SHOREHAM’S world-class concert guitarist, Richard Durrant, has given a special concert in the town’s Giant bicycle store.
An intimate preview of his new album, Cycling Music, to a specially-selected audience, the event was designed as a practice run ahead of his new cycling tour.
A concert tour with a difference, it will see Richard and friend Sean Simington cycling more than 1,200 miles between 36 venues over seven weeks, and carrying the entire stage show with them on their bikes
Richard said: “The idea of the concert was to see if Sean and I really could carry all the stage gear on two bikes. We wanted to see if we would be capable of doing it and then me play the guitar afterwards.”
The pair pedalled around 20 miles over Devil’s Dyke last Wednesday before the evening performance at the Little High Street store, using a bike lamp as a spotlight.
Richard played the super lightweight guitar he will be using for the tour.
“The guitar was given to me as a present and it is as light as a feather,” he explained. “The bike trailer has a 32kg limit and it will be full to capacity.
“Giant is very community minded and they have been a wonderful support.”
Rod and Maria Lambert, who own Giant Shoreham, have supplied the specialised bike kit, putting together a combination of bike, panniers and trailer that will allow a comfortable ride, safely carry Richard’s kit and leave him fit enough to play each evening.
The idea started as a bid by Richard to cut down his carbon footprint, using high-tech, lightweight and low-energy equipment.
“Touring musicians tend to leave a fairly massive carbon footprint – so for me this is payback time,” he said.
“Having been a regular cyclist for years, I wanted to see where a tour by bike would take me, both geographically and musically.
“I cycled to London a lot as a student. I will be wearing a helmet cam and there will a tracker map on the website.
“We are going to try to stay off the A-roads and we are not going to cheat.”
Richard will not only be riding a bike, he will also be playing a bike as an instrument.
He has used bicycle parts to record percussion sequences on the album, creating an atmospheric blend of acoustic and minimalist music.
“Riding a bike is totally inspirational and my cycle training has been key to these new compositions,” explained Richard.
He took two months to write and record the new album, which includes his own compositions, as well as an arrangement of JS Bach, called JS Bike, and Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint.
The tour begins at the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham on Thursday, May 1, and takes the pair down to the Isle of Wight and up to North Yorkshire, returning to Ropetackle for the final concert on Friday, June 20.
On June 1, there is a Doncaster gig the same day as a large Cycle Festival in the town, and Richard will play at Giant St Paul’s in the capital on June 14, the day before the London to Brighton bike ride.
The tour is also raising money for charity, with 20 per cent of gig fees going to The Big C Drop-In Centre in Norwich, a cancer support group close to Sean’s heart.