Category Archives: Gigs

Celebrating Bloomsday

We’re really excited to be marking Bloomsday on Saturday with a special Beatroot Rendez-Vouz event at the Prince Albert in Stroud. For those of you who are justifiably wondering, “What the hell is Bloomsday?” — well, I’ll tell you.

Bloomsday is a celebration of James Joyce’s landmark novel Ulysses. The action of the novel takes place on one day: 16 June 1904, and closely follows the movements and thoughts of its primary and peripheral characters (many of them real Dubliners) on an ordinary day in Dublin. One of these primary characters is Leopold Bloom — hence the name”Bloomsday”.  The 16th of June was, in fact, the day Joyce met his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle.

The novel caused a great uproar when it was first published, largely due to its stark depiction of the stuff of everyday life; including eating, drinking, pissing, shitting, daydreaming about sex, wanking, getting drunk and singing, getting drunk and crying, getting drunk and trying it on with the object of your desire, getting drunk and fighting in the street — namely, the things that real people do in real life.

Such offensive material was considered by the bulwarks of virtue to be obscene and damaging to society, and was therefore banned in the US and UK, until elderly men in black robes decided to acknowledge that Ulysses is a titan of modernist literature, and not just dimestore smut.

Every 16th of June since 1954, poets, authors, artists and punters who just love the book have marked Bloomsday in Dublin (and abroad) by following in the characters’ footsteps, drinking in the same pubs, eating the same sandwiches — possibly even using the same loos. Many follow the route the characters travelled in the book, between Sandymount (a seaside suburb of Dublin) and a meandering trail around the inner city.

For example, many people flock to Davey Byrne’s pub on South Anne Street at 11:30am to have a gorgonzola sandwich and a glass of burgundy — the very fare in the very same pub enjoyed by Leopold Bloom in the novel. Enthusiasts dressed in period attire will then read aloud from that chapter, often acting out the narrative.

Basically, it’s a bit of fun. I was lucky enough to be living in Dublin on the 100th anniversary of the day Ulysses takes place. It was like a much more sober — and more genuinely Irish — St Patrick’s Day. I’ve celebrated it ever since. This year, I’m chuffed that I’ll have some of my mates from Dublin here in Stroud to celebrate it with me.

Join the Facebook event here.

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Harnessing the power of the tube…

Like many struggling bands, we’ll try almost anything to get our music heard (except murder, animal cruelty, sexual favours and pay-to-play gigs).

So, in the spirit of succumbing to modern technology, we’re dusting off our faces and getting in front of a camera for a few little live videos. We’re trying to keep it creative and in the spirit of everything else we do, so the first one was filmed through a bush at the bottom of a garden:

It’s a new song for Ben’s niece Evie who just turned one. We hope you like it, there’ll be more to come… though we’ve started simple, you can expect more excitement in future. e.g: explosions, car chases, will.i.am style stuff, bangbangbang shapow etc.

Also, we have an AWESOME gig coming up on June 16th, here’s the fb event:

http://www.facebook.com/events/312233422193113/

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Help us record our next album!

Join the facebook event here.

Hello there, how are you?

Herons! is an independent band. We’re not signed, we have no manager or publisher or any type of investment, but we don’t see that as a bad thing. There’s a lot of work involved in managing our own band, but it also means that we have complete freedom and control. Continue reading

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Folk in a Box

Herons! are very excited to be involved with Folk in a Box at the upcoming Stroud Fringe, sponsored by The Prince Albert.

What on earth is Folk in a Box? Some of you may ask. Well, it’s probably best described as ‘Britain’s smallest music venue’ (if not the world’s). It’s one performer, one audience member, one song, all in a box about the size of a luxury shed. Possibly the most intimate performance you could ever experience!

Herons! will be joining forces with Folk in a Box veteran Emily Barker, plus the excellent Johnny Barlow, (no relation of Gary, sadly) Tom Jacob out of hermes, and a couple of ‘celebrity guests’, plus more acts to be announced. We’ll all be buzzing about the box in Stroud on Saturday the 3rd of September at the Shambles Market, between 10:00 and 15:00; and Sunday the 4th of September at the Cornhill market place, between 13:00 and 17:00. We’ll be serving tea and coffee and wearing silly hats and ‘the craic will be mighty’ as they say.

See you there!

In other news, we now have a facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/heronstheband

Please ‘like’ us. Oh please oh please oh please! We ‘like’ you!

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Playing at the River Cottage Canteen

Anna and I are Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall fans — big time.  We can watch a whole series (or more) of River Cottage on 4od in one sitting.  It’s embarrassing.  We often refer to the man behind River Cottage on a first name basis, as though we share saucepans with him:

“What shall we have for dinner tonight?”

“How about Hugh’s nettle gnocchi?”

Or:

“How do you reckon I should cook this saddle of venison?”

“I don’t know, check with Hugh.”

So you can imagine the heart palpitations and buckets of anxious sweat when Anna told me that the River Cottage team tweeted for bands to play at their River Cottage Canteen in Axminster.  Anna responded in a flash, and a date was set. Having followed the progress of the River Cottage project from the beginning, a trip to the River Cottage Canteen promised to be a kind of pilgrimage for us.

Continue reading

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Beatroot Rendez-vous Date Change

Unfortunately, our good friend Pepe Belmonte, who organises the Beatroot Rendez-vous evenings at the Old Queen’s Head in London, suffered an accident and has had to cancel a bunch of planned events.  Luckily, he’s recovering quickly, and for this we’re really happy.

For those of you who were planning on coming to the Beatroot gig on Tuesday, the 26th of April, please be aware that it has been moved to an all-day fundraiser for Pepe on the day before — so please come to this special event on Monday, the 25th of April, beginning at 13:00.  Herons! will be performing at this event (as will a bunch of others, including our best buddies Aidan and Jenny Lindfors) at 17:00.  Please check our gigs page for times, addresses and other details.

Do check out the gig on Monday night, as your support for Pepe would be tremendously appreciated!  Sorry for any inconvenience caused by this last-minute announcement.

-Ben

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