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Family Records Rock My Socks

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This last week has been kinda tough, so when I got home from work this evening, I was pretty tired and not in the best mood. Waiting for me on the table was this package:

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When I saw ‘Family Records’ written at the top, I racked my brains frantically trying to think of what I had bought, really hoping that I wasn’t losing my marbles or buying things in my sleep.

I opened it up to a beautiful letter from Emma at Family Records letting me know I had been chosen for a secret customer delight package. The letter gave me the hugest grin on my face – it was a really kind letter, and I am honoured that they chose me ūüôā

After I read the letter, I pulled the rest of the package out, and that huge grin got even huger (if that’s even a word). In the package was a copy of In Your Head by Casey Shea (featuring the songs from his recent shows) and a copy of God Bless Your Weary Soul, Amanda Richardson by Pearl and the Beard (featuring songs from their recent show).

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But what completely blew my mind was a copy of Wakey!Wakey! Wednesday’s, which was handmade with stamps by Wesley Verhoeve from Family Records and Mike Grubbs from Wakey!Wakey! Only 100 were made, and I am now the proud owner of number 58!

There was also a beautiful pouch from Wesley’s trip to India (in Wesley’s words – “It’s from 2003 so it’s kind of vintage…right?”, in my words – “It’s beautiful!”), and a selection of Family Records stickers.

 

So, if you want good music, and to know you’re buying from people who are awesome, go check out the Family Records Store. You really won’t be disappointed.

Remember Remember the 5th of November…

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As the day that Pearl and the Beard completely rocked my socks off!

Frank and I went to The Castle Hotel in Manchester to see Pearl and the Beard last night. When the tickets were announced at the start of October I knew I had to go, and the fact that tickets were only ¬£5 each made it a dead cert. According to the tickets, doors were at 7.30, but as it happened, the doors didn’t open until about 8.15. Thankfully the Castle Hotel was a really nice pub, more of a ‘real ale’ kind of pub, but as I was driving (and I don’t really drink), I stuck to the lemonade. Frank did have a Kopparberg, which was apparently very nice (and smelled really fruity).¬†The venue was quite small (the back room in a pub which probably held about 40 people), but I loved that it was so intimate. It did mean that I didn’t take many pictures though.

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After the doors opened, there was a 45 minute wait until the first band came on. They were a band I’d never heard of before called ‘Onions‘. I wasn’t too sure about them when they first started playing, and although they did grow on me a little by the end, I don’t think I’ll be picking up their CD. They played for about 40 minutes, and then there was a 20 minute gap while it got set up for Pearl and the Beard.

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After they’d got the stage set up, they took a few steps off the stage to the front of the crowd, and started a floor stamping version of Douglas Douglass (one of my fave songs). It was fantastic, they were walking around the room through everyone that was watching and stamping and clapping for percussion. When Jocelyn started singing I was blown away by how clear her voice was – usually singers don’t sound quite as good live as they do on their albums, but PatB were just as good, if not better! They played for about 50 minutes, but I really wish it could have been longer. Jeremy was great on his guitar with beautiful vocals, and Emily on Cello was amazing – I’ve never seen someone play Cello in a band before but it was great!

After they had finished, we bought our tour posters, and then left quite quickly to try and make it back to the car park before the charge went from ¬£6 to ¬£11, but unfortunately we missed it by 7 minutes! At least we didn’t have to leave early like we did for Wakey!Wakey!

Wakey!Wakey!, Casey Shea, To Kill a King Part 2

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Firstly, I want to say a big thank you to the Family Records for this really kind blog post Рit put a big smile on my face when I read it last night!

http://twitter.com/#!/familyrecords/status/123845324958744576

Yesterday was the second part of our Wakey!Wakey! October tour. Show-wise, it was better than Nottingham, but I have to say I enjoyed Nottingham more – although this had nothing to do with the show or the venue.

The problem was parking in Manchester city centre. After driving round in circles in rush hour traffic for an hour trying to find somewhere to park, and to get TomTom to figure out where we were, we finally found a multi-storey car park. Drove in, parked up, went to walk out and saw a sign that said it closed at 10pm. We knew the gig wouldn’t be over by that time, so we left straight away, but it cost us ¬£3.90 to get out.

After driving round a bit further, we finally ended up in an NCP car park, but that would only let us park for a maximum of 4 hours, meaning we had to leave the gig while Wakey!Wakey! were playing their last song, and couldn’t stay around to meet them again after. We had to walk through the guys from To Kill a King to get out, so I definitely felt rude. The worst part was when we got back to the car park there were only about four cars in there, so I don’t know why they wouldn’t let you pay for more than 4 hours.

The gig was at a place called Night and Day Caf√©, which seemed smaller than the Rescue Rooms, and was infinitely hotter. We were so hot stood watching, it must have been way worse on the stage under the lights. Lets just say everyone looked kinda sweaty – especially Casey who came back out wearing a different shirt shortly after he finished. That being said though, it was a great venue. I love the smaller places – the gigs seem much more intimate, and you’re guaranteed to be able to see the stage.

caseyshea_inyourhead_500x500_mediumAgain, Casey opened the show, and there were more people listening this time, which I was glad about. Another awesome performance, I’m hoping that he may release a stripped back CD with just him and his guitar, I can feel so much emotion when he sings like that. ¬†I also picked up his new CD last night, which is not on iTunes yet. I have a feeling it’s gonna be on repeat for quite a while. I’m also hoping that he may come back to the UK for his own tour, so that he can play for longer than just the opening act!

To Kill a King had some equipment issues last night. Firstly, there were guitar cable problems and there was a quick scrabble to find another cable while they were still playing the first song. Then there was a drum issue, which meant that they had to improvise and play a song without the drums. I have to say, they played on really well despite the issues and performed another cracking set.

http://twitter.com/#!/ToKillAKingUK/status/123863401654005760

Wakey!Wakey! performed more songs last night than they did in Manchester (they didn’t have to finish at 10, which was great). They played a few more new songs, which I love already, and of course the old songs with most of the audience singing along. There were a lot more stories last night too, including a story of Casey Shea’s wild Karaoke adventure on the first night of the tour in Canada. The only thing that could have been better would be if we hadn’t had to leave early.

We’ll have to bear that in mind for our next gig in Manchester – Pearl and the Beard on the 5th November. Really can’t wait for that – tickets are only ¬£5 too!

 

Wakey!Wakey!, Casey Shea, To Kill a King Part 1

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A.K.A ‘I don’t know any executives…’

Tonight me and Frank returned back to the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham to see Wakey!Wakey again. We saw them play there in June and it was awesome, and tonight just cranked it up to a whole other level. They’ve redone the stage since last time, and it was much better. We got quite ¬†a lot closer too! Ed Sheeran was playing next door at Rock City and there were massive queues – those people don’t know what they were missing!

Opening the show was Casey Shea. I’d not seen him live before but I love his albums and he definitely did not disappoint. Just one man with a guitar, and boy does he have a great voice (and great hair too). I just wish that he could have played longer and that more people had heard him. Because he was on really soon after the doors opened, the room was not even half full until after he had finished. He sung some songs that I knew and some that I hadn’t heard before, but I was really happy when he finished his set with my favourite song – Love is Here to Stay.

After Casey came To Kill a King. They supported Wakey!Wakey! in June too, just before their single came out. They played a slightly longer (and louder) set than Casey and completely rocked it. Fictional State (their single from June) was brill, and they also played some songs from their upcoming EP – Bloody Shirt is my new favourite. The EP comes out on the 17th.

Then we get to the headline act: Wakey!Wakey! There’s not really much I can say that I haven’t said before – he is amazing! He talks a lot, but he’s hilarious too, and when he sings he just draws you in. I love War Sweater, and the refrain of ¬†‘What will your legacy be?’ sounds even more powerful live – it’s one of my favourite lines from all his songs. He played a couple of new songs which sounded great – I can’t wait for the new album! He finished his set with my favourite song – ‘Almost Everything’, I love the chorus – ‘It feels bad now but it’s gonna get better’.

After he had finished playing, he hung around after to meet everyone, and I got another autograph and picture. Just a shame that the venue didn’t close later so he could have played longer first.

The only downside to the night was driving home for 2 hours in the pouring rain, with nothing but silence from the passenger seat as Frank fell asleep shortly after we hit the motorway.

The best thing is, we are doing it all again tomorrow (well I guess it’s actually today now) in Manchester!!!

 

Family Records

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A few weeks ago, I ordered some Wakey!Wakey! stuff from the Family Records store. Last week, most of the stuff arrived, and there was a note on the invoice to say the poster I ordered was out of stock. I went on the website and it said ‘Out of Print’, so I expected not to get it, but it came today. The fact that it came made my day, but it was made much better by the hand written note that came with it.

In the age of ordering everything on the Internet and having no personal interaction, it was really refreshing to receive a letter with the parcel. It doesn’t take too long to write, but it shows they take the time for each customer and put the thought into what they are doing.

Big thumbs up to Family Records!!

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