Vixen Of The Violin: The Anna Phoebe Column (No. 6)
This week, Anna Phoebe is still excited about Shakespeare being rocked up, swoons over a cello’s sounds (seriously!), admits to nicking someone’s Jack Daniel’s at a Kiss gig, finds Gene Simmons’ tongue ‘disgustingly fascinating’, is shocked by a Slash T-shirt and finds out a stalker isn’t a stalker… Click here to read Anna’s previous columns.
Another week has flown by! It’s Monday morning and I should be on Total Rock Radio (www.totalrock.com) right now with the lovely Joel Hajioff (my pet chinchilla from another lifetime). However, I am sitting in the kitchen in pyjamas with a big pot of extra-strong Lavazza coffee and a copy of the new Classic Rock magazine in front of me.
Yesterday was spent in Terminal Studios, London Bridge rehearsing for the Sonnet 155 shows – it is sounding phenomenal! Anyone interested in hearing what a rock band with strings, opera singers and Shakespearean actors sounds like: I urge you to book tickets! Find out more at www.sonnet155.com.
The shows are on Sundays May 2/9 in London. I love playing the music. It’s really exciting and full of dynamics – huge sounding and very dramatic! And I love playing with the cellist, Nick Holland – we’ve already decided we’re going to do a recording project together. He’s absolutely amazing – and he built his own electric cello! His sound ranges from the super-sweet lyrical melodies right up on the highest position of his highest string, down to the aggressive and violent riffs he produces with his bowing arm. Inspiring!
It feels like we have been playing together for years! Hearing the famous ‘to be or not to be’ phrase from Hamlet spoken over a bed of weird string harmonics before rocking out into a full tune, with drummer Darrin Mooney (Primal Scream, UNKLE, Gary Moore) pummelling out his beats, with layers of operatic warbling on top… it’s totally mad and yet seems completely natural at the same time.
Totally mad and not so natural… Kiss. The responses from the band in the ‘Kiss For Questions’ feature in CR made me smile. The first time I saw Kiss live was in Berlin a couple of summers ago. Trans- Siberian Orchestra and Kiss share a lot of the same crew (actually for a few tours I have also shared Gene Simmons’ scissor lift), and I got invited to watch the show from the sound desk. I took my sister and a friend, and the three of us showed up wearing white shirts and denim hotpants; we were easy to spot in the crowd.
We shared a little cordoned off area with Sarah Brightman (who sat down the entire time looking pretty miserable/bored) and a bunch of guys from Anti-Flag. One guy caught my eye – mainly because I noticed he was being served Jack Daniel’s by a burly-looking guy dressed in a black Boss suit. I walked up to him and yelled in his ear: “You must be in a famous band if you have your own security guy serving you from your private stash of whiskey.” (I was half-joking… I assumed he was a local.)
Anyway, we exchanged pleasantries against the backdrop of lasers, platform boots and Kiss classics, and I helped myself to the fast-diminishing remains of JD. He seemed impressed to know that I was a member of Trans-Siberian Orchestra and I was duly impressed that he’d heard of it… I asked him what kind of band he was in. His answer: “Oh, it’s small band called Rage Against The Machine.” WTF?! Ha ha!
I had been helping myself to Tom Morello’s whiskey, which I’d pretty much polished off. In fact, I don’t really remember much of my first ever Kiss show; the next day I woke up with a thumping headache, whiskey stains on my shorts and confetti all over my bedroom.
Apparently I’d been down at the front on the side of the stage with sister and friend dancing wildly (including busting out my backbend move) and stuffing the falling confetti into my bag and clothes. By all accounts it was provocative enough for Gene Simmons to keep stomping over to the side where we were dancing, motioning for us to come over to him. Thankfully, we had declined.
The second time I saw KISS was later that same summer at the Download Festival. I spent most of the time having flashbacks of the previous gig, but this time was conscious enough to savour the whole experience – including the firework-shooting guitar solo, the famous Simmons bass solo in full flight (with blood dripping off his disgustingly fascinating tongue) and of course the whole synchronised platform-stomping guitar-neck swinging dance moves. Awesome stuff.
Looking forward to the Wembley show in May, and this time I will review my Who’s Who in Rock ‘N’ Roll knowledge to avoid further embarrassing mistaken identities. And most importantly, I will avoid brown liquor.
Anyway – back to more wholesome topics. Have you seen Slash’s T-shirt on page 88 of Classic Rock? Who on earth would wear a shirt with ‘I LOVE MORMON P*SSY’ emblazoned across the front of it for a press shot?! And how on earth can I still find this man attractive even when he is wearing such a hideous item? I know my boyfriend could never get away with such a thing.
Speaking of weird creeps, quite random development on the whole potential stalker issue – turns out the guy who left the note through the door I mentioned recently was not the guy I spotted peering over the hedge with a mobile phone, but someone I know. He’s a producer/composer I’ve met several times through a band called Oi Va Voi I play in. But he had no idea that I’d moved round the corner from him, or that it was me he was listening to as he walked past. What a strange coincidence!
It does, of course, mean that the other man is still out there! So, if I start having nightmares of a peeping Tom (Morello) wearing Kiss make-up with gross un-PC T-shirts, you know I’ve been taking this column far too seriously. Right. It’s midday. The week has officially started and I need to get dressed.
Over and out.
Inspiration Track Of The Week: Lynyrd Skynyrd Poison Whiskey
Tags: Anna Phoebe, Anna Phoebe Column, Anti-Flag, Classic Rock, Darrin Mooney, Download Festival, Gary Moore, Gene Simmons, Kiss, Primal Scream, Rage Against The Machine, Shakespeare, Slash, Tom Morello, TotalRock, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Unkle