From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Gigs

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

5.

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Sunday Swoon. July 21st 2013.

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photo-104

1. The much talked about Shake Shack may possibly topple my favourite burger joints in London (Patty & Bun and Dirty Burger). Don’t be put off by the queues, they are brilliantly quick at whizzing through orders. I was talked in to trying the Shake Stack (a cheeseburger with a lightly fried Portobello mushroom that is stuffed with their cheese sauce) along with crispy crinkle cut fries and one of their Concretes (frozen custard ice cream with “mixins”). If you leave your London cynic at home you’ll enjoy the enthusiastic and friendly (very American) service.

2. On Sunday evening I spent an evening utterly frightened and puzzled at a secret location in London courtesy of Punchdrunk theatre company. The Drowned Man was my first experience of promenade theatre, and though I suspect I missed huge chunks of the storyline due to lack of guidance the attention to detail and vastness of sets was impressive. I love that we all came away with a completely different experience. It is pricey but if you feel flush and want to immerse yourself in something completely different then do go. Tickets are limited but still available.

3. Public Service Broadcasting were a Glastonbury highlight for me. I thankfully remember their gig at the Lexington this week far more clearly and it will go down as a highlight for 2013. I’ve had a slight obsession with them since hearing London Can Take It on 6 Music a year ago. And for all the nerd girls out there you’ll find a heart-throb in bow tie wearing banjo playing J. Willgoose, Esq. A true fiek (fit geek). A band you have to experience live.

4. Adore this new track from Friends. Dev Hynes seems to be cropping up on so many amazing tracks right now. He’s made Samantha Urbani sound as if Kate Bush was born in the Bronx on The Way.

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

Field Day Mixtape 2013

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The bands I’ll be aiming to see at Field Day this Saturday in a mixtape (I distinctly remember writing last years sitting in a park in the sunshine). Although, from my present mood I am considering rounding off the day watching John Cooper Clarke so I should have added poetry and spoken word into my list. With a cider in my hand, the smell of petrichor in the air and dirt on my knees. I do get goosebumps over that first festival of the year feeling.

You can play my mixtape on YouTube.

Field Day

Sunday Swoon. March 17th. 2013

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1. Just to start this Sunday by making you all feel old, it’s been thirteen years since Sugababes released their debut album with the original line up we now see reunited as Mutya Keisha Siobhan (wondering how much of an argument it was over the order of their names appearing given reputations). With a lot a help from Dev Hynes this reworking of Kendrick Lamar’s Lay Down In Swimming Pools appeared this week.

2. I’m not entirely sure how David Bowie managed to keep this sudden album release hushed up for so long but credit to all involved for doing so in an age where rumours and album leaks are all too common place. As I type this news that The Next Day is number one in the charts have just popped up on my Twitter feed. It’s a great album, it will never be Space Oddity or the Labyrinth Soundtrack (what can I say, that was my era. And I never want to find out how much padding was down there when he played Jareth).

3. Helen and I had goosebumps throughout Jessie Ware’s entire set on Thursday night at Shepherds Bush Empire, and tears in our eyes at some points. One of my favourite albums of 2012 almost doesn’t do her justice live as her voice is so purely powerful and heartfelt. Taking In Water and Wildest Moments particularly emotive. When she was joined on stage by Goldsmith Vocal Ensemble for No To Love (mixed in with snippets of Madonna’s I Want You) I can’t recall a better live moment in recent history. Utterly brilliant, insanely talented and to all appearances a bloody lovely and unassuming personality.

4. I have a huge soft spot for the Jungle Book, it’s the first film I ever saw at the cinema with my Dad so the songs hold a special place in my heart. AlunaGeorge covered I Wanna Be Like You for Radio 1 this week along with new single Attracting Flies.

5. Not even David Bowie can eclipse John Grant this week. Genius second album with the same snide humor as Queen of Denmark but this time set to more beats. I would recommend buying Pale Green Ghosts over any album this week and it’s worth taking time to read this frank interview in The Guardian.

Sunday Swoon. February 17th 2013.

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1. The extremely generous 6 Music put on another set of free gigs at Maida Vale Studios and I was lucky enough to be front row with Jo for Richard Hawley on Valentines day (unlucky with camera’s picking up geeky side profile whoops and clapping shots). I loved the acerbic wit and cynicism from Hawley as much as I enjoyed watching him perform. All his albums hold a special place in my heart and it was perfect to finally see him live in such an intimate setting. Photo’s from the session on my Flickr.

2. Everyone I know adored Silver Linings Playbook, so like the book snob I am I decided to read the original book by Matthew Quick first. It’s a beautiful read, full of charming flaws and beautiful intimate moments. I would highly recommend it. I watched the film shortly after finishing it. The credits should read “really loosely based on the book”. Even small but significant moments in the book were eradicated or changed for no reason I could grasp (like a song choice which has important narrative attached to it for example). I would advise anyone to read the original and ditch the film.

3. After stumbling into the John Peel tent during Glastonbury 2011 and being hypnotised by Darwin Deez live I have been itching to see him again. He was in my top 5 at Glastonbury that year, a unique performer. Last week at Heaven (to a remarkably young audience, or I’m getting terribly old) he immediately transported me back to a very happy place. Who doesn’t love insane but tightly choreographed dance routines littered through their gig!

4. Vic Reeves has an art exhibition at The Strand Gallery called Hot Valve Leak: Visual Ramblings of Vic Reeves. And it is a ramble. At times bonkers and at other times classic seaside scenes. It shows there is more depth to him than what we grew up with on TV. The exhibition is free and worth a visit for inspiration and giggles.

5. On the day Foals third album Holy Fire was released I was lucky enough to be wedged in front of the tiny stage at Rough Trade East with friends to watch them perform live. The new songs sound gigantic live, like no room can contain them. It was also beautiful to hear Spanish Sahara at the end of the set. Adore this band deeply, and My Number has to rival any song as an “it’s over” anthem.

Sunday Swoon. November 11th

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I am settling into a new, very busy, job and haven’t found much time to blog of late. However, I woke up extra early to draft this. Mainly because of the two gigs I’ve been to this week, possibly the best I’ve been to all year.

1. The Foals return and I’ve had their track Inhaler on repeat an unhealthy amount of times this week. More dirt and bass than the wistful crisp beauty of tracks on Total Life Forever. February feels like a torturous amount of time to wait for the album. Yannis is genius. Can’t wait to see them at The Royal Albert Hall in 2013.

2. We stood utterly speechless, crammed shoulder to shoulder at XOYO on Monday night to watch Tom Krell (a.k.a How To Dress Well). My immediate reaction was “I bet Prince creams his pants listening to this album” and I stand by that. Live it is almost impossible to grasp how he hits those notes, my brain kept on nudging me to say “he’s actually doing that, that’s him”, this unassuming polite character. The atmosphere he creates is stunning. The crowd reaction to his a capella encore was like nothing I’ve ever heard before.

3. I am back working within walking distance of the best burritos in London, this makes me extremely happy. By far the most successful hangover cure I’ve stumbled over and frankly would pay good money for one right now for that reason. If you ever get a chance check out Daddy Donkey’s on Leather Lane Market.

4. My second gig of this week was Adam Bainbridge (a.k.a. Kindness) at Heaven. I blogged about it the moment I got home so if you missed that post you can read it here. It sums up all that seeing him live means to me, and his album will definitely end up in my top 5 this year.

5. The Rolling Stones have (sort of) arrived on Carnaby Street in London. Christmas Decorations made out of gold records glinting in the light to celebrate 50 years of the band. There’s also a little pop up shop opened perfect for Christmas stocking fillers. Items thankfully reasonably priced. One More Shot was released this week.