First of all, apologies for the lack of updates on this site. Very sadly, my friend Phil Smith who built and looked after my website since the beginning suddenly became very ill, and sadly passed away early last year. The website has been rather in limbo ever since, but it is hopefully being sorted soon. My deepest condolences go to his wife and family.
2015 was a good year for me and pretty productive musically. I guested on seven albums – all of which were very well received and a few – like Steven Wilson's 'Hand. Cannot. Erase', and others by the Tangent and Anekdoten appearing in many Best of 2015 lists. It was very exciting and rewarding for me to get back in the recording studio with one of my own bands and record a new album of my own material.
The Double Talk Band with Mike, Pete and Nic worked really hard on the new material and have been absolutely amazing. I love what they all did in the studio and the new album 'Transgression' is for me a career highlight. It was great of Steven Wilson to fit in the time to mix and master the album and he was absolutely stunning in doing so. I was delighted that Vicky Powell of Esoteric Records came forward and invited me to release the album on that label and I have been pleased how that has all worked out. Great of Tonefloat to release the beautiful vinyl edition too – my first jazz album on vinyl. The album has been very well received (getting in a few Best of 2015 lists too) and it has been great taking the band out on the road – touring the British Jazz Clubs again. We have more gigs coming up this year and I am looking forward to them. I hope you can make it to one.
New Double Talk albumSoft Machine Legacy has continued to tour, though with John Marshall not being well, we have had to use dep's for some of the gigs. Thank you to Gary Husband who stepped in for the Japan gigs (also with Keith Tippett) in March 2015 and to Nic France for the Euro gigs in December 2015. A great job done by both and a pleasure to play with. It looks like we are dropping the 'Legacy' tag in 2016 and we are going to be Soft Machine from now on. I understand we could have all along, but for various reasons it was decided to call the band Soft Machine Legacy.
The surprise of the year was the e mail completely out of the blue I received in August while grabbing a coffee at a motorway services on the way home from a few days away…
"Hi Theo, David Gilmour here. Would you give me a call when you have a moment please?David
I was asked at short notice to join David's 'Rattle That Lock' tour for the European dates in September 2015 with some rehearsals in Brighton first. As a fan of his music and playing, and a Pink Floyd fan since being a teenager this was hugely exciting and a real privilege for me. I was to absolutely love the whole experience. The venues were mainly large open air Roman amphitheatres – like in Verona and Florence in Italy, Orange in France and Pula, Croatia.
They were all stunning, the band fantastic and David Gilmour was amazing. Such a great musician and iconic talent. A gentleman too.
It was great to play again at the Royal Albert Hall in London in September when I guested with Steven Wilson and his amazing band. I also recorded a couple of tracks for his new mini – album '4 ½' .