music travel

Voltaire in London

July 23, 2011Saskia C.

Warning: very long post with lots of pics ahead!

I'm dead tired because I only slept for a couple of hours, but yesterday was absolutely worth it. Sara and me went to London to see Voltaire perform in the Purple Turtle. It's the second time we've travelled to see him -last year we went to Oslo, Norway- and once again, worth every penny.

When we arrived in London at about 9 am, we started by going to (or looking for) our hotel. It was quite a bit further than I had thought, but not that bad, luckily. After we had figured out where everything was (not as easy with a map without Camden Town on it, facepalm), it was time to go explore Camden High Street. There were even more shops than I had imagined, it looked very impressive, I forgot to take pictures of the street itself, though.


Walking... obviously.

It didn't take long before I had found a pair of shoes I wanted, but we decided to go look a bit further anyway, just to make sure there were no prettier pairs in other shops. That turned out not to be the case, not too many shops in Camden seemed to have platform Mary Janes. We had a healthy (and cheap) lunch and then went to buy my shoes. I'm so in love with them.

Afterwards we looked some more at all the shops and market stalls in Camden, had some tasty coffee and frappuccino at Starbucks, looked for a place to eat later that night and Sara managed to buy a really pretty coat for only £25.
We were determined to find the Cyberdog store and pick silly outfits for each other to wear, but even after asking three people, we simply couldn't find it. I did discover a little store with cheap lace parasols, so I couldn't help myself, I had to buy one. After that it was getting really late and we still had to get ready for the concert and eat, so we hurried back and got our pretty clothes and make-up on.

Our room, about two seconds after we had come in.

After that, it was time to hurry back to Camden Town, to some Chinese all you can eat restaurant. The food was delicious and definitely not that expensive, it's too bad we didn't have more time; we had to eat very fast because it was getting very late and we still had to find the Purple Turtle. When we left for the pub, we ended up walking in the wrong direction and found... the Cyberdog store. We didn't have any time left, so we hurried to the other end of Camden High Street. Everyone was still queuing up outside, so we hadn't missed anything yet.
While we were moving closer to the entrance, we got a pleasant surprise. One of the other bands that played that night, were the Scary Bitches! Sara and me both love them, so we were very excited to see them (for the second time).

Even while wearing 12cm heels I'm shorter than Sara.

When we finally got inside, we went to the merch booth immediately. As expected, Voltaire was already standing there, so we queued up once again. He immediately recognized us, he still knew that we were in Oslo too and that we were from Belgium. He even remembered how to spell my name.
I bought 'Then and Again' and Sara bought a key chain necklace (which she got for a special price) and we got pictures with him. He also hugged us and thanked us for coming, he was incredibly sweet.

Sara then went to buy booze (yay, cider!) when I realized I wanted the key chain after all. So we had to wait again, but in the end I also got my necklace cheaper, in exchange for a kiss. I'm really happy I decided to buy it after all, it's absolutely lovely.

Sara, looking pretty as always.

Me being sad 'cause I drank all my cider.

We then went to the stage, as the first band was done playing and the Scary Bitches were about to begin. Apparently their line-up had changed, as had their outfits. They looked lovely any way, kudos to the woman who played electric drums, she totally rocked her wet look leggings.
The show was great, so much better than the last time I'd seen them. That's probably because the crowd in London was much more enthusiastic. We danced and sang along to all of the songs.

The third performance was by Joe Black. I had never heard of him, but he looked amazing and very adorable. His performance absolutely blew my mind. He sang incredibly dirty and funny songs and it was absolutely hilarious. He has an amazing voice, though I did have to move away from the front row; standing next to the speakers hurt my ears a lot.
He also covered a couple of songs, one of them was Missed Me by the Dresden Dolls; I think I like his version even more than the original. His last song was a cover of Lady Gaga's Bad Romance and I can't begin to describe how brilliant and hilarious it was. I didn't buy his cd after the show, but I did as soon as I got home. I hope it arrives soon, I can only find some of his live performances on youtube. Here's one of Bad Romance:



Then came the moment we had been waiting for: Voltaire's show! I loved how the crowd was enthusiastic from the very start, that hardly ever happens in Belgium, people are very shy here.
He played some of his best known songs (Brains, Zombie Prostitute, When You're Evil...) but also a couple from Hate Lives in a Small Town and from the upcoming album. The Dirtiest Song that Ain't was definitely my favourite, though the others sounded very good, too. For the last song (When You're Evil), he asked everyone who knew the lyrics, or knew part of the lyrics, or could pretend that they knew the lyrics to come on stage. Sara didn't go, but I doubted for a while and climbed on stage (together with half of the crowd) after all. A great show with a great ending.

Sara and me went to sit across the merch booth for a while then, enjoying a very welcome drink. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay very long, so we waited until most people had left the merch table to say goodbye to Voltaire. He was incredibly sweet, silly, awkward... and drunk, obviously. He hugged and kissed us a couple times more, and when we were about to leave, he gave each of us a free cd! He also said he would really like to come to Belgium, I really hope he will!

If I tell you this was the best picture we took, can you imagine how bad the others were?

We were still euphoric when we got to the hotel and tried to take pictures with the things we bought and got, but somehow that didn't work out that well and we ended up with a fit of giggles. At about 1.30 am we finally went to bed, so getting up at 5am did not exactly end up being easy. We both fell asleep on the train home.

Too bad it's over already, I had such a great time. Camden Town is amazing, the people there are really nice (not the annoying sellers, though) and Voltaire is so sweet. I don't know anyone who spends as much time with his fans as he does. I just want to go back to London already!

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16 comments

  1. *sterft van jaloezie*

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  2. Cool! I would love to see him live sometime ^^

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  3. Scary Bitches AND Voltaire!!! That, my dear, is a show made in heaven ... er, hell? As a NYer I've seen Voltaire a number of times, but alas, I never saw the Scary Bitches. You are such a LUCKY, LUCKY Duck! What a great show ... and you two look awesome.

    Hugs from NYC!

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  4. @ Tenebris: If you get the chance, you should! It's not a very special show or anything, but he's really kind and funny and you just see him having fun on stage, which makes it that much more fun for everyone.

    @ Mary: I know, right? We were so happy when we saw that Scary Bitches played too, GREAT surprise! And then we're almost even, I suppose, I'd love to see Voltaire more often without having to spend a fortune on trains! But I do hope for you that Scary Bitches come to NYC sometime soon. :)

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  5. You're so lucky! I seriously NEED to see Voltaire live sometime.And Joe Blacks Bad Romance...Well, my mum came in to ask why I was laughing so hysterically.

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  6. Haha, I can imagine! I couldn't stop laughing during his show, either.

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  7. Looks like the trip was so much fun!
    I'm not a fan of Voltaire, but I instantly got enthousiastic reading this post; just happy for you.

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  9. That key necklace is adorable!

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  10. It definitely was! Next time he's in Europe, I'll be there again!

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  11. Same for me! Oh, Amanda Palmer is in Amsterdam in September, but on a weekday, Wednesday the 7th. I am doubting to go, but I have my internship then and you will still have resits I guess. I do have a place to stay, friend that lives in Amsterdam. Doubting ..

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  12. I don't think I'll have resits anymore then. Omg, that would be great!

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  13. I will have to leave late after my work and return about 10 or 11 the next morning. I've checked and the train will be around €60 each..

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