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  • Richard Brook

The freelancer and Take That!

Hello! Yes, I know it's been a while. Stuff to know.

The reality of this business, as a freelance player, is a bonkers one. You can go from a couple of months with minimal work (3 months to be exact) to being utterly flat out with family shouting at me (understandably) for not being around and being too stressed under a huge workload.

It's just a feature of this game you have to deal with.

This month has been one such month. I was about to get into overseeing Degree exams at The London Centre of Contemporary music ( when I get a call from the Musical Director of 'Take That'. Could I do a show in a few days time with the boys filling in for Donovan Hepburn?

"Of Course!" - I said. "Can't turn that down" - I said.

Sometimes you just say "yes". "Yes" to things you know you have no time to organise. "Yes" to things that mean a massive reorganisation of the rest of the things in your life at that time.

The brief was an hour set with the boys plus, an all too familiar curve ball a couple of days before "Can you also play with....." - In this instance "All Saints"..........."Sure, no problem" I said.

AAAAARRRRRGH! I have no time!

Anyway, poor me right?

After a 12 hour rehearsal day at the venue the day before the gig we nailed it. That kind of pressure is addictive and to play some great songs with great Artistes and a great band is what I'm in this for.

My advice to players wanting to get into this kind of work is to try and put yourself into a pressure situation and out of your comfort zone. You'll learn so much more PLUS you may learn to love it. I certainly do.

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