Carim met Galia and there was no way back.
Carim, a self-professed failure at the school recorder eventually learnt his musical chops in Germany, recording bands like Einstürzende Neubauten and Die Toten Hosen. He even worked at Can’s famous Inner Space studio.
Galia, grew up in Brighton with access to an impressive record collection and a vintage Casio SK-8 sampling keyboard (which the band still use).
It was a serendipitous meeting of awkward minds.
After a few low-key releases they unleashed their debut Tiger My Friend on cult label Arable, before Domino Recordings stepped in to release their second LP The Only Thing I Ever Wanted. With its blend of homemade electronics, meticulously scored elastic bands and heartfelt pop, it clearly struck a chord with all who heard it, with Psapp being described as "Joyous, uplifting and hugely experimental" by Clash magazine and “Effortlessly carved pop classicism" By Mojo. They toured the world and picked up a couple of BMI awards on the way.
2008 brought third album The Camels Back, another world tour, and even more BMI awards before a much-deserved period of hibernation. By the time they awoke in 2013 big changes had occurred not least the relocation of their studio to a castle in Germany. Their fourth LP What Makes Us Glow celebrated and explored their new domesticity. What Makes Us Glow received critical acclaim being described by E Music as "An exercise in joy... Psapp has once again installed in their listeners the belief that anything is possible"
2015 saw the band invited to play at David Byrne’s Meltdown where with their 6-strong live band, they managed to weave together a warm and surreal show incorporating live bingo, a Powerpoint presentation and 900 individually named pipe-cleaner cats.
Some bands disappear, either dissolving into a mess of acrimony or slowly drifting apart as life tugs them in different directions, but for Psapp the pull to continue creating conquered distance and all the complications of being alive.
While the drivers for its creation may have changed, Galia and Carim’s skill in creating magic little songs continues to shine through. Psapp are eternally glued together whether they like it or not.
They are, and always will be: Carim Clasmann and Galia Durant
For boutique clothing brand SIDELINE
NEW COLLECTION. NEW POP-UP. NEW INSPIRATION
Spring is finally here and to celebrate we wanted to share some of our SIDELINE highlights for the new season.
Spring/Summer 2017 is selling FAST so make sure you get your orders in early to avoid disappointment. You can shop the collection here or by clicking on the items below.
As always we’re offering FREE SHIPPING for all you loyal subscribers. Just enter freeship at the checkout to receive your discount.
From April 11th – 17th SIDELINE will be joining forces with the lovely people at M.Hulot and taking over 67 Red Church Street, Shoreditch. We’ll also be stocking some of our favourite other brands so pop in and say hello.
You can even bring this email along for a 10% DISCOUNT on all SIDELINE and M.Hulot stock.
This season we’ve been completely inspired by the work of fashion bloggers Julia Rebaudo @StyleNylon, and Taylr Anne @TaylrAnne. We’ve loved chatting to them about our shared aesthetic and what inspires their own unique style. You can find out all about them on our SIDELINE blog.
Enjoy the sunshine!
For The Evening Standard
There are loads of things you can do on your daily commute.
Some people work. As long as you’re not a butcher, this is an acceptable method of whiling away the time you spend waiting for the train ahead to stop experiencing delays. Some people watch box sets like Game of Thrones. Sean Bean has probably been executed over a thousand times on the section of track just outside London Bridge where the train inexplicably stops every morning for ten minutes. Other people use social media. Twitter, Facebook and all the other ones I pretend to understand, provide an ever increasing amount of digital space to complain about packed trains, lateness, and burning your lips on the super-heated meat-based filling of an East Croydon sausage roll.
I’d tried all of these things to pass the time on my commute to and from London. Then I decided to try something else. I would write a story for my daughter. The story was called The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones. I never imagined it would get published*. I never imagined I’d even finish it. I never normally finish anything (apart from East Croydon sausage rolls) but there was something about the monotony of the train ride that made me, twice a day, for one hour 15 minutes, prefer to exist in an imaginary world until the story was done.
But it wasn’t easy. Here are some things that helped me.
Coffee. Coffee is the fuel of commuters. It is also the fuel of writers. Get a coffee. Then make sure that the lid is on properly. Then double check. When you successfully claim a coveted table spot (more on this later) use something unimportant like the notes to this morning’s company-saving pitch to balance your laptop on. This will keep your important novel writing machine dry when your coffee is spilt by the un-removed backpack of a foreign exchange student inexplicably travelling at rush hour.
A table seat. Unless you are writing a novel on a phone you will need a table to work on. If you are writing a novel on your phone then please TURN OFF THE KEYBOARD SOUND EFFECTS. Hopefully you live far enough away from your destination to be one of the first people on the train. If not you will have to ask that man to move his briefcase from the seat. The best spot is by the window. Here you are safely tucked away from passing backpacks (see earlier). It also gives the opportunity to gaze meaningfully from the window. I do this a lot when I am writing. Most importantly it means you can angle your laptop away from prying eyes. It’s hard to write a fight scene between a crazed polar bear and a penguin when someone is reading it over your shoulder and commenting that in real life the two would never meet.
Get into The Zone. The Zone is a state whereby you do not notice your surroundings. Some people use mediation. I use a general vacantness perfected from years of attending meetings where I don’t say anything. The coffee will help but ‘The Zone’ is an art perfected only by high-level commuters. You know the people who get into arguments about who owns the middle arm-rest? These people will never be in The Zone. The man with his briefcases on the empty seat? He’s so far away from the zone he doesn’t even know it exists. Once you are in The Zone you will be able to focus on your writing. The journey will fly by. Even delays on the line will become opportunities for an exciting new plot line. There is one caveat with The Zone. You may miss your stop. Don’t do this. Especially if you’re on the last train. If that happens make sure you don't get off at Pevensey station. There aren’t any taxi ranks at Pevensey. Just a massive castle.
Finally, look round you. Your commuter train may seem full of grey and faceless corporate-work-drones, but in reality only 80% of them are grey and faceless corporate-work-drones. The other ones may lead interesting lives. They may hold the inspiration for a character your novel is missing. They may even have a story to tell you! Who knows, some of them might even be writing a book too.
*The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones is available now, published by Puffin, £6.99. Follow Will Mabbitt on Twitter @gomabbitt
For the Radio Times
For The Big Issue
Sophie, The BFG, Roald Dahl.
“I think you speak beautifully!”
The BFG gets the best lines but it’s Sophie who saves the day. She’s smart, brave, and polite, showing that you don’t need superpowers to be a hero.
Lyra, His Dark Materials, Philip Pulman
“But if you must and you can, there’s no excuse.”
Like Sophie, Lyra is a completely believable character. Lyra outwits older and more powerful adversaries with her enviable cunning. She never compromises her principals or her sense of justice. For me she is the perfect hero.
Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery
“There's such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I'm such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn't be half so interesting.”
They wanted a little boy but they got Anne Shirley. Anne changed Matthew and Marilla's lives without changing herself to fit their preconceptions of how a girl should be.
Laura Inglis Wilder, The Little House Series, Laura Inglis Wilder.
So what that Laura liked a bit of cross-stitch? Anyone who survives locusts, malaria, blizzards, scarlet fever and much more, deserves to be on this list. Just don’t watch the TV adaptation.
Mabel Jones, The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones.
"My name is Mabel Jones and I'm not afraid of anything"
I’m not sure who it's by but The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones is the greatest book ever written and you should definitely buy a copy as soon as possible.
Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City by Will Mabbitt is out now priced £6.99, published by Puffin.
For the Puffin Books website.
People often ask me “What inspired your amazingly funny and exciting book The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones?” Actually, no-one’s ever asked me that because it’s my first book and it’s only just been published, but when I am interviewing myself in the bath this is one of the first questions I pose. At this point my face takes on a wistful expression, and I reply: “It all began in the early 1980’s." This was when my dad told me - from memory - his own highly-abridged-for-bedtime version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. I loved it!
A few years later, I came into possession of an illustrated copy for younger readers. There was a full page picture that showed The Hispaniola anchored off the coast of Treasure Island. In the rigging sat Israel Hands, the Coxswain. He was my favourite character: A drunken, murderous pirate, skilled in faking injury long before faking injury became fashionable among professional footballers.
I wanted to be him. Even though he got shot.
For this blogpost I was supposed to write about why pirate stories continue to capture children's imagination. But thinking about it, I don’t think that’s true. I think it’s great stories that capture children’s imagination and it just so happens that Treasure Island is one of the greatest stories ever written. It just happens to be about pirates.
After reading Treasure Island I swore a pirate oath to myself: As soon as I was old enough I would sail around the world and have an amazing pirate adventure. I’m much older now. I’ve never made it round the world, and the only adventures I’ve had are the normal ones everyone has. I think that was why I wrote The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones. If I wasn’t brave enough to go seeking treasure with a crew of bloodthirsty pirates then, by the ghost of Captain Flint, I’d invent someone who was!