Here’s this year’s Christmas gift guide for music lovers. It features products from some of our favourite small businesses including The Vocal Coach, Benny Greb, They Made This and Stylecreep. From homewares, books, prints, clothing and vinyl, there’s something for everyone! Grab a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine and get shopping! Enjoy 🙂
The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by David Grohl / £20 / Bookshop.org
Effective Practicing for Musicians by Benny Greb / €25.99 / Benny Greb Shop
1, 2 & 10. Christmas doesn’t officially start in our household until the Christmas music goes on. Here are three fantastic albums/EP’s that are guaranteed to have you feeling festive. One of the UK’s most acclaimed soul/jazz vocalists, Natalie Williams (Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, Jacob Collier, Jessie J, Emeli Sande), released ‘A Little Bit of Christmas’ a couple of years ago, and it’s now a firm favourite of ours. For vinyl enthusiasts there’s ‘Charlie Brown’s Christmas’ from Sleeve Notes Records, and Jamiroquai band member and multi-instrumentalist, Nate Williams (no relation to Natalie), releases his debut Christmas EP on December 4th which will no doubt be a festive delight.
3. World-renowned photographer, Michael Putland, captured everyone from David Bowie to ABBA over his 50 year career. Sadly Michael passed away last year, not long after publishing ‘The Music I Saw’ – a book featuring some of his most iconic images. Some of his wonderful prints can also be purchased via his website.
4. Did you know you can gift apps? Just click the ‘Gift’ option when you go to buy the app on the App Store and the app will be delivered to the recipient of your choice. Annabel Williams, AKA ‘The Vocal Coach’(Britains Got Talent, The X Factor, Pussycat Dolls, Katy Perry) has produced this fantastic vocal app – perfect for aspiring, or professional vocalists.
5. We can’t wait to get out and see live music again, and this is one show in particular we’d highly recommend you put to the top of your gig list. Native Dancer released their debut album last month, and it’s one of the most beautiful albums we’ve heard this year. With only a few tickets left though – you’ll have to grab your tickets quick!
6. We’ve recently launched online tuition as gifts. Book a lesson with one of the UK’s best musicians including Nate Williams (see above) who teaches songwriting, or get a singing lesson with X Factor coach, Ulrika Bjerelind. Or if you can’t decide, we also offer gift vouchers from £10 – £50.
7. Daunt Books sell this fantastic collection of music books which includes, Rough Ideas by Stephen Hough, Tracey Thorn’s Another Planet, and On Michael Jackson by Margo Jefferson.
8. Lady Bakewell Park make the most delicious biscuits on earth. Fact. Plus, their biscuits have the best messaging, from song lyrics like “you’re my wonderwall” to sweary biscuits like ‘Fuck Off 2020’ (my personal fav).
9. Disko Kids make music-inspired clothing, jewellery and prints for kids and adults, and we have been huge fans ever since their roller skates sweater became an instagram hit. I’ve kitted out the kids in their “We Are Family” T-shirts, and I’ve got my eye on this ‘Rock and Soul’ sweater which comes in über cool Khaki. Helen, who runs Disko Kids, is super lovely, and they also support charities including ‘Winston’s Wish’ and the ‘Alzheimers Society’ – another excellent reason to buy from them!
11. Freddie Mercury on your Christmas Tree. An essential purchase, no? If you’re an interiors enthusiast like me, then make sure you check out WA Green – their products are fab.
12. These gorgeous wooden musical instruments make perfect gifts for the mini-music makers in your life.
13. Disco ball earrings + Disko Kids sweater – surely a winning combination? And these are currently reduced from £35 to £30 so go grab a pair pronto!
14. We’ve been supporting Nordoff Robbins for two years now, and absolutely love what they do. They are the UK’s leading music therapy charity, reaching just under 12,000 vulnerable people in 2019. This year has certainly not been easy for charities, so supporting them has never been more urgent. Donations can start from as little as £5, and every penny really does help.
I’ve written a piece about my love of music and it’s therapeutic effects, over on Clementine’s website.
Clementine is a fantastic wellness app that features a series of short hypnotherapy sessions designed to promote confidence, calm, and good quality sleep. Their nap session was my go-to after having twins! Head over to their website to find out more.
I also list my top 10 tracks (no easy feat), and the reasons behind my selection:
1. Home Again – Carole King 2. By The Time It Gets Dark – Mary Black 3. Sisters of Mercy – Leonard Cohen 4. Come a Little Closer/Wild Is The Wind – Shirley Horn 5. A Long Walk – @missjillscott 6. Knocks Me Off My Feet – Stevie Wonder 7. One Day Like This – @elbowofficial 8. Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell 9. Harvest Moon – @emilia_martensson 10. With Your Eyes Closed – @danwildemusic
To read the full post, and to listen to my playlist, click HERE.
“One good thing about music; when it hits you, you feel no pain” Bob Marley
We support music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins. You can find out more HERE.
We believe that music can be life changing, and that it should be made accessible to everyone, especially people with life-limiting illnesses, physical disabilities or emotional challenges. So, we are absolutely thrilled to now be supporting Nordoff Robbins – the UK’s leading music therapy charity, who provide vital support to vulnerable and isolated people. They offer support through their open access centres, and alongside partner organisations.
For every private event now booked with Sound Generation, we will donate £5 to Nordoff Robbins.
If you would like to find out more about the wonderful work Nordoff Robbins do, click HERE.
We have been working with Soho House group for a few months now, with SG artists performing regularly at The Ned and White City House. We’re thrilled to now be working with Soho Farmhouse, on their new weekly live music nights, which will feature performances from different acts every Thursday from 7pm. Set on 100 acres of Oxfordshire countryside, Soho Farmhouse makes for a country retreat like no other, featuring cosy cabin accommodation, a whole host of outdoor pursuits, and plenty to ensure guests get some serious downtime too.
Soul singer, Daniel Walker, launches the nights this Thursday 6th December, followed by Mike Davies on December 13th and Louise Golbey on December 20th.
At the minute I have Anita O’day Sings for Oscar Peterson on repeat…
Grew up listening to…
Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Anita O’Day, Tony Bennett, Jack Jones, The Carpenters, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, and also Whitney Houston was a big favourite in my young life (Oh and the Doors in my Uni years – who didnt!?!)
All of the above, and Audrey Hepburn!!
Artists we should check out…
The Slow Show – an amazing band from Manchester!
I supported the Blind Boys Of Alabama (Theme tune from HBO’s The Wire….
Claims to fame…
I sang with Neil Diamond at the 100th Royal Variety Performance at the Royal Albert Hall, and I’ve sung with Enrique Inglesias! Oh and I was as a dancer on the “Its A Rainbow Baby” Rainbow dance video…. I got to dance in a bed with Zippy & George! Yes really.
Best gigs you’ve seen this year… Last nightI saw Cafe Society Swing (Alex Webb’s Copasetics Foundation) last night at hideaway! It’s a wonderful show and one of highlights I have seen this year.I recently saw Michelle John – she is incredible!!! Also, Andreya Triani – who was amazing, and The Slow Show!
What does the future hold…
I am working with Alex Webb on a great new project, “Carrying The Torch” which celebrates the great torch singers like, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, and Edith Piaf, playing songs such as I’m A Fool To Want You and Hymne A L’Amour. We play some London dates including St James Theatre February 20th 2016.
I also continue to work as an advocate for animal rights and conservation of the environment.