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So, as everyone must know now, Amanda Palmer decided to fund her new album via Kickstarter, and was spectacularly successful. I initially signed up just for the CD level reward, but then, after failing to get tickets for the public gig on Wednesday, and realising that I really wanted the Art Book, too, Not to mention the fact that every Amanda Palmer gig I have been to has been so much fun that I would always go to one, given the chance, I decided to take the plunge and back at that level. All of which resulted in my getting on a train on Monday, to go to London, to the Kickstarter Backers' VIP Art Opening and Gig..
I think it is fair to say that the gig lived up to and beyond my expectations!
The gig was at Village Underground, in Shoreditch, and was easy to spot. For a start, the club has several Underground railway carriages on the roof, and to be going on with, there was a typical Amanda Palmer queue outside - lots of happy people, dressed in a vast range of styles from ballgowns and dinner jackets to the most casual of clothes. While we queued, we talked, and as we got closer to the entrance a young gentleman (who we later learned is AFP's cousin) arrived and serenaded the queue upon the bagpipes!

On getting to the head of the queue there was the inevitable frisson of fear lest my name turned out mysteriously to be missing from the guest list (happily it wasn't!) and then the pleasure of being given a goodie bag, which included a mask and a free book, and stickers, and a felt-tip pen (do not forget the felt-tip pen, best beloveds). And all of this before the gig even started.

Village Underground is a big, warehouse style space - all red brick and girders, and made a good backdrop for all the wonderful art.

There was time to look around, and admire it, and to trade the little cards marked with 'The Very Hungry Caterpiller' for drinks at the bar, and to admire the outfits of the other guests, and then, and then, the music started.

First up, Princessin Hans - who sang to us of passive-aggression, got lots of audience participation, and ROCKED in a wonderful silver dress and almost equally wonderful ginger beard...


And later, Amanda chatted with us, and encouraged us to talk, and drink, and admire the art, and swap books,
And we did. and I think it was round about that point in the evening that I got to meet up with twitter-friend @MsClara, who is even more beautiful and entertaining in person, (and her husband, the marvellous Mr. Mitch Benn. And then there was a further musical interlude, this time with strings, by Jherek Bischoff - wonderful, beautiful, wordless music.
and it was the kind of evening where you sit on the floor of this space, and close your eyes to focus on the music, and then you open them and realise that the person who just sat down on the floor next to you is Neil Gaiman...
Then - the invasion of the Grand Theft Orchestra - there were masks, and flashlights, and a beautiful woman in a beautiful dress, and saws and knives and a loudhailer and new songs and old.
And the music spilled out into the audience, and the audience surrounded the band, and at some point there was a singalong 'last christmas' too, although I can't quite recall why..
Amanda sang 'The Bed Song', and 'Trout Heart Replica' from the new album, and Neil sang 'Psycho',
and EVERYBODY sang 'Map of Tasmania' and the 'Ukulele Anthem'.
and then - did you remember the felt-tip pen, best beloveds?
This was the writing on a rock star part of the evening,

There was so much love and so much happiness and laughter...
And then evening started to wind down, and there was chatter, and hugs, and signing of books (did I mention there was a book in every goodie bag?) Amanda and Neil visited a couple of 2nd hand book shops in Charing Cross Road to buy books for everyone, and Amanda was telling us whether each book we showed her was a 'Neil Book', or an 'Amanda Book' (Mine was a Neil Book, and one day someone browsing my bookshelves is going to wonder why I have a copy of Micheal Chabon's 'The Final Solution' signed by Neil Gaiman, and I will explain it is because it has Sherlock Holmes, and because Neil was married in Michael's living room, and they will probably give me a funny look and move on. And I won't care, because to me it will be another reminder of a wonderful evening, full of friendly strangers and magical art, when Amanda Palmer kissed me.
marjorie73: (Default)

We haven't  had any more snow, which is a relief, but it has been very cold, so the hoar frost didn't melt, most days, so we ended up with frost  on frost. Chilly, but very pretty!

I have spent most of the week busy with work stuff, which is time consuming but doesn't make for terribly interesting bloggage.

I did, however, get to see my parents, who came to stay overnight on Wednesday, en route to a funeral. It was good to see them,  and gave me an excuse to make a nice hearty casserole (Beef in Guinness, if you're interested)

Although this week has been relatively uneventful, I do have lots of nice things to look forward to.

Tomorrow  evening  I shall be heading into Bath to the Theatre Royal to see The Merry Wives of Windsor - the production is the one which was on at the Globe Theatre, and is now touring. It should be fun.
 

And then, on Sunday evening, I am going back to Bath, back to the Theatre Royal, to see Handel's Messiah . Every year, around this time, there is a performance of The  Messiah by musicians using period instruments,  in period costume, by candlelight.  I've been wanting to go for several years, but as it is only on for one night, I've never managed to be organised enough to get a ticket, before.
 

Then, on Tuesday, I shall be going to see the historian, Bethany Hughes, talkng about her new book about Socrates.

Should be fun.

 And of course, the week after that, I shall have lovely, fiendish guests :-)


marjorie73: (Default)

I had planned to catch up with housework, and other things which have piled up over the last couple of weeks, while I've been busy partying in Dublin and then being sick-unto-death. And I started well, this morning: I finally managed to post a birthday present to my best friend (admittedly her birthday was a week ago, but it felt like an achievement)
I even did some vacuuming and some laundry. However, I noticed while I was in town that the trees are looking rather colourful just now, and that it was actually a rather nice day, so I decided to change my plans and head to Stourhead to go for a walk, and enjoy the autumn colours.


Stourhead is owned by the National Trust these days, but it used to belong to the Hoare family, who were London bankers. They had a manor house built in the 1720s, and the gardens were laid out between 1740 and 1780.

 
There is a lake, surrounded by woods, and overlooked by a grotto, the 'Temple of Apollo' and an reproduction of the Pantheon.

The woods around the lake have a lot of beech trees, and rhodedendrons, and there is, of course, a rustic cottage.
I also found some wonderful fungi, on a fallen tree.

 
and of course, the gate house going up to the house itself, is, well.... modest and unpretentious...
I wonder whether I can fit a small castle on to the front of my house, too?
Tomorow is forecast to be cold and wet. I'll do housework tomorrow.

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