HCA Fine Art Students Need Your Support To Showcase In Their Dream Exhibition in London

inSTALL8 is a Hereford based art collective from the Hereford College of Arts made up of 8 members including Mairead McVeigh. They recently hosted a live music fundraiser at the Booth Hall, which is one of two events they have hosted to raise funds for a trip to London, and also have a crowdfunding page. I wanted to know a bit more about this collective and what this trip means to them; I was enlightened by Mairead.

Please help support these students by donating to their crowdfunding page here

Hereford Artist, Graphics by Maddie Mew
Graphics by Mairead McVeigh

Hereford City Centric: Thank you for the opportunity to interview inSTALL8 about the collective. Mairead you are part of the Install8 group of Fine Art students who host gigs to help raise funds for a trip to London and pushing arts in our local community, what is inSTALL8 all about?

inSTAll8: Hello Michelle and thank you for your interest in us and your very warm welcome! inSTALL8 are a collective of 8 artists from in and around Herefordshire, we are all current students attending the Hereford College of Arts Fine Art course. We are due to graduate this year in the summer. We are so varied in our practices that I would say it’s fair to label us multidisciplinary – some artists range from more traditional themes in painting and drawing whereas a few of us are exploring digital mediums, some are installation-based artists making large scenes for audience engagement and participation. Others expand to curatorial roles, so we’re a great mix and all of our individual skills have been pulled together to create inSTALL8.

The title of our collective is loosely based around the Windows platform, it’s a bit of a play on words as we would hope that our collective skillset pushes us more into the realm of contemporary art practice as opposed to traditional methods (although, in no way are we knocking our history – context is everything!)

inSTALL8 students
Image: inSTALL8 Facebook page – inSTALL8 students

HCC: It all sounds very exciting! What will the money raised be going towards?

inSTALL8: Our goal is to raise £5,700 to bring our graduate show to Free Range in London, a UK-wide exhibition showcasing new art from all over the country. If we attain our numbers, it will be the second time our course graduates will have had the opportunity to attend such an amazing event. The £5,700 will secure our place at the show and aid us with transport, accommodation and materials so that we can set up a heart-stopping show and hopefully lead us into some wonderful opportunities! We are joined in this adventure by our sister group at the college, HCA Collective, who are 17 Photography students who will be joining us on our journey to the end. Support for them would also be massively appreciated.

HCC: I truly hope this article will help promote your cause so that you can reach your target and get to London!  Also, please feel free to share any of your artwork on our Facebook page. It all sounds amazing, and please get the word out to HCA collective because at HCC we loving giving local artists a platform, especially students who often bring something new to the table. 

Last Wednesday, 22nd of March you held another live music event at The Booth Hall in Hereford, is this your last fundraiser or do we have more to look forward to? Will it always be the same group of students or will there be new ones added from the college? I attended your previous music fundraiser and enjoyed the light installations, live music and DJ sets. Who did you have on the bill this time?

inSTALL8: This is potentially our final music fundraiser, but there’s more to come! We’re hosting an art auction at the end of April at De Koffie Pot, we will be presenting some of our current work and then it will be placed under the hammer for a few lucky contenders! We also have a very exciting raffle that will be drawn at the Private View of our college Summer Show, details will be confirmed for that later. It’ll be the same 8 in our team as we are one team graduating from the one course.

On this spectacular evening we enjoyed the beautiful sounds of Shannon Walker, a singer-songwriter from Worcester, glorious and raw Punk punches from Molly Kelly, hard-hitting riffs from Hereford’s very own Black Boxes, fresh cut jams from the Noisy Daughters and had everyone’s dancing feet on the go with a House set from DJ SMUT – a resident of Ibiza and Ministry of Sound DJ…AND to top it all off, a blasting drum and bass set from DJ CHOPPA. It was an unforgettable lineup! There was a little something for everyone. There were also visuals and performances happening throughout the night.

InSTALL8 @The Booth Hall March 22nd, 2017
Photography by Grace Biddlecombe – InSTALL8 @The Booth Hall March 22nd, 2017

HCC: I am absolutely gutted I was unable to attend but friends who did attend loved it. I am pretty familiar with most of the live music performers such as Shannon, Molly and Black Boxes who happen to be one of my very favourite local bands. Love them all! And what an honour to have DJ SMUT come to support you from Ibiza! Amazing guys! Is art your main focus?

inSTALL8: It is my aspiration to become a working artist, but as Thomas Merton once said – “no man is an island” and all of the best artists only grow stronger with a community and this is what we are trying to create and achieve through inSTALL8. I think I can speak for all of us and really elaborate on the fact that no matter what happens, art will prevail. Artists view the world quite differently. Finding beauty and hope in the mundane is important, and also viewing the world with a critical and creative intent can open up plenty of opportunities for young people. I highly recommend attending a Fine Arts course – it opens your mind and enables you to engage with other like-minded individuals.

HCC: What a beautiful perspective Mairead. I can proudly say my daughter just switched her Psychology major to Fine Arts and I will share that thought with her. I agree that art is one of many wonderful ways to open your mind to a much more fulfilling perspective of the world.

What would you like to see happen in the arts community in 2017/2018 to give a platform to artists who choose to stay in Herefordshire rather than pursue their careers elsewhere?

inSTALL8: I think there is plenty going on for the art scene in Hereford – h.Art, Hereford Make, The Apple Store Gallery, De Koffee Pot, The Courtyard, The Canwood Gallery and Artsite3 among others are great spaces where artists can expand and exhibit their flourishing practices– The college itself is host to gifted students that will pave the future for the creative industry and firmly cement Hereford as a vibrant, artistic city.

InSTALL8 @The Booth Hall March 22nd, 2017
Photography by Grace Biddlecombe – InSTALL8 @The Booth Hall March 22nd, 2017

HCC: I have been to many wonderful exhibitions in the city and hope that people get out more and enjoy them as well because art opens a window into an alternate reality. I wish all the members of inSTALL8 the best of luck in getting to Free Range London and may you all have an exciting creative future ahead of you.

I would like to thank Mairead McVeigh for making this interview possible and sharing the inSTALL8 story with us. Mairead is a wonderful musician, writer and artist. Look out for her performing live under the name Maddie Mew around the city of Hereford, and for her talented art, as well as, any upcoming inSTALL8 exhibitions and fundraisers.


De Koffie Pot Gallery on the River Wye – Ria Parfitt Exhibition Open To Public Until March 17th


De Koffie Pot, Bridge Street, Hereford, Herefordshire   HR4 9DG


Photography by Grace Biddlecombe, Ria Parfitt Exhibition at De Koffie Pot Gallery Hereford

Friday Night was an absolute charmer of an evening. I Popped into the February – 28 Paintings in 28 Days’ Exhibition with my trusty sidekick and photographer in crime, Grace Biddlecombe, and was greeted by a buzzing atmosphere – a room of smiling art appreciators, or perhaps they were Ria Parfitt fans. After all, the girl is a diamond. Grace snapped plenty of photographs for us to share with you and hopefully, inspire you to come along and experience Ria Parfitt’s playful art. Interpret as you wish!

The good news is she sold 14 paintings that night and several prints. On the second day she sold more. Wow. The prints are rather stunning as well, so you can pick one up if your favourite painting has sold. I am sure they are limited edition so you probably don’t want to linger too long. The possibility of a sell out is in the cards.

Photography by Grace Biddlecombe, Ria Parfitt Exhibition at De Koffie Pot Gallery Hereford

The exhibition is open to the public until St. Patrick’s Day in the De Koffie Pot Gallery located on the first floor. If you have not been to this Dutch-inspired converted coach house cafe you must add it to your places to lounge after a long day of shopping in the Hereford city centre. It is located along the River Wye and is part of a family venture that also manage the famous Left Bank venue. It’s beautiful and the coffee and cake are a hook – they also serve scrumptious food.

De Koffie Pot has become a social hub for culture on the River Wye in Hereford. The city’s creative demographic are being welcomed by venues around Hereford to host events and perform. The city is undergoing an evolution which is taking a positive direction.

I must mention that on the way out there was a room right across the gallery on the first floor that Grace and I gravitated towards illuminated with beautifully lit candles on the tables. They were preparing for their free Friday night live music events. Magical!

Follow Ria Parfitt on Facebook Here

Photography by Grace Biddlecombe

Catch Ria Parfitt performing with her band Mexicola at The Booth Hall Hereford March 25th. Doors 8pm £6 entry £4 with NUS card.

mexicola supports louise distras at the booth hall hereford


I was fortunate enough to interview Doghouse and receive a stream of thoughts and information that has brought to life an even more fascinating character. Let’s just say I have unearthed some of the mystery that makes him a special part of the festival and live music circuit.

The former front man of Punk Rave band Sicknote, Doghouse will be gracing us the 24th of February at The Booth Hall in Hereford with support from Hardcore Traveller Punk band Reality Attack and local Noise Rock band Wolfcryer. Expect the building to shake with the latter two. Hey why not? You want a good party we will give it to you.

“I would say that my lyrics are a call for action, a condemnation of the status quo. I like to use humour, to elevate the role of the fool and re-affirm his unique position, as someone who can scathingly criticise the powers that be. The only man who can tell the king the truth and get away with it”

Then prepare yourself to be put into the DOGHOUSE where you find your toes and minds tapping. I mean really…our minds will do little cartwheels. In between acts you will get a chance to get your dance on while DJ BDS Last Tree Squad fills the sound waves with some pretty bomb reggae, hip-hop and bass tunes. Will you ever be the same again after this night? We hope not.

We have also been fortunate enough to team up with the ‘No Herefordshire Cull’ Benefit gig on the following Saturday night (February 25th) headlined by Citizen Fish and two other great support acts –Reverend Schneider and The Band of Angels and Owain Price. We are offering a Weekender Special price of £11 for two nights of great live music with a purpose.

The Underground Revolution Hereford Presents Doghouse


HEREFORD CITY CENTRIC: So tell me a bit about what the name Doghouse represents?


19 Amazing Last Minute Gift Ideas You Can Buy From Hereford’s Independent Shops

There are certain people who never learn and end up doing their Christmas shopping at the very last minute. To tell you the truth, 2016 has been one jerk of a year for many across the world and perhaps the thought of Christmas was not a priority until the pressing date was a upon them. No worries, I have come up with some interesting gift ideas your family or circle of friends will find fun and appreciate – all the while supporting your local independent businesses. Get ready, get set, go shopping!

It’s A Novelty Idea


'On Your Bike' Bicycle Repair Kit £15 Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street

‘On Your Bike’ Bicycle Repair Kit £15 Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street Hereford. For the cyclist in the family. Comes in a sweet retro style tin.


Men's Society Sneaker Cleaning Kit £25 Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street in Hereford.

Men’s Society Sneaker Cleaning Kit £25 Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street in Hereford. Do you have someone in your life who matches their trainers / sneakers to their hats or outfits? The type that have a meticulous collection? This will keep them happy. Again in a cool retro style tin.                                                                                                   


Ted Baker Rose Gold Fountain's Pen £50. Available at Tailor + Printer on Widemarsh Street Hereford.

Ted Baker Rose Gold Fountain’s Pen £50. Available at Tailor + Printer on Widemarsh Street Hereford. Also available in other colours and traditional black and gold. Make sure your loved ones sign on that dotted line with style.


Tattoo Connoisseurs 


Tattoo Vouchers

Tattoo gift vouchers hereford

Why not support your fellow tattoo connoisseur or someone getting a tattoo for the first time? Show them how much they mean to you this Christmas by supporting their passion and putting a bit of cash towards their next tattoo with a gift from Hereford’s local tattooists. These gift vouchers are available at Blackfriars Tattoo on Maylord Street in the Hereford City Centre and can be purchased in any amount you desire.


Skinzophrenic Tattoos on Aubrey Street and Black Dragon Inc on Eign Street are also offering tattoo vouchers.

Skinzophrenic Tattoos on Aubrey Street and Black Dragon Inc Tattoos on Eign Street are also offering tattoo vouchers. I would practically jump over the moon with joy if I was given one. £50 vouchers left only at Skinzophrenic Tattoos.


Lost World Clothing

Find a selection of local Hereford independent clothing brand Lost World clothing at Blackfriars Tattoo on Maylord Street £10 each.

Find a selection of local Hereford independent brand Lost World Clothing at Blackfriars Tattoo on Maylord Street £10 each. This is a true bargain for such great design collaborations from tattoo artists worldwide. We all have that one friend we need to buy for who kept the budget to £10 so these will make a great impression.

Organic Wine and Chocolate

Fodder is Hereford’s most respected independent health food shop located in the beautiful independent quarter on Church Street. They have built a loyal following through their personalised customer service. Nothing more indulgent than a beautiful box of Organic chocolate truffles and a bottle of organic wine for friends and relatives with special tastes and diets. Delightful!


Booja Booja Gourmet Selection Dairy Free, Organic, Gluten and Soya Free truffles. Mmmm
Booja Booja Gourmet Selection Dairy Free, Organic, Gluten and Soya Free truffles. Mmmm


A wonderful and very brief presentation on their organic wines and sulphur free wines as well. Certainly a great last minute pick up from Fodder on Church Street.


Special Gestures

9 and 10


Cath Kidston Umbrella £35. Powell-Craft rag dolls £16.99. Selection may vary depending on stock but always available at Coco’s Vintage Living on Maylord Street in the Hereford City Centre.


The Berkeley Hotel in London has released 'Prêt-à-Portea High-Fashion Bakes & Cakes'. Printer + Tailor Hereford

The Berkeley Hotel in London has released ‘Prêt-à-Portea High-Fashion Bakes & Cakes’. This book merges the world of couture fashion and baking for some really delightful treats you can show off to your friends with. A must for the savvy baker in the family. Available at Tailor + Printer on Widemarsh Street £12.95.


Beautiful People


Clinique's 'The Iconic Red' collection - Chave and Jackson hereford

Clinique’s ‘The Iconic Red’ collection is based around the classic look made popular by icons and screen sirens. Achieve a beautiful look with a fine black liquid liner designed to create the ultimate flick, high impact mascara and Clinique’s beautiful – and my personal favourite ‘Pop Colour + Lip Primer’ in Passion Pop. Available at Chave & Jackson on St. Owens Street in the Hereford city centre £30.


Chave & Jackson in the Hereford city centre on Broad Street. Michael Kors Wanderlust gift set.

Available at Chave and Jackson in the Hereford city centre on Broad Street. This is a deeply romantic scent with notes of pink peppercorn, almond milk. dianthus, cashmeran wood, sandalwood and heliptrope. Gift set includes 1.7 fluid oz Eau de Parfum Spray, 3.4 oz body lotion and a Michael Kors keychain £63.


It’s a bit of elegance and a lot of rock’n’roll. French designer clothing label Zadig & Voltaire has released his and her fragrances that are bound to please the edgiest people on your Christmas list.

This is Her! Zadig & Voltaire in the white bottle is a floral, woody gourmand scent containing notes of pink pepper, Sambac jasmine, milky chestnut cream, vanilla and sandalwood. Bottles begin at 30 ml retailing at Chave & Jackson on Broad Street in Hereford for £38.

This is Him! Zadig & Voltaire fragrance for men is a woody, oriental scent with notes of grapefruit, black pepper, incense, milky sandalwood and vanilla. The bottles seamlessly connect, perfect for couples. Men’s 30 ml bottle £36. This is a strong contender in the men’s scent category for me.

Cocktails All Around!


Pair of True Viski Seneca Faceted Crystal Whisky Tumblers £31.50. Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street Hereford.

Pair of True Viski Seneca Faceted Crystal Whisky Tumblers £31.50. Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street Hereford. This is high-style.


Esquire 'Drink Like A Man' is the ultimate cocktail guide with over 125 cocktail ideas

Esquire ‘Drink Like A Man’ is the ultimate cocktail guide with over 125 cocktail ideas spanning 83 years. Most certainly what Don Draper may have in his glass at the end of a long day. Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street in Hereford. £14.99


Kikkerland Tall Bartending glasses. Printer + Tailor Hereford

I have to admit these are one of my favourite items on the list. These bartender glasses come with cocktail recipe measures on them…simply the perfect idea when hosting a house party with your mates. It is like you are a pro already. Kikkerland Bartending Glass, Set of 4 Tall £22.00 Set of 4 short glasses £17.50. Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street in Hereford.


Pen & Paper Loyalists



52 Lists of Happiness Moorea Seal at Printer + Tailor Hereford

2017 won’t let you down if you maintain ’52 Lists of Happiness’ by Moorea Seal £11.99. This beautiful journal is full of illustrations, beautiful images, and even velvet ribbon. Beautiful to hold and it encourages readers to reflect, acknowledge, and invest in themselves, and ultimately transform their lives by figuring out exactly what makes them happy. This could be the best gift you could give anyone this Christmas.


Perpetual Disappointments Diary Printer + Tailor Hereford

I let out a rather loud laugh when I picked up this diary, and as everyone stared to my dismay, I dug my head in deeper discovering templates for apologies and passive aggressive notes. This is a diary for the brutally honest, the cynics and the downtrodden. Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street in Hereford £9.99.


That is the end of the list, so tick off those last few people or start your Christmas shopping immediately. I also did find shopping earlier in the day more manageable than the evening. Just prepare yourself for Christmas mania. Have a couple jolly mulled ciders to relax you and to feel festive. Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping!

The Health Food Shop and Coffee Bean Paradise That is The Polish Community’s Hidden Treasure In Hereford

Sometimes when running errands in town I am so rushed I can walk past a shop several times and never notice it was there.  In fact, at times I will walk past a shop for years on end and not notice. This year though I have tried to notice, especially as I run a blog that not only features music and culture but independent businesses.

Shift health food store aubrey street hereford

I often am attracted to window displays and one’s with a lot of effort put into them. A shopping experience should never be mind boggling, it should flow and be easy on the eyes. Hence why places like TK Maxx scare me. So this particular day walking along Aubrey Street up from King Street towards High Town Hereford I was drawn in by a window that wasn’t very well lit or exposed, but I did notice a line of clear canisters that looked like they had coffee beans in them, of course, in I ran as I am a coffee connoisseur or maybe just a coffee guzzler and was greeted by a sort of random health food store. There was a giant desk upon entry and that not very warm fluorescent lighting, but as I approached the shelves I realised I had discovered a jewel!!


It is a family run Polish health food store that specialises in various brands of Russian and Eastern European potions, tonics, essential oils, beauty products and all things of similar value you would find in such a shop – but then they also sell a BEAUTIFUL selection of coffee beans and loose leaf teas. I couldn’t believe it was there!

The Polish community has been keeping this gem to themselves. They worked hard, saved up and still don’t have a proper sign, but it is called Shift Store and the address is 26-28 Aubrey Street and is located half a block down from A Rule of Tum and practically across the street from Skinzophrenic Tattoos and Piercings.

Shift health food store aubrey street hereford

They sell Strawberry’s and Cream coffee beans amongst a variety of very interesting flavours I don’t usually see in Hereford. The teas are exotic and sound delicious. They are marked with expiry dates to guarantee they haven’t been sitting there an eternity and are reasonably priced.  So this Christmas pop in and pick up some exotic teas and coffee beans for the Secret Santa at work or just to spoil yourself whenever you please. Try some lovely health products, but most important of all support your local independent retailers.

The Underground Revolution bring you Culture Shock, Atterkop and Alvin and The Angry Barrels with Special Guest Dub DJ’s Last Tree Squad TONIGHT!!!!

Thursday 1 December @The Booth Hall Hereford HR1 2LW.  $8 Entry and £5 with N.U.S card.  Join us for a night of Ska and Punk Beast legends. 


The Underground Revolution present Culture Shock Dec 1 2016 at the booth hall hereford

One November Night Hereford Rocks Warmed Up The Crowd With A Trio Of Indie Rock, Blues and Folk Punk Fusion

Hereford Rocks with Turquoise Llama, Mexicola and Freeborn Rising @ The Booth Hall 4 November 2016

The Autumn chill is briskly creeping upon us and the inclination to hibernate is the backlash wanting to keep us behind closed doors in cosy slipper socks drinking tea and turning us into social lepers. Meanwhile, there is gig after gig filling the musical void that once plagued Hereford’s sluggish pubs and music venues.

Say no to hibernation!! Last Friday November 4th was an exceptionally chilly evening and the Tropic of Cancer blood that flows through my veins was rebelling against the elements. The brick and mortar was at the ready for me to put up that winter wall, not to mention that extra winter layer…after all we know that “Winter is Coming”.

Continue reading “One November Night Hereford Rocks Warmed Up The Crowd With A Trio Of Indie Rock, Blues and Folk Punk Fusion”