I know what you’re thinking. What day is it? Why did I eat that much? How is it the end of 2023 already?! It’s that weird time of year when we all reflect on what’s gone on over the past 12 months, and Instagram is flooded with video montages of everyone’s best bits or even something the kids these days call ‘photo dumps’… and I’m here to tell you that this blog shall be no different. Prepare for the dump.
Gig-wise it’s been a slightly more chilled year for me, as Chris and I decided that this was the time to go on ALL the holidays (cheers Amex for 3 x companion flight vouchers we needed to use up!) Seriously, if anyone needs a referral code, I’m your gal! Amex - if you’re reading, I am also available as a brand ambassador…
Solo corporate performances this year have included events at The Science Museum, an office opening in Shoreditch, and playing for DPD’s award ceremonies in The Grand Hotel in Birmingham. I also had the pleasure of providing a whole team of corporate entertainment consisting of electric violin, sax, DJ and sound for a company bash at Hanbury Manor, Ware.
I spent arguably the biggest event of the year, aka the King's Coronation, back at Annabel’s private members’ club in Mayfair playing for their events. Sadly, Charles himself didn’t show up…he must have been busy or something.
Here’s a classic toilet selfie I took to mark the occasion:
My local town also got my rendition of ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’ which I think worked wonderfully with the livestream visuals:
To add to the gig variety this year, I also performed for a Christening party (!) in good old Hitchin, as well as a solo electric violin show for an epic birthday party at Claridge’s. Never a dull day in the office!
I love performing for different types of events, and wedding ceremonies always fill me with such joy; sometimes embarrassingly so. I often get emotional during the vows. Or the readings. And don’t get me started on when the dog is the ring-bearer…
It’s been lovely to return to some of my favourite wedding venues this year such as The Corinthia, The Old Marylebone Town Hall, Chelsea Old Town Hall, Swynford Manor, and Farbridge. I’ve also loved discovering new venues such as The Savile Club, Bassmead Manor Barns, Botleys Mansion, Chippenham Hall, and Kimpton Fitzroy. Here are some photos of some of my favourite wedding set-ups this year:
I’ve also played alongside some excellent DJs for wedding receptions this year – the wonderful Cat at Billesley Manor and Mar Hall in Scotland; Dan from JN Sounds for a wedding at South Farm; and of course, the fabulous Phoebe for weddings at Marleybrook House (a wedding complete with on-site funfair rides) and in Norfolk with the legendary André Saxman (a wedding complete with JP from Made In Chelsea).
This summer also saw some sport event performances, including a special electric violin performance for the VIP female golfers at the Aramco Team Series. It was also a pleasure to be invited back to Bolesworth for the International Horse Show alongside my usual team of sax and DJ. And I can’t forget GLORIOUS Goodwood with Entourage this year, where the weather decided to do this:
Everyone knows I LOVE a themed party, and this year my gigs with Entourage have provided some excellent excuses to get into character. From an epic Bridgerton-themed birthday party at a private house in London complete with horse and carriage, to The Sheriff’s Ball themed as a Phantom of the Opera evening with stars from the West End. Studio 54 has also been a big vibe this year, with a showcase at the Langham, and then a last-minute disco-themed birthday party filling in for…Lemar!
With House of Angels this year, the theme has been HILTON. I’ve had ball performing with these ladies for events across Europe for different Hilton Hotels including a disco-themed event in London, ‘La Dolce Vita’ event in Rome, and a rooftop bar opening in Amsterdam with ALL the glitter. Whilst in Amsterdam we initially accidentally tried to check into the wrong Hilton, and discovered on arrival that this was the hotel that John Lennon and Yoko famously spent their ‘Bed-In for Peace’. The lovely man at reception ended up giving us a guided tour of their honeymoon suite! Heather also whipped her sax out and played an impromptu rendition of ‘Imagine’ which was so special. It turned out to be a wonderful navigational mistake to make.
The majority of what I do tends to be for private events, so it was a joy to play to some big crowds again this summer for the Pete Tong Ibiza Classics concert tour with the Essential Orchestra. If you squint you can just about make me out 6th in from the left!...FAME:
I was also invited back to play for ‘West End Musical Halloween’ at the Lyric Theatre which gave me an excuse to learn the all-time banger ‘Prologue’ to Phantom of the Opera, as well as play along to some amazing renditions of spooky theatre numbers with some wonderfully talented stars:
TV-wise, possibly my most high-end gig of the year, was appearing as backing violinist on Britain’s Got Talent. Little did I know that the ‘artist’ I was performing for was this man.
Mum - I’ve made it.
You may have also spotted me on Michael McIntyre’s Big Show at the beginning of the year, performing behind Bryn Terfel (thankfully this was slightly more highbrow):
With my LED violin act, Vio-Glo, we’ve performed at some fun events this year, including an awards ceremony in Swindon for battery company Yuasa - apt! I performed a 6-minute roaming show and then some musical ‘stings’ to introduce each award:
The act also recently performed at a wedding farewell meal at Wilderness Reserve, providing roaming background ‘freestyle’ sets during the dinner. We had my amazing dep violinist Emma performing for this; she very much enjoyed the wig:
If you didn’t know already, I also run a music agency, Bubble and Squeak Entertainment, and we’ve had an exciting year providing musical entertainment for some fab events. These have included female DJs for Omega’s ‘Her Time’ exhibition in London, DJ Live trio for Wingstop at the Kimpton Fitzroy, harpist for Unilever at Vintner’s Hall, electric violinist for Aviator’s Mother’s Day afternoon tea celebrations, and many other musicians for weddings and restaurant entertainment throughout the year.
We also have a new act – Moda Strings!
In an homage to Netflix’s Bridgerton soundscape, our string quartet combines classical style with contemporary repertoire, perfect for weddings and parties as elegant background entertainment. I may have had a bit too much fun arranging Kylie Minogue and Dua Lipa for string quartet:
Big thanks to husband Chris for the videos ;) We filmed these at the wonderful Shortmead House in Biggleswade – a very cool wedding venue indeed (complete with swimming pool!)
If you’re a Bridgerton fan, you may also like my violin arrangement of ‘Wildest Dreams’ by Taylor Swift which we filmed in Lake Como, and which I finally got round to putting on YouTube earlier this year:
This October we took a trip to Germany to visit the small Alpine town of Mittenwald – the birthplace of my violin! It’s somewhere I’d been wanting to visit for a long time, and you can check out everything we got up to in this reel. NB it’s not the usual electric violin cover video of me windswept by some epic coastline, but hopefully you’ll still enjoy my attempt to become some sort of musical travel vlogger (thanks again for the £1 flights, Amex!):
That just about sums up 2023 for me professionally – it’s felt rather chilled in the grand scheme of things, but very fun and there has never been a dull day.
On a personal level, I was also mad enough to run a half marathon in March which I’m very proud of (running really isn’t my bag!) and I managed to raise almost £600 for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Thank you for the donations!
I started the year going on ALL the holidays, going to ALL the sample sales, and eating ALL the jelly babies in training for a half marathon. However, the biggest news of the year is that I’m writing this now 9-months pregnant (!) and so excited for what the future will bring (due date is 31st December – no NYE gigs for me this year!) Life is about to change quite considerably, and I can’t wait! And with that bombshell dropped, I’ll see you in 2024 :)