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An interview with…Bryony Hill

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Introducing you to 19-year-old singer-songwriter Bryony Hill who moved to Stroud just under a year ago, she has settled into the area rather nicely and has established herself as a brilliant acoustic act in the area. One for the romantic, modern day covers pioneered by female acts such as Gabrielle Apline, I interviewed her about her music, what the Stroud music scene means to her and also get an intimate live performances of her rendition of Daughter’s track ‘Run’.

Here the full interview here

An interview with…Bryony Hill by Jessbracey on Mixcloud

Crossing over genres with her friend Lifting Fights from college, here’s Bryony taking up the vocals on the dustep track ‘Open Your Eyes’.

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Cotswolds Events: This Weekend

The weekend is almost here let’s have a big cheer. Here’s a list of events happening in the Cotswolds area. 

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Stroud Farmers Market (the very best), top of town Saturday morning and afternoon.

Stroud Spring Ball: Dust off those DJs and ball gowns and dance the night away to enchanting and vibrant music with popular local ballroom dance host Mr Pinstripe. Playing a ion of ballroom, Latin and popular sequence dance tracks. Dress code: Black Tie & Evening Dress.  Saturday 8.00pm £8.00.

Art and Photography at Slimbridge Wetland Centre:  Celebrate the long history of art at Slimbridge with a series of activities suitable for adults and children alike. Saturday and Sunday from 10am.

Sue Smith textile exhibition in Nailsworth. County art enthusiasts can view a range of works by local textile artist Sue Smith, who uses a variety of techniques, including batik, gutta and felting on different weights and weaves of silk, to create unique cushions, scarves and pictures. At the Cotswold Craftsmen Gallery. Free admission

Seasonal Concert in Rodborough: Saturday 7.30pm at Rodborough Parish Church, Walkley Road, Rodborough, GL5 3TY. Rodborough Parish Church will provide the setting for a seasonal springtime concert performed by the Thameshead Singers.

‘Bear’s Ears and Painted Ladies’: Auricula Afternoon from 
2pm on Saturday. Join the Museum Friends for a fascinating illustrated talk on the history and fashions of the Auricula over four hundred years in Britain. Guest speakers are Pat and Robin Fisher from the National Auricula and Primula Society, winners of the RHS Gold Medal for displays at Chelsea and Malvern Spring Show and holders of the National Collection of Border Auriculas. After the talk, enjoy tea and cake and watch demonstrations. £6 or £4 for Museum Friends.

Discover Tewkesbury’s Vintage Fair and antiques trail at the George Watson Memorial Hall, Barton Street, Tewkesbury, GL20 From 10am on Saturday, free to admission.

The second annual Cheltenham Design Festival will focus on the future, with the country’s leading innovators and creatives heading to the Parabola Arts Centre this weekend.

Dexy gig: Get your best moves ready for when Dexy’s perform ‘Come on Eileen’ and latest album One Day I’m Going to Soar in its entirety, at a rare Gloucester Guildhall gig. Saturday 7.30pm.

Minchinhampton Open Gardens: 2pm at Various locations across Minchinhampton. Green-fingered locals and well-behaved pups can explore a wonderful variety of gardens across Minchinhampton.

Stroud Spring Walking Festival: Blow away those winter cobwebs and make way for the spring sunshine by lacing up your walking boots and joining hordes of locals expected to attend the inaugural Stroud Spring Walking Festival, in the picturesque setting of The Lake at The Lawn. Offering something for all abilities, there will be eight guided walks over nine days, from one to 19-miles, with themes including nature, history, canal and a few pubs. The Lake at The Lawn, off Cainscross Road, Stroud, GL5 4HE. Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 April 2013

Don’t forget to tune into the Teacakes and Talk show on Saturday at 10am. 

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Culture Club: Young Kato

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In life we all have our guilty pleasures and mine is none other than the programme Made in Chelsea on E4. I think it’s the idea of having that lifestyle, even though I know half of it is made up for ‘my entertainment’, I’m still gripped at the drama that happens on screen and yearning to have the upper hand of social life with free flowing champagne and shopping galore. Now in it’s fifth season Made in Chelsea returned to our screens once again last night, and while my mum complained that it’s not the same as it used to be I found it quite comical and was pleasantly surprised to see a spotlight on Cheltenham alternative-pop band Young Kato. Playing at the Barfly venue it was weird seeing them on the silver screen, their songs have previously been played on the show but this time it was a full-on gig extravaganza. Their on stage presence is electric and their tracks are so mind indulgent that stay with you for hours. Currently in the top 40 chart on itunes here’s an interview I did with them earlier this year at their headline gig at Gloucester’s Guildhall.

How does it feel to have a headline tour?

It’s our first tour we’ve ever done so it’s nice to finally get round to it, it’s wicked.

Last time I spoke to you guys was in the summer, what’s been happening in the last six months?

It was weird because Glos Park was the day that we really got a kick in the bum as it was, our manager took us to one side and just said that we need to thrash this set and ever since then we’ve just improved ten fold, we’ve stepped it up completely. After that gig we kind of thought, yeah it went well but there’s stuff we can do to improve our set and make it flow better.

But you’re always looking at ways to improve yourself

Yeah we always criticise what we’ve done, we’re our biggest critics, but I would say that that day was the one that changed it for us, we completely stepped it up, especially the live aspect but we weren’t giving it the credit it deserves, and now here we are and hopefully people will see on stage that we have improved.

How did the tour come about? Has it been in the pipeline for a while?

It’s one of the things we wanted to do. We’ve played a lot of London shows and one of the things we picked up was an agent, so through that we were able to book more gigs. He said what do you want to do, and we said that it would be good to head out on our own tour and go to places that we have never been to. We’ve been no further north than Birmingham and no further south than London. It’s interesting to look at the ticket sales in places like Nottingham and Leicester. It’s to do with the powers of the internet too because we’ve got ticket sales from places we haven’t played before, it’s a start.

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As you were featured on Made in Chelsea do you think that helped you pick up a new fan base?

Definitely. We did a show in London the other week and a girl came up to us and was like I saw you a few days onto on Made in Chelsea and came just on the back of the programme.

How did that collaboration come about then?

Through the women in the production team at Made in Chelsea, she got hold of our EP and it just went from there. For a small band like us to be on the show it’s weird because it’s mainly big bands and we absolutely love the tracks that they play.

It’s nice that people take the time to hunt you down after the show and want to find out more about you.

It’s good because they’ve got a Spotify set up too so you can listen to every song in full. It’s cool because you can find all these new bands that have the same kind of vibe.

So you started off your headline tour in Bristol on Thursday, how was the first show?

It was wicked. We thought it would be a bit like blowing off the cobwebs but it went really well and there was a great turnout. It’s been two weeks of solid rehearsal so we just wanted to do it. We love going to Bristol, it’s like our second home and we pulled in over 200 people last night, easily, in the o2 side room. It looked really packed and healthy, everyone was up for it and we had a great night. We haven’t been to Bristol for a while now and the fact that we’re still getting all the fans down is brilliant.

Is there going to be any new material we’ll be hearing tonight?

Yeah loads. The thing is, to us it’s not new but obviously we’ve only got like five songs on the internet, there’s one song we are playing which is actually new and about a month old. But to everyone else a lot of it will be new, there are about five tracks which aren’t online. For a headline set it’s short and sweet but we wanted it to be to the point. We play what we want on tour and we think that we’ve moulded a really good set together and rigorous practice sessions to form a set that flows, it should be a good night.

Are there any covers in the set?

No it’s all original stuff. It’s important for bands to find a time when you surpass the covers stage if you know what I mean. It’s great for bands to do covers because people know what you sound like, who your influences are, and then they can compare the two songs and find who you are. But now, because we write all the time it’s easier for us to not do covers. It would be harder for us to do a cover and learn it now, we’re better off writing our own songs. Luckily they go down really well so we might as well just keep going on.

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So your self entitled EP is out now, is there any news of an album coming out in the future?

That’s one of the things that’s quite hush hush at the moment, an album is 100 per cent in the pipeline and definitely will happen within the next year or so, so it’s just down to when the time is right. We don’t want to rush into it, but there are definitely plans.

And are we hoping to see some of the stuff on the album being played tonight?

I think the album material is all there tonight it’s just a case of dropping or adding a few songs, it’s pretty much there.

How have people been taking your new song Break Out?

It’s gone really well. We had the Vevo promotion as well which was really cool so it’s pushed it out even more. Say if I searched for The Maccabees Pelican, one of the recommended tracks would be us in the corner with this horrible shot of me with paint all over my face, it was cool to see it and it got us to that extra 30ks after the first release. To get 60 odd thousand views it can only go up from there.

Young Kato ‘Drink, Dance, Play’ as featured on Made in Chelsea

Young Kato – Drink, Dance, Play from Daniel Broadley on Vimeo.

How’s everything going with Lab Records? (The label that Young Kato are signed to)

We wanted to put out an EP and that was what we signed for and was something we wanted to do under a label and now we’ve done that. The guys are really good, they gave us total freedom with the EP and they said to us from the very beginning that they will be our stepping stone to build this organically and get the fans in slowly, bit by bit, and then get that nationwide audience. They’ve done really well and we’d recommend any band to go straight to Lab Records if they wanted to release something like that, if they’ll take it.

For bands that aren’t signed but want to be at the level you are, what advice would you give them?

Don’t worry about getting signed, we’ve always said that getting a label has been kind of a bypass to making what we think is good music. You don’t start a band to sign a record deal. All the perks of a headline tour and stuff like that, the centre of the audience is the craft of your song writing and you hone in on that, everything else will just follow on, it’s the song writing that you’ve really got to focus on. Everyone can do things in their own way, there’s no strict rules on how you can work your band. There’s no bible that says this is how you make it to the top, you’ve just got to find your own way. We’re slowly but surely, as we believe in ourselves, climbing up and we know it’s going to take time and we know that we could have part time jobs for a while, but we don’t have the pride to be knocked we just love being in a band and we just take every day as it comes.

http://www.facebook.com/weareyoungkato

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Cotswolds Events: This Weekend

Ahead of the big reveal for the Teacakes and Talk show line up launching this Saturday, here’s some events to look forward to this weekend in the Cotswolds. 

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Stroud Ceilidhs Present Bedlam at the Stroud Sub Rooms – Pulsating, fiery and at times sensitive, Bedlam are without doubt one of the most exciting and highly acclaimed dance bands on the scene. They blend traditional British, French and self penned tunes with driving rhythms and powerful harmonies to create their unique and highly inspiring sound. The very popular Phil Bassingdale is calling. 8pm £10.

Vintage Handkerchiefs Exhibition at the Museum in the Park – This delightful exhibition shows handkerchiefs spanning the decades of the 1920s to the 1960s, all from the private collection of artist Marion Mitchell. Marion bought her first ‘vintage’handkerchief in the late 1960s at Leicester Flea market. She was studying Fashion and Textiles at the local art college and was fascinated by the vibrant colours and patterns of the elegant printed fabric squares. Over the years, she built up a beautiful and eclectic collection, full of vivid and varied colours, motifs and designs which echo the changing fashions of decades past. Runs until 21 April. Followed by a Printed Textiles Family Worlshop with Liz Lippiatt at Studio Seven at the Museum in the Park 2.30-4.30pm.

Art and Photography Workshop with Peter Scott at Slimbridge Wetland Centre, 9.30am Saturday and Sunday.

Wooden Horse playing at the Prince Albert – Comprised of the powerful vocals and guitar of Jamies Knight and the bottleneck and finger-picking skills of Ben Church, this duo use various instruments and arrangements to perform a mix of country blues, bluegrass, Americana and original, all filled with classic harmonies and great playing.

Vintage and Craft Fair at Gloucester’s Blackfriars priory which is just one pound for adults and children get in for free and that’s from 10am-5pm at Blackfriars Priory, Gloucester. Brimming with vintage treasures, handmade goodies and live entertainment I’ll be sure to report back on that one here.