Whilst the shortest days of the year have caused havoc by painting wintery landscapes and dipping our toes into more snow than we had prepared for, here are seven tips to get you through to spring with a smile on your face.
- Don’t hide away because it is winter
No, no! Come out to dance! The Växby brothers are back with their new album ‘Dancing Is Easy’ being released in the UK on Dinner With Daisy Records next week. This time Anssi, Harri and Antti are flying over from Helsinki to join Henri here for a few gigs around the country. They will perform tonight, 10th January, in Brighton and tomorrow, 11th January, in London for which I will join them too. And then they are off to Manchester. This is a rare occasion to see the full line-up of the band with their array of weird and wonderful instruments. But if you can’t make the gigs, you can check out this “sweetly downbeat chamber pop”, as Uncut magazine describes it, at Amazon, HMV, iTunes and all good indie shops from 18th January onwards. More info below and on www.iconsofelegance.com
- 2. Stay warm in bed with bed socks, thermal underwear and a nightcap or headscarf (direct.gov.uk)
While this well-meaning advice from the UK government brings the imagery of Max and Moritz’s Onkel Fritz to my mind, looking through my hat collection also gets me in the mood for Gallathea – an Elizabethan theatre play for which I am to compose music to be played byune cartouche (i.e. Henri and myself in our experimental outfit). In fact, Release the Hounds, a theatre company of little means but infinite resolve, will be scratching John Lyly’s Gallathea on Monday, 18th January at 7:30pm at the Pleasance Theatre. The performance will run alongside other scratch performances at various levels of development. Gallathea, a play from the 16th Century about cross-dressing lesbians, is a frolic through the woods of confusion bringing together music, dance and acting to entertain and spread joy in the dark month of January. Tickets are only £3, so do pop in and experience the sheer, inescapable and belligerent wonder of it all. For more details please visit http://www.pleasance.co.uk/islington/listings?page=1
- Huddle with other people to conserve body warmth
As well as appearing as une cartouche in Gallathea, we will also perform a set with French For Cartridge at this Pleasance Theatre Scratch night on 18th January. So for £3 you can get 2 for 1 Cartridge Allsorts. From there we will seamlessly slip into a whole world of festivities relating to the release of the new album.
- Have regular hot drinks and at least one hot meal a day – if possible, eating regularly helps to keep energy levels up during winter
Indeed, as Number 10 suggests we will be serving hot tea to all who like to share our company throughout the week of 8th to 14thFebruary when we set up camp at Speedie’s vintage furniture shop on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch for the FRENCH FOR CARTRIDGE POP-UP SHOP. To celebrate the release of our new album ‘Liquorice’ we have organised a mini-festival of happenings and performances which will take place throughout the week at specific times at the shop and stun and delight passers-by from Monday-morning-bargain-shoppers to Sunday-afternoon-Brick-Laners. Performers include Saltarello, Angharad Davies, Tim Parkinson, KawaKawa, Ansuman Biswas, Sibylla Meienberg, Alexia Anastasiadis, Mika Sellens, une cartouche and French For Cartridge with DJ Walde and one Icon of Elegance. We are also excited to finally put together a performance of John Cage’s ‘Cartridge Music’, the piece we originally took our name from. Furthermore, you will also be able to watch and enjoy the ten new videos commissioned from artists for the songs on the album as well as entering our ‘Liquorice-monkey-competition’. The shop of delights will be open every day from 11AM to 7 PM. Drop by any time, come and hang out or choose a specific performance you want to see. It’s all free and fun and children are welcome too! You can find the full program below and updates on our www.myspace.com/frenchforcartridge
- 5. In winter cucumber juice as well as rose water is the best option for… … toning your skin
As part of the pop-up shop, we’ll have an album release party on Friday 12th February from 19.30 -00.30. French For Cartridge will play a set in Speedie’s shop and KawaKawa will support. Apart from extravagant juices and exotic waters which will replenish your complexion, also expect some liquorice liquors and a fun party arranged by the illustrious Speedie himself. It’s free so bring all your friends!
- Let as much sun hit your house as possible
If you can’t wait until February to hear some of the new French For Cartridge songs, you can already get a digital E.P. of four of the songs including our current single exclusively on the fabulous web-label Ground Lift. If you visit www.groundlift.org you will see that we are in good company there. Otherwise our single is also still available on 7” vinyl from Rough Trade, Pure Groove, Banquet Records and Norman Records stores as well as from iTunes.
We have also started selling some French For Cartridge T-Shirts through the new Totomerch shop where you can now get your hands on the superb Pink Yellow Red and Green design by artist Stephanie Pau with more to come soon. At Totomerch you can choose between a variety of colours, sizes and models and, wherever you are in the world, you can order directly from them by following this link here:http://www.totomerch.com/shop/French_For_Cartridge .
- Eat a healthy diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables … and a little protein
Larvae have been a popular part of many diets ever since Roman aristocrats were reported to eat beetle larvae reared on flour and wine. And indeed, on March 25th Danny Standing will perform my new theatrical piece for solo baritone, ‘Larvae’, which combines a slow metamorphosis of an extraordinary score with the witty and game-oriented mind of the performer to create a music that is ‘most special’ as Hercule would say. I will add more information about this event on my myspace site and website as it becomes available.
I will leave you now with these, my seven invaluable tips sourced from the wondrous internet and wish you a happy wintertime!
Below here are the technical details for all the above-mentioned events.
Icons of Elegance – Dancing Is Easy
10 Jan – Get Rhythm Americana Unplugged – The Foundry, Brighton (FREE ENTRY, 14-15 Foundry Lane, BN1 –www.thefoundrybrighton.co.uk)
13 Jan – Iguana Bar, Manchester (FREE ENTRY, 115-117 Manchester Rd, M21 – www.iguanabar.co.uk)
18 Jan – Gallathea with une cartouche/French For Cartridge at the Scratch Night at the Pleasance Theatre, Islington. (£3, Pleasance Theatre, Carpenters Mews, North Road, London, N7 9EF http://www.pleasance.co.uk/islington/
8th– 14th Feb – FRENCH FOR CARTRIDGE POP-UP SHOP at Speedie’s, Shoreditch
To celebrate the release of the new album ‘Liquorice’ by French For Cartridge, Dinner With Daisy Records presents the FRENCH FOR CARTRIDGE POP-UP SHOP at Speedie’s, London 8th-14th February 2010.
81 Redchurch St, London E2 7DJ
Open 11AM-7PM every day featuring performances by French For Cartridge feat. beat-boxer DJ Walde (8th), Angharad Davies and Tim Parkinson (9th), Icons of Elegance and KawaKawa (10th), a performance of John Cage’s ‘Cartridge Music’ by FFC and guests (11th), Alexia Anastasiadis and a special late-night release gig and party with FFC and support by KawaKawa (12th), sound-installation by Mika Sellens, avant-recorder duo Saltarello (13th), Sibylla Meienberg’s ‘A Love Story’, Ansuman Biswas and une cartouche playing graphic scores from the ‘Carrigal’ project (14th). Plus video installations, exclusive artwork and a ‘liquorice-monkey’ competition.
Detailed Program of Events
Mon 8th Feb 11.00 Opening of the Pop-up shop and release of ‘Liquorice’
18.00 Acoustic set by French For Cartridge feat. DJ Walde (beat-box) (www.frenchforcartridge.com)
Wed 10th Feb 13.00 KawaKawa acoustic (www.myspace.com/kawakawamusic)
18.00 KawaKawa and Icon(s) of Elegance acoustic (www.iconsofelegance.com)
Thurs 11th Feb 18.00 John Cage’s Cartridge Music performed by French For Cartridge and guests
Fri 12th Feb 18.00 Reading by writer Alexia Anastasiadis (www.alexiaanastasiadis.co.uk)
19.30-00.30 Liquorice Release Party. KawaKawa support (21.00), French For Cartridge (22.00)
Sat 13th Feb all day Sound-installation by Mika Sellens (www.mikasellens.com)
15.00 Virtuoso recorder duo Saltarello featuring Heidi Fardell and Kirsten Halliday (www.saltarello.co.uk)
Sun 14th Feb all day Sound-installation by Mika Sellens (www.mikasellens.com)
15.00 Actress Sibylla Meienberg performs ‘A Love Story’
16.30 Ansuman Biswas (www.ansuman.com)
18.00 une cartouche perform graphic scores from the ‘carrigal’ book which was pubished in 2009 by a Shoal of Mackerel. The collaborative project compiles photos and field recordings from the Carrigal farm in Ireland by artists Harald Turek adn Triona Ryan with musical scores based on data and stories from the farm by Catherine Kontz and photographs from Jack Peat taken in the 1940s and 50s into a one-off book. It also contains a unique 7″ vinyl featuring original field recordings from the dairy farm on one side and
a 4 minute piece by une cartouche attempting to recreate the sounds of the farm’s milking machines on pianos and guitars on the other. This willrst time that ‘carrigal’ is exhibited in London.
19.00 Closing Ceremony
Plus new videos for songs from the ‘Liquorice’ album by Ellan Parry and James Burton, Alexia Anastasiadis, Damien Beaton, Christina Zaris, Riccardo Arena, Ebba Erikzon, Dorna Aslanzadeh, Francisca Bancalari and French For Cartridge. New t-shirt designs by Stephanie Pau and Riccardo Arena. And a ‘Liquorice-monkey’ competition.
All events are free. Please check our website www.frenchforcartridge.com for any last-minute changes and additions to the program. Drop by and have a cup of liquorice tea with us.
25th March – new work ‘Larvae’ performed by baritone Danny Standing. Venue in London tbc.