Thursday, 27 August 2009

Take and shake your soul!

Today was the first day of filming for the Maaike Mekking film which I'm providing the soundtrack for. My project is called Blue On Blue and it consists of me playing instruments/singing with a few special guest collaborators. Jerome Watson from Hatcham Social is producing it. There are no other permanent members at the moment (yes, don't believe everything you read....).

Anyway here are some pics from the shoot. A cold summer's evening on an east London rooftop...buckets of blood, virginal girls, lights, camera, action!!

The team assembles in Maaike's studio:

Cue bucket/pan of blood:

Cue Maaike's naughty little pup Seymour who tries to eat all the dresses and/or my toes. He's obsessed with feet:

Cue Maaike, her stylist and the dresses:

Cue ethereal beauty who has no idea what evil is in store for her:


Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Dying Game: B-Sides

I've been listening to Do You Love Me Now Jnr on repeat since we got back from Austria. A rare Breeders B-Side which J Mascis remixed and added vocals to. Justin from Weekender told me about it and I tracked it down and fell in love with it.

This has reminded me of yet another one of my rants about music these days. What the hell has happened to B-Sides? Gone are the days where you would stick a 4 song single on and fall in love with ALL the songs and not just the single. One band whose B-Sides were always phenomenal, was Belly. Their astounding B-Sides as well as album tracks just confirmed what an amazingly talented band they were - they didn't just bung a crap remix on for a laugh. They gave their fans real music everytime. This is why I admire bands of old so much - the music, the ethos, everything was just so much more genuine then.

It may sound extreme but I think a large part of this genuinity died when John Peel died. No matter what people say, I definitely believe this. I grew up in a tiny steel mining village in the north east of England. 40 miles from Newcastle and 30 miles from Durham. Seriously, it was in the middle of absolute nowhere. However, I managed to fall in love with my escapism of music through the radio. I heard Urusei Yatsura, Mazzy Star, PJ Harvey on Radio 1 and managed to track down all their early releases in an indie record store in Newcastle. Seriously, listening to good music changed my life. The infamous Peel sessions were aimed solely at pure music fans - hearing bands play album tracks, covers and B-Sides. It just feels like no one really cares anymore and that hurts having finally given up a lot to be where we are right now. I really wish we met John Peel and would've given anything to have done a session for him....

I never want to release anything with just a remix as a B-Side. I think remixes serve their own purpose but being in a band, you need to constantly challenge yourself and give people as much as you can. You should never feel you are wasting a song by putting it out as a B-Side. Go away and write 5 more great songs instead.


Do You Love Me Now Jnr - download it here:

Check out the entire Peel sessions back catalogue here:

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Album of the Year

Hands down for me, is 'Yoyodyne' by Projekt A-Ko, a band composed of 3 former Urusei Yatsura members - Fergus Lawrie (guitar/vocals), Ian Graham (drums) and Elaine Graham (bass/vocals).

Go to, buy the album and you will have a great life.

More songs up on their Myspace:

I am so happy that there is a band like this out there, creating this type of music and doing it so damn well!!






ROBOT MONK - The Paper Boy whose Mind and Paper Round Expanded


Monday, 17 August 2009


Today I met up with my friend Maaike in her Whitechapel studio. Maaike is an amazing womens fashion designer who I've known for a few years through the London club scene. Her and her boyfriend Michael used to run the best club night ever - Jack & Ginger at Bethnal Green Working Mens Club. It still remains the best club I've ever been to - great music, great bands, great performance art and great punters. I used to look forward to the last Saturday of every month SO much!

But alas, life always pulls us in different directions and for Maaike it was fashion that lured her to adventures far and wide. Her work is absolutely stunning - her clothes have a very timeless, classic yet quirky feel - a real reflection of Maaike's own unique style and personality.

I was very happy when she approached me about working together a few weeks ago. I'm very excited to be collaborating on a short film for her London Fashion Week show which takes place on September 21st in London.

This collaboration involves another collaboration of which more details will be revealed soon.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

It's all about collabs, baby....

I've been very excited this week. Mainly because I've heard some new music that's really stirred me. It rarely happens so I get terribly over-excited when it does.

I heard Faris' new project, Lumina's cover of 'I'll Be With You' which I love. You can hear it here:

I love the original Black Lips version but this is a great cover which sounds nothing like the original...that's what makes a cover for me. It currently serves as a B Side to 'Drugs', the new single by Black Lips.

Also this week, I was played some amazing songs by Finn (vocals and percussion) and Jerome (guitar) from Hatcham Social. A great little side project that also features Stephanie Min on vocals. It is the best thing I've heard all year. Fact. I can't wait till it's unleashed on the masses....

I've been busy consummating some ideas with a few friends which are certainly coming to fruition which is exciting. Hopefully as soon as next week....As usual, watch this space for more info!


Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Current Musings


Boy, that's a somewhat overused and underworked word. I hate being consumed by it. I think it is the fear of it which drives me. What makes me get up in the morning as I haven't had a stable job for almost 18 months and the fear of going back to one sends me into overdrive of what I can do within my own power and ability to make me a successful person in my eyes and in my world.

But there's only so much I can do to keep it at bay. Ultimately I always succumb to it on some level. I detest it when it happens. It's such a damn awful feeling...a state of numbness....waiting for it to pass sure feels like hell in a timeless bottle.

I've been out of action for 3 days. Before that I was head first into the action of everything. Launched myself into a hectic social life at full throttle, not out of choice but more out of necessity; a means by which to earn some keep.

I keep complaining about how bad this summer is but it really is so bad. The worst on my memory's record. Today, the highlight of my day was penning a letter of complaint to my landlord. Yes, it made me sound like a frigid, spinster prude complaining about people having sex on the stairs and 'youths' smashing up vodka bottles but hell I was happy when I got a quick reply back and informed there was a meeting about everything taking place on Friday of which none of the residents are invited to. Bummer. Our correspondence has made me question paying what I thought was reasonable/cheap rent to live in the middle of goddamn hell but Mister Landlord is quick to play this down and blames it on the police of course:

'We have tried to get this situation rectified sooner and have been in touch with the police countless times over the youths hanging around but have now been told in no uncertain terms not to contact the police regarding the youths unless they are actually assaulting someone. Quite outrages I'm sure you will agree.'

Outrages? Don't you mean 'outrageous'? This spinster has got her red pen out at the ready and is marking you down, boy! Jesus, at least it makes me feel alive when I spot all your grammar and spelling mistakes. This certainly IS the highlight of my day. I don't know who to pity more - me or you, Mister Landlord.

This is not right and it's not fair. Now I don't want to move for another 2 weeks or encounter any humans unless it's via the medium of 2D and screens.

Apathetic summer...I will grow to love you..


Young Love

Top 5 loves from girlhood:

1. My bed- I still have the same bed now, ok so the mattress has changed but the bed post is still the same. It was originally a bunk bed when C-Bird and I shared a room when we were 8 years old. When we were kids C-Bird and I were having one of our petty arguments over who was going to turn the light out as we were both already tucked into bed and too lazy to get out and flick the switch. She tried leaning out of her top bunk to turn off the light but fell head first out of her bunk and on to the floor. On her way down her brow hit the top of my bottom bunk. There was blood everywhere so as you can imagine pretty horrific for an 8 year old but I remember feeling extremely jealous when she got back from the hospital after getting her brow stitched with a bag of sweets and a couple of days off school to boot. SNOT fair AND she dented my bed frame. Pah. Actually I still think my bed is the love of my life.

2. Michael Jackson- It was all because of the cover for 'Bad'. Leather studs, perm, tight pants, smooth dance moves...but I was only 6. I must admit in adulthood I'm no longer a fan of perms, tight pants scare me (basically they're leggings right?) as for smooth dance moves…I’m still hook, line and sinker. C-Bird and I had a life size poster of Michael Jackson on our wall which faced our bunk bed but my father insisted we take it down after a while as it used to scare us at night…true story.

3. River Phoenix- ok who DIDN’T fancy him?! As with most people, you tend to copy your older (much cooler) siblings. C-Bird and I have an older sister, who we thought was the coolest person in the world. If she wanted to wear stonewashed denim (de rigueur) and not wash her hair…then we wouldn’t either because it was COOOOOOL and she thought River Phoenix was hottest guy alive so naturally we did too. I’ve recently been watching his films again, ‘Dog Fight’, ‘My Own Private Idaho’ and ‘Stand By Me’ (which was a personal favourite growing up!) and yes that tweenie crush I had is still there. RIP.

4. Keanu Reeves- Again because of the big sister. In my ‘Own Private Idaho’ you get a River and Keanu double fix. Yes it’s a film that must be revered for its artistic merit etc etc, Gus Van Sant etc etc but lets cut to the chase here I’m pretty sure a million girls swooned over this union in the 90’s. I wouldn’t recommend ‘Point Break’ though unless you’re a Swayze fan because frankly Patrick Swayze’s blonde hair and beard in the film is wrong.

5. Christian Slater- ‘Heathers’, need I say more? Ok so there’s a psycho in the school, there’s a f***ing psycho in the school! But…he’s actually fairly attractive and he talks like Jack Nicholson (why is this attractive?)…oh my god- there’s a psycho in the school and we want to be Winona Ryder. Fast forward 15 years…let’s just forget about what he looks like these days after all, those arched eyebrows DIDN’T seem creepy when he was 20.

Honourable mention: Johnny Depp- because we still fancied him when he had scissors for hands (again we wanted to be Winona Ryder…) AND he wore a crop top in Nightmare On Elm Street. Look!

I was obviously planning on marrying all of them but you know how plans change.



I love this little write up in Fader Magazine. I know I always champion the zines but I get really excited when music mags hit the nail on the head and the writer of this piece certainly gets what we're about...My So Called Life, Obama and Oprah?! I couldn't have summed it up better myself!

I have yet to see the articles in V Magazine and Nylon but do check them out.

Also a big shout out to my newest partner in crime, Miss Princess Julia! We've been hanging out all week and causing trouble all over town...hell yeah! Julia is amazing - a real inspiration and east end institution....we are planning some future projects which is very exciting!!

In the meantime, read Julia's new Vice fashion blog here:

And here's Julia in one of the many iconic videos she was in. Perhaps in a Bird vid some day? WATCH THIS SPACE!


Saturday, 1 August 2009

Foot in mouth

Social faux pas number 1- never introduce a friend you’ve known for a few years by completely the wrong name. If this happens turn it into a joke and make out the reddening in your cheeks is due to over zealous application of blusher….actually there isn’t really a way out of this one. Shame on you! Apologise to friend profusely- you owe them a pint…actually make that two.

Social faux pas number 2- you’re walking down the street and the wind blows your skirt up exposing you not only to the elements but to the men on the building site nearby…pull skirt down and pretend it never happened even though the builders close by are wolf whistling you to social death. Curtsey, give them a wink then walk on by.

Social faux pas number 3- you’ve decided to break into those ridiculous shoes with the 6 inch heel- why on earth you decided to wear them on a shopping trip is the most stupid decision you have ever made. On entering a shop being off kilter you knock into a rack of bags which in turn develops into a domino effect knocking another three racks, one…after….the…other. You watch aghast. By this time you’re on the floor (stupid shoes). Show no fear, it’s obviously because you’re feeling very faint and definitely coming down with something and need a glass of water (NOT because of stupid footwear). Down that glass of water in one, take shoes off and run out of the shop then eventually home…or pub for a stiff drink.

Obviously, these are merely examples and not situations that have happened to me…ahem…ahem.

I was mindlessly googling today and found a whole page dedicated to reversing a social faux pas. So read below and reverse your social faux pas in four easy steps (after you’ve initially recovered from embarresment of course).

From this website:

• Step 1
Don’t show fear. The minute you realize you’ve committed a social faux pas, which will be obvious by the stares, the awkward clearing of throats, the winces passing over people’s countenances or even the pregnant silence, your first instinct will be to wince back, stand stilted or return the silence. This first crucial moment after a no-no often determines how long the humiliation will last. Cut the apparent tension in the room right away by laughing or making an off-hand comment. Sometimes a smile does the trick.

• Step 2
After releasing the initial tension with a laugh or a joke, address the social wrong you’ve committed. Pretending you yourself didn’t notice it is almost as embarrassing as the social faux pas itself. Use an appropriate tone to rectify the situation. For example, if you called your boss the wrong name, seriously apologize with a legitimate-sounding explanation. If it’s an outfit malfunction, come up with a light, witty explanation.

• Step 3
Don’t hide or act meekly for the rest of the meeting, evening or event. If you keep your cool, engage in charming conversation and make yourself present and unashamed, others will follow suit and keep their cool. If you act shy and bumbling the whole night, your behavior will be a constant reminder to everyone else that you did something worthy of shame.

• Step 4
You’ve addressed the situation, behaved with aplomb throughout the event and now it’s time to forget the social faux pas. If you find yourself re-living the embarrassing blunder, talk it over with friends who you know will make you feel foolish for ever dwelling on it.

Good luck!