FROM TELEVISION TO TEL AVIV (NOTHING BREAKS LIKE AN EGG)
Hello 2019! Better late than never I suppose… and with that I’d like to apologise for my blogging neglect over the last few months. The first couple of months of the year are always notoriously quiet for weddings, so this year I decided to enjoy the rare time off to squeeze in a couple of trips away for holiday! It was lovely to have the time to visit Dubai and France in February, and it also gave me time to do some of that dreaded ‘wed-min’ (yes, that’s wedding admin – the rabbit hole to end all rabbit holes). Our approaching nuptials are next month and I’ve realised that, with only 6 months to plan everything, organising a wedding can be a full-time job. I’ve become obsessed with spreadsheets and addicted to to-do lists. I can honestly say it has been more relaxing having a jam-packed performance schedule this last week compared to stressing about origami place names.
In terms of work, these last few months have mainly consisted of performing at corporate parties. Back in January I was asked back to perform my electric violin chill-out set at the IMED Science Awards in Cambridge for the fourth year in a row! This is always an absolute hoot, and this year they really upped their game with the light decorations, as displayed by this LED portal that was too good to not get a photo:
I’ve also had a blast recently performing for corporate parties; such as the Hertfordshire Golf Captains Dinner with Martin Toal, the IET Awards at Grosvenor House Hotel, as well as an office launch party with André Saxman Brown in Camden. André and I also recently performed with Entourage band mate and percussionist, Deji, at a special launch party for IWC Schaffhausen at George Cleverley in The Royal Arcade, London. It was a limited edition watch and 150 of the IWC Pilot’s Watch 36mm sold out in 18 minutes! Check out this little video of the event, with some famous faces in attendance too.
Watches have been a bit of a theme recently, as last week I was booked to perform at the Movado Group Summit at Davos Congress Centre, Switzerland with DJ Phoebe. We played a chilled set of bossa nova and Latin lounge music during the cocktail reception for some 450 guests in attendance. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed playing guests in from the top of an illustrious staircase, so much so that I am considering adding this as a performance condition for all future gigs as part of my rider. The venue also included an excellent LED wall that deserved at least 11 boomerang photo attempts. Here’s the winning shot:
It turned out that the very same night I was performing in Switzerland, BBC Two also decided to air me competing in ‘Eggheads’ as part of The Bluejays team on TV back in the UK. It’s a long story, but a while ago my fiancé Chris’s band received an email from the show’s researchers to take part in the show. They then needed another quiz team member and, as an AVID Eggheads fan, I jumped at the opportunity! Filmed over a year ago, they finally got round to airing it on Monday night (Series 20 Episode 80). We didn’t win sadly, but it was a simultaneously terrifying and hilarious experience that I will cherish forever. Cue a picture of me in my element with the stars of the show:
As one of the W.A.G’s of the band (technical term), I qualified for quiz team membership through default. However, back in January I was officially a subsidiary part of the band for one day, when The Bluejays recorded their latest video – a cover of ‘It Doesn’t Matter Anymore’ by Buddy Holly. This was a special project to mark the commemoration of 60th anniversary of Buddy Holly’s tragic death – The Day The Music Died. I transcribed and arranged the string parts from the original recording and called in my string quartet pals; Emma, Jamie-Lee and Alex to join me in laying down the tracks. Spending the day at Soup Studios recording with some of my favourite people sounds…awful, I know, and you can probably see how much we all hated it from the video:
As you can tell, Chris is a bit of a dab hand with the camera, so at the last minute I decided to bring him along to Davos this week to film a new music video for me. Having Googled ‘Davos Switzerland’ and seen the photos of the amazing Alpine scenery, I realised it was too good an opportunity to miss. I am a tad obsessed with the new Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus track, ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’ and had wanted to record my own cover for a while. Check out the fruits of our (rather freezing!) labour below – and watch out for the little intruder right at the very end :)
As well as corporate events, quiz shows and music videos, the last few months have also included a sprinkling of violin performances for private parties. I’ve played at a couple of beautiful weddings at Old Marylebone Town Hall and Mythe Barn near Atherstone. Birthday parties have taken me from a 40th at Claridge’s with guest performance from Ronan Keating (!), to a 70th at the beautiful Carlowrie Castle in Scotland. As Ronan would say, life really IS a rollercoaster.
Actually, for me I’d say that this week life is a plane journey. Over a period of 8 days last week I had been on 8 flights – quite the commute! I finished the weekend with an epic wedding in Israel. We flew into Tel Aviv and then into Eilat to play at the stunning Dekel Beach. The weather was balmy and perfect, although my violin found it hard to adjust to all the recent climate changes and I actually broke 2 strings during my performances! (Luckily, I always bring multiple spares.) It was a stunning tropical setting, and André and I played a few sets over DJ to get the party started. We also met DJ & Producer Willy William who was behind the track 'Mi Gente' - amazing!
Sadly we had to fly back straight away the next day so didn’t get to enjoy the weather too much. It was a super fun, jam-packed week, but needless to say I’m happy not to be getting on a plane for while now. I AM excited for next time though, when it will be for HONEYMOON. Catch you next time for some more musical updates and I promise that I’ll stop talking about my wedding…soon. x