armyofsnails: (time snail)
A came back from Austria last week, late on a weekday evening. I met him at Heathrow airport, and as we were heading towards Dalston Raq sent me a text, "msg us when ten mins away, we have a surprise. Don't tell A!x"

When we finally reached the door there was a bit of a kerfuffle, and we were told to wait outside for a few moments. Then, as we entered  the flat, Raq was standing on the coffee table, wearing enormous shiny platform shoes, her face painted blue. The main lighting was switched off, bar one rainbow uplighter resting at her feet. Gentle music from the laptop, she began singing... initially, the aria from Donicetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. In a little while, this transformed into - you *may* have guessed it - the Diva aria from Fifth Element. Once the beat struck, Raq whipped out bright pink stripy sunglasses and put them on.

Sadly, I don't have a recording of this bizarre and wonderful midnight performance, but here is the lady herself on Youtube (from another performance). And below is her at Bar Wotever at Royal Vauxhall Tavern (earlier on the same night).

At the end of the song, Raq ran around the living room hugging us and smearing blue paint all over our faces... We had some food, watched some 80s music videos and went to sleep.

Pic behind cut )
armyofsnails: (Japanese)
The Hadouk Trio at Dalston Vortex were AMAZING. The venue was great, too. I realised once I got there that I had read about Gillett Square in all the architectural magazines a few years back; it's one of Ken's 100 public spaces (the now defunct project, courtesy of Mr Johnson), and I know the firm who designed it. Last night, there were huge rasta men riding bicycles with the front wheel taken off, making the unicycle feat look effortless, and another bunch taking turns playing ping-pong and downing pints. They looked like they were hanging around the square every single night of the week. Next to prim-and-proper middle class jazz goers sipping their martinis at the downstairs bar. Quite odd. I can see where Dalston gets its reputation from.

Oh goodness, the trio were right up my street, a mixture of dreamy, melancholic, odd and cheeky. They reminded me a little of Pat Metheny actually. They used some pretty interesting Armenian instruments amongst other things. Two older chaps on wind and keyboard, a young Tarzan-like long-haired lad on drums. Soooo good looking - shame jazz men don't go on stage semi-naked... Heh.
armyofsnails: (fear me)

It's a general plug for Jordan's autumn tour, but specifically I'm going to the one on 20th November at The Bowery in London. She is supporting Marina Celeste and it should be fantastic.

I know that most of my LJ friends are either in Cambridge or other far-away lands, but do bear this in mind, her gigs really are a treat.
armyofsnails: (fear me)
Bestival, Bjork, The Cure, rain, mud, hailstorm, here I come!!

Amongst the things I'm taking:

- Wellington boots with daisy pattern
- Giant stripy umbrella
- A vast, vast heap of spare socks and wooly jumpers
- 1950s style pin-up dress
- Shakable torch from Eden Project
- Physicist with tent and assembly instructions (to be picked up from office tomorrow)
- Ginger Drunken Flatmate (to be dug out in field tomorrow)

armyofsnails: (wife)
Muse at Reading festival last night: lasers, steam and fire! People jumping up and down to the sound of Uprising, "Theeeey! will! not! fooorce us!! Theeey! will! stop! degraaading us!" etc. etc.

There was mud and rain, which was to be expected, but for some reason there were also crowds of people dressed up as various animals and fruit. [ profile] romanthefirst almost walked into a wayward human banana; there were shark men, pink bunny men, donkey girls. I wondered, what would aliens think if they ever landed in Reading and tried to understand what our civilisation was all about? "For fun, humans put on masks of predatory fish made out of felt and stand in a field in torrential rain, knee high in mud, while their eardrums are assaulted by other humans aided by electricity." Read more... )
armyofsnails: (Simpsons)
Last night was at the gig of this lovely lady, a friend:

Hot, ginger, Kiwi, into tattoos and stripy socks! And I have no idea how she manages to smoke half a dozen roll-ups and still sound incredible on stage.

Just one of those occasions when I felt my London life was really coming together and making perfect sense. Hope there'll be more like this in the future.
armyofsnails: (snail boob)
Admittedly, he does jokes better than he does one legged squats...

armyofsnails: (man replacer)
I have a spare ticket for the Gogol Bordello gig on 7th May. It's on a Friday night, 7pm at Hammersmith Apollo.

Any of my local(ish) friends want it?

Basically, all you need to know is that Gogol Bordello is the greatest, funniest, craziest band on Earth, and that I will be climbing on stage to present my little bouquet of cut toenails and used tampons to Eugene Hutz at some point during the event. Because he is WIN.
armyofsnails: (time snail)
This (live last night at the Barbican Centre) was excellent.

Although Mr Glass has shamelessly recycled almost every note. Even amongst his recent stuff there are much fresher pieces than this. I'm not even talking about Einstein on the Beach or any of the stuff he used to do back in the day when he was actually cutting edge.

A movie made entirely of stills projected onto a giant tripartite screen - a wonderfully simple idea - shall make a mental note for possible future stealing... The photographer was a chap called Franz Lanting - never heard of him but presumably he is someone famous as the whole event was centred around him and he was there in person to deliver a speech before and after the performance. I just went for the music - the rest was a bonus.
armyofsnails: (Default)
I love being in public places on my own. The murmur of voices, cutlery clinking on plates, the occasional sound of a broken glass and the resulting commotion; people at a table next door talking about how disgusting Christmas food is ("Brussels sprouts are a Devil's vegetable! A Devil's vegetable, I tell you!!"). Villiers was choc-a-bloc full of prams today and the air was heavy with the scent of mulled wine. I sat in the corner with the laptop drawing up for next week's work deadline, drinking coffee and doing my best to resist the smell of spices and warm alcohol. When I eventually cracked and attempted to buy a glass (around 6pm, having been there for seven hours, a feat) I was told that the next batch of mulled wine wasn't ready yet and that the barman was going to pop out to the shop for more spices in about an hour. So I left before I got the chance to sample any.

Drawing finished. Above ground and rainwater drainage details, including soffit mounted pipework runs. Whoopee. You go girl.

Feeling sad and empty for entirely unrelated reasons. Have some Glenn Gould while I'm at it.

armyofsnails: (Default)
Yes, this song is awfully girly, so what?

armyofsnails: (Default)
If I were single and if he shaved off his stupid moustache I would be sending little stalks of fresh broccoli and pieces of my tattooed skin to this man.

Heck, I might just do it anyway.

"I really love the fact that when we tour somewhere we've never been to before, we start sound-checking and people have this look like, 'What the fuck are these guys gonna do with a violin and accordion?' " says Eugene Hütz. "And 15 minutes later, we're gonna show them what the fuck we're gonna do with a violin and accordion."
armyofsnails: (zen snail)
Over the past few days, it's been hailing, raining and snowing (with snowflakes bigger than my thumb, I swear!). This morning I woke up to a world covered with a sparkling sheet of snow. I've opened the window to let the cat out; he perched on the window sill looking down, utterly confused. Then jumped onto the snow covered grass and instantly recoiled, then retreated to the side of the building where a thin strip of land had remained clear, and just sat there, silently staring at everything. A big black shadow against a white background.

And of course my damned camera is broken so I can't take any photos.

The country, it appears, has come to a standstill with traffic jams, train cancellations and no flights from some airports. But that's nothing new. It's ridiculous that something so innocuous and lovely can cause so much chaos. Tomorrow there will be reports on the news of people stuck on the road for 36 hours and of the vast, VAST losses to UK business.

And one more thing I want to say in this connection is, What! The! Fuck?!?! It's end of March for god's sake. It didn't snow at Christmas (in fact, it was much milder then than it is now). I wonder whether mother nature got a bit confused and switched the seasons over.

I went to The Cure concert on Thursday at Wembley Arena. I had previously been a virgin to rock concerts (the nearest experience had been seeing Ian Anderson play with the London Symphony Orchestra in Croydon... doesn't exactly qualify!), so I was completely blown away. By my estimates, the Arena holds about 10000 and on that night it was packed to the brim. (Just checked - according to its official website the number is 12750 - so my guess wasn't too far off). It was the largest number of people I had ever seen in one place, about half of them standing on a flat section at the bottom, and the other half seated up in the air. The Cure played for three and a half hours without as much as a two-minute break. Towards the end everyone stood up and started dancing and chanting the lyrics to the songs. The feeling you get when you hear thirteen thousand people sing as one is... indescribable.

Oh, and another first - I had never before seen such a high concentration of people wearing black. At least one in thirty was a Robert Smith impersonator, complete with dodgy eye makeup and a gravity defying hairdo. However, overall it was quite a mixed crowd, despite the uniform colour - there were families, the father wearing a suit and a tie and his 2.5 offspring eating potato wedges; some old school Goths in their forties; a bunch of spotty youngsters; and lots of couples of my age (late 20s to early 30s).
armyofsnails: (Default)
Had a busy Saturday - went to a Chris Ofili/David Adjaye installation called "The Upper Room", this year's Turner Prize exhibition a Dave Brubeck concert. Read more... )


armyofsnails: (Default)

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