Sunday, June 21, 2009

Everybody look at me, cause I'm sailing on a boat...

We just got back from France, and it was completely amazingly fun.. I am going to have to sit down and write this stuff out... I kept a little tour diary, so I'll probably just type it out sometime. Until then, here are some photos chosen for no other reason than I liked them. Ooh, and it turns out they're all a little bit blue. Isn't that nice?




We caught the ferry over from Dover to Calais, it was beautiful. Much more beautiful than the tunnel, I imagine.




Still sea themed - we played on a boat in Lyon. I had a song about being on a boat stuck in my head aaaallll night.
So yeah, it's called Sonic, and heaps of cool bands have played there. Any time another boat went past, the boat would rock a little bit, and it was really noticeable on stage. I forgot where we were at one point, and when I started swaying I thought I was about to pass out, until I remembered. Weird.

I can't imagine this being allowed anywhere else - I think health and safety laws in Australia would probably spoil the fun. But if you know anyone who wants to start a venue on the Swan river, tell them I will totally be there. And I will bring friends.




So when you tour in France, the promoters always seem to organise accommodation for you, and in our case, we stayed at their houses. As our host in Paris put it,
"Please, make yourselves comfortable. Zis is your home away from home. And zis is your cat away from your cat." Her name is ciboulette, and that eye colour is not exaggerated.

That'll be it for now, but I'll continue to fill you in haphazardly as I have the time. It'll be great.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Swindle!



Can't remember which one of those cave photos I posted, but here's another (hopefully different) one.
I tried to update in Glasgow, I promise! But blogger was down, and also there was a very cute kitty named Larry living in that house, so I played with him instead. He was awesome and friendly, and every single one of you would have done the same...

Oops, I haven't uploaded all my photos from tour yet, so you'll just get some from the first half.
I need to become more of a photo taker, I'm still really slack about the whole thing. That'll be my goal for France, I'm going to take a million pictures of exciting French things.



See? Watched bands, saw some scenery, hung out with cool people, and what do I have photos of? Sherwood forest: taken from a moving van. I kinda like it, though.

Anyway, our shows were totally rad! I think we played really well, especially considering we haven't rehearsed in a while. On the other hand, we've been playing these songs live now for aaages, so we've pretty much got the hang of them. We only had half hour sets, so we decided to play mostly upbeat songs - short and sweet, and you get to leave the audience wanting more. Woo.
I think we're going to try to play one or two old songs for the next couple of shows. Might be interesting, might be catastrophic! How exciting!



Also, the Drones were amazing, which should be a surprise to no one (or at least no one who reads my blog and has heard me hyping them up for the past month). They are such a good live band, they're so in tune with each other and interesting to watch. Plus their songs are great and they're nice dudes. Did I mention I enjoy that band?
This was the end of a really long tour for them, though, so I think they were getting a little bit sick of it. Touring is awesome, and I'm sure they wouldn't do it if they weren't enjoying it, but it can get tiresome to be moving around all the time. We were only gone for five days, but it felt like heaps more than that - I think maybe because the whole day is filled with driving and soundchecking and waiting to play and playing and packing, whereas at home there are definitely periods of just hanging out and not having to think...

Tomorrow we leave for France! It's kind of nice going from one tour to another, but getting a night or two at home; all the little things I wished I had on tour are still fresh in my mind, and we got to do a whole bunch of washing today. Small pleasures.

I was pretty flat out today trying to organise all that stuff for the wedding that I've left til the last minute. Good thing Sigga is taking care of most of it, or our guests would be sleeping in the streets and eating whatever they could forage for in the hills of Skagafjörður (i.e. weird herby grass and maybe a sheep, if they felt like running fast). Anyway, I am pretty much sorted except for shoes - Mum is bringing a pair with her, but I'm a bit scared that I won't be able to stand in them, let alone walk in a straight line in front of a whole bunch of people whose main goal at that point will be to look at me*. So I should probably have a back up pair... Except that now that I think about it, now would have been a good time to buy that back up pair, so I could get some practice while we're on tour. Oh well, there's still time. Maybe I'll buy some in Paris!

Oh yeah, one of our shows in France has been cancelled (boo!) but that means we get a day off in Paris! I don't know if I want to spend that day shopping, but then again it's some sort of fashion capital of the world, right? Maybe I'll buy a pair of outrageously expensive and beautiful shoes... Oooh. You'll hear about it if I do...

*Side note: I have a funny story about not really digging being the centre of attention. Two stories, actually. At my fifth birthday party, I burst into tears when everyone sang happy birthday, for no particular reason except that everyone was focussed on me. Not anyone major, either, just my mum and dad and brother and maybe an aunt or two. Weird.
Then I did it again - at my 21st birthday. In a restaurant. Again, no reason except that some singer guy led everyone in singing happy birthday. Again, "everyone" was pretty much my closest family members. So don't feel obliged to sing to me on my birthday. It'll just be awkward.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tour! Yeah!



We are leaving to go to Birmingham today, and when we get there, we will play a show! Before he left, K helpfully pointed out that you say Birming'um, rather than Birming-ham. Good to know.
Hmm, I'm pretty sure I have some interesting stories to tell - I only remembered them because I just downloaded all my photos from the past week onto the computer. Honestly, sometimes my brain is scarily bad at creating memories for later recollection. Yay for technology.

The above photo is from Gordon's wine bar; we went there on Saturday night for Anjay's birthday. It's really cool, most of it is in a little underground tunnel. It gets really busy, but Maja and Joe and Anjay got there in the afternoon, so we claimed a table pretty easily. We had lots of smokers at our table though, so we had to keep defending their chairs whenever they went outside. That gets pretty tiring pretty quickly. After a while you don't even let people ask, you just say no as soon as they make hopeful eye contact.
It's a really nice place, though, and K took quite a few warm candle lit photos. Must put some more up later!

So K is gone now, he left for Reykjavik yesterday afternoon... Ross and I walked him to the train station, and we were hanging out waiting for some awkward goodbyes, but then Kristinn accidentally walked through the ticket gate, so we just kinda waved. Maybe it was intentional, awkward goodbyes are not that awesome. Plus I'm used to him going really far away from me when he's leaving, but we're going to see each other in a couple of weeks!

I think I'm supposed to be writing a travel blog about this tour for some Australian website, so maybe I'll duplicate everything and put it here, too... Do you think they'll mind? Hope not! Maybe it'll mean that I'll actually stay in touch a little, yes?

Um, there was some sort of reason why I was going to write on here... Nope, it's gone. Oh well. I should probably be helping to load the drum kit anyway.
x

Friday, June 5, 2009

HI, this is Kristinn! I've been in London a week now and it's been pretty great; not only London itself, but Olga's house is one of the nicest sharehouses I've been to in a long time. Everyone is nice and party times have been had. Look at this Karaoke diptych:



See? Fun times.

Oh yeah but London is pretty sweet too. I am blown away by the effectiveness of the tube as a mass transit system. And the British Museum; I mean, I guess it is just a testament to the way the British Empire at its peak felt it could take whatever it wanted from anywhere, but after wandering around for a little while you can see just how jawdroppingly diverse is the handicraft of humans widely dispersed across time and distance. Aztec lintels, Chinese jade artefacts, Hindu shrines, Inuit kayaks.

Humans are slightly awesome.

Anyway, I'd best wrap this up. We're going to see Dan Deacon tonight, I've heard that his live show is nothing short of trancendenant. Off to Iceland Tuesday, It'll be sad to leave here but at least equally terrific to be in Iceland. Cheerio!

Everything's just wonderful...



Ah, I totally took that title from a Lily Allen song - do you think we can still be friends? I guess there were other options that mean the same thing... Everything's gonna be alright (P.P. Arnold), Everything is alright (Four tet), Everything must converge (But I'm sure he means it in a good way? Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds)... But I'm sticking with my choice, so there.

Whoa, so I have been hanging out with K lots and lots this week, and it has been awesome. He is over for the wedding, but also over for his birthday and some general catching up.

Highlight of the week was definitely karaoke on Tuesday night! It ended up nearly everyone who's sleeping in our house at the moment (there's quite a few of us), although not everyone sang... Well, not everyone sang on their own, there are certain songs (Livin' on a Prayer, Gangsta's Paradise) that are impossible to stay quiet for...
So yeah, the new event of choice for anyone coming to visit me will be karaoke! You've been warned...

What else have we done? K and I went to the Wellcome museum in Euston, it was pretty amazing. There are two exhibitions on at the moment about art and madness, and they are both pretty interesting. One was called Madness and Modernity, it was about art and architecture in Vienna during the early 20th century... Apparently they were 'nervous times' - it was pretty hip to be kind of neurotic and hysterical, and to go and stay at a luxury sanitarium (sanitorium? Is there a difference?) for a little while.
The other exhibition was some diary drawings and watercolours that this artist Bobby Baker did during her 9 year descent into schizophrenic madness. It is pretty impressive, early on she made a strict rule to do one diary entry a day, and they're all quite finished and interesting. Hmm, my description is not doing it justice, but it was rad, I promise.

Apart from that? Oooh, we went to see Dan Deacon yesterday, it was amazing! I had never heard of him up until now, and K had only heard that he puts on incredible live shows, so it was all pretty exciting and surprising. It was like a cross between Animal Collective and Boredoms - really loud and intense musical build ups with vocals over the top. There were about 11 or 12 people on stage - 3 of them drummers! - and it was just really moving. The guy himself, Dan Deacon, was just a regular looking guy, but he was so charismatic and positive, he had the audience eating out of his hand. He started all kinds of awesome audience interaction, but again, I don't think I'm going to do it justice. If you EVER get a chance to see this guy, do it! Best £11 I ever spent.

Also, hi mum! She gets worried when I don't post, and also I think she was getting really really sick of that weird picture that was the most recent post. I'm going to try to keep on top of it while we're on tour with the Drones next week, I promise!

Today I think K and I are going to go to Brick Lane and do Curry: round 2. We had one on Sunday, but the service was so appalling that it kind of ruined the meal. Seriously, I expect waiters to be a little bit rude here, but this guy wasn't just indifferent to us, he loathed us. Nah, probably not, but he was not very friendly at all.
Anyway, we'll have curry, maybe with K's friend from Perth, and maybe I'll find some accessories for my wedding dress - I really do need to get that stuff sorted.... Less than a month to go!