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The Lamours – Lola’s little (big) band kicks off.

Forget everything you know about Lola Lamour – when she performs with The Lamours it’s a whole new experience – and a great one at that 🙂

I’ve been a fan of Lola’s since I first saw her at Twinwood several years ago – it’s like she stepped out of the 1940s, with perfect vintage hairdos and outfits, and a wonderful singing style. This being my only experience of her when I heard she’d formed a 13-piece band last year I thought it would be a night out in her usual style.

lamours

Well that will teach me to actually read the blurb 😉 – the website is quite clear that her “youthful and energetic young band has an eclectic mix of music genres spanning seven decades done in their own unique style.  Contrasting styles and tempos combining fabulous melodies with hypnotic rhythms. Swing, Soul, Tango, Blues, Samba, and Rockabilly all amazingly but effortlessly follow each other and are connected beautifully.”

And they don’t disappoint – kicking off with Soft Cells Tainted Love, it’s an explosion of new and old sounds such as What Lola Wants, Love Potion No 9 and Chilli Dippin Baby interspersed with the Black Eyed Peas I got a Feeling, and Mick Jagger’s Satisfaction. There’s even a knock out version of Britney Spears  Oops I did it again. I never in a thousand years would have thought I would be mesmerized by hearing that tune but The Lamours fire it up in great style 😛

Seeing them begin their new season at The Stables, Milton Keynes on Saturday (23 March) was a thoroughly enjoyable night. The mix of rockabilly, swing, samba and twist on modern tunes is seamless and the skills of the individual band members are excellent. Spotlights for piano, electric guitar and trumpet highlight how talented these players are – and as for the scatting, well that certainly earned some well deserved applause.

I’ve never seen such a youthful group playing with the ease of old hands! They know their stuff, clearly enjoy it and you are getting a professional worth-paying-for night out – and of course lets not forget the lovely Lola. Her great comic patter certainly brings a smile to our faces and her voice and delivery are on fine form as she knocks out those tunes with showman style.

I would definitely go to see them again and highly recommend them – take a look at their website for just a taste of what they have to offer. And I’m delighted to find that they’ll be at Twinwood on the Sunday which is the day I’ll be going. Regardless of what they’ll be singing I know we’ll be in for a treat.

lamours night outSo what does one wear to an evening to listen to The Lamours? Well you can certainly go along in jeans and trainers if you like but I love any opportunity to dress up. I defied snow and ice (and nearly fell over twice – eek!) to wear my satin Vivien of Holloway Grace circle dress and was lucky enough to be complimented by not one but three ladies 🙂
Viva!

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Clothing, Events, People to follow, Reviews

 

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If the shoe fits…. put it on the Bucket List!

Things to do before I die. In some ways that’s not a very cheering topic I know and yet having just watched the Bucket List (with my beloved Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson 🙂 ) I am reminded of the need to make each moment count – and that means making the most of achieving my dreams.

It’s probably an understatement to say shoes are my weakness – I stopped counting last year after a cull left me with 70 pairs and I know I’ve added significantly to the stash since then ;-).  As a child I was only allowed shoes in black or brown and if a party then wonderful patent. I do recall the one and only time I was given a pair of blue T-bar shoes – I loved them so much my mother had to wait till I was asleep before she could prise them off my feet. Nowadays my collection comes in all colours, shapes and sizes and I consider the choosing of them as important as picking the right brooch or neck scarf to complete an outfit.

Having read an interview a few years ago about Amanda Holton in a London show and having her toes measured for shoes I have always thought it would be grand to have shoes made to measure. For reasons unknown I assumed it would cost a fortune and put it to the back of my mind until out of the blue yesterday I did a Google search and was astounded at what I discovered.

custom made moulds

Using custom made moulds of your feet will cost a pretty penny!

Yes you can definitely break the bank with a visit to London’s Anthony Andrews.  £1400 plus Vat (or more!) for a custom made pair – but since this actually involves making a mould of your foot you can be sure it’s certain to fit. There are many companies to choose from including Taylor Made shoes who combines 150 years of history with a modern twist by using a 3D scanning system to create a full digital cast.

Well all that is still certainly past my budget but how about this – a two day course with Marsha Hall resulting in your own shoes for under £300! For an experience like that that’s certainly within my budget if I cut back on a few non essential frivolous buys! I know it’s not quite made to measure, but if you’ll pardon the pun it’s a step in the right direction 😛

Make your own shoes on a two day course!

Make your own shoes on a two day course!

Best of all Marsha offers gift vouchers so I know what I’ll be asking family and friends for my next birthday.

Of course if you fancy having a shoe designed to your specification then why not let the computer do it for you – Shoes of Prey runs a programme which lets you pick the size, shape and then fill in the rest of the details yourself!

Let your fingers do the walking.

Let your fingers do the walking.

Anyone ever had a pair of shoes made for them or created a 3D version online? If so I’d love to hear what you thought of the end result. In the meantime I’m looking forward to some birthday gift vouchers 😉

Viva!

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2013 in Clothing

 

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There’s a foot tappin boy inside this modern woman!

It’s a fact – I am a girl. 🙂 Yep I’m pretty certain that mother nature and the good lord gave me the equipment and the inclination to be a girl – yet the time has come when I’ve decided it might be better to be a boy 😛

And it’s all to do with having happy feet! You know the feeling – a great song pings onto that juke box. Something to really get your feet tapping such as Little Green Frog by Clarence Frogman Henry, or Laverne Baker’s Tweedlee Dee or perhaps a more modern number from Si Cranstoun with Coupe De Ville. Whatever it is, it rocks and you just want to get up and dance.

Tweedle Dee - Such a foot tapping quirky tune!

Tweedle Dee – Such a foot tapping quirky tune!

And that’s when the frustration really hits as not one of my family or friends has ever learnt to jive! Noticing how many “girls” always seem to hang about the dance floor hoping for a twirl it occurred to me that I could make the switch and thus significantly increase my chances of having a great time.

My dance classes are with Adrian and Sara from the Adrian Marsh School of Dance and a more fun and patient set of teachers you will have to go far to find 😉 They’re making it really easy for me to make the transition. They break down each move and repeat it with you till you get it right, mix and match new moves with old so that you are really comfortable and push you to try new things.

You will swing from frustration at your timing to annoyance with your own two left feet to giggles and helpless laughter at your interpretation of a good dance move 🙂

Dance still from official Si Cranstoun Coupe De Ville video - watch them rock n roll!

Dance still from official Si Cranstoun Coupe De Ville video – watch them rock n roll!

And I have to say I feel I was born to lead 😮 – since I’m enjoying it far more doing what I want to do on the dance floor rather than waiting for a guy to make a good dance move. Maybe I’m more of  a modern woman than I thought!

Viva!

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2013 in Music, Reviews

 

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One size does not fit all… so thank God for alterations!

There’s that spine tingling moment when you look across a shop or vintage fair and spot a dress, skirt, pair of trousers or shoes. Whatever it is you KNOW that it’s perfect and your life will be complete as soon as you get your hands on it. But when you’ve fought your way through the crowds fervently praying no one else spots the prize you suddenly get an inkling that the sizing may be off – and once in the changing rooms your fears are confirmed – BOOHOO 😦

For  me this happened once too often – this time my fave online shop for trousers (Heyday) was having a one day sale on abserlootley everything. I now buy all my trousers from Shona as having tried others I have found her cuts are shapely, the fabric is great quality and it all hangs beautifully. Occasionally I have found that a size in one colour can be slightly better fitted than another which I put down to the fact they are not mass produced – and it’s not enough of a difference to cause any problems.

The sale was mad and sizes were disappearing fast 😦 Having lost over a stone I am between sizes for a lot of clothing let alone “vintage look” gear so had to take the chance on a bigger pair as that was the last size available. Unfortunately as soon as they arrived I just knew they would be too big but I couldn’t bring myself to part with them.

Instead I decided it was time to visit the world of “alterations” and found Clive of Face-T clothing and alterations, just yards, or is that metres, as the crow flies from me, in the picturesque Olde Watermill and shopping village in Barton-Le-Clay, Bedfordshire.

I took along two pairs of trousers – one to be taken in and one to be let out from my skinnier days! On hearing my request Clive lifted a sceptical eyebrow and said “Let out – on women’s trousers? and just where are we going to find the extra fabric for that?”. But upon inspection he crowed with delight; “Now you don’t often see that – an allowance in the back seam that you usually only get on mens. Whoever made these really knew what they were doing.”

Clive is an avid designer and likes nothing more than creating designs and helping customers achieve the perfect fit. He said: “Seeing you standing here in all your old style clothing takes me back to when I was a kid -I remember seeing my mum in all these fashions [1950s] and I’ve been noticing that it’s all making a comeback. At Face-T we can, and have, made it all from scratch and ensure you get a really personal and flattering fit.”

Just a few days later and for a very reasonable price I now have two more pairs of classic looking trousers which fit fabulously 😛

  Here’s a classic look for me – Heyday trousers, Vivian of  Holloway top, and  Remix shoes (the glass of wine is not always included!)

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Clothing

 

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Anyone for a Shake, Rattle and Roll?

Today’s modern dance leaves a lot to be desired! I’m all for creativity and “getting down and doing your own thing” but I often think a girl takes her life into her hands and certainly risks a bruised limb or two if she’s near an over enthusiastic fellow dancer 😛

As a kid I spent a lot of time peering out of my bedroom window jealously watching the boys and girls attending the Peggy Spencer Dancing Centre. I dreamed of dressing up in the posh frocks and gliding across the ballroom. Strangely when I grew up and left home I found I wasn’t remotely interested in tripping the light fantastic.

However a few years ago I received an invitation to Maddy’s jiving school, run by Robin and Collete. Having no interest in visions of me being swung over someone’s shoulder it took a fair bit of persuasion to get me to class. But once it was explained that not all forms of jive involve such energetic turns and tumbles I was willing to give it a try – and was hooked 🙂

Maddy’s worked on the basis of ten basic and ten advanced lessons which I completed several times and was able to use to good effect when attending musical vintage events. I loved the cues, the twists, the turns, but was invariably left frustrated by not advancing more than the twenty or so moves I’d learnt. I was also really keen to keep attending just to sharpen skills but not necessarily keep repeating the class as it proves to be an expensive way of doing it.

I KNEW there had to be more – and I was right 🙂 I’ve kept my eyes and ears open and a friend recently waved a flyer in my face – By some lovely miracle the Adrian Marsh School of Dance began a new class on Friday nights in Woburn Sands, just a few weeks ago for the economy saving sum of just £6.50 per session.  I’m definitely a dedicated student once the hurdle of having to find a partner was overcome as the class is set up so everyone moves around and shares 😉

Adrian has a fantastically easy manner and is very clear, and happy to repeat instructions if he thinks we need it. We’re a noisy bunch but he keeps us in line with a smile. The lovely Sara and he recently got married (congrats :-)) and she’s great at really showing us girls how to move – and I think she has a lot of patience with the guys too :-P.

The talented Adrian and Sarah take a break from teaching

The music – ahh the music is brill and I find myself bouncing on the balls of my feet in anticipation of yet another great track. All in all I’m really chuffed to have found such a great class so close to home where the guys and girls are all easy to get along with, the teachers are fun and soooo talented, and where I feel I am finally learning some fun moves that will really help a gal to shake, rattle and roll!

ViVa!

PS Make sure you pop back and have another look at this page soon as my photos of my dance class will finally arrive.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Events, Music, Reviews

 

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Hi and welcome to Vintage Vapours

So vintage…so modern!

Hi and welcome to my blog Vintage Vapours. My recent love affair with all things vintage from the 1940s and 1950s began a few years ago but has recently really taken off.

I’m a bit of a lost soul as no one amongst my family or friends shares my interest whatsoever and I often find myself either begging my long-suffering partner to attend an event with me, or just biting the bullet and going along by myself 😦

Thankfully the folks I meet at many events are really cool and a sociable lot so I don’t often feel like a spare wheel or worse still a voyeur! But this year I decided that things had to change and I need to make more of an effort to find like-minded people who want to go to events, share tips on clothing, music venues and indeed anything else to do with this era 🙂

I thought I would start this blog as a way of following my journey and hopefully reaching out to others who are more than happy to pass on their knowledge. I truly welcome your comments and am happy to link to other people’s blogs – (I’ve seen some great ones out there and am becoming quite an avid follower of one or two of you!)

“Vintage Vapours – fits of passion for vintage fashion”, is very much a work in progress so bear with me as I bimble along on my journey 😉

ViVa!

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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