Tag Archives: Barb


This weekend, Barbara moves out of the Playboy Mansion and into a lovely new home with the wonderful Hilton. After almost three years of co-habitation it’s going to be a massive adjustment not living with Barb and the thought is actually quite daunting.

I think we’ve become something of a terrible twosome on the scene always getting up to some kind of random adventure from glam nights out, to bikinis in the snow to wandering the aisles of Sainsbury’s deciding what to have for dinner.

I’m going to miss the ciggies and the glasses of wine and the “how does this outfit look” fashion show every time we get ready to get out. I’m even going to miss speaking “Afrikaans” to Barb but most of all I think I’m going to miss having her always there only a few doors down from me. So Barb, I have to say… I don’t really have enough words to describe this, but thanks for EVERYTHING.

Even though I will now be the last original housemate standing and I’m going to have to start cooking for myself, all is not lost. Barb and Hilt will only be down the road and I still have the fabulous Kelly and Wilhelm to keep me company. Not to mention we’re about to welcome a new housemate into the fold… hello, Emily… I hope you’ve brought your dancing shoes…

Audience and audio

Last night Barb, Hilton and I braved the cold and went to the Barfly in Camden to see my wee Glaswegian favourites, Twin Atlantic.

First on for the evening we had Haunts. I really liked them. They reminded me of a slightly less dancey Head Automatica. In fact I was surprised by how much their vocalist sounded like Daryl Palumbo. Big props to their bassist who was playing his guitar with serious power despite being so skinny. It gave their sound a richness and intensity that they would have otherwise lacked.

After that we had the majestically tattooed This City. They brought a lot of noise and spirit and I’ve seen far worse bands but their vocalist had talkingitis and their songs had a tendency to become repetitive within the song. Guys, unless you want to grow up to be the Foo Fighters, there is no need to get stuck on three words and repeat them for the last two minutes of the song. They definitely have potential though since they’re extremely solid musically. I do kind of wonder if they should just let their bassist sing though. On the occasions that he took over from the lead vocalist, he actually sounded better than him.

And then… Twin Atlantic. I am pretty sure they are impossible not to love. They just bring such immense passion and commitment onto the stage. There is no doubt that there is nowhere else on earth that they would rather be than that stage at that particular moment. We got a whole bunch of new songs, which were absolutely rocking and made me stupidly excited for the new album. As well as all the old favourites. Sam seems to have toned down the twitching (much to my disappointment) but he still has the crazy eyes and the insane screeching. He really does need to brush his hair though. He is looking progressively more hobosexual. My highlight had to be Crash Land, which I could listen to on repeat for days. The show ended with Sam hurling himself into the audience still holding his guitar.

This is how I like my rock… intimate, dirty and dangerous. You can keep your stadiums, give me the Barfly.

Check out this little snap I took of the man himself. How could you not love that smile? Remaining pics here.

Sam McTrusty

Control yourself… take only what you need from it

Last night Barb, Kelly and I went to see MGMT at The Forum in Kentish Town. We almost didn’t make it after I stupidly left half the tickets at home and Kelly had to rush home and retrieve them. She is totally the biggest legend, everrrr! I have to say that the gig was probably the most boring I have ever been to and that I will never go to The Forum again… but we’ll get to that.

The opening act was called A Place To Bury Strangers. They were mind-bendingly awful. I’m not sure if it was just because their sound was terrible… earbleedingly loud and with sonic feedback that made your hair stand on end… or because they sounded like The Smiths being sexually assaulted by Electric Six. They kept meandering off on Pink Floyd-esque tangents tempered with flashing strobe lights and we had to wonder if we would have enjoyed it more if we were off our tits on some kind of hallucinogenic. Couple the sound issues with zero band chemistry and no crowd interaction, if I never see them onstage again I won’t feel like I’m missing out.

MGMT were brilliant. They were all dressed up for Thanksgiving as Native Americans, apart from Andrew who was probably the cutest pilgrim I’ve ever seen. Where it went wrong was that we had seated tickets and the security would not allow anyone to stand… at all. This is an electro-rock band. It’s DANCE music. So we sat there through Time To Pretend and Electric Feel with folded arms. It was about as rock ‘n roll as a pensioners’ tea party. When Barb stood up literally for two or three seconds to stretch her legs, she was reprimanded SS-style with a torch after she had already sat down. I may have made my feelings that I thought said security operative was a Nazi a little too clear and I was also reprimanded. A heated verbal exchange ensued. I think we were seconds from being kicked out. Eventually the entire balcony rebelled during Kids and got up and danced and the gig was actually fun for 10 whole minutes. What I want to know is why, if it was so unsafe for us to stand at any point during the gig, did they not have to stop the whole show when the crowd rebelled. Fuck The Forum… anyway… here is a little video of Electric Feel.

No photos. The lighting was terrible. But I’ll share this pic of Andrew with you cos he’s just too gorgeous.
Andrew VanWyngarden

On the way home we were fortunate enough to run into Graham and Hilt who had been to The Grand. We all decided to pop into the Puzzle to say hi to Brendon who is in London for a couple of days. I somehow ended up in an argument with one of his friends about ideologies around individuality. He was pushing all my buttons, calling me emo and then eventually settling on the nickname Emu… this is an emu… looks just like me. As revved up as I got, it was good to have a full on debate with someone. Rematch, kiddo?


Life’s no fun without a good scare

I am somewhat concerned by the fact that I was more comfortable in my Halloween costume last night than I am dressed like a normal person. Unlike many of the Halloween revellers we saw out there, my costume was most certainly not cute. I painted my face like a skull, put on a dishevelled back wig, painted fake blood across my throat and coming out of my mouth and then fashioned a Goth style dress out of a skirt, top and bra. My intentions seem to have served me well since I managed to frighten not only a number of small children but quite a few adults as well. Is it possible I got too much into character?

I think our journey from Earlsfield to Limehouse provided entertainment for quite a few travellers. I suppose part of it was down to the nature of our outfits. I was walking around with my bra out, Kelly was a Playboy Bunny suicide, Barb was a very saucy witch and Candice was a slinky kitty. Boys stared. A lot. One even came and draped himself on me telling me I had the most beautiful breasts he had ever seen (how suave). Unfortunately his girlfriend didn’t seem to think so. As they exited Canary Wharf we watched the beginning of the carnage and giggled… a little. Here we are all regaled.

The occasion was not only Halloween but also Fi’s birthday. I have to say that I ADORE her house. It has this mad funkiness about it that makes me feel very much at home. Fi and flatmates had gone to town with the décor and everything was draped in cobwebs, bloody handprints, spiders and pumpkins. The whole house was packed with people in mad outfits including Hilton – the Stormtrooper, Don – The Mummy and Tino who was a Knight To Remember complete with giant penis… don’t ask.

The night descended into drunken randomness and I bounced around with a cup of vodka cranberry talking to anyone and everyone before realising that it was 4 am and even zombies get sleepy. Happy birthday, Fi. It was the best Halloween ever!

Everyone hail to the Pumpkin King

I took the tube all the way home yesterday. Not something I am usually inclined to do but there were huge problems with the South West Trains line that runs through Wimbledon and I was not risking spending half an hour in a scrum at Waterloo. On the trip from Earls Court to Southfields I had the absolute pleasure of standing next to the Girls Of The Playboy Mansion… 45 years on. There were four ladies in their 70’s sitting on the tube, all made up to the nines and gossiping like mad about their husbands, going shopping and meeting up for lunches. They giggled incessantly and eventually parted with one telling the others not to overdo it on the weekend. They were absolutely fabulous. There truly is hope for the future.

Of course today is my favourite day of the year… Halloween. Not only is it the day where everyone embraces their inner ghoul but it’s also the birthday of one of my favourite people. The fabulous, Frank Iero (drumkit clambering, make-up wearing, tattoo bearing My Chemical Romance . It is without doubt the coolest day possible to be born on. In fact Frank is so proud of his birth date that he has the word Halloween tattooed across his fingers. Frank is not the only person lucky enough to have a birthday on All Hallows Eve, it is also the lovely Fi’s birthday and we will be heading to Limehouse tonight for a bit of a celebration. I have decided for the first time to deviate from dressing as the devil and this year I am merely going to be… dead.

I missed the glory of a Halloween birthday by less than a week. Yes, that’s right kids… I will be 28 on Thursday. For the first time in recorded history I have not had a pre-birthday meltdown. Normally just before my birthday I go into a black bit of despair and feel absolutely morose. This normally lifts just in time for the party, which I am usually threatening to cancel. I wonder what is different this year. I can’t say I am excited to be turning 28. Every year is an inch closer to 30… which just doesn’t sound cool. It’s not so much that I fear aging… it’s more that I wonder how much longer I will be able to get away with dressing and behaving like a kid before I become a bit of a loser. I already regularly stand at gigs and wonder if everyone is looking at me and shaking their head.

Of course it is not quite time to grow up yet, which Kelly, Barb and I proved last night. Kelly was cooking a big dinner and Barb and I decided to keep her company. A couple of bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz got involved and the next thing we were blaring Pendulum and dancing like absolute idiots. I think the boys and poor Michelle (who is a walking zombie at the moment because she is working on the opening of Westfield) were somewhat puzzled.

Our interwebzes at home are broken so I can’t do research for obsessions at the moment. There might not be blogs over the weekend if I can’t get BT to fix it tomorrow. Grr! Wish me luck.

The chase is on and if you run, I will follow you

Last night Barb and I went to see Kill Hannah at the Astoria. The atmosphere was electric from the moment we finally got into the venue. KH fans are a special kind of fanatical and so everyone was positively itching with anticipation.

Our arrival came halfway through first opening act, Serpico. I’m not sure about them. My first impression was that they were just noisy and not cool and stylishly noisy… just noisy. But their last song was actually really cool. It reminded me of old school AC/DC. I wouldn’t say I was in any great rush to check them out but they didn’t make me long for earplugs.

The next band, was called Gun Dogs… I only found this out post gig, it sounded like they were called, Gun Dart… or Gun Tard or something more like that. They were fronted by two guitar playing girls who weren’t bad in terms of their guitar skills… but vocally… well, let’s just say it was reminiscent of a car going past really fast. Everything was just nyaaaawwwhhhhh. Their set seemed to go on for eternity. All I can say is with the amount of arm waving they were doing, thank god they shaved their armpits!

My Passion were as psychotically energetic as ever. Even though it was biggest stage I’ve ever seen them play on, Laurence (sporting red skinny jeans, cravat and three-quarter sleeve military style coat) still almost ran over everyone. They played a lot of stuff off their upcoming album, all of it awesome but I did long for Booman and Bitter Too. We got the distinct impression that their set was cut short because Gun Tart overran. I never get bored with Simon slinging his bass around. It was not difficult to see why they got so much pure lust from the crowd.

The Kill Hannah set was really something special. They came out (very cheekily) to Beds Are Burning by Midnight Oil and played with absolutely everything they had. It was very unfortunate that Johnny was not there (I hear whispers of rehab and anorexia but I don’t want to speculate), however Tom, from the fabulous Powerspace, made a sterling replacement. Mat was particularly excitable and declared that what had gotten him through the entire tour as well as the tour bus inferno was the prospect of playing in London and that being onstage in the Astoria was officially the greatest moment of his life. It was a very satisfying setlist including The Chase, The Collapse, Crazy Angel, Black Poison Blood, Lips Like Morphine, new track – Acid Rain and of course, Welcome To Chicago Motherfucker. My adoration of KH is intact and growing with every show!

We had an encounter after the show that proved to me yet again that cigarettes can save your life. Earlier in the night we had met two very drunk, very lovable 18 year-old South African emo boys who had bummed smokes and hugs off us. Coming out of the gig we spotted the smaller of the two who was whinging that the other one had left him because he was “scoring a chick”. This was very evident since his whole face was covered in lip-gloss. He then asked for another smoke which I handed over. At this point the strange man who we had spotted outside the sex shop (it’s Soho… they’re everywhere) following around small Asian girls, rubbing his hands like Fagin, strode up to the little Emo-Saffa and demanded a smoke. He said he didn’t have any at which point Psycho-Perv made to start a fight. I swiftly stepped in and gave him one of my smokes and Barb and I dragged Emo-Saffa down the road with us to safety. Concrete proof… smoking saves lives.