Easy Like (Saturday and) Sunday Morning

My weekend wake-ups are always, without fail, soundtracked by Mary Anne Hobbs on 6Music.  She’s one of those people that upon hearing her, you really want to be her friend and go for beers with – now I’ve written that, it sounds a little fan-girl doesn’t it?!  You know the kind of person though right?  Caitlin Moran, Lauren Laverne and Alice Levine are also on that ‘people I wish were my friends’ list.  *there is no actual list – just to be clear*

Any-hoo… back to the matter in hand.  I’ve been listening to this track for a good few weeks now and if you need a little gentle persuasion to make it up and at ’em then this is the perfect one…

Nils Frahm is a German musician and composer, based in Berlin.  According to his wikipedia entry, during his childhood he was taught to play piano by Nahum Brodski, a student of the last scholar of Tchaikovsky.

I love how this track builds and builds and it just lifts the spirits – well, mine anyway.  It’s 9 minutes long so grab a cup of coffee, sit down and immerse yourself…

Throwback Thursday

I’ve let my new blogging partner Jo choose this week’s retro offering.

I was going to blog with her over here on Mixtapes and Muddy Boots but we felt that it would be best to have a fresh notebook to write on.  Nicholas and White is more of a magazine style with subjects ranging from family to outdoors, time out and of course music!  Pop on over and check it out – let us know what you think too…

Anyway…back to the task in hand…

A Hom(me)age to the Stone Age

Image from QOTSA Facebook page

Image from QOTSA Facebook page

It was up to the NIA in Birmingham again on Thursday. We’re old hands at this game now and having spent what has felt like DAYS queuing to get out of the carpark on several previous occasions, it was time to get tactical. Reader. It Worked. We parked up an extra level to get near the exit ramp and we (I’m a little bashful about this) ran into the carpark at the end of the gig. I realise this makes me sound a little odd but I’m 38 now and need all the sleep I can cram in on a school night!

This was my first time seeing Queens of the Stone Age and I have to say, they did not disappoint. At. All. We were seated this time (the only tickets left when I booked) and both of us really wished we were standing. The mosh pit looked epic from where I was and at several points it looked like a tropical storm forming with various little whirlpools. The most amount of crowd surfers too – the stewards earned their money!

I have to say that I was mesmerised by the whole set. Josh Homme came on and said that he wasn’t feeling 100%, well, I have to admit that if that was the performance with him not feeling well, I’d LOVE to see him on top form!

It was everything I wanted, great music and lots of it. A music loving friend of mine was trying to describe to her non gig going husband what she loves about it and she said it was when you can feel the music reverberating in your ribcage. I agree, and on thursday night, I felt it from head to toe… There’s nothing better than the all encompassing goose bump moment and being part of that moment with a whole room full of people who are there for the same reason.

You can find a setlist here

I’ve struggled to come up with my favourite song but will leave you with this one – a live acoustic version…

T-shirt Day

Gosh, 52 weeks go by fast don’t they?  It’s been a year since I wrote this, and this Friday it’s “Wear Your Old Band T-shirt to Work Day” again!  This is an annual event championed by BBC 6 music’s Steve Lamacq.

There’s a rather great sounding exhibition of Steve Lamacq’s t-shirts at the BME  – which I’d love to go and check out.  It’s there until the 15th December.

He’s had some very interesting guests on this week talking about this including Pat Wood who sells band t-shirts who was saying that nowadays, bands probably make more money through merchandise than the music – go to listen again on Monday 18th and its around 1:43 in…

In the mean-time I have to decide which one to wear… I think it’ll be between James and Ride, or maybe Foo Fighters… I’m working over in one of the villages nearby at a shopping event so may have a bit of explaining to do!

Are you joining in?  What’s your favourite band t-shirt and what memories does it hold?

Hat Hair

I’ll share something with you, as I feel we’ve been friends long enough now… I love this time of year mostly because I can cram a beanie on my head and therefore not have to bother with doing my hair for the school run – hurrah! I’d love to wear a hat all year but not being one of the cool kids means I have to restrict the wooly headgear to winter months.

Here’s a little line-up of winter hats I like…

This one from Burton

Lovely bobble from Bonfire

Oooh la la – a Boden take on the beret

I like the buttons on this one

If I knew how to knit, I could even make my own!

Do you like a hat?  And, oh, have you noticed my smart new social media buttons up there?  Give them a press and follow if you like…

This is not a sponsored post by the way – I just enjoy not doing my hair!

Vampire (But Not At The) Weekend

Vampire Weekend Where can I get this fabric?!

Vampire Weekend
Where can I get this fabric?!

It was date night *shudders at the word* last night and after a hectic afternoon of homework, reading diaries, supper, bath and bed for the children…we were finally ready to leave the house. On. Our. Own.  On a school night!

We drove up the motorway to the NIA in Birmingham and managed to miss the whole of the support act bar the last song.  Apologies Noah and the Whale, I’m sure you were very good and I enjoyed 5 Years Time…

The venue was actually quite empty and it transpired that this was the opening night of the tour.  I’ll admit this to you, because we’re friends, I wasn’t really a massive fan of Vampire Weekend until last night.  I’d purposely not listened to much before I went as I didn’t want to be one of those music fans who religiously ‘learns’ the most current album 3 days before the gig *it happens*.  It turns out that I actually knew loads of their songs!  Hardly surprising really considering they’ve been about since 2006.

From the girlie point of view, the set was quite lovely.  Lots of greek columns and an ornate mirror and when the white background dropped to reveal a lovely little floral number – you can imagine what I said to my husband!  He just rolled his eyes..

The setlist can be found here.   It was a great gig with a really great atmosphere considering it wasn’t rammed full.  They sound just like they do on their records which is pretty fantastic.   Again though, and I’ve spoken about it in this post, people still insist on watching through their phone screen. WHY PEOPLE WHY?    To quote the man from last year “Please don’t spend the gig looking through a screen, use your eyes and commit it to memory.  No performance, ever has looked better on YouTube..”  For me, the whole point is to be there and engage with the band and other people around you.  Are you really going to re-watch that footage with the distorted sound and the back of someone’s head obscuring the view?   You’re there, so be there.  It’s also mighty annoying when you shove your screen in front of my face so that I have to watch through it too.  *breathes deeply* Sorry for the rant there…

I’ll leave you with this, my favourite from last night and because who doesn’t love a bit of slide guitar?  Enjoy..

All Change!

My goodness, its been a busy few weeks for me – good busy, but lots of things going on in my poor brain!

I took the decision earlier this year to close my greetings card business and it has taken me a fair while to change my bio and avatar on twitter.  I’ll still keep the name on twitter @abc_street but for now, Alphabet Street is closed.

So, what’s been keeping me so busy?  I work part-time as admin for my tennis coach, full-time as an Independent Consultant for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic and I’m a Mum to 2 girls and a wife to 1 man.  I’ve also just signed up to a blogging e-course with the magnificent Pip Lincolne.  She’s in Australia as are the majority of classmates so juggling the whole time difference is a challenge but I’m getting there.

So, this means that there will be (hopefully) a bit of a new look to this here blog and also, I’m bringing my pal Jo along for the ride too.  We’ll be blogging together and hopefully we’ll keep you entertained!

As it’s Throwback Thursday, I’ll leave you with this little gem to get the blood pumping…