Vixen Of The Violin: The Anna Phoebe Column (No. 4)
This week, Anna Phoebe deals with doggie matters, gets spied on while practising with her new band, also hears a spot of Beethoven, and goes to Ronnie Scott’s club. Groovy! Click here to read previous columns from Anna.
First week in ages I haven’t had to make the trek to Heathrow Airport to get on a plane! This is London calling!
It’s Sunday evening and I’m sitting in the garden sipping a Greek coffee under a still-blue sky, surrounded by piles of cut up branches and dug up plants & weeds… with a faint whiff of undiscovered dog poo slightly tainting the air. Wallace (my 12-week old Kerry Blue Terrier) is at my feet chewing on an old lamb bone. Life is good!
This week reminded me of why I love living in London – from doing the metal/rock radio shows at TotalRock (www.totalrock.com), to seeing live jazz at the legendary Ronnie Scott’s in Soho, to experiencing the fantastic London Philharmonic Orchestra play Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony at the Royal Festival Hall – it was a completely jumbled up random week.
I also spent a couple of evenings practising with my new band members – they’re the musicians from a great band called Jurojin (you can check them out on www.myspace.com/jurojin). We had a few rehearsals in my living room – to prepare, we clear away the sofas, light candles on the mantelpiece, and spread a blanket on the floor for Sim the tabla player to sit on. There is something about the ritual of preparing the tablas that gives a serene and mystical energy to the room. It’s amazing when you find musicians who you have a special connection with!
A couple of times there were people standing outside the front hedge listening to the music – one even filming it on his phone. It reminded me of when I lived in Turnpike Lane as a student, and there used to be a dodgy bloke who would spy on me and my boyfriend through the crack in my curtains. This time I think it was a purely innocent enjoyment of music, although it did feel a little weird being watched.
The band and I played our first gig on Friday at a tiny London venue called the Regal Room. Really lovely atmosphere! And even though this was the first gig we did together as a band, it felt great! There’s footage you can check out on www.youtube.com/annaphoebe.
Apart from music, this week has been dedicated to dog walking. I promise this column won’t turn into a rendition of Marley And Me, but I really have been introduced to a whole other world through Wallace. There’s this network of people who literally know each other by their dog’s names. In my local park they congregate around the bench in their fleeces with their flasks of tea, and discuss everything from the dreaded ‘V-E-T word’ to the best chewsticks to neighbourly gossip. By the second time I entered the park even the people I hadn’t met before knew Wallace by name, how long I’d had him, and that his dad had won at Crufts.
I always thought carrying a violin case was the ultimate in giving people a way to start a conversation, but walking a dog wins hands-down as the top conversation starter. Wallace didn’t let me down and was the perfect puppy in his full pedigree glory, until he took a shine to an old dog with a slipped disc and started relentlessly humping him. Embarrassing stuff.
Wallace is now happily dominating the rugby ball in the privacy of his own garden and I’m going to open up the new issue of Classic Rock magazine and stick on the much anticipated exclusive Slash CD. Perfect soundtrack to cooking Sunday dinner!
Inspiration Track of The Week: The Clash London Calling