Tag Archives: flash trip

Greetings from Shitsville, London.

Every time I visit London the same doubts and uncertainty rise in my head. Will it be even more different than the last time? Will my own London still remain the same? Will I still be in love with the city?

jaume and toi

I don’t go to London to see friends anymore, even though there are still some I’m in touch with, and don’t go as a tourist either, as I already know what I needed to know about the city. Beside, in the last years, London is not the affordable destination it used to be, with accommodation and public transport at outrageous rates. Shows are my current motivation. Up to date, I’ve never enjoyed live shows most but in London. Venues are cool, beer is affordable, audience is extremely livid and intense, and bands love playing there. The gig culture reigning is, in my humble opinion, the best, and I always love the vibe and the atmosphere, no matter what kind of show I’m about to see.

This time there were many factors which helped this trip to be special. On one hand it was my friend Jaume’s first trip to the old city, so I had to be some sort of cool guide, with the responsibility it implies, and on the other because the show we were attending featured Hey!Hello! and our beloved The Wildhearts, band which Jaume introduced thanks to a best of, in my life.

april and london 070

The stay was terrific. We enjoyed very good weather, had tons of laughs, joined my friend Ana, who is currently living and working there, for drinks, and I had a great surprise when coming out from the venue after the show, suddenly I was facing my best friend in my London years, Lukas, who is adorable, but a complete disaster getting in touch. Coincidence? Nah, I don’t think so. It was awesome, all the same.

I’d like to leave the leisure side of the trip aside, as the most remarkable event was no doubt the show. It was officially the 4th time I was seeing The Wildhearts. I remark  officially, because I happened to see them in one or two festivals in UK but since I wasn’t acquainted with them, didn’t pay them attention. Anyway, one of the shows was also in London in 2007 at the disappeared Astoria club, before Christmas, which also was full.

This time it was at Electric Ballroom in Camden, a venue I had only been before for clubbing and on Sunday market. A guy told us capacity was approx 1200people, less than Astoria’s, and tickets were sold out.

red stripe

We visited The World’s End pub for the previous drinks and it was then when I got my London vibe back. Classic British metal out loud, the pub packed, Ritch, The Wildhearts’ drummer was hanging with friends there, and this party atmosphere was so intense it really cheered me up.

After being warmed up enough we went to the venue as we wanted to see Hey! Hello! Ginger’s project with Victoria Liedtke. Their act featured 8 songs, included their hit ‘Swimwear’, and ‘Feral Days’, ‘How I Survived the Punk Wars’ and ‘Black Valentine’. We immediately noticed the impressive voice of Victoria, and the quality of sound at the venue, making it easy to distinguish and perceive the melodies of the different members in the band. She really looked nice, the way she jumped and danced, and the funny way she introduced the songs, making jokes all the time. A funny contrast between American and British. I liked it.

heyhello

We were a bit tired after our intense morning walk and decided to chill out a bit, while the second act was taking place. Mainly because it was a Swedish prog band playing, and at that moment we needed an upper, rather than something complex, musically speaking.

wh3

When the time came, we couldn’t be more excited. The fuckin’ Wildhearts were playing and we were there ready to rock. And it was a hell of a show, damn! Never seen Ginger so happy, and the band so solid, compact and powerful. No doubt it was the best performance I had seen, in terms of quality. What a blast! They chose ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ as the starter, probably one of my top 3 favorite WH songs, and ‘TV Tan’ followed. By the third song, Jaume had already lost his voice and I was bawling all the songs as if that was my last day on Earth. The set list was perfect, hit after hit after motherfuckin’ hit, and the crowd was insane. Oh, man! It feels so good to be surrounded by unknown people mad about the band in the same way or even more passionate than you do!

It’s almost impossible a band like this comes back to Spain, when only 100 people attend their shows. It’s not worth it. We are not worthy. And it’s a pity, but we don’t have a proper rock culture and philosophy, supply/demand is nonsense here. And of course, The Wildhearts are one of the most underrated rock bands on Earth.

I feel pity for those who are not acquainted with this band, because I’m positive their lives would be much better if they could enjoy the work of The Wildhearts.

I only hope I manage to see them next time soon.

Bless Ginger, CJ, Scott and Ritch, and those who were left behind. Long Live The Wildhearts!

2012 HIGHLIGHTS . THAT’S ALL, FOLKS!

Toi December

In essence 2012 has been one of the toughest years in my life, not because of personal relationships this time, the truth is that something as common as losing a job in a critic moment, while there’s  a terrible economic crisis striking the country, can affect a person to unsuspected limits.

My last period uprising trend was suddenly stopped at the end of March, and 6 months unemployment have brought back quite negative stuff I thought being overcome and forgotten. I will focus on that in a while, not today, I’m not in the mood, but yes, I can advance you my self esteem has become more vulnerable to start with.

Being this 2012 mainly marked by this 6 month period, I’ve also lost some control of myself, and chaos has been present. Perhaps I’ve abused on partying way too much, routines disappeared for some time, and mayhem has been remarkable sometimes. Nowadays I’m trying to get back on the right track, and this year turning point might help me to focus.

Still, not everything has been crap, there are lots of remarkable things I will never forget, thus, being a list lover, I will tell you about them.

 1.    NORMA JEAN MAGAZINE

My relationship with this online magazine started when I was asked to write a review about Shame, the film. Since then, I’ve written more than 30 articles (in Spanish), covering a wide range of subjects: squirting, speed dating, flirting at 35, sex while menstruation, Tarantino and his chicks, corsets, women and music… and I’m proud of being involved in this project and become co-editor. Moreover, since I’ve been writing for Norma Jean Magazine in Spanish, I’ve received invitations for collaborating in order sites, and a proposal coming from an independent publishing house. Through this magazine I’m learning lots, and getting acquainted with very interesting people. Really, a blast!

nj cover

 2.    ANDREA

Lou introduced me to the other half of Norma Jean, Andrea, in April, right after losing my job. Chemistry was obvious since the very beginning and we liked each other right away.

Andrea is a hard worker, a great student and a perfectionist, yet she has a great sense of humor, very compatible with mine. With Andrea the team work has made sense for real, regardless the distance, and I have to thank her for being so inspirational.

Andrea and Toi

 3.    MISS ARIANNA

When I first discovered Arianna’s work via Tumblr, I knew I’d have a piece inked by her the soonest.

She had these 3 days available at Swan Song Tattoo in Rome as a guest artist, and I booked with her right away. I only spent 12 hours in Rome, 6 of them at a tattoo parlor, and I got my lighthouse, my guide, so powerful and firm, it really encourages me to keep on looking forward.  I will never thank her enough, and she will never fully understand what she did to me.

my lighthouse by andrea

 4.    THE WEDDING AND THE GIFT

Artie and Mayra got married, and Kiko, Agnès and I decided to look for the most special gift we could give them: a wood carved piece of the cover of Harvest Moon album awesome Bryn Perrot especially made for the occasion. A unique piece for one of the most rockin’ couples I know, and love. The gift arrived late, the wedding was amazing, and I can’t now wait for meeting baby Ariadna as soon as she’s born.

5.    RICH ROBINSON TOM PETTY, FU MANCHU

These are the artists and bands I moved my ass abroad to see live performing. Amsterdam, Dublin and London were the locations, and as usual, the quality of sound of the venues was impeccable. Special mention to my hostess Sofia, my rock sister, for having me at her flat even though she was in the middle of her exams, and my travel companions Artie, Mayra, Javi, Ani, baby Celia, Gonzalo, Yolanda, Veronica and Joaquin. Anytime, and hopefully soon, friends.

fu

6.    SINCE MY BABY LEFT ME

Yes, this blog, my pride and joy, and my actual baby. This blog was here for me, with its arms open to embrace any crap I wanted to pour on it during these previous months of uncertainty. I’m very glad readers’ response is improving and, even though you don’t comment much (I like to think shyness is to be blamed), visits, subscribers and fav’s are remarkably increasing.

Thank y’all!

 7.    VISITS FROM FRIENDS

This has been the year my Hellhouse has received most visits, and I’m glad my friends wanted to spend some time by my side. Lou, Andrea, Sofia, Agnès, Kiko, Dave, Arantza, Mayra, Marisa and Julio…it’s been great to have you here. Hope you have felt at home, at least I tried you did. Also those hanging out evenings and nights, watching films, eating pizza, playing poker, thanks for coming too.

hellhouse by Lou

Ah! Before I forget, those days I spent with my all time best friend Diana, at her summer house by the sea, were incredible.

 8.    QUIT SMOKING

This wasn’t a resolution for 2012. I didn’t plan it in advance, although I was getting disgusted with so much compulsive smoking. it was a box a day, too much considering I had been a social smoker all my life till my “divorce”, when I started smoking like craze. On Monday I thought I had to reduce little by little scheduling my cigarettes, however by Friday I didn’t want to have even a drag.

My initial anxiety was translated into sleeping 3 hours, truth is that as soon as I got unemployed I earned weight. There’s still lot to do to get fit and lose some weight but I’m on the right way. I’m glad I don’t smoke any more.

9.    COOKING

It’s been 2 years and a half since I stopped eating meat (I never liked fish) and chose to become vegetarian, and this year, in order to enjoy a more balanced diet and also tasty meals, I’ve been looking for new recipes and improving my cooking skills. I still have some challenges in mind for next year, I hope to accomplish.

 10.   SOCIAL NETWORKS

You might think this is something stupid, but thanks to FB and Twitter I’ve got acquainted  lots of new people, discovered artists and musicians, recovered old friends (Tani, so good to have you back!), and even flirted with guys. Thanks to ARF forum I’ll never go to a show on my own, news on Twitter, which spread lightspeed, attach me to reality even though I cannot stand TV news, and I know lots of tattoo artists worldwide thanks to FB. Remembering the main motto of Antonio Montana, with internet, THE WORLD IS YOURS.

The world is yours

Good times are to remember, bad times are to be buried, keeping only the lessons learned from the fall.

Hope 2013 is much better than this one. I wish you all the best friends!

READY FOR A FLASH TRIP

I knew it! I knew this was going to be the night Toi is so nervous she can’t fall asleep.

In just 10 hours I’ll be sat on one of these horrible and uncomfortable low cost seats inside a plane heading towards Oporto to see my beloved Ryan Adams, with another diehard fan, Verónica.

I reckon I’ve been nervous for the last week more or less, basically listening to all the albums recorded by this man, solo, with Whiskeytown or with The Cardinals, to make up my mind I’m gonna see him for the third time in my life, but this time as a pure and truly whorshipper.

This is a flash trip, not the first time though, and probably not the last one either, just to see a band or an artist who probably won’t tour in my country, and reckon  I mustn’t miss the chance. It’s worth it, to be honest, doesn’t matter money when you spend two hours being the happiest in loooong time.

Luggage is a joke, we’ll spend barely 30 hours in that city, so I’ve just printed a couple of essential travel mini guides with maps included, so we can hang around,, enjoy the sites and take some pictures. My carrier bag is filled with underwear and basics, a couple of tees, my two cameras (also batteries and memory cards), the Ipod, cigarettes and ibuprofen just in case, pens and 3 Adams’ CD booklets…you never know, a miracle can occur and I need to be ready.

Apart from that, all are a bunch of emotions.

I checked some of the setlists just to get an idea about what he’s up to, but stopped checking. I need it to be a surprise and now I know it’s gonna be a great show, so, who cares? Whatever Adams touches turns into marvel.

I’ll be back on Saturday night, but probably will go out for some drinks, so I’ll tell you about the experience by Sunday I guess.

Friends, hope you all have a great weekend, and enjoy the most whatever you do. I’m trying to get some sleep because tomorrow will be one of these long days, in which many things will happen. Unbelievable the subjective time can be, don’t you think?