Monday, 17 June 2013

A Day Late, A Dollar Short


Apologies for another late blog, at least it's just a day this time!

First off I want to say a big thank you to everyone who came down to The Lacehouse last Saturday for the Hope for Children benefit concert that I put on for a friend of mine.  He was very pleased with the event and the money we raised!  A special thanks to everyone who performed, Alexa Hawksworth was a fantastic addition to the bill and filled in at very short notice which we were incredibly grateful for.  We also had two other lovely ladies, Beth Frisby, Izzy Marie Hill and one of my favourite Nottingham based bands (possibly just one of my favourite bands in general) The Most Ugly Child performing an acoustic set of their country/Americana style music.  Finally I also want to throw in a huge thank you to Kimberley Winter of Under the Tree for helping make the night possible and The Lacehouse for being fantastic hosts as always.

Before I get into this weeks activities I want to say that sadly I will not be going on the Emily and the Woods and Sam Brookes tour that I was due to embark on today.  Due to some unfortunate work conflicts I have had to withdraw myself from the tour and also end my work with NA Music.  Thankfully, the wonderfully talented Dougie Francis was able to step up and fill the gap.  I wish Emily, Sam and Dougie all the best for the week, I'm sure they'll have a fantastic time!

This Friday I traveled back to Matlock for the first time since the February tour to play a set at Twenty-Ten for the lovely Jason Barker.  The two of us were also lucky to be joined by The Most Ugly Child who I was more than happy to watch again not a week since they played for me at The Lacehouse.  Since Matlock is pretty close to Nottingham but far enough away to be a bit of an adventure, with my Under the Tree friends in tow, we set out bright and early to go and explore what I'd call a seaside town with no sea (so many fish & chips restaurants and amusement arcades!).  It turned out to be a really lovely day out, we drove around the surrounding areas and I visited the Chatsworth Estate for the first time, such an impressive place!  The nice weather seems to have disappeared however, and as we were driving through the rainy countryside we had the questionable brilliant idea to film Hurricane in a stormy field.  The resulting video was very atmospheric and I got soaked.  It should hopefully be floating around on the internet soon as well as Kim's Road Trip diary showing our travels...

I did yet more filming bright and early on Saturday morning, this time for WAITT Unsigned at the BrewDog Nottingham.  That video should be available next Saturday (but I'll be living it up in Barcelona by then!).

Finally, I'm very pleased to announce that I will be going back into the studio, this time with Dan of The Most Ugly Child (which as you can imagine I'm very happy about), so the EP is getting set... I've even finished the artwork, can't wait to show you!

Tonight I'll be at The Golden Fleece for one of the last open mic nights with all my friends before people leave Nottingham and the uni life forever, these are pretty sad times but I'm sure we'll be having fun tonight!

Love y'all!

Anwyn :) x

Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Late Blog

Hello everyone,

First and foremost I want to say sorry for forgetting to blog last week... The sunny British weather took me by surprise and I got a bit carried away sunbathing in the park!

So the last time I wrote on here I was writing live from Dot to Dot festival.  It seems like such a long time ago now but I just want to talk a brief bit about how fantastic it was.  I was lucky enough to be performing at the Dot to Dot fringe for the lovely people at Under the Tree down at Alley Cafe.  I was joined by some truly amazing acts including the likes of Agnes Bella, Michael Stott, Matt Gold and Beth Frisby.  When I wasn't helping out with our stage I was able to catch some of the main festival in full swing.  I kicked my Dot to Dot day off in Rescue Rooms bar with Leah Sinead who is an incredible local artist.  Continuing the Nottingham based theme, I went to Jongleurs to watch the amazing Georgie Rose perform with her full band.  After seeing her play an acoustic set just a few days before for Under the Tree at Bodega, it was brilliant to see just how perfectly she took to playing with a band.  It was also lovely to see the relatively large venue with so many people in to support a local talent, despite it being early.  This year's Dot to Dot excelled at bringing local acts to the forefront, with such a huge number of talented musicians performing I believe the Nottingham music scene is something everyone involved should be incredibly proud of.

Of course there were other acts at the festival, I finally was able to see Benjamin Francis Leftwich perform after missing him at the end of last year.  He took to the Rock City main stage alone with just his guitar and captivated the audience.  Over on the Rescue Rooms main stage later in the day, following very positive reviews from a friend, I saw Bear's Den and I am now officially in love with this band.  I'm kind of regretting jumping on the Gentlemen of the Road in Dublin tickets now I know that they'll be joining Mumford & Sons, Ben Howard and Edward Sharpe in London, but never mind!  I am hoping they put some more music online soon...  Towards the end of the day as the sun started to disappear, I headed back to Rock City for the 1975, they'd just arrived from supporting Muse at the Emirates but with so much energy you couldn't tell.  While they were no where near being my favourite of the day, it was totally worth sticking around for the majority of their set just to hear Chocolate and have a little dance/sing along (with my terrible accent impression).  Finally, before heading over to the silent disco, I went back to Jongleurs for one of my faves; Lucy Rose.  She was brilliant as ever, possibly even better than when I saw her in Sheffield!  

As if my Dot to Dot day couldn't get better, about 3 weeks before I'd set my iTunes to automatically download Laura Marling's new album and at midnight it did just that.  I won't go into a track by track review because I will be here til next week, but I am so happy with it.  Highlights for me are the 3 tracks she'd already released on SoundCloud; Once, Master Hunter and Where Can I Go? as well as Undine, Little Love Caster, When Were You Happy? and Devil's Resting Place.  Now, I realise that that's a lot of highlights, but that's how amazing and beautifully crafted this album is.  The first 4 tracks roll effortlessly into each other and could just as easily have been one long song.  Many of the tracks on the rest of the album remind me of Joni Mitchell, particularly When Were You Happy, perhaps because Marling relocated to LA for this album.  Either way, it is fantastic and I advise everyone to get a copy, I can't praise her highly enough.

Other than Dot to Dot I've been doing my standard rounds in Nottingham, putting in appearances at BrewDog, The Maze, Guitar Bar and The Lacehouse.  Today I'll be at the Maze again for Wipe Out Festival which I'm very excited about.  It's only £5 entry for 3 stages of music from 5pm til late!

Hope everyone is enjoying this cheeky bit of summer we're having!

Love y'all!

Anwyn :) x

Sunday, 26 May 2013

I'm at Dot to Dot!

Good evening everyone!

So clearly I forgot to write a blog this week however, I have a totally legit response; Dot to Dot festival! All day this Sunday I've been out at the festival enjoying some fantastic music, as I'm writing this now I'm sat in the Alley Cafe listening to the fantastic Beth Frisby play for the Under the Tree stage of D2D (I love technology, iPhones rule!) I'm going to do more of a festival review next Sunday as there's still loads more to see today...

As for the rest of this week, it's been a bit of a quiet one in all fairness. It all began at the Maze last Sunday with a gig. i went to see New Orleans band, Hurray for the Riff Raff and they were amazing! I mentioned them in a blog a few weeks ago after tracking down their song Young Blood Blues and I was super excited to see them. Then of course there was the Golden Fleece open mic night which eventually turned into an impromptu jam night at the Lacehouse.

Seeing as I was gig-less for the rest of the week I took two days out to get in the studio and record my EP which has been a very exciting experience.  I've got 4 tracks done now it's just a case of getting them mixed down nicely and adding in some other random stuff (banjo update to follow no doubt!) 

So short and sweet this week, Beth has just finished her set beautifully and now we're on to the next! Yay Under the Tree and Dot to Dot! 

Love y'all!

Anwyn :) x

Sunday, 19 May 2013

I've Finished Uni!

Hello there!

This week has been a very busy one on the gigging front.  Starting off on Monday as the NTU Music Society took over Spanky van Dykes for the last acoustic night of this academic year.  This month we had fantastic music from Will Wilson, Izzie Marie Hill, Agnes Bella and Yasmin Issaka.  I kicked off the night with a little help from Will on a cover of Noel Gallagher's If I Had a Gun which is one of my favourite songs so was pretty happy to perform it! I also busted out a ukelele for one of my songs which was a lot of fun as I haven't played ukelele on stage in a very long time...

Tuesday was a pretty important day for me, my final piece of uni work was submitted and I am now no longer a student (we'll make it official when I graduate....) To celebrate I spent the entire day in bed catching up on some TV, then eventually ventured out to watch the super talented Ryan Thomas play at Tilt. 

On Wednesday I traveled to Sheffield for NA Music's 5th Birthday celebrations.  I was joined at the Bowery by my tour friends Simon Roe, Eve May Rowlands and Dougie Francis as well as NA Music bands The Retrospectives and Twin Bears.  It was a really enjoyable evening... HAPPY BIRTHDAY NA MUSIC! :)

I made a return to Leamington Spa on Friday to perform at the opening of my friends' new studio.  Sound Anchor Studios is a new business in Leamington based in one of the creative arches underneath the railway bridge that offers rehearsal space, PA hire, CD printing and eventually recording.  It's a very exciting development and I feel really lucky to have been a part of it's opening.

I was straight back to Nottingham on Saturday to play Kerblammo! at the Maze for Under the Tree which was a lot of fun.  With three stages and loads of different acts it was a great night.  I managed to catch music from Mikie Howard and Proper English Gentlemen before playing my acoustic set in the Forest Tavern at the front of the Maze.

So Sunday is my first proper day off in a little while and I've enjoyed it with some unhealthy takeaway and gossiping with friends.  We're going to watch Harry Potter now so I'll have to leave it here!

Enjoy the next week...

Love y'all 

Anwyn :) x


Sunday, 12 May 2013

Rain, Rain Go Away...

Hello readers!

Where did all that sunshine disappear to?!  I already miss it...  Is that Summer 2013 done and dusted?  We'll see I suppose.

Last Sunday while the weather was still lovely I got to play a nice set at the Anchor's beer festival to help raise some money for charity.  It was a fantastic day and as the sun was out we were lucky enough to perform our sets in the Hartshill pub's beautiful beer garden.  I felt so summery!  The fantastic weather continued into Bank Holiday Monday but I unfortunately had to spend 2hours on a train to Nottingham, when I did get back it was straight to the Golden Fleece for some open mic love (in between sitting up on the roof terrace of course!).

After spending a lot of time on Tuesday making a fantastic (in my humble opinion) Summer playlist on Spotify of nearly 500 tracks I was disappointed to say the least when I woke up to the miserable grey day that was Wednesday...  My spirits were lifted later in the evening by going to the amazing Rescue Rooms Quiz and Kareoke for the very first time!  Seriously, it was sooo much fun... we didn't win but it's all about the taking part right?!  The kareoke was fab, I haven't done it in such a long time, it was nice to just have a bit of a mess about while singing instead of taking it seriously all the time...

That said, I was back to seriousness on Thursday night as the Music Society did an Under the Tree takeover at Brewdog.  Big thanks to Kim Winter for pulling all of it together, it was a brilliant night with many, many, many very talented Music Society performers who I love a lot.  We had beautiful music from: Mikie HowardWill WilsonGeorge and JessYasmin IssakaMichael StottMiles HornsbyAgnes BellaMatt GoldIzzy Marie HillAdam Peter SmithThe Long Intros and a special guest appearance from  Marc Reeves who was kind enough to do sound for us (thank you!).  It was so nice to have a night like that before a lot of our members graduate and disappear so a big thank you to everyone who came down to play and support :)

On Friday I submitted my last university essay, all that's left to do now is a piece of group work and then (hopefully...) graduation!  I feel very strange at the minute, these last three years have been mad and I'm so close to the finish line now.  I'm sure to dwell on this even more next week when it'll finally all be over.

Saturday night gave me my first experience of drinking in Beeston!  I played at the White Lion for the Next Step Network music night.  The charity deals with people with mental health problems and helps them with their recoveries, it's a really fantastic charity that's run entirely by volunteers so I was glad to be able to help out even just a little by playing the gig for them.  I was also joined by several other artists and managed to catch sets by Adam Peter Smith, always a pleasure to watch, and the lovely Becky Syson who was kind enough to offer me another gig! yay!  Oh, and Beeston is cool, I like it.

I think that's just about it for this week, let's hope the sun comes back out and I can enjoy my playlist in style...  And finally, before I go, I'm delighted to announce that on the 26th May I'll be playing the Under the Tree stage in Alley Cafe at the Dot to Dot fringe festival! 

Love y'all!

Anwyn :) x

PS - Spotify adverts keep telling me about their 'play button' feature so I've decided to utilise it and share my summer love with you, voila!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Sun is Out!

Happy Sunday!

Hope everyone has enjoyed the lovely weather we've had this week!  Let's hope it sticks around a little while longer....

Last Sunday evening I went to The Queens Social Club in Sheffield to watch Lucy Rose, she was so good!  I actually think it might've been one of the best gigs I've been to in a while, she was fantastic!  And afterwards she sold me some tea... Lucy Rose makes tea!  How cool is that?  I really enjoyed watching her perform, I've been a big fan of her for quite a while.

Monday was the standard Golden Fleece open mic night which was brilliant as always, I will be sad when all the final year students in the Music Society graduate and disappear, I'm hoping to stick around!

This week the Music Society were invited to perform at Nottingham Trent Student's Union Awards (NTSU Awards).  For any of you that follow me on Twitter will be fully aware of this after my explosion of tweets on Wednesday night. Let me explain, we were sat next to a TV screen that was displaying tweets with #ntsuawards, Music Society kinda just ran with it...  It was a lovely evening with free food and wine (hence all the tweets).  Myself, Matt Gold and the Long Intros all got to perform one song each in front of a very suave looking audience.  The NTU Drama Society also performed songs from their rendition of Fame and dance group, Funky Fresh Collective did an incredible routine.

This weekend I've come back home again, which is always a nice treat and this afternoon I'll be travelling to the The Anchor in Hartshill to perform at a Beer Festival with my good friends Benjamin Penrose and Samuel Hayler!  I'll let you know how we get on next week...

Love y'all

Anwyn :) x


Sunday, 28 April 2013

Open Mic Binge

Hello readers!

So as the name of this blog suggests I have been to a lot of open mic nights this week and I intend to talk you through them a little.  It all began last Sunday at the Brewdog in Nottingham.  This week was only the second time I had been to this night but I already felt really welcome and comfortable there.  I played an entirely new set of three songs that had never been played to people before which was a lot of fun and they seemed to go down pretty well which is always nice, I’ve been experimenting with different tunings so it was really interesting to get a bit of a different sound out.  I highly recommend this open mic night, not least for the free drink given to every performer (Brewdog beers are pretty special).

Monday night was of course spent at the Golden Fleece on Mansfield road.  This open mic is pretty much home to me; it was the first place I EVER played so I really owe a lot to it.  It’s always a fantastic atmosphere no matter how quiet or busy it is on the night.  My favourite.

On Tuesday I was very, very happy to be heading back home for a few days.  It had been so long since I was last in Leamington Spa so it really was brilliant to be there.  Luckily for me, Tuesday night is open mic night at my ‘local’, The Robbins Well.  I really enjoyed being back in the loop here and getting to see some of my incredibly talented friends Spa side! (check out Benjamin Penrose and Samuel Hayler)

I did have a night off on Wednesday, instead of doing anything myself I headed over to the O2 Academy in Birmingham to see the fantastic Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls as they toured the new album, Tape Deck Heart.  I’ve been a fan of Frank Turner for quite a while but only saw him live for the first time last summer at V Festival and then again at Rock City in Nottingham just before Christmas; I think this was the best I’d seen him, it was a great show.

Back in the Spa, on Thursday night I ventured out to another open mic night this time at the Cross Keys.  It wasn’t one I’d been to before but it was a lot of fun and very enjoyable, I played four songs on my own and then got to do a duet with someone I hadn’t done a duet with in a very long time which was lovely.  All in all, it was great to be home albeit only for a couple of days.  I will be back in the area next weekend for a beer festival in Hartshill, keep an eye out on my Facebook/Twitter for details nearer the time!

I spent much of Friday in a car.  We travelled from Leamington to York and back to Nottingham. The M1 in a traffic jam isn’t always the most pleasant of experiences but luckily I had a ukelele on hand to make everything more cheerful... check out the video!  While in York I had the pleasure of playing at the Basement again, this time supporting the phenomenal Alessi’s Ark.  It was a great show and I really enjoyed watching Alessi’s Ark who I have been listening to for quite a while now.  Also the other support act, Denis Jones, was absolutely incredible and well worth a listen – lots of loops and electronic kind of sounds.

After a brief visit to my flat I was back on the road on Saturday to play at the Hammer and Pincers in Sheffield.  It was a lovely pub and I was joined by my friend Beth McCarthy who was her usual brilliant self.  It was nice to play somewhere different and although I’m not usually a massive fan of doing pub gigs it was a really nice evening.

Now we’re on Sunday… Tonight I’m off to see Lucy Rose at the Queens Social Club in Sheffield which I am incredibly excited about as I’ve been a huge fan of her probably since about 2011 when I first heard Middle of the Bed.  I missed out on seeing her in Nottingham so I’m making up for it now, will let you know what I think next Sunday!

Have a fantastic week,

Love y’all!

Anwyn  :) x