Sunday, 24 June 2012

Dear Catastrophe Waitress and things like that......

Another few weeks without writing a blog....the weather having played a big part in this again.  Today I should have been writing about East Finchley Festival but as it got cancelled due to a water-logged site, I won't be! 

Friday saw the first night of an occasional club of mine, "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" (named after the Belle & Sebastian song for those who didn't know).  I no longer want to go out to clubs at 11pm and have to put up with night buses full of drunk annoyances so, for purely selfish reasons, I put Dear Catastrophe Waitress on in a favourite bar of mine in Crouch End - Kiss the Sky.  DJs for the night were local lad, Bob Stanley (he of St Etienne and muso fame) and Darren Beach.  I decided on a "no obscure tracks" rule for the club - just good indiepop, indie, 60s, britpop, punk etc.  (Perhaps some swedish tracks for another time - not sure if Crouch End is ready for that quite yet).  Thanks to Darren for playing Swing out doesn't really fit into any category other than one I've made up called "Random bands that Cath likes".  The bar was full, cocktails were consumed, the crowd looked happy and there was even some dancing, so I think for a first night, it was a success.  Am considering some themed nights for another time - perhaps 90s indie (Neds, Poppies etc) or punk.  We will see.

Those of you that know me well will know I've put clubs on for a very long time now.  I don't generally go very long without doing something. 

Seeing old pics go up on Facebook yesterday reminded me what a great club Sweden Made Me was.  3 of us put the club on in a little upstairs room in a pub in Brighton every month for something like 4 years & practically every one of those nights during the first few years was packed out.  The DJs only played tracks by swedish bands/artists (hence the name of the club) and it proved EXTREMELY popular with Brightons' swedish students particularly.  They came, they drank Kopparbergs, they danced to Broder Daniel - and so did we.  Maybe it'll be resurrected sometime soon but it will never be quite the same as it was in the mid 2000s.

Another Sunny Day was another one of my club nights - in Stockholm originally.  I lived there for a few months (not nearly long enough) and put my club on every Monday night in a bar/restaurant called The Sugar Bar.  For someone who planned the club from England and didn't even see the venue until I moved there, I didn't do too badly.  Every Monday, I put an indiepop band on and had some djs.  Some great, great swedish bands played and I made good friends.  I also learnt how to use a cash register, deal with swedish ID, and get by with pigeon swedish if needs be.  Another Sunny Day still exists, in Brighton, with friends now looking after it....and looking after it well!!!

Pop Klubb has been another huge success, started originally with friends in Newcastle.  The club was (and still is) held in a little old social club which, during the day, is full of old men drinking pints and playing dominos (probably!).  Our first night all those years ago was just a handful of people watching my friends' band Your Favourite Question.  Now, years down the line (and no longer my baby), Pop Klubb is hugely popular, packed out every time with an amazing reputation, not only in the Toon.  Guys, I'm proud of you.

There have been other nights here and there.....good nights, rubbish nights....etc.etc....and there will probably be more.  


Sunday, 3 June 2012

You can't beat a good launch.....

Happy Jubilee Day folks....and of course you m'am....knowing you'll be reading this before heading out on a boat with the corgis.

Free Thursday struck again this week - 3 royal cheers for that!  It was an exercise in itself trying to figure out what things to go to, which we could fit in, and which we unfortunately had to forego.  This week alone there was the usual favourite of Carnaby Street discount night, an exhibition at our friends The Society Club Shop, an exhibition at Proud Camden and a night at Signal Gallery.  Too much to do, too little time.

First stop - the launch of the Icecreamists book "Vice Cream".  Greeted at the door with apple vodka cocktails, which were completely delicious, and continuing with raspberry concoctions and prosecco.  Thank you ice-cream folk - a very nice start to a Thursday evening indeed.  I finally sampled the Lady Goo Goo....breast milk ice-cream.  I know it's not everyone's cup of tea (or ice-cream) but I'm open to a lot of things and it was as good as anticipated.  It reminded me of those bottles of milk you got given as a small in primary school.  I will be trying the Vice Lolly (made with holy water and in the shame of a green pistol) next time round!

Off to the launch of the A to Z of Mod book at the Fred Perry shop next.  Well done Messrs. Baxter and Hewitt for getting such a crowd together.  Nice tunes, courtesy of Dave & Smiler, nice (but slightly warm) cider and lovely folk to chat to.  Phil Daniels & Gary Crowley in attendance.

Final stop - Trishas in Greek Street.  I've heard about this place many a time as friends have been going there for years.  A little cellar bar, behind a door I will probably never find again, full of old photos and with tons of Soho history.  I think it's probably only wine, beer or poncey stuff like prosecco....but it's welcoming, interesting and I will return....if I can find that door!  Dave - where was it again?????

Jubilee Weekend & sadly for her royal ladyness.....probably a wash out.  While the sun came out briefly yesterday, we headed to Newburgh Street for their little street party.  Free strawberries & cream, non-alcoholic fruit cocktails, pimms (if you were quick!) & chocolate.  We watched a rockabilly band, queued for a piece of the humungous chockywockydoodah jubilee cake, cut by Russell Grant (complete with crown) and a giant drag queen reminiscent of the amazing Leigh Bowery and had a lovely time with the mod folk.

So that dear frock fans is it for today.  If you're doing Jubilee type things, enjoy, fill your boots and take a brolley.