Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Tower of Song

November 6, 2018

Leonard Cohen Tower of Song Memorial Concert one year ago.

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Bartek Dabrowski

September 12, 2018

I encountered Bartek Dabrowski playing Spanish guitar in the street.

A rarity, he displayed he was on bandcamp.

I picked up two albums, Balance and Escape to the Happiness.

Although I did not recall Bartek Dabrowski I recognised one of his albums, Balance. We had met before in Lincoln about 18 months ago.

The Other Sam

August 17, 2018

I came across these three kids playing in the High Street during a recent trip to Winchester.

They were amazingly good. A sense of music few posses.

A must for Staycation Live, which this year was dire.

Let us hope someone grants them free studio recording time as they deserve it.

The Wing Faced Earth Figs

August 9, 2018

I chanced upon The Wing Faced Earth Figs playing in the street on a recent trip to Winchester.

They were excellent and attracted a large crowd.

Avant garde folk.

They were scheduled to play at Boomtown.

If only this talent at Staycation Live.

I picked up a CD.  It is an absolute must they are on bandcamp.

I found The Wing Faced Earth Figs later packing up. People were still going up to them to thank them. One lady popped out of her shop to tell them how enjoyable it made her day.  An ice cream vendor gave then free ice cream.

Staycation Live 2018

August 4, 2018

I was in two minds to visit Staycation Live this year, something I usually look forward to, a two-day free music festival in a park by the River Wey in Godalming.

Last couple of years I have not enjoyed as much as I used to.  Last year, both days I left early.

It was going to be a very hot day, though not as hot as Friday, there is very little shade on the site.

The clincher, South West Railways on strike.  The most ridiculous strike possible. Chinese owners have not said whether or not they will get rid of guards, the railway staff go on strike regardless. The only people it hits are the long suffering passengers, as though they do not suffer enough already from the appalling rail services in the country, as I often document.

I worked out I could get there, assuming train running, therefore set off to catch a train to Guildford, then on to Godalming.

I missed the train to Guildford. They drop the barriers and not possible to catch the train. Forty minutes wait for the next train.

At Guildford I leave the station and catch the bus.

A pleasant walk along the River Wey.

I have missed the first band, a blues band.

As I arrive a pop group playing.

I have a chat when they finish. Suggest they put their recently released work on Bandcamp, set free download, people can pay what they wish.

The cloisters used to be the quieter set, acoustics, jazz, blues, but not any more.

A rap artist with looped violin, overwhelming bass thudding out.  Had he stuck to looped violin, it would have been better. Check out Steve Lawson (looped bass) or Zoe Keating (looped cello).

I suggested to the guy who had music on sale, use Bandcamp.

Conversations on Bandcamp are either not aware of or aware of but do not use.

Maybe something on Bandcamp in the programme.

Fairly good choice of food and drink. Wheat and orange beer off The Little Beer Corporation, hog roast off  Milford Meat Roaster. Both were excellent.

A franchise coffee operation serving undrinkable coffee.

Far better would be Chimney Fire Coffee,  a coffee roastery located in the Surrey Hills, running a coffee stall next year.  Failing that Edge coffee van from Edgcumbes Coffee (though probably too far away from Chichester).

Godalming is a strange place, nowhere serving decent coffee.

I had a tea at Cafe Mila which was not good.  Their coffee is Cupsmith, undrinkable coffee. The tea also supplied by Cupsmith, which explains why not good.

There is no excuse these days for serving bad coffee. Could get away with it five years ago, not now.

Abysmal environmental standards.

Coffee stall said paper cups. Er no, plastic-lined paper cups that can not be recycled. Did though have paper straws.

Thai stall had changed to card boxes, wooden utensils. Apologised that their cups were plastic.

The Little Beer Corporation plastic cups.

There is absolutely no excuse these days for low environmental standards. It needs two things, minimum standards for the stalls, education of the people attending.

Cups can be compostable, the ‘plastic’ cups can be plant-based cellulose.

Information on each stall and in programme, take compostable items home or put in the clearly marked compost bins.

This makes rubbish disposable easier as all that is compostable can be collected for composting.

Most of the music seemed loud noise, enthusiasm but loud noise.

When I returned from Cafe Mila, a group playing, playing badly, TV theme tunes.

It was at this point I decided to leave. I had had enough.

Walking through the town, to the butcher then Waitrose, very tired, therefore probably wise I chose to leave when I did.

Not long to wait for a bus. It was then do I risk catching a train and risking no train, or go to the bus station and catch a bus. I decided on the latter.

I could have stayed later. The cloister which usually finishes early, was going on until late.  It looked more interesting later, but with no trains, no buses, not viable.

Running a festival is not easy. Who to invite? Bring back what was excellent last time, and that is assuming available?

In the past, I have bought a lot of music, often given away.  Today, none.

I am lucky, I encounter good music. And these days I only buy from those I encounter, supporting struggling musicians, even financing albums.

Do I make a note, suggest for Staycation Live?

I would certainly invite Jewelia, she appeared a few years ago in the cloisters, and give her the main stage.

Some of the reggae bands that have played in the past have been exceptional.

Alternative Dubstep Orchestra were amazing at Staycation Live 2013. A mix of avant garde rock, ska (reggae) and salsa. In many ways they were like a cut down, avant garde salsa band, with brass, strings, guitar, percussion and vocals.

Sunday I think I will give a miss.

 

Rushmoor Concert Band

July 15, 2018

Passing through Aldershot on Saturday on my way to Farnham I happened upon a brass band playing in the bandstand in Princess Gardens.

The band, Rushmoor Concert Band, far outnumbered the audience, and in the absence of any meaningful publicity, they were probably like me only passing by.

There is a weekly programme of events of bands playing in the bandstand throughout the summer.

Quando toda rua toca Led Zeppelin

June 27, 2018

Incredible spine chilling street performance of Stairway to Heaven.

Visions of Gideon

March 6, 2018


Visions of Gideon, very moving song by Jewelia, from original song of same name by Sufjan Stevens.

Very French.

Footage from short films by Joseph Cornell: Gnir Rednow (1955), Nymphlight (1957) and Angel (1957).

Percussionists in Farnham Parish Church

November 25, 2017

A cold afternoon in Farnham.

I cut through the churchyard. It is freezing, noticeable colder than the street.

No board outside the church, though lights on inside.

A man walks out of the church. I ask is it open? A sore point. He is not happy that he has been thrown out of his own church by a bunch of percussionists.  I say I will chance it. He wishes me luck.

I walk in, no on says anything. Then when I take a picture, a woman ask me to leave, says someone might steal their percussion instruments. I cannot see how, when they are there.  She is eating a takeaway, the smell permeating the church, another woman using her mobile.

I have often in the summer wandered in during rehearsals, no one ever objects.  I am careful not to disturb the rehearsal.  I am always made welcome, invited to attend the concert. They will explain who they are, what the concert is. Not this rude woman, I am asked to leave.  These though were musicians on tour. Obviously full of their own arrogant self-importance.

I ignored the woman who has asked me to leave, made my way out at my own pace, stopping to write notes in the visitor book to say how appalled I was by their behaviour.

This incident raises important questions on the use of Farnham Parish Church.

I am pleased that is is open, unlike most churches which are locked, I am pleased that it is put to use, I would not expect to walk in on a concert in the evening without paying, and if rehearsal, I  take great care not to disturb, but I take great exception to being asked to leave, especially by people who were showing disrespect to the church and those who use it, but acting as though they owned it.

City of My Mind

November 9, 2017

City of My Mind, title track of forthcoming album of same name by Jewelia.

If familiar with her earlier work, this is very different.

Earlier work was like the young Kate Bush.  City of My Mind radically different, more mature, polished and complex. An Alice in Wonderland surreal quality, reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane, the video what would expect and come to expect from Imogen Heap.

The album is being crowdfunded on kickstarter.

Funds needed have been raised. Any additional funding raised will go to adding a couple of extra tracks.

Monsters  début  from Jewelia, released mid-August 2014.