Happy New Year
Posted 14th March 2015
First of all, thank you for your support in 2014. We were very honoured to win the BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award back in February, and an incredible year followed. We released our second album (The Call), toured the country extensively, recorded a live DVD (Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar in Concert), put the wheels in motion for some new projects in 2015 and visited some new service stations. What more could we ask for?
We were delighted with the reviews for The Call, and sales are very healthy so far. It was a real joy to work with Paul and Linda Adams at Fellside for a second album and we hope this year we can continue to repay the faith they have shown in us since the first phone call with Paul back in 2011. Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar in Concert is Fellside’s first venture into live DVDs and we were chuffed to be asked to do it. It features a full length gig we did at the Theatre Royal in Workington in June, plus some special features….fancy! As well as all at Fellside and the musical friends who helped us out on a couple of tracks, our thanks and admiration go to Ed Cooper and his Marked Film Productions who have created such a polished film. You can buy the DVD already through our online shop HERE.
As well as releasing recorded material, we spent a large part of 2014 playing it live and enjoyed some truly remarkable gigs that we will remember for a long time. We were slightly restricted to the times we could gig. Cia was completing his A-Levels until May and Greg returned to the University of Exeter to start his final year of study in September. Nevertheless, we managed about 120 days on the road in 2014 and enjoyed (nearly!) every minute of it. We continue to have a marvellous time playing and arranging music. Thanks all of you who came to a gig, bought a CD, told your pals about us, listened to us via online media, and did anything else to support and encourage us. You’re all the best.
As a result of the above exploits, we have been nominated on the “long list” for the Best Group in The Songlines Magazine Music Award. If you wish to vote for us, or anyone else for that matter, or vote in the other categories, you can via this link HERE. We’d be very grateful.
So, what plans for 2015?…. Lots! We’ll be gigging the length and breadth of the country as a duo again. We’ll be returning to old favourites and visiting some exciting new places; folk clubs, theatre venues, festivals and the odd house concert too. We have released a batch of confirmed gig dates on our website. There are plenty more in the pipeline, and if there’s anywhere you’d like to see us play, within reason(!), do get in touch. As well as this country, we’ll be gigging abroad together for the first time. Spain and Denmark are definite, but we are also in talks with some other exciting places. Baggage handlers, please be careful.
For all of the excitement and fun of 2014, there was also great sadness late in the year. Greg had been involved since the Spring of 2014 in A Day’s Work, Mick Ryan’s current folk opera, together with Mick himself, Paul Downes, Pete Morton, Matt Quinn, Heather Bradford and Maggie Boyle. In November Maggie passed away. She was a remarkable performer and a beautiful person who will be sorely missed of course by her family and friends, but also by the very many people with whom she shared her wonderful music over the years. The cast of A Day’s Work felt that Maggie was quite simply irreplaceable. With this in mind, the show has undergone a slight reworking, as result of which Cia is now contributing his instrumental skills as a member of the show. A Day’s Work dates will also be added to our website gig listing as and when they are confirmed.
As always, for more info on gigs, our shop and general information please have a look round our website and you can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
We hope 2015 is a good year for you all and we hope to see many of you somewhere along the road.