A Howlin’ Halloween

It is currently 6C where I am, although it feels about -6C. Despite being a Winter baby, I am not cut out for conditions below 20C. Why I haven’t migrated to somewhere warmer is beyond me but for the meantime, jumpers, blankets and toastie socks will have to suffice.

I am currently awaiting my Sunday dinner while  trying not to will the time along too much, as Monday morning is getting ready to rear its ugly head. Weekends are a novelty at the moment and I’m sure my friends and family will soon become sick of my eagerness to jampack my weekends, gallivanting here, there and everywhere but I think they’re allowing me to revel in it.

Halloween fun up North

Last weekend, we took a trip to the North to visit my cousin and her boyfriend and the awesome Ibiza gang for a Halloween party. The journey from London Victoria was long and much of it was spent talking about food, seeing as it was about 5 hours into our journey that we will finally allowed to stop and hunt for supplies. Pom bears and dolly mixture weren’t quite cutting it. Every time we passed a service station, we felt like two caged puppies scratching at the windows to get out. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I have never seen been so happy to see Greggs in all my life and you’re spoilt for choice up North with like three on every corner. More pasties than you can shake a stick at!

We are seriously ripped off down South for food and drink; you can get change out of a tenner for four pints in some pubs and the portions are considerably better. Don’t get me wrong, as much as I love Lessex (see what I did there?) we are overcharged for pretty much everything down here. The cost of living is decidedly more expensive in the South and as my cousin pointed out, you can rent a three bedroom house up North for £500-odd a month. We’d be lucky to find a three bed flat in the outskirts of London for that. If I could put up with the Arctic weather, I’d move to the land of deep fried Mars bars in a jiffy.

We returned to work on the Monday with post-North blues, having spent the latter of Sunday afternoon travelling back on the glorious never-ending road that is the M1, but luckily an impromptu gig on Tuesday night in Camden saved us from a mid-week breakdown.

Five of us went to NME’s Generation Next tour at KOKO London to see up and coming US indie band Howler along with support acts The Cast of Cheers, Gross Magic and Splashh.

KOKO in London is NME’s official turf for showcasing new bands

Howler are a four-piece from Minneapolis, who’ve just finished a massive 12 month tour across the US, UK, Europe and Japan. They were picked up by Rough Trade Record’s radar and signed to the label last summer and have supported the likes of The Vaccines whilst being over here. Having been given a good warm-up from Dublin-born The Cast of Cheers, frontman Jordan Gatesmith thrashed his way through their set, so much so that we all ended up in a mosh pit and crowd-surfing their drummer Brent Mayes during their finale “Back of Your Neck.” It was high energy and very tongue in cheek with Jordan chatting to the crowd in-between songs about acid trips and vomiting, while Brent drank out of a red wine bottle from a Sainsbury’s carrier bag from the side of his drum-kit. They’ve clearly learned well from being in London.

Hanging out on KOKO’s terrace mid-gig

If you haven’t given their LP “America Give Up” a listen on Spotify, I highly recommend you do so. For someone with such a distinctive American teen drawl, Jordan’s growly vocals echo that of Razorlight’s frontman Johnny Borrell, while their sound is similar to that of The Strokes thrown in with a bit of The Beach Boys.

It was awesome to hear some live music post-Ibiza and that for us, kicks off a long list of gigs to come this winter (See, told you we always seem to end up in the abyss of Camden and Brixton at this time of the year) our next one being XFM’s Winter Wonderland gig with a line-up consisting of Editors, The Courteeners, The Temper Trap, Lucy Rose and Theme Park. Absolutely so excited that we’ve managed to get tickets for that, an early Christmas present indeed!

For now, I will leave you with the moment that left Adam and Hannah shrieking “I touched the drummer’s arm…I’m never washing this hand again!”


One thought on “A Howlin’ Halloween

  1. Pingback: Calm before the Storm | Essex and The City

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