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Showing posts with label robin grey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label robin grey. Show all posts

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Music in my blood

Vintage cool Dad

I spent a lot of my childhood sitting around in recording studios, peering at my Dad through the glass separating the sound engineers and producers from the musicians. As my Dad and his band hefted amps and instruments out of vans and into venues, I’d carry big round coils of leads and cables, one over each arm. I had my own pair of earplugs that I’d wear as I sat in the wings at my Dad’s concerts, and a pair of earmuffs to wear over the top because it was still too loud.

vintage rock band photo

My toybox was full of maracas, castanets, tambourines and penny whistles – I had my own tiny tape recorder, and I’d make up songs and pretend radio shows which I’d then record onto cassettes. (which weren’t old-skool at the time, if that gives my age away at all…)

So even though I was never pushed, I think my parents were delighted when it transpired that I could hold a tune, and they were happy to scrape money together to pay for me to learn the violin when I asked for lessons at about seven years of age.

While it turned out that the violin was not for me, my background in music meant that I picked up the piano really quickly, and managed to achieve grade 8 in both classical singing and oboe by the time I left secondary school. I took part in youth orchestras, wind ensembles and choirs as well as writing and performing lots of music with my friends for fun during my teenage years.

Despite not being a Christian, I had a choral scholarship at university and sang with my college chapel choir several times a week. I was so immersed in the world of classical and contemporary music in my formative years that once I reached adulthood and was released into the world like a bewildered baby bird, thrust from the nest of rigorous education, I felt a huge sense of loss.

It was around this time that after a long break from the ‘music scene’, my Dad found his way back into music and started to approach people with whom he’d made music before, as well as new friends he’d met since he moved to France. Inspired by him, I sought out some new musical friends too, and found my incredibly talented friend Robin, with whom I’ve been singing ever since. My Dad and his friends have managed to create an album which I can only really describe as a shape-shifter. To those who haven’t heard his music since the early days of The Perfect Disaster (the band for which he is most known), this new album will seem delicate and understated, in contrast with the gritty rock riffs from ‘back in the day’. For people who are coming to his music for the first time, I imagine the album sounds brooding and eclectic, new and nostalgic all at once. When I listen to the album, I hear the culmination of a thousand melodies, plucked and perfected throughout my childhood; I hear the zip closing on the front of a tent and the soft sound of my Dad singing by the fire outside; I hear the rain beating down on the roof of the deserted and dilapidated mill where my Dad lives now… I can also hear my own voice, since I was lucky enough to sing backing vocals on a lot of the tracks. I am very proud of my Dad for coming back to music and for being brave enough to release another album after so long, and he constantly inspires me to be more creative and make more music myself.

dad and daughter musical duo
Let's just ignore how short my dress is in this photo... I know it probably wasn't completely appropriate for a father-daughter outing, but meh...

So I know it’s probably too early to be thinking about New Year’s resolutions, but next year, I’m going to be making a lot more music. It’s been decided. This year has been The Year of the Flat. Next year is a brand new chance to be more me. Which means more music! Saying it here means that you guys all have to hold me accountable!

If you want to listen to the music I make with my friend Robin, click here, and if you want to listen to my Dad’s new album, a beautiful, moody-folky album (including lots of wailing from me), then click here. It would make my Dad very, very happy indeed.

P.S. Here's a video of my Dad and his old band, in the olden days (the 80s) being very rock'n'roll...


Friday, 5 October 2012

My Autumn Goals!

Recently, I've been looking at beautiful Autumnal pictures on lots of American blogs. Usually, they depict pumpkin patches, hearty mugs of spiced "apple cider" (Or just "apple juice" to English people such as myself!) and plenty of crispy dried leaves. Whilst these are beautiful, they don't really depict my personal experience of Autumn, which looks more like this:

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Which is dramatic, but not in a sunset maple leaf kind of way! London becomes miserable and rainy in the Autumn, and stays that way until the Spring. People get angrier, and fringes get plastered to furrowed brows by the wind and the rain. To combat this mood, I've decided to sample as many Autumnal treats as I can get my hands on! First on the list, was the most incredible toasted cheese sandwich (or "grilled cheese" as the Americans call it!)in London!

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I bought this beauty from a stall in Borough Market, called Kappacasein. Borough Market has more delectable food stalls than I could hope to review on my blog, but this is definitely a good place to start. This sandwich was fairly expensive at £5, but it was more than worth it. Two slices of artisan bread encasing a mountain of cheese are pressed inside a large grill until the cheese starts to ooze from the sides. At this point, the person behind the stall opens the sandwich and scoops a generous helping of a finely chopped onions and herbs on, followed by even more cheese. This photo does not do justice to the amount of cheese involved in this sandwich. Finally, the extra cheese is allowed to melt, before the whole thing is wrapped in greaseproof paper and napkins.
I wandered along the Southbank, devouring this beauty. I can see why it has been featured on so many blogs before mine. It must be tasted to be believed! Borough Market is very close to London Bridge Station and can be reached via the 35 and 40 buses, among others.
Sampling sandwiches is not my only goal for this Autumn; there are others! Here's my list!

Candy's List of Autumn Goals!

- Get a job! Earn money! (Especially if I want to keep eating £5 sandwiches!)
- Try a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
- Decide how my novel is going to end.
- Write a good ol' portion of it.
- Get paid to make music.
- Start thinking about button pins for Robin!
- Write several blog posts every week!
- Send all the save-the-dates for the wedding.
- Volunteer at the library
- Re-read the first book in The Cornish Trilogy by Robertson Davies.

Music-wise, there's an Autumnal gig coming up as part of the Royal Horticultural Society's Harvest Festival. I'll be singing with Robin Grey, and there will be all sorts of fun Autumny activities including cider-tasting. (REAL cider, not just apple juice!) More info about this event is available here, but the more the merrier, so you should totes come!

To conclude, here's a picture of Hemingway, reclining in his lovely cute, Autumnal way.

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So what are your Autumn Goals? x

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Autumn Resurrection.

Salut encore mes amis!

August and September flew by in a flurry of trying-to-be-employed-but-not-succeeding-to-be-employed, and here we are already, in October. I have a couple of lovely posts lined up for you, including a Rainbow Cake Tutorial, so stay tuned for that!

Me and Daddy Dearest

Here's a picture of my father and I (taken by my dear friend David Elbaz of GamraProductions) at Letchworth Station after a day of recording for my Dad's latest musical project. This is going to be a post in which I update you on the various musical endeavours with which I've been involved in the recent months. My Dad's old band, The Perfect Disaster (facebook and wikipedia) have somewhat reformed in order to record some new music. It's all on the horizon as we've been busy mixing and recording and doing technological magic on it, but if you can't wait here's a sneak peak of some of the new material.



So there's that. In addition to collaborating with mon père, I sing backing vocals for Robin Grey, a wonderful man who writes beautiful nu-folk tunes. I am very lucky to get to sing with him and other incredible musicians such as Basia Bartz and Caitlin Roberts who also play in Robin's band. I am aware that I am using many superlatives, and may be approaching 'gushiness' (a word I may have just invented...) Nevertheless, if you want to know what we sound like when we play together, watch this video:


Or listen to this:


Well, that's what I've been up to. I'll be posting some outfits soon, but until then, forgive me for plugging music I've been involved with! I am very excited about these projects and I want you guys to be excited too! (That's an order!) Until next time, here's a "cheeky" shot of Robin in the Abbot Street Studio recording some vocals for the new album. You should like us on facebook to see when we're playing shows, although I'll undoubtedly remind you!

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Adios! Stay tuned like I said, for the RAINBOW CAKE TUTORIAL, and to find out my AUTUMN GOALS FOR 2012!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Introducing the Galaxy Skirt.

As I mentioned yesterday, today's post is going to focus on my newest sartorial acquisition, the galaxy skirt! I probably see it more as a 'nebulae skirt' really, but both work fine. I have to thank my good friend Emma who showed me both the skirt and the website from which it came, Romwe.com. I am pretty sure that Emma owns this skirt too, and I'd be really interested to see how she styles it.

The first time I wore this was to a gig at the Royal Festival Hall where I was singing backing vocals for the 'foyer gig'. This skirt is fairly different from my usual style, and I don't know whether choosing to wear it on stage the first time I ever wore it was my best decision, but in the end it was a hit!
I paired it with a blouse and then improvised a pussy-bow using a ribbon and a safety pin, then matched the blouse with some cream shoes. The finished product came together quite well, I think, although I am going to experiment with different ways to wear this skirt.
Don't ask me what my leg is up to in this photo; I still can't work it out myself. This photo gives you an idea of what the back of the skirt looks like. I wish there was more of that galaxy action at the front, personally!
Here's my little bow. Don't I look smart? When I left the house in this get-up, an old man commented (unprovoked, I might add) that I looked "So severe and harsh". I replied with a giggle saying something like, "Oh that's just my natural face!" when inside I was a burning pit of fiery rage! What a thing to say! He wouldn't have said that if I was a big burly man who looked "severe and harsh"...
Finally, here's a photo from the gig. Just after the gig, to be precise. Robin Grey is in the middle, and Basia (our incredible violinist) is on the far left. I am, of course, on the right. The other two are a couple who travelled all the way from France to see us play! They were lovely, and I am amazed at their dedication! To listen to our music, click on Robin's name just under the photo. He writes beautiful songs, and I try my best to sing nicely on them!
Blouse: H&M, Ribbon: John Lewis, Skirt: Romwe, Shoes: Very Old H&M