Sunday, 30 May 2010

Two Girls Down South

Sunday, 30 May 2010
My gorgeous BFF came over from Canada and we had a few days in London.  I know, I'm rotten for not blogging in a while -- will these pictures do for now, until I catch my breath?

When we pulled into Kings Cross, they were filming the final scenes from the last Harry Potter film ... here is Platform 9 3/4's, and the Hogwarts Express! 
No really! I'm serious!

Lions in Trafalgar Square, with St Martin-in-the-Fields in the background.

I always take photographs where you're not supposed to take photos.  DON'T YELL AT ME it's my one vice to help exhaust my naturally rebellious nature.  This is the National Gallery - Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers'.  I know, it's bad.  But it was only my phone - no flash.  Vincent wouldn't mind.

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.  One of my favourite buildings, ever, ever, ever.

Isn't it beautiful?

Inside Westminster Abbey.  Somewhere else that you're not really supposed to take photos.  BUT ALWAYS have big boobs, and always buy a guide book, so that you can create a little hiding place for your camera phone beneath your cleavage with the book. Plus, where you put your hands with such an arrangement makes you look all pious and stuff, so like... people think you're in spiritual rapture and wonderment looking at the cathedral BUT REALLY YOU'RE JUST A TOTAL SNEAK.

Poets' Corner.  My favourite part of the whole Abbey; dedicated to England's finest scribblers.

Handel - hero!  Swoon!  And the famous north facade.

From half way up the London Eye...

...and all the way up!

What time is it?  Why, it's Pimms o'clock!
Quote of the afternoon:  "I love when they put all kindsa shit in your drink."

Camden Market - land of great sunglasses and cheap Dr Martens.

TEN POUNDS.  Srsly.  I know!!!

Tower Bridge - I'd never seen it in real life before, in all my trips to London.  It really took my breath away!

My sore London feet and Jenn's sore London feet. 

...and back to St Martin-in-the-Fields to see the Feinstein Ensemble play Bach's Brandenburg Concertos (with a little Vivaldi and some Telemann thrown in for good measure).

...and home on the train.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Band of Skulls, Leeds, Cockpit, Friday 7 May 2010

Saturday, 8 May 2010
So last night Jase and I piled into the car with the babies and we headed down the motorway to Leeds.  Dump the kids off with my ever lovely Auntie Lisa and away to Leeds we went to see Band of Skulls at Cockpit.  You might remember me blogging about the first single ('I Know What I Am') a little while ago.

We got there when the support act was part way through their set - a combination of setting off late and having to drive fourteen times around Leeds' loop road waiting for a flashback to where Cockpit actually was bubbled up to the surface of my memory.  Fourteen times round Leeds loop road is NOT BAD AT ALL given the last time I was at Cockpit I littered the way out with a path of puke puddles like some hammered Hansel from the totally wrong version of that fairy tale. EDIT:  This was like... in 1998 or something, btw!

Anyway -- where was I? 


Support band.  Right.  A cute little indie packet out of Southampton called Thomas Tantrum.  We only saw three songs (sorry about that, kids) but hey -- they were pretty cool! Light and head boppy but not in an annoying fluffy way yet with a driving thunky thuddy rhythm section; right up my street.  If you were dancing to them, you'd definitely be doing a lot of spinny-aroundy moves.  We both enjoyed them and were a little sorry my poor urban navigational skills prevented us from getting there to see the whole set. 

Band of Skulls were brilliant - a short little set, though!  They came on just before 9 o'clock and we were walking back to the car at 10!  That's what you get for only having one record.  I took some really lovely photos.  Jase and I were both a little smitten with their cute-as-a-button bass player, Emma Richardson.  Entranced by her sexy Chrissie Hynde meets Joey Ramone stage presence, we were quite happy to watch her rock out.

Obviously, I know this isn't Emma Richardson.  She's a few photos down.

 Their singer, Russell Marsden, was a powerhouse.  Look up 'reckless abandon' in the dictionary and you'll see a picture of him.  Totally uninhibited, even in such a tiny little venue (and you all know how I love me my tiny little venues).  Jason stood in a kind of rapture only possible to be induced by live hard heavy rock combined with comradely appreciation for a a guitarist and a drummer who also have fucking giant beards.  (No offense, Skull boys, you're lovely -- I JUST WANT MY HUSBAND TO SHAVE ALREADY.) 
Rock me, rock me, rock me.

For a teeny little three piece these rocknrolla's sure do make a lot of noise.  They played most of their record -- not a lot of between-song-banter but who needs that shit anyway -- from where I was standing, the energy and synergy and electricity zapping around their triangle was visibly buzzing, resulting in a tight little rock-your-face-off setlist.  Highlights for me?  Of course the aforementioned 'I Know What I Am'-- but also Death By Diamonds and Pearls and Hollywood Bowl (which I thought was going to be a cover of Bauhaus' 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' at first and nearly shit myself).

Well done, Skulls! 

Here are the photos I took - hope you enjoy them.