Before I went on my blog hiatus – with good excuse *cough two novels cough* – I wrote about how I had picked up a new hobby. A sweet little four-stringed mini guitar type thing. Reader, I learnt how to play the ukulele. One of the most hipster instruments after washboards and mouth organs. I picked it up and I taught myself how to play that song by Metro Station. Then Junk of the Heart by The Kooks (which in hindsight was super ambitious for a novice). And then Every Other Freckle by Alt J. I picked up a ukulele and I loved it.
Still do, as it happens.
A little while later, I put on my big girl pants and joined Southampton Ukulele Jam. Which is a big deal for someone who gets anxious about trying new things. But it was a right laugh and the people were friendly so I carried on going. Fast forward a few months, and I’d got brave enough to start playing gigs, and last summer, I was picked to play at Larmer Tree Festival. How about that, then? Proof that good things happen when you put yourself out there.
I didn’t get to do Larmer Tree again this year, because I took myself off to California instead, which is a story for another day, or maybe not. We’ll see. Depends.
But instead, I got to play Graze Festival, which was very small, charming, and in a field in Hampshire. We did a workshop in the afternoon, ate some jolly good pizza, and then got up on stage and played a set right before Toyah Willcox and The Beat.
Just another casual Sunday, no? (That’s right, though, I said Toyah!)
I saw The Beat at Larmer Tree and loved them, and they were just as good this time around as well. Such a cool mix of reggae and ska and pop and soul. Honestly, they are a joy to watch. You can’t help but dance. Absolutely worth catching, if you can.