Monday, 22 September 2014

Thank You For The Days...

Just under two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to watch and meet one of my personal musical heroes, Ray Davies, live at The Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank.

When I was a little girl, my Dad used to play my sister and I bands like The Stones, The Who, The Small Faces and The Kinks in the back of the car while he was doing 'The Knowledge' to be a London Taxi Driver. (It all sounds very rock n roll but my sister and I must have looked like two funny little squirts pulling up with our Dad and walking into greasy cafe's for a bacon butty with a load of other budding cockney Londoners haha). I remember the sky always seemed to look grey and dismal, matching the typically Working-Class cafe that we would go into full of middle-aged men sipping on their builder's brews and Full English Breakfasts. But the soundtrack to our journeys there and back added colour to those grey days and gave me some kind of excitement that I still get today when I hear great music and play music of my own.

As I said, one of those bands was The Kinks. The electric guitar riffs played by Dave Davies and growling vocals from Ray were so exciting to hear, even for a kid born in the early 1990's, nearly 30 years after those songs were first around. I suppose that's the mark of a great band and a great song - when there is an element that is so charismatic that it speaks to young people for generations to come. Something that sparks imagination, passion and hope.

Ray Davies has been widely credited over many years for his songwriting ability and with the help of his band, The Kinks, his contribution to modern music as we know it today. I mean, come on - he gave us the likes of All Day and All of the Night, Waterloo Sunset, Lola, Victoria, You Really Got Me, Sunny Afternoon...(need I go on?!). These songs have become part of what defines us as being quintessentially British, and for that, we hail you King Ray...

When my Dad told me that his friend Paul, who is Ray's Nephew, had managed to get us tickets to see him live, I was so excited. I had never seen him play live prior to this so I was looking forward to it a lot!

The Royal Festival Hall was filled to the brim with fans, many of which were couples who would have been teenagers or young adults in the 1960's when The Kinks were in their prime. There couldn't have been a better venue for these fans to revisit their nostalgic youth than here, overlooking Waterloo's very own sunset on a sunny evening at the end of Summer.

Ray Davies gave an energetic and powerful set the whole way through, full of iconic Kinks songs, much to the audience's joy. There were also plenty of scissor-kicks might I add, proving that Rock n Roll has no age restrictions! (So there's no reason why you can't do the Splits, Nan! hehe). The band were super tight and really complimented everything that Ray played/sang. The gig felt almost like a Production, which if I knew before the gig, I would have turned my nose up at the thought of, but it worked so brilliantly with Ray reading certain stories from his life and book, Americana, between every few songs.

The band finished up the set and made their way backstage for a quick drink and rest before coming back for not just one encore, but TWO! Who'd have thought it? Certainly not them! The crowd were truly loving the set and clearly just didn't want the night to end. (Myself included!)
After the musician's finally got some well earned rest after the show, Paul took us backstage to meet Ray himself. Now I was extremely concerned that I would make an idiot of myself and go too 'fan-girl' on him by getting verbal diarrhoea and saying something stupid (haha), but all went very smoothly and I was extremely flattered when Ray told me that he liked my music! To think!!

So all is well and I am content in knowing that one of my personal musical heroes that I grew up listening to, likes my off to write some more...!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

A Life in Stripes

If there's one pattern that never goes out of fashion, one that we revert to every time we have no idea what to wear, it has got to be the good ol' trusty stripe! Whether it's a Breton stripe tee, a pinstripe shirt or a monochrome striped dress, it just seems to be that one pattern that is timeless and never fails to please!

Let's take a look at stripes through the ages...

The 1920's


The 1930's


The 1940's


The 1950's

The 1960's


The 1970's

The 1980's

The 1990's


And even today in 2014, we are still crazy for a stripe! I guess it's a print that will be timeless forever more... so let's get investing in more of those trusty stripes!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014


Hi all! I hope everyone had a great weekend and those beginning-of-the-week-blues are fast becoming a distant memory! I can't believe that we are already very nearly in February! How can such a long and grey month pass us by so quickly?! But hey, it's not all bad -  This week Orla Kiely released her new collection with Clark's, and Paul and Ringo performed marvellously at The Grammy's. Oh, and Valentines Day is fast approaching, so things are certainly on the up for February!

I had a pretty great end to the week, we were at Kensal Town Studios in Ladbroke Grove on Thursday and Friday laying down some demo tracks and ideas in preparation for my 3rd EP. I always really love being in the studio, it really is my favourite environment to be in and I always feel really inspired when I come away. We put down the bare bones for 4 new tracks which will hopefully all feature on the 3rd EP. I'm really excited about how they're sounding and the ideas that are coming to us for ways to improve/parts to add etc! I already can't wait for you to hear them! But let's get EP 2 out there first! :) Here is the video for a song called I Got You which will feature on my 2nd EP!

Emma took lots of photos throughout our 2 days at Kensal Town, (a lot of which are still sitting in my camera waiting to be developed), but here are some polaroids that she took...


And for those of you who know me well, you'll know that I am an EXTREMELY fussy eater (understatement of the year!), but there is a super sweet Spanish lady that cooks lunch at Kensal Town so last week I tried Salmon and loved it! It's a miracle for sure! So maybe I'll start to get all experimental and try some other different things very soon...WHO KNOWS!

Until next time, lots of love xxxxx

Friday, 17 January 2014

From Paris with Love

I admit it. I'm a stereotypical Tourist. Map, camera, sunglasses and all! That became evident when Fred whisked me off to Paris last week for my 21st Birthday! Paris has been one of those places that I've seen and heard so much about but I've never had the chance to go to until recently. And let me tell you, it was worth waiting for! There is such an idealistic romantic image that is conjured up when you think of Paris, and I finally saw why it has such an appeal that lived up to my expectations.
We stayed in a lovely Hotel that was quite literally on the Eiffel Tower's doorstep so we were sure to make the most of taking photos of the iconic landmark. (Possibly a bit too much, I might add!). As cheesy as it sounds, it really does take your breath away every time you see it up close - it truly is such an impressive and beautiful landmark.
Here are a collection of photos that both myself and Fred took of The Eiffel Tower in all her glory!

During our time in Paris, we decided to venture to the famous Père Lachaise graveyard in search of Jim Morrison's grave. It was honestly the biggest and creepiest graveyard I have seen, full of tombs and chapels for most of the deceased. Some of which even had creepy chairs and doors inside them! Eek! Whilst I spent a lot of the time creeped out, I also found the attention to detail on each of the graves really interesting. It really is a peaceful and beautiful place once you get over the initial creeped-out vibe! After walking around for some time, getting lost on several occasions, and feeling like we were in an episode of Scooby Doo, we finally found Jim Morrison's grave which was incredibly inspiring. Surprisingly, his grave was one of the least extravagant of all that we saw in the Cemetery, but nevertheless it was great to see and to be in the presence of one of 27 Club icons.

We took the time to time to venture to the impressive Jardin de Luxenbourg on our final day in Paris which was a perfect way to end our trip. Finally the sun came out just as we got to the beautiful garden full of waterfalls, trees and local Parisians soaking up the Winter Sun. It is one of those places that has such a calming atmosphere and I can imagine would be the perfect place to relax with an ice cream in the summer. It looks like Tame Impala loved it too - their latest album cover featured the garden itself, and Fred made a pretty good attempt to recreate it (but a Winter version, of course!). I might add that we also tasted the best croissant ever around this area!

So basically - PARIS I LOVE YOU. I would 100% recommend going for a short trip if you haven't ever been. There are so many cool places to discover if you do your research beforehand, and it certainly doesn't disappoint! But for now, Bon Voyage Paris!

(All photos were taken by myself or Fred Payne)

Monday, 6 January 2014

Top 5 Couples of Coolness!

There's something about when two savvy people commonly in the public eye come together and create a unit of coolness that us Brits in particular can't get enough of! We thought they were chic individually, but when we see them as an item, in our minds their coolness is taken to a whole new level. With brands such as The Kooples portraying couple's effortless styles complimenting each other, it's no wonder we are more interested than ever in these star-spangled relationships!
Here are my Top 5 style crush relationships past and present!

1. Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg

An eclectic bohemian mix of style that is often replicated and used as inspiration for many great icons in fashion such as Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. Keith himself admitted in his autobiography that he used to wear Anita's clothes, and most probably she did the same! A shabby chic rock n roll look that consists of fedoras, skinny flared bottom trousers, thrown on shirts and textured jackets - what's not to love?!

2. George Harrison and Pattie Boyd

When you look at photos of George and Patti in the late 60's, it's hard not to fall in love with their dreamy relationship and impeccable sense of styles. George's transition from the Baker Boy Beatle look to the print-loving moustached look is one that many people take great inspiration from, including Alexa Chung. Pattie's girly late 60's looks are to die for - who wouldn't want a wardrobe like hers?!

3. Alex Turner and Alexa Chung

Possibly THE greatest 'it' romance of our generation? Whilst we are all girl-crushing on Turner's newest flame Arielle Vandenberg, we can't help but remember the sweet sunny days of the Chung-Turner romance and sigh! Their effortless festival-bound styles knitted so well together with a concoction of breton stripes, staple denim pieces and brunette swishy barnets! (humbug days, of course!).

4. Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull

Another flamboyant collaboration of style and romance from the 60's that a lot of girls nowadays take inspiration from, myself included! Mick Jagger's obvious presense was portrayed in his dress sense, and Marianne's girly boho style effortlessly complimented Mick's.

5. Tom Sturridge and Sienna Miller



Sienna Miller has been someone that my sister and I have always admired for her style, and we fell in love with Tom Sturridge after watching him play Young Karl in the hit comedy flick The Boat That Rocked. So it was a dream come true when one day I learnt that they are an item! (There is a God!). Like the other contenders in my Top 5 style icon couples, their styles completely compliment each other. Sienna has always been known for her Boho Chic effortless style, much inspired by fashion icons such as Anita Pallenberg, and Tom's laid back scruffy-but-cool style works a treat with Sienna's! And of course, they know how to scrub up and look INCREDIBLE together at events and campaigns such as the recent one they did for Burberry. Long live the Miller-Sturridge romance!