If you were looking to escape the stress of daily life 700 years ago you might have considered becoming an anchorite. This meant being sealed permanently into a tiny cell while a priest administered the last rites before leaving you to a life of prayer and meditation…
Tune into BBC Radio Humberside this Christmas Day at 1pm for two hours of Christmas Crooners presented by me. All my favourite Christmas songs from the greats like Ella, Sinatra, Deano, Peggy Lee and lots more.
A Swingin’ Christmas is off to a flying start in London. 9 shows in 7 days… that’s a lot of jingle bells! ITV’s Lorraine Kelly popped in on the opening night. Here are a few pictures.
I’m getting ready for this year’s Swingin’ Christmas shows at the Crazy Coqs with Nathan Martin. Here’s our rehearsal of O Holy Night. I’ve only performed this once before, years ago at the Barbican. Such a lovely song to sing.
This is a great offer exclusive to my followers (that's you!): an extra 10% off BLACK FRIDAY sale prices from T.M.Lewin. Online or in store. Check the voucher for details.
I'm thrilled to be making my debut on the largest cruise ship in the world - the Symphony of the Seas for her crossing to Miami starting Tuesday from Malaga. She is over 228,000 tonnes and can accommodate a maximum of 6,680 passengers, as well as a 2,200-person crew. Crazy!
60 seconds with me in this month's World of Cruising magazine.
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.
We’re delighted to release a new video of Gary singing Growing Pains from Treasure Seeker. It’s a song about the passing of time and learning what life is all about.
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.
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.
Never Say I Love You, one of our favourite tracks from Treasure Seeker is now available to stream on Spotify. This will be the only track from the album available to stream.
If you want to hear more, every CD comes with a free download code so you can own the MP3s as well, no extra charge. To hear the rest, click here to buy the CD.
I'm back at Ronnie Scott's on Sunday 30th September to launch the new album. It's sold out, so if you have tickets, I'll see you there.