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Clean Bandit, Mabel, Van Morrison, Corinne Bailey Rae at Bath Festival Finale Weekend Thousands of people turned up to join in the celebrations of Bath Festival Weekend Finale.  Saturday the sun was reaching very hot temperatures and the acts that were playing brought in the younger crowds. The energy of the festival was at an all time high. After the introduction acts had performed Jaz Karis got the party started, although she was an unknown artist to me; she brought a great opening R&B/Soul vibe to the festival. Bristol Born Raleigh Ritchie (Jacob Anderson) was next on stage; well known for his role as Grey Worm in Game of Thrones . The singer-songwriter and rapper entered the stage wearing a space helmet, bringing the stage and crowd to life with his highly energised performance. Like Jaz Karis, Jacob Banks singer and songwriter from Birmingham also brought  a strong R&B and soul vibe to the stage. Jacob Banks became the first unsigned act to ever appear on BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. Mabel, the daughter of Neneh Cherry and Cameron McVey was next on stage. The Spanish-English singer/songwriter really got the crowd going, with lots of screaming and excitement as she arrived on stage. Mabel’s contemporary R&B vibe fitted perfectly with renditions of “Don’t call me up” and “Finders Keepers“; her first UK top 10 single. The final headliner act brought the first day to a close with Clean Bandit. The Electronic dance-pop group has dominated our radios during the last two years with their hits. On this sunny evening at The Bath Recreation Ground they did not disappoint. They were definitely a crowd favourite…
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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at Cardiff Castle Oasis are a band that’s always been very close to my heart, having seen them perform at least 17 times over the last two decades. Whilst I’m undoubtedly excited to be seeing Noel Gallagher perform at Cardiff Castle with his High-Flying Birds, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little apprehensive. Following a two-year creative collaboration with renowned producer, DJ and composer, David Holmes, Noel Gallagher will be showcasing a brand-new expansive sound with experimental anthems from his most recent album ‘Who Built the Moon?’. Joined by an array of backing singers and percussionists, it’s ‘half the world away’ from the band that fearlessly took the 90s by storm with their first single ‘Supersonic’ and critically acclaimed albums ‘Definitely Maybe’ and ‘What’s the Story Morning Glory?’. I secretly wonder how Noel will adapt to the role of front man without the confident swagger of his younger brother and endless back catalogue of Oasis crowd pleasers to fall back on. It’s a brave step to take for the Oasis ‘Chief’ so far outside of his comfort zone and in front of so many fans, many of whom will surely be thinking the same as me. As we approach the outskirts of Cardiff Castle the atmosphere is infectious as fans of all ages fill the castle grounds; relaxing in the evening sun and laughing as they pose for photos in the medieval stocks that overlook the Castle entrance. Orchard have once again done a superb job of selecting another unique and magical backdrop to showcase one of their many prestige…
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Miss Divine UK Finals – 2018! The sun sparkles against the river Usk as we arrive at the modern Riverfront Theatre in the heart of Newport.  This is the first time Miss Divine UK have held their grand finals at the impressive venue and it’s the perfect setting for the crowning of this year’s Queens. The competition is high and there’s an air of excitement as contestants from all over the United Kingdom arrive at the theatre with shared hopes of taking home their very own Miss Divine title. The girls have worked exceptionally hard to earn their place as a contestant in one of Wales’ most empowering beauty pageants; after having already won their divisional titles. Glamorous ball gowns, high heels and glittering crowns are carefully escorted through the reception area as the girls make their way backstage in preparation for the busy day ahead. It’s not the first time we have joined Miss Divine UK in their grand finale celebrations. After attending their first crowning ceremony the year before we were in awe of the determination, hard work and passion radiating from all of those involved; attributes which have become fundamental to the pageant’s success. This year I have been given the unique and exciting opportunity of joining the Miss Divine UK judging panel; gaining an insight into all the hard work put in by everyone involved. We will be scoring the girls based on a variety of different qualities and the great work they have carried out throughout the year working tirelessly to support a wide range of charities and communities. Joining me…
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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Miss Divine UK Finals! Miss Divine UK would have struggled to find a more beautiful setting to celebrate the final night of their beauty pageant competition. The New House Country Hotel stands proudly overlooking the dynamic city of Cardiff. The original period features are only enhanced by the gentle candle light as they welcome guests to the majestic 19th Century manor house. A charming marquee sits in the hotel garden and it’s immediately evident why so many couples choose this venue as the perfect setting for their wedding ceremony. Tonight however, the hotel is hosting an entirely different celebration and we are overwhelmed by the number of guests who have turned up to see the next Miss Divine UK receive their crowns. Stalls selling make up, hair and beauty products decorate the beautiful marquee and friendly traders are more than happy to share beauty tips and advice as the customers sample their exclusive products. Having never attended a beauty pageant before, we weren’t really sure what to expect, but the organisers welcomed us with open arms and the evening’s entertainment did not fail to impress. This included a very talented dance show from Rhians Dancer‘s and a very powerful enjoyable performance from Yasmine.   The girls are all here for different reasons, but it is clear that this opportunity gives girls the chance to shine and increase their confidence. Maegan Beaton chose to brave the stage to help her overcome her own challenges: I never thought I’d ever be on stage again.. for many reasons, but mainly due to struggling constantly with my mental…
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Miss Divine UK a pageant unlike any other Miss Divine UK is an organisation with aims to support and empower females from all over the United Kingdom to achieve their individual success. The organisation works with women and young girls from a variety of different backgrounds and offers them a platform to develop important life skills, make new friends and gain incredible opportunities. It is extremely important to them to provide a positive, happy and fun place for young girls to grow and express themselves while learning valuable skills. The females that are involved in the organisation are all truly inspirational and powerful in their own right, and Miss Divine UK encourage them to recognise their strengths and how they can use them to make a difference in the world. Miss Divine UK have an outstanding range of females from all walks of life that want to use their personal experiences to inspire others to follow their dreams. Some of their girls are; cancer survivors, burns victims, mental health sufferers, rape/sexual assault victims, victims of bullying etc. The main thing that they all have in common is that the trauma they have suffered has given them a purpose, which is to empower other women and raise awareness for these issues so that other sufferers are not alone. It is all about making a positive impact on your community and society as a whole. The phenomenal stories that we hear from girls as young as six that are a part of Miss Divine UK leave us speechless, these females are true inspirations. Of course, there is still a huge stigma…
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