News Archive 2007
> News Archive - 2007
13th December 2007
Last Laugh: Back in February, whilst all eyes
was looking towards Picnic at Hanging Rock Brian was involved in another
stage production. This time it was called "The Last Laugh"
and I have just found a review of this production. The play was directed
by Bob Thomson, who worked with Brian on Picnic and Brian contributed
the music. Have a read. Last
25th November 2007
at Hanging Rock: After months of not being able to get onto writing
a section on Brian's latest musical, that premiered back in February
I managed to get around to it this weekend. Months of writer's block
is out of the way. Hoorah!
Whilst searching the Internet I found loads of stuff by
people who were associated with the musical, all positive and proud
to have been linked to this production. Go to the new page by clicking
on the following link. Picnic
at Hanging Rock
BilboMusic Update: Following
the launch of BilboMusic, the website about Brian and friends way back
in the 1970's Dev from the band got in touch to tell Ritchie and I that
he thought the site was great! He also send us some new pictures for
the website, which is wonderful. If you have yet to visit BilboMusic,
now is as good a time as any, as Ritchie and I are very proud of it.
26th August 2007
New Survey: As a result of
contact from a site visitor who told me about a brief discussion taking
place about Brian Spence's music on the website Melodic
Rock I have started a new survey to find out if you would go and
see Brian perform his own music in London.
This new survey is partially
as a result of a discussion I had with who thought that such an event
would NOT be well attended. I would like to prove him wrong (obviously)
but I need your help to show him otherwise. If you want to leave your
views go to the survey and choose your option. Go
Hypnotised: A long-time fans of Brian's find an old
brief article about Brian and sends it to SpenceMusic. Thanks to Bernadette
you too can now read the article from a magazine from 1988.
Site Stats: Occasionally I
look at the number of visitors to SpenceMusic. SpenceMusic is not a
commercial website so I don't worry about such things, however, February
of this year took a dip. There was no significant outages and the only
event that I am aware of was the launch of Brian's musical "Picnic
at Hanging Rock" in Chichester. Since then the activity is back
up to what it was. If anyone has an explanation could they share it
8th July 2007
Update Odds and Ends: Nothing
much to report at present. I have been trying to create a page for Picnic
at Hanging Rock with success. A thing call life just gets in my way
and takes me away from what I want to do.
Speaking of Hanging Rock, there is a video on YouTube
from the musical. It features a sample of the performance along with
Brian's music. I recommend that if you have not already discovered this,
click on the following link. Picnic
at Hanging Rock video
Guestbook: Don't forget to
leave a message in the Guestbook. There is just one thing to remember,
give a genuine email address so that the guestbook can send you an email
to confirm that you are a real person and not a spammer. Unfortunately,
someone called Dave did not respond to this email and, as a result,
his message did not get displayed and is currently lost in the system
1st June 2007
Colin Chisholm, one of Brian's best mate (if not his best)
from his Bilbo Baggins days performed a one-off gig in Edinburgh on
Saturday 26th May. This was Colin's first live performance in 6 years,
but was at a private function so I was unable to attend. Apparently,
Colin had a blast and really enjoyed himself and may perform more gigs
around Edinburgh in the near future. I know Brian was pleased that Colin
got up and performed, let us hope it is the start of a regular event.
2nd April 2007
Music Launches: Today sees the launch of BilboMusic,
the new sister website to SpenceMusic. Way back in the distant past
before mobile phones, before computers, before X-Factor, reality TV
shows, Starsky and Hutch - when colour TV was still new in the UK -
Brian helped form a new pop group in his home town of Edinburgh. That
group was Bilbo Baggins.
SpenceMusic has helped Ritchie Finney create a website
about that band, the music and the trousers. This website, BilboMusic,
is hosted by SpenceMusic and features pictures of Brian and his fellow
bandmates when they were young, er, sorry, younger. The site also brings
together numerous articles, pin-ups and music including "Let's
Spend The Night Together" a cover of the Rolling Stones classic
that was only available to fan club members.
To discover more about Brian's origins with Colin, Fid,
Dev and Tosh click on the link and visit www.bilbomusic.co.uk
25th March 2007
Picnic At Hanging Rock Review:
After finally handing my review of the premiere of Picnic At
Hanging Rock to my editor (Sue, who took me on like a long lost puppy
many, many years ago, to those in the know) amended my article to make
it better than it already was. The result is Dreamtime
Picnic Page: I am also
in the process of creating a page about Brian's Picnic at Hanging Rock.
When this is ready you will be the first to know. However, those of
you who are on the SpenceMusic mailing list will have been informed
about a video from the live production on YouTube. Due to the production
involving a cast, some of which were, under the age of 18, the poster
was asked for the video to be taken down and they obliged.
Bilbo Site: Just a reminder
that the new BilboMusic website will launch on the 2nd April with some
old images of Brian and his old band from the 1970s Bilbo Baggins. Their
version of "Let's Spend The Night Together", which was never
previously released, will also be featured.
17th March 2007
Hanging Rock Picnic Article:
Living reasonably close to Chichester I came across an article
in the Chichester Observer newspaper about the Bob Tomson directed musical.
It talks to Bob about his approach to the stage event. There is little
mention of the music. The article called Keeping The Mystery Intact
can be found in the articles section or by clicking on the following
The Mystery Intact
And a week later the same reporter (Phil Hewitt) wrote
a review of Picnic At Hanging Rock. This can be read at Mystery
Translates Well To Stage
I am part way through writing my own review. Just as well
this is not a commercial site otherwise I would have had to sack myself
ages ago for later delivery of my own work.
New BilboMusic Website: This
new site by Ritchie Finney, with some help from me, launches on 2nd
April 2007. The site is hosted by SpenceMusic but you can go there by
using the address of www.bilbomusic.co.uk
As I said previously, this will have a huge amount of old articles and
pictures of Brian's old band and will include a video of them performing
live in a television studio.
7th February 2007
Happy Birthday: Best
wishes go to Brian who becomes age 54 today.
Dusty Springfield: Whilst
searching the Internet and, specifically YouTube, I discovered someone
had placed a copy of Dusty Springfield's video to Reputation, written
by Brian. Those of you wanting to see this can do so by going to the
Other Artists page or by clicking the following link. Go
The Last Laugh: Hot
on the heels of Picnic At Hanging Rock, where Brian has written the
music and lyrics for a play directed by Bob Tomson, comes another play
also directed by Bob Tomson. This time it is called "The Last Laugh"
and the music is by someone called Brian Spence. This show, which stars
Martin Freeman (The Office, Hitch-hikers Guide To The Galaxy) and Roger
Lloyd-Pack (Vicar of Dibley and Only Fools and Horses) is a comedy by
Richard Harris adapted from an original play by Koki Mitani. The play
is about a comedy troupe writer walking a fine line with a government
censor who also wants to write.
The play is on a brief tour of England visiting Windsor,
Cheltenham, Milton Ketnes, Richmond and Newcastle. Unlike Picnic At
Hanging Rock this is not a musical but it has music in, which is written
by Brian. If you can get to see it you should. You can get more information
by visiting the What's On Stage website or by clicking on the folllowing
12th January 2007
Over the last couple of years I have been
working with Ritchie Finney, a fan of Bilbo Baggins - Brian's old band
from the 1970's, to produce a website celebrating that time. The wait
is nearly over.
This was a large project, much larger than I initially
thought, and one which would never have developed into the website it
has (let alone got off the ground) if it was not for Ritchie's patience
and commitment to the long haul task of sorting through mounds of cuttings,
photographs and information that she has stored for around 3 decades.
If that doesn't make Brian and the other members of Bilbo Baggins (plus
Ritchie) feel old nothing will.
In the photograph shown above Brian and the other
members of Bilbo Baggins can be seen in a group hug. But which one is
Brian? There are no major prizes for guessing correctly, however, I
will issue a SpenceMusic certificate to anyone who emails me the correct
answer by the end of March.
New Album and Tour for Danny:
Danny Litchfield, sometime writing partner of Brian's has a new
album coming out soon. Danny and Brian previously wrote the track "River
To Heaven" which Danny sang for the Search For A Song section of
last year's UK for Eurovision Song Contest. On the new album there are
a number of songs that Brian and Danny have written between them. In
addition, Danny will be out on the road promoting the new album by supporting
Westlife at a number of dates.
River To Heaven: Talking
about this Brian Spence and Danny Litchfield track as I was in the above
article you can now listen to it on SpenceMusic by visiting the Download
The Boland Show: As
I reported back in September of last year Brian and Danny Litchfield
were regulars on The Boland Show on the Sky Overseas Property TV channel.
The show was cancelled after about 12 programmes were recorded. So,
if you got a chance to see any, well done you did better than me.
The show's cancellation did allow Brian to concentrate on writing the
music for Picnic At Hanging Rock.
Picnic At Hanging Rock Film
Showing: In the last update I mentioned that the 1975 film of
Picnic At Hanging Rock was being shown that night. Fortunately, it is
being shown again on Film4, this time on 16th January at 18.50. The
film was based on the same book that Brian's music is based on for the
stage show being performed in Chichester in late February.
Site Update: I normally
revise the look of the website about this time every year. Not this
year. I am thinking of a revision to the website, however, I am no where
near ready to implement this due to other factors.
10th January 2007
Happy New Year: Firstly,
Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you all had a good time over the
last year and that the new year brings you happiness above everything
At Hanging Rock: For those of you who are signed up to the mailing
list this will not be news. However, for those of you NOT signed up,
shame on you (see the navigation bar on the left to change that), this
is BIG News. A new musical will be treading the boards of the
Chichester Minerva Theatre in West Sussex, England in late February
based on the novel, written in 1967, by Joan Lindsay called Picnic At
Hanging Rock. The musical has been adapted to the stage by Robert Johns
with music and lyrics have been written by Brian Spence.
The book follows the story of the disappearance of 3 school
girls and a teacher from a beauty spot in Australia during 1900. The
book was made into a film 1975 which won a BAFTA Film Award and will
be shown, for those of you who have access to Freeview, Sky, NTL and
Telewest, on Film4 on Wednesday 10th January at 6.50 pm GMT. That's
TONIGHT at the time of writing this (if you were on the mailing list
you would have had more notice).
Picnic At Hanging Rock will be at the Chichester Minerva
Theatre from 23rd February to 3rd March with tickets being £15.
The show is being presented by the West Sussex County Youth Theatre
- talented young people from West Sussex schools and colleges, they
are aged between 16 and 25, the cast numbers over 40.
This is a rare opportunity to see and hear new Brian Spence
music on stage and should not be missed. For those wanting more information
please visit the Chichester Festival Theatre website at http://www.cft.org.uk/cft-productions_details.asp?pid=67
The West Sussex County Youth Theatre have a national and international
reputation for producing high quality theatre.
I will be creating a new SpenceMusic page to cover this
important event soon.