13 Mar 2011


On Friday, Steph and I took the train to Edinburgh to see the wonderful 'Iron & Wine'.

As well as taking the train, we stayed in a hotel! Oh la la! No big deal, I know, but usually we're forced into taking the megabus and staying in youth hostels, because we've spent any available money on getting gig tickets in the first place. The worst for us was seeing Amanda Palmer at the fringe festival 2008. We had no where to stay at all! With an open invitation to the after party at the bongo club, we couldn't refuse. I think we got one drink between us during the many cabaret acts. At 5am the club closed and the train station opened shorty after. We huddled together and tried to get a few hours sleep on the cold metal seats before making our way to the... bus station.

On a completely different end to the scale, one time Steph got an invitation to the orange book awards in London. They paid for our flights and we got to stay in the Park Plaza. We dressed up all fancy and made our way to the awards. The situations we find ourselves in amuse us. Although the night wasn't terrible exciting we drank the best champagne and ate mini pots of food. We rubbed shoulders with the likes of Agnes Deyn, Geri Halliwell (HA), the less famous blonde from Ab Fab and lots of woman writer types. We actually left early so we could enjoy a night in the amazing hotel.

Any ways this time round was neither like those extremes. we just wanted to enjoy a weekend together, where we didn't have to think about anything. We spent part of the day in vintage shops around the Grassmarket and visited the red door gallery.

As usually, we managed our way to a front row spot for Iron & Wine. I was so excited, we hadn't seen a live band play since Yeah Yeah Yeahs over a year ago. Iron & Wine have written some of my favourite songs of all time. They hold that deep emotional romanticism that I love. However as the set went on it came apparent that the band had changed somewhat. The gig remind me of when I saw Bob Dylan back in 2007, he changed the arrangement of nearly every song, rendering some of them unrecognisable and just over the top with percussions and electronics. This is exactly what Iron and Wine did. I don't know if I was more annoyed or relieved they didn't play any of my favourite songs. As far as a live music goes though, they played amazingly and with such skill and love. It was worth it alone to just hear this line:
"Someday drawing you different, may I be weaved in your hair?"

 I did leave a little disappointed though as I had expected to feel... actually just, feel. I didn't.

The next day we returned to vintage shopping and visited the Fruit market gallery. We saw the Jean-Marc Bustamante exhibition and got to experience the Martin Creed elevator that we missed when we saw his exhibition in the summer. The rain and snow was quite bad so de decided not to see the Jeff Koons exhibition - something I already regret but I'm sure we will go back. Instead we went to Fopp and spent our rent money in books. I prayed I would find 'Just Kids' By Patti Smith and I did, Steph also found many William Burroughs books, but settled for buying only one.  I miss Fopp.

On the train home I read 100 pages of 'Just Kids' and cried from the start. It's the best book I've ever read, including my Ali Smith collection. Having just got into Mapplethorpes work and understand it instead of only observing it and rekindling my love of Patti Smith music, this book is everything I need right now, not just because its only natural to read further into the lives of people you admire but because I believe things happen at the right time when you need them most. Watching Jonathan Caouette's 'Tarnation' and hearing 'The Dresden Dolls' for the first time are examples of this.

I will finish the book today and perhaps write a lot more about it, I'm just a litle overwhelmed right now at how perfect it is.

"Much has been said about Robert, and more will be added.  Young men will adopt his gait.  Young girls will wear white dresses and mourn his curls. He will be condemned and adored.  His excesses damned or romanticized.  In the end, truth will be found in his work, the corporeal body of the artists.  It will not fall away.  Man cannot judge it.  For art sings of God, and ultimately belongs to him."

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