in 1996. Watch this space for more news.....
- 'Dreaming Amelia'
- ...is the title of a community play touring the UK over the next few months. Produced by the Hijinx Theatre Company, the play is inspired by and based around Amelia Earhart's unexpected landing on a South Wales beach in 1928. For those Plainsong fans who, like me, have investigated the source of so many Plainsong compositions these last 30 years, this represents an opportunity to experience another creative interpretation of aspects of Amelia's life and is especially interesting when you consider Andy Roberts links to live theatre. Visit Hijinx's web site for further details from the link on the Credits & Links page.
- Roger McGough's 40th Fringe Bash
- Andy appeared with long time collaborator Roger McGough at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the Assembly Theatre on Sunday 25th August.
- Roger was joined by Andy, Willy Russell, Carol Ann Duffy, John Hegley, The Kosh and Pete McCarthy. Dreamtree will have a brief report soon.
- Pete McCarthy
- Andy appeared with Pete McCarthy at a gig in Brighton in July. He accompanied Pete during a reading from his new book The Road To McCarthy.
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