Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

BANK meeting

In Diary on October 25, 2011 at 12:51 pm

You know in Cinderella, when the birds awake Cind’s? They tie the bows in her dress and sing sweet songs as she floats about? Mainly because she’s amazingly sweet, kind, destined for the Prince and of course, it’s Disney. Yes, Cinderella had it hard: she doesn’t live in the castle, horrid sisters, terrible step-mother. But she doesn’t have to deal with fighting for a job, equality issues, rising food bills, 1/4 life crises, English winters or banks.

She also has a fairy godmother.

Imagine the sanctuary.

Today my alarm pinged off, or rather droned with its silly robot dancing noise. I immediately thought about everything that was happening today. You know those days when you’ve been thinking about what it is you have to do on ‘this day’, that it’s at the forefront of your mind, even when you first awake? Well, today was BANK day.

Bank day: A meeting with a business bank advisor; describing Lionheart Magazine, discussing its finances, where it might go, cash flow, any possible issues, credit cards, tax, business plan, distribution, marketing. Everything.

Annoyingly, the dressing birds didn’t show and instead, I awoke with a big ginger cat prancing about on the bed, meowing for Whiskas. As well as some sort of hot/cold throat pain, worsened from yesterday. However, I had my coffee, gathered my documents and jumped on my bike to meet my advisor. As usual my excitement and passion came out as I discussed the magazine. We went through all the paperwork, discussed plans for the future and chatted about businesses. 60% fail in the first year. AKKA!

She was extremely helpful and enthusiastic, saying I’d sold it to her and she hadn’t even seen it! Hooray! We went through all the details of the business account, insurance and all the realistic possibilities. It was actually perfectly fine and indeed, enjoyable. I had all the information she needed and what’s more I liked discussing it, going through the nib bits.

At the end, my advisor got her card for me to contact her, from upstairs. She gave me her card, with my ‘business pack’ and then showed me a £5 note, which she said she was putting in an envelope too, then popped it in the pack. I was confused, no bank has given me money before! She smiled and said: “There you are, there’s your first sale. I really believe in you and your magazine and I hope it’s a success. Just drop in the magazine to the bank when you’ve got it printed. I’ve had a lovely time talking to you.”

I was speechless and then, almost emotional. That’s the faith right there. Amazing. A little dose of fairy godmother sprinkles, but in the real world. A world that’s far better, truer and more empowering than Disney is to a girl. Always be nice, like Cinder’s, but also believe in what you can do and what you’re doing right now, it must show!

Not very long to go now. xoxo


gold shoes

In Diary on October 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Sometimes these exceptionally whimsical sayings can be positive and good. Especially in stressful times. Apparently this one is the name of a film. Also a good sort of, life motto. Especially after this answer from one of my favourite Lionheart Magazine interviewees, Maria Lindén from I Break Horses:
Bravery to me is to have your own expression, no matter what the prevailing trends are. Never compromise with what your heart says.

Amazing – yet ridiculous [aka: ridiculously amazing] shoes by Charlotte Olympia

In stark contrast to the shoes, this jumper by Joe Fresh.

‘Van der Schueren has assembled more than 100 fine examples of highly stylized polychromatic charts. These relics of the history of science, art and design offer compelling glimpses into the anatomy of a hedgehog, the inner structure of a tulip and other wonders of zoology and botany. Who says decor can’t be didactic?’ (LA Times Magazine) Quite.

Summercamp‘s new track, which you must listen, read and watch HERE. It’s dream poppy, blurry goodness.
Finally – this is a pretty video from Toast. I adore the music.

…It’s close. x

Jens Lekman + Lia Ices, Live Review

In Music on October 19, 2011 at 8:58 am

The autumn leaves and dropped temperatures seem to fit perfectly with the sounds of Lia Ices. Heavenly, elongated notes look down from the night’s skies, with the fresh awareness of nature’s power upon us. Her voice comes from a forested mountainous place, it’s high, sweeping and echoes about the Thekla like mother nature calling for her ship to return.

Together with the strings, Lia Ices is prettily grandiose. It’s almost shoe gaze’s reinvigorated: nu gaze, plus dream pop with a smattering of folk. If you’re into your genres. I’d recommend that you listen to Lia Ices and make your own conclusions. Like poetry or art, this is a beauty that needs to be subjectively understood. Perhaps because it sounds so personal, heart wrenchingly stunning and Lia Ices, though with similarities to Death In Vegas, Bjork and Imogen Heap, is a genre unto herself. Her’s is a place that you might escape to and probably, alone.

Swedish musician, Jens Lekman is equally romantic – melancholic – but with the addition of witty lyrics, striking guitars and poppy beats over sweeping strings. With influences such as Belle and Sebastian and Paul Simon, Lekman is a story teller. He’s also very funny, self deprecating and dry. Ten years into his career, Lekman has a confidence on stage – enough to throw confetti over his audience, play the ‘air glockenspiel’, dance as you do when something good happens and you just can’t help yourself, as well as to hold his arms out like wings – and fly the stage.

Like the joy and happiness of innate goodness, mixed with the knowledge and heartbreak that age bestows upon you, Lekman puts the place in a delighted place, with a knowing smile. The world isn’t terribly serious here – unless of course one discusses matters of love. Then the guitar notes slow and the heart manifests itself in delicate lyrics and an almost lost, Jens. He regales stories of Kirsten Dunst visiting Gothenburg, his old hairdresser and 729 nights of the same dream, then sings about it all. And he does it oh so it well.

Black Cab will remain one of my favourite Jens Lekman songs. It’s something old, something new, something happy and something blue.

And how beautiful is Lia Ices’ song.

Lia Ices – Love is Won from Ravenhouse LTD. on Vimeo.

Here’s my review of her album.
Grown Unknown, is out now on Jagjaguwar. Jens Lekman’s Album, A Night Falls Over Kortedala is out now on Secretly Canadian.

Ben Howard Live Review

In Music on October 15, 2011 at 11:02 am

The beach as close as the high rise is from me now. Nostalgia is a terrific beast. It grabs the heart and puts a warm robe around the shoulders, then makes you lust after its misty wake. But this is the new – yet the same – Ben Howard, improved and impressive.

Wolves; Like a run through a forest, energised by the unknown and lack of belonging, screaming from the bottom of your heart and lungs. You come out by the sea. Love, love, love.

My own bleating about Cornwall dwelling days aside, Devonshire Ben’s debut album can only be construed as original, confident and beautifully written. Delicate guitar notes, sit with husky vocals, powering out as if having spent the last three years paddling out into the big waves. Storming. Joni Mitchell, John Martyn and Nick Drake drink hot chocolate and Irish whiskeys on the cliff side. Now polished to the point he’s confidently riding the giant deep blue liquid mountains, India Bourne and Chris Bond, his band members, lolling and shooting up the waves there with him. Singing, jamming, tapping, celebrating and building the inspirational, individually styled acoustic folk.

Though of course, he and the band are not alone, tonight (and indeed, for all shows) the venue was packed. Completely sold out. Everyone hankering to shift forward, but lost in every song played. To the point they’d forget they were on a static boat in the city, with a million other people; misty eyes and slow sways. Keep Your Head Up, The Fear and Promise are true gems, to ferry hearts. This intimate show by the wide open sea feel, was in many ways, thanks to a relaxed and involved performance. Only snapped out slightly, when those million people were howling to Wolves and singing out; ‘Love, Love, Love’ -as seen on his merchandise by the door. Casual and yet immense.

At one point Ben put his hand up to his brow to look out to the audience; ‘The last few weeks, have just been amazing, we can’t believe it. The album’s at number seven in the album charts.’ Lots of clapping, wooping, whistling and adoration.

As well as clearly loving what he’s doing, Ben isn’t afraid of ‘appearing’ in a certain way, or having any sort of emotion upon him. He builds, and gains understanding, from using using natural world imagery to describe love and the world. Whether that’s through the beloved sea, forests or wild wolves. The guitar, bass, drums and cello make for a raw and embracing accompaniment. Particularly when a song builds up into a crashing, howling climax, such as Black Flies. Through his voice, instruments, intelligent writing and delivery, he manages to make these somewhat profound feelings, genuine, refreshing and all encompassing.

Excellent, well done Ben & Co.

I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man.

William Wordsworth

And living in the deep country of England, nature governed everything. The winds, the seas; whether the day was for walking, surfing or to be sat by the fire. Travel was an honour and a strong desire, a want to see, meet and experience. In some very important ways, that thinking is right. The country bubble with its absence of self conscious yearnings, is a special world to inhabit and appreciate. As the city, gives so much, it is obvious that the bubble has reversed and the true escape lies in the seas, hills and mountains of nature.

congratulations to Lionheart contributors

In Diary on October 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I meant to say this a while ago; massive congratulations to Abby Wright – one of the illustrators in Lionheart Magazine and an extremely kind and inspirational lady – who illustrated the Company High Street Edit A/W Edition. It looks fantastic!

Fritha Strickland – also featuring in Lionheart Magazine in various guises – was also in the very same magazine. See here:

As was Natasha Thompson, part of the Tea & Crayons collective, like Abby and Fritha.

And in other exciting news, one of the Lionheart style writers – Olivia Purvis – has been nominated for the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards. Vote for Olivia, here. Good luck miss!

Love it, huge well done to them all – proud. xoxo


In Diary on October 10, 2011 at 8:20 am

It’s been very chaotic here at Lionheart HQ. I have been working extremely hard on several different things – trying to get it all working fluidly and desperately wanting to research and care for all the new feature ideas and projects that keep popping into my mind. In short, I’m working five different jobs at the moment and it’s a bit mad. Three are helping to pay for Lionheart/food – freelance writing, working in a vintage/fancy dress shop and blogging for Bath In Fashion (very exciting for Lionheart too) – then another one is a charity job (which will over in two weeks) and one of course, is the Lionheart itself. The big/main/LOVE.

The good thing is, I have my dearest, kindest friend designing the pages and it’s basically NEARLY complete and ready for the printers at the end of the month. We meet in the evenings we have free and marvel at the beautiful articles, completely alive on the pages. I can’t explain how incredible it looks. We have absolutely the same ideas and together the content, mixed with the design – is just a dream. A completely independent magazine, contributed to by a plethora of brilliant, talented and creative people. I really hope you, dear readers, will love it as much as I do.

Hopefully everything will calm soon too. I am pushing myself because it’s SO real and SO close. I just *hope, HOPE* this is as wonderful as I believe it can be for everyone that reads it, enjoys it and keeps it.

At the weekend we went to the Forest of Dean and walked within the golden brown leaves, then watched Drive – something not artsy or sentimental, but at the same time – VERY artsy and sentimental. I enjoyed it. Especially this song – apt.

Speak soon x