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Archive for December, 2009

(this is from the week before xmas)

I don’t know how I can possibly fit this into one blog I must have seen about 20 bands in the past 7 nights starting with May 68, Wolfgang, Wild Wolves, Is Tropical, Django Django, Veronica Falls, Cate Le Bon, Slow Club, The Pictish Trail, Abi Makes Music, Delooze, Veronica Falls (AGAIN!), Teen Sheikhs, Male Bonding and many more I can’t even remember.

Young & Lost club had a free xmas party at the Legion last Tuesday. May 68 were playing a newish band from Manchester who are so tight I thought someone was DJing when I walked in – didn’t even sound live! I really like them and want to hear more from them soon. Their demo is sold out already BUT you can download all the tracks for FREE from Last.fm here: http://www.last.fm/music/may+68

Is Tropical was next. I liked their drummer’s handkerchief. That’s all I’ve got to say.

Wolf Gang are uber pop but their song “The King And All His Men” is ace!

The following night I went BACK to the Legion. Two nights in a row is a bit much even for me. Alfredo was there bartending though and I tried their Four Roses spirit which is served in a jam jar. Weird.

This was a free Rough Trade gig. Django Django were on first and I hadn’t seen them since spring so it was nice to see them again. I really like them actually. Good band!

Django Django

Veronica Falls headlined. The last (and first) time I saw Veronica Falls was the night Michael Jackson died, they played in Brixton. I’m now always going to associate their band with MJ. Weird. Anyway, back then I was really into their “Found Love In a Graveyard” song and now I’m super into “Beachy Head”.

They haven’t even realised anything yet (something should be out this coming year on Captured Tracks) but they play around more than ANY other London band. Just in the past week they’ve done about 4 London gigs. I saw them again Sunday evening opening for Male Bonding at Barden’s Boudoir and Bob Franz Ferdinand was there watching – that’s always a good sign. Half of Veronica Falls is from Glasgow so they’re probably just friends but it’s always a good sign if there’s some celebs in the audience. When I saw Frankie & the Heartstrings last month Jarvis Cocker and Steve Lamacq were both in the front row and now they’re A-list playlist on 6Music.

Next up Slow Club‘s beautiful Christmas gig at the Union Chapel. Oh My God. What a fucking amazing venue. Seriously can’t believe I haven’t been there after living in London for 5.5 years. It’s my new favourite venue apart from the fact you can’t actually drink there! As it’s a real in use church there is no alcohol except in a designated bar or backstage. Becky Slow Club did sneak some on stage though during her set. Bumped into loads of people Huw Stephens, Gabriel You Twenties, Robin Male Bonding and all the Moshi Moshi lot. Good times!

Then it was off to Dalston to see Larry Tee DJ at Dalston Superstore. I love that this man created Electroclash, Ru Paul‘s career and has been DJing for probably 30 years yet he now lives in London Fields. I keep bumping into him everywhere and he is the loveliest man. Told me he hasn’t had alcohol since 1979! Amazing, that’s longer than I have been alive. This night got messy, whenever I hang out with lesbians I always seem to light sambucca on fire in my mouth and of course that happened.

Larry Tee

Friday was the LAST ever Meat Raffle hosted by Babyface Dave and Milan. My band The Duloks played a christmassey gig wearing santa hats and red & white. We even attempted our interpretation of “We Three Kings”. Haha. I ended up drinking an entire bottle of port staying til the end (and it was at Catch one of the worst venues in Shoreditch) then going to the Hobby Horse to meet up with the Club The Mammoth boys and be an annoying drunk. Very embarrassed.

I was totally dead the next day and only made it out for a few hours to support Abi Dulok in her solo endeavours as Abi Makes Music. She played a Bangers & Mash night at 93 Feet East – another East London venue which sucks balls – over priced drinks, door charge and it was FREEZING! Get some heat! Abi is quite funny between songs as she rants about her family, being a lesbian and other drunken antics. She lost her keyboard that night in the 93 Feet East loos – how is this possible you ask? I do not know. Only Abi can attempt such a feat.

Abi Making Music

Sunday night was the aforementioned Male Bonding gig at Barden’s which included the last EVER performance of Teen Sheikhs and Veronica Falls again. I went mainly because I’ve never ever seen Male Bonding and that’s ridiculous. They’ve even been to my work for a BBC session but I was off ill that day so I missed them. Robin is my favourite London drummer, if not just my favourite current drummer. He’s so GOOD. He makes any band he’s in. I first saw him in Bullet Union who I fell in love with and then they broke up a month later. Oops. I was a bit late on that one. He’s also been in Rat Att Agg and Your Twenties.

Monday night I REALLY REALLY wanted to see Pet Shop Boys at the O2 but couldn’t find anyone to go with me or blag in some way. I should have asked around earlier because after reading people’s facebook status’ it seems like I DO actually have quite a few friends who a) went to the gig and/or b) actually like Neil & Chris (probably not as much as I do). It had snowed as well so getting around that evening was a bit shit. So I opted for the Gaggle Xmas Party at the George Tavern on Commercial Road as I could walk there. I had to warn my friend though that I looked about 5 years old in little sailor patterned wellies, red bobble hat (toque for Canadians) and parka & mittens. He just laughed at me. A Gaggle girl took a few photos of me as I was coming in. It was kind of a bizarro gig with teenagers playing and weird stand offish bar tenders. I didn’t stay long and basically just sat chatting to some friends.

Ok – I did it! 7 gigs in 7 days. Now I am officially off to Toronto my second favourite city in the world for 4 days. GOOD BYE !

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…from CANADA

skating like a dork

I’ve got a proper post to work on… went to one zillion gigs before I left London for a Canadian Christmas but in the holiday spirit I’m being extremely lazy and will get to it eventually. For now I’m skating and hanging out with the parents in Nova Scotia. On Tuesday I go to Toronto though and I’m armed with a mini disc recorder, crap phone camera and lots of warm socks. Hope everyone’s having good holidays x

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I forgot to blog about this gig from last week. My first time to a show at El Paso bar on Old Street. That’s a mexican restaurant / bar I have been walking past for the last 5 years without ever really going inside except to use the cash machine. They’re doing shows in the basement now. My friend’s Dave and Matt have started a monthly Friday night rock’n’roll night called Rag & Bone and it looks like it’s going to become a more regular venue. Not only did I see my first gig there BUT I also ate at El Paso for the first time EVER. Not bad. It wasn’t amazing Mexican but Mexican IS my favourite food of all time so I enjoyed it nevertheless. I had the chicken burrito.

Now Comenachi have been around FOREVER and only finally are they releasing their debut album, on Merok Records no less. Where have they been these past few years though? They used to play all the time – practically the house band at White Heat playing every week. Akiko was busy being the lead singer in Pre and drumming in the Big Pink so they have kept busy with other projects.

comanechi with guest divorce members

I was really excited for this gig cos Glasgow band Divorce was playing which happens to be Andy Browntown’s newish band. They’ve played down in London quite a few times now but I always seems to miss them. Andy is one of my oldest friends in the UK having met him 5 1/2 years ago in Nottingham when I got stranded there after travelling around Europe for 5 weeks, my plane was delayed arriving into East Midlands airport and by the time I got to the train station they told me there wouldn’t be any trains til morning. Yeesh. Luckily for me I had Ricky Haley’s number in my pocket, I rang it met up with him and Andy and the rest is history…

Anyway, back to the gig – Divorce is an all girl band (except Andy on drums) super loud, distorted and nosiy riot grrl sort of band. Live they were amazing. I bought their 10″ I was so impressed. I’ve only listened to it at work so far and maybe I had the wrong size needle but it didn’t have the same wonderfulness of their live show, then again they might just be one of those bands you NEED to see live. So much energy, so much noise. My friend Neil was drunk bopping along in the front row and exclaimed “best band of the century!”

I was actually eating during Divorce’s set but ran down to see a few songs and then wolfed down my food to catch the end of it. Next up was Comenachi who were just as loud and noisy. They even had Divorce’s bass player guest on a couple tracks and Andy playing drums. I don’t know how Akiko does it either drums + sing.screams… it’s a real skill and she’s got it!

Everyone was very very very wasted and I was stone cold sober still getting over my burn / ATP injuries that I high-tailed it home after the bands for my warm bed.

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ATP Videos. . .

These are from last weekend… obviously poorly shot while I was hammered trying to hold my little camera phone steady. Not the best quality lets just say.

The first one is Fucked Up – headlining the Centre Stage on the Saturday Night of My Bloody Valentine’s Nightmare Before Xmas ATP.

This second one is of No Age who I thought were one of the best bands of the festival but looking at this video it looks horrible – I hope it’s just the shit quality on my phone and not the fact I was watching them through drunk eyes.

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Benni in his new red long johns

The return of my FAVOURITE London club night was a bit disappointing. When I say return – it hasn’t actually gone anywhere I just haven’t been in 2 years. Last night was it’s first venture at the newish Shoreditch venue, the Book Club, which happens to be 5 seconds from it’s old home, Favela Chic.

I remember the days when if you didn’t get there by 8pm you’d queue for 3 hours and be lucky to get squeezed in. Well we got there at 9pm and it was pretty dead. Things did pick up in the end and there was plenty of swapping but it wasn’t the sweaty / dirty dance party I remembered. The idea of Swap-A-Rama is they play all sorts of super fun music you can dance to and about every 5 minutes or so a klaxon goes off and you have to swap an item of clothing with someone around you. The more crazy and wacky the clothes the better. People end up in ridiculous things, half naked, men in dresses etc It’s a really good party and guranteed if you are single to snog someone! I promise.

I had a LOT of left over clothes from past Halloween parties and Swap nights to unload. This stripey dress below is filled with Lidl carrier bags a creation by my friend “crazy scottish david”. This girl got it at the beginning of the night and did NOT let go of it ALL night. She was so excited for something that’s been cluttering up my livingroom for the past 3 years.

bring out the beast - best t-shirt slogan EVER

I ran off to a weird abandoned pub party in Clapton. They have bands playing there but we missed them all. They had this weird platform hanging from the ceiling – I wanted climb up but it was too high for me. There was no heat and everyone was a lot drunker than me so I went home to my warm bed and some instant noodles.

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What a weekend ????
Where to start? Seriously the most epic crazy weekend of 2009. Highlights — Bob Mould with No Age, drinking champagne backstage 2 nights in a row (Buzzcocks & Fucked Up’s booze), going to A&E at 8am sunday morning, Splashworld, everyone in my chalet seeing me naked, being hit on by 50 year old rockstars etc

Day 1

The first night I was uber excited cos the Buzzcocks were playing and Pete Shelley is an old friend of mine (in both ways of the word – ha!). I hadn’t seen him or the band for about 5 years. I love watching the Buzzcocks cos everyone knows all the words and you can sing n shout along. My friend Jen was drunk enough to go up to the stage manager afterwards and say “Tell PETE Shelley Mar from Vancouver is here !!!” haha… I was thinking there’s no way they are gonna pass on that drunken message but sure enough they did and we were invited back for champagne. Weird coincidence that their newish drummer (4 years) was once in a band with a guy I work with.

buzzcocks reunion 2009

Buzzcocks were driving BACK to London that night so we decided to “take” their rider back to our chalet. We carried 2 crates of beer, cider, wine back and had a supply for the rest of the weekend. Then it was off to the Crazy Horse for drunken dance times and I did bump into Ian Svenonios finally – he remembered the interview I did with him 10 years ago but didn’t remember me. Booo ! haha. Well I wouldn’t expect him too. I don’t even remember people from 4 months ago sometimes. Stayed up til 7am chalet parties etc were involved.

Day 2

Woke up and went to Splashworld – the greatest hangover cure EVER and one of my favourite things about ATP. We did all the slides that were open, went around the rapids a few times, played in the wave pool and sat in the hot tub. Nice one. Then off to watch bands Sonic Youth (the busiest gig of the festival) and The Horrors. Then we went to Jen’s friend’s birthday chalet party and bumped into Jonah Fucked Up who I had been trying to get a hold of all day so good coincidence! We drank white russians (mine being soymilk vegan ones) and then ran around the abandoned ghost chalet world at butlins. Scary stuff.

abandoned butlins chalet

I left Jen passed out face down on the couch in our chalet and ran off with five 18 year old boys to watch No Age and Fucked Up. Soooooooo GOOD. No Age had Bob Mould on as a guest for part of their set. Jen came bouncing along after being sick in the No Age pitt. Who knows how she does it ? After Fucked Up I ended up backstage AGAIN drinking their champagne and generally being an annoying drunk. I dragged Damian to Crazy horse where I have a slight memory of being uber drunk talking shit with Justin Spears sat sipping champagne on the dance floor. Just sat there. I saw Justin the next day and was like “can you please forget ANYTHING I said last night??” He promised to wipe it from his mind. After Crazy Horse it all gets a little blurry until 7AM when we were back in the chalet and I thought it would be a good idea to make pasta (I’m one of those hungry drunks who wants to eat the world after a few drinks). Well somehow I knocked the saucepan of boiling water onto the side of my stomach and gave myself a serious burn. Luckily one of my chalet – mates was a doctor. They had me in the bath with cold water. I was basically naked screaming and crying in pain in front of all 6 of the people in my chalet. They rang Butlins and a Butlins man came and drove me and Jen to A&E. I was only wearing tiny shorts and t-shirt (no shoes or socks) Jen was being sick from drinking. We got to A&E and I was still screaming and swearing at the nurses “make it fucking stop hurting !!!” Jen was sick in the disabled loos. They managed to make it “fucking stop” hurting and bandaged me up. The Butlins man had waited and drove us back to our chalet and I was in bed by 8am.

Day 3

Being severely hungover, unable to go to Splashworld and covered in bandages I didn’t really do too much this day. Got my ex boyfriend who happened to be at ATP to take me back to the medical centre to get my bandages changed. I fell asleep during Bob Mould’s set, saw a bit of Pains of Being Pure at Heart who were AWESOME and loud and finally saw My Bloody Valentine (the curators). Then back to our chalet for ATP TV and bed. Jen brought back a girl named Sarah who left about 4am but was so wasted she went AWOL and her friends came looking for her at 6AM and after not finding her just went back to London without her. Doh! Luckily I can report she took a 6 hour bus ride home and is safe.

I got back to London at 430PM on the Monday and managed to go out at 6PM and DJ at the Social for Bethan Elfyn’s xmas party. I don’t know HOW I did it. I am still in pain from the weekend and that’s probably why.

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right well I’m off to ATP tomorrow for the weekend. YESSSS !!

just posted my new podcast. check it out please www.rockonlondon.com
lots of good tunes and me talking shit

so expect big reports next week from atp… i’m hoping to run into old friends fucked up, buzzcocks and ian from the make up.

good night.

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