'The Usk Singing Club' and enjoyed producing a 'choral' sound with others. However, during 2012 -13 Jez and I have taken a further big step together into the wonderful world of 'making music' and we are proud and feel priviliged, to have been welcomed so warmly into the local Monmouthshire music scene and its wonderful community and comradeship of musicians. We have made some wonderful friends through playing music. There is also evidence that making music is good for your health.
There are many talented amateur and professional musicians living and playing in Monmouthshire and there are a wealth of opportunities to listen to and play live music. Many of our local towns and villages hold music festivals and events and open mic sessions abound in pubs and clubs across the county, run by a passionate and dedicated band of volunteers who put in a lot of time and effort for little or no financial reward. I have listed some of the best ones at the bottom of this page. To all the organisers, thank you all for encouraging and facilitating live music performances like you do.
Over the last eighteen months I have done things I never thought I would ever do musically. I have learned (after a limited fashion anyway) to play drums (Cajon and Djembe) and I am also learning to play the ukulele. What's more, much to my own amazement, I am now actually part of a five piece blues rock band 'Twysted River' who are going from strength to strength. As a new band, we have been on a steep but thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding learning curve together. We have enjoyed playing some very special gigs for charity, including Monmouth Raft Race and last night we ended 2013 on a high, playing out the old year and welcoming in the new with a gig at The Royal British Legion Club Usk. It is a fantastic feeling seeing people enjoy themselves - dancing and having fun to the music you are making.
Some talented and lucky people can and do earn a living 'making music', but for most of us involved, doing this is not really about making money - its about the sheer joy that is experienced in joining with others in making and enjoying music together. The satisfaction of being able to sing and/ or learning to play an instrument well enough to join in and jam with others, or to play in a band and to create a harmonious sound for others to laugh, sing and dance and celebrate life and all its many facets of sorrow, joy and love. Making music is simply and wonderfully a way of expressing them all and that is why it is top of my list for 'must dos' for 2014.
Long may the unique and special fellowship of music making continue!
A Very Happy 2014!
|Twysted River playing at Monmouth Raft Race Sept 2013 L-R Julian Leybourne; Me; Jez Bosanquet; Garry Catchpole and Stewart Charters|
Twysted River - Blues Rock Band
Chepstow Acoustic Music Club
The Beaufort Hotel Raglan - Open Mic
The Millers Arms Mathern - Open Mic
The Lion Inn Trellech - Open Mic
The Kings Arms Abergavenny - Open Mic
The New Court Usk - Open Mic - mainly jazz genre musicians
The Kings Head Abergavenny - Open Mic
Festivals in Monmouthshire