A few months ago Rich Huxley and Ben Denison asked me to get involved with a little garden party they were planning. I checked my calendar, saw my studio time booked around it and a functions gig in Bristol the night before, freaked out and said sorry, I can't do it. Then I thought for about 5 seconds about how magical the world of Hope & Social is and how much I'd regret not making the trip and immediately changed my mind.
NOTE: if you don't know who Hope & Social are, in brief: they're a Leeds based band making gorgeous swoonworthy guitar/piano music, putting on incredible events and generally showing the rest of us how it's done in terms of fan engagement and I'm exceptionally proud to call them my friends. NOW GO AND LISTEN TO SOME OF THEIR LOVELY MUSIC
That's why on Sunday 31st July at 3am I started mixing epoxy craft putty stuff together to make a blackbird decorated with sequins and glitter, grabbed a very brief sleep, dithered around slightly too long packing my music gear then pegged it through Euston station with my dog sprinting by my side (good boy Benji!) to catch the 8.50 train to Wolverhampton to meet up with my sister Jooles. My four hula hoops had already travelled up to Mirfield courtesy of lovely Chris and Sarah and after dropping the poocher off to spend the day with friends in Wolves we drove up to join the party.
It was really lovely to see all 12 of our hoops in use about 2 minutes after we'd arrived and set them out for people to try. Kids are always much more keen to try new things or show off if they already know how to do something, but even the adults got stuck in and Chris and Ed hooked us up with the amazing Go Pro camera to grab some hoopy footage for a forthcoming H&S music video.
And Jooles made this lovely video showing snippets from the whole afternoon:
After all this hoopy fun I had the honour of closing the acoustic stage with a precarious looking loopy set from atop a hill of dirt. Thanks to everyone who came over to listen, it was lovely to play in the open air and I didn't fall over despite skipping about the place wielding my trusty megaphone...
A few people were kind enough to film part of my set, here's "Scared To Capsize" from Dr Fizzy - check out the wonderful hammocks too, I wish I'd had a chance to have a lie down in one!
And as if that wasn't enough excellent media coverage, pretty much my whole set was broadcast on ELFM and you can listen back here.