(Ir-)regular readers will recall that my last blog was all the way back in 2021, so here’s my attempt to cram seven months of updates into one entertaining(?) read. My excuse for not keeping on top of the blog-writing back then was that I didn’t want to tempt fate since work was finally coming back. After a difficult couple of years, it’s a relief that events are now pretty much back to normal, and with lots of rescheduled gigs from the last couple of years, this is excitingly my busiest summer of all time (famous last words…)! My poor car has clocked up 10,000 miles since March, which I’ve worked out is the equivalent of driving from Hitchin to Hobart, Tasmania :/
There’s been an influx of parties (now that we can all get out and let out hair down again), and I am LOVING it. After two years of live-streaming, real-life corporate do’s are back! This has meant I’ve got to perform at some very fun public events for sport, hospitality and brands. Highlights as a soloist have included performing for a VIP sales day for Range Rover, jamming with DJ at corporate party for Flat Iron in sci-fi themed fancy dress, and playing at Chelsea Flower Show press day followed by chatting my way into VIP hospitality to celeb-spot all the BNOCs such as Dame Judi Dench, Stephen Merchant and GRAYSON AND PHILIPPA PERRY <3 (icons) – see proof below:
I performed a short piece on electric violin with ballet dancers in the Brewin Dolphin Garden designed by Paul Hervey-Brookes, wearing an amazing bespoke gown by James Maciver:
As a solo violinist I’ve also recently had the privilege of performing my LED electric violin show for a corporate event for Alton Towers, a drinks reception for Evercore, and a networking party night with DJ Phoebe for the Farnborough Air Show at SUSHISAMBA, Covent Garden, booked through my agency Bubble and Squeak Entertainment. Check out this quick promo video that my wonderful husband, Chris, made of the night (P.S. it was THAT Tuesday night of the 40-degree heatwave in London, so extra husband points for being able to hold a gimbal for an extended period):
I love working with Phoebe (she is the best fun!) and we’ve had a ball performing together lots so far this year, including a party for Hilton London Metropole, Henley Regatta with House of Angels, and Goodwood with Entourage to name a few. We’ll also be providing entertainment at Bolesworth this Friday for the Al Shira’aa Young Horse Championships with sax as well, so get your tickets if you like young horses / championships / music.
It’s always a pleasure working with the lovely House of Angels gang and this year’s Henley Regatta was an absolute hoot. We played at Guy Ritchie’s pop-up pub – The Lore of the Lam and got to taste all the amazing food, as well as lots of ice cream… I think I managed 3 tubs of mint choc chip by the end of the night. I’m also now a convert to lemon attire:
We’ve also had (too) much fun performing at corporate events up and down the country for an eclectic mix of brands for energy drinks, batteries and investment software, as well as weddings and birthday parties! Here we are prancing around in front of a green screen as if this is everyday life:
Talking of FUN, where would I be without my weekly hit of André Saxman Brown?! My own personal award for most enjoyable gig of the year goes to Entourage with André on sax, Deji on percussion and DJ Fenna, performing at a stunning wedding in Berkshire – the type where there are men patrolling the entrances with dogs. The guests were so up for the party and it was so nice to play together again after so long. Here’s a snap of us reassembled once we finished playing at 2.30am:
With Entourage I’ve had the privilege of playing at some beautiful weddings abroad as well this year – such as Rhodes in May with DJ Phoebe and Mykonos in June with 3 wedding events and a stellar 10-piece line-up (and Chris as tour manager, affectionately coined ‘gig daddy’).
Here are some snaps from Rhodes, which mostly involved me and Phoebe looking like we’re on honeymoon the day before the wedding:
and the professional shot by @natalieandmax photography:
Back in the UK, we’ve been playing around the country at events such as Goodwood Races, an Ibiza-themed corporate party at Old Billingsgate in London, a prohibition-themed party at Hotel Gotham in Manchester (complete with fake cigars) and a livestream for TikTok. This year I’ve also played as part of Entourage for weddings at Claridge’s, Kensington Palace, Euridge Manor and Stonor Park.
Weddings are certainly the theme of this summer, with some couples finally getting to say ‘I do’ after waiting 2 years since their original wedding date! It’s such an honour to share people’s special day with them and it’s been great to be back at my favourite venues such as Hengrave Hall, Redcoats Farmhouse, Farbridge, and Hazel Gap Barn, as well as discover some stunning new venues such as Cowdray House, Pylewell Park, The Painswick and Polhawn Fort.
I’ve also performed at some beautiful weddings in Italy this year – with DJ at Masseria Calderisi in Puglia, and with string ensemble at Villa I Colazzi in Florence. Even bumped into Andrea Bocelli at one – standard.
There’s something so romantic about Italy – the scenery, the language, Davide from Love Island… So, I thought, where better to film my next music video? In April, Chris and I went on a short break to Lake Como and tied it in with some filming. The video is coming very soon (I promise, dad!) but for now, here’s a BTS pic:
However, if you’re hungry for some video content and can’t wait until then, check out our recent promo for VIO-GLO LED Violin Show to keep you going. Chris filmed this in February with the help of our lovely friends Dave, Emma and Huw:
Variety sure is the spice of life, and it has been a joy doing some orchestral playing again. A sure-fire highlight was filling in for bezzie Cara for the Pete Tong Ibiza Classics concert with the Heritage Orchestra at Cardiff Castle. The atmosphere was electric and I don’t think I’ve ever bopped so hard in the first violin section… except maybe in Rite of Spring (banger).
If you’ve got this far through the blog, I’m impressed. This means you must either be an avid fan or one of my family, in which case you’ll know that I can’t avoid talking about arguably my greatest performance of the year – yes, that’s right – my performance on ‘The Chase’.
*Spoiler alert* Sure, I had a mental breakdown for the first 5 questions. Sure, I thought that the Royal Navy’s HMS Protector was a salt-gritter. Sure, we didn’t win any money. But after the final chase Paul Sinha gave me the slightest compliment, and that, I will treasure for eternity. Just trying to work out if it could qualify as a testimonial for my website…
In all seriousness though, my proudest gig of the year has to be back in March when I was asked to take part in the house band for Concert for Ukraine, which was broadcast on ITV. It was a hugely emotional experience and such an important event to be part of. I hope that the money raised has been able to help the people of Ukraine in some way during this horrific time. Writing about this year has reminded me of how incredibly lucky and privileged I am. Now that we’re all busy again, it’s easy to take things for granted and to forget the brutality that is still happening. If you’d still like to donate to the DEC appeal, you can here: https://donation.dec.org.uk/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal
Thanks for reading! x