Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Monday, 30 August 2010
There's a real romantacism and timeless celluloid quality to a long train journey, surrounded by strangers, watching the city become the countryside and the countryside become the mountains, over streams and past lonely white painted houses. The wildlife becomes more rugged, the weather gets more bitter.
Recently I took the four hour, early morning train ride to Edinburgh. I went on a rain soaked walk around the Old Town streets and found The Red Door Gallery, an excellent little shop on Victoria Street where I bought a beautiful illustrated postcard set from Laurie Hastings and an interesting local guide book.
Most of all I loved all the ghost signs and the colour of the wet sandstone that much of the city is built with.
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Friday, 6 August 2010
Something doesn't feel quite right about the 1-2-3-4 Festival. Tucked away behind Hackney Leisure Centre, this arid part of Shoreditch Park struggles with its juxtapostion of young punk and the uncompromising sunshine. Throughout the day the tents remain half empty and with many of the audience sporting free passes it would be easy to accuse the Hackney crowd of being too cool to care, but really there's only so much anger you can believe on a steaming hot Saturday afternoon in London.
We got there early, specifically to catch the ever delightful La Shark. Their early billing pulls in only a small crowd but the morning heat doesn’t stop us dancing. Next we head over to the Artrocker tent for Pull In Emergency. They’re full of teenage zeal and harbour a real sensibility for pop writing that would leave people twice their age green.
After being denied a Converse tote bag (too bad, Converse) and bumping into friends in the dance tent it was time for the most controversial act of the day – Peter Hook playing Unknown Pleasures. It was obviously going to be strange and in between all of Hook’s arm waving and gurned COME ON’s it resembled an embarrassing karaoke episode. The most surprising thing was how many people enjoyed it. Later in the day Silver Machines – a Bobby Gillespie ego stroking project - also played the mainstage, an odd fact meaning two of the supposed main draws here today were cover bands.
Highlights of day included the Vivian Girls with their lo-fi Brooklyn noise pop and We Have Band, who had the audience baying for more. By 9pm the Rough Trade tent was teeming with people gathered to see These New Puritans and for about 30 seconds we did, then the power cut out and like a sign from the skies we knew it was time to go.
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
We recently spent a couple of nights in Inverness. It's a standard, Croydon-like town built into a spectacular glen. We spent a lot of time wandering around Loch Ness and the Craigmonie Woods. Sadly we didn't spot any prehistoric water monsters. Instead we probably had too much fun playing with the Nessies in the gift shop, sampling the highland whisky miniatures and reading the local headlines.