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.
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!
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 Squadfills 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 gigon the following Saturday night (February 25th) headlined by Citizen Fishand 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.
HEREFORD CITY CENTRIC:So tell me a bit about what the name Doghouse represents?
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 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. 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. Also available in other colours and traditional black and gold. Make sure your loved ones sign on that dotted line with style.
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 Tattooson Aubrey Street andBlack Dragon Inc Tattooson 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 brand Lost World Clothingat 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
Fodderis 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!
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.
9 and 10
Cath Kidston black floral print umbrella £35 available at Coco’s Vintage Living on Maylord Street in the Hereford city centre.
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’. 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.
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.
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. This is high-style.
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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 Storeand the address is 26-28 Aubrey Street and is located half a block down from A Rule of Tumand practically across the street from Skinzophrenic Tattoos and Piercings.
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.
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”.
Saturday October 15th, 2016 brought a community of Herefordshire musicians, music lovers and promoter’s (The Underground Revolution) to Hereford’s latest popular music venue The Booth Hall. They hosted a free We Shall Overcomeanti-austerity gig requesting food or cash donations for Hereford’s local food bank. Similar communities also hosted events all over the country during the first week of October proving that the UK is a nation of charitable hearts.
Many of us have been touched by the cruel hand of austerity, and during desperate times have accessed local food banks in order to put food on the table for our families. It isn’t a joke when you have to decide whether to pay your rent or buy food, especially when both are not an option.
“The support for the cause was amazing, I think Hereford has a big heart”
This sentiment must have hit home for many as food donations piled in, merchandise was sold and a £100 in cash was collected for the food bank. People of all ages took matters into their own hands showing support for the less fortunate.
Hosted by The Underground Revolution, the idea came to U.R. Co-Founder Rich Lovell after his band Terminal Ragewas asked to perform at another We Shall Overcome event taking place at The Rigger in Newcastle-Upon-Lyme alongside notable bands including Headsticks andSons of Clogger– all performing free.
You don’t have to be loaded to support your local charity. A pound means a lot when they add up. I asked Rich if he expected the turnout and support on the night, he replied “It far outweighed my expectation, both in the number of people who attended and the amount of food that was donated. The support for the cause was amazing, I think Hereford has a big heart”
Artists performing on the evening were: Nick Davies bringing in the crowd with his acoustic songs, setting the tone for a soon-to-be ferocious musical evening, Alvin and the Angry Barrels getting the mosh pit going and the ladies dancing to punk and ska, and lastly, Terminal Rage, whose local following is increasing leaps and bounds with every chord of Pretty Vacant. Warning, there have been a few bruises and bumps in the process…ah well that’s PUNK for you.
You can’t quite picture a room of headbangers, crusty’s and punks of all ages mingling with your average Joe too often, but it certainly was the case at Hereford’s 2016 We Shall Overcome fundraiser…living proof that diversity creates stronger communities. Power to the People!