#5 Stuff I Like You Might Like Too: Brady Rymer - Under The Big Umbrella

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Ok so this one’s a little cheeky, as I technically have an invested interest. However, my good friend from the USA Brady Rymer has released his new album, and it’s really rather good.

Brady and me seeing the sights in Oxford.

Brady and me seeing the sights in Oxford.

Even before I became pals with Brady he was one of my favourite songwriters - he’s got such an amazing gift when it comes to melody and song, underlaid with an inherent sense of rock ‘n’ roll. His new album, Under The Big Umbrella, is a beautiful record all about kindness, sharing, respect and, of course, having a good time!

Brady very kindly joined me on my last album Climb That Tree to add some guest vocals on my song Rain Rain (You Can Stay) and I was thrilled when last year he asked me to return the favour and sing on his version of The Beatles’ A Little Help From My Friends. The perfect song for a UK - USA collaboration!

So here’s the title track from album. Make sure you order your copy now, and enjoy some of the best family music you’ll ever hear!

Check out Brady’s website here.
Check out his Facebook here.
Follow him on Twitter here.

#4 Stuff I Like You Might Like Too: Mark Bradley's Bugbops Comic

If like me you love comics, then you’ll love the new Web comic from illustrator Mark Bradley - Bugpops.

These days it feels like lots of the web comics I come across seem to go out of their way to be edgy and explore controversial issues. There’s obviously nothing wrong with that, but perhaps this is why when I first came across Bugbops I was struck by the wonderful sense of joy and innocence in this comic.

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Mark Bradley's Bugbops

The two main characters (who are also best friends) are made up of brightly coloured shapes and occupy a world beautifully rendered in sketchy pencil lines and small details. Whilst only 4 strips in (and one of these is technically a bonus strip) Mark has already set the tone for his comic exploring themes of friendship, happiness and general everyday goings on. There will be a new comic every Wednesday and I highly recommend that you check it out!

You can find Bugbops here: https://t.co/08fMNkXGmL

And you can find Mark Bradley’s social links below:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/markbradleyart
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/markbradleyillustration/
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Bugbops

#2 Stuff I Like You Might Like Too: YKRA rucksacks

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Whilst on holiday last year in Budapest, my partner Ellie and I spent a joyous day wondering round all the independent design shops that the city seems to have so many of. One of those shops, Zun Store, immediately caught our attention due to the window display of beautiful brightly coloured rucksacks in the window. After entering the shop, we discovered that the rucksacks in question were made by a brand called YKRA (I’ve no idea how you pronounce it) and they were a Hungarian brand that manufacture all their rucksacks and other accessories in Hungary. The brand was started by Balázs Lakatos who was a child of the 80s in former Yugoslavia. The bright colours and bold designs are inspired by a love of hiking and the outdoors, and of the styles and colorful retro polyester fashion that was so characteristic of the communist eastern block.

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As soon as we laid eyes on these rucksacks we knew we were going to have to take one home with us. I chose one based around primary colours, as that’s my favourite colour scheme and I thought it’d go well with all the other bright things that I like to wear. Ellie went for a white one with a really cool tree print.

Ellie’s rucksack

Ellie’s rucksack

My rucksack

My rucksack

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It’s worth pointing out that these rucksacks come at a price. Even with things bit a cheaper in Hungary they worked out at around £90 each, and if you order from their online shop (prices are in euros but they ship internationally) you’re looking at something closer to £120. Whilst that might seem an awful lot for a backpack, I will say that not only are they all beautifully handmade in their workshop, they’re also very good quality. The straps are incredibly thick leather and all those buckles and fixings are very sturdy and solid. The bottoms of the bags are also made of leather to reduce wear and tear when you’re constantly putting it on the floor to get things out.

All in all if you’re looking for a day sack that’s a bit special and will help you stand out in the crowd, then you could do a lot worse. There’s so many amazing colours and designs to choose from. Here’s me modelling mine somewhere in Derbyshire last summer. And if you’re planning a travelling adventure then here’s a song to get you in the mood.

#1 Stuff I Like You Might Like Too: Billygoats and Rain Coats

As a musician I’ve played enough music festivals to know there’s still a big problem with litter and waste when everyone heads home, with some people even choosing to just ditch their tent at the end of the weekend rather that pack it away and take it with them. These days you can pick up ridiculously cheap basic camping gear like tents, chairs and sleeping bags from your local supermarket.

That’s why I was pleased to hear about a new children’s clothing company called Billygoats and Rain Coats. These guys go around festivals collecting up all the left behind tents, and then lovingly turn them into one-of-a-kind raincoats, bags and other accessories.

Living with someone who is a bit of a sewing fanatic (https://www.instagram.com/turningshirty/) means I can really see the appeal of owning a coat that’s bright, colourful, unique and ethical. It looks like they are only just starting out but I’d definitely recommend having a look at their website. Apparently they’re planning to do adult sizes in the future so expect to see me strutting around in a brand new rain coat any day now. And if you do decide to buy a new rain coat for the small person in your life, here’s the perfect song to enjoy whilst wearing it.

Source: https://www.billygoats.co.uk/