Tag Archives: rock and roll

No Through Road Trip

campervan

We were nearly there
You in the driving seat
Him with the map
denim shorts
patchwork patches
grandad cardies
Swan Vesta matches
Me in the back
with Giggly Sis
hippy frocks and
bright red socks
headscarves, dreads
and celtic art
all off to a festival
heard about on the vine
from a bloke down the pub
with a roll up
a nose ring
a quintessential
dog on string

We drove between hillsides
sussing the signs
followed the road cutting
Welsh weathered divides
Campervan motor
ticking along
like grit in the oil
was singing a song
“Next left!” He spied
tracing the route with a finger
no-one around
not a throng
not a crowd
were we sure this was right?
would we party tonight?

The engine whirred
in the steep of the climb
remembering its birth year
was ‘79
Giggly Sis
took a swig from her can
and pointed ahead
to a crusty with van
who followed an ambulance
with curtains
and buses
with chimneys atop
These weren’t our kind
but authentically
Traveller
we had to admit
we were authentically
Amateur

This crowd were like family
closed up and so tight
they wouldn’t want us
around for the night
and as for the music
the tents and sound systems
there was nothing but one bloke
on bongos with rhythm
You wound down your window
I held my breath
“Alrigh’ mate
anything going on
around here tonight?”
Mate, in his khaki
his earthy clad boots
rainbow woolley
a trench coat
hair matted like roots
shrugged
didn’t smile
couldn’t beguile us
a gentrified nod…
Well!
Not wishing to appear
rude or unclear
we kept bumping along
the occupied track
You held the wheel
He held the map
relieved to discover
a route to get back
“Keep going ahead
then bear to the left!”

Jagged with rock
craters like pockmarks
far more minor
than a casual mistake
the “road” crossed the ridge
and melted away
“Oh for f**ks sake!”…
You put on the brake
and got out the Camper
twirling dreads with your hands
He took the map
and examined the land
Roman road
and maybe
probably
300AD

I cannot believe
just what happened next
it was me in the driving seat
laughed at by Sis
sheep on both sides
sure footed and ruffled
the only way down
looked nothing but trouble
“Left a bit!”
“No Right!”
“Take it easy”
“Too tight”
“Hard! No! Gently”
“Easy”
“Oh God!”

Tyres puffed
under suspension’s lament
every scrape every crunch
echoed a dismal descent
palms spread
You braced the side
tin cans and pans
rattled inside
He with the map
flapping his hands
“Steady!  Keep steady!
I’ve got a plan!”
Locked on
white knuckled
I tried to sit happy
above
what felt like
a crumbling chassis
“I’m going over! Gonna roll!”

But as I swore
I couldn’t hold
another inch
another quiver
the valley below
grew clearer and nearer
He with the map
climbed back inside
“Now drive!  All the way
Down the hillside!”
Giggly Sis
and You got in
rocks became
mole hills
deep craters thinned
we flew all the way
racing inkspotted earth
realising just what
our lives were worth
retracing the route of
a Roman road
back through the woods
tearing through brambles
damp bark and moss
back to our roots
forgetting our loss
as a pathway wound
weaved and tangled
and we drove forth
spangled and mangled
Campervan motor
ticking along
like grit in the oil
was singing a song

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Rock n’ Roll Things To Do With The Kids

I’ve been racking my brain recently to discover ways in which we rock and roll mamas and dadas can devise a really cool day out with our kids; how we can do this AND retain/increase our credibility as well as enjoying the experience ourselves.

Hell!  you say, That’s not possible!

From tots to teens, I reckon there’s something in this post for those of us seeking a way to keep our rock and roll streak alive as well as making an acceptable impression on our “little” or “large” ones.

So, here goes – and if you think you can add to the suggestions below, please comment, I’d be really grateful for any further recommendations.

 

 Arts & Culture

Saatchi Gallery, London – The Rolling Stones – Exhibitionism
Currently making the headlines is this eclectic and colourful collection.
Open NOW until 4th September 2016
You could always appropriately combine this with a meal out at Bill Wyman’s Sticky Fingers restaurant in Kensington.

anna stones

Snap Galleries, London
This gallery and shop situated in Piccadilly Arcade, hosts regular pop and rock art exhibitions.  Keep up to date with their calendar for forthcoming collections .
They currently have photographs of The Rolling Stones by Gered Mankowitz  to coincide with Exhibitionism until 28th May 2016.

TV
SRO Audiences
BBC Shows and Tours
Your teen would love the opportunity to be in the audience for a TV show like MTV’s Live Lockdown or Later With Jools Holland or any other favourite show for that matter.
Get onto the mailing lists (those above are the best I have found so far) for news on how to apply for (free) tickets and make sure you act fast as places get snapped up.  Shows are filmed at various studios around the country, so check you can actually get there easily.

London Rock Music Tour – Central London
From Abbey Road to Jimmy Page’s house, this tour explores London’s prime rock and roll sites and there’s loads.  It can take a whole day to see everything, but you can choose to do a morning, afternoon or 8 hour day.  Tour groups are small (16 people only) so that you get the very best out of your knowledgeable tour guide.  I’ve only looked this one up online but it sounds really interesting.

 

Music Cool Stuff

Rock By Baby – various locations in the UK
This could be your little ‘uns first ever gig!  A musical experience that seems to be a hit sensation.
Pop and rock tunes are tailored to suit little ears by real musicians playing an acoustic set.
The next gig is in Shoreditch,London on 18th April 2016.  Tickets can be bought in advance.

Heavy Con, London
30th September – 2nd October 2016
The UK’s first fan driven rock and metal convention, with meet and greets, stalls, exhibitors and talks.  Cool!

Marshall Amps Factory Tour, Bletchley, Milton Keynes

marshall-amps-fridge-1
Marshall is the home of the amplification system used by rock musicians worldwide.  You can TOUR the factory, privately, for FREE!  How’s that!
Booking by telephone is essential.  Tours are available from Monday – Thursday (school holidays – what a treat!) at either 9am or 1.15pm.  Tours are open to a maximum of 7 people and include viewing production, the theatre (subject to availability) and the Marshall Museum.

 

Music Festivals

Here are a handful of festivals happening this year suitable for families with young children and willing teenagers:

Bestival – Dorset
Curious Arts – Hampshire
Down to the Woods – Durham
Glastonbury – Somerset
Green Man – Wales
Isle of Wight Festival
Livestock – Gloucestershire
Looemusic – Cornwall

Having done Camden Rocks, Download and Reading myself, these next festivals are probably better suited to families with older children:

Camden Rocks – London
Download – Donnington
Boardmasters Festival – Cornwall
Reading and Leeds Festivals
SW4 Festival Clapham Common – London

For further excellent advice and recommendations checkout the FestivalKidz.com comprehensive calendar.

 

Eating Out and Sleeping Out

Hard Rock Cafés – Glasgow, Manchester, London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Dublin
hard-rock-cafe-logo
They are a bit of a cliché but my kids love the chance to go along to these restaurants and have started to collect the t-shirts from all the HRC’s around the world! (so touristy!)  They are full of rock and roll memorabilia for you to marvel at while you munch on your burgers and fries (and probably lots of healthy rock and roll salads too)

Sticky Fingers (Bill Wyman) – London
Well, apparently, you do end up with the obvious – sticky fingers that is!

Rockers Steak House – Cambridge
I’ve never been, but it looks good – can anyone recommend?

Hotel Pelirocco –  Brighton, Sussex
A boutique hotel with themed bedrooms, the occasional acoustic gig and a lively bar open to 3am at weekends!  That said, despite some risqué decor and rock n’roll goings on, the hotel told me that they do welcome families.  The Pretty Vacant Room (which does have some artwork containing fruity language) and the Dollywould Room both have a double bed and a daybed which can sleep a third person/child. Alternatively  the Ophelia Fancy Room and Cloud Cuckoo Land are adjoining rooms, both with double beds.  These rooms are on the 3rd and 4th floors so well away from the bar. I have not been here, but I’d go, with an open mind!

Sanctum Soho – London
sanctum
If you are feeling flush and a little excitable, this hotel sometimes hosts acoustic sets from bands, it has an in-house bijou cinema and often puts up a few celebs for the night, so perfect for star spotting. Nikki Sixx was there a few weeks ago, Lemmy was often a guest…you never know who you might bump into as the hotel is used for music, fashion and film pr events/launches.

 

Well that’s that!  Hope you have discovered something new!  Please keep in touch and let me know if you tried any of these ideas and obviously, how your kids responded to them!  Whatever you do, make sure you go together, have a great day out, show your kids how to live and rock n roll forever!

Long Live The Fans!

Anna xx


Share links for World Poetry Day

It’s been lovely to discover more blogs dedicated to music and/or poetry recently.  When ever a blogger likes a post I have written I do try to checkout their blog too.  We all do that, right?

What I would really like to do to celebrate World Poetry Day is to keep the introductions going a bit more and would like to invite you all to share this post and include a link to your own blog in the comments box below.  Keep sharing and we will all discover a whole new gathering of writers!  Exciting!

I will Tweet and Facebook the link to this page once comments and links have been entered.

Have a great day and I look forward to meeting some new blogs soon.

Long live the Fans!

Anna x


Janis: Little Girl Blue

janis

Last night I went to see the new documentary film directed by Amy J. Berg about the life of rock and roll blues artist, Janis Joplin.  I am sitting here this morning, the kids have gone to school and I’m humming Cry Baby and Me & Bobby McGee.

Janis died before I was born.  She was found by a friend in a hotel room.  When the friend entered the room, the light was on but he described it as feeling “unoccupied”.  The morning after her death, a telegram was discovered at the hotel desk, from the man with whom she had enjoyed a brief but fulfilling and genuine relationship.  They had separated so that he could continue travelling.  The telegram he had written told her that he was missing her and that he loved her very much.

This is how the film ends and it left me wishing that the telegram had not been found so late.  What would have happened to Janis if she had read it?

With some beautifully, grainy, retro footage of concerts, backstage, studio, hotels and earlier gigs, goosebumps formed on my arms watching the performances and hearing Janis’ passionate, husky, delivery of each song that came deep from the heart and a lifetime of confused relationships and let downs.

Pieced together by the movie’s narrator, Cat Power, who reads letters that Janis frequently wrote home to her family, Janis apologises for her actions, behaviour and her lifestyle.  At the same time she also gives them all the news that she was “brimming with”.  Janis’ words always suggest that she doubted herself, despite the outrageous confidence she would display.

The movie paints the picture of someone who we feel extremely sorry for.  There is even a mention, during the height of her success, that all the guys in the band would get to go back to the hotel with somebody, and she, would go back with no-one.  Did this fall back to the days when she was teased for her looks; she was an outcast and didn’t ‘fit in’?

Despite success, and I mean, she was a babe, a rock goddess, people realised how sexy she was and they fed off her energy, poor Janis came off stage empty and again, we feel sorry for her when success begins to crush her and she spirals into dependence on drugs and alcohol.

This morning, on reflection, I feel that the film did it’s best to make us not only sorry for Janis and her short life, but disgusted at society for having the power to push people to the bottom of the pile.  Yes, Janis rose, like a phoenix from the bottom of that pile, but she rose scarred from the way she had been treated in her younger years by her peers.

Acceptance is what society in Janis’ time lacked.  Acceptance is what society needs to keeping learning to do NOW.  I try to teach my kids every day that everyone is different and that everyone has something beautiful to give.  Sounds a bit sweet and a bit gushy doesn’t it?  But, hey, if Janis had read that telegram from the man who loved her for what she really was, who had accepted her as a person and who had been touched by and recognised all her beauty, might she still have been here today?

God bless you Janis.

 


Eggs, Fudge and Arctic Roll

bands only pic

Photo from BBC and The Joiners

Eric is an intern, yes he’s doing this for free
headset wrapped around hot ears
counting all the crates of beers
ripped jeans show his puny knee.

Backstage riders take the piss
Clipboard says an item’s amiss
The schedule’s tight; he’s been up all night
Too late to get it to the concert site.

Budgets are exceeded; the helipad’s all booked
Dressing rooms are ready; just hope it’s overlooked
The promoter will go mad as the pressure takes its toll
‘Cos it’s a long way to the shop, if you want an Arctic Roll

Egos he will massage; these artists he must tame
Remind them they were unknown once and hungry for the fame
Eric likes those little bands, who will be big some day
They just eat fudge and humus and then get on and play.

But a taste for headline hunting always makes them grow
And soon they start to ask for stuff like “frozen H2O”?
Demands for herbal tea and room for meditation
“Give it to me now, or else it’s cancellation!”

“I want:

M&Ms but no brown ones
Skittles minus the purple ones
a large supply of surprise Kinder Eggs and
Playboy bunnies with really long legs…

counsellors, oxygen and a lovely lady doctor
(in case my hip joint seizes with my foot upon a monitor)
two bottles of Absinthe; some chewy Gummi Bears
jugs of mountain spring water to wash my grapes and pears…

air con, fluffy black towels and gentle ivory soaps
fifty thousand live bees and permission to slaughter white goats
Bottles of brown mustard that must be VERY tasty
a good supply of bacon and a tube of KY Jelly

Make sure you’ve got what I require
These songs should state what I desire:

a Big Cheese Burrito with a plate of Pork and Beans
then Pour Some Sugar On Me Peaches and Cream
Poundcake, Hot Dog, slice of American Pie
Chop Suey, Curry Bun; and don’t ask me why
Finish with more Peaches, a Cake and Sodomy
then slam me a Tequila, because it makes me happy.”

An extra side of barbeque ribs should help save Eric’s soul…

but

“It’s the wrong tray of pork chops!  Now just get me Arctic Roll!”


Real Fans #2

dressed up fans sonisphere

Fashion at its height, Sonisphere 2014 – Photo Anna Ghislena


SixtyTwoIntro – Featuring: Four Wheel Drive

(copyright:Four Wheel Drive)

If you were to suggest inviting these boys over for Sunday lunch at granny’s house, l would insist that the Sherry cupboard was bolted from the inside and padlocked on the outside.  The UK’s ball-busting, beer drenched answer to Airbourne, they play runaway rock n’ roll riffs, that send hurricanes steaming through your facial hairs.  For those about to party.  Trifle anyone?

SixtyTwoIntro gives a taste of new bands in no more than 62 words!  Hope you enjoyed this one.