What a fantastic year we’ve had in 2014, some great shows, supported some big names, a new album and some fabulous stand in musicians and continued wonderful support from you guys. There would be little point without that last part, that makes it all worthwhile.
We launched the new album, Eximius Humanus, in February at the Robin2 in Bilston, which we’d been able to finish off thanks to the fantastic response we had to our Kickstarter campaign in 2013, and we’re very pleased with how that’s going. We’re really enjoying playing some of those songs in our current live set, along with some of the older favourites from Let The Sleeper Awake. We’re busy working away on new stuff all the time, and looking forward to letting you hear some of that next year as it begins to take shape.
We played our first ever acoustic show in November for Hazel Woods – part of her Kickstarter campaign rewards – which was a fantastic opportunity and a very interesting challenge to re-imagine some of these songs for acoustic guitars rather than a full amplified band. We might look at doing something more along these lines as we all rather enjoyed that!
With Nige being off games for much of the year after he injured his shoulder in the Spring, and Andy’s commitments with Mostly Autumn, we’ve had the opportunity to play with some exceptional stand in musicians – in the form of Martin Durrant (Bastrad) who covered for Nigel on several shows; Craig “Cragsy” Hill (Chill Drum Tuition/Rubix Cube) and Yatim Halimi (Panic Room, Steve Rothery Band) who did an amazing job on drums and bass for the tour in December, and Paul “Gibbo” Gibbons, who stepped in at exceptionally short notice when Nige discovered he just wasn’t going to be able to play at a rehearsal the night before a show. These guys have all stepped up and without them we would have been forced to cancel shows – we can’t thank them enough. It’s not an easy job to step into an existing band, especially with limited rehearsal time but they all rose to the challenge and put on amazing performances! We wish Nige well with his recovery and can’t wait to get him back fit and ready to rock!
We had some great shows this year, both headlines and supports; the album launch show at the Robin in February with the wonderful Luna Rossa supporting; supporting Graham Bonnet at the old Fibbers in York; Electric Mary at the New Fibbers… but the highlight of the year for us was undoubtedly the tour in December. We played five shows across the UK as tour support to Graham Bonnet; London, Sheffield, Liverpool, Glasgow and Birmingham, to packed O2 venues with Cragsy and Yatim on drums and bass. What a week! It was fantastic, it was great to see so many familiar faces and make so many new friends along the way, great to see so many MR shirts in the crowds!
All in all, a brilliant year – quality rather than quantity… not as many shows as we would have liked but that will always be the case! But most of all, without the continued support from you, the fans, there would be very little point in any of it. So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Here’s to you, here’s to 2015! Onward and upward, more of the same, only bigger! And to get 2015 off to a flying start, we’ll be hitting the ground running with a feature by Graham Stroud in the Classic Rock Society’s magazine Rock Society feature January/February 2015 (issue 205). Keep an eye out for that if you’re a member!
Happy New Year!