My Frantic World

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bruce Oldfield's Couture Sale at Knock Down Prices!

Miracles do happen! I just happened to be sauntering down Beauchamp Place in Knightsbridge first thing this morning when on impulse I decided to ogle Bruce Oldfield's new Wedding Shop at No 32.

The late Ossie Clark used to promise me he'd make my wedding costume, but Bruce's concoctions are ideal for a long trip down the aisle. If he had been doing wedding dresses at the time of Princess Diana's wedding (she was a loyal client), I'm sure she would have asked him to make her frock.

After I had finished drooling, I popped into Bruce's Couture Shop at No. 27, as I saw there was a sample sale on.

Luckily, all the clothes on sale weren't size zero: they were a humanely sized 8-12 and some of the clothes were even sized 14. And as the gorgeous clothes were ridiculously low priced, I greedily grabbed an exquisite dress (pictured left) out of the elegantly manicured hands of socialites shopping for bargains there.

But what was more amazing than being able to afford Bruce's beautiful couture was that he was in the shop, and to my surprise he told me he had actually read Frantic, my novel about the excessive early 70's in London and San Francisco. Bruce is very literary, so what was his verdict?

'I might say that it's not the sort of book I usually read but it's funny and pacey and is about a world that I wisely stayed on the periphery of, ' he tactfully said.

When I was a gossip columnist for the defunct Ritz Newspaper at the tail end of the twentieth century, I used to see Bruce a lot.

He often took me out for glamorous dinners at restaurants like San Lorenzo and Mr Chow, and in between haute couture mouthfuls of pasta or seaweed, he would generously tell me to borrow a costume from his Knightsbridge emporium for the evening if I was going somewhere ultra smart.

Now, thanks to Bruce's couture sale which is currently on at his 27 Beauchamp Place shop for three more weeks, I'm well stocked up for glittering soirees. Girls, don't all rush now!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Arlic Dromgoole Goes Frantic

I'm amazed! Arlic Dromgoole (pictured above with parrot), one of my favourite rock 'n' roll artists in California has now got to be one of my new Fave Raves.

He has just alerted me he's read Frantic, my 'nostalgic' novel about the excessive early 70's set in London and San Francisco.

'This  is a great  read … it's an adult Alice and Wonderland story for those with open minds. With the book's backdrop of the music, art, drugs, liquor, and characters of the 70's, you know how to use words that capture the imagination,' this artist, photographer and rock 'n' roll film maker critiques.

Arlic is also a much in demand portrait painter, who specialises in successfully capturing the images of his glittering medley of musician friends (including Steve Miller, the virtuoso guitarist Albert Lee, the late and lamented Norton Buffalo, John Handy, the sax player, and the sublime award-winning David Honeyboy Edwards).

And if all that isn't prolific and versatile enough, Arlic finds time to design 'one of a kind' CD covers and enjoys taking photos of his favourite musicians, including the one for the cover of the Roy Rogers and Norton Buffalo's  Roots of Our Nature masterpiece (pictured above).

Arlic also recently re-kindled and managed the career of his friend, the sizzling blues musician Johnny "V" Vernazza, one of the most scintillating guitarists in the Music Business.

As I could easily listen to him for days, I confess I happily but guiltily procrastinate on a regular basis by looking at Arlic's  huge collection of exclusive video clips of Johnny "V", as well as all his other musician friends on his delectable YouTube's site and his addictive MySpace site.

I'd be more than happy for Arlic to design any of my future book covers if I can discipline myself to stop viewing his clips  instead of focussing on writing.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mill Valley's Pub Rock Rumble At The Masonic Hall On The Day Of Rest

If you fancy a hedonistic 'pub rock rumble', head for the Masonic Hall in Mill Valley, California on Sunday June 27 at 7 p.m. pronto!

On that auspicious date, my illustrious brother-in-law, the 'legendary' Austin de Lone (who originated London's pub rock with his band Eggs Over Easy ), Jim Keller and Alex Call and their bands will undoubtedly rip the Masonic Hall apart with their addictive get up and dance Music. (Incidentally, Jim and Alex wrote Tommy Tutone's hit song, 867‒5309/Jenny).

If all that excitement ain't enough, this illustrious gig is in aid of the Richard de Lone Special Housing Project Team, so while you're wildly dancing your rocks off you can rest assured the concert is in aid of a very good cause.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gregory Sams At St James's Church

Gregory Sams, the author of the classic book Sun of gOd will be giving a Talk at at St James's Church on Monday June 21 from 7.00 - 8.30 p.m. which just happens to be Summer Solstice, 'sacred to solar religions.'

It will be worth going to St James's Church for the building alone, as this paris church in London's West End has the most uplifting atmosphere (the last time i was there, I attended a well attended actor friend's funeral and surprised myself by sobbing uncontrollably). So it will be a bonus to go along and listen to Gregory Sams' enlightening talk titled Our Living Sun, The Missing Piece in the Cosmic Jigsaw, which is described in detail on St James's Church's Event Description bulletin.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Stuart Anthony Sings and Plays Like A Unique Angel.

When I discovered that Stuart Anthony one of my favourite singers is going to support the 'legendary' Ian McNabb at The Yorkshire House in Lancaster on Saturday October 23rd  I quickly put the date on my Mac's  iCal calendar  to remind me to get my ticket immediately as undoubtedly the gig's going to be a sell out!

I first saw Stuart perform at  last year's Nick Drake's music at the Cockpit Theatre which was promoted by Jay Dubber. I fell in love with his unique voice as well as his prowess with his guitar, and wanted to find out more about this classical and alluringly original musician.

I discovered that Stuart's music C.V. boasts The Colourful Truth, his 2006/7 first solo album which came to the attention of Mark Tucker, editor of Acoustic Magazine. Mark who is also an engineer and producer of acts like P.J.Harvey, Portishead, Fairport Convention, Jethro Tull, and Pentangle  etc. reviewed Stuart's first unsigned album in his magazine.

'I can't wait to get my mitts on his music,' Mark declared, which made him decide to mix and master Stuart's next album, the poignant House of Sun, which was released online in March 2010 by independent label Trebuchet Records.

House Of Sun has been described as 'a musical journey of deeply original, yet accessible song writing, based in acoustic sound.' Touches of violin, bass, piano and slide guitar add rich colour.

 Some tracks from Stuart's second album, which   proves Stuart isn't your ordinary singer/songwriter meat and potatoes are: the Legacy , Soul and Desire and the Tree of Life , which breaks boundaries and harks back to Tim Buckley’s “Starsailor” or Kate Bush's vocal experiments.

The whole album has been perfectly described as a 'journey that keeps the listener engaged and eagerly wondering where it will go next, and as the last notes fade out , leads  to the paradox of feeling very satisfied, but with a desire for more.'

After House of Sun's release Stuart also featured as the "Heads Up" artist in issue 31 of Acoustic Magazine. And R2-Rock 'n' Reel was ecstatic about Stuart's second album.

'One of the most independently produced records I've heard in a while. It's about time the world wakes up to this man's talents,' they raved.

So how does Stuart best describe his lauded second album?

'The best feature of House of Sun is it's sheer unpredictability,' is his personal description.

I have to agree with his verdict, as I listened to the album several times when I first got it to make sure I got it, which is a rare occurrence as far as I'm concerned. It's definitely one of those albums which can't be ignored, a rare occurrence these days!

One major online magazine which agreed with me was Penny Black, who made House of Sun it's editors' choice.

'Utterly blissful acoustic moments .... a laid back demeanour shines throughout, and with the Buckley-esque title track setting the pace, you quickly see that Stuart Anthony is a cut above the rest of the acoustic acts that are out there,' they said.

Even the renowned  internet reviewer Toxic Pete raved over House of Sun.

'Superbly executed  songs from the heart and mind, of one of the finest, yet to be truly discovered acoustic troubadours of our time,' he enthused.

Although Stuart's sound is undoubtedly influenced by Tim Buckley   and Nick Drake, Stuart is a unique and original artist.   

After he headlined the Tim Buckley Tribute Concert at London’s Cockpit Theatre in May 2008 alongside Bob Harris of BBC Radio 2,  he received praise from Tim Buckley’s lead guitarist and ex-Rolling Stone journalist, Lee Underwood.

'Truly beautiful, sensitive, intimate, bringing in Nick Drake and Tim Buckley, but he's not held captive by those influences, adding his own special energy and talent. Great stuff!' he raved.

'Modern and timeless,' Trevor Dann, former head of former head of BBC Music and latest biographer of Nick Drake is how he described Stuart’s music.

Stuart Anthony is currently recording his third album with a new band, which has already generated Major label interest . In the words of Acoustic Magazine in 2010: ”it’s about time the world woke up to this man’s talents.”

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Richard Shakespeare And Frantic at The Hay Festival

Frantic Novel Gets Snapped At Hay

I was thrilled to see the photographer Richard Shakespeare (pictured top) taking pics of people reading Frantic at the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts. Richard, who specialises in Music Industry pics certainly went beyond the line of duty when he spotted and snapped attendees reading my novel. 

Richard is a truly talented photographer. He must be as he took such a divine paparazzi snap of me at  last year's Nick Drake's music event at the Cockpit Theatre (pictured above), I didn't even know he'd snapped me. And I was amazed his photo didn't make me look like a Diane Arbus snap like some of the Fleet Street paparazzi photographers (I'm not mentioning any names here) take of their victims.

In fact, I was so thrilled by the photo Richard took of me, I have begged him to take my portrait photo for my next book's cover. You know what 'they' say: 'He's worth it!"