Tag Archive: exeterphoenix

  1. Introducing Die Twice: The New Generation of the Exeter Music Scene

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    They’ve only been a band for 9 months, but the hype that indie/rock 5 piece Die Twice have already amassed proves that they’ll be going places. We’re just glad that we’re front row for it!

    Ahead of their headline show with us on Fri 22 July, we caught up with frontman Olly Bayton to find out a little bit more about Die Twice, what it means to be an up and coming musician and their thoughts on how independent venues can help leverage careers in music.

    Tell us a bit about Die Twice?

    Before our recent member Fig joined the band, we we’re originally called Nebula, then while creating more music we went by a few more names before settling with Die Twice. It’s genuinely hard to describe us as a certain genre as we love all types of music and try to make our music as versatile as it can be. But genres we are most inspired by are Blues, Jazz, Latin, Funk, Reggae, Rock and Hip Hop. We’ve been a band for about 8-9 months and been gigging for 7 and the support we’ve had in so little time is mind blowing.


    Who are the band members and who plays what?

    Die Twice is Olly Bayton (Vocals,Songwriter) Zee (Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Songwriter) Blue  (Bass) Remi  (Lead Guitar) and Fig (Drummer).

    Die Twice 2

    How did you guys meet?

    We all mainly met in first year college as four members took a Music Performance Course at Exeter College and Olly met Fig through mutual friends at a forest. Fig and Olly would spend hours jamming drums and guitar in Figs garage in the early days of the band. As soon as there was an opening for him to join the band he got right in.


    Has any music inspired you lately?

    Honestly it can change every week, but recently we’ve been experimenting with gypsy jazz tunes inspired by Django Rienhart and Adrien Moignard but we’ve been previously inspired by The Doors, Arctic Monkeys, Koop, King Krule, Jimi Hendrix, The Police, Tommy Petty, Fela Kuti and many many more…


    Do you think independent venues such as Exeter Phoenix are vital for an early career musician or band? If so, how?

    Most definitely. Playing at independent venues feels a lot more exciting, personal and substantial for our band. It makes us feel like we are part of something important and we really feel the support from everyone involved. It’s definitely vital as it gives us comfortability on stage and in the venue in general.


    Do you think Exeter Phoenix have helped Die Twice to move forward?  Has it led to any exciting opportunities?

    So so so so much! Exeter Phoenix has given us so much support and countless opportunities. We had our first ever gig there in November last year, and since then we can’t get enough of it. Our Phoenix gigs are milestones in our early career as a band. Every gig we have done there has been exciting, busy, so much fun and has boosted our name so high. Exeter Phoenix gave us our voice.


    Is there any new music from Die Twice that we should listen out for?

    Yes yes yes! We are constantly developing our sound and writing new songs. There may be a little bit of recording going on in the next few weeks with a pretty big name as well…

    We have loads of gigs lined up for this summer and planning on making a little tour out of it called ‘Tour De Twice’ with gigs all over Devon and up and down the country!  We’ve been laying low for a while due to work, holidays and all that bollocks, but when we’re back, you’ll know x


    How can we listen to your music?

    You can listen to our tunes on all the major streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple Music etc) and we also have a YouTube channel (Die Twice) with a music video and a live set of our third gig at the Phoenix, which is definitely worth the watch. We also have an Instagram (Dietwice__) which shows all our gigs, songs and some beautiful pictures of our band members!

    Catch Die Twice at Exeter Phoenix on Fri 22 July, along with indie 4 piece Colour TV, Idol Giants who are fresh from playing Ocean Fest in North Devon, and solo artists Wes Chamberlain.

    Get your tickets here >>

  2. Meet the Speaker: Toby Strong

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    Toby Strong is a multi-Emmy and Bafta winning wildlife cameraman, who has worked on many of the BBC’s landmark series throughout his career. Over the last 25 years Toby has travelled across every continent, from crossing the Sahara with camels to sailing to the Galapagos, from the Himalayas to the ice caves on the peak of mount Erebus in Antarctica.

    As someone who has seen the beauty of this world but also its demise, Toby cares very deeply and his talk is full of passion, extraordinary tales, humour, and heart. Read on to find out about Toby's greatest inspirations and what you can expect from his upcoming talk, Through a Wild Lens.

    Tell us a bit about your background – have you always been interested in wildlife photography and the environment?

    I grew up in the Dorset countryside searching for adders, badgers and fossils.

    My love of the natural world and wild places stems from my gran who was a gardener and great naturalist, and my gamekeeping father. After getting a very bad degree in engineering I developed an early passion for exploration and a love of beauty.

    I spent a year in the south of France doing an apprenticeship with a wonderfully creative and forward-thinking Danish film maker. We made films on insects, snakes, and lizards. He was both a great naturalist and great naturist, the days were long and eventful!

    In the last 25 odd years I’ve had the privilege to film on every continent and in most environments. I’ve been lucky enough to work on a lot of the big wildlife series over the last couple of decades (Planet earth 2 and 3, frozen planet 2, One strange Rock, Human planet, blue planet 2, etc).

    For nearly half a year, I followed the mountain gorillas of Uganda and Rwanda and a season walking with the black bears up on the Canadian border. I've been lucky enough to film and share amazingly intimate time with hugely emblematic species, nearly two decades filming the Elephants of East Africa. Worked with the cheetahs of the Masai mara on big cat for four series.

    I love working in different genres and bringing skills and techniques from documentaries, music and drama into my filming.


    What inspired you to get into wildlife cinematography?

    Initially I led expeditions, before heading to Africa on a one-way ticket, where I wanted to live as a game warden and to show people the magic of our natural world.
    Then I was introduced to photography and through my love of this newfound passion I realised I could reach so many more people and my path shifted to the one I’ve been lucky enough to be on for the last quarter of a century.

    You have been to some incredible places over the course of your career, are there any experiences which have stood out for you?

    It’s so very hard to pick favorites ... East Africa never releases its hold on me, and any dawn spent waking by a fire with the distant roar of lions is a good day! Also, Antarctica for its sheer magnitude and brutal splendor has got to be a favourite. On my last trip for welcome to Earth, I got to spend time in the ice caves on top of mount Erebus which was utterly unique.

    Throughout your career, you have witnessed firsthand the environmental challenges facing our planet, are there any causes that are particularly close to your heart, and have you made any changes in your day-to-day life to try and address them?

    I find this a hard question; I have seen much of the world that is in crisis and a lot that is now too late.

    It is hard for individuals to know how to make a difference. But it is through the individual that change is happening. Through our buying choices it is dictating the food on our shelves, packaging, and choice. If we choose not to buy food in plastic... food will not be sold in plastic, it’s that simple. If we only buy free range eggs, only free-range eggs will be farmed. Through our buying choices, those in power see what us the individuals, the people, the voters consider important, and this is what will then be acted on.

    Also, something that is very close to my heart is our school we have built in Madagascar. Over the last couple of years, we have gone from no school to one with over 200 students and three full time teachers. It’s a really good news story and something I’m very proud of.


    What can audiences expect from your talk?

    I hope everyone who comes will have an evening of tales from the wilderness. Stories of wonderous animals and people. A heartfelt talk I can guarantee, humour I can aim for but with less certainty of delivering!

    I am no expert in any field, but I have been blessed to see much of this world and I look forward immensely to sharing tales from the last 25 years.

    Raising awareness about environmental issues is clearly something you are very passionate about, is there a take home message that you would like audiences to come away with?

    Yes, I would echo my answer from earlier that people’s buying choices hold immense power when viewed as a collective whole.

    This tiny planet of ours is so very precious and our time on it is but a beat of a mosquito’s wings. Let’s smile and hug those we love and take more joy in this remarkable place we call home.

    Toby Strong: Through a Wild Lens comes to Exeter Phoenix on Mon 13 June at 8pm. Get your tickets here >>

  3. Behind the Scenes: the making of Constellations

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    On Sun 29 May, interdisciplinary performance maker and practice-based researcher Sian Goldby brings Constellations to Exeter Phoenix, an intimate performance exploring landscapes of memory and humanity’s relationship with the earth. Through a re-imagining of the performance space in miniature, it investigates themes of nostalgia and memory in relation to the multiple scales of environmental crisis.

    In this blog piece, Sian talks about the making of Constellations and how her personal experiences and memories have formed the foundations for the performance.

    "Constellations is designed to bring about the sensation that history is repeating itself. The work is a constant manipulation, extraction and destruction of world, earth and planet, and asks – how do we construct our worlds?" - Sian Goldby, Writer

    When I was a child, I used to go with my parents on trips to Bekonscot Model Village every year. It was my absolute favourite place to go. I remember having an overwhelming urge to get into the tiny scenes; not just to climb inside and touch the tiny houses and trains and market stalls with my hands, but to somehow embody how it felt to live in these tiny spaces. I wanted to be immersed in this world, not just stand by at a distance all giant and ungainly in my wrongscale body. I wanted to shrink myself down, get closer to it all.

    Constellations is a performance which aims to capture this curious visceral sensation by inviting audiences to immerse themselves into a micro-world of the performance and experience a different sensation of scale. The piece taps into childhood nostalgia and explores the concept of memory as a kind of ever-shifting landscape, and remembering as a form of drawing and re-drawing of mental maps.

    I made the work in 2019, the year that I turned 30. My birthday is at the end of August and I had planned a celebration in a pub in my hometown of Bristol with the hope that we might be able to use the lovely suntrap of a roof terrace. This was before I remembered that it always rained on my birthday now, and has done since I turned 18.

    I remember every birthday until the day I turned 18 being in beautiful sunshine; picnics, garden parties, outdoor swimming, were always on the list of activities for birthday parties during my childhood without the need to be too optimistic about the weather. A hot, sunny, summer birthday was a good payoff for being the youngest out of my peers and being teased about having to ‘wait’ to be ‘finally’ the next age.

    How could it be that the UK seasons have changed so much within such a short time-frame? How can it be that just 30 years out of billions is all it has taken to shift the weather? Was it really sunny on every birthday or did I just imagine it?

    As I reached this milestone, I began to reflect on other changes to the climate that I have noticed within my short time on this earth. I also found out that 30 years is the time period which is used as a reference point by the World Meteorological Organisation to calculate climate normals, and therefore fluctuations. I started to build the piece using my stories and memories, and I wanted to invite audiences to reflect on their own timescales too.

    Constellations is designed to bring about the sensation that history is repeating itself. The work is a constant manipulation, extraction and destruction of world, earth and planet, and asks – how do we construct our worlds?

    CONSTELLATIONS comes to Exeter Phoenix on Sun 29 May. The performance is designed for small audiences of up to 6 people. For tickets and timings, tap here >>


    Comments Off on BLOOM 2022: PROGRAMME FOR THE DAY

    Bloom Festival 2022, our free community festival for mental health awareness week is right around the corner and we can't wait to welcome you all for an incredible line up of music, art & crafts workshops, poetry, storytelling, panel discussions, yoga and so much more.

    We've put together a handy Festival programme and map to help you plan your day and make sure that you don't miss  out on any events or activities! Pick up a paper copy from our box office as you arrive on Sunday, or tap below to download to your device.

    Tap here to download the Bloom 2022 Programme >>

    Tap here to download the Bloom 2022 Map >>

    Book your space on a Bloom event or activity in advance here >>

  5. Theatre In The Park 2022

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    Welcome to a sizzling season of outdoor theatre and performance in Rougemont Gardens! Join us for a classic Shakespeare comedy, an epic seaside tale gig-theatre show and an interactive art-heist mission for all the family.

    Make the most of being outdoors this summer and head to Rougemont gardens for three whole helpings of al fresco fun



    FRI 29 - SAT 30 Jul

    Shakespeare has returned to Rougemont Gardens! Sun & Moon Theatre are touring the South West this summer with a joyous, vibrant production of Much Ado About Nothing, one of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies.



    TUE 2 AUG

    Full of mystery, nods to film noir and a broad streak of quirky comedy, The Munch Mission is a playable family theatre show from award-winning theatre company Brave Bold Drama.



    WED 3 - THU 4 AUG

    Sing, dance and cry with us in this bittersweet outdoor gig theatre show. Six multi-instrumentalists tell an epic seaside tale through songs encompassing folk, indie, sea shanties and choral music. A story of bad rulers, worse weather, and how we keep going when everything is flipping terrible.

  6. Join us for inspiring events to celebrate International Women’s Day 2022

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    Here at Exeter Phoenix, we are proud to offer a programme filled with events that celebrate and champion women creatives, artists and industry leaders, creating a platform that enables expression for women in the arts.

    From female-led theatre performances and exhibitions curated by female artists to a night celebrating pioneering women in music, discover the local, national and global female talent that we’ve got coming up, and join us to celebrate International Women’s Day 2022 – and beyond.



    Exeter Phoenix are proud to host this extraordinary series of artworks on the façade of our building that function both as alternative Christmas lights and as urgent reminders of the steps we all need to take in tackling the climate crisis.

    LOVE IS THE HIGHEST ECONOMY is a series of low voltage LED, illuminated text sculptures, originally installed by Still/Moving at different locations around Glasgow for the duration of the recent COP26 conference. The works were made with various community groups around the country during 2021, as well as indigenous representatives and leaders, and with delegates at COP itself.

    Here, they are presented together for the first time as a message of hope and caution at a time of year when ideas of peace, goodwill and love come into tension with conspicuous consumption and excess.


    Still/Moving is composed of three artists, Laura Hopes, Martin Hampton and Léonie Hampton, who met when they were 13. Living in Devon, UK, their collective practice aims to create social and ecological change through questioning established modes of thinking and behaviour. Projects are developed through a process of collaborative and participatory dialogue and activity among each other and with partner communities. Inspired by the artist Louise Bourgeois who said ‘It is not about the medium, it is about what you are trying to say’, their work emerges in diverse forms, including sculpture, film, photography, performance, installation, the spoken and printed word.

    Léonie has an internationally acclaimed fine art practice. She studied Art history, specialising in contemporary European and American art, and is a part time MA Photography tutor at LCC London. Martin is an award-winning filmmaker who co-founded Squint/Opera with architect Will Alsop. He studied Architecture at The Bartlett, UCL, specialising in speculative designs for extreme locations such as the moon and intertidal zones. Laura is an artist and AHRC funded PhD candidate, whose research project focuses upon the relationship between climate change and colonisation.


    LOVE IS THE HIGEST ECONOMY comes from the powerful and moving words written and performed by the author Ben Okri with his partner Charlotte Jarvis on the penultimate day of COP26 in Glasgow.

    You can read Ben Okri’s performance speech in full here.


    Green meadows, Nottingham

    IT’S STARTED resonates with the Green Meadows values as we recognise there is strength in every individual to make change happen. ‘IT’S STARTED’ also expresses the sense of urgency towards the rising temperatures and how we need to act now.

    “Tackling climate change can feel an impossible task as an individual and many of the community members we engage with are waiting for changes to start on a national scale. The Green Meadows project aims to empower Meadows residents to take immediate, local action, and tackle climate change together.”

    Heather Hodkinson, Community Engagement Officer, Green Meadows



    Our Streets Chorlton, Manchester

    Ripple Effect is a phrase that was coined by the fantastic School Champions in Chorlton; a group who have brought together an entire community of parents, guardians, teachers and local residents, having turned an initial conversation into tangible climate action.

    “With a focus on improving our streets outside of our schools, the School Champions Network have pushed for safer, healthier and greener journeys for families when dropping off and picking up their kids from school. Change starts on our doorsteps and in our communities, and the Our Streets Chorlton’s School Champions have proven that with purpose and a desire to make change, one idea can turn into activity across an entire area.

    Our Streets Chorlton is a community-led climate action project in the heart of south Manchester. We are here to start a conversation, one centred on how local people can help to reduce carbon emissions by enabling Chorlton people to reduce local and short car journeys.”



    Bude Climate Partnership, Devon

    “Remote, peripheral and perched on the North Atlantic shore, Bude is exposed to the force of thousands of miles of steadily rising ocean and increasingly fierce winter storms hitting its shoreline, putting it very much ON THE EDGE – physically and metaphorically – of the sharpest impacts of climate change.

    As the most sensitive location in the UK to sea-level rise, our challenge as a community is to find ways to protect our town, our way of life and our cherished coastline, parts of which are currently retreating at a rate of a metre a year, while also reducing our own impacts on the climate crisis.”

    Bude Climate Partnership has united community and environmental groups in working together to make positive changes that will ensure our town, its surrounding communities and landscapes have a long and safe future ON THE EDGE of Cornwall, Britain and the sharpest impacts of the climate crisis.’



    “Article 8 of the Paris Agreement outlines the responsibilities of countries to take action on loss and damage. Addressing loss and damage stands alongside mitigation and adaptation as a fundamental pillar of climate action. But despite signing on to the Agreement, the wealthy countries who contributed the most to causing loss and damage are still unwilling to provide the finance and support needed to address it.”

    During this COP Scotland become the first rich country to publicly contribute to Loss and Damage by giving 1 million. Over the following days at COP other countries are also finally rising to this responsibility and paving the way for reparations.


    “Originally conceived in a pilot project with #LetterstotheEarth and #WeGlimpse aimed to link the G7 meeting in Carbis Bay to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. Through conversations on the street and workshops, we wanted to find out what local people felt needed to be said. People expressed there need TO BE HEARD. In COP 26 partnering with LTTE (Listening to the Land Pilgrimage) Still/Moving showed this work at to Kelburn Castle on Sunday the 7th November where many Indigenous elders and Delegates from Vulnerable countries are hosted along with the pilgrims.”


    This seminal phrase is key to the work of environmental lawyer Farhana Yamin: “Justice Reset” is a unifying demand to COP26. It gathers all constituencies whose call for climate justice and just transition recognises the need for a complete overhaul of the existing system by shifting resources and political power to those with less.