28 December 2009

Top 10 Photos of the Year

Not necessarily great (or even good) photos, but photos what I have took (or have been found on my camera/phone) and make me smile :)

disclaimer: I'm a point and click-er, no fancy pants lenses and whatnot.

Half a day team meeting, half a day tobogganing and ice sliding at the MK snow dome. this is Jonny 'helping' Michelle out of her rubber ring. Such a gentleman.

beer in the sunshine! hurrah!
Warm and sunny in south London in April! We celebrated with beer. It's the only way.

SUNSHINE ON MY BIRTHDAY! Brilliant! this is Gareth (@ghbradshaw) showing off his Trinidad...

...and this is Si later on that same day disappearing into the sky with the balloons my mum had brought down

Every year we take over Helen's parents house in Boston for a huge BBQ, a day trip to Skeggy and for the last couple of years a bouncy castle (yes, we're all 25+). This is Helen with a beautiful blue sky!

& here's one of Zoe that same afternoon

Broken Records @ Summer Sundae 2009
Photographers snapping Broken Records (@broken_records) at Summer Sundae (@summersundae). Blagged a couple of passes for Summer Sundae from work, so headed up to Leicester on the train for some beers and bands in the sunshine :) Broken Records are a great live band, tonnes of energy - love 'em!

The Leisure Society secret set at End of the Road
My first End of the Road festival (@eotr), and quite possibly the best festival I've ever been to. So much fun that the day we got back Gareth (@ghbradshaw) booked our EOTR 2010 tickets! One of the little treats of this festival is all the hidden away areas - like this 'living room' stage where anyone can rock up and play. This is The Leisure Society (@leisuresociety) playing a lovely little set for a crowd that grew throughout.

Charlotte, more popularly known as Cannock due to us knowing more than one Charlotte, has left us to spend some time in Australia. She had a going away bash with an Aussie theme - this is Cannock as Dame Edna Everage!

a view from the bridge
On our walk (walk! We couldn't get the car out because of the snow) back from the shops, mum & I stoppoed to take photos of the frozen over canal. I hate snow, but it does make everything look pretty... and I do like getting all wrapped up to go out!

23 December 2009

Top 10 Gigs of the Year

With just over a week to go until we're in the new year I'm going to start lists.

List number one is my top 10 favourite/most fun gigs of 2009, in chronological order.

13 Mar The Acorn at The Windmill, Brixton
One of my favourite venues, even if it is out of the way. And one of my new favourite bands. Not a bad combo. Throw in a few pints of Red Stripe and a comedy red nose (it was Comic Relief) and it's no surprise this night is on the list.

12 Apr David Ford at The Old Market, Hove
Watching a man play the guitar, harmonica and drums ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Pretty impressive.

Playing the drums and guitar at the same time

14 Apr Loney, Dear with Snowbird and The Leisure Society at The Scala, Kings Cross
Pure beauty. I was already in love with The Leisure Society and Loney, Dear (I like the comma) and after this night I had fallen for Snowbird - a team consisting of Stephanie Dosen and Simon Raymonde.
Loney, Dear at the Scala

20 May Idlewild at Dingwalls, Camden
The second of a three night stint at Dingwalls - with Idlewild tonight playing Make Another World and 100 Broken Windows. Gotta love early Idlewild.

12 Jun The Leisure Society with Sons of Noel & Adrian and other Wilkommen acts at Union Chapel, Islington
Despite it only being a very short set from The Leisure Society (whilst it felt like Sweet Billy Pilgrim went on for ages - too long for me anyway), this was an evening of beautiful music.

17 Aug Broken Records with My Latest Novel at Queens Hall, Edinburgh
A home show for the band, a little trip north of the border for me. I'd spent my day walking round Edinburgh in the rain ducking in and out of pubs, and this gig was the perfect way to end the day. I'd never seen My Latest Novel before but thought they were excellent (plus there's a TAT in the band!), and Broken Records were on fine form, as usual.

27 Sep The Low Anthem at Hoxton Hall, Shoreditch
After catching The Low Anthem in a dive at The Great Escape earlier in the year I was hooked. This show at Hoxton Hall was a real highlight, despite Ben losing his voice. Also, suppport from the amazing Snakewagon.

9 Nov Dan Mangan at The Wilmington Arms, Clerkenwell
DAN MANGAN. What a voice. What songs. Ahhhhhhh. I'd popped over to Pure Groove before this show, so actually saw Dan perform twice in one night. Ahhhhhh.

25 Nov The Leisure Society with Erland & the Carnival at St Giles in the Fields Church, Camden
So this is the 3rd time that The Leisure Society crop up on this list. I do quite like them. St Giles is a beautiful building with a fantastic sound, so this was fantastic.

21 Dec David Ford at Band on the Wall, Manchester
Last gig of the year. The second Milk 7 Cookies show. I love David Ford shows, he's an incredibly talented man, and his Milk & Cookies charity shows are always fun. (More about this here)
David Ford's Milk & Cookies 9

See what didn't make it onto the list on my songkick profile.

Milk & Cookies

A wise man once said, "It's the most wonderful time of the year. It's the hap-happiest season of all". Probably not referring to David Ford's annual Milk & Cookies stint, but it seems relevant.

With Christmas falling so late in the working week this year, I have been lucky enough to attend both Milk & Cookies shows - in London, close to where I live & work; and in Manchester, close to where I spend my Christmas holidays with my family.

For those who don't know, Milk & Cookies, now in it's 9th year is a show/series of shows that David Ford, along with his family and friends put on where the proceeds all go to charity. It's a nice thing. The atmosphere at these shows is always fantastic - the rooms are full of cheer as people are not only watching an incredibly talented performer (playing his own songs and covers), but also indulging in cookie eating, milk drinking, song auctions and sing-alongs.

Milk & Cookies 9 Milk & Cookies 9
Photos from London

One of the ways money is raised for the charities is a 'play with Ford' auction on the forums. For London, Jonathan won the auction with a bid of £200 - but as it had come pretty close to the wire with Dave - they joined forces, donated both of their top bids and both jumped on stage with David to perform Distant Sun (originally by Crowded House)

At Manchester we were treated to a brief powerpoint presentation explaining why Poker Face by Lady Gaga cannot be classified as a song, along with the excellent tombola songbook* choice of Take my Breath Away...

...and Something's Gotten Hold of my Heart after Ford considering the first tombola choice boring

David Ford's Milk & Cookies 9 David Ford's Milk & Cookies 9
Photos from Manchester

For more photos, videos, and bootlegs - visit the forum and view the various Milk & Cookies threads

*The tombola was full of tickets with songbook page numbers on them, audience members were asked to pull out a ticket - and whichever song was on that page number, David played. Simple.

Test post

So, this is a test post. The very first post.
Fun, eh?