“Things are going great! I have another solo tour in South America, another new album on the way, I’ve completed more concerto work with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and have recitals booked in all over the UK and into Europe. It’s a comfortable life, all running like clockwork with all the years of practise paying off. I’m cruising!
At least that’s what it looks like from the outside. The reality has a different nuance. Hidden from view there is frantic work going on and my calm walk onto stage each night is easily the most relaxing, peaceful and controllable part of an otherwise hectic life.
Luckily there is a healing force at work in the UK. Its call the National Rural Touring Network – a national network of locally run, tiny venues, often in remote parts of the country. These venues are always packed full of music and art loving, ordinary people – and this is the perfect audience for any musician in need of nourishment after blocks of commercial touring. A rural touring audience will have often simply popped in from around the corner, just like they would pop into their local pub. The difference is that they will have come to explore something different, to experience something artistic and will often get to discuss this with the artist after the show. For me it is all positive. I get to meet lots of wonderful folk, build my audience list and develop my shows. This grass roots development really does work.
And never forget that playing a house concert to 30 people in deepest Cumbria should be taken as seriously as playing in the Albert Hall. Take my word for it!”
Richard recently visited Yoxall Village Hall and Tutbury Village Hall in Staffordshire with his show, The Guitar Whisperer.