I met Yuliya at Morley College in 2008, where we both studied Drama for a while, since then she has carried on with acting and has performed professionally in theatre and film. As if this wasn’t enough she is also an exceptionally talented photographer and when we got in touch with each other again this year she offered to take some photos of me. She did an amazing job and was great to work with, very professional and she made me feel really comfortable which is essential if you want to look relaxed in a photo. She has an incredible amount of passion for what she does, you can tell she is completely in a zone when she’s working and she also pays a lot of attention to small details making sure every part of the photo works together. I love Yulia’s work; it really is wonderful check out her flicker page with a selection of her other photos.
I asked Yuliya if she could give 5 top tips on taking a great photo and here they are.
Free yourself from wanting a good picture, no ego involved.
Be friends with your camera.
Connect your eyes directly with your soul.
In the process of taking photos you may start to experience an exiting buzz in your system and feel like a shaman in meditation connected with the whole universe. This is the time when you are able to create a masterpiece.
Like what you are working with. When you enjoy taking a photo, people will recognise the signature of your soul imprinted in the photo.
Yuliya also went on to say ‘’A process of photographing it is the process of meditation; it clears your mind and brings ecstatic satisfaction for your soul’’
As you may know it’s not the first time I’ve performed at my local the The Royal Standard Pub in Blackheath but it was the first time for Purple Park. We played as a quartet: Pete Duncan (guitar), Rufai Ajala (sax), Paolo Rossi (bass) and me (vocals). It went well and it’s great that the pub is still putting live music on, I hope it catches on. It’s always an interesting crowd very mixed, which I like. Bruce (the manager) and his wife Ingrid have really done wonders with the pub it’s got a lovely friendly feel and I would highly recommend checking it out, whether I’m singing there or not. Here is a link to their Facebook page.
The lady celebrating her 70th birthday looked more like she was in her mid 50’s and certainly not a day over 60. So if 70 is the new 60 I’m still in my 20’s, well that is a relief and it may bring some comfort to you too. Although some wise words from mum would be ”the alternative to getting old isn’t great”.
Purple Park Quartet played to a lovely crowd of around 150 people, which was a nice change to the more intimate gigs we’ve been doing lately. I managed to grab a plate of West Indian curry and rice before leaving which was delicious and as I was loading the car with the ridiculous amount of pa equipment I have, one of the guests came over to say how much he enjoyed the music. He was very sincere and said:
‘’Absolutely beautiful! It really was brilliant, the band was really tight and very professional. My only disappointment was, it wasn’t long enough!’’ – Floyd Blackwood
The Last Time I sang here 6 years ago, I came out smelling like the bottom of an ash tray, thank heavens for the smoking ban! Although a slightly less foggy experience, Oliver’s jazz bar hasn’t lost a bit of its shabby chic charm and basement jazz club authenticity but with a new area opened up as if carved into the clay foundation of Greenwich by magic, it now adds a palatial feel.
The place was packed out when I sung here 6 years ago but this time we found ourselves performing to a small crowd once again. I’m still blaming the Olympics and Oliver the owner says the same thing.
We did manage to draw a small crowd mainly loyal family and friends but we also managed to catch the ear of two passing students on their way home from long shifts at a pub round the corner. We had a chat with them at the end and they were so lovely about us, they said when they heard us on Nevada St outside, they had to come down, it wasn’t a question of should they, they simply had to. This made the gig worthwhile for me and they are now on my mailing list. It was lovely to see good friends too.
In a small corner of Greenwich, Olympic fever had moved away from the infamous equestrian in Greenwich Park to a small, relatively unknown beauty called the Pleasuance Park and it griped a community for the two day 1948 Fete, the 1948 theme coming from the last time Great Britain hosted the Olympic Games.
Purple Parks performance on the Saturday was probably the best gig I have ever had, the band (Rufai Ajala – Alto Sax, Pete Duncan – Guitar, Pharao Smeaton-Russel – Drums, and Paolo Bassi – Electric Bass) were all amazing, what a brilliant idea to add drums and bass to our existing Purple Park Trio, it really did funk things up and it defiantly works, we got people up on their feet which was exactly what we were after. I had so much support at this gig too, with it being a really local one for me, my friends and family showed up in force and I love them all for that. The organiser did a fantastic job on this too, the stage setup, pa, sound engineer and compare were all brilliant, let’s hope they do something similar next year, it could be the start of something.
This wasn’t our first performance at Live@Via, Treana Morris kindly asked us back to perform for a second time so I already knew it would be a lovely place to sing with a good pa system and an attentive audience, which can be rare so I was looking forward to it. I really love this venue, it’s got something I can’t put my finger on, a warm, weathered feel, full of atmosphere. I’m sure if it’s very old raw brick walls could speak, they would have a thousand tales to tell.
Sometimes the smaller more intimate gigs are the most nerve racking and this was one of those but it went really well and we (purple Park Trio) had a great time and performed well. We did some jazz and contempary covers but we also tried out some of our original songs for the first time too and got some good feedback on the songs people liked.
Singer songwriter’s Treana Morris who runs the event and Sam Hart both did brilliant sets, and performing after us was Dana McKeon. This girl really is amazing to watch live, she’s a singer songwriter, guitarist & Malta’s international beatbox pioneer. She was also female finalist at the 2012 Beatbox World Championships. It’s quite inhuman what she is capable of doing with her vocal cords, incredible!
It was great to be asked back, to sing at The Royal Standard Pub, Blackheath and how much more appropriate a name could you get for a venue to kick of the Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations!
This is actually one of the most local gigs I have, it’s literally just up the road from where I live, I went to school round the corner and I’ve walked past this pub more times than I can tell you. It’s an impressive building that you cannot fail to miss and the immediate area is known as ‘The Standard’ after this local, iconic, landmark. It was built in 1848 by William Wynn at the cost of £2,000, which was probably a lot of money at the time…. The Standard has recently changed over to new management and they are doing a brilliant job in turning this pub into what feels more like a community hub with a welcoming atmosphere, more like it should be and was intended to be when it was built. Go to their Facebook page to see some of the different sporting, family, music and other events they have going on and some pics of us too!
Katy and I (Sax Singer) really enjoyed the gig, the people were lovely, friendly and seemed to really appreciate us being there. A few of my friends and neighbours came too, some of whom did a great job singing backing vocals! It was good fun and we’re looking forward to playing here again.