Tag Archives: leakycon

LeakyCon London Diary – Day 2!

hearts

And so for the second instalment of our LeakyCon London diary! A rundown of Friday’s events…

We woke up bright and early for the first of our programming – the WZRD resurrection podcast at 10am! It was a lot of fun, sitting at a big long table of wizard rockers, listening to some acoustic songs played by some (there was a particularly delightful early morning version of Phoenix Tears by Harry and the Potters), and some ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’ panel show style games – such as the Intros round and Next Lines. We tried to recreate the intro to Stick It To Dolores using only our voices/some banging on the table, it was interesting. It was a light hearted and lovely start to the day!

After this, we found ourselves sat at a different long table, this time for the autographs session. We’d debated bringing books to read just in case nobody showed up, but as it turned out there was a healthy queue of people that we got a chance to have a little chat with! It went past in a blur, but it was so nice to meet everyone. Hi if you came along!

Image
Amy tried to sneak into SHP. We caught her.

The afternoon brought with it plenty more fun. First up was Wrock: A Wretrospective (clever use of the ‘w’ there), a panel hosted by our good friend Ellie. She and the panel talked through the story of wizard rock, from its humble beginnings in Harry and the Potters’ backyard, to the build of the UK scene and what lies ahead. We offered up some anecdotes that we’ve been keeping under our hats for quite some time – like the time we played to a baffled audience at a bar mitzvah and when we thought that playing a tiny guitar with a small electric whisk would be a good musical choice (it wasn’t).  Ellie, ever the professional, had made us name cards, which Amy of Romilda Vane and the Chocolate Cauldrons decorated with personalised doodles to suit each of the panel members – Cathrin got a cat, and Laura got a crow (her surname is Crow, excellent work).

Image
Ellie was hosting The Ultimate Shipping Debate next, and we decided to pop along! We definitely made the right decision with that one. People defended their ships very passionately and there were a lot of laughs. Discussed were Ron/Hermione vs Harry/Hermione and Snape/Lily vs James/Lily – I know that Ellie had planned a lot more pairings to discuss but people had a lot to say about these ones!  The debate was such a popular choice that it had to be moved to a bigger room than the one that was scheduled. I have no doubt that the discussion could have gone on all day.

ShipHermione has her say on the matter.

LeakyStars, on the mainstage, had only just begun by the time the shipping debate was over so we headed down for a listen.  Hayley Carr was one of the three finalists, and we felt the need to show her some support as she’s been involved in the UK Wizard Rock scene for quite some time now. She played her song ‘So What If I’m A Geek?’ and it went down excellently, she got great feedback from the judges.  The act after her was a group of French girls in fantastic fandom costume who had rewritten ‘One Day More’ from Les Miserables. Their performance was brilliantly dynamic. We’d been too late to see the first act, Jadene Doak, who went on to win, but we did have a listen to her song on YouTube afterwards and it was beautiful – well done Jadene!

The craft fair was next up on the agenda, and I’ve never attended one quite like it! When Laura is not being a wizard, she makes and sells her own jewellery and accessories through her shop Goodnight Boutique. She had made some Harry Potter, Doctor Who and Sherlock bits and bobs for the occasion and they went down a storm.

bottles

The room was so packed, there wasn’t space to move an inch – and I could see why, the items that the sellers had brought were all so lovely! Our friend Kylie had made some knitted wristbands in Hogwarts colours, here we are sporting them. We made up a dance which was essentially one jazz hand flaunting your wristband. At the end of the weekend we all complained of a slightly stiff wrist from excessive goes of said dance. We are silly.

Image

We rushed downstairs after the fair, determined not to miss any of the second night of wizard rock – as the line-up was so fantastic! We bounced around to the The Blibbering Humdingers, who kicked proceedings off in spectacular style. We’d never heard these guys play before, but they’ve got two new fans in the form of us – we loved their witty lyrics and musical stylings so much.

The second band of the night were RiddleTM. It’s such a joy to hear them play every time, they’re always on top form! We sang along to Beans with much vigour – though we’ve not quite nailed the words to the verses yet, which are a list of all of the potential nasties (or nice things!) you could come across when sampling Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans.

Next up was Lauren Fairweather. Lauren captivated everyone in the room with her songs, she really knows how to sum up how we all feel about these stories – as demonstrated by the amount of love she received following ‘Home’. It was such a lovely moment. She also played a version of And Then I Died – originally by her band The Moaning Myrtles. We raced through the audience to get as close to the front as possible, singing our hearts out. The Moaning Myrtles have always been one of our favourite wizard rock acts, and this song one of our favourite wizard rock songs!

ML

Lauren’s husband Matt played next, as The Whomping Willows. It was so great to see Matt play his marvellously catchy songs to such a good audience! A highlight for us was House Of Awesome, lots of singing and clapping along. Though When The Lights Go Out was magical, with the whole room carrying on the song after Matt had left the stage.

Harry and the Potters ended the evening – and as predicted – they really brought the house down (quite literally at one point, as everyone sunk to the floor). Harry and the Potters shows are always super super fun, this one especially so, as there were so many people so into it! A particularly special moment was during Dumbledore, in which the traditional (can we call it traditional? Probably) circle was formed by everyone in the room. Lots of love felt there!

Friday was so much fun!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

LeakyCon London Diary – Day 1!

hearts

We’re just attempting to settle back into normal life after living in the crazy, fun and exciting LeakyCon bubble for half of last week – which mostly means remember what sleeping is and adjusting to not being surrounded by happy singing Potter fans wherever we turn. What better way is there to keep the magic alive for a little longer than to share with you a diary of our experiences and memories from LeakyCon London through a series of blogs!

We arrived into London on Wednesday evening, and made our way to the apartment we’d be sharing with all of the wizard rockers for the weekend, nestled away in the heart of London – right near Leicester Square! We explored our quarters and within five minutes Cathrin had got herself locked in the miniscule bathroom – having to be freed with a spoon taken to the other side of the lock. After this, we headed down – one of us slightly red-faced – to a communal area to greet the American contingent. We had what would be classed in Leaky terms as an early night, nestling down for the night before 1am, after an exhilarating trip to M&S Simply Food at half past eleven AT NIGHT. It’s the little things…

Thursday morning arrived and we breakfasted like kings on our M&S purchases from the night before. We then ambled over to the Grand Connaught Rooms where the con was being held to collect our passes, stash our instruments, greet our friends and generally bubble over with anticipation for the show we would be playing in the ballroom later on. Seriously, the first time we walked in we were speechless; it was beautiful and gigantic. I think it well and truly sunk in then that this would be by far the biggest audience we’d ever played to!

1150915_10151621622813568_484219050_n

Fast forward a few hours, and it was time for the opening ceremony. We heard some fabulous speeches and saw some great performances – it really gave everyone a taste of what was in store for the next few days, and I think it’s safe to say everyone was ready for it all to kick off. Also a magician came over to us and did some magic before our very eyes, that was cool. Once the majority of the crowd had filtered out (spare a few eager beavers at the front, saving themselves a good spot – we like your thinking!) we soundchecked with the lovely sound crew and then headed off to grab a bite to eat before the show. This meant traipsing through the epic maze that was the Grand Connaught Rooms, led by Matt of The Whomping Willows, who managed to take us to a derelict meeting room, with an official looking flip chart and sweeties in jars (?). We did eventually find our way to the penthouse, where the wizard rockers converged and enjoyed some delightful conversation before heading off back downstairs to get changed and wait in the wings…

Then it was show time. We were opening the wizard rock at LeakyCon London! As mentioned in a previous blog, we kicked off with a collaboration with Amy of Romilda Vane and the Chocolate Cauldrons as Sgt Potter’s Lonely Horcrux Band. We sang a medley of songs by UK and European wizard rockers to celebrate the wonderful scene we’ve been so involved in over the past six years. We really liked hearing the occasional whoop as somebody recognised a song!

DSC_0621Photo credit to Anna M@sunlitlake.deviantart.com

Our Siriusly Hazza P set followed this, opening up with Hedwig and Madam Pudifoot’s, which got a lot of love because who doesn’t like owls and tea? We then performed Turn Around – a song with a dark tango feel, which called for a lot of dramatic head turns and stamping, and then to contrast, our song Arnold – about how lovable pygmy puffs are! We blew bubbles into the audience as that’s what Arnold would have wanted if he’d been in attendance. This was followed up with a bit of audience participation, as we taught everyone how to dance like a giant in Grawp.


Photo credit to Anna M@sunlitlake.deviantart.com

Photo credit to Anna M@sunlitlake.deviantart.com

They really threw some mean shapes out there! Next song up was I Won’t Feed The Peacocks Anymore, which we wrote for charity compilation Wizards and Muggles Rock For Social Justice: Volume 3 earlier this year. It’s all about Dobby’s plight at Malfoy Manor and is a cheery, upbeat number! We’d originally planned to don pillowcases for this song but we were so busy in the run up that we forgot to make head and arm holes in them. Never mind, eh? We closed with Witchface – after an onstage witchfight broken up by Matt Maggiacomo. Ironic that it should happen just before a song about a secret rivalry between the two of us…

Sgt Potter’s Lonely Horcrux Band reunited on stage for a rendition of Marching On – inspired by this much loved YouTube video and then we left the stage as it was time for Amy to play as Romilda Vane and the Chocolate Cauldrons!

amy

Amy performed some of her most upbeat songs, whilst still showcasing her impressive vocals! We especially enjoyed hearing The Raid live again. We joined Amy up on stage as her Chocolate Cauldrons for Summer With The Weasleys, with accompaniment from Scott of The Blibbering Humdingers. It ended in a big group hug as we all were feeling that Weasley family vibe!

Chocolate Cauldrons

After Amy’s set, it was time for one last song from Sgt Potter’s Lonely Horcrux Band! Of course, we couldn’t do a show without playing The Ballad Of John Simons – the TRUE story of Harry Potter, in which Harry awoke from a coma to discover he was actually a thirty something named John and it had all been a dream. We mashed this up with Sonorus by Romilda Vane and the Chocolate Cauldrons and Hey Jude (Hey John!). The working title was Hey Johnorus, quite proud of that one. All of the audience joined in super loud with the ‘naa’s in Hey Jude – it was really awesome! Throughout the whole set, we were blown away by how fun and supportive the audience were, especially seeing as it was quite a few people’s first wizard rock show – guys, you’re invited back any time!

Next up were another European act – Solitary Snape. We’d been really looking forward to their set as we knew they would really get the crowd going and they certainly didn’t disappoint! I seem to remember busting some moves at our merch table – especially to The Battle. Lead singer Oscar was wearing a pretty impressive jacket, with ‘BORN TO RUNE’ emblazoned on the back in sequins. Witty. Good.

Solitary Snape

Alex Carpenter played next, which is always a delight! We heard a mixture of material from The Remus Lupins days as well as some of his more recent stuff. Admittedly, we had to abandon our merch table for a while so we could have a proper dance. I think Meet Me At King’s Cross went down particularly well with the crowd!

Alex CarpenterPhoto credit to La Gazette Du Sorcier

Finally it was Hank Green’s turn to perform. The audience was super pumped and sang every word along with him!

Hank GreenPhoto credit to La Gazette Du Sorcier

After a super fun night, it was time to catch a black cab back to the apartment so we could catch a few hours’ sleep before Friday kicked off! But more about Friday in the next blog…

You can watch some of our set in this YouTube video!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Where To Visit Whilst You’re In London For LeakyCon!

So, you’re going to LeakyCon London? Hooray! With the big event fast approaching, I’m sure you’ve checked out the programming schedule and cherry-picked the bits that you’d most like to do. However, whilst there’s lots of fun things happening as part of the con, it’s easy to forget that London is a big and bustling place, jam packed with fun things to do, see and experience. So if you’ve got a gap in your schedule, or you’re hanging around a few days before or after, we’ve got a few suggestions of where you might like to visit! Of course, all within a short tube ride from The Grand Connaught Rooms, where LeakyLondon is being held!

For starters, you’ll be needing this:

tube map

Or something along those lines… Anyway, on with the list!

1. Platform 9 3/4, King’s Cross Train Station
How to get there on the underground from Covent Garden: Take the Piccadilly Line. King’s Cross is the third stop.

platform

So this is probably already on your list if you’re a Potter fan heading to London this summer, but it couldn’t go unmentioned! It’s such a great photo opportunity and since our last visit they’ve even added a wizarding shop, just in case you can’t make it to Diagon Alley before term starts in a month’s time. What’s more, it’s only six minutes away from LeakyCon when you hop on the underground!

2. The Sherlock Holmes Museum, Baker Street
How to get there on the underground from Covent Garden: Take the Piccadilly Line, change at Piccadilly Circus to the Bakerloo line. Baker Street is the third stop.

sherlock

Located (of course) at 221B Baker Street, the Sherlock Holmes Museum is housed in a charming town house. The door is guarded by a victorian policeman who will hand you a hat and a pipe to enhance your sleuthing powers. Within, you’ll find lots of recognisable scenes and trinkets from Arthur Conan Doyle’s writings.

Also on our visit to Baker Street, we found a Beatles shop, jam packed with all the Fab Four merchandise and memorabilia you could possibly imagine. Very apt, as we’ll be peforming as Sgt. Potter’s Lonely Horcrux Band on the Thursday night of LeakyCon!

beatles store

If you want to pay a visit to Speedy’s Cafe, which you’ll definitely recognise if you’re a Sherlock fan, you’ll want to hop off at Euston Square!

speedysA bemused policeman took this jubilant photo of us and our friends…

3. Abbey Road, St John’s Wood
How to get there on the underground from Covent Garden: Take the Piccadilly Line, change at Green Park to the Jubilee Line. St John’s Wood is the 3rd stop. 5 minute walk to Abbey Road Studios from there!

abbey road

If you were intrigued by the Beatles shop, you’re definitely going to fancy a trip to Abbey Road – where The Beatles recorded their music. This has been on our To Do list for so long and we haven’t got round to making the pilgrimage yet – but maybe this trip could be the time we make it to that famous crossing and recreate that album cover. I suggest you do the same, it would be especially  fun if you were to take your picture in costume, think about it…

4. Science Museum, South Kensington
How to get there on the underground from Covent Garden: Take the Piccadilly Line. South Kensington is the 6th stop.

science museum

Situated on a road full of museums, the Science Museum has lots to offer to fuel your mind! Especially awesome is the space exhibition, with real rockets overhead. There’s lots of interactive exhibits about the museum, making it lots of fun. The last time we visited was when on our museums week, where we visited a different museum around the country each day for a week. That was a nice time.

cup

Also, they make a mean cupcake in the cafe. Important.

5. Camden Market, Camden Town
How to get there on the underground from Covent Garden: Take the Piccadilly Line, change at
Leicester Square to the Northern Line. Camden Town is the 5th stop.

camden

Camden is a must every time we visit London! There’s so much to explore there; stalls full of vintage clothes and hats, quirky jewellery, tasty food and t-shirts you won’t find on the high street – and that’s just a small selection of what’s on offer. Who knows what you might find in this vibrant part of London.

I hope we’ve given you a few nice ideas if you’re not too familiar with our capital city. If you’ve got any suggestions yourself, do feel free to leave them in the comments!

Wizard Rock means lots of travelling! Watch our Edinburgh adventures from when we visited in December for the Snow Ball.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Introducing… Sgt Potter’s Lonely Horcrux Band!

In our last post we enthused about the prospect of hearing Romilda Vane and the Chocolate Cauldrons play at LeakyCon in just over two weeks’ time. What we didn’t mention is the fact that we have been collaborating on something very special with her – and I reckon it’s about time we let the cat out of the bag and tell you what’s in store!

Sgt. Potter Poster Sgt. Potter Poster Yellow

Sgt. Potter Poster Green Sgt. Potter Poster Blue

For quite some time we’ve been intending to team up and make some sweet Siriusly Romilda Vane sounds, and what better time than now! There’s a big hint in the title of this post and the posters above. It’s safe to say we’ll be keeping things very British as LeakyCon comes to London. Expect harmonies, Harry and a hint of the Fab Four…

Have you watched us sing about Hedwig and discuss our favourite Doctor Who episodes?

Moustache

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Our Top Picks For Wrock at Leaky!

As I’m sure you’re aware, Leakycon in London will be bringing you lots of fantastic wizard rock bands from all over! Whilst every band will bring something marvellous and magical to the stage, here’s a run down of the sets we’re most looking forward to…

RiddleTM
Image

RiddleTM hail from Oxfordshire and make emotive music about some of the most-heart wrenching moments throughout the Harry Potter series which never fail to move an audience, along with the occasional song about wizarding sweets! Maybe one of their best loved songs is For Jo, which is a musical thank you to the lady who created Harry and his world. RiddleTM’s talents will make your heart swell, and most probably bring a tear to your eye!

Alex Carpenter
Image

We first saw Alex Carpenter play live at Scotland’s very first Snow Ball. We’d been fans of his music for quite some time so the chance to see him live was very exciting! He brings a lot of energy to his performances, making sure the crowd are totally involved and enjoying the moment. Looking For Trouble is probably one of our favourite wizard rock songs, hope he plays it this time!

Solitary Snape
Image

Solitary Snape are set to bring a little effortless cool to Leakycon London this August. We first heard the band play in their native Sweden when we played a show with them there in Gothenburg. Over in Europe at least, it’s quite rare to see a wizard rock band with a full line up (drums, bass, guitars – you know, the full works) so they’re really great to hear live!

The Whomping Willows
whomp

It wouldn’t be a Harry Potter convention without The Whomping Willows presence! We heard Whompy live for the first time at LeakyCon 2011, and it has to be said his set was very fun, with lots of his self penned wizard rock classics to sing along to. The Whomping Willows are always sure to get everyone dancing, whether performing acoustic or with a band behind Matt.

Romilda Vane and The Chocolate Cauldrons
rom

Romilda Vane and The Chocolate Cauldrons’ music is brought to you by Amy from Ireland. She is renowned in the community for her stunning classically trained voice, showcased on songs such as Sonorus (which you may have heard on The Leaky Cauldron’s Christmas compilation, Jingle Spells 3). One of our favourite songs by her is Summer With The Weasleys, which is maybe more suited to the time of year!

Harry and the Potters
hatp

Harry and the Potters were the band that first introduced us to wizard rock, and really inspired us to start our own band back in 2007, when we got to see them live right on our doorstep, in Manchester. I would definitely recommend seeing one of their sets to everybody – muggle or wizard! They ALWAYS bring the party.

This blog could have been a very long one if we hadn’t restrained ourselves and selected only a few of the acts to write about. Of course, if you’re attending, we would recommend taking this amazing opportunity to listen to each and every band, because seriously, who can ever get their fill of songs about Harry Potter?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Our Wizarding Attire!

One of the things most important to us is putting on an exciting and fun show, and a big part of that is wearing something flamboyant, theatrical and a little bit special! We thought it was about time we shared with you a few of our favourite show outfits – as well as a couple from the early days of the band (can you believe that it’s coming up for six years since we first performed as Siriusly Hazza P?!)

So, I guess we should do this in chronological order. Back in 2007, there were three of us in the band. We liked to bring a pop of colour to the Hogwarts uniform – with bright blue, bright pink and bright yellow garments. At our first show, it was skinny jeans, and at our second show, Potter Rocks – where we first encountered fellow wizardkind, we went for colourful tights.

Image
A few shows on, and we were performing as a two-piece. We stuck with the yellow and blue theme, and at one event this took its form in tutus and bright heels. I suppose this is where the look we’ve got today started to develop a little. We later donated the tutus in The Snow Ball raffle.

Image

After this, we really started to develop our retro sound – with a new retro look to boot! We unveilled this at the Hogwarts Spring Fling in Cambridge with polka dots and sequins. However, the most notable outfit was later on in the year at the aforementioned Snow Ball in Edinburgh, 2009. This really set us off on our love of fantastic stagewear!

Image

We took a trip down to London to find the perfect dresses for the occasion. We found these black jones + jones dresses with lovely full skirts. The pièce de résistance though, was of course our shoes! They were so insanely high and beautifully sparkly that they were certainly a talking point.

Probably our all time favourite show outfits have to be what we wore for Cork Midsummer Festival. Our set was very theatrical and so we needed something to reflect that. We opted for burlesque showgirl dresses – complete with corsets, feathers and sequins!

Image

We like to have something nice to wear for before and after the show as well. These unique hats had to be aired somewhere special, after all.

The 2010 Snow Ball soon rolled around and we knew we had to wear something to equal what we had worn in the summer in Cork! Again, we went for the showgirl look, but this time our dresses were adorned completely in sequins. As it was Christmas, we couldn’t resist a little tinsel to complete the look…

Image

Most recently – at the 2012 Snow Ball, we went for a 1950’s look, with petticoats to give the silhouette of the era. The look was fun and linked in to the new upbeat songs we’d written about the animals of the wizarding world.

Image
Speaking of magical creatures, it’s not just us two who like to dress up. Our pygmy puffs Hughie and Toby like a slice of the action too…


Hughie wears a baby blue bow with white hearts, whilst Toby sports a stripey pink number.

We’ve got a few ideas up our sleeve as to what we’ll be wearing for our performance at Leakycon, but you’ll just have to wait and see!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Looking Forward To LeakyLondon!

Over the past few days, our Twitter feed has been full of tweets from happy wizards the world over who were making their way home from Leakycon in Portland. It’s not long to wait for the next LeakyCon though, and this time it’s in London and we shall be taking to the stage!

There’s lots and lots to look forward to for all you Leaky London goers – fun and frolics with friends, discussions about your favourite fandoms and of course plenty of wizard rock! We attended LeakyCon in Florida back in 2011, so we’re super super excited to be involved this time.
Here’s a few snaps from our first con experience, can’t wait to add some from this year…

Image

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized