ISSUE #6 JUNE/JULY 2015 FREE
The inhouse/outhouse magazine from The Convent LIVE MUSIC AT THE CONVENT INCLUDING...
Cara Dillon “Quite possibly the world’s most beautiful voice” Q MAGAZINE
Finley Quaye Paper Aeroplanes Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band Panic Brothers & lots more! PLUS LOCAL LISTINGS What’s on. , where..
music . arts . entertainment . lifestyle . dining
Convent Lane South Woodchester GL5 5HS 01453 835 138 www.theconvent.net @TheConventVenue /TheConventClub
WELCOME TO ADHOC
Opening lines... Hello new and old friends, Here we are again, another two months have passed and we are going to print with the next two months of events and developments here at The Convent. I’m sitting in the studio, as a back seat passenger listening to the mix of one of Convent Records’ new signings, ‘Velvet and Stone’ from their session yesterday, having watched last weekend’s live show that went out to 17 countries through our Netgig project, silently content and proud of the first two years here. Big things in the planning, we’ve two seasons of music tv shows in the making that launch on terrestrial in the autumn and our Autumn/Winter lineup is stronger than ever... (see our Facebook channel for that far ahead or Netgig.co.uk). We’ve also upped our game in the kitchen, with probably one of the best teams in Gloucestershire sending out jaw droppingly good food to a constant pleasant response. Feel free to come and eat from breakfast to dinner... Charlotte and I wish you a pleasant couple of months and an extended hand... To quote Lisa Simone, “All is well”...
MATT & CHARLOTTE ROBERTS
Convent Lane, South Woodchester GL5 5HS Tel: 01453 835 138 www.theconvent.net www.netgig.co.uk @TheConventVenue facebook.com/TheConventClub www.theconvent.net
MEET THE TEAM Who’s who here at The Convent...
Contents 03 07
HEAD OF SOUND What is your role at the Convent? I’m responsible for the sound quality throughout the venue. This covers the live show, broadcast feeds and the new studio facility as well as taking care of the visiting bands’ technical requirements. Where are you from originally? Cirencester. But, professionally? All over the audio world – literally and metaphorically! What’s your ideal weekend in the Cotswolds? Weekends are few and far between as I am usually working. I’d spend as much time as possible with Clare, my wife. She’s a great cook so we like to pack up a feast and head off to one of the many stunning local beauty spots. Favourite thing about the Convent? The variety of acts performing here and the Aladdin’s cave of audio equipment!
Events at The Convent for June and July Pictures from The Convent’s fabulous press event
What’s On at a glance
Celebrating that early summer favourite – elderflower
The story behind one of our most distinctive vocal talents
Interview with The Convent’s Michelin-rated head chef
A round-up of the best vintages on offer at Raffles Fine Wines The wild edibles growing in The Convent’s kitchen garden
Featuring the work of artist duo John and Fiona Owen Chris Samuel introduces the concept of a ‘Singing Holiday’ Join us!
What’s On, Where…
By Charlotte Roberts
Where to shop in Stroud for authentic retro style
Tell us a secret? I got through the first few rounds of X-Factor many years ago. I was doing fine until it came to being on camera… apparently I’m better suited to radio! A little harsh, I thought…
JOIN THE TEAM Advertising Sales
We are looking for experienced advertising sales executives for immediate start. We need selfmotivated, self-starting individuals who can hit the ground running with minimal supervision.
Also for our latest opportunities including kitchen, reception, hotel, bar and restaurant please send your CV and covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org www.theconvent.net
34 adhoc 05
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£1805 Camden in Cerise Velvet
Woodchester Mill, North Woodchester, Stroud, 0808 1783211 Gloucestershire, GL5 5NN sofasandstuff.com Open 10-5 Monday-Saturday Open 11-4 Sunday Tel: 01453 700812 West Sussex, London, Manchester, Tunbridge Wells, Gloucestershire, Hungerford, Basingstoke, Edinburgh, Leeds, Harrogate, Bishop’s Stortford
Upcoming entertainment events here at The Convent...
PAPER AEROPLANES “Perfect pop vignettes. A band on the edge of greatness!” FOLK RADIO
The Chapel HENRI HERBERT BAND MONDAY 1 JUNE - 9.00PM MEMBERS FREE; NON-MEMBERS £10.50
Having already racked up 9 million hits on YouTube with his video of “Henri’s Boogie”, the young boogie master and explosive showman Henri Herbert now fronts his own band on piano and lead vocals. Expect supercharged boogie-woogie, tough rock ‘n’ roll and mysterious ballads. The Henri Herbert Band performs at The Convent as a warmup for their official band launch at The Borderline in London. The band features Henri Herbert on piano and lead vocals, Nick Jones on drums and Tim Purkess on bass.
TUESDAY 2 JUNE - 9.00PM MEMBERS FREE; NON-MEMBERS £10.50 Doug MacLeod, winner of Acoustic Artist of the Year and Acoustic Album of the Year (Blues Music Awards 2014), Male Artist of the Year (Blues Blast Music Award 2013), and perennial Blues Music Award nominee, is a prolific singer, songwriter, engaging storyteller, and masterful guitarist born in the blues and rooted in the American tradition. A traveling artist that writes and sings original songs based on his own life, he learned from the old masters, lived the music, survived the life and carries forward a valuable tradition. MacLeod is known for his superb songwriting, guitar wizardry, warm soulful vocals, wit and unforgettable live performances. At the heart of this is his knack for storytelling, bringing characters, from the faceless to the legendary, to strikingly real life. MacLeod’s playing landed him sideman gigs with George ‘Harmonica’ Smith, Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton, Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson, Lowell Fulson and Big Mama Thornton. Under their tutelage, he learned how to thrill and enrapture a crowd.
“MacLeod is an American original; his storytelling style and souful vocals are mesmerizing” RICHARD LUDMERER
NEVER MISS A GIG - VISIT WWW.NETGIG.CO.UK 08 adhoc
SATURDAY 6 JUNE - 9.00PM MEMBERS FREE; NONMEMBERS £8.50 Cut Capers are an eight-piece band that formed in Bristol in late 2011, with a style based in hiphop, swing, ska and roots reggae. They burst onto the UK circuit, playing gigs and festivals up and down the country with highenergy shows. Combining tight grooves and a big sound featuring a dynamic three-piece brass section, Capers bring the party to crowds wherever they are!
“Easily the best new band to come out of Bristol” ASBO DISCO
CONVENT CHOIRS SUMMER CONCERT
WEDNESDAY 10 JUNE & THURSDAY 11 JUNE - 8.30PM TICKETS: £5 ADULTS, £3 UNDER 16s The summer concert this year focuses on the art of the story within song. The Ladies performance includes “Speak to the child of Love”, “Prayer for the Children”, “Cry me a River” and “Pure
Imagination”. The Men are set to entertain you with Bruno Mars’ “Billionaire” and Ginsberg’s beautiful setting of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night poem “O Mistress Mine”. Both choirs come together to offer some rousing joint numbers to include “Somebody to Love” (Queen) and “Down to the River to Pray” (O Brother Where Art Thou?).
TO BOOK TICKETS PLEASE CALL: 01453 835 138 www.theconvent.net
SATURDAY 13 JUNE - 9.00PM MEMBERS FREE; NON-MEMBERS £8.50 MAIA are self-proclaimed sci-fi folk evangelists and have spent the last three years touring and playing festivals and as a result have morphed and matured into what has been described as “Harmonic psychedelic sci-fi folk and disco rock…” Winners of the Yorkshire Gig Guide award for Outstanding Live Band in 2014, MAIA are taking a break from recording to play a string of dates to showcase some of the new material from their forthcoming album to be released in the autumn. Their genre-busting mix glides easily from sweetly stunning vocal harmonies to complex blissed-out grooves, punctuated by echoing banjo, shimmering mandolin, spooky brass and captivating vocal melodramas.
“Youthful, spirited, richly atmospheric and intelligently off-centre alt folk pop” TIME OUT
KAZ HAWKINS & HER BAND O’MEN THURSDAY 18 JUNE - 9.00PM MEMBERS FREE; NON-MEMBERS £10.50
Underground for years as a secret songwriter, Kaz Hawkins is now established as one the biggest performers to come out of Northern Ireland. Locally hailed as “A vocal force”, she channels the fighting spirit of a true powerhouse singer. Loved for her down to earth attitude, she brings fun to every performance. She has lived and sung ‘The Blues’ but has much more to offer across different genres in her songwriting, so is now embarking on a more commercial route writing power ballads and funky roots. With support gigs under her belt including Van Morrison, Nanci Griffiths, Chris Farlowe, Matt Andersen, and special duets with Belfast’s Brian Kennedy and The Professor Pat McManus, Kaz launched her debut album Get Ready and received a raft of top-notch notices. Recently awarded the 2014 Rising Star Award from the world famous Blues & Soul magazine and being a British Blues Award nominee in 2013 has brought much attention from the music industry in the UK for Kaz and her wonderful Band O’Men.
“Splendid!” PAUL JONES, BBC RADIO 2
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FRIDAY 19 JUNE - 9.00PM MEMBERS FREE; NON-MEMBERS £8.50 Singer-songwriter Wes Finch is ready to hit the road with his new, and first fully studio-realised album Awena. Produced by Gerry Diver (who has worked with the likes of Lisa Knapp, Sam Lee and O’Hooley & Tidow, as well as on his own acclaimed solo album), the new album is forged out of a fruitful collaborative year together. Wes is a rare talent. Stylistically, he creates a sound that is at the same time both gentle and vulnerable but also epic in proportion. Wes is one of a new school of musicians who is rewriting our understanding of modern folk music. Having supported the likes of Billy Bragg and Martin Carthy, Wes is an undeniably important figure for the future of British roots music.
“A blast of originality, primal energy and musical magic” GERRY DIVER
TO BOOK TICKETS PLEASE CALL: 01453 835 138 www.theconvent.net
adhoc 1 1
MIDSUMMER MASKED BALL SATURDAY 20 JUNE - 8.00PM MEMBERS £35; NON-MEMBERS £40
The Convent opens its doors for a flamboyant celebration of the summer solstice. Guests will be treated to cocktails, canapés, live music, dancing, magic and surprises. There will be prizes for Best Costume, Most Flamboyant Mask and Most Glamorous Couple – so get creative! A shuttle bus will operate from Stroud train station, leaving at 8pm and returning at midnight (seats must be booked in advance).
Panic Brothers present: CONVENT COMEDY CABARET Plus special guest! THURSDAY 25 JUNE & THURSDAY16 JULY - 9.00PM MEMBERS & NON-MEMBERS £15
The Panic Brothers are sharp-witted stand-up comedian and songwriter Richard Morton and award-winning singer-songwriter Reg Meuross: two men, two mics, two guitars,
two voices that blend so well it’s hard to tell which is which. The pair have reunited, after a break of 25 years, and are teaming up with some of their most talented friends from the entertainment business for a series of cabaret-style evenings of music and comedy at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London, and here
at the Convent. Hailed for their “spine-chilling harmonies” (The Guardian) and “combination of sharp,witty songs, tight harmonies and powerful acoustic guitars” (Time Out), each show will have its own unique flavour, kicking off with the legendary Panic Brothers’ high energy, fast-paced and punchy songs, and will also feature a very special guest comedian who will star in the second half of the show building to a fantastic musical finale.
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THE JAR FAMILY
SATURDAY 27 JUNE - 9.00PM MEMBERS FREE NON-MEMBERS £15 Hartlepool-based The Jar Family are five individual songwriters and musicians, who decided that rather than strive for success in isolation they would join forces.
Although on paper the idea of five very different and charismatic personalities with a wide range of musical styles working together harmoniously seems unlikely, the stunning results of their work to date speak for themselves. Taking their name from the donations jar they passed around at early gigs, the band are a tight-knit group who had the foresight to realise that they were stronger collectively than they were individually.
A relentless touring schedule, which has seen the band appearing as special guests to a number of established artists such as Jake Bugg, Babyshambles and Alabama 3 has brought their raucous and engaging shows to all corners of the country. Picking up an ever-growing army of admirers as a result of this live activity the band has now established a major fan base of fanatical supporters throughout the UK.
“with harmonies to die for, wonderful LUKAS DRINKWATER original songs, character and real & TOBIAS BEN talent” BLUES MATTERS JACOB FRIDAY 3 JULY - 9.00PM MEMBERS FREE; NON-MEMBERS £8.50
Being chosen for Folk Radio UK’s Song of the Day just ahead of release on March 22nd confirmed the universal appeal of this new dynamic duo. And being played on Tom Robinson’s BBC 6 Music Show was another boost, having been selected as one of nine featured tracks (out of almost 300) by the music critics on Fresh On The Net’s new music platform in February. Toting guitar and double bass, R2 magazine have paid tribute to their “inventive and thrilling” songwriting, sparring delivery, and gorgeous harmonies. Tobias Ben Jacob and Lukas Drinkwater are truly a new folk force to be reckoned with and are to be
found on the cover mount CD of R2’s March/April issue. A spontaneous meeting of minds ahead of Glastonbury in 2014 resulted in the pair linking up on stage at the iconic festival and their tour in January was such a success that
indie acoustic label Folkstock Records picked them up, dusted them down and set them up for a March release of two tracks on a double-A side. This Chapel event will be the official launch of their debut EP.
TO BOOK TICKETS PLEASE CALL: 01453 835 138 www.theconvent.net
ELIZA CARTHY & THE WAYWARD BAND
THURSDAY 9 JULY - 9.00PM MEMBERS & NON-MEMBERS £20 Eliza Carthy leads her 11-piece powerhouse supergroup the Wayward Band, one of the best festival acts around – in any genre. Describing herself simply as a “modern English musician” Eliza Carthy, at 39, is only now beginning to reach the height of her musical powers. During a 25-year career she has become one of the most dazzling and recognised folk musicians of her generation. She has revitalised and made folk music relevant to new audiences and has captivated audiences with her canny, charismatic and boundary-crossing performances. Many of the current crop of young professional folk musicians owe their successes in part to her determination, standard-bearing and campaigning spirit. Twice-nominated for a prestigious Nationwide Mercury Music Prize, with 1998’s Red Rice and 2003’s Anglicana, Eliza is also the winner of more than five BBC
Radio 2 Folk Awards, and has presented awards for Mojo magazine and been invited to judge at both the Q Awards and the Ivor Novello Awards. In 2003 she became the first English traditional musician to be nominated for a BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music. In 2012 she was awarded the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers and in 2014 was awarded an MBE for her services to folk music in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
The Wayward Band...
Eliza Carthy - Vocals / Violin Saul Rose - Melodeon Barn Stradling - Bass Sam Sweeney - Violin Lucy Farrell - Viola Beth Porter - Cello David Delarre - Guitar Andrew Waite - Accordion Willy Molleson - Drums Laurence Hunt - Percussion Adrien ‘Yen Yen’ Toulouse - Trombone
FINLEY QUAYE SATURDAY 11 JULY - 9.00PM MEMBERS FREE; NON-MEMBERS £20
Music is in the blood for Scottish-born Finley. He’s the youngest son of jazz musician Cab Kaye, halfbrother of guitarist Caleb Quaye, and brother of jazz musician Terri Quaye. In the late-90s he reached the UK Top 20 twice, with “Sunday Shining” and “Even After All”. His reputation was established by his album Maverick A Strike, released in September 1997, the year he went onto win the 1997 Mobo Award for Best Reggae Act and the 1998 BRIT Award for Best British Male Solo Artist. He released two more albums on Epic, Vanguard (2000) and Much More Than Much Love (2004). In 2004 his single “Dice” was released in collaboration with William Orbit and featuring Beth Orton – the song later featuring in US teen drama The OC. Over the years, Finley and his band have supported acts as varied as James Brown, Lee Scratch Perry, Ian Dury & The Blockheads and The Verve. But this is a chance to see one of contemporary music’s most charismatic singers performing on his own terms.
“Quaye has a playful disrespect for convention but he pulls it off” NME
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“beautifully lilting melodies with pretty lyrics, but dig deeper and you’ll find darker undertones” CLASH MAGAZINE
PAPER AEROPLANES SUNDAY 19 JULY - 9.00PM MEMBERS FREE; NON-MEMBERS £10.50
Paper Aeroplanes specialise in an intoxicating brand of alt-folk. Singer Sarah Howells has one of those voices that is impossible to ignore, a soaring yet fragile instrument of the finest kind, and their heartfelt lyrics and gorgeous melodies are guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye and soothe your troubled soul. The 2013 album Little Letters (Navigator Records)
was released to a barrage of acclaim from critics and fans alike, and saw the Welsh band embark on an epic series of dates across Europe, selling out many iconic venues including London’s Union Chapel. Following a subtle rebrand and name change in 2009, Paper Aeroplanes began to spread their wings, playing hundreds of shows across the UK and Europe, and receiving radio play from the likes of Steve Lamacq, Dermot O’Leary, Cerys Matthews, Tom Robinson and Lauren Laverne. Their music has also been used to great effect on a variety of TV broadcasts, cropping up everywhere
THURSDAY 23 JULY - 9.00PM MEMBERS FREE; NON-MEMBERS £8.50 Ciaran Lavery has already racked up over 9 million plays on streaming service Spotify, an unprecedented feat for such a new artist. Ciaran Lavery originally found his musical voice through the simplest of means: “listening to old 80s singles on my sister’s record player.” Cutting his young teeth in various (often noisier) incarnations over the last decade, his voice is now as soothing as it is timeless. Ciaran crafts heart-on-sleeve acoustic
from BBC drama Lip Service to the Irish No Smoking campaign. The band have spent much of the last year writing and recording in Cardiff with the help of producer Mason Neely (Cerys Matthews, Sufjan Stevens). “Guessing Game”, the first single from the new batch of songs, added more rhythmic and electronic elements to the band’s trademark acoustic sound, bringing to mind acts such as Lykke Li, Florence and Feist. New album Joy, released in March, continues this theme – a varied and thrilling collection of songs to augment their already stunning live set. pop in the vein of 29-era Ryan Adams; full of passion and meaning. “I come from a tiny village; you could literally drive through Aghagallon in 30 seconds, but it’s jampacked full of characters and real, genuine people. It’s the type of place where if you’re being an idiot, someone will tell you. That’s just how the environment was. I guess that sort of honesty comes out in my music.”
“A songwriter very in touch with his own ability...” ZANE LOWE, BBC RADIO 1
TO BOOK TICKETS PLEASE CALL: 01453 835 138 www.theconvent.net
CARA DILLON FRIDAY 24 JULY - 8.00PM MEMBERS & NON-MEMBERS £20 (EARLYBIRD PRICE)
If you don’t know the voice of Cara Dillon, you’re in for a treat. If you are already amongst her legions of admirers around the world, you know you have something special in store. A Thousand Hearts, Cara Dillon’s fifth solo album, is another small masterpiece of song and emotion, ethereal and radiant, beautifully honed and perfectly true. Together with her husband and musical partner, Sam Lakeman, she has successfully steered an eclectic musical path defying the typical pigeonholes that hinder most artists in her genre. The extraordinary Irish singer makes music that transcends genres and crosses barriers. She has won every folk award going, but confesses to being no purist, making music that reaches beyond the constraints and limitations of tradition. Whether she’s singing her native traditional songs of lost love and emigration, or original compositions, you will be hard pressed to find a more emotive and captivating performer. Cara Dillon is at the very top of her field and we have the feeling she’ll remain there for a very long time.
“Quite possibly the world’s most beautiful voice” Q MAGAZINE
TO BOOK TICKETS PLEASE CALL: 01453 835 138 16 adhoc
MARTY O’REILLY & THE OLD SOUL ORCHESTRA
THURSDAY 30 JULY - 9.00PM MEMBERS FREE; NON-MEMBERS £10.50 This ‘orchestra’ seamlessly weaves trancebased blues music, harkening back to John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf, with a drunken minor swing comparable to some of Tom Waits’s darker works. Marty O’Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra deliver an enthralling and passionate performance, which often leaves them out of breath and the stage littered with broken strings and bow hairs. O’Reilly began his musical journey as a blues guitar player, with his ear pressed close to the ancient hiss in the works of Blind Willie Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, John Lee Hooker, Charlie Patton, and Leadbelly. Through extensive listening and studying of the early Delta greats he developed a unique foundation on which he builds themes from other musical stylists such as John Fahey, Nick Drake, John Vandiver and Tom Waits. Whether it be his original pieces or his renditions of old American classics, O’Reilly
tells his story through an old and soulful voice, propelled by a sense of authentic emotional adrenaline. O’Reilly is backed by Jeff Kissell on the double bass, Chris Lynch on the fiddle
and Matt Goff on drums. Their versatile musicianship, and soulful chemistry help to expand O’Reilly’s songs into pieces that drive like a ten-pound hammer or float like feather – or flow seamlessly in-between.
“Raw musical excellence...” 400 MILES TO NASHVILLE
NEVER MISS A GIG - VISIT WWW.NETGIG.CO.UK
Lounge & Bar
FRIDAY 5 JUNE - 8.00PM IN THE DIRTY HABIT MEMBERS BAR MEMBERS FREE; NON-MEMBERS £10 Roguish vagabond Jaz Delorean was raised on a travelling Victorian steam fair, which probably explains his Dickensian appearance and theatrical presence. A multi-instrumentalist, Delorean excels at wowing audiences with his piano, accordion and trombone playing. As well as performing and recording as a solo artist, the English singer is also the composer and frontman for British band Tankus The Henge. Influenced by such charismatic musical characters as Jack Kerouac, Tom Waits and Edith Piaf, his music and lyrics often travel down the wistful, broken-hearted route, performed live with a mischievous glint in his eye and a roguish, lopsided grin.
FRIDAYS 12 JUNE & 18 JULY - 8.00PM IN THE LIVE LOUNGE MEMBERS & UP TO 4 GUESTS FREE; NON-MEMBERS £10
Bringing brand new songs to each show, this piano-hitting, string-twanging, gravity-defying singer-songwriter multi-instrumentalist is back in residence at The Convent. Enthralling a global audience with over five million views on YouTube and having roused crowds at Henley Festival and throughout his residency at the EFG London Jazz Festival, George delivers exciting live energy and contagious original songs. Catch George Montague here on his UK #notsobigTour. Featuring piano, guitar, ukulele and live-sampled beatboxing and vocal harmonies, it’s sure to be a great night!
FRIDAY 26 JUNE - 8.00PM IN THE LIVE LOUNGE MEMBERS & UP TO 4 GUESTS FREE; NON-MEMBERS £10 Henri Herbert returns to The Convent to display his dazzling piano prowess and gutsy vocals. Hailing from London, the half-French boogie master presents his contemporary take on the blues with a hefty dose of manic rock‘n’roll energy.
“Ben Folds meets Mika meets Jamie Cullum!” STEPHEN MORRIS, BBC
SATURDAY 4 JULY - 8.00PM IN THE DIRTY HABIT MEMBERS & UP TO 4 GUESTS FREE; NON-MEMBERS £10 An evening of sounds from the radical margins of American music, from 50s rock’n’roll to 70s funk, as selected by DJs Pavlos ‘Panther Burns’ Kyriacou and Rupert ‘Yippie‘ Howe.
TO BOOK TICKETS PLEASE CALL: 01453 835 138 18 adhoc
The latest author to take the Convent stage was best selling historian, Charles Spencer. In fact, according to our bookseller, Waterstones, Spencer’s latest book Killers of the King was the highest selling book of historical non-fiction in 2014. It’s not hard to see why. For a full hour and without notes, Charles Spencer delivered his illustrated talk to a packed and attentive Chapel audience before taking questions. Fully in command of his subject, Spencer took us on an often grizzly and gory journey from Charles I’s execution in 1649 to the Restoration in 1660, following the careers of the regicides who colluded and schemed to take the life of a king. His Convent appearance came just ahead of the paperback launch of his high-octane story of Roundheads and revenge, heroes and villains. By the end of his book tour, he told us, he will have clocked up more than 90 talks. The Convent, he added, was undoubtedly one of his highlights.
Our literary events are programmed exclusively for The Convent by Sixth Voice, producers and curators of live literature, spoken word and music events. All our events are filmed and broadcast live and available to view on www.netgig.co.uk and follow us on Twitter @6Voice
at The Convent Club We’re delighted to be bookselling at The Convent Club’s eclectic series of events with authors this spring. See us there, or at our shop in Cirencester. Waterstones 14 Cricklade Street Cirencester Tel 01285 658998 Twitter: @waterciren
OUR LAUNCH PARTY
We celebrated our official launch of the Convent in style on 1st April. Guests included some of the 150 musicians who have performed over the past year to audiences in the Chapel and live on Netgig, our state of the art digital broadcast channel. We were also joined by the press and media, including journalists from national newspapers and specialist hotel magazines eager to see how the Convent concept is evolving as an exciting live music venue with bars, dining areas and hotel rooms. To show just how exciting our live music is, guests were treated to a surprise show with some of the best names in the business, including Tom Robinson, Eliza Carthy, Chris Helme, Reg Meuross, Jack Henderson, Kelly Oliver and an exclusive impromptu appearance by Martin Carthy.
Songwriters in the Round The Convent was recently the location for a unique musical event: a retreat for songwriters hosted by the award-winning singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams. Drawing from a varied mix of genres and backgrounds, Kathryn invited like-minded artists (including Chris Helme, Georgia Ruth, Steve Nieve, Paul Aiden, Josh Kumra, Paul Smith, Jack Henderson and Raevennan Husbandes), for a week of collaborative composition. The purpose was to create new material or to finish existing projects, collaborating with others in a unique environment and taking inspiration from each other’s talents. Each day of the retreat Kathryn would pair off the songwriters with different partners, or in threes, and they would find a place of solitude to create and practice in one of the Convent’s many spaces – the Chapel, the main bar, the cloisters, The Dirty Habit and, of course, the gardens. Every night, they would come together to showcase and record the day’s achievements. The retreat culminated in an exclusive Chapel gig on the Thursday night, with the songwriters performing at least one song they had written during the week (streamed live on the Convent’s digital broadcast channel for added pressure) plus one from their own back catalogue. The result? A mesmerising display of talent and craftsmanship – captured live on Netgig and available to watch now for £4.99. Aside from some truly great memories, the songwriters continue to aid one another in finalising their creations, with plans of releasing some of the songs written during their stay at the Convent.
Kathryn Williams will be curating another Songwriters in the Round for the autumn, with a new line-up of the UK’s finest singer-songwriters – watch this space! www.theconvent.net
THE CONVENT’S PROGRAMME FOR JUNE & JULY AT A GLANCE... 1st
HENRI HERBERT BAND
THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
MAGIC HAT Experimental night THE CHAPEL - 8.00PM
THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
KAZ HAWKINS & HER BAND O’MEN THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
JAZ DELOREAN LIVE LOUNGE - 9.00PM
GEORGE WES MONTAGUE FINCH LIVE LOUNGE - 9.00PM
THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
THE CHAPEL - 8.00PM
PANIC BROTHERS & SPECIAL GUEST
THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
LIVE LOUNGE - 9.00PM
MIDSUMMER THE JAR MASKED FAMILY THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM BALL THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
LIVE MUSIC EVENT
Don’t miss out if yo can’t make it u an event... w to at online at homch www.netgig.c e: o.uk
THE CHAPEL - 8.00PM
ELIZA CARTHY & HER BIG BAND
THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
LUKAS DRINKWATER & TOBIAS BEN JACOB
MARTY O’REILLY & THE OLD SOULS ORCHESTRA THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
5th THE CHAPEL - 8.00PM
LIVE LOUNGE - 9.00PM
THE CHAPEL - 9.00PM
Pop-reggae maverick Finley Quaye has been out of the limelight, but he’s now back on the way up. By Rupert Howe
Speaking in 1998 after his award-winning appearance as Best Male Artist at that year’s BRIT Awards, Finley Quaye placed himself in a category of one. “I don’t follow no other man’s rules,” he said. “You fight for your rights… That’s me – a revolutionary!” At the time, he was breaking new ground in British music. His 1997 debut album Maverick A Strike was an inspired mix of reggae, folk and radio-friendly tunes which went on to sell over a million copies and made him the star many had predicted he might be. His career since has followed its own, maverick path, though his musical output has consistently delivered sunny harmonies and upbeat rhythms. Quaye was born in Edinburgh in 1974, becoming the latest in a line of talented musicians. His grandfather was the vaudeville pianist Caleb Quaye and his father, the Ghanaian jazz musician Cab Kaye, but Finley only discovered these roots in his twenties having grown up with his mother in London. Finley spent his teenage years in Manchester. After leaving school, he drifted through a series of jobs, recording rough demos of
his own songs and, when opportunity arose, singing at underground parties. It was at one such party in the city that Finley met drum and bass producer Gerald Simpson, aka. A Guy Called Gerald, who used his lilting vocals on a 1994 rave track titled “Finley’s Rainbow”. The young singer’s first proper release, following a live appearance alongside Simpson in London, Finley had record label representatives lining up to offer him a deal. When he finally signed for Epic, they were hoping to mould him into a new Jamiroquai; typically, Finley went his own way and headed to a studio in Sheffield to fashion the pop-reggae hybrid of Maverick A Strike instead. The laid-back, sun-kissed atmosphere of songs such as “Even After All” proved an unexpected hit, with the irrepressible Finley, frequently pictured sporting a wide grin and equally outrageous spliff, becoming a favourite everywhere from daytime radio
“I want to offer positivity with my music answers not questions” to the summer festival circuit. As he put it in 2000, “I’d rather promote positivity, answers rather than questions.” The music which has followed since those halcyon days has certainly retained its positive charge, from the quirky charm of 2000’s Vanguard to the alternative edge of 2003’s Much More Than Much Love and 2014’s rootsstyled Royal Rasses. Equally, the Finley of today once more wants to put his past, with all its colourful ups and downs, firmly behind him and get back to making his music the centre of attention. He still may not follow any other man’s rules but his own, but he’s touring again, performing with a new sense of freedom, and has even been working on new material in the studio. “I’m getting my album slowly together,” he commented recently. “It’s definitely ascending.”
FINLEY PLAYS THE CONVENT SATURDAY 11 JULY - CALL 01453 835 138 FOR TICKETS 24 adhoc
INVITES YOU TO A
Midsummer Masquerade Ball SATURDAY 20 JUNE 8PM – 1AM
A flamboyant celebration of the summer solstice at the Grade II-listed Convent in South Woodchester, near Stroud
Featuring… Welcome cocktail, canapés, live music, DJs, dancing and surprises! Tickets: £40 (Members £35) group discounts available
A shuttle bus will operate from Stroud train station (seats must be booked in advance)
Call 01453 835 138 or email email@example.com
Prizes for Best Costum Most Flamb e, oya Mask and M nt ost Glamorous Couple!
Michelin-rated chef Ryan Bennett outlines his plans for The Convent’s menu as he seeks to connect kitchen and garden. By Rupert Howe At a time when many restaurants have repackaged eating out as an ‘experience’ in which the actual food plays merely a supporting role, Ryan Bennett, new head chef at The Convent, extols the virtues of simplicity and, above all, taste. An approach which at his last venture, Owens in Tewkesbury, earned him a coveted rating in food lover’s bible the Michelin Guide who hailed the restaurant’s “Clean, unfussy, flavoursome cooking.” “I guess they were saying every flavour had its own place,” he says. “There were no foams, no gels – that’s not me. Still isn’t.” Now 37, Ryan has worked in kitchens since he was in his teens. Admitting he was “a bit of a rebel” while growing up in Cheltenham, he chose to pursue cookery rather than follow his father into engineering and left school aged 16 to enrol at catering college. “My dad did say, ‘Are you sure you want to do this? You know it’s cooking?’” he laughs. Not even a stint doing work experience in the noisy, hectic kitchen of one of Cheltenham’s larger hotels could put him off. “They treated us like slaves! Nowadays that kind of thing is unheard of, but it was a baptism of fire – 15-hour days of menial work. Though I remember after lunch the head chef would come out of the kitchen with his pint and we’d all sit down to a real meal with food from the restaurant menu. That was great.”
Despite his youth, the hotel offered Ryan a job. Instead he opted to return to college. It wasn’t just his cooking which concerned him: “I needed hardening up!” At 20, newly qualified and suitably hardened, he signed up at the recently opened Le Petit Blanc, Raymond Blanc’s brasserie in Montpelier. “That was the biggest learning curve,” he says. “It was really tough – having stuff thrown at you, people shouting at you all day. Brutal, in a way. But it gave me a good grounding.” Two or three times a week, Raymond Blanc himself would come into the restaurant and oversee the creation of one of the dishes on the menu. “There was a meticulous approach to all of the dishes,” says Ryan. “I remember doing a wild mushroom risotto, cooking it seven times for him in a three hour break between lunch and dinner. He’d sit down with his Marlboros and his bottle of Becks and have us go through the dish until it was perfect – even though we’d just been cooking it for lunch.” Three years of that was enough to make Ryan believe he was ready to start setting some goals for himself. “Most of the chefs who worked at Le Petit Blanc at that time now have their own place or are head chef of a restaurant group,” he says. “It’s like we were all inspired to go and do something on our own.” First, however, he went to work at an independently owned brasserie in
Cheltenham named Vanilla. “It was a lovely place to work, really nice people, but I got to sous chef level and realised the head chef wasn’t going anywhere,” he says. Stints at the highly regarded Royal Well Tavern in Cheltenham and The Griffin in Brecon, Wales, followed, but even though many restaurants were struggling because of the recession, Ryan thought a new venture with an adventurous but not overly complicated menu could still succeed. The result was Owens. A small bistro in a medieval building in Tewkesbury might have been a far cry from cooking for Raymond Blanc, but word soon spread of the great food and unpretentious atmosphere – eventually reaching the inspectors of the Michelin Guide.Yet when the five-year lease was up, Ryan knew it was time to move on again. “We kind of outgrew the place,” he says. “We’d reached our zenith, really, what with the Michelin rating and everything.” At the Convent, by contrast, Ryan sees a host of new opportunites, not least making full use of the fields, gardens and orchard which surround the building. “One of the reasons coming here interested me was the relationship between the kitchen and the garden,” he says. “We’ve got 26 acres which could eventually be cultivated in some form. We’ll probably start with some chickens, but there’s massive potential.” Even with the orchard and kitchen garden’s first harvest some way off, Ryan is seizing the opportunity to build a menu which draws directly from local farmers and producers. He’s already tackled the breakfasts (“90 per cent of what’s on offer now comes from Gloucestershire”) and salads (“It’s a more modern take now, not just lettuce and tomato”). He’s also recruited a new baker, Adam Tomas, from Bristol, who’s producing
“The menu draws directly from local farmers and producers”
everything from sourdough and croissants to crumpets and hot-cross buns. “I don’t know if there is a model for what I’d like to achieve,” he says. “Places like Ethicurean near Bristol and The Pig in Bath? Well, we’ve got the vision!” Ryan then rolls up his sleeves and prepares to tackle his next assignment: lunch. Delicately flavoured crab on sourdough toast; crisp, baked-to-perfection pizza; lustrous fried duck egg – all beautifully presented and delicious. At home in Cheltenham, however, he, his wife, and their two young daughters often subsist on a more prosaic diet. “My favourite meal? Beans on toast,” he says. “With brown sauce. HP, too, not some funky, home-made brown sauce. And out of a glass bottle, not something you squeeze.” He grins. “See? I am a traditionalist.”
The Convent is open to the public for lunch, dinner, afternoon teas, Sunday lunches and summer BBQs. Booking essential 01453 835 183 www.theconvent.net
Infusion & profusion Great now: elderflowers, crab, Jersey Royals, broad beans, runner beans. By William Bennet-Clark.
At last, spring has finally warmed the earth, dormant seeds planted by our dedicated gardeners are, er, seedlings, and at last there’s more variety that is home-grown. When the showers have passed, if we’re very lucky, I can be almost standing by the door, plated meal in hand, just in case we have an opportunity not to eat (and cook) indoors. Truly a time of awakening. In these days of imported everything, many of us have lost touch with the seasons. Yes I can buy British strawberries in February, but I don’t want to, they taste of slightly fruity, red water. If you want flavour, wait until late June and then onwards through July. A perfectly ripe, just-picked British strawberry is a very beautiful thing; they should never, ever, be stored, nor eaten, cold from the fridge. In a perfect world, one should eat them squatting in a field, greedily, picking off the straw, with a cardboard punnet next to you and a very excited child. Making oneself feel just a tiny bit ill from eating almost as much as you pick. Throughout June and July a very popular scent and flavour is everywhere. The humble, free and incredibly fragrant Elderflower. It pops up a fair bit in drinks these days; cocktails, gin www.theconvent.net
and tonic, syrup and mixed with a variety of other flavours as a cordial. It makes delicious ice cream and a glacier-refreshing granita. Best of all it’s super-easy to collect; a carrier bag and scissors are hardly strenuous, and 10 minutes pruning will fill a bag. Collect them on a sunny day, making sure they have a good scent. As with many of our traditional foods, the way we imbibe them is born of necessity, abundance and preservation. Syrup I find is
the best for longevity and versatility. Poured into sparkling water, over ice and mint, it will refresh like a rainstorm on a hot August day. Infuse the warm custard of ice cream making, or for a summer party (and just because you can), dribble a little into ice-cold champagne. However my personal (and slightly unusual) favourite has to be Elderflower Gin. It is much, much easier to make than you might think…
For one bottle (although, once you try it, I think you’ll find it’s not enough!) you’ll need: 12-15 Elderflower heads (much more than this and the fragrance can become overpowering, a little like cat’s wee, I kid you not). 50g caster sugar (adjust to your taste to take the edge off the dryness of the gin, but much more and it starts to become a bit syrupy). A large plastic or stainless steel bowl (It needs to be big enough to hold all the flowers, and the gin, and fit inside a plastic bag, or have a lid). Method: Gently wash and pat dry the elderflower heads. Place the sugar in the bowl, pour in the gin and stir to dissolve. Drop in the elderflowers and push them under the liquid as much as you can. Place in a plastic bag or cover with a lid to allow infusion, and to stop the precious vapour escaping. Leave for 24 hours, strain through a double layer of muslin, and return to the bottle. It will keep for about 6 months in a dark place (mine never lasts that long). Longer than this and it begins to lose its delicate aroma. Administer proudly to friends as you see fit, throughout the summer, with cucumber slices, perhaps mint, tonic, much ice and a smile. adhoc 31
Afternoon teas at The Convent Featuring homemade scones with clotted cream and jams from the award-winning Artisan Kitchen in Gloucestershire; fresh sandwiches with breads from our own baker; a selection of homemade cakes and pastries; quiches and savoury gougeres. Served with our loose leaf teas or a glass of house champagne. Enjoy in the historic cloisters, in the Lounge, in one of our bars – or outside in our beautiful gardens.
We’re open 7 days a week, from 8am to midnight, so why not spend the day with us and try our delicious breakfasts, lunch and evening meals. Or come on Sunday for a summer’s BBQ throughout June, July and August (weather permitting).
01453 835 138 firstname.lastname@example.org
Deep south... Marcus Smith of Raffles Fine Wines explores some of the Languedoc Region’s most diverse offerings, and gives us a thirst for summer wines.
CREMANT DE LIMOUX, CALMEL & JOSEPH (£13.95)
A wine fit for any celebration. A blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and a touch of Pinot Noir. This wine has pale green tints, delicate, tiny bubbles and a nose of yellow plum and green citrus. On the palate it is poised, elegant and refreshing, with notes of peach, acacia and brioche and a nicely balanced finish that is truly worthy of a great sparkling wine.
In the last 25 years the fortunes of the Languedoc have been transformed largely due to the introduction of the Vin de Pays classification in 1979.This enabled experimentation with new grape varieties, and to give the customers what they wanted, namely clearly labelled international varietals like Chardonnay. However, perhaps the most striking improvements have been seen in the big blend regions with greater investments in machinery and technology.This can clearly be seen with the wines of Minervois and Pic St Loup, and not far behind them St Chinian and Faugères.
CHÂTEAU CESSERAS CUVÈE OLRIC, MINERVOIS, 2011 (£11.80) This polished gem with a little Languedoc grit was a real find for us. A little more Syrah than Grenache in the blend lends charming floral aromatics. Garrigue, black pepper and fruits of the forest resonate on the palate which combines with a solid muscular quality. The wine feels rounded in the mouth with fine tannins and ripe fruit. Soaked in southern French sun which shines through.
CHÂTEAU FONTARÈCHE VIEILLES VIGNES, CORBIERES, 2013 (£9.75)
Made from a blend of Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache and Carignan grown in the rugged hills between Narbonne and Perpignan, this wine sings with the generosity of those sundrenched hills. A supple and open frame is filled with good, ripe fruit with hints of herbs. Perhaps a little youthful but none the worse for it. Perfect with picnic meats or a rustic stew.
VILLA BLANCHE CHARDONNAY, 2014 (£9.50)
VILLA BLANCHE GRENACHE ROSÉ, 2014 (£8.95)
ST CHINIAN, LES TERROIRS, CALMEL & JOSEPH, 2012 (£10.50)
FAUGÈRES LES TERROIRS, CALMEL & JOSEPH, 2012 (£10.50)
This is a very fine elegant wine. Very expressive aromas of peach, apricot and almonds leap from the glass. On the palate, the wine is full, well-balanced, fresh and fruity with notes of mangoes and fresh apricots. The finish is crisp with subtle oak which brings together all the elements in this wine.
Grapes have been grown here since the 9th Century, making it one of the oldest Languedoc wine producing areas. The Syrah, Grenache and Carignan grapes are handpicked and tank aged. The wine is well balanced, medium-bodied with gentle grip, super freshness and bright red fruit. A great all rounder, with a delightful smokey nose and elegant finish.
A delightful rose petal pink with beautiful bright reflections. This wine has a discreet nose with aromas of roses and eucalyptus. Fine and smooth on the palate, with notes of strawberries and raspberries with a hint of citrus. A delicious, long finish leaves a sensation of freshness with a hint of aniseed.
Again, Syrah, Grenache and Carignan grapes are hand harvested at peak ripeness. The intense nose is a blend of raspberries, cherries and herbs. On the palate the wine is fresh with sweet, Bring this ripe dark fruits. The advertorial tannins offer a gentle grip along to the with lingering soft fruit warehouse for a and spice on the finish. 5% discount
ALL THESE WINES CAN BE PURCHASED FROM RAFFLES FINE WINES, NAILSWORTH. TEL 01453 833133 OR VISIT THEIR WEBSITE WWW.RAFFLES-WINE.COM www.theconvent.net
Wild Things The uncultivated edges of The Convent’s kitchen garden prove to be a diverse habitat all their own. Words and photographs by Dominic Thomas In the Convent kitchen garden and orchard in early May the apple blossom is the first thing that greets you. There is something extra special about apple blossom, the way the flowers appear as dark crimson buds, then open to the palest of pink and white. There’s also the promise of the fruit to come – so much more satisfying than flowers which only sate our visual appetite. And what could be more exciting on a sunny spring day than to witness bees and blossom at work on their marvellous, honey-making collaboration? In the kitchen garden, meanwhile, the black agricultural fabric has finally been stripped off the new veg beds and the de-weeded earth is exposed for the first time. Warmed by the spring sunshine, recently planted fresh green leaves are lined up in orderly fashion. Seed trays and pots of salads – rocket, oak leaf, mizuna – and strawberries are crowding the sidelines waiting to take their place on the vegetable parade ground. An unusually shower-free April left the 34 adhoc
soil much drier than is ideal for planting. Cracking in places, the bare earth looks like it has experienced a late-July heat wave. Although Dorian, the gardener, will be spending more time with the hose and watering can, this dry weather does have the advantage of keeping the slugs at bay for a little longer. Strolling around the orchard and the newly planted beds, I’m aware of the rough edges – the nature that refuses to adhere to a regimented order. In the shadier corners wild garlic is in flower. Elsewhere are familiar plants the agricultural fabric has been employed to suppress – dandelions, ground ivy and the dreaded ground elder. But many of these so-called ‘weeds’ have a cultural heritage more sophisticated than they are usually given credit for. Ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria) is a tenacious perennial which has leaves and flowers that appear very similar to that of the unrelated Elder tree (Sambucus nigra). It is often seen as the bane of a gardener’s life because of its ability to spread rapidly www.netgig.co.uk
Many so-called ‘weeds’ have a more sophisticated cultural heritage than they are usually given credit for...
via underground rhizomes and regenerate from the tiniest segment of root left in the ground if dug up. A native of Eurasia, this unloved ‘weed’ was introduced by the Romans as culinary vegetable or potherb. Used like spinach, it has a distinct and unusual flavour that is best when young before the flowers appear. Ground elder has over the years been assigned various medicinal properties and appears in medieval manuscripts including those of the 12th century abbess, visionary, and polymath Hildegard of Bingen. Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea), again no relation to common ivy (Hedera helix), is a tiny yet rampant creeping plant with red flushed leaves and inconspicuous but exquisite lilac flowers. Curiously, it is sometimes still referred to by its Old English name, Alehoof, since it was used by the Saxons in beer brewing as a flavouring and preservative before the use of hops became widespread. Make mine a pint! Artist and mushroom enthusiast Dominic Thomas has created Fungusloci, Gloucestershire’s first urban mushroom micro-farm where oyster mushrooms will be cultivated on waste coffee grounds from local cafes. You can see the fruiting mushrooms in the window of Unit 23 Merrywalks, Stroud. Find out more at http://www.cscic.org
The Convent Choirs
Wednesday 10 June - 8.30pm Thursday 11 June - 8.30pm Members: £5 Adults, £3 Under 16’s Non-Members: £7 Adults, £5 Under 16’s Tickets available from any choir member, email@example.com or on 01453 835 138 The Convent Ladies’ choir sing inspiring pieces and well known favourites including... Allen Koepke Speak To The Child Of Love; Kurt Bestor Prayer For The Children; Arthur Hamilton Cry Me A River and Leslie Bricusse Pure Imagination
Watch the concert The Men promise to bring a smile to your face with fabulous renditions including... online at Bruno Mars Billionaire and Ginsberg O Mistress Mine www.netgig.co.uk Both choirs come together for some rousing joint numbers, including... Queen Somebody to Love and Traditional (arr. Alison Krauss) Down To The River To Pray for only £3.50 Why not treat yourself to an evening meal with us before the concert or even book a room for the night!
The piano specialists in Bath.
01225 427 961 www.thepianoshopbath.co.uk
The Convent is home to an eclectic array of curios and much loved by our guests for its vintage flair. From the pianos loitering in the grounds and the battered leather chairs in our new bar The Dirty Habit to the gramophones, typewriter lamps and the resuscitated Hammond organ in the Chapel, there’s always something to catch your eye (and ear). And why not? After all, our corner of the Cotswolds is well known for its off-beat style and a top notch selection of vintage shops. So here’s a guide to all things vintage in Stroud…
R & R Books
www.randrusedbooks.co.uk NELSON STREET MON TO SAT 10AM - 5.30PM One of those book shops you can lose yourself in for hours, if not days, with hundreds of titles in secondhand books, ephemera, vintage magazines and comics.
Strangeness & Charm Boutique 1
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www.strangenessandcharmvintage.com 7 GLOUCESTER STREET, STROUD OPEN THURSDAY, FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 11AM - 5PM A stroll down to the bottom of the High Street finds Strangeness & Charm. A friendly shop buying and selling authentic 19th and 20th century vintage clothing, accessories and costume jewellery.
S ST TRO AT U IO D N
3 JOHN STREET MONDAY TO SATURDAY 10AM - 5PM A treasure trove of all sorts… mechanicals, model railways, books and bottles!
The Old Clock and Gramophone Shop 2
The Blanket Box
11 LANSDOWN TUES, WED, FRI & SAT 10AM - 5PM; THURSDAY 10AM - 1PM Vintage furniture, art, decorative accessories, books, china and lots more.
Time after Time
www.stroudvintage.com 30 HIGH STREET, STROUD MONDAY TO FRIDAY 10AM - 5PM, SATURDAY 9.30AM – 5.30PM AND ONLINE 24/7 Sandra and David work tirelessly to find new antique, vintage and retro pieces each week so that the shop always looks fresh, vibrant and full of treasures. Aimed at both men and women, they pride themselves on their customer service. 38 adhoc
mannjewellers.com 8 GEORGE STREET MONDAY TO SATURDAY 9.30AM - 5PM Mann have been selling jewellery in Gloucestershire since 1741. Mainly stocking modern jewellery and watches, they also have a fabulous range of second-hand gems.
46 HIGH STREET MONDAY TO SATURDAY 10AM - 5PM (CLOSED 1PM - 2PM) Fantastic array of original vintage ceramics and glass along with decorative items and retro toys and collectables.
Haberdashery Twist 8
8 GLOUCESTER STREET TUESDAY TO FRIDAY 9.30AM - 5PM; SATURDAY 9.30AM - 3.30PM Selling Amy Butler fabric and patterns, buttons, ribbons, lace, vintage knitting patterns, painted shabby chic furniture and much more. www.netgig.co.uk
www.inprint.co.uk 31 HIGH STREET TUESDAY TO SATURDAY 10AM - 5PM Another bookworm’s delight, Inprint has been perched at the top of the High Street since 1980, treating customers to its second-hand and out-of-print titles, specialising in the arts – particularly cinema. They also have other paper ephemera and printed curiosities.
Malt House Emporium 13
malthouseemporium.com SALMON SPRINGS TRADING ESTATE MON TO FRI 10AM - 4PM; SATURDAYS 10AM - 5PM; SUNDAYS & BANK HOLIDAYS 11AM - 3PM A cornucopia of vintage, retro, industrial and upcycled furniture, homeware, antiques, interiors and textiles from over 85 dealers.
26 KENDRICK STREET MONDAY TO SATURDAY 9.30AM - 5.30PM Stroud’s famous independent record shop is woven into the fabric of the town. Established in 1977, you’ll find a great selection of vinyl as well as DVDs, CDs, and music-related books. So popular that for the recent Record Store Day music fans queued overnight to get their hands on limited edition releases!
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27 HIGH STREET MONDAY TO SATURDAY 10AM - 5PM A bohemian boutique full of antiques, curios, artwork and… taxidermy.
Duffle Vintage Outfitters 12
2 JOHN STREET, STROUD MONDAY TO SATURDAY 10AM - 6.30PM SUNDAY 10AM - 6PM
Duffle Vintage Outfitters is a vintage and retro store with a great selection of vintage funiture, lighting, paintings and decorative glass and ceramics. They also sell handmade cushions and lampshades made from original vintage fabrics and a great selection of vintage clothes and accessories. They are also stockists of new desert boots, Blundstones and other men’s footwear. www.theconvent.net
www.shamblesmarketstroud.co.uk SHAMBLES FRIDAY & SATURDAY 8.30AM - 2.30PM Including the legendary Vintage Mary every Friday – a destination stall for local bargain hunters looking for second-hand homewares and haberdashery.
Circa Antique Fair
circafairs.wordpress.com ST LAURENCE CHURCH HALL, SHAMBLES FIRST MONDAY OF EVERY MONTH Antiques and collectables, including books, linen, jewellery, small furniture, china, postcards, clothes and all sorts of curios.
16 Threadneedle Street Flea Market
THREADNEEDLE STREET EVERY SATURDAY Running alongside the award-winning farmers’ market the Threadneedle Flea Market is an eclectic mix of old and new. adhoc 39
Chasing the light
The inspiring story of Cotswold artists John and Fiona Owen. By Tamsin Treverton Jones. Chalford High Street was once a bustling neighbourhood with numerous shops, pubs, schools and mills and even its own railcar station. Today, cars drive at speed along narrow lanes and paths meant for donkeys and there are no traders left, apart from a pub and a village shop run by volunteers, but it remains a strong community with an independent spirit and an appealing alternative style. The rows of cottages are home to numerous artists and craftspeople working in and inspired by their glorious surroundings; the art world’s bad boy Damien Hirst set up his first Stroud studio space in the beautiful Grade 1 listed Chalford Place and a huge industrial unit in the valley houses Pangolin Editions, Europe’s leading sculpture foundry. If you are walking along the High Street, it’s surprisingly easy to miss the high Wesleyan chapel perched on the hillside above. Access is impossible by car, but on foot it’s really quite straightforward, as long as you don’t mind tackling narrow upward pathways or scrambling up flights of breathtakingly steep stone steps. The chapel belongs to the artists John and Fiona Owen who have lived at the heart of this creative community for nearly 30 years, converting the disused church into a quirky family home, creating a stunning exhibition space and studio in the galleried hall and establishing a magical terraced garden, complete with Gothic tower and box hedged potager, out of the vertiginous cliff behind. The Chapel and garden are not only a testament to John and Fiona’s inventiveness and creative vision but represent years of dedication and hard work: “When we bought it in 1987, the building had only been partly converted and was just a freezing shell with an impenetrable garden,” explains John. “We got rid of the false ceilings in the chapel exposing its original beams, restoring it to its full height and we installed central heating. We got straight to work on the garden too, clearing it and creating terraces for Fiona’s borders. We held our first exhibition and open garden the following year and we’ve opened every year since then – this Summer’s exhibition will be our 28th.” John and Fiona never thought they would ever own their own home, let alone their own gallery. They met as students at Newport College of Art and married soon after. To make ends meet, but most importantly to allow them to spend their daylight hours painting, they took jobs that no one else wanted,
living in corners of other people’s homes, exchanging housework and gardening for free accommodation. John cycled 14 early morning miles to work in a bakery in Gloucester every day for three years and they both worked for William’s Kitchen at outside functions several evenings a week. “We even lived in a six-by-four foot garden shed for six months,” says John. “There was only one window but we put our drawing table underneath it and because I’m right-handed and Fiona is left-handed, when the sun came in it worked for both of us.” In 1981 fine art publishing company the Medici Society gave Fiona her first exhibition in Grafton Street, Mayfair. John showed his work
with hers there the following year, and they have since exhibited together in the UK, Europe and the United States.The complementary nature of their work and the obvious pleasure they have had working so closely together for so long is striking; remarkable, too, is how from the very beginning they have committed their lives and lifestyle to creativity with consistently beautiful results. John and Fiona are as bonded professionally as they are in their personal lives. United in ambition and purpose, inspired by their travels to Italy and to Cornwall as well as by their daily walks in the Gloucestershire countryside, their sources of inspiration are often the same but their painting styles and the way they work are utterly individual. “It always seems to intrigue people that we see the same things but that we paint them in such different ways,” says John, who paints in both oils and watercolours and whose lifelong artistic challenge and driving force has been the
Bathers John Owen
Dog Walkers John Owen
Above: Call of the Wild Fiona Owen
exploration and expression of light. He makes detailed sketches on his travels, which he then works into paintings in the studio. Fiona, too, is inspired by what she sees: her exquisitely detailed work, oil on panel gilded with 24ct English gold leaf in the tradition of Medieval manuscripts, is a celebration of and homage to Nature and her paintings of flora and fauna, the changing seasons, and her own Celtic inheritance capture their essence with breathtaking skill and intricacy. This summer’s exhibition at their Chapel will feature a series of gilded panels, Fiona’s latest illustrations from Weeds in the Heart, a series of books on plant healing that she has been working on for the past five years with herbalist Nathaniel Hughes. Each intensely coloured picture is layered with geometric shapes and sacred symbols belonging to each plant subject. “This project has been heavenly to work on,” says Fiona. “I had already done an intensive herb course and have been growing these plants myself for many years, but Weeds in the Heart has taken me even deeper into the world of Green Magic and magical symbolism. I’m learning all the time.” John too will show his most recent paintings, many of them nocturnal, exploring light on water, capturing darts and flares of light across a harbour or bay as the tide takes hold, the effects varying with the depth of water from sharp to soft, creating an ever-changing light show. “I’m always trying to capture that transient moment,” he says. “It can be elusive though; it’s always one step ahead of me.” This year’s exhibition, the 28th Summer Celebration at the Old Chapel, Marle Hill, Chalford (admission free) runs from 7-28 June and is open daily from 10am - 5pm. The garden (£3.50 to enter) is open at the same times in aid of Cotswold Care Hospice. www.theconvent.net
Moon Magic Fiona Owen
Warming up our voices for the Convent’s September Singing Holiday with Chris Samuel I’m a singer. Some might say I’m a singing addict. It began about 15 years ago when I popped along to a local community choir to have a bash at this singing lark. I was fairly immediately hooked and it started me on a path which has led to an extraordinary number of adventures, not least jacking-in the day job to work with choirs and performance groups in 2007. Don’t worry, it doesn’t affect everyone quite so dramatically, but there is certainly something about singing which quickly grabs hold of you and makes you want to do more.There is almost nothing bad about it – it floods your system with oxygen and endorphins (and, when you perform, adrenaline too) a heady cocktail of natural drugs which will leave you on a high. Then there’s the camaraderie and feeling of shared achievement you get when singing with other people, it brings people together in a way few other activities can touch. It’s also carbonneutral, and alcohol, cholesterol and calorie free. Actually, I have another confession to make. I’m not great at holidays. Some people
(including my wife) find this deeply weird, but I don’t think I’m alone. Don’t get me wrong, I like the change in routine, finding new places and, of course, the eating and drinking. But the idea of sitting around doing nothing, or ambling around looking at stuff is, after a while, a little mind-numbing.The tourist thing, makes me feel like a… tourist. I’d rather be interacting in some way or have some purpose to my stay. That’s why singing holidays seemed the perfect way to fulfil my need to sing and my desire to have a fun purpose to my time off. A mixture of favourite things and new people and situations in which to do them. After running lots of different singing holidays over the last seven or eight years, I think I’ve sussed out what makes them work.The key ingredients seem to be: a lovely new place to be; fantastic food; interesting people to socialise and sing with; a wide variety of music; a final concert to work towards and (just a little) free time to explore your surroundings. So when Charlotte at the Convent suggested the idea of a singing week based there, I jumped at the chance. As a place to sing and perform, it’s got to be one of the most stunning I’ve ever worked in.The chapel is not only a beautiful place to be, but also acoustically wonderful – a very satisfying place to sing in all respects.The Convent itself is also a very conducive location for the meeting, eating and socialising that help bring a group together, but also has lots of quiet corners for those moments when you need to have a little me time. It’s also situated in a stunning location with lots of nearby places to visit if you do want to do the tourist thing. It has other advantages too. Because we have such different backgrounds, Charlotte and I will naturally give our singers a really wide variety of different songs and styles of singing, whether you’re used to working from a score, or whether you haven’t sung a note for years, there will be something to challenge and delight you. And because of the fabulous facilities, you’ll not only get to perform the songs you’ve learned at the end of your time with us, but it will be professionally filmed so that you have a permanent record too. So, if like me, you’re excited about meeting new people, learning new stuff and performing in an amazing venue perhaps you’d like to join me on my idea of a perfect holiday. Ding-ding, move down the bus, plenty of room inside!
Chris Samuel is a Community Choir leader, performer, writer and arranger based in Wiltshire www.singingwithattitude.com www.theconvent.net
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Singing holiday 28 SEPTEMBER - 1 OCTOBER RESIDENTIAL & NON-RESIDENTIAL PLACES GRADE II-LISTED FORMER CONVENT & 18TH CENTURY CHAPEL WITH AMAZING ACOUSTICS WIDE VARIETY OF MUSICAL GENRES LIVE BROADCAST CONCERT & DVD TO TAKE HOME ALL LEVELS WELCOME
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I like to think that Romans walked this way coarse grass cast iron sky river breeze whipping square skirts and flags frozen knees clanking bloodless and grey I like to think that sheep forever ruminating in flat fields adopted the same woolly poses heads down stock still as if asleep content noses deep in fertile grass made potent by river silt since time began Rusty trows flat-bottomed double-masted moored carelessly in the worn out yard against blasted cliffs of river clay could be from any era any sway timeless as all boats are Leggy prehistoric birds who pick across the lethal sod have always flown when the great brown god turns on itself ebbs and retreats, becomes a channel sucks in its cheeks I know I am not the first, nor will I be the last to watch wonder walk this way the way the windswept Romans came for all I know they thought like me when looking at the same Tamsin Treverton Jones
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Convent Lane South Woodchester GL5 5HS 01453 835 138 SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM CEO Charlotte Roberts COO Dianne Evans FINANCE DIRECTOR Rob Little SENIOR MANAGEMENT SUPPORT TEAM Jo Hutchinson, Anwen Shortall, Nicholas Duffy CONVENT CLUB BAR MANAGER Gary Paterson BAR TEAM Jack Matthew Kathleena Keen www.theconvent.net
NETGIG CEO OF NETGIG LIVE Emma Van Heusen PRODUCTION MANAGER Lucy Langley CONVENT LIVE MARKETING Owen McNeir HEAD OF SOUND Steve Philips FIRST CAMERA Russ Evans SECOND CAMERA Nikoletta Monyok CONVENT HOTEL HOTEL MANAGER Hanna Guy ASSISTANT MANAGER Jenna Paynter RECEPTIONIST Leah Timbrell Rosalind Honon-Hills MAINTENANCE Billy MacBeath
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A heavenly sanctury in the Cotswolds… We want to be the highlight of your week, even your day. Inviting and friendly, a place where you come to unwind and relax, maybe to entertain friends and colleagues, or to find time to think and to work quietly in this beautiful place off the beaten track. We offer a full calendar of live music, literary events and comedy nights in the Chapel and the Dirty Habit bar. Every week the Convent hosts an exciting programme featuring new and established artists, plus celebrated authors and comedians. Our facilities include hotel rooms and suites, four bars, delicious food throughout the day from 8am to 11pm, 7 days a week. 46 adhoc
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Local listings Whatâ€™s on around Gloucestershire in June and July...
Gloucester Guildhall - page 52 www.theconvent.net
Stroud Subscription Rooms Tel: 01453 760 900 www.subscriptionrooms.org.uk
class before the show. An enchanting night of South American passion.
“Glorious... a masterclass in vocal expression” DERBY TELEGRAPH
FRIDAY 5 – SUNDAY 7 JUNE EARLY BIRD TICKETS £23 £28 (£24 CONCS) WEEKENDER TICKET
Stroud is welcoming Americana with open arms to give music lovers a breezy musical weekend. Americana covers various forms of American music, acoustic and electric, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and Delta Blues. Maybe a bit of line-dancing too... There’s a great line-up playing throughout the weekend at the Subscription Rooms and around town, including The Prince Albert and Black Books Cafe. Mr Twitchett’s will be open late on Friday and Saturday and there will be open mic slots as well as the main programme. Come and give us a song, y’all! Music starts at 8pm on Friday night and doors will be open from 11.30am on Saturday. More details to be announced soon, so keep an eye on our website and Facebook page. www.stroudamericanafestival.co.uk www.facebook.com/StroudAmericanaFestival
THURSDAY 11 JUNE - 9.45PM ONWARDS FREE OF CHARGE Come and put your new found tango moves to the test, or bring the skills you already have. A social tango dance, taking us back to the steamy dance halls of Argentina.
CHARCOAL PORTRAIT WORKSHOP with Katherine Bryan-Merrett SUNDAY 7 JUNE - 10.00AM - 4.00PM TICKETS: £35 (BOOKING ESSENTIAL)
The OFFSTAGE Theatre Group presents: SECRETARIAL SERVICES & WAITING FOR A FRIEND MARTIN ALVARADO: TANGO DE AMOR
Learn how to create effective, fast and simple portraits. This accessible medium is a great way to get started if you have never tried portraiture, or a great way to ‘free up’ and try something new. The day will take you through the basics of portraiture with a focus on tonal quality and how to create a three-dimensional drawing. It is a fun and (somewhat) messy medium, so ensure you bring clothes you don’t mind getting a bit dirty – some wet wipes are also generally advisable. Materials: charcoal, putty rubber, paper (sketchbook, sugar paper, pastel paper, or whatever you fancy), a board and/or table easel if you have one. 48 adhoc
THURSDAY 11 JUNE SHOW - 7.45PM TANGO CLASS - 6.00PM TICKETS: £15 (£13.00 CONCS) SHOW ONLY; £7 TANGO CLASS ONLY; £20 (£18 CONCS) SHOW & TANGO CLASS Widely considered one of Argentina’s finest singers, Latin UK Award-winner Martín Alvarado is like an Alfie Boe of the tango world. With his stunning and colourful voice, in Tango de Amor he delivers his romantic repertoire, including rare Piazzolla songs, accompanied by phenomenal Finnish talent Mikke Helenius on the piano and bandoneon, a talented improvisor who uniquely can play both his instruments simultaneously. Meanwhile the elegance and artistry of the Argentine tango dance is demonstrated by award-winning Guillermo Torrens and Maria Maragaki, who will also teach a one hour
FRIDAY 12 JUNE - 8.15PM TICKETS: £10.00 (£8.00 CONCS) SECRETARIAL SERVICES by Peter Quilter directed by Lloyd Morgans It is Barrie’s birthday and his personal assistant Janet is helping him get ready for the party. As they discuss getting older, marriage and love, or Janet’s lack of it, it becomes clear that she would be quite content to settle down with Barrie. Unfortunately, Barrie is more interested in men, but that doesn’t stop him from booking them both on a cruise as a birthday present to himself. This, the first of tonight’s one-act plays, has been nominated for many prestigious awards in the theatre community. WAITING FOR A FRIEND written and directed by Barnaby Eaton-Jones Norman Fairbanks is a man who likes the outdoors. A creature of habit, he spends every lunchtime on the same park bench and eats his neatly-packaged packed lunch whilst admiring views of Mother Nature. However,
LISTINGS there’s nothing Norman likes more than to talk and, within the course of this lunchtime, his unexpected companions on his favourite bench get a bit more than they bargained for when they briefly enter his domain. This, the second of tonight’s one-act plays, won three awards during its original tour of 2001 and features the original cast of Bob Roberts and Kim Jones. (Both these one-act plays, produced for the stage by The OFFSTAGE Theatre Group, are being performed in aid of charity, with none of the theatre group taking any fee.) www.offstagetheatregroup.com
WOODY MANN Film & Performance
Features interviews with celebrated folk and rock musicians who knew and studied with Davis, including Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, combined with rare archival footage and photographs. Harlem Street Singer celebrates the beauty and spirituality of Reverend Davis’s music as well as the human qualities that made him a beloved teacher and minister. This is the exciting story of an American musical icon who inspired a generation of musicians and whose legacy lives on in today’s music scene. www.harlemstreetsinger.com www.woodymann.com
SUNDAY 14 JUNE - 7.00PM FILM / 8.45PM PERFORMANCE TICKETS: £6.50 FILM; £9.50 PERFORMANCE; £15.00 BOTH
ISLANDS IN THE STREAM The Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers Story SATURDAY 20 JUNE - 8.00PM TICKETS: £18.50 (£16.50 CONCS)
Stacked with country music’s greatest hits: Jolene, Ruby, 9 to 5, Lucille, Here You Come Again, The Gambler, Coward of the County, Love is Like a Butterfly and Lady – enjoy the awesome vocals and gentle humour of Dolly and Kenny’s legendary live shows. Bring-the-house-down performances, a superb score and supreme musicianship tell the story of the simple Smoky Mountains farm girl’s rise to country music’s biggest superstar. Leave your 9 to 5 worries at the door and sail away to another world with this all-new, thigh-slapping stage show blockbuster for 2015. www.easytheatres.com
Dyad Productions (Austen’s Women) I, ELIZABETH Woody Mann is a New Yorker who plays an enticing mix of American acoustic blues, roots and jazz guitar. An outstanding singersongwriter who plays with passion and a deep sensitivity to his music with an easy, laid-back style. He’s a sublime, warm, witty and hugely talented performer. Mann may be the only guitarist to take lessons from Rev. Gary Davis, study classical music at Julliard, record with Robert Johnson, mentor Son House and receive training in improvisation from jazz pianist Lennie Tristano. Tonight’s show will also include a screening of Harlem Street Singer (The Reverend Gary Davis Story) which tells the story of Reverend Gary Davis, the great blues and gospel musician whose unique style and remarkable skills on the guitar inspired a generation of musicians. The film traces Davis’s journey out of poverty in the Deep South to his iconic status in the folk and rock scene in 1960s New York. www.theconvent.net
FRIDAY 19 JUNE - 8.00PM TICKETS: £12.00 (£10.00 CONCS) Adapted and performed by Rebecca Vaughan (Austen’s Women); Directed by Olivier Award winner, Guy Masterson (Morecambe) 1568. At a vital crossroads in history, a young queen steps from the shadows to reveal her thoughts on marriage, succession, religion and war. But time is against her… Queen at 25, political phoenix and famously unmarried – but who was the woman beneath the crown? Using only Elizabeth’s words, Rebecca Vaughan explores the queen’s struggle to reconcile the desires of womanhood with the duties of sovereignty. www.dyadproductions.com
“A truly breathtaking experience. An absolute masterclass. I can’t recommend this highly enough.” FRINGE REVIEW
Newbury Productions presents: The Reduced Shakepseare Company THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (abridged & revised) SUNDAY 21 JUNE - 8.00PM TICKETS: £16.00 (£14.00 CONCS)
Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield. Directed by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor. All 37 Plays in 97 Minutes! An irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s plays, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) was London’s longest-running comedy, having clocked up an amazing nine years in London’s West End at the Criterion adhoc 49
LISTINGS Theatre! Join these madcap men in tights as they weave their wicked way through all of Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories and Tragedies in one wild ride that will leave you breathless and helpless with laughter. www.reducedshakespeare.com
ensembles on the concert platform, Leyland Band regularly performs internationally and across the UK, their unique sound resonating with audiences in top venues including the Royal Albert Hall, London, to The Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
“Pithier Than Python. Irresistible.” NEW YORK TIMES
Guitarists, before moving on to Argentina and then back to Holland in October. Guitar Craft began as a series of seminars given by former King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, and grew into an international organization. The players now work as Guitar Circles, linked groups around the globe, but since the beginning of the 1990s have not played in the UK… until now!’
KAST OFF KINKS
THURSDAY 9 JULY - 8.00PM TICKETS: £20.00 (£18.00 CONCS)
THE BERLIN GUITAR ENSEMBLE FRIDAY 3 JULY - 8.00PM TICKETS: £12.00 (£10.00 CONCS)
LEO & ANTO... from The Saw Doctors THURSDAY 25 JUNE - 8.00PM TICKETS: £15.50
With The Saw Doctors on sabbatical, Leo Moran (The Saw Doctors) and Anto Thistlethwaite (The Waterboys/The Saw Doctors), have put together an intimate two hour acoustic show featuring stripped-down, unplugged versions of The Saw Doctors’s hits such as Red Cortina, Clare Island and Same Oul’ Town.
The Berlin Guitar Ensemble are a group of guitarists from all over the world, working under the direction of Hernán Nuñez. The BGE’s line up is always changing, moving from seven to 24 players, and so is the repertoire which includes their own compositions, rock standards and traditional classical and folk pieces. All the players use the Guitar Craft tuning and technique, which has a much wider sonic spectrum than standard tuning and brings an innovative sound to the guitar. Most recently, the BGE has been working with the Guitar Circle of Europe, and the avant-garde electronic artist 1605munro (aka Andrés Jankowski), releasing two albums together and performing in Germany, Holland and Spain. The BGE are performing in Venice in May, with the Orchestra of Crafty
Not to be missed! Actual former members of the legendary band The Kinks get back together to re-live the good times. This line-up features original drummer Mick Avory, bassist John Dalton (who performed with The Kinks in the 1960s), keyboardist Ian Gibbons (who still performs with Ray Davies) and Dave Clarke (formerly of the Beach Boys and bands featuring Noel Redding and Tim Rose). Expect all the hits, including You Really Got Me, Dedicated Follower of Fashion, Sunny Afternoon, Lola, Deadend Street, Days, Waterloo Sunset, Apeman, Come Dancing, and many more. www.kastoffkinks.co.uk
TWITCHETT’S LIVE LEYLAND BAND
SUNDAY 28 JUNE - 3.00PM TICKETS: £10.00 (£8.00 CONCS) £5.00 UNDER 18’S Leyland Band is one of the pre-eminent brass bands of the world. Founded in 1946 in the heart of industrial Lancashire, it has forged a reputation for quality performance coupled with innovative and engaging repertoire. The band’s quality is reinforced with an impressive list of awards – British Open Champions, National Champions of Great Britain, five times Brass in Concert Champions, All England Masters Champions – achieved since its emergence on the national scene in the early 1980s. The band has also proudly represented England in competition at the European Brass Band Championships twice since the turn of the millennium. One of the most sought after brass 50 adhoc
Music and song from some of Stroud’s finest – which might include you! Come and listen or join us with a song or a tune.
THE PEEKY BLINDERS WEDNESDAYS 17 JUNE - 7.30PM
The Peeky Blinders are a Stroud-Based acoustic duo. They sing sweet harmonies with original arrangements in a style they call ‘pop-grass’.
WEDNESDAYS 15 JULY - 7.30PM The Vogwells are Martin and Emma, a married couple from Gloucestershire, who perform, write and arrange traditional British folk music. Described by Roots Magazine as having “strength, presence and character”, their music combines traditional lyrical stories and original music played in a full-bodied guitar style with stunning harmonies.
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Museum In The Park Tel: 01453 763 394 www.museuminthepark.org.uk TERENCE MILLINGTON Etchings, Drawings & Painting
Hawksbury Upton School www.hu5k.org
SUNDAY 7TH JUNE – SUNDAY 12TH JULY ADMISSION FREE
This exhibition covers the entire career of painter and printmaker Terence Millington. His subjects include still life, landscape and architectural imagery, with works being held in major public and private collections in the UK, Europe and the USA. It also charts his development of multiple plate colour etching, for which he is now a highly regarded exponent. His work is always based on sound draughtsmanship and often combined with a good measure of wit and invention. Terence Millington will be available to meet visitors to the exhibition on Saturdays and Wednesdays between 2pm and 4pm.
The Pink Cabbage Tel: 07837 189 449 www.thepinkcabbage.co.uk
HU5K FUN RUN
NIGHT GALLERY AND SHOP
A 5K run for all ages and abilities starting and finishing at the centre of the village of Hawkesbury Upton. The course visits sections of the beautiful Cotswold Way, with stunning views of the glorious Gloucestershire countryside. Run, jog or walk, either to get a top time, or just for fun. All finishers awarded an exclusive medal, with winner’s medals for the fastest runners in each age category (register online). And even if you’re not planning to run, come and enjoy a fun family day out with BBQ, stalls and entertainment.
SATURDAY 20 JUNE - 11.00AM RUNNERS: ADULT £6; 11-18 YRS £6; UP TO 11 YRS £4; SPECTATORS FREE
OPEN JUNE TO AUGUST
Sample art, design and light at this pop-up gallery and shop. With a significant social element, the shop will offer interesting beverages and events with local DJs.
Tel: 01453 889 765 www.gallerypangolin.com TERENCE COVENTRY MONDAY 15 JUNE – FRIDAY 24 JULY MONDAY TO FRIDAY 10AM-6PM SATURDAY 100AM-1PM
An exhibition of recent sculpture and works on paper. Pictured: Woman Releasing Bird Terence Coventry (Bronze Edition of 10, 63.5cm high)
Tel: 01285 760 328 www.painswickcentre.com BOOKBINDING AND CERAMICS MON 13 - SUN 19 JULY DAILY FROM 10AM
Anne Weare and Victoria HendzelWalker, both local craft workers, exhibit a diverse range of styles and techniques in their crafts.
Minch Primary School Tel: 01453 883 273 School Road, GL6 9BP MINCHINHAMPTON SCHOOL FETE SATURDAY 20 JUNE - 12.00 - 3.00PM
Fun for all the family! Entertainment on the day will include birds of prey, pony rides, steam train rides, bouncy castles, inflatable gladiator, bar, BBQ, ice creams, the stocks, lucky dip, football fun with Kick Off Stroud, and much, much more. adhoc 51
Gloucester Guildhall Tel: 01452 503 050 gloucesterguildhall.co.uk
YOUNG FATHERS MONDAY 1 JUNE - 7.30PM TICKETS: £10
This acclaimed Edinburgh hip hop trio’s live shows have caused jaws to drop and induced genuine awe in jaded journos, industry pros, production staff and actual punters wherever they perform. The group’s vocalists Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and ‘G’ Hastings are experiencing a breakthrough year, with upcoming summer festival dates, an Australian and Japanese tour, followed by their first headlining USA tour and a groundbreaking Berlin residency in November. Oh, and did we mention they won the Mercury Prize? A must-see.
TUESDAY 2ND JUNE - 7.30PM TICKETS: £20
SATURDAY 27 JUNE - 7PM TICKETS: £18 (£17 CONC) Evenings of Mediumship are not scientifically proven and are presented for education and entertainment purposes.
Being one of the world’s most recognised spiritualist mediums and healers, Colin Fry’s TV series 6ixth Sense has now been broadcast worldwide for numerous years making his public performances an international demand. This tour will once again see Colin bring his own unique form of comfort and upliftment to ordinary people living ordinary lives, proving that once again he is very much the People’s Medium.
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS FRIDAY 12 JUNE - 7.30PM TICKETS: £20
Stiff Little Fingers were formed in 1977 in Belfast, Ireland. Along with the likes of the Clash, Sex Pistols, The Jam, Buzzcocks, Undertones, Sham 69, Stranglers, Stiff Little Fingers were at the forefront of the punk movement. In November of 1977, they released two songs on their own Rigid Digits label, and sent a copy to BBC Radio One DJ John Peel, who started playing it every night. After many studio albums and countless tours, Stiff Little Fingers currently find themselves as in demand as ever, so come and catch the guys on their latest return to the Guildhall.
Thirty-seven years on and the rush of witnessing a Damned live show is still comparable to that first buzz of energy released at some long-forgotten sweat box. A series of inspired, ambitious albums and amazing live shows combining full-on rock energy, stylish performance, and humorous deadpan cool are not necessarily what anyone would have thought when Ray Burns and Chris Millar met in 1974. But they went on to rub shoulders with the likes of Sex Pistols and had a string of hits – the only difference being that The Damned are still out there on the circuit, smashing it all across the country!
FRIDAY 3 JULY - 7.30PM TICKETS: £22 Originally formed in 1992 from the ashes of two of the most legendary and lauded guitar bands of all time, The La’s and Shack, Cast released four albums (the second of which, Mother Nature Calls went platinum) and scored ten Top 10 singles, before disbanding in 2001. During that time, Noel Gallagher described watching Cast play live as “a religious experience”, and All Change became the biggest-selling debut album of all time for Polydor Records. After the band’s split, John Power released three solo albums, and has played intermittently since 2005 with the reformed La’s. A decade later, and the original line-up of John Power (guitar/ vocals), Liam ‘Skin’ Tyson (lead guitar), Pete Wilkinson (bass) and Keith O’Neill (drums) have reunited. Get excited.
THE MASSACRE FESTIVAL 2015
SATURDAY 11 JULY - 12.30PM TICKETS: £12 (£15 OTD) The Massacre Festival is a metal/hardcore fest which has been running for two years. Headlining this year’s show is TRC, Shields, and Roads to Nowhere with support www.netgig.co.uk
Prema Arts Centre Tel: 01453 860 703 www.prema.org.uk
from Prolong The Agony, Breathe In The Silence, Virtue In Vain, Griever, SharkFace, The Uncharted, We Define A Martyr, Two Letter Sins, Broken Tusk, Goodnight Harvey, and If Words Could Kill.
HILLFIELD SWINGS in Hillfield Gardens off London Road FRIDAY 17 JULY - 6.30PM TICKETS: £6 (CHILDREN GO FREE)
Music from a big band in the beautiful surroundings of Hillfield Gardens. People are invited to take a picnic along with them, as well as something to sit on. There will be a raffle and the proceeds will go to the Friends of Hillfield Gardens to continue to improve the planting in the gardens and also to St Catherine’s Church for their centenary year events.
FRIDAY 5 JUNE, 8.00PM TICKETS: £12 (£9 CONCS), FRIENDS £10 (£8 CONCS), £15 ON DOOR Mànran have rocketed to the very top of the Scottish music scene with their mighty combination of Gaelic and English songs. A unique and powerful line-up, underpinned by rhythmic accordion, fiddle, flute and a backline of drum and bass to create an energetic sound like no other. They can proudly claim to be the only band to host Highland and Uilleann pipes together within one dazzling and charismatic group. Since the band’s inception in 2010 Mànran has performed at festivals across Europe – make sure not to miss them as they take to the Prema stage this June. Mànran are an exceptionally talented bunch of young guys that are taking the music world by storm with their high energy, stomping tunes and phenomenal Gaelic/English songs’ Celtic connections.
RAGHU DIXIT SATURDAY 27 JUNE, 8.00PM TICKETS: £15/£12; FRIENDS £13/£10; ON DOOR £18
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Often hailed as India’s biggest cultural and musical export, Raghu Dixit possesses a unique brand of infectious, happy music which transcends age, genre and even language. His music is powerfully rooted in Indian traditions but is presented with a contemporary, global sound. From playing to over 100,000 people in his home state to the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury, a celebrated appearance on Jools Holland and even playing for the entire Royal Family, Raghu Dixit seems to have become a musician of some considerable renown in the UK. Tonight, Raghu makes his maiden voyage to Prema, still warm from last night’s stage at Glastonbury, with an acoustic line-up and a new album
under his belt – the new recording receiving the accolade of “Top of the World” album choice from Songlines. A splendid evening to round off our live music programme for the summer and the final gig at Prema before we close to complete the final, dramatic building projects at Bethesda Chapel, ready to relaunch again in September. adhoc 53
Cheltenham Town Hall Tel: 0844 576 2210 www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk TONY STOCKWELL THURSDAY 11TH JUNE - 8PM TICKETS: £20.50
TUESDAY 16 JUNE - 7.30PM TICKETS: £29 (CONCESSIONS £24) For those with an interest in mediumship, the name of Tony Stockwell will need no introduction. One of the UK’s most wellknown and respected psychic mediums, Tony has been working tirelessly for over 20 years to demonstrate his belief that those who have passed can communicate with their loved ones. Please note: evenings of mediumship are not scientifically proven and are presented for education and entertainment purposes only.
Cheltenham Concert Series... ENGLISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA THURSDAY 18 JUNE - 7.30PM TICKETS: £31.50, £26.50, £14, £11.50
Julian Lloyd Webber directs two works by his father and four much-loved works by Elgar in this charming concert of English music. The perfect end to the 2014-15 Cheltenham Concert Series. Conductor: Julian Lloyd Webber Vaughan Williams: Prelude from the Charterhouse Suite William Lloyd Webber: Serenade for Strings and The Moon Delius: Two Aquarelles Elgar (arr. WH Reed): Chanson de matin, Op.15 No.2 and Chanson de nuit, Op.15 No.1
The world’s most successful Elvis tribute artist returns to the UK by popular demand! Backed by an orchestra and Elvis‘s original backing singers, The Sweet Inspirations – who toured with Elvis between 1969-1977 – Shawn is the winner of the coveted BBC One TV show The World’s Greatest Elvis and currently performs annually at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas on the same stage where Elvis performed his record-breaking live shows throughout the 1970s. An unmissable night for fans of the King!
SATURDAY 13 JUNE - 7.30PM TICKETS: £19.50
REGINALD D. HUNTER The Man Who Attempted To Do As Much As Such WEDNESDAY 24 JUNE - 7.30PM TICKETS: £25.50 (OVER 18’S ONLY)
This exceptional, eight-piece band with their roots firmly established in British folk, is garnering great reviews following their recent and very welcome revival. The band features some of the best musicians in their field, with an emphasis on their multi-instrumental brass section. This is not whimsical folk – Home Service play full strength music about the people, for the people, featuring heartfelt songs and instrumental delights!
“Blistering... truculent folk-rock” THE FINANCIAL TIMES 54 adhoc
Reginald D. Hunter returns with a brand new tour after a successful year filming and performing internationally. A well-known face on 8 Out Of 10 Cats (Channel 4) and QI (BBC Two), he is renowned for his distinctive take on subjects including race and sexuality. His work can be brutally honest and is often considered controversial, but is always meticulously thought out. May contain strong language.
“Poised, provocative, brilliantly funny” THE TIMES
Tel: 01285 654228 www.sundial-theatre.co.uk RHYTHM OF THE DANCE
COMMONGROUND FRIDAY 5 JUNE - 7.30PM TICKETS: £12/£10
WEDNESDAY 8 JULY - 7.30PM TICKETS: £24.50 CHILDREN: £14.50 This incredible live show from The National Dance Company of Ireland, featuring The Young Irish Tenors, celebrates the rich history of Ireland and the art of Irish dance, from the disciplined Celtic Step to the sensual, ancient Sean Nós dance style. Rhythm of the Dance creates a new era in Irish entertainment, presenting 30 dancers, a traditional Irish band, and the handsome Young Irish Tenors. Don’t miss this inspiring, breath-taking show that has received extensive critical acclaim.
“The mood of the piece - warm, delicate and sepia-hued - lingers long in the memory.” TIME OUT
Commonground are a local band who are attracting a lot of attention from the world of folk music. They have been guest performers at the 2014 Cheltenham Folk Festival, Chippenham Folk Festival and played at the Mill Race Festival in Cambridge, Ontario. They are booked in Canada again for 2016. Commonground have also performed at several local folk clubs, the Prince Albert in Rodborough, and will be playing at a number of top festivals this summer – including the Broadstairs Festival. Last year they released their first CD, A Fine Prospect, which is a wonderful representation of their work, combining rich harmony singing with the sound of strings and concertina. www.commonground-music.co.uk
SIR RANULPH FIENNES: A Life At The Limits FRIDAY 17 JULY - 7.30PM TICKETS: £22.50
From light-hearted to strikingly poignant, long-time friend and expedition partner Anton Bowring talks with Sir Ranulph Fiennes about his childhood, misdemeanours at school, army life and early expeditions, through to the Transglobe Expedition and the recent Coldest Journey. Find out more about the incredible projects that saw Sir Ranulph receive the Guinness World Records accolade for Greatest Living Adventurer, all while suffering frostbite and risking life and limb in some of the most ambitious private expeditions ever undertaken. www.theconvent.net
dream, half-reality of this many-sided figure: mathematician, logician, photographer, poet and storyteller. Written, devised and directed by David Horlock, Crocodiles in Cream is a moving and compelling one-man-show. Kevin Moore’s interpretation of the complex and fascinating character of one of the country’s most appreciated authors has received critical acclaim around the world. Crocodiles in Cream is one of the many events taking place this year in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
CROCODILES IN CREAM
WEDNESDAY 17 JUNE - 7.30PM TICKETS: £12.00/£10.00 A portrait of Lewis Carroll drawing on his diaries, letters, poems and stories, and taking the audience into the world, half-
SEAN LOCK: WORK IN PROGRESS THURSDAY 9 JULY - 8.00PM TICKETS: £15.00 Sean Lock, the most fertile comic mind in Britain, will be running through some new material ahead of a major UK tour. One of the nation’s most highly acclaimed and original comedians, the British Comedy Award winner has been a brilliant team captain on Channel 4’s show 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. His extensive TV credits also include appearances on Sean Lock’s TV Heaven Telly Hell, Live at The Apollo, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, QI and he both wrote and starred in the cult classic sitcom 15 Storeys High.
“Lock’s mix of absurdism and everyday observation gets more effective with each new show” THE GUARDIAN adhoc 55
The Prince Albert
SATURDAY 13 JUNE - 8.30PM FREE
Tel: 01453 755 600 www.theprincealbertstroud.co.uk
Mike Adcock has put together an exciting group of musicians for this Cajun outing of a band that we felt we needed back for a sultry Summer evening. Feet were itching last time, so tonight we will clear the furniture to make room for a dancefloor and you rest assured we will be ready for a great evening of song and dance.
SUNDAY 14 JUNE - 8.00PM TICKETS: £7
GARANCHE & THE MITOCHRONDRIES
WEDNESDAY 3 JUNE - 8.30PM FREE French chanteuse Garanche has put together a supergroup featuring some of our favourite London musicians, with Euan Bleach, Brooke Sharkey and Adam Beattie all playing on her jazzy/dirty tango/rock’n’roll album. Perfect summer listening.
Rozi returns to the Albert to promote the release of her album Friend on the wonderful Lost Map Records label. Rozi is an absolute enigma, both dream-like and solid in sound, she has played with This Is The Kit, Rachel Dadd and Francois and the Atlas Mountains. She has in her band another of our favourite musicians Neil Smith (Erolls Kitchen, Helele) ensuring this will be a glorious show.
this year’s Americana Festival held around the town and curated by Sarana Verlin. Previously the Toy Hearts, Sophia and Stuart are two thirds of the previous incarnation but just as ready to rock’n’roll.
THE UNDERCOVER HIPPY THURSDAY 11TH 8.30PM FREE
LAND OF THE GIANTS THURSDAY 4 JUNE - 8.30PM FREE
After winning Best Band In The South West 2013 this gigantic band have stormed the stages at Glastonbury, Bestival and Boomtown. Expect pumping drums and bass licks, scorching guitar, great vocals and jumpin’ brass.
After many years DJ/MCing on the drum and bass circuit Billy Rowan has brought together all his musical elements, including folk and reggae, since swapping from the mic to a guitar. Here playing with a full band, think Jason Mraz meets The Cat Empire on a protest march… at the Edinburgh Fringe.
GILL SANDELL & CHRIS TT
THURSDAY 18 JUNE - 8.30PM FREE Wow, Chris TT at The Albert. Not heard of him? Then check him out – a real inspirational
The Undercover Hippy
THE ROARING TROWMEN
SATURDAY 6 JUNE - 8.30PM FREE Four men from Bristol singing sea shanties, the working songs of fishermen and sailors, and songs from the deep ocean. Their enjoyment of this is only matched by their love of beer – so they should have fun with us!
Stroud Americana Festival
HANNAH JOHNSON & THE BROKEN HEARTS
SUNDAY 7 JUNE - 7.00PM TICKETS: £23 FROM SUBSCRIPTION ROOMS We are delighted to host the finale gig for 56 adhoc
LISTINGS musician, wordsmith and all-round good guy. Here he teams up with the excellent singersongwriter, and sometime member of Emily Barker’s band, Gil Sandell to perform songs from their new album Walk Away, Walk Away. It’s beautiful.
Blues ‘N’ BBQ with THE HITCHHOPPERS SUNDAY 5 JULY - 4.00PM
A bit of an afternoon delight with music from The Hitchhoppers and ribs and stuff on the Barbie. Celebrating the Fifth of July… a slight nod to the US of A, but late.
DAVID MORRIS & THE RED RIVER DIALECT THURSDAY 9 JULY - 8.30PM FREE
SUNDAY 21 JUNE - 8.00PM FREE
SUNDAY SEWING SERVICE EVERY SUNDAY - 3.00PM Sent to us after Hiss Golden Messenger played here and went down a storm, more of that delicious, organic, non-definable music from Cornwall. Hints of prog rock, rebelrousing folk-rock, and with a new album to promote – come enjoy this special five piece.
THURSDAY 25 JUNE - 8.00PM FREE Open Mic with Tiny Hill. Tiny Bryony hosts The Albert stage and welcomes all.
Flamenco evening with performers from Stroud and Bristol. Dancing, singing and fine guitar playing.
THURSDAY 2 JULY 8.30PM FREE Acoustic roots duo playing a wide range of acoustic roots, World and original compositions on numerous instruments. Always fun as well as a musical feast, with their repertoire drawing in a wide range of styles but always incorporating their own sound to appeal to all audiences.
TALIB COLLECTIVE QUINTET FRIDAY 3RD 8.30PM FREE
Tadek Chylinski Reid brings his five-piece to entertain on this (hopefully) hot summer night
SATURDAY 4 JULY - 8.30PM FREE Barringtone – elevator music for headbangers. Popgang-power pop with an 1980s influence. www.theconvent.net
FRIDAY 17 JULY - 8.00PM Delighted to welcome Dojo! A collection of jazz and reggae artists from South Afcrica and the UK with a starkly political outlook and uncanny talent for melody and harmony and are taking reggae back out from the underground celebrating their rich heritage of African, English and American music.
With Brooke Sharkey now the voice of this band dedicated to the songs of Jacques Brel, Dead Belgian are probably the only ‘tribute’ band we have had play here. (Apart from Fake Bush – best name ever!) They are all professional musicians and their music is a real treat – even if you aren’t familiar with the works of the great man himself.
FRIDAY 10 JULY - 8.30PM FREE
DANIEL MEADE & THE FLYING MULES THURSDAY 16 JULY - 8.30PM FREE
Proper old-school honky tonk and boogie woogie… Something for those who have lived a little!
Bring those items that need a repair, or your curtains that need a trim into Sam our resident seamstress for a stitch or two.
Tel: 0333 666 3366 www.cotswoldplayhouse.co.uk ASPECTS OF LOVE 17-20 JUNE AND 24-27 JUNE - 7.30PM TICKETS: £14 FRI & SAT; £13 WED & THURS
Due to adult themes, Aspects of Love is not suitable for children.
It is 1947 and as the curtain falls on the last performance of Rose Vibert’s latest play in Paris, a small audience gives a rather lacklustre response. As the tiny audience leaves, her one faithful admirer, 17 year-old Alex, has his wish granted when Rose’s manager introduces them. This meeting is the start of a compelling story of passion, love, life and loss across three generations of a family. Spanning 17 years and every aspect of love, this musical features the classic ballad Love Changes Everything (made famous by Michael Ball) and other glorious numbers including Seeing Is Believing and The First Man You Remember. Almost entirely sungthrough and entwining passion and romance with the wonderful music of Andrew Lloyd Webber – a show not to be missed. adhoc 57
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Oh to be a Princess
CHARLOTTE ROBERTS on shifting attitudes to health and beauty
I’ve spent a bit of time in hospital recently with my youngest, Gwil. He’s not been very well. In fact we’ve had a bit of a run of it with one thing and another. I fell off my horse damaging pretty much my left side and giving myself a nasty bump on the head. This was followed closely by my husband being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, and then my littlest was in hospital for a week. But that aside, my 24/7 time with Gwil in the confines of a hospital room has been a rather sweet journey. He is very much into his Disney Cars and Superheroes at the moment, but recently he has been talking about making me a princess. Yes that gorgeous little munchkin thinks I could be (or am in some cases) a princess! What mother doesn’t secretly want to be that to her boys? I hadn’t really taken much notice of this other than a small smile to myself when he demanded I wear a dress/skirt or dress in pink. And I laughed when he found my secret collection of wigs (all colours and styles) and made me put them on declaring that I was definitely a princess in the long flowing reddish pink wig, I was OK as a princess in the long white one and was a beautiful sea princess in the blue one, but wasn’t so keen on the black Amy Winehouse wig funnily enough! It was fun putting them on. I’m not nearly brave enough or flamboyant enough to wear them in public for no reason other than for fun. I do need an excuse of a fancy dress party! Anyway I digress. While I sat in hospital with him his understanding of what a princess means took on a whole new level and meaning for me. It happened quite innocently. I was flicking through a copy of Elle I think it was (I rarely read glossy magazines, haven’t the time or the inclination to wade through the adverts) and he sidled over and started to look with me. And the strangest thing happened. Unprompted he started pointing out to me the various women in adverts and the models and categorising them as ‘baddies’ or ‘princesses’. To discover there were other people he considered a princess was a slight disappointment, but he caught my attention. There was that beautiful up close picture of, I think, Keira Knightly in a Chanel perfume ad, impeccably made up, smiling and looking happy. She was most definitely a princess in Gwil’s 58 adhoc
eyes. Then another image of a woman, again beautifully attired in a long gold shimmering dress looking happy and yes, you guessed it she was a princess too. Next there was a photo of a larger lady wearing a dress and looking pensive. Curious, I asked Gwil if she was a princess. “Yes of course mummy,” was the reply. So we were a few pages in and I was starting to think everyone was a princess and my special status of being a princess was looking like I was no longer special until suddenly we came across the pictures of models on catwalks. And I say, “Look Gwil, lots of princesses!” expecting a nod in agreement. But instead he frowned and said, “Oh no mummy, they are baddies!” Surprised, I asked him why he thought they were baddies. His innocent response was, “Because they should be in hospital mummy.They’re sick.” I was stunned. Here was my little boy deciding that the ideal of beauty and femininity that as adults we collude to hold as the perfect specimen was, to his mind, baddies. Didn’t matter if they were wearing the most beautiful dress or rags. The thinness and sunken eyes meant to his mind they were unwell therefore unworthy of being deemed a princess. I tested his assumptions by randomly opening pages and showing him pictures of different women, different sizes, different attire and the consistency, on the whole of who he deemed princess or baddie remained.The closer to a Disney princess they looked he got
really happy – hey ho. But on the whole as long as they had a beaming smile and looked healthy and wore a dress – they were princesses. So how is it that we have moved so far from a child’s view of the world to accept a catwalk full of ill looking women (according to a three year old). And of course I started wondering – is his perception of health and beauty going to remain as pure a concept it is now into manhood or will society’s view of what is deemed beautiful eventually take over and he will conform to the size zero culture? Well it seems I can’t answer that question right now. And despite the fact I have to acknowledge that I am no longer the only princess in the world to him (and now the royal baby girl has been named after me – yes I like to think that is the case), I am happy my son includes me in the category of princess – albeit without the HRH title). It must mean he thinks me happy and healthy. So I wish to nurture his idea of beauty so maybe I will wear a few more dresses for him, and maybe… just maybe. I will brush off my hidden collection of wigs and wear one some time for no good reason. So if you do see me randomly walk into the bar in a dress and/or a bright wig, know that I am doing it because I love the fact my son thinks I am a princess and this makes him happy. My 13 year old on the other hand would take one look at me and die of embarrassment… worth doing for that alone! www.netgig.co.uk
The in-house/outhouse magazine from The Convent, Woodchester, Stroud UK www.theconvent.net