From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Glastonbury

Sunday Swoon. July 21st 2013.

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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

Sunday Swoon. July 14th 2013.

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1. The original Sugababes line up, now Mutya, Keisha, Siobhan have released the full length Dev Hynes produced track Flatlines to the world. My pop tart side definitely coming out.

2. Leaving aside the fact that the video creeps me out slightly Julia Holter has released another clever and complex track In The Green Wild.

3. Phoenix were a Glastonbury highlight for me. I couldn’t have asked for any other band to officially close the Sunday night and if I tell you how many times I’ve watched their set back on iPlayer in the space of two weeks you’d worry. The video for Trying to be Cool gets the point of the track entirely.

4. Time to bring out the inner hipster. Ariel Pink featuring Jorge Elbrecht track Hang on to Life. Track of the week for me.

5. I’m not a fan of the Manic Street Preachers but adore their latest track Rewind the Film featuring Richard Hawley (that man probably being the reason why I’ve connected with this). The video is beautifully shot, bleak and melancholy.

A Happy Easter Glastonbury Mixtape

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I never sleep well during a full moon. So if you add that to Tinnitus playing its wicked part in a lack of a peaceful nights sleep regardless of the lunar cycle, this week has been restless. At some point around 4am Wednesday morning I started trying to compile an Easter mixtape but all that kept popping into my head was songs from Jesus Christ Superstar and Blue’s All Rise (blame a catholic upbringing and drinking a lot of cider in a town that loved pop, tacky boy bands and R&B). Despite the fact that the mere mention of these songs runs the risk of creating unwanted earworms to anyone foolish enough to be reading I didn’t want to actually put you through hearing them.

Last night as I was sat sinking pints listening to my male colleagues talk golf and scrolling through my phone the Glastonbury line up was partly announced (I know there’s more to come because Thom Yorke in some guise wasn’t listed so I am still hopeful for John Grant and Yeah Yeah Yeahs in my wildest dreams). So instead of Easter this mixtape is based on those first knee jerk excitements as I glanced through the stages. I can smell the petrichor, sloe gin in hip flasks and the mud already.

You can play this on either YouTube or Spotify. Have a very merry Easter. ♥

  1. Phoenix – Girlfriend
  2. Tom Tom Club – Wordy Rappinghood
  3. Solange – Losing You
  4. Villagers – Becoming A Jackal
  5. Foals – Milk & Black Spiders
  6. The Rolling Stones -Ruby Tuesday
  7. Devendra Banhart – Can’t Help But Smiling
  8. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Nobody’s Baby Now
  9. Nas – The Message
  10. The Horrors – Still Life
  11. Vampire Weekend – Diane Young
  12. Haim – Falling
  13. Local Natives – Breakers
  14. Rodriguez – Inner City Blues
  15. Peace – Bloodshake

Sunday Swoon. December 9th

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All about the tunes…

1. Darwin Deez has returned this week with a track of his forthcoming album The Editorial Me. His videos always somehow strike a beautiful balance between humour and forlorn reality, his video for DNA always inducing a heartfelt sigh from me at the very end. A joyous, bizarre and uplifting Glastonbury highlight in 2011. Can’t wait to see him again in February.

2. Scott Walker has come out of his somewhat reclusive life to release Bish Bosch this week. Irrespective of how accessible some of his albums may be (I had a gloriously bizarre night at the Barbican celebrating his albums Tilt and Drift) he is a rare musical genius. Listen alone with open ears… it made me feel strange, in a way that only Scott Walker can.

3. This somehow escaped me last week. Veronica Falls with Teenage. A sort of upbeat song about giving up, I adore it and they should be in every music lovers record collection.

4. As if Darwin Deez cheering my life wasn’t enough Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds also made a return this week to keep me firmly grounded with We Know Who U R. How this man manages to make dark and menacing sound like the most inviting place in the world I’ll never fathom.

5. No new track to play you but just old-fashioned excitement that Phoenix are set to release a new album in April 2013 as reported by Pitchfork this week. Strangely I had been playing Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix pretty much on repeat this week. Some cosmic sign was telling me they would be back.

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.

Glastonbury, You Were Epic

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I wanted to write this the moment I bundled through the flat door, it had priority over showering and changing the knickers I’d been wearing for days. However if I had followed through on this I fear it would have been the ramblings of a woman embarking on a self-inflicted, sleep deprived breakdown, ending with my tears plopping over my Macbook.

I’ve been thinking about what I would write about Glastonbury. How do you avoid sounding annoying to those who missed out or a bore to people who just don’t care? How do you sum up a festival that is going to be so uniquely different to each person who was there. Glastonbury, when embraced, becomes quite a personal experience.

I could tell you how seeing Metronomy on the Pyramid Stage on the Friday was emotional, hearing an album based on an area where I grew up on that historic stage was spine tingling for me. I could tell you I laughed until I cried at my friend’s behaviour (we decided it isn’t twitter safe so it’s definitely not blog safe to reveal details either). That Darwin Deez danced to Enya, The Spice Girls & Willow Smith (but you wouldn’t believe me right?). That despite my hesitations U2 were a festival highlight, that when I didn’t think I could dance anymore The Go! Team got me back up on my feet. That a pizza, lemonade and boy saved me from a bad hangover. That I had my wallet stolen but didn’t care as I was having such an amazing time. That in choosing to see Beyoncé I feel like I witnessed one of those historic musical performances. I could tell you that although the memories are drunkenly hazy I know I smiled like there was no tomorrow, no time constraints, no real life.

None of this really matters except to me, and those who were at my side… 170,000 of you.

We were there.

NB: I was recently criticised for tweeting during a gig, but that led to contributing to The Guardian’s Glastonbury coverage. Tweeting didn’t detract from my experience at all &  I just want to say thanks to the staff who gave me the opportunity to do so. Great fun!

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Written by Anon PA

June 30, 2011 at 10:37 am

Festival Tips

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I’ve been reading various guides over the past week, increasingly as the festival to outshine all festivals draws closer. Some have offered great advice, some have offered nothing of substance whatsoever and I suspect villagers have loaned out their idiots to the media.

Below are tips that have been gleaned from personal experience or advice that’s been passed down the line from many experienced or organised festival goers. They’re all practical, if a little gross at times, and you wouldn’t have read them in the papers. Please also check out my previous blog on Festival Fashion. 

  • For when you need the toilet in the middle of the night invest in a head torch. You’ll appreciate having both hands free, trust me
  • When you’re drunk, merry and don’t want the night to end but find yourself heading back to the tent anyway now is the time to run down and fill your water bottles so you don’t waste hours in the rush during the mornings
  • Men have the luxury of peeing in a bottle, us ladies get the raw deal? Wrong! An ordinary funnel used for cookery over an empty bottle makes a homemade ShePee for those of you not wanting to expose your bum to all and sundry. Great use for the middle of the night in your tent and it can be disposed of simply after
  • Don’t accept medication off strangers, even a friendly nurse could be giving you LSD instead of antihistamines
  • For those of you with weak stomachs suck on extra strong mints as you head in to the toilets, all you’ll smell is minty freshness even if you feel like you’re sucking on chalky grit
  • Don’t underestimate the £1 shops for camping supplies. Great for batteries, ground mats, billy cans, torches.
  • Attempting to remain hygienic, lots of companies will give you samples if you’re friendly enough and it saves a lot of space on packing. Kiehls have been especially generous this year
  • Get a First Aid kit together, while it’s true you can buy pretty much all supplies at Festivals, basic paracetamol and plasters will cost four times the price you’ll buy in a local chemist. While hopefully everyone remains injury free hangovers and blisters are inevitable
  • For those of you wanting to get some sleep (we all try to fight it but it will need to happen at some point) invest in some decent earplugs
  • Line your backpack in the ultra thick bin liners you can pick up in supermarkets (the garden refuse ones are best) to help keep things waterproof. When you leave your tent chuck your sleeping bag in one of them and tie it up tightly. This was a lifesaver at Bestival one year as it was the only thing left dry in my tent after it flooded
  • Take moist toilet tissue with you, closer thing to a shower I get at festivals
  • A lot of emphasis is placed on taking spare batteries and solar chargers for your phone but don’t forget your cameras! You’ll want to look back at the memories you make
That’s all I can think of for now but I’ll update this post if and when I think of more and for all of you pondering the homemade ShePee here you go….

Written by Anon PA

June 22, 2011 at 10:07 am

Posted in Glastonbury

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Glastonbury More To Watch

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In an effort not to eternally procrastinate I posted Glastonbury One’s To Watch earlier. Had I given it too much thought I would have been still deciding in twenty years time, reminiscing about Glastonbury 2011. Except artists seemed to send me subliminal messages throughout the day via iPod shuffle saying “Err… you forgot about ME!”

I felt like I had to honour them and post a further 5 but I promise I will zip it after I hit publish!

6. Adorable Kitty, Daisy & Lewis. I am so envious when youngsters have such an outstanding talent, this band make manufactured youth artists look like the frauds they are. Hard to think ones so young can have such an authentic vintage sound. In awe.

7. Forgive me for not remembering the name of the 6 Music DJ who said “This is the record I’ve been waiting for Patrick Wolf to make”. I’ve been sold on him since day 1 and have seen him twice. Once with a full orchestra behind him which moved me tears, more recently at The Bloomsbury Ballroom where he showcased songs from Lupercalia in ripped trousers, beating any blues he’s suffered from in the past.

8. Adorable hangover music, Caitlin Rose. I’ve been slow on the uptake here, I hold my hands up that I only recently discovered her but it was perfectly timed. Newest girl crush playing The Park this year.

9. His past two albums have proved he is still as talented as he was when he was sat next to Art. This song is one of my guilty pleasures, oh how my fingers are crossed! Paul Simon has such a huge back catalogue to choose from that spans decades.

10. I think Wild Beasts will potentially provide such magic as they play past midnight, so if you fancy an emotional moment while at Glastonbury I’d suggest seeing them, then head up to the stone circle after to contemplate life.

Written by Anon PA

June 21, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Posted in Glastonbury, Music

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Glastonbury One’s To Watch

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IT’S THIS WEEK! We can say that now. All us smug, lucky folk that got tickets. Wet wipes, wellies and moonshine at the ready. I’ve already blogged about Festival Fashion and Musical Snobbery, I’m stretching out the topic of my favourite festival in excitement and anticipation.

The Guardian published a great article, musicians who are playing have recommended who they think are the ones to watch. so I thought seeing as I will be contributing to The Guardians Glastonbury section via Twitter during the course of the festival I’d also throw in my pennies worth.

Of course Clashfinder is genius, and I’m quite envious of people who go with a rigid plan and stick to it. However that’s not the case with me, I appear with the best intentions but find it’s easier not to plan and see where you find yourself. If I was one of those people then these are the 5 acts I would see and nothing would stand in my way.

For those of you going have an amazing time, for music lovers that aren’t please keep an eye out for me in The Guardian. First one that spots me gets a CD compilation!

1. Metronomy have been heralded across the industry and in the press as THE band of the moment, strange to think they’re on album number 3 and have suddenly been catapulted into the limelight. I’ve caught them twice this year and come hell or high water I will be at The Pyramid Stage on Friday, perfect start to the Friday.

2. Lykke Li is such a little fire cracker, adored her first album but even more in love with the second. Start to finish it’s perfect and I wonder if she realises how much her lyrics sum up a million emotions women feel, listen to Sadness Is A Blessing to sum up that still waters run deep.

3. Emmy The Great makes a perfectly timed return, I’ve been listening to the album at unhealthy times in the mornings (I have cultivated an inconvenient 5am body clock recently). I can’t picture a better song to be sat on a bin liner, cider in hand, sunglasses on, sighing in contentment. I love the lyric “If you’re an Island, I will find some meaning in the waves for you”.

4. Nothing, and I literally mean nothing, makes me happier than dancing in a field spilling drink onto my own feet. Friendly Fires are the type of band you just know will bring the sun out, like a movie moment. I think some people have found their second album less accessible than the first so in that respect I hope they play a few old favourites, like Skeleton Boy and Paris. Either way their energy will captivate, of that I am certain.

5. I recently told someone on Twitter I’d give them the price of their Anna Calvi ticket if they weren’t taken with seeing her live, I’m that confident after seeing her in Camden a few weeks back. I think she’s a rare talent, if I was in my golden years I’m sure I’d be whittling on about how they don’t make them like Dusty anymore. She’s in that vein of female artists, something aged and raw about her.

Written by Anon PA

June 21, 2011 at 9:46 am