Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Staycation Live 2019

August 3, 2019

GWR Reading-Guildford-Redhill, wifi not working, usb charging not working. Usually though is down to not turned on. Why is there not a check list? Maybe there is.

Alighting at Godalming Station, surprised how many get off the train. All were headed for Staycation Live. Word has got around.

Once I arrived at the park, already many people, far more than when I usually arrive.

Disappointed to find The Little Beer Company no longer running the bar as they have done an excellent job the last two years. Maybe ask Growlers & Cans.

Reusable plastic for the beer. Pay a refundable pound deposit. I can though foresees a problem, no washing facility on site.

The design I did not like. It would have been better a logo nothing more on the side.

But the concept is good sustainability.

Something that needs to be addressed at the markets in Godalming, Farnham, and Guildford. No it is not acceptable to use plastic. Why do councils have such abysmally low standards? If Staycation can, then so can they. They should be demonstrating best practice, not worst practice.

Hog roast always worth grabbing something to eat.

A fake burger vegan stall. I would rather have seen quality vegetarian dishes, not fake meet. They do at least make their own.

Beware of the fake meat being hyped for example Impossible Burger, big businesses, highly processed crap including gmo soya contaminated with glyphosate.

Extinction Rebellion probably thought themselves in a prime location, in the cloisters with the secondary stage. Not so if tried to hold a conversation

It would have been a good idea had they been granted the stage to give a talk. Maybe they were, maybe they did.

Something to consider for the future, talks, poetry, drama.

Need a quality coffee truck.

I would have liked to have seen a quality coffee stall. Something that has been lacking. Maybe try Coffee Gems, a quality coffee roastery in Farnham. Or 101 Coffee Espresso Bar in Oxford who have experience of running coffee stalls at festivals.

I would invite Ollo Foods, quality vegan food, not fake meat substitutes.

Surrey Pride, sponsored by BAE Systems, hands dripping with blood of all the children killed in Yemen. Sickening.

I did not stay long, left before three.

On leaving a brief chat with the local Mayor.

Lucky I left when I did, local butcher closes at three.

One reason for wishing to leave early, I had spotted on Wednesday cast iron cooking pots in Samaritans charity shop. Unfortunately had gone.

Looked in 2 Bada, a Korean restaurant. Somewhere to eat on my next visit to Godalming.

Caught bus into Guildford.

A little market on the Town Bridge. Did I want an ice cream? No, Loseley ice cream, not cheap at £3 a tiny tub, I would prefer a cone, no cones. Man suggests try elsewhere. But I could not find where he directed me.

I did find at the bottom of the North Street an ice cream van peddling crap ice cream with engine running.

It illustrates Extinction Revolution have a long way to go. Guildford has declared a Climate Emergency. Empty words unless followed by action. Why is this ice cream van permitted?

Dylan’s ice cream, top quality local ice cream and served in a cone, does not leave an engine running.

Next time roads are blocked, point out roads are multi-function, not restricted to traffic. OK for a bike ride passing through that blocks the roads. The chaos is as nothing when Climate Emergency kicks in.

Last week record high temperate. This week, a month’s rain fell within a couple of hours, roads swept away, rail lines swept away, a dam about to overflow a small town evacuated. Had the hills been rewilded, subsidised sheep kicked off the hills, these flash floods would have been prevented. Grass grazed herbivores improve soil structure, soil acts as carbon sink, grass mitigates temperature change, when it rains the water soaks into the ground.

Good deed of the day, helped with a survey on shopping habits. Long discussion followed on collapse of retail in town centres. Tunsgate Quarter zombie shopping centre, Brighton, need for support for local indie businesses not chains, question why Visit Guildford and Experience Guildford are promoting corporate chains at the expense of local indie businesses, are they taking money to do so?

My detour into Guildford to collect Black Gold from Waterstone’s.

A girl outside handing out poetry. She was typing it out on a portable typewriter. She was packing up when I came out of the bookshop.

I questioned she was not there for long. She told mm she had been there all day.

She told em she was a musician and gave me a copy of her EP.

It was then to Guildford Station.

Even though I left Staycation Live early it was still around seven when I got home.

Staycation Live is supported by Godalming Town Council. And they are to be complimented for their continued support.

Culture should be supported for its own sake, it improves well-being, sense of place, but as a study in Sheffield has shown, it also benefits the local economy.

To what extent does Staycation Live benefit the local economy? Those with stalls will benefit, if provided by local bars and restaurant, as in the past, even if not making money on the day, is going to tempt to visit.

Sheffield has an excellent freebie magazine Now Then found in indie coffee shops which supports local indie businesses, local culture.

Contrast with Guildford where Visit Guildford and Experience Guildford promote corporate chains, big business to the detriment of local indie businesses. 

 

Winds of Change

July 24, 2019

Very moving BBC Radio 4 documentary on Winds of Change how it came to be written, impact on people’s lives, interwoven with East Berlin and fall of Berlin Wall, and hopes of people in Soviet Union.

Meant a lot to me as at Checkpoint Charlie in May, walked along a stretch of the Berlin Wall, was in East Berlin.

Also Rudolf Schenker of Scorpions a friend.

Had me in tears.

A pity BBC did not play song in full, spine chilling.

For me chilling to walk along the Berlin Wall, to visit Checkpoint Charlie.

Inspiration for Winds of Change was a peace concert in Moscow, and Perestroika under Mikhail Gorbachev.

When the Berlin Wall fell, people across Europe had hope.

Now we have a thuggish state in Russia headed by Vladimir Putin, rise of Fascism across Europe, political show trials in Spain.

Carmina Burana rehearsal

June 22, 2019

Oxford University Church stayed a while for rehearsal of Carmina Burana thatt was to be performed at a concert that evening.

Sadly unable to stay for the evening performance.

— to be continued —

Blue Spice

May 28, 2019

Blue Spice is acknowledged as one of the premier restaurants in Cyprus, dining in our restaurant is a gastronomic experience. – Blue Spice

Pernera is one of those places best avoided, all-inclusive hotels, which in turn attracts bottom end of tourist market. As with Protaras, bars and restaurants competing with all-inclusive, competing with each other in a race to the bottom.

But as I was passing through Pernera, decided to eat at Blue Spice, or at least a friend decided for me when she dropped me off saying it had good reviews

A big mistake.

A strange set up, a very large restaurant surrounding a swimming pool. Also as I discovered later, an art gallery. It also appeared to be part of a larger complex including accommodation.

Souvlaki, or as they insisted on calling it it kebab, was not good. Far worse than No 1 or Vangelis in Protaras and that was not good either.

Very poor quality compared with Plaka in Athens.

As I was thinking of leaving, musicians started to arrive.

It could only get worse I thought, live music.

I could not have been more wrong. Far better than the so-called entertainment in the bars and hotels in Protaras

A guy on electric violin, a guy on keyboards and a female vocalist.

They did not play, they improvised, at one point the violinist was looping.

I asked and learnt they play every Tuesday night.

No way would I recommend Blue Spice to eat, but worth turning up around 2130 for a drink and settling down for the music.

They played a solid two hour set if not longer until around midnight.

A premier restaurant it is not, a gastronomic experience it is not, not unless count gastronomic disaster as an experience, but worth a visit for the trio who play Tuesday night.

Two places worth trying. Demetrion fish restaurant at Liopetri River and Kamasias in Paralimni.

Cappuccino al fresco at Little Tree

May 15, 2019

Located beind The Acropolis Museum, little tree is a bookshop cum coffee shop. I have though yet to see anyone buy a book.

Great place to relax with a coffee or later a craft beer. They do food too.

Something though needs to done about the near continous convoy of noisy pollution belching tour buses, like close and pedestrianise the roads.

A break in the pollution belching bus convoy, it is lovely and peacefull and quiet under the shade of the trees, then along comes the next pollution belching bus convoy.

Excellent cappuccino, coffee supplied by Taf.

Pleasant and friendly staff. Nice comment when one said you are one of us. In other words an Athenian.

Last time I visited, there was music I fancied, and I regretted that I did not buy. I did not know what it was, neither did they when asked.

I took a chance and picked up the sole remaining copy of Amorgos by Ada Pitsou.

Soho Coffee House Berlin

May 10, 2019

It is not every coffee shop walk in and find a Damien Hirst on the wall.

What is next noticed is the vast open space various stalls. Clothes, music, books, and coffee and food.

Coffee was excellent, as was the food.

I had my eye on a cake, but had gone when I tried again.

The magazines on offer, some interesting, too many glossy trash. I suggested a few titles they may wish to stock, Standart, Drift, On Nom, Caboodle.

Carol of the Bells

December 25, 2018

Carol of the Bells performed by Lindsey Stirling.

Hallelujah

December 25, 2018

Lindsey Stirling performs Leonard Cohen classic Hallelujah.

City of My Mind album launch party

December 9, 2018

City of My Mind album launch party at Roadtrip & the Workshop 243 Old Street Shoreditch London

I head to Old Street. Find what I am looking for, where Jewelia is holding a launch party for City of My Mind, her debut album.

A queue to get in, bouncers on the door. I walk to the front of the queue, show I am invited, they usher me in. Through a bar, down into an airless basement.

Jewelia welcomes me.

I was not going to stay late, maybe leave at latest by nine, in time to get to Lower Marsh and eat at Maria’s Cafe. But, I have arrived late, Jewelia does not play until late. I decide to stay. I will leave at 10-30 very latest.

She does not finish playing until gone 10-30pm.

A brief chat, I feel guilty leaving, but do not know when last train.

Tower of Song

November 6, 2018

Leonard Cohen Tower of Song Memorial Concert one year ago.