Hopefully, you read my review of the Land of Sometimes CD? If not, please do, it's hand on heart one of the loveliest children's music concepts I've ever come across.
I was bouncing up and down with excitement when I got an invite to the official launch party held last week at the famous Groucho Club.
You see, it's not only Ruby who has become entranced with this magical land, but I've kind of got sucked into it now too. So I was really keen to go along and meet in person the creators, musicians, singers and everyone involved.
As I should have expected from the unique style of the project, this weren't no ordinary launch party! We feasted on food from the Land of Sometimes - cream cheese, fruit slices and jelly.
Four seasons pass within one day in the Land of Sometimes, and each season was represented beautifully (and edibly!)
And, well, if wouldn't be a party without a drink or two would it?
Once my wheels were oiled, I chatted and mingled - as you do. Everyone was SO lovely. It didn't feel like an official PR launch at all, more like a big happy, fun party full of friends and family.
That's exactly what this crew are, one big happy family. Francessca Longrigg who came up with the concept, wrote it, sang on it and even played on it, is an amazing lady. A totally wonderful, enthusiastic and charismatic lady, you get the feeling that people are spellbound by her and will do anything for her. I guess that's how she managed to get this eclectic bunch together in the first place!
|Chicky Reeves (producer) & Francesca Longrigg|
I spent a lovely time chatting with the illustrator who has bought the characters to life through his artwork on the album cover and booklet, and on the website. Howard McWilliam is an acclaimed illustrator and a genuinely lovely guy. He and his wife are due their first baby soon - I do hope some of the tales we told him haven't put him off. Mind you, it's too late now!
As well as being a respected newspaper and magazine illustrator, he's produced work for countless children's books and has even designed the new Matey bubble bath characters! Who knew!
All the actors and singers involved were so friendly and passionate about their involvement. I made a point of seeking out the voice behind the Chameleon Catcher - the only character that Ruby is a little unsure of. She's a teensy bit scared of him, so I wanted to be able to tell her I'd met him and how nice he was. Well, Austin Howard was indeed a joy, even though I do look scared in this picture with him (the expression is more to do with having a huge long lens camera pointed at me!)
He's a fascinating guy and has a colourful background in the music industry. One of the Stock Aitken & Waterman gang, he had a hit single and is still touring and singing now with his new band Ruff as Stone. I really enjoyed meeting Austin, and hope to catch one of his gigs sometime.
Oh look! It's Jools Holland! I was too busy chatting and missed the chance to say hi to him. Such a shame because he's such a hero, not to mention the man I've spent more New Year's Eves with than any other!
I had an amazing evening, and want to thank everyone so much for their warm welcome and for having me along.
The CD is out now and is available to buy here.
I'd also like to offer you the opportunity to win your own copy of this stunning CD.
Please leave a comment below saying you'd wish to enter and don't forget to include a way for me to contact you.
For an additional entry, like the Land of Sometimes facebook page, and leave a comment with your Facebook name here.
For a further entry, follow the Land of Sometimes on Twitter and leave an extra comment here with your twitter name.
For one final entry, please tweet the following and leave a comment to say you have done so "I want to enter the magical world of @landofsometimes with @missielizzieb here http://bit.ly/zwz0GQ "
The competition is open to UK entries only. Closes at 5pm on Saturday 18th February 2012.
Photo credit: photos by Anstro