Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Two Can Play That Game *

Tonight I am going to see Girlpool who are a band consisting of two members, I am typing this whilst listening to the new Shannon and the Clams record (who I think play as a three piece but write and exist as a two piece).
Growing up my two favourite bands had three members (that's Placebo and Bis) and the majority of the bands that I enjoy as much now at 31 as I did when I was 15 were three pieces (Bratmobile, Babes in Toylnd, Sleater-Kinney, Le Tigre, Bangs even the Chicks). Three piece bands have a special place in my heart, even my own band has three members, but recently I've been thinking about how much I enjoy a musical double act!

Here are some of my favourites.....

I think Shampoo are my first duo love, I wrote a blog about my love for Shampoo here. You can argue they had a band behind them, but were that band bringing attitude ad wearing dolls faces on their boobs? no, well then! Shampoo very much shaped the person I am today.

Probably Americas slightly too late and not as good version of Shampoo, but I very much enjoyed Daphne and Celeste and their bratty songs, I even liked them after they slagged Brian Molko off so I must have been into them.
Think the Radical Cheerleaders of the North (that's Holly and I) were heavily inspired by D&C, we were like the northern England version

Mates Of State are a husband and wife duo, and they make me incredibly happy. Essentially drums and organ, but they make such full, and completely danceable music. You got to see them live just to see Kori's fingers move like lightening across her organ keys, it's mesmorising!

Proof that I do sometimes listen to current music! Girlpool are Harmony and Cleo, friends who make music with just two guitars and their beautiful voices. I don't know how they manage to make songs sound like actual songs with so little, but they do!

The Moldy Peaches mostly remind me of going out dancing al the time when I was young an being a floorfiller and also working at the Bead Shop where opposite was an art shop where they constantly blasted Who's Got The Crack and Downloading Porn With Davo.

I don't know as much as I should about The Capricorns. I know they are a duo who consist of keyboards and vocals. I only own one album by them, but I feel that is all I need as it has one of my favourite songs ever on there, Sunset Over Malibu.

My favourite angry duo. I'm generally into most bands that have anything to do with the Sleater-Kinney ladies (saying that I just realised I missed Quasi off my list, sorry Janet!) H2B is Corin's pre Kinney band with Tracy Sawyer. which involved drums, guitar amazing vocals and lots of anger, win win!

What do you get if you mix Mary Timony and Carrie Brownstein? THIS! also see above!

Cibo Matto once played the Bronze, they also once made an album entirely with songs about food. what's not to love about that?!?

Are a step-sister duo who are both under the age of 20 (I think one of them is 15!!) usually I get REALLY freaked out by people making awesome music who are much younger than me (HALF MY AGE!) but I love Skating Polly. They both swap and play instruments switching between guitar and drums. They are like if you mixed 90s; K Records, Kill Rock Stars and Subpop together.

If you ever need an intense workout or a right good proper angry dance, put The Need on. I bloody love The Need! If you like drums and guitar and queercore the you NEED THE NEED in your life. Trust me on this!

Can't believe I missed Slutever off the list first time round, it was listeneing to them a few weeks ago that got me thinking about duos!
Slutever are like if Russ ever made a grunge troll range, or if Lisa Frank was a stoner.
They're like all my 90s dreams come true!

* Two Can Play That Game by Bobby Brown was the first CD I ever owned!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

We Are The Weirdos Mister Summer Tour

In case you didn't know, Kandy and I are in a band with our friend Alison! You may have seen me write about the art Yiiikes! make on this blog, but we make 'music' too.
WE have been a band for about a year and a half, but too scared to play a gig, so to get over this fear we thought, why play one gig, when we can play 6 in a row!!!
The best thing to do is call up yr besties and go on tour with their bands.
We are the Weirdos Mister Tour was born!!

What do you get when you take a slime pop band from Manchester, a Buffy concept punk band from London and a doom pop band from Brighton?!?!? THE BEST WEEK EVER!!!

Monday 17th...
2/3s of Yiikes! got a train to Leeds laden with instruments and merch and free Lucozade to meet up with the third third and our awesome driver and bringer of zine distro, Kathleen.
we then hot footed it down to London for our FIRST EVER GIG!!
LONDON Birds Nest.
We got to London just in time before the sat nav died and had a right good scran at Nick and Zaks before walking to the venue, which was a pub.
On the way down Kathleen told us how Eddie Stobart trucks all have names given t them, so we took it upon ourselves to become Eddie Stobart truck spotter for the week!
We were super nervous and Alison and I decided our pre show ritual would be having a shot of rum, so with 57% alcohol in our body we hot the stage!
Being a pub the venue filled up pretty well and full of friendly faces (even mates from the north, Hiya Big Ledge!)
Then we played a gig! There was banter and everything! I have learnt throughout the week that my banter is pretty much just how I am in real life, northern ('enjoyed the tour but glad to be going back north to have gravy on my chips'-Brighton) aggressive (FUCK OFF *middle finger*) and full of pop culture references ('We're like Destiny's Child on acid'). Yay we did it!
Then we got to dance to Joyless Fucking and The Potentials both my new favourite bands.
We had guest band Big Joanie top the bill, which I was pleased about as I have wanted to see them for a while.
A rush at the merch table (we had nearly more merch than we had songs, fuck the music!) and a walk home and the first gig was done!
tour pet count:2 fish tanks

Tuesday 18th....
Hitting the road again, this time with Dave and his van in tow too, after a sausage breakfast. Rad punx on the road, heading back to LEEDS to the best place ever, Wharf Chambers.
We hit the north and it started pissing it down, yay and got to Wharf Chambers in time for some tour pilates led by Shahnaz and some tasty scran courtesy of Leeds finest Amy and Mel (who were putting on the gig too!)
Sadly Rare Junk had to pull out so it was just three bands.
some how this gig felt more daunting than the London one. I'm not sure if it was because the venue was bigger, the stage was higher and I knew less people but the nerves kicked in. Felt more relaxed after a shot mind.
Leeds also marked the night of the first '2nd time around Cibo Matto The Potentials stage invasion' which is one of my highlights of tour.
Once the gig was done we loaded up in the rain and headed to Kathleen's huge house to crash.
Lazy morning with a sausage and pain au chocolat breakfast as we only had a short drive to Manchester.
Popped to Footprints as Kathleen wanted to trim some zines, ate some blackberries on the way back, soaked up the sun in Leeds before heading across the Pennines....
tour pet count: 1 dog 2 cats

Wednesday 19th....
to MANCHESTER, or 'homecoming' gig! We headed to my house as it's near the motorway for a brew, some gaming and a refresh before we got to the Retro bar (the place of my misspent youth) only to realise they didn't have a guitar amp or a bunch of drum bits MINI STRESS, saved by Dave and his bass amp (I her two bass amps are the future) and Todd with his drum loan!
Tried to forget the fact this place has shit communication skills and an odd sound guy by heading to V Rev for some burgers and shakes!
We didn't want to headline any gig this tour, so settled for second to last, Joyless Fucking went first and we had support by local legend Joyce D'Vision.
Joyce was amazing, they got a phone call from their sister mid set, which was the funniest thing ever ( and totally not a set up those that were there) and started a conga, so much fun I dunno how we were gonna top that.
I was super nervous about playing the place where we would know most of the people, but I think I actually had the most fun in Manchester!
The Potentials played their Buffy's birthday song for the first time for Kandy.
Ushered out quick post gig with some shit ska rock music being blasted, half back to mine and half back to Alison's.
Conquered our first gig, conquered our 'hometown' gig, could totally conquer the world now!
tour pet count: 3 cats (2 of which are mine, 1 Alison's)

Thursday 20th....
Kandy's birthday!!! had a sausage breakfast, a slow morning, gift giving, picnic food making and tour pilates. Then we were off to DURHAM, to play Empty Shop.
I was super excited as the farthest north east I had been is Whitby. Kathleen found us a place to stop for a picnic called Snape (tour was full of Harry Potter fans).
Snape turned out to be a tiny village that I don't think was ready for us to picnic in it, but down the road was an attraction to expensive to get into so we picnicked in the car park!
We got to Durham and made it to Chicken Cottage where we were greeted with brews and a tasty chilli for tea (thanks Stef) before playing a gig pretty much next door to my favourite sop, Wilkos!
The ace Skull Puppies played first as I tried not to melt in the corner (I have never sweated so much in my life as I have on this tour) and even without a stage we still managed the Potentials Cibo Matto stage invasion! Then a pack up post gig mini disco!
We got up early to have a breakfast of beans and potato waffles so we could have a look arund Durham.
Durham is beautiful and it has Cooplands bakers. Naomi is the best tor guide ever, I learnt loads about Durham and we went to the cathedral which was ace, then I had proper chips, cooked in beef dripping and bought a troll from a vending machine for 20p!
Everyone was super friendly, I guess that's the north for you! SWOON!
tour pet count: 2 cats, 2 rabbits, 2 rats and 1 gorgeous dog.

Friday 21st....
Left Durham midday to make our way to LIVERPOOL, 81 Renshaw st (via Manchester as I left Zaks base drum pedal there, oops). Leaving behind the sun for some rain.
The venue was next door but 1 to the pizza place venue Maguires so we all got excited ordering pizza by the slice!
The rain was coming down hard, so thanks to everyone that came and thanks to Stef and Morgan for putting us on (and Stef for the awesome poster).
We played second and as we were setting up some one (Steve, thanks mate) had put on a playlist with Lisa Loeb's Stay on (Stay being probably my favourite song ever and most definitly my number 1 karaoke song!) best ever.
Local band Puzzle followed us, who were dead good and a proper band. The potentials pissed off some Buffy fans, YES! No Stage invasion  tonight but all the fun had.
decided to break up the drive to Brighton by driving to Chesterfield to stay at Kandy's.
Tour pet count:0

Saturday 22nd....
An early rise and a morning of  crumpets and cinnamon whirls before hitting the road to the sunny seaside south!
Finishing the tour off playing BRIGHTON, The Marlborough.
our early rise wasn't super early enough to miss traffic, so the journey took a looooong time, but we arrived safely and that is the main thing.
We didn't have time to hit the beach but did have time for some chips.
The Marlborugh is an old haunted AF theatre (it's haunted cuz the bass amp kept going crazy, ghosts for sure!) but we had a green room and everything with apples and beer in it!
Joyless Fucking played first as 2/3s (Lise and Nick) were headlining in their other band Daskinsey 4.
We played second and we didn't have our rum shot, but we didn't need it, I sweated loads and enjoyed playing on a tiny theatre stage!
We were followed by the awesome be-caped Men Oh Pause, who I loved. Then I got to dance like it was 9t6 for the last time The Potentials, complete with a final stage invasion ;(
The night was topped off with DK4, who were great and I managed a dance despite nearly passing out from the heat!
We bypassed some dancing to sit on the beach (where I dipped my toes in cuz I am a wuss who can't take the cold). Lying on pebbles staring at the stars, best end to tour ever!!
We had a continental breakfast round Nicks the next day as we FINALLY watched The Craft!
Before driving back to Leeds and getting a train home and being dead on my feet!
tour pet count: 1 dog.

This is a brief account and I can't convey what a bloody awesome week I had. Hanging out with the best people, meeting new great folks, playing live, seeing yr mates play live, having adventures. I can't wait to do it again.

We played a pub, a community space, a dive bar, and empty shop, a café bar and an old theatre!

Thanks to everyone that played, fed us, gave up their bed, came to a show, drove us about and made me smile!

This tour was sponsored my Linda McCartney Sausages.

For anyone interested here is our Eddie Stobart list:
-Sian Danielle
-Evie Louise (twice!)
-Destiny Amelie
-Keeley Anne
-Janice Roberta
-Naomi Joy
-Sophie Claire
-Denise Jennifer
-Nicola Trisha
-Francesca Michela
-Charlotte Anne

Oh and if you want to buy any of our merch you can HERE!!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Sugar Paper # 15 OUT NOW!!!

The new issue is out now!
This is the thrifty issue, making use of useless things, turning stuff into better stuff!
With jar terrarium, cotton reel hook, button bowl, weaving, knitted sunglasses case, crayon lip tint,crumpets and jam recipe and much more.

Comes with a free tape measure!
The cover is illustrated by
Saffa Khan.


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Happy International Zine Month!

That's right it's July (already) and so it is International Zine Month!
Even though I know every year it happens at the same time, I always seem to think 'shit, International Zine month and I don't have time to do anything!'
I am currently working on, I think 4 zines, hopefully at least half of them will materialise, it would be great if all 4 did.
We are tabling at Leeds zine fest the first week of August, so July may just be spent getting ready for that.

In the meantime, here are my favourite zine things!

Favourite Zine:
I always bang on about this zine but I think it is because it is soo good, the zine is Colouring Outside The Lines.
Edited by the ever lovely Melanie Maddison, it is a zine that features interviews (conducted by Melanie) with female artists.
Melanie has made 6 issues (with number 6 appearing, much to my joy, after a brief hiatus) and has featured some of my favourite artists (Tara McPherson, Elizabeth McGrath, Dame Darcy, Sarah Utter and Lisa Petrucci, Christy Road, Nicole J Georges, Marion Peck and a shit load more!) and introduced me to many artists I may never heard of!
I don't think old issues are in print, but if you're ever round mine I will let you have a read!
Get issue 6 HERE!

Favourite Zinester:This one goes to my old friend Holly. We became penpals via Teletext in like 1999 when we were just 15. Holly was the first person I knew in real life who made zines, we used to make zines together, we are currently trying to make zines together again. She makes zines about the things she loves (mostly all the Bru's, Bruse Springsteen, Bruce Wayne and Irn Bru!) about queerness and class and being a fan of stuff, all the best things in life really!
See her stuff HERE!

Favourite Zine fair:I think this goes to Sheffield zine fest. The one I have tabled at the most. I have done other cities, London, Leeds and my own fair city, Manchester. But I really like the Sheff one, it could have something to do with the fact I see all my favourite Yorkshire faces there and the venue has a giant slide in it!

Favourite type of Zine:I make a craft zine, I love a good skill sharing or recipe zine, I also edit Poor Lass which is the stories of working class folk, told by working class folk, so I guess that could be called perzine (personal zine), I guess my zine Brown Girl has a perzine touch to it, but my one true love, the first zines I ever got sent in the post as a teenager were Fanzines, zines about the stuff people love.
These are my favourite zines, I feel they don't get made as much anymore, but maybe now I don't have ten penpals and friendship books and zines covered in glitter dropping through my door anymore all the time, I am just out of the loop!

Favourite Zine place:Whenever I go on holiday I seek out the zine shops and zine libraries, but my favourite place is at home.
It's Salford zine library (that is no longer in Salford but in Manchester City Centre).
It's housed in Nexus Art Café off Oldham st, next door to my favourite comic shop, Travelling Man.
I reckon the fact it's just a 10-15mins bus ride from my house makes it my favourite place to peruse zines, but it also has a great collection!
Check their new website HERE!

Favourite way to make a Zine:
I am a cut 'n' paste kinda gal! For many reasons; my favourite zines growing up were made this way, it's how I learnt to make zines, it's the only way I know and it's accessible for lot's of people to make zines this way.
I have gotten a little modern from when I first made zines, I used to hand write or type on my typewriter, but I then eventually got a computer so typed all my writing out and sourced backgrounds and drew pictures and cut and pasted it all together. I don't understand computer programmes or have photoshop, I do have scissors and a glue stick and a long armed stapler so this is what I use!
I like to show people how to make a zine with one piece of paper, a pen, a pair of scissors and access to a photocopier.

Favourite Zine I have made:I have made a lot of zine about a lot of things (being brown, My-So Called Life, EMO music, teenage crushes, Gerard Way's jackets to name a few) and Sugar Paper is the longest running zine I have made (14 issues, I reckon in like 7 years!) and had the pleasure of making with one of my best friends, But I think I am most proud of Poor Lass Zine.
A zine I edit with my friend Em about being working class, it's a contributions based zine and the fact people keep wanting to share their stories and people keep reading them is s heart warming. We have received such a great response from this project I think it's the most important zine I have put my name too and therefore my favourite.
Check Poor Lass out HERE.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

How to take in a T-shirt!!

I have been asked several times how I manage to get band t-shirts I buy at gigs to fit me, answer is I buy the closest to my size then take it in!

I thought this would make a great feature for Sugar paper #15, T-Shirt alteration, but seeing as 'make a back patch from your old/non fitting band t-shirts' is the most popular blog post we have done, I figured everyone would want to know.

So here it is....

You will need:
- A t-shirt you already own that is the perfcet fit
- Scissors
- Sewing machine
- Thread
- Stitch unpicker
- Tailors chalk/pencil
- Pins

1. Take the tee you want to adjust and turn inside out. Unpick the sleeves from the tee and put aside.

2. Lay the old tee on top of the tee you’re adjusting. Line up necks and trace the line of the armholes on your old tee. Then mark down the sides to get the correct width. Lastly mark on the length across the bottom.

3. Trim the armholes. The trim the length leaving 1”/2.5cm below the line you marked for the hem.

4. Using straight stitch, sew along the lines you marked down the sides of the tee.

5. Trim the excess off the sides and overstitch with a zing-zag stitch.

6. If the sleeves are too long trim them to the required length (again leaving 1”/2.5cm for a hem.

7.Unpick the sleeve seam.

8. With the tee still inside out, pin the sleeve to the arm hole. Have the sleeve’s right side facing you (so when you pin it the right sides of the sleeve dn the tee will be facing) tuck into the arm hole. Start pinning at the top of armhole (on the shoulder)

9. You may have excess sleeve in the armpit area. Start from this point and straight stitch together until you get back to the armpit/side seam.

10. Pull the sleeve out of the armhole (so the tee and sleeve are facing you both are inside out) Stitch the sleeve seam, cut off the excess.

11. Overstitch with a zig-zag stitch along the armhole join and sleeve seam. Now repeat for the other sleeve.

12. Overstitch with a zig-zag stitch along the bottom of the tee. With the tee still inside out, fold the bottom up 1”/2.5cm, pin, then straight stitch down (close to the bottom edge) to create a hem. Straight stitch again closer to the bottom edge (so when it is turned the right way out you have two rows of stitch!)

13. For the sleeve edge you can do the same as step 12, or for a capped sleeve look, turn the tee the right way out, leave the raw edge, fold the edge in around ½/1.5cm, do this again and pin on the sleeve top and the armpit. Do a few stitches at bot these points.

14. Press and enjoy your new perfect fit t-shirt!
This will also be in issue #15 of Sugar Paper along with lot's of other great stuff like crumpet and jam recipes, knitted sunglasses case, weaving and much more!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Inspiring Sugar Paper #15

It's summer and Sugar Paper 15 is not out yet (or even halfway done, oops!) but here is what we have been (slowly) inspired by.....

Monday, 1 June 2015

May: birthdays, bands and from A(rt)- Z(ines)

What the fuck is that title?!?!?

ANYWAY as mentioned in the previous post I love May, but holy fuck where did it go?!?1 how is it June already? WHERE IS THE SUN!?!?

I started May in Amsterdam and ended it completely tired out on my sofa, but I had the best time.

I (again see previous post) had all the birthday fun (and received my last birthday present last week, love to drag my birthday out for the whole month!), but the fun didn't stop there!

Here is what I got up to in May.....

I visited the new home of The Cornerhouse, HOME, several times. twice for the cinema (Girlhood= so good and Clouds of Sils Maria= I love you Kstew!) and last week I checked out the two exhibitions on there at the moment.
The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (that I was alerted to several times by friends as I have a tattoo of those words, I was a teenage JT Leroy fan, what can I say!) is a collection of works by several artists centring around the theme of love and loss.
My favourite pieces were Douglas Coupland's 'Slogans for the 21st Century', 148 pigment prints on watercolour paper with bold slogans on, a lot about the internet.

Irina Gheorge's piece, John, you Like Her, Don't You? 1994-1996, stood out as it featured a framed poster of 90s Mark Owen (with his nose ring and all), now I am NOT a Take That fan, but this piece was great. it Was a selection of her notebook entries she made with a friend about the 100 hottest boys in their school. My favourite bit was where she said she wanted to throw something at Robbie's head as she thinks he is the reason TT split up and how is solo career is shit HAHAHAHAH!).

My favourite in the whole exhibition though was Gemma Parker's The Tattooed Lady. It's an oldschool vending machine that dispenses a temporary tattoo when you turn the handle. Each tattoo has a story on the back. The design relating to a tattoo that people have regretted! So good!

There is also a Magda Archer exhibition on, #givemeverythingandnnothingbaby . Featuring paintings and posters that show our love/hate relationship with the internet!

Birthday's are big business in May, it seems like 80% of the people I know are born in May, September must be a popular month for parents to be getting jiggy with it! Anyway this meant I consumed lots of cake in May, and that's always a good thing.

My sister was up for her birthday which was nice. On her actual birthday though I went to see The Julie Ruin.
Now that morning I woke up in a bad mood (tiredness and moontime combo) then I went to work and working Saturdays is never fun. After work I hot footed it over to Leeds, trying to make myself feel excited.
I got to the Brudenell and got excited about seeing a bunch of my favourites and faces I haven't seen for a while. the excitement still didn't kick in. I spoke with a friend and we decided it was because we were just not that into The Julie Ruin album. A couple of friends I was with were excited to see Kathleen perform for the first time so I tried to steal some of their excitement.
The band came on and it was great to see Kathleen do her thing again for the first time in ten years, it was good to see Kenny on stage again for the first time in 13 years and to FINALLY see Kathi on stage for the first time ever. They played a mixture of songs from the new album, some Le Tigre tracks and Kathleen's solo Julie Ruin album (which I absolutely love) some of the versions of those songs they played I was not so sure about. The crowd had a few idiots in it, people who don't know about personal space and one idiot who was super drunk and it seemed managed to annoy everyone I spoke to at the gig, he made his way to the front and called some women 'fucking stupid cunts' so we all decided it was time to leave and chucked him to the bag of the venue where someone I know turfed him out! that sucked, but the song they played after this was Radical or Pro Parental and I had much love for that!
I had fun, they are a party band, and the whole show was like a works of Kathleen Hanna cabaret and I am glad I got to see them, but I didn't leave sweaty, with a stitch and feeling like I could take over the world (I decided it was because I was getting old!)

A few days later saw me heading to London to see Babes In Toyland!!!!

I had excitement for this. I had seen Kat perform in Katastrophy Wife and As Babes (with members of Angelica!?!?) before, but never Babes In Toyland themselves.
We Missed Skating Polly (boo) but made it in time to get a good spot for Babes, squashed in between the dreads, babydolls and punks, the room smelt of patchouli and old clothes, 90s heaven!
The moment they hot the stage I didn't stop and neither did the crowd! Everyone went wild, moving, jumping dancing, every song I was in a different place in the venue, at one point I was stood next to some people from Manchester, another point in the pit, then three rows away from Maureen. IT WAS SO GOOD!

All the hits, so much noise, Lori's drumming SWOON and Kat's voice still has it!
At one point I was experiencing some Gregg Araki film shit, I was close to the front dancing away, to my left some attractive guy with long hair was throwing his pint, to my right a woman in a pink faux fur gilet was dancing like she was listening to techno, behind me a couple were having almost full on sex to Maureen's bass lines and I thought IS THIS WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO ATTEND A GIG IN 1995?!?!

I left the gig on a total high, I haven't been to a gig like that in years. The next day however my body ACHED. I hoped on the train back home to do it all again!

Manchester was a much smaller venue, the crowd wasn't as wild (which my aching body was thankful for!) but it was twice as loud! I got to see Skating Polly (who were so good) and no middle support so babes were on just after 9. They looked happy to be playing, I saw more of my favourites (being spoilt this year!) and met an internet friend for the first time IRL. the gig finished just after ten, my ears were ringing and I had some tasty peri peri chips. both nights were some of my best gigs ever!

Band reunions 4eva, roll on L7!

I had a couple of days to try and ease my achey body and catch up on sleep before tabling at NorthWest zine fest in Manchester.

This was such a fun day, chatting to out of town friends, making new ones, seeing a bunch of amazing zines in one room and being inspired to want to make a million more zines!

Well done to the Salford Zine Library guys for organising such a great day!
Ahhh May you were good to me, now I must spend June doing nothing but sleeping!