The Travelling Band UK Tour

13 October 11

Posted at 10:24

The Portland Arms Cambridge  saw the first night of The Travelling Band's UK tour . They only returned from the recent European tour on Monday so no rest for one of Manchester's finest bands. The boys seemed pleased to be back on British soil. Steve 'Muggsy' Mullen's constitution suffering most, the claim being the cause was the staple European diet of ham and cheese and little else.  I suspect the 'little else' may well have consisted of biere, bier, beer and the odd jagermeister! Enough of that, back to the gig. The Portland is not the biggest venue on the tour by a long way but big or small venues I'm sure they will all be as packed as the Cambridge kick off was last night (so I suggest you get you tickets without delay).

Travelling Band - Portland Arms

The boys started with One Dime Blues, a cover version of an original by Blind Lemon Jefferson. I only know that because some months ago I was puzzelling how the lyrics came about. I put a little AV sequence together for the tune- see/hear it here

Chris Spencer - The Portland

As I mentioned the venue is quite small, so small in fact bass guitarist Chris Spencer could not fit on the stage, luckily he's quite tall so it probably didn't notice! One Dime Blues was followed by four more tracks from their latest album Screaming is Something. The crowd were well into it by now, the room was hot and the band were hotter. One thing you can guarantee with The Travelling Band is they will put everything into their set, no matter how big or small the venue, how big or small the crowd (although these days their following is, quite rightly, big enough to ensure every house is packed). A couple of years ago I introduced a friend to the band, after the performance he said "wow! they are stadium ready, they'll have no problem stepping up". And it's true, that's the energy and professional show you get at every TTB gig. They are tight and totally together.

Portland Arms Cambridge

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Adam and Jo Givin It UK Tour

Adam Gorman - The Portland

After introducing a new song Borrowed and Blue, which is sure to become another favourite they wowed us with Sundial, officially released on October 17th. Sundial's sleeve's artwork is from David Shillinglaw  top artist and top bloke who also did the artwork for Screaming is Something. Check him out. 

I will certainly catch the band again on this tour and suggest if you can you do too, you will not be disappointed. Check out dates here

Jo Dudderidge - Portland Arms

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Jo and Chris Portland Arms

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Travelling Band - action

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The Shard, Saint George and a Quest for a Brace of Pheasants

11 October 11

Posted at 3:19

My studies at the University of Westminster are progressing well and I am really enjoying the experience. A current consequence is that most of my photography activity is pertinent to the course and at this point not available for use here. So my photoblogging is less prolific than it has been. Today though I do have a couple of images and a story relating to how they came about. One of the by products of being at Westminster is the opportunity to join Westphoto picture agency and library and be eligible to enter the Westphoto Annual Photography Prize. A competition open to members at Westminster and universities in Berlin and Zurich. The closing date for entries this year is 20th October. I am entering a series of 6 images that are accompanied by a brief written introduction. I have been busy planning the series, I've written the intro and completed four of the images. For the last two images I require a brace of pheasants, dead but intact with feathers etc.

As the pheasant shooting season opened on October 1st I envisaged no problem in picking up a brace last week or this week at the latest. Once I have shot them (with my camera) I also have no scruples about hanging, plucking and drawing them ready for the 'pot'. To my surprise buying pheasants in October (or anytime for that matter) is not as simple as it used to be. Butchers have to observe EU regulations which for many make it impossible to have fresh game on their premises - so instead they buy in 'oven ready' from dealers. Add to that the birds are fairly small at the moment so many shoots are waiting a few weeks and concentrating on partridges at the moment.

So last week I took myself off to Borough market certain that I would find some feathered birds there. I know I've seen them there before. My first mistake was to rock up on a Wednesday when the market is only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Not to waste my journey I though I'd take some photos and it was whilst wandering around the area I spotted the Shard.

The Shard

Well I could hardly miss it but I found myself very close to it's base and took the opportunity to capture it before it's finished. I returned on the Thursday only to discover that there were no pheasants (intact) to be found. Another wasted journey! I had a few conversations following posting the photo above on Flickr centered around the pros and cons of this architecture. So I set about capturing an image which depicts the Shard alongside older London architecture. I didn't have to stray far to see this.

The Young Pretender

So here, in the foreground is the church of St George the Martyr dating from 1736 and mimicking it in the background is the Shard, nearing completion in 2011.

Well these excursions provided me with some images but did little to help my quest for pheasants. Over the last few days I have spent hours talking with butchers, beaters, shoot organisers, shotgun shop owners- I've even contacted NOBS, the National Organisation of Beaters and Picker Ups, no less! All to no avail. Then yesterday I checked out the blogsite of my good friend Dino. Check it out here Dino is something of a food & wine entrepreneur. One of his favourite food suppliers is O'Shea's of Knightsbridge. Dino suggested I contact them. Last night I did and today they advised me that a brace of pheasants would be waiting for me, in Knightsbridge, tomorrow morning. How's that for service? Well actually it will only be tomorrow morning I will be absolutely sure but from my conversations this morning I am positive they won't let me down

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