There is a slight problem of perspective when writing about the achievements of Tristan Fry. He manages to have three successful careers, all as a drummer/percussionist, running simultaneously, and he is still only in his early 30s. Tristan joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 17, and within a few years had gained a reputation in musical circles as a rising young star in the field of orchestral percussion. He became a member of John Dankworth’s jazz orchestra, playing tuned percussion, which soon led to him becoming one of the most in-demand session players in Britain. As if all this isn’t enough, Tristan is also the drummer in Sky, a group with two gold albums to their credit to date. If they needed to be classified in one word, Sky would have to be put under the eclectic heading of “rock.”
Tristan’s solo album, Twentieth Century Percussion Music (Music For Pleasure), is truly a solo album. There are no other performers and no overdubs. The material on the album is demanding listening and would certainly only appeal to a minority taste, but the virtuoso performance is clearly there for any musician to understand.
Another problem when writing about Tristan is the man’s extreme modesty. There is a danger that people who don’t know his work might take some of his self-effacing statements at face value. He is quite dismissive about his ability as a drumkit player. Connoisseurs of drumkit won’t find anything frightfully original in Tristan’s playing on the more straight- ahead rock material. The straight beat, the descending fills on the toms—you’ve heard it before. That doesn’t invalidate it, though. It is functional and workmanlike. Hear how Tristan handles the odd-time signatures, notice how he brings his wide musical experience to bear on Sky’s subtle arrangements, see him doubling on tuned percussion and ask yourself how many other drummers in rock bands could do all that. At the start of my interview with Tristan I wanted to talk about his versatility, so I asked him about the instruments he uses with Sky.
TF: With Sky we’ve got a drumkit, a vibraphone and a marimba. That’s all we use in the current program. The first timeout, we had timpani as well—seven of them. That was for a thing I did called “Tristan’s Magic Garden.” Also the trumpet— mustn’t forget the trumpet. It’s a bit of a feature. It’s actually done as a send-up in one of the tunes, “Tuba Smarties.” There is also a bit of it in the most recent album Cadmium, in a number called “Telex From Peru.” Of course, you’ll fully realize when you hear the trumpet that I don’t actually play the trumpet, [laughs]
SG: You play many more instruments than he ones you have mentioned, don’t you?
TF: Well, yes. Professional percussionists—grand title—have to play all the percussion stuff: Latin percussion, washboards, all the effects, you name it. For percussionists, doing film work, in which they supply a lot of the sounds and even suggest things to the composer, is a great way to earn a living. They get to do horse’s hooves, sleighbells, and all kinds of things.
SG: What instrument did you start on?
TF: My dad, who is also a percussionist, started me on the piano when I was four and a half. I hated it at the time, but have since regretted not sticking with it, like most people do. But I suppose I must have spent two or three years on that, learning scales and working for grades. My dad was in the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the time. One of his colleagues was Peter Allen, the principal timpanist. I was abi t precocious when I was about six years old, and I went up to Peter and asked him to give me lessons. He said, “Come back to me when you are nine.” So on my ninth birthday I phoned him—even more precocious. I said, “How about those lessons?” and he said, “Yes. Come along,” which was fantastic!
SG: Why Peter Allen and not your dad?
TF: Have you ever tried teaching somebody in the family? It can be difficult. My dad thought it would be better for some- one else to teach me. Peter was willing to do it. He only had one other pupil, Jimmy Holland, who is now the principal percussionist in the BBC Symphony Orchestra, so that worked out fine. Peter had me working on a practice pad for four years. He wouldn’t let me touch a drum during that time, which I think was a very good idea, and I’m surprised that more people don’t teach that way. For one thing, it is good for the chops, but also, kids who don’t touch a drum are going to get bored very quickly unless they are genuinely interested. If you can stand four years on a practice pad, you must be really keen!
SG: Isn’t there a chance that people who could become very good in time might become discouraged and give up? After all, they want to play a drum, not a pad.
TF: You can get over things like that. Human nature is a funny thing; if you really want to do something, you will do it.
SG: So you gravitated towards orchestral percussion quite naturally?
TF: Absolutely, because of my father being involved in it and my teacher. For me, all I wanted to do from the age of nine was to be a symphonic side drummer. No timpani, no vibraphone, or anything. [laughs] Actually the idea of tuned percussion was like going back to piano, and I didn’t want to do that!
But then at the age of 13 or 14, I went along to a concert at the London Philharmonic. At the time, John Dankworth was doing some jazz pieces combined with classical music. The band and the orchestra were together. They did a piece by John and something by Matyas Seiber. I remember thinking that jazz was a little bit out of the way, but I went to that concert and I was totally bowled over. The band was great, and the drummer particularly impressed me. That was Kenny Clare, and I have been a great admirer of his ever since. I was knocked out with the attitude of the guys in the band too. It was a completely different attitude to that of the people in the orchestra. I realized that there was more to music than I had hitherto thought. I started going to see other things—Count Basie, for instance, with Sonny Payne on drums. What I really liked about seeing drummers like Sonny and Kenny playing was that they were thoroughly enjoying what they were doing. I’d not seen that before.
SG: Do you mean that orchestral players always looked a bit stiff while they were playing?
TF: It was part of the discipline that you shouldn’t show that you were enjoying yourself too much. This was back in the early ’60s and I think that things have changed a bit since, partly as a result of those concerts. The integration of styles— having classical musicians getting together with jazz musicians, and later on rock musicians—has been very healthy for all concerned. A lot of musicians have gone from one side to the other, some successfully, some not. But the whole business has meant that now there is a much lighter feeling when you go to symphony concerts. There is a lighter feel from the orchestra because they don’t have to be so starchy.
SG: Weren’t you involved in one of these jazz and orchestral things yourself, with the Duke Ellington Orchestra?
TF: Yes. I joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra when I was 17. We used to do concerts each year for the Orchestra Benevolent Fund, and they would get a big name over to bring in the crowds. One year we had Danny Kaye, who was a fabulous conductor, because he was such a good mimic. Another time there was Jack Benny, playing the violin and telling gags. So Duke Ellington came to do one of these concerts. We did some things with the Orchestra, he did some with his band, and then we joined forces. There was a new piece that Duke Ellington had composed, but his band hadn’t rehearsed it. His drummer didn’t really want to do it, and they needed somebody who was more of an orchestral type of drummer. So I got to play the drums with the Ellington band, which was terrific.
SG: You were playing the drumkit?
TF: I was actually on the drumkit, yes. It was brushes, a bit of waltz time, this, that and the other, but it was a fantastic experience to be playing the drums with the Duke Ellington band.
John Dankworth was at the concert, doing the announcing for TV, and shortly after that he asked me if I would join his band on tuned percussion. So I did three years with John’s band, which was, again, fantastic.
SG: We seemed to have skipped how you started playing tuned percussion. You were reluctant to do it as a boy.
TF: That’s right, but my father could see things coming up which I couldn’t. He kept telling me that modern music was coming in and they would be using xylophones, vibraphones, and things like that, so I ought to learn them. But I wouldn’t— didn’t want to. To be honest, back in the early ’60s, there were various repertoire pieces like The Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice which kept coming up, and if you could play those you were alright. So I learned to play some of these without ever learning to play the instruments properly. It wasn’t until I joined John’s band and started doing session work that I found out what playing a musical instrument really meant. I had to learn rather quickly, which again is a very good experience. If you have a part in front of you and the red light is on, you do tend to learn quickly; if you don’t, you fall by the wayside.
SG: You must have had some ability before that. It must have been inside you somehow.
TF: Well, in addition to side drum, I had done timps, so I had the technique from that. But I really fell back on my knowledge of piano. I couldn’t really play the piano, but when you’re playing xylophone, or something like that, you are only playing one line, which seems an awful lot easier than all the lines you have to play on piano. I was lucky.
SG: When you were with John Dankworth, you must have gotten into jazz improvisation.
TF: I didn’t really; I must be honest. To a point I can do it. I will play for my own pleasure, but I don’t really think that an improvisation of mine is going to knock anybody out. I don’t really feel that side of it.
SG: You were playing with the top jazz band in the country. Didn’t it ever happen that the finger was pointed at you to take a solo?
TF: If it was, I always pointed back. [laughs] It was a big band with some really excellent soloists, but not everybody was a soloist. There was a tuba player who wasn’t a soloist, and not all the saxes and brass took solos either.
SG: You do some composing, don’t you?
TF: Yes, a bit, but I wouldn’t say that I’m a composer. I can write the odd little tune, but actually I’m sure we all can. I’m sure you can; I’m sure that everybody can. It’s only because we don’t. They say there is a book in everybody; in the same way, I think there are probably quite a few good pieces in everybody.
SG: But your compositions are used in Sky and they are used as TV themes.
TF: It’s fantastic when people pick it up like that.
SG: I think you are being a bit modest. Lots of people write, but only a small percentage of those manage to do it successfully.
TF: I’m not saying it’s easy, because you actually have to sit down and do it. That’s the hardest thing with most of us. It’s the self-discipline of sitting down at the piano, or any other instrument, or even nothing, and knocking off a tune. That’s the hardest thing. Whenever I’ve written something I say to myself, “Why don’t you just sit here and keep writing?” because if you can put out a certain volume of stuff, something is bound to be alright. Everybody should do it.
SG: There isn’t the outlet for most of us. Music publishers are swamped with material from hopeful writers.
TF: Well, yes. I am lucky; I have an outlet through the band.
SG: Returning to your playing career, did you have to leave the London Philharmonic in order to play with Dankworth?
TF: No, I was still with the Orchestra, though obviously I couldn’t be there all the time. John’s band wasn’t a full-time gig. It would be like two or three weeks at Ronnie Scott’s, then a few weeks off, then a tour for a few days, and more time off afterwards. We went on tour with Facade, which was fun. Cleo Laine and Annie Ross both did vocal parts in that.
At the same time I was doing a West End show. It was Robert And Elizabeth by Ron Grainer. I was with that show for three years and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can honestly say that it was like Christmas every day. People often think that a show can be boring, doing the same thing every night, but this was great. The company was made up of such lovely people that we all got on like a family. Going to the theater was like going home every day.
SG: You were sending in substitutes when you were double booked?
TF: Yes, I was putting deps [subs] in when there was something with the Orchestra or with John. But very often, if I had a gig with the Orchestra in which I was finished by the interval, I would go back to the theater and say to whoever was depping, “If you would like an early night, I will take over.” I enjoyed it so much. There wasn’t room for the percussion in the pit, so I had to be in a box at the side. The front row of the stalls got the worst of it—the screeching of timp pedals, the lot. [laughs]
SG: As for the drumkit, from what you said earlier it seems as if the first time you played drumkit was with the Duke Ellington Orchestra!
TF: Well . . . not totally true. I’d done a lot of amateur shows. I’d done quite a lot of show drumming, but no real jazz drum- ming, and certainly no big band drum- ming. Nowadays, a lot of schools and most County Councils run jazz bands, but 20 years ago there just wasn’t that interest. Jazz was still frowned upon. The Royal Academy of Music didn’t have any jazz students. They weren’t even allowed to do jazz.
SG: The rock groups of the time were quite beyond the pale.
TF: Oh yes, they didn’t want to know about any of that. When I was still at school, I went to the Academy part time on Saturday mornings, and in those days, you still couldn’t take percussion as a study. I think that that would be amazing to the Americans because percussion has been quite an up-front thing over there for years. But in this country, you couldn’t even have a percussion teacher. They did need percussionists to play in the orchestra, so they would get all their conductor students to do it. That was always a terrible mess, because they didn’t know anything about it.
So I didn’t have any formal training on the drumkit, and I never got ’round to playing rock drums until the group Sky. Some people might say that I still haven’t gotten ’round to playing them, [laughs]
SG: That’s a cue to introduce Sky into the conversation. How was it formed?
TF: John Williams got together with Herbie Flowers and Francis Monkman, the original keyboard player, to do an album. The three of them felt that it would be nice to get a band together to tour. I know that John felt that being on the road as a solo guitarist was rather a lonely life. There would be other people involved in what you were doing, but it’s not the same as being in a band. So the three of them got together. They decided that they could do with another guitarist who was into the rock side of things, and Kevin Peek was the natural choice because he plays classical guitar as well. Therefore, he would be able to play duets with John. Great. Everybody else was too busy, so they got me in on drums.
SG: You seemed a natural choice, too. You were the country’s number-one young orchestral percussionist, and you had the versatility to fit in.
TF: Well, I don’t know. Anyway I was invited to join and I took a long time deciding, because I’d never been so committed to a group of people. To have a commitment to four other people like that was rather frightening; it was like getting married. I had an awful long think about it before I got ’round to saying yes. Of course, I have been very pleased that I did say yes, because for all five of us Sky has become such a joy in our lives. It is just sheer joy to be able to get up and play music that I really enjoy playing with four other lads, and also be able to get around and see the world. For instance, I have now been to Australia four times; I would probably never have gone there in my whole life, but the band was going, so I went with a happy heart and it was fantastic. I was completely bowled over by that.
SG: Not America yet though?
TF: Not America, but maybe that time will come. I hope so. The problem with America, from our point of view, is that we have a ground rule in the band not to spend longer than three weeks away at any one time. We only do three, three-week tours a year. We feel that, in order to go to America, we would have to spend more than three weeks to do it properly. None of us, at the moment, feel that we can. There are families and other commitments. Also, we think that it is not a good idea to push everybody’s working relationship too far.
SG: You have an interesting blend of music to offer. Is it right to describe it as classical, rock, and traditional—very English in fact?
TF: There is material from other countries. On Sky 3, there is a Greek tune and some things from other countries. Of course on 2, there was “El Cielo.” The traditional and classical come and go all the time, but we are always open to other influences. The advent of Steve Grey, for instance, on keyboards, gave us a new perspective. He comes from a jazz background and so he was able to introduce things like “Meheeco.” It brought in a style that wasn’t there before. With respect to Francis, that’s not to say that it should have been there before. Francis did “Fifo” and “Where Opposites Meet.” They were super pieces—quite heavy—but now we’ve gone into a different era with Steve. It’s good to try to get an overall mixture. Perhaps what I’m trying to say is that five fellows can get up and have a go at anything, and hopefully it will work.
SG: Did it just happen, or did you sit down and plan a musical policy?
TF: No, it just happened. It must come from the people involved. When John, Herbie and Francis first got together, it was the musical thing that happened among them that made them want to continue.
SG: The choice of material and the way the arrangements work are cooperative things?
TF: It depends. For instance, when Francis did “Opposites” and “Fifo,” he came along with the whole thing written down and we just played it. But with a lot of Herbie’s things, he will just do a basic tune and the chords, and we all work it out between us—very much a group effort. Of course, when somebody has done a complete arrangement it can still be open to discus- sion. We can say, “Wouldn’t it be better if we left out that repeat?” and that sort of thing.
SG: Do you ever reject material which you like, but you don’t think that your record-buying public would respond to?
TF: We have rejected things when we felt that they weren’t working. But we always try things out. I should say that we always try to try things. It’s not always that easy because of logistical problems. There are five fellows who are all over the place when they are not with Sky. Kevin has now gone back to live in Australia. Generally, it doesn’t make a difference. He comes over here and we go over there once a year; the traveling isn’t a problem. But as far as knocking on his door one night and saying, “Have a look at this,” it’s not that easy. Finding the time to try out all the ideas we would like to have a go at can be a problem.
We often feel misrepresented in that people often think of us as the band that “rocks up” the classics—basically, I think, because of “Toccata.”
SG: That was the big hit which put you on the map.
TF: Sure, but we didn’t do anything to it which wasn’t there musically. We only added a drumkit and a bass guitar, and the bass line was the same as the original. When Bach wrote that piece, he wrote it for a big cathedral organ, having previously written things for the chamber organ. So, in fact, he wrote that to give an impact, and we gave it a similar sort of impact.
We don’t do very many pieces from the classical repertoire. “Toccata” was one of the few. There have also been a few traditional pieces as opposed to classical. “Dansa,”on the first album , was a Basque folk song. We thought it was a very pretty tune and it really leant itself to that tambour de provencal drum sound, without the snares. Most of our material is original. There is a classical influence, but there is also a traditional influence and a rock influence.
SG: You said earlier that you hadn’t played rock drums before Sky. Did you have any trouble adapting to playing on a kit which is miked up?
TF: No, I didn’t actually. But I remember the first concert we did. We hadn’t had a lot of rehearsal time, I had never played that style of drums before in public, and it required quite a lot of stick. I remember wondering halfway through the show whether I was going to be able to last physically. I had never worked so hard in my life. I’d done hundreds of concerts before, but I’d never had to work as hard as that.
SG: You do play some tuned percussion though; it’s not kit all the way through.
TF: Oh yes, but not that much tuned stuff when you get down to it. Some of the numbers are quite long. During a two-and-a-half-hour concert, I am doing at least an hour and three quarters of heavy playing. If you’re not used to it, it can be quite a lot. I remember thinking that I was in danger of tightening up so that I couldn’t play.
SG: What did you do about it?
TF: I heard my teacher’s voice saying to me, “Relax.” He always said, “Relax your wrists,” because that’s where it is; it shouldn’t be anywhere else at all.
SG: Presumably you had the PA to give you projection. Were you hitting the drums hard in order to get the sound you wanted?
TF: I was very much in the hands of our sound guys: Angie, who is out front, and Gary, who works the monitors. I didn’t really know at the time, but I have learned since that you do have to lay into the drums to get a certain feel. I never had to do that before.
On the other hand, I do tend to come off the drums, which comes from my classical training. You know that when you play hard there is a danger of going into the drums rather than coming off them. I come off them, which gives a more open sound. That’s my own way, since I was taught to play that way for timps. When you’re playing timpani, if you don’t come off them, they sound dreadful. With drums you don’t have to, but somehow I feel better coming off them. I was taught that the less contact you have with the drum the better. So basically, before you even hit the skin, you should be coming away from it. When working on timp technique, my teacher used to have me practice working up a roll on a cushion, but without making any indentation on that cushion! This might sound strange, but when you then play on a drum, you do come straight away from it.
SG: It gives you total wrist control; you don’t rely on a rebound from the head.
TF: That’s right.
SG: You play quite a large kit with Sky. Was that a new experience for you, too?
TF: Yes. I’ve always said, “If you can’t play them, get a lot of them around you.” [laughs] The thing is that you have a lot of nice, different sounds there, which helps you. You do see great drummers with a lot of drums, but you also see great drummers with just a few drums, and they often make it sound better.
SG: Your music requires a variety of sounds though.
TF: Yes, exactly. It was a new experience. Not so strange from a percussionist’s point of view though. When you are surrounded by different instruments, you are quite used to knowing your distances from one thing to another.
SG: Does your experience as a percussionist affect your approach to your drumkit playing?
TF: I think it probably does. I can’t really say how; it isn’t a conscious thing. People do tell me that I play more like a percussionist than a drummer, which is right because I do come from that background.
SG: I was wondering whether you think melodically when you play tom-tom fills?
TF: Yes, but I must say that I do rather subscribe to the view that whichever drum comes under the hand is the one. [laughs] But, yes, there is an instinctive thing which tells me that the sound of a particular drum is nearer the key of the piece.
SG: Do you tune to specific notes?
TF: No, I just get a sound I like and tune them from high to low—no specific notes or intervals. I usually find that as the heads get knocked about they need to be pulled up a bit, and I will usually just tighten a head until it sounds alright. The lads in the crew are often onto me when we are on tour saying, “Shouldn’t we change that head?” I say, [shrugs] no. Actually, Andy, the guy who sets up the drums, often brings them up to whatever he thinks sounds right, and they sound great to me.
SG: Your kit is Premier. Could you tell us what it is comprised of?
TF: Eight hanging tom-toms, one floor tom, one bass, one snare, a hi-hat and four top cymbals. I switch the cymbals around a bit; they are mostly Zildjian, but there is a Paiste as well. They are all crash cymbals. I don’t have much use for a ride, although I always have one up there that has a reasonable ride sound too. They used to be all 20″, but I have recently started using two 20″ plus an 18″ and a 16″. The sound of the smaller ones doesn’t spread so much. With the larger ones, you could “whap” them and they would be with you for a few bars.
SG: You do a drum solo in “Hotta.” What’s going through your mind when you are doing this?
TF: Usually panic. [laughs] No. We have a drum machine going during that number. In fact, Herbie sums it up quite nicely in the sleeve note to Sky Five Live. He says that it starts with the drum box and the bass. The drum box is playing quite a complicated rhythm which “leaves Tristan free to play 1 and 3 on the bass drum” [laughs], which is what we do. I must be honest and say that I am not keen on drum solos; I find them pretty boring. There are certain people who do fantastic solos, but that’s another thing. As far as I’m concerned, for an audience to sit and watch me do a normal sort of drum solo would be awful for them. But with this drum machine going, the whole idea is that I am playing against the rhythm box. There is the 4/4 and my whole upbringing has been through the avant-garde, playing five against seven and so on. It’s interesting and exciting to me—not my playing it, but the possibility of playing it. So I try to bring the cross-rhythm thing across so that it isn’t an ordinary drum solo.
SG: You mentioned avant-garde just now. You didn’t mean jazz?
TF: No. Modern classical is how you would probably describe it—composers like Stockhausen, John Cage, people like that.
SG: The sort of thing which can be found on your solo album on MFP, Twentieth Century Percussion Music?
TF: Yes. That stuff is great fun to play, from the percussionist’s point of view. John Boyden, the producer, asked me if I would like to do an album of this music, and of course, I was delighted. We did it very quickly, actually, in about three sessions. Surprisingly enough, it has sold quite well in America. I think that a lot of composers have bought it to listen to the various sounds.
SG: MFP approached you with the idea. Did they suggest the repertoire, or did they leave that to you?
TF: They suggested the Stockhausen piece, and then said, “Any other ideas?” I’ve been lucky because I often receive music from publishers, particularly in the avant-garde field, so I had quite a few pieces of interest.
SG: There is no double tracking on that album. That demonstrates an amazing technique and independence.
TF: Kit drummers use independence; it’s quite normal really.
SG: They are not playing notes and even melody lines simultaneously on different instruments though.
TF: Well . . . [laughs and shrugs]
SG: Do you often perform these kinds of pieces?
TF: Yes, but things don’t always go perfectly. One of my favorite stories is, I was booked to go to Avignon in the south of France to do a concert of avant-garde music. I was playing the whole run of percussion instruments and it was agreed that all the instruments would be supplied, which was great; all I had to do was turn up with a bag of sticks. The night before the concert, one of the organizers phoned me to say that they were a bit short on material and asked if there was something I could do on my own. Well, as luck would have it, I had recently got hold of a piece by a Hungarian composer. A friend of mine who speaks Hungarian told me that the com- poser’s instructions meant that it was to be played on vibes, accompanied by a marimba on tape. I was living at home with my parents at the time, so I took the marimba into the house and played a track onto the old Grundig, which I would then play along with the following day on the vibraphone. Great. So the next morning, off I went with my tape to catch the plane. I arrived in Avignon, and, as always, we were very pushed for rehearsal time, so I didn’t get a chance to run through this piece. We just went straight into it at the show. Here we were in this lovely medieval courtyard where the concert was taking place. We did some other pieces and it was time for me to do my bit. I came forward, made a quick bow, signaled to the sound man who switched on the tape, and there followed seven or eight minutes of my granny and my mother talking about knitting! What can you do? You can’t stop, so I just kept playing. Well, at the end of the concert people came ’round to see me, and they were knocked out by the composer’s idea of having mumbling going on in the background. I couldn’t believe it. Fantastic!
SG: Do you have any individual projects at the moment?
TF: Well, percussion is a funny thing. You need a band to play with. You can’t do solo stuff all the time. I love being called for sessions: “Can you do a session at ten o’clock tomorrow morning?” It knocks me out to do that. You turn up and you don’t know who you are going to see or what you’ve got to play. I find that very exciting.
SG: Do you do sessions on kit, or is it mostly percussion?
TF: When the band started, a few people called me up to play drums, and I said, “If you don’t mind, I do that with Sky. I’d love to play percussion, but I don’t play drums on sessions.” There are so many good drummers around anyway, and the Sky thing is happening, but that’s something different. Occasionally, they might want me to do a doubling thing in which I might play, say, timps but they need me to do a bit of drums as well. That’s fine; I do that. But to go along and be a big band drummer or a rock drummer on a session, no. It doesn’t seem right. Maybe when I grow up. [laughs] I’ll have to see.
SG: What about the future for Sky, and the future for Tristan Fry?
TF: Well, all I can say is, “Who knows?” I’d like Sky to continue for another hundred years. I think that we have something unique. I don’t mean that in a conceited sense; I mean that we have five fellows who enjoy playing music together, enjoy being on a stage together and enjoy being in front of an audience. That is an important part of a musician’s makeup. When you start to play an instrument, basically, there is a strong element of wanting to show off involved. I love playing, and for years, I found that being involved in session work—which I also love—I missed seeing an audience. I think that the fact that we’ve got that with the group, that we enjoy ourselves, and we enjoy our concerts is wonderful. We are very lucky.