Hellooo blog land, this is more than likely to be just a flying visit again. I really wish that I could keep up a write about all the events that happen to me in my life because I would like to one day go back and read about all the amazing things that I have done. Unfortunately though as the ingenius title suggests, there is just something about being at university which makes it impossible to blog. I think it is probably due to the sheer amount of activity that happens, it becomes impossible to write one thing and not another - to write everything I would have to do nothing else and so I decide to write nothing which is a damn shame. So in this blog I am going to attempt to again do a bit of a catch up session on the things that have happened in the amazing life of Ant D in the three months between October and December 2008.
Ok let me see, the start of the year proved to be very fruitful in terms of gigging. On the tuesday of freshers week I saw the Mystery Jets who avid followers will know (assuming I did actually write this) that I wanted to see at Field day earlier in the summer but they pulled out. I forgave them though, they were nothing short of amazing on the night. I didn't realise that the lead singer couldn't actually stand up properly though which was quite exciting.
The second gig was to see Little Man Tate, this was the third time that I had seen them and they did not dissapoint. They were supported by a band called the Lines or something of the like who were cool, we started talking to them in a pub after the gig, throwing in that we were the execs of a society - this was the first time I used my society links to get up close and personal to a band but by no means the last.
The third gig of term was to see Dirty Pretty Things on their Farewell tour. Both my sister and my lovely girlfriend Kalistra came to see this with me. They were AMAZING, I had always been dissapointed with their second album until I saw it performed live. That night was the first time I got a backstage pass to a gig. I went backstage (one of the lecture rooms) to see the band who.. weren't there. Ah well I went back outside and enjoyed the gig. By the end I had enjoyed myself loads and so being the caring older brother that I am I sneakily gave Caroline the backstage pass and she krept in and gave Gary (the ex-Libertine drummer) a hug. I could have met two of my heroes but I genuinely didn't care - here comes the soppy bit - I was genuinely happy, I was with my best mate Ross, my girlfriend and my sister and I knew that giving the pass to her would mean more than me using it. Soon after we walked home in the rain.
The next gig was by FAR the most eventful of the term, it was to see the Automatic who have never been one of my favourite bands but it was still AMAZING. Me and Ben got a call the night before asking if we wanted backstage passes... erm free tickets and a chance to meet the band, Yes! so we walked down and helped get the band's ryder ready for when they arrived. I had also found out in the morning that one of the members was called Paul and used to be in a band called Yourcodenameis:Milo who I didn't particularly like but I remembered that he used to be one of my cousins best mates - turns out he cheated on her best mate with a stripper but that is neither here nor there I still said hello. Anyway into the early evening we were talking to the band manager and the roady as the band were in rehearsals and such but it was still really cool. Little did I know that after the bands had played we would be in the backstage (this time in Level 2) drinking and hanging out with the band. The time came when the band needed helping back to the tourbus with their stuff so I offered to help and just didn't come back, I stayed and chilled on their tour bus, it was such a cool experience and they gave me lots of drink. It was a little bit bad times though 'cos I did leave Ben on his own which was a bit wankerish of me. But i'm sorry, I still have to say it was an amazing night.
The final gig that I saw in this term was to see Ben's favourite band, The Levellers supported by Frank Turner at UEA. Frank was as good as I was expecting having been listening to his stuff dor a good while before the performance and the Levellers were really good although they didn't play their most famous song, 'What a beautiful day' which I had actually bought when it came out. Ben said that in the 30 times he had seen them play, that was the first time that they hadn't played it which was annoying and hilarious at the same time.
There were other small gigs at the Twist such as seeing Don Broco and I have a feeling there may have been another gig at Colchester Arts Centre but I can't think of who it was - either way it was an immense term in terms of giggage.
This is long enough for now. Hopefully I shall return in a couple of days I will return and catch you up on other such activities. I'm not sure if I have previously mentioned that my good friend Ross is now living with us at Essex. That, our radio show, the shambles on my behalf that was Steph's 80s party, Christmas and more. See you soon blog fans
This time it isn't really my fault that there is going to be more than one blog's worth of information in this here post. The events that you are about to read about occured on wednesday and thursday of this week and I would have been hard pushed to both blog and sleep in between so I chose the latter. It does unfortunately mean though that you die hard blog fans will have to sit through another extra-ordinarily long blog. I will though try to make it interesting and thus again have started with a moderately cryptic title so here you have it:
A FashionableDrinkinHolloway 2 3 1
1.I am quite a big fan of a band called The Holloways, this outing was my 9th time seeing them, but despicably it was my first of 2008. Despite this poor show of form on my behalf I am still on the bands mailing list and so when an e-mail came through on Monday telling me that I could get free tickets to see them I was as good as there, I e-mailed back straight away asking for 3 places on the guest list, I probably could have asked for more but I decided to go for a number I knew I could fill rather than asking for 10 and only getting 5. So i decided on taking monsieur's Ross Savill and Leander Fernandes. The e-mail said 7:30 and I wasn't sure on the exact time schedule of the gig so I decided to get there bang on time and we did. Unfortunately the bands werent on for about an hour and a half after this and being a bar in London the drinks prices were extortionate and so we only had a couple each and found us some seats and sat there waiting for the bands to come on.
The first band emerged at about 9 o'clock and started to play, they were called InLight, they were inoffensive, unimaginative and a bit boring if I am going to be quite frank. They said that the song they played last was going to be in a film.. quite why I don't know but you can't always account for taste. They finished and there was a short break before the next band came on, page 44, the name straight away suggest pop-punk and after about 30 seconds of fairly indie-ish chords they reverted into that exact genre, the most pop-punk voices I had ever heard and so again I was not entirely enthralled by the performance but I would still suggest that they were slightly more exciting than the first band.
The main event though is what I was waiting for, THE HOLLOWAYS wooo! I am pretty sure they are beginning to recognise me, Rob Skipper deffinitely looked at me and smiled but then I did see a band he was in last week as well so maybe it is due to that rather than my long term Holloways fanship. One of the first things mentioned was that it was Dave Danger, the drummer's birthday the day after but you don't really need to know that, its just for my personal remembering really. Anyway enough pointless rambling and on into the more musical side of things. The set was largely the old material from the first album but there were 4 new songs, the ones that are currently on the band's myspace of which I am now addicted to Sinner and Winners. I of course though saved my most mental dancing for Generator, what a great song that is, especially when heard live. Within what felt like mere minutes the show was over, I made sure I got me a setlist (which was written on the back of a lager box) and then we made our way back to the tube station and travelled all the way home.
2. So yes, I slept and before I knew it, it was Thursday and the day that seemed so unlikely to ever happen to me. I went to a fashion show. Now I never have claimed to be the most fashionable person but my girlfriend, well, she is and so I decided to go along with her to London Fashion Weekend. I didn't really know what I was expecting from a fashion show but I thought I might as well go as I have never been to such a thing before and I might enjoy it and even if I didn't I was spending time with the woman which is always great.
We got up to South Kensington by about midday and waited for her Friend Kareece to meet us there, if you remember in the last blog she was late meeting up and again she was late. You could see the anger building in Kalistra's eyes but it didnt really matter in the end as we actually got in a good 15 minutes before the time stated on our tickets. And so we were inside and what was in there, rows and rows of fashionable clothes being looked at by fashionable people, 90% of whom were female, 7% were gay men and the other 3%, of which im included were guys who were there with their girlfriends. It wasnt awful, maybe not my cup of tea but nevertheless I wasn't as bored as I thought I might have been and the food that they were serving was not too overpriced. I had a nice chorizo, sweet potato and some kind of fancy lettuce sandwich for just £2.
out of the 50 or so stalls set up around the place there was only one for men's fashion which I decided was very sexist and thus complained about for 2 minutes until I got bored of that. We carried on walking around for a bit until it was about 3 o'clock and time for us to go and watch the catwalk. This bit I did genuinely find quite enjoyable. As I said I know nothing about fashion but seeing all the models wearing different clothes going down the catwalk was good. I took photos of just about all the outfits and obviously I am not going to put them all up but here are a couple, well here would be a couple if I could get the new pictures system to work. There were even some of the clothes which were a little revealing in that they were half see through and the models weren't wearing any underwear so I saw some boobies. The girlfriend did point out that I was maybe a little more interested in these fashions more than the other ones but obviously I denied the accusation.
We went for one more walk round after the catwalk, managed blag ourselves a free cocktail which was actually one of the most disgusting things I had ever tasted and then we left, taking Kareece back to South Kensington before going off our seperate ways.
After the Fashion show me and Kalistra went to see another one of her friends, well I should say old school friends who she hadn't seen for 3 or so years and after meeting her I am not all that surprised that she hasn't kept in contact, she was a bit too hyper-active and very much all over her boyfriend. We first went to the trocadero arcade in Piccadilly where I won a car race, which was nice, then we moved down to Leicester square where we sat and awkwardly talked for about half an hour. I used the excuse that I was going out in the evening to get us out of there and I wouldn't be lying if I said I could happily not see her ever again. Me and Kalistra then walked round the corner, bought some pizza, ate and then took the tube home. We left each other at Colliers Wood station and so I had to get ready for the next stage in my eventful day.
3. I had planned to go out in the evening for a nice drink with my mates, it was to be the last time we would all see each other before going back to university so we thought why not go to Kingston and maybe onto the Indie night at McCluskeys. I invited the normal crowd who were still around, me, Ross, Tate and Blondie but I also invited John, mr unpredictable and unfortunately this night was to be one of the ones that I regretted invited him rather than enjoyed it.
Due to me being up in Central, I was a little late in getting Kingston, the original plan had been to get there at about 7:30 but it was closer to 9 by the time we got there. John was already there when we arrived and he intorduced us to a few of his friends who you know seemed nice enough. We proceeded to drink and John's friends were seeming to get a little drunk which you know can't be helped. One of the girls though, a Belgian girl was trying to get the guys to buy her drinks by fluttering her eyelids, obviously this didn't work on me but unfortunately it did on just about everyone else and thus she got even drunker. This carried on for a bit until 2 of John's friends decided to go home and now it was left with the 5 guys mentioned earlier and this Belgian girl who was flirting with everyone at this point at one point I remember her asking someone to 'prove they were a man' then winking. Tate being a bit of a desperate ended up going to the bar with her and kissing her.. it was shortly after this that we were told that she was a prostitute. Or an ex-prostitute, but either way not the most lovely thought after Tate and eaten her face off. The night got weirder and then her and John dissapeared for what must have been half an hour, so we decided to leave.. well most of us, Ross being the nice guy that he is thought we should wait, so we tried to find him and no he wasnt in the man's toilets. He was in the ladies toilets with the Belgian girl. He denies that anything sworded happened but I find it hard to believe.
I then got fed up and just left John and the girl together and went off to find the indie night and hope to make the night better but no, it got far worse first. John who was quite drunk decided to drive. But i was in a mood now so still didnt care until he drove up next to us and practically pushed her out of the car and then drove off leaving us to deal with a now crying girl who had the cheek to have a go at us. Saying that we didn't 'want her' and despite the abuse being thrown at us we tried to help her but without her listening there wasnt much we could do, so I kept phoning John and made him come back, which eventually he did and I shouted at him to his face and he went and got her and drove off with her, after that I don't really know what happened to her but we did our best. At the same time as me shouting at John, 2 drunk twats came over and started saying we were having a lover's tiff, me already in a mood started having a go back and despite them being very mouthy I don't think they had any intention of doing anything as when I shouted back at them they quietened down. By now I was in the worst mood but I didnt want this to ruin my night so I went on to McCluskeys with the guys.
I calmed down when I got into the queue and then they took my chewing gum off me which again made me a little annoyed but I let it pass. We then went into the club, bought some shots and got on with what was a good night. A good couple of hours of indie heaven with teh highlight undoubtibly being Kings of Leon - Sex on Fire which everyone in the club went mental to. We left at closing and then bussed it home by about 4 o'clock in the morning. The best way describe the night is different. See you all soon for hopefully some more 'normal' adventures in the life of Ant D
What an exciting and cryptic title I hear you say, well it isn't all that mysterious when you actually brake it down into it's individual sections but I can tell you that it is going to be a blooming long blog due to the sheer amount of events that I am going to be mentioning. It should have been a number of shorter blogs but as I always seem to do I have let the activities of the last 2 weeks go un-blogged and so I will have to put them all in this one.
Now I hear you say, shut up and get on with telling us what happened. OK I will, but only cos I am very nice. WELL:
Vincent from Portobello lost his hair naturally 4 1 3 2
1. On saturday the 6th of September me and my girlfriend Kalistra decided to go to Portobello market, it is something that we have said we would do since the start of the holidays and had never got round to doing until this late stage. It was very much worth it in the end though. As I had been at work for 3 days previously I had started getting used to the early rising and so getting up at 9am on the Saturday was no trouble whatsoever. We tubed up to Notting Hill Gate and despite going round in a circle at first, got to the start of the road by about 11. At first I wasn't impressed but as we got down into the main section of the market I slowly realised that actually it was BLOODY AMAZING. It would be a crime to compare it to Camden market as it is so different but I shall do it anyway, Camden is good for the mid-teenage years, Portobello is for the more mature shopper with all sorts from a nice selection of clothing, to food, to telescopes, to disco balls. There was one disco ball, at least 20cm in diameter for £10, I do and I don't regret not buying it. I do cos it would have been fun at first, I don't because after a few days it would lose its magic.
Anyway I'm getting distracted, we were walking down the market, Kalistra would stop at every other stall to look at dresses, first liking it, then saying no, then changing her mind a third time deciding she liked it before finally moving on to the next stall. I on the other hand was more fascinated by the food stalls and eventually I did influence her to get some food, despite us knowing we would eat a little later on. We bought a cheese, mozerella and salami sandwich which at £2.50 was a rip off but it was quite nice. It was not a total waste of money though, as when looking for a place to sit and eat we went down a side road and there I saw it, one of the Legendary Rough Trade Shops. I love the Rough Trade brand as it was also the label that signed both the Libertines (my favourite all time band) and the Strokes amongst many other amazing indie bands. After eating I went into the shop and browsed for a good 20 minutes, making Kalistra intensely bored but I was too engrosed to care, I eventually bought the Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man EP but that was half so I could get a bag to say I had shopped there. We went into Jack Wills after but despite this being among Kalistra's favourite shops she was dissapointed by the selection in this particular branch and thus we moved on sharpish.
We got to the lower reaches of the Market by about 12:30, Kalistra again was looking at dresses, at one point even haggling with a man and got the price of a dress down from £15 to £13 but she still decided against it in the end. Next came some minor celebrity spotting. I can't remember her name, but it was a reasonably famous woman presenting one of those day time TV shows about selling your junk at auction or something, we tried to get into the camera shot but it seemed they were always one step ahead of us and kept turning round. We had to meet Kalistra's friend from uni (who also goes by the name of Anthony) at 2, so we started making our way back up the street to meet him at Notting Hill Gate station. We met him and walked around a bit looking for a place to eat, after some deliberation we chose the pub, The Duke of Wellington. The drinks prices at first seemed reasonable but that was just the beer, spirits were ridiculous and thus we decided not to eat our food there and instead went and bought some Paella from a Spanish stall. It tasted ok, but it went cold very quickly and so I was glad me and the lady went for a shared portion rather than getting one each. We were to meet another of Kalistra's uni friends, Kareece, to go onto the 2nd part of my story and thus we again went up to Notting Hill Gate station.
2. We got on the circle line and made our way round to South Kensington where we would go to the Natural History Museum. Unfortunately by this point it had started to rain and also Kareece was late, so we got out our brollies and waited... and waited but eventually she met up with us and we made our way to the Museum. By now it was getting on to quater past 5 and the museum shut at ten to 6 so we were pushing it if we wanted to get a real experience. In the end we decided just to get a detailed look at a small section rather than rushing around. As it is a free museum it isn't like we can't just pop in again at some point. Anyway we first went to the bird section and saw lots of dead birds and even made up a lovely story about the 2 Dodos. We then moved into the dinosaur section and between me being scared half to death by a moving model and conversations about eating dinosaur meat the time got to 5:45 and we really wanted to have a quick browse of the shop before we left. Anthony bought a fluffy dino, whereas Kalistra just wanted a plastic bag which the woman behind the desk gave her at no charge. We make a great couple with our bag scavenging. We then left to go back to South Kensington station.
On arrival Kareece told us of an amazing cookie shop that we just had to go to. We bought a load of cookies and then made our way to the platforms. The cookies were nice its true but not as amazing as I was promised but obviously I ate two anyway. It was then time to say goodbye, Anthony went one way, Kareece another and me and Kalistra took the tube back to Wimbledon before busing it back to Colliers Wood and that was the end of a very successful day in central London.
3. A week of working slowly dragged on with more filing, binding and other such menial admin work but eventually it was the weekend again and on Friday I was asked a terrifying question.. Doyou want to get a hair cut? Those of you who know me will know that my hair is of great importance to me, so cutting any amount off can be traumatic, but this time it was a far greater worry as I intended to get a lot of it hacked away. Now I have said this before and gone into the hair dressers and just ended up with a trim and yes I don't go to a barbers, they just don't have the style that I'm looking for, nor do they give me a haircut for half price cos they know my mum. This time it was different though, I actually had the guts to go through with it and now my hair is a lot shorter and you know what? I like it. I'm thinking I might try and keep it at this length rather than just letting it grow out again, I've had the same hairstyle for too long now. Obviously I had to parade my new look to the girlfriend straight away and although she was a little aprehensive at first I think she has grown to like it. When we got in we watched the first 2 episodes in the new series of Gossip Girl, not a patch on series 1 as of yet but it is still very early days. This though was the full extent of her visit though as I had to get ready for what was to be an evening of excitement (unfortunately without her).
4. In the evening me and Ross were off to see a band that I had never seen previously and after this night would never get the chance to see again as it was to be the last ever performance of Vincent Vincent and the Villains. Now I can't condone what we did first for legal reasons but the young ragamuffins that we are decided to stick two fingers up to Borris and his establishment by drinking on the tube, we were subtle about it, buying a small bottle of vodka and sharing it amongst three bottles of fizzy drink. These were completely consumed within a 45 minute tube journey up to Brick lane and the venue that is 93 Feet East. The £7 entry fee was a bare pittence for the enjoyment we were to get. The main gig hall was not open straight away so we stayed at the bar and had a couple of very expensive pints before the calm was broken by a samba band who took to the middle of the floor and played a very familiar sounding tune which I won't lie was very enjoyable, a good start to the evening. Ross needed to go to the toilet at this point so we made our way to the corridor next to the main hall and I waited as he urinated.. Ross was confused though, there were no urinals and for some reason ladies voices. Yes Ross had made an excursion into the wrong toilet, he was forgiven by the women who were in there though, so no harm done.
At aproximately 9:30 the doors to the gig section were opened and we went in, initially the plan was to sit down for a bit and wait for the more high profile acts to come on but I was distracted and went to the front staright away as it turned out Rob Skipper from the Holloways was playing guitar with the first act (this was not a total coincidence as he was on the bill as well a little bit later on with his side project, The Musical Differences). The first act was a man called Sam McCarthy, who apparently used to be the lead singer of a band called Gilkicker or something similar. He was pretty decent, not much else to say about him. The next band on are a band I have fond memories of as they were one of the support bands on when I first saw the Holloways at the 100 club a couple of years ago. Again they were quite good, by this stage I was beginning to get a little tipsy though so I can't pick out any one particular song or anything that astounded me, just that they were a good solid act.
The next band were called Brute Chorus and this is where the night really started heating up, not necessarily from the music on display in fact I would go as far to say they were the worst band of the evening but during this set was when I first started building up my goody bag. After about 3 songs a drumstick had appeared at the front of the stage and so I took it. This though is far from where I stopped, I had seen a battered old cow bell and I wanted it. The band left the stage and more importantly had left the cow bell behind them, so I pleasantly asked the next man to come on stage if he could get it for me, politely he said that it wasn't his to give and instead handed me another drum stick. No this wasn't good enough, I wanted the cow bell, so I kept my eye on it. The next band on were the Musical Differences and they from what I remember were prettyg damn god, this opinion maybe a tad bias due to my admiration for Rob Skipper but I genuinely remember them being good. When they left the stage though is when I made my move, I crawled up onto the stage and nabbed myself the cowbell as well as a maracca, now that is a much better stash.
Finally it was time for the head liner, Vincent Vincent and the Villains, I have known about the band for several years but never quite got round to seeing them, so on this the day of the last gig I thought it was a must see and I was not dissapointed. They played a number of their bigger songs from their album such as On My Own and Blue Boy. Their set finished at about quater passed 12 and we made our way to the exit, Ross went to the toilet again, this time to the correct gendered one and I got talking to a man that was in The Musical Differences and I was telling him that he looked familiar and he listed other bands that he had been in, which I had decided I had never heard of which was a bit of a conversation killer. Ross came out of the toilets and we left the building after stealing a number of posters. The roudy bastards we are, we decided to wake up the people of London with our Cow Bell skills as can be seen in this lovely little clip that Ross took.
You may think that this would be the end of the night as far as excitement goes, well you would be wrong. The journey home turned out to be a bit of a struggle, it should have been a simple tale of two buses but unfortunately I had forgotten the directions to the bus stop that we needed to get to and so we ended up walking around for a little bit before getting on a bus that said it was heading to tottenham court road which seemed like roughly the right sort of direction.. it wasn't, it took the north london route that took about 20 years longer. As we were passing thorugh Camden I decided we should get off as I knew the route from there perfectly and between sharing crisps with a couple of humerous young gentlemen on the bus in Clapham and me thinking I had lost my bus pass and then finding it in my pocket 10 minutes later, we got to our respective homes at around half past 4 in the morning.