A HERO’S welcome awaits Shoreham guitarist Richard Durrant tomorrow when he returns to the south coast after a mammoth seven-week cycling and concert tour of England.
Having pedalled some 1,500 miles and played nearly three-dozen gigs, Durrant rounds off his eco-friendly, part-charity musical expedition with a summer solstice celebration concert at Ropetackle Arts Centre, Little High Street, Shoreham, tomorrow, at 7.30pm.
Three days earlier, the world-class performer will be treated to Hollywood-style razzmatazz at the launch of the Brighton Music Walk of Fame.
Durrant’s is among 40 new names – ranging from Sir Paul McCartney, Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) and Nigel Kennedy to Rod Stewart, Adele and another superstar with strong Shoreham connections, Leo Sayer – celebrated in an interactive street tribute to music artistes, composers and DJs closely associated with Brighton from the 1960s to the present day.
The walk of fame comprises specially designed pavement graphics in the form of vinyl albums along Madeira Drive.
During his Cycling Music tour, Durrant has been carrying his entire stage show (guitar, lights, speakers, projections, etc.) on a bike and trailer provided by Maria and Rod Lambert, proprietors of the Giant bike store at Ropetackle, Shoreham.
His ‘roadie’ and fellow cyclist has been long-standing friend Sean Simington, a Norfolk head teacher, who lost his partner, Shirley, to cancer last year.
Twenty per cent of the proceeds from the Cycling Music concerts is going towards the Big C drop-in centre for cancer patients and their families in Norfolk and Waveney.
The tour started at Ropetackle on May 1 and Durrant’s homecoming gig there is billed as having ‘plenty of midsummer surprises in store’.
As one recent reviewer wrote: “There are only three certainties in a performance by Richard Durrant: the music will be superb, he will be disarmingly entertaining and you will want to see him again.
“The man fits into no musical pigeonhole.”
During the tour, Richard and Sean have been keeping a video blog of their journey, which can be seen on YouTube under ‘Richard Durrant Cycling Music’, as well as on the Shoreham Herald website (see VIDEO: Richard Durrant’s Cycling Music blog at www.shorehamherald.co.uk).
Through the blogs, Richard has kept fans up to date with the ups and downs of the trip, as he faces hills in the north and a number of falls, one into a large bed of stinging nettles.
Tickets for the Ropetackle gig are available on 01273 464440 or online at www.ropetacklecentre.co.uk