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  • Clare Teal -
    cool us down Of course musical director Grant Windsor being from Australia has spent many a Yule in blisteringly hot temperatures In fact last year when he was back visiting relatives the mercury hit 39 degrees resulting in his home city of Perth hosting that year s hottest Christmas Day by a mile Mel Torme and Bob Wells wrote Chestnuts roasting on an open fire during an exceptionally hot spell in a bid to stay cool by thinking cool Irving Berlin s original verse to White Christmas gave the game away The sun is shining the grass is green the orange and palm trees sway there s never been such a day in Beverley Hills L A So far there are two brand new songs on the table and hopefully another three will emerge before recording begins we ve also been trawling the vaults of old lesser known Christmas songs to cover alongside more familiar fare After a good few hours slog we all retreated to the pool except Simon the bass player and myself well someone had to get the drinks Muddy and I have always found it interesting that women on the whole tend to quietly get into a pool and proceed to swim up and down barely creating a ripple men on the other hand do everything possible to case a splash by the time Ben and Grant had finished their swim I was surprised so see any water left in the pool Having made the house even hotter by cooking an 11 pound turkey crown we abandoned the Christmas meal and had a barbecue instead I was taught earlier this year how to make cracking homemade burgers and had a batch on hand my favourite tip being to blanch the chopped onion in hot water before

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/161-days-till-christmas/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    a raft of quality auditions our ensemble of Yorkshire all stars was fixed In October the gang endured 6 intensive rehearsal sessions each section Trumpets Trombones Saxophones and Rhythm was mentored by a top class professional musician of renown This was in preparation for their debut concert at 1200 seat Leeds Town Hall which sold out with months to spare All proceeds went to Children In Need and the evening was a terrific success made even more memorable by the contributions of special guests Olli Murrs and Gregory Porter At the start no one really expected the project to carry on after October but Yorkshire promoters showed interested in the band so I m thrilled to say that one year on the chaps are busy preparing for three high profile concerts The first will take place at Wakefield Theatre Royal this Thursday evening sharing the warbling duties will be a young Halifax born singer who has impressed us with his vocal and saxophone talents A J Brown On Friday night we all move en masse to the Royal Hall in Harrogate for our annual Clare Teal and Friends Gala Evening as part of The Harrogate International Festival where we will all be joined on stage by super star jazz singer Ian Shaw who makes a welcome return to the festival and the songwriting legend that is Sir Tim Rice a wittier and more debonair chap you d struggle to find The BBC Leeds Community Big Band myself and AJ Brown have also been invited to perform on Friday 23th August at the King s Hall in Ilkley as part of their Summer Festival with special guest saxophonist supreme and Godfather of funk Pee Wee Ellis The repertoire will highlight each of our special guests The aim of this project has

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/news-about-gigs-and-sir-tim-rice/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    Have a look I refused it s rude to stare It looks like Kate Moss Mud stop it It IS Kate Moss and Jamie Hince They were obviously off to the festival harrumph We eventually got home and resigned ourselves to a quiet night in front of the TV and a takeaway Our friend Heather texted about 6pm to say she d finally sorted her tickets and where should we meet up We explained in capitol letters WE AREN T GOING Half an hour later came the reply OH YES YOU ARE If you don t believe what happened next I don t blame you as I m still pinching myself Around 8pm a silver tour bus pulled up on our road inside were St Heather as she will forever now be known and 3 founder members of the legendary US funk rock and soul group Sly and the Family Stone who formed in 1967 Currently touring as The Family Stone saxophonist Jerry Martini trumpeter Cynthia Robinson and drummer Greg Errico have enlisted the substantial talents of four other instrumentalists and singers and are now as ever raising the roof of every venue they hit and unbelievably taking Muddy and I to Glastonbury Festival as their guests Driving through the site Greg reminisced about playing Woodstock in 1969 and the similarities between the two festivals Leaving The Family Stone to set up we sought out the other Stones who were rocking the Pyramid Stage After a joyous bop we headed back to Sonic Stage to see our hosts The show that followed completely blew me away with its stunning musicality and precise yet effortless killer grooves they are clearly a band who love each other and this warmth and support flows out uplifting the audience Both on stage and off

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/tickets-for-glasters/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    d like to bandicoot your poor little spuds gently poke about in the soil before the plants flower I understand this is round the 12 week mark Apparently potatoes harvested at 12 weeks are earlies they have very fragile skins and need to be eaten on the same day those at 14 weeks just after flowering are called seconds a little bigger than earlies but with plenty of new potato flavour and those 16 weeks or longer are fully matured mains ideal for storage I can t see us waiting 16 weeks the chip pan s already on 30 May More Garden Stories Being a tight northerner the distress at having left twelve hotdog rolls out in the sun all day was acute We hate waste Bung em in the microwave to soften them up a bit suggested our friend Alison Muddy and the microwave have never been close they just seem to rub each other up the wrong way so after a few minutes of cursing Alison went to relieve Muddy of bread softening duties A shout of disbelief She s put em all in and the timer s set for 22 minutes was followed by a bout of laughter enjoyed by the assembled cast including Muddy Muddy made up for her technical disagreement by making slits diagonally across the slightly less dry torpedoes before whipping up a wonderful garlic and herb butter and slathering it over the bread including the necessary crevices We d run out of foil so Rosie a most talented cook cleverly wrapped them in greaseproof paper using the lesser known scrunching and rolling technique The resulting cooked garlic bread was incredible the bread was now very crispy but not tough this was due I think to the generally light and airy texture of a hotdog roll The herbs came from our badger proof allotment Our hero built a fabulous good and deep 8ft long raised planter for my birthday which was perfect to accommodate some of the many brilliant vegetable and salad seedlings given to us by friends Sue and David The rest including potatoes cabbages beetroot and spring onions had to go in big pots In a bid to keep our stripy friends away Muddy and I visited a builder s merchants a little adventure that deserves an entire column all its own where we eventually purchased two planks of treated wood and 3 ridiculously big and heavy concrete blocks Once wheelbarrowed into place we assembled them into two makeshift shelves and were thus able to safely house the aforementioned pots and so far touch wood our digging snuffling friends have left well alone although the wood pigeons are eying up the strawberries but I have purchased fleece my friends and I m not afraid to use it The 38 tomato plants although a bit wiry seem to be thriving and send their love from the cozy polythene cold frame So all is good in the garden however any advice regarding getting rid of Olive Moth would be much appreciated 23 May Big Band kicks off After the success of our Build A Big Band project last year don t forget you have the opportunity to see our wonderful ensemble at various venues this Summer I along with my brilliant musical director Grant Windsor decided to go one step further and on the 9thMay The Clare Teal Big Band made it s debut at Cadogan Hall in London I perform with quite a few big bands which I very much enjoy Often big band singers don t have a great deal to do and are wheeled on and off at various points to give the trumpet players a rest This is because throughout history big bands have sounded so great on their own All the bands had a their own singers who they dotted about in their program of music here and there adding a singer here and there thus creating different textures After the demise of the swing era people like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald went on to make records and tour with big band accompaniment and that s just what I have always wanted to have a crack at One of my modern day heroes being Harry Connick Jr Here s a guy who sings brilliantly plays the piano brilliantly oh and writes his own big band and orchestral arrangements brilliantly too he tours regularly with his own large ensemble and his sound just keeps getting better and better For many years I have performed with my trio of incredible musicians our show encompasses many musical forms and flavours and because all the boys sing we can cover lots of different backing vocals and harmony styles It s been a long time ambition of mine to add a full big band sound to our small band show With the help of Grant who not only conducts the band but also writes fantastic arrangements this dream has now become a reality Big bands are very expensive to keep on the road as they consist of on average 18 people I m thrilled beyond thrilled that our first two shows virtually sold out and were very well received This gives me the confidence now to book in more dates for this exciting new ensemble I know I say this a lot but big bands are an endangered species and that incredible jaw droppingly massive passionate sound they produce is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lives 15 May Life begins at It is with great surprise that I appear to be turning 40 tomorrow although by the time you read this I ll have had a whole day to get used to it How this has happened I have no idea but I ve checked several times and it all adds up I don t have a problem entering this new decade I have a fantastic home life and I love the work I do I just can

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/category/clares-blog/page/10/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    looking forward to the games see picture included Mark Summers head coach for Y H stressed the importance of these events and gave me a brief insight into the great things being achieved at Harrogate Gateway Football Club We all should have the right to be the best we can be to make a difference in our individual communities counties and countries Working together in a positive and uplifting way to make the world a better place and on that note I ll jump off my soapbox and give one more congratulatory whoop to everyone involved in the National Summer Games 2013 28 Aug Lots of gigs After a fantastic trip to Edinburgh and a weekend at home with friends it was off up to mum s for a few days It s always great to be back up in Yorkshire we had a lovely trip to Grassington lunched at The Angel at Hetton then on to Boundary Mill formally known as Colne where we stocked up on socks After a fantastic gig in Ilkley on Friday evening with Pee Wee Ellis AJ Brown and the BBC Radio Leeds Community Big Band I got talking to a couple who said they read this column every week and enjoyed my many references to food We all arrived at the hotel just as the bar was closing and no amount of cajoling changed the situation I had a 4 pack of beer in the boot some shortbread and a bag of crisps whilst the ever resourceful Charlotte Mrs Pee Wee produced a bottle of champagne from I have no idea where and the seven of us squashed round a tiny table in the foyer and had a picnic From Ilkley we drove to Burton Upon Trent via the fabulous Yorkshire Sculpture Park around which Muddy and I have always fancied a nose After lunch with the Pee Wees and a jaunt around the Barbra Hepworths it was off to the next gig Burton was in the midst of enjoying what I understood to be it s first Jazz Festival I hope its something that continues as the atmosphere was terrific After a few hours sleep Muddy and I flew to beautiful Jersey On the 20th December 2012 Jersey born Marilyn Brown lost her fight with cancer she was mother to three musical sons and a photographer daughter In her memory and to raise money to give something back the organisations that gave Marilyn great support the family launched Operation Daffodil The money is being raised from an epic 5000 km cylcle ride from the Artic Circle to Gibraltar seven concerts in seven days featuring some of the island s finest musical talents which culminated in a grand gala concert at the Jersey Opera House I compered and sang with the Op Daffodil All Star Big Band led by former Squadronaire and son of Marilyn Lee Vivian who got me involved With 2000 km of cycle ride to go he s still smiling just What a wonderful evening for a fantastic cause 21 Aug Edinburgh Edinburgh is a vibrant exciting and beautiful city any day of the year but at festival time it swells to incorporate the hustle and frenzied bustle of 12 separate festivals many occurring simultaneously in August providing nearly 2 500 different events to choose from Music comedy art dance literature film drama in fact any art form you could possibly imagine jumble together on every street corner not forgetting the Royal Military Tattoo together they form the largest annual cultural festival in the world The Edinburgh International Festival kicked off in the Summer of 1947 in a bid to provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit and to bolster encourage enrich and celebrate British and International culture in the wake of the Second World War The Festival Fringe sprung up the same year when 8 additional theatre companies pitched up uninvited to offer alternative entertainment although now said Fringe is many times larger than its originator I was thrilled to take part in the first British Jazz Vocalist Festival held at the aptly titled Dirty Martini part of the sumptuous Le Monde Hotel at the heart of the festival on George Street In addition to mine and pianist Grant Windsor s two duo shows each with its own very merry after hours jam session we performed a live session in a huge marquee in front of a cheery audience for BBC Scotland I was also asked to guest with sensational musical comedy outfit that is The Horne Section a group of the UK s finest musicians fronted by comedian Alex Horne weaving a heady mix of funny routines spontaneous stand up and improvised music Guests have included Ed Byrne Matt Lucas Al Murray Jimmy Carr Tim Minchin and Neil Hannon Our drummer Benny Reynolds is an integral part of the section and brilliantly funny in his own right I arrived at the purple inflatable udder that is The Underbelly fresh from my own show and was quickly sucked up into the hilarious chaos of The Horne Section who knew Anita O Day s version of Tea For Two could be so funny with added trombone The Other guest that evening was Hannah Gadsby a breath of fresh air funny Australian woman who gave an informative art history lecture with improvised music and projected pictures entitled The Nude in Art With so much to see I d say Edinburgh has plenty to feel smug about 31 Jul Smoking can be good for you Muddy and I were thrilled when Rosie gave us a home smoking kit but much as I have admired its smart shiny appearance I have felt quite intimidated about actually using it so for the last 12 months it has sat on a shelf next to various tubs of assorted wood chips Not wishing to seem ungrateful and as Rosie was coming to stay last Friday presented the perfect opportunity to visit the big

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/page/11/?page_id=2 (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    call more traditional festival goers to the small town of Glastonbury Traditional only in that they ve been here many times before both to the festival site and possibly on earth in general in every other respect they are as far from traditional as can be Roads have been closed off and huge blinking road signs appear daily all plans for travel are cancelled after certain locals and friends have terrified us with tales of day long journeys to B Q and back I ve so far had the pleasure of performing twice at the festival In 2003 my Glastonbury debut entailed opening Saturday s events on The One World Stage I m a great believer in allowing extra time We were playing at 11am so the plan was to set off at 5am get to the edge of Glasters by 6am allow the necessary 3 hours to inch our way through the gridlocked lanes I then factored in an extra 2 hours to have a cup of tea and set up By 6 30am our bleary eyed little group were sitting desolate and forgotten back stage having parked up and unpacked waiting for the kitchen to open at 9am Luckily the drummer had a flask We hadn t realised that by the Saturday 99 999 of festival goers are through the gates and revelling having arrived days before That year the weather was so hot they were spraying the paths with water to keep the dust down Eight year s later we had our own dressing room water feature in the form of a spirited and impromptu stream surging through either end of the marquee and even though it was impossible to keep any item of clothing mud free the atmosphere of the whole event remained as always totally

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/glastonbury/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    have been attempting to look after and nurture 52 tomato plants TPs the stress of this was becoming acute however our predicament is now over having successfully re homed 43 of them indeed some have become very well travelled three are in the north of England two on the south coast 5 or 6 in London but the vast majority have moved to Bath or stayed in Glastonbury We re very lucky in that our new neighbours are all lovely people with beautiful gardens Many a time I ve opened the door to find a bucket of irises or a fig tree or a clump of gladioli so our garden has benefited greatly from their kindness although Muddy won t allow anything to be planted that isn t blue pink or white thankfully the Iris my favourite have made it through despite their yellow bibs It felt good therefore to be able to offer some of our TPs to said neighbours unfortunately Miss Valerie can t eat them number 88 however took 5 off our hands A few minutes later the doorbell rang and there was Matthew well all I could see were his legs the rest of him was covered by an enormous prickly shrub Round our way 5 TPs can get you a 4 year old Loganberry bush As I have now learned the Loganberry a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry was accidentally created in Santa Cruz California by American Lawyer James Harvey in 1883 This quote from Santa Cruz County 1896 sums up nicely It is excellent for the table eaten raw or cooked and for jelly or jam is without an equal The seeds are very small soft and not abundant being greatly different from both its parents in this respect The vines are

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/now-its-tomato-time/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    looking after her daughter s tortoise for a while well 22 years to be precise To fill you in on the back story At 17 Muddy purchased Speedy who she once took out for afternoon tea unfortunately he disgraced himself on the table cloth and was asked to leave After some years Speedy or Flash as he was sometimes known was given to a lady down the road who bred tortoises Super stud Speedy became the proud father of many many little Speed bumps not just a Flash in the pan Two of these nippers were given to Muddy in honour of her own newborn nipper Xenix and Unix named after early computer operating systems were hatched from eggs by aforementioned tortoise expert Di and grew and grew Unix was a big bully so Xenix moved back down the road for a bit of peace and quiet As our hero grew he changed the name of Muddy s tortoise to something off the telly but no one can remember what They are both now 22 having grown as rapidly as each other With age comes wisdom Unix now prefers the name of the great astronomer Ptolemy or Tolly for short he was famous for his scientific treatise or maybe it was tort ise I can understand very little of what I read of Ptolemy s great achievements but I gather he was big into music so we should get on fine Although our prospective tortie run is predator proof we re not taking any hungry badger chances so Tolly will spend his evenings with us watching the stripe ys from the safety of the kitchen window According to many reptile experts tortoises don t have the mental ability to be housetrained and the market for tortoise nappies seems to be

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/return-of-tolly/ (2016-02-15)
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