Giants of Rock | Minehead

Giants of Rock – sounds great already, right? – is an annual adults-only rock festival hosted by the one and only Butlins. I promise, this is not a joke post. Butlins really does host a rock weekend.

You think of Butlins and, like me, you probably think of the seaside, family holidays, cheesy music and a place as far away as humanly possible from several thousand rockers. You’d be right, because Butlins is an awesome place for a family holiday, but did you know they also regularly hold live music weekends just for us grown-ups? And they’re incredible.

At the end of January, Matthew and I, alongside Mark and Kat – also known as Matt’s brother & brother’s girlfriend, good friends, best man & maid of honour, which ever tickles your fancy – jumped into the car for a 5 hour car-ride down to Minehead. We booked this weekend away so long ago, on a bit of a whim really, after visiting Matt’s mum and her foster children during on of their family holidays at Butlins. All four of us are child-free and loving it, so whilst Butlins (and the prospects of music, drinks and swimming) is forever enticing, the idea of spending a long weekend around many, many children is not. All they had to do was throw in “adults-only” and “rock music” and we were sold.

The music was, obviously, the highlight of the entire weekend. Surprisingly, though, the surrounding area came a very, very close second and that’s what I want to share with you today.

Minehead Butlins Beach Sunset

The Butlins resort we stayed in was in Minehead – almost 300 miles from our home city. It’s down in Somerset (which is also kind of near Wales), so even the car ride was a thing of beauty. I’m a bit dramatic when it comes to nature, I guess you’d say. I can’t quite control my excitement with how overwhelmingly and sincerely beautiful I find everything. It still baffles me how people can pass rolling hills and not look at them in awe, but that’s a story for another day. So, when we rocked up at the resort and head down to the nearby beach, I was blown away.

The beach seemed to start right at the base of a huge cliff, before winding all the way over mounds of huge rocks, around the bright green fields of a nearby golf course and into rolling hills in the distance. It went on forever.

Minehead Butlins Beach SunsetMinehead Butlins Beach Sunset

We went for two walks on the beach. One walk was full of fog and an orange sun that made the whole place look warm (even though it wasn’t). Even in the fog, it was incredible. During the second walk, we caught the sunset before almost being caught in the high tide. You bet we practically ran back to safety.  I could have walked up and down that beach for days… but only minutes away was the Butlins resort calling us back with an itinerary full of rock music and how could we turn that down?


Have you ever been to Minehead or Somerset? I wish we could have explored a little more but, this time, we paid for the music and not for the nature!


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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Free Bird

Taking a bit of a trip down memory lane tonight.

As I was looking fondly back through my old photography work, I came across a folder of personalised scanned calligraphy – yes, calling it calligraphy is a bit of a push, but I didn’t want to say “oh, look, pretty letters”. Anyway, I created them to layer over studio portraits, lowering the opacity and doing fancy blends so the lettering was barely visible over the portrait.

The idea was that I’d capture the portraits as normal, but ask the subject to name a song that meant something to them. I’d then write up a memorable verse, and layer it lightly over the portrait to show ‘a deeper and more important’ side to the subjects, than simply their face… or something like that.

Okay, okay, I know. It’s a bit rich – but this was 4 years ago, and I was still at college.

I tried to make them look a bit rushed, so the lettering didn’t look too digitally altered over a series of portraits, and I even splattered ink all over the verse as if they were covered in “accidental splatters”. The good old hand-made effect, eh. I can tell you this, throwing ink like a 4 year old is brilliant fun, but it doesn’t come off finger tips very easily…


I have a clear favourite though. It’s a verse from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird, and it’s perfectly imperfect:

Free Bird Lynyrd Skynyrd Lyrics

If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be travelling on now
‘Cause there’s too many places I’ve got to see.

But if I stayed here with you, girl,
Things just couldn’t be the same.
‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now,
And this bird you can not change, oh, oh, oh, oh.


I personalised one for myself with Steve Earle’s “Galway Girl”, as well as a pretty long section of Jimi Hendrix’s “Highway Chile” and couple of poems/inspirational quotes.

Sadly, I don’t have the actual finished products. I don’t know when or where they got lost throughout the years, but I can’t find them anyway. Shame!

Silver lining: At least I have a folder of awesome hand written lyrics and quotes.