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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.

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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?

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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!

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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 🙂

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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

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective #1

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective #1

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective #1

Reading Ash’s description for this weeks challenge I actually felt that it was very much about how the photographer can influence the viewer’s perception with different photographic techniques.

That could include the angle or perspective at which the photograph is taken from, or how cropping an image to exclude part of the original can change the story that the viewer may interpret.

The theme itself is wide open to interpretation! One thing that sprang to mind is how I use my camera, lenses, filters and processing techniques to produce promotional images for bands and musicians.

It’s very important for people who view these musicians websites, or see flyers, to be able to get a feel for the style of music that they can expect. I try my best to convey that within my work!

In this example, my featured photograph is of Julia K, who, amongst her many musical projects, is a vocalist and keytar player for 80’s band, The Diamond Hearts. The band have done all their own styling but I wanted to add an extra 80’s twist with crisp lighting and a retro, prismatic filter. When people see this particular photo of Julia, I hope to make them think of strong female vocalists, such as Kate Bush and Annie Lennox.

Here are a few other photos from The Diamond Hearts photoshoot! Enjoy 🙂

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Twelve Days ‘Til Christmas: On The Ninth Day

Nine lady dancers

On the ninth day of Christmas, whatever did I see?
Nine lady dancers
Eight cows for milking,
Seven ducks-a-swimming,
Six troopers trooping,
FIVE GOLD COINS!
Four friends at Wisley,
Three kids and Chitty,
Two pipers playing
AND
A Santa with a rabbit on his knee!

It’s the launch of the new Leatherat album, Snake Eyes, tonight at The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury!

The first group of special guests were just perfect for today’s blog post. These are the ladies from Steampunk Morris and they were really great fun to watch and hear 🙂

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Jaw To The Floor

Jaw To The Floor

When was the last time you were so blown away by a piece of music that your jaw left a dent in the floor?

Well, the packed audience at The Boileroom, in Guildford, tonight all experienced an entire evening of jaw-dropping and mind-blowing musicianship, courtesy of Petteri Sariola, Mike Dawes and Jon Gomm.

Getting one of the best solo guitarists on the world would be nice, getting three is ridiculous. But the stars aligned and we managed to find a date that fitted all three of their calendars, this is a very special one-off show.”

Perhaps you’ve already seen Jon Gomm’s fabulous video “Passionflower” on YouTube, or Mike Dawes’ phenomenal version of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know?

If not, there’s no excuse, just follow those links and be astounded!

As ever, more to come, review and photo wise, on my Facebook Page as soon as possible.

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Music Matters

Music Matters

Music is the universal language. Today we all spoke as one in Woking at Our Big Gig!

Our Big Gig will see over 200,000 people attend 330 free gigs & events in 4 days. It’s a nationwide music celebration which takes place across the UK from the 11th to the 14th July 2013.

This annual event aims to bring communities together to celebrate their local musical talents and get more people involved in music making.

All Our Big Gig events were organised by local volunteers, in our case from The Phoenix Cultural Centre, in their communities. The events were at least 4 hours long, free for people to attend and were opportunities for people to take part in a range of musical activities.

Our Woking Big Gig featured music from Phoenix Chroi, Claudia Arnold, Cardboard Carousel, The Toniks and The Surrey Ukeaholics and the people of Woking in a fun buskalong 🙂

See all the photos from today here on my Facebook Page.