From Ozzy Osbourne's world tour to a gig in Kent
He’s the son of keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman, and he’s off on a world tour with Ozzy Osbourne soon – but first, he’s playing an intimate show in Kent. Musician Adam Wakeman spoke to Angela Cole
Just how well do you get on with your dad, Rick Wakeman – you've done nine albums with him. Is your relationship different when you're working together to normal?
We've always got on really well and working together back when I was 18 or 19 was like an apprenticeship really. We get on the same when working together as we do socially although we do tend to see each other more when we're working. We still have a few shows booked each year just to make sure we see each other. Life gets so busy and a year passes pretty fast these days, especially when you are touring a lot.
You're a classically trained pianist – did you start out having piano lessons like other children or was it something that came naturally to you?
I had piano lessons from the age of eight and the better I got, the more I loved it. I think some people have more of a knack than others but it doesn't take away from how much hard work you have to put into anything if you want to succeed at it. By the time I was 16 or 17, I was practicing five to six hours every day as well as playing four nights a week in bands in pubs, and trying to fit in school work....
How did you meet Damian and how did you come to decide to tour together?
Damian and I worked together in a band called Jeronimo Road back in 1995 and we've worked on various albums and tours since together. I suggested him to my dad when he needed a new singer and he did a great job there.
How does it compare playing somewhere like St Mary's Art Centre in Sandwich to being on tour with Ozzy?
The big tours are a lot of fun - the last Sabbath tour played to 1.5 million people and the Ozzy one will do the same, but that's not to say every gig is like that. With Damian, we are doing small intimate, relaxed gigs where if there's 30 or 300 people, we're just happy to be playing our music and enjoying ourselves. After all that's what music's all about at the end of the day.
You've met and played with so many famous musicians and you have a world tour with Ozzy Osbourne in 2020 – how do you prepare for something as big as that?
I was on tour in America with Annie Lennox in 2003 and met Sharon Osbourne at our show in Los Angeles. Long story short, we talked for about 30 minutes and six months later I received an email asking if I wanted to join Ozzy's band. She liked my playing and we got on well and I assumed she thought I'd be a good fit.
At the time, I turned it down as I was on tour with Travis, but due to an accident Ozzy had shortly after, the tour was postponed so when it was re arranged the following year, I was available and I've been there ever since. We start rehearsals pretty soon after the Wilson & Wakeman tour ends in March for the Ozzy tour. It's a couple of years by the sound of it so I'm preparing by getting all my jobs done at home before I go – put the bins out, empty the washing machine, mow the lawn, feed the dogs...
Adam Wakeman and Damian Wilson will be performing together in Sandwich this weekend
Rick, left, and Adam Wakeman have toured and recorded together