2005 was the year it all started… having played keyboards with Glasgow’s Abel Ganz since 1982, Hew had begun to feel theneed to take more direct control of his own material as the Ganz machine moved off in a slightly different musical direction from his. Grand Tour was born from a long held fascination with the cold war years and the nuclear stand-off between the super powers – the film “On the Beach” was a huge influence to the music as well, and many of the musical ideas flowed from the visual imagery of the movie. Hew was joined first by local guitarist Andrew Young, whose background was in electronic and rock music and who had played with a number of bands – Andrew was keen to make the move into the prog rock genre, and he and Hew worked away at the material as song ideas were gradually developed.
Hew and Andrew were joined in 2007 by Joe Cairney, former vocalist with the then dormant Comedy of Errors. Joe had had a long and illustrious singing career with the Errors and was keen to get back to singing after a gap of many years. Initially he had got in touch with Abel Ganz, who were struggling to find a new vocalist at that time; when that didn’t work out he was quickly snapped up by Hew to work on the Grand Tour vocals. With Hew, Andrew and Joe working away at the music, the whole project was given a huge boost by the addition of drummer Bruce Levick in 2009. Bruce and Andrew had been corresponding for some time on the internet but had never actually met until they teamed up in Grand Tour! Bruce’s drive gave the project a whole new impetus, and all the tracks were gradually reviewed with the addition of his drumming.
In 2010 Andrew was replaced by Joe’s old friend and former Comedy of Errors guitarist Mark Spalding, who agreed to join up after a brief listen to the existing demos. Mark’s powerful and varied style of playing is now one of the major features of Grand Tour. This line-up has now recorded the first Grand Tour album, “Heavy on the Beach”, and this will be released on the 19th of January 2015. Please keep checking at http://grandtourmusic.org/ for up-to-date info!