Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Reelin', rappin' and a-rockin'....

Spring is finally upon us, and can I just say how much I've been enjoying this week of amazingly warm and sunny weather!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of escaping the big smoke for an overnight stay in Hampshire. My place of work held our company away day at the delightful Elvetham Hotel, and whilst I am not going to talk too much about that, I had to share a few snaps to show you how beautiful this 19th Century mansion is...

This hotel definitely has the wow-factor, with huge manicured gardens, classic, elegant rooms adorned with paintings and a big glass conservatory to dine in.

The coach journey home was not so awesome, so I opted to sleep through it...

The fanciness of strutting around Elvetham at the start of my weekend was replaced with...jiving around Dingwalls! Not as fancy, but definitely just as much fun.

Jake Allen played a stellar set, which was jam-packed with killer tunes and bucket loads of energy. The Take Me Out contestant has an air of Elvis about him - a tough Elvis, that is. Unsurprisingly, he starred in Million Dollar Quartet, playing none other than Big E himself, so I suppose I was kind of expecting his performance to be a little Las Vegas lounge cheesy...well I was definitely mistaken, and I really enjoyed his musicianship, songs, performance and interaction with the audience. Likey and lighty!

The Space Cadets also performed at Dingwalls, and made an expolosive entrance - literally, blowing one of the speakers during their first song! Once that was sorted, they continued to play (dressed as space cadets, no less) and at one point, they were even joined onstage by Fazer from N-Dubz, performing a most awesome rap! It was pretty surreal to watch this rockin' rap hybrid. I could imagine Chuck Berry singing:

"Well, I looked at my watch, it was ten twenty-six, But I'm a keep on dancin' till I got my kicks! We were reelin', rappin' and a-rockin', We were rappin' and a-rockin' and rollin' till the break of dawn..."

Apologies, that was a bit cheesy, but sometimes I can't help myself from breaking into song. At times I feel like I am living out my very own Glee episode (but with more rockin' music)...

Anyway, both The Space Cadets and Jake Allen have headed Stateside. The Space Cadets will be performing at Viva Las Vegas (Saturday 7th April, in the Ballroom) and you can catch Jake Allen at The Howl Pre-Viva show (Friday 30th March, Webers Place, LA). So if you're over there, now's your chance to support our British musicians and check out out their US appearances!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dancing legs, tight skirt.

It’s been three weeks since my sweetheart returned to California, and the good news is…..he was granted his UK settlement visa, so he is coming back to live in London within the next couple of weeks! Alas, my daily Skype calls and IM chats with him most evenings have meant that I have neglected my blog a little, but here follows a roundup of the last three weekends….

US Rockabilly legend Royce Porter took to the stage at the Boston Arms earlier this month, with an all-star UK backing band comprising of Imelda May, Darrel Higham and Carlos and the Bandidos. They put on a great show, and the combination of musicians complimented each other perfectly.

The River Rhythm Trio were the support band and I really enjoyed their set too – they have bags of energy, great style, and it seems that there will be plenty of opportunities to see them play this year, including at the Rhythm Riot!

As well as being Royce Porter’s UK debut, it was also the evening that I decided to debut my deadstock blue lurex pencil skirt. After a night spent running for multiple near-missed trains and buses (both on the journey there, and back), I can confirm, that whilst this skirt is pretty to look at, it is most definitely not ideal if you are in a rush to catch various forms of public transport...

The following weekend saw a return to The Knight’s Templar – also known as the venue where Aaron and I held our wedding reception! It was strange going back without the husband in tow, but it was a fun night nonetheless.

Organised by The Big Kahuna, and accompanied by DJ Dandy on the decks, the music was great, the dance floor (or the half carpet/half marble floor!) was busy and everyone had a really enjoyable evening. Hopefully there will be more dance events at this venue, as it’s really beautiful, centrally located, and the drinks are cheap! Roll on the next Rock n Roll Old School, that’s what I say!

Last weekend was the tiki-tastic Hula Boogie, held at South London Pacific in Kennington. I am pleased to report that I got my dance on, as my happy feet had been itching to bust a move all week. Minnie Moons was also on hand, offering vintage manicures, and I can confirm that there were a lot of pretty nails in the room by the end of the night.

I also came to the realisation that happiness really can come from that moment when you are on your way home at the end of the night, and you remember that you have a delicious chocolate Jive bar stashed in your handbag from when they were handed out earlier in the evening, but you were too busy dancing to eat it...

I stumbled upon this little video of me having a boogie at Hula Boogie on Sunday night, and whilst I don’t normally post that many videos on here, I thought I’d add it in for you to have a little gander...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

JD brings North Side Girl to North London

Oklahoma's golden boy, JD McPherson, took to the stage here in London on Monday for a very intimate show at the Wheelbarrow in Camden. They say the best things in life are free, and this gratis gig definitely supported that claim!

Joining McPherson onstage was silver fox, and founder of HiStyle Records, Jimmy Sutton, on bass. This musical partnership has created a rhythm and bluesy sound which totally shines through on the raw and rockin' album Signs & Signifiers, which was recorded at HiStyle Studio.

Squeezed into this tiny venue, there was no space for scratchin' circles on the old dance floor, but there was just enough space to stand and soak up the electric atmosphere and rock 'n' roll ear candy, such as 'North Side Girl', 'Firebug', 'Scandalous', and their version of The Bellfuries' 'Your love (all that I'm missing)'.

Signs & Signifiers has been my most listened to album this past year. It's one of my favourite records to put on when I'm getting ready to go out, so much so, that my husband doesn't even need to ask what music to play when we're getting ready anymore - he just puts on JD McPherson, knowingly...

I know I'm not alone on this one, as Facebook creepily posts what my friends are listening to on Spotify, and I have seen Signs & Signifiers pop up repeatedly (yes Nicole, I'm talking to you!) over the past however many months.

I enjoyed the JD McPherson show at the Rhythm Riot last November, which was a totally different experience, as it was a way bigger venue, and there was space to dance (I watched for most of the show and then danced with my sweetheart to the encore). Although I must say, personally, I preferred Monday night's performance, because the atmosphere was just awesome, with the band and the crowd totally in synch. I don't know if it's because it was a smaller venue, but everyone was just so in the moment, the band had a great energy, the whole place was jumpin', and the sound was brilliant.

If you missed this gig, JD McPherson will be returning to London to play The Borderline in May....or if you are lucky enough to be going to Viva Las Vegas, he will also be taking to the stage there next month.