From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Flush The Fashion

2012 Was…

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I do not have a decisive enough personality to make definitive lists so just off the top of my head this year…

Has been soundtracked by albums from Crybaby, The Maccabees, Friends, Wild Nothing, Mystery Jets, Mary Epworth, Beach House, Zulu Winter, Kindness, How To Dress Well, Hot Chip, Sharon Van Etten, Sleigh Bells, Polica, Toy, The Futureheads, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Grimes, Grizzly Bear, David Byrne & St. Vincent, Jessie Ware, Bat for Lashes and Perfume Genius. I wasn’t blown away by Alt-J (someone had to not be).

I can count the amount of times I went to the cinema on one hand but adored all the films. The Hobbit, Avengers Assemble, Moonrise Kingdom. Most of all I loved Beasts of the Southern Wild and Searching for Sugar Man.

It seems to be a year where I’ve mainly read David Sedaris. However, Anna Richardson’s Little Gods would be my book of the year. Stunning debut novel. After reading Virginia Woolf, A Room Of Ones Own I am determined to work my way through the rest of her books next year.

The exhibitions this year have been the strongest since I’ve lived in London. From Charles Dickens writing desk at the London Museum to Grayson Perry at The British Museum.

It’s been a year where I finally got to see Mystery Jets live, and at the Royal Festival Hall with someone who’s support has been unwavering this year. There’s been Gigs where I’ve been with my parents and created cherished memories, gigs of sitting in Hoxton basements and leaning over Heaven’s balcony. Drunk gigs, sober gigs, gigs that have moved me to tears or where I’ve come away with aching feet from dancing so much.

Above all these things it’s mainly been all about London 2012 for me. I hope I am forever changed by the Olympics and Paralympics. It made me kinder, motivated, deliriously happy and proud to be British. Actually, proud to just be a human being. This Public Enemy song will forever serve as a reminder.

It’s been a year of pesky Tinnitus, goodbyes and job changes. It’s been a year where friendships have sprang out of the unlikeliest of places and where I will never underestimate the kindness of strangers. At times you have overwhelmed me with your support and general brilliance (I know some of you read this blog, most of you will never even know you made a difference).

Of course there’s plenty of things I didn’t get round to in 2012. Like swimming round all of London Lido’s, having tea with Ian Hislop, learning how to ride a bike or shaking Robert Jay QC by the hand.

It’s been a year where I’ve decided bravery is one of the most important qualities you can possess. A year of remembering I can breathe underwater.

2012. In equal measures I’m glad to see it gone and reluctant to let it go.

Here’s to 2013. Happy New Year.

NB: Huge thanks to Pete at Flush The Fashion for putting up with my contributions for another year. To Pub Diaries for letting me waffle on in a Q&A. The ever energetic and tireless Dan Thompson for printing my pop up shop piece. To Darren Hayman for letting me talk about my love of swimming and to The Guardian for printing my ‘Six Songs Of Me‘. To Tim for having me on Resonance Radio. And to everyone who reads this. Cheers.

final collage

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Sunday Swoon. October 7th

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Lots of amazing music, coffee and one night of non stop laughter…

1. Still laughing a week later, every now and again something Rob Delaney said during his sold out shows at Soho Theatre makes me break out into grins and giggles. When he returns next year do go see him (I will be again). I have no words that will give him justice. He is hysterical, charming and I wish more comedians approached jokes about women they way he does. Bravo. A million times bravo.

2. I got to review the insanely amazing SBTRKT (pronounced Subtract for those that have been living in the stars or working on an underwater scientific base) for the equally brilliant Flush The Fashion this week. You can read my review here.

3. What I love about Natasha Khan, Bat for Lashes, is how artistic and stylised her music videos are, you can instantly feel that a lot of love and attention has gone into the production. Whether there’s a tinge of Donnie Darko as she cycles through deserted streets with animals in hoodies or the sadness of a drag queen prowling the stage. In All Your Gold she is resplendent in moody monochrome, moon snapping at her fingertips as the tides turn.

4. As 2012 draws to its close (and where have these days gone, too fast again my friends) the race for album of the year is on and Kindness has never left my top 5 since it’s release. This week, thanks to 6 Music Live I was reminded just how brilliant Adam Bainbridge and his band are. They were my stand out act at Field Day. You can watch this weeks session here. I guarantee it will bring you a world of joy.

5. I had a lovely Saturday morning in Soho, deeply involved in an exciting writing project. The scene was set in Foxcroft & Ginger. As my addiction to coffee grows (this is what happens when you cut down on alcohol) I shun chains and seek gems like this. A cheaper and higher quality cup of coffee served by warm and lively personalities. Food served ranges from cocoa rich brownies, dainty apricot pastries to chunky slabs of aubergine and doorstep oozing, dripping toasties. I also like that they sound like Roald Dahl characters. Find them on Berwick Street.

What Was & What Will Be. And Artichokes.

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Happy New Year my music loving, book nerd, pick and mix addict alcoholics.

I spent a good chunk of yesterday reminiscing about 2011. It was the year I became addicted to Romanesco, Rum & Ginger, and Hackney (inconvenient seeing as I reside in north-west London). The year I met Jarvis Cocker *swoon*. The year I got a tattoo. The year I spoke to Steve Lamacq on BBC6 Music. The year I remained in love. The year I made a wish in a 6th century wishing well, the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. The year I found community through Riot Clean Up, the most precious days of last year came from destruction, who could have predicted that – amazing!

It was the year I tweeted for The Guardian at Glastonbury and started writing for Flush The Fashion (thanks Pete!). It was the year I started this blog and had Thom Vincent, Dan Thompson, Bob Winckworth, my Dad and Priyam Chovhan guest blog for me (thanks a ton lovely folk). I’ve had a ton of support from friends, family and strangers in my writing which has truly meant the bloody universe to me.

The year I averaged 2.91 books a month and 2.58 gigs a month (festivals not included as some bands at Glastonbury are a bit of a blur) mainly with Lolita who has energetically suffered my stubborn determination to trek around various venues and fields. This was my soundtrack of 2011.

It was also the year I didn’t truly recognise the value of a friend until she was over the other side of the planet (I should have never let her get on that plane) and that is my one regret. It was the year I was made redundant from a job I loathed, only to find another and be told on my first day they were going bust at Christmas (it’s ok, I found another job after a frantic couple of months). The year my parents bailed me out on a number of occasions reminding me how important family are, I am eternally grateful for their love and support, poor sods.

Then I started thinking about 2012. I’ve never been one for resolutions but this year I decided I’d like some aims to plod towards. My list started with “Eat more artichokes”, and then it remained at that one point for the entire day. I also plan to work my way through the awesome books Cocktails with Bompas & Parr and the stunning Vintage Tea Party. Have a dip dye at Bleach, another tattoo, go back to meditation classes, learn how to ride a bike, find some new friends to trot around London with. Keep a journal in a slightly alternative way thanks to Keel’s Simple Diary, join a book club (ticked off the list thanks to The Good Ship, Kilburn). Above all I hope it’s a content year with few dramas and plenty of creativity.

I’ll leave you all with The Maccabees, the first album of 2012 I’ll be buying and the first gig of the year I’ll be heading to. Happy New Year, hope it’s a proper little belter for you all.

On Writing & Taking My Bra Off

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A week ago today I rushed from work down to The Royal Festival Hall to review Brian Wilson for Flush The Fashion. I was unprepared and disorganised (which is very ridiculous for a PA). At 33 it’s actually refreshing to feel inexperienced at something when so much in my life seems to be a matter of routine. Writing for a website is new territory for me, it’s exciting and terrifying. I get so excited about music that I skipped off without a care in the world.

Then my thought process kicked in…..

  1. I realised I didn’t have a pen which seemed like the ultimate rookie mistake. I tend to remember everything I need to (apart from what the boy Lolita swears he’s told me before) and I’ve worked with plenty of accountants that don’t always need a calculator. Ergo I don’t necessarily need a pen to write with. Of course I panicked when I got off at Waterloo and ended up paying £1.99 for one bic biro.
  2. When I took my seat I wished I’d paid more attention during GCSE music as I’m certain we covered Gershwin on the syllabus. But in 1991 I was way to busy listening to Prince & The New Power Generation, Diamonds and Pearls LP, on repeat to of concentrated fully. That’s when I had the revelation that approaching Gershwin like I approached my exams was exactly what I needed to do as that worked out just fine (i.e. zero revision, just turn up and see what happens)
  3. Then I realised just how uncomfortable I was, and the discomfort was all down to having had my bra on for thirteen hours. Not that I needed the encouragement, Twitter persuaded me to take it off. As the lights went down and Brian Wilson shuffled on to the stage I slipped it off. First one strap craftily slipped over one shoulder and over my arm and then zooommmmm, it was whipped off at lightning speed from the other strap. It makes you think whether that first pair of pants thrown at Tom Jones was really just someone in ill-fitting underwear?
  4. Everyone here is really very old but you can see the wonder on their faces as Brian Wilson and his band perform. This is exactly what The Cocoon wrap party was like, but with a band. I want to grow old like this.

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Written by Anon PA

September 23, 2011 at 11:08 am