From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Southbank

Sunday Swoon. September 8th 2013.

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1. I always feel it’s terribly cliché to describe a track as haunting but I guess a collaboration between Natasha Khan and Jon Hopkins was always destined to be just that. Garden’s Heart is simply stunning.

2. I recently had the honour of hearing Margaret Atwood speak at Queen Elizabeth Hall. It was an inspirational reminder that I was lucky to be part of the generation that grew up with the likes of her and Kate Bush as role models. She was sharp, witty moving and wise and it’s an evening I will cherish forever. If you have never read any Atwood for some bizarre reason start with her poetry and The Handmaid’s Tale.

3. One  of the many terrible woes of suffering from Tinnitus is resisting the temptation to blare out tracks like Sleigh Bells Bitter Rivals through my headphones. Huge excitement that a third album is due out in the autumn.

4. Finally Gold Panda pays homage to Peckham is his video for Community. Making me think I really do need to drag myself south to nose at what’s happening down there.

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Written by Anon PA

September 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Sunday Swoon. December 2nd

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Not a peep of a Christmas song despite the fact it’s December, I shan’t punish you all yet…

1. The partnership of Hot Chip and Peter Serafinowicz continue their artistic relationship as he directs a third music video for them. Don’t Deny Your Heart was released this week. Spot the controversial refused handshake at the start of the Football match and try and work out where it will go from there.

2. Anyone sauntering past a book shop recently would have spotted The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Joasson as it seems to be in every window I pass by. Lovable characters from one unique imagination. Highly recommended read, would make a good stocking filler for a book-worm.

3. Finally got to see Mystery Jets live this week. Five albums in and somehow they’ve always alluded me but it was worth the wait to see them headline the Royal Festival Hall. Beautiful set taking us to sunrise through to a full moon, birds fluttering across the desert scene of their Radlands. Appearances from a gospel choir and Laura Marling to name a few. I was still grinning two days later from this gig.

5. Apart from Mystery Jets the song I’ve had most on repeat this week is Local Natives with this beautiful track Breakers. I’ve added them to my Glastonbury wish list.

Sunday Swoon. March 4th

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A book about an anti-hero, a lot of art, some cocktails and brilliant music….

1. Huge thanks to Jo for bringing this book to my attention, this is Anna Richards first novel and it’s stunning. Can’t wait to see what her imagination conjures up next. If you love an anti-hero (heroine in this case) then I recommend Little Gods. The entire way through the book I felt such hope for someone who has no hope for herself at all. Beautiful.

“Happiness should come with a warning. A brightly coloured label at least.”.  

                                                                                                                                – Anna Richards

2. Don’t be fooled by Jeremy Deller’s (Joy In People, Hayward Gallery) fluorescent acid house posters, there’s serious social messages playing hard throughout his retrospective. The 1984 miners strike coverage and the wreckage of a bombed car from Baghdad  especially slapping me in the face after spending time in front of neon posters depicting lyrics from The Smiths drinking free tea. David Shrigley’s (Brain Activity, Hayward Gallery) crudely drawn and hysterically funny quips always have me howling with laughter at the sick, mundane and plain obvious. Yayoi Kusama took me through her groundbreaking confident pop art to more fragile pieces after she hospitalised herself in 1977 (it still remains her home). Ultimately it was her Infinity Room that I wanted to curl up in be left in solitude. Amazing afternoon along London’s Southbank. London is out doing itself with exhibitions this year and we’re only three months in.

3. Oh bright young thing Lianne Le Havas you have utterly stolen my heart. Her EP Forget was released this week and if you haven’t purchased it yet then I highly recommend you stick your hands in your pockets. Soulful and sweet.

4. Bury me in a mound of Hawksmoor’s smashed cucumbers and shaky pete’s ginger brew and I think I’ll be happy in eternity. We went to the soft launch of their new cocktail bar in the basement of their Spitalfields branch Saturday night . Hawksmoor must be quietly confident that everything they touch turns into THE place to go and this latest edition will add to their empire. Glimmering brass and flickering candles soften the basement and the staff positively set off indoor fireworks. Service comes with charm, relaxed smile and a natural friendliness. Soundtrack felt like they’d plugged my iPod in and at a volume where you could chat with ease. Food was expertly cooked, burgers served in brioche buns, poutine and triple cooked chips. Cocktail combinations were zingy, worryingly moreish and far from your average uninspiring mojitos.

5. I wish I could give you a detailed account of the Sleigh Bells gig at Camden’s Electric Ballroom but truth be told I was gin drunk. I do have a vivid recollection of dancing a lot and being transfixed with Alexis Krauss performance. I can’t imagine she’s that rehearsed or calculated for her striking silhouettes to be so intentional, she’s just a natural performer, knows how to dance with an energy rivalling Iggy Pop and has potential to be a great, great frontwoman.  

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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

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