Last night was part three of my Sparkle Dress Comedy Challenge and a trip to Sheffield’s City Hall for ‘Lefty Scum’.
I worked all day in Meadowhall, got changed into the sequins in the staff room behind some mannequins (getting semi stuck in the previous dress as I went) and headed to the tram stop, hoping to get to the venue on time. I found my seat, but had to take the long way around to get to it and missed out on a trip to the bar – but then the queue was long and I have very little money left at the end of the month, so never mind.
I chatted a little to the couple to my left (naturally) about recent things they’d been to, I’d been to, how they’d moved up here from London recently and are looking for more stuff to do and to meet new people. They seemed lovely and, coincidentally, the lady I was sat next to on Thursday came up and said hello to them – she the girlfriend of one of their friends, they told me. Foolishly, we didn’t exchange names or details to meet up, but they might read this, so ‘Hello!’
The gig was kicked off by Josie in some great dungarees doing her bit of ‘chatting’. I’ve never seen her live before, I’ve heard some of her podcasts: Short Cuts, Robin and Josie’s Utter Shambles, Book Shambles and as a guest on others like The Made of Human Podcast with Sofie Hagan.
I had an amazing time in the sun and rain at Towersey Festival this week and there were brilliant performances from so many musicians. I am working on my write up of the festival which will include links to videos from some of the performers, but in the mean time I needed a genre change.
This morning I needed something really loud in my earphones to get around the supermarket.
What better than #InspiringWoman Florence Welch?
I had a full album playing by the time I’d got my veggies in the basket (I’m picky and indecisive) but this was on repeat and there’s probably people who were shopping today who think I’m really odd for dancing in Morrisons!
If ever there was a song that sound like sunshine, this is it!
I’ve decided to revive my highly unsuccessful ‘Song of the Week’ posting because this song has been in my head all the time and it’s lovely. So I thought I’d share the Jazz Hobbit, Jamie Cullum.
Having seen the recent news about events in Baltimore, last year in Ferguson and in other areas across the United States, this song keeps popping into my head.
People say that rioting doesn’t solve anything, but perhaps this is the only way people feel they can be heard at the moment. The American Civil Rights movement didn’t end in the 1960s and 70s, it’s ongoing, as are the struggles for LGBTQ people and other minority groups who are marginalised and sidelined and are refused equal rights.
This song comes from ‘Hairspray’ the musical, this version was performed in Glee to support a character who was transitioning from female to male.
Two pictures taken at one of the Saturday night sessions, 4th April 2015. Matt Nelson playing his mandolin. I love taking photos of musicians, but there’s almost always a blur, a hand or a bow, for example. I like how clear some aspects of this picture have come out, despite being half he room away and in a dark room!
This week I’ve been re-ordering my ipod, adding podcasts, removing duplicates and sorting out new playlists.
I’ve got over 1200 tracks that fall under the ‘Musicals’ playlist, which is a little ridiculous really. Equally ridiculous is my ‘Glee’ playlist which has over 700 tracks. My brother is ashamed of my love for Glee, but I’m celebrating it, especially now that it is finishing its run in the US.
I’m a Glee fan, I have the board game, all the DVDs and two Glee karaoke games for my Wii. (I really need to get those moved up here)
I was one of those kids in school, I was in every choir, I auditioned for (nearly) every production. I made some great friends through our shared love of musicals, cheesy pop and singing together. When Glee started I loved it, because it was loud and brash and in your face. It was brilliant. It dealt with issues around love, loss, struggles, sexuality, gender identity, discovering who you are and standing up for that in the face of everything that the world might throw at you. Not every episode was a classic, not every cover was particularly great, but there were always funny one liners and Sue Sylvester.
I could have chosen ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ as my tribute to Glee for this week’s song, but instead I’ve picked something a little bit more low key that also goes with my love of musicals.
I’ve posted two clips of the song below, the first is the original from Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland, of course both complete legends who just blend together beautifully. The second is Lea Michele and Chris Colfer (Rachel and Kurt) from the show. To be honest, there’s at least 20 I could list as my favourite, but this just makes me want to sing both parts over and over.
Yes, it’s back, not particularly through popular demand, but because I’ve been listening to music again and like to share. So here you go.
Over the past week here in Sheffield I have been battered by wind, rain, sleet, hail, snow and today the clouds parted long enough for me to get warmed by the strengthening Spring light, so much so that for the first time that I can remember I felt almost uncomfortably warm in my winter coat and cardigan.
I’ve been pulling myself out of my depressive slump with the help of a great doctor, medication, good friends and who knows what else. This week I’ve been accepted for volunteering roles, I’ve explored the city a bit more and found some awesome places that I’ll be visiting and spending more time in. I’ve caught up with a chum that I’ve not seen for years, is marvelous and very kindly bought me wine and dinner (Hey Masoom!) and had a job interview. So even if I don’t get it, at least I’m back in the swing of things a bit.
I’ve picked this song because it’s been in my head and hasn’t shifted. When I first heard it, I wasn’t that keen on it, I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s because the lyrics don’t quite scan in the way I’m used to but it has been a real grower and I love this stripped down version below.
‘Remember that life is not meant to be wasted, we can always be chasing the sun.’
What do you think?
Fourteen years ago I picked up my GCSE results, walked back down the hill from the top site hall to my house, picked up my bag, piled into a car and was driven, by Mum, to Towersey Village Festival.
I didn’t know that I would be attending 12 of the following 14 years’ festivals, nor that I would remain camping with the same kind people who feed me and give me a chair to sit in and a gazebo to be sheltered by. I didn’t know that people from that festival would inspire me to study their music at university or trust me to be involved in the behind the scenes workings.
Happy Birthday Towersey
I moved up to Sheffield carrying with me one large suitcase of general stuff, my travelling backpack, my tent, ready for Towersey Festival, and a big Ikea blue bag filled with things to make stuff from. When thinking about what I’d need to move to a new city with, I packed clothes, a few items for the start of school, and I knew that travelling up on a train would be a pain, but I couldn’t bear to leave behind my felt, embroidery threads, needles, bits of ribbon and other odds and ends for making bits and pieces.
Putting together a successful festival is a work of art in itself, but within that are many individuals creating their own.
This is Lindi Ortega, performing at Canberra’s National Folk Festival. She’s written some great songs, worked on her performance and appearance. The instrument maker put a design on the scratchboard on the guitar, the tattoo artist created a design on her arm.
I’m sitting in the airport (again) and am on my way to Australia for the first time. I’ve bought a bottle of Southern Comfort that *should* last me my month and a bit there. I’m off to see friends old and new – Jess, who I’ve known since school, possibly before, Ruby, former flatmate and marvelous Aussie, Ruby’s extended family who are hopefully putting me up for a bit. I might bump into David, who I met coming off the last plane and who needs to earn more about Australian TV. I’m definitely going on the Neighbours tour – hat self respecting fan with two board games and two best of DVDs wouldn’t? (I really don’t think it matters that I’ve not really seen it in 5 years…)
So my songs this week have been prepping for the oncoming country.
The first is from Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, two brilliant musicians I’ve been lucky enough to be taught by.
The Drover’s Boy came up in a lecture I’ve been listening to from La Trobe University about picture books for children and I’ve known it for a long time as this wonderful song. You should also look out for The Outside Track and Dance to your Daddy/The Flaming Drones, actually just get yourself the album. (No video available of The Drover’s Boy so here’s Dance to your Daddy)
As I’m also going to Sydney I have to include an ABBA song – it’s Fernando – simply because Muriel’s Wedding is an awesome film and I love the trip to Hibiscus Island where Mariel (as she has renamed herself) and Rhonda become friends. Ruby and I are off to Fiji later in the year and I fully intend to dress up in ABBA costumes and perform Waterloo before collapsing at the foot of a tree laughing and hoping that life is as good as an ABBA song. I’m also really tempted to go and try on wedding dresses and pretend I’m marrying Tim Sims, but I’ll rein myself in.
When I get on youtube again I’ll also give you a little bit of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and some The Fast Show that also help sum up what Australia means to me. Comment below if you want to guess what those clips might be….
And here they are:
As it’s International Women’s Day today, I thought I’d theme my songs to fit with that.
I’ve got two this week, not strictly songs, but they are on my ipod.
When you are travelling on your own for an extended period of time (you know all of 4 weeks so far) you get to talking to yourself and having arguments with yourself. I’m not sure if this is normal, but it’s happened. So I’ve been listening to Jason and the Arguments by Les Barker. Youtube has let me down, so have a different one ‘Have you got any news of the iceberg?’ It was one of Dad’s favourites.
If you’ve not come across Les Barker before he’s a genius in a cardigan, look up some of his poetry or better still, go and see him in concert. You won’t be disappointed.
The other thing I’ve been doing recently is spending time on night buses and not being able to sleep very much. So I’ve been listening to radio programmes, mainly Radio 4 – Friday Night Comedy programmes keep me in touch with roughly what’s going on at home, The Infinite Monkey Cage gives me an education in science issues, A History of the World in a Hundred Objects lets me think about Buddhist history whilst in Buddhist temples and In Our Time lets me learn about all sorts of stuff – philosophy, science, religion…
But my favourite to listen to at the moment I came across thanks to my friend Dan. He made me a mix-CD of stuff I should listen to and included the whole series of The News at Bedtime.
If you’ve never heard of it, and I hadn’t, it’s a satirical news show set in Nursery Land, hosted by John Tweedledum and Jim Tweedledee, with contrary roving reporter Mary Mary ‘No I’m not Jim!’ and with a though for the day from Peter Rabbi. It’s brilliant. It’s written by written by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, writers of the satirical Private Eye magazine. It’s got Jack Dee and Peter Capaldi in it too.
I’ve managed to get a clip for you. Have a listen.
I’ve bought a pair of Dr. Dre Beats because I thought it best not to have in-ear headphones whilst battling a possible ear infection. They’ve been amazing. After about 4 days of not listening to things I was suddenly filled with a world of my choosing, able to block out the bustle and clamour of Khao San Road, bus and train journeys.
I’ve not had over the ear headphones since I was about 12, so every time I’ve put them on I have the feeling that I should be listening to Now 29 on a coach trip to Alton Towers; my lunch box should have two packets of crisps – smokey bacon and chicken, there should be two drinks, two scotch eggs (!) and sandwiches which are a bit squished. Instead I’ve had iced coffee in a can and char sui buns from 7 Eleven. (In case you’re wondering, I have Now 29 on the ipod, but have been favouring Now 75 instead.)