“If music be the food of love, play on”, and if like the Bard’s hero you have music running in your blood and veins and you have devoted your life towards being a professional musician UK has a cauldron of places that can be a sheer delight for every music maven. Just as described through the plethora of anecdotes and illustrations in the book “Never Mind the Bollards”, a journey through UK’s roads can bring you to some of the most popular spots which have inspired legendary musical artists to compose songs that have gone on to create history in International musical albums. From Waterloo Bridge to Salford Lads Club, from Solsbury Hill to Totnes, there is so much to see for reliving those moments of nostalgia. Here are some points which every musician taking a road trip through UK should definitely see for a dream melodious journey through Britain’s musical heritage.
No musician can deny the significance of Waterloo Bridge in his or her life, thanks to the way this iconic landmark has made its presence felt by creeping into one of the most top rated albums of all times. Waterloo Sunset the famous song by The Kinks brings forth the stunning views of sunset as witnessed from the Waterloo Bridge, an experience which can be only relived and the song’s lyrics reloaded in your memory only by taking a sojourn to this place in London. The bridge formed the subject of inspiration to lyricist-singer Ray Davies as he used to cross it on his way to Croydon Art School every day. To conjure up the true image of ethereal sunset in all its beauty as seen from the Waterloo Bridge from the eyes of the man watching two lovers unite at the Waterloo Station over the south-end corner of the Bridge, Ray personally visited the site at sunset prior to releasing his album. Drive through the bridge at sunrise or sunset or opt for a cycling trip through London to the West End and you will know for sure the depth of inspiration the site provides. Who knows, the inherent melodies, magic and harmony in your heart may be evoked to stir up a soul-inspiring theme for your next song as you ponder on the scene in serenity and solitude.
Through the Scottish Highlands
The breath-taking expanse of snow-capped mountains with the lush green valley sloping down the Scottish Highlands have long been associated with the perfect divine ambiance that poets and musicians seek to draw inspiration from. In fact, folk music forms the quintessential basis of Scottish culture and what better way for a musician to feel what Wordsworth felt when he composed The Solitary Reaper than to drive down the Scottish country roads and Highlands and drown in its unparalleled beauty? Revel in the sprightly musical extravaganza of Scotland’s ensemble repertoire of instrumental music and dance as you tap your foot to the mellifluous harmony of the piano, fiddle, bagpipes, accordion and drums at some of the famous events held during the spring. Catch on with UK’s leading band of jive and swing music Jive Acres’ scintillating performance on the 8th of March, 2014 or experience Gaelic music at its best at the magnificent annual concert by the Dingwall Gaelic Choir troupe’s gold medallists on the 28th of March, 2014 both to be held at the famous Strathpeffer Pavilion in Northern Highland region. Music aficionados can also bask in the jollity and mirth of Scottish music, folk tales and culture by grabbing the rare opportunity to behold and listen to the exclusive road trip shows organized by Adian Moffat, the renowned cult-pop chronicler of Scotland as he undertakes the project named Where You’re Meant to Be along with Paul Fegan, the ace filmmaker. The spring shows to be held in various hamlets, villages and cities of the country through April and May will see some of the most famous artists from Glasgow indulging in a lovely conversation with Scottish locals and entertaining one and all with traditional songs of bemoaning and salacious ballads evoking the spirit of Scottish ceilidh gatherings.
A musician’s UK road trip cannot be complete without driving through the Lake District which inspired hundreds of poems and became the theme for a plethora of songs. From Arthur Somervell’s Cumbrian inspired orchestral delights like The Loving Heart and Maud to John Lanchberry and Christopher Le Fleming’s charming music bringing out the settings found in Beatrix Potter’s poems, the Lake District is brimming in elements which inspire poetry, art and music in every artist. Drive through the conventional tourist routes winding into trails of wilderness making your first stop at the Bowness-at-Windermere, the site which inspired Arthur Ransome’s “Rio” to take a ferry down to Sawrey and witness the rustic 17th century farmhouse of Beatrix Potter. Get to the valleys of Wasdale, the most stunning of Wordsworth’s treasured dales which houses a church and the highest mountain while giving you the best views of England from the heart of its very own Lake District. Drive on through Britain’s favourite road A591 running from Keswick to Grasmere to behold Wordsworth Dove Cottage set amid pristine pure wild beauty. With such expanse of profuse wilderness and musical mush to experience and enjoy, the sites truly have the potential to form a part of a Musician’s dream UK road trip.
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