SHOREHAM Beach guitarist Richard Durrant has pedalled off on a UK tour, heading as far north as the Isle of Skye.
He is travelling entirely by bicycle, carrying his instruments and tour kit in a specially-designed trailer.
His hometown audience was treated to a mixture of his Cycling Music and Bach at the launch gig at the Ropetackle Arts Centre last Friday.
Richard said he had made his life easier this year, having realised the full kit, complete with PA system, was simply too much to carry by bicycle alone. So, for the 2015 tour, he will be relying on venues with their own sound set-up.
He will be travelling alone this time but he did not reckon he would get too lonely. He is such an affable chap, both on stage and off, that he will no doubt make many new friends along the way.
Called Bach on a Bicycle, Cycling Music Lap 2, the tour features both the ukelele and a light Mexican guitar.
We heard both at the launch gig, interspersed with Richard’s usual entertaining ‘chat’ with the audience, helping everyone to feel involved and relaxed.
Also included was a pretty little piece by Debussy, called Reverie, which Richard said was one of his favourites.
Inevitably, a large portion of the concert was devoted to the excellent Cycling Music, which was written last year to include percussion played on actual bicycle parts.
Richard said he had updated it a bit but essentially it is still the same, beautiful music, really giving a feeling of how it is riding on a bike, out in the countryside, zimming along with the wind in your hair.
As a backdrop, we could see some of the images from last year’s tour, including one where he was struggling up an extremely steep hill, so steep that he was pushing his bike rather than riding.
This year’s challenge includes some days where he will have to cycle 100 miles in a day, before playing a concert in the evening.
As he headed to Hastings on Friday for the fourth date on his schedule, Richard said: “It will be tremendously hard to keep the tour spirits high but I will do my best. Creativity in the face of hardship.”
He will be travelling north during June before turning back south again and Richard returns to the Ropetackle for a Cycling Music Finale on July 3, when Ensemble Bash percussionist Stephen Hiscock will join him on stage with his bicycle drum kit.