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It’s Dolphin and Clavia for award-winning Take That tour

Published: Thu October 19, 2006  News Feed
Jamie Norton started playing keyboards at just five years of age and ended up studying Jazz Performance at the Royal Academy of Music. “I am always demanding more from myself and trying to put myself around the best musicians and writers,” he says. His efforts have clearly paid off as he has played with The Brand New Heavies, Incognito, Nik Kershaw, Carleen Anderson, Donna Summer, Acoustic Alchemy and Judie Tzuke. He has also worked for Mike Stevens, Take That’s Musical Director and, more recently, he wrote and performed on Mark Owen’s last album. Therefore Jamie was the ideal choice for keyboard player on Take That’s recent sell-out comeback tour. For the tour Jamie chose a Clavia Nord Stage keyboard…

“I really wanted to get a keyboard that could deliver the absolute best piano sounds,” he says. “Having started out on the piano I am always looking for something that can give a realistic sound and feel. The Nord Stage does both of these things. I was also playing a lot of Rhodes parts on the tour and, again, the Nord Stage provided some fantastic sounds with an easy, hands on editing style which made it quick to work with in the rehearsal stages.”

After choosing the Nord, Jamie then contacted Clavia to find out the best dealer to make his purchase and they pointed him in the direction of Dolphin Music…

“When I contacted Dolphin I only had a few days to play with before rehearsals began,” he says. “Dolphin got me the keyboard by the next morning at a great price. I also felt that Dolphin were always at the end of the phone to help me out if needed.”

“On tour the Nord delivered what I hoped for and I have since used it for recording on a number of sessions and get fantastic comments regarding the sound. The usual response is ‘where can I get one?’”

“When I finished the Take That tour I went straight out to the US with The Brand New Heavies. I was so pleased with the Nord that I persuaded the Heavies to ditch our usual spec of a Rhodes Stage 88 and buy another Nord to take to the US. After an initial amount of skepticism that it could not sound as good as the real thing, everyone loved it. In the end we were able to replace two keyboards with one Nord Stage.”

“If you are a keyboard player who uses pianos, Rhodes, Wurlys, Hammonds and all the old vintage gear you won't be disappointed. Also the on board effects make it very easy to edit sounds quickly and effectively.”

But there is one problem – the colour!

“The only problem I had with the keyboard on the Take That tour was the fact that the standard Nord red unfortunately clashed with the stage design! After much discussion the costume department made a little black curtain to blend the keyboard in. I asked if I could also have a drawstring so that the curtain could open for Relight My Fire when the whole stage was lit up in flames, but for some reason this never happened!”

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