I realise I haven’t done a 2014 post so I should probably do some shout-outs right now to make up for it. Last year was full of many exciting things, new friendships, adventures, music, laughter, and lots and lots of food.
Massive thanks for the inspirations everyone, especially: Buska Dimes, Big Friendlies, Vera Williams, Given Names, Fantails, Slower Motion, and all the people at PBS (Melbourne) and Radio Control (Palmerston North) who introduce my ears to music I hadn’t heard before.
The next 11 months will be mostly Maths and Physics. There will be more music but for now I must go shove my head in some books so I can try to make sense of the universe.
Remember, go outside and look up.
Peace xTags: 2014, 2015, electronic, Palmerston North, Radio Control
2013 was spent in the glorious, most beautiful, breathtaking yet easy-going place I’ve ever been. The year at the Edge Of The World.
I watched some films, some TV shows and read some books. I even listened to a bunch of new music and some old music. This year though, my lists are just one and the theme is just me. And I am proper grateful for everything the universe has sent me.
1. I saw lots of mountains and the ocean. I saw things I’ve never even dreamed of. I did real physical outdoors work for the first time in my life. I wrote about some of it on the internet: Bimbling Along
3. I played a packed gig in an important bar
4. I played a tiny gig to an audience of one in a very very important bar
5. I taught some incredible people how to speak and sing, then I set up a choir
6. I went on lots of beautiful, funny roadtrips and weekends away
7. I saw a screening of a film that changed my whole perspective on the world and I made the filmmaker become my friend
8. I was bench coach for 2 roller derby bouts with some of the best skaters in the country
9. I set up a new jeerleading squad the Rumbles and then let them fly by themselves
10. I survived the biggest storms I’ve been in and My First Ever Earthquakes (peaking at a not-too-shabby 6.5). I looked at the biggest, most stunning skies and sunsets I’ve ever seen
11. I filled in heaps of seemingly boring but actually exciting long forms
12. I made a whole bunch of new friends and learned how much I love my existing ones
14. Cats. Lots and lots of cats.
15. I spent some time with a very special, kind and generous Hot Boy who repeatedly changes my life and who is, before you ask, definitely a Harley
The year ahead holds many incredible surprises and I am filled with hope and reinvigorated ambition and thirst for more travel, adventure and bravery.
2014 will be The Year Folded In Half and it will be THE BEST YEAR EVER.Tags: 2013, Lists
East London’s sweetheart Anna Madeleine, leftfield electronic musician, vocalist, songwriter, listmaker, jeerleader, is gracing Aotearoa with her presence for the first time to co-headline the C.L.I.T.fest (Combatting Latent Inequalities Together) gig at Bodega on 2nd June 2013.
The gig, organised by BOX events, is Anna’s debut New Zealand performance and includes sets by other local and national acts Melting Pot Massacre and Fantails, plus others.
DJs Trixie and Leilani will also be dropping some tunes for the dancefloor.
While Anna works on her first full album, which will be a parallel release in New Zealand and the UK, she is bringing her breakbeat, electro, atmospheric, drum ‘n’ bass/hip hop world to your ears in this fantastic live show.
You can have a mesmeric and magical aural peek into her ‘built at home’ sound by heading down to Bodega on 2nd June or you can listen/buy her music online at http://annamadeleine.bandcamp.com.
(photo courtesy of Rachel Carr – copyright Countessian 2012)Tags: 2013, Bodega, CLITfest, New Zealand, performing
January 1st, 2013End Of Year
WOWEEEEEEEEEEEE! WHAT A FUCKING STUPENDOUS YEAR THAT WAS.
I hope y’all had amazing times and did all the things on your to-do lists. I have had to start all sorts of new lists to prepare myself for 2013, a new to-do list, a new ambition list, a new crush list.
2012 has been full of more love and more fun than just one little person deserves. Adventure, inspiration and excitement are the focus of the next 12 months and “Just Get Really Good At What You Do” is my 2013 motto. Meeting lots of new people and cherishing the ones I already know is number 1 on my agenda.
Best Bits of 2012
I played Broomball, Jeered at some incredible London Rollergirls bouts, facilitated singing sessions with kids who are non-verbal, saw my artistic development programme for disabled musicians get funding, guested on the She Makes War album along with some other amazing artists.
I was commissioned as a composer twice, hung out with some brilliant life-changing people, tried to play ping pong, danced a LOT, laughed (so hard I cried) every week.
I finished working with the wonderful Drake Music after around 7 and a half years. I’ve never been prouder of anything as much as being a part of changing this failing organisation into a progressive leader in the field of music, technology and accessibility. The people I met while there and the experiences we had together will stay with me for the rest of my life. I hope I will work with them again in the future.
I danced on some tables at the BFI. I met some of the amazing people involved in the Barcelona post-porn scene and watched a hot boy stick needles into one of them. I was an extra in a fascinating photo project and got filmed licking a sign saying “Hot”.
The Fattylympics was one of the best, most life-affirming days of my whole life. Fatties and their allies gathered for fun and games including Twirling, Rolling and the wonderful Chubrobics. Zines about how to love your body the way it is were alongside yummy food and gorgeous clothes and fun stuff on the stalls.
I watched Empire Records on a roof with some of my favourite people. I watched Kate Tempest’s play Wasted at the Roundhouse with some more of my favourite people.
I learned to ride a bike, put on a party in an empty pub, tried to bowl, ate a LOT of cider and chips.
I didn’t sleep enough but had lots of bed parties, talked to some of my heroes and crushes, went to a book launch on a boat, went to some film festivals and saw Cirkus Cirkor, Boom Boom Club, Penny Arcade and La Soiree. I saw Nigel Charnock’s beautiful Haunted By The Future.
Someone very special invented a delicious cake for me and then some famous people tweeted about it.
I travelled into The Future. The world didn’t end.
So, all that’s left to do now are the lists:
Top 5 gigs of 2012
(7 this year!)
Fever Fever’s final ever show, Lexington London
Bright Light Bright Light, Cargo London
Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo doing the whole of Graceland, Hyde Park London
Dry The River, Shepherd’s Bush Empire London
Micachu and The Shapes, The Arcola Tent London
Slow Club and Spaceships Are Cool, Village Underground London
Zombie Zombie, the Lexington London
Special mentions for Band Band at Pony, Melbourne; Midwinter Picnic at West Hill Hall, Brighton; Chris T-T singing A A Milne at King’s Place, London; and the Bermuda Triangle Transmission set at the Resonance FM party.
Top 5 albums of 2012
I haven’t listened to a lot of new stuff this year so I found this category tricky. I adore Dan Le Sac’s Space Between The Words, Jack White’s Blunderbuss and Michachu & The Shapes’s Never.
Most other new stuff I have heard recently has been pretty boring to tell you the truth. I’ve listened to a lot of older stuff, rock n roll, 90s punk/emo, riot grrrl, hip hop, 60s girl bands, doo-wop. Some of which I’d heard before, some of which I hadn’t.
2013 is the year for getting everyone back into music that sounds like there are bits falling off or it’s been stuck together from things found in skips. There hasn’t been enough drum ‘n’ bass in my life (I’ve missed it a lot). It will be the year for real music and real musicians, for finding new sounds and making beautiful songs.
Top 5 books I read in 2012
Venus As A Boy, Luke Sutherland
Short Stack, For Books’ Sake/Pulp Press
Assume Nothing, Rebecca Swan
Nights At The Circus, Angela Carter
No Room For Secrets, Joanna Lumley
Best TV shows I saw in 2012
Generation Kill, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Sons Of Anarchy, Doctor Who, Mad Men
Best films I saw in 2012
Far ahead of the rest is the stunningly beautiful The Adventures of Prince Achmed. See it if you’ve never seen it. Get a projector and watch it with friends.
Whale Rider, But I’m A Cheerleader, Boy, Eagle vs Shark, No Country For Old Men, The Girl Bunnies, Drive, Once Were Warriors, Keep on Livin’ and Extracting The Bomp.
Top 5 Welsh people of 2012
The Tiger Bay Brawlers
The owners of Dragon Bar, Wellington (which I haven’t been to yet)
Top 5 bars of 2012
Matterhorn and S & M’s, Cuba Street
The Swan, Southwark
Bar, Lower Marsh, Southwark
The Old Haberdasher, New Cross
Mr Lawrence’s, Brockley
Best shops/places of 2012
Bad Rep at the Resistance Gallery (monthly) was the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time
Unskinny Bop at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club
Prick Tattoo, Shoreditch
Te Papa, Wellington
The London Particular, New Cross
Most embarrassing moment of 2012
Hiding behind one of my very favourite rollergirls while a female performance artist ejaculated on us. You can’t make this stuff up.
Food, Maps, Nature/Weather, Harley-Davidson, New Zealanders, Roller Derby, Kittens and Ponies, Nerds.
Normal clothes as fancy dress
There’s not been enough of this this year. I think my favourite has to be when I was A Parcel.
Biggest lessons I’ve learnt
When good stuff happens, enjoy it. You deserve it. Don’t second-guess or over-think. Appreciate the positive things. Be bright and bold. Do stuff. Life is long. Go on adventures. Listen to lots of other people’s stories. Ask questions.
Show people how much you love them. Hold on to the good stuff. Keep in touch. Geography means nothing. Write In Real Life letters and cards.
Have high standards. Expect good things. Keep your integrity. Everything is funny if viewed from the right angle.
extra special Thank Yous for bringing me magic in 2012
Charlie Brown, Jane Bradley, Cassie Vallance, Roseanna Everitt, Becca Horn, Melanie Clifford, Vikki Von Vixen & T, Kayleigh O’Shea, Eva Monkey & Kate Ellis, Kyle Gibbens, Holly Casio, Nicholas Graham Smith, Jen Macro, Annette Barlow, Kathy Taylor-Jones, Chud & Ruth, Becky Davey & Brad Perry, Gawain Hewitt, Emma Hogan, Penny Lane, Lola & Mariana, Nathan Harrow & Malika Mezeli, Tom Snowdon, Alex Anderson, Colin & Paula McCracken, Hera, and all my family.Tags: 2012, Lists
August 2nd, 2012Uncategorized
It’s been a lovely process, throughout which the whole cast and crew have been amazing.
The show is based around 3 giant boxes each with a character inside. Each character symbolises the 3 complementary aspects of a perfect friend. It’s a truly magical show with enough audience participation to keep the kids happy without detracting from its real content.
Kazzum are brilliant at non-patronising, age-appropriate theatre and this is no exception.
The beautiful set design was by Sofie Layton and the creation and direction of the show was by Daryl Beeton and Nickie Wildin.
Here are a couple of samples of the music.
Your next chance to see it will be this weekend, on Saturday 4th August at Hackney Town Hall Square and Sunday 5th August in Newham (call 020 7749 1123 for details of both days).Tags: Brown Paper Packages, Kazzum, Songwriting
December 31st, 2011End Of Year
I’m not going to lie, 2011 almost entirely sucked. As you know, I try to remain positive so let’s not dwell on the rubbish bits.
The positive bits have been amazing, beautiful and a little bit overwhelming. I am very much looking forward to 2012 and all it brings. It will be an important special year.
As is tradition, here is a round-up of the year that was.
Overall Best Moments
Became a Jeerio, visited Bali, had My First Ever Cup Of Coffee, solo UK tour, Brighton Tattoo Convention, London Chocolate Festival, Scifi London Festival, pitched a Hello Kitty party-girl tent, set up Turn The Tables, watched a lot of roller derby, rode on a big wheel, started my second tattoo, went to Trill Farm, Hannah & Mike’s wedding.
There are two memories that will last forever from 2011:
- 13th July 2011 the moment when pom poms were put in my hands at Jerwood Space, London
- 17th October 2011 the moment when I saw the ocean from a beach in Bali, Indonesia
Top 5 gigs of 2011: Extra Special Mention for The Best Gig I’ve Ever Been To: Prince at Hop Farm
- PJ Harvey at Troxy
- Robyn at the Roundhouse
- Shonen Knife and Smallgang at Scala
- Hop Farm Festival: especially Sound Of Rum, James Yuill and Dry The River
- High Voltage Festival: especially Dream Theater, Queensryche and Judas Priest
Special mentions for: Something Beginning With L & Singing Adams at 12 Bar; Envy & Bellatrix at Spit launch; Chris T-T at Old Blue Last; Tom Williams and The Boat, My First Tooth, She Makes War at Borderline; We Are Lizards (Scroobius Pip) at The Book Club, The Indelicates, Dave Hughes & The Renegade Folk Punk Band at 13th Note; Chris T-T, MJ Hibbett at Portland Arms.
Top 5 Bars of 2011:
- Tsuru, Southwark
- Old Blue Last, Shoreditch
- Facebar/Mixwells/Bali Joe/Club Cosmo/Potato Head/Ganesha Beach, Seminyak, Bali
- The Kenton, Hackney
- Off Broadway, Hackney
All the bars I’ve played in during 2011 are listed on my Live page. They all deserve a special mention, particularly 13th Note in Glasgow.
The Best 5 Welsh People of 2011:
- Adam Walton
- Bethan Elfyn
- Becky Davey
- Clare Potts
- Megan Peppin
Top 5 Websites of 2011:
Best Shops/Places of 2011:
- Prick Tattoo
- Vision Hairdressers
- Rich Mix
- The London Particular
Normal Clothes As Fancy Dress
This year’s lists are brief. I haven’t listed my favourite albums or films of this year because looking back on 2011 has been a bit tricky. Having said that, I met new and existing friends who are really incredible people and have had a massive impact on my life already. Most of them don’t know half of the good they have done and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to show them my appreciation.
And now we go into 2012: the year of travel, the year of love. I am filled with hope and excitement for the future. This will be the best year ever.
AMxTags: 2011, Lists
July 11th, 2011Music
Here it is!
My new single, Milk and Water is now available as a pay what you like one-track download on Bandcamp.
This will be the last release for a while. Thank you everyone who’s come to any of my gigs over the last 2 years and all of you who’ve bought my music or listened to it online.
Extra thanks to some special people who’ve given me the best advice I could ever ask for. I hope I can live up to their and my own expectations.
After the next few shows I’ll be focusing entirely on what I’m here for in the first place – music. So please bear with me while I work hard quietly away from you.
I promise you’ll get to hear it all eventually! Peace, I’m out.Tags: Milk And Water
June 29th, 2011Music
In celebration of what is about to be The Best Summer Of My Life, I’ve made you a super special totally awesome summer playlist: This Summer Will Be Yours
(and for those of you not on Spotify, here’s the tracklisting)
Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon Urge Overkill
Yeah Buddy Pulled Apart By Horses
The Boys Are Back In Town Thin Lizzy
School’s Out Alice Cooper
Cool Rider Michelle Pfeiffer
I Lust You Neon Neon
Heart Shaped Box Nirvana
See My Evil Tom Williams & The Boat
There’s A Rockstar In My Room Let’s Wrestle
Life In Paper Fucked Up
Forget The Swan Dinosaur Jr
Times Of Grace Neurosis
I’ve Been Thinking Handsome Boy Modelling School ft Cat Power
I Will Follow You Into The Dark Death Cab For Cutie
Purple Rain Prince
Come Outside Melodica, Melody & Me
$200 Tattoo Eels
Cigarette Ben Folds
Move On Singing Adams
Honey All Over Gruff Rhys
Angel Sized Something Beginning With L
Mulder and Scully Catatonia
I Will Not Give In Let’s Wrestle
31 Pills Chris T-T
Cover Me Bjork (Dilinja Remix)
Nightclubbing Zombie Zombie
All Of The Lights Kanye West
Learning Curves Lianne HallTags: freedom, playlist
Argh! So much has happened since I did a proper blog I don’t know where to start. With a list of course!
- In October 2010 I had the start of my first ever tattoo. It was finished in February 2011 and is one of the best things I’ve ever done. I love it and I am so grateful to the artist Henry Hate. He is like the Juliette Binoche character from Chocolat but for tattoos. I went in with an idea and came out with my soul on my skin.
- I did my first ever solo tour of the UK. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to book any Wales gigs this time round but I’m hoping to soon enough. I went to Bristol, Cambridge, Glasgow and Ayr. The Scottish gigs were with tour buddy Dave Hughes who is like a cross between Shane MacGowan and Macaulay Culkin and knows more about Bruce Springsteen than anyone I know. I had tonnes of fun and adventures along the way. The new set-up using a small 80s keyboard rather than my big full-size one works much better (even though it does leave me with nothing to hide behind!).
- I have new hair. It is short-ish and blonde. I adore it. The best hairdresser I’ve ever had did it. You can find her on Twitter. If I ever get a world tour, Sapphire is coming with me to do my hair.
- I finally got to the Out Of This World exhibition at the British Library. It is fantastic. The only frustrating thing is not being able to touch and smell the original copies of these wonderful books. I will be going back again before it finishes.
- My favourite wannbe-rollergirl’s boyfriend arranged an incredible birthday surprise treasure hunt for her around the National Galleries and Trafalgar Square. Her closest friends all dressed up as characters from her two favourite stories: Alice In Wonderland and Mary Poppins. It caused a bit of a ruckus when security tried to chuck us out though and we ended up being chased by around 7 security guards. It all ended in a tea party. I was the Cheshire Cat, obvs.
- The Very Exciting Thing I am doing is now underway. I still can’t say much about it but as soon as I can I will let you know. At the moment it is just in the research stages.
- I booked my first holiday for about 5 years: In October I’ll be visiting one of my best friends in Bangkok then we’re also going to Bali too! I almost fainted when I read the confirmation emails. I have been ordered I’m not allowed to do any work at all while I’m there. I might have to sneak some online time to dispel any withdrawal symptoms!
- The new single Milk and Water is almost ready. It has been a labour of love.
- The artist development programme I created for Drake Music has finally been given a little bit of money for the first session. I’m really looking forward to it although it means more work for me!
- Lots of changes have happened that make me think East London might not be the place for me soon, I love it here and of course my heart will always belong to London but I’m thinking more and more about moving away. I won’t be going too far and I’m sure you’ll read about this in the forthcoming year.
- And FINALLY I am planning my next party. It won’t be until the autumn and will have a very different feel as well as be a more ‘exclusive’ event. More to follow!
So all in all a transforming few months. Not sure what’s next, which is (as you know) how I like it. Exciting times. #followthesignsTags: Dave Hughes, Hackney, Henry Hate, holiday, Lairy Poppins, Lists, Milk And Water, performing, science fiction, tattoo, The Angel
May 29th, 2011Music
All my music is produced at home. My set-up is very basic and I have limited knowledge about sound engineering. This suits me fine (for now) as I am not rich and I prefer minimal/rough sounds. It also gives me the opportunity to learn more and to retain complete creative control over the final tracks.
I’d like to share a story with you about some work I’ve been doing recently on the new single Milk And Water:
The lovely Simon Askew (well-known BBC producer and engineer) has very kindly been offering me some advice about production. In April I sent him links to The Angel EP and also a rough draft of the new single.
Many people have listened to The Angel and I’ve had a lot of great feedback but nobody has said this:
“…The first thing is both that mix and the Angel EP is all in mono! Is this deliberate? If so I think it’s wrong!”
No Simon, no. This was not deliberate.
Full disclosure: I didn’t actually know.
Through several weeks of email exchanges I rewired and panned and sweated and screamed, and continued to hate the massive gaps in my music technology expertise.
Finally ready to export the track to send a new version to Simon, I noticed a small drop-down box giving the options to export in mono, stereo split or stereo interleaved.
That’s right folks, a small drop-down box in the middle of my screen. I had seen this menu on everything I’ve ever mixed for the past 2 years and at no point had I thought: “I wonder what that’s for…”
Seriously. I am an idiot.
Like The Beatles, my recordings up until now have been in mono. This has the potential to go down in history as one of those hilarious early music making stories. Or perhaps not. Maybe I could pretend I intended it that way and release my own boxset.
Me and The Beatles in Mono.
[please note the new single will be in stereo, like I'm a normal person]Tags: electronic, Milk And Water, Simon Askew