A weekend in London

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Planning to see The Last Shadow Puppets in London meant an excuse for a weekend away with a friend in the big city and a chance to explore. On Saturday Abi and I ventured around Shoreditch and grabbed lunch at Pump street food market: a selection of urban food tucked away off the road in coloured beach huts strung with fairy lights and littered with rustic benches. I went for a falafel and halloumi pitta with salad, humus and spicy sauce (very delicious but very difficult to eat on the go as we soon found out). We checked out Borough Market, packed with people drinking pitchers of Pimm’s and soaking up the sun and then made our way to the gig.

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On Sunday we headed straight back to Shoreditch for another look around and some much needed brunch. We ended up in Barbour & Parlour: a quirky retro bar that serves all day food and drinks, cuts hair and even has a beauty salon upstairs. Their avocado and poached eggs on toast was also second to none.

Brick Lane was our next stop, where we lazily strolled; scoured antique and record shops, browsed galleries and pulled silly faces in a photo booth. I’ve been desperate to get my hands on a Red Hot Chilli Peppers vinyl, so when it cropped up in Rough Trade I splashed out and bought Californication. There were some funky independent jewellery stalls and the street art is definitely worth seeing. My favourite was the sign wrapped around a lamppost (above) next to a lonely hat saying ‘he left me hanging while I was alone and high.

From there we took a tube to Camden Town and (after getting very disoritentated in the crowds) cooled off by the canal with a drink.

Abi and I ended our weekend in Soho, one of my new highlights of London. The streets were quieter, the shops were spot on (I couldn’t go to London and not do a bit of shopping) and to bask in the warm weather for as long as we could we had dinner outside at an Indian Restaurant – Dishoom. A ‘bombay cafe in London’ they specialised in street food designed to share; and their vegetarian options were delicious (which is hard because lets face it I still miss a good chicken tikka masala).

London remains one of my favourite places to visit and explore, because every time you discover something new and a little different, especially when you’re not looking for it. I can’t wait to return.

Peace x

The Last Shadow Puppets @ London Alexandra Palace

The Last Shadow Puppet’s most recent tour to promote their new album ended on the 16th July at Alexandra Palace, London – and it’s safe to say they went out with a bang.

Everything You’ve Come to Expect is a darkly romantic collection of dreamy love songs, interspersed with symbol clashes, heart wrenching chords and Alex Turner’s ingeniously metaphorical lyrics that resonate with aspects of life usually seen as mundane suddenly made twisted and gothic. Words that leave you half wondering what they’re on about, and when you dig a little deeper leave you longing for more.

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In a reversed convention, a tornado of pink petal confetti clouded the stage on the boys’ arrival, making for a more dramatic entrance: oh-so typical of the mysterious front men. They wooed the crowd first joined by Johnny Marr, covering Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me by the Smiths. Miles Kane radiated a relaxed vibe in a snazzy silk kimno while Turner looked dracula-esque with his trademark slicked back black hair and a leather jacket with the collar up, emphasising the supernatural elements streaked throughout their album. Pretty much every song interprets a warped vision of fear, casting shadows and secrecy; demonstrating the wizardry of the pair at creating songs that make you feel some kind of intrigued way.

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A three-piece string section occupied the right side of the stage, echoing that fine tuned spine-chilling signature that belongs to TLSP, as well as illuminating their hypnotic orchestral tones (particularly featured in Aviation). The band’s sex appeal is glued together by the constant theme of dreams that makes their songs more alluring, and live Alex Turner and Miles Kane’s purring voices contribute even more to the ignition of those deep dark feelings inside.

A wicked gale came howling in through Sheffield City centre

Their set continued with Standing Next to Me and Separate and Ever Deadly: classics from their 2008 debut album The Age of the Understatement, before becoming mostly dominated by their newest releases. Alexandra Palace, with it’s high ceiling and glass enormity, acted as a festival tent enhancing the energy of the crowd and the electric atmosphere for numbers like Bad Habits (provoking impulsive dancing) and Used to be My Girl. The Dream Synopsis left fans screaming ‘a wicked gale came howling in through Sheffield City Centre’ (myself included): a sophisticated tribute to Alex’s hometown. Turner and Kane performed songs with an elaborate, melodramatic intensity and separated them with close stage moments and whispered conversations, addressing their allusive image.

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The pair performed a The Fall cover – Totally Wired, again joined by Johnny Marr and the much anticipated encore included Sweet Dreams TN, a heavy ballad that addresses the cliches of love in a very non-cliche, despairing way; with lyrics like ‘it’s really just the pits without you baby’ and ‘I just don’t recognise this fool that you have made me, oh I ain’t seen him for a while.’ A concealed disco ball had descended during the set, and for the encore Turner suggested to Kane that they prolong it’s presence – ‘since it’s the last night of the tour.’ TLSP final song was a tribute to David Bowie performed with Cam Avery – their version of Moonage Daydream.

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The selection of band merch for sale included cool limited edition posters, canvas bags and slip mats – the opportunity to buy a ringer tee featuring Everything You’ve Come to Expect was one I did not pass up.

The Last Shadow Puppets’s hauntingly good gig was a 10/10 would recommend that has made me appreciate that listening to their vinyl really isn’t the same anymore after hearing them live. I’m also saddened by the fact I won’t be seeing Alex Turner in the flesh again for quite some time (unless by some miracle Arctic Monkeys finally bring out a new album).

Check out a snippet below of The Last Shadow Puppets performing Aviation (poorly recorded by myself) or find out more about the band here.

Peace x

Set List

Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me
Standing Next To Me
Separate And Ever Deadly
Dracula Teeth
Used to Be My Girl
Aviation
Bad Habits
My Mistakes Were Made For You
Pattern
The Element of Surprise
Totally Wired
The Age Of The Understatement
Miracle Aligner
The Dream Synopsis
In My Room
Encore:
Everything You’ve Come to Expect
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Sweet Dreams, TN
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Meeting Place
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Moonage Daydream

 

Lust List: July

This month I’m craving anything that will make me feel like I’m on holiday when really I’m stuck in rainy Wales: queue ultra-light beach hair, green plants overload and a summer romance read so I can escape if even for a little bit.

BEACH WAVES

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Suki Waterhouse is on top form with her I-woke-up-like-this platinum waves (plus blonde hair looks so much sexier with red lippy).

I’m pretB02N_250x430.pngty lucky in that my hair naturally dries curly after being washed, so I end up with a beachy feel to it every day. But, my actually colour is a mousy brown, so I have to dye it to get the mix of blondes that collaborate to give my hair a sun kissed, beach inspired look. This month I’m hoping to go a bit blonder and freshen my roots for the summer season, as seen from some of my hair inspo above. If your hair is naturally straight, or you’re looking for a more tousled, messy surf texture, sea salt sprays work wonders to give your hair a boost. Try this Bumble & Bumble surf spray for ‘sexy, beachy, windswept styles,’ £9.50 at Boots. Continue reading “Lust List: July”