Summer Camp are a duo from London made up of Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey. They write music that taps into the purity of adolescent obsessions and they have a second album coming out on September 9 (check out the LP trailer here). Elizabeth is awesome and girls—in particular—have huge, throbbing crushes on her. You can check out other articles she’s written about TLC, curly-haired musicians, and the almighty Beyoncé here.
Recently, Summer Camp—the band in which I am laughably called “the singer”—went to Moscow, Russia, to play Art Love Festival in a beautiful park in the center of the city. The last time I went to Moscow, I was eleven, and we went to visit my dad who was working there. My memories of that trip include watching a bear dance at the circus, eating in [British restaurant chain] Pizza Express, and seeing a dead man lying on a marble plinth in a church. This trip was very different. To catch our flight from London to Russia, we had to get up at the frankly vile time of 3.30AM.
When we arrived several hours later we went straight to the hotel, walking through the metal detectors outside the front door. There are metal detectors at the gates and doors of most buildings in Moscow. The alarm went off every time we went through them, but the security didn’t bat an eyelid. They never stopped anyone. Likewise, when we walked into the lobby, this guy was waiting for us. He didn't ask to look in my bag once.
While checking in, Jeremy noticed this on the ground.
My phone is full of photos of us posing with it. Obviously. We ended up spending it on the last night in the hotel bar where we bought truffles and flowery champagne cocktails that our friend Anna said tasted like perfume.
The hotel was really awesome. It had some pretty cool toiletries in the bathroom, which always makes me happy. A douche bonnet. Also it's amazing that soaps in Russia have gained sentience.
After that mind-melting discovery we went to dinner with our artist liaison, Tamara. At dinner Jeremy got a cocktail with a marshmallow in it and we talked for an embarrassingly long time about whether or not he should eat the marshmallow while drinking the drink, or dip it and eat it separately. Truth is, I still feel like there is so much to be said on this subject. Ideas in the comments section below, please. One of the other cocktails on the menu was listed as containing “emulsified badger fat.” I’m still unclear as to whether this was lost in translation, but either way, it sounds delicious.
We then went to the park where we were going to perform. They were still setting up the stage and decorating it with flowers. Jeremy talked to the stage manager, called Igor. Jeremy was really pleased to have met someone in Russia called Igor. Igor didn't seem particularly enthused to meet someone called Jeremy. You can't have everything. After that, we went back to the hotel and slept for a hundred million hours.
The next day was soundcheck. Jeremy was thrilled with his Dave Smith Prophet. The festival bought it especially for him.
While line checking, we spotted this wedding party taking photos in the park. The guy with the bow tie (fourth from right) seemed like a party animal. He started dancing to our soundcheck. No one dances at soundcheck! I was really excited about seeing people who'd just got hitched as that's never happened at a soundcheck before.
However, the thrill was somewhat diminished by the time we'd seen our fourth wedding couple. These guys to the right were, in my opinion, the most stylish newlyweds.
After all that, we went to get some lunch and talked to a very nice lady working at the festival called Vlada. We spoke of communism and vodka. Then Gob turned up. (Wish it really was Gob.) Segways are really big in Russia.
After lunch we returned to the hotel to get changed and Jeremy put on his special socks, while I put on my sequinned crop top and mom-jeans.
I’d been really hoping to get a photo with Frank Ocean who was also playing the festival. But he had yet to arrive, so I snuck into his dressing room and took photos of his flight cases. The phone in the picture belongs to one of the guys from MØ who had the same idea as me.
There were a lot of stylish people at the festival. This guy had an INCREDIBLE summer outfit. Russia is recklessly populated with wildly beautiful women. I was in awe of their model-like features. Call me crazy, but I love a good-looking lady. However I felt a bit awful taking photos of them. Especially when they saw me doing it and stared down the camera phone lens, like this lady. I love how nonchalant that guy is about flicking the bird.
After that, I mainly took photos of people from behind.
That's less weird, right?
I coveted this girl's outfit and hair. Standing next to her is a really nice couple. I loved the girl's Reeboks, which had arrived from ASOS that day. She said everything takes a long time to arrive in Russia by post. Classic postal service chat.
The show was great. It was the first one we've played in about six months because we've been trapped inside recording. For the first song I just stood there trying to work out what to do with my hands, but after that, it felt really good. Afterwards we met up with our friends Annie and Anna who told us about the GQ bar they'd been to at the show where they were the only women. Why were they the only women? Because it was a male-only bar. Insert my feminist outrage.
Jeremy and Adam our drummer responded to this by playing ping-pong with rolled up copies of GQ, as the bats had disappeared. Then we rolled back to the hotel lobby—R. Kelly style—and ate some strange rubbery smoked cheese. It was delicious.
The next day Jeremy and I had to go to Moscow FM to do an interview. Chris and Danielle from Computer Magic were doing an interview there too, so we all just went on air together. The DJ was called AJ and he was from New York. He was really nice, and had loads of cool idents. There was an applause one, a Homer Simpson one, a whip cracking sound, and a foghorn. We encouraged him to use them as much as possible, but after a while he politely declined. At one point his engineer had to leave to judge a kebab (or kebob as Americans spell it) contest. Lucky.
After that we went to Red Square and took tourist photos. I like how it looks like Jeremy has curtains here. God I wish he would get curtains. Then it was time to fly home. Love you forever Moscow. XOXO
Eight hours ago Elizabeth tweeted: "Andy Murray looks like the kind of guy who keeps a journal."dear diary, Nadal SUX hahahaha." So yeah, she's on Twitter - @sankles.
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