Monday, August 19, 2013

Drawing to a close

I should by apologizing for the delay in me getting around to writing another update. When I was at Silchester there was very little time to get on the Internet and write anything up, so I got a wee bit lax. Once I’d left Silchester I linked up with some friends from Perth (more on that later in this post), which also left me with precious little time. Nevertheless, I’m currently having a few days to myself in Berlin, so I’ve got loads of time to fill everyone in on what I’ve been up to over the past month or so.

I think my last post left me with three weeks to go at Silchester. These seemed to flash past even faster than the first although I had some really awesome times. Highlights include the Pirate Party, held at the local pub and the 9th Annual Insula IX Beer Festival. The beer festival was particular fun; even trying to organize the whole thing was wicked. We went on trips out to breweries and cideries out in the countryside, collecting all the necessary bits and pieces. On the day, there were 6 different ciders available (including Devil’s Device, an 8% nightmare) as well as 6 different beers. There was also a selection of cocktails for those who fancied something a bit different. Consider the archaeologically themed Sex in the Trench (Sex on the Beach), Site Brushin’ (White Russian) and Excavators (Aviators).
The bar, stocked and ready
I was working as staff at the event, which was really good fun, although due to the fact that the bar opened at 6, and most people didn’t start drinking until 7:30/8, there was an hour or so where the staff didn’t have much to do except drink. Needless to say the night got quite messy, summed up I think, by my getting lost on the way back to my tent in the middle of the night and casually hopping into bed with one of the supervisors, who was woken up noticing that her doona was being slowly edged away to her right. She looked across at her boyfriend, realized he was asleep on her left and then looked to her right to discover yours truly making myself comfortable. Thankfully she was a good sport about it. gave me a handful of jellybeans and put me to bed.

Hard at work
The archaeology was also pretty exciting for the past three weeks; we put a lot of work in on the late-Roman house we were excavating, uncovering some really cool stuff underneath the floor layers. Unfortunately I can’t divulge too much, but needless to say it was all very satisfying and if you want to find out more you can check out the Silchester blog here, which features photos (including some of me apparently) and updates, letting everyone know what’s been going on through the season.

As the season drew to a close I had to say goodbye to everyone on the 4th of August and headed into London to link with Michael Gunson and Mitchell Hawke, with Benjamin Simms joining us later that afternoon. The reunion was, as expected, heartwarming and pretty loose. Thanks to Gunson’s next level twitter game we managed to find a sick little night called Jamz that was running at a club in Dalston, called Alibi. The line up was pretty excellent, including Champion, PJam and Terror Danjah, and to top it all off it was free!

Upon arriving in Dalston we were lucky enough to stumble across this tiny little bar/restaurant underneath a theatre (also right across from the NTS radio studios) that served amazing food while a jazz quartet provided some smooth jams. It was something of an interesting musical juxtaposition starting the night off with jazz before moving onto a grime night, but it all seemed to work out in the end. Jamz was awesome, although pretty empty for the majority of the night, apart from the DJs and the four of us, there may have been only another 4 people in the room for most of the night. Nevertheless it was wicked to catch up with the guys and go to a gig, something I’d been craving since I left Perth in March.
The jazz quartet
 The rest of the week was a chilled affair; we just did a lot of shopping and bar hopping throughout London during the day. Going record shopping with the guys was pretty heartbreaking for me as I don’t have the luggage space to accommodate any records, and I won’t have a record player waiting for me in Denmark unfortunately, so having to sit back and just browse while everyone else picked up some wicked tunes was something akin to torture.

Thursday night was another big one, we were headed to FWD to see Joker, Gemmy, Starkey and Darq E Freaker. On the way we linked up with some more Perth crew such as Dellity and proceeded to get extremely drunk and then go crazy up the front of the club for the majority of the night. Highlights include both Gunson and I rewinding tunes from in front of the decks, Gunson and Simmsy somehow managing to get up behind the decks to chill with the DJs and my daggering secret being let out of the bag.

The next day was something akin to a nightmare as we realized the truly monumental 48 hours we had in store for ourselves. Having barely recovered from FWD, we forced ourselves out to go to Fabric on Friday night. The lineup was pretty solid, including Kode9, Simian Mobile Disco, Route 94 and a NTS Radio takeover in room three. My personal highlight was the sound in room 2, which was absolutely massive, some of the tunes that Kode9 dropped occasionally stayed perhaps a bit too far into trap-esque territory for me, but on the whole everything was wicked. At 7am we made our way back to the hostel to collect our things, before we went to sit in a park and await our 10am bus to Amsterdam.

Post Fabric, pre bus
Words cannot describe the horror that was that 10-hour bus ride. To be honest its mostly a blur until about an hour before we got into Amsterdam, but I can remember at one point being driven insane by the loud chatter of a group of girls who got on the bus at Brussels and decided that everyone on the bus needed to hear exactly what they thought about every single detail of the current series of ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.’ Thankfully I could barely summon the energy to maintain my vital functions; otherwise blood may have been shed.  

Nevertheless, we made it to our hostel in Amsterdam ok and thankfully managed to find a Thai restaurant that would serve us at 10pm. Suffice to say I have never enjoyed a Massaman curry more. Amsterdam on the whole was a pretty chill experience; we were staying a little bit out of the centre so our hostel wasn’t too crazy. I also got some really good tips from Whistla as to some good coffeeshops to check out. We spent a lot of our time at Hill Street Blues, which I can heartily recommend to anyone who goes to Amsterdam, even just for the music alone. We heard some excellent hip hop, UKG and even jungle (they seem to love drum and bass in Amsterdam from what I can gather).

The line at the Grey Area
At the moment I’m in Berlin, staying in a nice hostel in Kreuzberg called the Three Little Pigs. I was lucky enough to get in contact with a promoter here who told me about a few gigs that are going on this week in Berlin, so I met up with him last night and we checked out a cool little local bar before going to a club called Gretchen to see the Low End Theory’s Berlin takeover. The gig itself was awesome, I got to see Daddy Kev, Kutmah, NoCanDo, DJ Nobody and D-Styles and each of them killed it. To top it off Mene was an excellent host and was only too happy to fill me in on a whole lot of aspects of Berlin’s music scene.

I unfortunately was unable to make it to Berghain during the time I was here. There was a great lineup on Friday, but the thought of trekking across the city by myself to wait in line for an hour to then get turned away was too big a risk. As it is, I’ve also found that bouncers for some reason take an instant dislike to me (for reason as yet unknown), let alone ones who are famous across the globe for not letting people in. Berlin has been a wicked city though, I definitely will be making it back here.

Mene on the decks, I had my first mix in 5 months here!!
Well that’s about all I can manage for now, I’ll try my best to write a bit more regularly once I’m in Denamrk. I’ve got Shambala festival and Notting Hill Carnival coming up in the next week, along with some reunions with old friends so expect anecdotes and shenanigans aplenty!!
Until then, I’ll leave you with this, a track off a record that saw in a charity shop and I dearly wanted to purchase but was unable to (although I will find this record again, mark my words)


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