Music

Tenby Blues Festival 2018

At the weekend I had the pleasure of being the official photographer for the annual Tenby Blues Festival. Over the three days the daily Blues Trail has a timetable of acts playing in local pubs, restaurants and hotels before the main evening events take place in the De Valence Pavilion. The festival has been going for over a decade now but this was my first time sampling it. It’s always great to see high quality acts in Pembrokeshire especially when they have made the effort to come from another continent to get here and this year, Malcolm, Chris and the rest of the team put together a great lineup. Here’s some shots of the weekend… and you know me, I couldn’t resist popping out to get a shot of the sunset on a beautiful Sunday night in Tenby.

Dave Arcari kicked things off single handed on Friday night with a high energy show…

“Dave plays like he got his skin turned inside out and pretty soon my skin was inside out too listening and it was all good. That boy bleeds for you – he a real down deep player and a soul man…”  Seasick Steve

Afterwards The Paul Garner Band from London took to the stage and the night was rounded off with some groovy blues from Lighnin’ Willie and the Poorboys.

Saturday night kicked off with Husky Tones , the duo creating a fantastic sound with guitar, stand up drums and vocals. The British blues legend, Eddie Martin followed with his band before The Reverend Shawn Amos brought the night to a close with a sensational show.

The audience on Sunday night were given a real treat with Jodie Marie and Bella Collins teaming up to produce what was for me, the standout performance of the weekend. A spine tingling set made all the more amazing for the fact that they’d barely played together. That’s chemistry I guess. The result was sublime and had the audience on their feet at the end. They made way for Catfish which was a change of pace before the night and the weekend was brought to a close by the soulful voice of Kyla Brox and her band.

A great weekend of music and a festival that is well worth checking out. A good excuse for a November trip to Tenby.

Look out for tickets for next years event https://www.tenbyblues.co.uk/

The Slocan Ramblers and Christopher Rees

A rainy November night in St Davids. We had the pleasure of listening to Christopher Rees, from down the road in the Rhondda Valleys and from further afield, The Slocan Ramblers from Newfoundland, Canada. Foot stomping Americana and Bluegrass from some masters of playing and songwriting.


Live Music: Joey Landreth, John Blek, Nathan Bell and Rosey Cale

More visitors from over the water came to St Davids to play Boia Gigs events. Joey Landreth came over from Canada and a little closer, from Cork, Ireland, John Blek included St Davids in a mini tour of the UK. Another fantastic couple of evenings showcasing some brilliant songwriting and sublime playing. The pick of the tunes for me was this one from John Blek…

In October, Nathan Bell came from Tennessee to play us some captivating Americana folk songs coupled with evocative story telling. Drawing on the experiences of a life as a working man in the USA, Nathan intertwines his songs with reflections on life, love and modern America. Support came from the talented local singer songwriter, Rosey Cale showcasing her self penned works and exceptional voice.

Live in St Davids: Hillfolk Noir

The band describe themselves best:

"Fronted by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Travis Ward, Hillfolk Noir is a trio of neo-traditionalists playing traditional music on traditional instruments for non-traditional times. They call it Junkerdash, and it’s a sound brewed from folk, bluegrass, punk, string-band blues and other influences musical and otherwise."

All I would add is that they were proper bompin'.

Another great night courtesy of Steve at Boia Gigs.

Live Music: Twin Bandit and Sky Barkers

On Thursday at The Meadow in St Davids, I went along to take some pictures of Twin Bandit (a folk duo/band from Vancouver, Canada) and local duo Sky Barkers playing some beautiful tunes. We don't often get live acts making the effort to journey all the way to play for us in Pembrokeshire so it's been lovely to have Boia Gigs attract some quality acts to St Davids.

Twin Bandit are on a European tour and had been in London the previous evening before flying to Amsterdam the following day; from Britain's largest city to it's smallest before hitting mainland Europe, we appreciated the effort! Be sure to check them out if they are in your neighbourhood.

The Meadow is also recommended as a great place to get fed and watered if you're in St Davids.

You have a talent for capturing expression and the feeling of that show. We are so grateful, it was a beautiful night and it’s such a joy to remember it by these pictures!
— Twin Bandit

Musical interlude : Song Exploder

I've enjoyed listening to the Song Exploder podcast recently. I always find it interesting to hear how a piece of creative work is put together and to have an insight into the thinking and processes behind the finished article; this podcast provides that insight for an ever growing list of tunes. Music is often something that becomes a background to daily life and although the age of listening to music is often said to be behind us, this is also the information age and we can learn more than ever about the artist behind the work. Give it a listen.

A couple of my favourite episodes...