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Thursday, 24 June 2010

FREE BOOZE



Vice and Reebok had a party last night, Glitterbird and I made a bee-line for the bar and as a consequence today I was basking in the porous aroma of Sailor Jerry and feeling like vom on a stick. 
Florence was there, as was Wino apparently. There was a swing. It was sweaty. Fun.










Tuesday, 22 June 2010

DEUX-MILLE!



So we've hit the 2000 views mark! Only this, my favourite 2 year old in the world, and what I hope I could someday spawn, can express my feelings.





THANK YOU X

Monday, 21 June 2010

MORE WERK


Whilst I'm pimping myself out, I am also working full time at Empora Ltd at the minute, as a Fashion Editor. It's the kind of website you don't realise you need, until you use it. 

Self labelled "The Fashion Search Engine" it is home to over 2500 brands, ranging from McQueen to Topshop; you type in what you're after, and it shows you what's out there, whether it's on sale, possible similar items by different designers, then transfers you to the website to buy it. Geddit? So instead of trawling individual online stores, looking for the perfect pair of nude wedges - compare everything in one go, in one place.

Give it a whack why don't you?





WERK




Forgive my flagrant self publicising but I have had some words I've written, a short article to be precise, published on a proper, credible website. My name's on it and everything.

Twin is a gorgeous bi-annual magazine, well more of a book really, that covers all that is interesting in the world of fashion, art & culture - with a key female angle. I met the Features Director Aimee Farrell during an internship at British Vogue last year, where she also works as Junior Features Associate. She kindly, and tolerantly let me send her my ramblings and now I have something tangible to show my parents. Yay for me etc.

Read my piece HERE.


Daisy Lowe bloody loves it

Sunday, 20 June 2010

EYE CANDY



I have been a fan, or should I say 'appreciative observer' of Lauren Laverne since she first strummed her way into the limelight in the mid 90's with band Kenickie. Back then, I was brimming with notions of girl power, obsessed with coloured hair gels and lived my life through Smash Hits and J-17, so appreciated a strong female Feist figure as much as my weekly pocket money. Top of my tree of respect were: Republica's Saffron, Alisha's Attic and the youthfully anthemic Shampoo, who were always a raucous hit at the local mobile disco.

Courtney Love, who I was aware of then, but through reputation and antics aplenty flew a little out of my radar, said this:

"They're a big bunch of sex, that band Kenickie. They're a big, raw-boned bunch of fucking sex — all three of them and the boy. I hope they get good. I hope we're a good example to them, I hope this record's huge and then the big labels will start sniffing around and then those big fucking raw-boned sexy Newcastle [sic] girls will be huge and have Number Ones and there will be an Amazon planet the way I want it."


Well now, Laverne has added Author to her string of career ad-libs which include: TV Presenter, Journalist, DJ and Musician - phew. Candy Pop is her debut novel, and follows a 15 year old girl as she embarks on a journey into the pop industry... wonder how she came up with that? I am totally going to read this as I suspect it will take me right back to the days of recording my own tapes to listen to on my Boots fluoro personal cassette player, whilst probably on a trip to Longleat.

BookArmy are giving away 5 signed copies of the book, put your name down HERE to be in with a chance. I have.



Wednesday, 16 June 2010

WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD THIS ITEM TO YOUR WISH LIST?




For some reason I've always walked past Beyond The Valley in Soho, (just by Fred Perry round the back of Carnaby St) and never bothered to take a look inside. Something about it always made me think it was a bit of a naff job. 

I now take back my words and eat my hat all at once for I have found the peach floral silk dress of my DREAMS on their website. It's by Roxyheart and a mere smidge at £175.




Doesn't it make you drool? Next time you're in town have a gander in the store, they've even got a pretty thorough stock of good magazines and books.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

I SPENT THE DAY IN THE V&A


Kensington is now my hood. I feel like I spend half my time walking aimlessly around this particular region, pining for my very own Arabian lifestyle of clearing out Harrods then being whisked around in a Chauffeur driven Bentley. To distract myself from my comparative, and all too real poverty, I go and look at stuff in Museums - you can't buy any of it so it's a win win.


Ideal for doing your best "Freddie Mercury" whilst giving the lounge a spruce


I cannot therefore I am not?


Imagine having this as garden furniture on a hot day - you'd end up with an arse like a griddle


True dat


When I grow up I want this in my bathroom, or a mosaic of Celine Dion - haven't decided yet



Monday, 14 June 2010

INTERVIEW



The Hit Ups have been Bristol’s best kept secret for over six years now, but that’s all about to change…

Catching me staring at the perfectly organised rows of juice cartons that lined the units in his kitchen, Josh smirked, “I’ve collected them over two years. It was you know, something to have before all the furniture and stuff”. The rest of the collective comprising of Sam, Lewis and Charlie describe themselves as a “4 headed demon with an unquenchable thirst for loud guitars, raucous boom-bap hip-hop, throat tearing rap, maddeningly memorable riffs, SB Blazers, old metal tees and an undeniable full energy, all party ethos.” Having arranged to meet the guys at the frontman’s flat, expectations were laced with visions of a typical smocked wallpaper and fag burned sofa bedsit – our arrival at a deluxe harbour side studio indicated from the offset that we weren’t dealing with a regular band here. From the masses of promotional artwork on the walls, to the unusually punctual arrival of the members themselves so early in the morning, it was clear The Hit Ups were more than just a hobby.

This is not a good time for bands doing the circuit, despite the admirable attributes of hard work, a solid following and a healthy dose of charisma, chances are, unless you pawn yourself out to a panel of overpaid and under-dressed “experts” for the nation’s entertainment, unsigned talent remains flying distinctly below the raider of monetary success. That’s why The Hit Ups are such a rarity. Having been together for over six years already, they’ve taken the progression of their group completely into their own guitar-gnarled hands. “It’s a co-operative,” says Josh, “All four of us together almost make a manager. We all have different commitments, like Charlie’s at Uni and we work and stuff; we’re all really driven. But we’ve got each other’s backs, if one of us can’t do something someone else will and vice versa. We really understand each other’s mentality.” Exploring all viable routes to marketable success, the band already have a solid presence on iTunes as well as their own website selling everything from limited edition art prints to a pretty damn nice selection of merchandise. Everything seems so slick; it comes as a surprise that there is still no major label presence involved in the production. This is a proper, good old-fashioned labour of love – and it shows.


Settling down on the stylish blue couch with not a fag burn in sight, the band’s image was one of the first points to be covered. “We work quite hard to keep it cohesive” explained Josh, managing to appear both incredibly relaxed yet serious at the same time. “We used to wear our merch t-shirts to play, but now we wear more bland stuff – its kind of important to go into a venue looking like a unit, with one focal unifier. When we started we wore whatever the fuck we wanted, but not anymore.” It seems odd to hear such a nostalgic statement from a bunch of guys no older than 21. Having started out at school thrashing Rage style riffs in Josh’s mum’s rural house, the secluded location seems as eponymous with the band as Abbey Road for the Beatles. “It’s great to play in the countryside, there’s no one to annoy. We still have the same room there we’ve always had, she’ll never get rid of us. None of us drive but somehow we all manage to get out there, and it’ll always be somewhere we can really let go.” Managing to tread the often-troublesome road of transition from teenage diversion to credible musicians has seen many bands crumble and disappear into University and a job in the local Carphone Warehouse, but not the Hit Ups. They have real, proper fans as opposed to an endless list of MySpace fringes on a screen, yet another indicator, if needed, of their legitimacy as opposed to fanciful naval gazers. “We have a really great following who come to shows regularly but we’ve found over the last 1-2 years we have this massive switching changing crowd. It quite reflective of the genre always moving and changing.” Sam continues, “We’re trying to kick the Ska image. Obviously we’ll give [them] something they might like a bit but then try to take it further. Push it.”

Pushing it is something these guys are good at it seems, one point that keeps being re-iterated is that of the regional curse. “We’re trying hard not to be classed as a local band. You know, that can just be the fuckin’ kiss of death right there.” In the eyes of the standard observer, travelling from city to city trying to build up a good rep may sound pretty sweet, after all there’s nothing like four guys, a van and some on the road antics to make an enviable Facebook photo album, but the reality can somewhat differ. “Playing outside your hometown you have to work hard to engage with the crowd. We’ve had some fucking awful shows outside of Bristol with like 10 people. You just have to rock it out then they tell 10 more people and then they tell another 10 people and it goes from there.” Surely that kind of response, however optimistic you may be, could take the fun out of the whole she-bang a little? Not according to the Hit Ups, whose unrelentingly positive attitude is just one of the reasons I believe they’ll go far. “If you get 10 people and are pissed off you’re in it for the wrong reason. At the end of the day, you never know where the talent scouts are lurking. We get a good response in Cardiff, Southampton and Bath, but a new city is like starting all over again; you’ve got to love playing.”

Modesty is another shiny medal that could be added to the band’s already gleaming belt of heavyweight status. Last year they played to record numbers of crowds at summer favourites such as Glastonbury, Shambala and Bristol’s Harbour Festival. It seems even the band themselves were awestruck by the kind of reception they received, as Josh recalls shaking his head: “Playing 2-3000 I was so fucking psyched. Literally just went out there and went mental, you’re like another person. You get off and you’re like what the fuck just happened.” Successes aside, this summer sees a big step forward in terms of studio time, which means an unfortunate step back from the calling limelight. You see the Hit Ups have orchestrated a royal coup, to record with the studio technician to legendary Portishead. Not only is this a firmly planted tread in the footsteps of the aforementioned, it also marks a change in how exactly the band put their work together. “The stamp of the production makes such a difference. We’ve definitely changed how we record; it used to be like 6 or 7 songs per go, now we’re just doing 2. We want them to be perfectly sculpted.” And masterpieces they are indeed, with Welcome To The Discoteque being of particular note – containing obscenely perfect riffs and a hook as catchy as Swine Flu.

Every factor of the boys lives seems to be pivoted towards the ultimate success of the music, Josh and Sam both work at leading gig venues in Bristol, providing an invaluable source of guerrilla promotions opportunities. It has to be said, that it is undeniably hard to strive in a city where it could be said that the music scene is just too good. “If you cant back your stuff up with the right image and gigs then it just falls flat. Bristol is so saturated with music; people can sometimes see it as disposable. You’ve got to be somebody people are interested in being a part of. There’s no room to let it get too static.”

As the interview draws to a close, there’s the inevitable question hanging in the air, or standing unavoidable as the proverbial elephant in the room; after so many years, why still do it? Obvious exclamations of ‘It’s all the about the music’ aside, Sam looks up plainly and says, “Not long ago, a guy came up to me after a gig and said he saw us a couple of years ago but hadn’t been since. I didn’t know whether to be offended or what, then he said he’d been in Afghanistan and him and his mates had listened to our CD all the time that they were out there; and it was so nice, so weird but so nice to think that your music means more to people than you might think. We put everything into what we’re doing, its amazing to know it comes back.” What better reason is there for doing what you’re doing than that?




Interview conducted for Rag Mag


Sunday, 13 June 2010

OOOH BETTY!



Ever the hoarder of all that is fabulous, my Mum has given me a pair of my Great-Great-Aunt's 1950's cushions to take back to London. I'm not entirely sure where to put them, they could either inject a quirky Liberty's touch to the Sofa or add to the reams of pomp and swagger in my Bedroom... Either way though - I need some morally upstanding callers for tea and bridge pronto.





SOUVENIRS



So you may recall a couple of weeks ago I was harping on about wanting a little more "bling" in my life once more; well, I think I've gone and granted my own wishes thanks in no small part to 10 euros and a shifty looking market stall.




Now I know it's hardly a double-take for a Cartier or Rolex, (it's actually a brand called 'Orlando' - get me) and it wouldn't look out of place hanging from the wrist of a member of the African Drug Cartel, but it is very similar to Whitney Port's own timepiece, which I have been coveting since The City strutted into my line of vision in January 2009. If only you could buy Whit's legs at a market stall...




Thursday, 10 June 2010

WHERE DO I BEGIN?


Well well well, what a long stay of absence.

I do apologise - but it's been a rather busy couple of weeks. Lots to report, but I should maybe mention firstly that this post is being written in the sunny Sud-Ouest de France at my flatmate Kate's house. Hard life I know but someone's got to do it etc... The house is actually for sale, which is a little devastating for me, but Sussex calls and if you know anyone with a little spare cash looking for a fancy French foothold on the market have a squiz at the photos below and get in touch.





So, apart from freeloading, what have I been doing with myself? Well, been on a bit of a jolly if I'm honest.

Firstly there was a fun (and drunk) as ever Liverpool visit, kudos to everyone involved - a Scouse takeover of London is most definitely needed. Following that, Tony's darling sister Sophie came to stay and we had a wonderful week making cakes, being farncy, sploshing in various upmarket fountains and taking pictures with every Elephant in sight. There is some more exciting news, but this shall have to wait - so stay tuned as there could be something in it for you...







Thursday, 3 June 2010

TAKE ME OUT





Ok, so I know I'm a little late off the mark with this one but I had totally forgotten how much I want to see this exhibition at the V&A. How could one forego an extensive delve into the wardrobe, and subsequently life, of one of the most beautiful and enigmatic icons of our time, Grace Kelly. It's a shame that she is often forgotten in the Audrey vs. Marilyn debate, as to me she encompasses all that both embody separately: Maz's blonde 'BAM' factor teamed with Aud's elegant air.

Look how divine she is here with 'ol Blue Eyes? That's the kind of dress to make you weep into a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc when it doesn't fit you anymore.



She was even a proper, bonafide Princess for crying out loud. Long and short of it - I want to go, I have no money, someone take me please. Thanks.


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