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Diamond Head bring Lightning to the Nations at Cheltenham’s Frog and Fiddle Walking into the Frog and Fiddle, I give my name to the friendly doorman in exchange for a red cross hastily scrawled across my hand; granting me access to Diamond Head’s intimate sold out gig. Costing only £8.80, the entry fee is remarkably modest for a band known to have played in stadiums supporting the likes of ACDC, Sabbath and Iron Maiden. The band that ignited the fire of new wave heavy metal in the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s. Their debut album ‘Lightning to the Nations’ famously inspiring metal giants Megadeth and Metallica with their iconic guitar riffs and menacing vocals. You can feel the excitement begin to build as the bar soon fills with thirsty Diamond Head fans of all ages. From the older rockers of the early 80’s to the teenagers only just old enough to order a pint at the bar; the pure diversity of Diamond Head’s fan base prove they are still a force to be reckoned with. A treasured secret to not only those who were lucky enough to see the original line up first hand, but to all of those who have discovered them since. From the outside, the Frog and Fiddle is a small venue; conveniently tucked away in the charming Brewery Quarters of Cheltenham Spa. It doesn’t appear to be much bigger than my local pub, however as I make my way towards the darkness of the barn where the band will be soon be playing, I realise there is more to this unique music venue than meets the eye. I take a…
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Classic Rock Veterans, Thunder perform at Caerphilly Castle with show stopping sell out gig. Thunder brought the venue’s summer series of live music events to a memorable close last weekend with an exclusive event that saw tickets sell out in just 3 days. Supported by Cats in Space and Hand of Dimes, Thunder join an impressive list of past headliners including Ocean Colour Scene and Tony Hadley as they perform at what is fast becoming one of Wales’ most magical music venues. Set in the in the heart of Caerphilly, the 13th century castle pulled open its gates to 1600 privileged Thunder fans; all eager to see the band perform in one of the country’s most unique and exclusive settings. Set before a stunning backdrop of one the greatest medieval castles in Western Europe, Cats In Space took to the stage first, treating the crowd to a generous helping of classic 70’s rock. Kicking off with “Too Many Gods” from their debut album of the same name; Cats In Space delivered a solid setlist emulating influences from 10cc, ELO and Queen.  ‘Clown In Your Nightmare’ is a highlight, flaunting Paul Manzi ‘s raw and powerful vocals. The band close the set with a well-received rendition of ‘Five Minute Celebrity’ before passing on the baton to local band Hand of Dimes. Led by ex-Kooga members Nev MacDonald and Neil Garland; Hand of Dimes worked their magic to deliver a powerful performance enriched with an array of tracks taken from their debut album ‘Raise’.  Nev’s gloriously compelling vocals ignite the historic castle courtyard; daring the crowd not to join in with classic Kooga favourites, ‘Like I’ve Ever Known’ and ‘House…
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Midge Ure, Imelda May and Robert Plant closed Bath Festival Finale Weekend As we approach Bath Festival on Sunday morning, it’s almost though we have never left the Recreation Grounds. With fond memories of yesterday’s breath-taking performances from the likes of Paloma Faith and Sophie Ellis Bextor; we arrive at the festival in high spirits, full of excitement and anticipation of the day ahead. Whilst we were expecting a slightly more sombre crowd than the night before, we soon realise that we were undoubtedly mistaken. It’s the last day of the finale weekend and Bath Festival still boasts the same energy that left the previous night on an electrifying high. The weekend’s popularity is reflected in the number of fans wearing both Saturday and Sunday wristbands. With eagerly awaited performances from Midge Ure, Imelda May and Robert Plant on the horizon; it’s almost inevitable that Sunday’s line up will bring Bath’s 70th music festival to a rememberable close. Much like the day before, it’s not long before a diverse variety of music fans of all ages begin to arrive. Albeit, a couple more, biker jackets and legendary Led Zeppelin t-shirts are noticeable amongst the artisanal food stalls, colourful circus performers and picnic blankets that proudly adorn the festival grounds. Whilst enjoying the local musical talent on the main stage, we relax with a cold cider in the afternoon sun. The bar staff have done a tremendous job keeping us refreshed and revitalised throughout the entire weekend, never having made us wait longer than a couple of minutes to be served. An impressive accomplishment for a festival that continues to grow in popularity…
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Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Alison Moyet and Paloma Faith open Bath Festival Finale Weekend The sun shines through the morning clouds as it greets the festival goers arriving at the Recreation Ground in the heart of the charming city of Bath. Enriched with history and culture, the city is celebrating its 70th anniversary of its internationally renowned music festival with a line-up that has effortlessly enticed thousands to join in the celebrations. 8000 music lovers of all ages have travelled from as far as California to be here on this surprisingly sunny bank holiday weekend. Whilst the news reports forecasts of cloudy skies, rain and thunder storms throughout the rest of the area, The Rec boasts an idealic setting and perfect place to host the festival’s grand finale weekend. Umbrellas and wellies lie redundant on the grass whilst guests decorate the grounds with colourful picnic blankets, sun hats and smiling faces as they relax in the sun in anticipation for the weekend’s festivities. Whilst it isn’t the first time Bath Festival has hosted a stellar line up, this year they really have gone all out, with a wide variety of talented artists throughout the weekend. On Saturday it’s the girls who are leading the way, with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Alison Moyet and Paloma Faith setting standards high on the main stage. But it’s not all about the headliners, Bath Festival has so much more to offer and organisers have clearly gone out of their way to ensure there is plenty to do during the entire weekend. With talent shows, craft stalls, face painting, local charities, entertainers and three different stages accommodating local bands, singers and battle…
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Ghostly Goings-on in Llancaiach Fawr Manor Creeks and squeaks, thumps and bumps… these were some of the sounds heard when the Working Women’s Network visited Llancaiach Fawr last week. A group of 15 ladies embarked on a ‘fright night’ network meeting at one of Wales’s most haunted houses. Equipped with torches and EMF (electromagnetic field strength) meters the group enjoyed an hour of fear in the dark 16th century manor house.   Two of the Llancaiach Fawr staff members, Louise and Sarah told tales of ghostly sightings and experiences as the group travelled from room to haunted room. The EMF meters were especially active during the tour which could indicate that the ladies were not alone! After the tour, Llancaiach Fawr’s General Manager, Diane Walker gave a fascinating talk on her experiences being a female manager in a mans world and the ups and downs of running an all female management team at Llancaiach Fawr. Details of the Ghost tours can found at http://your.caerphilly.gov.uk/llancaiachfawr/events/ghost-tour-options The Working Women’s Network is fun way to meet like minded people if you are an employer or an employee for more information on the Working Women’s Network Call Sharon Peters on 01443 866397 or email peters@caerphilly.gov.uk            
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Ocean Colour Scene light up Caerphilly Castle with sell out gig It’s late afternoon and the dull, grey clouds that have occupied the sky throughout the morning are reluctantly pushed aside by the ever persistent rays of the warm mid-September Sunshine. Seductively, creeping up behind the 13th century walls of the second biggest castle in Europe, the sun warmly welcomes the crowds to the historic town of Caerphilly. A wide variety of fans, both old and new have travelled from near and far; all intent on reminiscing the soundtrack that filled the care-free days of the glorious 1990’s. Tonight they are privileged to be enjoying the live music of Brit pop legends, “Ocean Colour Scene” as they celebrate the 20th anniversary of their most successful album, “Mosley Shoals”. Released in 1996, the name of the album is a fond dedication to the band’s original hometown of Mosley in Birmingham. Although the album didn’t quite make #1 in the charts, it has proved itself to be one of the most well-loved albums of that era; encapsulating the raw excitement and magic of the original Brit pop movement that took place over two decades ago. The suspense builds heavily throughout the castle courtyard as the lights dim down and the crowd cheer as they welcome Ocean Colour Scene to the stage. The band open with an impressive cover of the Beatles classic, “Day Tripper”; a track which was originally recorded as a live B-side to “The Circle”. The famous opening rifts send the crowd into a frenzy and it’s not long before everyone is singing along. The song is perhaps a fond reminiscent of the times the band performed on stage with the Gallagher brothers during the peak of their success in 1994. After listening to the band’s demo, Noel Gallagher proceeded to invite Ocean Colour Scene to join Oasis as their opening act at…
Big Cheese Festival Caerphilly 2016 Review Last weekend, the Go 2 My Town team were lucky enough to count themselves amongst the 80,000 visitors attending the Big Cheese festival in the heart of Caerphilly. The charming collection of food stalls, re-enactments, entertainers and fairground rides, magically complimented the historic gardens of the second largest castle in Great Britain. Accompanied by the warm and brilliant sunshine, the castle walls; deeply enriched with historic tales, effortlessly enticed thousands to one of the most beautiful buildings of the 13th century in the heart of South Wales. What historian Allen Brown could only describe as “the most elaborate water defences in all of Britain”, the magnificent surroundings proved to be the perfect setting to present the unique heritage and culture of Caerphilly. An exciting combination of artists, musicians, traders, and animal handlers beautifully decorate the castle grounds. The historic costumes and smell of the traditional medieval cooking enlightens your senses as you are transformed to the ancient 13th century. Historic re-enactment demonstrations entertain the crowd whilst the art of ancient candle and coin makers proves to be a popular choice with visitors. One of the highlights of the weekend was the impressive Falconry show. A magnificent collection of birds including Vultures, Eagles and the adorable European Eagle, “Popeye” who dared to fly so close over the brave volunteers lying on the ground; they could almost feel the feathers gracefully sweeping across their astonished faces. The birds weren’t the only animals to greet the guests over the weekend. An exotic animal tent accommodated a variety of different snakes, insects and spiders all just as eager…
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“Kiss Me Quick” We were invited to something a little different, a provocative cocktail of feathers, sequins, dancers and tassels; an evening with the unforgettable burlesque performers of kiss me quick. It’s a warm and sunny Saturday evening in Newbridge, South Wales. Walking into the nostalgic 19th century memorial hall of Newbridge Memo proves to be an enriching and relaxing haven; free from the chaotic madness of the M4 traffic. The memorial hall was built in memory of the 75 residents of Newbridge who lost their lives during World War 1. Originally it was intended to be a reception in loving memory and celebration of what would have been their homecoming. Today however, we are here for an entirely different occasion, a celebration of the theatrical 1840s art form of striptease with the fabulous seaside burlesque show, “Kiss Me Quick”.   Tonight, whilst still maintaining it’s endearing character, the historic memorial hall is a provocative cocktail of feathers, sequins, dancers and tassels. Excitement fills the air as the crowd begin to fill the theatre and take their seats. The lights soon go down and the show is about to begin. First on stage (or attempting to climb up on it) is the beautiful and ever so tipsy Kheski Kobler. Kheski is both hilarious and seductive as she struggles to undress in front of a very amused yet encouraging crowd. She is warmly received and sets the scene perfectly with her staggeringly quirky performance. The charming host, FooFoo Labelle entertains the crowd throughout the evening as she warmly welcomes each performer to the stage.…
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