Thursday, 27 May 2010

In my dreams we're still screaming

I guess that's enough looking back. Back to the here and now, and guess what? Arcade Fire have finally released new material! Their album won't be out until August, but to lessen the pain we're offered a double single to keep us sweet until then.

One of the songs is called 'The Suburbs' (which will also be the album title) and is pretty fantastic. Musically not completely in the line of 'Funeral' or 'Neon Bible', yet still without a doubt the same band. The songs excells thanks to a great chorus, dito lyrics and a lovely old-fashioned honkey-tonk piano.

The second song is less impressive. 'Month of May' is Arcade Fire's first effort to make a real rock song - it's even a bit glam, now I come to think of it - but even though it's not a disaster, I'd advise them to stay away from the genre in the future. If you can make songs like Arcade Fire does, you don't want to waste your talent on a genre you're only average at.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

It's like I'm watching the A4 paper taking over the guillotine

... and I was invited by Sony music (the label) to join them to London for a blitz visit.

Sony is busy promoting upcoming talent Hurts (very eighties inspired, rather bombastic, but very catchy electro pop), who were playing the NME Radar Tour in London that night. Hence they invited me and 3 other journalists (Tom, Hannes and Erna) to join them and write something about the band on our websites or magazines. We'd only be there for 16 hours, but how could I say no to a trip to my favourite city?

(pictures by Erna Janssens, except for pics 1/6/9 which are by me)

All of us got a lovely, huge room in the St. Pancreas Novotel. Here's me in the bathroom showing off my new favourite dress (I was initially looking for an Unknown Pleasures t-shirts, but this is so much better).

Koko, the place to be that night.

The line-up: Darwin Deez (support), Everything Everything (headliner 1) and Hurts (headliner 2).

Koko's balcony, with Tom, me and Hannes in the middle of the picture.

Hannes, one of my travel companions.

We missed out on Darwin Deez (except for the two last songs) because of the delicious burger & beer we had before heading to Koko, but Everything Everything totally made up for it. If you haven't heard of these very talented Mancunians, check out their song 'My KZ, UR BF' (or any other song by them, really).

Hurts, the band we made the trip for in first place. They're are quite interesting with their full-on eighties sound and über-dramatic podium presence - not completely my thing, but they sure know who to write a decent song and there's definitely a big audience waiting for them.

After the gig, we went to the VIP bar for some drinks and chatting before heading back to the hotel. Sabine (from the record label) and fellow travellers Erna and Hannes went to bed early, but Tom and I decided to make the most of our stay in London. We didn't really think of the early closing pubs in London, though. When the hotel bar turned out be closing as well, we nevertheless resumed our search for beer in the streets of London. We prevailed in the end!

We're so disarming darling

...I went to Grimbergen's Prinsenbos with my sister and a camera...

Monday, 17 May 2010

You couldn't possibly find it in your heart to forgive me and Bart made our debut as Stethoscope Stewards (our dj name) at the Kinky Star in Ghent, which was sooo much fun to do (plus, we've got 2 new dates planned for next month!...

I am not what you anticipated

...I went to another Hindu Nights in Ghent...

(awesome pictures by Barbara Peremans)

Just let me be here, I won't tell anyone

...I went back to London in the beginning of April, back to the same couchsurfing hosts where I stayed at in February...

One of them, Alan, has been my boyfriend ever since. We already had something going on when I left in February, but now it's official! He is super amazing and despite the long distance between us, it feels like I'm finally in a healthy, non-destructive relationship. Totally weird, but totally fantastic as well.

So yes, I obviously had a great time in London. Alan and I went record shopping in Notting Hill, he showed me around in Hampstead (his favourite part of London - even though it looks French and the English don't like France very much - where we had some really delicious crêpes), treated me to a gig by Mt. Eerie at the Scala and taught me how to play bar billiards (not very surprisingly, he was heaps better than me - but surprisingly, I did manage to beat Alex, one of Alan's house mates!).

Alex and I playing bar billiards, but both failing in beating Alan.

We also spent a couple of days on the countryside in Essex - one night in Landermere (where Alan grew up), one night in Alan's father's house in Harwich. Especially Landermere was exceptionally beautiful. It's a shame I've barely taken any pictures, but I've been so busy enjoying myself that I haven't even thought of taking pics most of the time.

Alan having fun with an axe

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Ooh la la

...we went back to Nua's shortly after for a fun night of karaoke...

Kim and Anja, my karaoke partners in crime

Anja having a good time with a French boy called Florentin

and me being squeezed by an Irish boy called Ivan

Living in the gap between past and future

...celebrated Anja's birthday at Nua's, where we had a good time with a Scottish woman called Karen who thought one of us looked a lot like Robert Pattinson and who we rescued from a terrible guy that kept on following her throughout Brussels...

Everybody's starry-eyed

About an hour ago I had my master paper printed. It possibly caused my parents' bankruptcy (damn you colour prints!), but all in all I'm very relieved. Another good thing is that this means I've got time to blog again! I've been the worst blogger in history for over a month, but was very pleased to get a few messages from readers who were looking forward to new posts - thank you for the support!

Working on my master paper meant that I spent the last 1,5 month mainly in the company of Vladimir Putin (not literally - my paper is about the reporting in Flemish newspapers on Russia during the 8 years under the reign of Putin) and not so much where and with who I'd rather be. But fortunately there were exceptions. A short overview of what I've been up to next to reading, analysing and reporting...

I went partying in Leuven...
(first four pictures by Maxim Solomaniuck, the others by Barbara Peremans)