Big Yellow Tutu

February 25, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — helenium @ 4:40 pm

I am useless at trying to work at the moment. I used to be very scholarly and would even re-write my lecture notes when I got home, but this year, the year it finally matters that I do some work, I’ve given up. Well, not really given up per se, I do want to work, I just would rather do anything else. I even cleaned the mould off the walls in my bathroom this afternoon rather than look at my dissertation.

Last night the swish and I went along to the basement at the buffalo bar. It was a very strange evening, completely different to artrocker. For starters, everyone there is on average about 8 years older and male. You get bombarded with promotional tat – stickers, postcards, flyers… and everyone leaves really early. It works on a rather daft system of you emailing before you go to reserve a ticket on the door then have to queue up in the freezing cold for three quarters of an hour outside.

It was snowing, and we got trapped between a man who was obsessed with his knee injury and a crazed Scottish girl who was obsessed with hard fi and who thought I was Swedish. The queuing made me really angry, I seriously could not feel my toes when we got inside, and the bouncer on the door had the cheek to say “im cold too love, don’t complain” – oh yeah, im sorry, youre standing in this nice warm doorway, dressed in a hat and big coat, knowing you would have to endure such weather and youre being paid for it. you’re also letting us all in really slowly for no apparent reason. Apologies for complaining.

The stupid queuing and having to talk about The Others whilst in the queue meant that we missed the first half of the set by Wild Boar, Ed Harcourt’s new band. Mr Swish was jubilant about this, but I will always stand up for Ed, I’ve liked him for years and think he’s ace. The new band is very heavy, not what I expected at all, but I liked it, the songs had great names:

‘Wild Boar Theme’
‘Satan Made Me Do It’
‘Baby Wants A Monster Truck’
‘No Time To Fuck’
‘Henry Rollins Neck Is Bigger Than His Head’
‘Im In Love With My Therapist’

Met Ed for shoe snapping and he was really really nice. Much shorter than I imagined but still lovely. Really polite. That’s how proper popstars should be – charming and patient. Take note Mr Tomlinson. Mr Swish has taken to wearing Tomlinson’s jumper all the time, he purloined it from Frog, I feel it’s a bit of revenge. I hope he’s got frostbite of the nipples without it.

The Noisettes were next up, and good, though we thought the set trailed off a little towards the end. They started off very shouty shouty and calmed down a bit after a few songs. I guess its pretty hard to maintain that level of grrr for a while.

The Young Knives flew past me too quickly. I really like them, and was disappointed they didn’t play Autobahn. I’m upset I can’t think of anything to write about them, because they do deserve praise, I just can’t think of any.

Hard-Fi were the “surprise, secret guests”. It was a bit like finding out that the girl who pulls your hair in the playground was coming to your birthday party. We left before them to avoid any hair pulling.

Tonight we’re off to Queens of Noize at the Barfly. We always end up horrendously drunk at these QoN nights, I blame the late start, it leaves you too much drink at home time. The Long Blondes and The Pipettes are playing, with The Kaiser Chiefs DJing. Should hopefully get some Kaiser shoes.

Before all that Mr Swish is meeting my dad for dinner tonight. He’s unnecessarily nervous. Its very cute. Maybe the rumours about my dad being a spy have got to him, he’s probably worried that he carries some uber weapon that would turn him to dust in a millisecond.


February 23, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — helenium @ 12:45 pm

We skipped Vincent Vincent and the Villians at the Pleasure Unit, it was snowing like mad and though it is only a minute walk from my flat to the venue, staying in the flat with a bottle of wine seemed a much better idea.

Last night we saw Quit Your Day Job and Blood Arm at ‘trocker. The first were an all girl troupe with sparkly hot pants and huge dance routines. Blood Arm were three 60ish men with really long beards and mandolins.

I wish that were true, in all honesty we trekked all the way over to the buffalo bar, stayed for about 15 minutes, saw the first three songs by Quit Your Day Job and then left. We were both in really bad moods, with mr swish wishing he was watching the football and me just feeling tired and grumpy and panicking about the lack of hours in the day. I got a good pair of shoes for the site within about 5 mins of getting there and had thought blood arm were on first, on finding out they were headlining and not being arsed to wait, leaving early seemed like a good idea.

It did mean that I finally got a good nights sleep, not waking up until about 11 this morning. Woke to find I had left my electric blanket on all night so had the most warm bed ever this morning, really didn’t want to get up.

Saw this on the way home…

Looked incredibly space age. I think it’s a media type office, there were giant superman logos on the walls in the office. I was hoping they’d invented light up cones, but alas no, they’ve just been put over the lights that were set into the floor already.


February 21, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — helenium @ 5:20 pm

So it just a sprinkling of snow but it is, all the same, snow. I took this half an hour ago in the park on whitechapel high street. By the time I’d got home pretty much all the snow has melted and we’re just left with lots of puddles. Walking down Brick Lane in the snow is a strange experience, its not often that you are swamped by the smell of curry and can also feel snow flakes on your face. It is perishingly freezing today, the kind of cold that makes your cheeks freeze.

Friday and Saturday flew past uneventfully, spending all day at work changing ‘brit award nominee’ stickers to ‘brit award winner’ stickers where appropriate. Challenging stuff.

Sunday was spent at Nambucca for another Tsunami gig. It started at 2 in the afternoon, a little early really I thought, but there were 15 or so bands playing. Of the list of 15 I can only remember a few – Dustin’s Bar Mitzvah, Metro Riots, Les Incompetents, Tigermoth, and The Fades. I’d never heard of most of the bands playing and with the exception of Les Incompetents, all the ones I had heard of I’d already seen..

With this being the case we found ourselves a nice big, round table in the corner by the bar and set about doing crosswords from the paper and eating roast dinners. I like gig venues where you can get roast dinners, good ones too, lots of gravy and good Yorkshire. The selection of crosswords came from the news of the world and the observer and of these three crosswords, the 5 of us couldn’t finish any of them. Not even the news of the world one. Dave from Dustin’s floated over a few times to ask us how crosswords worked, a question followed with a list of 3 ancient Greek cities. He’s a strange man.

I think most of the bands who played were half decent, I don’t remember any being laughably bad. Though none of the bands could be cackled at, the poet on the other hand was hilarious. He just spouted random words, with no apparent structure. We figured it was just his style and he meant it to sound like that until we spoke to him later in the evening and he spouted random words at us again. he could barely string a sentence together. I think the gig organisers must have failed to find a real poet and instead just picked up a madman from the street.

Metro Riots were really good, I was impressed, I’d never really paid attention to them before. So good I may even put the now infamous incident with their lead singer I had behind me. They are a really good band. We didn’t hang about after they played, and so missed The Fades and Les Incompetents.

Tonight is Vincent Vincent and the Villians over at the Pleasure Unit. Tomorrow is Blood Arm and Quit Your Day Job over at Artrocker. Wednesday is spent rehearsing for Saturday’s concert. Thursday is Wild Boar, The Noisettes and The Young Knives at The Basement. Friday is The Pipettes and The Long Blondes at Barfly. Saturday is my concert over in Croydon. I will be dead by Sunday at this rate.


February 17, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — helenium @ 9:25 pm

Am I the only one who didn’t go and see Bloc Party? I’m just not that organised to get tickets in that 2 minute gap before they sold out. But pah! I had a brilliant evening at KoKo instead. But more about that late. Lets do things in time order…

Tuesday was Sam and Me, Rhesus and Art Brut at the 100 club. I’ve been spending the week in a level of near sobriety and it turns out its lots more fun than stumbling around in my usual stupor. So a mere 4 gins at the gig and I was very happy and even eloquent. Sam and me were folky and chipper, not really my cup of green tea but oh well. Rhesus were second on and so so so so good. But not as good as Art Brut who sounded better rehersed than I’ve ever heard them. Songs finished with the next one starting straight away with no mumblings in between and they sounded extremely tight as a band. It was a pleasure to behold. I guess that after all the weeks of seeing messy but lovely brut side project stuff that I’d kinda forgotten just how good they were. They did everything you’d expect – Formed a Band, Moving to La, Modern Art, My Little Brother, These Animal Menswear; but also some newies too, I think one was called Let’s Fight. Eddie didn’t strip off but they did close on their usual fun of everyone who played that night jumping on stage doing the “art brut – totp, rhesus – totp…” fun fun fun…

The gig was full of 14 year old kids. Hundreds of them, all getting served at the bar too. It was the first gig I’d been to in ages where there was proper slam slam moshing going on. They were very rude though, no manners whatsoever.

A day spent in bed was scuppered by a man with a leaf blower waking me up at 10. Bastard. Still angry I ate my weight in pizza hut and headed over to koko. Im bound to miss out a few names but bands playing were: metro riots, ludes, soho dolls, 10,000 things, client, crash convention and the rakes. The pipettes were supposed to open but instead we got treated to the Art Rocks – half the rocks, half art brut. James in a skirt too and oodles of eyeliner.

Did lots of backstage schmoozing and saw the lovely Katie who I used to work with, and who turns out to be the sister of one of Metro Riots. It seems everyone knows someone in that band. Of one the guys I work with knows the drummer, a girl on the bus knew one of them, it seems those boys get about a bit.

Saw lots of funny things. Jack throwing up in the toilets to be rudely interrupted mid vomit by one of the guys from the rakes. A man who may or may not have been zac from special needs, making a camera from three beer cans, a polystyrene cup, a lighter for a flash and some gaffa tape and then running about taking ‘photos’ of people. The strangest thing of the evening was the terrible compere. He was a drunkard mess, knew nothing about any of the bands playing and kept making loads of misogynistic jokes.

I got popstar feeted myself for the first time ever. Andrew Kendall took pictures of my shoes. Shame they were very very broken boots. On a similar note I have material to start a spin off site – Popstar Pants. I went to go and take a photo of the guys from 10,000 things. One of them said, “hang on, I know whats better than my shoes”. He then proceeded to undo the flies on his jeans. I was a little worried about what he was about to show me. It turns out he thankfully just wanted to show me his boxers which had a huge padlock over his groinal area.

I got home in the wee hours of the morning, and then slept until half one in the afternoon. Lovely. Im now watching Judge John Deed. I really fancy him. I know that some people may scorn me for that but I they should listen to his voice. Yum yum yum. Adam rickett’s on this episode too. Its odd to see him without the baby oil and dancing around in glass boxes.

I now have two night off without any gigs. Bliss. Am going to eat well, drink tonnes of water. Finally do some work on my dissertation, and relax. Im too old for all this rock n roll shenanigans.


February 15, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — helenium @ 3:57 pm

A quick lj entry before my granny nap.

Im really excited about art brut and rhesus at the 100 club tonight. Though I feel a bit sick, my flat mate made really rich chocolate cookies and ive eaten way too many. She and her girlfriend have gone shopping for strap ons, so the flat is lovely and quiet, hence the nap plans. I am so much more rock n roll than them.

Tonight is going to be my first outing as newly instated uni paper journo. Plan to do a write up of the gig, which I guess means I should keep some level of sobriety. I don’t plan to be a music journo at all, but with only 4 months left of uni life and the prospect of the dole queue looking more and more imminent with every day I figured I should start doing some worthwhile cv type activities. “all more strings to your bow” as my mother would say. So anyway, I may go and buy a little light up journo pen and a note pad. I have to submit the review by Thursday morning which isn’t so great, im hoping something hugely dramatic happens on stage, like a naked mud wrestle between eddie and chinchilla.

Valentines day was lovely, saw lots of men carrying around huge bunches of flowers and lots of girls wearing pink. Myself included. Swish and I sat by the river and ate fish and chips to celebrate. Not your typical table for two, wine, dine gubbins but it was beautiful. So quiet and peaceful that we even saw a heron.

Something that isn’t peaceful and quiet but instead very noisy is the best military marching band in the uk . They are playing a very big concert in east croydon next week. It will be better than frog. Even if the rumours that Elvis playing do turn out to be true. A certain anonymous shoe girl will be there for your aural pleasure. Everyone must come along. You can dance. But fear not, if you can’t make it this time, they shall be playing in Westminster in the spring, spain in the summer and at various P&O cruises throughout the year. Unless they chuck the anonymous shoe girl out for never turning up to rehearsals, in which case, they are totally not worth seeing.


February 13, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — helenium @ 3:19 pm

I hate martin Tomlinson. I am going to wipe him from my ipod, delete my doting lj posts about him and forever scorn him. His dull, shitty band, selfish cunt, may have been good at frog last night but he is a horrible horrible man. I saw him in the artrocker room upstairs and thought, ooohhhh, shoes opportunity. I chose my moment carefully, waited until he was free and not talking to anyone. Went over, introduced myself, explained the site, was charming and polite. Asked to take a quick photo of his shoes and HE SAID NO! he just sneered, turned around and walked off. I asked so nicely, why did he have to be so mean? I wanted to punch him so badly. I consoled myself with the fact that he is nowhere near as good looking as you’d hope when looking close up, and in fact looks about 12. Eddie and Keith said they’d help me beat him. It’ll be so much fun. I’ll stuff that fur coat of his down his throat and punch him in the ear.

I’m so glad noone turned up to see him, frog was incredible empty. I hope he gets paid less than 74p for the night and sell the space where his spine should be and rent it out for piccolo storage.

My rage wasn’t helped by the vast quantities of alcohol I consumed that night. It took three bus journeys all on the same route to get home because I kept having to get off thinking I’d be sick. The night was brightened by meeting synesthesiac, she’s lovely. So so so so so so nice.

Went to the pleasure unit on Friday night to see dustins bar mitzvah for the 98th time. In support were The Sons, who came on at 9 and by 9:01 had inspired such boredom that we took to tearing up fliers to play scrabble with the letters on them. King Mob were next up and a little better, a well dressed lead singer helping things somewhat. They sounded like Kings Of Leon and had really huge lungs.

Dustins were as hilarious as ever. I love them. Their bass player could barely stand and kept collapsing onto the floor. Dave kept up his showman antics, he’s soon to take over from Robbie Willliams for being the man that middle aged women describe as being “such an good all round entertainer”. To break the silence in their ever present and ever pointless mid set guitar tune he had us guessing the amount of different species of penguin. Though one mans guesses of orange and beans were well thought out, there are apparently 17, I expected more, but I’ve googled it and he’s right.

There are no penguins in London but there is snow. A whole 30 seconds of it. It didn’t settle and I am not snowed in. I’m keeping my hopes up though.

In giant news, Popstar Feets is to be become a column in a magazine. I got approached by Toaster magazine to write a quarterly feature in the same style as my site. The magazines a new music one, based in Glasgow but available throughout the UK to the tune of 35,000 copies. I’m very excited. The coffee table Popstar Feets book is looking more and more imminent.

Ta-ra for now, I’m going to go and sew a Tomlinson voodoo doll and feed it to some pigeons.


February 11, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — helenium @ 3:12 pm

The Les Georges Leningrad gig was a weird experience. It was at a venue called The Speakerpalace in Hackney. I thought that was a bit weird to begin with, I lived in Hackney for 2 years and had never heard of anywhere called Speakerpalace. We found the right road easily enough but it was just a side street with railway arches one side and warehouses the other. Not really gig venue territory. We wandered up and down the cobbled street in the rain and amassed more lost people into our orienteering team. After mr swish saved a girl from believing the mechanics that the venue was in the back of their workshop, we found the place. Sign posted by just a bit of mdf with 14 written on it, it turned out to be one of those warehouse gigs you should probably tell your grand kids about.

It looked exactly how I imagined a warehouse gig to look, two giant parachutes made a celing, hundreds of redundant speakers covered the walls and the bonnet of a VW beetle with two harps sticking out of it marked the DJ booth (which by the way was graced by rory in a full sailors outfit!).

Drinks were scammingly expensive. £5 for a whiskey and coke? They had no licence, that meant that if they were buying bottles of whiskey at a tenner each, all they had to do was sell 2 and cover their costs. I had hoped it was some communist haven where I got get hammered on £2, but no, this clearly wasn’t a “music for all” warehouse, more of a “we knew we’d make more money out of doing it illegally” warehouse. Humph.

The first band on were so terrible. It was started off with the bad sign of watching the bar maid walk over and take to the mic. A tiny tiny girl, how yoou’d look at think ‘wow, she must do a lot of drugs’, a few warm up yoga moves more and she proved my snobbisms wrong. She caterwauled stuff about being a bitch whilst two guys with no rhythm crashed about behind her. They sounded like a divorce group meeting, all self pitying wailing and faux bitch tendencies.

Thank god for Comanechi. They were as brilliant as ever. I really love them. They did quite a long set, all the EP, plus a couple more. Akiko had as shiny hair as ever and they were luckily graced with the best sound system I’d heard in ages. You could ever word she sang in her pretty, angry 5 yr old girl way.

Les Georges Leningrad came on about half 12 ish, a bit too late for this old lady, I was already getting fidgety about wanting to leave. They were brilliant though, with one of them dressed in a full spiderman outfit. Not some slick lycra thing, more a shitty 80s cotton one, kinda like the pyjamas Elliott wears in ET.

Unlike Akiko’s excellent annunciation I couldn’t understand a word the les georges girl sang, but I don’t think you really need to, theres so much else going on that I think all you need is just the sound of squawks from the singer.

Tonight we’re going to see Dustin’s Bar Mitzvah for the 312th time. Listen out on the streets of Bethnal Green, you will probably hear some excellent renditions of Lucy at about midnight by mr swish and i. Oh, you lucky things.