Sunday, 14 December 2014

Winter Wonderland 2014 - Review

Well, we did it. Eighteen tracks, spanning pretty much every genre of music from blues to orchestral to BanjoCore Operatic Metal ™ (yes, that is a real thing – well, it is now, anyway), topped off with a storming show at The Shed on Friday 12th featuring a mightily impressive range of young talent.

First things first, I'd like to thank and congratulate everyone involved – the standard this year really has been phenomenal, and we've had contributions from some fantastic guest artists:

Dave The Rock Band ( – Because Of You (Matt Chubb/ James Martin)

Oisin George – Robot Love Story

Richard Clift & Matt Chubb – Get The Better Of You

The Bench That Rocked ( – Not For You (Billy

Chamberlain/ Luke “Harold” Billingham)

Ben Hooper & Wayne Cooper – Christmas For Everyone

Boo & Abi Littlewood – Christmas Song

Mr Meaner ( – All For You

Ghostshift featuring Blaze Bayley ( – Short Days Ago

Molly Lee & Charlotte Bond – Run Away With Me

A Short Dark Stranger ( ) - I'm A Fool (For Fancying You)

Jonezy feat. Alexandru ( – Journey Together

Matt Humphries – Watch Me Burn

Ollie Blount & Leah Govier – Blue Christmas

Aled Horler – Guiding Star

Tracks & Field – Done

Ellie Marlow & Charlotte Bond – Straight From Your Heart

Tom Matthews – Flawless

Billy Edwards & Amanda Williams – Crazy Lies

Artwork donated by Annemarie Hughes –

The album is now available to buy on Bandcamp:

On top of that, I'd also like to extend special thanks to Elisabeth Barker-Carley for organising the show and securing us a venue, and to the vocal legend (and tireless behind-the-scenes-promoter) that is Matt Chubb, without whom this would absolutely not have been possible.

Already we've managed to raise over £130 for UNICEF which is a terrific start for this project – so everyone who's been involved with this project should be feeling extremely proud of themselves.

As for the show itself, The Bench That Rocked dropped many a jaw in the audience – the boys have come a long, long way since the days of “Smoke On The Water” along one string and it was great to see them having matured into terrific musicians. Jonezy provided a typically energetic set, getting the crowd to their feet – it takes a hell of a lot of guts to do what he does. Matt Humphries was sensational and inspirational in equal doses – one voice, one guitar, one loop pedal and a huge dose of talent.

Dave The Rock Band then took our place as house band, and first up was Wayne Cooper singer “Christmas for Everyone” - the music for this was written at the end of last year, just missing the cut for 2013's “Songs For Syria” project, but Ben Hooper had knocked together a great song with some superb playing and Wayne provided excellent melody line, lyrics and vocal performance. Next up, Tom Matthews (12) who had written both music and lyrics for his song “Flawless” with Matt putting in a superb vocal. Ellie Marlow (14) followed with her sultry blues tune “Straight From Your Heart, well and truly conquering her nerves to pull off a gutsy and assured performance on keyboards. Finally, Billy Edwards (12) did a storming job with his rock number “Crazy Lies”, laying down his guitar solo like an absolute pro – fantastic!

All that remained was to see the evening out with Dave The Rock Band laying down the grooves to take us through til the end of a very successful evening.

So what can we take away from this? Well, I've already stated my goal – 1000 copies, £5000 for UNICEF. Maybe we'll hit it, maybe we won't – we've all done everything we can to produce something genuinely good and to promote it too. But what we can say without doubt is that the next generation of real, raw talent is not to be found on X-Factor or The Voice. It's right here, at the end of your street or playing in your local pub. Go out and find it, and get inspired.

Oh, and happy Christmas everyone – here's to 2015!