Wordless Wednesday: Purple Haze
ShareMondays2019 – Tulip Dreams
Guildford Castle always produces a magical display of tulips in the gardens of the old moat! I’ve been playing with using in-camera multiple exposures and extra blur from Nik Analog Efex and Photoshop. I love the way it’s been working with the pastels of the Spring blooms! Happy Easter and good luck to everyone entering today’s Twitter comps!
Wordless Wednesday: Breathing
My hubby and I braved the elements on Saturday to go to the Cheese and Chilli Festival near Guildford on Saturday. We were all hoping for a break in the rain to watch the GMG Falconry display! No such luck, complete washout. The birds were out on perches under gazebos but they were still getting a bit damp and chilly. I did manage to take a few portraits and I really like the way the damp feathers brought exaggerated detail to this female kestrel’s expression! She had puffed her feathers up to get a bit more insulation from the damp and cold. Such a beautiful bird but she really wasn’t impressed. The phrase “fed up” actually comes from falconry language. It was used to describe a bird that had eaten enough food that it wasn’t interested in flying anymore, literally fed up! The birds on display certainly looked completely fed up but not from feeding. Birds of prey really can’t fly in such heavy rain! Although oils spread through their feathers give them a certain amount of weatherproofing, a wild kestrel would have been hunkered down in a tree or rock roost waiting for the rain to pass. We decided that it was too wet to stick around and returned to our own roost to wait out the weather! So my choices for today’s Fotospeed challenge were limited but I can’t really complain when I had this lovely kestrel.
Blue Monday: Holly Blues In Spring
These last few weeks of warm, sunny weather have brought out many of our native butterflies and they have been delightful! The Holly Blue is the first of the British blues to emerge from overwintering pupae in the Spring generation. They stay high in the trees most of the time and you have the best chance of seeing them near holly trees, where this generation will lay their eggs. The late Summer generation, hatched from these larvae will, in turn, lay their eggs on the ivy to complete this wonderful cycle! I finally managed to get close to one as it sunned itself, lower down on brambles, at Dapdune Wharf on the Wey Navigation in Guildford. It refused to open those beautiful, little wings but you can still see the silvery-blue of the undersides.
Yesterday I joined a group of local photographers for a photoramble around Guildford. We picked the wrong day! It was absolutely tipping it down with rain and most of the group gave up before reaching the Castle Grounds. Well the daffodils were truly glorious, crowning the hill with gold. Shame about the sky at the time which was grey and featureless! For my Fotospeed Challenge image I decided that I would merge a beautiful spring-blue sky from Saturday into my photo of the castle. The resulting composite is the sight that I had been imagining enjoying and capturing on our day out! Despite the rain I loved going around the grounds, seeing the beautiful daffodils, primrose and blossoms. There was so much birdsong and a real feel of life springing up around me! I am looking forward to seeing the grounds carpeted with tulips soon 🙂
Music and lighting really is the embodiment of ambience! I prefer my music LIVE and ORIGINAL. Fortunately, there is an abundance of musical talent in my area with many local, live-music venues and promoters! I am blessed to be able to call some of these fantastic musicians my friends and artistic collaborators. I love discovering new music! Open-mic nights are a great way to support local talent and and enjoy an eclectic mix of musical genres.
One Winter’s Night is the brainchild of Guildford based promoter and musician Gavin Thomas. Produced every January by GT Live Sessions, this concert is a collection of acoustic performances at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. It was fantastic to watch my friends Richard and Calliopi, from Cardboard Carousel, and Claudia Stark perform on a big stage where they truly belong! The lighting design from John Harris along with the subtle staging from Liza Cheal and Jamie Barber, of the Yvonne Arnaud, added yet more ambience to what was a magical evening of music from the community, for the community.
Thanks to sponsorship from KP Snacks Limited, all the money raised on the night will be donated to two local charities, Challengers and The Onslow Ward at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. Challengers are an independent charity, developing and delivering inclusive play and leisure for disabled children and young people across Surrey, Hampshire and the surrounding areas. Onslow Ward is the inpatient unit for Oncology and Haematology at the Royal Surrey Hospital. The ward is in desperate need of a powered hoist that can be positioned by any bed on the ward, enabling a single nurse/carer to safely move patients in and out of the beds. I know the Royal Surrey Hospital very well myself as it is where I was first admitted with Crohn’s nearly twenty two years ago. They saved my life. My first stay as an inpatient was for about six weeks so I know how much of a difference a hoist like this will mean to both staff and patients alike!
I’ve also put together a compilation video of the nights’ performances for your enjoyment! Please note that The Dirty Carols recreate songs that you may know well, BUT with alternate and slightly rude (sometimes, oh okay, most of the time!) lyrics. If you are playing this video to younger people, or are of a sensitive nature, then you may forward through (or mute) their hilarious songs. No offence is intended or taken!
Legendary guitarist Steve Hackett performed and wrote with Genesis from 1971 until 1977. Having penned so many of the classic Genesis songs of the era, Steve and his band put together the brilliant Genesis Revisited II tour, album and DVD in 2012 and 2013.
I was privileged to be at The Hammersmith Apollo concert in May 2013 for the filming of the DVD, with special guest appearances including Nik Kershaw, John Wetton, Jakko Jakszyk, Steve Rothery and Amanda Lehmann. What an extraordinary concert it was and I can certainly recommend the DVD, not just to Genesis and Hackett fans, but to all music lovers!
The tour has been critically acclaimed across the world, continuing to sell out venues and receiving rapturous applause from spellbound audiences. Genesis Revisited II deservedly won the Best Live Event category at the The Progressive Music Awards 2013. With such high demand for tickets the tour has been extended this year.
Steve Hackett – Guitars and Vocals
On Monday the 3rd of November, the tour buses rolled into Guildford, once the home town for the original members of Genesis, to perform to yet another sold out concert at G Live. The venue started life as The Guildford Civic Hall in 1962, playing host to some of the worlds’ musical greats including The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Eric Clapton and later in the 1990’s The Prodigy and The Levellers.
Rob Townsend – Sax, Flute and Percussion
It surprised me to discover that Genesis only ever performed at the Civic once, in 1980 for The Duke Tour. This, of course, was post Hackett, although the band had performed at the nearby University of Surrey in January 1972 for the Nursery Crime Tour. It was later in that same year that Peter Gabriel first donned one of his infamous costumes during the Dublin concert of the Foxtrot tour.
Nick Beggs – Bass Guitar and Chapman Stick
It was wonderful to see and hear Steve’s band perform together in the intimate setting of G Live. There’s something about the venue that has always brought audience and performers closer together than the size of the hall would suggest possible. This was remarked upon by all the band members after the show. I do hope that they will return to Guildford again with more of Steve Hackett’s great music! Steve has performed and recorded with Roger King, Rob Townsend, Gary O’Toole and Nick Beggs for many years now. Keyboard player, Roger King, mixed and recorded the first Genesis Revisited album in 1996.
Roger King – Keyboards
Vocalist, Nad Sylvan joined the band for the Genesis Revisited II tour in 2012. I was hugely impressed by this theatrical, Swedish singer when I saw the band perform at The Hammersmith Apollo last year. He is most certainly an inspirational part of the band. I wonder how hard it will be for them all to end this tour together! Nad first caught Steve’s attention performing on the Unifaun album; a piece of original music inspired by 1970’s era Genesis. His voice resonates a mix of both Gabriel and Collins, while his dramatic performance is so reminiscent of Gabriel’s love of story-telling.
Nad Sylvan – Vocals
The highlight of these concerts, for me, has been hearing Supper’s Ready performed live. I get Butterflies and Flutterbyes whenever I listen to this track from the Foxtrot album, but experiencing it live is pure magic! Blood On The Rooftops is another treat, sending shivers down my spine as the acoustic intro sweeps into harmonious vocals and tender saxophone arrangements. This is one of the few times that we get to see drummer, Gary O’Toole, as he rises behind his drums to serenade us just as co-writer, Phil Collins, would have done in years past.
Gary O’Toole – Drums, Percussion and Vocals
Genesis really brought the concept of stage-lighting to a new level, setting the scene for the future, in partnership with Vari-Lite. The lighting for this tour has been quite exceptional and is so exciting for me as a photographer! I hope that my galleries convey some of the nuances of the music, the drama of performance and the camaraderie of this brilliant band.