I always thought of myself as laid back. I don’t stress, ever. I sometimes feign stress to appear normal, but I don’t seem to actually have the stress gene, which is why as I helpfully point out to ill people, I never get ill.
Then I met Tony. Tony is so laid back he makes Miles Davis playing ‘Nuit sur les Champs-Elysee’ sound like Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee. Picture Bill Nighy crossed with Ray Davies with a violin and then take away all pretension and replace with a reserved passion. Thats about him in a very small nutshell.
Tony Kime is the man behind The Scottish Romance Orchestra, those people who are “Dedicated to providing our audiences with unashamedly popular music – songs from the shows and tunes from film and television that we have all come to love”. I went to visit him yesterday to finalise the set list for the show we will be putting on in November, and seeing him in the context of his own environment beautifully completed the romantic notion I had conjured up in my mind of him as a self-sufficient, private gentleman, the comfortably solitary master of his castle with his pipe, beautiful views and surrounded by beautiful music.
As soon as I entered and was greeted by the smell of pipe tobacco and freshly baked bread, my certitude that within these walls something great would happen was sealed. Every now and then a smell will evoke a lost and happy memory and when it happens its magical. This was one of those occasions. Pipe tobacco and homemade bread pretty much sum up happiness and herein these walls, something great was going to happen.
Ok, it wasn’t actually a castle and he wasn’t actually smoking a pipe when I arrived and we essentially just wrote a list but my romantic vision stayed with me throughout, and although I wanted so much to run up and down the length of the kitchen and jump up and down on the sofa and glide up and down the stairs with a ball dress on, I managed to behave like a normal grown up and did as little gushing as possible which was very hard. Especially when he had in his office in a very unassuming corner of the wall a Gramophone Award, unpretentiously placed where only he and probably a handful of others would see it. That, my friends, for those of you who may not be Classically informed, is what the very well informed Wikipedia defines as -
“The most significant honours bestowed on recordings in the classical record industry, often referred to as the Oscars for classical music”.
I tried not to make too much of a deal about it, not because I wasn’t impressed, trust me, by this point he could do no wrong, the guy had already made the nicest soup ever and the bread to go with it, plus I’d seen his self constructed kitchen. No, up until that point I had done so much gushing that anymore would have made this particular recognition come across as insincere. And so instead I uttered under my breath how cool he was which probably wasn’t a very cool thing to say.
Anyhow, the point to all this blethering was not to give you the low down on Tony Kime (Cough – Balance Engineer for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for 20 years – cough) but to give you a little insight into what is to come on November 16th. For it is then dear friends that the fruits of this collaboration will come to er.., fruition. Tony is in the process of arranging a good percentage of my debut album ‘A New Day’ for orchestra which as you’ll all agree is about as good as it gets. SO PUT IT IN YA DIARY AND DON”T WASTE MY TIME.
True Romance – Electric Penelope and The Scottish Romance Orchestra. If you’re planning to propose this year, this is the night and the place to do it. Valentines day is just tacky.