Wynterfest 2022 Match Report

As you may have seen from my previous post, I was invited to play a half hour set at Wynterfest 2022.

The event happened on 12th February 2022 at the Star Inn in Guildford, Surrey. It was a great evening and the first time I’d been to that venue.

This post briefly covers what happened on the evening.

My set

I was on first at about 7:30pm, so it was a quick soundcheck with the sound engineer Will and then I was onstage.

Graham Armfield at Wynterfest 2022 in Guildford.
Graham Armfield at Wynterfest 2022 in Guildford.

These days I’m mostly playing at open mic nights where you get to play 2 or 3 songs, so it was a real pleasure to be able to play a fuller set. After some thought on the setlist, these are the songs that I did:

  1. Here By My Side
  2. Take Your Chance
  3. I Feel Alive
  4. Hourglass
  5. Finding Out
  6. How Did You Know?
  7. Release
  8. Since You’ve Been In My Life

As far as I know the songs went down well – there was certainly some applause and cheers and the end of each song. The sound onstage was great, and it apparently sounded good out front as well. So thanks to Will for doing a good job there.

I videoed my set and some of the songs will be uploaded to my YouTube channel. The first, a new song called I Feel Alive is here.

True Deceivers

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True Deceivers were on second. There were three of them playing a variety of acoustic instruments – guitars, mandolins, violins. Their music was lively with some folk strands and also touching on Americana.

I really enjoyed their set and will be checking out their albums.

True Deceivers website.

Bemis

Bemis onstage at Wynterfest 2022 in Guildford.
Bemis onstage at Wynterfest 2022 in Guildford.

Normally Bemis are a 4 or 5 piece, but at Wynterfest it was just Gareth and Louis. They brought us a sparser acoustic set – which was some originals and some covers.

I really enjoyed their energy.

Bemis on Facebook.

Laissez Faire

Last on were Laissez Faire.

Sadly I wasn’t able to stay for their set, but speaking to friends afterwards I heard they went down very well.

I believe they are playing at Shynefest in the summer, so I will look forward to seeing them then.

Did you go?

If you went to Wynterfest as well, what did you think? Let me know in the comments section below.

I’m Playing at Wynterfest 2022

Some of you may have heard about a summer festival called Shynefest. It’s been running for a few years now, and although it’s been held at a number of different venues, it’s always in the south-west London/Surrey area. It’s a great festival, and I recommend it.

Well now they’re holding another one in winter months, and it’s called Wynterfest. And once again they’ve invited me to play a set – which of course I’m looking forward to doing.

Wynterfest 2022 details

This year’s Wynterfest will be held at The Star Inn, in Guildford in Surrey on Saturday 12th February 2022.

The address of the pub is: 2 Quarry Street, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3TY, and if you need to phone the pub, dial 01483 532887.

Wynterfest 2022 will be starting at 7pm, and admission is just £5 plus a booking fee. You can book your tickets via Eventbrite here – Wynterfest 2022 at Eventbrite

Wynterfest 2022 finishes at 1am.

Who is playing?

Well as you can probably tell from the title of this blog post, I’m playing! I’ll be on first followed by a great selection of other bands.

Currently the full line up is as follows:

  • Graham Armfield
  • Laissez Faire
  • True Deceivers
  • Bemis

Here’s the most recent promo leaflet.

Promotional flyer for Wynterfest 2022

About the pub

The Star Inn is a very old pub (16th century apparently), right in the centre of Guildford just off the High Street.

It has been a music venue for many, many years, and was apparently where punk band The Stranglers played their first gig. The Back Room is where all the music happens.

Star Inn, Guildford
The Star Inn, Guildford

If you’re coming to Guildford, there are plenty of car parks in and around the centre.

What are you waiting for?

So don’t forget to get your ticket, and I will see you there!

Wynterfest 2022 at Eventbrite

 

 

Wynterfest 2022 logo

 

Return to Open Mic Nights

As you probably know, due to the Covid pandemic all forms of live music have taken a real hit since March 2020. And attending open mic nights in the Woking and Guildford area was one of my favourite activities. I used to try and go a couple of times each month.

Music reappearing

Rowbarge pub signFortunately things started to relax again in the autumn of 2021, and some venues started putting on open mic evenings again. One that did was the Rowbarge pub by the River Wey just north of Guildford – a regular favourite of mine before the lockdowns.

Perhaps conscious of the pandemic conditions, the open mic evenings never seem to be as crowded as they sometimes were in the past. But it’s great to be able to get back out there and play some of my songs again – including some new ones. And even if there aren’t as many people, there’s a good vibe from those that are there.

Graham Armfield playing at The Rowbarge, GuildfordSo I attended 4 or 5 open mic evenings during the autumn in 2021, and so far I’ve been to one at The Rowbarge in January 2022. I’ll be aiming to keep going regularly from now on. It’s so good to be meeting up with musician friends again and hear what they’ve been up to.

Those who keep the open mic nights running

It’s good to support the people who do run the evenings at the Rowbarge, and other places. I particularly want to mention Vic Cracknell, and also Lauren Crystal Mason and Chris Hardy who organise the evenings at the Rowbarge in Guildford. They provide great opportunities for anyone to get out there and hear some live music, and to make some music too if they want.

Vic Cracknell at The Rowbarge
Vic Cracknell at The Rowbarge
Lauren Crystal Mason and Chris Hardy at Rowbarge, Guildford in January 2022
Lauren Crystal Mason and Chris Hardy at Rowbarge, Guildford in January 2022

Fancy an open mic night?

So I urge you all to get out there and attend open mic nights in your area. Let me know in the comments below which ones you go to and what they’re like. Can you recommend them?

 

Found My Way Is Now on Bandcamp

When I finished making the Found My Way album in the autumn of 2019, I released it for distribution through CD Baby. This meant that it was quickly available through Spotify and other streaming services, and initially available to download as quality mp3 files directly from CD Baby.

During the summer of 2020 I eventually got around to getting the physical CD version sorted, as some people had indicated that they wanted physical copies of the album. I announced the arrival of the CD copies here.

Enter Bandcamp

Some time ago I realised that CD Baby were no longer doing downloads so people who wanted to get hold of the album on mp3 couldn’t do so. I realised I need another solution.

Late last year there seemed to be a flurry of people releasing things via Bandcamp, and I decided to investigate. I had heard of Bandcamp before, and had even bought a couple of albums through it, but had never really thought about using it as an artist.

Well the signup process was pretty easy and before too long I had my own Bandcamp artist account, and the Found My Way album page is here. I’ve also uploaded my Life Line album from a few years ago.

Found My Way album on Bandcamp
Found My Way album on Bandcamp
Life Line album on Bandcamp
Life Line album on Bandcamp

The advantages of Bandcamp

For a singer/songwriter like myself Bandcamp offers the flexibility to release albums or tracks in whatever combination you want. You can just upload the songs in a grouping, and that becomes an album.

You can also supply artwork for the album, some general notes about the album and copyright information for each of the individual tracks.

People who are interested can buy the whole album, or just individual tracks if they prefer. And Bandcamp even allows users to play the tracks a few times without having to buy them.

Obviously Bandcamp doesn’t offer all this for free, and they charge a 10 – 15% commission on every purchase. But that’s not bad really.

What do you think?

It’s easy to think about things as an ‘artist’ (in Bandcamp’s terms), but what about you? Does Bandcamp offer everything that a music lover needs? And is there anything obvious that’s missing?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Keep well, and keep safe.

Found My Way CD Available Now

At last, it has arrived!! A few days ago some boxes arrived, and the Found My Way CD was actually here.

Several Found My Way CDs in a box.
Coming out the box.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Found My Way album was actually finished at the end of 2019, and has been on Spotify since then. But whilst I wanted to get the CD available at the start of 2020, I had to actually create the full cover artwork for it.

Then life got in the way in February as I was knocked down by a bus, and had a stay in hospital for a while followed by more recovery at home. So my ideas for the CD cover took a lot longer to come to fruition.

But a few weeks ago I was well enough to get everything together and finish it. And now here it is.

Acknowledgements

There’s a few people I want to thank for helping me create the album, and more recently helping with getting the CD artwork finished to the correct format.

Recording the album

Neal Leggett - studio engineer.Most of the album was recorded and mixed at Miacon Studios in Horsell, near Woking in Surrey. Neal Leggett is the owner of the studio and he operated all the recording equipment during the sessions.

Francis GreeneAll the songs were my own, except one track ‘Don’t Let Go’ which was the result of a collaboration with Francis Greene – a guitarist and keyboard player who I regularly encountered on open-mic nights. Having co-written the song, Francis was happy to come and record some keyboards and backing vocals on the track. That was a fun evening. See Recording Don’t Let Go for more detail on how this track was written and came together.

As well as backing vocals from Francis Greene, I was fortunate to have some other help in the vocal department from Karen Terry and Tracy Ginn.

Tracy GinnTracy and I had met at an open-mic night in Woking some years ago and had performed together at many open-mics since.

Karen TerryKaren is a neighbour who I’ve known for a few years, and she has been a singer for ages. Whilst we’ve never done open-mics together she has instead been involved with other events like Ripley Rocks for example.

Joanna LawrenceIn terms of other contributions during the recording, I should mention Joanna Lawrence – another Woking resident and an accomplished string player. She agreed to be part of the project and her viola and violin can be heard on two of the album tracks. She did well decoding the hand-written scores that I gave her.

Creating the CD

Once again I’d decided to use Disc Manufacturing Services to actually make the CD. I’d previously used them to create the Life Line CD some years ago, after a recommendation from a fellow musician – and I would myself recommend them too.

They have many artwork templates already set up and it’s just a case of choosing the one you want to use. Fortunately I have a bit of experience with Photoshop, but that’s more in the field of creating website graphics. The people at DMS are helpful though and are happy to spend time answering your questions and helping you get everything to the right format and standard.

Once the order was placed, the turnaround was pretty quick too – I think the CDs arrived less than two weeks after the order was finalised, and I’d paid.

What next?

Please let me know if you’d like a copy of the CD, and I’ll do my best to get it to you as quickly as possible. I’m selling them for £5.00.

With face-to-face open-mic nights not running at the moment, and unlikely to be until 2021 at the earliest, opportunities for playing you the songs live are very limited. But I may be joining in with some of the virtual open-mic nights in the near future, once I’ve worked out what I need to take part.