Sunday, 27 June 2010

Next Records Make Great Pets show!! 16th July!!

I'm putting on another show!!!!!

Dana and Colin (from The Smittens) also play as Let's Whisper, one of the nicest, softest and sweetest bands around. They have a new EP coming out soon on WeePOP! Records and Camila has assured me that it will be ready for this show, so we're super happy to welcome them back to the Betsey Trotwood for their only (I think) London show this year. Expect plenty of smiling and bouncing.

Pagan Wanderer Lu is Andy. With his collection of exciting electronic gadgets he writes intelligent and catchy popsongs. Some people call it folktronica, I just call it awesome. He released his second album European Monsoon earlier this month on Brainlove Records and we're just mega excited to hear those songs live. Yay!

The first London show since February, Moustache of Insanity play some sort of Casio-pop-bleep-boom mess about extremely important things like cheese, freckles, amazon wishlists and Jonathan Richman. Like Let's Whisper they have also released an EP (now sold out) on WeePOP! Records.

You should definitely come along. Indiepop disco with Scared To Dance and WeePOP! DJ'S afterwards as well!!! Yay!

Friday, 11 June 2010

On the road with Allo Darlin' (photo diary, part 2)

Here it is...part 2...apologies for the delay. Some camera issues.

Soooo…..after another night at Casa Skipping Stones we headed down south towards New Jersey. By now, the driving, touring and eating habits were lowering morale a tiny bit. We tried boosting it by getting some doughnuts, but when you're used to Krispy Kreme, Dunkin Donuts just isn't cutting it…proved here by this rare photo of Paul 'Thunder' Rains struggling to look excited, even with a doughnut in his hand.

Sadly, I didn't bring my camera for the Allo Darlin' show in New Brunswick. When I say "didn't bring" I really mean "I stupidly forgot" so there are no pictures from what was really a great evening.

Next up: WASHING DAY! Oh the excitement.

Round and round and round and round

On Friday it was time for another NJ show, this time in Jersey City, in an art gallery across the road from this rather impressive mural.

Allo Darlin' did their thing and it was all awesome. Go New Jersey!

Early rise againa nd off to Smittenland, or Burlington, Vermont if you like. The Satnav took us the scenic route, which involved.....

A BEAR... pie (and more doughnuts)...

...a ferry...and eventually...

We headed straight to one of several Smittens HQ's in Burlington, where an abundance of amazing food and booze was waiting for us. Yay!

The evening show in Winooski was loads of fun and, once again, Moustache managed to get through our songs.

Bill Moustache setting up

Moustache of Insanity

A Smile and a Ribbon

David Smitten kicking my ass at some arcade game

Allo Darlin'

The Smittens

In the morning we had pizza and Blood Mary's for breakfast...calling it flatbreads makes it feel alot healthier. Cheese and booze, cheese and booze, cheese and booze.

Then after alot of panicking about Canadian border crossing, we headed to Montreal....for more music....again

A Smile and a Ribbon

The Smittens

Allo Darlin'

Canada was nice....or the little of it we saw was nice. People looked exactly like they do in South Park The Movie....pretty much.

Then back to Vermont....for a final brunch....and then..

GOOD BYE....end of tour...

But not before we stocked up on SWEEEEEEEEEEEETS!!!!


We also had a bit of an accident after a run-in with a dickhead in a pick-up truck....and even got to meet a real State Trooper!!!

He had a cool hat and everything!

Back in New York, we had a few hours to kill and went to Ghostbusters fire station.

If there's something strange in your neighbourhood...

I bet they get plenty of prank phone calls.

The rest of Allo Darlin' left town , leaving me and Elizabeth to be tourists for a few days.

We did Coney Island, which was smaller than expected but awesome.

After a few days of shopping and doing nothing, we felt ready for some live music again. Two awesome bands playing in a house. It was a perfect way to end our New York adventures.


...and Nana Grizol, an old personal favorite

Eskalators myspace

Nana Grizol myspace

That's about it, really. We had a horrendously long journey back to London and will never fly American Airlines again....mainly for pretty much forcing me to watch The Tooth Fairy, something I wouldn't do to my worst enemy. I'm still jet-lagged and just want to sleep all the time. But it was a lot of fun. Alot of fun. Apart from The Tooth Fairy. Awful, awful, awful film.

Big massive mega thanks to everyone who came to the shows and said nice things to us and who helped out, by feeding us and letting us crash in their houses etc. You know who you are. There are spare beds all across London waiting for you when you need them :)

Friday, 4 June 2010

On the road with Allo Darlin' (photo diary, part 1)

After the New York Popfestivities it was time to say goodbye to the big city and hit the road. Allo Darlin had a whole bunch of shows booked up and down the New England(ish) area. I'd always wanted to do a US road trip, so this was a bit of a dream coming true.

A rather grumpy Bill Botting at a rest stop somewhere.

The first show was on Sunday 24th May in Northampton, MA. The odds were really against us from the start. Small town, Sunday evening and the grand finale of LOST on TV meant that our expections were pretty low and sure enough, only a handful of people showed up. Nice town, nice venue, but no peeps.

Before the show started, which was insanely late (first band out of four on at 10:30pm!) we had time to check out some of the sights.

Sadly, we didn't actually visit this important museum. One day.

Paul and Elizabeth's. Get it?

A personal highlight of Northampton was definitely Herrell's ice cream parlour, where you could mix any type of sweets with any type of ice cream and sauce, nuts whatever. I went for the slightly unusual combo of Cookies and Cream with gummi bears.

What can I say? It was pretty fucking awesome!

Driving + junk food + Ice cream + late show = food coma

After a looooong wait the music finally started. Hearts!Attack was the first band on.


Moustache played a much better set than at the New York Popfest. We didn't really mess up at all. Shame there was hardly anyone there to witness this most unusual performance.

Allo Darlin' next. Again, great set, but still no people.

Bill Botting rocking his bass.

Allo Darlin'

We spent the night at Skipping Stones Records HQ, aka known as William and Christine's house. They are pretty much the nicest people ever, so you should buy their stuff and listen to their music....and then go to The New England Popfest later this year.

Skipping Stones Records website

Singing Bridges myspace (their band)

After some sleep it was time hit the road again. Next stop Cambridge, MA, home to Harvard and loads of posh university students....pretty much like Cambridge in England. Nice little place, though, with the diner of diners.

Seriously, Town Diner in Watertown...amazing. They even have a website, where it says their food is healthy! Hmmm. Not so sure about that one.


Harvard graduation ceremonies had just been, so there were alot of chairs around. I'm sure if we had been slightly more patient we could have taken some cool band photos. Chairs are cool, right?

Allo Darlin'

Freddy was nowhere to be seen.

Elizabeth found a love heart in her Rolling Rock, which must be the the indiepop equivalent of finding the face of Jesus in your toast/tortilla (or wherever his face tends to pop up)



Eventually all the bars were shut and we went back home. Rebecca of One Happy Island is also one of the nicest people ever and kindly put us all up in her massive and totally awesome house, which incidentally was just around the corner from the awosome diner.

New day, more sun. We decided to try and get to Walden Pond to do some swimming. We got there and the pond was closed due to overcrowding, but due to reopen in two hours. Only in America really. How can a lake be closed? We tried to sneak in from the back, but after too many scary directions involving ticks and abandoned railway tracks, we decided to just wait until the lake would reopen.

We walked past the Bates house without incident and eventually got to...

...the lake!!!

After a quick swim we headed back to Cambridge. The GPS kindly took us straight into Central Boston and what should have been a 30 minute drive took two hours. But at least it meant we got to see this awesome dude busting some awesome dance moves on the pavement.


Paul 'Johnny-not-two-but-three-hats' Rains

In the evening it was time for a mega pop show. It was the complete opposite of the Northampton show and was rather awesome.


Allo Darlin'

Allo Darlin'

A Smile and a Ribbon

It was a great night...

Next morning we were off to New Haven, which was pretty odd town. We had our doubts about the venue and area before the show, but it turned out to be a nice place with a decent crowd.

Allo Darlin' homies

Bill 'chocolate liquorice' Botting

If you stand like this on a container, you might fall

Doin' the merch

Last band on that night was Women's Basketball, who were rather awesome. Check them out.

Women's Basketball myspace

Eventually.....we headed back to William and Christine's house.

To be continued....