All posts by Bel Blue

About Bel Blue

Singer Songwriter, music project explorations.

Bel Blue ‘Hanging On’ (Music Video) by Lucy Jane Purrington

Sometimes ‘Hanging On’ is ‘the best we can do’

I am honoured to share with you this beautifully created video by Photographer and Video Artist Lucy Jane Purrington, her response to ‘Hanging On’ The St Illtud’s Sessions.

It is Mental Health Awareness Week and it seems a good time to be sharing and performing material that relates to this, and collaborating on projects with narratives around mental health.

‘Hanging On’ is the second track from my music project experiments in field recording at The Galilee Chapel, St Illtud’s Church.  I wrote the track a few years ago as I was tumbling into melancholy and first performed it at The Welsh Mental Health Arts Festival at Wales Millennium Centre   in November 2016, so its taken a while to record a version.

I very much admire the work of Artist Lucy Jane Purrington, whose self-portraits project focuses on themes of identity and mental health. Following some creative conversations between us, I sent her a copy of ‘Hanging On’ and was touched by how the song resonated with her and unfolded into this beautiful visual expression. We both love the sea and the video is filmed at locations on the Hertitage Coast in South Wales.

If you need someone to talk to Samaritans are available on 116 123 (UK) for free, 24/7.

To find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk

Bel Blue ‘Hanging On’ (Music Video)

A film by Photographer and Video Artist Lucy Jane Purrington created in response to Bel Blue ‘Hanging On’ The St Illtud’s Sessions

To find out more about Bel Blue:

belblue.co.uk

belblue.bandcamp.com

soundcloud.com/belbluemusic

To find out more about Lucy Jane Purrington:

www.lucypurrington.com

‘Hanging On’ From the forthcoming EP Bel Blue ‘The St Illtud’s Sessions’

Written by Bel Blue

Recorded at The Galilee Chapel, St Illtud’s Church, Llantwit Major, Wales

Bel Blue: vocals, guitar

Kevs Ford: keys, classical guitar

Produced by Kevs Ford, Bel Blue

Video: Lucy Jane Purrington

Film Footage Vale of Glamorgan, Heritage Coastline, Wales

Bel Blue Music ©2018 All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

‘On The Bench’ Scratch Night at Wales Millennium Centre – Disability Arts Cymru-May17th 7pm

Its lovely to be singing at ‘On The Bench’ an evening of poetry, song and drama from members of Disability Arts Cymru at Wales Millennium Centre on Friday May 17th 7pm.

Performers include Des Mannay – Hooligan Poet, Singer-Songwriter Bel Blue, Rosie Moriarty-Simmonds and Sara Beer performing ‘Meg, Mabel and Molly’, a new script by Sherrall Morris. Members of DAC will be experimenting with new material at the scratch night.

It should be great evening, a chance to experience some new performance and meet up, so I do hope you will be able to join us. Tickets need to be booked at the Wales Millennium Centre but they are free. There will be a collection at the end of the evening for donations.

To book tickets please go to – www.wmc.org.uk/en/whats-on/2019/scratch-night-on-the-bench/

Last week I met up with musicians Philipa Irving and Juliette Bell Salter above who will be joining me to sing on some new material with their magical voices. Singing with them lifted my heart and I look forward to sharing that music with you. We will also be joined by Kevs Ford on guitar and Andy Constable on djembe.

I will be performing some songs from my on-going EP recording project The St Illtud’s Sessions. Many of these songs are informed by narratives around mental health that often surface in my work.

We will also be screening a beautifully created video by Photographer and Video Artist Lucy Jane Purrington, her response to an invitation to respond to my song ‘Hanging On’.

The scratch night takes place during Mental Health Awareness Week and it seems a good time to be sharing and performing material that relates to this.

You can find out more about her work here www.lucypurrington.com

For more information on the night and to book tickets go to – www.wmc.org.uk/en/whats-on/2019/scratch-night-on-the-bench/

You can listen to some the St Illtud’s Sessions project on soundcloud.com/belbluemusic

To find out more about Disability Arts Cymru www.disabilityartscymru.co.uk

Bel Blue ‘Hanging On’ The St Illtud’s Sessions

HangingOnBanner.jpegWith the first glimmers of spring on the way, it seems an apt time to share the second track from our music project experiments in location and field recordings ‘Hanging On’ The St Illtud’s Sessions. The song was recorded last Autumn in the Galilee Chapel, at the fifth century site of St Illtud’s Church, llantwit Major

The track was recorded simply in one take on my Faith acoustic guitar, using condenser mics and an ambient room mic to record in the Galilee Chapel, home to an extraordinary collection of Celtic Stones. Back in the studio producer Kevs Ford has added a subtle touch of ambient keys and classical guitar to the mix.

I wrote the track a few years ago as I was tumbling into mid winter melancholy on my old friend, the folk guitar that hangs on the kitchen wall.  I welcomed the opportunity to perform it shortly after accompanied by Kevs & Andy at The Welsh Mental Health Arts Festival at Wales Millennium Centre  Cardiff  in November 2016, so its taken a while to record a version.

I almost called the song ‘Still Believe’ and I hope dear listener that sentiment is carried in the song, that sometimes ‘Hanging On’ is ‘the best we can do’ and with help to hold on we can ‘Still believe in tomorrow’

If you need support now call Samaritans on 116 123.

Hanging On is available to listen on Soundcloud and download from Bandcamp

The St Illtud’s Sessions

The St Illtud’s Sessions are an ongoing project which we hope to keep exploring and developing, we are listening back in the studio our field recordings and hope to have enough material for an EP. The project evolved from playing at the monthly open mic at St Illtud’s and creative conversations with music enthusiast Canon Edwin Counsell and musician-producer Kevs Ford.

Kevs and I started our musical journey together a few years ago when we recorded my song ‘Our Places’ live by the River Ely in Cardiff. The St Illtud’s Session have been a great opportunity for us to get back to where we first started and explore ideas and sounds in situ.

Our field recordings from this ancient space will not be perfect but will hopefully capture in someway the essence of this sacred place.

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My warmest thanks are given to the St Illtud’s community who have encouraged my music and helped make this project possible. There is a great wealth of talent and sharing of creativity at the Open Mic which runs on the first Friday of each month, run by Peter Cronin and friends.

There is much to be discovered at the ancient site of St Illtud’s and the surrounding area of Llantwit Major. I look forward to what will be revealed next on this creative journey and I hope dear reader you will check in along the way.

 

In The Shadowland, The St Illtud’s Sessions, Radio Play

Thank you so much everyone for the lovely feedback, shares and plays of  ‘In The Shadowland’ The St Illtuds’s Sessions.

This is the first track from The St Illtud’s Sessions, a project that evolved from playing at the monthly open mic at St Illtud’s. I am accompanied by Llantwit musician Peter Rosser on guitar, in a live performance of the song.

Radio Play

This project is close to my heart and I very much appreciate the touching comments and plays from local radio stations. Thanks so much for your support.

David Chamberlain : Acoustic Routes on Dapper Fm The show is broadcast every Monday, 8 & 10pm UK time and every Thursday between 7 & 9pm UK time Blues and Roots Radio Worldwide

Kane on The Local Music Show on Bro Radio 98.1 fm and available on listen again. Every thursday night from 7pm on Bro Radio for the Local Music Show.

Darren Warner and Menna  Showcase Wales on 10pm every Monday night on GTFM 107.9fm – www.gtfm.co.uk

The team from The Readifolk Radio Radio Show which is broadcast Tuesday at 10PM & Friday at 8PM on http://www.bluesandrootsradio.com/ 

Liz Franklin on her Liz Franklin’s Folk Garden  Tuesdays 6-8GMT on www.bluesandrootsradio.com

The show is also availble to listen back on Mixcloud

Kevs and I are listening back to our field recordings from this remarkable place and hope to have enough material for an EP to be released in the early spring.

Thanks for listening

Bel x

In The Shadowland’ Live – The St Illtud’s Sessions is available to listen, stream and download from Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

Recorded live on location by Kevs Ford at The Galilee Chapel, St Illtuds, Llantwit Major, Wales

Written by Bel Blue

Bel Blue: vocals, guitar
Peter Rosser: vocals, guitar

Produced by Kevs Ford and Bel Blue

Massive thanks to St Illtud’s Church, Edwin and friends

‘In The Shawowland’ The St Illtud’s Sessions

It gives me great pleasure to share ‘In The ShadowLand’ from The St Illtud’s Sessions, recorded live on location.

I have a growing interest in field recordings, so when the opportunity to record at the remarkable St Illtud’s Church in Llantwit Major came along , I welcomed it with open arms.

The project evolved from visits to St Illtuds, playing at the monthly open mic there and creative conversations with music enthusiast Canon Edwin Counsell and musician-producer Kevs Ford.

Our field recordings from this ancient space will not be perfect but will hopefully capture in someway the essence of this sacred place.

We kept the set up and the tracks simple, using condenser mics and an ambient room mic for live recording, in the extraordinary Galilee Chapel, home to an incredible collection of Celtic Stones.

On ‘In The Shadowland’  Peter Rosser accompanies me beautifully on acoustic guitar. Recording at St Illtuds, has really meant a great deal to me, as I feel a deep sense of connection to Llanilltud Fwar.

I wrote ‘In The Shadowland’ when I came home after an evening at Company of Words a open mic of spoken word and song organised by a friend and a fundraiser for Papyrus, the National charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. The sorrow and the hope shared that evening stayed with me, I was profoundly moved and the song welled up in me. It was late, I picked up my guitar and very quietly wrote ‘In The Shadowland’

I wasn’t aware until I played the song to a friend that it echoed a line from the exquisite “Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats, inspired by the song of a nightingale, it was written in 1819, and has it’s centenary in 2019. The poem must have been in my subconscious when I was writing.

“Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known”
An extract from John Keats ‘Ode To A Nightingale’

Kevs and I started our musical journey together a few years ago when we recorded my song ‘Our Places’ live by the River Ely in Cardiff. The St Illtud’s Session have been a great opportunity for us to get back to where we first started and explore ideas and sounds in situ.

After our first day of recording I wrote a short tone poem, a site specific composition called ‘ Living Stones’. To help me gain a better sense of the space, in the summer I spent an afternoon sitting amongst the ancient Celtic stones in The Galilee Chapel, sketching The Houelt cross, listening to the sounds in and around the building.

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The St Illtud’s Sessions are an ongoing project which we hope to keep exploring and developing. We are listening back in the studio our field recordings and hope to have enough material for an EP.

My warmest thanks are given to the St Illtud’s community who have encouraged my music and helped make this project possible. There is a great wealth of talent and sharing of creativity at the Open Mic which runs on the first Friday of each month, run by Peter Cronin and friends.

There is much to be discovered at the ancient site of St Illtud’s and the surrounding area of Llantwit Major. I look forward to what will be revealed next on this creative journey and I hope dear reader you will check in along the way.

In The Shadowland’ Live – The St Illtud’s Sessions is available to listen, stream and download from Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

Recorded live on location by Kevs Ford at The Galilee Chapel, St Illtuds, Llantwit Major, Wales

Written by Bel Blue

Bel Blue: vocals, guitar
Peter Rosser: vocals, guitar

Produced by Kevs Ford and Bel Blue

Massive thanks to St Illtud’s Church, Edwin and friends

Photography Jack Constable @jacsimages

HUBFEST Cardiff 2018 Playlist

open.spotify.com/user/ccy6vz32v2229oxqm1y8kkpts/playlist/2UielGy9UjS68JwmnYQt2w

Lovely to have a track included in this fab playlist for the #Hubfest 2018.

Have a listen and discover some great music, come along to the festival weekend to catch these acts performing. I will be playing a few songs on Saturday 25th August. For more info on the 150 acts and the festival check out the HUBFest 18 website http://www.hubfestcardiff.co.uk/ #HUBFESTCARDIFF

Bel Blue-Wild Dog Rose-Video

Bel Blue – Wild Dog Rose

Its been two years since the release of ‘Our Places’ my debut album and I finally had a go at making a wee video using original video footage from the recording of ‘Wild Dog Rose’.

Its all made in an imovie app, and I have done my best to sync the footage where I can. It features Pearl River the little Welsh portable harmonium, that we had here on loan from Kevs Ford.

Thanks to all the amazing musicians, family and folk who have made this journey possible. xx

Wild Dog Rose

I’m sure I’ve tried my best
sure I’ve worked harder than the rest
just to find
Oh to find some peace of mind

Just to find
Oh to find some peace of mind

I’m trying harder every day
how many times have I
got down on my knees
oh and asked for some grace please
down on my knees
Oh and asked for some grace place.

Can I just stay for a rest
lay my head down to the West
and look up at the stars
oh and remember who we are
oh look up at the stars
and remember who we are.

Please don’t give yourself away
have faith in what you know
and that faith will surely grow
like a Wild Dog Rose
Oh that faith will surely grow
like a Wild Dog Rose

Oh that faith will surely grow
like a Wild Dog Rose
oh like a Wild Dog Rose x 3

credits

from Our Places, released August 1, 2016
Bel Blue: vocal, guitar
Jamie Nemeth: Violin
Ben Steer: Mandolin
Kevs Ford: Harmonium
AJ Constable: Percussion
© 2016 BelBlueMusic

Sunset Songs at Cardiff Bay

Photo Credit Alix Edwards http://www.artographylondon.com

It was dreamy to sing as the sunset over Cardiff Bay, loved playing music with Rufus Mufasa and Kevs Ford at The Look Out Cafe Bar. A beautiful setting to perform our freshly workshopped collaboration material, a fusion of acoustic folk jazz hip hop. Thanks to host Alix Edwards for the fabulous evening, inviting us to play, and this atmospheric photo, at her Company Of Words Summer Sizzler.

The night included a reading from guest poet Rhys Milsom, and fabulous open mic of poetry and song.

A collection was taken for Papyrus

Links

Rufus Mufasa

Alix Edwards

Bel Blue Music

Company of Words Summer Sizzler

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It’s lovely to be invited along to share my songs at Cardiff’s Company of Words summer special open air, open mic event. Taking place in beautiful Cardiff Bay at The Look Out Cafe Bar, July 25th 6-9pm.

Set up by the vibrant Alix Edwards, visual artist and writer, the night promises a sizzling array of guest performances and Open Mic Performance, poetry, song, prose.

Guest performers for the night are the amazing Welsh Hip Hop literary artist Rufus Mufasa, myself Bel Blue-Singer-Songwriter and Poet Rhys Milsom.

Rufus Mufasa and myself will be joining forces to perform a recently workshopped collaboration.

If you want to come along and share your words, sign-ups are from 5.30pm. Event time 6-9pm. donations for papyrus

There will be a collection for Papyrus

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Photo Credit: http://www.huwdale.co.uk

Event information here:

 

Company Of Words Summer Sizzler

Alix Edwards Visual Artist and Writer

Links to guest performers:

Rufus Mufasa

Debut Album ‘Fur Coats From The Lions Den’

Bel Blue

soundcloud.com/belbluemusic

www.facebook.com/belbluemusic

open.spotify.com/artist

belblue.bandcamp.com/album/our-places

Rhys Milsom

 

Mind Your Head Radio

Great to be included in Mind Your Head Radio’s – Show 6 Part 1 all Female/Women Artists. Thanks to Chas (aka Captain Paranoid ) who gave an exclusive play to an acoustic version of my ‘White Poppies’ song,  recorded for a video soundtrack, of banner making for Processions 2018 Cardiff.

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The show is available to listen back on www.mixcloud.com/chas-mulcock/

Playing a wide selection of uptown world influenced organic roots grooves and timeless razor sharp punky funky country blues, the show goes out on live on mixlr.com/captain-paranoid

Part 1 of Women Artists on Mind Your Head Radio also included tracks from Patti Smith, Lucinda Williams and more – Chas is also giving air time and support to local Wales based musicians and emerging talent- Holidays in The Mind, Rufus Mufasa Gwenifer Raymond, Sarah McCreadie and more.

It was an incredible day at Processions 2018 Cardiff  and an honour to have ‘White Poppies’ used in the soundtrack to the banner making. Below is a photo of the banner – made by Inroads Stitch Group ( Mel Hobday ) and myself at Processions 2018, amazing women, amazing day.

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