The Polar Bear

With songs both new and old the five troubadours of Richard’s Christmas Band have been travelling through the frost and snow of another Musical Midwinter…

A highlight of this year’s show is Richard’s composition The Polar Bear, originally recorded in 2013 with the voice of Barry Cryer who, sadly, passed away earlier this year.

‘The passing of dear Baz, loved by so many, made me want to play this piece once again. He was wonderful to work with and his reading of the text cut straight to the heart of this story of climate change.’

Said Richard

Here’s the band pictured at one of the four sell-out concerts at the Ropetackle on 10 & 11 December…

There is still a chance to catch Richard, Amy, Brian and the Durrant brothers Django and Felix at Theatr Clwyd, Mold on 19 December.

Tickets are also available for the matinee only at Wilmington Church in Sussex on the 21 December as the evening has already sold out.

Here’s another one of the band at Toll Gavel, Beverley on 8 December…

Don’t miss this uniquely beautiful and musical show as Richard and friends celebrate this magical time of the year with old favourites and carols alongside a mix of some great original music.

Wherever you are – Richard and his Christmas band join together to wish you a Magical Solstice, a Happy Christmas and a New Year full of good times.

Richard Durrant and Jon Everitt

In the run up to Christmas you can now buy two new creations that mark the continuing artistic partnership between Richard Durrant and artist Jon Everitt.

Both these creations are spin offs from Richard’s solo albumThe Sleep of a King – a collection of guitar music which he played during his 2022 Midsummer Cycling Music Tour

The first is The sleep of a King, a beautiful book of guitar music, each piece with a written introduction by the composer and artwork by Jon Everitt. 

The books are numbered and signed by Richard.

The second is a 400×400 print of the cover art for The Sleep of a King album.  Each image is printed with state of the art pigment inks on Canson Infinity Edition Etching  paper to provide beautiful quality, detail & extremely long lasting prints.

All the prints are signed by both Richard and Jon. The original image is now in a private collection in France. 


Richard and Jon first worked together on Richard’s 2020 album Rewilding…

Jon’s cover art for this vinyl production was so striking that it caught the eye of online art company Hypergallery. Rewilding art prints are now sold alongside other classic album designs such as Dark Side of the Moon and Ziggy Stardust.

The original Rewilding painting is now in a private collection in the United States. 

You can also buy the album Rewilding in vinyl or as hi-rez audio files (FLAC or ALAC).

Originally from Portsmouth, artist Jon Everitt began his career as a commercial artist and designer. He now paints full time, living in the small town of Céret in the Pyrenées Orientales near to the Spanish Border in the South of France.

Once home to Picasso, Céret is a vibrant artistic centre with a modern art museum and fine galleries. This summer Richard gave an open air recital in the courtyard of Art Sant Roche alongside an exhibition by Jon Everitt – a fitting celebration of this special friendship between a musician and an artist.

Candlelit Christmas

Believe in the Magic of Christmas and escape into Midwinter with Richard Durrant’s Candlelit Christmas concerts…

Richard Durrant’s Candlelit Christmas concerts have become an annual tradition for so many.  There is something about this feast of folk and early music, carols and original songs that seems to strike just the right midwinter tone – especially amongst those who prefer a less commercial, somehow more acoustic vibe to their midwinter.  

And tickets are selling fast! 

Candlelit Christmas Concert

Just like last year Richard will be joined by four superb musicians.  The legendary, “mediaeval prog-rock God” and sometime Canterbury choirboy Brian Gulland will be singing and playing bassoon, recorders, crumhorns and keyboards whilst the Durrant brothers Django & Felix, now on their second Christmas tour, will add percussion, bass, keyboards and two more voices to the mix. 

This will be the 10th candlelit tour for the wonderful Amy Kakoura. And Richard is as proud as ever to be working with her.

Amy is beyond compare – her singing evokes the magic and intensity of the solstice and her voice brings warmth and meaning to each Christmas.”

Said Richard

This year yet more new songs have been written to add to the mix of originals and old favourites.  Alongside the carols listen out for XTC’s Love on a Farmboy’s Wages, Richard’s own Haw Frost Song, Christmas in our Town, Ice Garden, & Kenneth the Hedge plus original songs by Django, Felix and Amy.

This uniquely musical, funny, happy and beautiful show is an opportunity to gather together and celebrate a magical time of the year. Come along, join Richard and friends and escape into the midwinter.

FGA 2022

Since 2016, Richard Durrant’s week long French Guitar Adventurers (FGA) gatherings have become sell out features of his diary. But for 2023 it’s time to ring the changes…

A September FGA was added to the July gathering in  2018.  But now with Richard’s busy schedule of concerts, writing and recordings, FGA will take place once a year. FGA 2023 will run from 24 – 30 April with a few changes in place..

So what happened at the last FGA?

No sooner had Richard got off his bicycle after his 1,000 mile, 16 concert summer 2022 bicycle ride into Sussex from Orkney than preparations began for the first of this year’s guitar holidays in the South of France.

‘Everything was perfect, tuition, accommodation, food, company… Roll on next year!’

Wendy Hicks (classical and flamenco guitar)

With the end of week concert approaching, the workshop space at The French Retreat can be a pretty intense place. Luckily, Richard allows the occasional break and the pool is just outside the door…

Richard recalls that this year’s concert in l’eglise Notre Dame was ‘possibly our best yet, with songs from James Saunders and Ian Chisholm in addition to a fine solo from flamenco specialist Jonny Owens and yet another original guitar piece from Wendy Hicks.’

Guitarists (left to right) Wendy, George, James, Colin, Jane (with a broken leg following a golfing accident!), RD, Jonny and Ian pictured with friends and loved ones in a photo by regular concert attendee and FGA friend the photographer Bernard Giraldon.


Despite his vow to take some time off, Richard has not been able to stop the music…

It was during lockdown that the Durrant family first set up the Pollinator Cafe in their garden by the sea in Shoreham, and over the past few weeks this has been the setting for some pretty unusual happenings and impromptu gigs.  Despite his vow to take time off this August, Richard has not been able to resist playing music.

Recent Monday mornings have begun with DJ Andy Remus and his 78rpm, wind-up gramophone.

Early swimmers and coffee lovers are greeted by his collection of light opera classics and Doris Day hits. 

On Thursdays, Richard has taken to setting up his posh PA speakers in the garden to play gentle, chill out music whilst people float about in the sea and families sit and enjoy locally made ice cream and other Pollinator delights. 

Then each Friday afternoon Richard began inviting various mates along for a jam. Master fiddler Nick Pynn (pictured top with Richard) turned up for a folk session and world class virtuoso harpsichordist Howard Beach and Richard revisited their 2014 album of Vivaldi and Bach.  Under spaghetti western skies the notes flew out across the incoming tide

In September, Richard returned to work to play two concerts to include music from his latest album The Sleep of a King.

On Saturday 3 September he was at the truly wonderful Hailsham Pavilion as part of the Hailsham Festival in Sussex.

On Thursday 22nd Sept Richard will be playing at the Art Sant Roch gallery in Céret, near the Pyrénées in the South of France.

The town is currently hosting an exhibition of new work by the English artist Jon Everitt including the artwork from Richard’s latest  album The Sleep of a King. Also on display at the concert will be Jon’s beautiful sculpture of the eponymous Sleeping King himself.

In the gap between concerts Richard and Louise will host their 9th French Guitar Adventurers holiday at The French Retreat, near Bordeaux France. 

Music for Midsummer

The final gigs of the tour were a great success as Richard Durrant cycled to several venues in the South East of England…

The sun continued to shine as Richard rode the short distance from Shoreham to Clayton for his concert in the Anglo Saxon Church of St John The Baptist. 

‘Riding out from home for the last shows of a cycling tour is always a very different experience. I’m carrying a lot less weight and my daily planning is simpler – so the burden on both bicycle and brain greatly reduced. By now this has become a pilgrimage as well as a concert tour.’

Explained Richard

Richard’s last Cycling Music journey was a 40 mile hop along the coast for the Bexhill Festival of Music. Unfortunately it was tipping down with rain so the planned celebratory peloton was reduced to our lovely neighbour Paul Davis.

Paul seemed perfectly happy to take on the weather and the hills of the Seven Sisters. Bollo, the Durrant Newfoundland, chose to stay at home.

‘I will miss living on my bicycle. It’s a beautiful, simple and direct way to travel which has left me feeling reconnected with where I live. I’m happy that I have at least tried to treat the environment gently and I will continue to make any contributions I can to reduce my carbon footprint.’

Added Richard

‘But I also know that without drastic, environmentally focussed legislation from governments across the world our planet will look after its own future – and that will not include us’

Just before the start of the tour there were a couple of additional surprises that we have not had time to mention…

Richard and Gary Southwell met HRH The Princess Royal at the unveiling of Hamish Lowe’s Bog Oak ceremonial table in Ely Cathedral. Richard was invited to play at the ceremony.

Richard also took part in an interview for David Bailey’s Lyric Show. Skip to Richard’s feature from 18 mins…


The final week of the tour was wonderfully busy with Richard Durrant giving five performances from Lincolnshire right down to Sussex. 

Continue the story of his amazing Music for Midsummer journey…

And as the sun rose on the Summer Solstice the immersive audio version of the new album The Sleep of a King went live on all streaming platforms and Richard found himself in Guildford preparing for his open air concert at YA Theatre Guildford

The next morning Richard headed for the south coast, pleased to be heading straight towards his beloved Sussex downs. With his fitness well established and the bike and trailer nicely in trim the miles appeared to whizz by easier than before.

Daughter Daisy took this snap of her excited Dad by the wooden heron in Shoreham where 25 years earlier Richard had played at the unveiling of the sculpture along with children from Heronsdale School.

Richard’s next, and rather important stop off, was to see his trusted nail technician Amy… 

My nails had survived all the gigs so far – but I was pleased and relieved to be able to visit Amy on my way through Shoreham. Amy coats my nails with a protective gel and she’s earned my trust over many years. I won’t let anybody else near my nails!

Said Richard

And then it was onto Brighton Open Air Theatre for another Solstice celebration. This time with Richard’s home crowd.

And the tour continues with Richard cycling out from Shoreham for his four remaining shows in Tunbridge Wells tonight, Clayton (Sold Out), Bexhill-on-Sea (part of Bexhill Festival of Music) and the Summer Tour finale at Ropetackle at the end of July.

And the tour continues with Richard cycling out from Shoreham for his four remaining shows…

Catch up with Music for Midsummer in Tunbridge Wells tonightClayton (Sold Out), Bexhill-on-Sea (part of Bexhill Festival of Music) and the Summer Tour finale at Ropetackle at the end of July.

Cycle with Richard

How about joining Richard on his cycle from Shoreham to Bexhill on Sea and see his concert at Bexhill Festival of Music? 

Book your tickets below and meet Richard and the Durrant’s family run Pollinator Cafe, Forthaven BN43 5HY at 8.30am on Weds 29 June. Departure will be around 9am after coffee and croissants!

Please note: You will have to be responsible for yourself and your own bike if you take part in this event.. Richard will set off and head for the concert at his own speed. The distance is approx 44 miles.Richard’s average speed fully laden is 11mph.

Richard Durrant

Even three days of relentless winds plus numbed hands has failed to prevent Richard Durrant from appearing on stage on time. Follow the story of his amazing Music for Midsummer journey…

Under Cumbrian Skies

My Aurelius tour bike with its troublesome truck is actually a slick, well planned machine; carefully trimmed and perfectly packed it will munch up the miles. From Orkney to Edinburgh I was able to average 11mph which, with the load I’m carrying, is fairly respectable.”

Says Richard

But then things took a turn for the worse: For three unforgettable days, the wind changed everything. Pedalling to go down a hill as well as up made even 7mph a struggle. Ride times increased and Richard started to feel felt battered and tired.

More seriously, this began to take its toll on his hands: Onstage in Cumbria his left hand 3rd and 4th finger were without feeling and ‘disobeying orders’. The same happened in Lancaster Priory with some of the bigger guitar pieces requiring a super human effort. 

Under Yorkshire Skies

Sunday was a better day but Richard’s wife, Louise and his good friend Gary Southwell – the famous luthier and creator of the bog oak guitar – had different ideas.

Ultimately Gary found me on the A65 halfway between Lancaster and York and talked me and the bicycle into the back of his Land Rover. I was delivered to NCEM York and told to take a deep breath, have a cup of tea and get my hands working again.

Explains Richard
Bog Oak Guitar

Fortunately, Richard obeyed orders from his loved ones so was able to work on reviving his hands.

It turned out to be the most wonderful gig imaginable with a big crowd, friends old and new, and a surprise chance to play an encore on a rare Gary Southwell, bog oak, steel strung guitar (pictured).

Towards Southern Skies

Now the tour continues its journey South toward Midsummer including performances at The Stables Milton Keynes, Yvonne Arnuad Theatre Guildford, Brighton Open Air Theatre (pictured) and Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells.

Music for Midsummer 2022 map

And don’t forget that the immersive audio ‘Binaural Headphone Mix’ of The Sleep of a King goes live on all streaming platforms from sunrise on the Summer Solstice (21 June).

Richard on ferry to Orkney

As Richard Durrant began his Music for Midsummer musical, cycling pilgrimage on Orkney, the sun broke out during the ferry crossing and stayed for the entire visit.

First stop was Stromness Academy to meet some of the music students:

Stromness Academy

Next, Richard took the Bog Oak guitar to the Ring of Brodgar. The plan was to introduce the neolithic timber to the neolithic stones – and then perhaps play a piece of music. The guitar had other ideas…

The concert in St Magnus Cathedral was a huge success attended by a large audience.

Early the next morning Richard returned to the Scottish mainland to begin his journey south for concerts in Inverness, Dundee and Greyfriars Edinburgh.

‘It’s been fascinating playing a concert containing so much of my own music. It makes me dig deep to find the colours and the clarity of phrasing to draw people in. This is because I know it’s the audience’s first listening.’

Says Richard

The tour continued as Richard crossed the border heading for Upfront near Penrith, Cumbria for the Friday night show.

On Saturday 11th June he’ll be at Lancaster Priory, then a huge ride is needed to get him to the National Centre for Early Music in York for Sunday’s evening concert on 12 June.

The challenge of the ride!
Richard will have covered well over 1,000 miles by the time the tour is completed.  The early stages were not without problems due to the amount of weight the bike has to carry.  

On two separate occasions Richard had to find a welding shop to repair the luggage rack fixings and then, by Dundee, the trailer couplings were in need of attention.  

But as the ride progressed the Aurelius bicycle found its balance and began to feel well trimmed and more than happy to purr its way through the miles.

Cycling through the British Isles has strongly reminded me of my early days as a vegetarian – everything has to be carefully planned because nothing is going to be easy and most people will express either surprise or total bafflement.  The connections continue: first, we can’t continue to travel by burning fossil fuels and, second, the planet will starve or overheat if we continue to depend on a diet of animal protein.

Added Richard
Richard Durrant bike

Preparations are well underway as Richard Durrant prepares to catch the early train on Monday 30 May for the start of his mammoth Midsummer Cycling Concert Tour from Orkney to Bexhill-on-Sea… 

Richard has just a few days left to cycle around the Sussex lanes (carrying a giant log in his trailer!) before handing his bike over to the Giant Cycles shop in Shoreham for a last check over before packaging it up and shipping it north in time for the ferry to Orkney. 

Thanks are due to to Tim and the team at Giant Cycles who have been fantastic!

The excitement of Richard’s first summer tour in three years is matched by the sheer joy of undertaking it by bicycle for the fourth time.

‘Cycling and playing solo is actually very practical. I simply get on my bike and head for the next venue; there’s no pollution, no complexities, just pedals. The bike also looks beautiful on stage where it becomes an unexpected and intriguing work of art, equally at home in a theatre or cathedral!’

Says Richard
Music for Midsummer Souvenir Programme

Be part of his epic journey on social media…

Follow him on Facebook or instagram

The Midsummer Tour Souvenir Programme is now available from the SHOP at £6 in the hope that you will pre-order to save weight on the bicycle!

This sumptuous 12 page programme will accompany the tour from Orkney to Sussex.

The Sleep of a King

The Midsummer Tour Souvenir Programme is packed full of insights and information with Richard’s own programme notes, album artwork by Jon Everitt and photos by wildlife photographer David Bailey who also designed the programme.

The Sleep of a King is available on Spotify and all other streaming platforms at 4.09am on 2 June (sunrise on Orkney). The binaural, immersive audio headphone mix goes live on all streaming platforms at 4.46am (sunrise in Guildford).

This is the first album made up entirely of Richard’s own solo guitar compositions inspired by the landscape and shared history of The British Isles.