Amelia’s Magazine | Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Tripod Stage Review: Sunday

Illustration by Dan Heffer, ask pharm Hat by Angela Bruce; The Hedgerow Collection

I’m not sure if it’s the wedding’s I’ve been too recently or the press attention regarding ladies hats at certain summer races (hello Ascot) or whether it’s as simple as the sun being out, but recently I’ve been paying more attention to headwear. It was therefore a great pleasure to be invited to Kensington and Chelsea College’s End of Year Millinery exhibition.

Who could resist Anna Pulleyn’s Forgotten Garden Collection?

Illustration by Krister Selin

Illustration by Lauren Macaulay

The quality of the work on display was unmistakable and the sculptural and innovative shapes a joy to look at. Each Milliner created a story around their final collection, the materials used were inspired by Japanese textile techniques, mechanics and traditional stories; for example Rachel Fallon’s take on Alice in Wonderland.

Illustration by Rachael Price

Another classic text revisited was the greek tragedy of Narcissus. Hannah-Kates Morgan collection was inspired by the story of a man simultaneously in in love with and in turmoil with the sight of his own reflection, coining the term Narcissism. A comment perhaps towards the trend in fashion to be socially elite both towards people and the different mediums of the trade?

Beth Simpson’s collection was inspired by the collection of the Marchesa Casati. Beth describes the collection’s muse as “extravagant, eccentric and bizarre, who for the first three decades of the 20th Century astounded Europe.”

Kate Underdown’s collection was inspired by medical specimens and the anatomical drawings by the Victorians sourced from the Hunerian and Grant Museums of Medicine.

Illustration by Charlotte Gibson

Elaine Lax’s wonderful Mechanical Movement collection created from the building blocks of machinery, that is required to keep our way of life moving.

Congratulations to all the students for a wonderful show and to Kate Underdown, Awon Golding, Rebecca Coffee, Angela Bruce, Ellen Bowden, and Mandy Mcgregor whose hats were selected to be exhibited at Fenwicks.

Photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

Illustration by Dan Heffer, diagnosis Hat by Angela Bruce; The Hedgerow Collection

I’m not sure if it’s the wedding’s I’ve been too recently or the press attention regarding ladies hats at certain summer races (hello Ascot) or whether it’s as simple as the sun being out, buy but recently I’ve been paying more attention to headwear. Therefore it was a great pleasure to be invited to Kensington and Chelsea College’s End of Year Millinery exhibition.

Who could resist Anna Pulleyn’s Forgotten Garden Collection?

Illustration by Krister Selin

Illustration by Lauren Macaulay

The quality of the work on display was unmistakable and the sculptural and innovative shapes a joy to look at. Each Milliner created a story around their final collection, pharmacy the materials used were inspired by Japanese textile techniques, mechanics and traditional stories; for example Rachel Fallon’s take on Alice in Wonderland.

Illustration by Rachael Price

Hannah-Kates Morgan’s collection – revisited another classic text; Narcissus or Narcissim – was inspired by the greek tragedy. A comment perhaps towards the trend in fashion to be socially elite both towards people and the different mediums of the trade?

Beth Simpson’s collection was inspired by the collection of the Marchesa Casati. Beth describes the collection’s muse as “extravagant, eccentric and bizarre, who for the first three decades of the 20th Century astounded Europe.”

Kate Underdown’s collection was inspired by medical specimens and the anatomical drawings by the Victorians sourced from the Hunerian and Grant Museums of Medicine.

Illustration by Charlotte Gibson

Illustration by Charlotte Gibson

Elaine Lax’s wonderful Mechanical Movement collection created from the building blocks of machinery, that is required to keep our way of life moving.

Congratulations to all the students for a wonderful show and to Kate Underdown, Awon Golding, Rebecca Coffee, Angela Bruce, Ellen Bowden, and Mandy McGregor whose hats were selected to be exhibited at Fenwicks.

Photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

Illustration by Dan Heffer, viagra 60mg Hat by Angela Bruce; The Hedgerow Collection

I’m not sure if it’s the wedding’s I’ve been too recently or the press attention regarding ladies hats at certain summer races (hello Ascot) or whether it’s as simple as the sun being out, sickness but recently I’ve been paying more attention to headwear. It was therefore a great pleasure to be invited to Kensington and Chelsea College’s End of Year Millinery exhibition.

Who could resist Anna Pulleyn’s Forgotten Garden Collection?

Illustration by Krister Selin

Illustration by Lauren Macaulay

The quality of the work on display was unmistakable and the sculptural and innovative shapes a joy to look at. Each Milliner created a story around their final collection, the materials used were inspired by Japanese textile techniques, mechanics and traditional stories; for example Rachel Fallon’s take on Alice in Wonderland.

Illustration by Rachael Price

Another classic text revisited was the greek tragedy of Narcissus. Hannah-Kates Morgan collection was inspired by the story of a man simultaneously in in love with and in turmoil with the sight of his own reflection, coining the term Narcissism. A comment perhaps towards the trend in fashion to be socially elite both towards people and the different mediums of the trade?

Beth Simpson’s collection was inspired by the collection of the Marchesa Casati. Beth describes the collection’s muse as “extravagant, eccentric and bizarre, who for the first three decades of the 20th Century astounded Europe.”

Kate Underdown’s collection was inspired by medical specimens and the anatomical drawings by the Victorians sourced from the Hunerian and Grant Museums of Medicine.

Illustration by Charlotte Gibson

Illustration by Charlotte Gibson

Elaine Lax’s wonderful Mechanical Movement collection created from the building blocks of machinery, that is required to keep our way of life moving.

Congratulations to all the students for a wonderful show and to Kate Underdown, Awon Golding, Rebecca Coffee, Angela Bruce, Ellen Bowden, and Mandy McGregor whose hats were selected to be exhibited at Fenwicks.

Photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

Illustration by Dan Heffer, thumb Hat by Angela Bruce; The Hedgerow Collection

I’m not sure if it’s the wedding’s I’ve been too recently or the press attention regarding ladies hats at certain summer races (hello Ascot) or whether it’s as simple as the sun being out, dosage but recently I’ve been paying more attention to headwear. Therefore it was a great pleasure to be invited to Kensington and Chelsea College’s End of Year Millinery exhibition.

Who could resist Anna Pulleyn’s Forgotten Garden Collection?

Illustration by Krister Selin

Illustration by Lauren Macaulay

The quality of the work on display was unmistakable and the sculptural and innovative shapes a joy to look at. Each Milliner created a story around their final collection, cheapest the materials used were inspired by Japanese textile techniques, mechanics and traditional stories; for example Rachel Fallon’s take on Alice in Wonderland.

Illustration by Rachael Price

Another classic text revisited was the greek tragedy of Narcissus. Hannah-Kates Morgan collection was inspired by the story of a man simultaneously in in love with and in turmoil with the sight of his own reflection, coining the term Narcissism. A comment perhaps towards the trend in fashion to be socially elite both towards people and the different mediums of the trade?

Beth Simpson’s collection was inspired by the collection of the Marchesa Casati. Beth describes the collection’s muse as “extravagant, eccentric and bizarre, who for the first three decades of the 20th Century astounded Europe.”

Kate Underdown’s collection was inspired by medical specimens and the anatomical drawings by the Victorians sourced from the Hunerian and Grant Museums of Medicine.

Illustration by Charlotte Gibson

Illustration by Charlotte Gibson

Elaine Lax’s wonderful Mechanical Movement collection created from the building blocks of machinery, that is required to keep our way of life moving.

Congratulations to all the students for a wonderful show and to Kate Underdown, Awon Golding, Rebecca Coffee, Angela Bruce, Ellen Bowden, and Mandy McGregor whose hats were selected to be exhibited at Fenwicks.

Photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

Illustration by Dan Heffer, help Hat by Angela Bruce; The Hedgerow Collection

I’m not sure if it’s the wedding’s I’ve been too recently or the press attention regarding ladies hats at certain summer races (hello Ascot) or whether it’s as simple as the sun being out, sale but recently I’ve been paying more attention to headwear. Therefore it was a great pleasure to be invited to Kensington and Chelsea College’s End of Year Millinery exhibition.

Who could resist Anna Pulleyn’s Forgotten Garden Collection?

Illustration by Krister Selin

Illustration by Lauren Macaulay

The quality of the work on display was unmistakable and the sculptural and innovative shapes a joy to look at. Each Milliner created a story around their final collection, the materials used were inspired by Japanese textile techniques, mechanics and traditional stories; for example Rachel Fallon’s take on Alice in Wonderland.

Illustration by Rachael Price

Hannah-Kates Morgan’s Narcissism collection, revisited another classic text; the greek tragedy of Narcissus.

Beth Simpson’s collection was inspired by the collection of the Marchesa Casati. Beth describes the collection’s muse as “extravagant, eccentric and bizarre, who for the first three decades of the 20th Century astounded Europe.”

Kate Underdown’s collection was inspired by medical specimens and the anatomical drawings by the Victorians sourced from the Hunerian and Grant Museums of Medicine.

Illustration by Charlotte Gibson

Illustration by Charlotte Gibson

Elaine Lax’s wonderful Mechanical Movement collection created from the building blocks of machinery, that is required to keep our way of life moving.

Congratulations to all the students for a wonderful show and to Kate Underdown, Awon Golding, Rebecca Coffee, Angela Bruce, Ellen Bowden, and Mandy McGregor whose hats were selected to be exhibited at Fenwicks.

Photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

On Sunday we lost a few and gained a few. Pete Lawrie called by with terrible hayfever to say he couldn’t sing for fear of losing his voice but kindly volunteered to perform at another Climate Camp benefit. Of course I made him stand in front of our banners so I could get a photo anyway.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete Lawrie
Pete Lawrie.

Robinson just didn’t turn up. I missed a phone call whilst doing an impromptu Green Kite Midnight gig at the Greenpeace Stage, price which laughably requested that I get on the radios to sort out a vehicle escort to meet them from their Acoustic Stage gig (erm, website like this did you read any of my emails?) They then ignored all my later frantic calls. Professional. Still, they probably wouldn’t have had much of an audience, what with them clashing with that embarrassing worldcup football match and all.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete the Temp

I missed most of Pete the Temp but managed to catch him performing some fun mashed up covers dressed in a tutu from our grand raffle.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades decided to play at the last minute once their Glastonbury tickets were confirmed. Fronted by my former art editor, the super talented Luisa Gerstein, I am ashamed to say that this was the first time I had seen them perform live. I had previously only visited them on myspace, which really doesn’t do justice to their ace live performance. Playing on a variety of strange string instruments, an old typewriter and an assortment of pots, pans and donating buckets scoured from the Climate Camp kitchen, they were incredibly inventive.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.

Both myself and Luisa have camped extensively with Forest School Camps, and her glorious melodies reflect the mix of traditional English, Irish, Scottish and American Bluegrass music that we love to sing around campfires.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades ended on an acapella version of traditional gospel song You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone – here performed with just two of the band members and some old yoghurt pots (another trick I suspect she learnt around the campfire). A cult classic if ever I saw one – there are already multiple tributes on youtube.

YouTube Preview Image

Luisa’s best bit about playing the Tripod Stage: our make-shift drum-kit from the catering tent.
Luisa’s best bit about Glastonbury this year: Sunday evening: Mountain Man in the Crow’s Nest followed by Dirty Projectors followed by Stevie Wonder; twas dreamy. 
 
You can catch Lulu and the Lampshades at Bestival later this year.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Cats and Cats and Cats then borrowed a number of instruments from Lulu and the Lampshades to play another exclusive for the Tripod Stage, lead singer Ben George having come down from his parent’s pottery stand in the Green Fields to offer us the gig. Quite fortuitously Cats and Cats and Cats have their debut album If I’d Had An Atlas out next week, so we were treated to stripped down versions of a range of songs which I’ve since been able to listen to on record.

cats and cats and cats
Cats and Cats and Cats by Farzeen Jabbar.

When and where was the album recorded?
If I’d Had An Atlas was recorded over 11 days in deepest darkest Wales (Giant Wafer Studios in the Brecon Beacons), it was great to be so far away from any bustling cities and we could really concentrate there. We also did some recordings of extra instruments (tuba, cello, accordion etc.) in Folkestone at Barewires Studios.

What inspired the name If I’d Had An Atlas?
The name is from a lyric in the title track which reads “I don’t know, if I’d had an atlas, where we would be,” which fell out of my brain at some point and I scribbled it down. I like the imagery of someone imagining that if they’d had a map they would have done things differently but of course there is no map and life is chaotic and that’s why it’s amazing.

What was the best bit about playing on the Tripod Stage?
I really enjoyed just turning up and using what instruments we could gather to piece together a set and then managing to pull it off! Thanks loads to Lulu and the Lampshades for lending us their equipment and also for being really brilliant. The only bad point was when I dedicated a song to my brother only to find he’d run off to watch Nora Jones!

What was your favourite part of Glastonbury this year?
I saw some of my favourite Glastonbury performances this year by bands like: Boxcar Aldous Huxley, Tubelord, the Dirty Projectors, Meursault and Imogen Heap; I was also gobsmacked at the lightning men and amounts of fire in Arcadia. But I have to say the weather, I was there for 8 days and I didn’t see a drop of rain. Amazing.

What other festivals are you playing at?
We’ve got a couple more lined up in July: Lounge on the Farm in Canterbury on Friday 9th (at 12pm) and 2000 Trees Festival in Cheltenham on Saturday 17th. Then we’ll be playing a farewell show for our violin player in London at some point as she’s leaving the band, but we’ll be back on the scene in October for a UK tour. Hopefully see you soon.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Ben has one of those voices that delights in the slightly out of the tune: it shouldn’t work but most of the time it somehow does: his wailing vocals become a feature in themselves, especially when offset against such a lush backdrop: brass, strings, entire orchestras, choirs, all have their place on this album – occasionally screeching to a standstill that echoes the offkilter vocals. It’s all great fun. Stand out single A Boy Called Haunts is a triumphant melody about… a boy who is trying to impress a girl, so he dresses up as a ghost on Halloween. Only trouble is that he then becomes a real ghost and discovers that she spends her free time having sex with men in porn films. As you do. Ben has been learning Japanese for 3 years so he decided to write a song in Japanese “half to see if I could and half to show off”.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Towards the end of the album curveball Suizokukanni works surprisingly well, even if the subject matter is equally bonkers. In it Ben’s fictional brother talks to the fish in the garden pond so he gets shunned. One day Ben hears the fish in the garden calling his name and realises he can talk to them. The last line roughly translates to “Lets go to the aquarium together and never return!”. This is followed by the beautiful The Smallest Song, a much quieter and more subdued affair, even as the brass section kicks in. The next single will be If I’d Had Antlers, which features sawed and plucked violin melded to trademark awkward beats and a surprisingly delicate melody. Watch out for the animated video. Cats and Cats and Cats might be an acquired taste, but they’re wonderfully original and definitely a grower. Well worth checking out.

carolyn-alexander-attila the stockbroker
Attila the Stockbroker by Carolyn Alexander.

Our final performer was another late booking – Attila the Stockbroker, pint in hand, gave us some grand punk beat poetry. 60 years old and able to give any number of youngsters a run for their money. I’d like to see more of him one day.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Attila the Stockbroker

And so ended my Tripod Stage musical line-up. And what a joy it was. Here’s hoping we can do as well next year…

Categories ,2000 Trees Festival, ,Acapella, ,Acoustic Stage, ,Arcadia, ,Attila the Stockbroker, ,bestival, ,Bluegrass, ,Boxcar Aldous Huxley, ,brass, ,Carolyn Alexander, ,Cats and Cats and Cats, ,Climate Camp, ,Crow’s Nest, ,dirty projectors, ,Farzeen Jabbar, ,folk, ,Forest School Camps, ,Green Fields, ,Greenpeace, ,Imogen Heap, ,Katie Harnett, ,Kitchen, ,Lounge on the Farm, ,Luisa Gerstein, ,Lulu and the Lampshades, ,Meursault, ,Mountain Man, ,Pete Lawrie, ,Pete the Temp, ,Pottery, ,Robinson, ,Stevie Wonder, ,Traditional Music, ,Tripod Stage, ,Tubelord, ,wales

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Blythe Pepino of Pepino

littlefishinterview_anielamurphy
The Old Blue Last pub, prostate just off Old Street is a descent venue, a 120 capacity pub and live music venue owned by Vice Magazine, having recently undergone a refurb. Sure the stage area is small and the dressing rooms a little neglected, but the atmosphere is warm, the toilets work and there’s something about the place that reminds me just why live music is so great.

The main reason I’m here is to see Little Fish, an Oxford based due who have recently confirmed they’re a three piece with the permanent addition of their Hammond player, Ben Walker. Before they hit the stage, support band AWOLNATION threw an unexpected blistering thirty minute set. Hailing from America to promote their debut EP Back from Earth, and in good spirits, the band got a relatively meek crowd’s heads bopping and hips shaking. Opening with their fan pleaser Guilty Filthy Soul, their set merged dance beats, killer hooks and catchy rhythms, it’s clear this band have got energy, bags of charisma, and a hot lead singer. Off to a good start then, and one to keep an eye on.

On to Little Fish, who took to the stage after a swift set change, bringing out the bigger drums and bigger guns it would seem. Opening with the title track to their debut album Baffled and Beat, it didn’t take long for the room to fully get into the swing of the night. A couple of tracks in, and the floor was literally jumping with the crowd lapping up every ounce of sweat pouring from the stage. Lead singer and guitarist Julia ‘Juju’ Sophie never once showed sings of waning. Her vocals spilling over with raw emotion, it’s clear she absolutely loves what she does. The drums, courtesy of Nez Greenaway, thunder throughout the set, only letting up during the momentary softer close to a few tracks. Hammond in tow surges from back of stage through Little Fish’s explosive ferocity, bringing extra solidity to their sound, and allows them to sit comfortably above many other garage bands out there today.

 Little Fish Live Shot
Little Fish live. Photographed by Willemÿn Barker-Benfield

Stand out tracks of the night include the vastly popular Darling Dear, Whiplash, and the sonically awesome Die Young, which confirms how far the trio have come, whilst retaining their classic stripped roots that scream a passion for conviction, since their debut EP Darling Dear last year. It’s tough not to compare Juju’s vocal ability and physical prowess to other women in rock, like Juliette Lewis and Courtney Love, both of which Little Fish have toured with, and why not? There aren’t enough women out there packing a rock and roll punch these days, and Little Fish aren’t scared to get their fisty cuffs out. If you like your rock hitting the garage mark hard, then head on down to their next gig and bring your dancing shoes. Brilliant.

Their debut album Baffled and Beat is out now and released on Island.
little fish by aniela murphy
The Old Blue Last by Aniela Murphy.

The Old Blue Last pub, visit web just off Old Street is a descent venue, capsule a 120 capacity pub and live music venue owned by Vice Magazine, medical having recently undergone a refurb. Sure the stage area is small and the dressing rooms a little neglected, but the atmosphere is warm, the toilets work and there’s something about the place that reminds me just why live music is so great.

littlefishinterview_anielamurphy
Willemÿn with Little Fish singer Julia, by Aniela Murphy.

The main reason I’m here is to see Little Fish, an Oxford based due who have recently confirmed they’re a three piece with the permanent addition of their Hammond player, Ben Walker. Before they hit the stage, support band AWOLNATION threw an unexpected blistering thirty minute set. Hailing from America to promote their debut EP Back from Earth, and in good spirits, the band got a relatively meek crowd’s heads bopping and hips shaking. Opening with their fan pleaser Guilty Filthy Soul, their set merged dance beats, killer hooks and catchy rhythms, it’s clear this band have got energy, bags of charisma, and a hot lead singer. Off to a good start then, and one to keep an eye on.

On to Little Fish, who took to the stage after a swift set change, bringing out the bigger drums and bigger guns it would seem. Opening with the title track to their debut album Baffled and Beat, it didn’t take long for the room to fully get into the swing of the night. A couple of tracks in, and the floor was literally jumping with the crowd lapping up every ounce of sweat pouring from the stage. Lead singer and guitarist Julia ‘Juju’ Sophie never once showed sings of waning. Her vocals spilling over with raw emotion, it’s clear she absolutely loves what she does. The drums, courtesy of Nez Greenaway, thunder throughout the set, only letting up during the momentary softer close to a few tracks. Hammond in tow surges from back of stage through Little Fish’s explosive ferocity, bringing extra solidity to their sound, and allows them to sit comfortably above many other garage bands out there today.

 Little Fish Live Shot
Little Fish live. Photographed by Willemÿn Barker-Benfield

Stand out tracks of the night include the vastly popular Darling Dear, Whiplash, and the sonically awesome Die Young, which confirms how far the trio have come, whilst retaining their classic stripped roots that scream a passion for conviction, since their debut EP Darling Dear last year. It’s tough not to compare Juju’s vocal ability and physical prowess to other women in rock, like Juliette Lewis and Courtney Love, both of which Little Fish have toured with, and why not? There aren’t enough women out there packing a rock and roll punch these days, and Little Fish aren’t scared to get their fisty cuffs out. If you like your rock hitting the garage mark hard, then head on down to their next gig and bring your dancing shoes. Brilliant.

Their debut album Baffled and Beat is out now and released on Island.
little fish by aniela murphy
The Old Blue Last by Aniela Murphy.

The Old Blue Last pub, try just off Old Street is a 120 capacity pub and live music venue owned by Vice Magazine that has recently undergone a refurb. Sure the stage area is small and the dressing rooms a little neglected, there but the atmosphere is warm, this the toilets work and there’s something about the place that reminds me just why live music is so great.

littlefishinterview_anielamurphy
Willemÿn with Little Fish singer Julia, by Aniela Murphy.

The main reason I’m here is to see Little Fish, an Oxford based duo who have recently confirmed they’re a three piece with the permanent addition of their Hammond player, Ben Walker. Before they hit the stage, support band AWOLNATION threw an unexpected blistering thirty minute set. Hailing from America to promote their debut EP Back from Earth, and in good spirits, the band got a relatively meek crowd’s heads bopping and hips shaking. Opening with their fan pleaser Guilty Filthy Soul, their set merged dance beats, killer hooks and catchy rhythms, it’s clear this band have got energy, bags of charisma, and a hot lead singer. Off to a good start then, and one to keep an eye on.

On to Little Fish, who took to the stage after a swift set change, bringing out the bigger drums and bigger guns it would seem. Opening with the title track to their debut album Baffled and Beat, it didn’t take long for the room to fully get into the swing of the night. A couple of tracks in, and the floor was literally jumping with the crowd lapping up every ounce of sweat pouring from the stage. Lead singer and guitarist Julia ‘Juju’ Sophie never once showed sings of waning. Her vocals spilling over with raw emotion, it’s clear she absolutely loves what she does. The drums, courtesy of Nez Greenaway, thunder throughout the set, only letting up during the momentary softer close to a few tracks. Hammond in tow surges from back of stage through Little Fish’s explosive ferocity, bringing extra solidity to their sound, and allows them to sit comfortably above many other garage bands out there today.

 Little Fish Live Shot
Little Fish live. Photographed by Willemÿn Barker-Benfield

Stand out tracks of the night include the vastly popular Darling Dear, Whiplash, and the sonically awesome Die Young, which confirms how far the trio have come, whilst retaining their classic stripped roots that scream a passion for conviction, since their debut EP Darling Dear last year. It’s tough not to compare Juju’s vocal ability and physical prowess to other women in rock, like Juliette Lewis and Courtney Love, both of which Little Fish have toured with, and why not? There aren’t enough women out there packing a rock and roll punch these days, and Little Fish aren’t scared to get their fisty cuffs out. If you like your rock hitting the garage mark hard, then head on down to their next gig and bring your dancing shoes. Brilliant.

Their debut album Baffled and Beat is out now and released on Island.
Abby_Wright_Pepino_Illustration
Blythe Pepino by Abby Wright.

Walking home from an evening out is sometimes a slow affair. With the chill of the air rushing through the leaves, site the wind whispers, pharmacy clarity in its breath. This is the time of night, when only the workaholics and the creatives are studious. It is a beautiful time to bask. As it is right here, even the most ridiculous ideas become utterly feasible. And indeed I have planned elopements to South America, psychoanalyzed the health food shop assistant down the road and delivered eloquent obituaries to dead film stars. Oh! It is here when high emotion is reached! When nightingales sing! Sweeping statements are made! And also when nothing at all can be said. Thinking, thinking… thinking. The boy has learned to accept the pace of these evening meanders, the ‘profound’ findings and flighty musings escaping my consciousness. Sometimes it is possible to revisit or even create these times of mesmerizing purity and definition. Often this is through music, which has this indescribable ability of transportation. Pepino is one such band.

PEPINO - Sarah violin
PEPINO – Sarah violin. All photography by Paul Blakemore.

I saw them on stage for the first time a while ago and was surprised at the effect they had upon me and all around me. The audience and I were transfixed. Pepino possess a range of beautiful components. They are ethereal foxes, taken from their country spheres and told to become urban tearaways. Embracing the task before them, they have assessed their situation, screeching and singing melodies to the heavens, they lull strangers and ask questions why. Lead singer, Blythe, 24, has a passion that comes with ease as she recalls the circumstances from which her comical and hearty lyrics originate from. Her terrifically ranging voice soars and plummets with vivacious sensitivity. Listening to their album, Redface is one of those songs that you listen to on repeat, holding you in its clutches. It moves from slow and dramatic to vulnerable and reflective. Meanwhile Rocky, like many of Pepino’s songs, have a touch of grunt and cheeky hilarious flashes, combining with high pitched, sweet, backing vocals and violins swaying and jumping.

PEPINO- Jessica celloist
PEPINO- Jessica celloist

Clutter, a response to the cleaning of people’s houses, is a thumper of a tune and their wistful beauty of a song about growing up in the country, The Birthright (not written by Pepino), is rose-tinted and beautiful. The violins and cello add to the juxtaposed sounds of soft drawn out vocals and gusty propelling sounds. Like a Tori Amos or Imogen Heap… or Tinkerbell with balls. They’re a contemporary girl de force and unavoidably likeable. Blythe is also in a band called Bizali. Now taking a backseat, she is going full throttle with leading Pepino into the unknown. They have the talent of the few and they deserve the acknowledgement of the many. I meet Blythe after she has had a difficult weekend. I have spent the day working for free at the Bath Chronicle, she has been working in a pub. We blame the fullness of the moon for feeling a bit… strange. Then look up to its plunging light, before I try to work out how to use my dictaphone.

PEPINO-Blythe RED
PEPINO-Blythe

Pepino have an album out that they have financed themselves. Unsigned, they have had “no help from anyone at all”. They are on the brink of a collection of gigs in London. Let’s chat.

Tell me about the album.
It’s pretty epic. The songs are always about something big. Some are fantasy songs, but they’re always based about my ruminations about life. They tend to be either a defined story that has a bigger constructive meaning behind it, or a big story that is the other way around – but there’s usually comedy in there.

What’s happening with Bizali then?
I’ve had to relinquish my role in Bizali a bit just because I’ve been doing so much with Pepino – and you can’t put yourself into more than one project as a leader so it’s sort of gone by the wayside.

What’s the difference between the Bizali and Pepino?
They are two very different bands. Aaron writes the songs for Bizali – so I have to put myself into a completely different mindset to sing them. Into somebody else’s mind. Which is interesting, but for me now, I just love being able to compose music, that’s where my passion lies.

What makes up Pepino and how did you form?
Two boys; a double bass player and a drummer, and four girls; strings and piano. Paul Blakemore, a visual artist, does all of our artwork, including our album cover. He’s very good. It’s lovely, we’re like a family. I live with the fiddle player and her son and there are a lot of references to her, so it’s quite inward looking. Pepino happened after university. Bizali is from even before that, Aaron and I used to be together and lived in Hereford – we started the band there. Pepino is made from friends. It was literally like: “I want to do a gig to explore my own music” “Why don’t your play fiddle?” “I’m thinking about getting a string quartet… who else do I know..? You’re okay, I like you.” I think Tam just came round and I just asked him. “You play the drums, don’t you? What would you play to this?”

What inspires you?
Sadly, ups and downs, I think too much about what it is to be a human being, probably to my life detriment at some level, I wish I was a bit more straightforward thinker. I’m told – you can’t do the highs unless you come down again.

Your stage outfits are always quite theatrical. How was your album launch outfit at the Tobacco Factory Theatre?
We’re pretty showy. This winter has been about me looking into what it’s like to do a gig combined with theatre. I come from theatrical background, it’s only really natural and I found I really missed it, which is great. At the launch, we were very lucky to be able to use the set of the opera that was going on at the Tobacco Factory Theatre. It had a big square of astro turf on it. I wore a green dress that sort of went into the astro turf with roses on it, so it looked like it was all one, and then I got up and I was in a minidress – quite exciting! I could run around the audience. It wasn’t perfect though. We safety pinned ourselves into red and green fabric, we got from the fabric shop. That’s the thing about Pepino, it’s never really perfect, there’s always something a bit wrong about it. It’s all in the songs and I think all of us are slightly crap in one way or another, just like everyone is, but we tend to be aware of it. we embrace our crapness and that’s part of what makes us good and the reason why we function so well on stage as a band.

Pepino by Kayleigh Bluck
Pepino by Kayleigh Bluck

So do you all have day jobs as well as Pepino?
Yes, Misha is a music therapist and so is Sarah, Tam the drummer works a lot as a drummer, but also works children with learning disabilities. Andy manages the pub that I work in and I try and do as little work as possible so I can be poor but write music and lead the band. Which sometimes leads me to wonder what I am doing with myself but yes… I try to focus and be positive and believe in myself! In the past I’ve chosen to do shit jobs thinking that it would make me lots of money. A tequila girl on Whiteladies Road. It was awful. I had to dress up. I had to try and become one of those orange women and I just ended up looking Eastern European. Everyone just thought I was Eastern European, because I don’t look like a Tequila Girl basically. I also made a green cleaning service, good money, but i got bored of it.

How are you feeling about your upcoming gigs? You were in London this weekend weren’t you?
It was a real eye opener to be in something that I guess everyone is calling nu-folk because there are quite a lot of people and places eager to find new bands, whereas in the whole rock scene it’s a lot more closed unless you have already made it- there aren’t a lot of people doing new nights and if they are then they are quite insular. But the folk, people are a lot more interested in new things and don’t mind people from the country. However, this weekend, it was the middle of the night and I met this guy on the tube. It was just me and him and he started talking to me about my trousers. He was fairly young, but had bulgy out eyes. A business guy, but a disconcerting mix with his briefcase and white cider. Odd. Then he started talking about the war and how he was part of the MOD and was going to work, I was like, hang on “at this time of the morning?” He said he had done 2 tours in Kosovo.. etc. etc. Then he got out a bullet – and called the bullet charlie. Said how his friend was killed and described what it was like when the bullet went into the neck. I was like… I’ve had a really hard day, errr. I ended up going to him, “it’s great to chat on the tube!”

Scary. What’s next for you?
Well, I’m getting 50 people to make a political photo shoot about the recession. I want to get people to dress up as lots of different kind of jobs. Originally it was going to be a battlefield shot, because I went for a walk under the Avon Gorge and I saw this amazing picture in my head and I just thought ‘let’s do it, it’s going to be fun!’ We will use the pictures as projections – get people to dress up as Chefs etc. wielding knives. So they’re all fighting for their job – including musicians obviously. We don’t have so much of what people had years ago, when it seemed everyone was part of a cause and was part of a big battle. Now we just fight for our jobs.

PEPINO-Blythe
PEPINO-Blythe

Pepino are a culmination of plunging and rising notes, feistiness, brazen abandonment and the flouncing embracement of the reality of being a you. All shown with the theatrical showdown of your own skydiving, cloud floating, immersed mind. I can only recommend you watch them if you can. They are the middle of the night, they are your dancing dreams on stilts and your conscience.

When we eventually reach number 112 on my ambling walks, I find by default I look across the road towards the enormous window where everyday, the elderly lady sits and watches me make my dash into the road on my hard wheeled bike. Clank, boom. Sometimes she has a uniformed lady with her. I see them look to me before slowly chattering. The edges are softened and the time zone is another. Now the curtains are, like earlier, open to the brim. But the hard backed seat is alone in the shadow filled room. It has only the spider plant to talk to. The old lady is dreaming of another time. Most of the time I worry that I think just far, far too much. Spinning myself into a quandary, I giggle on my way down. I look happy, but really my conscience is on the edge of a bridge, wanting to feel elation before hibernating in a profusion of words. I reason it is important to experience the potential of our emotions to the fullest, however ending up in a self-made whirlwind can be a scary as well as an enlightening experience. Which is why in the night, it is so liberating. There is no expectation here, only wonder. The boy thinks I am a drama queen. I think perhaps I am not alone.

I quote Oscar Wilde: A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. You can see the fabulous Pepino on these occasions. I recommend that you do. Full listing info here.

14th November, 1pm – One Taste Festival at The Bedford, Balham, London
17th December, 7.30pm – The Cube, After the Battlefield: A Portrait, Bristol
18th December, 6pm, The Southbank Centre, London

Categories ,Abby Wright, ,Avon Gorge, ,Bath Chronicle, ,Bizali, ,Blythe Pepino, ,Imogen Heap, ,Kayleigh Bluck, ,Paul Blakemore, ,Pepino, ,South America, ,Tori Amos

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