Friday, 2 November 2012

Glam Goes Rustic In The Midlands: Tealby & Mareham Le Fen

All of the villages we've visited have been lovely but Tealby was so adorable!  It was like something you'd see on a painting or chocolate box.  So pretty.  As you can see, the village hall was as pretty as the rest of the village.  The audience were great too - apart from two members who tried to storm the stage at the end of the first set.  Two big, fat, hairy spiders!!!  Eeek!  Someone in the first row kindly ushered them into the ladies loo so that I was able to continue singing.  Although that meant I had to cross my legs for the rest of the eveninbg.  :-)

After lunch at one of the oldest pubs in the country, we headed for Mareham Le Fen.  We were a little worried when we heard that our show clashed with the golf club's awards dinner - obviously a big problem in a small village - but our fears were unfounded as there was yet another full house.  We had a wonderful evening and it was made even more special when my pianist David discovered that he and the promoter Roz were "birthday twins" by one week and were born in exactly the same area in Essex.  All that way to find someone who grew up around the corner from you!

So another rural tour over and another wonderful store of memories of visiting some of the most beautiful parts of the country.  Can't wait for next March - when I'll be doing it all again! :-)

Tealby Village Hall

A vintage ice cream van parked beside the hall

Not manyshops in Tealby but this butcher's is apparently famous for selling the best sausages in Lincs!

The Kings Head - a thatched pub built in 1367

David with Roz -his birthday twin!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Glam Goes Rustic in the Midlands: North Muskham & East Markham

We visited two more beautiful vilages on the 12th and 13th October.    The B&B located right beside the River Trent was adorable - with gorgeous views.  The back garden led straight to the river and a lovely riverside walk.  And even better, it was next door the pub!  For lunch all I had to do was walk out of the back garden, walk along the riverside for 30 secs and then into the back garden of the pub.  Couldn't have been more convenient!

We had two great evenings. A very knowledgeable audience in North Muskham kept me on my toes and there was lots of lively banter.  In East Markham the next evening, things took a turn for the dramatic when an ambulance had to be called out as an elderly gentleman had cut his leg on his way into the village hall.  Thankfully it was only a minor injujry but they called the ambulance to be on the safe side.  After the delay the show went ahead as planned and it was another full house.  It's such a joy to perrform for people who love what I do and are so warm and appreciative.  I love my job!  :-)

The view of the river from my bedroom at the B&B
A walk along the riverside (after lunch at the pub!)

East Markham Village Hall

Friday, 12 October 2012

Glam Goes Rustic in the Midlands: Morcott & Belton

Wow!  Had such a great time last weekend.  Looking forward to more rural Midlands enjoyment this weekend in North Muskham and East Markham.  And as you'll see from the photos below, we were lucky with some amazing weather too.

Friday we arrived in Morcott.  It was a lovely little village.  So little in fact that we got lost!  We drove past what was the high street and were convinced it was just a side street until we got to the next village where we realised that the high street WAS the village.  Ha ha!  I obviously need to get out of London more!

Belton was a little bigger but still tiny with a population of around 500 and just one pub/hotel/restaurant for the whole village.  But I have to say we had an absoutely wonderful meal there.  It may be the only choice but I'm sure people come from miles around to sample the excellent food.   We discovered another lovely eatery in nearby Uppingham too,  A tea room with adjoining bakery which sold the most delicious home-made cakes.  Their chocolate and ginger flapjack was delicious!

Morcott Village Hall.  Gorgeous!

No it's not a public telephone box, it's a public defibrilator!

Close up of defibrilator where you'd normally expect a telephone

Church in Belton - and next to it, one of the few remaining free-standing maypoles in the country.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Glamming It Up in the Rural Midlands!

Autumn is here! I so love this time of year and am looking forward to getting out my winter wardrobe of coats, scarves, hats and boots!

I'm also looking forward to hitting the rural road again for six shows in the rural Midlands starting tonight.


05 Oct - Morcott Village Hall, Leics  LE15 9DX       
06 Oct - Belton Village Hall, Leics LE12 9TU
12 Oct - North Muskham Rural Comm Centre, Notts  NG23 6HD
13 Oct - East Markham Village Hall, Notts  NG22 0QJ
19 Oct - Tennyson d’Eyncourt  Memorial Hall, Tealby, Lincs LN8 3XS
20 Oct - Mareham-Le-Fen Village Hall, Lincs  PE22 7RW

Hope to see some of you there.  I will try to get some photos as I've definitely been slacking with updating my blog lately.  Looking forward to donning the heels, fascinator and elbow length gloves once again.  

Friday, 13 July 2012

Reading Summer Proms and Manchester Jazz Festival

What a shame the sun decided to stay away this summer. I'm really missing spending the summer in Greece but with things as they are there at the moment it's unlikely I'll go this year. 

But I did spend some time in a very beautiful place recently. Our gig for the Reading Summer Proms took place in the amazing Reading Minster. Absolutely stunning!
Reading Minster

And next week is my debut for the Manchester Jazz Festival. I'll be performing with Jonny Phillips on guitar and it will be a reprise of our European Journey show that we premiered at the 2011 London Jazz Festival. It's already sold out but hopefully we'll be doing more later in the year so I'll keep you posted...

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Juliet Kelly's Vocal Zone - Something Old, Something New

Yes, it's been a very long time since I updated this blog!  *slaps wrist* 

But I haven't been totally slacking off.  I've just finished a new version of Vocal Zone and it will be airing on UK Jazz Radio soon!

Here's the tracklist:

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Diana Krall - How Deep Is the Ocean from Love Scenes
George Shearing Quintet Ft Nancy Wilson - On Green Dolphin Street from The Swingin's Mutual!
Gregory Porter - On My Way to Harlem from Be Good
Tessa Souter - Prelude to the Sun from Beyond The Blue
Tuck & Patti - Let's Stay Together from Paradise Found
Christine Tobin - (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman from Tapestry Unravelled
Zoe Gilby - Down In The Hole from Looking Glass
Vanessa Rubin - Dearly Beloved from Soul Eyes
Josh Kyle - The Thrill Is Gone from Possibilities
Richard Bona - One Minute from Scenes From My Life

Hope you enjoy/enjoyed it!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Two Firsts - BBC London Radio and Jazzahead Music Conference

Having lived in London all my life and being a proud Londoner I was very pleased to be invited on to the Robert Elms show a couple of weeks ago!  I've listened to the show many times and it's one of the best and most varied shows on the airwaves both in terms of the music he plays and the topics he covers.  I'm honoured to have been featured.  Listen to me singing my new song Surrender with Kate Williams on piano below:

Then I was off to my very first music conference.  What an exhausting weekend!  I helped man the Jazz Services UK Jazz stand for both days (10am-8pm)  and never realised how tiring just talking to people for 2 full days could be.  In the evenings we listened to showcases including those by the wonderful British bands that were taking part - Sara Colman, Kit Downes Trio, Just East, Lighthouse Trio and Dennis Rollins.  I also got the chance to do some international networking and while I'm not really keen on "networking" as such, I realise it's an important part of a DIY musician's life.  When I got back to the UK I had totally lost my voice!  I couldn't speak a word, never mind sing.  The voice is slowly coming back now but it's just as well that I don't have any gigs in the next couple of week...

May is going to be all about songwriting for me.  I've slacked off since my spurt around Christmas and must get back on the songwriting wagon again.  Even if it means a bout of self-imposed purdah!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Glam Goes Rustic (The Sequel) - Etton, Bridlington & Swanland

I've just returned from a lovely 3 days in East Yorkshire where I took my "Celebrating the Divas of Jazz" show to village halls in Etton, Bridlington & Swanland.

The journey up the M1 was quite eventful for Kate and me because although we left in plenty of time and even stopped on the way for a bit of lunch, it became clear after our break that there was a problem on the motorway.  An accident caused us to be stuck in traffic and what should have been a 3 and a half hour journey actually took a whopping 7 hours!  We arrived with just 10mins to spare.  I quickly donned my glad rags at our excellent B&B (Hunter's Hall in Beverley) and we were on our way.

We were met with such a lovely audience and hosts at Etton Village Hall that I forgot all about the nightmare journey.  Tickets were sold out and we had a rapturous response from the audience.

Our gig at the Spotlight Theatre in Bridlington also went very well.  We had a lively audience in and one gentleman gave us all lots of laughs when I asked those who could remember to tell me about the clothing of the 1950s to set the mood for the song I was about to perform.  The man who said he was of 1920s vintage took great delight in telling me that ladies used to wear bloomers and the lady next to him reminded him that they used to be called PK's - aka Passion Killers!

Swanland Village Hall was situated in one of the most idyllic settings I've seen  and I couldn't resist taking some photos (below).  Once again there was a full house and a lively audience where the show was extremely well received. 

I love performing in village halls and hope I get to chance to do more.  Here's to Glam Goes Rustic - Part 3!

View across the pond in Swanland
The last swans died and the villagers were told they were not permitted to replace them.

Swanland Village Hall

Another gorgeous view

Finally managed to capture a view of the fountain

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Glam Goes Rustic (The Sequel), Snake Accessories & Meeting Bill Bailey

So looking forward to heading up to East Riding of Yorkshire for my second rural mini-tour on Friday.  Kate and I will be "Celebrating the Divas of Jazz" on:

Fri 23-Mar 7.30 Village Hall  Etton  HU17 7PQ
Sat 24-Mar 7.30 Spotlight Theatre  Bridlington  YO15 3DS
Sun 25-Mar 7.30 Village Hall  Swanland   HU14 3QR

On Saturday I had a lovely chat with Tony Barker from Vixen 101 radio to promote the tour.

Just heard today that the first show is already sold out -  woo hoo!

Looking forward to getting out into the countryside again and will be packing my walking shoes.  Took a bit of an unexpected walk on the wild side last weekend when I peformed at an event hosted by Bill Bailey (acclaimed comedian and musician).  There was another entertainer present whose act included several wild animals including a beautiful snake that I just had to try on!

Mr with my gorgeous (live) snake scarf

Bill Bailey was a wonderful host and is a very lovely man. (He also said very nice things about my singing.)  Here we are together.

Me with Bill Bailey

So all I need now is for the sun to shine on Yorkshire this weekend and I will be a very happy bunny indeed! :-)

Monday, 27 February 2012

Moscow Radio and Perm's Ice Festival

My latest trip to Russia a week ago as quite a whirlwind.   I arrived in Moscow in the evening and then had a rehearsal and performance (with a fabulous Moscow band) the next day, a live radio performance and second performance on the third day and then an early morning flight to a city called Perm in the Urals followed by a rehearsal, final performance and TV interview.  I was supposed to fly back to Moscow and then London the following day but the first flight was cancelled which meant me staying an extra evening at the airport hotel in Moscow which turned out to be a Soviet-style hotel and quite an experience.   And guess what - the weather was absolutely beautiful.  Pretty cold (-17 in Perm) but bright and sunny with gorgeous blue skies.  I love Russia - always full of surprises!

Being interviewed at Silver Rain Radio (Moscow's equivalent of London's Capital Radio). We were there for an hour during the breakfast show and also performed 4 songs live.
I was in good company as photos on the wall showed previous guests included Liza Minnelli...
And the wonderful Cesária Évora who sadly passed away last year
Official photo (to be added to the wall maybe?) by photographer Pavel
Performing in Perm
Relaxing with a glass of champagne before the TV interview
Due to the delay I was given a short sightseeing trip around Perm and I loved their Ice City.
A whole park is taken over and there are so many structures all built completely out of ice - awesome!
Absolutely beautiful
Even a children's playground and slide built totally out of ice

And this was the view from the hotel on my last morning in Moscow - breathtaking!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Ronnie's, Russia and more Rural Touring

I've really enjoyed a relaxing January but things will be kicking of again soon as I'm back at Ronnie Scott's on 13th Feburary. I'll be a guest of the wonderful Renato D'Aiello Qt who has a residency every Monday in the bar upstairs and I'm planning to perform lots of romantic songs on the eve of Valentine's Day. Yay - I just love those mushy ballads! :-)

Then I'm back in Moscow at the Union of Composers once more for two nights on the 16th followed by my first performance in the city of Perm on 18th Feb. Looking forward to visiting another new place in Russia but rather nervous as the temperature at the moment is minus 24 degrees! Perhaps thermal leggings won't be enough and I'll also need to wear a thermal balaclava.  Do they even exist..?

Ooh - just found this:

I might just be able to pull the look off if I sew some sequins around the eyeholes... ;-)

And I'm also looking forward to more rural gigs at the end of March in East Riding of Yorkshire. Kate Williams and I will be going to Etton, Swanland and Bridlington. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Out with the Old - In with the New!

Happy New Year!

2011 was quite a busy year for me.  Highlights included:
  • My first UK tour (from Cornwall to Northumberland) with new Celebrating the Divas project with my band in February was a great success with several sold-out dates and quite a few radio and newspaper interviews
  • In March I performed at a charity event attended by Prince Charles
  • In March I also gave a speech (sharing the stage with MPs and the actress Maggie Steed!) for the Lost Arts initiative - extremely scary but a very worthwhile event
  • Four sell-out dates in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were the highlights in April
  • Two licensing deals for music from my album Licorice Kiss - the first for Spain/Portugal and the second for Singapore/China
  • Four festival appearances for a Greek Islands tour with Dimitri Vassilakis Qt in July and August made for a blissfully sunny and beautiful summer
  • Five wonderful gigs with Kate Williams at village halls in the rural north of the UK also saw some beautiful hot weather at the end of September
  • My debut performance at an historic venue in Moscow in October
  • Two gigs at the London Jazz Festival with a new European Journey project with Jonny Phillips
  • My debut performance in Hong Kong and a return to Moscow in November
  • Finally December saw me return to Greece with two gigs in Athens over Christmas where I also managed to finish 8 new songs!
Plans for 2012 include:
  • A return to Russia for 3 performances in February
  • Another rural tour with pianist Kate Williams in March
  • A new duo project with pianist Kit Downes
  • Recording one (or maybe even two!) albums

Phew!  After all that I think I deserve a quiet, relaxed January... and that's exactly what I have planned.

Here's hoping 2012 brings us all lots of love, luck, laughter and lolly!