The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: Music

Things you never knew about… Midge Ure

3 Feb 2017

We love an ’80s rockstar here at Muddy. They don’t take themselves too seriously, they enjoy reminiscing about their worst ever haircuts (and neckerchiefs) and they always have great yarns about that time they got hammered back in 1984. Midge Ure,  Ultravox singer, Band Aid co-founder and genial Glaswegian, is no exception. He’s playing ace local festival Chilfest in Tring on 8 July so Muddy’s Kerry Potter gave him a buzz to talk music, mullets and more.

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8 things to do this weekend (17-18 Dec)

16 Dec 2016

It’s Christmaaaas! Starting to resemble a mince pie yet? Bailey’s running through your veins? Us too – and we’re not stopping until January. Continue the carousing at one of these excellent local events.


Paul Beatty at the Sheldonian, Fri Dec 16

Literary lovers listen up – this is something of a coup. The winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize, Paul Beatty, is in town this Friday to talk about The Sellout.

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Muddy meets… Toyah Willcox

22 Aug 2016

Did you make it to the Rewind Festival last weekend? Muddy Stilettos was hanging out with the stars (excuse me while I douse myself in a Guiness World Record sized pinch of salt). OK so I aerial rugby-tackled on any Eighties icons close enough to assault.

And look who I nabbed! Only the brilliant Toyah Willcox, with barely a bruise on her. Anyone who was old enough to take ‘O’ levels instead of GSCEs, chainsmoke multi-coloured ciggies with gold tips or borrow their brother’s Chopper bike will remember Toyah – the dyed-to-a-cinder hair, the multi-coloured make up, and the impossibly catchy It’s a Mystery.

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A brilliant piece of advice

16 Aug 2016


There are two things that get me by on Muddy – coffee and Spotify, both on drip feed all day. Up popped Baz Luhrmann’s Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen on Spotify a few minutes ago it was just so fab everyone in the office stopped and listened, nodded sagely and decided to change their lives, so this is it. Sorry everyone, I’m quitting blogging to follow my dream and become a fire eater in Phuket.

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Turn it up!

16 Aug 2016

So here’s one for you musical magpies. If festivals aren’t your thing, but you enjoy bouncing around the moshpit (or, um, sitting comfortably with your pinot grigio) listening to live music, regardez-vous my collection of cool live music venues in the area. If I’ve missed any good ones off, just heckle.

The Jericho Tavern, Oxford

This historical little gem of a pub in Jericho is also one of the city’s favourite live music haunts.

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The Muddy Summer Festival Guide: Oxon, Bucks & beyond

27 Jun 2016

I’m a dedicated Glastonbury lover from the *ahem*  comfort of my sofa – I had an awesome front row of Chris Martin for starters, and let me tell you, the toilet facilities are way better. But whether you’re a namby-pamby glamper like me or a hardcore roll-in-mud and wet-wipes-at-dawn music-fan, here’s the Muddy Guide to the best festivals due to amp-it-up in Bucks, Oxon and beyond over the next few months.

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The Muddy Guide: What’s On Thurs 5 – Weds 11 May

4 May 2016

Cornwell Manor Open Day, Sat 7 May

This 2000 acre estate near to Chippy N comprises a Jacobean manor house (updated with a Georgian facade in the 18th century), a petite Norman church, lakes, wood, streams, and gardens designed by the brilliant Clough Williams-Ellis, who created the Italianate gardens at Portmeirion in North Wales. It’s opening as a party and wedding venue so there’s a wedding fair on Saturday here, with 25 hand picked suppliers, from hair to hot tubs.

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‘Bitch I’m Madonna’ – you likey?

26 Aug 2015

There are times when the kids are screaming, the washing is piling up, work is going crazy and popular culture just passes me by. GRRRR, very annoying because I love all that stuff.

Months later I usually find the time to pour a large glass of wine, sit down, and catch up on what’s been going on. Which is what happened earlier this week when I managed to find the time to search ‘Bitch I’m Madonna video’ on google (yeah, yeah I know it’s been out for a while!)  and watch Madge working through her celebrity Roladex to solve her recent credibility issues.

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Make sweet music

13 May 2015



I loved my piano teacher as a child. She was a little old lady called Miss Hyde who was about 3ft tall and wore calipers on her legs for her brittle bones. I was really fond of her and went to her weekly for 13 years, but looking back on it, the lessons were very sedate and traditional and just a little bit boring.

For my own kids, I’ve really tried hard to find teachers with energy and enthusiasm, so the  Muddy bratlets are all taught by a superfunky but massively well-qualified pianist called Matt.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition