The London Michael Hutchence 20th anniversary Memorial Tribute
On Saturday 30th October, 2017, a group of professional musicians met in a London studio to pay tribute to Michael Kelland Hutchence in the 20th year since he died. The song they chose to perform was reportedly Michael’s favourite from the ‘Elegantly Wasted’ album. INXS performed the song “Searching” at the 1996 Aria Awards. It became one of Michael’s most definitive live television performances where he seems to give it his all.
The Musicians on the London Michael Tribute Project
Female Lead Vocals: Celia Wickham-Anderson is a member of the celebrated Black Voices (see below).
Gospel Choir/Backing Vocals: The Black Voices is one of the most celebrated Black Gospel female vocal ensembles in the UK. They, like Michael Hutchence, have fond memories of performing with the late Ray Charles. Black Voices maintain a busy recording and touring schedule with tours to Michael’s native Australia as well as Europe and the Middle East. They have toured with Nina Simone and appeared with Wynton Marsalis, Take 6 as well as providing the backing choir for Britain’s X Factor TV Series and several major film soundtracks. Lady Diana invited them to sing at her father’s funeral. They have also performed before Pope John Paul II and Nelson Mandela. Their spiritual, soulful style was a given for this passionate Michael Hutchence/Andrew Farriss composition.
Members of Black Voices are (http://blackvoices.co.uk/):
– Carol Pemberton MBE (Music Director)
– Celia Wickham-Anderson
– Evon Johnson-Elliot
– Genevieve Sylva
– Jennifer Wallace
– Sandra Francis
– Shereece Storrod
Lead Vocals, Co-Producer and Post Production: Simon Dodd is engineer/producer for legendary blues guitarist Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac), as well as songwriter/guitarist/lead vocalist for the brilliant Australian-based band, ‘President Roots’. Simon bravely took on the challenge of lead vocals, as well as mixing down and mastering the final track. His contribution has been significant.
Guitar 1: Matthew ‘Mafro’ Waters is a busy London session guitarist as well as International touring musician appearing with and for artists such as Chris Brown, Shakka, Diversity, Ghetts, Louise Golbey, Bibi Bourelly, and new Disney artist, Alex Maxwell. Some readers may have caught him on the road in October 2017 on his European tour with Cody Chesnutt, or alternatively in support of Rihanna last year.
Guitar 2 and Assistant Production: Paul Nazarkardeh is a very versatile touring and recording musician playing guitar with London based metal bands De Profundis and Formicarius, experimental fusion collective Thing and bass guitar for Persian roots music project Ajam. Some of the varied artists he has shared stages include Example, David Vincent, Kampfar, Krept & Konan, Taake and Rana Mansour. Paul played rhythm guitar as well as technically and musically assisting the project. Aside from performing, Paul teaches a large base of instrumental students.
Bass Guitar: Daniel Saunders is a busy London multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer performing in extreme metal band Formicarius as well as running the Casterly Rock studio specialising in recording all subgenres of metal, resulting in music that has been released through labels such as Sony and Music for Nations. Daniel kindly stepped in at the last minute when Joshua was unexpectedly tied up with a gig. Dan has had a versatile musical career, previously working with Japanese rock band Colors as well as composing music for video games such as Cube, Project Elita and IkalX under his Retro Music Studios brand.
Keyboards and additional Bass: Joshua Asafo-Agyei is a busy session and touring bassist working with such artists as American R’n’B singer, Cody Chesnutt, London grime legend, Ghetts and R’n’B singer/songwriter, Bibi Bourelly (2016 Rihanna tour). Joshua played keyboards as well as additional bass. Joshua is also a prolific composer, co-writing music in the studio alongside the artists he performs with. He has graced the stages of festivals such as the MOBO Awards, Wireless and the Isle of Wight Festival to name a few.
Drums/Percussion and Co-Producer: Peter Huntington who has been the recording drummer for Pete Townsend and The Who since 2006, as well as working with another cornerstone of Australian music – Darren Hayes of Savage Garden. Peter and his band opened for Michael and INXS in the 1990s. He remembered with fondness that Michael had come back to their dressing room to meet the band and to take an interest in their music. Peter remembers well how jovial and friendly Michael was that night, taking a genuine interest in their musical journey. Peter’s ties to Australian music do not end there however, selling out the Sydney Opera House with physical theatre and percussion act Stomp.
Engineer Co-Producer and Project Director: (Dennis) Ian Patterson is originally from Sydney, Australia, where as a professional guitarist he backed many top Australian and International artists such as Vera Lynn, the New Seekers as well as appearing with Air Supply, Little River Band, Andy Gibb, The Angels, and many others during the 1970s-80s. He is also a church Pastor, composer, guitar builder (building all the guitars and basses featured on this project!), music teacher and former Lecturer at Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In more recent years Ian has performed at festivals such as Glastonbury Festival supporting the Futureheads, and his many ex-students have gone on to perform professionally at the highest level. Ian, along with Susie Hutchence, Mario and Jacqui Ferrari is a Co-Director of Michael Hutchence’s Official Memorial Site.
The team at MichaelHutchence.org would like to acknowledge and thank all those musicians who gave freely of their time to record and produce “Searching”. We believe Michael would have felt honoured by their kind gesture to honour him with his own music.
Thanks to the cooperation of Business Manager, Simon Newton, we were able to use the music recording studios of Canons High School and 6th Form in Edgware as part of a special project involving Music Staff, our London community of professional musician associates, and the Michael Hutchence Official Memorial Website.