Journal update: My week in music (17-23 Feb) which included: A trip to Oxford, photographing folk band Wytham Wood, performing at the Old Bookbinders, and attending Diff’rent Folks/Hangover Club at Proud Camden
Photographing Wytham Wood, The Wheatsheaf, Oxford (Sunday 17th February)
As soon as I arrived back in Oxford I was confronted with a wave of memories which made me feel quite nostalgic. I completed my History of Art Masters Degree at Oxford Uni back in 2008 and it was great to back again. I was in town to visit my friend Anneli, and I was really looking forward to hearing and photographing her newest musical project.
Wytham Wood are a folk band comprised of Anneli Chambliss (Lead vocals, guitar) and Jules Dickinson (Lead guitar, vocals). It was really wonderful to meet Jules, not only is he an exceptional guitarist, he is also great company. I’m really pleased to have finally had the opportunity to hear the band live. They have beautiful songs and really emotive music, you should definitely check them out. An added plus to the day was having a jam session with Anneli and Jules later in the afternoon! Please check this link to see the photographs and interview: http://www.besidetheseeside.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/wytham-wood.html
Old Bookbinders, Oxford (Sunday 17th February)
The last time I performed at the Old Bookbinders open mic was during my student days 6 years ago! I loved playing there then, and I’m happy to say it’s still a great place to play. I performed four of my songs and the highlight for me was when Anneli joined me onstage to play the Watchmaker.
The quality of all the acts was really high! Ned the Kid Dylan is only 11 years old, but writes all his own material, sings and plays guitar and has a genuine rock n roll attitude! He will be famous, he is clearly destined to play stadiums! Wytham Wood were sensational again. And it was great to hear Phil Garvey (who runs the open mic) finish the evening with some songs of his own – despite having nearly lost his voice from a gig earlier in the day! What a pro – the show must go on!
If you live in Oxford and want to hear some great music, or if you fancy taking to the stage yourself, I’d definitely recommend you pop down to the Old Bookbinders in Jericho.
It was such a fun, musical trip to Oxford that I was sad to be leaving the following day. I’ll definitely be back very soon. Anneli and I already have plans for a songwriting collaboration!
Diff’rent Folks, the Hangover Club, Proud Camden (Saturday 23rd February)
Having heard that there’s free music and cheap beer at Proud Camden every Saturday, my housemate Jen and I popped along to listen to some tunes and to admire the photographs! The walls at Proud Camden are filled with black & white images of true rock n roll legends. Jen and I were joined later by music producer Helen Lloyd who has been busily working on my track Halo. Apparently the production is nearly complete, and will just require one last trip to the studio, for me to put down my final vocal and guitar parts. Fantastic news!
The Hangover Club runs from 12 till 7 and we arrived later on in the day, so we just saw the two final acts ‘Stag’ and ‘The Statue Thieves’. I don’t know if the music is quieter/more relaxed earlier in the day, but if you actually had an awful hangover and then listened to Stag’s electro-pop it may get worse!!! That is not to say they weren’t good (they were great!) but just that loud synth music and trumpets probably wouldn’t be the best cure for a killer hangover! Haha! Stag is an Italian band from Rome, with a love for disco classics, catchy tunes and shinny jackets! They were very entertaining and lively
Statue Thieves finished off the event with a more mellow, warm sound. I will try to get to the Different Folks/Hangover Club earlier next time to see just how many different styles are featured through the afternoon.
Post Viral Fatigue… & the Brits
Well I had planned to return to the Silver Bullet open mic at Finsbury Park on Wednesday, but unfortunately a relapse of Post Viral Fatigue put an end to that. I have suffered from the condition since having shingles in 2011. Although I’ve thankfully been getting a lot better over the last year, I still get completely knocked off my feet with it occasionally. I think the busy trip to Oxford completely exhausted me, and I was sadly too unwell to play again on Wed. Instead I ended up curled up on the sofa watching the Brits!
My personal verdict on the Brits was this – Not enough bands; too many pop singers; and definitely not enough (eg NONE) rock n roll moments. There was none of those classic events like – Jarvis storming the stage; Chumbawamba throwing a bucket of water over John Prescott; Oasis starting fights with anyone/everyone – none of those moments at all!
Nevertheless Muse were fantastic, and it was brilliant to see Mumford & Sons getting a well deserved Brit. Plus, I’d never heard Ben Howard’s stuff before (I know, shameful) but I enjoyed his completely stripped down performance, which was a welcomed contrast to the rest of the award show. Also, I am totally crazy about the Damien Hirst designed Brit Trophies! I absolutely LOVE them!
Many thanks for visiting my music journal. Please pop by again on Monday 4th March for the next installment.