Posts Tagged ‘Vodka and Diet Pepsi’

Back To The Truck Yeah

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Well, actually it was my first time at Truck but that’s not how the song goes.

Unbelievably busy with preparations of a secret nature (announcements very soon, promise), so here’s just a list-based rundown of what Roseanna and I liked at Truck 13:

Roseanna’s favourite (and her Truck discovery): Bellowhead

Anna’s favourites: Islet and Pulled Apart By Horses

(no surprises there, although I did manage to be right at the front for all of them and not rip my dress!)

We managed to catch a tiny bit of Blood Red Shoes before our departure and I was properly gutted to miss Unicorn Kid, Piney Gir, Mercury Rev, 65 Days of Static, Fucked Up and Zinc (due to stupid queuing system).

We saw loads of other stuff but my Mum told me if you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all.

Anyone at The 1234 or High Voltage, both of which clashed and I was gutted to miss, please feel free to leave comments about good stuff to make me jealous!

Harper & Thorne

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

sb4bNearly at the end of ‘non-alcoholic week’ which is being extended way beyond a week, much to my disappointment. Things I have learnt this week include:

  • Despite all else, it will most likely be my sweet-tooth that kills me
  • Never leave home without your notebook and pen
  • Double spaces after full stops is wrong (am now only halfway through editing my old posts to correct them)
  • Boys are sometimes lovely and sometimes annoying
  • The Wire is the best TV show that has ever been made (life-changing)

Then last night I went to The Curzon Soho to see a special screening and Q & A of The Scouting Book For Boys

I have been looking forward to seeing this film since I first heard about it over a year ago, while in a pub in North London. It is a British labour-of-love film written by Jack Thorne and directed by Tom Harper. The feature itself is awe-inspiring, beautiful and stays with you long after you leave the cinema.

Usually, I don’t like reading anything written about a film I really want to see, to watch it as fresh as possible first time. It was very difficult with Scouting Book as it has had such high acclaim already and is all over the press, having been previewed at festivals and nominated for awards. Luckily and through perseverence, I basically managed it. I hadn’t even seen the trailer.

I urge you all to go, preferably without any prior research. In respect of this, I am not going to blog about the film itself other than to say two things:

  1. Tom’s decision to shoot it on film (which he had to fight for) was right, it does add a nostalgic feel to the look, though set in modern times, and it echoes of childhood holidays and long summers.
  2. The sound production is beautiful, the music soundtrack by Noah & The Whale fits perfectly but what really blew me away was the use of sound dynamics, effects and silence to build the story and complete the film experience.

It really is an amazing piece of work.

Tom and Jack are both incredible talents. They each have a way of connecting with their inner teenagers (particularly Jack through his writing). Individually, this connection with and ability to communicate the teenage coming-of-age experience has been well documented and they are both probably sick of being asked questions about it!

This project, the first feature length film for each of them, was at least 5 years in development with the whole creative team involved together very early in the process. The two lead actors are exceptional. Everyone’s care and commitment to telling the story and to the visuals are clear from the end product.

In the interest of full disclosure: I’ve known Tom since we were teenagers, 13 to be precise. He has been one of my very favourite people in the world since then. He is a wonderful friend and his skill as a director shows powerfully throughout all of his work. Tom, you ain’t half good at your job mate!

Jack is equally amazing, his writing is real and his characters have development and shape. He is a great storyteller without patronising the audience. I can’t say too much about his writing without talking about the film itself but his construction of characters and plotlines is truly inspiring.

Love you guys! Can’t wait to see what you both work on next.

Victoria and Jacob

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Had a great day today, wrote some new lyrics and did a couple of my favourite things. I’ve stuck by my resolution to do at least one favourite thing each day. It’s great and you should all start doing it (no matter how big or small the thing is, do something you really enjoy every day).

In the evening I went out to The Flowerpot with 2 Hackney Family members to see Victoria and Jacob. This pop duo has a fun mainstream electro sound and a very accessible look. They are both adorable and I want to keep them in a box in my sitting room.

I liked what they did musically, although it was a bit samey (I tuned out after about 3 songs). Sometimes I do feel as if I’m the only person left on the planet who likes the sound of raw, dry vocals, particularly in electronica. Victoria was using delay on an already reverbed up mic which for one or two songs is great, especially when she played with the fx but was a bit much when it was every song. I think it frustrated me tonight because she really has a lovely voice and I wanted to hear more of its true sound.

I liked the beats and the way the duo’s musicality worked together. The gear was impressive without being ostentatious and their use of stage awareness was good.



TCL The Aftermath

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Hey everyone!

I’ve been half drafting this in my head ever since Friday night but only just getting it down on here now.

So, I don’t think it is flippant to say that The Crush List was THE BEST FREAKIN NIGHT EVER. I have no idea why I didn’t put on my own party years ago and I had such a blast. It was not without its hitches. Having had serious doubts TCL would even happen two weeks before the date, I was relieved even to arrive at the venue to set up on the day. Technical issues (me having the wrong adapter for the projector, a tech problem in the DJ booth, late running soundchecks, none of us knowing how to use the sound-desk properly, etc etc) meant that half an hour prior to kick off I was running around like a mad chicken and annoying anyone trying to help (sorry Nick!).

But then something amazing happened…we actually pulled it off!

…First up, I slipped into a frock and some heels to introduce the night. Old favourite Circus Boy and then a new song I’d written specially for the night (2010 4 – The Crush List).

Something Beginning with L were up next. This amazing trio made up of some of the best musicians in the country is my favourite band and you will have heard me shout about them a lot previously. Jen and Lucy gave a special acoustic performance for TCL as Jon is currently on tour. It was really beautiful and showed the strength of their songwriting that they didn’t need the electronics to make the set complete. I love this band and I urge you to check them out whether electro or acoustic (who’d a thought you could do it with just acoustics and vocals – it was lush!). I think Mean and Say might have been my favourites tonight.

Then I played my second set which included two new songs (2010 1 and 2010 2). It was a really special night for me and I can’t put into words how it felt to get to play for some of my very favourite people (just hope y’all liked it!). This was without a doubt the best gigging experience I’ve had performing (solo or for other people). Oooh, I also did a cheeky cover version of my big brother’s song Ankles which I’ll record at some point and put up on Soundcloud for you.

Then BLAM! John John Slave !!! These guys should definitely be much more famous than they are. They ripped it up. Julie, Dave and Nick are an electro disco experience to be enjoyed drunk and dancing! The crowd loved it (as did I). I wish I knew even a fraction of what the two guys know about music technology and Julie leads a disco like no-one I know! I loved their 80’s style crush costumes (very sexy) and I couldn’t have asked for more from them. Check them out live as soon as you can!

Taking us through till the early hours of the morning was our special guest DJ, Jimboeth. Well, what can I say? This guy is a fucking legend. Without going into the ins and outs of it all, I have been a fan of Jim’s for a long time now: as a writer, editor, film expert and internet/social media guru etc etc. Under the name DJ Rize he has worked with (I was there!) some of the awesomest people in the Drum n Bass world and his extensive knowledge of music across all genres meant I was very excited and honoured to coerce him out of retirement to play The Crush List. He did not disappoint.


My massive heartfelt thanks go out to all the artists who worked their arses off to make this happen. I also want to give special mentions to: Melanie Clifford (who has helped me more than she’ll ever know and who would’ve been playing had I not got the wrong adapter!), Chris & Rifa (for ideas, strength and for putting up with me going on and on about my crush list), the Ladybird crew (Patrick and the boys came to my rescue with the venue and apparently got loads of people drunk off free shots), my Hackney family (Sandi especially, thanks for everything babes), Jon for carting all that gear there on Thursday and Ross and Tom for filming so professionally and getting into the spirit of things.

Lastly, this party could not have happened without my 3 GORGEOUS, GLAMOROUS assistants: Cassie, Katharina and Roseanna. They ensured that everyone was having a good time and they made the bar look amazing! Cassie designed all the decorations including the Crush List box which will be used again at some point and photos of which will be posted soon. If you were lucky enough to take any of the table decorations or ‘crush cards’ home please do take pics and send them to me. Unpacking my gear on Sunday made me realise just how vigilant Katharina and Roseanna had been about sorting out all my equipment and keeping it safe. You three ladies are the best in the world and I could not have done it without you.

If you made it down it would be great to have your comments below and if anyone’s got photos or video from the night send it along won’t you? Thanks to everyone who came and partied with us. You have all gained crush points *gcp* for being wonderful and sexy party people.

The next event I hold will be very different. I have had The Most Incredible Idea which I will start to plan once I’ve heard back from a couple of people (ehem!). Watch this space!

Can You Stay Up For The Weekend?

Friday, December 4th, 2009


Officially just over halfway through the two-week birthday extravaganza and I’m not flagging at all (although I have drunk my weight in alcohol and eaten more food than they have in Costcutter)

So far, I have:

  • enjoyed a luscious Thanksgiving meal cooked by Hannah and Aubrey
  • DJed at BBA for the quiet and non-dancing crowd at the Marie Lloyd Bar (although we danced enough for everyone!)
  • written new crush lists
  • seen some performance art in a warehouse in Stoke Newington
  • chatted up beautiful artists
  • had Advent Tea and played with my nieces
  • watched Milk and A Streetcar Named Desire
  • hidden from huge storms and eaten pizza
  • gone to Biddles with all of my Hackney family
  • worn Sandi’s dress as a top
  • learned about measuring social impact
  • attended my first ever Beer Festival (and tried some Welsh perry)
  • chatted on the phone to Nathan in India
  • cried into my vodka and watched Akira the ultimate collection


BBA Halloween Party – oooooooh!

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Halloween Party poster

Lexapalooza Lite

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Thank you so much everyone who came down to see me play and to support the great Lexapalooza Lite event on Saturday. Those who stayed till the end had a treat with Ben Marwood and Chris T-T and then the two special secret guests Sam Duckworth and Frank Turner, both of whom are selling out major venues this year. I was really surprised and honoured to be included in such an amazing event.

The overwhelming support from people who came up afterwards, wanting to buy the CD or just have a chat was amazing. I’m very aware that my music is not easily accessible and there were some really interesting responses to it. I am still at the start of my journey, discovering what works and what doesn’t work. This is an exciting place to be. It feels free.

I really enjoyed seeing the other performers as well, with my own highlights being SanjuroElliott Morris, Oxygen Thief and of course the brilliant The Leano.

The Flowerpot itself really knows how to look after artists and audience and I can’t say enough about the Lexapalooza crew – they are proper amazing people who give their time and energy every year to put on these shows to raise money for a great cause.

Thanks again, and if you didn’t make it – come along to one of my next gigs and come and say hi. Also donate some money to Breast Cancer Campaign via Lexapalooza

SHOE UPDATE: arrived in blue boots, bare-feet on stage, finished in my AtDs to dance the night away


Robotics and Anansie Spider

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Can’t sleep because I am so excited for Saturday, (solo gig number 4); it is an amazing experience for me to be playing at a Lexapalooza event and the line-up is awesome. I still can’t quite believe I’m on the bill – I am half expecting to arrive at the venue with my gear and someone to go “what’s all that stuff for?  you’re not playing here”

This week has been very busy. I’ve been working my boobies off getting a wonderful Limited Edition CD together for all of you lovely people. It is called Robotics and has some home recordings and a couple of live tracks. There’s only going to be 150 in existence. A good friend has done some gorgeous artwork for the front and I’m really pleased with how it all sounds.

The best big brother in the world took me to see Skunk Anansie on Tuesday night in Brighton. It was a small warm-up gig to their big reunion tour and it was amazing to see them performing. Apart from the blokes looking a little older, you couldn’t really tell that they’d been away for so long and they played a couple of really good new songs as well as playing all of their main back-catalogue. One of the new songs we didn’t like (but the crowd seemed to so that will probably end up being a single or something). It was a really great gig. Some of you will already know how significant their music was to me during my teenage years (especially those of you who had to live through my awful attempts to sing their stuff!) so it was brilliant to get to see them live now.

The support band was a bit weird – A Human. The drummer and keyboard/backing vocalist were good musicians but the frontman was like something straight out of some early 90s band. He looked, sounded and danced as if he wanted to be in The Wonderstuff/Ned’s Atomic Dustbin/Sultans etc etc. He even did a really awful Brett Anderson impression for a whole song.

Hope to see you all on Saturday! Do come and say hello – (mine’s a vodka & diet pepsi).