Interview with singer Sean Rumsey about his EP launch & ahead of tonight’s gig in Stratford

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We talk to Sean about his musical career, forth coming gigs & the launch of his new EP ‘Alive’ that can be found at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/alive-ep/id912427407

Sean Rumsey first rose to fame when he auditioned for X Factor in 2007. He made it through to boot camp but was told he hadn’t made it any further. Louis Walsh came up with the idea to create a girl group and a boy band with 6 girls and 6 guys. Sean was placed in boy band Futureproof who went onto Simon’s home, they then made it to Simon’s final three and went through to the live shows. They were unfortunately voted off the show in week 3, the band then split up after a short while.

Sean also made it big on BBC1 The Voice.

Sean has now spent the past few years building up a solo career. He regularly posts videos on his YouTube channel @seanrumsey which has over 20 thousand followers and over 2 million views. He has covered songs by artists such as Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Tinie Tempah, Taio Cruz, B.o.B, Amy Winehouse and many more. He also has some live original tracks on youtube which are absolutely amazing songs. I’ve been lucky enough to see him perform them in person!

Sean now has an online mixtape of some of his most popular covers, which is available on:
http://www.seanrumsey.bandcamp.com

His mixtape received a fantastic review from OK! Magazine, which gave him 4 out of 5 stars and said he improves on the originals! Make sure you check it out!

Sean travels around the UK to perform gigs.
If you wish to see Sean live, feel free to add him on Facebook for updates on where you can catch him!
https://www.facebook.com/seanrumseyofficial

you can also find him on
http://www.youtube.com/seanrumsey
and
http://www.twitter.com/seanrumsey

Venue details about tonight’s gig at The Lazy Cow Stratford http://thelazycowstratford.co.uk

Listen to the interview again at http://www.radiowarks.com
Reporter @LianeKate

At Coventry’s Festival of Motoring – Interview with MG owner David Walters

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Our team went to find out the passion behind classic car restoration at this years Coventry Festival of Motoring

Taylor-Louise LIVE at The Royal Pug Leamington

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As part of our ‘LIVE and Local’ Listen to Taylor-Louise on stage in Leamington this week

Rosie Samaras – LIVE at The Royal Pug Leamington

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As part of our LIVE Broadcast selection – Listen to Rosie playing in Leamington this week

Interview with Jessica Smallwood ahead of this Novembers SNOW BALL charity event in Stratford

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The Stratford Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon is set to host one of a national set of Snow Balls this November, in aid of charity.
More than six Snow Balls are being held across the UK this festive season at locations including Stratford-upon-Avon, Manchester, Sussex and Cardiff. These events are part of a fundraising drive to raise crucial funds for the Mariposa Trust, a leading support charity, which specialises in supporting people who have lost a child at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in infancy.
The Stratford-upon-Avon Snow Ball is being held on the 21st November 2014 at The Stratford Hotel and the evening will commence at 7.30pm. Coordinated by Jessica Smallwood, an Assistant Fundraising Manager for the charity, the evening will feature a luxury 3-course meal, auction, raffle and fabulous entertainment. Jessica commented, “The Snow Ball is the perfect chance for friends and families, companies and organisations to have a wonderful night out, whilst enjoying great food and entertainment. It is also lends itself to being a wonderful chance for a company Christmas night out, whilst helping to support a National Charity that is making a real difference.”
The Mariposa Trust is a support charity that provides support and advice for anyone who has suffered baby loss, whether recently or historically, and also provides the first National set of remembrance services across the UK at Cathedrals and Minsters for people who have suffered baby loss. Furthermore, the charity has a number of other support divisions, ‘GrowingYou’ which supports people who are pregnant following loss, ‘Waiting for You’, which supports people who are going through the adoption process, and ‘Holding Hope’ that supports people who are undergoing fertility treatment.
Zoe Clark-Coates, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of the Trust with husband Andy, had this to say, “Baby loss is a huge issue. Hundreds of people are going through baby loss, whether miscarriage, stillbirth or loss in infancy, every single day in the UK. The taboo nature of baby loss means that often their loss is not discussed, their grief not addressed, their need for support not met, and they can often feel ostracised. As a charity we are trying to combat this. We provide services that help people to acknowledge their loss and to remember their children. We also giving support that meets their needs and their situation, and we campaign and work for changes in the support that people receive pre, during and post baby loss.”
For more information on the Snow Ball, please contact Jessica at jessicasmallwood57@gmail.com. Tickets are available from Jessica and are priced at £50 per person. For more information on the charity please visit www.sayinggoodbye.org. You can also follow the charity on Twitter @SayinggoodbyeUK and on Facebook at /SayinggoodbyeUK

Listen to the interview again at http://www.radiowarks.com
Reporter @LianeKate

Listen to the feature about this weekends Coventry Festival of Motoring at Stoneleigh Park

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Find out about the much-loved motoring festival Coventry Festival of Motoring from Dtephany a brown, head of marketing at Coventry Transport Museum. The festival takes place at Stoneleigh Park, one of the UK’s leading event venues set in 250 acres in the Warwickshire countryside, on August Bank Holiday 2014.

The route for the 2014 Coventry Festival of Motoring ‘Historic Vehicle Run’, which will start and finish at Stoneleigh Park on Sunday 24th August can be found at http://www.festival-of-motoring.co.uk/default.aspx

Just some of the highlights to look out for for this free festival –

* 1000 vehicles on display
* The Imagineering Show in Hall 2 – a family celebration of the imagination, ingenuity and innovation of companies from Coventry and across the region – CLICK HERE for full details and timetable.
* FREE Off-Roading sessions on the Stoneleigh Park off-road track, with Land Rover Experience – book your FREE place outside Hall 2 – find out more here
* Dream rides in classic and exotic cars, in aid of charity, with The Sporting Bears
* Craft Fair and shopping
* Wall of Death
* Fairground and kids’ rides
* Lawnmower racing with the North-West Lawnmower Racing Association
* Steam traction engines
* Animal Mania Petting Zoo

Listen to the interview again at http://www.radiowarks.com
Reporter @LianeKate

CD Review – The Lament of the Black Sheep

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CD Review by @autumnrosewell

The Lament of the Black Sheep

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You don’t need to live in the world of English folk music for very long before being confronted by someone with an aggressively-protested view that nothing but our old, traditional songs has any right to be classed as folk.  Ange Hardy’s new album, The Lament of the Black Sheep, is a collection of her own original works that effectively shatters this precious, pompous point of view and leaves it lying in shards all over the landscape. With enormous confidence and knife-sharp skill, Ange Hardy asserts the cultural importance of newly-written folk songs with an album that is wondrously beautiful, full of fire and has the pounding heart of an intensely lived rural life. Each is a new work of vibrant storytelling that is instantly recognisable as folk music in the best and most deeply English style.

Ange Hardy has a glorious voice that is as homely, warm and womanly as freshly baked honey cake. It is a voice that could have been crafted specifically for folk songs; sometimes it is soft and earthy and other times it churns and crackles like salted sea air, as the song demands.  In the opening track, The Bow to The Sailor she strides in, head held high, and storms out a song of pride in work and the compulsion of the call to the sea; it is a song and a voice that could truly rise above the four winds. Check out her video of the track here: http://www.angehardy.com/video

After the storm we are lulled by the very sweet melancholy of the title track, The Lament of the Black Sheep, which sees our fluffy nursery rhyme sheep left all cold and alone having given away the only things he owns. It’s a wonderful opening to a fascinating collection of songs. If we take continuity to be one of the important factors in defining a folk song, then there is continuity here in abundance. Although they are newly told, these are the stories that have always been part of the English imagination: tales of running away (The Daring Lassie), of murders and hauntings (The Young Librarian), the pride of working the land (The Tilling Bird), partings (The Sailor’s Farewell), poaching (The Wanting Wife) false lovers (The Foolish Heir), lost travellers (The Lost Soul) and of beautiful but dozy young girls (The Wool Gatherer).  Through her songs, we get to meet a lovely woman whose personality shines through as witty, sincere and engaging. As a teller of tales she stands very tall beside other folk musicians; story after story can be savoured simply for the pleasure of a good tale well told in song.

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These narrative tales slink quietly under the doors and into the private lives of the people loving and working, dreaming and dying in the countryside of England. However, I suspect that there is something more interesting, and just a little more rebellious, going on underneath. The narrative voice and style sooths you into assuming that you listening to some nice, safe traditional songs, beautifully wrapped in a warm English glow with centuries of tradition behind them.  But after a little while a very small, and rather pleasing sense of unease creeps in and whispers quietly that all is not quite as comfortably distant as these classically-styled songs of our landscape might suggest. Difference is that, however wildly traditionalists protest that the old songs still reflect our lives now, many of them do not now reflect real life as such, but a stylized, once-angry and romanticised view where highwaymen and smugglers are refashioned as heroes, the worst experiences of press-ganging are all forced into one narrative, and songs of shepherds and shepherdesses were written and now sung by people who were not there at the time and have only a chocolate box view of a pastoral life –  but The Lament of the Black Sheep is based on real life. Ange Hardy pours her own experiences, very personal memories and private thoughts into these songs and still somehow creates something that flawlessly embodies ‘folk’. In fact she does it so perfectly that more than once I wondered if this wasn’t intended as a kind of satirical illusion, where the folk stories we think we know are reversed and our nursery tales are retold from the black sheep’s point of view; where a song could be a pretty serenade – or it might just be a song about a chicken; and in which comely girls are splattered with mud and manure rather than stolen and whisked off to fairyland. But having listened many times, and tumbled it over in my mind, I do not this that this is anything as disrespectful as parody of folk. I think instead that Ange Hardy is someone who recognises intuitively the fine nuances of our folkloric tradition, complete with its tendency to slapstick humour, preference for romance, and its eye for the bizarre, that she is able to conjure up and capture the puckish little spirit that flickers in all our old folk songs and give it new life in her own work.

You can listen to tracks from the album and download them on her SoundCloud site: https://soundcloud.com/angehardy

To say that an artist has the ability to produce a piece that is timeless and sounds as if it could have been written hundreds of years ago, is a well-worn compliment and is not usually deserved, but here it is justified. There is no doubt of her commitment to the ideals of folk but, armed with her own often dramatic and painful experience of rural life, she has clearly rejected the whimsy and sentimentality that often goes with the creation of something ‘in the folk tradition’. Her harmonies are impressive multi-storey structures like delicate, tiered church spires carved and embellished in sparkly music rather than cold stone. However, she is such a fine architect that I would be amazed if she is content in her future with only this most classical of styles. I think she has the talent, the feeling for powerful, theatrical narrative and the force of intelligence to be a shape-shifter.  Like those denizens of our island folklore who can change effortlessly from maidens into swans, wolves, hares or the strange dark-eyed selkie-folk, I would not be in the least surprised if for Ange Hardy’s next album we were handed something in a different form, and not a lesser creation for it. Ange Hardy seems very likely now to become a towering talent of our folk scene with a huge and broad repertoire.

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There is something autumnal about this collection of songs. Maybe it is just the warmth of Ange Hardy’s voice which shimmers in every shade of autumn, but I think it is more than that. There is depth and shadow to every story that makes me think of that turning point in the year when the silhouettes soften, the still-warm nights start to draw in and colours change from the bleached-out shades of high summer into deep reds, golds and earthy browns. Her landscape reminds me of the work of artist Arthur Rackham, whose streams of inky colour and fine, undulating lines form a brooding countryside with twisted oaks, looming seascapes and a parade of characters that range from the ethereal to the comic.

The Lament of the Black Sheep seems to be not a lament so much as an explosion of joy and appreciation of the folklore of English land and sea. It will certainly please the traditionalists within the folk community; in terms of creating a folk album worthy of the praise of Cecil Sharp House, Ange Hardy doesn’t put a toe out of line. But she does leave you with the impression that if she wanted to she could dismantle the genre, spread it in pieces all over the floor, and then put it back together again in an entirely new way, should she wish to. To just describe Ange Hardy as a traditional folk singer would be to over-look something much more important.  I would not say that her work is about preserving folk traditions as much as about acknowledging our debt to them, but then allowing them to do what folk stories, songs and ballads have always done – to change, to absorb additions and to remain alive. Folk music should be just what this album is: a chattering, fast-flowing river with tributaries, small brooks to paddle in, crashing waterfalls and rocky beaches that gape at the wide, wide sea. For those who want to fence it off and preserve it, it will become only a stagnant pool.

The Lament of the Black Sheep really is a very fine piece of work, and enormously satisfying. The album is a perfect embodiment of everything that is fascinating and alive about the lore of this land, and a far better thesis on the importance of folk lore and folk music than I could ever write in mere words.

You can buy the album, find links to more information about performances and read about Ange Hardy’s background in her own words on her excellent website: http://www.angehardy.com/

Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/angehardymusic?fref=ts and on Twitter @AngeHardyMusic

Interview with Kate Evans from Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre about the open auditions for 2014/15 Pantomime, Aladdin on the 31st August

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Budding young performers from across Coventry and Warwickshire are once again being given the chance to attend open auditions for the Belgrade’s annual family pantomime on Sunday 31st August which could see them land a role in the pantomime chorus.

In countdown to this year’s magical pantomime, Aladdin, the Belgrade Theatre will be holding open auditions for three teams of panto chorus plus one team of reserves on Sunday 31st August at the Belgrade Theatre from 10am.

The auditions, which are for children aged 9-16 only, will begin promptly at 10am. Parents are asked to bring their children to the Belgrade theatre foyer for 9.45am where they will be numbered against their registration form. On arrival, children will be given a registration number to identify them and will be sorted into groups based on age and height. The choreographer will then take each group in turn and teach them a short routine which will be presented to Writer/Director, Iain Lauchlan. If a child makes it through the first round s/he will be asked to stay for a further round in the afternoon.

Children attending audition are requested to wear comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for them to move and dance in. At least one parent, guardian or nominated person must wait with each child. Unaccompanied children will not be eligible to audition on the day.

Children wishing to audition for this year’s pantomime are asked to complete and return a copy of the Registration form and Equalities document available for download from the Belgrade Theatre website at http://www.belgrade.co.uk/news-and-blogs/news-list/childauditionsforaladdin/. Completed forms should be sent to Denise Duncombe via email at dduncombe@belgrade.co.uk or posted to Denise Duncombe (Admin Manager) Belgrade Theatre, Belgrade Square, Coventry, CV1 1GS.

Writer/Director Iain Lauchlan said: ‘I’m looking for 24 enthusiastic, young performers from across the region to join this year’s pantomime chorus. Last year’s auditions attracted many talented young people and we’re hoping this year will be one of our biggest turnouts yet. What I’m looking for most of all is personality and enthusiasm. It may be that your child is passionate about dancing or has always dreamed of performing live on a professional stage, whatever your performance background, we’re keen for you to come along and share your talent. Who knows, you could find yourself as a villager of old Peking, a royal courtier, a servant in the Emperor’s palace or a Jewel in the magical cave!  I’m really looking forward to seeing what young talent is out there waiting to be discovered this year. It’s going to be a lot of fun!

Following in the success of last year’s record-breaking production of Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin  features all the hallmarks of a traditional Belgrade Theatre pantomime, spectacular scenery, incredible costumes, hilarious slapstick and plenty of audience participation.

This year’s festive extravaganza sees the return of respected children’s writer and performer Iain Lauchlan to the role of dame. Iain, who has also written and directed this year’s show, is perhaps best known as the creator of the hit BBC children’s series The Tweenies which first aired in 1999.

Aladdin runs on the Belgrade’s Main Stage from Weds 26 Nov 2014 – Sat 10 Jan 2015. Tickets are priced from £13.50 – £22. To book, call the Belgrade Theatre Box Office on 024 7655 3055 or visit the Belgrade Theatre website http://www.belgrade.co.uk where tickets are cheaper.

Listen to the interview again at http://www.radiowarks.com
Reporter @LianeKate

Interview with producer Ellie Mackenzie of Oddsocks National Touring Company about to perform ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Twelfth Night’ at Mary Arden’s 1st & 2nd August

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Oddsocks return to Mary Arden’s Farm 1st August – 2nd August!

National touring company Oddsocks Productions return to much-loved Mary Arden’s Farm with two of Shakespeare’s fantastically funny comedies! In true Oddsocks style both ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Twelfth Night’ promise to be an evening of Shakespeare unlike any other!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – playing on Friday 1st August at 7.30pm is one of Shakespeare’s best-loved comedies, featuring passionate lovers, magical fairies, farcical misunderstandings and happy endings set amidst the forest of Athens.

Twelfth Night – playing on Saturday 2nd August at 7.30pm is an exciting, modern and musical take on Shakespeare’s classic tale of mistaken identity, love and disguise! Discarding their doublet, hose and fairy tights to don sharp suits, the cast of 6 pick up their electric guitars, plug in the amps and treat the audience to a Brit pop sensation of an evening in which Shakespeare’s most anarchic plotline combines with popular music hits to create a party atmosphere like no other.

As Shakespeare celebrates his 450th birthday, Oddsocks celebrate their 25th anniversary, having toured 70 productions along the way! Returning to Mary Arden’s Farm as firm favorites with their audiences for another comedy delight in Shakespeare’s home county!

Here is what some of the audiences have said so far:
“A wonderful, exhilarating, funny and downright enjoyable performance of Twelfth Night by a fantastic bunch of Players.”

“We came out with the “feel good” factor.”

And the reviewers:
“The performance was full of colour and energy with lots of music to aid the narrative, which meant the typical Shakespeare newcomer could still relate to the story because of the music choice.”

“The whole show was just excellent with its perfectly timed wit and engaging performances by the actors who oozed enthusiasm during every part that they played. Laughs, gasps and applause rippled throughout the audience.”

Advance ticket prices start from only £10! Book now at www.oddsocks.co.uk/theatre/box-office or call 01332 258328 to secure your spot at one of the most popular venues on their tour!

Listen to the interview again at http://www.radiowarks.com
Reporter @LianeKate