Launch gig for former MP’s first solo album

Norman Baker at the launch of The Reform Club's album Always Tomorrow in 2013
Norman Baker at the launch of The Reform Club's album Always Tomorrow in 2013

Former Lewes MP and Government minister Norman Baker launches his first solo album at a gig in the town tonight (Friday, April 6).

Mr Baker and accompanists will play tracks from ‘Staying Blue’ at Bus Club Pizza from 8.30pm.

His two former albums, ‘Always Tomorrow’ and ‘Never Yesterday’, were performed with his group The Reform Club.

‘Staying Blue’ will be available from Si’s Sounds in Lewes and online. And he’s arranged for £2 from each sale to be donated to Rehoming Lewes and TRINITY (which meets in six locations across the town including St John sub Castro Church).

The striking album cover features Mr Baker on Brighton Beach against the backdrop of the ruined West Pier, but this album is more than just a pretty face. A spokesman for music publishers Angel Air Records said: “It showcases elite musicianship and enjoyable song-writing.”

Eight of the 11 tracks were co-written by Duncan Campbell from Newhaven and include, appropriately, a sea shanty, ‘Shipping Forecast’, as well as acoustic folk number ‘Perhaps’. Newhaven was, of course, within Mr Baker’s Lewes constituency, surrendered to Maria Caulfield at the General Election in May 2015.

Norman says music is now integral to his life, explaining it was there before politics and is still with him now.

He has spread his wings since his 18 years an MP and 10 years before that as a councillor, including council leader.

He was appointed Transport Minister (the subject is important to him) and moved to a Home Office ministerial post under Theresa May.

He has a memoir under his belt (‘Against the Grain’,) is working on two further books and spent a year heading Brighton’s Big Lemon Bus Company which doubled its size under his leadership.

But, a true Lewesian, he remains the rebel: “The only hippie at an Iron Maiden Concert,” according to The Independent.