Spring is in the air and I have definitely had a spring in my step over the last few weeks! I've really enjoyed being able to play outside in the beautiful English (!) sunshine at recent events, and I hope this lovely weather continues through to some of the summer weddings I have booked in the diary.
A real highlight this week was being asked to perform classical violin at the Chelsea Flower Show press day in the beautiful gold-medal winning Wedgwood show garden by Jo Thompson. I performed Vaughan Williams’ 'The Lark Ascending', which was particularly special as Vaughan Williams was a direct descendant of Josiah Wedgwood. It was amazing to be involved in such an iconic part of British culture and to play in such a stunning setting. To top it off, I got to visit the dress department at Harrods and choose a piece to wear for the performance - I went with this gorgeous floral gown by Marchesa Notte:
It was a magical and surreal experience... I also walked past Phillip Schofield which was also both magical and surreal. I also somehow managed to get featured above THE QUEEN in this article on BBC News.
This last month has also seen me travel to some incredible venues around in Europe, such as in Lisbon with Silken Strings this week at the Pátio da Galé, and the Teatro della Pergola in Florence with Entourage. This Italian theatre was built in 1656(!) and was being hired on this occasion for a Russian wedding. The backdrop for us on stage was absolutely jaw-dropping, as demonstrated here by André's face:
This was such a fun event to perform at! André Saxman Brown and I didn't go on stage until 1.30am so we got to go out for an amazing and very civilised meal al fresco on the streets of Florence beforehand. I also managed to wake up early the next day and wander through the streets eating ice cream and seeing some tourist sites... but mainly eating ice cream.
I always love playing at weddings as they are such joyous and loving events to be part of. I like that no two weddings are the same, and I love seeing the unique details that couples put into their special day. It was lovely to perform at the gorgeous Ditton Manor wedding venue for the first time recently. This was for an Indian wedding where the drinks reception was outdoors with this stunning view:
I popped a few Bollywood tracks into the set and then performed the entrance music for the bride and groom into the marquee. It was also nice to be back recently performing acoustic and electric violin sets at one of my more regular venues, Tewinbury Farm, which was conveniently well located to get me back home in time for the most important event of the year - Eurovision. Perfect.
More than weddings, this last month has been crazy for birthday party bookings - it seems everyone in the world is born in either April or May! Some of the birthday party bookings I've performed at this month include: with DJ for an Ibiza-themed 40th birthday up in Burton-upon-Trent; a chilled set with André Saxman Brown at a surprise 50th at a private home in Chelsea (complete with butler in the buff!); a solo booking for a 60th birthday in Hampstead; and with DJ and sax at a surprise birthday party at the decadent Temple, Andaz Hotel. If you get a chance, do read about this venue here - incredible stuff and a sublime secret venue to play in! I also can't miss out the epic bar mitzvah party I performed at up in Manchester with London Rox Events, which was all boxing-themed, and the bar mitzvah boy did the most epic Rocky-esque entrance I've ever seen.
Some of the largest events I have performed throughout the month have been for corporate awards ceremonies and company parties. A couple of weeks ago I performed for the A.F.C. Bournemouth football team players awards, playing electric violin show sets during the meal. This was held in the massive Bournemouth International Centre and I was absolutely wowed by the production and lighting set-up when I arrived. It was pretty high security so I'm afraid all I have are some pictures from sound check, but I thought I'd share because I was so happy to be named U21s Player of the Season:
I also had a blast playing for solo electric violin for the Aurum Awards this week in a flying visit to York, as well as last week for the Toymaster company party with House of Angels in an equally-flying visit to Harrogate. It was also fun to be booked to perform at a special office party for THE ROYAL WEDDING with Silken Strings. The hired props were incredible - they even had plastic Corgis! Here we are sitting on the throne:
It has been great to get to perform at some more public events this month, for both restaurant bookings and club nights. At the beginning of the month I got to perform with André at The Olive Tree, Loughton, with some phenomenal Greek food! I also had a ball performing electric violin with DJ back at Pryzm nightclub in Portsmouth for their 'Alice In Clubland' promo night. Here are some of the snaps from that!:
And if you really can't get enough electric violin over DJ, I'll be performing at Smokey's, Maidenhead TONIGHT with DJ Ella Durston from midnight - check it out here!
If not, catch you next time with more of my ramblings on my amblings x