My friend Polly introduced this song to me recently and I thought the lyrics were just fantastic. The imagery and story illustrated in just two verses with the complex emotions were in such contrast to what we expect from Noah and the Whale. We normally hear such upbeat tracks from them especially from their first album Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down and this album feels like a moment of vulnerability. There is a permanent and genuine sadness throughout the song.
Just got back from the Foals at the Town Hall and it was fantastic. Starting the set off with Total Life Forever and playing favourites from both Holy Fire and Total Life Forever. Yannis crowd surfed, walked around the hall on both levels and almost jumped down onto us after having a scuttle with security!! Legendary. My favourites were Late Night and Spanish Sahara.
Video of the incident below.
Recently took some photos for Victoria Mills' St Cuthberts Pre-Ball! It was an amazing night. Here are some of the photos.
Last Friday was our school's Big House music competition. After a close 5th place and only 8 points off the leading house Marsden, we were keen to close down the gap and become the House Music champions. This year, the event would be held at Vector Arena, right in the centre of the city and home to many performances from internationally renowned artists such as Lady Gaga, Justin Beiber, Taylor Swift, The Black Keys and Neil Young. Our house Marsden would be performing the Glee mashup of two songs from two famous Tom Cruise movies. 'Old Time Rock n' Roll' from Risky Business and 'Danger Zone' from Top Gun. We were feeling confident in both our song choice and our band, which would hold the beat and the song. I was the bassist for the house and was keen to perform at Vector.
Friday's school periods were cut short and finished at lunchtime and all the houses retired back to their buildings to practice for the performance later that night. Our housemaster Mr Simperingham, knowing that space had always been an issue for practices had ask our Rev. if we could use the chapel and he gladly agreed. This would prove to be immensely useful as the band could have ample room for amps, keyboards and drums while we could split up the singers into their parts to practice their lines. We managed to get all the band equipment into Connor Knell's ride which was an old beat up, canary yellow Nissan Sentra. Boy did that machine look tired and old, out of place amongst the typical line of VW Golfs and BMWs the other students drove. Amazingly, all the band equipment including a couple of guitars, a tenor sax and an alto sax managed to all fit in the back seat/boot of his car. Also on that Friday, an accident on the motorway had closed off one lane on the Newmarket bridge which had caused the entire Auckland road network to grind to a halt which worried us as we had to be at Vector at 5:00pm for a sound check. The busses were due to leave at 4:00pm and we certainly knew we were going to be late. Just before we left, Connor gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to let me drive his Nissan all the way to Vector! The car was old but certainly had a character with its manual wind down windows and ever empty fuel gauge. The car was also manual which proved only to be the 3rd time I had ever driven a manual car and I didn't stall at all during the hour long journey!
When we finally arrived at Vector, ahead of the buses after taking several shortcuts through the racecourse and some back roads, we finally arrived at the rear loading dock of Vector. Man was this place huge! We found our waiting room, dropped off the equipment and headed for the main stage door. Inside was massive! The amount of space and people this arena could hold was staggering. It had even been able to be pushed forward so we could fill up less seats. Just before we started, I was delighted to run into Emma Featherstone (and also Jamie McDell) who was our music teacher at King's Prep. After a big hug, I left her to retreat to the judges room where they finalised the roles for the night while I went to join the band for a sound check. This was amazing. Being able to play in a band at Vector is a once in a lifetime opportunity (even if it was for a school event).
Finally we all went to take our seats as the rest of the school and the crowds started arriving. The arena was packed within 45 minutes and buzzing. Everyone was looking forward to the start. I had brought my camera which gave me a front row seat right in front of the stage! When Rev. Walters finally took to the stage, everyone was cheering. All of the acts were great (and can be viewed here). Among my favourites was St Johns house which performed 'Greased Lightning' and Peart House which performed 'Oh What a Night.' Taylor house's conductor Annie was hilarious as there were pieces of paper spread out next to her containing phrases written in bold such as 'Smile!' 'Slower' and 'Faster!'
My favourite performance of the night was Averil House's winning Small House performance of Bruno Mars' 'Treasure.' Everything about it was tight and I even think the arrangement was better than the original! We also had a special guest Jamie McDell (an ex-King's student) perform her lastest single 'Angel.' I had a nice chat to her backstage after her performance about her house music during her time at King's.
Overall, I think having Big House at Vector was an outstanding succes. It sounded much better than previous years thanks to professional technicians and equipment and was much closer to central Auckland. Everyone had a great time and the winners Averil were well deserved. I will definitely be coming back next year to see the next Big House!
Polaroid. The instant film. An old and highly regarded brand. The iPod of its times. Polaroid instant was the bee's knees. Film that could develop instantly and stop developing in a matter of seconds so you could enjoy your photo without having to take it to a lab to get developed. This was amazing for its time. Cameras such as the SX-70 land camera although expensive became wildly popular in the 70s and the 600 series in the 80s brought instant photos to the mass market. People could have their photos and share it all around like an analogue Instagram of sorts.
Today though, the Polaroid brand has been sold and bought so many times that the brand has lost all credibility and has all but disappeared. Others have taken the unique Polaroid style and apps such as Hipstamatic and Instagram have popped up emulating the unique style of a Polaroid photo. Instagram was so successful that Instagram was bought by Facebook for close to a billion dollars. It seems everyone but Polaroid have been able to take advantage of the trend they brought.
When Polaroid decided to stop making its instant film on 2004, it was a devastating blow to the Polaroid community. They supposedly left enough supplies to manufacture the film for another decade but its sudden rise in popularity meant it would only last a couple of years. This left many Polaroid camera owners left with nothing but an empty shell. But two guys: Florian Kaps, an Austrian entrepreneur and André Bosman, a factory manager at the Polaroid factory at Enschede decided to lease the factory and recreate the iconic Polaroid instant film. However, when they asked for the formula, the manager replied that what they wanted was impossible and thus The Impossible Project was born.
The Impossible Project has started producing their own blend of instant film for almost all of the old Polaroid cameras including most of the 60s, 70s and 80s. They've even improved on some of the films with greater colour saturation and sharper images. The only gripe with this film is that unlike the old Polaroid film which would develop in a couple of minutes, the Impossible film needs 20 minutes on their latest colour film and has to be shielded from light as soon as it prints; but I think that adds to the charm of using such an antiquated medium and the process makes you wait for the photo to develop instead of the digital cameras of today which let you you 'instantly' playback your images.
After experimenting with film including the easy to find Fujifilm Superia 35mm film on an old Nikon FM-2, I find that the medium makes photography much more special. You take more time in framing your shots and the manual controls give you a much better understanding of photography. I also love the element of unpredictability in this analogue format. I've gotten some beautiful photos from light leakage in my film and I think that instant film would allow me to explore this even further. It gives much more flexibility in the development process and lets you lighten or darken, change the colour saturation or even etch in lines on the chemicals to stencil in a pattern.
Polaroid Instant film has made me much more excited about photography and I hope the Impossible Project keeps improving its film.