Raising the roof with Brian Conley

With Gloria Hunniford 20 years ago.

With Gloria Hunniford 20 years ago.

We just had another great night of fun and fund-raising at the Dorchester Hotel with the Hard Rock Cafe. Gloria Hunniford was there on behalf of her charity The Caron Keating Foundation along with a glittering line up of celebrities, all giving their time and support to this wonderful cause.

Brian Conley and I entertained the room before Tony Hadley tore it up with a very cool acoustic set. Then Jim Cregan and his legendary band got everyone on the dance floor.

I met Gloria 20 years ago and have sung for her every year since then. It’s always an honour to be a part of her events.

A debut performance at the launch

Treasure Seeker has now been released into the world! We did the press launch on Wednesday in London at the intimate Salon Noir in L'Escargot. It was a nice chance to thank some of the many people who helped make it happen like arranger Phil Steel and producer Chris Traves. The highlight was singing with Jon Nickoll, who co-write the songs. We realised we've never actually performed one of our songs together, so it was a chance not to miss.

Winner of album art competition

We had so many great nominations for the album art competition. Lots of you emailed and we had a few more on Instagram and Facebook.

What struck me was the range and variation of covers suggested. We had A Touch of Schmillson in the Night by Harry Nillson (is that a spliff in his hand?), The Beatles' Sargeant Pepper, Tubular Bells, Kenny Burrell's Midnight Blue (one of many great Blue Note covers), Dark Side of the Moon, Houses of the Holy, Aja from Steely Dan, Roy Orbison’s Only the Lonely, Supertramp Crime of the Century and Peter Gabriel's Up with the minimalist water droplets. I loved the suggestion of Thelonius Monk's Misterioso album with a very groovy cover by Giorgio De Chirico. Someone suggested Lodon Calling from the Clash, Dave Brubeck's Jazz Goes to College (great album). Plenty of people, including my old pal Ted Higgins from Opus One reckons it has to be Sinatra's Songs for Swingin' Lovers and Roy Oakshot shared a great story about the cover of Matty Matlock’s Dixielanders, which is just gorgeous. We also had covers from Andrew Lloyd Webber, Axis, Kula Shaker, The Small Faces, The Rolling Stones and Wings. How's that for a record collection.  

Two people chose Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. It's an elaborate cover design by Storm Thorgerson echoing the album's theme's. Oddly, it was sold covered in black shrinkwrap, so you couldn't even see what you were getting. There's a great article about it on Wikipedia here.

My favourite, and the winner, nominated by Mike Whiteley on Facebook, is Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy from Elton John. I was in the Prado in Madrid earlier this year enjoying their collection of paintings by Hieronymus Bosch. It's amazing how this 15th century artist still influences pop culture today – it's mind-blowing now, so I can only imagine what people made of it back then. Bosch's influence is all over the Captain Fantastic cover, as it is Michael Jackson’s Dangerous. It was designed by British psychedelic artist Alan Aldridge – who also worked for The Who, The Beatles and Andy Warhol. Nice one, Mike. 

Thanks for all your suggestions. I've had a great time looking at all of them and playing a few of them too.