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  • Clare Teal -
    Benson Gregory Porter PJ Proby Joss Stone Georgie Fame Mick Hucknall Chris Farlowe and Van s daughter Shana Morrison Zoe Ball on BBC Radio 2 had the world exclusive play this morning of Real Real Gone a song originally from Van s 1990 album Enlightenment re imagined as a duet with Michael Buble Van has co produced the album alongside Don Was and Bob Rock and hand picked the the guests and songs deliberately steering away from his very well known classics instead selecting personal favourites from his prolific catalogue I think when I actually see a copy I ll know it s not a dream 11 Feb New CD At Your Request When Denise our PR lady rang to say she d secured an interview on Graham Norton s Saturday morning BBC Radio 2 show I was firstly gobsmacked and secondly convinced they would cancel last minute in favour of someone more interesting but as time went on the cancellation never came but what was I going to talk about At the end of last year we recorded an album with our Mini Big Band thinking we d leisurely release it sometime in 2015 so I was somewhat surprised when Muddy suggested a couple of weeks before the interview that we should bring the record out NOW Big hand for Manager Alison who has been flat out getting everything organised and ta dah At Your Request will be here for the Valentine s Day album launch at Cadogan Hall A collection of the songs most requested by audiences we were initially going to call it It s on This One As the music was ready to go I sent a copy to Graham s producer Malcolm and thankfully he liked what he heard and picked a couple of tracks to play We listen to the show most weeks and enjoy Graeme s acerbic sarcasm and witty banter but I was fearful of being in direct line of a Norton withering one liner As it goes he couldn t have been more friendly and supportive an absolutely terrific bloke Mind you Muddy had baked a batch of homemade dog biscuits for his fur babies Madge and Bailey which I m sure endeared us to him I ate one to make sure they were alright in fact I d happily have eaten a few more Our dog Alan wasn t remotely grateful for his We drove back from the interview to find our latest gadget The Spiralizer waiting for us in the porch Basically it s a plastic machine that makes noodles out of vegetables meaning if you re on a diet did I mentioned I was on a diet you can fool yourself into thinking you re eating pasta Well I have to say we were both very impressed with our courgetti We made a thick tomato sauce with onions garlic and olives then threw in 1 5 or a small mountain of spiralized courgettes and as there s hardly any calories in a courgette I even afforded myself a sprinkling of Parmesan We re moving on to next levs tonight with sweet potato ribbons green kale pesto who knew 05 Nov Very Special Guests The Hallé Orchestra were in fine form for our tribute to Ella Fitzgerald on Saturday night in Manchester s Bridgewater Hall all 90 of them On the drive back to Glastonbury I read This is My Song a biography of Petula Clark written by Andrea Kon in the early 80 s I was to interview the hugely successful singer the following evening on my radio show and wanted to make sure I d done my homework Obviously any information contained within an un authorised biography must be taken with a pinch of salt but I was gobsmacked to learn that by the time Petula struck global gold with Tony Hatch s Downtown in 1964 the great lady had already racked up 23 years in show business Multi lingual award winning broadcaster film actor musical theatre smash songwriter and of course brilliant singer it seems whatever Petula turns her hand to she triumphs By the time Ms Clark arrived I was really nervous but she instantly put me at my ease and the interview lost all formality and felt like a really good natter We talked about her work with Geraldo and Ted Heath Buddy Rich Les Brown and His Band of Renown Quincy Jones and Count Basie Petula had worked with so many of my heroes it was thrilling to hear her stories about hanging out with Fred Astaire on Finian s Rainbow but I think my favourite story was hearing about the time she invited Peggy Lee to be a guest on her TV show You can see the clip of them singing WOMAN on the internet I ve watched it many times it s a grand example of two great singers who have respect for each other having a bit of fun Their performance is consummate each singer retains her own identity yet the voices blend effortlessly with each other Kenny Ball Junior was also coming in for interview Since Kenny Sr died last year son Kenny has taken up the reigns of his father s band He brought with him the sad news that Trad Jazz clarinetist Acker Bilk had died that afternoon Along with Kenny Ball and Chris Barber Acker was an integral part of the Trad Jazz revival in the 50 s and 60 s although Acker was familiar to all music lovers through his self penned hit record Stranger On the Shore He will be much missed but his music will always live on 31 Oct In Ella Mode You find me in full on Ella mode a state I have been in for many days now This Saturday I have the tremendous pleasure of performing an evening of the great lady s work at The Bridgewater Hall with the world renowned Hallé Orchestra under the baton of conductor

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/category/clares-blog/page/4/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    Cast in Doncaster last Thursday You can probably guess how it feels to be stuck in traffic knowing that 50 miles away 17 musicians and singer Matthew Ford are all set up and waiting to start the rehearsal at the time you yourself have specifically asked them to be there at Just as your shoulders really start sagging under the weight of this horrible predicament you remember that all the music is in the boot of your car so they can t even start without you On top of this pity Colin Billing who is to conduct our Doris show for the first time having never seen the scores knowing that none of the vocal lines big conductor clues are on said scores Finally we re in the immediate area of the theatre imagine the frustration of being met by bollards at every turn I was a shaky mess by the time I walked on to the stage only to be met with a joyous blast of Happy Birthday in what sounded like 17 different keys who knew It turned out to be a lovely evening we enjoyed it so much we decided to go to The Town Hall Birmingham 2 days later to give them a blast of Doris too this time I was an hour early Post show we whizzed through the endless roadworks don t even get me started arriving at a Gatwick hotel around 1am Up at 5 to fly out to beautiful Jersey for the Liberation Festival Upon landing we enjoyed a hearty beachside breakfast watching the sun bounce off the waves The concert took place in the afternoon after which we were taken back to the airport with only minutes to buy 2 bags of Jersey Royals and enjoy a bottle of Liberation Ale

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/happy-birthday-to-me/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    globe is celebrating its 120 th year Nestled between violinist Nicola Benedetti performing with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Marc André Hamelin with The BBC Symphony Orchestra romping through Ravel s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand originally commissioned for the one armed pianist Paul Wittgenstein you will find Prom 35 Story of Swing Yes following on from last year s Battle of the Bands Basie vs Ellington extravaganza we ve been invited back to tell the story of the Swing Era Don t get me wrong I m so happy I could pop but the most difficult part of putting together this new prom is struggling to fit everything in It s impossible to fit over a decade and a half of music into two forty five minute sets but believe me we re doing our best Trumpet demon Guy Barker will lead one band and Trombonist ace Winston Rollins the other these ensembles will showcase the very best talent within the current British jazz and big band scene Together we will pay tribute to the biggest names of the 30 s and 40 s popular music scene Fletcher Henderson Benny Goodman Chick Webb Tommy Dorsey Jimmie Lunceford Duke Ellington Count Basie Harry James the list goes on and on This wonderful music was reverberating round the study last Thursday I was so moved to think that 70 years earlier people all around the country would have been listening to the same records celebrating Victory in Europe As Churchill said in his speech to the nation on the 8 th May We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing Long live the cause of freedom God save the King Many people shared their VE Day stories on my radio show a lot mentioned bonfires indeed the Home Office

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/prom-tiddly/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    fat enough to pop Apparently bull finches are quite shy and don t venture in to gardens a great deal so if you have them in yours you re most honoured Speaking of rare visitors we ve recently discovered a nearby RSPB Reserve called Ham Wall this is a fine place to see huge numbers of starlings perform their swooping aerial acrobatics or murmurations in the Autumn and Winter months Ham Wall is part of an area known as the Avalon Marshes part of the Somerset Levels peat has been extracted here for hundreds of years and this wetland reserve has been created from worked out peat fields In 2009 teams of volunteers planted reed beds and formed other wetland habitats across 469 acres Today it looks like a slice of paradise Every time we go we see something different otters water voles grass snakes rabbits herons geese many species of duck including Teal and more small birds than you can shake a big stick at although if you do shake a big stick at them they ll all fly away I ve yet to encounter the bearded tit but I know they re out there I feel slightly underdressed with my 8 bins or knockers twitching terms for viewing aids there are some serious high tech twitchers on the marsh with pairs of HD Swarovski Binoculars costing 1000 s usually lugging massive telescopes on tripods behind them The water levels are controlled by wind controlled pumps that s what we both thought we could hear a low booming noise but no another success story for Ham Wall is the return of the bitterns sounds like a Spielberg film the reed beds were specifically created for this reason Bitterns are secretive brown speckled herons noted for the male s booming

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/booming-bittons/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    sound weird but taste great and I had attempted a raspberry ginger and orange coulis to go with them which sounds nice but tasted weird or at least mine did although with a big dollop of crème fresh it all came together ok Gingerly I stepped on the scales Bizarrely despite eating more than I had since the beginning of January I hadn t put on any weight In fact thanks to Rosie I actually lost another 2 pounds 11 Mar Ivy Benson and her singer Parking outside Radio 2 last Sunday evening a private car pulled up in front of us and a woman with blondish hair jumped out and sort of skipped jogged into the building Muddy whispered I think that s your interview Nah It can t be the lady I m interviewing is 90 in August Joyce Terry nee Clark had been singing in Southport one evening in 1942 when Ivy Benson famed all girl bandleader headlining at the theatre across the way walked in and hired her on the spot the 18 year old then stayed with band for the next five years I am passionate about preserving the memory and accomplishments of this inspirational woman who despite the misogynistic back biting and discrimination of the time fought on to become the BBC s resident band in 1943 top of the bill at the London Palladium for 6 months in 1944 and the first band to be invited to play at the VE Day celebrations in Berlin 1945 Later that year on Christmas Day she performed a live concert from Hamburg broadcast to the British nation directly after the King s speech A favourite of ENSA Ivy and her girls toured Europe and the Middle East as part of the war effort raising morale wherever they went Ivy passed away aged 79 in 1993 having led her band for 43 years If attitudes towards female musicians weren t tough enough Ivy was constantly losing her girls to the charms of various dashing servicemen she later said I lost seven in one year to America Only the other week a girl slipped away from the stage I thought she was going to the lavatory but she went off with a G I Nobody s seen her since Ivy offered financial independence to women musicians at a time when there were startlingly few platforms for them to be heard she hired only the best including the legendary trumpeter Gracie Cole who eventually left Ivy to join George Evans Band to play lead trumpet unheard of at that time Incidentally the youthful sprightly woman spotted earlier was singer Joyce Terry Joyce came on the show to talk about Sax Appeal a great new documentary on The Ivy Benson Band which aired last Monday evening on Radio 2 Full of stories and anecdotes Joyce will definitely be back soon Sax Appeal will be available on the iPlayer for the next 30 days 04 Mar No Voice In the words of Tony Bennett I left my voice in Radlett Centre or maybe not But that is the last place I saw or rather heard my voice I d like to sincerely thank the fantastic audience who stuck with me till the bitter end of the performance There s a lot of the lurgy around judging by the pile of cough sweets and throat soothers people left for me at the CD stall I felt like a spurious trick or treater I was unable to present my weekly Radio 2 show thankfully the wonderful Guy Barker stood in for me at very short notice So here we are day 4 of miserable coughing and hoarseness I m grateful for all the remedies people have emailed in indeed I m trying as many as I can It seems drinking lots of water is top of the list so I m chugging as we speak alternating room temperature with hot water and fresh chopped ginger and homemade sage tea which smells like a liquid roast dinner both are very comforting Now I ve always been a huge advocate of hot water with ginger lemon and honey but some say that the acid in the lemon is bad for inflamed vocal folds who knew I m spooning honey and I ve tried a few propolis or bee glue lozenges Propolis is very popular amongst West End singers for keeping the voice in tip top condition but I m not sure if this is purely a preventative measure Another showbiz remedy is gargling with Sanderson s Throat Specific I ve also heard it called paint stripper but I ve ordered a bottle and will report my findings I started gargling with dissolvable aspirin but apparently this is a real no no for singers much better to stick to salt water or the sage tea gargle wise Regular listener to the show Maureen Lipman recommended fresh pineapple which contains bromelain an enzyme with anti inflammatory properties and it s packed with vitamin C This is definitely helping with pain and mood being one of my favourite foods One suggestion I m trying tonight as I haven t been sleeping which sounds wonderful is massaging the neck throat and glands with a mixture of tea tree and lavender oil I m big on recommendation and thought it only polite to pass on these pearls of wisdom Special thanks also to the fella who shared his pack of Worthers Originals with me 25 Feb Dentists There s a very nice cafe just along from the dentists I thought I d have a cup of tea whilst I write this in the vain hope it will take my mind off the fact that in 53 minutes I ll be two doors down with my heart in my boots I tell myself again and again that my fear of going to the dentist is totally irrational but where else does someone ask you where you re going on holiday whilst

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/page/5/?page_id=2 (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    Clark written by Andrea Kon in the early 80 s I was to interview the hugely successful singer the following evening on my radio show and wanted to make sure I d done my homework Obviously any information contained within an un authorised biography must be taken with a pinch of salt but I was gobsmacked to learn that by the time Petula struck global gold with Tony Hatch s Downtown in 1964 the great lady had already racked up 23 years in show business Multi lingual award winning broadcaster film actor musical theatre smash songwriter and of course brilliant singer it seems whatever Petula turns her hand to she triumphs By the time Ms Clark arrived I was really nervous but she instantly put me at my ease and the interview lost all formality and felt like a really good natter We talked about her work with Geraldo and Ted Heath Buddy Rich Les Brown and His Band of Renown Quincy Jones and Count Basie Petula had worked with so many of my heroes it was thrilling to hear her stories about hanging out with Fred Astaire on Finian s Rainbow but I think my favourite story was hearing about the time she invited Peggy Lee to be a guest on her TV show You can see the clip of them singing WOMAN on the internet I ve watched it many times it s a grand example of two great singers who have respect for each other having a bit of fun Their performance is consummate each singer retains her own identity yet the voices blend effortlessly with each other Kenny Ball Junior was also coming in for interview Since Kenny Sr died last year son Kenny has taken up the reigns of his father s band He brought

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/very-special-guests/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    Bridgewater Hall with the world renowned Hallé Orchestra under the baton of conductor Stephen Bell I can t wait As a young child I coveted the Ella Fitzgerald songbooks a body of eight studio albums recorded between 1956 and 1964 each celebrating the songs of individual geniuses of the great American songwriting fraternity of the early to mid 1900 s Cole Porter Rodgers Hart Duke Ellington Irving Berlin George Ira Gershwin Harold Arlen Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer The backings were written by legendary arrangers Nelson Riddle Billy May Duke Ellington Billy Strayhorn Mr Jo Stafford Paul Weston and Buddy Bregman and performed by a dazzling array top flight musicians including Conrad Gozzo Milt Bernhart Benny Carter Plas Johnson and Alvin Stoller not to mention the entire Duke Ellington Orchestra of 1957 including Clark Terry Johnny Hodges Ben Webster and Harry Carney Throw in the likes of Oscar Peterson Barney Kessel Dizzy Gillespie and there you see why The Ella Fitzgerald Songbooks are still revered as one of the greatest testaments to popular American music of the first half of the last century These are the albums that launched Verve Records All the brainchild of producer Norman Granz who was Ella s Manager This is the chap who created Jazz At The Philarmonic he was loved and respected by his artists not only because he paid very well but his three goals in life were to fight against racism give listeners a good product and to earn money from good music Two great books if you want to read more are Ella Fitzgerald by Stuart Nicholson and Norman Granz The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice by Tad Hershorn Ella and her effortless talent were respected and admired by musicians and punters alike her voice truly magnificent and unlike any

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/in-ella-mode/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    passed the time watching videos of said puppy growing up over the last ten months At last the train pulled into the station I could see Mud in the car restraining a bouncing little white fluffy beast My heart melted as I made eye contact and saw him go bonkers with excitement yet by the time I threw my suitcase in the boot and jumped in the front seat my warm canine welcome party had turned somewhat Arctic in that himself wouldn t have anything to do with me Not a sniff not a lick not one flippin wag of a tail Twenty minutes later we reach home Alan leaps from the car and hurtles in the general direction of our hero jumping up desperate to proclaim his undying love he then ricochets back to Muddy ignoring me completely in the process and in a similar exuberant fashion tells her how great he thinks she is too I shuffled unnoticed into the house It took a whole evening for him to forgive me By Sunday we were best buds again heading back early to London not only to do the radio show but also to take in the Tower of London s current breathtaking art installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red Marking the centenary of the commencement of the First World War artist Paul Cummins has produced 888 246 ceramic poppies beautifully set and staged by designer Tom Piper Each poppy represents one British military life lost Initially you can t help but appreciate the glorious spectacle a vision of these many hues of glazed reds glinting in the sunlight but rapidly as my brain computes what each beautiful stately bloom symbolises I am utterly lost for words as is everyone else We stand quietly in reflection remembering

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/alans-disdain-and-poppies/ (2016-02-15)
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