Archive for the ‘Blue Balloon’ Category

Tuesday 30th July 2013 – Day off in London
Last full day in London and it’s pouring with rain in the morning. We had breakfast at Oscars on Pitshanger Lane. We had to pop into Ealing in the afternoon so I could speak to my bank (they are all as bad as each other, but mine’s the worst). We ate lunch at a nice little French-style bistro called ‘Cote’ to get us in the mood for Paris and I did a spot more shopping. In the evening we went out to see Luke Haines play at The Borderline (just off Tottenham Court Road). His support act, Blue Balloon (Robert) was superb. Just a guitar vocal set, which was really beautiful. He also used some kind of pedal to create a bass drum sound too, which was very effective.
When we get back we’ll definitely be paying a visit to his label’s site to purchase the LP. I loved every track he played but stand out tracks ‘Lead Balloon’ & ‘The Fractured Lullaby of Holly Jealous’ can both be found on his SoundCloud page: http://soundcloud.com/marketstall/sets/blue-balloon-hearts-are-pretty/

Blue Balloon at The Borderline

Blue Balloon at The Borderline

Luke was amazing (as expected)! His new LP ‘Rock and Roll Animals’ was released on Monday 29th of July, so these songs have not been in the public domain for very long at all, however his loyal fans had obviously been listening to it for the past 24 hours as there were a fair few in the audience who were singing along. Essentially (as I understand it anyway), the new LP is a rock-opera style concept album, re-imagining Gene Vincent, Jimmy Pursey and Nick Lowe (as a badger), all ‘rock and roll’ animals in the woods. The tracks had a familiar feel, with a lot of humour in the lyrics and I can’t wait to get home and listen to the record in full. Luke played all the instrumental parts on the night – not always at the same time, and also treated us to a passage from ‘Give The Anarchist A Cigarette’ by Mick Farran, who sadly passed away just a few days before (27th July), after collapsing while performing with the Deviants at the Borderline Club in London. Mick had written about his hero-worship and the physical decline of Gene Vincent and the passage Luke read was pretty sad and thought provoking. I’ve not read the book but will be sure to add it to my long list of ‘must read at some point’ books. There was a special guest appearance from Kendo Nagasaki, who brought liver sausage sandwiches to pass round, and for the encore Luke played ‘Baader Meinhof’ and ‘Lenny Valentino’ – a treat indeed.
We were back home by midnight fully inspired by the great music we’ve seen / heard tonight. Next stop Paris.

Luke Haines / Kendo Nagasaki

Luke Haines / Kendo Nagasaki

Wednesday 31st July 2013 – Travel Day
Got up and packed away all our stuff. We were sorry to say good-bye to London as this trip has been amazing. Great catching up with friends and family, great to discover great new bands and great to play shows to brand new audiences.
Paris bound: we got a lift into Ealing Common station from our ‘flatmate’ Martin, checked the large drum bag in at St Pancras, ate lunch at Ed’s Diner at Euston station and before we could say ‘une, deux, trois’ we were standing in the reception of the brand new and super shiny Belushi’s at Gare du Nord.

AlexisSs & Carrie on the Eurostar

AlexisSs & Carrie on the Eurostar


Now, those that know us, know our love for Belushi’s and St Christopher’s Inn’s, so this may seem a little sycophantic, but holy cow this is an amazing building. From the entrance, through reception and into the main bar (complete with a stage above it), I can safely say the newest hostel in their collection is going to be a winner…and that’s before we get to the staff – I love it! I knew I would but now we’re here I don’t know how we’ll be able to leave. We’ve got a lovely private room on the 2nd floor, complete with it’s own bathroom… what are the squatting laws are in France? To be honest the security guards, although lovely, are pretty huge so it’s probably best not to out-stay our welcome.
Belushi's GDN

Belushi’s GDN


We met up with Belushi’s friends Ali, Ben & Laetitia, were introduced to the bar manager Nick (who reminded us of the lovely Mark G from the old days of Edinburgh Belushi’s) played a couple of tunes at the ‘open mic’ and then it was time a little wander round the area (it’s close to midnight but still very, very warm) and then off to bed.
Je t’aime Paris!

Updated schedule for Paris:
2/8/13 = Belushi’s Paris (Canal)
3/8/13 = Belushi’s Paris GDN (afternoon show)
3/8/13 = LE VIEUX LÉON (from 9pm)
4/8/13 = Belushi’s Paris GDN (from 9pm)
4/8/13 = secret after hours show in the 19th (message for details)