7th – 20th April 2013

Journal update: My fortnight in music (7 – 20 April) which included: Two recording sessions, Ukulele jam, meeting with music producer Helen Lloyd, Sound mixing at St James, & Wonder Stuff concert.

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Session Musician Work, Bonafide Studio (Sunday 7th and Tuesday 16th April)

I returned to Bonafide Studios twice in the last fortnight to do some more ukulele session musician work. It was great to be back in the studio & recording with producer Francis again. Who knows maybe the upbeat, cheery tunes we’ve been recording could become part of the soundtrack for the summer. 🙂

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Ukulele Jam, The Albany (Wednesday 10th April)

Ukulele Wednesday jams are so much fun. They are quite simply a fantastic way to spend an evening. If you enjoy a sing-along and the sound of a room filled with ukulele tunes then you’d love this. I was sad to leave at the end of the night & will definitely be back again soon!

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Producer Helen Lloyd (Thursday 11th April)

Helen Lloyd is currently in the process of producing a song of mine called ‘Halo’ so we meet up to discuss arrangement ideas and a future studio session, where I will record my lead and backing vocals, and also put down the acoustic guitar parts (the recording session will sadly probably be a while away). In the meantime however, I will be working with Helen on a lens-based project. I will be taking some promo photographs for Helen, both in the studio and an on location shoot. Watch this space for more details.

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Mixing Sound – St James, Muswell Hill, (Sunday 14th April)

It had been over a month since I’d last sat behind the mixing desk, so I was interested to see how much I could remembered since that time, especially as this was my first session without shadowing anyone, so I was completely responsible for the mixing desk duties. Thankfully everything ran smoothly, no mistakes, no howling feedback, just lots of beautiful music.

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Wonder Stuff, O2 Academy, Islington (Wednesday 17th April)

Erica Nockalls, who plays violin for the Wonder Stuff, also performed as the support act. In this musical project she is the singer/songwriter, plays guitar & fiddle, and is completely captivating on stage. An incredible talent.

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I have loved the Wonder Stuff since my teenage years. Although the line up has changed, the killer melodies & witty lyricism remains the same. Miles Hunt is as lively as ever, and the band played an utterly fantastic gig.

As if the evening couldn’t get any better we then met the great man himself! Brilliant evening!

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31st March – 6th April 2013

Journal update: My week in music (31 March – 6 April) which included: Rehearsing for session musician job, jam session, developing solo set material.

Session Job Preparation

I spent the past week in Kent, but I made sure I took my ukulele along too. Due to a session musician job coming up (Sunday 7th April) my main focus this week was to rehearse & prepare my ukulele parts for the studio session. Full details about the session at Bonafide Studio will be in next weeks journal.

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Jam Session

I had a fun jam session this week with Steve Lelliott – guitarist for Medway band ‘Revenge Road’, and my lovely Mum, who not only taught me how to play the guitar & encouraged my songwriting – she was also the vocalist & guitarist in 60s band ‘The Dolly Mixtures’, and 90s band ‘Time Flys’. We ran through a load of covers, it was great to sing my heart out & try some new tunes. Fantastic evening.

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Live Music

Save this date – 25th May at 2:45, in your diary as that’s when I’ll be performing live at a 3 day music & poetry event at the Cafe of Good Hope, during the bank holiday weekend. I will post further details soon. I hope you can make it. 🙂 I’m really looking forward to performing and I’ll be trying out some new songs at open mics over the next month in preparation.

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24th – 30th March 2013

Journal update: My week in music (24-30 March) which included: Photographing music-theatre production Pilgrim’s Progress, attending Gaslight Anthem gig at the Troxy, & ukulele session preparation.

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Photographing music-theatre production Pilgrim’s Progress, St James Church (Sunday 24th March)

I enjoyed seeing Pilgrim’s Progress so much that I returned a second time with the intention of getting enough photographs to enable me to blog about the show. Visually it was very striking, and the catwalk-style stage layout, plus the costumes and dramatic stage lighting, helped to create some dramatic images.

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I really enjoy photographing live music performance (music theatre & music concerts). It allows me to combine my two passions of photography & music in the most complete way. Pilgrim’s Progress was a fantastic show and I’m so lucky to have had the opportunity to witness it twice. Please take a peek at my photoblog to see some of my images from the production: http://www.besidetheseeside.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/pilgrims-progress-st-james-church.html

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Good news… Ukulele session & acoustic cafe gig 🙂

I received some fantastic news on Monday. Not only did I gain the opportunity to perform at a fantastic, 3-day acoustic music & poetry event at Cafe of Good Hope in May (watch this space for more details), but I was also booked for my second session musician job! 🙂 Fantastic timing too, as I’d been feeling sorry for myself with cold-lurgy at the time. I’ve been in contact with the studio and I’ve been familiarising myself with the song this week. I’ll be playing ukulele again, and the tune is another upbeat, sunny song. Perfect for the approaching summertime! I can’t wait to return to Bonafide Studios on Sunday for more recording!

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Gaslight Anthem, Troxy, (Friday 29th March)

For me the most important element in music is ‘the song’ and Brian Fallon from Gaslight Anthem has the ability to craft fantastic tunes – catchy, great riffs, top melodies, sincere – what more do you want from a songwriter?! Gaslight Anthem were on top form at the Troxy, and it was great to see the band clearly enjoying every minute of being on stage. There was plenty of banter between Brian Fallon and the crowd. Plus there were moments where Brian seemed genuinely moved by the audiences response to his music. My two favourite Gaslight Anthem songs were the final tunes of the encore. Perfect ending to a perfect gig.

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I hope you all enjoyed this Easter, thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. Please pop back next Monday for the next update.

Cheers

Samantha x

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