token girl: like a girl, but better

Saturday, 31 December 2005

part of the weekend never dies

2005 was (almost) all about token girl's lovelife. it had its ups (tabletop raves) and downs (mostly technical). but most of all we had the hottest tunes and best made up genres to describe them. we met lots of nice german people. we drank bad white wine. we showed films with girls weeing in. we played 4 hours of music in a row that had everything to do with madonna. and we still haven't run out of plays on the words 'love' and 'life' (send yours here).

thanks to everyone who's played their lovely records on a monday night... the pleasure was all mine... *bows*

bates/bjorn dow jones/datassette/
emilia strange/ironing maiden/kitty litter/kt/
lex pretend/mmmeltdown/dj problem/

what i will be playing at lovelife in january:
tiga - sexor
the gossip - standing in the way of control
kaos - hello stranger
stereolab - plastic mile/i was a sunny rainphase
britney & justice - me against the music
things that go 'pop'

and then:
new albums by peaches, YYYs, ellen allien and apparat... YAY!

going to have a nap now.

Thursday, 29 December 2005

sienna: pioneer

front cover of US vogue january 2006 issue. this doesn't mean anything.

Tuesday, 27 December 2005

i heart lists

chief procrastinator writes:

ten albums - i don't have much time for albums these days. who does? i like these ones.
panico subliminal kill
ellen allien thrills
madonna confessions on a dance floor
arcade fire funeral
annie anniemal
fannypack see you next tuesday
modeselektor hello mom
kitsuné maison compilation #1
sons and daughters the repulsion box
le tigre this island

six songs
tomas andersson washing up
chromeo needy girl
tiga you gonna want me
white stripes my doorbell
tegan&sara walking with the ghost
white rose movement love is a number

magazine cover
kate moss does ladylike on cover of vogue september ish

favourite dress
for pamflet launch - the black and white gangham halterneck - yeehaw

bad but good trend
capes darling! oddly priest-like

Monday, 19 December 2005


Every so often I find myself deliciously slumped on Annette's creamy white leather sofa, shouting at the television. The NME chart show is probably on and a bunch of no-hoper indie tramps are unconvincingly miming playing their instruments on screen. This is indie in 2005. Identikit boy bands, shabbily dressed in the best of Urban Outfitters' 'regenerative chic', 'singing' (it's difficult to write anything outside inverted commas these days)in fake cockney accents about weekends and paper rounds and office jobs. The problem is they're all in their thirties, playing at being the britpop bands they idolised in sixth form. Luckily the kids in sixth form right now haven't got a clue about Mansun or Pulp or even Blur and these pathetic 'pop pastiches can get them to spend their pocket money on 'downloading tracks' and pseudo-riotous gigs at the Astoria.

Which brings me neatly onto THE RAKES. oh god. I hate most things about them. their stupidly catchy boring job song, their faux-NHS spex, their shameful London posturings and the rumours about their suburban provenance. THAT SONG. Is it meant to be a satirical comment on the modest aspirations of a generation of hopeless 20-somethings? A tragicomic nursery rhyme about failure and expectation? Did they go to my brothers' college 4 years before the eldest and 10 years before the youngest?

Am I still indie???

And doesn't Alex sound like Jack Skeleton on the new Franz single?

Friday, 16 December 2005

thinking about that tricky office to off licence outfit change...

what to wear to the plan b party tonight?

sam: hmmm, if only you could charge up fairy lights, and make them mobile, like
you can laptops then i would walk around in a regency hoop skirt, each hoop
cunningly adorned with fully-charge 8 hours of battery life fairy lights.
however, with Woolworths being several lightyears behind my visionary
thinking i may have to settle for something from beyond retro instead...


>From: "Anna-Marie Fitzgerald"
>To: "Samantha Jayne Hulston"
>Subject: RE: DO
>Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 17:37:26 -0000
>Indeed! I'd absolutely forgotten I have to wear clothes on Friday... oh
>I want to sparkle... let me know if you come up with anything xxx
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Samantha Jayne Hulston
>Sent: 14 December 2005 17:15
>To: Anna-Marie Fitzgerald
>Subject: RE: DO
>i think i've just got myself a ticket. oh, now just to
>contemplate the outfit. i wish i was handy with scissors and sticky
>tape. i could make a blue peter here's one i made earlier christmas
>outfit. sam xx

to read...

Laura Barton's Women of the Year...

Thursday, 15 December 2005


I give a quarter of my salary to the government. Ten per cent of the rest goes to Pret at the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Goodge Street.
At the moment I'm enjoying:
1. chocolate moose (antlers)
2. chocolate croissant
3. chocolate brownie with cappuccino
4. chicken salad bowl
5. blt

Thursday, 8 December 2005

she's my favourite girl: GRAZIA says...

Back to the subject of my on-off favourite magazine again.

This week's ravishing cover girl is keira knightly, sometime west london boho bag lady, most of time pouting red carpet starlet. Inside there's a fascinating interview with her new stylist, whose name I can't be bothered to look up. Ok, the piece is all about how Keira's finally sorted out her look - as in her people are throwing money at this american chick cos they want to get the hot KK some wickedy Oscar-potential roles to match the wickedy Oscar-quality dresses she's been wearing. SIMPLe - tried & tested formula.

What surprised me was a quote from the young lady herself, expressing her love for Roland Mouret's figure-hugging skirts and frocks, explaining that they were simply MADE for 'curvy girls' like her. 'Curvy'?
Keira Knightly must be at most a 'CURVY' size 8. RIIIGht.

I wonder what the results of the 'Reader Shape Survey' in the same issue will come up with.

Tuesday, 6 December 2005

in the bleak midwinter...

...let gay / electro / pop melt your frozen toes in a dancefloor frenzy...

1. the knife 'heartbeats' (rex the dog rmx)
2. annie 'the wedding' (lindstrom rmx)
3. royksopp 'what else is there?' (tWd rmx)
4. chromeo 'needy girl'
5. the like EVERYThING
6. madonna 'push'
7. madonna 'jump'
8. madonna 'future lovers'
9. freeform five 'no more conversations' (richard x rmx)
10. datassette 'stop the message'

just try standing still

Monday, 28 November 2005

that's my girl!

Image hosted by
hot girls! id magazine!

pamflet too

me: do you have a camera?
phoebe: no...
me: but it will be as if tonight never happened!
phoebe: i don't trust my memory to remember any of this!

but it did happen. it was cold outside, but pamflet 2 was hot off the press... phoebe's cakes were divine, the apple strudels were yum and the lech beer was... beery?

pamflet 3: a brand new you is on schedule for February oh-six. unstoppable!

Saturday, 19 November 2005

PAMFLET LIVES! long may she reign

pamflet II or a history of a young lady's entrance into the world is hot off the printing press.
she's pink on the ouside, pretty on the inside.

this issue we hate: crap sleb columnists, brent cross, chick lit and the primrose hill set.

drinks, cake and frocknroll at smersh on ravey street on tuesday to celebrate.

Thursday, 3 November 2005

Image hosted by

to celebrate the release of CONFESSIONS ON A DANCEFLOOR

Monday 14th November
In the Pink Bar at 93 Feet East, 150 Brick Lane, London E2.
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street
Resident disc mistress (Who's that) Token Girl and guest DJ Lex front a tribute to Madonna: Queen of Pop on the release of her new album. They'll be playing an historic mix of music by Madonna collaborators and sympathisers (think Prince, Missy, Stuart Price), bargain bootlegs, old school juke box favourites and every new track and remix they can get their hands on.
Classic live concerts from '85-'05 will be projected in the bar and expect some super surprises...

contender for album of the


Thursday, 20 October 2005


over at they're compiling an online gallery of every kind of madonna image - you in your fave tee, amateur live shots, whatever - they can get their hands on to create the world's biggest madonna resource. contribute and tag now!

Wednesday, 19 October 2005

Monday, 17 October 2005


lovelife has scored a new weekly residency at 93feeteast, starting tonight. expect more music, more chums and more token fun!

upcoming guests:

2nite: the formidable emilia strange
24th: datassette
31st: lovedeath with dj problem
7th nov: bjorn dow jones
14th: justify my lovelife
21st: dj sleeves/mr bateman DEBUT SET

more to be confirmed!

Thursday, 13 October 2005

in lieu of proper post

a list of good things
1. panico the band
2. juliette lewis
3. john mcgahern's 'memoir'

Friday, 30 September 2005

WTF???? hello has stolen my exclusive!

Image hosted by

erm, you could have, like given me credit dudes.

Thursday, 29 September 2005

rehab is short for rehabilitation, you know

KATE MOSS has been admitted to an exclusive, members only top secret rehabilitation centre in the Arizona desert, it emerged today.

our source has disclosed that the centre is a bizarre home presided over by a group of matronly professional mothers recruited from across the globe.

'what kate clearly needs right now is a whole lot of mothering,' said the source, 'it's going to be like that lazy period between christmas and new year when you can't leave the house cos it's too cold and you're too fat, but she'll have all the time she needs.'

allegedly moss will be looked after by a crack team of hardline mothers, each trained in a specific motherly skill. according to our source, a programme has been tailor made for the famous clothes hanger and rock hanger-on. therapies used INCLUDE:
- no nonsense boy advice from a top notch jewish mom
- food for the soul from an indian mother
- cups of tea made to order by pleasant and well-mannered english mum

'sometimes all you need is a bit of hair-stroking, sitting on the sofa in your pjs and crap tv to knock you into shape and remind you that you'd rather be living your life than being nagged at by your mum. i give kate a week.'

Wednesday, 21 September 2005

THE story of 2005... WHO SHOT KM?

the truth is out (so there):
smalltownflirt has got its mitts on a top secret report which suggests that a conspiracy is at the bottom (nostrils) of this week's painstakingly plotted demolition of pedastal-based fashion goddess and all-round icon kate moss.

the leaked memo suggests that the mole behind the Cocaine Kate video is in fact one of arch rival Sienna Miller's people, planted in order to obtain the damning drugs footage, thereby ousting Moss and placing Miller firmly at the top of the tabloids' style chart. spies at chanel and h&m's respective headquarters inform us that both companies already have sienna's portfolio on file and her number set on speed dial.

'over the summer months Miller's team has been exposed as both cunning and ruthless,' commented evil pr genius maximus clifford yesterday, 'their work, particularly on the Judas-Nanny farce was nothing short of ground-breaking. they will teach this campaign in pr school.'

'Sienna (who is 23), with temperance, youth and talent quite clearly on her side, is part of a group which is obviously being groomed to replace the much-maligned and rather bored primose hill set,' confirmed our source, 'she's mates with Keira, Orlando... who wants Hampstead when you can have Hollywood?'

Lovelife Angel Music Baby

boy: hi
me: hi!
boy: have you got any gwen stefani? i think the ladies might want to hear some gwen stefani.
me: yes, what do you want to hear?
boy: anything.

a few songs later

girl: hi
me: hi!
girl: gwen stefani.
me: yes?
girl: will you play gwen stefani?
me: which song?
girl: any!
me: i will play her next.

a few songs later

girl: hi
me: hi!
girl: can you play some gwen stefani?
me: i am playing gwen stefani.
girl: can you play a single?
me: this is a single.
girl: can you play the one that goes 'tick tock, tick tock'?
me: yes.

Friday, 16 September 2005

'enjoying' larry tee at benicassim 05

originally uploaded by small town flirt.

david: our all time favourite hotshot

now online...

Thursday, 15 September 2005

the rain in spain...

i've just finished my benicassim review for the plan b website. imagine it fitting nicely around additional reportage by olav and robin. here's the draft...

Shadowy figures cover the mountain that overlooks the dusty arena. From the slopes they will have a perfect view of Benicassim’s main stage and the main attraction at tonight’s circus. Middle aged, middle of the road and top of the bill, The Cure drizzle onto the stage with a miserable new song. We are not amused, but then what did we expect? Astoundingly (yes, astoundingly) The Cure have thousands of fans in the audience tonight. Surely the Spanish, living in their sun-drenched Almodovarian land populated with raven-haired pin-ups have no right to be daylight eschewing badly made-up Goths? And wasn't I meant to be seeing Peaches anyway?
Back to the 00s Part I: Peaches might have been peddling the same show and album for the past two years but by now she’s got it to perfection. We loved Peaches when she was all pink PVC hot pants, cerise satin brassiere and fake blood. We adore her with costume changes, a fake Iggy Pop, dance routines and boy stage-slave who watches her every move as she climbs the rigging and crawls across the stage.

Don’t get me started on DJs. At some point over the weekend I begin to seriously ponder proposing a ban on lazy record-spinners pulling out ‘Blue Monday’ and expecting people to dance. I kick myself softly with a beflipflopped toe when I find myself waiting, listening with renewed urgency, because maybe – who knows? – this might be a New Remix of ‘Blue Monday’. What does it mean when you’re more intrigued at this possibility than anything else the DJ has to play? Oi Glimmers! Turn the lights off on your way out.

SATURDAY RAVEonettes (Main Stage), Xiu Xiu (Club), Ladytron (Moto), Larry Tee (Moto)
The Raveonettes – idea: are they part of some kind of EU initiative to give the Danes a chance on the international indie rock scene?

There’s no room at a festival funded by litre buckets of beer for a duo like Xiu Xiu. The end of their set is drowned out by the music filtering through from the fashion show in the tent next door. Multimedia in action.

Back to the 00s Part II: Ah, back to the early 00s again: it is safe here. Yes, Ladytron are still robots, and yes they’re still having a ‘who looks more bored’ competition with the audience, which I won. ‘Blue Jeans’ and ‘Seventeen’, however, have entered the electropop canon and remain classics.

Back to the 00s Part III: God bless Larry Tee – electroclash originator and general man about town, he’s the bald, old, NY version of Erol Alkan without the indie. Ok, he’s not like Erol at all, but since I missed the Trash man’s set this morning, Mr Tee will have to do. Predictably, Larry mixes (mostly on CDs – but, hey, I’m no purist) ‘Mr Brightside’ (Thin White Duke remix), ‘Kinda New’ (Tiefschwartz remix), ‘Washing Machine’ (Tiga remix) and probably ‘Blue Monday’, by which time I’m too caught up to care. We are stage front and loving it. Electroclash is Dead: Long Live Electroclash.

SUNDAY Hot Hot Heat, Rosin, Mylo, Panico
Hot Hot Heat think they can get away with playing jolly self-harm romp ‘Bandages’ about five minutes into the set, but they can’t because I’ve already left to check out Roisin...

Roisin Murphy is My New Project. Anglo-Irish and riddled with unknowable demons, she is utterly sophisticated and suggestively unhinged at the same time. Her voice is a haunting, Celtic lilt which backed by a full band is utterly compelling. I’m not one for all that jazz – Matthew Herbert (her producer) is so not my thing, but her set is worth the coffee table interludes for ‘Sow into You’ alone. I want to grow up immediately and furnish a living room. Her album, ‘Ruby Blue’ is about realising where home is and right now it’s on this stage.

My oh Mylo, where have you been? We dig out our fans and bat the warm air impatiently. He is late, but as soon as 'Destroy Rock'n'Roll's familiar opening speech sounds out we sre all damned to pop hell. Mylo, for any haters out there is a thrilling live proposition and far too much fun to be enjoyed with your clothes on - it’s too hot, darling.

Sometime later…
In a little green tent with uneven floors something very exciting is happening. I am falling in Summer Love. I can’t remember who directed me here, but I’m ever so grateful. I think to myself, What could be better than a Spanish punk funk band? Panico are not Spanish, they’re from Chile via Paris, which is even better and after just one song they’re my new favourite band. What can I say? I’m easy.

Tuesday, 13 September 2005

our lovelife never dies

token girl and dj lex (poptimism/forget about the sugar) return to the pink bar at 93 feet east for a night of (end of)summercore: washing up, that tribulations remix, kanye, missy, fake madonna album leaks, the killers (again), the grates (again), random bpitch oddities, edgytronica, diet grrrl, hip-pop, electrofash, pink noize, frock...

tuesday 20th september: after work til after dark
(it's just a phase you're going through)

Friday, 9 September 2005

5 songs i'm liking - 1 week late

1. golddigger - kanye west
2. nobody move, nobody get hurt - we are scientists
3. you gonna want me - tiga
4. shut up - lil'kim
5. message - the grates

for mr olav.

admission: i have seen that documentary...

Thursday, 8 September 2005

Wednesday, 7 September 2005

hey annie

i met annie mac for a coffee today to chat about her dj career and radio one show for a website interview. she's not only a super talented dj with fascinatingly eclectic tastes, but she bubbles over with enthusiasm about the wonderful world of music in a totally infectious fashion... i'll put it up here when it's done!


when grazia launched i was as cynical as ever about what purpose ANOTHER glossy mag could serve in a market saturated with rags peddling the same merchandise, the same trends, the same faces and the same stories written by the same people who've been propping up emap/ipc/natmags for the past two decades.

since then they've splashed with exclusive after exclusive, the most sensational (because it happened, not cos it actually was sensational) of which was madonna's only UK magazine interview to promote her latest children's book in june. this week brought another exclusive UK-only interview with another style icon - the inimitable, acronym-only SJP. so far i can't help but like grazia - and judging from their abcs i'm not the only one.

being a weekly, they're obliged to mix the kind of content which is a staple of the traditional monthly - expensive fashion shoots, in depth designer profiles etc with having a go at current affairs and 'real-life' stories. this week it was the news section that bothered me. they could hardly ignore the past week's events in america, but their coverage was somehow inappropriate. it's hard for any magazine of this nature to deal with serious current affairs and it's brave if slightly pretentious of them to even try. they chose to illustrate the news with the now familiar photograph of a group of five or six new orleanos carrying armfuls of sportswear and boxes of sneakers from a clothes shop spectacularly spread across two pages.

in a magazine that gleefully promotes wanton object-lust after everything you can never have(key cover line 'you can't live this week without a pink cropped gap blazer!!!'), why choose to illustrate a serious story with such an ambiguous photograph as this? i AM NOT disgusted by the stealing/surviving/interpret as you wish. i WAS disgusted to read in the first days after the flood that walmart, by my rough estimates the richest retailer IN THE WORLD was donating $2million (yes dollars) to the recovery operation. gives a whole new meaning to bargain hunting.

Tuesday, 6 September 2005


thank you all!more to follow

Thursday, 1 September 2005

Pamflet lives! Long live Pamflet

six years in the imagining...
We are delighted to announce the publication of

A vindication of the rights of girl.

September 2005 Issue 1 Volume 1

Pamflet is called ‘pamflet’ for three reasons:
1) It is a pamphlet.
2) Its creators’ initials spell ‘pamf’, so we added the ‘let’ bit on and it looked good.
3) Pamphlets were the eighteenth and nineteenth century literati’s medium of choice for starting feuds, slandering rivals, spreading gossip and ranting about everything from politics to literature. That’s what we want to do too, so it makes sense.

With the publication of the debut issue of Pamflet, Anna-Marie and Phoebe follow in the footsteps of a long line of bluestockings, counting Aphra Behn, Mary Wortley Montague, Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, Jane Austen, the Brontës, Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Margaret Atwood and Helen Fielding among their esteemed predecessors.

Pamflet is a culmination of a girlhood gilted with fierce magazine-mauling, journal-writing, letter-scribbling, email-keying, scrapbook-keeping, book-devouring, indie-loving, outfit-styling and culture snack-consuming. Reactionary, impatient and agitated yet visionary, informed and impassioned: so begins a vindication of the rights of girl.

Pamflet editrixes Anna-Marie Fitzgerald and Phoebe Frangoul are from suburban London but now locate themselves on the fringes of a twenty-something world that doesn't actually exist. This is the first of a series of pamphlets that will establish them as the first truly original dissenting voices of the generation which calls itself the first women of the twenty-first century.

Copies of Pamflet are now available for your perusal.
Send your requests and questions to the editrixes at pamflet at gmail dot com

Wednesday, 24 August 2005

my so-called lovelife part II

kisses to kitty xxx a technically perfect and sonically sumptuous set... please come again!

TG set 1:

hong kong garden - siouxie
the priscillas - rip up your photograph
hole - awful (god have mercy on the soul of...)
gwen - the real thing
b & s - lazy line painter jane
arcade fire - power out
sons and daughters - medicine
the strokes - hard to explain
piney gir - que cera cera/girl
annie - greatest hit
peaches - inch
chicks on speed - eurotrash girl
avenue d - do i look like a slut?
kylie - slow (chems rmx)
the neon judgement - fashion party
new order - bizarre love triangle
the white stripes - my doorbell
smokey robinson & the miracles - heard it through the grapevine
roots manuva - witness
dizzee vs vitalic - i luv ponies
fannypack - keep on

TG set 2:

le tigre - i'm so excited
hole - celebrity skin
the clash - train in vain
panico - que pasa wey/transpira lo
von iva - soulshaker
lcd soundsystem - tribulations
pet shop boys - west ends girls (dj hell rmx)
ada - our love never dies
princess superstar - coochie coo
bloc party - banquet
soulwax - etalking (nitetime)
spektrum - kinda new
tomas andersson - washing up (tiga rmx)
ellen allien - magma
madonna - music
missy elliott - lose control (TWD rmx)
trans-x - living on video
madonna - get into the groove
justice vs simian - we are your friends
killers - mr brightside

tour through london's tourist hotspot and then home... zzzzzzzzz

Monday, 22 August 2005

my new favourite bands

i spent the weekend becoming a born-again gindie (indie girl).

three nights on three dancefloors being unashamedly indie and shaggy haired with one ear on the dj and one eye on the bar.

1. thurs: cocadisco at the social - richard x and I-F spin italodisco and miami vice-esque soundtracks to an in the know crowd. by in the know i mean heard it all before.

2. fri: annie mac presents... at fabric - the first time i'd seen AM dj and she doesnt let me down. her set comprises friendly techno and gorgeous electro. annette and i debate the pros and cons of licking mylo's neck while he's waiting for a drink in front of us. i talk her out of it and he eventually makes it to the dj booth unharmed - or unblessed, depending on your opinions on random pop star interference.
anyway, he's good, but we're almost squeezed out of fabric's wee room by the raving crews...

3. sat: kill all hippies at the scala - the venue is overpriced and overstyled and the night is still, er, 'finding itself' personality-wise, but there's no denying that they do know how to pick 'em when it comes to hot live acts. for a start we have the corrupt cultural betrayers, australian trio the grates. they err on the glam side of punk rock n roll and are my new favourite band. i have no idea what that girl is saying.
NEXT i witness part-time ash and part-time songstress (which i've not finalised my opinion on btw) Charlotte Hatherley djing with (why???) Mark 'Enemy' Beaumont. i want to go and ask her what her weirdest ever gift from a fan was but my concerned chums advise NO. charlotte is from harrow and is very talented.
NEXT the white rose movement. singer is bad parody of ian curtis on stage - a 'reference' - ok, less reference, more impersonation - a point acknowledge by the dj who chooses to follow their set with 'radio, live transmission....'
in spite of this confusing appearence, they're hot to trot. love'em.

all for now.

ps. do the links yourselves you lazies.

Friday, 19 August 2005


you can do a lot of things in two years. learn to drive, do your a-levels (or whatever they're called now), make and release an album (madonna et al), found and establish a brand new magazine (plan b)...

over the past two years i've averaged one blog a week, which seems rather pitiful at first glance, but if you think about it, i do work with quality NOT quantity in mind and compared to say, Grazia (a new one every week) or the News of the World (again, just one a week and nothing much to read) my productivity levels are really nothing to be ashamed of.

so, two short years and over one hundred blogs, big and small, young and old, pointless and pointed, i hope you'll join me in raising a glass in the hope for one hundred more. to the future... and beyond!


Tuesday, 16 August 2005

i feel it in my fingers, i feel it in my toes.

today was too good to be true. madonna galloping gracefully into middle age... when my mother told me the news i had a flashback to 31 august 1997, but thank god, it was nothing as serious as that. as i type, bbcnews24 tells me that she has been released from hospital with some broken bones - she's lived through worse.
all i can do is suggest that mine and kitty's sets on tuesday will be dedicated to her speedy recovery.
much love x


I went to New York
I had a dream
I wanted to be a big star
I didn't know anybody
I wanted to dance
I wanted to sing
I wanted to make people happy
I wanted to be famous
I worked really hard
and my dream came true.

Monday, 15 August 2005

spin spin sugar

it's dark, and camden is hot.
isn't it funny to be here, dancing to this?

i stumble across a carpet that has absorbed britpop and nu-metal to the bar that has seen through lager shandies and babyshams, cider and vodka-apple juices. i buy a coke and promptly splash it down my shins. tanned legs don't look half bad, especially in the dark.

where is alex? ok, so much love for alex. and there's marianna in classic little black dress - love love love. what is this song? and what is that?

our new royalty, blu-tacked to the paint careless and carefree: cheryl, maggie and gwen - mid-20th century housewives by name, early 00s vixens by nature. i put one hand on the wall to keep myself steady and begin to slowly peel away maggie with the other. she's coming home with me. i slip her into my bag and disappear into the hot dark london night...

Friday, 12 August 2005

where is the lovelife?

token girl in overdrive! good news from the east end - token girl is back at 93 feet east this autumn. the following dates HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED:

23 August
6 September
20 September
4 October

Thanks to everyone's favourite Ironing Maiden for a set that bruised my benicassim-beaten ears into blissful, um, bliss.

the next party *should* feature a debut set from the infamous MISS KITTY not to be confused with the famous Miss Kittin - I can't wait!

Sunday, 7 August 2005

hola de benicassim

estoy en benicassim por FIB. hay mucho vodka y musico. me gusta mucho el sol. no es como un festival ingles, por ejemplo, no hay agua en el sielo. hay duchos en el camping, gente hermosa y muchas sonrisas.

he visto peaches, larry tee y otros luminarios del escenario electroclash. pienso que los alemanes lo hace mas bien.

es todo por ahora.


Thursday, 28 July 2005

spread the lovelife with token & lex 260705

token girl @ 93 Feet East
token girl @ 93 Feet East,
originally uploaded by Kazaroth.
the divine doctor lektroluv...

Wednesday, 27 July 2005

a madonna a day keeps the doctor away is happy to announce the name of the first single off of the new album is called HUNG UP (produced by Stuart Price). The album, Confessions on a Dancefloor, will be released this fall. Stay logged in to for more exciting album news!

i almost DIDN'T play madonna last night. what was i thinking? she is my one and only. i have embraced the news that Stuart Price has produced her forthcoming album. his recent magic-making on the killers' 'mr brightside' and gwen's 'what you waiting for?' confirmed his electroPOP genius and i can hardly wait to hear the new tracks. as a lost for words sports commentator might say, Stuart aka Les Rhythms Digitales aka Jacques Le Cont aka Thin WHite Duke is at the top of his very competitive game.

due to overwhelming public demand

as ever, i spent last night PUSHING BACK MUSIC and TASTE boundaries with the superlative dj lex (setlist here).

q: where's the party?
a: in the dj booth!

set one:
bjork - army of me
scout nibblett - kidknapped by neptune
fannypack - keep on
beastie boys - sure shot
missy elliott - sock it to me
something ronson...
bloc party - helicopter
chicks on speed - we don't play guitars
piney gir - boston
the chalets - feel the machine
stereo total - push it
annie - me plus one
miss kittin - walking in the sunshine
killers - mr brightside (thin white duke rmx)
lcd soundsystem - too much love
tiga - pleasure from the bass

set two:
the faint - your retro career melted
in flagranti - nonplusultra
fannypack - yeah yeah
rhythm king and her friends - i am disco (original)
joy division - she's lost control
eurythmics - sweet dreams
trans-x - living on video
le tigre - deceptacon (dfa rmx)
vitalic - my friend dario
soulwax - ny excuse
lcd soundsystem - losing my edge
madonna - vogue

JUST CONFIRMED! think you're in lovelife? 2 MORE DATES: 9 & 23 AUGUST

Monday, 25 July 2005

Friday, 22 July 2005

'we will still shop because we can't change the world'

while everyone else left their offices early and got the hell home, i hung around the west end. after work i ambled down tottenham court road, by now transformed by police tape into a pedestrianised boulevard and hummed along merrily to kim wilde on my pod.

i was on my way to the ica for a debate on shopping entitled 'She's Gotta Have It'. The esteemed panel comprised Elaine Showalter, writer and critic, and Professor Emerita of English at Princeton University; Alexandra Shulman, editor, British Vogue; Rachel Bowlby, author, Shopping with Freud. helicopters roared over the mall outside the wide open windows, but the speakers just leaned in closer to their microphones and for an hour and a half shopping really was the most important thing in the whole world.

i sat shoulder-to-shoulder with phoebe in self-possessed defiance and listened carefully. there is an idea, Rachel Bowlby said, that throughout modern history, the image of the fashionable woman is a signifier of her Age or in the translated words of Baudelaire, 'The Painting of Modern Life'. this is a validation of the oft-dismissed art of aesthetic image-making. shopping, she explained was a way for women to enter and possess, at least temporarily, urban spaces.

the first department stores were our playing fields, and while i would never condone indulgence in the competitive shopping habits championed by grazia and H*ppy, shouldn't we be allowed to have our fun?

Thursday, 21 July 2005


last year a blissful summer was soundtracked by alter ego's 'rocker', mylo's 'drop the pressure', miss kittin's 'requiem for a hit' and justice vs. simian's 'we are your friends'.

two weeks ago i was hurrying down gordon street on my way to work, blindly listening to electropop music on my pod when i heard a bomb explode. since then all i've heard is sirens on the streets and helicopters overhead.

Wednesday, 20 July 2005

a star is BORN

watch out for pamflet - just cos it's for girls doesn't mean it's nice

Tuesday, 19 July 2005

kat litter if jude and sienna wasn't enough, i woke up to this today.

i don't need to tell you how much eastenders sucks, but kat slater (nee jessie wallace) was the kind of character that simply i could not ignore. with her dyed black layered bob, tumultuous lovelife, troubled past and zoe's revelation last year that her mother 'used to be a goth', everything about her was irresistible. this news has hit me hard. along with suranne jones of corrie fame, her realisation of the young working class woman on screen has changed soap opera history forever. kat is a character i immediately fell in love with, flawed as she was, self-destructive as she proved herself to be over the years. mesmerising on camera, the paps couldn't get enough of jessie either, and in interviews she is intelligent, ambitious and considered.

what worries me is that the bbc have retained her and there are drama series in the pipeline. this doesn't bode well. it's the end of an era. farewell my feline temptress, it was nice knowing you. x

Monday, 18 July 2005

'mother' is not a career option (watch your back)

on hearing the news that jude law has done the unthinkable and finally cheated on the matchless ms miller, i got to thinking about my old incomplete and undeveloped theories on nannies in the public eye.

whether in hollyoaks or hollywood, popular culture is riddled with bad nannies - they want to get their hands on the daddies and kill off the mommies. considering that the nanny is essentially a professional (paid!) mother, there is surely something wrong, even perverse in this portrayal. remember rebecca de mornay as the phantom mother-turned family-sabotaging nanny in classic video shop thriller 'the hand that rocks the cradle'? don't even get me started on 'mary poppins'.

i'm still idealistic enough to want to try to understand why someone would share their private life with tabloid readers and perhaps even more naively to always give the accused the benefit of the doubt. but at jude's (it's all in the name) confession my hope crumbled away like a sodden copy of the screws' sunday magazine that had been left out in the rain.

i'm putting on a brave face today (in the style of sienna miller).

p.s. in the future i will not be blogging about slebs or being drunk. promise.

Friday, 15 July 2005

spread the lovelife

thanks to everyone who made it dahn on tuesday, especially to the delightful duo emila strange and mmmeltdown. i was persuaded to lose the sindy (sad indie) i had all lined up to play (interpol, siouxsie, smiths, bloc party) and bring on the party that m&em had so thrillingly started. well, as close as you can get to a party on a tuesday night ('tuesdays are the new fridays, saturdays and sundays!' considering that sunday afternoons alone are the new friday nights, this is an almighty and ambitious claim indeed).

i can't remember what i played. new (for me) things were:

the chalets - 'feel the machine'
the faint - 'your retro career melted'
soho dolls - 'stripper'
sons and daughters - 'hunt'
ladytron - 'sugar'

and lots lots more

Wednesday, 22 June 2005

token girl presents a post-glastonbury
welcoming back Datassette

93 feet east
tuesday 28th june
diet grrrl hip-pop electrofash summercore

future dates with token girl and friends: 12th july/26th july

are we nearly there yet?

listening to: lush - 'single girl'; goldfrapp - 'ooh la la'; killers - 'mr brightside (thin white duke mix)'
reading: madonna's 'grazia' interview; mari akasaka -'vibrator'

Friday, 17 June 2005

friday i'm in love

originally uploaded by small town flirt.
how hot is this pic? it's the cutest thing EVER, from last Saturday's Guardian Guide...

Thursday, 16 June 2005

when i'm on the mic, the suckers run

just found out that this is opening soon on poland street in soho. karaoke box could do with some healthy competition, but if the website's anything to go by, the propietors of lucky voice haven't realised that karaoke rooms, no matter how lavishly decorated, are typically populated by drunk people more interested in singing a song than where their drink spills. we'll see...

Wednesday, 15 June 2005

minutes from yesterday's VIP marketing meeting

"Blogs are a brand new technological advance that the newspapers have just picked up on. Sometimes they consist of angst from 13 y/o girls in Derbyshire. But we believe they are a strong marketing tool for our product. By giving our readers a chance to glimpse inside the mind of our top authors, writers and minds, we believe they will flock to Waterstone's and buy our celebrated titles such as 'Married and Hate it? Here's How To Change Him' and 'Fat Brat Ate Cat: The Millennial Problem With Obesity""

Tuesday, 14 June 2005

the love doctor

dr lektroluv is the elusive dj behind the greatest series of electro compilations ever assembled by human hand and ear.

physically dr lektroluv is a cartoonish vision that is part-Kryton, part-Incredible Hulk (more of this later). he has evolved from blank-faced robot to planet-saving, universe-conquering spaceman over the six collections, demonstrating his superhero strength-sized dj dexterity.

in Spring 2002 the seminal LEKTROLUV compilation was released, showcasing a spot-on mix of I-F, Miss Kittin & the Hacker, Hell, Felix the Housecat and more. it was the soundtrack to a blissful summer, and i still play these songs now. i danced to them on carefree monday nights at trash, in the sun at sonar, in my bedroom...

dr luv's talent is to mix n match tunes from electro's infancy alongside tracks that are hot off the programmer to make them sound exactly as they should do. it's not just putting songs in order. i mean, any old ipod can shuffle tracks, but making them into something new is another (luv) story.

smalltownflirts: if anyone wants a copy then email me - of course you can't buy them anymore...

needlesstosay i am in lektroluv.

listening to: 'so jealous' - tegan & sara; 'i am disco' - rhythm king and her friends; 'elektrik planet' - dr lektroluv
reading: 'snakes and earrings' - hitomi kanehara; revolution for girls magazine

Saturday, 11 June 2005

Tres Tourist 19 March 2004

2004-03-19 Tres Tourist 2 017
2004-03-19 Tres Tourist 2 017,
originally uploaded by Kazaroth.

Friday, 10 June 2005

thinking outside the box

Annette, Katie, Abs and I have just spent another LEGENDARY night at Soho's Karaoke Box. This seedy west end venue is low on frills, but high on thrills. Boy trouble? Try a healthy dose of Kelis' Caught Out There. Work getting you down? Dolly Parton's '9 to 5' will do wonders for your general wellbeing.

OK, the drinks are overpriced and undersized, but it's a small price to pay for the incomparable post-croon glow that follows a passionate girl-on-mike sesh.

These are my all time karaoke must-dos:

1. I Love Rock'n'Roll - Joan Jett
2. Pride (In the Name of Love) - U2
3. Ever Fallen in Love - the Buzzcocks
4. Take Me Home - John Denver
5. ...Baby One More Time - Britney Spears

Monday, 6 June 2005

how's your lovelife?

token girl and datassette at 93 feet east on Tuesday 14th June from after work 'til after dark...

Monday, 23 May 2005

kat got your tongue?

thank god (or the bbc) for Kathleen Slater... more to follow

Friday, 20 May 2005

scissor sisters

i am a firm beliver in the life-changing, earth-shattering haircut. i had one after my 21st birthday.

oddly, the one concrete thing that unites me and my three best friends now we're all grown-up is our hairdresser, Conrad. he was the first man to cut my hair, and probably won't be the last. however, he understands that i have a VISION for my hair future, and he wants to help me achieve it. this ambition and focus does not apply to any other area of my life.

Conrad himself is an inspiration, the last time i visited him at tusk on camden high street he was wearing a white short sleeved shirt, black tie, low-slung jeans and big black boots. his hair was shaved around the back of his head and his fringe was lopsided across his forehead. his trademark moustache was in place. i could hardly breathe.

Thursday, 19 May 2005

Some Notes by the Magazine Assassin

I bought my first ever Elle in 1995. I had just turned 14 and my best friend Natalie was already a dedicated reader. Annette and I were on the way to blackpool for the May half-term. A supermodel whose name I don't remember was on the cover...

It was a magazine that stayed with me - albeit sporadically - throughout even my three frugal student years, when I could barely afford a newspaper, let alone a glossy magazine.

Elle has survived alongside Vogue for years and years, yet has never rivalled the authority or snobbery of its upmarket competitor. While Vogue still reverts to coverage of the Society Summer Party, perhaps bound by its publisher, Conde Nast, Elle seems to think itself more rock'n'roll, featuring the spoilt and (un)fortunate children of pop stars who made it decades ago. We are persuaded that the politics of birth merit exposure in a new and equally pointless aristocracy. Remember when Stella McCartney and Liv Tyler posed in customised tees labelled 'rock royalty'? That kind of thing.

Vogue allows us to enjoy fashion and take it as seriously as we like without having to justify or explain ourselves, while we giggle like girls behind pink-manicured fingernails.

A new glossy hit the shelves last month. The idea of the puke-inducingly titled 'Happy' makes me want to gouge my own eyes out so that I can never ever lust after another bag/shoe or keyfob again ever again.

To be continued...

Friday, 13 May 2005


Prime Minister Tony Blair was engaged in frantic talks this morning with education leaders, This Morning agony auntie Denise Roberts and expert negotiator Trisha Goddard. Top of the agenda is the question of how to deal with England's prevalent Youth Problem, brought to the forefront of political and public debate with the news that the management of out of town shopping centre Bluewater have controversially BANNED youths in pullovers with hoods from their barren consumer fortress. Other matters to be discussed include double decker buses, baggy trousers and baseball caps.

The Daily Mail is calling for a mandatory programme that will see the elimination of 'youth' as we know it. If all goes to plan, the difficult period between 11-19 will be smoothed over, making a swift and simple transition from boy child to adult man, with minimal disruption. Other powerful lobby groups are in touch with the UK's Chief Police Commissioner to instigate a 'Hoodie Amnesty', inviting repentant youths to give up their duffel coats, anoraks and balaclavas for a better, bare-headed future.

MP Harriet Longbottom is head of the Department for Manners and Minding Your Ps and Qs, created in the wake of the government's pointless and unremarkable election victory last week. She said this morning, 'Hoodies and or hooded youths are a threat to polite society. The sooner we can resolve this issue and get back to the Good Old Days, when boys were men, and knew that streets were for getting from A-Z and not loitering on, the better.'

However, liberal and civil rights groups have called into question the existence of the Good Old Days, and are lobbying for the new DMMPQ to be shut down. Blair hit back at these claims by insisting that the way forward is to 'smarten things up generally, get down to business, and you know, get youths busy. Generally, you know.'

'I sleep in hoodie jim jams,' Trim from Roll Deep Crew.

Friday, 6 May 2005

and you thought i was a smalltownflirt

i hate middle england. there i said it.

i looked up the bbc's election coverage this morning, and the blue map of England appeared, as if the country had frozen overnight.
'mum,' i said, as we watched the results struggling in last night, 'i fucking (scuse french) hate middle england. they buy the daily mail, they despise culture and just want to get on with their lives without asbos-dodging youths and lecherous immigrant scum making the queues that make them miserable even longer.'

the worst thing is that middle england pays my 'wages'.

Friday, 29 April 2005

Wednesday, 27 April 2005

don't worry your silly little head

dear ladies,

you probably haven't even realised that there's an election happening in 8 days.

eminent feminist lobby the fawcett society has issued a list of clear guidelines to help any floating femmes towards a clearer understanding of the issues that affect them.

everywhere i look yoof media are lining up to bullet-point politics into a 'helpful' format for me. i'm almost 24 and i've never exercised my democratic right to vote. no wonder they're so scared.

all the best

Thursday, 21 April 2005

my deepest sympathies

there was tonnes of stuff to see at the zine fair on saturday. unfortunately i couldn't attend any of the workshops because i'd made unbreakable plans for the early evening, but i made sure to scour every stall during the time i had there.

i hung around the shoebox distro table for ages, browsing the array of pastel-toned treats. taryn hipp's girl swirl zine caught my wandering eye. the cover of GSZ #10 is a mock up of an original sweet valley high cover, with the trademark high school logo replaced with the zine name. which is exactly the 'idea' i had for the cover of my fantasy mag Small Town Flirt, of course.

girl swirl is a perzine, combining the personal and anecdotal with the zinester's own fiction and reviews. issue 11 even contains a darling mini-zine, which is a letter addressed to gwen stefani. it is the cutest thing.

what made me buy girl swirl, though, is the zine's recurring theme of childish (by which i mean not adult) grief. it's an examination of how the loss of a parent affects the family left behind - but it's not sad - well not intentionally anyway. taryn has corresponded with other teen/twentysomethings through her zine who have lost parents too.

it's at times like this that i wish i had really gone to SVH...

Wednesday, 20 April 2005

how may i help you?

I got an email this morning from a lady who works for a local authority, explaining that the local library where one of our authors is speaking next month is now '____ Community Resource Centre, not ____ Library.'

How enlightening.

Local authorities everywhere were inspired by the example of Willesden Green Library Centre whose wheelchair-friendly doors slid open a couple of years ago. It advertises itself as an Information One Stop Shop. My local 'library' has recently relocated a bit further down the high street, to make way for some charming luxury Barrett commuter apartments. The building it now occupies was once a Presto, then a Safeway, and then, finally, a discount fabric warehouse. It now houses a room with some shelves, lots of computers, a cafe and a youth centre.

This is Wealdstone, which has the misfortune of being located at the end of the 'Are we there yet?' Bakerloo Line, a tube track that bears all the scars of bad town planning and late 20th-century suburban neglect. In many ways it has become a satellite of Brent, the borough that the aforementioned train intersects.

Harrow and Wealdstone station is where are I start and end each day.

Tuesday, 19 April 2005


ah yes, manners. a very english complaint, i think. as soon as i started visiting (english) friends' houses after school it became clear that i had a lot to learn. i held my knife and fork in the wrong hands (an absolute no no), i READ at the table (i really couldn't help this) and certainly didn't know that one had to ASK before one could leave the table.

it's no surprise then that since acquiring a mobile (rather late as it happens - i didn't get around to buying one until the end of my first year at uni) my ever sloppy manners have slippery-slipped ever lower...

the end is nigh

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Friday, 15 April 2005

sweet little mystery

as anyone who has read my 2003 interview with sara-lee will know, i worship any dancefloor she sets alight. she's been in australia for almost 2 months and i can't wait to see her next week... bee-atch! x

Monday, 11 April 2005

art star

giselle's* final show opened at the royal college of art on thursday. intriguingly called 'do not interrupt your activities', it promises to showcase
works by visual and performance artists who reflect on the social, cultural and political frameworks that shape the way we act. Some artists adopt or parody the mechanisms of contemporary democracy (the discussion group, the lecture, the symposium, the workshop). Others intervene directly in the structures and conventions of society. These artists’ gestures, whether anarchic, poetic, optimistic, subversive, cynical or introspective, invite us to take a second look at what appears familiar and what we take for granted. From the solipsistic to the more politically engaged, the artists present acts that assert their own voice or offer other voices a platform.

I can't wait to see it...

*giselle is besotted with shoes. if the way she chooses her outfits is any indication of how she judges art, this show is going to delight and inspire. x karaoke girl!

'what exactly is it that young women are rallying against?'

Le Tigre - They want to make a symphony out of the sound of...
Fabolous - This is my Party
M.I.A. - Galang
A-ha - The Sun Always shines on TV
Gwen - What You Waiting For? ('for all the girls in the world')
Trans-X - Living on Video
Annie - Chewing Gum (Mylo remix)
Madonna - Get into the Groove
50 Cent vs NIN - God in da Club (Satanic Mash-up)
Sex Pistols - God Save the Queen
The Rapture - House of Jealous Lovers
The Killers - Somebody Told Me (some US mix)
Daft Punk - Da Funk
Madonna - Like a Prayer
Frank sinatra - My Way (fronk fronk fronk sinatra)

april 9th: working girls

Tuesday, 5 April 2005

Thursday, 31 March 2005

Sick of ebay and tired of rip-off vintage rags? Me too.

I wrote this earlier in the week for Leonie. Then last night I met another Anna(-)Marie who thrifts professionally for her vintage shop on ebay. She was wearing Chanel pumps and a silky-soft peach-coloured top. She was inspired.

Ebay never really happened for me. At least not as far as my wardrobe goes. I've had it with the amateur copywriters and faux-fash jargon. One more ill-fitting frock and it would've been keyboard out the window. But that's another story.

Charity emporiums hold for me an allure that the standard high street outlet simply cannot touch, and that is of the one-of-a-kind, cut-price bargain. When shopping, I try to get into a 'special occasion' frame of mind to help me focus. I start the day as if it’s 1988 and I have to buy an outfit for a wedding reception. No one wears occasion outfits more than once or twice and charity shops are full of hardly-worn neglected items, such as cocktail dresses, veiled bonnets, fancy heels and matching handbags. We’ve all heard urban myths about picking up Prada sweaters for £10 in Sue Ryder, but for me, it’s all about the quirky one-off.

Here are some tried-and-testeds:

Oxfam, 52 Goodge Street, London W1T 4LZ. Tel: 020 7636 7311
Located on what I like to think of as the Golden Goodge Street Strip, this branch sprawls across two floors, and takes donations from some of London's most affluent neighbourhoods. Don't let that put you off. Bargain-hunters have tough competition from the hawk-eyed staff at the vintage boutique located on the opposite side of the street.
One bored lunch hour I picked up the kind of frock that Baby would have worn pirouetting into Johnny's arms in Dirty Dancing. I looked left and right and slipped into the changing cubicle. The top was jersey with spaghetti straps with a bodice that stretched into a perfect tiered ra-ra skirt. At £4.99 it was a steal, even though I knew I’d never wear it. When I got home I chopped the dress in two, ditched the top and sewed a waistband for the skirt. Ta-da.
Best for: After dark dresses, suits, woven hold-alls, beads, bangles and books.
See also: Notting Hill Housing Trust, 24 Goodge Street. Tel: 020 7636 4201; YMCA, 22 Goodge Street. Tel: 020 7323 5073.

TRAID, 59-71 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 6HY. Tel: 020 7328 1453. Branches London-wide.
TRAID (Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development) offers a unique twist on the traditional bric-a-brac charity shop format. It's difficult not to feel overwhelmed by this rainbow-swept warehouse, but garments are helpfully arranged according to colour, style and fabric. It's the reconditioned garments that make the TRAID experience unique with customised one-offs alongside the regular cast-offs. It's ace for bold statements that can be worn once and then chucked back into the wardrobe. Be prepared to pay more for the handmade items.
Best for: Crafty hats, t-shirts.

Geranium Shop for the Blind, 4 George Street, Marylebone, London W1U 3QU. Tel: 020 7935 1790
Discreetly tucked behind Oxford Street, this is a tiny trinkety treasure trove and its contents are necessarily esoteric. While West End lunch-breakers are looting the Salvation Army on Princes Street, take a peek in here for bygone glitz and sequined evening wear of the Old School variety. Always worth a look.
Best for: Broaches, clutch bags, photograph frames.
See also: Greater London Fund for the Blind, 4 George St, London, W1U 3QU Tel: 020 7935 1790; Relief Fund for Romania 54-62, Regent St, London, W1B 5RE Tel: 020 7437 6978; Salvation Army, 9 Princes Street, London W1B 2LL. Tel: 020 7495 3958.

Oxfam, 99 Ealing Broadway, London, W13 9BP. Tel: 020 8579 2896
On a rainy afternoon head to the suburbs for charity shops stocking generous donations from prosperous donors. At this branch I was delighted to find an excellent selection of luggage. Think Grace Kelly's overnight bag as Lisa in Rear Window. I picked up a near-perfect vanity case exploding with utility and desirability for just £6.99.
Best for: Bags, shoes, luggage and literature.
See also: Crouch End, Highgate, Hampstead.

St Luke's Hospice Charity Shop, 145 Burnt Oak Broadway, Edgware, HA8 5EJ. Tel: 020 8381 1022
Just 15 minutes on the Northern Line from Camden, Burnt Oak is a prime rummaging location. There's a ragbag of curious outlets along the Broadway, from the usual Oxfam to the more niche FARA Charity Shop. It helps that there are no fashionable pretensions in this part of London. Look for accessories from the Thatcher era and hunt for hidden gems amongst the tat.
Best for: Coloured Italian leather handbags, collectibles and pulp fiction.
See also: FARA Charity Shop, 13 Watling Avenue, Edgware, Middlesex HA8 0LQ. Tel: 020 8952 2885

Wednesday, 30 March 2005

shimmy shimmy chalets

‘Someone told us earlier that we look like a cross between Dorian from Birds of a Feather and Bet Lynch.’
The Chalet girls, resplendent in tiger stripes, mirrored shades and bee-hived black dos are on stage at the Buffalo Bar. Less a cross between faded eighties glamourpusses, more the illogical conclusion to a Bis-Stereolab-Le Tigre evolution, there hasn’t been a band this kitschly colourful since Kenickie imploded on stage at the Astoria and put away their platform heels. I think anachronistically of words like pizzazz, panache and finesse and gawp.
Three days later and The Chalets clutch water bottles and shiver in the reeking indie den that is the Dublin Castle, the scene of another debauched Night Before that saw them take showtime inspiration from Liza Minnelli in Cabaret. Stepping out in bowler hats, bowties and spats they ended up, Paula Cullen (vocals/keyboards/glockenspiel/cool white boots) laughs, ‘looking more like Playboy bunnies.’
Alongside her round the table sit Caoimhe Derwin (keyboards/vocals/glockenspiel/tap dancer), Dylan Roche (drums/hair/make-up), Chris Judge (bass/vocals/creates the artwork that screams ‘Merchandise me!’) and Enda Loughman (guitar/vocals/single boy). During what some would no doubt call a 'whirlwind' 2005 the Dublin quintet have already toured with Art Brut and The Subways. It's with the 'likeminded' artrock jokers that they have particularly bonded, pooling resources at the end of every night on tour so that no band member was left sans biere. They've just finished a solo circuit round north London culminating, appropriately at the Camden Crawl and they'll be back in town for more soon.
At first glance The Chalets form a cynical coupling. Until the boys seduced the girls in 2003, they admit that they were 'making really bad, really horrible music' as an all-boy guitar trio. They hooked up through friends, their mutual love of electro-pop, forgotten girl bands and Daniel Clowes’ aesthetic vision making for the perfect match.
'We were looking for two nice girls - but we found them,' Dylan deadpans. Such verbal play is typical of a band who'd have me believe that they were named in remembrance of a skiing accident on a snowy mountaintop in Switzerland rather than after a wicked weekend at All Tomorrow’s Parties. Mischief flickers across the table.
As a five-piece, The Chalets have sparred and sparkled their way through three EPs of vodka-drenched ditties. Now signed to Setanta and with an album (which they reveal may or may not be called 'Check In’) almost in the leopard print shoulder bag, they’ve given up their day jobs in fashion/hair/whatever and returned to the parental manors to dedicate themselves to fulfilling the indie dream.
It is The Chalets’ boy-girl dynamic that lends their songs a flavour of flirtation which sometimes borders on conflict. Part lust, part loathing, they soundtrack hangovers to nights spent too long at the bar, dancing on slippery floors and leaving the club too late. In 'Theme from the Chalets' the girls ask ‘Why did we come here? That boy is a nerd,’ while in 'Sexy Mistake' they drip with remorse, 'What did I just say? I will regret this everyday'. Somehow their sweetly harmonised vocals belie the cartoon violence and last orders shenanigans of the lyrics to songs like ‘Love Punch’. But just what is all this fighting about?
Paula says, ‘We just kind of ham it (their familial banter) up a bit in the songs. I mean, we love each other really.’
The Chalets is the perfect place to stay.

Tuesday, 29 March 2005

it's indie rock'n'roll for me

I'm far too old and disinterested to start entering NME-letters page (it's not called angst anymore) duels. But this article really hit me where it hurts. Torn between the melodic indie summercore of the Killers and the irresistibly shallow posing of the Bravery, I let my mind be made up on the dancefloors of indie London over the holiday weekend. The truth is that the Bravery are over-exposed and, when you pick away that impeccable electro-indie-goth veneer there's nothing there. No transvesite exes, no suitcases in the doorway, champagne in the parlour or whatever Brandon's singing about on this one, just half-arsed ripoff songs. Still have the hots for them though, innit.


BRANDON FLOWERS has branded THE BRAVERY as imitators of his band THE KILLERS.

Talking to MTV, the singer claimed that bands like The Bravery have only been signed on the back of The Killers’ success, and questioned the New Yorkers’ musical motivation.

"Look at a band like The Bravery. They're signed because we're a band," Flowers declared. "I've heard rumours about [members of] that band being in a different kind of band, and how do you defend that? If you say, 'My heart really belongs to what I'm doing now,' but you used to be in a ska band. I can see The Strokes play or Franz Ferdinand play and it's real, and I haven't gotten that from The Bravery. I think people will see through them."

Flowers also explained that fellow bands are not the only ones trying to benefit from The Killers’ success, revealing that the band’s old drummer is now suing him.

The old sticksman wrote Flowers a "a really terrible e-mail" claiming to have written ‘Mr Brightside’.

"This guy who was in my band a long time ago is trying to sue us," he said. "We wrote 'Mr Brightside' a long, long time ago, when we had a different drummer. He had nothing to do with it, but his wife is a lawyer, so she just sent a letter to our lawyer. Wow. You always hear about people coming out of the woodwork once you get big, but this is ... wow."

The Killers are now planning a US tour, but have confirmed they have been working on new material.

"One new song is called 'Where Is She', it's got a great feel, some great harmonies on it. We didn't do enough harmonies on our first album, so you're gonna hear more of that on the second album — those Police-esque harmonies," Flowers explained. "And we're playing other new songs — 'Higher And Higher', 'Daddy's Eyes', 'It's Only Natural' — that will make it onto the second album. You can't drift too far off the first record, but these songs are what the new album will sound like. A bit more organic, with organs and pianos. We don't want to be 'that [synth] band' forever. We'll let someone else be that."

Sunday, 20 March 2005

plug in baby

Imagine a hen night hosted by Tracy Emin and soundtracked by Kathleen Hanna. Or a tea party with friends where all the waitresses are fembots. Imagine one candlelit evening spent sipping wine with your friends, listening to ladies on their laptops and dames behind the decks. Curated by electro-country chanteuse Piney Gir (née Angela Penhaligon) and occasional Chick on Speed and robotic humanoid Anat Ben David, Wired Women is a monthly night at the Spitz, showcasing all that’s delightful and deviant in lady-led machine-music.

When Piney and Anat played on the same bill at occasional avant-nighterie Kosmishe last year, it was, remembers Piney, ‘amazing. Here we were, women, doing our electronic thing, and the crowd just loved it. We realised that this was something special.’

In response they got together and organised the Fair Sex Fair at 93 Feet East, a day of short films and live music performed by them and their friends. The Spitz asked them to make the event monthly and in September the first Wired Women got plugged in.

Where the traditional electronica evening might stroke chins and furrow brows, Wired Women will drop jaws and twitch smiles. So it’s a bit different then. Piney explains, ‘We’re bridging the gap between art and rock’n’roll and we’re doing it with an awareness of a woman’s role in those worlds.’ Recent line-ups have seen solo outings for indie heroines Ann Shenton (Add N to X), Ana da Silva (ex-Raincoats) and Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle), alongside performances by experimental young artists from across the globe. And of course the audience is occasionally treated to a set from one of the curators themselves.

‘We’re trying to push some boundaries here, to make people think, and challenge the listener to pay attention,’ says Piney, ‘I think it’s refreshing!’

Friday, 25 February 2005

binge magazine - it's over-everything

Binge magazine is for everyone who thinks that too much is never enough.

Binge magazine is and does over-everything.

It will feature the overweight, the overpaid and the overdrugged.

It loves notoriety, greed, superfluous consumption and willy-nilly backstabbing.

BINGE MAGAZINE: never knowingly undersouled

new from the from the hungover recesses of a lost soul

Hosted by

Sunday, 20 February 2005

'reader, i licked him'

mmm jane eyre stamps for world book day!

Thursday, 17 February 2005

librarian girl

niall bought me this in new york. i nearly died with happiness. naturally i'm probably most suited to life in the library. dusty walls of books, the only sound the scratch of a nib on paper, linen jackets slipping between each other, silence and order. study. this doesn't mean i'm going to go out and start lending books all over london, though, just live out my librarian fantasies in the comfort of my bedroom in the company of de Beauvoir and Plath.

Wednesday, 16 February 2005

it's my party

more acts have just been added to the line-up for April's ATP festival. so far it's looking far too entertaining - pj harvey, lydia lunch, peaches, suicide...

but isn't atp meant to be earnest, worthy, boring and confusing (as in 'what???')? the highlight of last year (weeekend 1, not the 'ladies' day') was the 24-hour Queen vic pub which saw proper indie discos hook up after the bands unplugged. that's what it's all about.

Monday, 14 February 2005

all sexed down

oh david sexton, one day we will meet and you can tell me ALL about it. no one can be this BITTER, this JOYLESS, this DEFEATIST and ELITIST - i hope. i pick up your newspaper with a wry smile every monday, knowing that once the rest of the news is through and laura craik's had her say on what to wear this week, i still have you to look forward to. monday 14th june west end final page 69. your look says 'yes, you would think so, wouldn't you', not scowling or serious, you sigh across the arts. a sigh that wheezes, 'this is as good as it gets, readers.' although you would never address your readers so directly. i mean, you probably find this terribly crass, don't you?

your best piece last year (ever) was on jessica, the original and prolific bookslut. why? because by covering the literary blogger you hinted that publishing has a future. that books have a place in this world beyond amazon. this singular interview; enthusiastic, optimistic and inspiring (YES, YES you can be ALL THESE THINGS david), won me over (hear my cliches, how you disapprove!).

for me, the future of literary journalism, if there is to be one, must be manifested in a progression beyond the traditional review/interview format. in today's paper a boxed review of Nick Hornby's The Polysyllabic Spree is highlighted on the front page of the arts section. fine. i think. Hornby - native londoner, already overexposed and growing complacent, as his last bloated work demonstrated, but ok, i see what you've done here. the paperback is published by an imprint of the ambitious and earnest young new york journal the believer, edited by vendela vida. how did you describe it, david? '... a division of McSweeney's, the publishing enterprise that believes if you can't say anything nice about books, say nothing at all.' i know you only reviewed Hornby to get this 'dig' in. McSweeney's/McSmug - whatever.

the book world is small. small enough for our paths to cross sooner or later. until next week.

Thursday, 10 February 2005

Friday, 4 February 2005

finding their feet

back in 2004 IDM's original boy band, the Wheels Instead of Hooves collective rolled dejectedly into early retirement. on the cusp of a mid-20-something wilderness of party debts and mcjobs, it looked as though the end was nigh - they'd run out of ideas, patience, and - perhaps most crucially - decent talent to showcase.

now, just three years after the boistrous absurdity of their london debut, they're making a comeback, first in NYC, then in March at their Islington townhouse, Elektrowerkz.

me and my band - march 2002

Hosted by

Thursday, 3 February 2005

redwood lustre shimmer

I glance across the rows non-committedly. Hmmm. Too many to choose from.
'Can I help you?'
'Er, yes. I'm looking for some red lipstick. Not really red. Well, dark red.'
'Do you want a sheer look or a matt? We have several...'
She selects a tube of waxy camouflage from the rows stacked like Battleship pins.
I've already made a decision based on an assesment of the price list. I am going to buy something. Anything. Berry Boost. Lady Danger.

Tuesday, 1 February 2005


the first thing i did was reach for something on my bookshelf. nancy pearl's book lust for the neatness of its lists and categories and geoffrey grigson's faber anthology of love poems for some attempt at vicarious articulation. which failed, obivously.

Monday, 24 January 2005

broadcast as you please

I got into journalism because no other industry would have taken me. I don't know why I'm really doing this and still don't know what I want to do 'for a living'. My talents include taking the piss, writing and not caring. I guess that makes me an ideal worker for the media.

I bungled my English A-level first time around and had to go to Cardiff, which was my insurance offer. This upset me. As I am arrogant I refused to accept I would not be going to London, I re-took the exams I fucked up and passed them. I got an offer to UCL and went there.

I was thrilled to to be living on Gower Street in Bloomsbury and walking in front of the famous dome in WC1. It was amazing to think I was the 'best of the best' - the top few per cent. It fuelled my ego and sent me into a spiral of self love.

Sadly a prolonged bout of mental ilness dented my joy. That period is ongoing.

I got a job at a provincial news agency. This means I do jobs for national papers such as knock on people's door's when their kids dies, or go to the scene of serious accidents. Or speak with corners. Which is nice. I don't give a fuck about anyone I write about. I don't care about their families, if they have died, their kids have died or if anyone has died, including possibly my family (although I've yet to properly test this out.) I pretened to be upset when my grandparents died - that's not bravado or bragging by the way. Please try and believe me.

I didn't pay for university as I was too poor but left with massive debts. My inheritance from the death of my grandparents cleared some of it but there's still a five-figure sum, which is nice.

My job is getting me where I want to be. Where that is is respect and money.

Totally and truly, without and hint of irony whatsover, I can really say that I don't give a fuck about anyone but myself. I have pangs of 'stuff' but I just don't give a rat's arse.

This is an entirely pointless confession.

by 'Budding Journo' december 2004

Thursday, 20 January 2005

the ordinary world

Came in from a rainy Thursday
On the avenue
Thought I heard you talking softly

I turned on the lights, the TV
And the radio
Still I can't escape the ghost of you

What has happened to it all?
Crazy, some are saying
Where is the life that I recognize?
Gone away

But I won't cry for yesterday
There's an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive

Passion or coincidence
Once prompted you to say
"Pride will tear us both apart"
Well now pride's gone out the window
Cross the rooftops
Run away
Left me in the vacuum of my heart

What is happening to me?
Crazy, some'd say
Where is my friend when I need you most?
Gone away

But I won't cry for yesterday
There's an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive

Papers in the roadside
Tell of suffering and greed
Here today, forgot tomorrow
Ooh, here besides the news
Of holy war and holy need
Ours is just a little sorrow
It's all gone away

And I don't cry for yesterday
There's an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive

Every one
Is my world, I will learn to survive
Any one
Is my world, I will learn to survive
Any one
Is my world
Every one
Is my world

Wednesday, 12 January 2005


according to one of the belated obituaries of susan sontag last weekend, she was someone who made 'seeeing every film worth seeing and reading every book worth reading sexy'. sounds like a way to live your life...

the end of the affair

i don't know when it started, but i do know that it's never gone away.

my love affair with american teen culture is, like, so over.

'i'd like to thank my manager, my cat, my fans, er...'

Is there something missing from this snippet of award-ceremony acceptance speech speak? Yes lots, just read on.

This month sees the high profile launch of the exclusive NATIONAL LONDON FASHIONISTA COLLECTIVE, the new union for British stylists and image-makers. Just-approved by the National Trades Union Congress, these integral fashion workers have finally got their well-heeled way and have been granted the right to union representation. The Collective’s impeccably turned-out spokeswoman, known simply as Stef C, like some kind of fake DJ, was kind enough to talk to STF about the nascent organisation’s mission statement.

‘We’ve been given a chance to enhance and promote the position of Stylists both in the industry and within the public sphere,’ she begins very reasonably.
‘THE TIME TO BEAUTIFY OUR URBAN LANDSCAPE IS NOW,’ she explains, ‘ and in the future, the stylist or image consultant is going to be the figure primarily responsible for making that happen, you know? Through ads, photo-shoots, celebrity-styling and, ultimately, the clothes we pick to wear together to make an outfit.’
In the long-term the snappily moniker’d NLFC hope that every British child will eventually be awarded with a stylist when they reach school finishing age, and leave the style-vacuum of school uniform behind them. They hope to pilot schemes in some of London’s least trendy boroughs including Harrow and Ealing over the next 12 months. Year 10&11 students in several schools will be assigned stylists in an unprecedented fashion attack.

The Fashionistas’ policies are outlined in a 200-page limited edition brochure which has been sponsored by New Look and is published by EMAP (available from all good newsagents). Alongside outlandish demands for the Pope to canonise the very much still ALIVE and still trend-setting Katie Grand, Stef C points out their essential objective – to grab for stylists the recognition they surely deserve.
‘Stylists are the creative visionaries of our age, you know what I mean? These days everyone’s a celeb, for god’s sake; even photographers get their own features in ELLE!’

In addition she’d like to see more artists recognising the fundamental role their stylists play in their respective pathways to success. I suggest Kylie & Kelly Osbourne as examples of this publicly unacknowledged debt.

In the meantime ITV’s essential lazy breakfast treat, This Morning, has overturned all the cast-iron production policies which ensure the programme’s political abstinence and general inoffensiveness by throwing their formidable weight behind the NLFC’s launch. A week of programming will see their ‘Challenge the Stylist’ spot shifting into focus, its on screen time allowance doubled. The usual self-promoters who fill the interview sofa will be replaced by in-depth stylist profiles.
One element of the NLFC’s TV coverage ought to demonstrate just how much their launch has captured the public’s imagination: it has already been the subject of a heated phone-in and studio debate on Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff by TV’s most forthright and intransigent ex-tabloid hack Matthew Wright to little or no avail.
But in a final word Stef C admits how far the young organisation still has to go to establish itself.

‘It’s one thing posing on the dance floor of a club in a fancy frock, but it’s another thing entirely to see your work hanging on a clean white wall in the Tate Modern.’ I agree.

don’t just sit there! Get creative!
Type! Knit! Unpack your sewing kit!
Customise, buttonise and layer!
Accentuate your uniqueness through your threads!

if there were no stylists we’d all be naked and/or ugly

Anna-Marie, May 2003

Monday, 10 January 2005

the wheel of fashion

Friday, 7 January 2005

what the papers said

Anna-Marie, 23, from London

'It's always been my dream to work in publishing. I've been a bookworm since I was a little kid! But I knew that, if I wanted to make my dream come true, I'd need a university degree. So many people want to work in publishing - I needed to stand out from the crowd.

I was thrilled when I was offered a place to study English Literature at University College London, one of the top universities in the country. Even more delighted when I learnt I'd got the A-level grades I needed to get in.

But I was a bit worried too. How was I going to support myself for the next three years? I didn't want to end up with tons of debts that it would take years and years to pay back.

When I looked into it, I found out that I was exempt from tuition fees as I'm from a single parent family. I also found out that I'd be able to take out student loans that would cover my living expenses during my studies.

I started uni in September 1999. Of course, any student can vouch for the fact that unless you're from a rich family, you're going to fall on hard times occasionally! The student loans covered my living expenses - food, accommodation, books and so on - but I got a part-time job in a shop to help me out a little bit more. I've had a few part-time jobs in the past, so it wasn't too hard juggling my work with my studies.

People say that your university years are the best years of your life - and it's true. I wouldn't have missed out on those three years of for anything. I made some really great mates, learnt a lot about life - and of course, walked away with a degree.

My Mum was so proud when she saw me collecting my degree certificate in my mortar board and gown! That was in summer 2002.

I spent the rest of the summer applying for jobs. To my delight, it wasn't long before I was offered a job within a really prestigious publishing house.

So my dream came true. Of course, it didn't come cheap! Yes, I've got debts and I'll be paying them back for the next few years. But I'm not losing sleep over it. Without that degree, I don't think I'd be where I am now. I haven't looked back!'

Wednesday, 5 January 2005

'don't worry, your soul will grow back.'

i thought about what we had spoke about over the past 5 months and it amounted to nothing less than snatches of conversation in kitchens, on mobile phones, in unlikely drinkeries... it wasn't enough and it wouldn't be long before the only communication was via photomessage.

'wish you were here x'