While Sting and entourage are currently residing in a Durham City hotel, apparently Sting and a dozen musicians did a small private gig in a pub in Wallsend last Sunday night, playing a selection of songs from the new album. All was apparently also recorded for a future dvd release. In fact, the guests at the Durham hotel where the band is staying have been treated to some impromptu world-class entertainment over the past few days. According to renowned Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell, the 40-or-so assembled cast of players are channelling their winding-down energies towards some pretty special jamming sessions in the hotel bar, the location of which has become a closely-guarded secret. “Last night we managed to have a bit of a music tour of the world,” said the band member and recent recipient of the Queens Medal for Music. “There were rhythms and tunes from Morocco, Senegal, Scotland… all sorts of stuff was going on. It was great fun. The music were playing (for the concerts) is very quiet. Its not big rock out stuff, so everybody is really listening to each other during rehearsals, so quite often at the night-time, we have a bit of a play. The musicians are so incredibly wonderful and without ego. Its a really nice feeling to be working with them.” Joining Kathryn on the representing-the-North-East register are her brother Peter Tickell on fiddle, melodeon player Julian Sutton and Stings former bandmate, Gerry Richardson.
Kathryn also said that “Normally, when I do a Sting-thing, most of the parts are already down, and its a case of going down to play a bit, and thats the end of it. This one has been very different because I have been involved (in making the album) from the very beginning. Its been a really exciting because I was asked to find a couple of more folkey musicians to add that sound to the album. I suggested a couple of people to play… and theyve all been brilliant, so I was relieved! And also, we have managed to slip in a few traditional songs on to the album. One from Newcastle called The Snow it Melts the Soonest which was collected from a street singer a couple of hundred years ago. Its such a fantastic song, and Im so pleased we have got a local tune on there.” She added “Were rehearsing all the way up until Thursday. We get a rehearsal schedule every night, and thats what well be doing the next day. One of the French musicians is absolutely desperate to see an English cricket match, but Im not sure hes going to get the time.”
On a related note, Sting did some filming in and around the cathedral during last weekend as well.
Source: StingUs and Journallive.co.uk