Monday, October 06, 2008

Journey to the Far Side of the World's End

Level of conviction in own genius: 9
Amount of creative activity achieved in last 24 hours: 1
Watching / Listening: 'Master and Commander: Journey to the Far Side of the World' - staunchly noble nautical genius! / Eliza Carthy
Hair Day: Needs funking up double quick!

Had a very cool double whammy of a gig on Saturday night, what with Metamorphic (dark melancholy jazz band who I'm now singing vocals with) being added to my wardrobe of current musical outfits; somewhat confusingly for my diary date-crammed head, my three bands are all doing the same couple of series of gigs in different combinations, and last weekend was Metamorphic's debut alongside DOLLYman at Broken Toy Music at the World's End in Finsbury Park. I think I did a grand job on vocals for Metamorphic and it was DOLLYman’s best gig yet. It was headlined by Fulborn Teversham, one of the many bands led by London's favourite small-voiced, huge-haired drummer Seb Rochford and too-cool-for-school saxman Pete Wareham. Unlike Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland, FT are a sparer, more pop outfit, sort of shouty punk-jazz with indie sprinkles. Their singer is the utterly gorgeous and extremely cockney-cool Alice Grant, who is basically my much, much classier doppelganger. As she pointed out, we both had asymmetric hair, black dresses and green tights. It was rather spooky. Spookier, then, that Alice had sung the vocals for Metamorphic's EP before she had to bail out due to busy-ness; so there I was, singing the songs she'd recorded live in front of her, wishing my hair was more angular and blitzed with peroxide. It's a terribly incestuous scene: Alice sings with Leafcutter John, who was at the gig with his Polar Bear giant elf-looking bandmate; FT’s keyboardist plays in Cinematic Orchestra and heads up London’s loose jazz family F-IRE Collective. So the night was a bit of a F-IRE love-in, with us DOLLYmen secretly hoping we'd be embraced into their scorching arms soon enough. I was far too starstruck to do more than mumble idiocies to Seb, and couldn’t even LOOK at Leafcutter John, being far too in awe; all silly given the pair’s towering musical statures are housed in twitchy, meekly spoken frames and they probably would have run away in terror had I engaged them in proper conversation. Ha, and I haven't even MENTIONED that Chris Williams, one of Led Bib's shrieky saxophones, is in Metamorphic which is basically the same as me being IN Led Bib, my favourite live band of the year. Stardom awaits!

Musical escapades are happening aplenty; the next day I tottered off to a choir rehearsal for lovely leftfield music night Arctic Circle’s Christmas EP. Lo-fi artists from little indie label Static Caravan have written beautifully alternative Christmas songs, subsequently expanded to mini-orchestra and choir by TV and film composer Harry Escott, both for the EP and later a performance at Union Chapel. The songs are heart-melting; I was tingling down to my toes with wintertide warmth and it’s only October. Last night I went to hear the Joyful Company of Singers rehearse my piece ‘O Lux Beata Trinitas’ and made efforts to look as youthfully mad cool as possible – I always like to surprise those who think that my angelic and obviously supremely clever choral music is probably written by a tweedy 60 year-old…

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