International Woman’s Day

I’d like to start by saying thank you to everyone who came
out to our gig at the Map Studio Café last week, it was a lot of fun and great to be back down into the big smoke again, even if only briefly.

Next, most of you will be aware that today marks International Women’s Day. We whole heartedly support the need to raise awareness of the litany of both historic and contemporary women of note, as well as to recognise and appreciate every woman and girl who raises up to face the modern-day struggles 100 years after women won the right to vote. It is clear that many sectors of the modern day world are still patriarchal in nature and it is important to instill in women of all ages a belief that they belong in the upper-echelons of whatever walk of life they choose to devote themselves to, to offset generations of historic oppression  

For anyone who’s interested, vogue published an interview with Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, founder of the Women in Leadership publication and co-organiser of Women’s March London, on the significance of IWD and the advancement of women across the globe. It’s definitely worth 5 minutes of your time.   

There are a lot of great, up-coming, female fronted bands; some of our favourites include Hinds, Dream Wife, Black Honey, Kate Tempest and
Nicotine, along with a load of others. You should check them out.

Finally, on a brief side note, tomorrow is my birthday.

So yay for me. 

A Letter to Bruce Springsteen

Dear Bruce

I was surprised to learn recently that you did not at first
take to the moniker ‘The Boss’ with which you are now intrinsic due to your distaste of the bossman giving you hell. And although I was initially surprised it actually makes perfect sense, your reticent acceptance of your title is clear evidence of the sincerity of everything that people have taken you to represent; the beauty of the working man and woman, the power of every person’s story.

There is no better medium for the expression of these values than live music, it is stirring to see people still empowered by music in a time where it has been cheapened by the ascension of shallow, soulless musical machinery (I know this is a common gripe but it was on my mind and I thought you would understand). You only need to look to the reclamation of ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ as a symbol of hopeful solidarity in the face of the Manchester terror attacks in May of 2017 for a representation of the unique unifying power music possess. 

A more personal example is as follows, we recently found ourselves
aboard a canal barge in the heart of Camden Lock, an exciting but daunting experience as the captain warned us that too much movement would see both ourselves and our gear thrown into the water, something that would’ve made for entertaining viewing for the hundreds of people who were (hopefully pleasantly) surprised to find a young rock and roll band sailing into their lunch time. As much as the excitement we felt stemmed from the novelty of playing on a river vessel, it was also in witnessing the coming together of this crowd of people who, as far as we know, had no prior connection to each other and would not have been interacting in such a way had it not been for our nautical performance. Rather than the usual introverted lunch time rush, people were chatting, singing and dancing in the streets, which was a joy to behold, despite being told to turn it down by some unappreciative coppers (we didn’t(we turned it up)). So whether it was Jonny and Andy taking to the roof to see the whites of Camden’s eyes, or the lovely older couple who attempted to board our boat and sail down the river with us (we think they may have mistaken us for a water taxi) the memory of this particular gig will stay with us for some time.

I hope people aren’t starting to forget about the path of live music, I hope you are not the last man to play a three hour show and have the people begging for more. From the beginning we have aspired to consistently bring the same power and love to the stage as you’ve been doing your whole career and we’re looking forward to making more memories like this one in the future. 

We’ll be back to the big smoke on Wednesday 28th February for a gig at the map studio café; if you want to pop your head in it would be lovely to see you.

Hope you are well,

Hardwicke Circus

Some call him Tim

There’s a man about town in old Carlisle, carrying an acoustic guitar and a new-found sense of self. Some call him Tim.  

I was ecstatic to discover that Hardwicke Circus’ good friend Tim Baugh has recorded an E.P in Kiwi Studios entitled Throw Caution to the Wind, planning a launch at the Vinyl Café on 24th February. 

The first reason this is such good news is because I’m excited to hear Tim’s music put to tape, music which is simple, sincere and relatable on a base human level. However, it is also exciting because of what it clearly means for Tim and how it represents the freedom music offers people.  

You see it wasn’t so long ago that it would require substantial persuasion to encourage Tim onto the stage. I remember the first time I ever saw him get up at the Source open mike night and play a couple of songs from his childhood, the experience was so thrilling for him it was impossible not to enjoy. At that time Tim felt that if he could play a gig of his own with his own material to a crowd he would have achieved something beautiful. It is where we all begin in music and is one of the purest forms of joy there is. 

Fast forward only a small time and Tim is now a seasoned performer around Carlisle, having played sets of his own original material (of which he says he has around an hour) at gigs at The Source, the Vinyl Café, the Old Fire Station, as well as playing at the Within the Walls festival and many others. The confidence he now exudes from the stage show how much his music and his experience has helped him grow. It’s brilliant to see Tim achieve the things he is achieving and play alongside some of the other great musicians in this fair city.  

Tim’s life hasn’t always been easy, his music contains stories of sour love and dark times. He has spent most of his adult life as a chef, only really coming to writing and performing music recently, but it’s clear that his songs have given him an outlet for the stories that are so close to him. The E.P contains 6 original tracks, including the classic ‘Bottle of Wine’, and a cover of a Deep Purple track. 

Tim really is a great example of music freeing a person, allowing them to pursue goals they thought beyond them and express ideas and emotions they thought inexpressible, it’s been a pleasure to support and follow him and I can’t wait to see what he does next.  

You’re gonna love him, you just don’t know it yet.

A Journey South

During this notable brisk and snowy festive season, my dad
currently finds himself in a very relatable predicament, if a wholly
un-relatable situation.

You see, like many people up and down the UK, Dad has found
wind and snow to be preventing him for reaching his desired destination.
However, rather than being unable to make it to school or work, the weather is preventing my old man from scaling the highest peak in Antarctica and subsequently skiing to the geographic south pole. The problem’s began almost immediately, having flown from London to Punta Arenas, Chile’s most southern city, Dad then should’ve flown onto Union Glacier, located in Ellsworth Land, Antarctica, however weather issues prevented them from leaving on schedule. With delays starting to look major, it became necessary to bare the storm and fly in the midst of the kind of weather small aircrafts generally avoid, especially when the pilots are relying on visual flying. Despite the conditions Dad arrived safely, knuckles white and stomach freshly emptied.   

Having finally escaped from Chile, Dad landed on Union Glacier in the midst of a blizzard. This would keep him stranded there for 5 days, sleeping in tents in temperatures that fell as low as -20 degrees
Celsius, causing Dad to suffer frost nip in his fingers and nose; not as
serious as frost bite but still extremely painful (were hopeful he won’t have to saw his finger ends off a la Renulph Fiennes). Maddeningly, the team were required to trek back and forth between Union Glacier and base camp in order to move their gear to the point at which they would begin their climb to the peak, however once again they found themselves held up by poor weather conditions.  Eventually, Dad and his cohorts were able to
take advantage of a brief break in the weather to set out, reaching the summit and return to base camp in a mere 4 days, an astonishing achievement given the record, set by a team of highly experienced mountaineers, is 3.    

The next stage of the journey will be to ski to the South Pole, however the weather is currently holding dad up once again; the idea was that he would be back in time for Christmas however this is looking less and less likely as the journey goes on.

This is not the first of Dad’s little excursions, having already journeyed to his current destinations northern counterpart as well as
taming such beasts as Kilimanjaro (the highest peak in Africa), Aconcagua (the highest in South America and the highest outside of Asia) and Elberus (debatably the highest in Europe), amongst others. So I think all of this needs to be looked at with a greater perspective. 

You see Dad hasn’t spent his entire life as an explorer (maybe at heart), he spent the first portion of his adult life building up a business he started in the midst of raising two young (handsome and charming) sons. Through all the years he was providing for his family I believe that it was always in his DNA to chase the spirit of adventure, but it wouldn’t be until his 40’s that Dad would go on his first expedition, climbing Kilimanjaro in 2010. On that journey, as on his current and all those in between, Dad faced hardships and set backs but was equal to them all. 

For most people it is not enough to simply survive, having a vision and pursuing it is one of the things that defines us as humans. However it’s easy to drift from the track in the melee of 21st century existence and the responsibility that comes with it. It seems to me that is is not that people forget to dream, but that we can forget there was ever anything that inspired us in the first place. As with Dad being stalled by the weather, it is almost always the case that in the face of short term struggles people will step up and find that they can achieve things they never imagined, but it is allowing yourself to take the first step of the journey that can be the most difficult. 

H.C x

Birthday Boys

Last week we celebrated two birthdays; on Tuesday Zack turned 20 and on Thursday Andy turned 46. In recognition of their special days, we’ve written up a brief profile of the lads.

Born in the wilds of northern Scotland on 28th November 1997 to English parents, Zack has never truly felt like he belonged. His dichotomous existence has left him in a state of perpetual internal conflict, often leaving Zack looking vacant or confused at the simplest of tasks.  Some have confused this for Zack being ‘thick’ and asking if he is ‘okay’. Despite this constant internal struggle, Zack has found one thing he is certain about; his love for all things six stringed. Having original taken up the guitar as the loud noise would scare off the savages that attempted to raid his cave, he found he had an affinity for the axe. Taking influence from Rory Gallagher, Tom Petty and Dolph the Elder he joined the band close to three years ago having first seen us play in Glasgow at King Tuts. Zack enjoys writing Gothic poetry, ducking under doorways and drinking gin. 

Little is known of the history Andrew James Phillips. Reports are wildly inconsistent, and include claims that he was one of the prime suspects in the Great Train Robbery, that he kick started the summer of love by importing LSD from Columbia into San Francisco and that he may have played a role in the French Revolution, all under a series of pseudonyms. What we do know is he was born on November 30th, and that at some point in his enigmatic journey through live he discovered a love for music. We met Andy whilst he graced the good folk of Carlisle College with his smooth, velvety tones in 2014 and quickly snapped him up to fill the vacant tenor sax position. Andy takes influence from Clarence Clememts, Bobby Keys and Michael Brecker and can often be found listening to New Orleans Jazz and reading Nietzsche in the back of the van. Andy enjoys learning new languages (of which he claims to speak 13), stretching to peer over dashboards and his favorite color is a light mauve (also please ask him if a piano is a string or a percussion instrument, he doesn’t get asked enough).      

Using Format