Lancing-based musician Jonathan Kershaw is anticipating a busy year ahead.
2014 will see him continue to develop his musical partnership with Beck Sian, kicking off with a gig on January 11 at Ye Olde House At Home in Worthing.
The duo are hoping that 2014 will also be the year they get together to record, with plans to go into the studio in March.
Before that, in February Jon is launching guitar courses in Lancing and Littlehampton.
“Beck and I have been established as a duo since May last year, which was when we first started talking about our options,” Jon said.
“We had been working singularly before that. What happened was that in meeting we simply found that we had a lot of overlap musically. The music that I was doing was more Celtic folk with elements of classical and rock. It was mainly instrumental, but I did have pieces where I required a vocalist, and I needed a vocalist with a strong range.
“Beck was doing what she termed folk noir based around her voice and her singing. She was doing effectively acoustic music with ghostly or gothic themes.
“We met basically at a festival, but what had happened was that I had gone there with a vocalist that I was supposed to be performing with, but she disappeared! I had got two or three performances to do at the festival. She did the first one and then disappeared. I think it was the inclement weather! The next thing I heard she was on her way back to London. She did come back, but she missed the performances.
“I thought that this wasn’t a good situation. I was chatting to Beck, and she agreed to look at the music to see if she could help me out and then with little preparation managed to pull off a remarkable performance of my pieces that required vocals. After that performance, people were asking how long we had been working together. I said: ‘Actually half an hour!’ It just worked so very nicely. After that, there was no way I was going back to the woman that disappeared. Beck came in and did this amazing performance. It was ideal for working together.”
Since then, recording together has moved up the priorities: “We have our CDs at gigs, bur people ask if we have got anything that has got both of us on. We desperately want to get something recorded together now. I can’t be exact on the dates, but hopefully it will be around March,” Jon said.
In the meantime, Jon is launching his guitar classes:
Lancing – starting Monday, February 3, 7pm-9pm, at Lancing Parish Hall, South Street, Lancing, BN15 8AJ.
Littlehampton – starting Tuesday, February 4, 7pm-9pm, at Silk Road Restaurant, 8-10 Arcade Road, Littlehampton, BN17 5AP.
Both classes will start at 7pm and run for six weeks.
The idea is to help beginners, people who have maybe picked up a guitar and bashed out a few chords but have got no further.
“It’s kind of a ‘new skills for the New Year’ type of thing,” Jon explained. The Littlehampton course will depend on whether he can get the numbers together.
The idea is to look at a popular song each week and work through it to get everyone strumming along by the end: “So maybe even people with a bit of experience might benefit,” Jon said. “They’re basically being run as a ‘guitar for fun’ type of thing.”
Anyone wanting to sign up for the classes should contact Jon at email@example.com or 01903 764177 or 0794 158 0323.