Summer Update - 20th June 2006

The first proper tour I've undertaken in seven years has come to an end and now we're entering a period of summer festivals, inbetween which we'll be continuing with the writing of the next album.It was great to renew old aquaintances and also to finally meet some of the Saxon forum contributors in the flesh - yes you Paxoman!! - also Goss, JPAngel, Sammi, to name a few - Fingers,don't forget our pint at the Nep! Brett, don't ever mention the headband again!

Outstanding gig? - for me it had to be London - who else but Saxon could play on St Georges Day? I've never seen so many flags at one of our gigs before! - and the singing? - Wow!!!!! However, thanks to everyone that attended any of our concerts, especially for making me feel like I'm back home - the 'Nigel' chants really brought a lump to my throat wherever they occurred - I hope my playing lived up to your expectations!! - and I honestly loved every gig.

At this point, I'd like to thank Django - Lederhosen Man - for looking after me and my gear - also Sacha - many thanks to both of you. Can't forget the rest of the crew either - cheers guys!

A load of pics will be going up shortly so keep your eyes open for them!

As I'm sure you already know, the 2007 tour is being booked - I've read a few things on the forum about the fact we seem to be ignoring certain towns, or not playing as many gigs over here as people would like - we have to promote the albums everywhere so I'm sure you can appreciate the tight scheduling that has to be adhered to. Add to that the willingness of a promoter to actually put the gigs on. Anyway, I've mentioned the Sheffield/Barnsley thing to the management so we'll have to wait and see! Im up for it, and, no, I'm certainly not going to be scared about Graham Oliver or Steve Dawson turning up - (forum comment - statussc1) - in fact, bring it on!

It's the same situation with the States and Canada - we really are desperate to get over there, but not at any price - a band has a lot of overheads - gear, crew, travel - so it has to make sense financially - as long as those things can be covered, and we don't actually lose money, we're ready - we do know how frustrating it must be for the US fans - it's annoying for us too! - same old story - it's down to promoters over there - again, I read a comment on the forum a while back that we'd priced ourselves out of the Canadian/US market - rubbish! No way! - whoever gave out that info is on another planet - but we're certainly not going to do a gig for the price of a couple of pizzas as happened when the band toured over there with Fritz! That's financial suicide. Rest assured, we're working on it.

At the time of writing, we're playing in Zaragosa this weekend, having played in Norway a couple of weeks ago - don't know if anyone remembers the movie 'The Heroes Of Telemark' - Kirk Douglas - but we actually visited the Norsk Hydro Plant that was producing the power for the heavy water plant which, until 1972, stood in front of the former, and was the target for numerous commando raids during the war - it's now a museum - Quinny and I both bought a phial of heavy water as a souvenir!

Other news - after all the hassle with my G4 Mac in my studio, it suddenly went 'phut' - well, one of the hard drives blew apart - so now I'm the proud owner of a dual processor G5 - it's like Michael Schumacher compared to the old one! - I've just got to see if I can salvage anything off the old machine.

Another piece of news was the fact that a local museum - The British Engineerium - was having to close due to financial problems and be auctioned off - I found this out on returning home after the Glasgow gig - I was devastated - it's been part of my life always, having grown up near it. I was absolutely disgusted that this pathetic excuse for a government wasn't interested in saving it as a part of British heritage - local government should be ashamed of themselves too - both would rather squander money on P-C schemes than save a beautiful piece of Victorian architecture. Good news however - a local businessman, Mike Holland, came in 20 minutes before the auction was due to start and bought the whole thing - buildings, exhibits, the lot!!! He's going to spend 500,000 on the museum, put in a tea-shop, restaurant and have it operating as it was in due course - I wrote to him thanking him for what he'd done and he replied to the fact that he, like me, was appalled at the way it was hung out to dry by government - they should be ashamed of themselves for almost letting a piece of Hove's heritage disappear. I'm looking forward to booking a table once the place is up and running!

If you get a chance, either by living nearby, or just visiting the area, go and see the Engineerium - it's an amazing place - the exhibits are fantastic, and the buildings and chimney are beautiful (have a look on The British Engineerium website, which Mike said will be revamped soon) - and we nearly lost it for good due to, dare I say it, a bunch of tossers!

Enough of my rants - Hope to see some of you at a festival somewhere.

All the best and take care.