Archive for the ‘JAZZY’ Category

Pamflet or Bust! London Christmas Craftacular Sunday 14 December

We’re delighted to be back at the Bust Magazine Christmas Craftacular this year. We’ll be DJing festive favourites and making merry at this annual DIY-fest from our favourite grrrl-mag of them all. This year’s unmissable market features 70 stalls and a packed-schedule of workshops and is at the Islington Metal Works, 7 Torrens Street, London EC1V 1NQ from 12 noon until 7pm on Sunday 14 December. Full info below and details of our exact slot to follow!

craftacular2014craftacular2014 flyerback


Take my shoes off and throw them in the lake

kate bush ticket

Sitting in my seat admiring the art deco splendour of the Hammersmith Apollo, I really had no idea what to expect from Kate Bush’s return to the stage after 35 years. As she walked onto the stage the emotion in the audience was palpable and she was clearly delighted by it and responded graciously and gratefully. Any worries that she might be nervous or stiff performing were soon dispelled as she launched into an energetic and evocative rendition of Hounds of Love, note-perfect and immediately, amazingly bringing back all sorts of happy emotions from my childhood – a kind of musical muscle memory.

Kate Bush

I found myself wondering, how did she get to be so confident? This woman who was writing songs like The Man With the Child In His Eyes and Wuthering Heights as a teenager and bringing them to life with such fearless vision. Where does that imagination and absolute conviction come from? All the snide comments about how she’s – gasp, clutch skirts – grown older makes my blood boil. No, she isn’t a teenager anymore, she’s a grown woman with a teenage son of her own (who performs with terrifying confidence, he is truly his mother’s son). But you can easily see the ghost of that eerily precocious, creative girl in the woman today – there’s the same strength and sweetness in her face and that haunting, unique voice remains pure and clear as a bell.

kate bush live

**I didn’t break the ‘no photos’ rule btw, this is an official pic!**

It also struck me that Kate Bush is totally, absolutely English and this performance – right down to the ever so slightly am-drammy bits – could only ever happen in England. You could’t imagine Kate Bush shakin’ her booty ‘in da club’ – she’d more likely be striding across bleak grey fells in a stout jersey or hamming it up in a unitard. She’s goofy, eccentric, never cynical or arch and I think that’s part of the reason people are bewitched by the music she makes – her lyrics and those dreamy soundscapes are often challenging, sometimes downright weird, but because she offers them with such honesty, you have to respect her. That and she writes a bloody good pop song.

In that respect she makes me think of other ‘out there’ female artists – the likes of Bjork, Tori Amos, Paloma Faith – they charm their fans because they are unselfconscious, there’s no pretension. They couldn’t care less about being ‘cool’ or ‘sexy’ – and by virtue of that fact (and because they are insanely talented) they are infinitely more attractive than any sad pop puppet. It’s not about age, size or whether someone is or isn’t conventionally attractive – it’s an innate quality, some charisma that you just can’t manufacture or fake.

I can’t really put into words how I felt seeing songs that are such a part of me performed live before my very eyes. Kate Bush has been an icon in the truest sense since I was small, reassuring me that it’s not only ok to be a bit weird and to stand apart from the mainstream, it’s actually something to embrace and celebrate. I will remain forever grateful to her for that knowledge, which I clung to like a lifebelt through choppy youthful waters, and for giving me a truly unique experience to treasure one night in Hammersmith.

Oh and some thoughts on gig-going etiquette:

If you have to go to the toilet three songs into a show maybe don’t drink so many pints?

And if you really need a drink so badly you have go to the bar in the middle of a once in a lifetime show you paid good money to see rather than wait til the intermission then you definitely have problems. FFS.

Also, please don’t ‘sexy dance’ at the Kate Bush concert. Or anywhere for that matter, but definitely not ever at the Kate Bush concert.


Interview: The Little Book of Lunch

Sophie & Caroline

Sophie & Caroline at Somerset House (2 minutes from Penguin HQ)

Last month Penguin editor Sophie Missing and ex-Penguin now Kew Gardens-publicist Caroline Craig‘s first cookbook was published. The Little Book of Lunch is full of ideas from the raw (‘Rainbow Rescue: your five-a-day in a jar’) to the baked (salted caramel brownies in the ‘Bribing Colleagues with Sweet Treats’). These are recipes for office people with imaginations because even if you can’t usually manage more than one take-in a week you will love flipping through this gorgeous collection of inspirations and amusing asides on al desko etiquette and lunchbox-styling tips. 

What was it like being on the author-side of the project as current/former publishing-employees? Did you experience any (un)pleasant surprises?

SM: It was actually really fun to see the other side of the process. And an eye-opener of course, because I was used to seeing things from the publisher’s perspective. I think I was terrified of annoying our publishers though!

CC: Yes, it was really interesting. As Sophie says we were mainly trying to be the kind of author we enjoy working with… Hands-off and letting the experts do their jobs! Don’t know if we always succeeded though…

What’s been your favourite part(s) of the process?

SM: It’s all been pretty exciting… doing the shoots was incredibly fun (though hard work) and a bit of a whirlwind. Seeing the proofs (and having what you’ve written suddenly look like ‘a real actual book’) is always exciting too. Mostly though, it’s been amazing to hear that people who aren’t our friends or our family like it, and enjoy the recipes. That’s the best. And a massive relief.

CC: I loved writing it so much! Sitting at my laptop in the kitchen at the crack of dawn with a cuppa… It was also wonderful writing as a partnership: Sophie and I would bounce off each other and I think our writing was all the better for it.

I loved the section on lunchboxes which made me feel inspired as well as deeply ashamed of my own scrappy Tupperware boxes. What are your favourite lunch receptacles and where did you find them?

SM: Caroline is the queen of the attractive lunchbox. She inspired me to buy a rather chic (if I do say so myself) aluminium one from Objects of Desire. It could double as a handbag. Muji is also good and practical.

CC: To be honest there are some mornings when I’m in such a rush I’ve been known to grab the first thing to hand to transport my lunch… a plastic  bag… a tea towel. But yes, I do love my enamel tiffin tin too! Read More…


Pamf-LIT: Beatrice Hitchman

Bristol-based Beatrice Hitchman‘s gorgeous and mysterious Paris-set debut Petit Mort was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2013 and compared to Angela Carter and Sarah Waters by critics. Its 1910s film world setting will be brought to life on BBC Radio 4’s 15 Minute Drama this week and next. 

Beatrice Hitchman (Credit: Sarah Lee)

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WOW on the Southbank // International Day of the Girl

Friday 11 October marked the third International Day of the Girl. The team behind the Southbank Centre’s WOW (Women of the World) Festival celebrated the occasion by hosting an early morning speed-mentoring session on the nearby London Eye, connecting mentors from a range of professional backgrounds with school-aged mentees. The first WOW Festival was in 2011 and it’s happened each year since then, celebrating the achievements of girls and women over a long weekend of talks, debates, discussions and ideas-sharing to coincide with International Women’s Day in March.

I got involved in the event after I attended a planning meeting (‘think-in’!) and talk by ridiculously inspiring SC Artistic Director Jude Kelly for next year’s WOW Festival. A few weeks after the meeting I was emailed with a speed-mentoring invitation to which I immediately replied YES.

WOW badge

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"Pamflet is the photocopy-quality soapbox for two young, sarky post-feminists from London who want women’s rights and the right to wear pretty things, and want it, like, yesterday." Sunday Times Style

"They’re funny and honest and write about fashion with feminism so I’m obviously all over it." Tavi

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