Happy New Year 2020

A Happy New Year from Richard Durrant and team…

“Following the best ever Christmas tour, work has already started on my new ukulele ensemble piece and the new double album Weald Barrows (the sequel to Stringhenge).

There is a growing list of gigs planned including my longest cycle ride yet from Orkney to Santiago de Compostela.

I’m looking for more cyclists to join me on the European leg of this tour in September. Come and help me draw attention to climate change, raise money for UNICEF and celebrate European friendship and our shared culture.”

Richard Durrant

There really is a fabulous line up of concerts and events this year, so make sure these are on your agenda for 2020…

Ukulele Ground Zero / Circuit Training

15 Jan, 6:30pm & 8.30pm. Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 5EG

Ukulele Ground Zero

Two parallel six-week courses for ukulele players with maestro Richard Durrant. One is for absolute beginners, the other for players of mixed abilities – plus take part in the concert on 26 Feb.


Ukes and All!

26 Feb, 7:30 pm Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 5EG

Ukes and All

Richard’s annual ukulele flavoured concert features special guests alongside exquisite guitar solos, an entire Bach Suite on solo uke and the world premiere of an ensemble piece played by Richard’s Ukulele Circuit Trainers 2020.


Richard Durrant

Richard Durrant

24 Apr, 7:30 pm.The Cut Arts Centre, 8 New Cut, Halesworth IP19 8BY
25 Apr, 7:30 pm. Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 5EG
2 May, 7:30 pm. Scopwick Village Hall, 26 Brookside, ScopwickLincs LN4 3PA
16 May, 7:30 pm. St Thomas Church, Lymington Hampshire SO41 9ND

The acclaimed guitarist, composer and ukulele virtuoso Richard Durrant returns to The Cut to perform new music from the forthcoming Stringhenge album sequel: Weald Barrows


Music for Midsummer

4 Jun, 7:30 pm. St Magnus Cathedral, Broad Street, Kirkwall KW15 1NX
12 Jun, 8:00 pm. Upfront Gallery and Theatre, Unthank, Penrith CA11 9TG
13 Jun, 7:30 pm. Georgian Theatre Royal, Victoria Road, Richmond DL10 4DW
14 Jun, 7:30 pm. National Centre for Early Music, St Margaret’s Church York YO1 9TL
16 Jun, 7:30 pm. St Mary Church, 14 Church St, Edwinstowe, Mansfield NG21 9QA
19 Jun, 8:00 pm. The Stables, Stockwell Lane, Milton Keynes MK17 8LU
21 Jun, 3:00 pm. BOAT, 27 Hove Park Road, Hove BN3 6LH
28 Jun, 7.00 pm. St John The Baptist, Clayton, Hassocks BN6 9PQ

Music for Midsummer

Richard begins his Midsummer Tour with the launch of his new album Weald Barrows in St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney. Attempting to keep his tour as carbon neutral as possible he will then cycle between gigs carrying his gear all the way to Brighton for the Summer Solstice.

The tour continues in September with concerts from Dieppe to Santiago de Compostela. Don’t forget, if you would like to join the tour and cycle with Richard in Europe please email info@richarddurrant.com


French Guitar Adventurers

6-12 Jul. The French Retreat, La Loge Yviers, Charente, 16210 France
21-27 Sep. The French Retreat, La Loge Yviers, Charente, 16210 France

Richard Durrant’s French Guitar Adventurers holidays are for classical and acoustic players of mixed styles and abilities.


Richard Durrant’s Summer Special

17 Jul, 7:30 pm. Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 5EG

Summer Special Concert

Richard’s fun annual Summer special concert celebrates the start of the Summer Holidays. A variety of music with special guests.

…. and a seasonal Christmas offer too!

As a thank you for visiting Richard’s website here is a Special Christmas Offer: 15% off all albums and books from his online shop.

To claim the discount please use code RDChristmas2019 (valid until 20th December 2019)

2019 Christmas rehearsal

Just a reminder that if you haven’t caught up with this years Candlelit Christmas Concert there are just four more shows left.

Richard hopes that matters both worldly and spiritual, natural and super-natural, the sacred and the profane, are reflected in this amazing candlelit tour.

All the music and songs have been chosen to create a beautiful space in which the audiences can find some peace and good energy.


Richard Durrant Candlelit Christmas Concert 2019

19 December
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Trinity Theatre
Church Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1J

20 December
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Theatr Clwyd Mold
Flintshire CH7 1Y

21 December
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
St Mary & St Peter’s Church
Wilmington, BN26 5SW
Sold out!

21 December
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
St Mary & St Peter’s Church
Wilmington, BN26 5SW
Sold out!


And if you are still short of some Christmas present ideas how about these:

  • Richard’s popular Ukulele Courses for both Beginners and Improvers – beginning on Wednesday 15 January
  • A place on the French Guitar Adventurers holidays 2020 – but hurry as places are going fast
  • Monthly subscription to the Richard Durrant Academy for just £19.99 – access courses on acoustic guitar, classical guitar, tenor guitar and ukulele

Midwinter - Christmas

Richard’s new Christmas song Christmas in Our Town has just been recorded and we are giving it to you free! Just click here to hear this wonderful new song.

The new song features Richard’s regular Christmas chums Nick Pynn and Amy Kakoura with son Django Durrant on percussion.

2019 Christmas rehearsal

Richard’s entire collection of Christmas music is now available as an album download on BandCamp and it will appear on all digital platforms in the next ten days. This new release is called The Midwinter Christmas Collection and it’s a compilation of his best Christmas recordings. 

Richard’s Christmas tour starts this Sunday at the Ropetackle and tickets are selling faster than ever before.

“‘Over the 15 years of this tour it has become more focussed on one thing – my hope that people experience the peace and tranquility of midwinter, even if only for a moment.

“As we head for the darkest part of the year the natural world is asking us to pause and consider – this, for me, is the central message of Christmas and of the solstice. It’s also what my new song is about.’”

Richard Durrant

To celebrate advent and the approach of midwinter Richard is also releasing four short films on each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.

Each film will appear on Richard’s Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram as well as in the free section of the Richard Durrant Academy. They all feature the very beautiful guitar technique known as tremolo. 


And if you still haven’t got your Candlelit Christmas tickets just click on the map for more details…

And don’t forget our Special Christmas Offer with 15% off all albums & books from the website.
Please use code RDChristmas2019 when booking (valid until 20th December 2019)

2019 Christmas rehearsal

Richard Durrant has just finished a four day rehearsal with Amy Kakoura and Nick Pynn plus new band member Django Durrant who is joining them on percussion.

“It was our first meeting of the winter and we spent many hours blowing on the kindling of the season, singing, playing and chatting about music and Christmas.

“There was a lot of laughter, many new numbers and my new song Christmas in Our Town was nervously unveiled. Working with these wonderful friends is such a privilege, they’re not just great musicians, they have a generosity of spirit that makes this a special tour for all involved.”

Richard Durrant commenting on the rehearsals

In both Richard’s Solstice tours this year he has tried more than ever to focus on the two sides of these seasons – matters both worldly and spiritual, natural and super-natural, the sacred and the profane.  

Richard hopes this is reflected in his candlelit tour this winter and that the music and songs they’ve chosen will create a beautiful space in which the audiences can find some peace and good energy.


Richard would also like to share with you the a recent rehearsal of his new song Christmas in Our Town.

“It’s still a work in progress, but I love the fact that my son Django is playing percussion whilst his younger brother Felix captures the whole thing on an iphone including the sound.

“Well done boys – and special thanks also to Amy and Nick who let me publish this film even though we’re all still trying to remember the words and the notes!”

Richard Durrant

ChristmasInOurTownRehearsal2019

The Christmas Tour starts with two performances at Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham, on the first day of Advent (1st December) and then off we go! 

Click on the map for more details on each show…

Richard Durrant

… and some carefully prepared magic in significant places!

Richard Durrant’s Christmas concerts are a bit of a tradition – especially for Richard! He gets to meet up with his mates Nick and Amy and the three of them spend long days preparing in the warmth of his studio playing seasonal music.  

We know that lots of audience members also enjoy the tradition – and a strong part of this is returning to regular venues that offer that extra bit of magic.

Wilmington church in Sussex at sunset on the day of the solstice certainly takes some beating.

But then so does the splendour of Theatr Clwyd, a major arts centre, theatre and producing house standing in the hills near Mold in North Wales. 

The beautiful Toll Gavel in the town of Beverley, Yorkshire, Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells and St Johns in Hurst Green Surrey are also part of this tradition, along with Richard’s home venue Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham where there will be four shows this year (already selling fast!).

And this year sees the addition of another Sussex Church – Holy Trinity in Hurstpierpoint.

Holy Trinity Church, Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex

As was recently said on BBC 6 Music: 
‘A beautiful venue can elevate a good gig to a transportive musical experience.’

Richard Durrant Candlelit Christmas Concert 2019

And Richard agrees:

‘Each instrument, every light and every candle will have been carefully placed by Nick, Amy and I before we fill the space with music during our several hours of careful warming up.

‘This is to help every audience member feel they are walking into something magically prepared.
Christmas and the winter solstice do the rest!’


From Yorkshire to Sussex and from North Wales to Kent, Richard Durrant’s Candlelit Christmas Concert is travelling across England and Wales to bring his unique brand of seasonal magic to a venue near you.

We look forward to seeing you on the tour!

Click on the map for more details on each show…

Maverick musician, guitarist and songwriter Richard Durrant will soon be embarking on his 15th midwinter tour. Has he discovered the true meaning of Midwinter?

If you don’t fancy yet another panto and are actively trying to avoid the more saccharine, tinselly aspects of the Christmas season then Richard Durrant’s candlelit Christmas tour is definitely the right choice for you.

Richard is renowned for mixing things up musically.He sees the festive season through both a Pagan as well as a Christian lens.

This is what Richard has to say on the subject :

I love midwinter and I carefully mark the solstice but I’m also fascinated by the Christian celebration of Christmas. And then there’s the impossibly diverse music that re-emerges each year.

‘As the night’s draw I’m just as likely to listen to a 12th century carol as I am to Christmas chart pop – it all resonates!’ 


Last year the trio’s live version of XTC’s Love on a Farmboy’s Wagesproved such a curiosity that it was aired on BBC6 Music.  This led to a small collection of live recordings from Christmas 2018 to be released during the tour.

With the help of his regular winter companions the singer Amy Kakoura and master fiddler Nick Pynn (who will also play dulcimer, musical saw and bass pedals) Richard’s 2019 tour is musically richer than ever. 

Richard Durrant, Amy and Nick
Richard Durrant, Amy and Nick

With virtuoso guitar solos, the oldest song in the Oxford Book of Carols, Breton folk, British fiddle tunes and some well chosen curiosities from the charts – and all played behind shimmering candlelight – these seasonal concerts draw the audience closer in to the music – and the meaning behind it.

Richard Durrant Candlelit Christmas Concert 2019

Join Richard, Amy and Nick for a wonderful musical offering with its very particular and inclusive take on our shared wintertime with Christmas, the Solstice and an inherent, heartfelt generosity, warmth and optimism at the very heart of the show.

From Yorkshire to Sussex and from North Wales to Kent, Richard Durrant’s Candlelit Christmas Concert is travelling across England and Wales to bring his unique brand of seasonal magic to a venue near you.

We look forward to seeing you on the tour!


Click on the map for more details on each show…

Guitarists

Richard Durrant is currently in the south of France working with this September’s French Guitar Adventurers…

Richard’s road trip south began with a one off, solo concert in the town of Melle, east of La Rochelle.  The Cafe Boulevard is a hugely well supported arts venue that puts on a wide variety of different music and in the balmy heat of last Saturday evening they were having to turn people away from Richard’s gig.

Richard takes up the story: “To my delight the temperature was rising fast and the sun was beating down as we drove south. But on reaching Melle, and with the gig start time fast approaching, I realised I was probably going to roast onstage and began to regret wearing my jeans and heavy cotton shirt.  

“Sure enough by the time I got to the stage I was already drenched and with the audience packed in shoulder to shoulder it must have been over 40 degrees in there! This could have been a problem – but at the Cafe Boulevard there was some kind of magic in the air that made it all ok.”

 The atmosphere that night was electric and Richard worked his way around his four guitars and ukulele swapping styles as he went.  A real highlight was his hot club rendition of Django’s Honeysuckle Rose which an audience member captured on a phone:

Django in Melle Sept 2019 from Revolution Arts on Vimeo.

Richard will return to Melle next year as he cycles through France during his Cycling Music Tour 2020. He’ll leave Orkney in early June and appear at Brighton Open Air Theatre on Midsummer’s Day. 

Then, continuing south from Dieppe to Bordeaux in September, he’ll pause along the way to host another French Guitar Adventurers holiday at The French Retreat. If you would like to cycle through France with Richard please contact us.

French Guitar Adventurers

Richard Durrant has been enjoying a busy time leading up to the summer holidays…

The first part of July was spent in France and Richard’s first stop was to perform his final Midsummer Concert in the beautiful Eglise Saint Chartier de Javarzay as part of the Chef- Boutonne town festival.

George Hinchcliffe with Richard and Louise

“This was my debut concert in Nouvelle Aquatainne. It was in the mid thirties which suited me fine; there is something charismatic about such intense heat and it added more layers to the music I was playing.

“The acoustic in the church also gave me a lot to play with so I was a happy boy, especially during the 3rd Cello Suite on the Howlett super tenor ukulele which definitely caused a great deal of surprise but went down a storm,”
said Richard.

And look who came to the gig – Richard’s old mate George Hinchliffe from the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. George happened to be on his hols and saw a poster!


The French Guitar Adventurers with Richard this month

Richard & Louise then headed further south towards Bordeaux for the July French Guitar Adventurers holiday.

Five happy days were spent in a lovely cool barn by a field of sunflowers preparing for the end of holiday concert in the ancient church in Yviers.

The gig was the best yet and the very local, French audience continues to grow.

“It is lovely that the locals have taken our antics to heart and turn out in force to see what we’re up to,” said Richard.

“I felt very lucky to be spending a week with such lovely people. All the guitarists put their heart and soul into the music. The result was a wonderful concert at the end of the week and a lot of fun.”

Richard is running another French Guitar Adventurer from 16 to 22 September and there are a few spaces remaining. Next year’s dates have been announced and are already filling up – click on button below to see the diary.

Below is one of the pieces performed at this July’s French Guitar Adventurers holiday

Happy summer holidays!

Richard Durrant Summer Special

Richard Durrant is back home in Shoreham-by-Sea to kickstart the holidays with his 2019 Summer Special…

Guitarist and composer Richard Durrant returns with a musical celebration of midsummer and another classic series of gigs on the folk/classical cusp.

Maverick guitarist Richard Durrant kicks off the silly season with a fun packed musical celebration of the summer holidays – and of course the Beano Summer Special is in the shops!

Richard’s end of season Ropetackle gig is particularly special this year as his special guest will be the legendary Paraguayan harpist Cristobal Pedersen. Here’s a clip:


Richard said:I always try and draft in some extra musicians to kick off the celebrations and it just so happens that Cristobal Pedersen, the Paraguayan harpist, is in England and will be joining me at the gig.

Cristobal founded the Arpa Roga which is Paraguay’s leading harp school.  He is the father of Kike (who wrote the harp music included on my Paraguayan trilogy) and we have been friends since my first tour of Paraguay in 2011.

Cristobal’s harp will fill the Ropetackle with South American colours – I just cannot wait.”


In the Ropetackle show Richard will also be performing Book of Spells and Bach’s 3rd Cello Suite which featured in the very successful Music for Midsummer Tour. Richard’s Midsummer Tour 2020 is already booked – and this will be another bicycle powered musical celebration beginning once again in St Magnus Cathedral, Isle of Orkney on June 4th and heading to Brighton Open Air Theatre in time for the Solstice.

Read the full story


Join us for supper too
Before this event we’re also serving delicious food from 6pm.

And this is what is on the menu:
* a delicious main course of seafood chowder and crusty bread
* summer beans, potatoes and feta with salad
* a desert of Strawberry and white chocolate mousse cake.

All this for just £10 (or you can just have the main for £8 or the dessert for £3.50).

Please book in advance when you buy your tickets.