Tag Archives: Music

Noisy In Nashville

Rolling in to KOA Nashville we really felt Van Morrison was the ‘minnow’ in amongst the huge RV’s & 5th Wheels. Still undeterred we set up camp & set off to explore.

Drawn by the sound of singing like moths to a flame we discovered that a duo had been booked to entertain guests by the pool. It was really a lovely welcome to the ‘Music City’ with music from Emberland.

Chilling By the Pool with Emberland

If New York holds the title as the ‘city that never sleeps’ then for me Nashville qualifies as the noisiest on the planet. It was crazy walking down the main street to the cacophony of music emanating from what seemed like every brick. Live music is the life blood of this city & we were ready to immerse ourselves.

We took the easy route to downtown via the inexpensive bus from the KOA thus eliminating the need to drive. This proved wise as even the bus driver made jokes about the driving skills (or lack of them) of the locals.

Dropped off by the Country Music Hall of Fame we opted first to wander about & then come back for a tour of the museum later.

The sun shone as we walked towards Riverfront Park & then in and out of the streets of downtown Nashville. Wending along the main street music seeped out of the brickwork & into your soul as you browsed.

From the peddle & drink bars to the souvenir shops you cannot escape the smorgasbord of sound. Whether punk rock or country you could almost guarantee to find someone playing it.

Personally my musical taste leans more to the rock / punk genres than country & western if I’m honest. The songs of Johnny Cash such ‘Walk the Line’ & ‘Ring of Fire’ are songs from childhood that were on the radio. Like those of Elvis I know of them & probably could sing along but they weren’t really ‘my music’ as it were. So it was with a tad of trepidation & maybe a soupçon of curiosity we went in to the Country Hall of Fame if I’m honest.

The Hall of Fame traced the history of county music from its roots to the present day. Featuring a galaxy of artists some of whom were more familiar than others. Most know of & have heard of Glen Campbell, Dolly Parton & Willy Nelson all of whom have left their mark on this genre.

Hall of Fame

It was a fascinating insight into musical history & for me filled in some ‘jig saw’ like gaps in my understanding of how this style of music has underpinned so many others. It might also explain how someone who loves rock & punk finds she can only write & play songs with a country feel! Either that or it’s that sort of song is slower & kinder to the older stiffer fingers that have yet to master the nimbleness required for throbbing rock.

Someone asked me yesterday how the ‘wtfimu2n’ challenges are doing. I confess the ones that featured writing & performing a song in public are still works in progress. Although I have written some lyrics & music marrying the two together have been challenging. Also I have zero recording skills so some of my time has been spent trying teach myself how to build a song via GarageBand. I have laid down some recordings but they are not quite ready for unleashing to an unsuspecting world.

From a roof top restaurant we scoffed pizza & drank nice IPA then caught the bus back to camp. I liked Nashville & maybe I will get back there as there was lots more to see that we didn’t get time to.

Whilst the country stars of the past may not have totally captivated me. I will admit I do now listen to Margo Price a country singer who I am fortunate enough to have heard play live. A talented musician whose lyrics seem to tackle some tricky issues & for me has opened my ears to that genre.

Back on the road we wound up the speakers to listen to some more tracks for the long drive to Chattanooga.

Bonkers in Bristol – My Final Musical Hurrah of 2021

To London from Cheltenham, daughter & I bypassed our traditional post coach journey cafe in favour of the Chelsea branch where staff served us alfresco with superb tea & cakes to enjoy in the autumn sun.

Wandering around taking in the extraordinary doorways & shop fronts decorated as part of the Chelsea Flower show week we then made our way to Angel Islington once more locating the O2 venue with ease .

Drinks in hand there was to time catch up with musician Danny Wright a truly lovely person just before his headline performance & the reason for our visit.

It brought home once more the tough time those involved in the hospitality & music industry have been having. It felt really good to be able to show some support both to the venue & the fantastic artists who gave awesome performances for us.

Listening to Danny’s set I can honestly say it was one of the best gigs of the year as it was clear how much personal effort he had invested in the organising of the event not only for his fans but the support artists too.

It felt like no sooner that we returned from our day trip to the ‘Big Smoke’ we were retesting & repacking before heading north to Manchester. We had not seen All Time Low since Cardiff 2018 so combining a gig with a city break seemed a ‘no brainer’ as this would provide an opportunity to actually explore what is actually quite a vibrant place.

Unseasonably warm weather meant as we wandered along the city centre in search of coffee & cake we passed numerous football fans clad in team regalia sipping pints on the pavement. Wishing to avoid the melee we headed to Spinningfields area consisting of reclaimed old buildings alongside sleek new ones. So it was we found ourselves in 202 Kitchen a very pink restaurant where we ate some great food washed down with chilled rose wine before visiting the Peoples Museum.

It was no accident that the gig venue was within walking distance of the hotel but we clearly missed a trick not slipping a couple of cans in our handbag to sip while we queued outside. Admission was slowed due to the covid checks & some of the creative crowd dispatched surplus mates to collect pints from the local pub.

All Time Low clearly had read their fans correctly as the set list was a great combination of old familiar & new songs. They weren’t the first band to comment how strange it felt to be playing effectively new material to a live audience for the first time who already knew the words. The sloping floor of this O2 provided perfect for viewing even if towards the rear of the crowd & the opportunity to sing out loud was awesome.

Amidst the panic of the ‘UK fuel crisis’ the journey home felt potentially stressful. Whilst not normally willing to pay expensive motorway services prices the opportunity of an empty forecourt with petrol was too good to miss & we could then travel back worry free.

Now both well practised in the art of a quick turnaround we grabbed our bags & headed to Cardiff & the Great Hall to see probably my most favourite band The Hunna. Not disappointed at either the very cheap bar prices (don’t mind if we do have some doubles please) or the music. Again they played an interesting mix of old & new where the crowd sang with gusto that helped relieve the collective tension that I believe everyone has been amassing during the months of uncertainty & ever changing restrictions. Predominantly a young crowd ( even my daughter felt ‘old’) I couldn’t help feeling sorry for these young folk who have had some of their youth ‘stolen’ from them. I hope they all live long enough to claw some fun back in later years like I am in my retirement.

So the last gig I attended was back in Bristol with a visit yet another O2 venue to see Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes. This time alone my hubby kindly dropped me off & I ventured in to the venue still amazed that I had continued to test negative to covid & had managed to get to all the rescheduled 2020 events even squeezing in a few extras like this one.

What a blast I was ‘adopted’ by two lovely young people & with their support I was able to join in the mosh pit. This is something I had never previously had an opportunity to do & although I didn’t stay in long it was definitely a ‘tick off the list of things to do in life’ for me. They expertly saw to it that I came out unscathed & we may even team up again at another Rattlesnakes gig in the future.

So as the year headed to a close I at least could look back and treasure the amazing new memories generated at the various events in the company of many good people. It is possible even in the midst of a terrible situation to still find joy and fun it seems if you surround adopt a positive can do attitude it seems.

However you spent your New Years Eve I hope you had a safe & lovely time and here’s wishing everyone the best 2022 they can experience.

Some People Think I’m Bonkers..Part 2

By the time it came to head for Hatfield I truly had started to wonder if I was bonkers as none of the journeys were happening as predicted. Cheltenham marathon road closures required an additional trip from Bristol to collect daughter the night before to avoid being trapped. Abandoning the car at the hotel we headed for Hatfield House to join the throngs all walking purposefully towards the arena. Tickets & covid passes at the ready to enjoy this day festival that predominantly features punk rock with dashes of rock & alternative music thrown into the mix. Gutted that Waterparks had to pull out due to a crew member testing positive & depriving us not only of their main set but the intimate acoustic set we were glad to learn that none of their team became seriously ill.

The definition of ‘resilience’ apparently is the capacity too ‘recover quickly from difficulties’ & 2020 certainly tested mine. Plans repeatedly having to be changed often at short notice it was hard to keep up at times. However as someone with a natural tendency towards contingency planning I was able to refer to my (if somewhat hastily cobbled together) list of alternative set options which kept us at the ‘Key Club Left & Right Hand’ Stages for most of the day.

The Popes of Chillitown

First up was The Popes of Chillitown, a wild card recommend which proved a good one. Hot on there heels were The Hara who had undergone a dramatic metamorphosis since I watched one of their early music videos via Twitter. Still the set was for me the most entertaining of the day & I shall look out for them in the future as their sound was definitely my sort of listen. I also love a ‘front man’ who can engage with the crowd it makes such a good atmosphere & infinitely more memorable show.

The Hara

Roaming around in the unseasonably warm sunshine drinking cold beer, eating & listening to al sort of bands that included Doll Skin & Boston Manor it was great be regaining that sense of freedom so savagely snatched by 2020.

The Hara in action

Confession time I have never imbibed a Jaeger Bomb so I felt a tad guilty when beckoned to have a go on their 360 video thing. However in the spirit of my personal mantra “Feeling crazy lets not waste it” it would have felt rude to refuse so below is what they recorded.

Jaegermeister 360

With no desire to re live Boardmasters ‘sardines in a tent’ experience where at one point my feet were not actually touching the ground I had to forego the Trash Boat set in favour of the merch tent. It was tough resisting the temptation to buy any more tee shirts but I probably own more than I think I could now wear before I die. So I distracted my self by engaging in an interesting conversation with the manager of Normandie, a Swedish Band whom recently added to the growing list of new bands I like listening to.


Anyone at a festival will send the average step counter off the scale & we were no exception so consequently felt no guilt over consuming vegan wraps & donuts! Mcfly drew a large crowd & lead singer egged the crowd on by creating a fun if slightly nostalgic atmosphere until all were heartily singing along.

Main Stage at Night

As the sunset over the main stage & headliners played we made our way back to the hotel as neither of us are Don Bronco fan’s. I have tried but sadly their music just doesn’t do it for me. Guess it would be dull if we all liked the same things & it didn’t detract from what had been an awesome day.

Next morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before heading back to Bristol & YAMAS at the O2. Thankfully we cadged a lift into the city centre as the thought of driving any more miles that day was not appealing & it also meant we could have a drink or several.

The queue was long so we missed the first support act which was a shame because the line up was great. YAMAS played a fabulous set list which enabled the crowd to really sing along and despite feeling a bit tired the evening was well worth it.

Back home with a day or two to repack the bag & wait to see if the trip to Glasgow was on or not.

Stay safe everyone & look out for part three.