Steve Harley

& Cockney Rebel

DIARY 03/03/10

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All the team is now set up for the big push. Comeuppance is the record company. That’s the modern way. We have radio/tv plugger Jackie Gill, who will do everything she can to get a single play-listed on Radio 2, and all the good tv she can muster; publicist Chris Hewlett, who has already organised interviews for decent exposure with Classic Rock, Acoustic Magazine, Guitar &Bass, Sunday Times, and more – stuff that should appear in print late April, early May, timed to coincide with the release.

First single will be “Faith & Virtue”. It’ll be the opening track on the album.  Denis Blackham, on the Isle Of Skye, has returned a faultless Master of the recordings. Absolute, via Universal, will distribute the album, and Andrew Tribe, my business consultant, will pull them all together and support me as the trail blazes. Next Tuesday: to Jools Holland’s studio in Greenwich to record a piece for his Monday night Radio 2 show. Got to decide on an old song to sing with Jools and his band. Not one of mine, so it’s going to stretch my mind, and maybe my ability. Any ideas readers of this diary might want to suggest, I will be listening. Motown? Stax? The Drifters? Something iconic and seminal in my life. Start a new thread on the Forum (Song for Jools’ Show), and we’ll check it regularly.

We’re planning a Links click for the Home Page. Peter J-H’s site obviously will be first to get uploaded. Drew McAdam’s matey, magical life and times will go up there, too. What a guy. There used to be a few other sites relevant to my career, but my office doesn’t know now whether or not they still live and breathe. Someone knows.

And Rachel has enlisted Karen and Deborah to file despatches from the front line on the UK tour. Now that will be worth reading, most mornings, after a show. They reckon they’ll have proper fans to deputise at the venues they can’t get to. Under Gig Reports. Will we need to lend them a laptop? They can have Rachel’s. Mine is needed for checking the racing results and watching streams of races I would have bet in. And for writing a diary piece occasionally. But everyone knows my view on the abuse of handheld technology, so I’d better be careful around the techno-heads on tour.

How many new songs to play in the set? The whole album is designed for Live performance. Even the cinematic productions are playable. Maybe we’ll rehearse the lot, all ten, and play any 3 or 4 or 5 on any night, varying them night-by-night. The Lartey Sisters have made a beautiful record of their song, “Nobody’s Here”. I just guided them and the musicians through a near-perfect song. They will play it in their 35 minute opening slot each night, I trust. Then they will join my band, for our show, Ashleigh on vocals and percussion, Faye on guitar. Don’t know when I was last this excited, to be honest. All this to deal with and think about, and even the yellowhammers are back in the garden, and the cacophony of shrill singing from a daily visit to a tall, wild cherry tree by a flock of goldfinches brings cheer to the old heart. All set up for the big push. Seriously.

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