My name is Julian Fris.
I woke up the other day to the realisation that I have been playing piano for over 50 years, and it dawned on me what an important part of my life it has been.
I may have been a chef, a student, a manager and a consultant but I was also, surprisingly to some, a band leader for 20 years with Skyline – a successful showband.
We performed at everything from weddings, military and corporate events to working men’s clubs.
Highlights included a Caribbean cruise, playing in the Top of the Pops studio when I worked at the BBC and co-ordinating and backing a female Bee Gees tribute – Saturday Night Diva.
ABOUT THE ALBUM
To celebrate this significant 50th year milestone, I decided to record this boogie woogie and blues album, ‘Que Diablos’, featuring cover versions from heroes such as Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
There are also some self-penned instrumentals and the Britpop influenced ‘Today ain’t right’ – a commentary on our over-connected egocentric world.
We also feature a doo-wop classic, ‘Tears on my Pillow’, which my band played regularly on rock ‘n’ roll nights on the cruise ship whilst a guest swivelled in a hula hoop contest! (32 was the record, I believe). Including vocal group WE3 and merging with Billy Joel style piano has made this a standout track.
The funny thing is that, at a young age, I would reluctantly attended music lessons in Hitchin. During these lessons I was forced to learn some turgid piece for my grades. Luckily, I discovered rock ‘n’ roll after spending hours on perfecting my stride left hand, à la Fats Waller, and then proceeded to liven up tunes like ‘A la Turka’ by Mozart, and that appears on the album.
To me, music has been a motivator, healer, stress reliever and a life skill which has served me well. I particularly enjoyed the challenge of recording this album in amongst my hectic business schedule. Nevertheless, I still have time to play semi-professionally, but not 3 or 4 times a week as I once did due to my family commitments, running my own business (Neller Davies) and my stamina!
So I recorded ‘Que Diablos’ and decided that I wanted to share this with you and give you, the listener, 35 minutes of much needed fun and sunshine in your lives!