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  • Writer's pictureRachel Sellick

Girls on Tour - From Swansea to Birmingham

Updated: Oct 28, 2022

This weekend the Scarlet River girls went on a little tour. With the help of our amazing chauffeur Mr Tyler Spicer we covered two separate events.. First stop on our tour was Swansea city! Our amazing Miss Sellick had been asked by the incredibly talented Eleri Angharad to speak on a ‘Women in Industry’ panel at the Swansea Fringe Festival.

I joined Rachel and Tyler in Rachel's hometown before heading west down the M4, and after managing to find parking, we picked up our passes and, once we had our bearings we needed a little food and drink. After much debate walking the beautiful sights of Wind Street, we settled on BrewDog… a very deserted bar but with the cutest little customer in the shape of a Bulldog. I even got to try half a pint of Pineapple Punch Cider with a lovely inspirational message ⬇️

From here we found ‘The Perch’, which was hosting a full day of music and industry panels by Siren Songwriting. We entered the venue to a fantastic performance by London-based artist Emma Mae. Then, it was our Rachels time to shine… joined by Eleri, Laura Klonowski (from Music and Tours News) and Asha Jane, they discussed the pros and cons of being a woman within the music industry.

For me, this panel was an opportunity to inspire other women and young, aspiring industry professionals that are looking to make an impact in the music industry. It was really interesting to hear about the experiences of other women in the industry, some of the challenges, but also some of the successes and support given by others (Rachel).

Unfortunately we had no time to stay and chat as we had a 2 hour 45 minute journey up to Birmingham. So after finding the best route, we cranked the music up (Country of course!) and headed up the M50! We were fortunate to experience a straight forward journey and luckily no traffic… we even had time to make a short pit stop at the quietest service station I have EVER seen… but, they did have a costa so we were all good!!

We finally checked into our Hotel at 6pm with an hour to make ourselves look presentable enough to go to an awards show (it took some doing!).

I must admit, I thought an hour was plenty of time... I've always been one for getting ready promptly however, I didn't anticipate needing to run around the hotel looking for scissors to remove a plastic label from my dress! Thankfully, Jaclyn came to the rescue with a pair of nail scissors (!) and we got to the venue on time!

After arriving at 'The Asylum', we picked up our passes and went to find a free table (bumping into the wonderful Steve Argyle and his wife).

The awards kicked off around 7:30p, with our hosts and co-founders of ARC Radio, Simon Birds and Charlotte Elizabeth. To get the party started, the sensational Stevie O’Connor took to the stage, performing an incredible acoustic set before the first round of award winners were announced.

It was a fantastic start to the evening. I only managed to see a couple of songs before heading backstage to present an award but, It's so important to showcase some of the UK's best!

Here goes! First up was Nick and Louise from Belles and Gals to present the award for 'Live Performer of the Year', followed by Rob Wheeler presenting ‘Duo Of The Year’ to Gasoline and Matches. I was grateful to have been asked by Geoff (GLAM.Red) to present 'Song of the Year' on his behalf. I'm so used to working behind the scenes, it was quite nerve-wracking heading to the stage for the second time that day, but I was absolutely thrilled to present the award to Caitlin Mae. After composing herself through a little bit of shock, the young artist took to the stage to perform acoustically.

Next up, The Heartland Roots Band were announced at ‘Group Of the Year’ and Harriet Rose won her second award of the evening 'Newcomer Of the Year'. Watching Rob Wheeler perform was cut short as Rachel and I were ushered backstage to prepare for presenting 'Songwriter of the Year', the award that Scarlet River had sponsored. Whilst backstage we got to chat with Tennessee Twin, Robbie Harte and Stuart Landon before finally getting to present ‘Songwriter Of The Year’ to the awesome Rob Wheeler!!

Presenting an award was definitely easier second time round and to be able to share my passion for the company I'd developed the last couple of years was really special!

New York-based artist and singer-songwriter, Robbie Harte flew in especially for the awards and to celebrate the 1st Birthday of ARC Radio. Showcasing the authenticity and realness of country music, Robbie performed a heart-felt, honest set accompanied by Stuart Landon on guitar. The international awards were presented by Stevie O'Connor before Tennessee Twin performed a spine-tingling set.

For me, Tennessee Twin performed a mesmerising set with exquisite harmonies. Ones to watch moving into 2022.

Another round of awards kicked off with Sammie White from Three Chords blog and Linda Conway from Voice of a Women presenting Male & Female of the Year! Linda is such a natural on stage!

Gasoline and Matches came out with a set that made me want to jump up on the table and dance all night (I didn’t - I would’ve broken my neck in those heels! But I wanted to!). They definitely do know how to engage a crowd.

The last award of the evening was for recognise someone for their contribution to the country scene over the past year. 'Special Recognition' was presented to none other than DC Brown! A man of very few words and incredibly humble but, it was clear to see not one person in that room disagreed with the result.

Followed by a full-band set by Stuart Landon, it was time to head back to the hotel.... But not before getting a cheeky kebab! As much as I love a kebab, my stomach definitely didn't like me the following morning. We met for Breakfast (a free, all you can eat [lukewarm] buffet!) and after showering, getting ready and packing, we were ready to head home.

I had already had a few ‘when are you home mum?’ Texts… so back to reality we went….


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