“We are soooo looking forward to connecting again this evening!! In celebration of togetherness we are dedicating this weeks gigette to the wonderful Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity in appreciation of their amazing work and the support they are offering at this difficult time. See you later with love from Clare and John xx”
It is a very challenging time for us all, where music can help soothe ourselves and bring out a sense of community, even if we can’t all be enjoying a live show in the same room. So this blog (and the Fifty Gigs In A Day one) will concentrate on highlighting live online music, plus new releases, from bands and artists across all genres.
Two shows today are That Joe Payne at 4PM GMT – expect prog and all sorts of musical delights
Then at 8PM GMT we have singer songwrier Tim Arnold which will be a treat I am sure!
Next Saturday folk duo Ninebarrow play a live streaming gig between 7PM and 830PM GMT
Bands/artists do get in touch and I will happily plug your gig, new music – whatever I can do to help.
Album release date: 2nd November 2019 (digital and CD formats)
Featuring the duo’s signature blend of intricate harmonies, soaring melodies and Olah, their beautiful jumbo twelve-string guitar, Maybe Dreamers is the brand new album from Dandelion Charm. The overarching theme across the album’s ten tracks is an exploration of collective and individual relationships with new media, and the pursuit of fulfilment through consumption. Musically it is more prog and yet more accessible, with just a hint of jazz influence.
John Fowler:“I’m so pleased with this record! Maybe Dreamers reflects our growing confidence and just has more of everything! It’s punchier, darker, proggier in places, yet lighter and more accessible in others. It’s a varied record that hangs together beautifully. It’s definitely Dandelion Charm and I’m really proud of it!”
Very much a personal as well as a creative partnership Dandelion Charm is the inspiration of John and Clare Fowler, based in Newhaven (near Brighton) on England’s south-coast. With a background working in a commercial studio, John brings over twenty years of song-writing and production experience. Clare, meanwhile, is a long-time visual artist and performer and her love of storytelling manifests itself in her heartfelt lyrics and emotive delivery.
Clare Fowler: “Its hard to define Dandelion Charm by one genre alone. We tend to describe ourselves as a bit rocky, a bit folky and a bit proggy. John and I love the process of writing and refining songs so that regardless of whether they are heard as a live duo, trio, band or recording they still communicate a powerful story.”
John Fowler: “Dandelion Charm is just all the things that I love rolled into one! I’m just making the music that I want to hear, and it’s wonderful that so many other people seem to want to hear it too!”
Dandelion Charm’s debut album Tiny Drop was released in 2015. This was followed by a five-track EP Riding The Flood in 2018. As word of Dandelion Charm has spread, following a string of positive reviews, their performances have enthralled audiences at Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, the Cropredy festival fringe, the Cambridge Rock Festival and Brighton Pride – to name just a few.
The release of Maybe Dreamers will be marked with a special launch gig on 2nd November when Dandelion Charm will be performing songs from the album at the Brunswick, Hove’s premier music and arts venue.
Track By Track
Here, Dandelion Charm guide us through each of the ten tracks on Maybe Dreamers:
Cult of More – This short track is an intro to the album that sets the scene. It’s about our obsession with screen use and its influence on our society.
Stephanie – Stephanie is a song about disappointment, failed expectation, loss of innocence and shame. The character of Stephanie is an every-woman, embodying the journey into womanhood. The train is a metaphor for time which moves relentlessly forward regardless of a desire to step off or go back to a simpler more unworldly place.
Maybe Dreamers – The title track is a comment on society’s dwindling creative population. It describes an increasingly dumbed-down society that is mercilessly sold cheap thrills, where truly creative people can feel ostracised and deflated.
Not Just A Kiss – The lyrics to this song were written by Martin King, it’s a beautiful and whimsical love song. It was recorded initially for his album White Sands Desire and Me, which was produced by John Fowler. With its classic vocal harmonies and twelve-string guitar, the track is undeniably Dandelion Charm and won its place on the album.
Arrogance and Blackmail/PityBomb – These two tracks are essentially one song (Saviour for the Lesser Man). It deals with manipulation and the pulling of heartstrings for personal gain. The lyrics were initially written as one huge rant, and as the songs developed they went through many versions as separate songs. Recurring themes both lyrically and musically bonded the songs together and eventually, John and Clare conceded that they needed to sit together on the album.
Afraid of the Silence – This song is about the incredibly powerful influence that consumerism and the media have over us. Life is finite – there is only so much time. Are we spending it wisely, or just pawns?
Trying Hard – Trying hard offers an alternative message of resistance to relentless marketing and consumerism. Its a call to others who are striving to spread understanding, to bring people together, to be creative in a society that seems hell-bent on promoting greed, destruction, and hatred.
Isolate Resolve – This is a love song. It describes two people singularly resolved to appreciate and care for each other despite all outside influence.
Flicker – Flicker takes its place as the album’s outro. Its message is simple; all that matters is our relationships. Treasure those around you. There will come at a time when they, and we, are just memories.
The 2019 summer concert calendar has just been lit up with the announcement of YES’ North American concert tour, “The Royal Affair Tour.” Headlined by prog rock pioneers and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees YES, who triumphed last year with their acclaimed and hugely successful #YES50: Celebrating 50 Years of YES tour, this must-see best-of-British-rock show will also feature Asia with the return of founding member Steve Howe in a special performance, John Lodge of The Moody Blues, and Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy with guest vocals by Arthur Brown. View the trailer:
The first set of dates for “The Royal Affair Tour” has been announced. The trek will launch Wednesday, June 12 in Bethlehem, PA and visit cities including Holmdel, NJ; Toronto; Nashville, Hollywood, FL; Phoenix; Las Vegas; and Irvine, CA before wrapping Sunday, July 28 in Saratoga, CA. Most shows go on sale Friday, April 5. More dates will be revealed in the coming weeks.
YES is Steve Howe (guitar – joined 1970), Alan White (drums since 1972), Geoff Downes (keyboards; first joined in 1980), Jon Davison (vocals since 2011) and Billy Sherwood (guitar/keyboards in the 1990s and the late Chris Squire’s choice to take over bass/vocals in 2015), with Jay Schellen on additional drums. See quotes below from YES.
Look for YES to perform songs from throughout their storied career, one of rock music’s most prized bodies of work, and their set will honor the memory of YES members Chris Squire and Peter Banks.
• Asia will play their signature songs and pay tribute to their late founding member John Wetton. A portion of their set will feature original guitarist Steve Howe in a special performance. Asia will also introduce its new line-up featuring guitarist/lead vocalist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and bassist Billy Sherwood.
• John Lodge’s set will encompass his classic hits by Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Moody Blues and pay tribute to the band’s recently departed member Ray Thomas.
• Carl Palmer will honor the memory of his fellow Emerson, Lake and Palmer members Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, with vocals by British vocalist Arthur Brown.
• As part of the evening’s British theme, there will be Alan White of YES’ tribute to John Lennon; White was the drummer on Lennon’s solo material including the recording of “Imagine.”
Steve Howe: “Yes is delighted to headline this celebration of British music which has been so warmly received in America over the past five decades.”
Alan White: “I’m looking forward to joining a number of classic British talents that have delighted so many fans over the past half century.”
Geoff Downes: “This is a unique celebration of the British contribution to classic rock over many decades. It will be inspirational to be a part of. And I know it is what John Wetton would have wanted.”
Plus the Little Red Kings, Broken Witt Rebels, the Fierce & the Dead and Andrew W.K. joined in even though they are not currently touring.
Plus there is still one event to go as author Mark Stay is kindly donating one pound for every copy signed or sold of his new book ‘The End of Magic’, at the official book launch on Friday 15 February at Harbour Books in Whitstable, Kent.
Firstly, a slightly belated ‘Happy New Year’ to you all!
In our last newsletter, we listed the first performers we’d booked for Cropredy 2019 and now we can reveal the news you’ve all been waiting for. Here are the acts that complete the line-up – and what a line-up it is!
Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls
Headlining our Friday night, we are delighted to welcome for the first time to Cropredy one of the UK’s most successful solo artists of the past decade – Frank Turner – with his band The Sleeping Souls. Frank’s latest album, the extraordinary ‘Be More Kind’, has taken this punk/folk-rocker to a new level. From the driven punk of ‘1933’ to the beautifully haunting title track, this is an exceptional piece of work. One of the finest live acts out there, we’ve been trying to lure Frank to Cropredy for quite a few years now – and finally, he’s here!
Celebrating their 20th year together, we welcome, also for the first time to Cropredy, the incredible Gogol Bordello. Combining acts of music, theatre, chaos and sorcery, to say that Gogol Bordello is a fabulous festival act would be the grossest of understatements. In their own words “Gogol Bordello’s task is to provoke audiences out of a post-modern aesthetic swamp and onto a neo-optimistic communal movement towards new sources of authentic energy”. This is going to be VERY special!
The Four of Us
Brothers Declan and Brendan Murphy from Newry in Northern Ireland are currently wowing audiences as our special guests on the FC Wintour and will be opening proceedings on Friday at noon.
Wilson & Wakeman
Damian Wilson is a songwriter and vocalist who has appeared on over 70 separate albums including 5 solo releases. He also played Jean Valjean in Les Misérables on their UK national tour. Adam Wakeman is best known as the keyboard player with Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath. He has released 9 albums with ‘the old man’ plus 4 solo albums. The new Wilson & Wakeman session album ‘Stripped’ is released this month!
As the name suggests, Tors hail from the county of Devon. Following sagely advice from their Granddad, legendary guitarist Bert Weedon, Matt and Theo decided to form a band and become pop stars. Tors present a mix of beautifully crafted songs with exquisite harmonies.
As always, we offer three-day (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) tickets, two-day (Friday and Saturday) tickets and Saturday-only tickets. And as always, our advice is to book early.
All tickets and camping passes are on sale now. You can pay online, by phone or by post. Please visit our website for more information.
Pre-Cropredy Warm-up Shows
We’re holding this year’s warm-ups on Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 August at Banbury Trades and Labour Club. Many of you will know this friendly venue from previous warm-up gigs.
The concerts will offer a sneak preview of who will be guesting with us on stage at Cropredy on the Saturday. These two evening concerts always sell out so our advice is book early. You can buy your warm-up tickets here…
Fairport’s Wintour 2019
Our Winter Tour (Wintour) kicked off with a sold out show at the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury a few days ago. The tour covers a lot of ground so there’s probably a venue within reach of you.
As mentioned previously, this year’s Wintour gigs will feature an opening performance by our special guests The 4 of Us. Hailed as one of the most acclaimed duos in Ireland, brothers Brendan and Declan Murphy are accomplished singers, instrumentalists and song-writers.