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,