Thursday, 24 September 2015

The Dash live at The Monarch, Camden

I've met so many amazing, interesting people this summer. After a chance encounter at Titan Studios in Watford, I was invited to see The Dash play live at a venue in Camden a few weeks ago.

I'd occasionally seen the band name come up on my Facebook feed but I didn't know much about them, so I deliberately didn't listen to any of their stuff online so I could experience them live with no bias. So, I wasn't really sure what to expect :) 

I traipsed the entire length of London (or so it felt) in the rain to reach the top end of Camden High Street where The Monarch is situated. Despite the rain and the fact it was a weekday, Camden was buzzing, it turned out The Libertines were launching their album just up the street!

I'd never been to the Monarch before, and I nearly strode right past it, but eventually hustled myself into the warm and got a gin and tonic down my neck before braving the pavement again to talk to the band - Marc, Dan, Gareth and Aiden.

Here's a terrible, blurry photo of me and Aiden, if you think this guy has good hair game, wait until you see the rest of them :) Now that I see this shot on my computer screen rather than just my phone, I think he might not thank me for it. But it's all I have. 

In fact, full disclosure, I was completely at the mercy of my washed-out phone camera this night, so I'm going to steal a photo from their Instagram feed (@wearethedash) to show you the whole band.

And then they started playing. I was pretty much blown away almost immediately, they absolutely rocked through their set, with lots of jumping about and synchonised hair flicking in time with some awesome guitar-playing. Apparently they are "notorious for leaving the stage in a storm of broken bones, hearts and guitars" and I can kind of see where that quote came from, I a bit fell in love with Dan the guitar player, owner of my favourite hair of the bunch - second from right above.

I've searched for the best video I can to share here, but you'd be better off clicking over to their youtube page where there's a long playlist of incredible live performances from all over the UK and Europe.

I can't wait to go along to their next London gig which is at The Monarch (follow them on twitter here for gig news) on the 4th November. Check them out online at their website by clicking here, or go along to their Facebook page and give them a like for live dates and photos.

I'll be posting my round-up of the summer later in the week, for now, I'm off to enjoy the beautiful Indian Summer everyone said we wouldn't get...

Katy x

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Croxfest With The Turner Brothers

7 days after Victorious and the band had an even more important gig, a hop, skip and jump from their front door and likely to be ram-packed with friends and family expecting a great show, and they definitely got it.

Croxfest is held on the green in Croxley Green, just down the round from the Turner Brothers house. It's an annual day-long free music festival, and it's pretty popular locally. I've never been before, even though it's only about 8 miles from my house, so I wasn't sure what to expect - I kind of envisioned a village fete-style set up, but boy was I wrong...

We started the day at the house, eating another beautiful spread by Mrs Turner and listening to some new T-Bro tracks in the garden...

This is one of my favourite photos that I have of the band from this summer - two original Turner Brothers and two new-generation Turners, and little ole me, determined to wedge myself into the photo!

We set off down the road to the green. It was filled with people and stalls, much more than I expected as well as a big stage and large backstage area. There were throngs of people with blankets, picnics, drinks and huge smiles, as well as the cheeky ones who had bought gazebos (I really must get one for future rainy events) We staked a spot in the packed crowd and got everything ready for the set...

I'm not sure who that grouchy looking fellow is there, but here's Tony T and Isaac sporting Turner Brother jackets and looking slick....

And here is a sneaky backstage photo of me, Patrick and Sim, the saxophonist who seems to be about to spill his coffee down me...

I was so excited to hear the set, the last big gig of the summer and with so many of the boys family supporting them, the atmosphere in the crowd was really fun. They stormed through the set with the whole crowd cheering and dancing, it was a pretty great end to the festival.

Thanks Jonny Atto for letting me use your fab shot of the boys closing the festival, along with the pyrotechnics and streamer cannons, so much fun to be in the crowd when that happened, with everyone reaching their arms up to grab some.

Every time I've gone with them this summer they have had a slightly different mix of instruments. They started with a trombone player, a sax and a trumpet at Hogsozzle and sounded incredible, and finished at Croxfest with two trumpets and the sax. I really love how much the brass section adds to the sound they have though, especially when you get a little wild sax solo at the end of a track. I think Sim is such a talented sax player, I'm secretly jealous. I used to play the saxophone, although obviously nowhere near to the same level. I kind of wish I had carried that on, maybe once I've mastered the keytar ;-)

The crowd absolutely loved the band, and there have been so many wonderful comments since the weekend. They even got gifted some personalised cups by a fan, how cool is that?

We finished the evening off with a beautiful curry and a houseful of fans, followers and family. It was really great to be a part of, I'm so excited to see where things go next for this band that welcome people into their lives and provide so much fun and party spirit everywhere they go.

This posts a bit gushy. It's only because that was the last festival of the summer and I feel a little sentimental about it, although it might be for the best since it's starting to take me three or four days to recover from these late nights with slightly too much wine...

Keep an eye on the Turner Brothers Facebook page for details of their next gig, or pop along and sign up to their mailing list at

Thank you to all the Croxfest crew for such a fabulous end to the summer festival season, especially the guys in charge of the great stage effects that really finished the evening with style and Mr & Mrs Turner for such lovely hospitality.Photo credits Johnny Atto, Isaac & Ian Frost.

I still have a write up of @wearethedash at The Monarch Camden coming this week, as well as a round up of the summer, but for now I'm off for a serious detox.

Katy xx

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Victorious Festival with The Turner Brothers

Well, where do I start?

We knew all summer that this was going to be the big gig of the year, and boy, did Victorious deliver. I'm kind of overwhelmed by all the amazing support, photos and feedback from the bands two sets, and I'll do my best to sum up the day here...

We headed off on The Party Bus super early on Saturday morning. I, like many, weren't fully convinced that we were going have everyone together when it was time to set off (we were pushing the time frame a little already at this point) but in the usual Turner Brother way, everything came together, everyone went to the loo and we hit the road with high expectations. The Turner Brothers took about 40 people on that bus, and most of them were fully in the T-Bro spirit, wearing the t-shirts and singing Turner Brother tunes. We listened to Laylow four times on that journey. Seriously.

And then we arrived at Victorious! You'll have to excuse the weird jumble of photos I have for this post, the camera on my phone is seriously dire and my point and shoot has given up the ghost (genuine request - if you have a cheap point and shoot camera you don't need, please let me know, I'm desperate for one and the budget won't stretch right now). So the photos that I have here have been taken by Jay, who is pretty much my saviour when it comes to gig photos, with his fancy phone and great eye for shots, and Richard Allen, who was the official videographer for the day and from whose footage all the performance stills have come apart from one.

Thanks guys! ♥♥

Time for the big performance! We got all the equipment backstage, set up and it was time to play, opening the second biggest stage that Victorious had to offer...

Here's a sneaky, overexcited photo of me and Jay getting to hang out backstage.

I rushed back round to the field to watch the boys, and they absolutely smashed it. Two guitars, two trumpets, Parry on percussion and the brothers giving it their all, there was a substantial crowd gathered by the end and a whole coachload of marauding fans dancing to all the songs they knew off by heart.

Look at the size of that stage!

After their first set, we had a six hour break to explore the festival and see some of the incredible acts lined up. We explored and went a little feral on overly expensive cider. I ate a very large amount of food and failed to take pictures of any of it at all. Because I'm a good blogger like that ;-)

A real highlight of the afternoon for me was seeing one of my favourite female artists, Laura Mvula on the main stage. She was pretty awe-inspiring, with her beautiful voice and a serious energy that I'd love to experience in a smaller setting. I'm listening to her right now :)

The second Turner Brother set was at the Mayfield Studios Real Ale Stage, a packed, tented stage with rain cover, perfect as the heavens opened just before their slot, meaning even more people crammed in to experience what turned out to be my favourite Turner Brothers performance ever...

That tent was so hot, all our Turner Brother t-shirts were soaked with sweat. The guys did a shout-out to their coachful and a whole section of the front of the tent went absolutely wild, there was an incredible atmosphere and the crowd even convinced them to play "one more" which turned out to be my favourite Turner Brother song of all time, one they keep promising me they will play and keep forgetting, 'Janine'.

And then it was all over :)

I abandoned ship and went to see Primal Scream on the main stage, they weren't everything I dreamed they would be, to be honest, but the rain coming down and the sun setting and the stage lights and the crowd and the mud up to our knees pretty much made all my other festival dreams come true!

A seriously unforgettable day, and the boys have had so many incredible comments and new fans over the last few days, it's been hard to keep up with. They play Croxfest on Saturday if you fancy catching them live at a free gig before summer finally gives up the ghost and leaves us wintery and crammed into dark pubs instead of rolling around in sun-drenched fields or at least enjoying warm summer rain.

On a side note, I have a couple of other posts coming up this week. Last night I went to see a truly awesome new band, The Dash, in Camden and I promised a little write-up, I really believe they are destined for big things so I'm glad I got to see them in such a close-up setting.

Big thanks to Nick Courtney et al at Victorious, David Horrocks Photography, Richard Allen Photography, Isaac from Liquid Lens Productions and my lovely friends for coming along and getting involved at the gig, love you all ♥♥

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