Thursday, 27 October 2011

Clerkenwell's Nice Cups of Tea and a Boy Band

Nick Ball, Jon Butterfield, Matt Redman, me
Sorry about the break in entries. I did a gig with the Flying Aces at the prestigious Forge in Camden and wanted to write about it, but didn't have the pictures or videos yet. It'll still be a bit of a wait, so that'll be out of sequence. Boring! Sorry.

Also have done a spate of Vintage Fairs. Interesting! They all have cupcakes! All! I wore a lot of Bettie Page repro dresses and put silk flowers in my hair for them, and got all helpless around Community Hall PA systems and learned a lot about the different types of people who go to these things.

Envy and Claire also provide wine-gums. 
But this last Sunday I did the VERY FINE Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair, which I would recommend to anyone who wanted to try a Vintage Fair but didn't know which one to start with. Here the fun factor is as much to the fore as a decent selection of proper clothes to look at. Some stalls have delicate, museum-quality Victorian and Edwardian items, and some just specialise in those diaphanous 20s and 30s bits of nothing that ladies wafted around in while Hercule Poirot solved murders. And then there are plenty of sturdy, flattering 1950s numbers with their nipped-in waist. Also two of the best vintage hair and makeup stylists in the business: Envy Greene and Claire Cross. And the old Finsbury Town Hall! It is Victorian Rococo magnificence.

So no room for any reproduction frocks here, or just relying on a few clip-in silk flowers, no matter how convincing the general effect.

Envy Greene. and a genuine New-Look Hat. 
With the very dapper Matt Redman
Savitri, who started the Clerkenwell Fair and who runs it with stylish but businesslike efficiency, wanted me to try on a dress of hers, which she thought would go with my colouring. It was a shade I would never have dreamed of. Or thought would work. But there it was, and there it did. Envy Greene worked with it using several shades of eyeshadow. I think she achieved it. I'd been told that there would be an ugly door behind us, and to bring something to cover it up. So I took a few random sheet music covers (oh this is a tiny, tiny fraction of what I have!!) and colour-copied them, and taped them together. Not a bad effect, and Envy's makeup also seems to draw on these covers for inspiration. I have to say that I've never heard the phrase "hang on while I get my 1930s lip-liner" before. And if I had, I wouldn't have thought it'd be in earnest! But it was. As I say, one of the best in the business. I would have loved to have had Claire do my hair, and their prices are extremely reasonable, really a tiny amount compared to what salons charge, and they do a better and far more authentic job, but I had my 20s wig all ready, and it went with Savitri's dress.
Victorian Rococo Splendour. Matt and Nick, on the right, arranged the songs in the album.

There's something for all the five senses at the Clerkenwell Fair. A table of pomades and colognes and perfumes; silks, satins, furs; an artist who draws frocks in the manner of a 1940s fashion illustrator for Vogue; the substantial lemon drizzle cakes and the teas and the sandwiches made right there on the spot; the velvety-smooth brushes of Envy and the bristly proper brushes of Claire; and the Lovely Parlour Trio, referred to on the day as the Lovely Parlour Boy Band! 
We played songs from the album, and the 23rd was also the day that four songs were launched on Amazon, 7 Digital, and HMV Digital..A Nice Cup of Tea, We'll Gather Lilacs, The Honeysuckle and the Bee, and Let Him Go Let Him Tarry. Our rendition of A Nice Cup of Tea drew smiles amongst the nice cups of tea.

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