Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Emily Barker gig

Hello again. What a busy week! Glad it's nearly Easter as I'm looking forward to a week in France that I'm hoping will be warm!

My new band 
On Sunday evening I supported Emily Barker at the Prince Albert in Stroud and it was definitely one of my favourite gigs I've ever done. All of the bands long rehearsals over the last couple of weeks had been leading up to that night and so as you would expect we were all quite excited yet slightly nervous to perform on stage together for the first time. So, when arriving for the sound check at half five to discover there wasn't enough space for us on the stage for all our guitars, amps and various bags of things that probably weren't necessary needed (eg. my a bag full of bananas and Jaffa cakes just in case I was hungry) we weren't sure what to do next! We made do though and with a help from Miles managed to fit Jack's amp under the keyboard and my bag of food was carefully hidden away under the stage! It was quite funny really as in my previous blog I mentioned how lucky it was we were small and could fit on the same stage. Aha clearly not the case on Sunday!

View from the Albert
The gig itself though was just brilliant. I really enjoyed it and the band had a good time too. The audience were really attentive and it was so busy that I had people sitting just past my microphone. I have to say though that the best part of that evening was watching Emily Barker and Gill Sandell's set for it was so moving. It took you to real highs and lows and one song you'd be tapping your feet along, just wishing you knew all the words to join in and the next minute you'd feel almost taken aback with the reality of the stories she told. I did like the stories Emily told the audience and the imagery the songs created. I think that's probably why my favourite song from her Album 'Dear River' is Letters. That wasn't my favourite song from her set though. I can't remember what my favourite song she played was called but it was the last but one and a new one so I'm now waiting for that to be recorded! Emily Barker is releasing another Album in a few weeks time called 'Toerag sessions' so watch out for that!

Yesterday we had a little Ragged moon road trip to Hereford. We were travelling to the Hereford college for the blind to do a video session for 3 of my songs. It took a couple of hours to do and was a really interesting and fun experience. The students who were helping with this did a really good job getting some great footage and gave me lots of helpful advice. It felt strange watching myself back though and I hadn't realised quite how serious I look when I sing! It was in a lovely chapel building with really cool lights, grand pianos and large cameras. I'm very excited to see how the videos turn out when they are finished!

Video shoot
The journey there and back was quite eventful. We all went in the one car and were stuck behind a tractor on the way there making us rather late! I was extremely hungry on the way back and didn't have the bag full of bananas and Jaffa cakes that time unfortunately! We stopped off at a petrol garage grabbing lots of chocolate, sandwiches and cups of coffee which we enjoyed back in the car watching the sun set over hilly Gloucestershire...


Photo from car 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

My new band

So here we are half way through another busy week...

I held auditions a couple of weekes ago and I've got a great band together now which is really exciting. I enjoy playing on my own and have been doing so for the past year now, but playing with a band really adds something to the whole feel of my songs and so I can't wait to get rehearsing tomorrow! My friend Emily is playing keyboard. I've known her since I recorded the album, so it's going to be great having her play at gigs with me. She was doing work experience at Ragged moon in Stroud when 'Fire in the heavens' was recorded and she plays the piano on 'In this lane'. Then there's Sam and he is playing guitar and drums in the band and the final member is Jack on the bass guitar! Jack is a little bit older than the rest of us and so we're hoping he will add a bit of maturity to the group;)! Luckily we are all quite small people and so there won't be a problem when trying to fit on a little stage!
Band Auditions

On Saturday the Stroud Fringe promotional show case took place at Stroud's subrooms. I love the Stroud fringe and I'm already counting down the days until the event in August. I remember going to watch it three years ago when I had just moved to Stroud from London and discovering it was the most incredible thing and wondering how many people there were for such a small place. Last year I played there on the cornhill stage that a group of young people in the local area had put together.
I had two slots on Saturday. One was at 10am and it felt very strange arriving at a gig at half 9 on a Saturday morning as they are usually quite late in the day. Sheep also decided to turn up outside and I'm still not quite sure why!


A band called Sinnober played after me and I bought their new album and I can't get enough of it. You should give it a listen, especially their song 'It all begins from here'.

I had a couple of hours to kill before my second slot at 2pm. So I went to my favourite music shop, Music dynamics. I bought a Cajon drum (I've named him Ron) which is the block drum that you sit on. I can't really play it yet and am starting to get bruised fingers, but it is good fun.

So what's coming up this week? The band and I have our first gig together on Sunday supporting Emily Barker at the Prince Albert in Rodborough. I love playing here and so am very excited. My first ever gig was there and so it's great that the bands first one is there too!

Do come along!

Sophronie :)

Thursday, 5 March 2015

The Majors Arms

Hello again! 

I had a busy weekend last week and on Friday I played a gig in Worcester at the Major's Arms. It was quite a long journey, especially in the back of Niks' van which happens to be an ambulance. Sitting on a small chair surrounded by no windows was not the smoothest of rides, I have to say.

However my friend Emily who was playing piano during my sets that night was sitting backwards whilst we had a quick jamming session in an old ambulance. Something I can say I have never done before!

We arrived at the gig eventually after going down lots of country roads in the pitch black whilst our sat-nav got incredibly confused! When arriving at the gig we had a lot of the locals running out the pub wondering what the accident was. A 'musical emergency' we said. I think they saw the funny side!

The pub was a really nice place to play, very welcoming and covered in fairy lights which made the little red ones I brought with me look rubbish. I would imagine the view across the valley is quite something when there is a bit of sunshine. They also had a cat living there but it seemed to be too scared of the big speakers and guitars we were bringing into the pub.

I was very tired when I finally got back to the studio at nearly 1am but it was brilliant to get giging again as I had a few months break after the Album launch tour. I really missed playing to people, especially after the frequent gigs I was doing throughout Novemeber and December.

On Sunday we finished the final shots for the music video and I saw the first preview for 'Eyes wide'. It's looking good and we are all now patiently waiting for the end result.

I have another gig on Saturday at The Prince Albert in Stroud to raise money for Phab Kids- a disabled children's charity. It starts at 7:30 so if you are around why not come and have a look at what's happening!