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Tuesday

Otto Dix - Berlin's own storyteller.

While laying on my deathbed and confusing 6am for 6pm, I managed to find a couple of hours to catch the BBC Four, Germany season. I have always been a fan of Berlin since visiting last year and its history fascinates me. I have never known a city to have as many ups and downs and political conflicts as Berlin. I was amazed to find out that ‘Goodbye Berlin’ written by Christopher Iserwood is in fact the smash hit, Cabaret. Based on the liberal city in the 1930’s, it focus’s on Iserwood’s portrayal of sex, drugs and transvestites before the Nazi’s shut cinema’s, dance clubs and parlours down. They called it the ‘Schizophrenic City’ where those who has no clue who they were would go and live. One artist who captured every moment of the red city was Otto Dix. His pictures of Berlin dancing with ‘death’ and cabaret singers, prostitutes in East Berlin were haunting yet very depictive. The Nazi’s hates the artwork deeming them ‘vile’.


Friday

Amazing Tours Announced.


Just found out after a sell out performance at Heaven last month, Swedish beauty Lykke Li is touring the UK again next April. She will be hitting Sheppards Bush Empire on the 14th April and I cannot wait to get my hands on some tickets. She is incredible. I remember rinsing her album in my last year of university, coming across her when her song was played as a remix on Radio 1 on Rob Da Banks show. I then stalked the hell out of her, bought her album and got on the defensive. My flatmate Caz ended up loving her too and when they dropped a Techno remix at Melt, I was in heaven, Just to remind you, Little Bit is below. Talking of Rob, he is playing at The Queen Hoxton on Friday with Tom Middleton. Get involved! Its free!


I also managed to book 2 tickets for the NME tour today for next year. Last years headliners were The Big Pink, the Macabees and The Drums. I missed The Drums but the Macabees blew me away. This year I just had to get tickets as because of my blind drunkenness last week, I missed ‘Sun’ and ‘Jamelia’ by Caribou, who i also missed at The Big Chill. They are touring in Sheppard’s Bush in February and I bought tickets before they sold out. Again, hopefully i will remember this performance.

Today is Friday and work is manic as so many sales have gone,. Who is going to be buying festival tickets next week? Lattitude go on sale on the 3rd and Secret Garden are released to General public in Jan. I love that time of year..

Wednesday

John Smith - The Vortex, Dalston



Full of hope and promise i entered the Vortex in the colourful and charismatic Dalston. Last time i was here I remember bumbling into the Dalston Superstore and being greeted by skinny Jeans and spectacles. I was pleasantly surprised when i entered the Vortex Jazz Club which for me feels like Blasphemy after being a true Ronnie Scott fan. John Smith, the British Folk singer played to a mesmerised crowd that hung onto his every husky word. The Essex twang was well and truly lost when he belted out the beautiful ‘Invisible Boy’. The sudden drumming of his guitar and his calming pace felt like he was telling as class full of inquisitive children a story.

Eager ears and eyes glued to the singer who was emotionally involved in is performance, especially Invisible Boy, which hides meaning of a traumatic period during his teens. I remember seeing John on the line-up at The Green man and thinking what an ordinary name for a singer. Surely he would fall into the background of other folk artists – a little pessimistic for a Beth i admit. Instead i had my ears chewed off about how this Essex boy won over the crowd. ‘The Horror’ was my favourite performance of the night, with myself slipping in at the back to catch the last few moments of the gig on stage behind the fans who swung from side to side in a motion of happiness and mourning at the same time. Folk always gets a bad rip for being depressing, boring and cheesy. This hoever was beautiful.

A little snippet of perfection, I  knew that after listening to his album the first time round, I will now be ready to let it fall on repeat for the foreseeable future. I am not a huge folk fan, the most folk I have ever listended to being Mumford and Sons which is drummed down my throat at every opportunity, making me feel quite sick. I have however decided that after giving this Smith character a chance, I am now delighted in the prospect of attending another gig. After a manic tript o the Vortex, with transport and bad organisation skills from myself, a dead Blackberry and anxious behaviour to not dissapoint I made the gig only to catch a small moment. I have listended to the album beforehand, which I have since added to a playlist on my IPOD and now proud to bust out on crowded buses and trains. His music is soothing, and made my journey into work for 7am this morning a lot better. Usually listening to drum and bass, maybe some dub step i feel my angry monster side coming out as i push through the crowds on the Central line. Today, I blissfully slipped onto the platform and hung losely in the carriage listenging to the subtle tones of the talent of John Smith.

Tuesday

The Coronet - Fourtet and Caribou




So Friday night i went to see Caribou and Fourtet joined by Nathan Fake and James Holden at The Coronet in Elephant and Castle. After a menacing Bootle of Apple Vodka and excitement for finally witnessing ‘Sun’ live, I was deluded and confused when I was watching the live performance of the band from the balcony sitting down. By popular demand, the dance floor was a heaving mess bodies and from where we were sitting, I could see the band but didn’t really get a piece of the atmosphere. After a short stint at the bar and toilet break I returned to my seats to find the boys ready to get involved. Missing ‘Sun, which was the one I was waiting for, The band closed on Odessa, which had the crowd in turmoil. Half the dance floor cleared for when Fourtet took to the stage, amazing dub of delight and green lasers sending me into a dancing frenzy. It was this point i wished I had not over indulged in Tequila shots and the three pints I just downed while Caribou where on. I danced and danced, forgetting it closes at 5 and somehow missing 4 hours of the night. Why is it that after 4 weeks of wetting my pants to see these two, I do not even remember who was on when and what they played? I am disgusted with myself.

The evening turned into a rather eventful and exciting one with nosy parkers roaming the streets of Bow and Stratford, staying at a friend’s mental Warehouse by the river. Machines and old office equipment made it very spooky but inquisitive as we were, it just got more and more interesting. Falling asleep around 9am I managed to get myself together before another night out on the tiles at the pretentious and rather bland, XOYO. Not a fan myself, I have heard good things about this new club in the heart of Shoreditch, with the promise of big name DJ’s. All i got was a white basement room that reminded me of the stock room where I used to work and 2 small tuck shop crevices for bars. The crowd was cold, the tunes were predictable and the night came to a close at 3.30am. I like hideaways, places to chill if you want but the only place was the smoking area which was the size of a toilet cubicle.

Roll on Sunday and a rather lethargic woman returns to the streets of North Finchley for much food and games of Cranium. There is nothing better than friends, food and wine. A send off it was and how they will be missed, Marie and Nikki. It makes me want to save up my pennies for the next year and troll out to Berlin and start a new life. I would love to go and visit the amigo’s in South America and Australia but Berlin is calling and so is that dirty Techno.


Tonight I am off to The Vortex in Dalston for a performance by John Smith. Folk here I come, something to break in the week until the weekend.

Friday

LN-CC Store Opening - Dalston, London

Hidden amongst warehouses and industrial apparatus lingered three bouncers with a very stylish hostess taking names off the guest list, which was as long as the accounts from my office. Feeling as though I was walking into a nightclub, I was escorted down into the basement of a warehouse that honoured the Beauty that is nature. Entering a tunnel of woodland, soft orange lighting, I witnessed air kisses and long black cloaks gracing the floor in brogues and wedges. To each side of the tunnel were rooms of exquisite design, reminiscing the TATE modern or the Saachi. Open white space, contrasted with grey and black heavy fabrics, inspired by tribe and Africa within the menswear. The sweet tweeting of birds and morning crispness made the room a tranquil place to browse the garments. A little more to the left we entered a room that reminded me of a patio within my two bed semi – gravel and a tree house, which again is probably where you take a seat after walking around all day spending that hard earned cash. It became aware to me that the whole point of this shop, was for the experience of shopping. To have a wonder around the store, you need to have made a booking, something that for me puts the pleasure of out of shopping.






Enter the back room and the Vodka and Cranberries were flowing, the minimal house was playing and the collection of briefcases and Mac jackets, huddled in the corner preying on potential air kisses from up and coming designers or bloggers. I felt a little out of place while feeling the Vodka taking its toll, cracking a smile and being genuinely interested in who was who and what inspired these 2 guys to create such an inspirational store, while others tried to find every opportunity to clasp onto their dreams of becoming the new BBF for the next week. ‘Its who you know dahling’..


The Dalston Superstore opened its underground basement doors for the most stylish crowd I have seen in a long time. Those who could move in their skinny jeans danced to some Techno and House, while those who preferred to hide in their camel coats scowled at those able to crack a smile and have some fun. I will be honest, I completely forgot what I was out for, oh yeah, an opening of a store. I got caught up and lost in the fight to be ‘seen’ and found myself overlooking the beautiful fashion that showcases new designers from all over the world. One thing is for sure, The guy who runs the shop? He was a bit of alright..

Monday

Lanvin




Oh Lanvin for H&M. I wish I was able to squeeze some more money out of my credit cards and have a jolly time purchasing LBD's and LLD'S. I however, will be spending my hard earned cash on these events over the next few weeks.

Caribou + Fourtet on 19th November
Claude Von Stroke on 18th December.

Oh how fun the run up to Christmas will be. So far i have bought NO presents what so ever, but I will be finding the time to spend some pennies finding a house.

So far we found a dream in East London but out of our budget - we are haggling so fingers crossed. Its Huge and is not top far from Mile End and is on the DLR. Fingers crossed.


Tuesday

Daft Punk, Magnetic and a Ferry called Bryan



Crystal Castles and Robert Smith of The Cure. Who would of thought? A blast from the past with dreary sounds of heartbreak and potential suicide combined with a headache of electronic – somehow it works. It does however, remind me of a 1990’s club track, that Marilyn would be proud to call his own. However, if you enjoy a little bit of cheese and a break in-between thumping your fists in the air to something as lot harder, it could be for you.




Something that is really getting a repeat play on my I-Pod is the Magnetic Man album, which I am playing while fighting the tube every morning. The album gives me overwhelming power, as I feel confident, independent and like I can take any of those city bankers on. Obviously, the smash hit ‘I need Air’ is one that is on constant repeat, with soulful vocals of Katy B on Comeover’, which i feel is better than the ‘Perfect Stranger’ released as their second single. The only problem is, with these three tracks on constant play, there is not much room for anything else. All of the other songs filter into one mix, which is not a catchy, pounding or dirty enough to catch my attention.





So Daft Punk – remember them? I loved Daft Punk, their videos and their obscure ritual when performing. Their music was uplifting French Brie that made you smile. After a break and sometime in the studio they are back, with exclusive Plays on Radio 1, which i have to say I am not impressed by. With tracks as short as 1.30seconds and an array of random button pushing, some of the tracks I have heard thanks to the lovely Annie Mac, have reminded me of a 4 year old on their ABC spellchecker. Gone are the catchy lyrics and hopeful chants and instead are dark and frightening blends of nothing but ‘noise’.







Last but not least, my final rant comes from the Roxy Music album cover. Renowned for their saucy album covers, women from all over the world, mainly models showcasing beautiful assets – Roxy Music has now turned to Kate Moss to make sure their comeback album, Olympia is a hit. Jerry Hall graced the cover in the 1980’s, probably the highlight of her nonexistent career. Kate Moss however, is an icon within fashion and rock –despite no number 1 album or single. An eye for an eye?