Friday, 27 December 2013

Crafted for Christmas 2013: New Brewery Arts Gallery until Jan 4th

So good the Chamber of Commerce had to visit...
Awe inspiring pieces of art and craft are currently on display at New Brewery Arts, Evan Burgess found out more...

Intricate and lavish pieces are currently on exhibition in Cirencester at New Brewery Arts. Crafted for Christmas is a seasonal show following on the tradition from 2012's exhibition. With a diverse array of crafts represented, pieces vary in price from a suitably gift friendly £15, to a diamond encrusted £12,000. The artists who have contributed to Crafted have seen an already strong turn out from the public to view their expertly fashioned wares.

Why not treat yourself to a slow and steady appraisal of
Kate Kelly's birds and Ray Mallaney's light shades
some of the finest local artists Gloucestershire has to offer. Though not all artists are based locally, some makers can be found from NBA’s premises. Such talent as Louise Parry, Richie Alli and Helen Nottage work onsite at NBA and have been making waves with gallery goers since November.

The popular Gratitude Tree from Oxford based wire sculptress Rachel Ducker is interactive. It has allowed the public to leave a leaf on one of the many branches which states what they are grateful for. Among many comments left, the dramatic “For finding my melanoma before it spreads” stands out. A romantic shared leaf left by a couple warms the heart. “Waking up with my girl Kim” stands proudly on one side, whilst ”Finding you when I did” sits on the other.

The intensely popular Gratitude Tree
Louise Parry’s beautiful and intricately made jewellery has often drawn gasps when people look at the carefully made clocks, earrings and necklaces. Helen Nottage’s ceramics have also impressed with many people stopping to stare and wonder at the different textures the vessels possess.

If you wish to stand a chance of getting something from the gallery, then be quick! With only until Saturday 4th January, time is running out. Seeing, let alone owning a piece from any one of the 28 makers/artists on display is pure eye candy.

For more information click here. To connect with NBA on facebook click here.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Pancast Poductions Are Busy Documenting Culture, We Found Out More...

Neil and Pavo
Pancast Poductions is a locally based duo of podcasters, Pavo and Neil, who are currently taking the area by storm with their relaxed and informal interviews of local people of interest and even those from further afield.

With a large bank of past interviews, the two formats are “Movie Heaven” and “Live @ the Shed”. Having fun is the key component that makes the podcasts accessible and enjoyable. We caught up with Pancast Poductions in order to find out how things have been going for the local lads!

1. How long have you been going with your interviews, and so far which one has garnered the most attention?
We’ve been going since April this year. The podcast that had the most interest worldwide was with Mike Beckingham Simon Pegg’s brother.

2. How much thinking do you put into making the interviews before you do them, or is it more spontaneous?
We like to go into interviews with hardly any preparation so we are genuinely interested in the answers to the questions.

3. Which people would you like to interview that no one would believe you could get in?
Simon Pegg, Harrison Ford and Paul McCartney.

4. How have you found social media’s ability to spread the word?
Social media is a necessity. It helps tell everyone in the world what is going on and to gain access to the podcasts.

5. What is the most exciting project you’re working on right now?
Our next live show at the vaults on Tues 17th Dec. Also we have plans for our 1st Anniversary in April and ideas for new podcasts.

To find out more about Pancast, visit them online!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Brewery Blues Review: The Curious Little Big Band Dec 13th 2013

The Curious Little Big Band
Evan Burgess reviewed Friday 13th's gig at the Brewery Arts Theatre, bad luck? Not at all...
With a well earned reputation for lively and entertaining gigs, the Brewery Blues was to host yet another stormer for the local population’s consumption. With a sold out show the audience was treated to a varied and delightful group of performers, starting with an a cappella choir Prima Donnas. With versatile foreign language songs, the group also left us with a Christmas feeling by adding in a few carols. Enjoyed by all, they made way for the next act which was quite a contrast.

Rosie Blackallar played the keyboard proficiently accompanied by dynamic bass player Henry Blackallar and neat drumming from Andy Hughes. A mixture of covers and originals, the singing was well honed and the overall effect of the music was warm and inviting. The keyboard and bass worked well together to create a sound bigger than three individuals. Finishing on an uplifting note with a cover of Don’t Stop by Fleetwood Mac, the audience were finding it hard not to get up and dance.

Rosie Blackallar
Following Rosie was the last ever gig by band The Blues Grinders. Doing what you’d expect of such a name, people were more than welcoming to the fun loving and well known band’s solid beats and tight phrasing. Brewery Blues promoter John Drummond got on the mic for some all out blues numbers. Charming and crowd pleasing, the band did a great job and left the audience wanting more.

To finish the night, headliners The Curious Little Big Band were yet again completely different to any act so far on the bill. With a line up of rich instrumentation and colourful attire, the singing stood out as top notch with sometimes four band members providing full overtones. Lead singer Miles was not going to waste time being shy, and held eye contact with almost everyone in the room throughout the show. Clearly excited to be on stage, the band were determined to have fun. Polished and full of surprises, every part worked and added something to the show without anybody being overshadowed. With a magnificent rendition of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, it’s clear that it will take a lot of beating for the Brewery Blues to find a more entertaining set of performers.

Use Facebook? Follow the Curious Little Big Band here.

Details for the next Brewery Blues show can be found here.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Find out more about Progressive Pictures UK, a locally based film company!

An example of Progressive Pictures work...
Evan Burgess interviewed local film maker Jamie Blackburn, who specialises in aerial film using his camera drone...
EAB: Was it easy going self employed?
JB: It's something I've always thought about but no, it was a tricky decision which involved lots of research and number crunching. Ultimately though if you want to pursue an ambition you know you'll have to work hard and take some risks, so I decided to go for it.
EAB: Your work with a drone is just a part of your repertoire, but how much does it separate you from other film makers who use more ordinary equipment?
JB: I think being a filmmaker & photographer with access to a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) is quite a unique way of working in the industry. It's a difficult course to gain permission from the CAA to operate commercially so despite the technology becoming more available it's still quite a specialist service. However I don't just look to use it for my own projects and separate myself from other more conventional filmmakers, but rather provide everyone with the opportunity and access to include aerial work in their projects, whether it's for a production company, event organisers, construction and surveying or archaeologists etc.
EAB: How did you present your plan to the Prince’s Trust? Did they give you anything valuable apart from money?
JB: Working with The Prince's Trust has been fantastic. I signed on with their Enterprise Programme where I completed a course in the basics of running a business and was then assigned a personal tutor to help develop a solid business plan over the following 6 months. Once the plan had been approved I then gave a (more friendly) dragons den style pitch to a panel of business specialists and entrepreneurs. It was a bit nerve-wracking giving the presentation but I had a lot of confidence in my plan and particularly the figures and I also included some of my short films to make the whole thing more engaging. In the end they liked me and my business plan and I was successful in getting a low interest start-up loan. As well as this I now have access to a Prince's Trust mentor for the next 2 years to give me any advice or guidance should I need it, as well as internal access to the wider Trust network.
EAB: How much time have your jobs taken you?
JB: On average an aerial photography shoot will take between 2 and 4 hours and filming a bit longer, but it depends entirely on what's being shot and where. My conventional film work usually takes between 1 and 2 days but again this can vary. In the summer I spent 3 days filming for Lamborghini in the Scottish Highlands and then in December I'm filming in the French Alps for 2 weeks so each project is fairly unique. I also offer a retouch service for photography and editing for film so projects can continue for several days after the shoot.
EAB: Do you have other interests in film like screen writing and working with full length movies?
JB: I've been filmmaking for over 15 years now and doing it professionally since 2007 so over that time I've had a go at most aspects of film production. For my degree my specialist area was editing and this is also what I've worked professionally in for the most amount of time but I also have a keen interest in cinematography and the use of camera angles and lighting to help boost the impact of a scene. One day I would love to develop my own feature film but at the moment I'm really interested in creative marketing so I'm happy developing my short web-based promotional work and doing the scripting, shooting and editing for each project. However from time to time larger projects do require hiring in additional freelance specialists for certain aspects of the production.
EAB: What is the best way of drumming up interest from clients?
JB: Quite a lot of clients are developed through word of mouth and other contacts and networks, however a good marketing strategy includes a descent website and hassling anyone and everyone via email and phone. In the visual industries it's also really important to be able to demonstrate examples of your work through portfolios and showreels. I try to put together a new showreel every couple of years to demonstrate the current styles and techniques as well as the clients I've worked with. My latest aerial showreel can be found here;
EAB: Where can people find your work?

JB: You can get in touch with me and find examples of my work at and more regular updates on projects at