Hurrah for productive lunchtimes. Long-term readers of my various blogs and journals might remember that, every year, I embark on an epic quest in order to find some mittens to keep my small but perfectly formed (ha!) hands snuggly during the winter months. The closest I have found yet come from Accessorise’s adoreable Angels range, but as their mittens only go up to an age 6-8 they tend to be a bit of a squeeze. It would appear that this year they’ve launched a slightly larger size, though as luck would have it everywhere appears to be sold out already (just ask the lovely shop assistant who called every store in Glasgow for me after the obligatory “oh they’re for you??!”s). Undeterred, I found some brightly-coloured stripey ones in the girl’s section at Monsoon, in an age 10-13.
And… they’re too big. Baws.
Also on the agenda this lunchtime: the weekly scout for new-release singles. Imogen Heap’s Headlock CD is a thing of wonder and beauty – so much so that who cares what the record sounds like – and I had a wee chat about the Glasgow show with the girl at the cashdesk. If I worked in a music shop I doubt I’d be able to resist commenting on people’s purchases either – for good or for bad – I wonder how long I’d last in the job? It was all I could do not to chase after a pair of boys in Sainsburys at the weekend, one of whom was wearing Jesse Malin and Ryan Adams badges (and if they hadn’t disappeared by the time I’d grabbed a bottle of tonic water, who knows? ASBO central…) Plus I’m sure I’d break the record for noumber of copies of Heartbreaker flogged in a week.
Also purchased today was “The History of Britain”, from the lovely New Rhodes‘ forthcoming debut album. I haven’t heard the song yet, but if it’s not another slice of perfect guitar pop there must be something very wrong with the world.
The highlight of a weekend mostly spent passing out on the furniture was undoubtedly a cinema trip with Jason and Andy to see Children of Men; a bleak, apocalyptic tale from the writer of An Unsuitable Job For A Woman and the director of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The film, which I wasn’t too fussed about seeing, is actually brilliantly done with a sterling cast (I’m a fan of both Julianne Moore and Clive Owen, and even Michael Caine managed to not piss me off with the same luvverble character he seems to have played in everything I’ve ever seen him in) and moments of the comedic distracting from what was ultimately a dark tale, albeit with a message of hope – a realistic portrayal of humanity in the face of adversity I thought. Peter Mullan’s character was a joy. I particularly liked the way a London not too far from our own was portrayed – the buses were still falling apart, but the advertising hordings were shiny with new technology.
Of almost as much entertainment, however, were the couple sitting next to us – a pair of middle-aged twats on their monthly husband/wife outing away from the cricket and a shared copy of the Independent, who insisted on providing a running commentary throughout the film. “And there’s just too much swearing, it’s so unnecessary,” the wife commented at one point. It was lucky they arrived in time to miss our crotch sauce related conversation, that’s all I can say (an in-joke of mine and Jason’s – you probably had to be there and possibly are glad that you weren’t).
A few months ago, Australia’s Howling Bells released what I am cautiously calling my album of the year (I qualify this by reminding you that Joanna Newsom nipped in at the last minute and stole that title in 2004 and by all accounts seems likely to do again), and last night Lal and I checked them out live at King Tut’s. I believe I speak for both of us when I say ooh, girlcrush! It was an interesting evening, with opening entertainment being provided by country outfit Indigo Moss: I won’t deny that they were charming and full of enthusiasm, but it’s impossible to sing songs about grandpappy’s moonshine without sounding like a complete wanker when you’re really from Sarf Lahndahn. Plus Cash covers are inadvisable before your lead singer’s balls have dropped.
You can see why they got the support gig though: there are flavours of country in the Bells’ music, not least when Juanita Stein is wrapping her honey-sweet vocals around a Dolly Parton track. This is none of that “hoedown music” though – those throbbing Interpol-esque basslines can’t help but get your hips falling into a whole other pattern.
None of which is ending up in the Young Scot review, for obvious reasons 😉
Also this weekend: I wrote a gig review, and my boyfriend wrote a novel. Which pretty much sums up the creative balance in our household. And CBGBs closed its doors for the final time, five weeks before I make it to New York myself. It seems bitterly unfair.
ETA: Apologies if this post gives the impression that I discovered the Howling Bells for myself rehearsing in a hut in the Outback before anybody else had ever heard of them. As usual, it was a combination of the music press and a recommendation from a friend. I wouldn’t want anybody to think I was arrogant, after all.