music

The Maccabees – a farewell

maccs15

The Maccabees first came into my life in 2006, it was my first year living in London and my friend who was in a band and ran a club-night introduced me to them. I first listened to them via MySpace, the way I discovered almost every band back then. I can’t actually remember the first time I saw them –  I think it was at Camden Barfly – but I do know I fell in love with them instantly. The energy they had on stage was so infectious and songs like X-Ray, Bicycles and Latchmere just seemed to capture it so perfectly, They looked a bit awkward and ‘uncool’,

One gig I do remember very well from 2006 is when they played in the upstairs room at Paradiso in Amsterdam during the London Calling festival, I just remember thinking it was so exciting that loads of bands I’d been watching in London for the past few months were all in Amsterdam and we’d get to spend a weekend watching them. Then there was Reading Festival in 2007 when they played the NME tent the same day as Jamie T and The Klaxons, that was probably the biggest crowd I’d watched them in and the atmosphere was incredible. Alongside the likes of Good Shoes, Jamie T, Jack Peñate and Mystery Jets, The Maccabees were always firm indie disco favourites at nights like Frog at The Astoria, Metro or the Barfly, you were either likely to be dancing to one of their songs or bumping into someone from one of the bands watching their mates.

I watched them at every opportunity I could in London and also often ended up meeting up with friends in different cities for their gigs. During one tour in 2009 we went to see them in Manchester one night and Leeds the next and ended up drinking with them after the gigs both nights. In Leeds I remember doing tequila shots with Hugo and Felix and even though I’d said hi to them before a couple of times it was that night I realised just how awesome, fun and friendly they all were. It’s probably a night so many of their fans shared with The Maccabees over the years in different cities/countries, they always had time for a chat/drink and made everybody feel like part of The Maccabees gang.

The love affair continued and gradually I was introduced – via Twitter (or mostly Mat Horne’s Twitter) – to a whole other bunch of people with a shared love of The Maccabees, many of whom are now some of the best friends I’ve made in London. In 2012 just after they’d released Given To The Wild I went back to Amsterdam to watch them headline at the Paradiso. To see them their again after that first London Calling gig back in 2006 was really special and it’s still one of my favourite memories.

From tiny, sweaty venues to headlining Latitude Festival last summer with a number one album, I’m so grateful that I got to share so many memories with them over the past 11 years. There are other bands I love and there are other gigs that have and will be amazing but I can’t imagine another band changing my life quite the way this one has.

Thank you The Maccabees x

A few photos from over the years & the farewell gigs:

maccs8maccs9maccs18

maccs13maccs14

maccs17maccs21maccs20maccajetsmaccs23maccs22Maccs16

Makes

#AHeart4Ldn

FullSizeRender

Last week thousands of hearts were sent to Manchester to scatter around the city centre, the idea came from Beth Clarke who runs a craft business with the intention to provide a little bit of comfort to the city following the horrific attack at the Arena.

Craft groups and crafters from all over the country (and further afield) knitted, crocheted and stitched over 18,000 hearts with a message on them saying “#Aheart4mcr” and “please take me home” so anybody could choose one to take away with them.

I first became aware of it after seeing two of my friends that live in Manchester post about it on Twitter, they had both picked up hearts and were touched by the outpouring of love towards the city. After reading about it I realised that a group had been set up to do the same for London in wake of the London Bridge attack – #AHEART4LDN  – so decided to get involved making some hearts. It may only be a small gesture in the grand scheme of things but one that will hopefully put a smile on the faces of those that pick them up and take them home. I’m not too sure exactly where the hearts will be yet but they will be there on Saturday 17th June, in or around the Borough market area. If you want to know more, or get involved in making some too click on the hashtag above for a link to the Facebook group!

If you would like to donate via The British Red Cross to help the people directly affected in Manchester and London you can do so here. ❤

FullSizeRender[3]

Makes

Sewing a Song

Beatles edited1

Hello! It’s a been a while since I posted anything at all about my designing/making so apologies if you follow me for those sort of things!

Anyway I’ve been working on a few new projects…with one of them being ‘Sewing a Song’. The idea came from when I made a cushion for a friend with lyrics from one of our favourite bands (The Maccabees) on. I thought it would be quite fun to have a little reminder of your favourite song/artists dotted around the house!

At the moment it’s still in the early stages but if you are interested you can follow @sewingasong for more! Or click on the link to my Etsy shop on the menu at the top!

FullSizeRender[1]

 

Travel

Brighton wanderings and Brighton Fringe Festival

I headed down to Brighton for the day on Friday to catch up with a friend who lives nearby. I’ve been staying in South London (cat-sitting!) for a week and thought it would be the perfect time to pop down to Brighton – the train from East Croydon only takes about 45 mins too so it’s really easy from the South…also pretty easy from anywhere in London but y’know even easier!

Although it was a pretty grey day when I arrived and we had a few rain showers, the sun came out just in time for us heading to the seafront! For lunch we grabbed some food from the ‘Street Diner’ which is a collection of stalls selling a variation of street food in the Brighthelm Gardens there were loads of yummy things on offer…no photo of our food as it was consumed too fast 🙂

My friend had mentioned that Brighton Fringe Festival was on while I was down there – it runs throughout May and ends at the start of June – so we had a little look at the programme when I arrived and picked out a comedy show later in the day. There’s a box office outside the Theatre Royal where you can just walk in and buy tickets which is really handy if like us you happen to find yourself in Brighton during the fringe and fancy checking the listings out for that day.

Note: in other food related findings Gelato Gusto on North Laine provided a much needed sugar hit in the afternoon, see above for pic featuring their waffle bites, ice cream and fruit combo (SO GOOD).

We headed to The Warren in the evening to watch comedian Dave Edwards discuss the world of modern dating in his show ‘Looking for Love!’, the studio where he was performing was actually an old shipping container which was pretty cool and the show was really funny!

fringe1

With the sun coming out later in the day the evening turned out to be super lovely so once we came out of the comedy show we went for another wander and instead of heading back to the station we decided to pop into the open artists studios at Phoenix Studios, the building is home to 100’s of artists and makers as well as providing space for temporary art projects and an education programme. It was really interesting chatting to some of the artists and a really inspiring end to the day!…..

…..Until next time Brighton!

 

music

Latitude 2017 Festival Preview

latitude-full-line-up

On Friday Latitude festival added to their already impressive line-up by announcing that Leon Bridges, Mystery Jets and The Coral will be joining the other acts on the bill when the festival returns to Henham Park near Southwold this July. I’ve been lucky enough to be at Latitude for the past 4 years and it’s always one my highlights of the summer – even more lovely that it takes place in my home county of Suffolk!

The main headliners this year are The 1975, Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes with the Mumford lads curating the whole day on Saturday as part of their Gentlemen Of The Road takeovers – their only stopover in the UK no less. For The 1975 it’s their first big festival headline slot, I saw them play in 2013 on the Lake Stage so it will be great to see them back topping the bill. For Fleet Foxes it is a return to the festival circuit and a UK exclusive appearance.

Other acts added last week include The Jesus and Mary Chain, Beth Orton, Childhood, Flyte, Simian Mobile Disco, Jaguar Skills as well as a special lakeside performance by soprano Katherine Jenkins on the Sunday.

lat2

Latitude is one of the biggest events on Suffolk’s calendar and provides the perfect sized event for those looking for a festival that attracts the big names but retains a family friendly atmosphere. The organisers have managed to expand the capacity over recent years without making it feel over-crowded – it’s one of the best festivals I have been to, not only in terms of the line-ups but also for organisation and providing plenty of space and facilities – important when you don’t want to spend half your day in the loo queue right?!

The lake-side setting always provides a stunning location too with the chance to take a dip if the weather behaves enough to make you want to strip off. Keep an eye on the lake when the sun goes down too as there are always beautiful light shows taking place!

A few of the other acts on the line-up are John Cale, Lucy Rose, Goldfrapp, Placebo, Jack Garratt and Loyle Carner, the two that I’m really excited about seeing are Chicago band Twin Peaks and The Horrors.

As well as the music line-up, the good people of Latitude have pulled out all the stops when it comes to the comedy arena too with the likes of Simon Amstell, Katherine Ryan, Joel Dommett and Dom Joly all popping up over the weekend. There really is something for everyone at Latitude with plenty of different areas to wander around including music & film, poetry, theatre and cabaret, it’s always great for discovering your new favourites as well as seeing the big names.

Latitude festival takes place from 13th – 16th July and you can still get your hands on tickets here!

music

Dot to Dot Festival 2017

Dot to Dot festival is returning at the end of May, taking over the three cities of Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham during the bank holiday weekend. Headliners Sundara Karma are welcomed back after impressing last year and hotly tipped acts such as Louis Berry, Tom Grennan and Swimming Tapes are ones to look out for if you’re heading to Dot to Dot.

dot to dot poster2

Each city opens up several of it’s best live venues on the day so you can pop in and out and see what takes your fancy! Last year I was at the Manchester one and there was a great atmosphere with a few little street performances during the day, I’ve also been to the Nottingham Dot to Dot which was also awesome…so I assuming the Bristol one is more of the same 😉

I recently wrote a full preview for the website Penny Black Music which you can read here if you want to find out a little bit more about the festival and this years acts.

dot to dot pic2

Tickets for Dot to Dot are available here for £13.20 (inc. booking fees)

 

 

Out & About

Wicken Fen

Since I left London I’ve started to rediscover the area that I grew up in again (Suffolk, but very near to Cambridgeshire and Essex too). Just outside of Cambridge there’s a nature reserve called Wicken Fen and the other week when it was much warmer than it is today (err, why is it only 8 degrees again!?) I went on a little day trip with the family to explore!

IMG_2925IMG_2959

Anyone that knows East Anglia will know that most of the county is as flat as a pancake and Wicken Fen is the perfect place to experience the flat-ness! You can walk around the wetlands on the specially built boardwalk and wander past the historic wind-pump. There’s also the option to take a guided tour down the river on a boat, which we didn’t do this time but did look lovely. During the spring and summer the Lode Lane cottage which has been preserved as one of the original fen residents homes is open and definitely worth having a look around.

IMG_2948

Even though this was only a short drive away from home it felt like being on holiday (even if it was only for one day!). At the moment I’m thinking about moving to a different part of the country (tbc) but as I definitely appreciate more now how much amazing countryside there is in the East of England and it’s nice that will always be home wherever I end up next!

IMG_2935