What VKTT did in 2012...

January 3, 2013
We've had such a great year as a band that for the first time I wanted to do a new year round-up. It's a thank you to all the people and places who've welcomed and supported us, but also to remind ourselves of what we've achieved and the good times we've had together and with our audiences. Life can get a little frantic sometimes, one thing just merges into another and before you know it a year has gone by and you've forgotten all the wonderful times you had. So here is our 2012...

First gig of the year was at the Thunderbolt, Bristol. We'd entered a national competition, Battle of the Blues, in the autumn and got through to the regional heat. This was an achievement in itself as plenty of acts had applied. Unfortunately our melodic powerhouse Dave McKeown couldn't be there that night so we weren't quite the finished article...but we came runners up, in good company with fellow Bristol musician Matt Woosey (check him out!) and losing out to Paint it Blue, a great band from Bournemouth. We went through to a 2nd round of online voting but that's where it stopped sadly. Mark and I did a fair few radio shows (BBC Bristol and BCfm) to promote and gain votes so that was all good publicity and experience. Big thanks to Billy Quain (BCfm), Ali Vowles and Elise Rayner (BBC Radio Bristol) for their support with that. Thanks to everyone who came to support us at the regional heat and to everyone who voted for us.

DJ Mark James for BBC Radio Bristol

Following that was the first of 7 gigs at Plantation (possibly more, I may have lost count), which has practically become our home from home. Huge thanks to Bev, Richie, Sandy and everyone else who makes Plantation such a special and welcoming place. You have really appreciated and supported us as musicians - if only all venues were like that. We look forward to many more fun times in 2013 and wish Richie luck on his travels.

In February we had a great wedding gig in Cornwall, possibly the most beautiful place I've ever gigged in. We played for a few hours in a rather impressive mansion house looking right out to sea and stayed the night in a little cottage. It was great to get away all together to somewhere so picturesque, though I probably spent most of my gig money on food and drink! I did have a great picture of Esteban looking very happy by the sea but it was lost with my old phone so you'll just have to imagine him here...

Ah...this is the life.

Bath International Music Festival was next, which saw us performing in one of Bath's biggest venues, the Pavillion, for Party in the City.  I went to school in Bath and saw a few gigs at the Pavillion as a teenager so it was really great to go back as a performer this time. As a band we're still at the stage where we generally play small/medium size venues with smaller stages, so having the run of a 1,400 capacity venue with a nice big stage and a dressing room was really exciting (to the point that I took a picture of the dressing room door! I've never been one for playing it cool...).

Don't think we've ever played so far away from each other...

An Esteban's-eye-view of the soundcheck.

Ashburton Blues Festival
came round pretty quickly so we were down the M5 again, only a few miles down the road from Dartington Collge of Arts (now closed) where Aaron and I studied music for 3 frenetic years. Festival director Michael Cranmer was one of the judges for Battle of the Blues. Contrary to the final result, he thought we were great and gave us a slot that night. A group of us went down a bit early to catch Eric Bibb's set and had an amazing night. What a master that man is, so radiant with warmth and passion for the music. Inspired for our gig the next day we hit the hay only slightly drunk and were ready to play the next morning. Quite a strange sensation playing at a festival in the morning but at Ashburton they were well up for it! The festival is having a break this year but Michael assures me they'll be back in 2014 so do check it out and support them if you like your blues music...hopefully we'll be on the bill too. ;)

The day after Ashburton we supported New Street Adventure along with Lady Nade & The Silhouettes at Bristol's favourite boat venue, Thekla. It's one of Bristol's better known venues and, let's face it, it's always a bit of a novelty to play a floating gig. New Street Adventure describe themselves as 'the sound of young British Soul' and are a really nice bunch and Lady Nade & The Silhouettes are fast making their mark in the South West and beyond.

Mark, Paul and Esteban drinking the bar dry!

Next up was Keynsham Music Festival, another first for us and one of the only summer days where it didn't completely p*ss it down! In fact, the sun came out for our set and the air was full of bubbles which was probably the nearest I got to summer last year. We had a particularly warm and enthusiastic reception at Keynsham, sold loads of CD's and were really impressed with the vibe of the place. I for one am really grateful that people are running these free community festivals independently and Keynsham are doing a great job of it. Thanks to Jelli Records for having us on the Co-operative Stage. Come along this year, website's here.

Thanks to Colin Rayner for this picture (inc.bubbles!).

Marlborough International Jazz Festival was definitely one of our highlights this year. They gave us a wonderful welcome and before the end of our gig we really had the tent dancing (including my rather 'merry' Dad and the esteemed festival director Nick Fogg. Not together though!). We were honoured to be nominated for Best Newcomer but sadly didn't win. Thanks again to everyone who voted though - one of these days we'll actually win something. Thanks to Tim and Jacky Reenan who let us use their house as a dressing room and championed us amazingly around town and to everyone who came to support us (especially Jess, Wilson, Blakey and Dad). We're very much looking forward to coming back bigger and better this year and urge you to support the festival by coming along and getting involved.

Thanks to SASNN photo for these great pictures.

Dancing with not one but two ladies there Dad?! You've been busted I'm afraid...

Here's a live video of 'Can't help myself' from the Marlborough gig.

A nice home gig next at Brisfest, which was back at Ashton Court this year. The rain and the cold actually worked in our favour here (apart from the load-in) because the tent was packed! Thanks to Jelli Records for putting us on and everyone who came along to hear us or listened in live on BCfm.

Got all dolled up and then sung in my wellies. S'class that is...

In October we played at the Southbank Club for Gathering Voices Festival of Song and Jelli Records. Mark, Aaron and I do a lot of work for Gathering Voices, a Bristol-based arts charity working primarily with children and young people. The Festival of Song is a city-wide celebration of singing so it was an honour to contribute. Do check out the festival this year as there's always something for everyone and, like so many of these events, it does need your support to keep going.

In November we did a very special gig to raise money for Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital's Paediatric Oncology Ward. Together with the fantastic LightGarden (check them out!) we played to a packed village hall and raised £1,600 for a truly worthy cause. It was all organised by our very own Dave McKeown and many other helpful people who baked cakes, set up gear, did the raffle etc... A proper community DIY event that had a really special atmosphere. Thanks and well done to everyone involved - we'd love to do it again.

A big shout out to all our regular supporters - you know who you are! Those of you that come to gigs regularly really make a difference to us. We hope you'll stay with us this year as we have some exciting things planned and we will definitely need YOUR help!

Thanks also to Hannah Klewin and Nick Spollin for sound engineering, lending us gear and generally being supportive of what we do.

Since it's me (Victoria) writing this I'd also like to thank the rest of the band - it's wonderful playing music with you all and I love that we always have a laugh at the same time. :)

Here's to 2013!


The Myth of Discovery - on 'making it big' in music

October 2, 2012
Many aspiring musicians, myself included, find themselves fixating on when and how their idols 'made it' to stardom. In such a competitive business, with passions (and egos) running high, there is a certain inquisitive desperation that inhabits our ilk. Constantly searching for connections and trying to find that illusive big break can get tiring and leave you feeling pretty dejected sometimes. At times like this you look to the people who inspire you, the people who have already done everyth...
Continue reading...


Make a Free Website with Yola.