Those of you that have come across the music of The Bedlam Six in the last year may not know that we have been performing all this time with one member missing. My co-singer and friend Alison has been ill for a long while and unable to tour. She is now fully recovered but I regret to announce she will not be rejoining the band. There are no plans to find a replacement.
Losing Ali after years of working together is not only painful but also frightening. We had an onstage marriage that lasted for nearly six years and I do not exaggerate when I say that her departure brings with it all the attendant emotions of a break up.
We developed our stagecraft simultaneously over the course of hundreds of shows, indeed we were each other’s tutors. We inspired confidence in one another as well as a sense of theatre and I am certain I would not be the performer I am today without her.
Duetting our way through the murky world of doomed romance brought obvious critical comparisons with Cave and Minogue but I always felt our performances owed more to the likes of Morecambe and Wise, the songs we sang being somehow closer to Music Hall cross-talk than grim murder ballad.
I had never written for anyone before I met Ali, let alone anyone with such a rich and versatile voice. The seemingly boundless possibilities of such a co-singer opened up creative ambitions in me that I had hitherto been ignorant of. Hearing her bring my songs to life was an incomparable delight, time and time again.
The band and I have performed with a number of guest singers in recent months, all brilliant in their own way but none like Ali. Those songs were written for her, they were directly inspired by her talents, they belong to her as much as they do to me. Though we are now heading in different directions I hope so much that she continues to sing them sometimes.