Livin la vida loca? Yes of course..I’m a Singer.

Ok life isn’t a grey cloud of gloom, far from it, but sometimes the perception of being a performer and working for yourself is a free, exciting life of glamour ( I can dream). In fact it’s a lot of thinking in the present, what can I do right now. Being a freelance Classical Crossover singer I often find my time consists of being in contact with organisations, musicians and venues I know about possible upcoming performing work. 

Loving what I do is paramount, as I believe loving your ‘work’ is one of the most important things. If you don’t enjoy what you do to earn a living, then if you are in a position where you can, you should be doing something else. Live is too short to be not looking forward to the day ahead and ok things can be hard but I wouldn’t swap it for the world, I’ve always wanted to sing.

As well as performing I also write and review about theatre productions for websites and publications and on this  blog about a range of different arts related topics. I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to see varied productions and artists , which is something I love. It also keeps me busy which is great , whether it be watching a show or listening to a new band or artist.

Admittedly I watch Neighbours and more Tennis matches on sky sports than I probably should when time permits, but I do feel lucky that I can watch a Tennis Match and have the TV channels that show them.  When you are a performer I feel it is important to find ways to try and relax if you are getting stressed, such as in my case it’s reading. Currently, I am just in the early stages of reading the Cecelia Ahern book The Year I Met You. To say I love a cup of tea would be an understatement, I absolutely love it!! A good book and a cup of tea to help you relax is a joy to behold.



As it is every easy to do sometimes, I look at others and think their life is glorious, stars and rainbows following them with everything great thing that happens in their life. Of course this is not true and the chances are those same people think the exact same thing about you . The truth is everyone has their ups and downs in life and no one has the ‘perfect’ life as that simply does not exist.

I wanted to write this as I know there are a lot of performers and non performers in the same position as myself, so thought they would find comfort that they aren’t alone. I’m in no way generalising though, this is just my experience I wanted to share. If you are reading this post and can relate, or if you can’t but have found this an interesting read, I would definitely love to hear your views in the comment section below this post.


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Recent Theatre Reviews and Feature Article Links 

Thought I would do a post with links to recent January/February Review and Feature Articles I have written for London Theatre Direct and LondonTheatre1:

London Theatre Direct 

https://www.londontheatredirect.com/post/553/Don-t-Mention-The–M—You-Won-t-Believe-This-Spooky-Shakespeare-Superstition.aspx

https://www.londontheatredirect.com/post/554/My-Top-Ten-London-Musicals-Of-All-Time—-In-One-Sentence-Each-.aspx

https://www.londontheatredirect.com/post/546/Di-And-Viv-And-Rose-Will-Make-You-Laugh-And-Cry-On-The-Roller-Coaster-Called-Life-.aspx

https://www.londontheatredirect.com/post/535/Review–My-Night-With-Reg-Certainly-Did-Not-Disappoint-.aspx

https://www.londontheatredirect.com/post/523/James-Swanton-IS-Sikes-and-Nancy-At-Trafalgar-Studios-2.aspx

LondonTheatre1

https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/102747/ablutions-more-like-a-deep-cleanse-at-soho-theatre/

https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/103244/battleacts-improvised-comedy-exposed-and-entertaining/

Six Questions With…Singer/Songwriter Connor Roff

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What are your immediate musical plans for 2015?


Currently, I’m releasing some live performance videos, planning and recording a new EP, gigging as much as possible and preparing a UK tour.


Favourite Venue to gig at?


I can’t pick a favourite venue in London yet. There’s so many to explore and try out! That being said, I’ve heard the Old Blue Last and The Blues Kitchen are pretty awesome places to play on a local artist level.

 

Which artists would you like to perhaps Collabrorate with in the future?


If I could collaborate with anyone, I would leap at the opportunity to work with other UK singer/songwriters such as Ben Howard, James Bay and Lianne La Havas.

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Who are your favourite artists right now?

 

I would say the above three people I mentioned are definitely up there. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Vance Joy, Lake Street Dive, Paolo Nutini and Beck.


Underrated band or solo artists?


Hmmm, besides who I’ve already mentioned, I can think of quite a few brilliant Canadian bands I grew up listening to, all worth checking out. Hey Rosetta!, Dan Mangan, Current Swell and Half Moon Run.


Fast forward to February 2016 and what would you have ideally achieved?


Signed to a suitable label
Released a new EP
Recording my first full length album
Opened for some larger acts at some prestigious London venues such as Bush Hall, Koko, Brixton Academy, Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Performed various summer UK festivals
Toured the UK and performed in parts of Europe.

http://connorroff.com

@ConnorRoff

https://www.facebook.com/roffconnor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiger Moth embody World Music and are a World Class Act

Tiger Moth describe themselves as an ‘8-Piece World Gypsy Folk Punk Collective’. They are so much more than even this description. I first saw this Band about a month ago, at a live music night called Aboogaloostic at The Boogaloo in Highgate, London. Intruiged and mesmerised by their music and it’s fusion of styles, I wanted to hear more.

After gigging for a few years (and a few name changes), the band decided on the name Tiger Moth and have most recently become an 8 piece so literally doubling in size. This along with their genre crushing sound, could be described as something of an epiphany.

The music that is performed by Tiger Moth, is composed by it’s founder Tim Hole who also plays guitar and occasionally provides vocals. Other members are Euan Williams on Djembe (and hand held drums), Luke Withecombe on Melodica, Joe Carrol on Bass and Ollie Robertson-Glenn on Violin. Vocals are provided by a trio of female singers that include Ollie’s sister who additionally plays Ukulele, Alice Molan and Ellie Westbrook also on Accordian and Saxophone.

What is impressive is the skilled musicianship from each and every one of their members, but at the same time the ability to make the songs sound effortless with their boundless energy and conviction. The humour and fast paced tempos of many of their songs, sweeps you away along the seven seas, with themes from Pirates to conflict in the Middle East. The authenticity not to mention the story telling, is phenomenonal.

With an album currently being recorded as well as a marching band version of their set, Tiger Moth are definitely one of the most exhilarating, not to mention distinctive Collectives you can see perform today!



Upcoming Gigs:

Thursday Feb 19th – The Kings, Essex Rd N1 2SF

Saturday Feb 21st – Paper Dress, Shoreditch EC2A

Friday Mar 22nd – Good Ship, Kilburn NW6

http://www.facebook.com/tigermoththeband

twitter: @tigermothband








The comparisons of the epic Indian Summers to Downton Abbey should only be made in terms of capturing the audiences imagination, not content.

A drama set in the Himalayan Hills in 1932 when the British Raj was on it’s last pompous legs, with Indian independence in sight , cannot be compared to a stately home in 1920’s Yorkshire and the family and staff who occupy it. Both are period dramas, yes. Both show discrimination and the injustice of it like many a detailed period drama, oh and it’s shown on a Sunday evening. That’s where any similarities end.

What I’ve been reading from articles about Channel Four’s new Drama Indian Summers being the ‘ New Downton Abbey’, should be due to it capturing the viewers imagination, not for it’s content. With any new Drama whether it is Theatre, Film or in this case TV, it should be rewarded on individual merit not compared to another accomplished Television Drama. 

With such an outstanding cast that includes Julie Walters and Nikesh Patel, the drama infolding on your screen in episode one was in very capable hands. I have been well and truly sucked in to the lives and intruige surrounding the characters, most notably the mysterious brother and sister duo Ralph and Alice Whelan ( Henry Lloyd-Hughes and Jemima West). I won’t reveal any of the plot in case you haven’t watched episode one yet, and this isn’t a review as such, either ( so if you haven’t seen it yet what are you waiting for?!).

Such a skilled Television production as Indian Summers should be given a lot of credit. It had so much simmering tension and sumptuous scenery, it captured 1930’s India in a way that you felt transported there, which is quite rare. Writer Paul Rutman has created something quite special.

Indian Summers Channel 4 Sunday 9pm

Noodle Presents…something delicious!

Describing themselves as ‘promoting fun, eclectic music, happenings and parties throughout London’, Noodle Presents sound like they have a vision and an awesome one at that. This promotions team bring the best live acts from around the UK and give them a platform to showcase their music. 

Being mostly musicians themselves the team have an ease at tapping in to what the performers want from an event as well as the audience. Informal banter between acts, where prizes are distributed from charming fun ideas such as raffles, makes the night pure fun which listening to live music should be all about! 

I’ve attached a photo flyer below of the newest Noodle Presents night coming up on a Thursday night in the heart of Islington. https://www.facebook.com/noodlepresents

 

There is something about Soho Theatre!

I have recently noticed a sunflower growing very tall in the field of London theatres, that is standing out as one that nurtures new talent, and outstanding productions of all genres. This tall majestic flower basking in the sun is Soho Theatre.

With a 150 seat theatre with additional 90 seat Soho Upstairs venue and Cabaret space, this venue is multi tasking with catering for the vast genres that are in London to be brought to the forefront right now. Additionally it’s location is a 5 minute walk from Oxford Circus Tube Station which is very convenient.

With three visits to Soho Theatre since the beginning of January I can safely say it’s because I know what I will see there will be engaging and provide a great experience no matter what the genre of show. When I saw Funz and Gamez at the BBC New Comedy Awards I found their comedy show refreshing as well as downright silly which I love! Booking to see their run of performances at Soho Theatre really introduced me to the venue, thanks Funz and Gamez.

Although not a major factor in it’s brilliance of course, I should mention the theatre has a great Bar that is decorated in a very quirky and welcoming decor that reflects the diversity of styles that make up the theatre overall. If I had to describe it it would be a New York diner style with the pictures on the wall of entertainment icons.

With many opportunities for new scripts to be given the green light and crafts to be learned Soho Theatre has a way of giving back and giving to the future of Theatre. Whether you are 6 or 96 the theatre will have a workshop or course that can project your talent and passion.



photo above is of Soho Theatre Bar

If you want to see what’s on at Soho Theatre here’s the link to their website http://www.sohotheatre.com

Begin as you mean to go on..

So far, 2015 is looking an exceptional year for theatre. I think it’s important to begin a year the way you mean to continue and this sentiment is echoed right now, especially by the standard and variety of productions.

In February alone I’m lucky enough (mostly due to reviewing), to be seeing some of the following productions that are opening this month: Di and Viv and Rose at The Vaudeville Theatre (my review can be found here https://www.londontheatredirect.com/post/546/Di-And-Viv-And-Rose-Will-Make-You-Laugh-And-Cry-On-The-Roller-Coaster-Called-Life-.aspx) Ablutions and Dracula! (Mr Swallow-The Musical) at The Soho Theatre and Beautiful The Carole King Musical at The Aldwych Theatre..what a wonderful selection! 

With such variety of theatre opening in February alone, the bar is set very high. Being the month of love, I don’t think it’s any coincidence I’m feeling a lot of affection for February already.