14th – 27th July 2013

Journal update (14/07-27/07): Performing live at the Library bar, Recording session, Photographing the Art Couture Festival, Sound engineering, Attending Fiesta at the Open Arts Cafe, photoblogging the Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium.

Arts Couture Festival, Painswick, Cotswolds (Sunday, 14th July)

The annual Arts Couture Festival at Painswick is vibrant, eclectic, and very colourful. It included – catwalk shows, live music, a Battle of Britain flypast, body paint artists, Dali inspired fashion… and Keith Allen in a speedo!!


The festival showcases designers and artists from across the country. This year’s fashion themes included Metamorphosis, World Where You Live, and Well Suited, whilst the inspiration for the body artists was Magic.

Please see my photoblog here: http://besidetheseeside.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/art-couture-painswick.html


Sound engineering, St James’, Muswell Hill (Sunday 21st July)

On the 21st July, I had my last session behind the mixing desk for St James’ at Muswell Hill as I will shortly be moving to Putney. I’m very grateful to Chris Pearce and St James’ for training me up in the art of sound engineering. I’ve had a fab time and learnt a very useful skill.


Performing at the Library bar, Islington (Monday 22nd July)

Simon Lawrence & I both played a few of our songs at the Library in Islington. It’s a really good open mic, and a great place to try out new material. I don’t have any live pics from my set as Simon & Ed both claimed to be so captivated by my performance that they forget to take any… Erm! Don’t believe a word of it! They were just forgetful! Haha! It was good to be back on stage again.


Fiesta, Open Arts Cafe, West London Synagogue, Marble Arch (Thursday 25th July)

After witnessing (& photographing) an amazing ‘Damsel’s Most Daring’ show a few weeks ago, I was keen to see one of Maya Levy’s other creative outlets, the ‘Open Arts Cafe’. At this event various creative acts get the opportunity to perform at a regular showcase.

The theme for this month was ‘Fiesta’, and the party-theme inspired performances by – storyteller Clare Murphy, comedian Giacinto Palmieri, musician & app designer Bertie, the Purple Ladies, and Maya Levy herself. In addition to being the compere for the event, Maya also performed as well. Her Fiesta-dance song was one of the highlights from an evening filled with some great entertainment.


In addition to the performance pieces, during the interval I was sketched by artist Heather Bandenburg who created a portrait of me… with a frogs head! 😉


Recording session (Friday 26th July)

Steve Dowsett & I had a very productive recording session on Friday. We decided to continue with my song ‘Explain’, but I wanted to completely change the style from our original demo, and so we decided to scrap all of our previous work and totally re-record the song. I’m really pleased we did.

There is a huge improvement to the sound, and I feel the vibe of the recording matches the sentiment of my song more closely now. Vocals, electric and acoustic guitar, and bass were all recorded during the session on Friday. We celebrated with post-recording drinkypoos.


Sound engineer Steve Dowsett

I’m planning to release an EP towards the end of this year and I’m sure ‘Explain’ will appear as one of the tracks on it.  In the near future I will be returning to the fantastic Bonafide Studios – but not as a session musician this time – but to record a few of my songs for the acoustic CD.

Photoblogging, the Anniversary Games – Athletics, Olympic Stadium, Stratford (Saturday 27th July)

I really loved the Olympics last year, so I was super excited to be returning to Olympic Park to watch the athletics at the Anniversary Games. I was unsuccessful in my attempts to get into the Olympic Stadium last year (although I was extremely lucky to see some other Olympic events live) so it was fantastic to finally see some athletics in the stadium at last.


Victory for Mo Farah

The Anniversary Games was a definite highlight of 2013 for me, and I had such a great day with my sister – cheering on sports stars including Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Bolt. I took loads of photographs, so please check out my photoblog. I hope to post the pics online by Saturday: http://besidetheseeside.blogspot.co.uk/


Usain Bolt and the Jamaican relay team

Many thanks for visiting my journal. If you haven’t done so already please follow me on facebook and twitter. Cheers 🙂



Samantha x







30th June – 13 July 2013

Journal update (30/06-13/07): Visiting ‘Dalston House’ art exhibit, Photoblogging about Wimbledon, Attending the private view for artist Meg Mosley’s ‘My Life’ exhibition, photographing jazz singer Simon Lawrence, songwriting, etc.

Dalston House, Dalston Junction (Tuesday 2nd July)

Dalston House is an interactive art installation, designed by Argentine artist Leandro Erlich and commissioned by the Barbican.


The Barbican describe the exhibition as: ‘resembling a theatre set, the detailed facade of a Victorian terraced house – recalling those that once stood on the street – lies horizontally on the ground with mirrors positioned overhead. The reflections of visitors give the impression they are standing on, suspended from, or scaling the building vertically.’

Dalston House is open till 4th August and is free, so if you get a chance to visit it you definitely should. The visual illusion is really impressive and great fun 🙂



Wimbledon Photoblog, (Thursday, 4th July)

If you (like me) are missing Wimbledon, please check out my photoblog from my visit to SW19 last Thursday. Sadly I didn’t get to see our champion Andy playing a match (although we did see him out on the practice courts) but we did watch some other tennis legends playing including Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe. Great day – & what a fantastic championship! Congratulations to Murray!




Acoustic Music at O’Neills, Muswell Hill, (Sunday 7th July)

I had planned to get back on stage and play some music at the monthly acoustic night at O’Neills, which is run by fantastic local recording/rehearsal studio Bonafide Studios. Unfortunately I was completely wiped out with my post viral fatigue condition, however I turned up anyway to support a couple of my friends who were performing (Rachel Elliot & Simon Lawrence). It was great to see both play, although I did feel very frustrated watching from the sidelines. 😦 I really hope to be back on stage again soon! In the meantime I’ve been focusing on my photography as that is not as affected by my ongoing Post Viral Fatigue condition.



Meg Mosley, Private View of ‘My Life’ Exhibition,  Jerwood Visual Art Gallery (Tuesday 9th July)

There was lots of boozing, schmoozing, and fans being signed by the artist(!) at the private view of Meg Mosley’s exhibition at the Jerwood Visual Art Gallery. It was such a fun evening. I will be doing a photo shoot with Meg soon, watch this space for further details! In the meantime check out my photoblog for some pics of the the private view shenanigans.




Photo session with Simon Lawrence, Kensington Gardens (Wednesday 10th July)

I first met Simon in February of this year, when we both performing at the acoustic night at the Kings Head Theatre Pub in Islington. Simon is a talented jazz singer who also composes his own material. We headed to Kensington Gardens on 10th July for a photoshoot. We had a brilliant afternoon in the sunshine, to see the pics and to read Simon’s interview please see this link: http://www.besidetheseeside.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/simon-lawrence.html



Acoustic music, Prince Albert Pub, Stroud, Gloucestershire (Saturday 13th July)

During a trip to Stroud I saw the amazing vocal duo Ed & Will of the The Minstrels. They are currently doing ‘A Walk Around Britain’ where they ramble across the Britain countryside, performing their music at the bars & pubs they encounter during their travels. It is such a fascinating adventure. Please read details here: http://awalkaroundbritain.com/

The Minstrels perform traditional folk songs a cappella, and their harmonies are really impressive.



I’m am pleased to say that following songwriting sessions and pre-production discussions I am now ready for my next recording session (on Friday 26th July) with producer Steve Dowsett. I can’t wait, please pop back on 29th July for full details of our recording session and my other creative activities, including photographing the annual Arts Couture festival  🙂

Sam Bookbinders 4



16th – 29th June 2013

Journal update (16-29 June) which included: Photographing the Damsels most Daring show, Attending Wildhearts gig, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory musical.

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Drury Lane Theatre, Covent Garden (Tuesday 18th June)

Ed treated me to tickets to see new musical Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, the tickets were a surprise and the show was amazing! I absolutely loved it. I was such a Roald Dahl fan as a child, & Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (& the Twits) were my favourite Dahl stories. This performance, at the iconic Drury Lane Theatre, is an impressive adaption of this classic story. The stage effects are really spectacular and it is perfect escapism. Plus we saw it before the premier (so a bit of an exclusive!) Fantastic evening.


The Wildhearts, Earth Vs Wildhearts Tour, London Forum (Saturday 22nd June)

For me the Wildhearts is where my love for rock music began. Yes, they (& my friend Allison who introduced me to them) are responsible for kick-starting the last 20 years of attending very loud gigs! Although I’ve never really performed in an out-&-out rock band, it’s been the sound track to so much of my life, and the Wildhearts are there every step of the way. Not only do they have the energy and the riffs, but it’s also combined with amazing melodies. For me the most important element to music is ‘the song’. And the Wildhearts have so many amazing songs to choose from.


The gig at the London Forum was really special for me. It was great to hear the ‘Earth Vs’ album played in full, as it’s charged with so many memories as well as tunes. After performing their classic ‘Earth Vs’ Album, the Wildhearts then reappeared to play another set. And the crowd picked the tunes! Continuing with the ‘Vs’ theme, large signs were held up for two different songs, and whichever song got the loudest cheer got played – so much better than a set list eh! A fab night another great memory to keep from the Wildhearts.


Russell Howard’s Good News Show, Riverside Studios (Tuesday 25th June)

1st rule of attending free, live telly shows – don’t turn up too late. Unfortunately, as I am late for everything this was no exception. We ended up further back down the que and near the end of that dreaded ‘standby’ list. Eventually, after much confusion & chaos (how many people pushed in front?!) we did get in. Yay! Last set of seats. I ended up squished between a cameraman and a monitor – welcome to the world of telly! 😉 It’s fascinating seeing the process of telly being filmed. I haven’t really seen much of Russell Howards stuff, but the evening was fun. Plus the ‘mystery guest’ was Brian Blessed!! How cool is that!


Photographing the Damsels most Daring, West London Synagogue, Marble Arch (Thursday 27th June)

Some people are just too talented. And Emily Murphy & Maya Levy (aka The Damsels Most Daring) definitely fit into that category. Their show is brimming with originality, and their delivery is faultless. We were treated to a fab performance of their full Edinburgh Fridge show. The use of music, props, accents and ingenuity make this hour long show zoom by. It’s lively and fresh, and I think it’s a criminal shame that more people are not yet aware of the Damsels. Please check out & ‘like’ their fb page to correct this, and to be kept up to date with future performances: https://www.facebook.com/thedamsels


I had a great time photographing the Damsels most Daring. Photographs will be on my photoblog by the weekend. Please check this link after the 6th http://www.besidetheseeside.blogspot.co.uk/


You may have noticed that there was no live gig and no rehearsal sessions for me in this journal update. Unfortunately Nick Hughes is unable to commit to a music project at the moment as his PhD is at it’s critical stage. I completely appreciate the need for Nick to focus on his research, although it is a shame that we never got to perform live, as we were sounding good after only a couple of rehearsals! I will be returning to the stage through July to perform my singer/songwriter material though. I’ll be playing O’Neils in Muswell Hill, the Library in Islington & The Billabong Club in Rochester. All details will be here.

Also, I thought it would make sense to keep my creative projects in one place, especially as they overlap so often. So my photography projects will also be featured on my fb page. Therefore, my page has had a change of name from ‘music’ to ‘arts’. Huge thanks to those of you that have already ‘liked’ my page. And if you haven’t yet… please do! https://www.facebook.com/samantha.edgley.arts


RIP Jules Dickinson

I was so sad to hear the tragic news that guitarist Jules Dickinson passed away suddenly on Saturday. Jules was the guitarist in Oxford-based folk duo Wytham Wood with Anneli Chambliss. I featured the duo in my photoblog in February and I feel so lucky to have met Jules and heard him play. He was a truly exceptional guitarist, but more importantly a really lovely, warm, friendly guy. Such terrible news really does put everything into perspective – stop worrying & complaining about the little things, and just appreciate how lucky we are to be given another day on this beautiful Earth. Jules will be greatly missed by many and my thoughts and prayers go out to his nearest & dearest xXx