July 26, 2011

Tonight ‘The Big Audition’ competition has been launched through ‘Pizza Express Jazz Club.’ Jamie Cullum performed a live gig at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho, which so happens to be the place he got his big break 10 years ago. I can’t believe Jamie Cullum has been around that long already, I played that first album ‘Twentysomething’ to death.

Anyway, the winner of the competition will get £5000 to kick-start their career and the chance to perform at this club. All I need to do to enter is to send in a video of me and my best performance. I’ve got 37 days to get my entry in, so first and foremost I need to pick a song…

Here’s my choices:

Let Us Be Loving – Alice Russell

You Don’t Know My Name – Alicia Keys

How Much It Hurts – Just Off Turner

What shall I go with??

Here’s some video of the live-streamed gig that happened tonight in celebration of the launch of the competition. The set list was actually picked by the audience via Twitter. I think this is a pretty cool idea, if I’d remembered at the time, I would have requested ‘Next Year, Baby’… such a brilliant song. 🙂

 

I will keep you updated with the progress on my entry.

 

Alex x

 

Success

July 23, 2011

I am so pleased… I have finally made a cake that has icing that isn’t runny goop! And actually resembles the cake in the book. Maybe waiting for the cake to cool down for once helped also. Am I finally getting some patience?

Well I really hope it tastes as good as it looks. (The icing tastes good for sure… I may have already finished that off for my breakfast…) This is my present to my boyfriends mum for her birthday this evening, so fingers crossed she likes it!

Here’s a photo of the finished product! And a link to the recipe I used: http://www.redbrickpaper.co.uk/2011/04/hummingbird-bakery-carrot-cake/

When You Gonna Learn

July 22, 2011

I love finding a song that really grows on you. So much so you end up playing it 3 times in a row. With each play getting better and better. This happened for me today with Beverley Knight’s version of the classic Jamiroquai track ‘When You Gonna Learn’ on the way home from London in the car with my mum. We had a brilliant sing-along session.

When I came home a couple of weeks ago, I had seen quite a lot of press, interviews and tweets about Beverley Knight’s new album ‘Soul UK.’ After hearing the tracks that have made it on the album I bought it as a ‘just-cos’ present for my mum… I wish I had bought it for myself now however.

Now, Jamiroquai are one of my all time favourite bands. Ever. They are one of the few artists I have gone out and bought every single album. I even remember seeing them play on the TV when I was about 4 or 5 and how crazy my mum used to go for some song of theirs (turned out to be ‘Too Young to Die’) Over time I got to love their music and in particular, today’s song ‘When You Gonna Learn.’ Its just such a brilliant song, not only for its social and politically conscious lyrics (which still apply today nearly 20 years later!) but the groove, Jay Kay’s vocals and overall feel of this song can’t help but give me that feeling of ‘… I love music…’ everytime I hear it!

Knight’s version of the song initially seems more chilled and relaxed and I wasn’t sure that I quite liked this take on the song. However I gave it another listen, and another and bloody hell, WHAT a vocal delivery, its so powerful and just gets me thinking HOW is Beverley Knight still so underrated in the British Music Industry? (Listening to the whole album infact is just a masterclass in soul vocals and how it should be done. Properly!) I really think that this version is a grower and has its own sound and feel that honours the original but has its own life also. 

I bought my first Beverley Knight album ‘Prodigal Sista’  when I was about 11 years old in a tiny record shop and fell in love with her voice and it really gave my first listen to some modern soul. I’m pretty sure ‘Greatest Day’ was my song of the summer that year. For a few years I haven’t really listened to her stuff all that much really and its a shame. ‘Soul UK’ has definitely reminded me of what a talented artist Beverley Knight is and that she deserves all the recognition she has received over the years for her contribution to British Soul and that its possible to make your way in this industry by SINGing your heart and soul out and doing what you love.

Here’s a live version of Beverley Knight performing ‘When You Gonna Learn’ at Porchester Hall. Amazing Band. Amazing Song. Amazing Voice. (I wonder if she needs a 4th Background Vocalist…? I Wish!)

And here’s the original version to compare and contrast!

I’ve got a Jamiroquai piano book floating around somewhere… I think I’m gonna have to dig it out and see what I can come up with myself!

Alex x 🙂

Planning

January 17, 2011

I am currently via email planning my Prezzo Live tour dates! Without a car it is proving difficult as stage pianos are not the easiest of items to transport all over the place! In Dec I won a the Prezzo Live competition and my own tour will be kicking off in Feb for 10 dates in England. I’m pretty excited to get going, but lots needs to be done first, wanna get my set sounding great and throw in a few new songs. Need to make some CDs to sell along the way. Make sure none of the dates clash with work. Car Hire. Lift Bribe. Practice Practice Practice.

The dates should all be confirmed soon and I shall post them up here.

 

Other planning includes thinking of things to get my boyfriend for his birthday which is getting close… hmmm… think think think!! He’s set the bar stupidly high.

Alex

Hakuna Matata

January 16, 2011

I’m back from a wonderful trip to London this weekend to see The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre in the West End. Stefan bought the tickets for my 22nd Birthday back in November and we finally got to see the show this weekend and it was definitely worth the wait. You can see why this show has been running for such a long time and has had worldwide success, it appeals to every audience member, with a great story, wonderful songs, light and dark moments.

 

The best part of the show for me would have to be the whole spectacle of it, with giant puppets, an elephant for example being manned by over 4 cast members made its way through the auditorium for the opening number ‘A Circle of Life.’ Some of the acting is a bit questionable at moments, but then who’s to say I could do any better, but on the whole those moments can be overlooked for the Lion King is a great fun show that is a giant kaleidoscope of colours and wonderment to see!

Sometimes I wish I lived in London or much nearer than Leeds as I love theatre, and I wouldn’t necessary always go for the big production but I’d love to see smaller plays also, I saw some fantastic shows when I was younger doing drama at school and have forgotten how much I love going to the theatre. It’s not impossible to see theatre up here however, so I should perhaps get my bum in a seat up here first before coming up with illusions of moving to London anytime soon. (We saw in a estate window in Covent Garden a flat nearby for just a piddly £1000 A WEEK!!! Yes a week!!!! Bloody hell!!! My rent in Leeds is £300 a month and I struggle with that sometimes!) I think when you’ve been somewhere to long and miss home it is easy to forget the great things on offer after getting stuck in a routine for too long and only noticing the bad in things. The West Yorkshire Playhouse do a great offer in the week of free tickets for Under 26’s so whilst I still have a few good years left of that offer I should really make the most of it!

That’s all for now people,

Alexandra

That broad bean is not. good.

September 29, 2010

So, I have a current obsession for cookery shows. Am currently watching Masterchef, its the food critic round, and the face of one of them as he despairs over the state of a broad bean is just so funny. I think its my current state of not being able to enjoy scrumdiddlyumptious food being on a strict diet, that makes me watch these programmes… at least I can imagine.

The food network is a brilliant channel. If there’s sod all on, there will be SOMETHING on this channel, guaranteed!

I should probably get on with doing something productive, like writing a song for example. Something I haven’t done for quite a while. I’ll give it a go on sunday. Until then, cooking programmes will do. I’ll probably end up writing a song about cake.