Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Video - Boatswain's Call

Hi everyone.. Phew!!

Life is hectic as per usual and finding time to blog is getting harder.. However, undaunted, its time to do a website update and bring you the finished product.. our video....

The video was a long hard slog for us, started as an idea in Graeme's head and ended up an epic of vast proportions, well, OK.. of reasonable proportions. We filmed it at various locations throughout the country.. including a fair bit during a 10 day stretch in Hampshire, which included visiting Old Portsmouth, Southsea, Old Winchester Hill, then on the way back, The Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire. Graeme's parents, David and Margaret, very kindly allowed us to use their conservatory for the green screen shots.

Filming consisted of two side by side shoots,  a story element and then a performance element. Both requiring very different ideas and requiring two separate story boards (which Graeme created).. to allow us some consistency.

I (Sheena) made sure that costumes were appropriate for the time. Seeing as it was set during the Battle of Trafalger, around 1806 then the characters costumes needed to reflect that. It involved some improvising in part, and having to make a period dress on my part, but we both agreed the overall finished look was quite accurate.

I would love the filming went brilliantly, instead it involved lots of hard work, long days and sometimes improvising shots on location. We filmed so much footage and extra green screen footage so that Jon Aldersea would have a lot to play with.

Filming wrapped sometime at the end of 2014, but wasn't until early this year that we managed to find a slot with Jon to sit down and discuss post production and editing.

Discussing the post production/edits with Jon proved to be a breeze, he really got to grips with the vision for the finished piece and we knew that we could trust him to come up with some brilliant work for it, which he did. Lots of overlays, transitions and his general magic bought the piece to life. Once we started to see the work Jon was doing, we knew we'd made the right choice for this video, to bring it to life.

This video represents the culmination of four years work, of writing a song from scratch, recording it and finally giving it a visual.. We've learned a lot about video making along the way (we filmed it all ourselves using standard digital video cameras... no fancy hi-tech cameras here!) and are very pleased with the results.

Please click on the link above.. not the picture..;-)

Hope you like it...
Please feel free to offer feedback...

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Coming Soon... The Video

Here's a little sneaky peek of some of the stills from the footage for our video...

Tune into You Tube next Sunday (March 8th) and you'll get to see all the hard work that went into making our video for Boatswain's Call.

I've just put together this vignette to whet your appetite...


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Rain Updates...

Hi folks...

Its been a while since we blogged anything... We had a quiet November, but December picked up., which was great... we did 3 gigs over Christmas and New Year, and I'm proud to say they're the best we've done... Really got the crowds going and had a great laugh to boot.

All the hard work before Christmas of learning some new songs to put into the set really paid off and have thankfully got re-bookings for 2015...

So, what else.. Graeme worked hard on getting the storyboard finished for the video, all the footage is now in order and ready to go to the producer.. Just waiting for a date from him to get together and discuss what needs doing to it all.. So, its not done yet.. but it will be soon (ish)

We make a welcome return to the Boughey Arms on Saturday 31st January, of you fancy coming along and lending your support.. We do love the Boughey and everyone there, so it'll be nice to come back and give them what we do best...

Rightio.. not really any more news at present... :-)

Take care

Monday, 10 November 2014

We're still number 1

Well folks, its defied belief on our part.. But we're still number 1 in the Reverbnation local chart!!

Would like to thank every single one of you lovely people for helping us to maintain our position.


Monday, 13 October 2014

We're Number 1!!!

Hi all,

Just have to share this amazing news with you all...

We're  number one in a chart!!! In a reverbnation chart.. Here's the link.. Go and see for yourself!

'Other' Chart on Reverbnation

Have to say we're both utterly delighted at this and would like to say a great big thank you to all our friends who have helped out over the past 3 and half years!!

You guys rock!!!!

Thank you so much!!

Forever Autumn

The chill is in the air, the nights are drawing in and its beginning to look a lot like Halloween/Samhain everywhere. Cool crisp mornings with long shadows followed by golden light everywhere. Or as is the case here in Stoke, cloudy days with lots of rain. Oh well, can't have it all ways, eh?  So what have we been up to? Lots to be honest. We've played a few gigs and are planning a couple of side projects, which will hopefully come to fruition in the next year or so.

One thing that many people don't know, is that if you're a musician you don't just get up and play music, or sing songs. It takes weeks and months of preparation, learning songs, writing, composing, so much goes into the 'act' that is booked by a venue to play. You don't just turn up off the street with a guitar in your hand and play, it might look that way, but it takes skill, dedication and hard work to perfect your 'act'. Anyway, I'm not moaning, just stating the facts as I see them. Anyone who thinks its the 'easy option' should really try it sometime ;-) Particularly jazz.. Jazz is infernal. It sounds great, lots of modalities, odd time signatures, weird melodies, all that takes practice. Jazz musicians didn't just get up and play and still don't. It all takes hard work and dedication and its what shows when you go out into the world and gig. You can knock something off and busk it, or you can work hard to put on a good show. Personally I prefer the latter.

Anyway, on with what we've been doing gig wise.

Saturday 20th Sepetember 2014 - Fundraiser for Kemball Special School and Crohns Disease, Joiners Square Community Centre
This event was considered an 'all dayer' and it certainly was! Rachel who put it all together worked tirelessly to ensure there was a constant flow of music for the people attending. There were intially acoustic acts during the day, with the odd band, then as the day progressed and as everyone moved inside, the bands took precedence. Mainly metal bands performed, which made a nice change to be amongst a different crowd and what a great crowd they were, all digging deep to support the charities. The venue has a proper stage too, which is always nice to play on. We were sandwiched between two metal bands (Adrenalize and .. erm... Oh, I forget now, I've such a rubbish memory!), which was kind of cool. We took to the stage and knocked out our Who songs, we only had a 20 minute slot, so knew we had to make an impact. The numbers were well received and it was a pleasure to play. Sometimes a short set can be as much fun as a full set to play. I know they raised loads of money for the charities.. Here's hoping that Rachel organises some more.

I know this isn't a lot of gigs, well, only one since last time it doesn't mean that we haven't been busy. We've still been filming some of the final scenes for the video. I've been working hard with the online side of the band and getting our presence felt all over the world. We're now on Number One Music which is a brilliant website promoting original new music across the globe. It allows us to write newsletters, post videos and music and generally get ourselves out to a wider audience. Which, as far as I can see is a great thing!! I've been twittering on my personal account too, which has seen an increase in traffic, so all a good thing.

The music side, well, Graeme worked really really hard and has condensed The Who album Tommy down to half an hour for a gig we have this week. Its not been easy, not at all. In fact, he's put in so many hours, he really deserves some time off. However, its workable and is sounding great. We've even been working on harmonies, just to add an extra dimension to the duo, hopefully there'll be more of that in the future too, but we'll see how it goes. We're playing for a great charity on Saturday called The Extra Guest (click on the link to find out more), hosted by the very lovely Moyra at The Hayes in Stone. Looking forward to playing this spooky venue. We're also opening for a folk act on Thursday at the Beer Festival, which should be a good one. We played last years Beer Festival and it was enormous fun, so be really chuffed to play again. A few other gigs coming up, though we still have a few slots for the end of the year and are taking bookings into next year now too. So, if you want us to play for you, better get in quick!!

Rightio, that's it from me for now.. Take care, check out the links and I'll see you soon

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Summers Almost Gone...where will we be, when the summers gone?

To quote Jim Morrison (no doubt much to the chagrin of Graeme, who doesn't like The Doors)... I however, rather like them and seeing as I write the blog, tough.. lol

Gosh things have been really busy in  the Rain camp again, including exciting things and that. So much to tell you from the past month really and I kind of don't know where to start. So I'll start at the very beginning (its a very good place to start)...

8th August

We ventured 'Darn Sarf', taking ourselves off for a working holiday. I can't say too much, but I will anyway.. in order to begin filming a video for one of our songs!! Graeme came up with the idea of us being in period costume, seeing as the song relates to pressganging and the Battle of Trafalger, I'll leave it there as I don't want to give too much away, other than it was flipping hard work! We were blessed with the end of Hurricane Bertha, which added lots of blusteriness to the proceedings and well, made things very interesting.. Here's a little cobbled together piece of video made from stills from the shoot, just to give you a taster of what's to come.

I will say that I enjoyed myself throughout the shoot, not sure Graeme enjoyed it.. But, its the price you pay for being an artiste!

While on our sojourn we played 3 very different Open Mic nights, the first was at The Brewery Bar in Botley, which was well attended and the level of professionalism was outstanding. The calibre of musicianship was outstanding...Including a young girl who is definately destined for big things (who's name escapes me now!). The second one was at the Barn, which is a venue attached to a pub (who's name also escapes me), a rather different affair, but we were well received which was nice. The third was at The Fountain Inn, Rowlands Castle, a quieter affair, but still enthusiastic and full of talent. Overall the South East is littered with Open Mics/Acoustic nights and they're well worth checking out if you find yourself down there.

Back to gigs...

Saturday 24th August - Lightfest
Lightfest was the first in a series of fundraisers for The Birmingham Children's Hospital, held in the brand spanking new village of Lightmoor in Shropshire. Anyone who tries to find it will be challenged, including us, we went around in a circle to start with, then managed to safely arrive after a swift call to the organisers. We played in the village square outside the very lovely 'Home' cafe (you simply have to try their food, its amazing!!!) We played our usual repertoire and were well received then stayed for the main act who were the very lovely 'Driftwood'.. a kind of folk/rock affair, with stunning harmonies, and melodic flute. They were also really lovely people and keen to chat too, we discovered that we had 2 songs the same in our set, but as our approaches were different, we kept them in. Looking forward to more events put on by this lovely village and its people.

Saturday 30th August - The Boughey Arms Music and Beer Festival
We were called in to headline the Music and Beef Festival at last minute, but that was fine for us, we love The Boughey and always go down well there, which is encouraging. This night was no exception. We decided to dish out the singalongs, which got everyone cheering and singing along... A group of rather rowdy young men arrived, somewhat worse for wear, but we managed to keep them in check until they left. Bless.. the folly of youth! We had to wrap up the night as my voice started to pack up, thankfully it seems to have recovered, must have just been an 'off' day. Looking forward to going back again..

Saturday 6th September - Golden Lion, Middlewich
Our first outing to Middlewich and the lovely Golden Lion. We received a very warm welcome, but discovered that someone in the village had a 60th birthday party, our punters very kindly apologised and said they looked forward to seeing us again. However, we were left with 4 very enthusiastic audience members, who were amazed it was so quiet. Apparently a bunch of folks had gone on holiday too. The crowd that were there enjoyed what we did, which is always nice to hear and hopefully we'll be going back again to play to a relatively full house (with a bit of luck!)

Sunday 7th September - Music Wirks - Wirksworth Arts Festival
Taking ourselves off to the Derbyshire peaks for this wonderful Festival is always a delight for us. We gained 3 slots (and were told the venues were 'fighting' over us.. ) playing at Hatfield Farm, The Stable Block and The Star Disc, playing to a moving crowd can be challenging, but we here love a challenge. Encouraging people to stay and listen is hard, when people generally are milling about looking for the art on display and following the famous Art Trail. Hatfield Farm was our first slot, playing in the drive, luckily no-one wanted to drive down it, so we were safe. We then played The Stable Block, which we've now played 3 years in a row and spotted the Radio 2 DJ Mark Radcliffe along with his missus and a couple of friends. Graeme scolded me after, as I 'should have shouted him and given him a CD'... Oh well, there's always next year! lol. The Star Disc was our last session of the day, played at an amazing spot high above the village, in the sunshine, we caught up with our old friend from Wirksworth, Brian, who performed there earlier in the day and who managed to not leave the Star Disc all day! lol. It was a gorgeous day weather wise, they always seem to do it on a good weekend, which is possibly, just sheer luck.

More stuff coming up, more gigs and the video!!

Just you wait, its going to be great!