2023 Year in Moments

2023 was another 12 months packed with work, creativity, travel and eclectic interest from all points. Reflecting back is like looking over a collage; so many moments making up a non-stop year.

From my past, Garry Christian has been back in the studio – I produced Garry’s first solo record (Your Cool Mystery) – and it’s been great writing and producing new material with him again. It’s over 25 years since we last made a record and nothing much has changed. He looks and sounds the same!

I also had the privilege of working with Italian superstar Gianna Nannini on her new album. It’s over 30 years since I was in her touring band as keyboard player. Producing and writing with her was an inspiring experience. My recollections of her army of fans from a stage perspective gave me a real advantage when approaching new songs with her. I can’t wait to see her perform some of them in her forthcoming tours.

I spent some lockdown time developing songs with my long-term collaborator Ryan Molloy. The result is a new album project under the name Missouri Breaks. By way of a ‘launch’ Ryan and I took a trip to the north of Sweden to perform a few tracks live. I’ve never been so far north (an hour’s drive from the arctic circle!) so seeing snow on the ground in early May was bizarre. The trip was a great success and the songs were very warmly received by our Swedish audience.

I began a new project with Turkish opera singer, Isin Turan – with whom we worked at Abbey Road Studio 2, accompanied by a 42-piece orchestra arranged and conducted by my good friend Sam Swallow. Writing songs in English and then having them adapted into Italian by lyricist Edoardo Bechis was a first and the songs are already released on Spotify (album title ‘Scrivo D’Amore’)

One of our great pleasures this year was producing and writing an album with Swiss band The Souls. Gavin and I sharing the role created 12 new songs with the band and recorded them in the legendary Eastcote Studios in west London. We hope to have a long association with the band and are optimistic they will be commercially successful… it’s a great record.

Records that saw releases in 2023 were Simply Red’s ‘Time’ and ‘Solstice Kiss’ by Simple Minds and it was massively rewarding to see tracks by these brilliant artists, regulars on our production calendar, enjoying great success. As well as singles, albums and records of the week, they’ve both had sell out concert tours and excellent sales. Long may they continue!

In between times, I took a productive and enjoyable trip to Nice to work with Simple Minds’ Jim Kerr. Always great to be with Jim.

I also found time for song writes with the smoky-voiced Rebecca Poole on her latest record, as well as a whole album’s worth of new material with the brilliant Betty Boo.

In addition, I have been continuing my work with the inspirational Miel de Botton and we are edging ever closer to having a new album and starting the ensuing promotion.

We released new songs with Annie Falconer and completed an album with another Swiss artist Pat Bornstein…more of that later.

In addition we recorded some truly special material from the very well-established Gilbert O’Sullivan’s enviable songbook.

In closing, I can’t forget to mention a remarkable evening spent in Brussels watching the legendary Bruce Springsteen from up close. The Boss gave a live performance I can only describe as awe-inspiring and truly mesmerising.

2023 was a remarkable year with so much to look forward to as the records are released and find their place in the world. Roll on the next twelve months…