Number One Party Specialists 2019 - Winner!!

Well, it’s not every day something like this happens, but we have been awarded the accolade of Editor’s Annual Recommendation for Number One Party Specialists 2019 in the Living in the Shires magazine.

Last month we invited members of the editorial team to bring some kids along to the studio and have a party with us and they loved it!  It was a wonderful sunny day so we got to show off out new outside decking area with swing-seat and new BBQ area too which was cool but mainly they were inside enjoying the vibe and sang a group version of Black Magic which is still one of the most popular song choices at Pop Star Party.

So - what better way to start the academic year and celebrate our 10 year anniversary of running parties for kids at the barn than to be given this award.  Thanks to the editor and her team at Living in the Shires mag - its brilliant to get this kind of recognition.

September has been a full on month and we are booking into November already so if you have kids, that have birthdays popping up soon, just get in touch to arrange a party.  We do the rest - just bring kids!

Macie from Leamington is 8 and celebrating her birthday in style

What a great party with Macie and her mates.

8 years old on the actual day of the party with 11 friends and able to enjoy the new outside patio area with swing before during and after the party. The group sang Old Town Road to get the party rolling, then happy birthday to Macie (& also to PSP - see next post!) then had a crazy photoshoot with some very gymnastic poses. A quick break for their booster buffet then they were back in the booth to sing Shout Out to my Ex by those wonderful Little Mix girls. A Party favourite for sure. Macie & her group quickly got this song recorded meaning there was tons of time for the disco, viewing their pics on the gallery screen and of course blowing out the candles on the cake - someone had put some top effort into this cake too!

All our parties are fun and powered by the kids - if you want a party with us just get in touch, thanks.

Pop Star Party is the original & best party service for kids, in a real recording studio & now we are 10 years old!

Birthdays really are Special this month

So - if you are kinda local to Coventry you may know that all this week The Specials are in town - most parents will know this band - they have been around for 40 years after all.
2Tone was founded in Coventry and The Specials are famous for writing Ghost Town (amongst many others) which is a song about Coventry.

Guess what - we were lucky enough to be visited by not 1 but 2 Specials members recently. Mark Adams (ex keyboardist) brought his daughter for a party and she had a blast with her select group of mates. The best part was certainly her solo spot which went down brilliantly.
Mark also brought his mate Lynval Golding (guitarist & singer in The Specials) who is performing this week at the 4 gigs in Coventry in the Catherdal ruins - so we got a picture and had a great chat about his extensive touring - super guy.
2 Pop Stars in 1 day at the studio!! Plus another in the making I think - well done Paige.

Book your party with us and you will have a brilliant party too. Also we have been awarded this - more later.
”We are delighted to be featuring Pop Star Party as The Tried and Tested number 1 party Specialists, featuring in our Editors Annual 2019 Recommendations , publishing in the August-September issue of The Living Magazine.”


Happy 80th Birthday Dad!!

It’s a big day in history today as my Dad marks his 80th birthday.

No - he isn’t having a party with us but we will be celebrating it next week with him and nearly all the family.

BB Studio, where all our parties are held, is a busy working studio recording singers and bands when not in party mode. Recently I have been rehearsing hard with my new band and am performing our first gig this weekend. Danny Ansell & co. is the band name and Danny has been performing for over 10 years as a solo artist so this is massive for us all.

Because BB Studio is actively producing tracks for all sorts of projects, occasionally songs arise that could use a group of kids singing on it and there have a been a good few special moments where kids have helped out.

Last week during one of the parties I asked the group to sing Happy Birthday to my Dad (Tim) and shout happy 80th messages at the end - big thanks to the girls who did this.

Bebe was the party girl celebrating her 11th birthday and where better than at BB Studio - well done to everyone tho it was a great party.

Bebe at BB Studio for her Pop Star Party.jpeg
Bebe at Pop Star Party.jpeg

Parties for 8 year olds & upwards

Wow it’s May - 1st day of a new Fiscal year bringing the studio into its 16th year and Pop Star Party has almost been around 10 years now - I ran the 1st party in July 2009!

Parties are designed for children aged 8 upwards and the most popular age range is 10 & 11.

There are 4 party packages now which change according to length of party, focus of party (group or solo/duet singing) and whether you want to convert to having a video made as well as the audio recording/CD. All parties now get the photoshoot, free pics and brilliant laser disco at the end. Booster buffet also available.

I don’t write about every party due to time and/or parental request but most weekend there are parties happening at the studio, cake getting eaten and kids having fun.

Booking a party is easy - click red button top right of the website, or call me - or email me to discuss dates etc.

Pop Star Party - your best party idea ever - Sing, Pose, Feast, Film, Snap, Dance, FUN!! Just bring the kids!!

1st quarter summary

It’s been a busy time at BB Studio (where all the parties are hosted) and we have been a bit lazy with Pop Star Party blogs due to writing songs for up and coming pop stars from a wide variety of backgrounds, including a song potentially for Ed Sheeran, a release by one of the studios regular artists and my owns bands debut music video Human Race, possibly inspired by the marathon I recently ran in Cairo which, I’m very pleased to say, I not only completed but actually came 66th overall.

Below are a few pics from recent parties with some of the party pals who chose to celebrate their birthdays in style. Recent songs recorded include:

The Greatest Showman
Shotgun - George Ezra
Rockabye - Clean Bandit
Only You - Little Mix
Sunflower - Post Malone
Happier - Marshmello & Bastille
A Thousand Years - Vanessa Carlton
Sexy & I Know It - LMFAO

Sometimes we get asked what is popular at the parties and this is tricky to answer as kids are into such a variety of music as seen here.
Whatever you want to sing, so long as it’s a recognised pop song, there is always a backing track available - just try to make sure everyone attending the party will know it.
For any party enquiries please call or email.

Happy Christmas

Red and yellow - very mellow.

SO Xmas is coming faster than we can all cope with so here at Pop Star Party I thought it best to get a quick festive greeting in to all our fans and followers.
It’s been a great year with all the party pals who partied with us this year and the marathon challenge was a superb success and is now taking me to Cairo in February!! Whoop!

Next year in 2019 we will be doing some new stuff with the parties as always and hope to see you and your friends again soon - please pass this post on to other parents, thanks.

PSP Xmas.gif

13 year olds from Stratford work it with Little Mix Gold Party

Teenagers from Stratford had a brilliant Pop Star Party at Born in a Barn Studio over the weekend choosing to sing ‘Move’ by Little Mix for their Gold party.

Izzy has just turned 13 and what better way to celebrate than having a party at BB Studio with her friends. Gold parties focus on getting a great song recorded and filmed so after the party I can create a very cool video for them all. With more time to focus on the song it is nice to help the girls sing all the parts and get what we need for a great sound - Move is not the easiest song to sing but this group did a great effort at replicating the song in the time we had so well done all of you. There were some great characters in this group and plenty of interaction making the filming easy to capture cool moments for the video.

Well done everyone.

Parties at the barn are all unique and powered by the kids - if you know any kids who have a birthday popping up in the next year then why not let them know about Pop Star Party!!

Pop Star Party for 13 year olds 3.jpeg

Marathon completed!

Wow it’s been 2 weeks since I completed my 1st marathon in Dublin. How time flies.

So after the marathon I had a week in Ireland and on return had a full week of studio bookings and plenty to catch up on which I guess is why its taken so long to complete the journey of my marathon training and blogging about it on here.

The run itself went went perfectly - I had a plan, I had trained hard, I had been careful with diet and hydration in the couple of weeks prior to the run and I got the mix of everything right on the day. The only thing I hadn’t banked on was the sudden cold front hitting Ireland Saturday meaning the start of the day was a chilly 2 degrees Celsius - so to combat this I had to start my day walking the streets of Dublin in pyjama bottoms and an old orange hoody - i looked very silly but didn’t care. I was 1 of 20,000 others who was starting the race dressed in old clothes.

The race went well. I started the race smiling and enjoyed the first few miles running through the Phoenix park and just taking in the atmosphere of thousands of feet pounding the ground. I saw my supporters at the 10 mile marker, offloading my hoody to them at that point and blowing a kiss to my wife. Really great moment and by then I was warm and just enjoying the vibe. I decided that by running close to the crowd and smiling madly at everyone I got more names shout outs and this gives a little rush of adrenaline helping boost morale for the next hill or whatever - crowd supporters really help. So big big thanks to all the people who turned out to line the street of Dublin in such cold weather.

After 13.1 miles and going past the half way banners I just felt I had got this and nothing was going to stop me finishing. As I went past the 20 mile marker I was feeling tired but not exhausted and definitely motivated even more by the crowds still. I had used 4 of my ‘Torq’ power gels by this point and decided to not take the others as I was getting stomach cramps - probably due to not taking enough water with them even tho i was carrying and drinking water pretty often - maybe just not often enough but the old brain couldn’t work this out after running for 3 hours. But because I had driven the route on Friday before the race I knew there was a nasty hill just after 22 miles so I decided to take a 5th gel just before this point and it definitely worked - i ran up the hill smiling at the crowd knowing there was nothing left to stop me completing now. At 26 mile crowd cheering area I saw the support crew again which was a nice lift to get me down the last stretch - legs were definitely hurting a lot now but I could see the end line. I finished the race with a chip time of 4 hrs 08 mins 05 secs to collect the medal.

So it was done. The rest of the day was a whirlwind of meeting up with the support crew in Sheenan’s Bar for Guinness and pics, then back to basecamp for showers and straight back into Dublin to take my parents around the Guinness factory then out for a meal before finally going into Temple Bar for celebration drinks with my brother who had run the marathon as well despite having an injured right calf muscle. Ian had been a great mentor/coach for a most of the year behind the scenes and had finished it in just under 4 hours - not bad for a 50 year old!

So that’s it for marathon blogs and I want to thank all the sponsors who helped me raise some money for the charity I chose to run for. ChildLine Ireland or the ISPCC (Irish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children) do an amazing job of supporting children who call them asking for help when they feel they are in danger. All charities do amazing work but charities supporting kids are amongst the most vital in my mind. With 40 sponsors in the end I went way past my original target of €750 and finished with a grand total of €1,239.44 - so chuffed with this; so a huge thanks to all those that supported the charity and me through these donations.

A few big thanks to the support crew - Mum & Dad flew over from Cornwall to stand in the cold at almost 80 years old - amazing. Richard & Janice for providing base camp in their house. Jean & Rhys who met us in the pub with Moya, Rachel & Grace afterwards for our winners pint of Guinness.

Also I want to mention Susan Ogden for the Kangen Water in the week leading up to the race, Wendi Sartain for lending me a Kangen Water machine for the week, NewGen Superfoods Plus for their amazing food supplement powder which has kept my body healthy all year really and the bloke in the shop in Leamington (Essential Sports) who did my gait analysis, sold me my Asics trainers and gave advise about all things running - great guy. Also Irish Joe for giving me the inspiration and catchphrase which I would like to pass on to anyone else considering running - just get out the door - the rest will follow! Oh and Sue Roberts of Advanced Healing Therapies who worked a minor miracle by healing my poorly left leg after running the Kenilworth half marathon.

So what next?

Well I did say I was aiming for running 1 marathon before i hit 50 and my catchphrase for all these blogs has been: ‘I run parties for kids all year and am running 1 marathon in October’ but since the leg pains have died down and I have started walking normally again theres been a new challenge open up to me. Ian has invited me to run the Cairo marathon on Friday Feb 15th - the route takes in amazing views of the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx - initially I was not bothered as I had completed the mission of running a marathon before I got to 50, but I have always wanted to see the Pyramids, Ian lives just outside Cairo and it’s a great way to return the gesture of his support for me in Dublin so, I have agreed. To Cairo I shall go go. Don’t worry I won’t be writing blogs about this one!!

Finally a massive thanks to my wife Rachel for putting up with all the pain, suffering & moaning and for her support and my daughter Grace for riding her bike on countless training runs this last year.

A few pics or the day.

9 year old from Leicestershire have brilliant party

Szonja who is of Hungarian descent, had a wonderful party with her mates from Leicestershire recently.

She chose the Gold Party which meant we were filming for 1 of the songs and possibly singing 2 depending on time. Fortunately things went very smoothly and we did get 2 songs in the time. Szonja had chosen to sing One Kiss by Calvin Harris/Dua Lipa for her video and Attention by Charlie Puth to start the party - both great choices.

Nothing was gonna stop these kids from having fun and they sang their hearts out and gave it everything for the video filming too. Well done everyone including Mum & Dad who clearly enjoyed themselves too. See you next year!

9 year olds have an absolute blast

Amy and her friends had a wicked time at the barn for Amy’s 9th birthday over the weekend.

Amy had opted for the Silver Party and chosen Girls by Rita Ora along with This is Me from the Greatest Showman soundtrack. A very spirited gang this lot but they focussed well on the singing when the record light was on and we got great versions of both songs. Amy’s Mum had brought an amazing cake that despite being slightly damaged en route was definitely a hit with the kids. Top marks on the cake.

We sometimes try to make a band name out of the 1st letters of all the kids’ names and today we came up with ‘Eg Samosa’ for this group!!

Vegetables, Powders & Power Gels

So things are going really well with the training for my 1st marathon.

There’s only 2 weeks left before I head off to Holyhead to catch a ferry to Dublin. Training is feeling great and my daughter is forcing me to do body core exercises (which she learns at dance class) on top of the running - plus I’ve thrown cycling & swimming into the programme.

The diet is proving fun - eating tons of steak & chips, pasta based meals and oily fish as often as I can but that’s the normal stuff. This week my power gels arrived and today I tried running on just 1 - they are a high power energy & caffeine mix (amongst other stuff) which seem to work quite well. I have done all my training naturally but figure that one of the best aspects of amateur marathon racing is that you can use some legal drug assistance - why not!

Over the Summer I tried dropping alcohol out of the equation and we succeeded for a good while especially whilst on holiday but I have to admit I am not entirely tea total anymore - there has to be some pleasures in life!! More recently I have started drinking natural vegetable juices - you know what … they are actually quite nice.

On the day I’m going to be using Kangen water too - this ionised stuff absorbs into the body tons better and so doesn’t get wasted in sweat so fast - apparently. I love a bit of science.

Lastly as I have mentioned in most of my blogs about running, I am using a food supplement by NewGen called Superfoods Plus - it’s a powder added to water & seems to help in being healthy and energised all day. They have a new product launching very soon specifically for athletes which I might just get into if it’s available soon.

So my weight has dropped quite a bit this year too. I started at 15’5” and today am 13’9” - the way things are going I may be down to 13’5" by the time of the run, so losing 2 full stones this year entirely down to running.

Legal Highs!!

Legal Highs!!

Tiny reminder about the marathon relevance to Pop Star Party news:
In October this year I will be running the Dublin marathon so am currently training 4 days a week to build strength & passion for running - I will be running for a charity also and that charity is ChildLine Ireland.
I'm taking a food supplement for extra energy & all round organic support to diet:
If you would like a Pop Star Party then click here
Book Your Best Party Idea Ever Here

Pop Star Party supports ISPCC.png
These are nice - but not as nice as wine.

These are nice - but not as nice as wine.

Nottingham Half Marathon - huge success

Oh what a day Sunday was. The 2nd official Half Marathon race in 1 month and everything went perfectly. I completed the run in 1:56 mins and didn’t do any damage to my leg muscles and I got to meet Richard Whitehead again (double gold paralympic medalist & double world record holder) in the VIP tent after the race - my brother in law runs the agency behind the sponsorship management for the race so we get invited along as guest - really cool and free burgers after the race! I ran this with my wife Rach and she also got a personal best. After the race we found out we had new baby in the family too so everyone was celebrating.

So now all that’s left is normal training, called tapering, where the runs get slightly less as we approach the marathon race day in Dublin on October 28th. I feel ready. I feel fit.

After completing 2 Half Marathons in such good times both under 2 hours and now no injuries I feel that everything is looking good and I might even get close to a 4 hour marathon.

So the race organisers invite contestants to pick a charity to raise money for and I picked this right at the time of entry last November. I will be raising money for the Irish Child Line called the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children or ISPCC and the link to support me through this is below the pics here.

Quick chat with a very busy Richard Whitehead.

Quick chat with a very busy Richard Whitehead.

The face of a happy racer!

The face of a happy racer!

Having a laugh before the race.

Having a laugh before the race.

Tiny reminder about the marathon relevance to Pop Star Party news:
In October this year I will be running the Dublin marathon so am currently training 4 days a week to build strength & passion for running - I will be running for a charity also and that charity is ChildLine Ireland.
I'm taking a food supplement for extra energy & all round organic support to diet:
If you would like a Pop Star Party then click here
Book Your Best Party Idea Ever Here

Pop Star Party supports ISPCC.png

Vegetarians catered for

Just a quick post about veggies - a question we get asked quite regularly is about whether the buffet that we put on good for vegetarians. The answer is it can be - normally we make a big platter of ham sandwiches and add easy to eat finger food to the purple tiered display stand like mini sausage rolls and egg bites, but when asked to cater for vegetarians (which is all part of the checklist sent to you 1 week in advance of your party) then we simply change things accordingly.

The other option is that parents provide their own food and we amend the party cost accordingly - it’s your party and we want you to be happy. Just ask.

Pop Star Party buffet.jpg

Free Damson Jam with every Pop Star Party!

Just outside the studio where Pop Star Party is held is a very special tree - a Damson tree - every year it’s both the biggest nuisance and the best thing you could wish for - when the damsons drop it’s madness outside on the decking - if I catch it right and collect them I get an enormous amount of free fruit but if I don’t the decking gets kinda splashed and spattered with purple juice! This year has gone really well and every other night I’m busy making jam! So if you want some free damson jam just book a party and collect it when you’re having the pop star party.

Pop Star Party Damson Jam1.jpg
Pop Star Party Damson Jam2.jpg

Injury time - not enjoying this but ......

So - if you’re reading this and wondering what has this got to do with children’s parties - read on.

I’ve been using this blog to write about my training for running a marathon which is due to happen in Dublin next month on Sunday 28th October. This month I have seemingly injured myself and I am annoyed - with myself mainly!!
I run children’s parties all year and am training to run 1 marathon in October. The charity I have chosen is ChildLine (Ireland) - maybe it’s starting to make more sense now.

So after the Kenilworth Half I have had calf pain - I over ran on the final kilometre enjoying the crowd buzz and going for a sub 2hour PB - what a plonker. It turns out my calf muscle is stretched but it’s not too crazy and I am resting it - this is not easy - its frustrating not being able to run but I can’t afford to let it get worse - More immediately on Sunday 30th September I’m running the Nottingham Half and I need both my calf’s!!

BUT - not all is lost - also at the studio I produce music and video for various people and businesses. I have worked closely for a couple of years, with Sue Roberts, who is the clinic owner at Advanced Healing Therapies and yesterday I got to put her to the test!! She can put right many things that go wrong with our bodies using specialist electrical equipment in her clinic using Myopulse technology - it’s a bit odd, but it works. Electricity is use to realign the cells that are disrupted in tears and strains and then allowed to work again starting the natural process of self healing and cell replication with blood flow, rather than the body shutting down blood flow to the ruptured area - clever stuff!! Check it all out here:

Call Sue - she can fix you.

Call Sue - she can fix you.

Tiny reminder about the marathon relevance to Pop Star Party news:
In October this year I will be running the Dublin marathon so am currently training 4 days a week to build strength & passion for running - I will be running for a charity also and that charity is ChildLine Ireland.
I'm taking a food supplement for extra energy & all round organic support to diet:
If you would like a Pop Star Party then click here
Book Your Best Party Idea Ever Here

Pop Star Party supports ISPCC.png

Running Parties & Running a Marathon

Sunday was a somewhat unique day.
All year I have been training for a marathon, which I will be running in October next month in Dublin. All year I have been running parties and all year I have been attempting to write interesting blogs about my training for running a marathon and running parties! 

But on Sunday I was running an official Half Marathon race in my home town of Kenilworth and also running a party for some wonderful 11 year kids at the studio in Ansty.  Would I be fit enough to manage both?

Fortunately I kinda knew I would be, because I have run on party days before but never as far as a half marathon.  Coupled onto this was the added stress that I was flying home from Spain the night before the race, so if there had been any flight delays I would have been unable to do much about it.  You are supposed to eat a massive pasta meal the night before a big race but finding anything at that time in the little airport in Bilbao was not happening and most places in Heathrow were shut when we landed, so I made do with a dodgy Burrito somewhere on the M40. 

So the flight went well and we got home, I had about 7 hours sleep and then it was race day - go to the Holiday Inn and collect race number for 8.15am, do a bit of warm up stretches and running by 9am.  The run went brilliantly and I enjoyed the route - mainly uphill for the first half and mainly downhill for the second half.  The run to the finish line was well planned by the organisers too - all downhill from the clock-tower in Kenilworth High Street to the finish line by the entrance to Talisman Square - an easy and fast way to finish. 

So that went well!
There were now just 4 hours before the party was due to start at 3pm.

No problem - when the party kids arrived, the studio was booming and gleaming ready for the first party of the school year and 11 kids all aged (nearly) 11 rocked in ready to sing their chosen songs.  Sophie and her party pals from Barwell near Hinckley were all very well rehearsed and almost knew the song backwards - today we were doing Flashlight by one of my fave singers Jessie J but from the musical Perfect Pitch 2.  Sophie took a couple of the big moments and last line making it extra special and the group as a whole sang very well making recording pretty straightforward - phew!
After the photo session and a bit of food Sophie was straight back onto the mic to record a duet of the song Space Between from Descendents 2 with her friend Maisie.  Both of them had clearly rehearsed the parts very well before the party making Dove & Sophia look rubbish by comparison!!  Well done girls.  

So the 1st Term of 2018/19 kicked off really well - a personal best for me running a half marathon in under 2 hours (1hr:55) and a superb party in the afternoon with some super singers! 



11.15 am

11.15 am

8.55 am

8.55 am

Tiny reminder about the marathon relevance to Pop Star Party news:
In October this year I will be running the Dublin marathon so am currently training 4 days a week to build strength & passion for running - I will be running for a charity also and that charity is ChildLine Ireland.
I'm taking a food supplement for extra energy & all round organic support to diet:
If you would like a Pop Star Party then click here
Book Your Best Party Idea Ever Here

Pop Star Party supports ISPCC.png