SNV30239

SNV30239

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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

the day of a band and a boat in Bristol....

When it comes to music, I know what I like, and there's so many bands and artists whose work I love to watch or listen to. That's across most genres  - with the exception of garage and cheesy pop. I hate both ... oh and ABBA. I really abhor ABBA...always have and always will.

But there's one band I've been adoring for a number of years...The Black Seeds .I've mentioned them on the blog before, here  http://thinkingofthedays.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/summer-sundae-days.html

and they're from New Zealand. Last year I managed to see them play live , and made a promise to myself that I would definitely see them again somehow.
But when I interviewed lead vocalist Barnaby Weir last year,he didn't think that they would be back in Europe this year.

Well I'm pleased to say he was wrong...and that's why I found myself hotfooting down the M5 for a quick 300 mile trip to see them. On a boat in Bristol. And I'm so pleased I did...because although I enjoyed their festival appearance...it was like foreplay. Seeing them in a hot,crowded room, at night ,giving their all, was the main event.....



What a magical , hot July evening....sipping a few ice cold beers on the top deck of the Thekla with Frankie, managing to catch the last few rays of the sun, admiring the views as we did so...






Even the ladies loo had a porthole view....



And then, down into the bowels of the boat, to a surprisingly large room for the Black Seeds...

So why do I like this band so much?

Well, the Black Seeds know what it's like to engage an audience.  Infectiously catchy reggae, funk and soul rhythms get the party start right from  "Sometimes Enough." There's an energy, a synergy about the band members too - vocals from Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman are so strong, whether singing solo or together.





Add some incredibly good guitar work, the nattiest drums and percussion, the sound is already so full, but when the sax and trumpet come in...I'm in heaven.




I'm not the only one. This is a band you can't stand still and watch....from the opening numbers, bottoms in the audience are twitching in time to the music. By "So true" an all time favourite of mine, people are dancing where they stand...unable to take their eyes off the band.



There's such a good atmosphere....Barnaby chatting in between songs....all eighteen of them. You can't say you don't get good value at a Black Seeds gig.....the set lasts very nearly two hours. Yet the band still leave us wanting more....and as people stream off the boat....the newbies who haven't them live before are vowing to return when the Black Seeds come back to Europe.
 

That's good news says Daniel....it makes their three week pilgrimage here worthwhile.  With eight hungry mouths of band members and their families to feed, the trip has to pay its way. There are cds and tickets to sell...a fan base to be built....and good times to be had, with the lads on tour and away from day jobs baking, gardening, and lots more besides.

Next year, why don't you join the party? Make it your new Year resolution to come and see a Black Seeds gig...a far pleasurable option than losing weight, giving up drinking or something even more unpleasant.

You'll be so glad you did...Frankie certainly did, even though she played it cool after the show...as Daniel nicked my trusty old Marantz. Luckily, I'd already done the interview.....



In the meantime, I leave you with this - a lovely version of  "Cool me down" from the Black Seeds playing at Lowlands Festival last year....


 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

A summer walk


Whatever the time of year, there's some lovely walks around our village....no matter what the weather or the season, there's always something new to see, to smell and to hear....
 
Boo is always up for a walk....come rain come shine....even when it's freezing cold, she'll carry on regardless. Yesterday though, for the first time ever, after half an hour she was practically begging me to walk homewards....at 31 degrees, it was too darned hot.
 
We walked down the lane...and immediately met the lovely  new neighbours who were relaxing in their garden which lies sideways to the road. Over the old brick waist high wall, we shook hands, exchanged pleasantries , Boo was admired, and we walked on.
 
On the way down to the church, I met my friend, who for once, wasn't smiling.Roxy their  Staffie had been injured, and Jessie , their son's Staffie had been killed on Friday morning by a car. Boo sat patiently as I heard what happened, while we hugged  and had tears in our eyes.
 
I took Boo up the track behind the church, and stopped under the shade of a huge tree to take this photo and lean on the gate and to think of Jessie.

 
 
 
She'd  been in our garden playing with Boo on Thursday night...tearing around , chasing each other hither and thither before collapsing in a heap together. Jessie was such a lovely natured, playful dog ...I'd always thought if she'd been a girl she'd have worn pigtails and had freckles...
 
 I wiped my eyes as Boo and I carried on along the dusty track.
 


It's normally very quiet along the bridle path, but all of a sudden a car came past...with Sue, two boys and two terriers from the next village. They were the advance posse for a large gathering who were going to camp in one of the fields overnight.





We started to walk back to the village , taking a left along a track where I 'll be collecting sloes in the autumn. For gin, obviously.....

This track is usually muddy, thick heavy gloopy mud that can almost pull you over, but I've never seen it as dry as this before.


Boo liked this new look track...and kept darting in and out of the shade...


I could still hear the newly shorn sheep (who seemed slightly surprised by their sudden lack of  wool)as I smelt these white roses and lavender  - what is it about intense heat which enhances the scents of so many flowers? Closing my eyes I could have been in a sun baked Provence , inhaling the soporific and soothing lavender..

 

By this time though, Boo and I felt the walk had been long enough....we were both hot, so we skipped through the church , by the Old Vicarage ,hearing the splash  of  water in the swimming pool the other side of the wall. It was so nice to hear the chatter and sounds of people enjoying themselves in the sunshine....

By now , Boo was panting ..we hotfooted home, Boo lapped up a huge bowl of water, and I threw a bucket of cold water over my head and feet ,suddenly feeling so much cooler....but refusing to look in a mirror in case I frightened myself.

It was time for me to read  a book in the shade of our ash tree , hoping for the faintest whisper of a breeze


and Boo sat quietly before drifting off into a deep sleep.




Today's song is "Summer Breeze" -I've always loved this song...a soundtrack to so many of my summers , and for years I'd assumed that the Isley Brothers had written it. It was the only version I knew, and I still adore it..but these days I also like the original, written by Seals and Croft - and on some days, this is the version that I want to hear