Tuesday Night is Music Night at The Cottage Hotel has been a great succes, and was particularly lovely today, as we [The Sterrys] arrived to the sun shining and played until we saw it setting over the sea. Here are the photos from the evening:
John and Joe setting up in the sun.
Taking turns to improvise.
John suddenly turns in to a giant while Joe and Hannah aren’t looking.
It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable, musical week with lots of things happening, but here are the highlights:
Tuesday: John Sterry (pianist for The Sterrys) entertained guests and visitors to The Cottage Hotel with a relaxed evening of jazz piano.
Wednesday: Ben Carr hosted his first Blues Session in The Hideaway Speakeasy, which turned out to be an amazing success! The atmosphere was wonderful and it was good to see musicians who’d never met just getting up and joining in (at one point Ian Feetenby jumped in and provided us with some brilliantly spontaneous percussion on acoustic guitar). The next session is on Wednesday 8th August – Feel free to come along and enjoy the music or, better still, bring an instrument and join in! We’re all friendly, I promise!
Friday: Hamer & Isaacs played The B-Bar in Plymouth and were kind enough to ask me to step in as a guest musician on their second set. What followed was a foot-tapping extravaganza of swinging gypsy jazz with one of the liveliest audiences I’ve ever played to! I think everyone left that gig with a huge smile.
This is what my diary has looked like for the past few weeks:
7th May – Recorded some improvisations with Stephen Abrehart, just to see how the harp and baritone guitar worked together. The sounds mixed brilliantly and I hope we’ll be able to record a few more things together in the future.
10th May – Saw Ben Carr play at The Refectory Bar, sampled some delicious cocktails (the Apple Crumble cocktail was really good) and joined in with some jazz flute for the last few songs.
That afternoon we also went to the Cottage Hotel to discuss their plans for music throughout the summer, which led to this:
I am delighted to say that from June 5th, The Sterrys will be playing at The Cottage Hotel every Tuesday throughout the summer. The line up will change week-to-week; one week might be solo piano, the next a jazz trio with flute and harp the week after that…
Anyway, we expect it’ll be a lot of fun and hope to see you there!
This week has been a wonderfully musical one. My to-do list has looked roughly like this:
URGENT: DRAW MORE CARTOONS!
Learn the flute part of Benjamin Godard’s “Suite De Trois Morceaux”.
Take some promotional photos for a friend’s band.
Teach myself clarinet and saxophone (ongoing).
Add a few more pieces to the harp repertoire.
Go over recordings and stop faffing about on the internet.
Obviously, I have spent some time faffing on the internet and the cartoons are still in sketch form, but I’m reasonably happy with some of the photographs I’ve taken this week and think I might start a big music photography project where I’ll try to photograph and review everyone I ever play music with under the tag #SouthHamsMusic. We’ll see how that goes!
Anyway, here are some of the music-related pictures that I’ve taken recently:
These were from The Hot Rats gig at Kingsbridge’s Hideaway Speakeasy on May the 4th. It was a fairly quiet evening in Kingsbridge, so The Hot Rats livened the place up with an energetic bluesy set and wild improvisations.
On Wednesday there was another blues night at The Royal Oak. The highlight for me was a completely unexpected cover of Gay Pirates by Rob and Laura Williams. It’s a great tune, written by Cosmo Jarvis, with a brilliant video (good enough to be tweeted to thousands of followers by Stephen Fry) and here it is:
After that short round of musical insanity, here are few pictures from my ongoing “Fading Notes” photography series:
Hope to catch you at a gig in the South Hams at some point – I think I’m the only person around here who plays jazz flute!
Feel free to follow my twitter account and facebook page and I’ll try to keep you updated!
Hamer & Isaacs played a really energetic set at the Millbrook Inn earlier on Sunday afternoon. They play gypsy jazz with a sound reminiscent of Django Reinhardt and Hot Club of France and were kind enough to let me stand in as guest flautist on one or two tunes! When I wasn’t playing I found the time to take a few photos and videos. Here’s how they turned out:
The gig was brilliant!
Everyone had a lot of fun and there was smiling…
And even some dancing (I’m attempting to upload the video now, but Devonian internet is a little bit temperamental).
The whole afternoon was a lot of fun and the atmosphere was really relaxed and welcoming. I thoroughly enjoyed playing and listening to the music and hope I have plenty of chances to see the band again!
This is the best week I’ve had in such a long time! Mainly because lots of interesting things are happening:
Monday – Lovely walk around Mount Edgcumbe and Kingsand with great company (the image above was taken from the Amphitheatre woods at Mount Edgcumbe).
Tuesday – Meeting people, helping out and my first experience of attempting to play harmonium.
Wednesday (today) – Caught up with Laura and Charlotte from the The Carrivick Sisters (a brilliant folk/bluegrass duo), great flute lesson this afternoon (I have an exam next week!) and this evening I’ll be going to Ben Carr’s Blues Night at The Royal Oak in Malborough (I’ll be bringing my flute, but have no idea who I’ll be playing music with – it’s great fun)!
Thursday – Going to see Enter Shikari in Plymouth (and might see some other nice people along the way)!
Friday – Work and hopefully catching up with a wonderful friend!
Basically, it’s an amazing week (I’ll try to get some decent photos of all of these things)! If you’re free to come to the Royal Oak this evening, or The Hermitage on Saturday (or both), it’ll be great to see you there!
A few days ago I went for a walk on North Sands beach in Salcombe. When I got there the tide was out, which meant I could get some really nice photos of the beach and the castle. Salcombe is a lovely in winter; out of season the the beaches are often quiet and empty and, although it’s cold, there’s still lots of fun to be had searching for (and photographing) all of the little interesting plants and animals hiding around the rockpools!
The really nice thing about this beach is that when the tide is this low, you can walk around to the left and find a nice old castle:
I should warn you that there are “NO ENTRY” signs all around castle because it is a ruin and the walls aren’t guaranteed to be structurally stable or safe. Here’s a bit of background information quoted from wikipedia’s article on Salcombe Castle though:
“The castle is thought to have been constructed originally during the reign of Henry VIII, to defend the Kingsbridgeestuary against French andSpanishpirates. It was the last place to hold out in the Royal cause against the victorious Parliamentarian troops of Oliver Cromwell in theEnglish Civil War. Sir Edmund Fortescue was ordered to hold it in 1643, when nearby Plymouth rose against the king; he rebuilt the castle at a cost of £135 6s 11d, and gave it the name “Fort Charles”. The castle was besieged from 15 January to 7 May 1646, and surrendered then only because it became clear that all other royalist strongholds had been overrun; the garrison were allowed to withdraw with their colours flying. After the Civil War the castle was “slighted” (ruined) on the orders of Parliament as it was “too dangerous” to allow it to remain.”
Anyway, after that brief history lesson (and to finish) here’s a picture of a some inquisitive ducks. They seemed to be having a pretty good time down by the water’s edge.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures! Feel free to comment – I’m happy to answer any questions or just have a nice chat!
Last Friday one of my photographs (Start Point Lighthouse) was published in the Kingsbridge, Salcombe and South Hams Gazette (link). I was happily surprised to see it there and hope that someone out there likes it.
This week I’ve been practicing a set for my harp gig at The Cottage Hotel on 27th December. There’ll be mulled wine and a chance to chat over a selection of carols and well known tunes.
To end, here’s a picture from my morning walk the other day. I’m struggling to believe how warm and sunny it is, when this time last year everything was covered in a thick layer of ice. Hope the weather stays this way!