International Jewellery London 2014

International jewellery london guitaristI was invited back to play again at International Jewellery London (IJL) this year at London's Olympia. My playing goes down really well at this show and I have got to know quite a few of the exhibitors; several of the designers who go annually to the show are also guitarists in their spare time and one is even building his own guitar.

I spent the first half of the show entertaining attendees in the entrance area and the second half of the show upstairs in the Champagne Bar.

The only disappointment this year was that Tresor weren't serving fresh French crêpes on their stand ;-) I'm already booked for the show in 2015 and look forward to catching up with all the covert Guitarists and Guitar Makers in the Jewellery world.

 

Notley Abbey

guitarist-notley-abbeyOn Thursday I played for a wedding at Notley Abbey in Thame, near the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire border. Notley was a favourite stopover for Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey in the 16th century on their way to Oxford and the building was bought in 1944 by legendary Actor Laurence Oliver who moved in with his partner Vivien Leigh.

They hosted many celebrity parties and guests included Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller, Betty Davis, Katherine Hepburn, Kirk Douglas, Sir Noel Coward, Ralph Richardson, Judy Garland and Marlene Dietrich. Olivier is quoted as saying:

 

“Of all the houses I’ve lived in over the years, Notley is my favourite. It was absolutely enchanting, and it enchanted me."

(And I'm guessing his houses were normally pretty good ones).

The ceremony was held outside where I played Here Comes The Sun by George Harrison and Have I Told You Lately by Rod Stewart.

Guitarist Oxfordshire

Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham

  Guitarist GloucestershireOn Thursday I played at Ellenborough Park in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire for a corporate dinner. The guests work for an Insurance comoany in America and were treated to a weekend in the UK which consisted of a cruise along the coast in the QM2, a classica car rally (in which they were driving the classic cars), afternoon tea with Princess Diana's brother and a roast dinner at Ellenborough Park with yours truly playing live music for them. I'm guessing they sell quite a lot of insurance and make reasonable sums of money for their employers to be so kind to them.

The most outstanding part of the evening, I have to say, was the gravy. The chef at Ellenborough Park makes the most delicious gravy I have ever tasted. I got the recipe from him and shall post it on here soon!

Guitarist Gloucestershire

Don Quijote - The Royal Opera House

Guitarist - Royal Opera HouseI am starting rehearsals this week at The Opera House for Carlos Acosta's new adaption of Don Quijote with The Royal Ballet Company. The rehearsal period quite long before the gala opening on September 30th. Then the dates of the performances are as follows:

Mon 30 September 2013    19:30 Sat 5 October 2013    13:30 matinée & 19:00 Sun 6 October 2013    12:30 matinée Tue 8 October 2013    19:30 Fri 11 October 2013    19:30 Tue 15 October 2013    19:30 Wed 16 October 2013    19:30 Fri 18 October 2013    19:30 Fri 25 October 2013    19:30 Sat 26 October 2013    19:00 Sat 2 November 2013    13:30 matinée & 19:00 Wed 6 November 2013    19:30

I'm always happy to discuss details of bookings in person beforehand, be it repertoire choices, the finer details of exactly where and when to play etc. and where better to do this than in the champagne bar (pictured above) at The Opera House? If you would like to come and see an excellent show and then discuss your plans than feel free to contact me and arrange to meet either before or after the show on any one of the above dates.

On Saturday 16th October the live ballet show will also be beamed to 250 cinemas across the UK, including most ODEAN cinemas, and in 399 cinemas in the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and Holland. Click here to find a screening at a cinema near you.

 

Opera House Classical GuitaristFlamenco Guitarist Royal Opera Huse

International Jewelry Exhibition - Earls Court, London

Earls Court IJLOn Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I played for The International Jewelry Exhibition at Earl's Court in London. Every year the show attracts retailers, wholesalers, designers and dealers from all over the world for three days to exhibit their new products and talk everything diamonds, gold and silver. It was interesting to meet so many designers and artists and hear how they work through the design process and then realise their ideas and turn them into physical products, there is a real art to it. Security was extremely high with cameras everywhere and plain-clothed agents wondering throughout the venue. I was told told there was £1billion worth of merchandise inside the building during the exhibition.

For all the beautiful stands and edgy new ideas I have to say I was won over more by the huge chocolate fountain on Tresor's stand, as were most others ;-)

There was also a slightly surreal moment when a huge security guard who had a gold tooth and quite an intimidating presence about him came over and said to me "that was a beautiful piece of music really delicately played, could you play that for me again later please?"