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Stockholm Hair Cuts & Back in the Studio

Last week we flew to Stockholm to do an intimate acoustic show for the ingeniously named "I Like Radio" and I managed to get a much needed haircut from Rob's hairdresser du jour, Davide, a task he managed with minimum fuss! Earlier in the week I spent two days with John Buckley who has recently signed to Capitol Records. We wrote two songs together in two different moods; the first one introspective, slow and moody, and the second one upbeat and sunny. He has rich tone to his voice and an instinctive intelligence that should get him a long way.

Today I am re-recording one of Rob and my old songs in a new arrangement, working with the hugely talented Owen Parker, and for the rest of the week we are rehearsing for the upcoming Troxy show. We are all excited about this show as we are playing some new songs for the first time.

Stay tuned!

G X

And Another!

This one is from Claire Swallows at the Leceister Evening News:

Marching soldiers, revolutionary choirs, balletic brass and Hungarian cimbalom, the exotic soundworld of Party LIke A Russian perfectly accompanies/Robbie's satire on all things oligarch. Which other contemporary popstar would describe himself as a "modern Rasputin" or would have the audacity to say he has "a bank inside a car inside a plane inside a boat'? A matryoshka doll of Bond villain like proportions. Mr Williams invites us to Party like a Russian, and indeed this rhetorical question is the "end of discussion". Rather imaginatively he wants to "put a doll inside a doll' a challenge for any man, be it a wannabe Oligarch or indeed an ex boy band member from Stoke.

The chorus melody has the ultimate ear worn, and is more catchy than Zika.

G X

Extraordinary Review from Germany...

This one is from the Munich Bugle by Herr E. Koch

The Heavy Entertainment Show is a musical kaleidoscope, a call to arms that announces it's existence with such aplomb it needs a full orchestra and big band to make it's presence felt. Blaring trumpets, exploding timpani, open sesame tam tams, Chambers and Williams have dug deep into their orchestral treasure trove using a rare Serge Gainsbourg sample for inspiration, to create a monster. The lyric describes the full Robbie experience in some detail, even alluding to how a lucky punter might "touch the tip". His deeply pneumatic backing singers tease how "he'll give it all.. and then a little bit more" seemingly in a state of near ecstasy. After you've visited this pop theme park you want to immediately join the cue for another ride!

Party Like a Russian

So welcome to my second blog post! This week has been really exciting as we have unleashed unto the world, a new single - Party Like a Russian. It's been fascinating to see it's progress, making it onto the news in Russia and creating loads of energy on YouTube with lots of Russian comments. I have to admit I was a little nervous about this song going public but it seems to be getting a lot of attention and that isn't easy in this media saturated world! Our gig at the Roundhouse was a joy and we have been rehearsing for a little acoustic show which has been a completely different challenge - Party Like a Russian acoustic is a musical rub cube. We got the inspiration for the title from wandering around Red Square in Moscow, feeling the ghosts of all it's history. We were playing an oligarch's party that night and I was thinking it would be fun to write something Russian influenced and fun (but also a little scary at the same time).

Stay tuned!

G X

Welcome & Robbie Williams Live at Apple Music Festival, 2016

Welcome to my new website and first blog! 

This week I've been rehearsing with the Robbie Williams band in preparation for our show at the Apple Music Festival this weekend. This show is special for a couple of reasons - firstly we haven't played a London show in a long time and, secondly, it's my first show at the Roundhouse (which I am an ambassador for and is very local to me as I live in Camden). I went to see Christine and the Queens there on Monday night and it was one of the best gigs I've seen in years!

Being Musical Director for Robbie Williams is, of course, an honour and big responsibility. At times I feel I am the "keeper of the flame" trying to maintain the level of musicianship and excitement for songs some of which are nearly 20 years old. We are playing two new songs which are on the forthcoming album and part of my job is making them fit in with all our existing songs. It really is a joy to do new songs and welcome them into the Robbie family.

I'm also pleased to see that my new website is up and running. I think it reflects my studio and general aesthetic - a mix of vintage and modern with the mantra of KEEP IT SIMPLE!

Stay posted.

G X