This is my customary end of year post reflecting on the last 12 months, and looking forward to the next year. 2018 has been one of almost non-stop touring, myself and the band having just finished the latest leg of the To the Bone tour. We now stand at 115 shows since we started in January. The visuals, the music, the chemistry in the current line up of the band, and the audience responses have made perhaps the most fulfilling touring experience of my career.
If you got to see the show I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, but if you didn’t get to see it a reminder that the recently released Home Invasion concert film is available on Blu-Ray/2CD and DVD/2CD (also as stand alone editions without the CDs), filmed at the Royal Albert Hall during a 3 night residency there in March. A beautifully packaged limited 5LP vinyl box set edition will also be issued in March, featuring expanded artwork and an LP of additional music not included on the CDs.
The show itself has evolved a lot over the year. Recently some older material came back into the set, and I’ve given the band a few more songs to recap on before we leave for what will be the final leg of the tour. This starts in Lisbon on 15th Jan, and finishes with shows in Russia and Ukraine in early March, after which I’m done with live performances for the foreseeable future, so this will be absolutely the last chance to see the To the Bone show. I’ll be spending the rest of the year (after a holiday!) developing new music. One thing I’m very proud of with all my albums is that none of them sound alike, each has its own musical signature, and the next one will be no exception. Based on what I’ve written so far it’s certainly going to be significantly different again. Expect the fruits of this work some time in 2020.
In the meantime the first new no-man music in more than 10 years is likely to be released in 2019. Myself and Tim Bowness have been working sporadically on a particular musical idea we came up with many years ago, something we knew would require a dedicated full length album to explore properly. We finally made a concerted effort to get it into shape earlier this year, and with one more push I hope it will soon be ready to release. It’s music that in many ways sees a return to our roots as a synth-pop band, albeit with the conceptual sweep of our more recent albums.
On the classic album remixing front, I’ve reluctantly had to decline most projects of this kind recently in order to concentrate on my own music. But one project I did take on was a substantial Tangerine Dream box set focussing on the golden 70’s Virgin Records era – although this is strictly speaking not a “remix” project, as the majority of my work was selecting and mixing previously unreleased studio recordings, 3 full CD’s worth in fact. For a TD fan this should be a pretty mind blowing release, and if all goes to plan it should be out in the Spring. I have also been slowly moving towards finishing another remix in the XTC series, as well as one more Jethro Tull album, 1979’s Stormwatch, I would expect both to be late 2019 releases.
It only remains for me to say thanks for all your continued support over the last year and have a wonderful 2019!
SW – 31st Dec 2018
Portrait above by Joe Del Tufo, Philadelphia, November 2018.