STUFF IVE WRITTEN SINCE I LAST POSTED HERE APPROX 1,000,000 YEARS AGO:
– I now write telly previews for Saturday’s Guardian Guide which are neatly organised over here.
…I think the last time I posted was between two very interesting (by that I mean interesting to write but yes, also hopefully to read!) Guardian pieces which I wrote on Made In Chelsea and My Mad Fat Diary.
Woo here it is!! I have been coughing and sneezing my way through the past few weeks, but I have some amazing memories blogging for Cornetto at the Isle of MTV Malta Special so all is kind of balanced, plus I’m back at home in London for the summer which is exciting.
Musical magical musings from Malta and too much alliteration as always
MTV & Cornetto teamed up for the second year running to put on a massive concert in Il Fossos Square in the capital, Valeta, (the local taxi driver who picked my friend Josephine and I up from the airport looked at me blankly as I said the name of the square – one thing that Lonely Planet will never tell you is that locals simply call it “Fossos”). I went to blog, and to soak up the Vitamin D.
Here’s our hotel, which was lovely but really, really near Fossos:
From our balcony where I watched France 24 and ate apples whilst staring out at the beautiful waterfront, I could hear every single note of the soundchecks!! About four hours after arriving in the beautiful, boiling Mediterranean I was being whisked away to interview Will.i.am. I’d hoped for a bit more time to ask him some questions on his future musical plans, his life, his cool jackets etc. but I only had about two/three minutes. They were some of the longest few minutes of my life however; I don’t think I’ve ever interviewed someone so well known, plus MTV News filmed it. Up to now I’ve only done a teeny bit of presenting, but it’s definitely something I’d love to do more of in the future 🙂 Here we are chilling on the balcony of his incredible hotel suite:
The video is on the Cornetto Facebook page under the ‘Summer of Music’ tab!
That evening, we had dinner with the PR peeps and Cornetto crew, plus my Italian counterparts who had come to blog – Giuliana and Denis from Style.it and Federica (Elle.it). I had sushi for the first time in months, maybe a year, which was nice, and we got to see Malta at night. Without sounding like an infomercial from Malta’s tourism board it really wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Ageing population plus ancient attractions like the cathedral and Fossos…it doesn’t exactly sound like a typical teen hangout! That’s why I was so surprised to find the following evening that there are actually LOADS of teens in Malta (or perhaps the entire teen population were just all at Isle of MTV haha). On Tuesday 26th June there were crowds everywhere in the previously peaceful streets surrounding Fossos, where a huge stage had been constructed. As my photo shows, there were thousands of people in the square when things started at around 7…wish we had more free events like this in the UK…
We had an incredible view of proceedings from the VIP viewing platform with its red carpet…it also had an open bar (two best words in the English language right there!).
Eva Simons defied gravity/the Maltese wind to perform with her trademark mohawk standing to attention. She kicked off the action wearing a tartan skirt; this along with Kourtney Kardashian’s recent decision to name her daughter Penelope Scotland, Andy Murray’s journey to the Wimbledon final and the Caledonian party at the end of the last season of Made In Chelsea mean I should probably dig out my own well-loved tartan skirts…
Back to Malta, where Eva absolutely killed it. She also dueted on “This Is Love” with Will.i.am – it’s always nice to see a duet recreated properly rather than the awkward backing track technique (see: Professor Green stumbling through “Just Be Good To Green” without Lily Allen at last year’s Benicassim/any other festival). Her performance came after some weird warm up action from Maltese DJ Pierre Cordina (or, as Josephine quipped, was it Jason Statham? You can be the judge…)
Nelly Furtado continued the holy quadrinity of big name acts with an incredible set; for a 33 year old (with an 8 year old daughter no less) she looked not a day over 25! Highlights were “I’m Like A Bird”…it never fails to make me smile…and “Big Hoops (Bigger The Better)” which is nineties-themed nonsense but so dancy and upbeat.
The brash and inimitable Flo Rida was up next, simultaneously making us move and cringe with his in-your-face, sexually-charged lyrics on hits including “Low” and “Whistle”. He crowd-surfed, handed out roses during “Wild Ones” and waved a gigantic Maltese flag around (what a lovely gesture to all of those old Maltese folk, eh?)
Will.i.am proved that he was the hardest ever…his set featured pyrotechnics, blinding lights, circus performers from chic London hotspot Cirque Du Soir (note to self.: MUST get there sometime soon). He was also joined by Tyler James, one of his mentees on The Voice UK, and showed some skillful beatmatching (Gotye into Guetta??) during his DJ set.
At the VIP afterparty around the corner at another hotel, we managed to stay up all night long, and there was even more free food and drink like at the concert! WIN! I think I might just become a celebrity so that I never have to go to Tesco again.
The pool looks SO gorgeous…I was one of a sober few who refrained form jumping in but I wish I had in hindsight!
We got a cheeky snap with Eva Simons – she looks incredible for someone who had probably been awake for about 36 hours. This was taken at around 3am I reckon…
In the morning we had an extremely random breakfast from the biggest spread I’d ever seen in a hotel (ricotta? a fry up? exotic fruits? don’t mind if I do…) After a powernap (just kidding, we really did stay awake til the plane journey) it was time to bid a tearful goodbye to gorgeous Malta. Somewhere between 5am and breakfast one of the MTV guys had told me that Malta’s name was derived from the Greek for “honey” – looking out over the golden sunrise I really hoped that this etymological tale was true and not just traveller’s bullshit. I don’t think Lonely Planet has the answer, it’s probably something only the Fossos-dwelling locals would know…
Brainchild Festival, Wokingham
So, I’d barely been home a moment when I decided it would be a good idea to camp in a field in a two-man tent which was most definitely designed with very small people in mind in the middle of nowhere and write very long, sprawling sentences about my experiences. We didn’t even know the location of Brainchild Festival until the 11th hour, and on Google Maps it appeared to be completely isolated; was this in fact some spurious mafia plot? An ironic non-festival-festival like this year’s Glastonbury coverage ? It turned out to be cracking, however – you can read all about it here.
Other mad festivals headed your way…
–Zoo Project Festival – 14th-1th Sept, Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, Kent: The best summer combo since Pimms and lemonade is surely EDM and wild animals. A spinoff of Ibiza’s Zoo Project event, this looks insane.
-Eurostar Traction, Granary Sq, London – 14th Jul: The best of Europe’s musical offerings offer 3,000 guests a chance to celebrate London 2012 without stepping foot in a velodrome (or indeed, on the Eurostar).
Gaggle, Village Underground
Here’s my review of Gaggle’s album launch show last Wednesday in Shoreditch for The Fly. It was one of the weirdest gigs I’ve ever been to, and made Incubus at Brixton Academy a mere few days later look like the height of corporate rock. Gaggle have no rules, no boundaries and no pretences.
GIRLS are gone (as in the band, not women per se)
It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Girls. Like LCD Soundsystem before them, they’ve gone before their time. I’ll miss them, although it’s probably better not to carry on with a new singer (they could end up sounding like a Kings Of Leon tribute band). What will C Owens do next?
Now, that I can’t rely on any new Girls tracks, here’s what I am listening to:
– Angel Haze – New York: she’s not Azealia Banks…she’s even ruder.
– Two Wounded Birds – To Be Young: It’s so jaunty yet britpop angsty…I love this Suede-influenced imagining of youth, as opposed to that which Tulisa peddles. Also, watch out for that almost-key change – that was a surprise, right?
– Cat Power – Ruin: She’s been to a multitude of places as her lyrics confirm…and Chan Marshall has fought her personal demons to bounce back with this slice of Californian-inspired funk with an international spin. Worth a listen if only for her cool pronunciation. Someone’s been listening to Rosetta Stone…
Crap, Soundwave’s almost here and I don’t have the bikini I’m coveting yet. Can’t wait to head to gorgeous Croatia to cover it for Live Magazine! Roll on boat parties and incredible music from…
How to be better than Fearne Cotton with a cherry on top* – myths about student radio plus my first three late night playlists
*it’s fairly easy tbh
So, you may well ask, what have I been doing with myself? I’m a recent convert to student radio since coming to uni, having previously thought of it in fairly pejorative terms. Some myths to clear up on that one…
Myth number 1 – you don’t have to say anything relevant because hardly anyone is listening, and if they are then they won’t be relying on you as a major news outlet.
Mythbusting – yes and no. It’s true that audience figures probably won’t be anything higher than the number of hot dinners you’ve had this week divided by the number of drunk Dominos orders you wish you hadn’t. That said, there is still a sense of responsibility to the listener, so aimlessly rambling on about your week probably isn’t going to get you that Sony award. Conversely, sounding like a self-important LBC compere is just as pointless. So I’m straddling somewhere in the middle, and trying to convey how passionate I actually am about music.
Myth number 2 – you have to play commercial music all of the time.
Mythbusting – if you’re in a daytime slot then perhaps it may be the case that you are asked to play a specific amount of tracks from A/B/C lists, but that means that there is still some room to manoeuvre. I applied for, and was given, a late night slot which fits my night owl personality as well as allowing me to play whatever I want, e.g.: an eclectic mix of 70s, 80s and 90s gems, new indie music and electronic bits and bobs.
Myth number 3 – student radio isn’t professional standard.
Mythbusting – Obviously the training provided by student stations won’t be the same depth as commercial training or accredited certificates, however it is often hugely relevant and high quality. Learning about how to use a mixing desk and operate programmes, even if they’re inferior/different to those which you may find in a work environment, is always going to provide you with transferable knowledge anyway… As for the standard of output, that depends on the presenter and their own knowledge and commitment I suppose. No pressure for a self-titled teen freelance music journalist then…
Norgaard - The Vaccines
My Everything - The Thirst
Video Games - Lana Del Rey
Come As You Are - Little Roy
7th Date - Spectrals
Punching In a Dream - The Naked and Famous
Avenging Angels - Space
So Far So Long - BB Brunes
Ain't Nobody - Clare Maguire
Lipgloss - Pulp
Either / Or - Elliott Smith
Don't Rush - Tegan and Sara
Lullaby - The Cure
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me - U2
Wake Up - O. Chapman
Follaton Wood - Ben Howard
Dna - The Kills
Hotel California - The Cat Empire
Hounds Of Love - Kate Bush
Bad Feeling - Veronica Falls
You Do Something To Me - The Kinks
Duck Egg Blue - The Kabeedies
Somewhere In My Heart - Aztec Camera
Shady Lane - Pavement
Once Around the Block - Badly Drawn Boy
Cavern - Liquid Liquid
Road to Recovery - Midnight Juggernauts
Breathe Me In - Sam Brookes
Heart Cooks Brain - Modest Mouse
Sentinal Bloom - SCUM
Phantom Limb - The Shins
Forget You All the Time - Cloud Nothings
Get Lost - Tom Waits
You Make My Dreams - Hall & Oates
Bottle Up and Explode! - Elliott Smith
So Light Is Her Footfall - AIR
69 Fanny Street - The Peth
This Is the Day - The The
Recommendations are welcome for my show, which is on purpleradio.co.uk on Thursdays from 11pm to midnight 🙂
Vice mag gets geeky *guffaw*
That looks like it says gruffalo doesn’t it? Anyhow… it’s been a while since I tuned into Vice’s vids, but here’s something which caught my eye, probably because I’m a huge anime nerd at heart…
A Dragon Con Odyssey – now on Motherboard
Do you know what Dragon Con is? Nor me. But Vice do. Cosplayers are usually more likely to fit into a “Don’t” page in the mag, but on their shiny Motherboard video site you can find out about the intriguing traditions and heartwarming stories behind the ridiculous masks, silly wigs and awe-inspiring accessories courtesy of Vice’s comics editor Nick Gazin, who visited Atlanta’s annual comic convention. As with all Vice documentaries, there are the usual suspects (strange paedos and socially inept obsessives do feature) which are offset by oddities such as a goth band with an obvious Depeche Mode influence and a run in with Carrie Fisher which is more than a little Borat-esque. A must watch for nerds and jocks alike, which can be seen here.
This month I’ve been…
Watching: Top Boy (as was half of the free world I’m sure)
Reading: The Sealed Letter – Emma Donoghue
Eating: too much, all of the time
I covered Underage for The Fly as previously mentioned, please do check it out here! I’ll be working with The Fly on a freelance basis from now on so expect some more live reviews soon. Also ended up interviewing Ed and Suren (Bombay Bicycle Club) w/ Time Out – no video yet but here’s a picture of me with the boys, talking kidnap, European festivals and going back to the future for album number 3:
So that was Friday.
The following day I got myself back to Vicky Park to work behind the scenes at Field Day, the older brother of Underage. There was plenty to sort out and I donned about a billion wristbands (unfortunately had to cut them all off before starting an internship the following week). Being a diligent worker (e.g.: sitting around eating sausages and mash in between working at the media tent and box office) meant that I only had time to catch Anna Calvi’s set. Resembling the YSL ‘Elle’ print ad (hair slicked back, good tailoring) she was captivating and intense, even though the crowd appeared mostly unreceptive, if not indifferent. Field Day was great and I met some really nice people like Trekstock founder Sophie Epstone, who is a real inspiration for young people trying to make a difference. Her cause is one close to my heart, and the delivery of her message through cultural channels, events like the aforementioned, and social media is wholly inspiring.
The only Hackney festival I didn’t make it to was Apple Cart (Sunday), but you can read all about that here.
Check back at the end of the month for my normal post and even more madness