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Marillion Weekend 2013

We are absolutely thrilled to be announced as support act for Marillion weekend 2013.

DeeExpus open proceedings on Friday 8th March at Marillion’s now infamous, not to mention SOLD OUT, Weekend in Port Zelande, Holland, at the start of an absolutely brilliant 3 days of all things Marillion.

Andy writes: “In 2011, having never seen them live before, I decided to attend my first Marillion Weekend in Holland. As a lifelong fan of their music, to have 3 concerts back to back spanning 3 consecutive nights, married with a couple of days debauchery seemed like a fine baptism to me. I wasn’t wrong; what a brilliant, BRILLIANT weekend and I left vowing to come to the next.
Ironically, I’d actually already spoken to Mark (Kelly) prior to this weekend about guesting on The King and after bumping into him at the venue and him not having the faintest idea who the hell I was, I think I’d fairly much written off the idea of him ever playing on the album …

… and here we are.

I absolutely cant wait for this weekend, it really is a superb experience and am totally over the moon to be playing a part in it.”

A little late, but ….

20 or so years ago I bought a Pioneer Cassette deck with 5 band equalizer for my Ford Capri. It was the best bit of HiFi I owned and I loved it. I loved the car too with its huge bonnet, small racing steering wheel and cack brown upholstery. Better still, every time I got in it and fired it up, more often than not the tape deck would whirr to life with one of nine songs from what could easily be my favorite album of all time, Seasons End. Fast forward 20 years and here we are having just finished touring with Marillion, the band that played the soundtrack to most of my 20’s, how chuffed am I ….

Turning up at Manchester was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Walking into the venue and seeing the stage set for the first time was awesome. I didn’t care that we didn’t have a huge amount of space on stage or that I was going to front the band for only the second time or that Dave our bass player was playing his first ever gig with us, we were supporting Marillion and it was going to be brilliant. Hopefully…..

Walking out on stage for the first time and seeing the “sea of faces” generically stood with arms folded giving that “come on then, impress us” vibe was terrifying. Marillion fans are probably the most passionate, loyal and critical of any music fan on the planet, so the build up to that moment was a intense (to say the least) and it’s fair to say I was s**tting my pants! I needn’t have worried. The band played incredibly well, I didn’t forget any lyrics, the gear behaved itself and our sound engineer, Chris, proved himself indispensable once again along with the rest of our crew.

The Fans though, it has to be said, were the highlight by far. For all four shows. They were f**king superb. Never in a million years did I imagine such a great turnout and such a rapturous reception for a largely unknown support band, so sincerely “thank you, whoever you are ….“

How do you follow four dates touring the country with your favorite band? Well, you hop in a Splitter van and head off to Holland, or more specifically to The Boerderij in Zoetermeer to play at the IO Pages festival.

Spending 36 hours in a splitter is no fun. In fact, it’s pure torture! Even if you’re accompanied by a wonderful bunch of people who laugh at everything, even if your driver stops every 5 minutes to let you out for a Smoke (on the pretence of having a “refreshment” break), EVEN if you’re off to play in a Holland to lovely Dutch people, it’s still a bind. That said, I’d do it again tomorrow if that was the venue we were playing. What a fantastic gig! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves despite being absolutely whacked. Thanks to everyone who came to see us for a great turn out and phenomenal welcome. I know there were people there who’d made longer journeys than ours (though undoubtedly in more comfort!) so special thanks to them.

Well that’s almost it for now. There’s one more gig announcement pending, but we’ll come to that a little later! I would however like to thank a few people by name … just for being awesome …

Mark Kelly, Pete Trewavas, Ian Mosley, Steve Rothery, Steve Hogarth, Rich Lee, Lucy Jordache, Stephanie Bradley, Jim Sanders – Thank you for everything.

Frans Keylard, Menno Schouten, Nick Keylard, Brendan Leber – sorry for being wimps, not living up to the DeeExpus name and going to bed without any form of partying. We’ll make it up to you I promise!

Ralph Rea, Carolyn Hughes – thank you for doing just the best job of looking after us.

Paul Paciorek, Paul James and Chris Hawkins – we couldn’t ask for better crew. Thanks for all of the time you put in, way beyond what was asked or expected.

Chris Lynch – 6th member of the live band, thanks mate for your professional and occasionally superhuman efforts.

Dave Anderson, Michael McCrystal, Henry Rogers, Mike Varty – the best band in the world. Potentially  ;-) x

Finally, a thousand apologies to the poor duty manager at a certain hotel for putting up with Me, Henry and Mike Varty (oooh yes!!) til stupid o’clock in the morning. I’d like to state for the record that it was all Vartys fault.

Once again, thank you all for your support and see you all soon!

Stanley Music Festival

Had an absolute blast at Stanley Music Festival on Sunday, great local event and a great warm up for us for the upcoming Marillion tour. Despite a few technical issues, the lads played marvelously and are really looking forward to sharing a Stage with one of the best bands in the world.
Next show is The Duchess in York with Manning on Saturday 8th Sept followed by Manchester Academy on Monday 10th. For all dates, see Here

Tour Teeshirts

New tour shirts, including Ladies Vest tops, available from this Sunday at Live Shows only ….

Tour News

We announced a little while ago that John would be leaving his post in DX due to time restraints. He’s a great friend who remains a part of the family and will still be involved in some capacity moving forward. In the mean time, we’d like to announce the addition of yet another fine North East talent to the ranks, Mr Dave Anderson. Dave likes walks on the Beach, shopping for shoes and playing with “the UK’s Number 1 Floyd Tribute band” – Shine on. He also has a Pedal Board the size of a small country.

We had our first production rehearsal at Leamington Assembly on Saturday, with Dave on Bass and Andy taking over lead vocal from Tony. Everything went according to plan with no major hiccups and the band are very excited to get out on the road and air the latest DeeExpus incarnation. Dave will take over from 8th September when we play with Manning in York and John will play his final gig at Stanley Festival on 26th August.

Tony Leaves the Band for Health Reasons

From Tony …

“Dear friends. It is with great regret that I am announcing my departure from DeeExpus for health reasons.  Six weeks ago I was diagnosed as having developed a condition known as Chronic Cluster Headache.  If anyone reading suffers from or knows someone who suffers from this will understand how disabling this condition is when it hits.  The attacks strike me as soon as I go into REM sleep and it’s like being woken with an ice pick shoved forcibly into my right eye and repeatedly stabbed for over an hour.  It then stops, until I go back to sleep and the cycle starts over again.  It’s a bit like being a character in Basic Instinct, but without all the rudeness.  Naturally this has left me physically and mentally exhausted and only able to maintain concentration for short periods of time over the day. This led me to feel now was the time to simplify my life.  I agonised over leaving the band and kept thinking I would be making a big mistake if I did go; however I then realised I could be making an even bigger mistake health wise if I didn’t.  I’m in the hands of the Neurologists now and am hopeful they can find the most effective treatment soon.

There is more information on Cluster Headaches here

I have had an amazing time over the past 6 years, had some amazing experiences and met some amazing people, many of whom I now count amongst my friends.  I have played, laughed, cried and drank with some brilliant musicians.

I wish the band every success in the future and I’m sure they will keep on going on to bigger and better things.  If I can stay involved somehow, maybe penning the odd lyric, laying down the odd backing vocal or helping Andy find a word to rhyme with Obeisance, then I happily will.  I’ll be hanging around at the odd gig too.  And at the after party.

One thing the formation of DeeExpus created was not just the music, but a great friendship, which remains as strong as ever.  Therefore my final words go to Andy.  Without you those dreams that I had as a teenager would never have been realised.  I have recorded two albums, filmed a DVD, traveled far and wide, my lyrics have been heard and touched people on the other side of the world and, most importantly to me,  I penned a lasting tribute to my father.  None of this would have been possible without you, mate.  To quote:

If I could have my time again,

I wouldn’t change a thing

And I thank you” “

For Toe – Firstly, Id like to wish Tony all the very best for a speedy recovery, enabling consummation of pints once again. The poor lad’s been dry for about 8 weeks and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Get well soon mate …. then gettem in …

Secondly, I’d like to pay homage to the contribution you’ve made to DeeExpus and acknowledge that it wouldn’t have been what it is without you mate. Your superb and moving lyrics have been both inspirational and touching. Half Way Home, The King and Maybe September for me contain some of the best lyrics I’ve ever heard, let alone performed and specifically the concept for King of Number 33 was genius. Thank You.

So what now for DeeExpus ….

As you can imagine, Tony’s announcement to me came as a bolt out of the blue. I was shocked to say the least.

After going through the initial panic and disillusionment and considering winding the band up, I came to my senses and popped out of the other side. With much encouragement and support from the rest of the lads, friends and family, I’ve decided to front the band at least until after the upcoming shows when we will re address the situation for album 3.

Thanks everyone for your support and love over the past few years and we look forward to seeing you on tour soon.

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