Thursday, 27 November 2014

A Shed Load of Music

All Tamara’s Parties had its 19th and final show of the year last week in The Shed, Charlbury. Yes it is literally a shed; a rather long one with toilets and a stage. A posh shed if you will.  The music was seriously top notch, but then what else would you expect from my nights? Roxanne de Bastion hot footed it from London on the train to open up the evening for us. This was incredibly good of her as she has just returned from a busy European tour and it was non-stop raining all the way.  Despite a guitar string snapping mid-set, she lulled us with her beautiful voice and songs and an amazing cover of 'Hey Ya' which we happily sang along to.

The Shed looked absolutely bloody beautiful and this was all thanks to Andy Pickard who runs this magical but versatile space.  He also delighted us with some songs of his own in the form of upbeat and surreptitiously addictive guitar duo: Billypure.  By this time the booze was flowing and our cheeks were nice and rosy, there was a faint scent of pine in the air…wait a minute, it’s still only November?!  But there was no denying it, the night had a wonderful Christmassy feel to it, minus Santa’s creepy knee.

The Black Feathers closed the evening and I really was speechless.  The last time I saw these guys play was a year ago when we both performed at The Ashmolean Live Friday event.  They are so so so excellent it hurts. If you get the chance to see them then please go and take your friends, your wife, your mum, dog, cat and anyone you pass on the street who looks like they need something good to happen to them.  #amazeballs

So, that was the last show of the year.  I’m now concentrating my efforts on rehearsing for George’s Jamboree on 1 Dec supporting John Hegley,  learning 3 covers for ‘Your Song’ at the Library on the 18th Dec, and continuing to record my new album.  FYI there is a song on there about a chicken. #spolieralert

Friday, 11 July 2014

Martyrs, Secret Fires and the C-word

The beginning of 2014 has been a funny sort of fish. An interesting mix of gigs, recordings, putting together a new band and the C word no less. 

With the Tamara andthe Martyrs’ album complete and released at the end of December, it was time to move onto the next project: The Girl with the Secret Fire.  This album is a collection of all the songs I didn't play with the Martyrs, solo and folksy with more of a go-out-and-romantically-drown-in-the-ocean sort of style than our upbeat Martyrs’ dirge .  I started the year by recording some demos with Richard Neuberg of Strawhouse recording studios, and we were on our way. “Griefy but mythical” was the phrase of the day.  We are now in July and making steady progress. The Martyrs’ album took two years so the release date of this album is firmly TBC.

To help me develop these songs I decided to start a new band with Dave Griffiths (of Witches and Francis Pugh and the Whiskey Singers fame) on the double bass and Tommy Longfellow, my very favorite drummer. Stripping everything back like this is more appealing to me now than anything else I feel I've done musically. The double bass and drums have great synergy and compliment my simple guitar playing.  Each instrument has the space to work with the themes of the songs, and playing like this has reminded me that dramatic doesn't always mean loud and heavy.  This is undulating and intense, and I’m totally hooked.

And the C word? Well, what more do you expect from an incredibly pleasant night of poetry and music at the Albion Beatnik on International Women’s day? Not the C word said once, but repetitively, over and over again like a sad old pet being called in for its dinner.  After I’d finished my set, a woman from the audience invited herself on the stage to instruct us all that it was imperative for us to reclaim this word.  It was an interesting point, and one the audience didn't seem entirely adverse too (although some looked horrified as they tried to crawl under the wallpaper), until the woman then emphatically announced her hatred for the word vagina, accusing it of being a dirty word that we should cease to use from this moment on.  And, just when I thought I was going to be enlightened by an intelligent and crafty poem, the disappointment smacked me in the face like a dog being shown a card trick…

…this is why we have (and need) open mics.

Well done though to Tina Senderholm and Anna Hobson for putting on a great night of music and poetry despite the lady-garden related heckling.  This is the beauty of Oxford’s diverse and creative artistic scene, you never know what kind of night you’re going to get.

If you want to hear a little of the new band then come along to the Jericho tonight. We are supporting Rainbow Reservoir’s EP launch and Billy T’rivers are also playing.  We are on at 8.00pm and I promise they’ll be no C-word shenanigans.  Hopefully. 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

All Tamara's SPECIAL Parties #16

Our 16th show is going to be incredibly special and this month we are hosting it in one of the oldest surviving buildings in Oxford: St Michael at the Northgate. Join us at 8.00pm for the following round up of great music:

The Epstein:

Julia Meijer: 

Sephine Llo:

Hosted by your favourite poet and compere, George Chopping.
Entry: £7
Refreshments will be provided
Address: Cornmarket St, Oxford OX1 3EY

All Tamara's Parties is a monthly music night hosted in exciting and unique venues in Oxford. There are two main purposes to this night:
1) To showcase more female talent and create an equal and diverse night.
 To take all the money that is made on the night and split it equally between all the acts that perform.

Friday, 14 February 2014

New Track: 'Brother' demo

I recently spent a day in the studio laying down 15 tracks for my new album which I hope and pray and cross my fingers will be finished in a year. A year is enough right? Right?  I sent the track to David Griffiths who has created a lovely piano and string arrangement and, although this is only a demo, I was so pleased with the results I wanted to share it with you as a romantic Valentine's Day gift. I am also going to send it to my brother because it's about him but not as a Valentine's Day gift because that would be WEIRD!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

All Tamara's Parties #13 @ The Old Fire Station

I am incredibly excited to tell you that the next All Tamara's Parties is being hosted at the most wonderful venue that is The Old Fire Station on the 21st March and I have some amazing acts lined up for you.  One of my favourite poets, Luke Kennard, the beautiful acoustic sounds of Megan Henwood, and a band called Galleons who have come all the way from the Netherlands.  Francis Pugh and the Whiskey Singers will round of the evening wonderfully with some foot-stomping tunes.  I shall also be opening the night with a few new ditties and not forgetting our wonderful compère for the evening George Chopping.

The event will take place in the magical and enchanting 'Loft' space where a bar and comfy seating will be available. This space is intimate so this does mean that tickets are limited to 45 so please purchase early to avoid disappointment.  

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Girl Jokes about Boy Parts: Review

My debut album, Girl Jokes about Boy Parts, has received its second review from the lovely folks at Music in Oxford.  If you haven't yet got a copy then you can download it from my bandcamp site.  There are also a few limited edition hard copies left which include some a lyric book which you can pre-order from the same site.

Happy New Year from me! I've now started making plans towards recording my solo album. And, good news, the next All Tamara's Parties has been confirmed for the 21st March and I have some amazing acts lined up. Watch this space!