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Tag Archives: rock and roll

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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Also available on Facebook!

Technology is a wonderful thing – keeping in touch with the blog has never been easier thanks to those handy gadgets such as Blackberry’s, Iphones, Ipads, Samsung Galaxy’s and anything else you can think of that comes in tablet/touchscreen form 🙂

Vintage Vapours is like a box of chocolates  – and not the Revels kind, more Forrest Gump style! You can get this blog in pretty much any format you wish now. Using the links on the right hand side you can subscribe to and have it drop into your email inbox or just drop by now and then by coming directly to the web address. For those who like to interact a bit more there’s a Twitter feed @vintagevapours and now to add to it all you can find me on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/ViVaVintageVapours 

So why not make that a favourite link or just like the page and I’ll pop up in your newsfeed  so you never have to miss out knowing there’s a new blog post, or event you could be taking an interest, or a new video posted of some of the most foot-tapping, twirling jive tunes I can find 😉

facebook front page

So c’mon – don’t be shy – get to know Vintage Vapours and share in the passion for vintage fashion!

ViVa!

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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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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The Big Vintage Weekender

I  would never describe myself as a groupie – that always strikes me as rather “desperate and tasteless” yet I think I came perilously close when I saw Si Cranstoun kick off the Big Vintage Weekender.

Si came to my attention as his songs feature at my jive class – and after watching him through the wonder that is the iphone and YouTube I definitely added his CDs to my Christmas list. So when I heard he was performing at the Weekender I couldn’t resist.

What a brill night – Julie Jive and the Big Notes opened the evening with a really rocking number of tunes.IMG_0863 – I’m not one for the goth 50s look but she carries it off well and her voice, once it warms up, really is very strong and carries her songs well. The rest of the band are not as memorable with the exception of their bass player – now there’s a man who understands how to be a performer. Ever want to see a musician lying on his back with his bass in the air – how cool and so old school 😉

Si followed and it was non stop rockin’ with the dancefloor properly stacked in appreciation. Big hits such as Coupe De Ville, Lonesome Heart Bandit and Dynamo were followed with new tunes (to me) but defo ones to get you moving such as Ella Hula Hula. One of my favourites is rather aptly named Tweet on Twitter lol!IMG_0866

Fantastic delivery made each song a real joy to listen to and I was incredibly grateful when my beloved went off to buy me his CDs; Dancehalls and Supperclubs, and Alternative Floor Fillers. Si was kind enough to sign them for me too.IMG_0876

My thanks must indeed go to my beloved – who has no interest whatsoever in the 1940s/50s but fortunately likes any kind of live music and more importantly seeing the massive grin on my face when I am enjoying myself.

He drove me not only to the first night gig but also back again the next day so I could browse the stalls in the hall – a 200 mile trip for a gig and a boot sale according to him!!

Well boot sale or not I was in seventh heaven – at the moment I am fascinated by vintage brooches for my jacket collars and found some incredibly pretty (read that as sparkly!) ones. IMG_0890

I was also tempted by a new pair of swing nautical trousers by Miss Fortune, despite the incredibly ugly cream ship buttons. Needless to say a quick trip to haberdashery and I’ve replaced them with some simple white ones – so much better 🙂IMG_0874

Having listened to Si’s CDs several times now I must say I am seriously impressed by some of the quieter tracks like Bella Principessa, and Daddy’s Gotcha. Not a bad tune in the bunch so yep I am now officially a fan (but not a groupie!) 🙂

Viva!

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Clothing, Events, Music, Reviews

 

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Take a step back in time with Twinwood…

Well it’s taken a while and my apologies for not posting but it’s been madly hectic!! The good news is that what is undoubtedly the highlight of my year finally arrived – the Twinwood vintage music and dance festival took place as always over the August Bank holiday 🙂

If you have never been then you need to make this a date for your diary. We went on the Sunday and were blessed with sunshine. As usual we took a picnic table, folding chairs, blankets and a mouthwatering picnic. Settled in front of the main stage we watched John Miller (Glenn’s nephew) and his orchestra. I abserlootley love that big band sound – there’s nothing else like it on earth.

John Miller at Twinwood

A more modern take on that sound was given by The Jive Aces – these boys rock the house – and some of you may remember them from Britain’s Got Talent when they became the first big band of their kind to make it to the semi finals.

The Jive Aces at Twinwood

Apart from the main stage there are two marquees including one for lessons and another stage for smaller bands and singers – complete with obligatory dance floor and believe me there’s no need to urge anyone to get up and dance cos as soon as those tunes start the whole show is jumpin! I was really pleased to see some familiar faces from my dance class also out having a great time :-).

For those of us seeking a few additions to our wardrobes there are loads of stalls to choose from including familiar faces Freddies of Pinewood (I love those jeans and bought another two pairs!), Rocket Originals (yep – had to get another top!) and everything from shoes to petticoats to suits, hats, gloves – all new, nearly new or indeed vintage. I was lucky enough to find a beautiful new, white and red-spotted Betty Page circle dress at a wonderfully reduced price and as it was my birthday my beloved insisted on completing my outfit with a full red petticoat and some very pretty red checked wedge sandals, complete with hanging strawberries, from Miss Bamboo (I’m a lucky girl :-))

Another great new outfit!

If shopping’s not your thing then how about a bit of culture with the museum and the watchtower – both are filled with fascinating displays and images which are regularly updated to give a new focus to different aspects of a time forgotten. But it doesn’t matter how many times I see it I always learn something new and feel blessed to have benefited from the actions of such dedicated people during the war.

Of course if wheels and engines hold any sort of fascination for you then watch out for the lines of vintage cars  – pretty impressive and clearly lovingly restored.

The day wouldn’t be complete without chips and a hot cuppa (yes I know I had a picnic) from one of the many food and drink stalls around, or time in the bars.

……………Roll on August 2013 – Twinwood returns and I’m off to book my tickets 😉

Viva!

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Clothing, Events, Music, Reviews

 

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