Category Archives: Steampunk

New Sunday Driver video – Mechanical Angel

Check out this utterly awesome and beautiful video for Mechanical Angel by Sunday Driver, made by the lovely Gareth at Zenith Films.

Here’s a couple of sneaky behind-the-scenes pics. Chandy and I filmed our parts in front of a green screen. You’ll have to look hard to spot us in the video but we’re definitely there!

Chandy rocks the corsetry:

Chandy Nath

The harp and I enjoying our moment in the spotlight:

Kat Arney

Steampunk malarky – Haunted Summer

Sunday Driver badge

I received a lovely surprise in the post the other day – a handmade Sunday Driver badge from Haunted Summer (aka Allegra Hawksmoor). She’s got some wonderful things in her Etsy store, from Steampunk-inspired slogan badges to tops embroidered with gorgeous hot air balloons.

My only problem now is trying to decide what to sew my new badge onto. Thanks Allegra!

Sunday Driver play The Asylum

This was the third year that Sunday Driver were invited back to play at The Asylum, the UK’s largest “Steampunk Convivial” – regular readers may remember my dispatches from the 2009 and 2010 gigs.

This year was the biggest gathering yet – in fact, the organisers were going for a World record attempt at the largest number of Steampunks in any one place. This picture doesn’t really capture the scale but there were a lot!

Steampunk_gathering

Sadly I can barely remember a thing about this year’s event because I was struck down by an evil cold. I spent the day flopping about with a raging temperature whilst leaking a potent mix of snot and viruses out of my face. I have heard whispered rumours on Facebook of “Asylum lurgy”, and fear that I may in fact be Patient Zero in this case.

I vaguely remember spending the afternoon manning the Sunday Driver listening station, forcing poor unsuspecting passers by to listen to our brand new album, The Mutiny, while plying them with free gin and homemade chocolate brownies.

free_gin_and_cake

This turned out to be a remarkably successful sales tactic, only slightly spoiled by thinking we’d managed to lose the resulting cash (I discovered it 6 hours later down the back of a sofa).

Because our tabla player Amit is still AWOL with a broken hand, we were honoured to be joined on stage for our gig by the legendary Kuljit Bhamra MBE  – one of the finest Asian musicians working in Britain today. I was a little distracted by trying not to blow snot out of my nose at the same time as blowing down my clarinet (not my finest or most attractive hour, I admit) but it was an incredible experience to play with such a talented musician.

Here’s a pic of us on stage from David Wilson:

Sunday_driver_Asylum2011

Not much else to report, except that the next day I discovered that the only thing worse than waking up in  Travelodge is waking up in a Travelodge with a stinking cold and knowing that you have to drive 120 miles home and then do a 4-hour recording session. FML.

New Sunday Driver single out today! Concubine Waltz

It feels like we’re finally getting the ball rolling with the new Sunday Driver album, as today we’re releasing the first single – Concubine Waltz.

Here’s a quick teaser:

And you can buy it for just 55p (or more!) from Bandcamp right now, with a bunch of fun extras thrown in for good measure.  Buy buy buy! And tell me what you think in the comments…

Things I learned at the World Steam Expo

I’m still trying to mentally process the whirlwind madness that was my trip to the World Steam Expo in Dearborn at the end of May. Pics and more blather are up now over on the Sunday Driver blog. But here are a few thoughts of my own.

  • Lacing up a corset too tightly *will* leave you bruised
  • (Wo)man cannot live on pretzels and tequila alone for a whole weekend, but she can give it a damn good try
  • The backs of my legs are like cocaine for mosquitoes
  • Through the cunning use of corsetry, women’s breasts can be persuaded to defy gravity and probably several other laws of nature too
  • Five people from the same band sharing a room is four people too many. Even (or possibly especially) for the married ones
  • Michigan is not overly blessed with vegetarian options. Plus, you’d be amazed what comes with added bacon
  • It’s possible to belly dance with a sword on your head, as demonstrated by the wonderful Harpnotic:

Harpnotic

My cultural contribution to the US of A

I present this with no explanation and no apology.

Take one overexcited post-gig British musician, one member of the Clockwork Dolls, a Sharpie marker pen, several over-enthusiastic American Steampunks and one too many G&T’s… I guess you had to be there at the time.

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On a slightly more cultural note, I also taught three people how to play the spoons.

Music on Mondays: The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing – Etiquette

I just got back from the World Steam Expo in Dearborn (more of that later…).  While I was there, I got to properly meet the UK’s other finest Steampunk band, the excellent (and charming) The Men That Will not Be Blamed For Nothing.

My band Sunday Driver supported them at a gig ages ago, but I spent the entire time panicking because half the band was missing and then had to leave before their set to get back to a scientific conference. Rock and roll!  So it was great to get to know them (great blokes all round, with excellent taste in rum) and actually hear them play.

Unlike Sunday Driver, they’re a proper punk band – none of this harp and spoons nonsense. They played a proper blinder of a gig, and I may have even done a little bit of refined moshing at the back.

So I present for you today the first track off their recent album, Now That’s What I Call Steampunk! Volume 1 (Spotify link). Check it out, it’s well worth a listen and is already a firm fixture on my summer playlist.

If you can read this, I’m on my way to the US

If you can read this, it means I’ve successfully flown off to the World Steam Expo in Detroit, after literally months of nailbiting organisational stress, coupled with last-minute volcano-related panic. No wonder I’ve ground my teeth into tiny stumps.

Youtube linky

Back next week. Play nicely, now.

Adventures of a time-travelling prostitute

Apologies for the blog silence lately – I would like to claim it’s because I’ve been busy (which is true). But I have also discovered that Nathan Fillion exists in the universe, and have been endlessly watching Castle, Firefly, Slither, Dr Horrible’s Singalong Blog etc etc etc and relentlessly stalking him on Twitter. Obsessive? Moi? Either way, this is a piteous excuse for a post.

Anyway, I was delving through my hard drive for some pictures of the last Sunday Driver photoshoot, because we needed some high quality press pics for a Very Exciting Thing, which will hopefully happen later this year (cross fingers, stroke lucky rabbit foot).

Everyone in the band got individual pics done, and I just found mine. They’re pretty cool, even though I look a bit like a time-travelling prostitute. So, not so much publicity shots as self-publicity shots.  Enjoy…

Photos courtesy of the amazing Cat Clifford at Catarina Photography – such an awesome talent.

Kat and Mel from Sunday Driver

Me and bassist Mel. He remains unconvinced of my charms

Kat Arney from Sunday Driver

Yours for a shilling and a bag of pork scratchings

Kat Arney from Sunday Driver

In retrospect, I should probably have ironed that shirt a bit better

Sunday Driver play the Tusk and Garter club

I had a great time last week playing with Sunday Driver at the Tusk and Garter club down in Brighton. There’s pics and blather about the night over on the Sunday Driver blog.

Tusk and garter flyer