we washed our songs in rose water

(late 1940's vintage dress, madame hawke flying cape made from chicken feathers) thursday last was the - cotillion - if you will of our (teacups) album 'forest fiction' (triple cheer for a solidly stilted sentence) ! we made ourselves welcome the moment we arrived: (i had fashioned this banner from an old sheet. The clothesline effect is rather appropriate me thinks)
purely to showcase the quiet majesty of the architectural wonderment that is hopetoun alpha (it was so bewildering i took an off-kilter photograph - also a result of dodging traffic)
during soundcheck our fellow band friendlies phil austen and the bayonets took to the future audience's perches to nap it up:
liz is usually banished to play toward a wall because of the sheer volume emitted from her golden trumpet. she's a student of jazz at auckland university. this means she can coil each note around her little finger and let them go in the most wonderful patterns.
our friends who later served as our choir/hair & make-up/general elves of helpfulness, hongi and kate. they also were subjected to hearing us reherse things over and over and were the guinea pigs for our new song 'party'. (completed mere hours afore our stage-taking - sometimes we can be too eager about these things)
i bought this dress after some momentary deliberation (how could i possibly walk away and never think of it again! it's pine-worthy and mysterious and gives me romantical butterflies) and convincing from the company kept. it makes me feel like i'm wearing the history of someone else's elegant affair. i wonder if the previous owner was kissed whilst wearing it?
jocee tuck of bearcat fame was wrangled to play her solo collection of beautiful tunes before us. she and i behaving mischieviously in the cosy hallways between stage entrances:
she took to the stage and i was completely unprepared for the wonderment that was to unfold when she unleashed her voice. she played mostly glockenspiels and invited some friends to join her during her set. i was utterly floored by the musical package she delivered. completely hypnotising. i love you, dear jocee! you've stolen my heart!
we spent all day long setting up the stage to resemble a miniature night-time forest with night skies sweeping their milky ways anywhere they could cluster their stars (we used an impossible number of fairy lights to achieve this) i had originally planned for the trees to be a forest of real christmas trees so we would be swathed in the piney scent of an actual forest. but the season is a slight step too far from the cusp of christmas preperation so my visit to a christmas tree farm didn't eventuate. i think it turned out to be quaint and charming anyway with our kindly donated faux-trees: (thanks to liz for erecting that tent studiously of ramshackle ingredients when i had lost hope we would have one at all)
phil austen and his bayonets arrived next to the stage after a stirling (if not slightly fabricated) introduction by mister matthew crawl'tea' himself, who was kind enough to act as ring-master for the evening they played such a wonderful set of acoustically-taylored songs. phil has the voice of someone destined to be swooned over. it was also welcome to have a male musical presence amidst all the lady-folk. i am still secretly upset you didn't follow through on your 'can we all dress as robin hood' proposal, however.
i was so pleased to see my old high-school english teachers present. as well as the boy who serves me at the art shop. (and of course the flame-haired silke, who spotted me capturing the crowd dipping into darkness and made the appropriate funny face)
photos by me
these next few are from other people's perspectives since i am inept at the art of playing music and taking photos simaltaneously. me being mesmerized by jocee's magic:
after all of our hard work and teeth-chattering anticipation we finally stepped onto stage to play in honour of our first album. i shed a quiet tear when we had finished rambling through our songs. it really was a dream sequence. people could enjoy the most delicious plum liquor straight from a teapot and tiny rosewater cupcakes with their musical main course. (talita, me, liz) photos by amanda of static image
photo by rosabel of synaesthetic i have a proud feeling sitting in my chest over the whole event. (as well as the fact that we actually have an album that is going to be sitting on the shelves of music stores) thank you to everyone who attended and bought albums. you're all dreamboats! chelsea jade. p.s - it is available for anyone to buy here


  1. Wow what gorgeous photos and words! I really like the way you write your blog posts. And that dress is breathtaking!

  2. oh so magical. and yes, that dress.
    bet you were as mesmerizing as the other acts!


  3. This looks like an impossibly beautiful evening

  4. I wish more than anything that I could have been there. Curse the body of water between NZ and Australia. Curse it nameless.


  5. wish i could have been there, it looks like a magical evening! x

    (just bought your lovely new album too, can't wait to hear it!!)

  6. Congratulations on the album!

    These are really wonderful photos.

  7. how fantastic is the dress in the window.

    all this time i've never known you were part of the teacups. how splendid. I use to listen to your songs on myspace ages ago! what a wonderfully small world it is.

    very good.
    music. photos. you're a very talented lady.

  8. It looks so magical, an enchanted night. I so badly wish I could have been there.

  9. so lovely! i love the idea of the cozy mattresses by the stage. :-) congratulations again, miss! i shall check out your work.. right about.. now.


  10. This is by far, my favourite post ever (in all of the blogging world), not kidding at all. I'm terrible at putting into words what I feel... So I'll leave it as that.

  11. Came across from the Ruby interview link -- I love this, so so gorgeous! Perfect evocation of what sounds like a perfect night.

    On other notes, is there any place where I can get a download version of your album? I can't keep using myspace, and the shipping fees from NZ to Canada are monstrous. :(

    xo L