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  • Clare Teal -
    other than the occasional beat and can multi task like you wouldn t believe For the last 12 months we ve been running a sweepstake as to which of the four Grant Simon Benny and Jimmy would get married first On the afternoon of December 20 last year Benny rang to say Whoever had me down has won the jackpot Considering only Mud and myself were party to this sweepstake and both of us had earmarked Ben as the favourite there wasn t much of a pot but we blew the imaginary proceeds on a bottle to celebrate Regular readers of this column might remember Benny and Alice s nightmare housing problems which started when the woman upstairs who owned the flat that they had lovingly decorated decided that she d actually quite like to live in it herself and asked them to move out After a frantic search in which they were twice gazumped our heroes finally found another flat Just as the piano was through the door the woman upstairs a different one announced that although the chap they were planning to rent from owned the leasehold she herself owned the freehold hadn t given her permission for

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/tempo-hots-up-in-countdown-to-drummers-nuptials/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    when we asked if they d like to watch The Last Night of the Proms with us It was an annual viewing must for both Muddy and myself growing up a palatable bauble of culture burning bright amidst the quagmire of Ted Rodgers s dusty bin or Larry Grayson s Generation Game It was also the one programme guaranteed to delay the nonsense that is Match of the Day This year saw Edward Gardner wield his trusty baton in the general direction of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at 36 he s the youngest person ever to conduct a Last Night His guests included Cheshire born leading dramatic Soprano and all round good sport Susan Bullock and amazing Chinese pianist Lang Lang who became the first artist to play at both The Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park in the same evening The next day we made our way to Hyde Park to watch Radio 2 s Festival in a day A wonderful line up including Jools Holland Beverley Knight Imelda May Will Young Lenny Kravitz James Blunt and all to be headlined by the incredible Lionel Richie However just a few days before the big cheeses received a call from Lionel s manager telling them the gutting news that Mr Richie would be unable to perform due to illness With weeks and months of planning hanging in the balance Chris Evans rang Gary Barlow in America to see if he fancied stepping in Gary said yes and literally stepped off a plane and into the soundcheck I have to say he was incredible by the end of the concert the general vibe emanating from the audience was Gary for President and Lionel who Young Barlow gave us a cracking rendition of Lionel s signature song Hello I d

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/from-the-last-night-to-a-late-night-with-gary-barlow/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    learned we would not be allowed to have any lyrics on stage To most singers I m sure this wouldn t be a problem but I can tell you I have never in 10 years of professional singing ever performed a concert without having my lyrics close to hand Finally here was my chance to overcome my morbid fear of forgetting the words I was determined that from the first second of the first rehearsal I would be as the lovies say off book I hardly missed a syllable but had a constant nagging feeling that I might mess up at any given second Getting to know the other singers certainly helped and my goodness what a talented bunch Matt Ford with his dulcet Tony Bennett Gene Kelly Perry Como effortless balladeering Analeene Beechey star of the West End Australian singer dancer and powerhouse Caroline O Connor out Mermens Ethel crystal clear operatic soprano Sarah Fox originally from Giggleswick and American tenor Charles Castronovo who set many hearts fluttering We were accompanied by an orchestra of more than 100 including nine percussionists and a full big band plus The Maida Vale Singers a group of eye wateringly great vocalists with

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/how-i-finally-managed-to-learn-to-go-off-book-for-a-concert/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    across to Eliza s Barbecue and have it marinated or dressed and cooked to your exact specification Perfect Granted the funfair in the car park next to our hotel was slightly irksome but thankfully by the second morning the entire shebang had packed up and moved on to their next port of call There are lots of lovely galleries and arty crafty shops and lots of good restaurants but the thing we both thought lovely was strolling around the town after dinner seeing houses full of people eating together front doors thrown open and kids of nine and ten playing on their bikes in the street just like we used to It was so nice to be a part of such a secure and warm community We love coastal walking and on the first afternoon headed north to the bizarre village of Thorpeness originally a small fishing hamlet which was bought by Scottish barrister and railway designer Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie in 1910 and transformed into a private holiday village with a country club tennis courts and swimming pool Most of the homes are built in Jacobean or Tudor style From virtually everywhere in the village you can see what appears

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/discovering-the-timeless-charms-of-brittens-best-bit-of-britain/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    of drummer Benny s brother Tom who after years working as an ecologist advising farmers on environmentally friendly agriculture decided to follow his dream of becoming a master bread maker Earlier this year the Coburg Bakery opened in Bristol What this boy can t do with a bit of flour and water isn t worth knowing I am hoping some of the magic will rub off 13 Jul A taste of Yorkshire s highlights leads to a lofty ambition We spent a rare day off last week oop north with mum and dad Until an accidental ride through the Dales last month Muddy has for the last ten years been convinced that Yorkshire is just a load of motorways I have obviously told her repeatedly this is not the case Mum and Dad were also keen to dispel this myth so off we set on our journey of enlightenment up the A65 Our first destination was Settle Heading for The Naked Man café not resident we strolled past a familiar childhood haunt of mine Car and Kitchen It was the highlight of any trip to Settle a gift shop full of knick knacks and brilliantly useless gifts I m thrilled to report 20 odd years later it s still great I bought a splash guard for use when frying spitty things at high temperatures In all the times I ve been there I ve never noticed a car section I had my first ever mint choc chip ice cream in Settle but there was no time for that today After a lunch of chicken salad for mum Mud and I and Yorkshire puddings and Cumberland sausage for Dad lucky Dad we drove to look at the 24 104ft arches of Ribblehead Viaduct It s a magnificent sight but you can t help but think of the hundreds of men who lost their lives building it It was while admiring the majesty of Penyghent Whernside and Ingleborough that Muddy decided that we should do the Three Peaks later this year Over a cup of coffee and a Fly Pie aka Chorley Cake at the Penyghent Café we bought a map and measured out all 25 miles of it By my calculations that s 12½ miles of up The idea of us two hiking 25 miles in 12 hours amused Mum and Dad no end but once Mud s made her mind up From Penyghent we drove through some of the most beautiful villages and countryside I ve ever seen to Malham Cove 262ft high and 984ft wide of solid curved limestone crag formed after the last ice age I don t think there s a Geography student in the land who hasn t been to Malham Cove Part of me is thrilled that I finally managed to show Muddy some of what makes Yorkshire so special to me but there s still this small matter of the Three Peaks 07 Jul A jingle belle and a Hollywood icon add to a great week SOME of you may know I started my career singing jingles for commercial radio stations and bizarrely it s still an ambition of mine to record one of the biggies that we remember for years to come whether it be a shake and vac or secret lemonade drinker Imagine then my thrill to discover the voice behind the immortal lines hands that do dishes can be soft as your face was in the audience last Wednesday night The fabulous Rosemary Squires sang with Ted Heath Geraldo and John Dankworth In America she worked with Sammy Davis Jnr and Danny Kaye What a great lady a delight to talk to who shared some stories about the big band days which I so wish I d seen To be honest until that point I hadn t thought the week could get any better On Tuesday I was running errands in Bristol rootling around on the floor looking for change for the parking meter when I got the call Are you working on Friday Can you open for Liza Minnelli at Kenwood House I didn t have to be asked twice Kenwood is a stunning venue surrounded by beautiful parkland in the midst of Hampstead Heath Every year the estate holds a series of picnic concerts this year including Tom Jones and Liza Minnelli I didn t expect to meet her but we did and she was just lovely The show was wonderful and the audience agreed Even the weather was impressed Still on cloud nine and following a long late journey back to Bath we were up early heading for that far off land known as Anglesey With no time to spare we drove to Liverpool and turned left The venue was at the home of the Marquess of Anglesey Plas Newydd now looked after by the National Trust Again for an outdoor gig we were blessed with beautiful weather as the sun set over the backdrop of the mountains 1 500 people enjoyed their picnics before dancing till the early hours We decided to take the scenic route back via Caernarfon through the Llanberis Pass and onto Betws y Coed A lot of our family holidays were spent in North Wales and memories came flooding back Croeso iGymru 29 Jun Is the world ready for this Great news for music and arts lovers A wonderful new venue has opened in the fair town of Doncaster named Cast We took our big band up there on Saturday and I am thrilled to report that not only was the event very well attended there was a lovely buzz amongst the audience who were all happy to be enjoying good music in beautiful shiny surroundings although I have it on good authority that seat 11 in the front row is surprisingly uncomfortable This is brilliant news for Yorkshire so if you re in the area have a look the programme looks exciting Other big news in our world This Sunday will see

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/category/clares-blog/page/19/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    us sorry Thankfully they were only a pre starter to the sumptuous feast that followed and I have to say although I didn t expect try a whitebait let alone enjoy it I did and it was delicious so I tried several more just to be sure 12 Oct Coffee tales Last Sunday after our Glusburn Institute triumph we enjoyed a family walk from my childhood home in Kildwick to Farnhill Pinnacle It was a hike I d always loved as a kid We spent many an hour gathering bilberries two for me one for the pot I hadn t seen a bilberry for years till all the supermarkets started selling them as blueberries I seem to remember our outdoor pursuits teacher trying in vain to teach us orienteering up there but as everyone knew every snicket of the moor we didn t bother with the compass and played Rallio 123 instead Do you remember that game Some years on Easter Sunday we d get up before sunrise and walk up to the pinnacle to join the Methodists or was it the Baptists for their sunrise service I wasn t really with it at that time of the morning but I do remember the buttery hot cross buns served afterwards with coffee from a flask I m not much of a coffee snob In fact if I m honest whispers quietly to one side I prefer instant waits for tutting to cease If I drink more than one real coffee a day my arms feel funny like they don t belong to me however if I m out and about I might on occasion order a cappuccino or increasingly a macchiato Muddy and I discovered macchiatos on a beach in Cornwall where else I explained to the man in the hut that whilst I d love to buy a coffee from him I didn t think it was a good idea to drink a bucket of hot liquid as we were about to go for a long walk and I could guarantee that by the time we reached Trevose Head which was less than half a mile away I d need to spend a penny Try a macchiato then one shot of espresso with a bit of frothed milk foam on the top Even someone with the bladder of a gnat could surely handle that Thanks none taken He turned out to be right I got all the way to Padstow After the walk the whole family went out for mum s birthday lunch I was thrilled to discover macchiatos on the menu When 3 pints of milky coffee arrived I politely questioned the authenticity of these imposter machhiatos I pressed the macchiato button on the machine THAT is a macchiato 12 Oct A rhythmical return Every Saturday morning and every Monday evening dad would drop me off outside the gates of Glusburn Institute and I d trudge up the stairs with the overly large red vanity case that mum had picked up somewhere banging against my legs with every step I can remember the exact smell of the building the colour of the walls the noise of the kids and of course the music Once inside the ballroom we d form a line and pay our subs to Joan at the big folding table Someone paid in Spanish pesetas one week we never found out who but anyone with a tan was held under suspicion till their parents could spring them at home time After that I d take off my beloved trainers and replace them with the dreaded golden dancing sandals of shame A year or so earlier aged 8 I d mentioned to mum and dad how I would love to tap dance like Fred Astaire There was obviously some breakdown in communication and the hoofer s shuffle of my dreams was replaced by The Military Two Step Square Tango and Edwardian Gavotte I didn t actually mind the dancing I loved the music and the company and very much enjoyed buying sweets at the interval but could never understand the fascination of those who chose to melt their cola bottles on the radiators instead of eat them Having already been labelled a geek for learning the clarinet and knowing who Glenn Miller was in assembly I was sailing close to the wind and so couldn t tell anyone I was now ballroom dancing twice a week Dad picked me up on Monday nights so providing I got to the car without being spotted I was safe Saturday mornings proved more difficult as after classes I went to spend the rest of the day with my beloved nan who lived just down the lane however a boy in my form lived opposite her house and trying to make that enormous red vanity case unnoticeable on a weekly basis was impossible Last Saturday I headlined Glusburn s first festival My opening lines of the evening Out of politeness I learned ballroom dancing here in this very room for many MANY years only able to stop when the teacher finally informed by parents that I had absolutely no natural rhythm let s hope that doesn t apply to this evening s performance 28 Sep My burgers are fit for a king but beware of the baps LAST night s dinner was a meal of great highs and tremendous lows How wrong can you go with burger and chips Dainty little patties of good quality beef snugly set betwixt the comforting top and bottom of delicate compact and bijou floury baps My biggest mistake was deciding to make said baps myself After my last bread disaster good friend Richard gave me a failsafe just add water kit I added the exact amount required and kneaded for the exact time stated Although it clearly read If making rolls divide the dough into 10 equal portions I being a master baker knew better and whisked my 14 rolls upstairs by the boiler

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/page/20/?page_id=2 (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    left before my televised Proms concert at the Royal Albert Hall with John Wilson and his orchestra Eating less food and exercising like a thing possessed is definitely the key to looser jeans but I m sure stress and worry can help too and there was certainly plenty of that on Thursday afternoon when our pianist rang to say he d come down with stomach flu We were due to play The Brecon Festival the next day Brecon is a huge festival on the jazz calendar Only two pianists have covered our current show on the rare occasion Grant has been unavailable and neither of them were around Suddenly Muddy had one of her inspirational moments and rang Pee Wee Ellis for Jason Rebello s number Jason is one of the most talented pianists this country has ever produced and when not working on his own stuff can be found playing with the likes of Sting and currently Jeff Beck He also happens to live just down the road Amazingly he was free and agreed to step in With hardly any time to look over the charts and even less to actually rehearse any of them due to getting stuck in terrible Friday traffic he gallantly went on stage where he played his socks off and we had a fantastic concert Drummer Benny had flown in from Edinburgh and had another Brecon gig starting immediately after ours He asked Arthur our festival helper the quickest way to get to The Drill Hall It s about 25 minutes away by car The horror that spread across Benny s ashen face was a picture It turned out someone had given him the office address instead of the venue address Two days later I had a brilliant time at the Canary Wharf jazz

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/a-steady-diet-of-stress-but-the-show-still-goes-on/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    ground of many bohemians artists and writers including Dylan Thomas Quentin Crisp Virginia Woolfe George Bernard Shaw and George Orwell One of the noisiest pubs in the world the Newman Arms conveniently situated beneath our very hotel room window is mentioned in Orwell s 1984 Later that evening I popped into the Arts Show on Radio 2 to talk to Penny Smith about my upcoming performance with The John Wilson Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall on August 29 as part of the BBC Proms to be televised by BBC2 on September 3 can t wait Because of said proms I am on horrible diet and exercise regime mainly consisting of no bad or what I would call good food no caffeine and no alcohol St Muddy who has no need to lose an ounce has valiantly agreed to go on this heinous diet with me for moral support After a super juice I had the Cellulite Buster we embarked on an eight mile hike round Hyde Park Green Park and St James Park calling into the National Portrait Gallery for half an hour before heading back to get ready for the private gig we were performing that evening In

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/heartening-actions-by-the-everyday-people-after-the-riots/ (2016-02-15)
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