Thursday, April 28, 2005

hair today, gone tomorrow

entry 6
thurs 28th april

Current level of conviction in own genius (out of 10): 4
Hours of composition/musical activity achieved in last 24 hours: 2
Hair day: see below

So, as my bank balance is less in the red than purple and mottled and not looking very well at all, restrained myself by not splashing out on £40+ haircut and trotted along to Toni & Guy's Academy for a freebie. It was a faintly humiliating experience, with a motley crew of 20 or so students/trendy OAPs/unemployed layabouts (moi) lined up against a wall and scrutinised by self-consciously foppish senior stylists, who selected a few at a time to be led away for slaughter - I mean, a lovely free haircut. My group were led to a gleaming warehouse-ish space to our louche student coiffure-choppers, who immediately all clambered for the American woman with the simple bob (it's a classic, you know, the boiling an egg of the hairdressing world) and ignored the rest of us overgrown souls. I was allocated Jordan, a monstrous Brummie, impeccably monochromed (all the way up to pertly-angled white flat cap), and something of a teacher's pet, carefully cropping a miniscule section of my hair before waiting 10 mins for the super-cool senior stylist (a kind of sexier Chris Martin dressed as Derren Brown; but with scissors) to saunter over and frown at my head. I listened to Jordan faithfully grasp the peculiar science of hair cutting, wrapping his preposterously midlanded vowels around such technical lingo as 'pivots' and 'graduations' and 'radials' (or 'riiiiiiiiiiieeeedeeeaals') and tried not to fall asleep. Jordan eventually grew in confidence, and by the end of the marathon sesh was chopping/slicing/back-cutting/layering my hair with merry abandon before throwing me blinking back into the street. Am now trying to decide whether I look ultra-cool and nifty with my super-short do, or more akin to a lesbian prisoner of war. Who is a bit cack-handed with a razor. Arf.

Enough of Kerry's Hair News. Am so fed up of sending off job application after job application and typing my GCSE results and why I am perfect for the part-time/full-time/minimum wage/royal salary/office/school/arts job that i could weep. Instead, should focus on the success that was my first visit to St Andrew's primary school with my piece waterworlds. My mentor Rachel Leach (ace composer/kids specialist, great trainers) came along, as did 3 wet weekends of women from various funding bodies. I ran two hours of musical fun, teaching them a few bits and pieces, getting them whispering, making insect noises, singing, adding actions and collectively devising a raindance, which clearly worked as the heavens opened as soon as they screamed off for break. I love working with this age group - they think you're cool, get excited when you choose to stand next to them, and, miraculously, do as they're told. Fab.

Had a groovy night down at the Bedford in Balham, a gorgeous venue with a cosy, candle-lit Round for live stuff. My buds and I were there to support Nizlopi (, a duo (voice/guitar/bodhran & double bass/beatbox) who perform ear-warming songs with a dash of hip hop and a bucketful of soul. Yes, the lyrics would err on the side of cheesiness in another's band's hands, but if you throw in lovely pizz. basslines and spangly harmonics, a honeyed voice like a male Tracy Chapman, with a defiantly southern accent and deep-drawn inbreaths, plus a disarming passion for acoustic music (ie abandoning the mics to play right in the middle of the audience, daring them to really listen), you can't help but submit. You could see the audience slowly blush a warm, syrupy glow as they worked their magic. Go see them.


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