So I've been in New Zealand for almost a week and you might wonder what I've been up to. But first some words about London. I flew in three days earlier to meet some friends and, of course, see Crystal Stilts at the Windmill! There were three bands playing and I had really been looking forward to seeing Let's Wrestle for the first time. Last year's impressive In Loving Memory of... ep set my expectations high and the trio didn't disappoint. I'd missed A Classic Education from Italy at Indietracks, so this was a good chance to catch up, even though they played for far too long. Then Crystal Stilts came on and did what can only be described as the best gig so far this year, although their dialogue seemed limited to Patrick from Sexy Kids, who was standing in front of me. It's true that they're even better than on record, and the atmosphere at the very front of a packed out Windmill was tense. And it was very satisfying to finally see Frankie Rose, standing up behind the minimal drum kit she played. Somehow I managed to get this great shot in the middle of the heaving crowd.
I popped in to Rough Trade East as well, to pick up the new Electricity In Our Homes 7", and found that they'd already got a shipment of Ipso Facto cds (the release date was the following Monday). So I got one of those even though they were 10 quid. Essentially, it's a Japanese release of the "Six and Three Quarters" single and the one-sided "Ears and Eyes", plus two new songs and the brilliant "Balderdash" from their first 7". Seems like they're not entirely happy with that recording anymore since "Bladerdash" is called a demo here, and the a-side is completely absent. The ep is simply called IF... and RT should still have copies since there were loads when I was there, otherwise get it from the label - Vinyl Junkie.
Late Sunday evening I got aboard the plane and two airborne dinners and breakfasts and a 2-hour walk around Hong Kong airport later, I was in a melting car on the way to Ponsonby, where I'm now staying at no. 11 Summer Street. Here's the difference between the view out my window a week ago and now.