It was my birthday yesterday, and I am now the grand old age of 24. We started off the evening quite respectably by having a nice meal, but that quickly devolved as we got stuck into some delicious cocktails.Then we carried the party on to the pubs and clubs and impressed everyone with our terrific Beyonce-style dance moves. Sort of! Photos are courtesy of my lovely new camera, the shiny Canon G12. I need to try not to lose this one in a student bar!

I also got some lovely acrylic jewellery gifts, including the awesome gamer-necklace from Punky Pins and a black cat ring from Tatty Devine. My friends know me so well!

My write-up of the Robots in Disguise gig is a bit late due to a friend winning last minute VIP tickets to the Big Chill festival. We had a lovely weekend of lying about in the sun, and I took my DSLR so there are a few photos and words on at the end of the post. But first, on with the Robots review:

Robots in Disguise are one of my favourite live bands, due to their sheer energy and enthusiasm, and a frequent DIY aspect to their instruments, costumes, stage props and performances. I’ve somehow managed to see them over 20 times live in the past few years and each occasion has been a uniquely memorable event. However I was slightly apprehensive about their gig at XOYO due to the lack of promotion I had seen for it. Unfortunately Robots don’t have a major label backing and have recorded and released their newest album, Happiness Vs Sadness, under their own steam and with donations from fans. Although this fits in with their DIY aspect it has meant that all promotion has come from themselves, and mostly their twitter accounts and facebook pages. This is essentially preaching to the converted, and I was worried that I would arrive at XOYO to find a handful of dedicated fans and not much else.

I arrived at about 9pm (XOYO has a curiously late door time of 8pm) to find the support band, Rubricks, halfway through their set and indeed with only a few vaguely interested spectators in front of the stage. Unfortunately their female-fronted electronic-tinged indie pop was unable to rouse more than a half-hearted applause, although more people had started to trickle in by the time they finished. When it got to 9:45, the venue was about as full as it was going to get and the Robots took to the stage with minimal fuss. Despite the rather sparse crowd they seemed pleased to be playing to their home crowd, and the audience responded with loud enthusiasm. The set was obviously heavy on the new album, maybe hoping to tempt a few more people to purchase it at the merch stand, and although some of the tracks lack a punch on record they sounded a lot better live. However the biggest cheers and sing-alongs were reserved for old favourites such as ‘Turn It Up’, ‘GIRL’ and ‘The Sex Has Made Me Stupid’. I was surprised but pleased to hear ‘Argument’ in the encore as I assumed they would have dropped that track in favour of a newer one. The girls snarled and sneered at each other on stage, playing up to their fake quarrel, before launching themselves into the audience to crowd surf. Before long they were clambering back onto the stage and grinning at the cheering crowd as the track ended.

All things considered, it was a pretty successful gig, but my mind can’t help but wander back to the times when they would pack out larger venues and have fans queuing outside for the best spot on the barrier. Here’s to hoping the next tour is a bit better promoted.

As a cheeky bonus, my good friends at the Velvet Onion had a chat with the girls backstage after the gig. Have a look at their interview here. Velvet Onion – Robots In Disguise interview

The Big Chill Festival was the second I had attended, and the second one that I didn’t have to pay for! I’m getting quite used to this VIP lark now! It was as usual, gorgeous weather, good company, a smattering of awesome electronic acts and a giant bloody hill. Myself and my competition winning friend were in the guest camping area, which meant nice toilets and a shorter walk to the arena, but there was also a group of about 10 of my friends in the normal camping area, so we had a large jolly group which is always useful when everyone wants to go in different directions. Since I last went to the Big Chill, Mean Fiddler has taken over and it is quite noticeable with the loss of some of the more interesting bits of the festival. The stages have been shuffled around and now instead of whimsical things like the drive in cinema and art installations, they seem to have a lot of bars and makeshift clubs. The arty parts are still there, but have been relegated to a field at the back while the more commercial and sponsored attractions take prominence. Surprisingly it hasn’t really done a lot to alter the ambience of the place though, and you can still find families, some mid-thirties ravers and a scattering of teenagers all grooving away in the Sunday sunshine to the Norman Jay DJ set.

The Chemical Brothers set on Friday was probably my favourite, although I was extremely surprised by Janelle Monae on Saturday. It helped that my Oxfam-found black and white striped blazer perfectly matched her stage setup! Other great acts included Metronomy, Calvin Harris’s DJ set, Warpaint and my new favourite band, Crystal Fighters. It was a lovely weekend and not even the massive queues at the train station on Monday morning could bring me down. Fingers crossed for another free pass next year!

You can see the rest at the Flickr page.

I have my photos back from Glastonbury, finally! The film processing shop scanned them wrong the first time so I had to send the negatives back. I’m pretty pleased with some of the results.

And just for laughs, here are my photoshoots from LFCC. Look at how excited I am to be standing next to Karen Gillan!


New toys

Posted in toys - (0 Comments)

I haven’t blogged about toys in a good few months, mostly because I’m trying to cut down at the moment due to space issues. I’ve been very excited about a few releases though; the Tokidoki Unicornos, Dunny series 2011 and the very late arrival of my Scott Pilgrim figures.

The Unicornos are super cute and it’s been so hard to resist buying them all. I’ve managed to collect three as it is, but it will have to stay that way for a while at least.

I’ve only treated myself to one of the new Dunnys but I managed to get a brilliant design, the Huck Gee Zombie dunny. What a great first pick!

And finally the Scott Pilgrim figures look just as good as I’d hoped. The purple tshirted one was originally supposed to come with a yellow jacket, which has sadly been scrapped, so to avoid having two almost-identical figures next to each other I have put them on opposite sides of the room. Now I just need the rest of the main characters!


Unfortunately due to a combination of location and bad weather, the market at the weekend was pretty much a bust. On the plus side, we had fun looking at all the lovely other craft stalls and eating cupcakes with edible glitter.

Here are some arty-farty photos I took of the stall:

Nikki found a balloon which kept her happy for the rest of the day

The new Gentleman Cat bag and some of the mobile phone covers I’ve been making