Monday, 5 November 2012

Terra Naomi gig @ Leaf (04.11.12)
A Normal Night Out!

Last month, my other half (Jo), my best mate (Stacey) and I made plans to go to a Terra Naomi gig at Leaf, a really cool independent tea shop in Liverpool. It was part of the series of Mellowtone evenings, live music in intimate settings in various interesting Liverpool venues. None of us had been to Leaf before. Or a Mellowtone evening. And we'd only listened to a few of Terra Naomi's songs on Youtube. But we fancied a night of exploring new music in a new setting and decided to give it a go. Of course this decision was made before my seizures started kicking off big style the way they did...

So I had a big decision to make.

Stacey had travelled to Liverpool from Birmingham to stay with us for the weekend and the gig was sort of the basis of our weekend together. We've always bonded over our similar tastes in music and I really wanted us to exlore some new artists together. On the other hand, with my seizures still being so uncontrolled and the medication change making me feel so crappy, I was nervous scared of having a seizure in public, an ambulance being called, getting rushed to A&E, all while ruining the gig for Terra Naomi and her support acts. I had all sorts of visions going theough my mind.

In the end I decided to be brave, bite the bullet and go. If I felt ill at any time, we could just leave, no biggie. But I really wanted to go to this gig. And I didn't want the NEAD to stop me. For once, I just wanted to be a normal girl who didn't have to deal with seizures and vacant episodes and medication regimes. I just wanted to be Anna.

And I did. I got that for the whole evening.

When we got there, I was impressed by the atmosphere of the venue. The gig was upstairs on the first floor. The stage was all set up ready to go, complete with fairy lights strung casually in the background amidst random stacks of hardback books, which of course made me like the place even more. Any place that has unnecessary stacks of books, especially when juxtaposed with music instantly rises in my esteem.

The first support act of the night was Ragnhild "Ragz" Nordset.

Ragz Nordset performing
She came on-stage, a little doll of a thing in black denim shorts, a baby-doll blouse and leopard print shoes and picked up a guitar bigger than her. She opened her mouth, started singing and my heart melted. Her lyrics were poetry for my broken soul. One song in particular, 'Mama Pray' (please, please check it out!!)spoke to me more than any song has done in a long time. I just sat there mesmerized, soaking in every note, letting her music wash over me and Jo looked at me and whispered "you love that song, don't you" and all I could do was nod because I was literally speechless. I really can't do justice to Ragz' performance. All I can say is please check her out at

The second support act of the night was a guy called Adam Barnes.

Adam Barnes performing
my signed copy of Adam Barnes' CD
When he came on stage, a softly spoken ginger (yay!) bloke from Oxford and picked up a slightly rough around the edges guitar covered in stickers, I knew we were in for a treat. There was something about this guy that let you know, before he even opened his mouth to sing that he was going to have talent and it was going to be different. I don't know who to compare him to in order to explain to you how incredible his voice is, or the beauty of his songs. I could say he's similar to Damian Rice but that doesn't quite cut it. I could say he reminds me of a male Rosie Thomas but most of you won't get what I mean. Let's just say he's got that air of the old folk singer about him. He tells a story with his songs, gets at your heart and doesn't let go, pulls you on a journey with him and then when he stops singing leaves you stranded, crying out for more. But watching him sing is also an amazing experience. He gets involved in his music the way nobody I've ever watched sing does. You can see his own connection with the lyrics as he sways into the music, reaches into the melody and closes his eyes to get deeper into the song. Watching him perform was a beautiful experience and when he stepped down from the stage and stood right in front of our table to sing a new song, I felt incredibly privilaged.

And of course, the headlining act was Terra Naomi.

Terra Naomi performing
As I said earlier, none of us really knew that much about Terra Naomi. I'd watched a couple of her songs on Youtube and really liked her. Her songs are beautiful and her voice is incredible and she seemed to have a strange charm that was appealing. And we weren't disappointed. When she came on stage, she was chatty and friendly, telling us about the gig she'd done in Doncaster the previous night and how she'd had to wear a coat because she was so cold. And she'd chat about songs before she'd sing them, revealing anecdotes about when they were written or other times she'd performed them. Her songs were incredible and she did an amazing rendition of Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean', which was strangely eery. You could see the passion behind her music as she sang, that unlike a lot of performers out there, this wasn't just a career chice, it was a calling.

It was an amazing night.

I'm so glad I didn't go with the easy option, stay home and watch TV. I'm glad I decided to be brave, give my seizure disorder the middle finger and try and be normal because I got to have a great evening with two of my favourite people, exploring some great new music at an amazing venue. I think it's given me the confidence to try and get things back on track, to ease back into my old way of living and finally put the NEAD into the background. Let's give it a go.


  1. Hi Anna! my manager sent me a link to your blog! just wanted to say thank you for the lovely words about 'mama pray' and all :) Glad you had such a good night :) much love, Ragz x

  2. You're welcome :) We had a great night and I hope I get a chance to see you perform again x


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