James Hickman & Dan Cassidy Played American Blues, Country & Bluegrass to The Wild Hare Set at the Serene ‘De Koffie Pot’ in Hereford

Sunday 21st May 2017

On a beautiful and sunny May evening, the setting of the beer garden outside the Left Bank is definitely the place to be with its scenic views and serene atmosphere, and that, coupled with a nice cold pint in hand, was the setting in which to enjoy the pre-summer good weather and calm vibes before this evening’s entertainment.

The music on offer tonight matched those calm and chilled out vibes, as this was the bluegrass, folk, country and beyond stylings of guitarist and vocalist James Hickman and fiddle player Dan Cassidy who wowed the audience at this gig put on by the good people of the Wild Hare Club.

James Hickman and Dan Cassidy by the Wild Hare Club at De Koffie Pot Hereford

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Creative Fitness Instructors Bring You Inspiring Workouts That Are Nothing Like That Brutal Gym Routine You Dread

It’s that time again, the start of a new year when we make a long list of resolutions that after a month feel like restrictions. Don’t be so hard on yourselves, there are ways to make these resolutions become little improvements in your life that are positive and fun that eventually make a huge difference in the bigger picture.

I for one am not motivated at all by the run of the mill gym culture. So mundane, cold and uninspiring. You can pay for all the sessions in advance or as you go along without the risk of bill collectors ruining your credit or stalking your peaceful life.

Lately there has been an influx of exciting new classes developed around more creative themes such as acrobatic work outs, hula-hooping to rock n roll, and even one that involves a shot of sacred cacao and dancing with your eyes closed without restriction. So I have put together a fun little list of classes to get you active, make new friends and promote self-love. Dare I say they are the coolest fitness classes I have come across ever! Keep on top of these studios as they have a very interesting rotation of classes throughout the year. They are so very morish.

The meme below is the outcome of what a cold hard gym with instructors shouting rehearsed motivational blurbs does to me. These instructors are brilliant and friendly.

gym

The Wild Chocolate Club 

We will guide you on a journey into your body and hold a beautiful sacred cacao ceremony to flood your body with active ingredients to help open up your hearts. There are no steps to learn, no right or wrong way to move, eyes closed, you can dance like nobody’s watching because nobody is! We warm up, shake it loose and dance until we drop with a most beautiful crystal bowl sound bath.

Next event held on December 7 and 21st at the Birch Hall, Steiner Academy, Hereford, Much Dewchurch HR2 2DL

£10 a session 19:30-22:30 pm A healthy and positive option for your Saturday night shenanigans. 

To buy tickets go to http://www.wildchocolateclub.com/#events

Continue reading “Creative Fitness Instructors Bring You Inspiring Workouts That Are Nothing Like That Brutal Gym Routine You Dread”

2016: The Year Hereford Culture Blossomed

“The scene is starting to settle now (in a nice way). People are beginning to ask what music is on this coming weekend, rather than ‘Is there anything on?’ which is a massive change and a great reflection on the venues, the quality of the acts and the local promoters who have taken the risk in time and money to have a go this year. 2017 I hope will continue with that support from music lovers. I also hope people will take the plunge more and go to see acts they’ve not heard of before. After all, live music is a great night out whether or not you can sing along” – The Underground Revolution Music Director, Rich Lovell

From the day I set foot on Hereford turf I felt a special magnetism to its quiet green fields, open air city centre unobstructed by big heavy concrete monsters you find in places like Birmingham, its proximity to Wales and a view of the Black Mountains in the distance that at times seems like a mirage. There were perks like its reputation for cider making – witness the many orchards around the county – a magnificent Cathedral and history that just keeps on giving, such as, the remains of a Saxon child discovered in a lottery-funded Cathedral excavation project that unearthed many ancient artefacts revealing even further details of its war-torn past and how people lived all those years ago.

Pink Elephant Circus, Sin Palace and The Booth Hall Circus Performers and Masquerade Ball

pink elephant circus, the booth hall hereford, sin palace, masquerade ball

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Sascha Kindred OBE: A Hero’s Welcome

Hereford Paralympian hero Sascha Kindred OBE was treated to a warm homecoming celebration along the picturesque River Wye which flows through the middle of the Hereford City Centre 

Hereford Mayor Welcomes Sascha Kindred
The Hereford Mayor welcomes paralympian hero Sascha Kindred, his wife Nyree and daughter Ella to a grand fireworks display

I popped over to the Left Bank on Saturday (albeit a bit late) expecting the party to be over. The honour guard from Hereford Swimming Club had been and gone, the speeches had finished and all the carnival crafts from the Hereford River Carnival organisers had been crafted and put away. But what I found was a busy and vibrant courtyard outside De Koffie Pot with wonderful live music emanating from the Bandstand Stage courtesy of Sam Huffer and a plethora of happy children having a good jig thanks to the ever impressive organising efforts of John Steven Hales.

Hereford Mayor Jim Kenyon gives Sascha Kindred grand welcome home
Hereford Mayor Jim Kenyon. Praised as Mayor of the People.
Freeborn Rising playing folk music for Sascha Kindred welcome party in Hereford
Freeborn Rising playing folk music to the welcome party.

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Hereford Burlesque, A Lesson in Self Confidence and Femininity

“I encountered a group of ladies dancing away in heels, all with big smiles and a twinkle in their eye. Apparently this is an epidemic, once you have been to the class a few times your confidence spirals out of control and you cannot stop the euphoria that overtakes you”

Hereford Burlesque Classes

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Building Festive Childhood Memories at the Hereford River Carnival 2016

Hereford River Carnival 2016

As a child growing up in Pasadena, California I attended the annual Rose Parade New Year’s Day celebrations without falter.  It began as a child and carried on until my later years when I was able to camp out on the street during New Year’s Eve so that I could have the best view of the parade in the morning, and party like a rock star all night long whilst nearly freezing during my mere 2 hours of sleep. Nonetheless, I was able to watch the parade in all its majestic glory, even if it was with one eye open and one eye shut. People generally wake up in a tent full of friends they don’t recognise, yet partied with the night before…it is just how it is. I have never forgotten this grand event that as a Pasadena native I am extremely proud of and support any time I am there.

The tradition carries on with my oldest daughter, and so and so forth. Here’s to hoping that Hereford adapts this same enthusiasm for our unique local carnival that kicks off the Wye Valley River Festival and is buzzing with entertainment for our children and adults alike. Certainly a family affair in a gem of a location. There are puppet foot processions, float competitions on the river that people genuinely pour their heart and souls into to create, a children’s carnival section, lots of live music, stalls selling food and crafts…and the usual Carnival festivities.

I took my daughter along and asked her what she thought. Here is what she said:

“I enjoyed it…it was fun, I would like to go again.  The Fun house was my favourite and the floats were my second favourite. I would like to be a cheerleader in the parade next year”

And there you have it.  As simple and straightforward as they come.

 

 

There were two live music stages being hosted by the Music Pool Charity and The Underground Revolution in the beautiful river view courtyard between the Dutch-inspired De Koffie Pot and The Left Bank Venue which was holding another Hereford Rocks featuring Deborah Bonham, and had a surprise visit by Robert Plant.  Here we capture some of the acoustic acts which included Tobion, Mark Stevenson, Shannon Walker, Kaptive 8, The Boondogz, DJ ‘Jus Jay, Nick Davis and Robin Shaw.

Birthdays, Hereford Rocks, Life & Rock n’ roll with Raptor

Last Saturday resulted in hanging around and taking in the acts playing the acoustic stage at the Left Bank’s Hereford Rocks event put on by John Steven Hales, Founder of Porkbelly Promotions and Clare Foster who is one of the founders of Clear Cut Promotions.

The weather showed little mercy as onlookers sat around the fire pits lit up in the vast beer garden between The Left Bank and De Koffie Pot where the acts were playing. Yet everyone seemed happy to be there, as if the sun were shining, and it most certainly warmed up my mood when I met up with the Raptor boys for a bit of banter inside De Koffie Pot before they played the Hereford Rocks Stage.

It was Adam Fletcher’s birthday – Let’s just say his wit was certainly in good form. Why not? It was his special day and his brother Kurt, Front man of the band, was up from Bristol where he is a student at Bristol Institute of Modern Music, and his band was playing a really cool gig with a pretty cool line up that included head liners, Mick Ralphs Blues Band. Hope it ended well Adam, and I do hope shenanigans ensued.

Kurt Fletcher Lead guitarist and vocals for Raptor on the Hereford Rocks Stage.
Kurt Fletcher, Lead guitarist and vocals for Raptor on the Hereford Rocks Stage. Photography by Jonathon Paul

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