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As Robert Fripp has already posted on Facebook, there is only one Bill Rieflin. It was therefore decided during the King Crimson rehearsals that if Bill could not be there, there would not be another keyboardist in his place. So the band will perform as a seven-piece this year rather than an eight-piece. Robert and Bill are very close both musically and personally and I understand and respect this decision. 

The rehearsals I attended were very enjoyable and the band sounds great. I particularly enjoyed getting to know Mel Collins a bit better and hearing his wonderful stories and fabulous sax and flute playing.

The good news is that after Soft Machine's roaring gig at London's Jazz Cafe last night, I will now be free to play all of our gigs for 2019 including the whole autumn Soft Machine tour and the 'Canterbury Sound - 50th Anniversary Celebration' concert at the Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury on Sat 22nd June, which also features the band Caravan.

Funny old week…

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King Crimson Tour 2019

I have some big news…I am excited to announce that I will be joining King Crimson for their 2019 World Tour. I will be playing keyboards in Bill Rieflin's absence as he has family matters he is attending to. Whilst I have toured with Robert Fripp before in the Travis & Fripp duo and we have actually released five albums now, this is the first time I will have had anything to do with the mighty King Crimson - apart from loving their music for 30 years! The current line-up of the band is incredible and features some of my very favourite musicians – Robert of course, plus Tony Levin on bass, Jakko Jakszyk on guitar and vocals, Pat Mastelotto on drums, Jeremy Stacy on drums and keyboards, Gavin Harrison on drums (yes – 3 drummers!) and one of my all-time musical heroes the wonderful Mel Collins on saxes and flute. It will be a particular thrill for me to hear Mel's wonderful solos every night. It is an extensive tour including 3 nights at the Royal Albert Hall in London (June 18-20), Radio City in New York (September 21), the Rock in Rio festival in Brazil and the stunning 15,000 seater amphitheatre in Verona, Italy. The full tour schedule is here: https://www.dgmlive.com/tours?liveshow=on Hope you can make one of the shows and maybe see you there. It is going to be amazing!
T
X

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2018 End of Year Roundup

So another year comes to a close. 2018 has been a great year for music for me. It started with some great jazz gigs with Ben Crosland and his Music of Ray Davies project. These were substituting for Dave O'Higgins who had other commitments. I always enjoy jumping into new musical experiences, often at short notice and this was no exception. 

There were only a few Double Talk gigs this year but each one was a corker and we started with a sold out London date at Finchley's Arts Depot which was fab. During the early part of the year I was heavily involved in the mixing, mastering and general production of the new Soft Machine album 'Hidden Details'. Also 'Between the Silence', the triple live CD of duo performances with Robert Fripp was completed and released.

Another exciting project was the trio of Apps on the Apple App store which I designed along with the excellent Peter Chilvers. Travis & Fripp I II and III were released in July - a new venture for me and something completely different. I was very happy to be involved in the new album by the Tangent called 'Proxy' and this has been getting great reviews. 

The summer and autumn saw the release of the new Soft Machine album (the first for 37 years) and an incredible world tour...Japan, Canada, America, the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Belgium, Norway, Italy and Austria. Amazing concerts and a fantastic reception for both the gigs and the new album. 

In December it was wonderful to play with Bill Nelson again (and Harold Budd and Dave Sturt) at his Plectronica event in Leeds. Plus there have been a couple of production music albums behind the scenes, more duduk learning and guesting on a few recording projects. So thanks for listening and looking forward to seeing you in 2019.

Happy New Year!
Theo x

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'Hidden Details' - Press Reviews

​I'm delighted to post reviews here in relation to Soft Machine's 'Hidden Details' release. First up is Brian Morton's fantastic review from The Wire, October 2018.

From The Times...

Since 1968 the band name Soft Machine has meant all sorts of things to all sorts of people. First came the psychedelic pranksters who vied with the Pink Floyd as freak-out favourites in underground London. As hip as hash cakes but unable to actually sell records, they made the farthest-out noises on John Peel's Top Gear show. The quartet also became the first "pop" band to play the Proms (and were briefly managed by Damon Albarn's dad).

Through the Seventies Soft Machine turned into an increasingly chin-strokey jazz-rock project before slowly expiring, out of tune with the punky times. Their last gasp proved to be the unlikely launch pad for Karl Jenkins, the lavishly moustached Adiemus composer beloved of Classic FM.

There have been some partial reunions (Soft Works, Soft Ware, Legacy) but now, 37 years since the last studio LP, the Soft Machine name has been fully resurrected by four very credible veterans from the myriad who served under the band's flag. Hidden Details features John Etheridge, guitar, Theo Travis, sax and flute, Roy Babbington, bass, and John Marshall, drums. It's a robust and engaging set that, incidentally, the bots at Amazon have filed under "rock". That's probably down to the muscular stomp of the opening title track, which features from Etheridge the sort of fret-melting guitar solo not heard since Frank Zappa's Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar.

The band, of course, has a broader palette — from Metheny-like jazz-rock to anything-goes improvisation; from pastoral passages with Etheridge on acoustic to an ambient flutescape from Travis. Compact and to the point, nothing overstays its welcome. There are faithful versions of two old favourites — Out Bloody Rageous and The Man Who Waved at Trains. That they sit well amid the new material suggest that this is a band looking back as much as forwards. That's hardly surprising when three quarters of the members are in their seventies (although you wouldn't guess from the rhythmic clout). The quartet are on tour, playing British dates in November. Welcome back, gents. (Dyad)

September 2018 issue of Shindig, our gratitude to Joe Banks

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Hidden Details - #1 Spot in Amazon UK Charts

The new Soft Machine album 'Hidden Details' has reached the Number 1 slot in the Amazon.co.uk Jazz Fusion chart.
It also reached Number 1 in the prestigious progressive radio chart from Philadelphia USA 'Gagliarchives' with Tom Gagliardi.

The album has been receiving rave reviews across the globe.

It is now on Spotify if you want to hear a preview. The orange and blue vinyl editions have now sold out but the marbled vinyl tour edition will be available on the tour and a black vinyl edition will also be released. See www.tonefloat.com.

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