The long days of summer are coming to an end and, for me, that means that we're already hurtling towards my busiest time of the year - the run up to *don't say it*... Christmas. Sorry. But before we start getting emotional about John Lewis adverts and tutting at shops playing festive jingles in September, I thought I'd tell you all about what I've been up to since my last blog.
Having looked back at my diary, I've realised that during July and August I have performed at no fewer than 16 weddings! "What is the collective noun for weddings?" I hear you ask. Well, I would like to coin it a bridal wave of weddings. While some may find the prospect of a bridal wave terrifying and flee for cover, I have found it refreshing how unique each wedding has been! I've enjoyed every single one, from weddings at local Hertfordshire venues that I regularly perform at, such as Tewin Bury Farm, Brocket Hall and The Grove, to venues further afield, such as Blackwell Grange in the Cotswolds, Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire and a private home in Stourbridge! Variety really is the spice of life.
Here's a snap from a recent wedding at Easthampstead Park in Berkshire where I performed classical and electric violin:
What is lovely about playing the violin is that I can be a part of any section of the wedding day - whether it's mellow gathering music as guests enter the ceremony, the special music requests as the bride walks in, or as the couple sign the register and exit. I can also perform some chilled pop music for the drinks reception or the meal, and then play over DJ to get the evening party started. I get to see it all! My favourite part however is always the vows. Oh, and the cutting of the cake. I love cake. I get equally teary about both moments.
One of my favourite weddings this year was Jade and Craig's wedding at Hengrave Hall. It was an absolutely stunning day with a church service in the chapel, drinks reception on the lawn, wedding breakfast al fresco in the courtyard, and the evening party in the venue's main hall. The wedding breakfast setting was beautiful:
On this rare occasion I performed during each part of the day. I absolutely loved being involved and adding a different feel to the atmosphere at each point. Andre Saxman Brown and DJ Asad joined me for the evening and it was a cracking party with the team.
Another favourite wedding this year was that of Veronique and George at Hedsor House. This was a super high fashion event and I was booked with Entourage to play for the drinks reception with DJ, sax and percussion, as well as for the evening party. This was a lot of fun. Celebrity guests included Jason Statham, Gary Lineker, and of course the infamous Deji Carr on percussion, making it a truly fabulous party. We couldn't even hold off the local paparazzi from getting our picture...
It really has been a month of celebrations, as I've also been involved in a sprinkling of Indian weddings, bar mitzvahs and birthday parties, with events at The Grove, Grosvenor House Hotel and St Pancras Renaissance Hotel to name but a few.
In terms of corporate bookings, I've had a jolly old time as always playing with the lovely ladies from House of Angels. We brought the old school party vibe to some companies' summer parties at One Marylebone, and Chicheley Hall. I've also performed at some slightly more unusual places, such as Landing 42; the 42nd floor of the Leadenhall Building, which looks out over the whole of London. The gig was worth it just for the lift ride. The views were incredible and it was a privilege to be invited to perform a special solo violin show for Rolls Royce as part of their Farnborough Airshow celebrations, as well as performing at the actual air show for Qatar Airways with Silken Strings the day before by a private jet. Casual:
It's also been great this summer to return to a couple of public venues, with bookings playing background electric violin sets at The Cliff Hotel, Gorleston and nightclub sets with DJ Ryan Lee at Smokey's in Maidenhead. Here are some snaps of me in full swing at Smokey's:
There is also a rare upcoming opportunity to catch me play pubilcly with DJ at Cameo nightclub in Bournemouth this Saturday 15th September. I'll be playing from 10.30pm for anyone local who fancies popping by!
After a weekend of events, I'm really excited to be heading to Mykonos on Sunday for a wedding with the Entourage team. I can't wait to get out to the beautiful island and have a few days downtime before the crazy couple of weeks ahead, when I'll be venturing to Majorca, Vienna and Florence before the end of September. More on that next time, stay tuned! x