On Saturday 20th July 2013 the wonderfulest wonderful party i have ever been to took place in a bunting covered garden in the outskirts of London… and it was wonderful!
I wonder which house it could be…..
Then i definitely knew i was in the right place…. there’s a dalek with rubber ducky bunting!
My flowered up name badger (loved this cutie! was a sad moment when i realized i had to take it off to go to bed)!
The wonderful creator of the name badger: Robin Stevenson
This is the scrapbooky gift we made up for Amanda. I jazzed up the front with an inky sketch and we filled it up with… well i don’t have any photos of it from the end, but it looked beautiful and was full of pretty photos and drawings and people had written adorable things for/about Amanda…. i hope it makes her happy :)
I have to admit i was annoyingly quite nervous before arriving… i’m very shy and a little socially awkward! and i was going to a party alone with people i had only met on facebook before! Turns out my worries were misplaced and i didn’t need to be nervous even a tiny bit! I had forgotten how amazing Amanda Palmer fans were. There was so much trust gathered up between so many people before the party had even started; with the relatively large amounts of money floating around, people opening their homes to other people they didn’t know, traveling and meeting with strangers… and it was strange how trusting i was of people i didn’t know! My mum (who worries if i don’t post a tweet for a whole day, and assumes i have died) was naturally untrusting of such strangers i had met online and was traipsing all the way down to London to party with, but i didn’t share her fear at all… if it had been any other group of people my trust would have perhaps been a little naive… perhaps i just like to assume that not everybody is an untrustworthy wanker and with such a community as the Amanda Palmer fandom there is naught but love and much hugging! I felt so welcomed, and although i didn’t get the chance to chat to all the people there, everybody was lovely. Thank you my magnificent new friends all for making it the perfect night!
“I’m here!” Yes Amanda, yes you are! It was a pretty amusing moment when she did arrive. Somebody ran through from the house announcing “SHE’S HERE!” in an excitable squeal… and we waited. Everyone in the garden mostly continued on with their conversations, apart from the odd glance towards the house every now… i was guilty of doing it myself but watching it happen around me was oddly funny. And then she walked out into the garden. A total silence fell around the party. “I’m here.”
Everyone slowly got over their inner fangirl/guy moments, and we chilled and drank and ate (our hosts put on the best spread! again well done guys! and thank you) and chatted.
And then Amanda played a little.
She played Melody Dean on ukulele. Melody Dean is one of my favourites from the new album and she played it on ukulele. It was amazing!
WALK LIKE THUNDER!
And it’s not a party without nakedness! Obviously sharpieing Amanda’s naked body at a house party was so last year! we had to shake it up! So……… Amanda sharpieing on our naked bodies! Those brave enough to get naked (i was not nearly drunk enough that early on to get my kit off!) did! and we doodled all over them!
People got naked…
… and other people watched on!
Making art on naked people…. sign me up!
Here is a video of Amanda running around in the naked art awesomeness: http://instagram.com/p/b_3KxQJJ-R/
And of course it isn’t a party without cake! Mrs.Cupcake (of Candy Cupcake) very kindly gave me these yummy cupcakes (which were only slightly melted by the time they came all the way down from Edinburgh!) for everyone to munch on!
Om nom nom nom…
After the yummy desserts we were treated to more sweetness with the unexpected special guest Bethia Beadman. Amanda described her as sounding like a cross between Cat Power and Nick Drake and with the three(?) gorgeous songs that she played i could completely hear that! It’s always a great feeling when you leave somewhere with a new musician to add to your list of favourites! Check her out on her website: www.bethiabeadman.com
I don’t have any clips of Bethia playing from the party, but if you click HERE you can listen to some of her tracks.
I think (the order of things happening is in my head a little muddled!) it was after Bethia played that we had a quiet excerpt in the evening as Amanda took on role of storyteller and read to use from Neil’s new book The Ocean At The End Of The Lane… which if you haven’t read it yet i would strongly urge you to do so (Amanda wrote a whole blog about it HERE and Neil wrote a blog about it HERE).
Then Amanda played more…
Lovely little clip of Amanda covering The Violent Femmes’ Add It Up
This clip is moment when Amanda played Delilah was one i’ll remember; she played it beautifully on the ukulele and the whole garden seemed to light up with the singing of all of us who surrounded her. It was bliss.
Then our more expected unexpected special guest arrived… hello Sxip Shirey!
Not only did we get the wonderfulness of Sxip, but her brought along a tap dancer! Who’s named i didn’t quite catch but who’s feet i will always remember!
Not only was he a magnificent tap dancer but he also knew how to play SEXUAL HEALING!!!
While Sxip and Amanda were playing we were treated to some fire dancing in the background!
The night was rounded off beautifully drunkenly with a rendition of Jason Webley’s Drinking Song which was a great end to our night of magic (apart from one poor girl who was perhaps a little to merry and ended up in the emergency room with a split lip :O however, i happy to report she is now fine!).
Like good British children we queued up to say our goodbyes to Amanda as she was leaving. It was beautiful standing there watching her hug people, muttering things to them that lit up their faces, posing for photo after photo each time with a genuine smile. Then it was my turn. I shyly offered up the book to her. I don’t think i said anything more intelligent than “thank you” over and over. I’m shy at the best of times, meeting somebody who means so much to you face to face is brain jarring…. you want to say everything at once so you just end up blurting out cliched i love yous! I’m glad we gave her the scrapbook… my letter was more coherent and profound than i was! Also she was hugging me…. that was exquisitely distracting…
And she kissed me.
Thank you Amanda Palmer for everything. Thank you every single person in that beautiful garden for the wonderfulest of wonderful nights; especially Mike, Sue, Alex and Julia for all the brilliant hosting and organizing – you guys are amazing. It’s been almost a month now and i’m still ecstatically happy. Thank you.
*photo and film credits*
*update* Amanda wrote a fantastic blog about just how special the kickstarter parties are (and we’re in it! squeee!). Find it HERE.
*update2* Mike has written a great post about his views on hosting/organizing the party (i don’t feel like i really did much organizing but thanks for the special mention Mike!). Well worth a read! Click HERE and scroll down to the second comment and you’ll find his post.