ersonal

For the past few weeks I have been feeling really run down and stressed, due to a number of things -uni, work, money and life in general. So today I decided to do a bit of retail therapy – well Primark therapy – and checked out what the Preston store had to offer!

I only had 30 minutes to do some speedy shopping, as Ali had to go and prepare for his awesome radio show; Extra Time, on Guild Radio (little plug there for you guys!).

I was rushing around a quite surprisingly tidy Primark. For those of you who are international readers, Primark is basically a fairly cheap store which sells basic clothes, as well as one off ‘on-trend’ items. It’s also known for being a really untidy store (clothes all over the floor etc.) So I was shocked to see that the place was actually tidy!

Anyway, I picked up a few items, and in total spent £34, which is quite expensive for three things, but boy, they are worth it!

I bought:
‘Leather’ jacket, £20 – Despite already owning a black leather jacket (with a fur collar), I couldn’t help but buy this simple hooded version. I know that some of Primark’s ‘leather’ jackets look really cheap, but by pairing this baby with the right clothing and accessories, it will look amazing! The hood may ‘downgrade’ the jacket, but it will be so handy if it rains – and it always rains in Preston!

Polka dot grey & dark pink jumper , (the jumper is darker IRL) £12 – Polka dots are huge this season with Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney and Diane von Furstenberg all including this eclectic print into their Autumn/Winter 2011 collections.  So it comes to no surprise that I had to effectively ‘jump on the bandwagon’ and purchase this gorgeous polka dot jumper! Many ‘typical’ polka dot prints consist of monochrome colours, so this buy was a little bit different to the norm, which I like! I can team this jumper with my leather shorts and my new vintage boots for a cheeky shopping trip, or I can wear it with this Topshop bodycon skirt and these shoe boots from Republic for a night out with the girls – the possibilities are endless!

Brassy deer ring £2 – The final item I bought was this adorable deer ring! As regular readers know, I LOVE my rings! So I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add this brassy ring to my ever-growing collection. This ring can be worn with practically any outfit! I can also pair this baby with other similar colour rings that I have, for the ‘stacked’ effect. For £2, this is a well invested piece of jewellery.

I was fairly impressed with Primark today, as I saw quite a few ‘on-trend’ clothes, and even some ‘unique’ clothes, which is so different from their usual basic jersey and jumper stuff. I think Primark is a bit of a ‘hit and miss’, one day you’ll go in there and find loads of nice clothes which suit your style, and other days, you hardly find anything.  I definitely think today was one of them days where I saw loads of things to buy, but I simply didn’t have the time to have a good rummage through the clothes.

What do you guys think of Primark? It would be interesting to hear your thoughts!

prestonv

Today I went to the Vintage & Craft fair at the New Continental Pub in Preston, to sample all of the delicious vintage delights!

As those of you who read this blog know, I love going to vintage fairs – check out this post of when I went to Judy’s Vintage Fair in Leeds. So I couldn’t miss this opportunity to scour the stalls to find some lovely, tucked-away vintage items!

The New Continental was rammed with eager vintage buyers, looking for those special hidden ‘gems’ in the racks. The pub (which serves amazing food by the way – although it is a tad expensive!) was host to 15 stalls brimmed with cute cupcakes, retro homewares and handmade jewellery, to name a few.

Here is what I bought at the Vintage Fair:
As you can see, I only bought a couple of things, due to the lack of money. But I know what you’re thinking; “Sarah you already have black boots, why have you bought another pair?!” Well the ones which I bought a couple of months ago now have the soles coming off them (sob! sob!), so I bought these babies for only £12, which I think is good considering I wear my other black boots everywhere. I hope these ones will be the perfect replacement!

The owl cushion speaks for itself. It was handmade from some Union Jack fabric, which I think is awesome by the way! His new home will be on my currently messy bed.

Whilst I was at the fair, I came across some very eye-catching and unique stalls. Here are a couple of my favourite stalls of the day:

prestonv3This stall is owned by the lovely Sabina from Roxy Valetta Boutique. I loved this stall in particular, because of the wide range of bargains that were on offer. From sunglasses, to jewellery, to clothes and shoes – this stand was practically vintage heaven! I bought the black boots here, which were at an original price of £15, but Sabina gave me them for £12 – how nice of her!

prestonv2Another stall sold some amazing handmade owl cushions, paperweights and brooches, as well as other handmade jewellery and vintage cards! I bought the owl cushion for only £10 – which is quite cheap in comparison to say, Urban Outfitters, who had some owl cushions on sale ages ago for double the price! I had my eye on a domino ring, and I saw some scrumptious scrabble rings too, but in the end I decided to stick with the cushion instead!

Overall I was impressed with the fair. And to say that there were only 15 stalls, there were so many things to choose from! I just wish I had more money whilst I was there, as I probably would have bought a dozen more vintage bargains! Have you been to any vintage fairs recently? If so what bargains did you buy?

[The image used in the feature graphic is from here]

Yesterday I went on a cheeky little trip into town to visit my friend Holly, whom I am presenting a radio show with for Preston FM, as well as to buy some much-needed bargain beauty essentials with the boyf!

The outfit mood for the day was ‘tiredness’ and with a touch of ‘sadness’ after I discovered my beloved faded denim shorts from MK One (remember them?), which I bought five years ago, had a hole in them in the crotch area. I was instantly filled with despair, and so to fill the void, I chose to wear my vintage black Levi’s, with tights and my black boots – which have been glued to my feet ever since I bought them at Leeds Festival!

Excuse my face; it seems that the death of my denim shorts proved too much for me to take a lovely photograph!

Top – Zara

Shorts – Vintage Levi’s

Tights – Primark

Boots – Vintage

After sorting out what me and Holly were going to do on our radio show (which airs on Thursday 15th September at 10am by the way!), me and Ali went into town for a little indulgence shop!

Here is what I bought:

‘Loud’ perfume by Tommy Hilfiger: I love this perfume! I used to wear it religiously at the start of this year but due to unforeseen circumstances (i.e. spending nearly all of my student loan, therefore being a poor student); I could no longer afford to splash out £30 for it. However, my luck has changed as I bagged this baby for over £18 at Boots, which will last me a good while!

There was another perfume I wanted, which was the recently released new Diesel perfume, Loverdose. This perfume not only smells absolutely beautiful, but the packaging itself is divine! Despite having a very healthy bank balance, I could not afford to pay nearly £50 for this seductive scent, so let’s hope the boyf catches on and buys me it for my birthday! Hint hint!

Veet Hair Minimising Body Moisturiser: I bought this on a whim, as I have heard this product is quite good for minimising body hair, thus reducing the amount of times you need to shave/wax/use hair removal cream. Look out for a product review on this in the near future to see if it works!

Montagne Jeunesse Face Masks in Fruit Smoothie and Deep Pore Cleansing Masque for Men: I have always wanted to try out face masks, but I guess I’ve never had the time nor the patience to spend some time putting something on my face (hence why I wear minimal make-up!) So as a little change, I have invested 96p in this Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask in Fruit Smoothie, which is supposed to leave your skin fresher, cleansed and softer – oh and I guess it’s supposed to smell nice too!  Ali also bought a face mask (on my request) to test out for all you guys out there! So expect product reviews by me and the boyf, to see if these beauty masks live up to their reputation!

Wilkinson’s Reporters Notebook: I like to think that I bought this notebook for the budding journalist inside of me. Instead, the real reason is that my other notebook ran out of paper due to me writing draft blog posts and numerous unfinished ‘to do’ lists (a habit of mine which has plagued me ever since high school). Nevertheless I shall use this notebook to record scribblings about the upcoming fashion events I am going to attend (more about that in future posts!) and for other journo bits ‘n’ bobs.

Thornton’s Chocolate Bar Set: This was a gift, albeit a £2 gift (I’m not complaining) from the boyf! We were in Thornton’s dribbling over the chocolate delights that were on offer, and Ali was so sweet to buy me this three piece set of chocolate! Me and him are currently eating healthy at the moment (which isn’t going too well to be honest, scroll down and you will see why we are failing), but this set is perfect for the odd treat – plus I like the packaging!

Simple Kind to Eyes Revitalising Eye Roll-On: Lately I have been suffering from what I can only describe as ‘light exhaustion’, I am forever tired and whenever I wake up and look in the mirror, my eyes have huge bags under them and later in the day I still feel tired! So I thought I needed a little ‘pick-me-up’ in the form of this revitalising eye roll on by my favourite skin care brand, Simple. I am hoping that this product will do what it says on the tin (or the cardboard packaging in this case), and prevent me from looking like a zombie. Again, look for a product review on this in the near future!

Hair brush & bobbles: Self-explanatory really.

After the little shopping trip, me and Ali headed home for a curry (how very unhealthy of us!) and to watch the England match (I’m a classy bird).

I only got through a quarter of the curry (a Chicken Korma), when I had to give the rest of it to Ali’s housemate – how nice of him to finish it off!

We then finished the night by watching Bridget Jones’s Diary, a ‘classic’ film in which I educated Ali about the ups and downs we women go through. Needless to say, he learnt a lot.

So there you go. What I got up to yesterday in a nutshell!

What did you guys get up to?

Ooh and look out for product reviews and more ‘personal’ posts in the near future!

pfm

In today’s world of journalism, simply being able to write a decent article isn’t good enough. You need to be ‘multi-skilled’ and determined to get your foot into the door of this tough industry.

So, for these past two weekends I have been attending Preston FM’s training course, which in the long-term allows you to produce and present your own radio show. Here is a little feature on the experience I have gained, and what I aim to do with these skills when I finish the course.

Why Preston FM?

Preston FM is a local community radio station situated in the city centre of Preston, Lancashire. Every year the Preston FM team offer a select number of volunteers of any age to participate in their training course, which includes:

– planning your own radio show

– developing good features

– interview techniques

– knowing how to work the studio desk

blah

It doesn’t seem much, but with 10am-5pm days in the training centre, it is pretty intense!

BLAH

I chose Preston FM because after the course, you have to create and present live on the ‘Fresh On Air’ morning slot for three months, which not only allows you to work under pressure, but being a student at the city’s University of Central Lancashire, it would be easy to travel to and to sort out any arrangements with my co-presenter.  At the end of my time at Preston FM, I will receive a Level 2 qualification in An Introduction to Community Radio which is equivalent to gaining a GCSE.

My Preston FM workbook, handbook and folder.

What I did not expect

Long hours, paper work and making a practise show were a few of the things I did not expect during my time at Preston FM!

At the start of your course you get a folder with assignment sheets and a brief, as well as a volunteer ‘workbook’, which you need to complete in order to get your Level 2 qualification. You also work in groups with other volunteers (the age group ranged from 14 to 84), to produce features and running orders for specific shows.

Another thing I did not expect was for time to go quickly when you are making a 30 minute show! Me and Holly (another volunteer), were paired up and whilst we were doing our show, time flew so fast we were in and out of the studio with a snap of a finger!

The radio show

Here is a recording of mine and Holly’s show, Mad4Music, a radio show which focuses on Preston’s music scene and local bands.

To say this was our very first show (which wasn’t broadcasted live by the way), and that fact we suffered from a few hiccups here and there, I think that this show went okay and we tried our best despite time constraints and technical issues. Hopefully we can improve on this in the future.

(All tracks were for practising purposes, this wasn’t broadcasted!)

The future

After presenting our show on the three dates below, we and the other volunteers have an opportunity to pitch our ideas for our own radio shows, and have the chance to present it and carry on working with Preston FM after the course has finished.

As of yet, I don’t know whether I want to carry this on, I have enjoyed it so far but it will depend on the amount of work I get from uni.

Even though the course has been hard, it has also been amazing at the same time! You not only meet people from all walks of life, but in terms of employment prospects in journalism, it will look great on my CV, and it will allow me to have more of an ‘edge’ at job interviews due to have skills I have gained.

Our show’s broadcast dates

Preston FM has given me and Holly our dates and the time we are going to be on air:

– Thursday 15th September 2011 at 10am – 11am

– Thursday 13th October 2011 at 10am – 11am

– Thursday 10th November 2011 at 10am – 11am

We are brewing up some ideas for our music show which will include gig listings, interviews with special guest bands and music performances. So make sure you tune in to: 103.2 Preston FM on those dates and have a listen and tell us what you think!

And finally, I would like to suggest this course to anyone interested in radio, it is hard but the experience is well worth it!

This weekend I saw six bands take to the GlastonFerret stage, an indoor music festival which even gave Glastonbury a run for its money.

The GlastonFerret stage

GlastonFerret, an event which has been running for over five years, is the must-go-to festival if you are in the Lancashire area. From great music such as up and coming Rae Morris, a very talented musician who can charm you with her delicate piano playing, to care-free band Baboon, who lit up the stage with their rapport and humorous lyrics – oh, and not forgetting their attire (masks which rival Slipknot’s!)

The festival kicked off with an acoustic ‘intro’ from melodic Mobius Loop, Leyland’s finest Bill Orrick and one quarter of power pop band, Moral Panic’s Tom Metcalfe. This set the standard of what talent was to grace the Mad Ferret stage.

First on was five-piece Mobius Loop, a Preston-based band who is reminiscent of The Kooks. Their two song set was played purely acoustically, which is refreshing for a music hub which is normally a beacon for indie and alternative bands.  One of their songs, ‘Hollow Lonely’, sounded like a country western dream with the sweet harmonies and catchy riffs. These folky chaps were so good, the audience wanted an encore, which they truly delivered by performing a Bob Marley cover.  What a great opening to GlastonFerret!

Bill Orrick

One thing which gave GlastonFerret its ‘edge’ over other indoor festivals was the freshly laid grass which covered the pub’s floor.  This, especially with the rain outside (typical Preston weather), was the cherry on the cake for a top-notch musical weekender.

Bill Orrick was another scrumptious layer to the GlastonFerret treat, with his acoustic guitar in tow. The e-learning technologist has a soulful voice, and in some aspects of his set, sounded like the late Jeff Buckley. Orrick commanded the attention of the room with ‘Our Own Little Place’ however, despite his powerful voice, there was little eye contact and interaction with the audience. Nerves were probably a factor there. For his penultimate song, the dark-haired Lancashiran collaborated with Alex and Dave from Mobius Loop for an acoustic cover of a Jefferson Starship song. A cover which gave the band justice.  After hearing Orrick’s set, it is safe to say this guy will go far.

Amidst the smell of freshly cooked burgers, the atmosphere in the Mad Ferret was amazing – it’s no wonder why the venue was shortlisted for NME’s ‘Britain’s Best Small Venue.’

Next to take to the stage was Newspaper Joe, a Manc whose voice sounded oh-so-similar to the frontman of the Arctic Monkeys, Alex Turner. His ‘indie-folk’ ensemble and interaction with the audience was one of the festival’s highlights. Similar to Orrick, his acoustic guitar was oozing tantalizing riffs which mashed well with his meaningful lyrics. ‘How I Won The War’, a song dedicated to his friend ‘Milky’, was sung with conviction and was the most memorable tune of his set.

It wasn’t long before the capacity in the Mad Ferret was overflowing, from children to middle-aged men, it was clear that GlastonFerret catered for everyone of all ages and their music tastes.

Boy Genius

Preston natives Boy Genius lit up the intimate stage with their up-tempo tunes and thunderous drumming. The three-piece concocted a set where the music was so fast and powerful that you could have head-banged your heart out. The band introduced a new song ‘Punk Power’ which didn’t fail to please. Overall, it was a good performance despite few technical hitches at the start of their set. I suggest you check out their recently released E.P entitled ‘El Champione’ here.

Even though the festival was more or less a ‘casual day in the pub’, attendees made their mark in the fashion stakes.  The girls were sporting floral midi skirts with blouses or crochet jumpers tucked in whereas the men were more blasé, with checked shirts and skinny jeans being the front-runner for most outfits. Wellies were the must-have shoe (well, it is a ‘festival’!), and were shown off by eccentric band, Baboon.

Driver Drive Faster, a four-piece rock/indie band were the penultimate group I saw at GlastonFerret. The band has recently released their debut album, ‘Open House’ only last week on Akoustik Anarkhy records and based on their Mad Ferret performance, I suggest you buy it. ‘Open House’ was by far their best song with slow, sluggish riffs which enticed you to sway your head at and was a great addition to their set list.

One thing that I loved about bands like Driver Drive Faster and their GlastonFerret predecessors was that there was no need to ‘jump’ up and down on stage and causing a raucous like most generic indie/rock bands do. The acts relied on their music and rapport alone which made the festival more enjoyable in my eyes, leading me to comedic band, Baboon.

Baboon

Baboon was a treat to watch with their care-free dancing and humorous lyrics. The unsigned rock band had great stage presence and an unlimited amount of interaction with the audience. The contrast between the lead singer and the backing singer’s voices was amazing. Most notable songs were ‘Reprisals’ a “mysterious and threatening” song and ‘Blood Sugar Level’, a track which was sci-fi mixed with rock, an unusual combination which seemed to work well for the five-piece.

Above-all, GlastonFerret was one of my favourite festivals that I have been to, the intimate and ‘outdoorsy’ setting was a perfect match and the music was priceless. For £8 it was well worth it, and I will definitely be going next year.

[ALL IMAGES/VIDEOS WERE TAKEN BY ME]

Late last month I went on a shopping frenzy – I spent £38 in Primark in one session for crying out loud! So whilst I sort through my now-bursting wardrobe full of clothes I don’t need or wear, I thought I might as well showcase my purchases as well as a few items which I am looking to get more use out of for summer. So here goes…

Lately I’ve been buying accessories such as bags and jewellery – most notably rings! So I thought I’d put them all in my floral vanity-like box from Primark – only £3! And take a photo, enjoy!

Here they are from clock-wise round:

Primark Floral Vanity Box, £3 – I fell in love with this floral box instantly! Not only does it look quite vintage, it can have many purposes. For example, I could use it as a bag or I could use it as a storage box. It was reduced from £7 which was a further incentive to buy it!

Primark Gold Chunky Chain Necklace, £3.50 – I’m really into my necklaces at the moment and as soon as I saw this chunky gold necklace I knew I wanted to buy it! Whenever I shop, if I like a product I always think of what it can go with – this plays an important part in whether I buy or not. Plus I have Ali, who makes me take everything out of the basket and go through which items I need the most. He’s a good’un. I have made good use out of this necklace already; you can see it in action here.

River Island Tribal/’Festival’ fringed Bag Necklace, £3 – I bought this in the Christmas River Island sale when I worked there last year. I haven’t worn it yet as I’m saving it for this summer and the festival season where it will be at home. This necklace is not only an eye-catcher, it’s also a useful bag to store change for when I’m at the festival.  Who said fashion cannot be practical?

Octopus CD Purse, £8 – I bought this purse ages ago purely because of the design! Octopus is this great boutique in Queens Arcade, Leeds, which sells unique and bright home furnishings such as cutlery, tables and even toasters! I hope to use this purse this summer to store loose change.

Primark Gold Small Purse Necklace, £2.50 –Another purchase from my Primark splurge from the past two weeks! This purse is so delicate and pretty – not usually what you would come across in Primark. You can see it with my outfit here. Another ‘vintage-like’ purchase and I must say, Primark have definitely upped their game this spring/summer!

Primark Floral Headband, £1.50 –Love, love, love this! I try to wear this as often as I can, if the outfit is appropriate. You can see this here. Sadly, one of the flowers came off on a night out, so I went to the Primark’s in Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester and I couldn’t see any! They must be popular. Luckily I managed to fix it. Phew.

Ebay Scrabble Ring, £2.50 –This ring is definitely one of my favourite purchases! I first saw this ring on style-icon Pixie Lott and instantly wanted it! Definitely a worthy buy!

Primark Multi-Coloured Bracelets, £2.50 –These bracelets have a ‘tribal/festival’ feel so I thought I’d buy them. And for a pack of 8 bracelets for £2.50, I thought “why not?” Unfortunately, the one thing about them being a Primark product is that they break easily. So now I’m limited to 4 after giving 2 away to Ali (which later broke) and two which broke when I was in the Primark fitting room! Nice!

Pink Poodle Bird Compact Mirror, £9.99 –This was one of my purchases when I went to Glasgow for the weekend, two weeks ago. I’ve been searching for a nice, quite cheap compact mirror for ages after losing one on a night out and came across this baby in Glasgow’s West End. You can see the mirror in more detail here. Definitely a worthwhile investment.

River Island Feather Headband, £1.50 –I bought this last year and unfortunately lost it. Luckily a few months later it was in the River Island in Preston, so I snapped it up again using my then staff discount!  Unluckily for them, it was a sale item so I got it half off the original price of £1.50. Bargain! I love this headband and usually wear it when I go out on the town. I will be swapping and changing this item with the Primark floral headband this summer.

Primark Big Black and Clear Rimmed Sunglasses, £1 –After my free Sugar magazine sunglasses broke after 3 years of usage, I thought it was time to get some new ones – especially as my only other pair is some gold aviators I picked up from a night out, which are too big for my head! So these £1 ones from Primark will do nicely.

From a friend, Pink and White Shell Necklace (on the teddy bear), £3-£6– I bought this ages ago from a friend who was selling her necklaces – hence the uncertainty about the price! This is going to worn this summer, especially as it’s a nice, beachy, piece of jewellery.

So there you go, here is my little box of goodies which will be on my ‘use’ list for this summer. And I think all of them were a bargain seeing as I’m a poor uni student! Cannot wait for September’s loan already!

Me and my friend Ali Stafford managed to get an interview with the amazing Lancashiran Roo Walker, after he played a gig at the Mad Ferret pub in Preston. This guy has more stage presence than two fat ladies fighting over the last slice of chocolate cake. This guy is different. This guy is what music is all about…


Roo Walker on stage.

How did you first become interested in music?
My older brother started playing the guitar when I was about 11. He used to blast Guns ‘n’ Roses, Oasis and Green Day out of his bedroom and I wanted to get in to all of that. My dad also played the guitar every now and then, much against my mum’s intentions! I followed his musical influences as well, and he was a fan of the Beatles and progressive rock.

As a youngster did you want to be a musician?
Well I played a lot of Sunday League football when I was younger, and always thought that was what I was going to do as a career. I played the guitar as a hobby and practiced with a guy called Alex Platt. He’s an amazing musician that I met at school who played the drums, and he said we should start our own band.

How did the band progress from there?
I stopped playing football and we (me and Alex) practiced every Sunday for quite a while in an industrial mill. Not only were we really good friends but we were always trying to better each other, so we had a really healthy competitive spirit going on. We just wanted to be the best we could possibly be. It was at this point when I started writing material, which was just mainly instrumental stuff with Alex. We kept the band going for quite a while and we had different members come and go.  The band finished and we went our different ways when I was 15 or 16. Alex is now based in Manchester and I love his music.

When did you first start gigging?
The first gig I had was in Preston in the pub car park of ‘The Fighting Cock’, which has since been demolished for student accommodation. I was playing guitar and singing for a band and was only about 15 at the time. There we met a singer called Ric Birtill, and he became our singer for quite a while as we played lots of gigs around Preston, under the name of ‘Pseudo Ailment’. After the band split me and Ric done an acoustic thing for a while, and now he’s in an acoustic folk band called the Changing Horses.

What’s been your most embarrassing moment on stage?
I don’t think my pants have fallen down or anything like that, but I’ve certainly made a lot of mistakes on stage! There was one gig when we were really young where we had a stage for the first time, which was a massive deal to me because I thought I could crowd surf! So I jumped when there wasn’t a crowd there and ended up hurting my hand and wrist so bad that I couldn’t play guitar! Another funny one was where I threw a drumstick in to the crowd, and when someone threw it back it hit me in the face!

What was the BBC Talent competition you were involved in back in 2008?
Well while I was in another band we had a drummer called Pedro, and he told me about this talent competition he thought I should enter. I had to enter a song really quickly as it was only a couple of the days before the deadline, and I wasn’t sure what I should give them. In the end I gave them a song about Preston, which was called ‘Proud Preston’ and basically just took the Mickey out of the weather. I got a call a few weeks later and they told me that out of over 20,000 entries they’d boiled it down to 60 finalists, and I was one of them!

Roo’s stage presence is something we should admire.

What was your reward as a finalist?

We were invited to attend one of the three regional finals; London, Manchester and the one I went to in Bristol. There were loads of seminars given from different producers and mentors who had all had different hit songs. Sacha Skarbek gave a seminar. He’s worked with James Blunt and is a really good songwriter, and we were also made to do loads of other cool stuff related to song writing. One of the songs I wrote was about Radio 2 and Terry Wogan, and apparently one of the producers passed it on to him for him to listen to! I don’t think he ever played it on one of his shows and I didn’t win the competition overall, but I wasn’t bothered as it was just a great experience and I met loads of great people.

Do you thinking getting so far in the competition helped you and your career?
It certainly gave me a lot of encouragement! It’s really hard to know whether you’re any good and I’m always having that battle inside my brain. If you don’t think your any good then you think to yourself why bother even trying, but if you do think you’re good it might encourage you to get out there. It also helped me to define what I am as a musician. The whole competition proved really helpful, although I haven’t taken much of their advice yet!

How would you define yourself music-wise?
I don’t know. I really don’t know. I think sometimes I’m just a songwriter and other times I’ve got a sort of crazy side. I’ve tried to be the serious songwriter but every time I try, some clown from within just wants to come out! I’ll end up making a song up about cheese or something that’s been said in the audience! Somebody like Rae Morris just has an audience locked with her voice and her songs, but as soon as you put me in front of a punch of people I just can’t help going a bit silly!

Who would you say are your musical influences?
Obviously my brother and dad influenced me when I was younger, but there are loads of people which inspire me now musically wise. I love people like Rufus Wainwright, Bryan Adams, Jeff Buckley and Frank Zappa. I also like John Mayer, even though most people think he’s an arse hole!

What was the process behind making your first EP last year, Positive Minds?
I done all the recording side of things myself, which was good financially but also meant I had all the time in the world to do it. It’s not like it took 2 years to record it, but I was recording on and off and writing/rewriting things over the 2 years, which made it a lengthy process. I definitely don’t want to do that again. The guy who played drums for me is Sam Hocking. He also mixed the EP, mastered it and also added some synth to one of the tracks. He’s a great friend and had quite a big part to play in making it sound good!

Has the reaction from the first EP been successful?
Yeah it really has! It’s not all been amazing but I’ve had so many people saying they really liked it. I’ve also been able to pinpoint the songs which have worked the best not just for the people but for me as well.  I now know which songs kind of suit me and my voice, which luckily have coincided with the ones which the people seem to favour most of the time. The song styles on there are quite different and it’s a kind of mismatch of all my different stuff. I done that on purpose because I thought it would be a good idea, because I thought I didn’t want to be known for having just one sound.

Do you have plans for any more recordings?
Yeah definitely! I was told to do an album but I didn’t want to do one that wasn’t going to be commercially released so that’s why I done the EP and waited to see if I’d get signed up. Now I don’t know if I care anymore about that, and think it’s more important just to throw it out there. Whether loads of people will listen to it or not, it doesn’t really matter. It’s more important just to get on with it which I’m definitely looking forward to. I might do two CD’s this year, or maybe I’ll do three. I just don’t know. I’ll keep myself busy and keep doing it, because you only live once!

Any music plans for the summer?
There are a few festivals happening which the management have been trying to get involved with, although I’m not sure. I’ve never even been to Glastonbury so it would be great to play at Glastonbury and just be there. I’d also like to play the Greenbelt festival maybe some of the folk festivals too.

What other things have you got planned in the future?
I’m definitely looking forward to recording new material. There’s also some pretty big stuff coming up where I’m playing on tour with other artists, but my current band is the band for me. I’ve been trying to find the right players with the right enthusiasm and it can be really difficult. Now I think I’ve found that I might try to focus as much as I can and do as many gigs as I can with them. I’m also getting married in October so that’s going to take up some time so I might not be able to do that much gigging for a while. Once the marriage is out of way though I’ll be ready to leave the wife at home and go on a world tour!

Want to know more about Roo? Check out his Facebook/Myspace for upcoming gigs and the lates news!

[IMAGES ARE FROM ROO WALKER’S FACEBOOK PAGE]