Thursday, 9 April 2015

Space Knits!!!

I know the sun is out, but SPACE KNITS should always be in season!

Space knits I hear you say? Yes the latest collection from Kandy Diamond's Knit And Destroy is faaaaar out!

Scarves, cushions and non-knit brooches! space colours, sparkles and glow in the dark, what more do you want?


Saturday, 28 March 2015

So you want to be entertained?

This week I went to see Sleater-Kinney, twice and had the best time ever!

Last time I saw Sleater-Kinney was the second May Bank Holiday weekend in 2006. I had gone down to see them in Brighton and my friend Nick and I decided straight after the gig that we should hop on a coach and go and see them in Bristol the next day.
Little did I know then that it would be another 9 years since I travelled on a coach again, and 9 years til I saw Sleater-Kinney.

The few days leading up to the first gig I felt awful, like complete shit. I felt anxious, sick, lost my appetite and had a dodgy stomach. I last felt like this when I went to Morrisoncon in las vegas, I was hoping it was just the anxious excitement I always used to get before a gig I couldn't wait to attend and that if I still felt like this by Thursday I might have to go see someone.
It was just my body not handling what was about to come!

I first saw Sleater-Kinney in July 2000, with my penpal turned gig pal Holly. I was 16, she was 15. This was my third ever gig.
The gig was at Manchester's Roadhouse (where my previous two gigs had been in as many months). They were supported by Mary Timony and Valerie (a Manchester band that featured my soon to be bff Nick).
It was the sweatiest, gig I have ever been too. We were squashed at the front, falling over the monitors on to the stage as everyone sweated on each other, danced, sang and had the best time. We bounced around with our youthful energy (that always got us noticed by bands back then!) and Holly had her live saved by Janet Weiss when she handed her a bottle of water (Holly later kept that empty bottle for years, best thing ever).

Fifteen years on from the first time I saw them, here I was again with Holly and a rad bunch of others getting full on Kinney excitement.
Photo taken by the actual Police!

I managed to eat some pizza and cocktails and we headed to what I kept telling everyone was Manchester's most haunted building (it was on most haunted and my mum went unofficial drunk ghost hunting one time when she was at a club) Albert Hall.

We got there and I was surprised to see lot's of faces I didn't know. I realised I am no longer the youngest person at a Sleater-Kinney gig, I felt old!
We entered the huge chapel turned venue and I thought I have never seen Sleater-Kinney in a venue this big, only they could fuck off for almost a decade and come back bigger than ever.

They had lights, they had a fancy backdrop, they had a barrier, the ceiling was so high up and that wasn't Janet Weiss handing out water to dehydrated fans but some guy in a polo shirt and ear plugs.
Thing's were very different, but ultimately the same.

I spent the gig dancing and being happy that a load of my bests were round me but mostly overwhelmed that they were back on stage.
I learnt that 30 year old me can enjoy songs from The Woods much more than 20 year old me did. I learnt that this band are still as important than ever. I also learnt that there isn't really any need for any other bands to exist when there is Sleater-Kinney.

Photo taken by Em.

After the gig all the people dispersed and it was then that I pretty much saw everyone I ever knew, 9 years felt like 9 days. It WAS a reunion.

When the dates were announced I only got tickets for Manchester, thinking that would be enough, who was I trying to kid, with very little persuasion from Nick I bought a ticket for Glasgow. I was so glad as I was over the initial shock that they were on stage and the fact that each gig on the No Cities To Love tour so far has had slightly different setlists.

Holly, Nick Zak and I got on a coach to Glasgow. As the sun shone we kept forgetting and remembering why we were headed to Glasgow!

I was a bit blurgh about having to get the coach, I like riding trains, but it was such a great journey and we stopped at the best service station ever. Great views great food, it was like the world's fanciest shop with the best prices! Fancy pop, fancy cheese, fancy cakes, fancy bakery. I got a giant meringue, it was sooo good!

We arrived and checked ourselves into Euro Hostel (nostalgia overload as this is where Holly and I and everyone ever stayed when we came to Ladyfest Glasgow in 2001) went to an all you can eat Chinese Buffet and headed to the venue.

This gig was different, it was in a non fancy venue which I was kinda glad about and the only people (aside from my friends) that I knew didn't know me, ie they were 'celebrities' (Manda and Steven from Bis, members of Dananananakroyd, Jamie McKelvie and Taylor Schilling).
Everyone seemed super friendly though, I was offered some whisky after being there for like 5 minutes, oh Glasgow I love you. 

We got closer to the front than the previous night and on Corin's side (Carrie's side in Manchester), don't worry both night's had obstructed views of Janet.

They blew me away again, before they cam on I was tired and achy and Holly said she might move over to the side to take it easy, but once they hit the stage we didn't stop. So much so that I was convinced Corin looked at us a few times and smiled at our 'youthful' energy. After the gig Nick said he saw this without us even mentioning it, she probably thought we were 15 year olds with wacky coloured hair and having our lives changed by seeing SK for the first time. It certainly felt like that!

Glasgow was a total love fest, so much so that they played (for the first time on this tour they said) Yr No rock ,n, Roll fun and everyone went wild, full on party, including me and I didn't even think I was bothered by that song!

They dedicated Little Babies to Zayn from 1D, Corin did a Scottish accent that wasn't that bad, they looked like they were having such fun and that fun was infectious.

I am now sad that I am not seeing Sleater-Kinney every night, but happy that they will most likely be back and I can't wait!

As a side note, my friend Nick who has seen Sleater-Kinney a million times mentioned a zine about his SK adventures, it better happen it will be the best thing ever!

Here are the set lists for anyone that cares to know.
Price Tag
Fangless Oh!
Get Up
Surface Envy  Ironclad  What's Mine Is Yours A New Wave One Beat  No Cities to Love  Start Together  Light Rail Coyote No Anthems Words and Guitar  Bury Our Friends One More Hour Entertain Jumpers
Gimme Love
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone  Let's Call It Love Modern Girl Dig Me Out

Price Tag
Fangless Oh!
Get Up
Start TogetherI Wanna Be Your Joey RamoneSurface Envy
No Anthems
What's Mine Is Yours
A New Wave

No Cities To Love
You're No Rock 'N' Roll Fun
Turn It On
One Beat
Bury Our Friends

Little BabiesEntertain Jumpers
Gimme Love
Words And Guitar
One More Hour
Modern Girl
Dig Me Out

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Sheffield Zine Fest 2015....

We will be tabling at Sheffield Zine Fest this Saturday!

It's going to be a good one, get to sell zines, buy zines and see a lot of our favourite faces! We also get to go down a big slide!

We will have issues 5-14 of Sugar Paper, all issues of Poor Lass (including new issue #5!) and a whole host of other zines made by myself, Kandy and friends!


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Viva La Megababes

The other day I was sat with my mum watching episodes from the first series of Absolutely Fabulous, and we were joking about Bubble's style and how this is how I dress now (also commenting on the fact my mum let me watch such programmes at age 8! I watched This Life aged 12 and Queer As Folk aged 14, MOTHER!)

It's no secret that the 90s are a big influence on me, fashion, music, everything, so of course Bubble with her bright colours and 'wacky 90s' sense of style was going to be an influence on me.

But it got me to thinking about some other 90s ladies that I realise have been a HUGE influence on me, and I'm not just talking about fashion.

I'm talking about SHAMPOO!

I don't know where I first saw/heard Shampoo, I'm guessing it was maybe performing Trouble on Top Of The Pops in 1994, or maybe in the pages of Smash Hits or Top Of The Pops magazine!
Wherever it was it changed my little 10 year old life!

Here was a band who had so much attitude and impeccable style (they did so shut it!). A couple of school mates who loved boy bands, like me (East 17 and Take That -for the record I was always purely East 17), loved being a fan of things, like me, liked Sindy dolls, like me, I was destined to be a fan of Shampoo.

Carrie and Jacqui were not just pop lovers, they used to write a Manics zine, I fact I found out aged 10 and before I even knew what a fanzine was! They to me embodied Girl Power, in fact they taught me about girl power long before I was devouring riot grrrl and writing angry feminist slogans on my pencil case.
Yeah they made pop songs, but they were witty and bratty and full of GIRL POWER!

I remember being young and tagging along as my sister shopped at Piccadilly Records in Manchester and seeing a girl that worked there wearing chunky bright foam wedge shoes and big plastic jewellery and I knew that was a look I was after! Shortly after I headed down to C&A to stock up on plastic rings!

Who didn't want a t-shirt with doll faces on? To be dripping in plastic accessories? To mix faux fur and PVC? To have over processed hair? To be big in Japan?
Because I sure did!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Hesitant aliens, dark matter, disobedient objects, dancing and slash.

This past weekend I took a trip down to London, and I had the best time!
Friday saw me head to Brixton Academy with my friend Nick, for the first time in years to see Gerard Way. Anyone that knows me know I am a BIG fan of Gerard's work, his music, his comics, his art, his generalness, so I obviously had a GREAT time!
If you want to go to a gig where you get to pogo like it's the mid 90s, get served some sass, shout outs to the trans* community, young women and talks of mental illness taboo, posi vibes, art and to see someone enjoy being on stage probably more then you enjoy being there (which is a lot!) then GO SEE Gerard Way!

Saturday saw us have a big breakfast followed by having our minds blow at Peter Harrison Planetarium. We saw  a show called Dark Universe that was a visualisation of what make's up 95% of the universe, all the parts you can't see. Whilst some of it went over my head, I got the gist of it and the idea of infinite space ALWAYS blows my mind, but it was sooo good and what felt like the closest I will ever get to floating in space! The gift shop could have more fun things though, all I left was a bookmark!

Then we hot footed it over to the V&A to catch Disobedient Objects.

This was too good, it's only on until this weekend, but go and see it if you can! It made me angry and sad and riled up, all by a bunch of stuff in a small room. It was a bit like stepping into a 90s rave with the music and neon and scaffolding, but it had lots to look at and think about, protesting through great crafts, modern devices, jewellery made my inmates in solitary confinement, political activism through inflatable cubes, how to make a tear gas mask, guerrilla girls, graffiti, real life mocking jays and so much more!

When I left it made me want to stitch up a storm and angry dance to Atari Teenage Riot. Instead we went to get some super tasty homemade ice cream and peruse the science museum shop (again had nothing for me!)

Headed home for some pizza before dancing in a pub to all the best emo pop punk, YAY!!
Then the weekend was topped off by hanging out with my other bff Holly, eating a roast dinner and Dime cake and playing the best game ever, Slash!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

To infinity and beyond!

I think 2015 might the year for space, space and the future and time travelling and stuff!
I have already made a reference to the fact it's 2015 and Marty McFly and co. told us we should be zipping around on Hoverboards by now (I'll try not to talk about this again as I'm sure SOOOO many people will be talking about this all year!)

But yeah space! Space is probably back big time, seeing as the 90s is so now and everyone EVERYONE in the 90s loved space and aliens and stuff. the X Files is the boxset du jour and that holographic Arakki look is sooo hot right now.
I think I like space because I am a child of the 90s, from the cartoons I loved in the late 80s/early90s (like Galaxy High and Moondreamers)

awesome colouring book I still own!

To being impressed at people who can draw Marvin the Martian...

To awesome TV shows about aliens that looked like humans...

and obviously songs about space...

So I am super excited about having projects this year about space! The space far up in the sky, with planets and stuff, I can't wait to get myself deep into it.
But also space as in your space. I want to make a zine about people's favourite spaces, I want to know about cosy bedrooms, cluttered studios, homely kitchens and the rest.

So to infinity (2015) and beyond I go!*

*I think I just got spacey as I just recently watched Hugo for the first time and I just wanna live in a George Melies film!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

My Year in Lists: Seleena!

So here is my annual end of year 'look how awesome I am and look at all the awesome things I have done' list! Everyone should do one of these lists, it makes you feel good!
Now as I mentioned in my previous post I'm a firm believer of making a change whenever you feel the need to, not just at the end of the year. But as I also mentioned, working in retail does kind of book end your year at the end of the year!
All that busyness, overtime, madness, non-stop-no-time-for-yourself-ness that comes with working in retail at Christmas followed by the quiet, anti climatic, boom it's all over-ness of January that comes with working in retail means it's a perfect time to do all that stuff you did have time to do from October-December and take stock of things!
This year has felt like a bit of blur, it has gone by so quickly, I think this is what happens when you get older! Or this is the same shit I say every year!
This year was pretty jam packed now I think about it!
This is the year I turned 30, THIRTY! now I know that isn't old, but I can't believe I'm 30, it feels like I left school just yesterday, 2015 marks 15 years since I left school!!!!!!!! enough of that here are my 2014 highlights (in probably chronological order!)

-The great Yorkshire Zine weekender: This was in March and was the best thing to sort of kick start 2014. It involved tabling at both Sheffield and Leeds zine fests, meeting people you only talk to on the internet, getting great feedback about the zines you make, selling shit and best of all I got to see ALL my favourite Yorkshire faces!!! more of this in 2015 please!

-April saw Yiiikes! second outing when we turned the gallery space in Islington Mill into an upside down living room for Baduncle at Sounds From The Other city.

Then Mad May hit.....
-my birthday is on the 1st so yeah I TURNED 30 (not sure if I mentioned that already!) I ate cake and had the BEST dance party ever, that I called The World Happiness Damce, got my friends to DJ only songs from the 90s, had corn snacks, alien balloons and the worlds biggets cake that was Jamaican flag colours on the inside, blue on the outside and had my face all over it (thanks Charlotte!).

-I decided not long before my birthday that I was going to take myself to New York New York, because you know, you only turn 30 once!
I got to see soooo much good stuff, the sights awesome art (Kara Walker's giant sphinx sugar sculpture was life changing) bands (shout out to upset, took in a musical (Heathers!! sadly not Hedwig), took a tap class at Broadway Dance and one of my teen hero's made some great art I got to see, hugged me and took a selfie with me, I need to tell 15 year old me that GETTING OLD IS GREAT!

-Then mad may got less mad as gigs got cancelled, namely The Julie Ruin and I never got to see my 8 year old hero Macauly Culkin sing songs about pizza, but I did still get to visit London and DJ at a friend's night in Leeds!

-The summer saw Yiiikes! get our first practice space, WOOOOO.

-The other great thing about turning 30 means you have other friends that turn 30 too! so an early birthday caravan Holiday to Great Yarmouth for Holly's birthday happened. Stopped via my sister and we were in Yarmouth together for the first time since Baton Twirling camp in the early 90s!

-Late summer meant surprising Holly right near her birthday with a party, where I got to DJ again and play all the songs we have loved in our 15 year friendship, THAT'S HALF OUR LIFE GUYS!!!
Whilst in London I also stopped by the felt shop which made me want to break out the felt and start making shit instantly.

-My oldest friend Katie turned 30 too and so we headed to Italy, because getting old is awesome and means you get to go on holiday all the time!!!!Sun, sea, lemons, friends, GOOD TIMES!

- Then it was Kandy's birthday but she was 30 last year but I had already decided I wanted to go to Leeds fest so we called that her birthday trip when she decided to join me. So yeah I went to a Leeds fest for the second time ever in my life (the first being back in 2000!) only for the day, but it was bloody good, awesome bands, great friends, not too shitty weather!

-I attended my first ever hen do followed by a wedding of one of my other oldest friends Jenni. I made her cry walking down the aisle (sorry about that!)

- Earlier in the year favourite artist and Bessie Alison was part of an awesome exhibition in a grand old building in York, then in October she was part of Manchester Literature fest and had art in the grand old John Rylands library in Manchester, this was all obviously awesome!

- Peaches Christ returned to Manchester and I was there, this time for Bearberlla (the bear version of Barberella!)

- I whipped out some art just in time for Halloween, All Of Them Witches, which saw me depict 12 of my favourite fictional witches in felt form!

- For Halloween I dressed as 3rd Degree Burns from the Fabulous Stains and did a tap dance at my friend's night Zombie Pride! my first solo tap performance. Granted it was to Hunx' Don't call me fabulous so lasted like 20 seconds, but it was awesome!

Then hit non stop November... the month where I got to meet several of my heroes and super nice people who create super great art!

-There was that one week and half where I went to see Gerard Way (twice), Tacocat, comic book signing, John Waters, Frank Iero, whilst putting up Yiiikes! Snotboobs at Nexus art cafĂ© and topping it all off with a trip to Leeds for thought Bubble. Meeting people who create great stuff that inspires me whilst being super nice and humble is like THE BEST THING EVER!

Then it was December which was just a blur of bathbombs and fighting off illness and trying not to stand on customers feet!

I obviously had lots more great things I wanted to write about but this is already word heavy (no time to add pictures, I have a Bakewell tart to make!)

I look forward to taking over the world in 2015, with Yiiikes! Poor Lasses, crafty goodness and a zine about crisps!

HERE'S TO 2015!

Picture of the year; me at Coney Island!