Welcome to the my blog. My name is Lucy Farfort i'm a freelance illustrator & designer maker. This is where you can find out what i've been up to of late, read my attempts at a decent post & the rantings of a visual addict. Hope you like it. You can contact me to say 'hi' by email on lucy@lucyshappyplace.com
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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Going Tribal

Guess what? Today you can breathe a sigh of relief as you'll be pleased to know this is the penultimate wedding series blog post. Alright, alright - don't get too excited ;)

Holy Moly's lively dance folk stylings got everyone nicely warmed up and ready for our headline act Hannabiell & Midnight Blue. Personally I would say that the name of this band suggests a sort of smooth, chilled, sort of jazz outfit, fronted by a female vocalist with a sultry voice. However they are nothing like that and are in fact an energetic, all out afro-beat, tribal funk, band fronted by a sassy no- mess Bostonian out to get the crowd moving. Essentially - they're flipping awesome!

(Photo by Alan Chun from the Hannabiell.com website)

I first discovered this band at a friend's African celebration event two or three years ago. At that event the band's two leading ladies took centre stage, Yilis on the drums and Hannabiell shifting between drums and a massive bass trombone. Just the two of them alone made some serious noise and were mightily impressive. I kind of forgot about them but at some point when organising the acts their name arose, and after watching some gig footage of them and their band I quickly got in contact. Luckily for us the band was available, because they're pretty busy (unsurprisingly given how fab they are). I found out from one of our guests a few weeks after later, that our little festival was their third gig of the day - wow!

I'm not quite sure the crowd knew what to make of them when they first came on, as Hannabiell's first port of call was to insist that everyone came closer to the front of the stage. Her bubbly Bostonian tones finally coaxed everyone to the front.
First the drums kicked in - these ladies' drumming skills are awe inspiring to watch. Then the brass from their band mates started and not long after that the trombone came, followed shortly with a rave whistle to set off the tribal drumming. By the end of the first song practically everyone was dancing.
I can't remember the last time I danced that energetically, especially in wellies:


Getting down with tribal sounds, Dave took the opportunity to whip of his tie and use it as a head band. This combined with his rave inspired waistcoat and some purple fairy wings, he looked like he'd just stepped off a carnival float.

It was ace seeing everyone up dancing and having such a great time.
Then came the icing on the already very tasty cake: after their last song, Hannabiel announced that she needed volunteers from the audience to help the band out. Off course she had LOTS of takers including Dave. Each volunteer was given some kind of percussion instrument and one by one after Yilis and Hannabiell introduced a beat, each was instructed to join in with their contribution. Seeing everyone taking part on stage and the audience's surprise was just fantastic. Even thinking about this now brings a massive smile to my face. Here's Dave up on stage, concentrating hard to stay in time -

All of our guests absolutely loved them and for the rest of the night people kept asking me where I'd found them and how I knew about them.
Its impossible to get an idea of what this band sound like from my description and the photos alone so  I was over the moon to learn that one of the guests captured some of their set on film and here it is:

Hope you enjoyed the post. Back next week for the last one.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Dance till you drop

For me the end of the first dance marked the beginning of the proper festival. All the traditional stuff was over so Dave and I could finally relax and enjoy the moment without having the worry of any more awkward bits to come. So it was time to let our hair down and DANCE!! After Holy Moly's rendition of the Bright Eyes classic it was time to crack on with some stomping folk music.

Of course much barn dance type 'swing your partner round and round' action ensued. It really felt like a festival, with some folks like myself dancing up front, some watching from the back and others lazing about on the grass with a pint of specially brought in Nel's Best ale.


When we were in the process of planning it all, although we obviously wanted the reception to have a real festival atmosphere, I don't think we realised just how close it would feel to the real thing. Our very own mini Glastonbury!
There was no doubt that our first band went down a storm, but then it was time for our headliner act who really got things moving....

There will be more on that next week, but in the meantime as promised I managed to get the first dance video uploaded and as embarrassing as it is i'm still going to share it with you.  Its bad! Don't say i didn't warn you:

Friday, 4 October 2013

Note to self: NEVER slow dance again

Happy Friday! I'm a bit late with the post today but at least i got there eventually.
Before i get into this post, i just have to say a big thanks to Narc magazine for recommending our first band of the evening.
Organising the bands was undoubtedly one of the most difficult parts of planning the wedding.  With a very tight budget and family and friends who all have greatly different tastes in music, getting this right was going to be no mean feat.
I think its fair to say that Dave, my better 1/2, pretty much only likes dance music - ala techno and drum and bass. Now as much as I love a good bit of D&B, it doesn't really have that early evening festival vibe... does it? Given that dance music (at this point of the day at least) was off the menu, the band hunt was essentially down to me. After months of hunting and with the clock counting down, I contacted 'Narc' a well-respected local music mag, for help. They  suggested 3 bands and after listening to each, one really stood out; 'Holy, Moly and the Crackers', a dancey folk outfit, who we know would appeal to lots of tastes and get the crowd going. Finally! We'd identified out first main stage act.

I was really excited about the bands, but I wasn't at all looking forward to the first dance, which we planned for the very start of the 1st act's set.
Looking back now, the sensible thing would have been to just say ' we're not having a first dance at our wedding'. However at this point during the planning, tradition reared its meddling head and said in a very hypnotic voice which seemingly I couldn't resist 'YOU MUST HAVE A FIRST DANCE'. Like a fool I said:
'Yes, we must have a first dance, and I have a brilliant idea! Given that we both have absolutely no clue how to slow dance, lets choose the slowest song we can find to dance to'.
Whoops, bad plan.
The intention was for us to practice, but as usual lack of time, coupled with the embarrassment of attempting to slow dance in the lounge when you're totally clueless, equated to virtually no practice.
Anyway when the 'time' arrived there was no escape, particularly as the band learnt their own rendition of the song especially for the occasion. The song was 'First Day of My Life' by Bright Eyes and although not the best choice for people who can't slow dance I still love it and the lyrics are very appropriate.
Now despite the embarrassment I was going to put a video on here of 'the crappest first dance in the world' as caught on video by one of our guests, but lucky for me and probably you i can't work out how to do it so will have to make do with some pics.

The good thing about the photos is you can't witness the crap-ness to it's full effect.
The 'lift' was Dave's spontaneous attempt to fill time, which to a point did work quite well . Then as time goes on and it becomes increasingly painful we just call on guests to join in an ultimately save u. I promise i will get the vid up when i can work out how to do it.

Next week - a good ol' knees up!