Monday 28 September 2015

Lake District

I've just got back from a gig in the lake district and thought I'd tell you all about it!

We left sunny Stroud at midday. The car was packed full of tents, sleeping bags and guitars and we were all ready to go. I woke up on Friday morning with a dreadful cold and so the idea of sitting in a car for 5 and a half hours was not one I took lightly. I drove up with my older brother Matthias and the 5 hour journey that we expected turned into an 8 hour trip! It took for what felt like forever and as we passed the sign for Cumbria in the last hour of daylight we were relieved. The final hour of the journey was just beautiful. The sun was setting over the rolling mountains and the reflection of the clouds glistened on the lake.

However it suddenly dropped dark and we got slightly lost... The festival was down a long narrow lane which we eventually discovered after many u-turns and frustration over the SAT-NAV. It was then 8:00 pm and we could just about find a place to park and carry all of our stuff over to the field. I think I learnt something quite important in the next hour- Never put up a tent in the dark! It was an absolute nightmare when all we had was a bad windup torch and my brother being deaf made it even more tricky! After a lot of perseverance we had put both tents up and went to pick up my brother Rohan and his friend Robin from Penrith station.
3 headed Robin 

I woke up to an amazing sight. I hadn't realised that we were surrounded by hills in the low light we had when we arrived and so it was quite a shock walking out of the tent, completely unaware of what you were going to face. Just spectacular.
I played my set at mid-day and hung around for a while to watch some other acts and Firewood Island from Bristol were really great!:)

In the afternoon we decided to climb one of the cumbrian mountains. Those who know me well are probably wondering how I did that as I can't walk properly but I thought it would be a pretty good achievement. With a lot of determination (and piggy backs) I managed to get to the top. The view from there was incredible and you could see for miles. It was also a fantastic feeling just being there and knowing that I never could have got up there even 2 months ago.

My brothers and I
The evening was good fun too. We found a friendly pub in Keswick where we had a meal and then returned to the festival where we spent a few hours sitting around fire singing songs.

A fab weekend overall and a great end to the festival season!

Next up I'm off to Cheltenham with Tholy for the Fairview convention and then bring on the recording of the next album..

Being carried down the mountain 

Friday 14 August 2015

A rainy day..

It has started to feel as though we are already in the winter months as it literally has not stopped raining in Stroud today. The mist has remained in the valley outside my window for the majority of the day making everything strangely dark. So I have to admit I have tried to stay indoors as much as possible today which gives me the perfect opportunity to write a blog..

Seed Festival 
A couple of weeks ago the band and I played at the Seed Festival- a brilliant, friendly weekend where you can enjoy music, talks and the many workshops going on.  The weather, unlike today, was glorious and we all sat outside on the grass enjoying a bit of sunshine. It was held at Hawkwood College- a beautiful venue just outside Stroud which provided wonderful views, gardens and old buildings. We played in the afternoon in a little tent covered in fairy lights and hidden away in the trees where everyone drank tea and ate cake!

View from Seed Festival 

I haven't had any gigs since then which is probably just as well as I am resting up before my massive 5 gig weekend at the end of August! I am so excited although the thought of getting up for college after that weekend is something I'm trying to forget about! The bank holiday starts with Greenbelt Festival in Kettering on the 28th of August which I've been looking forward to all summer.
I'm hoping we will travel down in the morning so we can look round the festival and see some great live music.
Then the next day I am playing at Frocester Beer Festival and the Phoenix Festival in Cirencester!
Stroud Fringe is on the Sunday morning before I head down to London to play a private party! Not quite sure how I'm going to manage to stay awake for that, let alone if I'll have any voice left..
What a weekend that will be?!

I've been writing a lot lately and finishing all the songs for the next album. The most recent song I wrote was about my adventure in London. I went up for the day last week to meet my friend Becca and we had a really good day until we arrived at Paddington to catch the train back to Stroud. It was absolute chaos! No trains were leaving and the station was quickly filling up with lots of stressed people desperately trying to get home. After discovering the district line train to Wimbledon wasn't leaving Paddington we jumped in a taxi and I decided to go home the next day! Although it was all rather stressful at least I managed to get a new song out of it aha:)

Paddington Station!
I bought an electric guitar yesterday. I'm looking forward to creating a slightly different sound to some of my new songs and I'm exited to start playing it at gigs!

That's all from me! Next I'm off to Bristol with Sarah to do a live interview with Jelli Records.
You can tune into 97.5 FM at 8:15pm this Monday:)

Wearing the new Sophronie T-shirts! 

Indian Take-away with the band last week.

Have a good weekend- Let's hope this weather sorts itself out!

Sophronie :)

Thursday 16 July 2015


It feels as though I haven't written a blog post in a while and so I though it was about time I did! I have had a couple weeks without any gigs which has been the perfect opportunity to relax and do some writing. I'm really excited to share some of my new material during these next few gigs!
I'm meant to be in America at the moment but unfortunately our holiday had to be cancelled because I wasn't well enough to get a visa but I'm looking forward to going in the future when I'm feeling a lot more up to it! It wasn't all bad though as we went to Spain for a week instead.

It was incredibly hot there but several outings to the frozen yogurt shop and swimming in the sea got us through the heat! On day two I was exploring the house we were staying in and found a guitar hidden away at the back of a wardrobe and it was somehow still in tune! My cousin was staying with us and so we decided to start filming for a music video as you don't get many opportunities to film on the beach! We captured some footage for a new song I've recently written called 'We were burning' and spent a few afternoons finding things like boats and footprints on the beach. We even got up at half past 5 one morning (which is not what you're supposed to do when you're meant to be on holiday!) to watch the sun rise over the sea. It was rather spectacular!
We arrived home the other day to a cold, rainy Stroud which didn't feel much like summer at all!  

Just before I went to Spain a few friends and I went to Barn on the Farm Festival!
We had been so excited to go after we had such a great weekend last year. We were also excited as now we have finished school we were able to stay and enjoy the whole weekend and not have to leave early! My friend Tanis and I were lucky enough to get Friday tickets too.                         On the Friday there are only a small number of tickets and so it was very quiet. We saw some great performances from Mike Dignam, Hudson Taylor and Gabrielle Aplin. We also tried to collect as many set lists as we could over the weekend. I think we managed about ten which wasn't too bad;) There was a massive thunder and lightning storm that night which was rather scary with only two of us but luckily the tent wasn't too flooded inside!

Tanis and I singing
So now the holiday is over I think I better start performing again! First up is the Seed Festival at Hawkwood College this Sunday at 2pm. Check out their website for more details!:

That's all from me for now!

Sophronie :)

Monday 22 June 2015

A busy few weeks!


After 20 tiring exams they are finally over! I was so excited after the last one but didn't really know what to do with myself as it felt strange not having to be anywhere or study. I still can't really come to terms with the fact that I have left school and that I have 11 weeks off! That's plenty to time though to gig, write, record and relax!

Food hall at the Garden Festival
A couple of weekends ago the band and I played at The Garden Festival in Much marcle. It was probably one of the hottest days that we've had all year and so we all caught the sun a bit. It made a change for last year though as it was bucketing down during my set. After we had played we all decided to enjoy the weather and we lay in the sun eating ice cream, watching the music that Ragged Moon had put on for everyone to enjoy. We especially enjoyed Clyde Jefferson and his band as well as Thee Ones from Stroud. It was good fun and it got us into the summer festival mood. At every festival I'm playing this summer I am filming lots of fun things that happen and putting all the videos together. I'm excited to show you what I have created at the end of the summer and it will be nice to have something to look back on!
Playing at the Garden Festival 

This weekend we had another festival called The Big Green Gig. The gig was held at the Greenway in Bristol during a 2 week long event that was going on in the area. We were supporting a band called Helele who we were able to stay and watch after our set! Their African rhythms were great fun to listen to and enjoy. Everyone was dancing along and seemed to be having a wonderful time. One man in Helele was playing a very interesting African instrument called a Balafon which is almost like a big xylophone with wooden bowls under it to create the sound. I was glad to see one in action as we had spent two years learning about them in GCSE music!
I have to say that the venue we played at made the most amazing Pizza I have ever eaten! I'm not too sure why it was so great but I must go back there one day even if it's just for the food!:)

The Big Green Gig! 
Today Sarah and I had an interview with Claire Carter on BBC Radio Gloucestershire. I always really enjoy interviews and I thought today was a particularly fun one. I like talking about what I'm up to but I especially enjoy playing live on the radio and getting my music out there! Unfortunately we got the timing for the interview wrong and we arrived at their studios about 1 hour and a half too early. Aha they probably thought we were really eager!

Jack playing at Garden Festival 
Sadly we are saying goodbye to our bassist Jack in a few weeks time. Jack is moving on to join a new rock band called Humm. Check them out! We have had a great few months gigging with him and although it hasn't been very long it has been good fun:) Our last gig with Jack is on the 19th July which is the Seed Festival at Hawkwood College which we are all really looking forward to. Then we will be saying hello to our new bassist called Oliver who we are excited to be getting to know and doing future gigs with.

So that's all from me for now! What's coming up? Well I'm going to Barn on the Farm in two weeks time with some of my friends from school which we've all been looking forward to ever since last years festival ended. Then the plan is that we are off to Canada to see our family over there. The Seed festival is the day after we get back so if you come along to that I will apologise now if I look exhausted aha!

Have a good week,

Sophronie :)

Saturday 30 May 2015

Wychwood Festival

It was sad when I played the final festival of the year last year at the Stroud Fringe on the last day of summer. I'd enjoyed playing festivals so much, no matter how small or where they happened to be they were always good fun and the warm weather made gigging all that much better.
So, I am very excited that the summer is finally arriving and festival season has started once again and I sense this year is going to be even better!

Soundcheck at Wychwood 
New t-shirts
To start it all off the band and I played at Wychwood Festival on Friday in Cheltenham! We were on at 5pm and luckily I was playing in a large tent which meant the rain didn't bother us and brought everyone inside to find shelter and keep warm! On the way to Cheltenham we picked up my new Sophronie t-shirts which was exciting. I had a little peek in the large box to see what they looked like for I had been waiting for them to be ready for a few weeks. I designed them myself- one has a lighthouse on and the blue t-shirt has a boot on it like the one I often wear when performing.

I loved the atmosphere at Wychwood and there were lots of people there! I managed to try lots of food throughout the day and I think the warm churros and chocolate dip was quite possibly the highlight!
It was good fun playing with the band even though we were a member short and Niks had to take Sam's place. I had an interview backstage afterwards and Emily and I were quite excited about being outside the undertones dressing room!

Flags at Wychwood Festival 
We have another festival next week in Much Marcle called 'The Garden Festival'.
That was the first festival I played last year so I'm glad to be going back there again as it's in a beautiful old venue covered in hand made bunting and fairy lights.

The music video for my single 'Eyes Wide' was released last week and we had a small get together at the studio with everyone who was involved in the process. I'm really happy about the end result and glad the cats got a feature in the end! Check it out on youtube!

Eyes wide video 
I'm about half way through my exams now and am looking forward to the day that they are over so I can write new songs for the next album and concentrate on being well again as being unable to walk for 8 weeks hasn't been a lot of fun!

You can keep up to date with all the festivals coming up in the summer on my website:
Hopefully see you at one of them!

Sophronie :)

Monday 27 April 2015

London gigs

Hello! Sorry I haven't written a blog for a few weeks but it's all been quite quiet here as I haven't been very well. Yesterday though I managed to get back to gigging which was great fun:)

We'd been looking forward to these gigs for weeks and so we were all extremely excited when we started packing the van to get ready to make our journey to Camden. We all went to the gig in the band banter bus. Sam and Jack in the back, Emily and I in the middle and Niks and Chris in the front with the map! We still got slightly lost though but we made it in time! We packed a large bag of food- too much in fact, but that kept us quiet on the way there.

We eventually arrived in Camden with about an hour to go until we would be performing on stage. We were relatively calm until we turned the corner to find there were so many people and market stalls all over the place! Finding somewhere to park was the next mission and we ended up having to carry 4 guitars, a keyboard, a large chair, albums, various boxes of leads and all our belongings a very long way through a market that you could easily compare to a rabbit warren! I'm on crutches and so I was no help what so ever, so I sat patiently with everyones coats and bags.. and the food!

Once we arrived at Proud Camden with all our gear safely tucked away in the corner we had half an hour to go and so we were able to sit comfortably and enjoy the act before I was on.
The gig itself went really well and there was a good crowd and we all enjoyed it. We were all mindful of the time though as we knew that we had to get to the next venue in Islington by 6 and we were still on stage at 5! I sense a song coming on here!

After playing the band grabbed the stuff and made their way to the band bus. My mum, Emily's mum and I walked back to the van on our own which was a terrible idea! We got very lost and ended up going round and round in circles looking for a lift to take us out of there! We ended up having to walk very far which was a real struggle on crutches, especially on an empty stomach!

We arrived at the Old Queens Head in Islington at 5:45 and we managed to park right outside.
This gig was even better than the first and I really enjoyed it! The audience were just great and really appreciative. I was very tired when it was all over and so we set off back home shortly afterwards. The traffic though was chaos as we tried to get through a busy London but there was a beautiful sun set that remained in the sky almost the whole way home!

I was so thankful for the amount of support I got last night. I used to live in London and old friends from school came to see me play. So did a lot of the people from the Lourdes group I went with at Easter and it was lovely to see them! My brother came too and so did some of my other family who live in London. So a big thank you to all those people!

So what's next? Unfortunately my first GCSE is next week so I'm going to be very busy with that for a couple of months now but I'm very excited for the festivals coming up and summer is just around the corner!

Friday 3 April 2015

The Convent Launch

Happy Easter!

On Wednesday the launch of The Convent in Woodchester took place. The Convent has been open for a few months now but they were launching the exciting new music venue to the outside world!

I played a gig there during my album launch back in November and it is a really great and interesting place to be. There's lots of sculptures and fascinating pictures on the wall and it's surrounded by beautiful views of the valleys.

Sarah from the studio invited me to go with her on Wednesday and I'm really glad she did as it was an exciting evening with music from Eliza Carthy, Tom Robinson, Chris Helme, Kelly Oliver and lots of other talented musicians! The music was held in the Chapel with Niks doing the sound. He showed me round the Convents new studio before the music began and I was very impressed by the new equipment and the great display of guitars they have.

It was a formal occasion and if you've been to one my gigs you will know that I don't really really do dressing up and will turn up in a bright woolly jumper and boots! Not that night though! I had to get my act together and buy a dress, about time I owned one really!

The convent light bulbs on the stairs 
All the Artists provided great music yet they were all quite different from each other. Eliza Carthy played the fiddle and sang at the same time which I've never seen anyone do before and I think it's incredibly clever. She also sang a song whilst her dad Martin Carthy accompanied her on the guitar and it was fantastic when her voice filled the chapel. It was quite something.
I was glad to have finally seen Kelly Oliver perform as I had heard lots of good things about her. Unfortunately I missed her set when she played at the Stroud Fringe promotional day as I was so cold I had to go home and so I was happy she was playing at the Convent that night. I really enjoy listening to her songs. She's very folky,  her songs tell stories and it was clear to see that her music takes you on a journey, even though she only performed 3 songs.
Musical instrument in the convent 
Kathryn Williams played 3 songs too. My favourite song that she played was called Underground and was about having a panic attack at Kings Cross Station and the song reminded me of when I was ill at Paddington station a few months ago. All her songs were really good and I really liked her unique style.

Tom Robinson played last of all and everyone was singing and clapping along to 2-4-6-8 motorway! A song I remember my mum and dad playing in the car when we were going on long journeys.

To finish the night off, all the musicians joined Tom Robinson on stage and all performed together to end what was a brilliant evening!

I'm off to Lourdes tomorrow to go on a pilgrimage with HCPT. I'm really excited to go again although I'm rather dreading having to get up at 3am tomorrow morning. I'm sure it will be worth the early start and I'm also excited to write some new songs when I'm out there!

Have a good week,