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Happy Record Store Day

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Six years ago today those crazy folk in the USA conjured up the day of all days for music lovers around the world – the craziest part is that we didn’t think of it first! Celebrating music in it’s finest form we unite on this day with pounds in our pocket and a hop skip and a jump in our step toddling off to our local record store. With the decline of the super giants in this current climate it is time that we invested in what we’ve got left on the highstreet. Independent record stores are here to stay and Rise in Cheltenham is by far my favourite in the Cotswolds. Fashion, music, books and stationary, what’s not to like!

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This music shop has been around for a few years selling cds, books and the occasional music memorabilia, and to be honest I thought it would go down the same route as Zavvi, right down the recession drain. But it has upped its game and tapped into a market that is so dated, but so now. We’re living in the age of  dusting off our vinyls, reliving our heritage and investing into keepsakes, and Rise have hit the market so well in a town that is so eclectic. Cheltenham has its posh parts in Montpellier but also high street names too, so finding a shop like this is a goldmine.

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Me and the boyfriend were putting the world to rights the other day and talking about how retailers overprice charity shop hand me downs and pass them off for vintage, but Rise is well priced, caters for males and females and utilises the best of both worlds with my too passions, music and fashion. Stumbling across a Radiohead vinyl for £6 and difficult to find new releases for about a tenner I could honestly spend hours in this place waiting to find something new. The clothes are beautiful and I couldn’t help tap my toes to the soundtrack playing on the shop floor. Its sister shop in Bristol also holds live gigs now and again and have had the likes of Mumford and Sons and The xx play instore, showing that its passion really does lie in the music and doesn’t shut its doors at 5pm.

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I’ve never been one for collecting vinyls, this one time I had a thing for stickers, so maybe this could be the time to invest in something new and try my hand at djing with music that not only sounds great but looks beautiful too. Not only is this a chance to ditch the digital downloads and buy into music in its puritst form, it’s about buying from an independent music store right on my doorstep. Oh yeah, the website is very cool too, ok geek moment over.

Teacakes and Talk factoid: Rise was voted as the Best Independent Music Retailer in the 2010 Music Week Awards.

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Tune in to the Teacakes and Talk show tomorrow

Give a cheer the weekend is almost here and that means another freshly brewed Teacakes and Talk show, and what a treat for you this week. Last time we heard from the lovely George Montague who is headlining this year’s Stroud Fringe Festival as well as playing the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in a few weeks time, we also found out about Cheltenham’s very own fashion week, getting crafty with Sew Creative and how to get fit in Stroud.

Starting with our regular ‘That was the Year’ feature we’ve opted for something modern this time, waving a musical flag to a landmark event in the music diary we go back to the launch year of Record Store Day. What were you up to in 2007, we’d love to know.

This week we turn to the rising phenominon of the cake club, speaking to Julia Paton from the Stroud devision of The Clandestine Cake Club. To give you a flavour (sorry couldn’t help myself) of what the club is about see below.

We’ll be celebrating the centurion of the great fashion photographer Norman Parkinson chatting to Stroud Camera Club member, and photographer of course, Tammy Lynn about photographer as a hobby, career and why Mr Parkinson had an influence on her.

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There’ll also be a round up of the best events going on in the Cotswolds this weekend according to Teacakes and Talk too.

And finally we’ll be chatting to Stroud band The Vast who have just finished up their second EP. They’ll be telling all about the recording process, who they’re influenced by and what Stroud means to them. Take a listen to their track Ian below.

As always we love to hear from you so get in touch via Twitter @teacakesandtalk or check out the Teacakes and Talk Facebook page www.facebook.com/teacakesandtalk 

See you in the morning! Stroud 107.9FM 10am-12pm, or listen online here 

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Listen Again to the Teacakes and Talk Show

If you missed the launch of the first Teacakes and Talk show never fear for you can listen to the whole thing again right here.

Teacakes and Talk Two by Jessbracey on Mixcloud

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A big thank you to everyone that listened and took part, especially to Martha from Sew Creative, Hayley from Fashion and Beauty Cheltenham, Jess from Keep Fit Stroud and of course the incredible George Montague for bringing in a little treat. Looking forward to the next show! Tune in next Saturday 10am-12pm on Stroud 107.9FM.

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Tune in to the Teacakes and Talk Show tomorrow

So the launch of the Teacakes and Talk show was a blooming success, we even had people listening from Tokyo! Those two hours certainly went by quick but I had so much fun doing it and can’t wait for the next one tomorrow. So, just to give you a cheeky glimpse at what we have coming up…

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Thimbles, Fabrics and Food: Last week we brought you the Fabulous Baker Brothers, this week we have a double whammy as we talk craft and fashion. First up, in the lead up to the Fashion and Beauty event in Cheltenham following its stellar success last year, it’s back again and features the likes of Sienna Miller’s designer sister Savannah heading up the event. Hayley, Project Manger for FAB Cheltenham, will be speaking to Jess Bracey about what to look forward to.

And our second Thimbles, Fabrics and Food interview this week we get crafty. In times of make and mend do Martha van der Laan is a wiz with a needle and speaks to Teacakes and Talk about the workshops and classes she offers in the Stroud area and why DIY for girls has become so popular.

Culture Club: We serve up a dish of hearty events to get you by this weekend, let’s hope the weather holds out!

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Saving the best till last, Teacakes and Talk is excited to announce that this years; Stroud Fringe Festival headliner George Montague will be in session talking about what the Cotswolds mean to him, life in the music business, and his busy schedule of festivals lined up for the summer.

In between all this we’ll have tracks from Frank Turner, Kate Bush, The XX and Jack Johnson as well as ‘That was the Year’ and this time it’s something from the 80s. Tune in tomorrow at 10am with Jess Bracey to Stroud 107.9FM or listen online www.stroudfm.co.uk.

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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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Black Books Cafe Stroud

It’s a Sunday, our good old roast was delayed and I was in need of a frame so popping into Stroud was essential after my country walk around the village to get the Sunday newspaper. How very prim and proper. The reality of it was that I was woken up by a text message at half six in the morning and in need of some decent coffee, of course the other bits were on the list too but I was more interested in my caffeine fix. After seeing my cousin Kelly over Easter she was telling me about her latest venture in Stroud, The Black Books cafe, which has been around for quite some time now.

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And after hearing all about it I thought to pay a visit and appreciate just what a brilliant idea it is. Coffee, cake and books – you’re onto a winner. Dragging my mum to the top of town in the old Soap and Suds building, which is a beautiful art deco extraordinaire, I walked into the cafe in amazement at just how big it was and how unique it was. Old leather sofas, kitsch decorations, books from ceiling to floor and a tea list the size of Manhattan it really is a treasure of Stroud.

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Opting for a vanilla coffee and mum an orange juice we revelled in the classical music and diversity of people in the Black Books Cafe. Computer enthusiasts making the most of the free wi-fi, family, arty types and then the two peas in a pod (me and mum) it just goes to show that Stroud really is a melting pot of culture.

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The coffee was creamy but not too sweet and I was certainly eying up the cakes on the counter a treat, I’ll just have to stop by another time. The gingerbread syrup is also on my next to try list. The tables were decorated with colourful old pages and the chairs were so comfy you could sit there for hours. Not too pricey and it certainly beats going to a chain coffee shop, sticking by the ‘shop local, be local’ ethos. Definitely worth the trek up to the top of Stroud. At the end of the day I never did get that frame, but I certainly got some lovely indulgent coffee.