From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Arcade Fire

Sunday Swoon. 17th November 2013.

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1. Tuesday evening we dolled up at the Roundhouse for Arcade Fire, The Reflektors. Red lipstick and a crown of black feathers round my head we were amongst people in outright fancy dress, face paints, mariachi band and sadly the downright dull (those rigid in their seats around us, not so much as twitching into a grin). The view from the seats was amazing, we danced regardless of the dullards & the choreographed crowd dancing to We Exist was utterly moving to behold. Beautiful evening and a good excuse to post their video from the YouTube awards recently.

Clet Abraham in London

Clet Abraham in London

2. Once Clet Abraham catches the corner of your eye it seems impossible not to notice his signs. Like those who haven’t walked along the road with their eyes fixed on their phones suddenly have a clarity of mind to keep their eyes peeled and look up, you will be rewarded. And every single one will make you smile secretly. He has truly caught my attention and heart, glad he has graced our London streets.

3. Indie guitar bands are very much nudging their way back to the forefront of the music scene (thanks to the likes of TOY, Tame Impala and Temples). All the T’s. The latter played Camden’s Electric Ballroom on Friday and were great to see live. Frontman James Edward Bagshaw looking like a man quietly confident and resplendent in glittering sequins.

Anthony Burrill.

Anthony Burrill.

4. The KK Outlet on Hoxton Square currently have an exhibition of Anthony Burrill’s work on, I Like It. What Is It? Most known for the above piece, created after he heard an elderly lady speaking to someone in a supermarket. Sound advice to live by.

5. TV is no longer an event, just one inane programme after the other with the occasional bit of brilliance dropped in (Luther, The Escape Artist, Misfits). In a week Doctor Who will celebrate its 50th anniversary and it will be a huge event, few programmes could create such excitement. And if you did miss it for some bizarre reason (and what a well-kept secret) watch the mini episode released this week. The Night of the Doctor. I dare you not to gasp, grin and go giddy.

Sunday Swoon. 10th November 2013.

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I’ve not blogged for a while. I was thinking today that a lot of the things I put up on my weekly round ups really inspire me (apart for food, that’s just a primal urge I guess). I’m genuinely grateful that music can move me to tears, books can transport me to another place and London never ever fails to impress and engage me. Anyway, it’s been a brilliant week.

1. I’ve had to try to limit the amount I watch the Spike Jonze directed live music video for Arcade Fire featuring Greta Gerwig. The song Afterlife is hugely emotive but I love how dance really adds to the sentiment behind this track. Frances Ha is definitely my favourite film this year and Great is perfection in this creative genius.

2. I’ve just finished Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. I barely put it down. Cleverly told story of an eccentric and brilliant mother told via traditional fiction interspersed with emails linking the characters together from an author responsible for the likes of Arrested Development and SNL.

3. I’m guilty of emerging from most gigs with the glow of alcohol rosy on my cheeks sighing “that was my gig of the year” on most occasions but Villagers at Heaven under the arches on Thursday really was utterly magical. I think it’s a modern indication of a bands brilliance live by the lack of mobile phones you see glowing in the crowd. I barely saw one, the audience rapt and attention focused on being in the moment.

Seventies advert on Platform 2

Seventies advert on Platform 2

4. Aldwych disused station tour only opens a handful of times a year and we were lucky enough to travel underground on a guided tour with London Transport Museum. Did you know not only did the station shelter thousands of Londoners during the war but also the Elgin Marbles and armed guards kept watch over the National Galleries collection? The station is a listed building, the history fascinating and has been used for films, shelter and drills during the Olympics last year if something was to go wrong with hundreds of people on the tubes. If you ever get the chance to do this don’t hesitate in booking up. More photos on my instagram.

Remnants of when Aldwych station was called The Strand


Don’t Stand Your Ground

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Over the past couple of years I’ve experienced, and been told many stories, of what I can best describe as bullying at gigs. Without exception it always involves people who are my age (thirty-five) and older, and a majority of the time it is men that behave this way. It’s also worth noting that I only ever see and hear about women being on the receiving end of this. During the day I am sure they are all utterly polite and hold a door open for a colleague, step aside when someone says excuse me. At gigs this all goes out the window.  Let me give you a few examples.

Recently at a Matt Berry gig a woman who I’d guess is in her late thirties was so incensed at a girl of about seventeen wanting to squeeze past just to take one photo that she screamed “obese bitch” at her and refused to move. At a polite girl young enough to be her daughter who made it clear it was just to take one photo and she’d be gone. Friends suffered men constantly, and on purpose, crushing into them at an Arcade Fire gig whilst being told to stop pushing them.

At Glastonbury I was told I wasn’t allowed to stand here by a man who was actually in front of me which I am still puzzling over. I had an experience so awful at a Battles gig with my friend Priyam that I still frown about it two years on. Men in their forties were stood behind us on the balcony. When I went to the bar they barely let me past, when I returned they formed a solid wall and refused to let me through despite the fact that I asked politely to get back to my friend, even strangers asked them to let me past and they refused. At the end of the night one of them pushed me in the back of the head with force. For no reason.

Last night at Public Service Broadcasting my bladder gave out after too many pints so I decided to run to the toilet. A relatively short dash in the intimate upstairs of the Lexington. Grown men crossed their arms and adopted a military stance. I had to squeeze through gaps a mouse would have problems getting through.

Let’s be clear. When you buy a gig ticket you are not paying to rent an exclusive square metre. I understand that views can be frustrating but I’m talking about scenario’s when someone is trying to dash to the bar quickly, not suddenly arriving on stilts in front of you.

Music is actually like a religion to me (without the wars). Going to see a band should be a shared experience, one of those oh so rare moments that you can look around at everyone and think “we’re all here for the same reason”. When the entire crowd sank to their knees during Foals singing Spanish Sahara at Glastonbury in anticipation of the song building up I felt like I utterly belonged. These were my people. Sadly there seems to be a growing minority of adults who seem to think they’ve paid for a private experience and are disgusted other humans are in the same room/under the same sky wanting to have fun. The only person’s night that’s being ruined is those guilty of behaving this way. They always look so miserable.

When an unstoppable force (my need for a pint or a wee) meets an immovable object (an adult refusing to budge even an inch to let me pass) chances are I will be tempted to lightly touch your back on my way back through to wipe a boogie on you. Karma is unkind. What can I say.

Written by Anon PA

July 18, 2013 at 10:57 am

The Letter ‘A’ Mixtape.

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This year I have decided to take the mixtape element of my blog down Sesame Street and work through the entire alphabet so naturally this weeks mixtape is brought to you by the letter….

If you’re a Spotify user click here to play the mixtape and if you’re a YouTube purist click here to play the videos.

1. Aaliyah Feat. Timbaland – We Need A Resolution (Aaliyah was such an amazing talent, production was always perfection on her music, the biggest names wanted to work with her. Such a tragedy that her life was cut short as I have no doubt she had the talent to maintain a long and successful career).

2. Arrested Development – People Everyday (I remember learning all the words to this when I was 15 with my best friend, we’d take the male/female parts and possibly perform the most painfully white rendition of this track ever to exist. There’s a VHS of us performing it kicking round my parents somewhere. Huey Morgan (who else) played this on a 6 Music show recently and I can still KILL the entire song. Memory has served me well).

3. Au Palais – Tender Mercy (This track instantly creates a festival collage in my mind. I think it’s the perfect soundtrack to cider, mud on your knees, hearing rain on your tent as you lie with a loved one stinking to high heaven and deciding if you can get away with peeing in a bottle).

4. The Alps – Not So Laughable Now (One of those bands I was sure would gain a huge fan base but the only person I recruited as a fellow fan was my brother. Catchy indie, chiselled cheek boned singer. I shared some of his rum in The Good Ship, Kilburn once. It was a nice moment).

5. Architecture In Helsinki – Do The Whirlwind (A band that make me happy, Tilly and the Wall. Love the childish joy in this track, like a playground rhyme set to music. Video is also kitsch with its cartoon graphics).

6. Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent (Consistently brilliant, a band to be truly proud of as a Brit. They exude all the confidence of their talent without veering into the swagger and ego some bands have been guilty of. Alex Turner is like Larkin armed with a guitar, bleak and ruthless honesty in his lyrics, this track is especially poetic to me).

7. Anna Calvi – Desire (Beautifully gothic, dark talent who manages to remain quite a mystery. Entire album is a belter from start to finish, hope I get to see her again live in 2012 as she creates a brooding atmosphere on stage that’s hypnotising).

8. The Animals – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (A classic, you don’t have to be a huge fan of 60’s music to adore this track, often the greatest lyrics are timeless and something we can all relate too.  Nina Simone’s original is amazing yes, but I think The Animals make this their own. Perhaps  the difference coming from a male singing it?)

9. Al Green – Lets Stay Together (I’m not particularly romantic by nature but I hand on my pumping heart I think this is my favourite ever love song penned . So perfect and simple.)

10. Arcade Fire – In The Backseat (Almost impossible for me to pick one Arcade Fire track as I am a huge fan, but this song is so overwhelmingly sad. Fragility in Regine’s vocals backed by the type of melancholic strings that cause a lump in the back of your throat, too scared to swallow in case it gives way to tears. Stunning. Emotive.)

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J’adore Regine

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Super crafter MagicMaggenPie commented this week about how amazing it is that music can give you an adrenaline rush of fake energy.

About an hour ago I was literally weeping in exhaustion after having a few nights out on the trot, inevitable this time of year as we feel the pressure to share mulled wine with neglected friends, obliged to attend dinners with colleagues. I was speculating how suddenly I have to sit down to pull my tights on, that I’m not immune to hangovers, that hair dye for the most part does cover grey hairs except for those really visible two I have lurking under my fringe. That I am getting older.

Then this video popped up from Arcade Fire and, even though I know this feeling is a fraudster, a final burst of energy may well just see me out of the door tonight, it’s fixed my woeful mood entirely. J’adore Regine.

You can find the interactive version of this video here

Written by Anon PA

December 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Posted in Music

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August 20th Mixtape

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Friday night after drinks with a friend I found myself wandering around London with my camera. I was cold, a bit drunk, feeling run down, a bit bloody scared of the future as I’ve recently been made redundant, also slightly relieved as I was miserable at my last placement. Above all these emotions I felt a massive need to fall in love with London again.

All week I’d reminded myself how much I love it here, a drink alone in The Endurance, a walk around streets where the old buildings are allowed to co-exist with the new, inspiring drinks with my dearest friend, geeking out in Gosh! and surprise lunches from Lolita.

Unemployment scares the shit out of me frankly, I’ve never been out of work. This week the following panics have gone through my mind. What if I have to move to Milton Keynes? What if I start going loopy and try to grow my armpit hair? What if I have to work in Chicken Cottage? I don’t know why any of these thoughts have haunted me, but they have.

Where I’m lucky is that I’m really self-motivated and haven’t let this crush me (entirely) so I’ve been overly proactive on the job hunt. Where I’m even luckier is I have a lot of people who really believe in me, unconditionally and without question. They have kept me buoyed.

Music has played a massive part in keeping me positive as well. The songs that came on the jukebox at just the right time when I was sat alone and feeling down. Songs that have made me think anything is possible. Songs that keep me connected to all the things I adore in my life. You can listen to them by clicking anywhere on this post that says mixtape.

Last weeks mixtape was dedicated to strangers that inspired me. This weeks mixtape is for those that have been pretty awesome to me this week, putting up with the phone calls, the moodiness around the flat, the pints purchased and especially Lolita who has talked me out of my moments of Milton Keynes madness.

  1. Moloko – Familiar Feelings
  2. Metronomy – The Look
  3. Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
  4. CSS – Music Is My Hot Sex
  5. John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett – Really Free
  6. Billy Bragg – A New England
  7. The Kinks – This Time Tomorrow
  8. Band Of Horses – Factory
  9. My Morning Jacket – The Day Is Coming
  10. Bon Iver – Holocene
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Written by Anon PA

August 21, 2011 at 9:17 am

Crowd Etiquette

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Observing human behavior is a little obsession of mine. Living in London you especially get a glimpse into the true nature of man from your commute to work alone. The past couple of weeks I’ve gladly been to more gigs than I have tube journeys and I’ve been picking up on crowd behavior from spending so much time in fields with strangers. I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a definite crowd etiquette to be adhered too. Let me know what I’ve missed.

  1. People born tall were not genetically modified for the sole purpose of obstructing your view, no matter how convinced you are they were created for this very moment by Frankenstein to ruin your night at [insert venue name & band here]. Give the lanky people a break and don’t be mean to them. If it’s bothering you that much then you’re much better off moving than getting the pitch forks at the ready.
  2. If you’re going to wee in a bottle make sure you put the lid on after you’re done.
  3. Similarity if you’re going to wee in a cup and then throw it (anyone else witness the urine shower fest at Oasis, Milton Keynes in 2005) beware of karma. If you’re the unfortunate that ends up with wee over them, have faith that aforementioned karma will wreak revenge and get as drunk as possible so you don’t care.
  4. Do not be a snob about the appearance of those around you. At Arcade Fire, Hyde Park, we had the most amazing time with a bunch of ‘chavs’ (for want of a better term) from Croydon. A similar crowd at Pulp, again Hyde Park, were equally beautiful to spend time with and were so concerned they may be obstructing our view they kept apologising (seemingly forgetting about the thousands surrounding us). Your behavior is infectious so spread your excitement and happiness.
  5. If you are concerned about being trod on/personal space/being crowded/hurt/not breathing properly/having too many people in close proximity/people sneezing near you perhaps going to a gig was not the wisest choice. We had a lady behind us recently who constantly complained of all the above on rotation throughout the whole set.
  6. Be the bigger person and don’t react to anyone trying to start to a fight. I know it can take a lot to walk away from someone who gets all up in your grill but don’t let someone’s negative attitude ruin the memories you are making. Inevitably when you mix drink, confined spaces and crowds tension can bubble over but you can choose not to be a part of that.
  7. People move. A lot. If you don’t like shifting an inch to let someone past to get to the bar, or you don’t agree with people having a dance then stand at the sidelines or sit at home and listen to the CD. Recently had someone appalled that we were dancing (along with 500 other people)
  8. Don’t throw drink at people when they’re on someone’s shoulders. Firstly it’s a waste of liquid. Secondly, both the top and bottom of the human totem will only last a song or two maximum so eventually your view will be restored.
  9. Save your chit chat for the bar. I’m not saying don’t mutter a word for the duration but someone just reminded me that talking grates on them. I remembered a gig at Brixton Academy where two girls chatted the entire time from ex boyfriends facebook updates to outfits. It was painful and ruined the gig for me entirely.
  10. This is festival advice only, but if you are strongly opposed to an act do yourself and everyone else a favour by choosing to do something different with your time. I was surrounded by the disillusioned and downright grumpy during Beyoncé at Glastonbury that were not budging in their hate. The excitement around them was not catching light. If you have options use them to your advantage. That has to be better than sulking.
  11. If you see people struggling to take a group photo, especially lovely couples trying to capture their latest Facebook profile picture do what karma would smile at you for and offer to take their photo. People want their memories to last & it will come back around when you need it doing.
  12. Perhaps what I found most interesting recently was an apparent divide during Pulp. I witnessed this fall into two categories. Once when a group of women in their thirties were berating some younger girls because they couldn’t possibly be “original” Pulp fans, one of the girls said “I’m not apologising for being 18”, and quite rightly so. Also, there was a geographical split as I heard a large group of people from Sheffield pointing out people in their immediate area and sneeringly accusing folk of being from London based on how much they were dancing/shouting/singing. Music is universal and no one, and I really do mean NO ONE, has a bigger claim over music based on geography, sex, age, shoe size, commitment to the cause (Jarvis himself acknowledged that although Sheffield is his home town the songs would not exist had he not moved to London). Enjoy it for what it means to you, and not what you think it doesn’t mean to others.

Written by Anon PA

July 6, 2011 at 11:37 am