People always ask me what I enjoy most about blogging – they usually expect ‘free stuff’ to be the answer. I’m not going to lie, you do get a fair few products thrown your way, but for me it’s the social side that I love. I’ve had so many opportunities to meet people and attend events and enjoy experiences that I wouldn’t otherwise have had.

roundhouse3

A recent last minute Thursday night out with Three Mobile was the perfect example. It was my first time working with the brand, and I really hope to again, as I had so much fun! Three had arranged a little tour of Camden Roundhouse for us with the Joe Strummer Foundation, followed by a private gig at The Monarch with Lyza Jane and Bless. Oh and some food and too many Desperados, haha! Sounds like my kind of event, right?

This is going to be a bit of a long post I’m afraid, as I have so much to say about the evening!

The Joe Strummer Foundation

Okay, first things first – if you aren’t sure who Joe Strummer is, he’s a British musician most well known for being the co-founder, rhythm guitarist, lyricist and lead vocalist of the Clash. Shortly after his death in 2002, the Joe Strummer Foundation (also known as Strummerville), a non-profit organisation, was established by his wife, Lucinda Garland, with the main purpose to reflect Joe’s contribution to music by supporting aspiring musicians and funding projects worldwide which create social mobility through music. You can read a little more about their objectives here.

Strummerville have so many interesting projects worldwide, and have some cool events – including a couple of gigs coming up in collaboration with Dr Martens (the London date is headlined by a band I love, Bury Tomorrow).

Roundhouse Studios

As you can imagine, I’ve been to the Roundhouse more times than I can remember (most recently to see One Direction and Little Mix at the Apple Music Festival which you can read about here).

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But I didn’t know that the Roundhouse isn’t just a music venue – it also comprises of the Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse Studios, a creative space for young people. You can read more about the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and their contribution to the venue here.

Now, I don’t think we could have a better guide for our tour of the Roundhouse Studios than Strummerville really, as their relationship with the venue goes back almost ten years, when the charity contributed funds to the redevelopment of the Roundhouse. Strummerville even have their own rehearsal room within the studios for their younger beneficiary bands to use. It’s a great little room, really inspiring, with original Joe Strummer lyrics and sketchings on the walls, as well as doodles by other bands.

strummerville roundhouse studios

strummerville roundhouse studios

Strummerville aren’t the only ones with their own rehearsal rooms, we also saw rooms sponsored by Nandos and Gibson, among others.

roundhouse studios nandos

roundhouse studios gibson

One room I particularly loved was a circular performance space, which you reach through slightly creepy tunnel like corridors.

tunnel

If you stand right in the centre of the room, it does some crazy things to the acoustics!

roundhouse studios

At the time of our visit, we almost interrupted a spoken word group rehearsal – did you know that the studios aren’t just used for music, but for theatre, circus, and spoken word as well? Oh and there’s even a TV recording studio sponsored by Bloomberg…

roundhouse studios bloomberg

We also found out a little bit about the venues history – I don’t know about you, but I love finding out stuff like this. Built in 1847 to be used as a railway repair shed, the Roundhouse was later used as a liquor warehouse for Gilbey’s Gin before becoming an arts centre in 1960. It actually closed in 1983, and sat derelict for a while before being bought by The Norman Trust in 1996 with the intention of giving it a new lease of life. Later, in 2000 Sir Torquil Norman CBE founded The Roundhouse Trust. You can read more about the history here.

It really was a fun, interesting tour, and it’s so nice to see so many organisations taking such an active role in helping inspire and give opportunities to the next generation, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds who would otherwise be unable to develop their skills. Having previously dated someone in a fledgling band, I know how awkward and expensive finding rehearsal and recording space can be, and I was therefore really impressed how reasonable the rates are for Roundhouse Studios, particularly given its location. If you’re under 25 in London, definitely check them out!

roundhouse studios

The Music

After our tour of Roundhouse Studios, we were taken down the road to The Monarch, for a private acoustic performance from two of Strummervilles up and coming talents – Lyza Jane and Bless.

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Watching Lyza Jane perform, a girl crush quickly developed! I mean, look at her – she’s just so effortlessly cool. I loved her outfit, which featured rings from The Great Frog and a tshirt from her own Etsy store, Pantsu & Pantsu (check it out, it’s a super cute range of embroidered cotton pieces, some with pom poms!). She was so lovely to chat to as well.

Anyway, her music! Lyza has a beautiful voice, you can take a look at her videos on her YouTube channel. Before branching out on her own, Lyza, was a backing singer for the band Alabama 3, and performed with them at Glastonbury. Lyza has written and produced her own music, predominantly electronica, and usually heavier than her performance for the evening which was very singer songwriter. Her most recent EP, Milk Teeth, is out now.

lyza

Next up were Bless – a group of London guys who formed after having previously been members of two seperate bands. Their sound was very retro rock’n’roll – again not my usual thing but enjoyable nonetheless. They were a great bunch of guys and stayed for a few drinks to talk politics, songwriting influences and veganism.

bless

Bless are releasing their debut EP, Music Comes First (which they kindly gave me a copy of) on 11th December – and on the same night they’ll be back performing at The Monarch. If you find yourself at a loose end near Camden that evening, give them a go, they’re great fun!

You can check Bless out on their YouTube channel.

The Phone

You’re possibly wondering what Three have to do with this? Well, they kindly made the evening happen – and kindly gave me a Samsung S6 Edge which I could take my photographs of the evening on.

phone

Photo by Becca Talbot

Have you noticed how much better my photos are than when taken with my usual (and in need of replacement!) iPhone? I’ve been a loyal iPhone user since they came out years and years ago, so getting used to an Android was a bit odd, but it was really user friendly, so I guess it’s time for a change! You can find out more about Samsung handsets here at the Three Samsung Hub.

Now, I’ve also been a loyal O2 user for years (mainly for O2 Priority tickets) so it was interesting to try out a new network. I’m always losing signal and 3G usually with my current network, and I can tell you that I usually do at the Roundhouse. But with Three I was able to upload to my Instagram super speedily, I was so impressed!

Three have recently enhanced their network with new technology they’ve named 4G Super-Voice to tackle indoor blackspots. Now I’m no tech expert but I believe at the moment you need a compatible handset to use 4G Super-Voice but they’re due to roll it out to more handsets soon. And did you know that they were voted most reliable UK network this year by YouGov?

Another reason I want to move over to Three is for my regular travelling abroad – they’re the only network with no roaming charge! You’ve got yourself a convert Three, I can’t wait for my current contract to expire so I can change to your network!

The Food

You’ll know by now how much I love my food by now right? So I have to give a little mention of the delicious steak and cheese sandwich I ate at The Monarch!

sandwich

Well, that’s it from me for now, so if you’ve reached the end of this post thank you for persevering! And thank you Three for a wonderful evening!

L xx

All photos my own unless otherwise stated.

I’m a metalhead at heart – I think that’s pretty obvious! But I’m always open to trying new things, so when Bulmers invited me to their Live Colourful LIVE event at One Mayfair last week I was really excited!

bulmers live colourful live

Image from www.facebook.com/bulmers

I found the concept really interesting – Bulmers brought together grime artist Lethal Bizzle, British composer David Arnold and soul singer Sinead Harnett with a live orchestra to unite three distinctive genres in one track.

bulmers live colourful live

Bulmers have been promoting their Live Colourful campaign all Summer – their ethos being to open your mind, eyes and ears to all great things in the world. This really speaks to me, because about a year ago I grew tired of just listening to the same music, and going to the same kind of events, and decided to broaden my horizons. You can read more about Live Colourful here.

bulmers live colourful live one mayfair

One Mayfair is a really beautiful venue. Built in 1825, it’s a Grade 1 listed building, formerly St Marks Church. It was such a majestic setting for live music, and the acoustics were fantastic. I really hope I can manage to attend another event there before it closes its doors for good in March next year.

bulmers live colourful live one mayfair

Anyway, back to Live Colourful LIVE – the evening started with a solo performance by Sinead Harnett – who has a really powerful, beautiful voice.

bulmers live colourful live one mayfair

Sinead isn’t an artist I’d previously been aware of, and if I’m honest her music isn’t really my style – but I can’t fault her performance at all and look how cute she is! This isn’t Sineads first collaboration with a grime artist, she featured on a track with Wiley called ‘Walk Away’ in 2011 and has since worked with other artists including Rudimental. She’s currently working on a solo career.

lethal bizzle live colourful live

Lethal Bizzle followed, and I really enjoyed it! I have to admit, much like Professor Green when I saw Fall Out Boy, grime is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine! Lethal first came into the public eye in the early 2000s, as part of More Fire Crew, before branching out as a solo artist. He’s been pretty successful, and is one of the better known UK grime artists, but has also done a bit of acting and has his own t-shirt company, Stay Dench. He’s also been on Mastermind!

Once Lethal Bizzle had done his bit, Sinead returned to the stage, along with David Arnold and his orchestra.

bulmers live colourful live one mayfair

I didn’t know who David was until the evening, but I found out he composed the scores for five Bond films, as well as Independence Day, Stargate and Godzilla (and TV shows Sherlock and Little Britain, and the 2012 Olympics!).

I was surprised that I really, really liked the track, entitled ‘A Story’, which was premiered at the event. You can download it for free here.

bulmers live colourful live one mayfair

As well as the performances, there were Sennheiser headphone points where you could watch and listen to the promo video and we were given wristbands with LED lights that flashed in time with the music. Pretty cool!

live colourful live bulmers

Thank you Bulmers for a lovely evening, and for getting myself, Milly from Mini Adventures and Luisa from Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat a little tipsy!

Look at this selfie failure, haha!

bulmers live colourful live one mayfair

I’d love to hear what people think of A Story?

L xx

All photos my own unless otherwise stated.