The Patch

February 9, 2007

Friday 9th February

Filed under: Music & Film — Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 3:49 pm

The Brit Awards 2007: A Patch Work

In less than a week, the glitz, glamour and all round gaudiness of the back slapathon that is the Brit Awards 2007 shall be upon us, and with Russel brand hosting and Red Hot Chili Peppers set to perform, it’s looking likely that it shall be an even more unholy affair than usual. With such cynicism in mind, I have taken it upon myself to give my own take on this spectacle, in the hope of gleaming some sense of worth out of it all. In the words of that great philosopher, Kel, “Aw, here it goes.”

 

The scene – a frosty February night, somewhere in London. An ego stained red carpet leads its way to the steps of a building. A building full to the brim with the elite of the British music industry – and Lily Allen. The baying press align either side of the carpet, cameras in hand, and wearing that little card that says ‘PRESS’ in the brims of their trilbies, because in my head, that’s how every person who works for a newspaper looks.

Tumbleweed blows down the carpet, followed by a frantic looking Luke Pritchard running after it screaming “Quick, someone catch my hair! I took my straw hat off for but a second when it became slightly unfashionable and a bitter devil of a wind took these golden locks away. This is almost as big a disaster as The Kooks being nominated for two awards!”

Gary Barlow quickly waddles past, mumbling something about ‘canopies’ and ‘free mini quiches’. Traces of drool trail after him, causing havoc for others walking down the carpet.

For those who do make it past the puddles, their reward is Russel Brand on stage. Covered neck to toe in skin tight otter spermatozoa sewn together, and with his hair audaciously tinged with coleslaw (for that ‘just got out the fridge’ look), he cuts a striking figure on stage.

He speaks: “I, this here human being known as Russel Brand, have been chosen to host these here awards of Britannia, with the aid of these here ball bags. Swine!” He pauses for the overwhelming audience laughter that follows. This lasts for five minutes.

“First up then on this most holy of all days that British music has to offer, is the award for Best British Male. But I’m not on the list. Outrage I say. Swine!” Another five minute outburst of audience laughter follows.

Legendary Russian footballer, Oleg Salenko arrives on stage to present the award. After announcing the first three nominees of James Morrisson, Lemar and Paulo Nutini, he, along with every single person watching, taking part and generally at all alive falls asleep, the trinity’s power to bore now so awesome that all that’s needed to cure those insomnia blues being the mere mention of their names.

After several hours, good old Oleg recovers, and completes the list of nominees with Thom Yorke and Jarvis Cocker added to the fold. Jarvis wins to a rapturous reception, though discontentment is shown from Michael Jackson who shows his behind to a child. Thom Yorke goes into a strop claiming that he deserved to win because he traveled there by boat. No-one cares, so Thom goes back to his room and play Nintendo. He writes a 12 part song about it later.

Russel Brand slides his greasy way onto the stage again. He’s replaced his attire for something a tad more conservative – Geri Halliwell’s union Jack dress.

“This is to give the ladies a treat you understand. Why, they just can’t keep their eyes off my dangling meat and two veg, can they? I’ve shagged 3 women you know. Swine!” A standing ovation follows.

Legendary Scottish footballer, Colin Calderwood, jogs on stage to offer the Best British Female award to the lucky recipient. Nobody finds out who it really is as Lily Allen immediately assumes it’s her, rushes on stage and gives a 45 minute long acceptance speech, yet still manages to thank only herself.

Amy Winehouse gets drunk and complains. She’s not even at the Brits, or aware of its occurrence at all. She just gets drunk and complains.

A live performance from Snow Patrol follows. Every single seat is vacated as every attendee decides now would be a good time for a toilet break.

Russel appears back on stage, this time clad in a tutu and a leather vest. He seems pleased with himself. “I was just back stage shagging you know. Yeah. The swine!” Judi Dench is so moved by this hilarity she immediately writes to the Pope who nominates Brand for canonisation.

Legendary English footballer, David May, presents Arctic Monkeys with the Best British Group award, and no cynical remarks or jokes are made by me as they are great and deserve it. Scene kids, however, are unsure as to whether it’s cool or not to like them at the moment and are so unsure as to whether they are pleased of this win or not, immediately explode with the confusion.

A giant breast appears on stage, out the nipple of which pops a Russel Brand covered in milk. “I really like tits,” he proclaims. “Ball bags. The swine!” More visible mirth from an ecstatic crowd.

After 2 weeks of constantly pressing redial, and with a £3500 phone bill, it’s no surprise for Johnny Borrel when he picks up the award for Best British Single. When being handed the award by legendary Italian footballer, Marco Negri, he appears to have a tear in his eye. This is later found out to be his own semen after a quick session of masterbaiting over his own album cover. Tosser.

A live show is then given by Take That, Beck wins Best International Male and Robbie Williams beats off far more deserving competition to win Best Live Act. Thus, everyone thinks they have traveled back in time to the mid to late nineties and sales of Pogs, Hooch and those slap bracelet things sky rocket.

Cat Power turns up, but all hopes of a deserving award winner in the International Female category are dashed when Noel Edmond’s shows up with a Gotcha, and she realises she’s been had. Beyonce wins, and can’t believe it when she’s presented the award by legendary English footballer, Tony Cottee.

With the night drawing to a close, Russel Brand runs out of clothes to shock and show off his manhood. In a last ditch attempt to appear desirable to the ladies, he cuts off his own penis and pulls the skin around his own body. “Look ladies. I’m like a big penis. Ooh-er. The swine!” The laughter that follows reaches 6.4 on the Richter scale, and the windows shatter on Battersea Dogs Home.

But there’s one solitary figure not joining in with the side splitting. Instead, he stands. He opens his mouth. He shouts. He shouts a word. The word is ‘C*nt!’

The laughter immediately stops. The audience turn to their neighbours and start to discuss. Then realisation dawns upon the whole of the UK. Yes, that man on stage, cavorting in his own penis skin, is a c*nt. Even Brand has a revelation. ‘What am I doing? I am a cunt. From now on, I shall resolve to be a decent, rational human being, and forget my c*ntish ways. Off to c*nt rehab I shall go.”

And so, Brand departs. And like the saintly music presenter/journalist/God he is, Simona Amstell steps upon the stage, as he should have initially done, and finishes the rest of the show, in his own witty, scathing way. This includes retorts about the validity of Oasis’ lifetime contribution award when they’ve only done one and a half albums of merit, and have failed to deliver on the enormous hype that prevails them for over ten years, still dining out on past glories and overt arrogance. The Smiths haven’t won this award yet. Boo!

 

Lavender Diamond come to our Patch

Genuinely nice, interesting people are rare in a music world dominated by ego and aesthitics. So it was a joyous revelation to find out that Becky Stark, lead singer of twee California happy popsters, Lavender Diamond, is one of the most gracious, sweet and generally wonderful people that music has to offer, as I chatted with her over tea in a Glasgow cafe.

 

The Patch – You’re supporting The Decemberists on their European tour. How did that come about?

Becky – Well this is funny actually. It’s so silly, but it came about through the Internet. Well, that’s not entirely it. We have a friend in Los Angeles who has a small record label that put our first split seven inch and she also worked with The Decemberists. She’d take them on tour and they came across our MySpace page and listened to the two songs we have on there…

P – …and loved them?

B – Well, they must have thought they were good songs. It’s funny though as a t the end of our tour in the US with them, we asked if they wanted a copy of their EP and they didn’t even know we had one. All they’d heard of us were our live shows and from our MySpace page.

P – It shows the way music’s working now. All you really need is a MySpace page to show off your songs.

B – Exactly, like Lily Allen. I met her a while ago before her record came out and she came into the little dress shop I was working in. She came in with this guy called Greg who lived at the bottom of my street and was helping out on her album. And they just came into the shop and Lily bought like 15 dressed and they were all my favourite dresses in the whole shop. All the beautiful dresses that I had my eye on. And I was like “Woah, you picked out all the best dresses in the shop, I just have to ask who are you, I’m totally psyched about your dress taste.” Then she was like (adopts rather fitting London accent) “I’m Lily Allen and I’m going to be the biggest star on MySpace,” which just made me want to laugh, but I tried to remain respectful. Then Greg asked her how many friends she had and she said (in that London accent again) “Oh, I’ve got 2000 now, but soon I’ll have millions. I’m going to be the Queen of MySpace.” I was totally impressed by just how outrageous and audacious she was about MySpace. And then months later it all came true. We came to London for our first UK show. I was asking about this sweet girl I met in LA who was making a record and claimed she was going to be the Queen of MySpace, and everyone was like, “Don’t you know she’s at number one?” and she was on the cover of NME in a cool dress, and she’d bought fifteen of our dresses.

P – Have you added her?

B – I think I have. I listened to Smile on her MySpace and thought it was a good song. Catchy.

P – What can we expect from a Lavender Diamond live show?

B – Well…

P – I heard about you getting a wand for Christmas that you were going to show off on stage…

B – Oh, I forgot my wand! Well I have one wand. Oh no. I gave that wand with all the lights and sounds to a child.

P – Did they deserve it?

B – Yeah, she totally deserved it. She was like ‘wow’, her name’s Arrow, and she was really happy about it. Ron, our drummer, was like “Are you sure you want to give your magic wand away, when we’re about to go on tour?” But Arrow was about 9 and would enjoy the wand more than me. But what if I’ve made a grave mistake?

 

P – You could have ruined your whole tour…

B – Oh my God. Just because I forgot my magic wand?

P – I’m sure you could get one in Glasgow.

B – Do you think the pound store might have one?

Josh Frankfort (tour manager of Lavender Diamond) – I saw a Wandery up the road.

B – I thought that people might laugh at me.

P – But they’d appreciate that in Glasgow.

B – I shouldn’t have given that magic wand away to that little girl. She was so psyched about it and I was trying to be more serious about it. Oh no.

P – We’ll move on from wands now in case you get too upset. You’re released an EP already, but when can we expect a full length album?

B – Our album’s released in May. The first week.

P – Have you got a title?

B – Yeah, it’s called ‘Imagine Our Love’ (laughs). Ron came up with that title. I didn’t want it to be called that for a long time, I was resisting. I kept waking up in the morning with other titles in our head that I’d spring at him.

P – What, like ‘Satan is our Master’?

B – Yeah, like ‘Satan is the Devil’ and stuff like that (laughs).

P – You could still have it in brackets afterwards.

B – Imagine Our Love (Satan is the Devil)? (laughs)

P – Are you looking forward to the album coming out?

B – Yeah I’m excited. But I’m a little nervous as well. We put a lot into this album, so I believe that this album is very beautiful to me. I really love this album.

P – Would you say it’s a part of you?

B – (laughs) Yeah, it could be.

P – You said you lost your voice to it?

B – Yeah, I lost my voice right after we’d completely finished the record. It was a very weird experience. It definitely felt like my first had just entered into the album. I was listening to the record and I was like “Well, there’s my voice. Maybe I’ll never get it back again.” It was a mystical experience actually. I’d never lost my voice before. It was weird, cos I’m a singer…

P – It’s your tool.

B – Yeah, it’s like I’m a carpenter or something. Except I’m not a carpenter. It’s given me a new appreciation for my voice though. It provided a window of contemplation in a way. I mean I actually couldn’t say a word for five days.

P – Was that hard?

B – Yeah. But it was over Christmas so I was at my parents’ house so it was easier. It made realise a lot of things. It made me appreciate my voice. It also made me realise that I talk too much, and I could listen a lot more. I don’t think I really appreciated my voice. It’s hard to appreciate yourself, you know. I knew singing was something I could do. A skill I had.

P – You took it for granted?

B – Yeah, I really took it for granted. It’s something tend to do. We take ourselves for granted. We take other people for granted. We take the Earth for granted. We take all the clean water, clean air. We take so much granted. So hopefully I won’t take things for granted so much. It was a bit scary though, thinking about never getting my voice back. But at least it’s on this recording. And then I’d have to become something else.

P – A writer?

B – Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

P – But then you might lose your hands…

B – Then where would I be? I’d have top be a dancer. A foot dancer.

P – Your drummer, Ron Rege Jr also does a series of comics for the band. Is it important to have more to Lavender Diamond than just the music?

B – Yeah, in the future, we’re excited about expanding even more. We’re going to have plays and I’ve got all kinds of schemes. But Ron is really wonderful cartoonist and it’s important to express the ideals of our little collective.

P – The comics seem to focus on happier ideals as well. Is that reflective of your characters?

B – We realise that, we’re happy, and sometimes scary bad. But for this particular music… well, the idea of Lavender Diamond, what that means technically, is the description of a resonance. All the different colours in the spectrum resonate at different frequencies, that’s what distinguishes them. In fact that’s what separates all matter. I mean, matter is kind of a myth anyway, well according to most modern science. The world is made of sounds, vibrational energy. That’s how things are separated. So everything has a different sound. Like people’s voices sound that way because of your body and it’s like your identity. All matter vibrates at different frequencies. Red for instance vibrates more slowly than orange so as you go up the colour spectrum so as you go up the colour spectrum, the vibrations change. And stones as well…

P – Like Mick Jagger? I wonder what his vibrations are like?

B – That’s a good question. I’d imagine his vibrations to be pretty radical. But Lavender Diamond is a description of a resonance. The idea of it, is that it’s a description of a feeling. The way that things can have a healing effect by actually speeding the frequencies of these vibrations. The difference between a sick person and a well person is that the vibrational energy of the sick person has dropped. It’s true..

P – I’ll trust you.

B – Well Lavender Diamond is healing resonance and we’re sending out healing rays…

P – Through your music?

B – So that’s why our music has a tone of happiness and joy, and maybe because we’ve all had very deep sadness, the idea was to create a healing resonance. It’s like a laser beam or something. And if it’s not joyful energy it won’t go through the target. It won’t have any meaning if it’s not joyful. That’s the experience we’ve had in our shows. It doesn’t carry if it’s not happy.

P – What’s the happiest thing you can think of?

B – Being here right now.

P – Talking to me?

B – Talking to you. It’s the happiest thing I can think of right now because I’m having a good time. I don’t know. What’s the happiest thing you can think of?

P – My cuff links actually (as I display my new cuff links, one with Dick Van Dyke’s face circa 1965, the other with his face circa 2005).

B – Oh wow. Are you serious?

P – That’s him in his younger Chitty Chitty Bang Bang days, and that’s him older and wiser in his Diagnosis Murder days.

B – Those are completely hilarious.

P – Do you want to borrow them for tonight?

B – No, I could not take your cuff links. They’re yours. I can’t believe those. Dick Van Dyke’s amazing.

P – He’s eighty you know.

B – Eighty!?!?

P – Have you seen Night at the Museum?

B – Not yet no.

P – He kicks Ben Stiller in the face in that.

B – (almost spits out her tea)

P – He’s still got it. Anyway, you’ve already played SXSW in Texas, and that’s one of the big festivals out there, but is there still anywhere you would just love to play at?

B – Oh yeah, definitely. I don’t even want to say it though.

P – Glastonbury?

B – Oh yeah, that would be amazing.

P – Are you doing any festivals this summer?

B – We don’t know yet. But hopefully we are. I don’t know if it’s too late if we don’t know now.

P – You seem quite an eccentric sort…

B – I guess I feel like I’ve always been so eccentric that I want to be normal. Like all I’ve ever wanted is to be normal. Like this depiction of being a massive weirdo had caused me a lot of pain, and still to this day, whenever someone called me ‘eccentric’ I go, ‘but I’m just like everybody else’ (laughs).

P – But you shouldn’t want to be like everybody else.

B – I know. I guess I shouldn’t. But when you’re a little kid and you’re being weird and not fitting in. I guess everyone’s eccentric when it comes down to it. Everybody’s different. It’s good to express your individuality. I never try to be eccentric, I guess I just am. I think I look normal today.

P – What’s on your iPod?

B – I don’t have an iPod. I just like listening to live music, I got to a lot of concerts.

P – Where do you see yourselves this time next year?

B – Well, this time next year, there’ll be peace on planet Earth. And humans collectively, will have totally evolved out of terroristic behaviour. There’ll be no more destroying the Earth for profit. That will all just be a memory and we’ll be like “can you imagine how last year we destroyed the Earth for profit?” We’ll talk about it the same way people talk about how we used to drown witches, people won’t believe how barbaric it was. That’s mainly what it will be like next year.

 

Record of the Week

Well, after such a charming interview, it couldn’t really be anyone else apart from Lavender Diamond. So here is a charming live version of the excellent You Broke My Heart. Available for free from their website you know.

 

Next week should see an article about Straight Edge in all likelihood. It’ll probably be quite big so not much else. Just Record of the Week probably. Oh, and Hired Guns.

 

 

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5 Comments »

  1. i’m sorry, it was kel who said that 😉

    Comment by Amie — February 9, 2007 @ 8:00 pm | Reply

  2. Russell Brand irritates me.Shouting loudly does not make you any funnier and dressing like a Victorian prostitute does not make you anymore attractive.He was funny on the Big Fat Quiz of the Year but thats probably just because I REALLY like Noel Fielding from The Mighty Boosh.

    Comment by denesha — February 11, 2007 @ 2:07 pm | Reply

  3. Noel Fielding seems like a half-decent bloke who just happens to have the twin disadvantages of a) looking like Murdoc from Gorillaz, and b) having the worst taste in friends since Ernst Rohm thought that Hitler and Himmler were a great laugh down the Munich beer hall.

    Comment by freshlysqueezedcynic — February 11, 2007 @ 2:37 pm | Reply

  4. Good stuff, Inspector Spanker. I particularly enjoyed the reference to 5 goals in a World Cup match/ex Glasgow Ranger flop Salenko.

    Comment by Scottski — February 11, 2007 @ 7:18 pm | Reply

  5. Alan, yeah, Noel Fielding said he was mates with Johnny Borrell (gag) on Nevermind the Buzzcocks but at least he took the piss out of Donny Tourette.Although, at this point, making fun out of Donny Tourette is like making fun out the special needs kid at school who thinks he’s one of the ‘gang’.Its funny at the time, but you’ll see him later licking a door and you’ll die a little inside.

    Comment by denesha — February 11, 2007 @ 8:21 pm | Reply


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