Celebrating the genius of George Harrison - East and West Sussex dates
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They will be celebrating the sublime music of the late, great George Harrison across seven dates including October 28, Cranleigh Arts; October 29, Rottingdean Village Hall; November 11, Barn Theatre, Seaford; November 18, Felpham Village Hall; and November 30, Lewes Con Club. Alex is delighted to be embarking on the first duo-format tour – and delighted to be doing so with the encouragement of George Harrison’s son Dhani, no less.
“The band dates went very well this summer. We did the Pavilion Theatre in Worthing for the first time and we had about 300 people in the audience which was really not bad at all for a first time. All the middle bits were totally taken. I lived in Worthing for about ten years so it was an important one for me.
“But obviously with the ten-piece orchestra it all takes a lot more co-ordinating to get everyone on the road. This is much easier. It's the first time we have done a duo tour. For 2020 when it was the 50th anniversary of All Things Must Pass we were going to play the Crooked Billet near Henley where the Harrison family go for lunch. The landlord wanted to commemorate the 50th anniversary. In 2017 Sam Brown (daughter of Joe, close friend of George Harrison) joined us for a couple of shows and she played on one of the ukuleles that George had given her dad. Sam played some George Harrison songs with her brother at the Crooked Billet and in 2020 the landlord wanted a whole show, and Sam recommended me. When the landlord got in touch and he asked would I consider doing a solo George Harrison show, I thought it would be better to have another guitarist with me just to give it more variety. And so we scheduled the show for May 2020 and then the Covid struck. We had to rearrange it a couple of times but in the end we did it for 2021. It was socially distanced and a marquee was put up to get a bigger space but a month before the gig I got an email saying that George’s son Dhani had booked a table. We put in a few extra rehearsals!
“But he was fantastic. He was really, really warm and kind. We chatted and he told us about rehearsing with Eric Clapton for the concert for George (the Harrison memorial concert at the Royal Albert Hall). He was amazed that we could do what we did with just two guitars. He compared our two guitars being so in sync as like Swiss clockwork and we just thought well if it works for him then clearly we should do more. Dhani Harrison had sat there listening with his eyes closed. Our sound guy was quite close to him and he could see when we finished the songs that Dani would say to himself or to his friends ‘That was beautiful.’ And the words that he said to us afterwards were words that no one's ever said to us before after a concert. It was lovely.”
It was clearly the perfect encouragement particularly as the songs lend themselves so well to the duo format: “You are not blown away by the massive sound of a ten-piece orchestra. It is more intimate. It's more fragile. The melodies come out more strongly.”