Weekly Digs: Florence and The Machine

It’s been a couple of years since Florence and her machine have graced our ears with new tunes! Finally, she’s back with a new album due out in June and this single ‘What Kind of Man’ is awesome.

With the signature ethereal vocals, it wreaks of Florence and the catchy guitar licks are conducive to head shaking goodness. It’s a refreshing step away from the orchestra and harp infused songs on her last album, a back-to-basics rock song.

It is from her forthcoming third album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful 


* this clip is a mini movie.. takes a few minutes to get to the song!

Enjoy!

N

An Evening With Laura Marling

I didn’t think it was possible, but last night I fell more in love with Laura Marling.
She played a sold out show at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, a great space with some of the comfiest seats I have ever encountered in a theatre. I couldn’t have been more than 50m away from the stage, perfect view.
The atmosphere was so serene to begin with, everyone waiting with baited breath for her start, and when she did the entire audience was captivated. There were no mobile phones waving in my way, no flash photography, no one pushing me out of the way or standing in front of me. Perfectly civilized.

She began her set with the opening track from her latest album ‘Howl’ which then blended perfectly into what has been referred to as,  the 15 minute mediation, the four tracks that open her fourth album; ‘Take The Night Off’, ‘I Was An Eagle’, ‘You Know’ & ‘Breathe’. Her set also included favourites; ‘Rambling Man’, ‘Goodbye England’, ‘Devil Spoke’, and new material ‘False Hope’, ‘I Feel Your Love’, ‘Walk Alone’, ‘Strange’, and a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Blues Run The Game’.

I can honestly say, this was one of my favourite concerts ever. She is such a good performer live, flawless really and her band of guitar, double bass and drums complimented her perfectly. Some songs it was just her on an acoustic and the double bass, so beautiful. In fact, a grown man sitting next to me actually cried! (I’m amazed I didn’t) Can you believe she is only 25 and already has 5 solid albums under her belt?!

My view..

My view..

I did take a couple of videos but alas I am not able to upload them here, so I will try and add them to the Facebook page… in the meantime you can get the gist of it via this clip… Laura channels a bit of Dylan in her song Strange;

And she goes electric for the first time on her new album, this is ‘I Feel Your Love’

I am so glad I got to see her live, and I am really liking her new material. She’s branched out in a new direction which is incredibly brave and shows how much she has grown as a musician.

Pretty sure I will love her until the day I die.

N (a.k.a one satisfied customer)

 

 

Tours and Parks

The weekend just gone, I decided to take advantage of the sunny weather and get and about and explore after a few months of hibernating on the couch (as one tends to do in the winter!)

Saturday I had booked a tour of the Royal Albert Hall. This is a venue with so much history, I had always wanted to see the inside of it, but there weren’t any shows playing that I wanted to see, and for £7 I could walk around the entire place, so I thought why not!?

 

View from one of best seats in the house.

View from one of best seats in the house.

This hall has hosted countless events since the 1800’s including turning the whole place into a garden party, complete with grass and elephant! To hosting psychedelic rockers Pink Floyd who proceeded to destroy the stage… I don’t believe they’ve played there since..

The top section of the ginormous organ

The top section of the ginormous organ

This organ is still used almost on a weekly basis, it’s the largest in Europe!

A photo of Albert Einstein speaking here in 1930's.

A photo of Albert Einstein speaking here in 1930’s.

 

On Sunday I took myself on a free walking tour, The Secrets of London. It was really interesting, covering ground that I walk around daily, but divulging new facts and showing me things I never noticed. For example, on the side of the St-Dunstan-In-The-West Church, there is a statue of Elizabeth I, that was moved there from Ludgate in the 1700’s after the Fleet River was covered over to become what is now Ludgate Circus and Fleet Street. Amazing. (sorry I don’t have a picture of it)

 

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I had planned on going to a museum or something after the tour, but it was such a nice sunny day, I couldn’t bare to spend it indoors, so I proceeded to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens for lunch and a wander.

 

The Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens

The Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens

The Italian Fountains... used in the filming of Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason (fountain fight between Darcy & Cleever)

The Italian Fountains… used in the filming of Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason (fountain fight between Darcy & Cleever)

My view from lunch

My view from lunch

London is so stunning when the sun comes out. I am so excited for Summer to roll on in, even though it means the Tube is going to be utterly grotesque, it will be worth it to enjoy all the green spaces hidden away amongst the grey buildings in this city.

N

Weekly Digs: Circa Waves

This week I would like to share with you a band that I discovered via a Youtube ad… you know those ones that force you to watch a clip for 30 seconds before it will play what you want? Well this time it paid off!

I present.. Circa Waves ‘Young Chasers’

This four piece band from Liverpool, do a good job at Surfer Rock. They sound like they’re coming at you straight from beaches of California. At 2:20 this song packs a lot into a small time frame. It’s a really good feel-good summer song, which is perfect for us living in the Northern Hemisphere. They remind me of The Drums, just with a less annoying vocalist.

They just released their debut album Young Chasers and thanks to Youtube I’m going get myself a copy so I can bask in the summery goodness!

Enjoy!

N

A new project…

I am going to run an experiment… I will attempt to bring you a new track every week that I am diggin.. it may not necessarily be a brand new song, but it will be something that I am really enjoying that particular week. In turn, this may be something you will love too, and therefore it will be like discovering new music.. ANYWAY my track record at consistently blogging is not good as you would be aware of if you subscribe to this blog, some weeks you’ll get 3 posts but then you might not hear from me for months! I want to work on this, and I think by announcing my plans, I might be able to keep it up.  I genuinely want to share music with people and I need to get some enthusiasm for it back into my life. So you my dear readers are my guinea pigs.

Stay tuned…

 

N

Easter in Brighton

Easter long weekend saw me get out of London for a few days, which was really refreshing. Jumping on a train for a mere 60 minutes and all of a sudden I was hit with the smell of the sea and transported to this buzzing little coastal town. Brighton boasts a huge music and arts scene, with something quirky lingering around every corner.
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One of many streets incorporating colour

One of many streets incorporating colour

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The famous wheel…

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The Royal Pavilion

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Brighton Beach at sunset… so perfect.

First order of business was fish and chips… being Good Friday we couldn’t not submit ourselves to this deliciousness. In fact, the whole weekend ended up revolving around food as there is SO much good food down there, it’s a bit overwhelming.
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In terms of nighttime entertainment, we chose The Mesmerist. A bar that loves to spin old vinyl. I’m talking, 1940/50’s Soul, Blues, Jazz & Rockabilly hits that filled the dancefloor. We had such a good time we were still dancing at 2am! And we weren’t the only ones, the dancefloor was heaving with people in their mid to late 20’s (if you’d muted the sound you’d swear we were at a top 40 club) it was really refreshing to see that music culture spreading through all age groups.

In keeping with the cultural music experience, we also participated in a free Swing Dancing lesson, held at the Open Air Markets. It was so much fun! In about 30 minutes we were transformed into Charleston pros!

We would have fit in well alongside the locals, strolling along the seaside eating Rollmops (pickled herring with pickled onions & gherkins) – sounds awful but it was surprisingly tasty!

Rollmop

Rollmop.. better than it looks!

Easter Sunday was celebrated with a traditional pork roast complete with Yorkshire pudding. With some background entertainment of some jazz guitarists, which was so nice and relaxing. I think we sat in that pub for a good 3 hours, just listening and reading and eating a lot of free Easter eggs the owner provided for all his patrons.

Free chocolate? Don't need to tell us twice!

Free chocolate? Don’t need to tell us twice!

 

Roast pork... so delicious...

Roast pork… so delicious…

Monday we took the train out to Lewes, an historical town about a 10 minute train ride north east of Brighton. It was stunning! 12th Century castle, 15th century bookstore, cobbled streets.. ahh I was in heaven! Our reasoning for going was to do a big walk or hike… boy did we hike. Three and a half hours of fields, mud, cows, sheep, swans, trail bike riders and some stunning scenery. We walked the South Downs path and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s into that sort of thing. Reaching one of the summits, you can see around you a patchwork of green, people’s properties have been worked into this walk, as public pathways. It really feels like you’re in a different land all together and not the 1 hour’s train ride south of London.

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Entrance to Lewes Castle

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15th Century bookstore

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Fields!

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More fields..

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Our goal…

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Our reward!

 

It was definitely one of my favourite weekends since moving over here. It’s so easy to escape for a weekend from London, especially when you have all this beautiful landscape a mere hour away. I will be making sure I do more exploring as the weather becomes a lot nicer!

N

 

Playing Host

I know I’ve been a little bit slack on the blogging front lately… sorry!

One of my friends from Perth, Julia came to stay with me a couple of weeks ago for a fun-filled weekend and despite the dismal weather London decided to put on, we had a marvelous time!

Saturday we set off to Spitafields markets where we were delighted to find a pop up Independent Market section, full of independent breweries and independent music labels! So beers in hand, we had a look through bucket loads of vinyl. Then we followed our stomachs to Brick Lane where we filled up on tasty samples from the food markets and a £1 bagel with cream cheese from Beigel Bake. Nom!

 

Camden Pills... delightful local beer.

Camden Pills… delightful local beer.

The most delicious bagels I've ever tasted.

The most delicious bagels I’ve ever tasted.

Then onto the main event… Karnivool at The Roundhouse. The famous venue that has hosted the likes of The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Blondie, The Ramones, The Clash… just to name a few!! Needless to say, this venue has been on my ‘wish list’ for a long time.. and what better band to see there than one from my home town of Perth. It is literally the best venue I have ever been to… you can see perfectly from every spot in the auditorium (provided you’re not behind one of the many pillars holding the place up!) and the acoustics are great. I hadn’t seen Karnivool in a couple of years, so it was nice to see they still haven’t lost their touch. They are such good musicians, if you closed your eyes you could have sworn you were listening to their recorded album. What was also nice, was talking to and seeing fully grown English men, turning into ‘fan girls’ and screaming along to the lyrics, word for word. I naively thought the crowd would be full of Aussies, there were quite a few but I think it was about half and half which is really refreshing! Oh and we also met a guy from Germany who had flown in especially for the gig.

A rather tall member of the crowd...

A rather tall member of the crowd…

 

Sunday could have easily been a recovery day, being that it was cold, windy and wet but when your guest only has one day left in this great city you can’t spend it on the couch! So we hopped on a bus and went to Greenwich. It’s only 15 minutes away from my house but it feels like you’ve left London entirely and entered a little seaside village. It really reminds me of Fremantle in Western Australia, with it’s traditional style buildings, giant ship museum (The Cutty Sark) docked in the centre of town and it’s many funky coffee shops and vinyl outlets. So we once again scrounged around in bins of vinyl and laughed at some of the ridiculous 45 covers.

So many 45's!

So many 45’s!

One of the many hilarious album covers found...

One of the many hilarious album covers found…

A quick stroll around the old buildings, passed Meantime Brewery and onto Greenwich Park. A park so big, that every time I go there I find something new. This time it was the Flower Garden, a ‘little’ fenced off area of the park with a more manicured garden feel and a pond!

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A section of the Flower Garden

 

I love making the most of my weekends, taking advantage of my weekly travel pass and exploring this great city. It is even better when you have someone to show it off to! So just putting it out there.. all visitors are welcome to tour London with me anytime!

Doing our best not to look too hungover..

Doing our best not to look too hungover..

N