Image

WPC: A Good Match – Jonas And Jane

Jonas and Jane

WPC: A Good Match – Jonas And Jane

Jonas and Jane performed on Saturday night at The Wilfrid Noyce Centre in Godalming alongside Backwoods Creek and The Nefarious Picaroons. A night of Americana, Country and Stomped-up Pop in aid of Skillway, the charity chosen by the Mayor of Godalming.

Jonas and Jane are an Americana Duo from the UK who consist of harmony driven and bluegrass influenced folk. They have toured Texas, Colorado and Arizona and have played many UK festivals including two stages at Maverick Americana Festival in 2015 and the main stage at Carfest South 2015 to over 35,000 people, following a live performance of their song ‘Whispered’ on the Chris Evans BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show in August 2015.

Image

Nefarious

Ashley Paddon from The Nefarious Picaroons

Nefarious

On Saturday night we went to a charity concert in Godalming. With such rubbish weather I knew it was probably my only opportunity to get an image to put into today’s Fotospeed weekend-photography challenge! I am working on a complete set of the three bands that were playing for my Facebook page but, until then, I decided to process a couple of my photos of Ashley Paddon, from The Nefarious Picaroons. It was hard deciding which to go for as the entry but I think my lead image would make a great, colourful print! What do you all think?

Image

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ambience

Meg Barwell

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ambience

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!

The Dirty Carols and Sophie & Vikki

Tom Gortler

Claudia Stark

Keith Bayley featuring Gavin Thomas

Eva Perrin Fontana

Cardboard Carousel

Portland

Meg Barwell

Bare Jams

And finally…..

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!

Image

Every Day Is Different: Day 4

Hazel O'Connor

Every Day Is Different: Day 4

Every Day Is Different

Today didn’t start very well but it certainly ended on a high note! I was up less little more than an hour before having to take myself straight back to bed. I remembered to set an an alarm as I had an important date to make this evening! Having got up for the second time, I threw on some clothes, fed the cats and rushed off to get the train up to London to meet Simon and our friend Julia. Our destination was the beautiful Union Chapel venue in Islington for a 35th Anniversary screening of the film Breaking Glass.

Hazel and her band receiving applause

This was followed by a Q&A with Hazel O’Connor, a performance with her band, Sarah Fisher and Clare Hirst, who were then joined by a full choir in front of an audience that really was packed to the rafters! I was able to copy a couple of images from my camera onto my phone to process on the train returning home. The rest of my photos today were taken on the phone, including a lovely one of me and Simon that Julia kindly took for us! Lots of interesting purples for #PurpleFriday including Heather’s dress 🙂

Image

Travel Theme: Above

Travel Theme: Above

Ailsa’s theme this week was based around images that she’d taken above various subjects and landscapes. My own take on this challenge is of a subject that was above me! No it’s not a UFO, or Christmas lights. This is part of the lighting rig for Peter Gabriel‘s Back To Front tour, which Simon and I went to this week at Wembley Arena. I wasn’t an official photographer for this concert so all images were taken on my compact camera. I was very impressed by the staging and production design for the tour. The lighting was kept simple but produced in an innovative way, bringing an extra sense of theatre to a fantastic performance, with a great twist at the end!

Image

NaBloPoMo – Saturday Night Music

NaBloPoMo – Saturday Night Music

Tonight’s music was brought to us by the brilliant STEViE – One Bloke One Mandolin. The observant among you will notice that he also has a Mandola and a Banjo! Stevie Simpson is one of the very best songwriters that I have the pleasure of knowing 🙂

Image

Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

Salvation

Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

The Last Post is a mass participation project that has seen communities across the UK playing the Last Post on a variety of different instruments to remember lives of World War One.  In Woking, our event was organised by Andy Mabbutt from The Phoenix Cultural Centre and hosted by Eddie Jones at The Trench Experience shop and Upcycling Centre.

The Trench Experience shop was the ideal setting for our event. The Charity was founded by Eddie Jones in 2005 and has just started work on a permanent base for the educational project, on land beside Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey. The site will be developed in real-time to the events of the First World War, leading up to a Victory Celebration in 2018. The charity has chosen The Artists Rifle Regiment to illustrate trench conditions. The Artists fought as a battalion and were in the thick of the fighting with the Royal Naval Division at Passchendaele and Ypres. I’m really excited about this open-air, living history museum!

Cllr Tony Branagan, the Mayor of Woking, opened the event and welcomed us all. We honoured the memory of the Artist’s Rifles with prose and poetry from Greg Freeman, of the Woking Writers Circle, and also from me. Wilfred Owen is one of the best known members of the Artist’s Rifles and his poetry was a huge inspiration to me from my school days. I felt it was fitting to read a number of his poems including, Beauty and Anthem For Doomed Youth, two of my favourites and incredibly moving pieces. I also read my recently penned homage to Blood Swept Lands.

Vic Cracknell took us on a journey through the music of the era which brought back memories for many of us, young and old. My Great Aunt Jo was always singing with us when we were children and I was probably one of the most vocal members of the audience during the sing-a-long when Vic launched into She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain! Voices rose all around the shop for It’s A Long Way To Tipperary and Pack Up Your Troubles. One of the most moving moments of the event came as Vic read an actual letter from the Grandfather he never met, back home to his family about having been wounded in action and losing an arm. It was full of reassurance to loved ones and gratitude for all the help he was receiving. Such an upbeat letter considering such dire circumstances!

A great achievement bringing several of Woking’s community groups together to put on such a successful and moving event!

Image

NaBloPoMo and Travel Theme – Belonging at The Lovely Music Night

Andy Twyman

NaBloPoMo and Travel Theme – Belonging at The Lovely Music Night

Every month a Lovely Music Night is held at The Phoenix Cultural Centre in Woking. Tonight was that night and it was truly lovely! There’s such a feeling of belonging for both audience and musicians at these events. Thank you to Dave Lambert, Ciaron and Alan, Lisa Von H, Dave Salsbury, Dan Shears and The Velveteen Orchestra, Andy Twyman and Cardboard Carousel for the wonderful music!

All photos taken on Sony Xperia Z phone and processed with Google Photos App.

 

Image

Butterflies And Flutterbyes – Genesis Extended

Steve Hackett

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.

Genesis Revisited II - The Band