Gigs have been an important part of my musical career. From the very beginning I started out playing as part of a duo MacKenzie-Cooke with the very impressive yet mercurial Judy MacKenzie. We secured a major deal with EMI, recorded an album at Abbey Road and spent several years trying to move away from and into something that suited us better.
I was with Gordon Giltrap for a time playing Piano, percussion and guitar and joined Cliff Richard on keyboard and piano for several years touring the world and enjoying the company of some of the UK’s greatest musicians.
I was asked to play with Cliff on some of his more personal shows with simple piano accompanying his acoustic guitar vocals and chat show style concerts.
More recently I spent several years playing guitar and keys for my daughter Jem Cooke both here in UK and abroad mainly in Europe where we secured a great fan base and some loyal followers. Despite my requesting that she simply introduced me as her guitarist, she would follow this with “and he’s my dad” which without fail would get a large intake of breath from the audience.
Concerts in Slovenia with my dear friend Andrej Sifrer have always been a highlight as well as invitations from Bryn Hayworth, Nutshell and Paul Field, Andy Flanagan and many others that I will remember in time.
All of these tracks here contain fond memories of gigs somewhere, somehow with various people. It’s great when you can capture that special something live that becomes a moment in time which is definitely what I feel about the final track here Won’t Let Go, recorded in one take at Sphere Studios when they were in Battersea. Marvellous moments indeed!