Last night I drove to Maidenhead, the town where I went to art college many moons ago. Bizarrely, it was exactly the same time period that the Spice Girls were living in the town, although, of course, I had no idea back then.
I hadn’t been to Maidenhead since the day I graduated and it was very weird driving in on the same road I used to drive down after leaving my parents home. Even more strange was the place I was heading to was just around the corner from where I used to live! I couldn’t resist driving down to Rutland Place to see the house that held so many memories.
The reason I drove for an hour and a half on a Sunday evening was to go to a small venue called Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, an amazing place that has its own cinema, theatre and art gallery. And the reason I was going there was to see fabulous Hailey Tuck. If you’ve not heard of her before have a read of my blog post from back in March when I first discovered her.
The venue itself was so small and so intimate with only enough room for about 100 people to sit in the audience. We were sat in the second row and this was my view whilst we were waiting for her to come on. There is no zoom on the photo, that’s how close we were!
I had to take a picture of this absolutely stunning four piece, natural wood Remo drum kit. My very first boyfriend was a drummer and got me into admiring beauties like this and I know he’d definitely be jealous of this set.
When Hailey and her three piece band came on we were initially treated to my favourite track from her EP, Don’t Think Twice, which was originally written by Bob Dylan. This was followed by a journey through Hailey’s musical loves, with many arranged by her pianist, and I was introduced to a number of songs I hadn’t heard before. One of Hailey’s most favourite singers is Blossom Dearie, someone I had previously been oblivious to, and I have been listening to her all morning now and I am totally hooked.
During the interval Hailey took the time to mingle with the audience which I was so chuffed about and just had to go and introduce myself. She was lovely and we talked about all the important issues such as my dress and why she had her hair cut in a Louise Brookes style.
Later in the bar she explained how she got into being a jazz singer. As a youngster she loved to do musicals at school but one of her teachers said she really didn’t have the voice for musical theatre. She was then advised to try singing jazz , something she knew nothing about, which was very surprising because her father was a jazz drummer. Once Hailey had listened to a few songs she was hooked and, as they say, the rest is history.
When we returned to our seats for the second half the tunes kept on flowing and we were treated to all the songs from her current EP, such as My Funny Valentine, Sunday Morning and Tell Her No. Sunday Morning was originally recorded by Maroon 5 and Hailey told us the story that James Valentine, the lead guitarist from Maroon 5, used to date her sister when Hailey was quite young. So this song is an ode to the fact that she always thought James had dated the wrong sister!
Finally, after we were told that another EP was on its way (and on vinyl too, yes!), the gig was drawing to a close and after one encore the bassist and drummer had had enough but I think Hailey and her pianist would’ve gone on for a bit longer. But it was truly an amazing night and I loved the fact that it was so intimate and that I actually got the chance to meet the star of the show. And if you get the chance to see her, go, you won’t be disappointed!