A few weeks into lockdown I had the pleasure of promoting Ella and Missing Promotions for a Friday evening live session that she organised called Isolation Station. There were fans missing going to live music gigs and artists missing performing them so to have a chance to watch a local talented band or musician play while sitting on the sofa with a glass of wine appealed to me!
Focusing on the music industry this week was important to me as anyone that knows me understands not only my love of music but also that I have watched my son grow in his band for the last 3 years. Part of watching him grow was picking him up from pub car parks at 11pm at night to watching him build a following in small venues in the city. These venues are what makes a musician or band grow and any success of where they go always comes from local roots, a local following of fans.
From being a Portsmouth DJ, a nightclub promoter, record shop, and record label owner, through to being involved in chart successes with Lou Reed and Nina Simone plus working with major record labels as a marketing & brand agency, the move into Artist Management in 2013 seemed a new, exciting and logical step.
Supporting your local music scene from bands to venues, promoters, rehearsal spaces, recording spaces and beyond has never been so important. Before lockdown, Portsmouth’s music scene was flourishing and the strongest it’d ever been regarding live music with gigs happening left, right and centre. There was a point that there were so many gigs happening that we’d be torn between splitting our time between up to three gigs over one evening!
Pie & Vinyl as an idea that would probably not have made it very far on Dragons’ Den but it just works. The idea for Pie & Vinyl was conceived in 2011 and the shop opened in April 2012.
I had this idea of my dream shop (that lived in my head), built around records and music but offering quality food to create a unique experience. Borrowing from the past to create something modern and human. Comforting and real. something that would touch your soul, and make you happy.
Look at you lot giving Nigella, Jamie and Mary Berry a run for their money these last few weeks by showing all your culinary skills on social media. I have to say I have done more cooking over the last few weeks than I have for about 3 years!
Popping in to see Alice from Vanderhume down at Hotwalls, Old Portsmouth, I wandered around her studio (number 9) and fell in love with her plant hangers she had been making. Thinking of macrame you tend to think of cream colours when you think of plant hangers but Alice had made some grey ones which she had dyed naturally. Her studio is so relaxing and is somewhere I definitely want to go back and spend more time in. Handing over my cash for the hanger which sits proudly in my dining room it got me thinking about this love of fringing and weaving we have, and the trend for texture in interiors that has been strong for about 4 years now.
One of the fantastic side effects of this lockdown period is our community embracing home cooking – alongside the occasional takeaway, of course! We’re all finding ourselves at home with a lot more time on our hands than we’re used to, so a lot of people – myself included – are spending some extra time in the kitchen.
April Lovelace of Lovelace Atelier has been a bridal alterations specialist for a while now, offering bespoke dresses and tailoring of suits along with general repairs and alterations of other clothing. Speaking to April, she said something that stuck in her mind was her own brother’s wedding and how he really struggled to get the suit that he wanted. So she wanted to have a place that not only caters for Brides but for Grooms too.
VE Day (or Victory in Europe Day) on the 8th May will be slightly different this year due to the very necessary lockdown conditions. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate in style!