Mermaid Overseas: London to Paris to London

The soundtrack to a Mermaid making music across three continents.

Where: Paris to London

When: 04/03/2015 – 09/03/2015

Lesson: It is possible to party until 5am without a drop of alcohol

Achievement: Nailing and recording a cover of ‘Otherside’ by RHCP

Lyric: There is nothing easy about this, it will be worth the hard

Quote: “Your coat is ‘orrible… like a rat” / “SHOTS AT THE BAR?!”

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1. Little Dragon – Paris
“It was Paris we said we were gonna meet”

I am unsure whether I’ve managed a week without drinking since I was around 13 due to being a Kelly and a Northerner. 10 years later, Murphey’s Law and the trusty old NHS resulted in my last week in Europe being a sober affair due to a course of antibiotics. Although truly heartbreaking to not drink rouge on the Seine, I was originally informed it would be 2 weeks sans alcool so the reduction to 1 week was a blessing. I did not touch a drop and the character building and self realization was a lesson well worth learning.

Of all the songs featuring Paris in the title this one gave me my 2015 trip buzz. My favourite track on ‘Nabuma Rubberband’ and perfect for strutting through London to hop on the Eurostar for my first stop oversea.

Joe and I have been making music together since we were 15 and whenever we manage to be in the same city, let alone country, for at least a week we try to record and/or perform.
This track is an older recording that we recorded in Ile-de-re in 2013 on a beach in the rain.

Joe was my host for the 4 nights and turned 24 during my stay. The cover we decided to do was Red Hot Chili Pepper’s ‘Otherside’ and this is the video of us performing it in a sunny garden in Belleville. We had to have some help filming as our first attempt at 1am (a little doowally) resulted in the words and structure becoming a morphed 20 second mess.


2. David Bowie – Five Years

“I kiss you, you’re beautiful”

David followed me to France. I wandered the streets in the sun one afternoon still with his greatest hits blaring as my accompaniment, stumbling across a street devoted to musical instruments and purchasing an overpriced capo. I walked into Joe’s local supermarket to buy my fifteenth bag of sweets as it turns out without booze my sweet tooth returns from when I was a greedy, fatty 9 year old and the shop assistant was wearing a Bowie badge. David’s face was all over the Metro on every journey too as his exhibition which I went to in London was soon to be coming to Paris.
We jammed to Five Years but decided it was just too good to even touch so just sat back and listened.

3. Zaz – Je Veux

“Je veux d’l’amour, d’la joie, de la bonne humeur”

Meeting a group of friends who are living in Paris and are a mixture of English, Irish, French, Italian and American was interesting. Some of the antics myself and Joel (West Yorkshire born and bred) witnessed on a boat party one night was thoroughly entertaining. If I had been drinking I’m sure it would have been me making the scene and yelling the same thing repeatedly extremely loudly in people’s sensitive eardrums (drunk people are rather irritating). In line for the toilet on the boat a man ferociously tapped me on the shoulder asking if I have met his friend Mathieu. After much deliberation I was forced to introduce myself to Mathieu. As he and three other wide eyed garcons prodded and stroked my fur coat he spat at me “your coat, it feels ‘orrible”. (me) “oh right, cheers. It’s not real fur…”. “It’s like a RAT! eurgh”. He continued to abuse my poor coat and simultaneously gesticulate rat faces and make rat noises in my face. Needless to say, I wish I had not wasted any time meeting Mathieu.

I supped (sans alcool) Biere dancing around with the multi-cultured group to Zaz, envisaging Joe eating his croissants bopping around his tiny bohemian 6th floor flat with this as his french soundtrack.


4. Metronomy – I’m Aquarius

“We’ve had problems, we’re notorious for them”

I have only recently got into Metronomy from listening to Love Letters and this is my favourite track from the album. My superpower took it from Yorkshire’s ‘blue, blue, electric blue’ boy’s record player to bars and parties across England and still I magically turned it onto the playlist in Paris. I think the rhythm of ‘we’ve had problems, we’re notorious for them’ is real tasty.

Me and Joe recorded this track ‘Home is Where’ and here it is. The band we used to be in, Night Herons, live on just with different beats and different harmonies. Being one of the handful of people I can collaborate easily with, Joe and I are both chuffed with this track. When the day comes when we are living in at least the same country, let alone city, we will release some our songs under a fabulous band name. This is all still in the making and we have a while to work on it but here is some artwork Joe has drafted. He recently discovered Instagram, under my influence, and has been posting some corkers of the magnificent capital of France (joseph.m.armitage).

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5. Cranberries – Linger

“I know I might be rude but it’s just your attitude, it’s tearing us apart and it’s ruining everything”

As magnificently beautiful as Paris is and despite how much I love the city – it fucking stinks. Alongside my overwhelming craving for sweeties, my sense of smell seems to have been further heightened from no alcohol being in my system. Not only does music follow me round, so do lingering smells. The boat party reeked of eggs, the streets stunk of piss and every drunk or hungover fool around me unleashed astonishing breath. These lingering stenches are the only negative spin I can give my sunshine filled long weekend. Do you have to let it linger?

Cranberries’ ‘Linger’ is the soundtrack to the 15 hour nights with the 3 closest things I have to angels in my life. I was blessed to have one of the angels, Joel, joining me and Joe in Paris for 8 euro hot chocolates by the Louvre and bopping around with sweat dripping off the ceiling at the boat party. Here he is.

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Saying bye to the three angels, my mum, brother and sister was crazy when I got back to London. Tears poured when Anne left to go back to Yorkshire with my Gretsch on her back which was a very amusing sight but also looking like a very cool mum. My last night was celebrated with my wonderful sister over posh grub near St Paul’s Cathedral.

An added celebration spent with my bestie Caterak was the end of the week and being back on the sauce just in time for my flight in the morning. We avoided being too emotional with our goodbye as we are partying in Vegas together in 5 weeks time! This fabulous gal was with me last year when in Paris I met the “Elusive Yusef” who entitled my EP. He is not the first French man I have written a song about and I doubt he will be the last. If you’re listening Yusef – this one’s for you.

Next stop… Los Angeles, CA.

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