Friday, 27 April 2012

Clovelly on Song for its first Folk Festival

The picturesque village of Clovelly in North Devon will stage its first folk festival over the weekend of 5th and 6th May. Folk music in Devon has undergone a massive revival recently. Live music invites participation; it binds communities and brings new sound and colour to people's lives in a time of austerity. The Clovelly Folk Festival aims to do just that. The village harbour stage will be the setting for many talented Devonian singers and musicians with an eclectic mix of styles and voices, from blues and samba to the songs of the West Country and beyond.Wren music of Okehampton has the Baring-Gould archive of traditional music and together with the appearences of  both Jim Causley, Jackie Oates the festival will have a genuine West Country base. There are also many gifted musicians appearing who are local to Clovelly including Jim Crawford, Nick Wyke, Beckie Driscoll, Tina Bennett, Chloe Bix and Mario Lee. The parish church will be hosting two concerts by local musicians; its location and interior beauty forming a unique venue. During the weekend, workshops for both children and adults wil be held in the village and parish hall. This is a festival which locates traditional music in a traditional village, little changed in hundreds of years and will provide a Spring time spectacle for all. 
Clovelly Folk Festival Saturday 5 May-Sunday 6 May - Tickets available from The Plough Arts Centre Box Office on 01805 624624 Adults £15; Families (2A+2C) £35. 
For programme details, visit - or check out the line-up and see some you-tube footage at
 North Devon Focus Blogspot Clovelly Highlights - Clovelly Lobster and Crab Festival 2011 - Clovelly Herring Festival 2011

Friday, 20 April 2012

Protect our Waves. Ben Howard "The Wolves" Video and Happy Feet

Great to hear Ben Howard's The Wolves on New Balance TV Campaign "Happy Feet" 30. Ben Howard released the single, ‘The Wolves’ on the 27th February 2012 through Island Records. It was taken from Ben’s top 10 debut album, ‘Every Kingdom’. 2011 was a hugely successful introduction to the music of Ben Howard. The young Devonshire singer-songwriter wrote his own story based on twelve months of relentless European and British touring, a string of radio-friendly, folk-informed singles, and an acclaimed debut album. Where his peers have become very British successes, Ben has been building a solid, fanatical fanbase across Europe, appearing on France’s hugely respected Taratata television programme alongside Coldplay, and selling out every show announced (including venue upgrades). In 2012 Ben will launch his music in America with ‘Every Kingdom’ finding a release in the Spring through Communion Records, with appearances at SXSW in Texas and a US tour already confirmed. Regularly compared to the likes of John Martyn, Donovan, and Bon Iver, Every Kingdom (produced by the band’s bassist and drummer Chris Bond), captures the rawness and intimacy of Ben’s live performance. The deftness of touch, the spellbinding nature of those six strings carefully finger-plucked, and Ben’s otherworldly vocal cries are spun and woven sublimely. ‘The Wolves’ was one of the songs that introduced Ben to the British public. Prior to Ben’s US live dates, he headlined a sold-out European & UK tour in February, which included two nights at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire. Another UK tour is expected later in the year. Ben Howard will be headlining the Goldcoast Ocean Fest in Croyde, North Devon June 2012.

Click here to read all Ben Howard posts on Focus Music blogspot
“A debut album of beauty and vigour.”—Sunday Times
“Full of hard-won wisdom that belie his age…He’ll make listening to acoustic folk-tinged music feel like the first time.” —The Guardian
“Extraordinary”—The Independent
 "An unusually poetic songwriter revelling in his proximity to nature" - Uncut
"Howard is a YouTube phenomenon with a modern voice, an acoustic guitar and an original way of blending the two...Properly new music" - Word Magazine
"Every Kingdom has been one of the surprise hits of the year. A showcase for his earthy vocal grain and tingling guitar picking." - The Mirror
"Howard's effortless vocal sets him apart from everyone else taking a whack at the folk genre" - The Sun

Monday, 16 April 2012

Circle of Life. End note for the Severn Sands

The sun was out in Bideford last week so took the opportunity to take some photos of the Quay and Victoria Park. Had a coffee on Bideford’s first floating venue, the new Café on the Barge down Bank End. The ex-military seamanship training barge has now been restored and the top deck, with views over the Torridge Estuary, is adorned with colourful flags and bunting. Amongst the host of maritime memorabilia I was delighted to see an old lifebuoy from the ship“Severn Sands”. We photographed this massive dredger when it made its first appearance at Fremington Quay in 2007, when it broke it's moorings in 2009 and again when it was eventually dismantled at Yelland in 2010. So for me the lifebouy picture really is an end note for the old ship's "Circle of Life". Article Pat Adams 11April 2012
Click here for North Devon Coast and Country Chronicle Post "Severn Sands - last passage through the Marshes"
Click here for North Devon Focus on Fremington Quay.
Circle of Life

For information about Café on the Barge visit

Nick Baker to open Wildlife Festival

Nick Baker will be the star guest at Devon Wildlife Trust's (DWT) Wildlife Festival which takes place this month. The festival is being staged in the centre of Exeter and forms the focus of the charity's 50th anniversary celebrations. The Wildlife Festival is a free event aimed at families. It is being held on Saturday 28 April between 10am and 4pm on Cathedral Green and will be officially opened by the TV naturalist Nick Baker along with the Deputy Lord Mayor of Exeter. A festival parade will start at 10:30am from Exeter's Central Library. The parade is expected to arrive on Cathedral Green at 11am. Nick will be on hand to give advice on how to make your garden wildlife friendly and will help make nestboxes throughout the morning. Jo Pullin DWT's event organiser said: "The festival is a chance to meet Charles Darwin, giant bugs, a caveman, honey bees, insects and a hawk! Have a go at making nest boxes, candles, badges, marine crafts and get your face painted - there will be so much to keep you going wild all day!" The event is being sponsored by South West Water and Tozers who will both be there on the day with free giveaways and activities. For more information about the event visit
Nick Baker - Photo copyright DWT

Saturday, 14 April 2012

More effortless swag from Rizzle Kicks. New Single “Traveller’s Chant” /UK Tour Dates

A top 5 album, three top 10 singles, No.1 collaborative single with Olly Murs, a sold out headline UK tour, a certified gold selling debut album and a BRIT award nomination; Rizzle Kicks have well and truly cemented themselves at the top of the UK charts. Landing on the music scene in 2011 the duo instantaneously shook things up with their very own nu school hip hop sound. With DIY beats and killer hooks, effortless swag and an abundance of charm the band breathed a breath of fresh-air into the airwaves. Rizzle Kicks represent a new breed of UK artists, self-created with unruly imaginations, the bands care-free lyrics and fun loving attitude has propelled them to the forefront of the UK music scene picking up a wealth of fans and support from fellow artists along the way. ‘Traveller’s Chant’ is a laid-back melodic track full of contemplative anecdotes; it perfectly reflects the humbling journey of coming of age. The track follows a succession of hits from the debut album ‘Stereo Typical’ – the first and second singles ‘Down with the Trumpets’ and ‘When I Was Younger’ both charted at No.8, following this the band secured their first UK No.1 single with Olly Murs on the track ‘Heart Skips a Beat’. The band then entered into a whole new stratosphere with the phenomenal success of ‘Mama Do the Hump’, produced by the legendary Fatboy Slim the band self-created and directed the video for the single which clocked up over 5 million YouTube views and hit the No.2 spot. Live, Rizzle Kicks have proven they’re a force to be reckoned with. Currently on their sell-out headline UK tour the duo recently stepped out for their biggest live performance to date at the 2012 BRIT awards performing No.1 single ‘Heart Skips A Beat’ with Olly Murs. With a plethora of upcoming festival dates including Wireless, T in the Park, V Festival and Bestival, Rizzle Kicks are guaranteed to be the sound-track of the summer.

I love the Acoustic Version check it out here

In November they hit the road again for another UK headline tour, full list dates below:
  • Nov 16th – London O2 Academy, Brixton
  • Nov 17th – Birmingham O2 Academy
  • Nov 20th – Cambridge Corn Exchange
  • Nov 21st- Plymouth Pavillion
  • Nov 23rd – Swindon Oasis Leisure Centre
  • Nov 24th – Manchester O2 Academy
  • Nov 27th – Glasgow O2 Academy
  • Nov 28th- Edinburgh Corn Exchange
  • Nov 30th- Aberdeen Music Hall
  • Dec 1st – Newcastle O2 Academy
  • Dec 2nd – Leeds O2 Academy
  • Dec 3rd – Nottingham Rock City
  • Dec 5th - Portsmouth Guildhall
  • Dec 7th - Brighton Centre
New Single “Traveller’s Chant” Released 9th April  The album ‘Stereo Typical’ is out now. For more information go to -

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


The Big Garden Birdwatch 2012 results are here! Wow! Just under 600,000 people took part, and helped count over nine million birds! In total, over 70 different species were recorded in 285,440 gardens across the UK over the weekend of 28 and 29 January. - Click here to view results in your area.  
The 2012 Big Garden Birdwatch top 10; Position Species
  1. House Sparrow  
  2. Starling   
  3. Blue Tit   
  4. Blackbird   
  5. Chaffinch 
  6. Woodpigeon   
  7. Goldfinch   
  8. Great Tit   
  9. Robin  
  10. Collared Dove  
Starlings at all time low. Sadly, the counts revealed that starling numbers are at an all time low since the survey began more than thirty years ago.Though still at number two on the results board, starlings were seen in fewer than half the UK's gardens. In the first survey in 1979, the average number of starlings seen in UK gardens was 15. This year, that number fell to its lowest ever with an average of just three starlings seen per garden. These declines are being mirrored across much of northern Europe too, and because of this drop in numbers, the species is red listed as a bird of high conservation concern .........Click here to read article in full
Goldfinch - Photo copyright B. Adams

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Jack Johnson on Livestream Tuesday 10th April at 9.30pm

Hawaii native and international superstar Jack Johnson, who has sold over 18 million albums in his 11 year recording career, will be doing a live performance and Q&A on Tuesday April 10th at 9.30 pm UK Time (2:30 PM PST) . Jack, John Cruz and Paula Fuga will also perform a few songs, so get your questions ready, mark your calendar and follow Jack at Livestream. Jack’s brand new Brushfire album Jack Johnson and Friends - Best of Kokua Festival is released on April 16th. The album features a 13-track compilation of live performances from Jack Johnson’s benefit concert for the Kokua Hawaii Foundation. In support of the release, Johnson will also tour the Hawaiian Islands for an intimate seven-date all acoustic tour. Proceeds from Jack Johnson and Friends - Best of Kokua Festival and the tour will benefit the Kokua Hawaii Foundation. Culled from six years of his eco-minded music festival, Jack Johnson and Friends - Best of Kokua Festival, highlights onstage collaborations with legendary musicians like Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Dave Mathews, Ziggy and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and more.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Wildlife charity teams up with filmmakers for new course

Wildlife charity teams up with filmmakers for new course Devon Wildlife Trust is offering a unique opportunity to work alongside professional wildlife cameraman, Tim Shepherd. The course in wildlife film making is set to take place at the Trust's beautiful Marsland nature reserve in north Devon. The one day course is aimed at beginners in wildlife filming and those who have their own video cameras and want to improve their techniques. The day will be spent in the scenic meadows of Marsland working in small groups. The groups will encounter Britain's largest butterfly, the silver washed fritillary; moths drawn from the surrounding oak woodland and a rich diversity of other wildlife which inhabits the reserve. The day will be led by cameraman Tim Shepherd, a wildlife filmmaker best known for his work on BBC's Life and Frozen Planet programmes. Tim said: "I hope I can inspire other naturalists to have a go at filmmaking. It's a great way to tell a story or get a message across. Modern digital technology and the internet allow anyone to make and show high quality films. Even just a one-day course like this can get you going in the right direction.' Gary Pilkington, DWT's Senior Nature Reserves Officer who looks after Marsland said: "I can't think of a better place than Marsland nature reserve for budding wildlife film makers to make a start and with expert guidance from Tim it should be a brilliant experience." The course will be held on Saturday 14 July from 10am until 5pm with lunch provided. The day's course will cost £99 per person. Filmmakers are encouraged to bring their own camera and a tripod although a limited amount of equipment is available for use, including a variety of lenses suitable for DSLR cameras. The course is organised by Bristol Wildlife Filmmakers for Devon Wildlife Trust. For more information contact: or call Devon Wildlife Trust on 01392 279244.
Wildlife filming with Tim Shepherd - copyright DWT

Monday, 2 April 2012

‘Corner of an English Field’ new single from Tribes/Live Events

January 2012 saw the eagerly awaited release of Tribes debut album ‘Baby’, critically acclaimed across the board the LP went straight into the UK’s Top 20. The Camden quartet are pleased to announce the release of new single and stand-out album track ‘Corner of an English Field’ on April 2nd through Island Records. A sure-fire Summer festival anthem in the making, the track is already a massive hit live. Currently on the UK live circuit with Two Door Cinema Club, Metronomy and Azealia Banks for the NME Awards Tour, the band will be back in Europe for another stint this month, followed by a pre-SXSW US tour. Its non-stop touring for them when they land back on British soil for their own headline tour of the UK throughout April and May. (full dates below). With tickets already going fast, the Manchester date has already seen a venue upgrade due to popular demand.
Watch Video

21/04 - Brighton, The Haunt
22/04 – Norwich, Arts Centre
24/04 – Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
25/04 – Bristol, Thekla
27/04 – London, Shepherds Bush Empire
29/04 – Leeds, Cockpit
30/04 – Glasgow, Oran Mor
01/05 – Manchester, Academy 2
03/05 – Liverpool, Academy 2
04/05 – Dublin, Academy 2
05/05 – Belfast, Stiff Kitten
07/05 – Sheffield, Leadmill
08/05 – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
09/05 – Birmingham, Academy 2!/tribesband
“An early contender for album of 2012” NME, 9/10
“A strong debut… The songs are big on riffs, hooks, choruses, sex and swagger” The Guardian, ****