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There was no entry for

Day 23: A song that makes you angry

because there are no songs that make me angry. Songs can make me happy or sad, or thoughtful; they can get on my nerves, but make me lose my rag? I don't think so.

So we'll carry on with

Day 24: A cover song

There are many, many great covers by many great artists, and it's difficult to choose which one to highlight. I have in the end decided to go with this version of Look At Miss Ohio (Ragtop Down), originally by Gillian Welch, as performed by Common Rotation and David Berkeley and captured on video by [ profile] anonypooh. We were staying in New York at the time and had driven down to see them for an hour or two, then drove back up again the same night. While it's been more than two years since I last saw them, [ profile] anonypooh's over in the States right now and, if all's gone according to plan, will have seen Common Rotation at last night's gig, and I do so hope she'll bring me back a recording of it. Words cannot express how much I've missed them...or David, for that matter.

the rest of the days )
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So, the Friday before last I slept in, got up, went into town, bought shoes, and met up with [ profile] anonypooh in time for a late lunch (of loaded chips and chilli) in Leicester Sq. Then we went off to buy her a new pair of jeans in Miss Sixty, stopping to take in a charming French street artist's performance in Covent Garden on the way. Back to my hotel to freshen up and drop off/collect our things, and out again to meet up with [ profile] freakspawn at Euston, and off to the pub for drinks and a chat.

Before long it was time to make our way into Camden, where the venue was a tiny basement in a pub called The Constitution. The kitchen had closed by the time we got there, so after greeting [ profile] quietychaotic and [ profile] deborahw37 who were already there enjoying a fag in the garden, we went back out again in search of some takeaway grub, which the landlord kindly permitted us to bring back in once we'd found it (hmmm, yummy kebab for me, and chips for my companions). It got a bit chilly and so we went in. By this time, our numbers had swelled to an 11, as [ profile] justanotherkj, [ profile] mezzerb, [ profile] love_by_137 and [ profile] miss_fairfax and two of her flatmates had also arrived on the scene. Shortly afterwards, the musicians arrived as well, and when DB came over for a pre-gig chat, I asked him if he'd take requests. "Sure, what would you like to hear?" he said, and I indicated that KJ had one. She'd been much impressed with his cover of DCfC's I Will Follow You Into The Dark and requested that. David wasn't sure Jordan could play it and asked if we were going to be at his Monday night gig. I hated having to admit I wouldn't, and he said he'd see what could be done. And so they played it later that evening, to the delight of all assembled.

As I said, the venue was tiny, and we were easily the biggest group of fans of any one artist there. Originally, there had been 4 bands on the bill, but the first one up had had to cancel and so it was DB and Jordan who started the evening off. They played a really good set of 7 or 8 songs, and then it was all over...for me, at least, and I suddenly felt so tired that instead of going on an intended pub crawl with Jules & Lorna (in the end, they went to a noodle bar instead), I went back to the hotel and straight to bed.

The next morning, after sorting out my Sunday morning stupid o'clock travel arrangements, I went over to Muswell Hill where Jules and Lorna had stayed the night. We had a (second) breakfast at a greasy spoon and then spent the entire day outside, exploring Highgate Wood, Highgate Village and Highgate Cemetery, where we discovered the tombs of Karl Marx and George Elliott quite by accident (we were too tight to buy a map or go on a guided tour). Never having been to that part of London before, I was quite pleasantly surprised at how leafy and airy it is, and the views are just amazing. If ever in a future life I come back as a Londoner, I want to live in Muswell Hill. Which probably means I want to make sure I come back loaded as well, as a quick glance in an estate agent's window taught me that property prices are well above my present life's earnings...

I left London on the 6.02am train to Bedford, and got home around noon. Phooey!
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The problem with holidays is, they tend to be over too quickly. Especially when you've only booked a week off and on your last day in the office, your manager approaches you with an offer that on the face of it seems enticing, but that you won't have a chance to investigate, sort out the pros and cons, or all the legal and financial ramifications; let alone check out the job market, because you're supposed to be doing something else somewhere else. Now I'm going to have to go back into work tomorrow, and will have even less of a chance to reach an informed decision.

David's Thursday night show had been cancelled, but lucky for me, something called the City Showcase meant he had a gig that afternoon in the Hugo Boss store in Carnaby St instead. I spent the morning window shopping for shoes (what else?) in Oxford St, checked into my hotel around 1pm; then after receiving a text from Jules that told me she was on her way to the venue, made it there in time to witness the arrival of DB and Jordan. They'd played in Paris the night before and Jordan said the tour so far had been exhausting. Still, he looked perky enough. David had been having some problems with his voice earlier in the week, but thought it was back up to 40%, and besides, he said, what he'd lost in range he'd gained in raspiness, and he said it as if it were swings and roundabouts. Jules turned up soon after, and we went for a spot of lunch while the band set up. The City Showcase involved several artists performing in various shops up and down the Carnaby St area, but I can't tell if this is a regular thing or not. Funnily enough, the presence of a singer in the store seemed to act as a deterrant to people to cross the threshold and browse for clothes or make a purchase, so as an experiment it may not have been entirely successful from the point of view of the shopkeepers.

instore concert )

In the end, they played to about 20 people, none of whom purchased any suits, but many did buy DB's cds, including myself as he and Jordan had recorded an EP just before coming out on this tour. When he asked if there were any requests, I asked for Boxes, which seemed to please him; he believes it's one of his more accomplished songs, and yet it doesn't make the set list, or gets requested, all that often. Which I think is a shame as it's one of my favourite songs from his After The Wrecking Ships-album. Which is still the last studio album...when oh when will Strange Light finally be released?

After the gig, Jules, her friend KJ and I headed over to the Tate Modern to see the gigantic murals on display there, and I finally had that 99 with flake I'd been promising myself for years, though at £2 I did think it was a bit pricey. Then KJ went off to blag her way into a TV studio audience, while Jules and I had fish and chips and mushy peas on board the Queen Mary. Here I was introduced to my new favourite tipple: Brothers' Strawberry & Pear Cider. It smells revoltingly sweet, tastes really sweet to begin with too, but drinks like lemonade once you've had a sip or two. [ profile] bogwitch, dare I ask: have you tried it yet, or is it too much of a party drink for your choice?

And then I went to the theatre to see Avenue Q, which came highly recommended by Jules, and it really was a hoot from start to finish. If any of you haven't seen it, which I don't suppose is the case as you're all much more clued up about these things than I, it's like Sesame Street for grown-ups. The jokes are corny, the songs are catchy, and the story (if there is one) very simple and a little bit preachy, and overall, it makes for a fantastic night out.

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The electrician has just left, doubled over in mirth. Turns out all the electrical failures I'd been experiencing in the home in the last month were due to the fact that I'd inadvertently flipped a switch I shouldn't have, and it took him exactly 0.06 seconds to find the problem and correct it.

Oh well.

I've booked my tickets to fly to London at the beginning of next month, but I can only make it to David's Thursday and Friday gigs in the capital, which is a bit of a bummer but better than no gigs at all. After that, there'll be a tediously long summer of all work and no play so as I can actually afford my trip to New York in October. Let's hope the dollar won't miraculously recover before that time.
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Sanne handed in her notice today. William left two weeks ago. Why do other people always get the jobs they interview for?

Looking at the dates for David Berkeley's June UK tour, and the amount of holidays I've got left this year, I don't think I can make it to all of them. Not even if I restrict myself to just the London ones; they're too spread out. I could make it to The Glad and The Constitution, I suppose...after all, 2 dates (out of 9) is better than none.

Oh! If only I could have been a woman of independent and sheer unlimited means! I'd spend my life following the music everywhere.
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Leila walks like she's just stepped off a horse, all four feet planted wide. She still can't keep her head up very well, and it droops to the side a little, but she's coming on in leaps and bounds. This morning, however clumsily she did it, she made it back to her old spot on the pillow next to my face, and purred and purred. I can't tell you how happy I was to see things returning to normal again in my household.

I bumped into an old friend from uni when I went out for groceries. She looked like shit and I was immediately concerned. I knew her boyfriend had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer some time ago (three years ago, in fact) and I learned that they had just been told he'd have another year at most. Her eyes were big with unshed tears, and I felt for her.

On the way back, I bumped into my nephew Mick, who's now gainfully employed making a nuisance of himself in the streets on behalf of the World Wildlife Fund, by stopping people and asking them to donate to the charity. It can't be easy; he'd been there an hour and a half, and he still hadn't been pledged a single eurocent, but he didn't seem too downhearted about it. I'm glad to see him out and about again, too...he'd been in a depressed state since November, when he decided there was no point in going to school anymore.

I'm seriously tempted to join David Berkeley for his upcoming tour of the South-East in June. Oh! to be in England, in the summertime... Since P. never came back to me with an offer, I reckon I'm free to dispose of my time any way I like.


Feb. 10th, 2008 09:49 pm
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In the past week, nothing much has happened other than that I managed to give myself food poisoning (I don't know why I chose to dismiss that greenish tinge to the ham as just a trick of the light and nothing to worry about), bought another pair of boots, and had to replace the microwave as the old one decided to die on me right in the middle of preparing dinner. The new one looks very white and shiney in its place, but I haven't needed to use it yet so I don't know at present if it works.

I was going to see my physiotherapist (or physical therapist I believe some people call them), but he fell ill and because he'd failed to mark my appointment in his diary, his colleagues didn't know to warn me before I turned up at the practice, and I was so flustered I didn't think to ask whether any of them could see me instead. So now my shoulder, having enjoyed a nice rest this week, hardly hurts at all anymore. I'd be tempted to go back to work -as I'm going out of my skull with boredom watching daytime telly- only...I'm not sure the problem won't come back within hours of me starting again. After all, my first day back at work full-time last Monday proved to be a killer, and I couldn't even finish it. Besides, the doctor told me to take two weeks off, so another week of faffing about stretches in front of me.

But the thing that depressed me most this week was that I had to decide against the idea of following David Berkeley on his February tour of the Home Counties, or even coming down for just the weekend. As much as it would perk me up, I simply can't afford it now.
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Looking back on the last 365 days, I can't say other than that there have been highs and lows. To start with the latter, the lowest point was reached in March, when I lost my best friend in real life to legionnaire's disease. Since then, not a day has gone by that I haven't missed her, missed hearing her husky voice on the phone, missed seeing her lovely smile, enjoying the warmth of her welcome. She was always so pleased to see me, and she always made everything better.

Apart from the mental anguish, there has been a certain amount of pain and discomfort of a physical kind, too -- why, only two weeks ago I was hit by a bus and lived to tell the tale; but more importantly, after almost 3 years of having had to cope with a gammy leg, I finally had surgery to it in July, and after 3 months of medical attention and intense physiotherapy was pronounced fit and well again.

Through one reason or another, I haven't looked very hard for and therefore haven't succeeded in finding another, less stressful job nearer to home, and therefore this will be one of my goals for 2008. I have, however, lost a lot of weight in 2007, which I think counts as some sort of an achievement at least.

When it comes to travel, I've not been to any wild or exotic places this past year; but in April, I accompanied [ profile] anonypooh on a trip to New York, where we simply had a whale of a time. We had an ulterior motive in wanting to surprise our favourite musician friends Corn Mo and Common Rotation, and succeeded in doing so brilliantly.

Gigwise, it's been rather a good year, as -apart from several shows by Corn Mo and CoRo- I've seen Hair Supply and Jason Webley, OK Go, The Police, The Storys, and my latest favourite folk artist, David Berkeley. We met in April in Philadelphia, I flew over to see him in London in May, and then had the pleasure of following him on a tour of France and the UK with Common Rotation last November.

Through all these adventures and upheavals, you, my dear flist, have been there for me, encouraging and supporting me, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the friendship and love you've shown me. I feel so blessed to have you in my life, and that's regardless of whether we've met in person or not.

Tonight, I will be celebrating with the family, so I will take this opportunity to wish you all the happiest of New Year's and all the best for 2008; and leave you with a clip of David Berkeley singing in a Paris club. Please, if you haven't checked him out yet, do it now.

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[ profile] anonypooh and I at The Willoughby, Leamington Spa, Nov 2007. Pictures taken by Christine Crespo.
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Having driven through the night, with several stops for coffee on the way, we picked [ profile] love_by_137 up from Glasgow airport and then checked in to our hotel. I felt a bit restless, so while the others were happy to stay in and play with their laptops, I went for a walk around Bingham Pond, and crossed the path of some swans.

big birds! )

Finally, we took a taxi to Ashton Lane, which is quite pretty, had a few drinks, and slowly made our way to the venue. We got ourselves a table in the conservatory, and settled in for a long wait. By the time we got hungry though, the staff were ready to convert the greenhouse into an auditorium, and would serve only chips and garlic bread, which they would allow us some time to eat but then we had to clear out and join the back of the queue of the people waiting to be let in to the venue. Jules wasn't having that -- we'd been there since late afternoon, specifically for the gig, and she went off to have a word with the management. Soon, we were allowed to stay where we were, while David and CoRo got on with their soundchecks. CoRo's was Afterthoughts, and it was wonderful to hear that old song again.

We were joined by [ profile] tori_x and her friend Jay, recently voted Female Scottish Comedian of the Year. She will be playing London in January, and I hope I can make it to one of her shows then.

Of all the gigs in this mini-tour, Glasgow is my favourite, and it's not just because David dedicated a song to me, although that did make it quite special. I couldn't believe my ears when he said that "this next song (Red) is for my friend [ profile] gamiila, who is ginger", and wondered if I'd heard/understood him right -- in theory, it was possible that I wasn't the only girl going by the name Gamiila in the audience, and no matter what colour my hair, I'll always think of myself as a brunette...but he confirmed later that he had meant me.

It's not unusual for him to say a particular song is for So-and-So in the audience; earlier, he'd dedicated Angelina to [ profile] skylar_muc, and Red (again) to Jules. But I'm still chuffed to bits to have been given this honour, too.

The place was packed, the atmosphere fantastic, the setlists brilliant; and because they were playing in a conservatory, you could see the moon and the trees and the rain falling while the boys were playing, and it all sort of added to the enjoyment.

Brel, Glasgow, 09/11/2007 )

Too soon, it was all over, for me and CoRo at least. After this, they would head back to the States, and I would return home as well, while David had two more engagements in the UK.
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I got to Coventry well before noon, and met up with [ profile] freakspawn again at the statue of Lady Godiva. This was one of the highlights of the tour for me, as I hadn't seen her for what must have been the best part of a year, and we had a lot of catching up to do. We had a chips and eggs lunch in Whitefriars and succeeded in finding her a new pair of boots, and then we got caught in a sudden downpour and got absolutely drenched! We repaired to hers to towel off; then she had to return to work and I spent a few hours on my own reading a book by the radiator. Jules arrived bang on time to drive us to Leamington Spa, where we found the venue without any problems. The place was empty when we first went in there, and so we headed straight out again in search of a cashpoint and some food. Unfortunately, we weren't exactly spoilt for choice in the latter, but the landlord of the pub we'd wandered into gave us permission to go out and bring back some kebabs from the takeaway further down the street, which was really pretty decent of him.

Fortified, we went back to The Willoughby, and found it packed. We were left with standing room only at the back. Adam & Eric took care of the first part of the evening's musical entertainment, playing a slightly shorter set, but impressing the audience nonetheless. A young man named Adi rushed to buy their cd-s, then got a bit upset when we told him he could download about 600 UMs for free from their website. All I have to offer by way of illustration are a few grainy pics, but he has posted some video of the evening on his LJ here.

Also, there's a recording to be had from [ profile] skylar_muc's LJ here (friends only).

The Leamington Spa gig, 08/11/2007 )

For David, this was his third time playing Leamington, and he seemed really at home there. It was a good gig, and an appreciative audience; yet it's my least favourite of the tour. The venue hadn't been the best choice: the pub only consisted of one room and an upstairs, and had remained open to business to punters who only wanted to come in for a drink. They got a gig thrown in for free (but at only £4 entry, we almost did too), but saw no reason to keep their voices down or refrain from fighting at the bar.

As we were planning to drive up to Glasgow that very same night (or rather, Jules and [ profile] christyraymond were; I just tagged along in the backseat), we weren't in a hurry to leave the place

just hanging around )

but eventually, we did have to go. We drove back to Coventry to drop [ profile] freakspawn off and park Jules's car in her street, then piled into [ profile] christyraymond's dinky automobile and set our sights for Scotland.

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I'd managed to speak to [ profile] mezzer the night before, and she'd graciously agreed to share her room with me that night after the gig, so it was with a light heart that I that I stepped out from under the shower, then somehow lost my balance and fell...and broke the toilet seat. Shamefacedly, I confessed my mishap to the hotel receptionist on checking out, but she said it was fine -- so I was a little surprised when, halfway down the street, I was overtaken by another member of the hotel staff, who said she'd overheard our conversation and needed to fill out some paperwork relating to my incident. I solemnly swore the hotel was not in any way to blame, and went on my merry way to Waterloo, there to leave my luggage so I could enjoy the rest of the day unencumbered. I bought a poppy, and had a full English breakfast there, and took myself off to Oxford St to search for a Europe to UK adapter, as my phone was running dangerously low on battery life. I found one in John Lewis, where I also gave into temptation in Haberdashery, by purchasing a half cross stitch tapestry kit. If I ever finish it, I will have my very own Evening View of Westminster in needlepoint.

It was a nice, cold, sunny day, and I quite happily wandered around the city for a few hours. I had a rather surreal encounter with a dreadlocked girl in Trafalgar Square, who came up to me as I was sunning myself on the National Gallery steps. She introduced herself as being 'one of the street people around here' and, gesturing at my coat, asked "Is that real fur?" I admitted that it was. Fascinated, she stroked my sleeve and lapels for a while, then kissed me on the cheek and whispered "Thank you for wearing real fur" before moving off to beg a cigarette of another passer-by.

I usually get lectures from people on the evils of the fur trade.

Before too long, it was time to collect my stuff from Waterloo and head back to the hotel I had checked out of only that morning. I don't know what the receptionist must have thought when she saw me, the Toilet Seat Breaker, trailing behind [ profile] mezzer through the automatic doors again!

As a venue, I think the Cross Kings in Kings Cross got the thumbs up from all of us diehard CoRo fans. It's easy to get to, the food is delicious and the prices reasonable, the staff is very friendly, and the basement has no awkward layout or weird dark corners like in The Troubadour. Also, the walls boast some quite amusing art work. As my phone was recharging in our hotel room, I couldn't take any pictures that night, though; which is a shame 'cause it was a fantastic show.

The musician who had originally been booked to provide the opening had been taken ill on the way down from Bristol, but someone else had been found on short notice, and he made sure he kept our attention by unexpectedly SHOUT-SINGING at the top of his lungs every 10 minutes or so. Up next, David again took no time at all to win over any member of the audience that hadn't experienced his music or his banter before; I believe he did very well at the merchandise table later.

As to CoRo -- they were just on fire that night. They laughed, they joked, they sung like angels...and then...could it be? Surely not! Oklahoma? They must be teasing us! But no -- they're playing it! And now they're actually singing it, too! We...were dumbstruck.

Again, we didn't hang around after the gig for long. Most of us had work the next day, and me, I had an early morning coach to Coventry to catch!

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I'd wanted to take in the Terracotta Army exhibition at the British Museum, so I made sure I was there early the next morning. Unfortunately, the only time slot still available that day was 2:40pm, and so I found myself wandering around Covent Garden and Neal St, the location of some of my favourite shoe shops. But the purple suede flats I tried on in Miss Sixty pinched a bit, and whatever the sales assistants may advise, I do not do 'one size up and use insoles'. I drifted into Office, but the silver wrap-around boots I liked were only available in my size in black -- if I'd wanted black, I would have asked for black, wouldn't I? All in all, my morning was going splendidly: I was pissing off sales assistants left and right by making them look for shoes that I ended up not buying, and feeling pretty good about it. Then I made the mistake of going into Jigsaw.

I like Jigsaw. They've got some really nice clothes, but they're pricey, and so I usually only shop there when there's a sale on. There wasn't one this time. But, recently having dropped two sizes, I needed something that would fit, and I saw a lovely pair of green cord trousers that at £60 could be classified as affordable..."Shall I take these into the fitting rooms for you, so you can look around a little more?" a sales assistant asked. Stupidly, I said "Okay". £92 For a green tweed skirt? Though it is lovely, and beautifully cut..."Oh, that would look so good on you, and with those boots..." The skirt followed the trousers into the fitting rooms. As did a lovely green cami. And as I was trying these on, the sales assistant kept bringing me gorgeous other items. She seemed to know exactly the type of clothes I can't say no to -- orange cashmere sweaters and cardigans, long leather gloves in a beautiful brandy colour, a green leather belt to accentuate my newly returned waist, another pair of orange leather gloves, a burgundy dress...Half an hour later, I left the shop the poorer by £400!

But at least I've got some clothes that fit now.

I went back to the British Museum in the afternoon. I might as well not have bothered, as I went through the exhibition in 20 minutes. I thought the idea behind the time slot system was to manage the crowds and ensure that everyone got a chance to see the items on display, but that didn't prove to be the case. First off, there weren't that many items to see, and secondly, there were far too many people let in at the same time for anyone to be able to see anything. So I left.

I met up with Jules at Mornington Crescent, and from there we walked over to Parkway where we had a lovely chicken, chips and banoffee pie dinner at an Italian caff. Jules had a terrible cold, but like the night before had come armed with Lemsip which did seem to do her some good. After dinner, we went further up the road to The Dublin Castle, to see David in concert again. We were a little early, and after his soundcheck he joined us in the bar and we chatted about websites, setlists, and touring before he had to go and get ready.

He did a rather short set that night, but it was lovely as usual. I <3 this man's music so very, very much. It's melodious, evocative, imaginative, inspired and poetic...ack! I lack the words to describe it accurately.

DB at The Dublin Castle, Camden, 06/11/2007 )

We didn't hang around for long after the gig. We just got our personalised (with David's doodles) cd-s and stepped out into the suddenly very cold night.

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I took the cheap and cheerful option of a coach ride to Paris last Sunday morning, thinking it would get me there in ample time for the gig that night. But instead of the 5-and-a-bit hours I had counted on, it took more than 8 long and gruelling hours, even though we reached Brussels in 3. At 6:45pm, at the turnpikes 27 kms outside of Paris, all traffic ground to a halt, and for the next three-quarters of an hour we barely moved. We finally turned into the bus terminal at Gallieni at 7:50pm, which meant I had all of 10 minutes before the gig would start halfway across the city.

I got a text from [ profile] grimma saying she and her party were at the bar and there was no one, and I texted her back saying I was delayed but on my way; then I decided that since I was already late, I might as well check in to my hotel first, drop my stuff off, and get a taxi to take me to Le Soleil de la Butte. Then of course, the taxi got stuck in traffic, too. Still, I think I got there within half an hour. When I entered the venue, I heard some music coming from the basement, but it wasn't any song I recognised. I went downstairs, opened the door a crack and -as Adam would later say- 'snuck in'. He and David were sitting at the merch table near the door, and the welcome I received from them both was heart-warming.

The basement bar was tiny, but had obviously filled up with people since [ profile] grimma's text message. David found me a chair while I found myself une bière as travelling is thirsty business, and then I settled down to listen to Thomas Brun, the French singer-songwriter who had agreed to provide the opening. Singing in both French and English, he proved very entertaining and in some places, downright hilarious -- everyone enjoyed his set.

After he'd finished, [ profile] grimma came over and we chatted a bit till David took the stage and an expectant hush descended on the crowd. Except for myself, David's friend Stéphanie who had organised the gig, and Common Rotation of course, I don't think anyone in the audience had ever actually heard him before, but judging by the interest at the merchandise and speaking to people afterwards, I know he made many new fans that evening.

David Berkeley at Le Soleil de la Butte, Paris, 04/11/2007 )

Shortly after he'd started on his set, a big and rather loud group of French BtVS-fans arrived. They had come to see Adam and check out his band, but didn't initially have the grace to come in quietly or hide their excitement at being in the room with their idol just a few feet away; so I took my chair and moved up front. Soon however, David's spell worked on the latest arrivals as well. He was on fine form, and everyone who has ever been to one of his shows knows he likes to talk inbetween songs -- well, in France he likes to talk in French. He's very self-deprecating about his ability to speak the language, but in all honesty, he didn't do at all badly, and the audience clearly appreciated him making the effort.

Then it was Common Rotation's turn. Minus Jordan, who is touring with the Wutang Clan ("Seriously," said Adam, "I'm not that funny. I couldn't make this up"), but was he missed? Yes and no. Obviously, without him, all songs have to be performed stripped of banjo/horn/trumpet, but the stripped versions sound fresh and new and allow you to hear other nuances to old -as well as not so old- favourites. In the end, all I really missed of Jordan were his dimples ;-).

Anyway, they say a picture tells a thousand stories, and I have a million things to do before returning to work tomorrow, so:

Common Rotation à Paris )


Woe is me

Oct. 17th, 2007 07:02 pm
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As if it isn't enough that CoRo and David Berkeley have changed their venues in virtually every city they'll visit on their European minitour, after I've taken such care to find and book hotels close to their previous but now cancelled venues...

Without warning, my Creative Zen Touch 20Gb gave up the ghost today. I've tried rebooting it, reloading the firmware to it, and finally in desperation reformatting it, but it just. won't. work. So I sought to replace it, only to find that it's been discontinued, and has been replaced in all the shops (high street as well as online ones) by 1-8Gb HDD mp3-players...or 20Gb mediaplayers, to which you can download photos and videos. But I don't want photo and\or video functionality! I just want a 20, or better yet, 40Gb mp3-player! Why can't I find one?

Tour dates

Sep. 27th, 2007 12:42 am
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Nov 4th Paris, France - DB & CoRo
Nov 6th London - DB & Sam Isaac
Nov 7th London - DB & CoRo
Nov 8th Leamington Spa - DB & CoRo
Nov 9th Glasgow - DB & CoRo

Venues TBA.


- find reasonably priced transport The Hague-Paris, one way
- find reasonably priced accommodation in Paris, 1 night
- find reasonably priced transport Paris-London, one way
- find reasonably priced accommodation in London, 2 nights
- find reasonably priced transport London-L'Spa
- find reasonably priced accommodation in L'Spa, 1 night
- find reasonably priced transport L'Spa-Glasgow
- find reasonably priced accommodation in Glasgow, 1 night
- find reasonably priced transport Glasgow-Amsterdam

(and for 'reasonably priced', read 'cheap')

- get time off work
- get someone to mind the cats
- after finding & getting, book everything!
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David Berkeley

06 Nov 2007, 20:00
94 Prospect, London, London and South East NW1 7AN
Cost : tbd w/ Sam Isaac. oh yes.

Ah - Sam Isaac. He was first up on stage at the ME Club earlier in the year, and not even half bad. But this is what I'm looking forward to most especially:

gamiila: (Default)
Reason the first:

Remember when I said I'd lost all interest in Doctor Who (I think it was right after that episode in which a mad scientist thought he'd rejuvenated himself but in actual fact had turned himself into a giant man-eating scorpion)? I take it all back. The last few episodes have been good viewing, and yesterday's was excellent, even.

Though you can't go far wrong with Sir Derek in the cast, I suppose. Or John Simm. Or...Captain Jack ;-) SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Reason the second:

David Berkeley has confirmed that he will be back to tour the UK in the Sept/Oct timeframe. That means, so will I. ;-)

Reason the third but certainly not last:

(and I've known this for a while; but the release date - Aug 17th- of their new album, their third, and their first in six years, is now fast approaching)

Kula Shaker are back!

And if anyone knows how I can Add a Video To My Profile and have it actually show up on MySpace, I'd be immensely grateful -- until then, I'll just have to post it here:


Oh forget it, it's bloody not working here either!

ETA: now it is!

gamiila: (Default)
Next time I intimate I might be going to London, do me a favour? Remind me to avoid Luton Airport at all cost. I mean, it's alright for coming in, but it's murder using it to get out again. The check-in queues are miles long, the security checks queues twice that, and the staff are a bunch of complete and utter tossers. And why is it always me that has to be picked out and frisked, even when I'm wearing a frigging see-through top (or almost) and it's plain to see that I haven't hidden any contraband around my person? Of course, they confiscated my nail clippers and deodorant again -- bloody wankers. Such a contrast to my recent experience at JFK, where my fellow travellers were allowed to take their 2-litre bottles of Coca Cola through and onto the plane, to the not inconsiderable dismay of the stewardesses on board.


I got to London and King's Cross halfway through the morning and soon realised I'd made the wrong choice as far as my outfit was concerned; yes, it was rainy but it wasn't cold and I was soon feeling pretty uncomfortably hot in my woolly jumper and great big raincoat, so after having treated myself to a full English breakfast, I headed for Oxford St and spent half the afternoon shopping for gigwear (and that's how I came to be wearing that sheer top I mentioned at the airport the next day). The day flew by and I hardly had time to check into my hotel and freshen up before I had to go out again to meet up with [ profile] anonypooh, her husband, and [ profile] miss_fairfax outside Baker St tube station. We spent a pleasant hour getting (re)acquainted in a pub nearby, and then headed to The Spice Cellar in Dorset Sq for the evening's entertainment. It's a small, intimate venue and our first impression was of a congenial which we were, sadly, proven wrong during the second act's time on stage.

The first act had been by a young man called Sam Isaac, who was alright. The second act was a New York lady desperately trying to make herself out to be the new Joan Baez, and who didn't go down very well at our table (at which we had, by now, been joined by [ profile] miss_fairfax's boyfriend Nick). However, although her music wasn't to our taste, we were mindful of the fact that others in the audience were listening attentively and we were therefore careful to keep our voices down while continuing with our conversation, and were having quite a good time -- until suddenly the owner appeared at our table and with barely concealed hostility asked me (and the rest of us by extension) if we were alright or whether he needed to call us an ambulance (WTF? I'm still puzzling over that one); then sat down at the head of our table and kept giving us filthy warning looks if we so much as stirred in our seats -- and I was squirming a bit as I needed to go to the toilet. I asked Jules where it was. "Pass David, turn left", she said, and so it turned out.

He was standing at the back of the audience, and I could't have slipped past him if I'd tried, because as soon as he saw me, he gave me a big smile and a hug, and thanked me for coming all this way to see him. It never fails to amaze me how these musicians always seem to remember everyone who's ever been to their shows, and can recall little things like where they're from, too. It fair warms the cockles of the heart, I can tell you!

The girl up on stage finally sang her last dirge and as soon as she'd finished, several of the punters lay into us with 'if you don't like the music or know how to behave, don't come here'-s, but Mr. Jay deftly defused the situation by agreeing pleasantly with everything they said, leaving them with nothing more to add...but the sudden air of hostility had cast a pall over the evening and I'm sure we would have left if David hadn't been on next.
The owner introduced him as a singer-songwriter from New Jersey, back by popular demand, and couldn't resist another menacing look at our party as he exhorted everyone to 'show respect to the artist', after which David set him straight and told him he was from New York, actually; then launched into his usual banter and an immaculate performance of all our favourites - I almost forgave him for still not having finished with his final touches to the new album, which he had better bring with him next time, 'in the fall' (this means October).

We talked a little bit with David after the show, but the owner was still in high dudgeon and reiterating how our uninterested demeanour during the second set had been 'disruptive and disrespectful', so we made a solemn promise to ourselves never to go back there again, as it's clearly full of the worst kind of musical snobs. Let's hope David doesn't include it in his autumn tour.

The next morning dawned sunny and bright, and I suddenly had this idea that I wanted to do something touristy, which I never normally do when I'm in London. On a whim, I decided I was going to spend the morning at the Tower. In the end, I spent the morning and half the afternoon there...I certainly got my £16 entrance fee out of it!

I joined one of the Yeoman Warder guided tours, gawped at the ravens, looked at the Crown Jewels, climbed countless spiral staircases, had tea and scones for lunch, made a circuit of the walls, and watched some reenactments; then belatedly remembered I had a camera on my mobile, and snapped a few pictures.

the Tower of London, the Gherkin, and Tower Bridge )

Then I had an early supper of fish and chips, and went home.
gamiila: (Default)
The first thing I do the next morning, is to check my phone to see if Jon has texted us as I've asked him to. No such luck...but there is a MySpace bulletin to say he's got a gig at the Parkview Lounge in Houston (by which we assume he means the street) that night at 10. We leave him a message to say we're crazily busy that day, but will try to come to his show nonetheless.

Though really, we doubt that we can make it. We've been in the US for 4 whole days and a bit out of our 7-day stay, and we still haven't made any serious attempt at shopping, so today is set aside for that -- and OK Go in Prince Street at 6pm. Only it said to come down there early...but how early is 'early', we wonder. So we take the subway downtown to try and locate the Apple Store, and wouldn't you know it, it's right next door to J Crew, one of the shops on Lisa's list! The sun is out and the weather is uncommonly clement for the time of year, and so the first purchase of the day is mine: a stylish raffia bag, big enough to hold my coat and scarf.

We check out the Apple Store; there is a podium and some seating upstairs where we suppose the gig will be later, but where at that precise moment in time a woman holds forth on the blessings of iWeb to an audience of no more than 4 or 5 bored-looking individuals. Jules asks a 'genius', for that is what the assistants in the shop are called, what time he would recommend we come back to see the band, and he reckons 4pm should be good. That leaves us precious little time to do all the shopping we had planned on midtown...and when we get to the subway, we find our luck has run out, or almost: a building collapse up in 116th St has caused all trains up or down to be cancelled for the time being, and drives us to go back up and hail a cab. However, a cab is just as slow as a bus in Manhattan, and time is ticking away. We're dropped off at the Penguin Store, in search of a tie for Jules's hubby, but they don't carry any she likes and now she wants to go to Tiffany's...she has some birthday money to spend, after all!

We got there by way of Rockefeller Center, where we tried but couldn't find Anthropologie (Lisa had said it was around the side, but Rockefeller Center has too many sides to check if you're hot, thirsty, and in a hurry). After going around the counters in Fashion Jewelry twice, Jules settled on a cute silver ring with 5 little hearts on it. I texted Jon to ask till what time he'd be on, as not only were we now en route to OK Go, but we were also meant to be at David Berkeley's set at Makor in W. 67th St at 7:30pm, and thought we might possibly be running late.

We got back to Prince St just after 4pm, and joined the queue line, no more than 9 or 10 people long, and found that the wall we were leaning against actually belonged to the post office we had earlier been unable to locate!

the turn-out was overwhelming! )
(and that's my stylish J Crew bag there -- no, not the carrier bag, the one in front/next to it)



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December 2012

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