My Birthday

img_2616Today’s my birthday! I feel like it’s almost customary to write a introspective post of reflection and wisdom when one turns another year older, or at the least compile a list of things one would like to achieve. I have to be honest – I’ve always had a strong sense of self, and whilst I’ve certainly grown and developed through my life (spoiler: that’s the point) I don’t feel a million miles away from the person I was a year ago, or five years ago, or ten years ago.

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Kate Bush

kate bush hammersmith apollo 2014 outside before the dawn queues opening nightkate bush getting ready tickets and outfit choices tape parade tapeparade blogkate bush getting ready tickets and outfit choices
kate bush hammersmith apollo 2014 outside before the dawn queues opening night tapeparade blog
Last Tuesday I was sat in Hammersmith Apollo watching my favourite living female artist on stage. After a 35 year stage hiatus, Kate is back. Kate Bush represents so many things to me. An artist who isn’t afraid of books, history and academia as song topics. An artist who makes uncompromising visuals to accompany her art. An artist unafraid of seeming a bit weird. An artist who embraces her voice and her instrument, however unorthodox soprano and piano may be. A woman who embraces being a woman in a mans world. A woman who doesn’t get her kit off but instead sings about sex in an intimate, adult way. She just represents so much to me that I’d like to one day represent to somebody else; the music we make is very different but I feel a sense of kinship with her story-telling, her looping vocals, her layered music, her piano-playing and her poetic lyrics.

I’ve long been dancing around my room (and later on stage) to the songs of “Auntie Kate” so naturally snapped up tickets to Before The Dawn – I’m going to a further 2 concerts of the run including the closing night! I took along my two favourite people and wore all my favourite clothes. It was amazing. Thank you Auntie Kate, and see you again soon.

Due to the no video and photo message Kate posted I’m offering you a video of myself performing Kate instead!

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kate bush hammersmith apollo 2014 outside before the dawn queues opening night
kate bush hammersmith apollo 2014 outside before the dawn queues opening night
kate bush getting ready tickets and outfit choices tape parade tapeparade blogkate bush getting ready tickets and outfit choices tape parade tapeparade blog

Lost At Sea

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Just call me Sailor Laila! There are over 240 museums in London and yet I can’t remember the last time I went to a museum for the first time. Last Thursday I performed at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich which I’d somehow never visited, despite living down the road in New Cross for about 3 years. On Thursday the museum hosted it’s first late-night event, Lost At Sea. The night was completely free and featured a huge variety of activities designed to appeal to both keen sailors and landlubbers (guilty) alike. There were sailor tattoos, impromptu sea shanties, rum-tasting, a pub quiz, a nautical photo booth, live music ranging from ceilidhs to choirs, a miniature literary festival, a table working out your sailor name (Lobster Snaggletooth reporting for duty) and a late opening of their new exhibition, Turner and the Sea.

I was there to play Floodtide by John Eacott, a sonic representation of the live tide reading of the Thames. The piece changes mood quite drastically depending on the tide reading, so playing the piece during high tide will sound completely different to playing the piece during a ferocious sea storm. WOLF PACK (the music ensemble I run) performed the piece for our TIDE themed concert back in April, and it was great to have the chance to play such an engaging and unique work again with a diverse group of musicians.

Fellow wolf Laura and I had a great time running around the museum afterwards, Laura wearing nautical colours and me in my boat-print dress; just call me Sailor Laila! I was riveted by the displays which included the jacket worn by Admiral Nelson (complete with the hole from the bullet that killed him), a gigantic boat engine and a huge world map printed on the floor (I’m sat next to Mauritius, the tiny, tiny island that is my homeland). It was a really fun night, thanks to John and Natasha for inviting us to play and let’s hope there’s another edition soon!

Shoes – New Look, £6 (sale). Coat – Urban Outfitters, £60 (on sale + 20% off!). Dress – ModCloth, gift (similar one here). WOLF PACK hair clip – custom made!

aIMG_9256aIMG_9265aIMG_9260aIMG_9254aIMG_9239boat flood tide national maritime museum hmm lost at sea museum late event night(bottom photo credit: Natasha Bird)