The tour that I’m about to embark upon will be my last tour.
Planning life at this stage isn’t that easy, because while I feel quite fit and healthy right now, I might not be in a year’s time. This isn’t morbid. Not in the least. By choosing to tour at this time, I’m ensuring that I can present myself to you on good form. In this way, it’s an insurance policy.
I could stick my head in the sand and pretend to be Peter Pan, but I have to own up; I’m perhaps slightly beyond middle age…
I don’t actually want to retire. I would hope that there are many years ahead in which I’ll be able to contribute. Actually, I would hope that I’m fit enough to be able to do a farewell gig on my eightieth birthday, but I might not be, so this Last Tour is by way of that insurance policy, in that, if for some reason I’m not able to do that, then now’s the time to put your bum on a seat near you!
The age of 80 perhaps isn’t that old any more, but there are not many 80 year olds who would be able to perform as athletically in the voice as I may still be able to in another couple of years. I will hope to have a new album by then in any case. Farewell gig or not.
If I was to live another ten years, which is extremely doubtful, I’d still be writing poetry, but I don’t think that I’d be able to maintain any sort of viable gig-fitness. Again, this isn’t morbid, it’s just fact. I have to laugh… the medical profession gave me maximum 7 years to live when I was 31. That was 47 years ago!
Meanwhile, I have included three new songs in the set for THE LAST TOUR. They’re one of the reasons I want to tour. I’d like to make sure that they are played in public at least once. It’ll be great to play them for you. They’re all strong songs, and the next album looks to be heading into a particularly good place. I intend to finish writing this album in the year ahead. I’ll record it as soon as I can….
The set list will contain some old favourites, but will also contain a couple of surprises.
I’m going to be traveling a string and brass section with lead guitar, bass and drums this time. The music will be totally supported by acoustic instruments, from solo acoustic guitar with violin to total ensemble all in.
As usual, the lyric and its sentiment will take prominence, while its musical bouquet has been written to enhance the mood. I really enjoy the musical place that the songs have now inherited. I wish that I’d been able to do this sooner, but better late than never.
The ensemble will be led by Fiona Brice, who has very ably taken stewardship of my orchestral vision since the sad departure of David Bedford.
Finally, I’ll hope to see many friends on the tour, and doubtless I’ll be offering many of you some advice from the stage.
Thanks for being there,
More information on the tour dates here: http://www.royharper.co.uk/live.html