Malcolm Bruce Talks To Where's Eric! About "An Evening For Jack"
On 25 October, the two year anniversary of Jack Bruce's passing, a celebration of the musician's life and music will take place at the 02 Shepherds Bush Empire. Where's Eric! caught up with Jack’s son, musician Malcolm Bruce, to find out more about this very special evening.
With the concert only a few days away, we appreciate your taking the time to speak to us. Can you tell us about the charities An Evening For Jack will benefit?
We chose Nordoff Robbins for all their outstanding work with music therapy, which we felt was appropriate for an event such as this. I've dabbled a little in working with children, especially early years storytelling and workshops, and have seen firsthand the benefits of music making for all. East Anglian Children's Hospices is a local charity close to where we lived that Jack himself supported.
How is the planning going?
It's been a major challenge to bring the concert together from many perspectives. One of the challenges is fitting over 30 musicians into a 3 hour show with a 20 min break to create something cohesive, so to some extent I have been making suggestions to each artist and hoping for the best that they will be in agreement. So far so good! We are almost there and I think it will be an amazing night to celebrate Jack's music with many of his key collaborators. I'm having a rule of thumb that we will try to avoid the 'too many guitarists on the stage at the same time' scenario that so often happens with tribute concerts of this nature.
You're curating the music along with your Dad's co-writer of many years, Pete Brown. Have any of the artists requested specific songs to perform?
Some artists have made quite definite requests to play certain songs, and others have been happy with my suggestions. For the artists that were actually in Jack's bands over the years (such as Ronnie Leahy, Clem Clempson, Billy Cobham and David Sancious) I've tried to match artists to the songs that are from the period of time when they worked with Jack, basing the concert as much as possible on a chronological timeline through his work. We’ll be starting from the early years with the Alexis Korner and Graham Bond era, moving through the Cream era, to his many solo records with a nod to some of the other important collaborations during his lifetime.
We will see what happens during the rehearsals but the set is looking good. We will try to fit in as much music making as possible, so there will be 25+ songs, and timed changeovers etc. with stage management. A lot to be accomplished over the next few days!
A few members of the Bruce family will be on stage. Can you tell us more?
My daughter, Maya Sage, is performing at the concert. She is a Brit School graduate (where Amy Winehouse and Adele studied), and just completed a musical theater degree and now has an agent in London putting her up for auditions in the West End. She has chosen some beautiful songs to sing including one of Jack's most wonderful compositions, 'Folk Song'. Also my cousin Nico Bruce will be playing some double bass. Jack always encouraged Nico and he toured throughout the 80s and 90s with many top Scottish bands including The Proclaimers and Hugh and Cry.
We are also very honoured to have the Scots being represented - the amazing Lulu will perform 2 songs, and the wonderful Eddi Reader will be performing as well. Both worked with Jack and of course Lu comes from the same roots and experiences in the 60s and beyond. Its a total honour to have them both attending.
And you've just added a very special host ...
Bob Harris - who is known to all from his 40+ year career in broadcasting - is on board, so he will be saying a few words throughout the night. It's wonderful to have his support for this. We will also have Chris Welch in attendance and he will hopefully be saying a few words at some point, I may ask him to tell his story about Robert Stigwood asking him along to one of Cream's first rehearsals to get an opinion on whether they were any good!
Thanks so much for your time, Malcolm.
An updated press release issued this week noted that the legendary Lulu, virtuoso guitarist Mick Taylor, along with Paul Young, Terry Reid, Trevor Horn, Maggie Reilly and David Sancious (an early E Street Band member who also worked with Jack and EC in their solo careers) have been added to the bill. It also noted the possibility of special guest appearances on the night.
Tickets for An Evening For Jack are available from ticketweb.co.uk or 0844 477 2000. Tickets are £40.00 - £60.00 and £100 VIP (including meet and greet).
An Evening For Jack - Tuesday 25 October 2016
O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Musical Direction: Peter Brown and Malcolm Bruce
Host: Bob Harris
Gary "Mudbone" Cooper
Iain "Nico" Bruce
Plus Special Guests
Tickets: ticketweb.co.uk or 0844 477 2000