Well, it is safe to say that summer has arrived here in the UK, yippee, and about time too.
This weekend has felt like a mini holiday for us, and the theme of the holiday was very much based around music. It all kicked off on Friday night at Pickwicks on Devonshire Road in Chiswick, where Red Rose Empire were performing.
If you have not been, Pickwicks is a cosy bar run by Peter and Maria; as hosts they give you a warm welcome, and it feels like you are being invited into an extension of their home. Peter and Maria met Red Rose Empire at our Dream On Day in April this year, and we were so excited when we heard that Paul, Paul and Rick were going to be performing.
We got our drinks and slid into the booth style table, ready to enjoy one of our favourite bands. It was great to have a bit of time to chat to the guys, and then Paul Claxton performed a solo set, which was fantastic; he did so well, especially with the heckling coming from his band mates.
After a few songs from Paul, it was time for the other Paul and Rick to get to work, and Red Rose Empire were a trio again.
We were treated to a mix of their own songs and some covers, including Paul Young’s ‘For The Turnstiles’ which is always a crowd favourite.
The guys performed a fun, lively set, and Paul Claxton’s energy and enthusiasm, along with some great guitar playing was so infectious, we even got up and had a dance. There was a really fun, party atmosphere and everyone had a great time.
On Saturday, the sun was up so we donned the summer wardrobe, and headed out to the High Road to do some shopping. The plan was to get the groceries and then head home to watch the Wimbledon ladies final, but like all best laid plans, it sort of changed.
The Chiswick Fair was in full flow on Turnham Green, so we walked through the tents, enjoying the various stalls. As we were about to leave we bumped into friends, and found out that one of the couple’s daughter, Alice was going to be performing, so we dashed to the supermarket for our groceries, headed back home and then beck to the fair; we could not turn down the opportunity to see her perform.
Alice Parker-Clare is a 16 years old student, with an amazingly soulful voice, which defies her age. She was joined on stage by Kade on guitar, and their three song set was beautifully performed, including a great cover of Outcast’s ‘Hey ya’.
We are so excited that Alice has agreed to perform at our next Dream On Day; she is in the very early stages of her career, but we think she has a very bright future.
On Sunday we had a choice, do we stay at home and watch Andy Murray play in the final at Wimbledon, or do we head to the Strawberry Hill Music and Fun Day, and watch The Carnabys perform? We decided to record the tennis, so we got on the train and headed off to Strawberry Hill (for some reason we had a Beatles song in our heads).
The festival was held at Strawberry Hill House, and as the name suggests, it was a day full of music and fun. We got a hot dog, Pimms and a beer and found a spot amongst the hundreds, possibly thousands of other people.
We saw a band called The Mustangs, who had a great mix of blues and rock, but there was only one band we were there to see, and as The Carnabys started to tune up, it soon became apparent that a few others had arrived for the same reasons we had.
The guys performed the same set that they graced the Hard Rock Calling stage with at the end of June, when they had opened for ‘The Boss’, Bruce Springsteen; and all we can say is that they were Brilliant!
The talent just oozes from the guys as they perform; close your eyes and you would never think they are 19 years old. Ben and Alex were fantastic on the guitars, Mike looked cool and calm as ever on the bass, Jamie was doing a full work out on the drums, and then there was Jack, leading from the front, with a voice that carried effortlessly, but with a raw power, over the crowd. The heat of the summers day did not hold them back as they performed some new tracks, a couple of covers (including the Rolling Stones and ‘Beggin’) and some of their older songs, including their winning Hard Rock Rising song ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ (we have a video of this performance coming soon).
After the set, we managed to say a quick hi to Ben, and he was telling us about their recent gigs and the growing numbers of fans they are getting. It has been a great year for The Carnabys, and there’s still six months of it left to go.
The thing we love about doing Dream On is that we are meeting some amazing people, and watching their journeys is nothing short of a privilege. It is great that these guys and everyone else in the community have given their time to support us, and this means that we want to do even more to support them, and you.
Enjoy the rest of the summer (for those in the northern hemisphere), and remember to Dream On.
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