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A Message from the Band

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Last night of the tour in Wuppertal


And so the BJH 50th Anniversary year draws to a close with a fantastic reception from the fans in a packed house at the beautiful Historische Stadthalle in Wuppertal.

What a year of varying challenges it has been for Team JLBJH. It started with the 50th Anniversary show in May with some musical rarities performed for the first time, all the additional video content and the exhibition ; it was a memorable event and we look forward to the release of the DVD and CD package later this month and hope you enjoy it.

Then came a number of summer shows with a more mainstream set list, including the show at Ludwigshafen where a crowd of 9,000 turned up to see us!

Next up, came the Athens shows in the wonderful, historic setting of The Odeon of Herodes Atticus just below the Parthenon, where we performed 2 nights with the 70 piece orchestra formed from members of the Prague Philharmonic and Athens State Orchestras.It really was a fantastic experience!

Meanwhile, we had agreed to perform Everyone Is Everybody Else in entirety for National Album Day so no sooner had we got back from Athens than we had to get those songs into shape and ready to perform. It was quite a challenge, particularly for Craig to take on the daunting task of singing "Negative Earth" and "Paper Wings" in the original keys. The rest of the band reckon he has done a great job on them too.

The UK dates saw us bring back the acoustic medley first performed at the 50th Anniversary show plus we fed in some of the EIEE tracks to "play them in". The Islington show where we did the whole album was quite special for the band because of the reaction from the crowd. It's the first time we've had a standing ovation at the end of the first half of a show, so judging from that, we must have done justice to the album!

Then finishing the year with a tour in Germany. We haven't played "The Poet" and "After The Day" in the regular German set list for a good few years, but in the 50th Anniversary year, we decided it was time for it to return, along with playing the "acoustic medley". Both seem to have gone down well with the German audiences, who seem to be increasingly appreciative of the musically more challenging Prog elements of the show.

So reflecting back on this 50th Anniversary year, there have been some truly memorable concerts. We have performed 38 different songs in a single calendar year, which is an achievement of which we are quite proud. Added to that, we have already recorded some brand new tracks which we hope to release next year with some more brand new material. Then there is the added bonus of the profile for John's classic composition "Hymn", which Sarah Brightman has recorded and named her forthcoming album and tour.

This year also marks the 20th Anniversary of Craig and Kev joining John's BJH variant, and the 10th Anniversary of Jez joining the band. It doesn't seem like it (except perhaps for John having endured 20 years of Craig's rabbitting on!)

At the heart of all of this activity is a fantastic crew - the regular core team of Pete, John and Dom have been supplemented at various times by Jamie, Ian and John Turner. Huge thanks to all for their efforts and their cameraderie. Likewise to Mark and Vicky and Keith and Monika for all the help and support, and to our friends at DMC and Kultopolis with whom we have enjoyed working in Germany.

But perhaps the biggest thanks should go to all the fans who continue to come to the gigs and give us fantastic receptions everywhere we play. It has been a big motivating factor in our delivering such a comprehensive catalogue of BJH music across that 50 year span. Our heartfelt thanks to all our the fans for coming to the concerts, for the warmth of your continued support and for making it so rewarding for us all.

We look forward to seeing you all again next year.

John, Craig, Jez and Kev





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North album cover

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Woolly Wolstenholme

Woolly Wolstenholme, 1947 - 2010

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