Tuesday, April 07, 2009

31 Year Old Woman's Hour Has Come!

Level of conviction in own genius: 9
Amount of creative activity achieved in last 24 hours: 3.5
Watching: The final episodes of 'The Wire' season 4.
Hair Day: Nicely bedheaded

So I am now 31, and marked the occasion on Sunday fairly quietly with a stroll and huge morning nosh-up at the marvellous Pavilion Cafe in Victoria Park, sitting in chilly sunshine whilst watching the lake, followed by a rehearsal, then some tea and cake at Franze and Evans on Redchurch Street with some pals and an evening in with 'Persepolis', sausages and the footy. A very downbeat affair for moi, lover of large parties, but will make up for it with Andy and my joint knees-up at the weekend.

But it's been a pretty damn good start to being 31. On Monday, juice got up very early to get to Broadcasting House as our agent Jill had got us on 'Woman's Hour'. WOMAN'S HOUR! The most popular programme on Radio 4 after the news! I was only slightly disappointed that Jenni Murray, everyone's ideal Mum, wasn't presenting, but rather Sheila McLennon, but they're all mums of a mumsness. I mean much of a muchness. All half-moon glasses and big scarfs, and the air that they could whip up a big cake in seconds while enjoying a large glass of hearty red and discussing the latest play at the Royal Court. We met a rather formidable, super-pro Maureen Lipman in our waiting room, she being on the show before us: the first thing she said to me was 'you wouldn't get run over in the dark with those', referring to my super-neon-green new American Apparel legwarmers form my bro. She can obviously do this sort of thing - chatting with seasoned wittiness about her work, doing the subtle plug - standing on her head. We did two live numbers and a wee spot of an interview, in which we were mostly sold as crazy girls who take any sound they hear off the street and turn it into vocal. Not entirely true but we had fun demonstrating our half-arsed versions of Mongolian and Inuit throat-singing. Hee. It was fine, and I tried to not think about the 1-2 million people listening to us as I rambled away - talk about the biggest exposure EVER!

In the evening we made our Wigmore Hall debut, via the Park Lane Group series, sharing it with a sax/piano duo. Under some duress, I'd bought a long dress to match the other two's outfits, but really liked it in the end - I sported a sort of Jane-Austen-dosses-in-Bethnal-Green look with a grey empire line dress plus spiky short hair and tattoo. Tee hee. The first half was slightly shaky, although started really well with my 'luna-cy'; the rest was harder music on stands, which cut us off from the audience a bit and was way too long. We gave the first airing to our commission from Gabriel Prokofiev: 4 a cappella movements using different languages to explore elements of modern life. They will be good but we need a while to warm into them I think. The second half was much more US, ridding ourselves of scores so able to stand at shoulder-rubbing distance and belt out 5 more classical/folk/jazz/percussive numbers. There were lots of smiles in the very substantial audience; we're crossing our fingers for good reviews as there were certainly a couple of scribblers there, including our fan from The Times, Richard Morrison, who gave us a glowing report in '5 to Watch' last Friday. Hurrah! We celebrated backstage whilst Hannah the sax player finished off the concert (including a cheeky encore, hhm) by stuffing our faces full of cheescake and glugging warm sparkling wine, then held court with our coolest pals and family at the nearest pub afterwards. Marvellous.

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