Thursday, 25 April 2013

Hej Sverige!

Hello all, this post is a little different from its predecessors as it isn't me writing on a subject or an event I've attended. Instead I am asking a question, which is:

Why is almost 50% of my readership in Sweden?

As we all know, Greta Garbo was Swedish.
I doubt she read my blog though.

 I am incredibly honoured that anyone reads my blog, let alone people I've never met from across the globe.  I am just puzzled as to why in the last few weeks, more Swedish eyes have been turned towards my little ramblings than British and American combined.  I am simply curious, so if anybody knows, I'd love to be enlightened!

Anyway, all that is left for me to say is hej till alla mina underbara svenska läsare*
Greta at the Wachtmeister Estate, Sweden, 1935

 * apologies if that's not right - blame google translator!

Friday, 19 April 2013

The day I got my cape on... well, capes. The Tweed Run 2013.

I am somewhat of a fair-weather cyclist (who wants to go out in the rain really?) but that didn't stop me looking forward to spending the day astride a velocopide of my own, taking in some of London's most iconic landmarks.  The event I am talking about is of course TheTweed Run, an amazing day when the streets of London are filled with be-tweeded (?) folk going for a leisurely jaunt, all in aid of charity.
Tweed Run Penny Farthing Vintage Bicycles London

The first time I'd attended the Tweed Run was the Ralph Lauren Rugby sponsored event in November 2011 and we returned for the April edition last year.
Tea George Formby Tweed Run British
Competitor for most English photo ever?
 The route this year took in some of the most iconic sites in London including the Houses of Parliament, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace - the tourists really got their money's worth that day!  We also revisited a few places we've filmed in the past, including the Athenaeum Club and Savile Row.

Tweed Run Penny Farthing Vintage Bicycles London Regents Park
Tweed Run Penny Farthing Vintage Bicycles London Regents Park

I am indebted to AuntieMaureen, who answered my plea for a tweed outfit at short notice.  The weather was quite changeable, so for the ride itself I wore a combination of a 1970s tweed cape suit, a lovely knitted woollen top and the tweed jacket I wore last year.   During the tea break, I got a bit chilly, so I changed the short cape for a knee length houndstooth number, which I also wore when I went to see The 39 Steps earlier in the week.  To complete my outfit, I wore a 1960s (I think) Edward Mann felt hat, which I had to stretch the night before because it was just a tad tight, a green snood, my 1940s dead stock brogues, elbow length leather gloves and a scarf that I got from Lush when I used to work there.  Being the rubbish blogger that I am, I didn't get any proper photos of my outfits (yes, plural) so this will have to do (also see the picture of me during an interview further down). 

Tweed Run Penny Farthing Vintage Bicycles London Sadie Doherty
Courtesy of Jim Moore

 My camerawork and presenting skills were really put to the test, as I was filming and doing pieces to camera - all while riding an unfamiliar bike (a beautiful Pashley I may add) in a pencil skirt! 

Tweed Run Penny Farthing Vintage Bicycles London Sadie Doherty
Courtesy of Jim Moore
 My formative years were spent listening to punk and new wave (this is going somewhere), so when I had the opportunity to interview David Vanian, lead singer of the Damned, I was a little over excited!  We had a lovely chat about bikes and tried very hard not to be a total fangirl!  
Tweed Run Penny Farthing Vintage Bicycles London Sadie Doherty David Vanian The Damned
Look at that contained excitement!
 I touched upon it in our newsreel, but all of the riders owe a huge thank you to the marshals who kept all 500 of us out of harm's way - quite a task when you imagine so many cyclists of varying levels of experience, careering across Oxford Circus in the middle of the day!

Tweed Run Penny Farthing Vintage Bicycles London Marshalls
The marshals all gathered at the start
I had so much fun, even when it started raining towards the end of the ride and it was lovely being able to catch up with a few London friends (and one cheeky chap from Brighton of course).
Tweed Run Penny Farthing Vintage Bicycles London Gin Pashley
The lovely Katie and Mai, who came for an impromtu jaunt
down to Brighton after the Run

Tweed Run Penny Farthing Vintage Bicycles London Mafia Pashley
I'm not sure why Jenni is quite so excited,
she gets her photo taken all the time!

Tweed Run Penny Farthing Vintage Bicycles London Gin Pashley Oxford Circus Regent Street
Zack, on Regent Street, in one of my favourite photos of the day

I can't wait to take part next year - perhaps my bike mounted camera work will have improved by then?!  Anyway, here is the film we made if you fancy seeing more of what the day is about.  Let me know what you think, were you there or would you love to attend a Tweed Run near you?

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Hep Cats' Holiday - a weekend of dancing, music and boat-themed breakfasts!

I first met Robert and Clair (London Swing Cats, the people behind the Hep Cat's Holiday) when they were casting for dance extras for an ITV drama with scenes set in a wartime dance.  The experience of filming that was great fun (maybe I should write a blog on it...) but more importantly it introduced me to Robert and Clair.  Fast forward to last December, and we went and filmed one of their monthly events called The Cat's Meow.
Hep Cats' Holiday Lindy Hop Dancing
When they asked us to attend the Hep Cats' Holiday in March, of course we jumped at the chance - a whole weekend of dancing and vintage? Yes please!  After a 4ish hour drive up to Suffolk, we pulled in at Pontin's just in time for dinner in the ocean liner-themed dining room (I was much too excited about eating my meals in a pretend boat).  
Hep Cats' Holiday Breakfast Nautical Boat

I had been aware of Miss Bamboo for quite a while, drooling over the beautiful pan-Pacific dresses and accessories online.  So when I found out she (well, Emma, the lady behind Miss Bamboo) would be having a stall at Hep Cats', I made sure we were able to interview her.

Hep Cats' Holiday Sadie Doherty Miss Bamboo Hawaiian Pin Up Interview Pacific

There were some amazing dances teachers including Markus and Lizette from Sweden, Valerie and Adam from the US and Bill and Shannon also from America (the last of whom I interviewed at the final dance).
Hep Cats' Holiday Interview Markus and Lizette Lindy Hop Teachers
Hep Cats' Holiday Interview Bill and Shannon Lindy Hop Teachers Sadie Doherty

I did so much dancing over the course of the weekend, which really made me realise quite how much I'd missed it.  I even decided to treat myself to a lovely new pair of Aris Allens to, you know, improve my dancing...  There were some fantastically dressed people at Hep Cats', especially for the evening dances.
Hep Cats' Holiday Vintage 1930s Hollywood Glamour Suit Best Dressed Monochrome

Hep Cats' Holiday Vintage 1930s Hollywood Glamour Suit Best Dressed
Hep Cats' Holiday Vintage 1930s Hollywood Glamour Suit Best Dressed Satin
Hep Cats' Holiday Vintage 1930s Hollywood Glamour Suit Best Dressed Louise Brooks Bob
Hep Cats' Holiday Vintage 1930s Hollywood Glamour The Vintage News Interview

Apart from the dancing and the clothes and the fantastically dressed people, I can't fail to mention the brilliant bands.  Coming from all across the globe, we were lucky enough to see Emanuele Urso & his Swing Orchestra (Italy), Ray Collins Hot Club (Germany), The Speakeasies Swing band (Greece), the Bill Elliot swing Orchestra (USA), Laura B & the Moonlighters (UK) and many more!

Hep Cats' Holiday Vintage Emanuele Urso The Vintage News Interview
Emanuele Urso
Hep Cats' Holiday Vintage The Speakeasies Swing Band The Vintage News
The Speakeasies Swing band
Hep Cats' Holiday Vintage The Lucky Stars Bill Eliot Orchestra The Vintage News
The Lucky Stars, singers with the Bill Elliot Orchestra
Hep Cats' Holiday Vintage Laura B and the Moonlighters The Vintage News
Laura B & the Moonlighters
On the Sunday morning, bleary eyed with only 3 hours sleep as I was, I made sure I was ready with my camera at the Male Pin-up contest - all for work purposes you understand.
Hep Cats' Holiday The Vintage News Pin Up Contest
Hep Cats' Holiday The Vintage News Pin Up Contest
Hep Cats' Holiday The Vintage News Pin Up Contest

Sunday was also St Patrick's Day, and it was the first year that I'd not done something Irish related (last year was a brilliant ceili with my Irish dancing girls).  One tradition I was able to continue however was the wearing of the green.

 Hep Cats' Holiday Pin Up St Patricks Day Sadie Doherty The Vintage News Guinness Beehive ootd

Here are a few other pictures of my outfits from the weekend (I really should learn to smile when I'm getting my photo taken):

Hep Cats' Holiday Sadie Doherty The Vintage News ootd Aris Allen Lace Dress
Dress - vintage, it was a present so I'm not sure where from
Shoes - my brand new Aris Allens

Hep Cats' Holiday Sadie Doherty The Vintage News ootd Pin Up Sweetheart Neckline
Dress - bespoke
Shoes - New Look

I'd love to go back to another Hep Cats' Holiday, perhaps in June so the weather will slightly more clement.

Hep Cats' Holiday Sadie Doherty The Vintage News Pin Up Contest

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Video killed the radio star

Hello everyone, I know it has been a long while since I last posted (every post seems to start with that now - sorry!) but I have recently pretty much become the sole film editor at work, which has pushed the blog to the back burner somewhat.  There is a post about the Hep Cats' Holiday in the works, so watch this space.

Anyway,the title of this blog (very tenuously) links together two things I have been up to recently.

The first: music videos
The second: the radio

Now let me explain.

Over the past year, I have managed to find myself in three music videos.  The first was for the Swing Ninjas' version of ‘Three Blind Mice’.  It was filmed at the bottom of an opulent winding staircase of a Regency townhouse in the gorgeous Sussex Square.  The filming only took a few hours after work and just involved lots of lindy hop and a bit of Charleston.  I got lots of compliments about my dress - well the brief was a big, swirly skirt, so I think it fulfilled that!

The second video was for Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer’s ‘Just Like a Chap’.  I’ve previously written about that here but I forgot to add that Auntie Maureen, Pandora and myself went for a delicious Japanese meal at Taro on Brewer Street.  A very good recommendation from Auntie!

The third video was filmed at the Proud Ballroom Brighton in Kemptown (formerly the Sassoon Mausoleum).  It was for a brilliant close harmony trio called The Speakeasy Three covering the equally brilliant ‘When I Get Low I Get High’ (originally by Ella Fitzgerald).  I normally love a day of dancing, but this was filmed the day after the Chap Ball.  I only got home at about half four in the morning so I was a little worse for wear.  I'm wearing a purple and white striped dress if you're trying to spot me.  There aren't any shots of me doing Lindy, but I there're a few bits of me sitting down and dancing like a numpty on my own (I had to share my dance partner).

 And as for the radio, I started working on Nick Hollywood’s (the Chap behind White Mink and the Freshly Squeezed record label) radio show a couple of month's ago.  I’m reading listings once a month covering mainly Brighton, some bits in London, and possibly a few bits in Melbourne (the show goes out there to all those antipodean fans of Electroswing).  I record the first Thursday of every month and the show goes out the following Sunday 6-8pm and you can listen live here.

So, quite a busy year and all of it quite unexpected!

What do you think of the videos, had you seen any of them before? Let me know what you think in the comments below.