Sunday, 12 April 2009

South East, East End and the North (update 5)

Happy Easter! Personally, I'm not a fan. Chocolate hurts my teeth. Sad times. I opted for the newest TANAOU 7" as a pain free substitute though, which is pretty ace seeing as it comes with Kapowski and An Escape Plan covers on the B-side. Although it does make me miss Northampton more than it should. 

This is going to be kept brief otherwise it'd turn into a novel to rival War & Peace. In terms of length, not quality. I don't think I'm up there battling it out with Tolstoy just yet. So. 

Irish girls came over for a weekend of adventures and hijinks, and of those there were plenty. Sunday was market day and we walked all around the East End, fighting through crowds and soaking up the sun. Petticoat Lane, Brick Lane Up Market, round the corner in Truman Brewery (Rough Trade!) We thought we spotted Mik Whitnall of Babyshambles non-fame but then realised the Mik wannabe in question looked far too healthy for this to be even in the slightest bit possible. Hah! A few vintage shops later and we emerged on the Bethnal Green Road and made our way up to Columbia Road. Trying to get down that road when the market is on is like trying to get from the NME tent to the main stage at Reading when its time for the headliners to play. But worse. Oh my life. We were on the hunt for gladioli so I could pretend to be Morrissey but alas, we found none. Instead, I bought some tulips and decided they would be a suitable replacement. At some point they got christened Morrissey, I think after I'd ingested alcoholic beverages but I'm not sure. I hope it was otherwise I am essentially more of a spanner than I thought. Anyway, we also visited some old school sweet shop where they still sell sweets from big plastic tubs, like the good old days and then did some sightseeing in Bethnal Green before stopping off in Hackney for some lunch. A good East End day. Later in the evening, we trekked up to Alexandra Palace to take in the views and then walked back up to Muswell Hill, visited some woods (which don't look half as bad as some people make out, half of RaG included. Drama queens, the lot of you) and then walked down to Archway for the Gaslight where Kieran Leonard played with a full band and I started to really like the way his EP (or what I've heard of it at least) is sounding. Its taken me a while, when I first heard it, it made me a little sad because I really disliked it. Maybe because its so different to how I usually hear those songs played, maybe because I find him with just a guitar and his lungs more powerful and moving. Its starting to grow on me though, which is an entirely good thing. Anto Dust played a couple of songs too, both of which seemed inherently sad and brought me down a little. 

Monday, we went to Regent's Park and then Camden before heading to Moorgate to go on a Jack the Ripper walk. Which we then didn't do and just went and got frappucinos and sat in Spitalfields instead. Two of us went to Islington Academy, where we found boys with good arms in bands called Canterbury; the other two went to the woods and got scared. Hah. Canterbury are a funny thing - all the time we were watching them I felt like I shouldn't like them but then there was this huge underlying feeling that I did, and that in actual fact I kind of love them. The confusion. After their set we decided that love is ok, even when it feels a bit wrong. So. We love Canterbury! But not as much as we love Johnny Foreigner. Aw. New songs and new songs and a few old ones for good measure, and we can honestly say JoFo are one of our favourite bands, live or otherwise. They were our headliners of the night even if they technically were only main support; we left before Hundred Reasons because they're whack. On the way home, we got barked at by men in a white van. How hilariously predicatable. 

We visited Mick Jones' Rock&Roll Public Library the next day before Irishers went home, as well as St Paul's and a Salvation Army cafe, but that is another blog for another time. After recovering from all the adventuring, I went to Canary Wharf and fucked off the people in Pizza Express good and proper by ordering only tomatoes and doughballs, and then only giving them a 15p tip. Shouldn't have tried to ignore me and seat City boys behind me first. Bastards. And then. Disaster. Dancing round my room to the Clash, I tripped on my chair and spilt vodka and lemonade all over my laptop. Which then died and refused to turn back on. I should probably never dance ever again, something always goes wrong. I am obviously dance retarded. So, I write this to you from a shiny new MacBook Pro, yay! Thank fuck for insurance. After a little (read: massive) cry, I dusted myself off and headed off out to see Official Secrets Act at the Borderline. Good show, good atmosphere, and surprisingly I really enjoyed it. I was introduced to Lawrence from OSA afterwards who is basically a winner. Anyone who initiates high fives two minutes after they've met me is clearly a good guy. 

And now, I am back in Essex, working my way through a mountain of promos for review. Worst one so far is far and away The Saturdays. I have never wanted to cut my ears off so badly as when listening to that. Its some Red Nose Day charity single, which makes me even angrier because if people will only give money to charity when buying overproduced dirge such as this then we are truly doomed. Instead of buying it, a more charitable thing to do would be rid the world of no-hopers like the Saturdays. Jesus. Its not all bad though; I've got Dan Black's new single and something from the Jessie Rose Trip (who're going to be getting compared to Amy Winehouse a fair amount, I'd imagine). And Marianne Faithfull. Otherwise, I've been getting re-obsessed with the Maccabees and continuing last week's Bombay Bicycle Club love-fest. That is about all, having been without my iTunes for most of the week. Sad face. 

Anyway, I'm going to go and watch my family eat too much chocolate and wish I was back in London. Tonight I'm missing the Gaslight AND a house party. I hate you, Essex. Frohe Ostern etc etc xx

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