Sunday, 20 November 2016

Twin Peaks UK Festival 2016

The Twin Peaks UK Festival has become one of the most anticipated events on my calendar every year, not only because it is always a spectacular day but also because of the friendships I have formed over years of meeting up with like minded Peakie people. This year's event at Hornsey Town Hall in London's Crouchend didn't disappoint.

At 9.30am, dressed in full Double R Diner uniform, I arrived at the venue with my sister who always accompanies me, and straight away met people who I have become friends with over years of coming to the festival. Everyone was dressed up, carrying posters in need of autographs and excited to start a day in the world of Twin Peaks.

The doors opened and we poured into the grand, historical town hall where piles of doughnuts lay on every surface and the scent of freshly brewed coffee wafted down the corridor. As a VIP we were entitled to free goodie bags containing fest merch, mugs and dominos (a nod to Chris Mulkey aka Hank Jenning's attendance) and that year's tee shirt - a Great Northern Hotel inspired design.

A policeman's dream... Breakfast consisted of 3 x doughnuts and 2 x cups of hot black coffee.

The Great Northern theme ran throughout the venue which was the perfect backdrop for this concept. Long, wood panelled corridors had been adorned with artwork seen on the show and a bar area had been set-up with squashy leather arm chairs, chess boards and other accoutrements familiar to the Horne family home. I expected Miss Audrey Horne to come waltzing down the corridor at any moment.

The day's schedule began with a welcome from our beloved festival producer Lindsey Bowden in the main hall. This had been set-up with some very atmospheric lighting and cabaret style tables of which I happily set-up camp in the front row. The pilot began playing and I crept out (terrible I know but I had watched it the night before in anticipation and couldn't wait to explore the rest of the venue!).

There was so much to seek out - a tattoo artist offering Twin Peaks tattoos with proceeds going to charity, a court room with more episodes of Twin Peaks screening, an art gallery, a merch table laden with goodies (I bought coffee vodka made by the Double R Club, a gold heart friendship necklace, a Double R tote bag, a 'damn fine' pin, a red room brooch and David Lynch signature coffee) and an exceedingly cozy VIP lounge bar with more doughnuts, coffee vodka shots and a charming barman to boot. My favourite area of the venue which became busy later in the day was the Roadhouse bar in the basement - it truly felt as though we were in the Roadhouse.

The Double R Club, a Lynchian cabaret troupe who I have raved about more than once on the blog, took to the stage to entice and excite us with a number of wonderful and strange performances.We were terrified by the sword swallowing seductress Snake Fervor, in hysterics when Julee Cruise-Ship took to the stage singing campy versions of Julie Cruise's best known numbers and Em Brulee left us with shivers after serenading us with Sycamore Trees. Lydia Darling gave a fabulous strip tease performance as Laura Palmer in the red room to a tune I can't get out of my head (Black Coffee by Joanne Weaver. Do check it out.) and Heavy Metal Pete accused me for the second time in his daring Special Agent whip act (he must find me particularly suspicious and perhaps I shouldn't blame him). All of these tremendous performances were strung together by Benjamin Louche who effortlessly transports his audience to the dark Lynchian underworld we all seek comfort in.

Snake Fervor of The Double R Club

Of course one of the day's highlights were the special guests - Ian Buchanan (Dick Tremayne) and Chris Mulkey (Hank Jennings) had flown over specially to see us and they were an absolute hoot all day long. Both took so much time and care when meeting the fans. Ian said he remembered me from the first time we met - he is utterly charming and so stylish and handsome. Chris Mulkey frequently broke out on his guitar - he is a total rock star and very good fun. Later in the day I passed him in the hall and he yelled out "there they are!" to my sister and I and stopped to chat some more. I think Hank and Dick are my new favourite characters!!

The Q&A later in the evening was hilarious - the audience were in tears of laughter as Chris and Ian told anecdotes and made many an innuendo which I think they knew would go down well with the predominantly British audience. Another thing I love about the UK Fest is that everyone is up for having a drink and a good time resulting in a very relaxed, care free and fun event.

Tom Huddleston interviewing Chris Mulkey and Ian Buchanan

The long day ended with a game of Twingo (Twin Peaks bingo) hosted by Miss Rose Thorne and Benjamin Louche of The Double R Club, a very difficult trivia quiz (well I am terrible at trivia at the best of times but after such a long day and a few glasses of wine I have no hope of success) and a DJ set with more drinks, laughter and brilliant conversation.

Was it the best Twin Peaks UK Fest yet? I couldn't possibly say and not because I have any negative words but because the superb thing about the fest is that each year it is unique with a different schedule, setting and surprises so we never get bored. Lindsey and all of her team put so much thought, time and care into it and it really shows in every way on the day. Another triumphant and wonderful Twin Peaks UK Fest. Thank you Lindsey, The Double R Club, Tom Huddleston for the fab DJing and Q&A, everyone who helped out on the day and to all of the wonderful Peakie pals I have met over the years who made it extra special. Bring on 2017!

Find out more about the Twin Peaks UK Festival at and listen to me rabbiting on about the festival on the Twin Peaks Unwrapped podcast - a fantastic podcast which I regularly listen to on my commute to work. I highly recommend you do too!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

7 Things We Learned From Mark Frost's Reddit AMA

*Minor spoilers for The Secret History of Twin Peaks and the new season*

Mark Frost, co-creator of Twin Peaks, took part in a Reddit AMA yesterday answering all things Twin Peaks related! Although he successfully dodged many questions about the new season with the swift response of "That's classified." there was some interesting information to be found...

1. The new footage for season 3 "looks tremendous" and Frost is "wildly enthusiastic" about the new music created to go along with it. Trailers, announcements, behind the scenes footage and merchandise should be coming soon... "stay tuned".

2. Frost confirmed that there was discussion about bringing back Keifer Sutherland and Chris Isaak for the new season. They played FBI Agents in Lynch's prequel film Fire Walk With Me. Although neither have been linked to the new season I hope they will make an appearance somewhere.

3. The greatest challenge in returning to the story 25 years later was remembering what they wrote the last time and tying it all together. Does this prove that some of the potential 'mistakes' in The Secret History of Twin Peaks could be down to forgetting the past?

4. But when asked if Pete Martell was a chess or checkers player, Frost confirmed that he was a master checkers player. This changed character detail in The Secret History has baffled many of us as we all remember how Pete assisted Agent Cooper in his deadly chess game against Windom Earle... they didn't play checkers!

5. Mark Frost strongly suggests that the dossier found in The Secret History of Twin Peaks has been tampered with. Perhaps why Pete is now apparently a checkers player? The book is still a bit of a mystery to me at the moment but Frost suggested that it would make more sense when the new season comes out and it should provide some "eureka!" moments.

6. The only other hint he gave about The Secret History of Twin Peaks is that there is something going on with the grid lines on the slip cover. So study this carefully and report back to me if you figure anything out!

7. He hates asparagus. Which reminds me of someone's secret diary entry: "Asparagus for dinner again. I hate asparagus. Does this mean I'll never grow up?"

To read the AMA in full click here.

Mark Frost is currently promoting his recently released and excellent Twin Peaks book, The Secret History of Twin Peaks. I am very much looking forward to his arrival in London and will be attending the Q&A at Waterstones on 17th November. Unfortunately tickets are sold out but I'll post everything I find out here and on Twitter where you can follow me @IshbelBeeson.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The Secret History of Twin Peaks Available This Week!

Can you believe that after a 25 year wait new Twin Peaks material has been released? I am still pinching myself despite counting down the days since the release date was set. THE SECRET HISTORY OF TWIN PEAKS by Mark Frost (writer and co-creator of Twin Peaks) promises to divulge serious information on the world of Twin Peaks and somewhat fill in the gaps over the last 25 years before the new series hits our screens next year.

I was going to wait for my book to be delivered by Amazon and was going to sit down uninterrupted with some hot, black coffee and a doughnut to pour over the pages but I simply cannot help myself. I can't wait a second longer. I have no control when it comes to Twin Peaks. So, I downloaded the audio book this morning before leaving the house and managed to take in 45 minutes of it on my way to work. Here's a great tip: sign up to Audible's free 30 day trial and you can download The Secret History of Twin Peaks completely free!

I promise not to divulge any spoilers on my blog without prior warning. I hope you all enjoy reading or listening to the book around the world and thank you Mark Frost for giving us this very special gift.

And as if today couldn't get any better, SHOWTIME have shared this incredible sneak peek at the new Twin Peaks season 3. It gave me chills watching it. It really makes me think the new series is going to be absolutely extraordinary!

Monday, 10 October 2016

Lynch At The London Film Festival 2016

The London Film Festival always has a fantastically diverse range of films screening and this year there were two documentaries about David Lynch being shown - Blue Velvet Revisited and David Lynch The Art Life. One was shot 30 years ago during the making of Blue Velvet when Lynch was a young and immensely enthusiastic filmmaker, the other shot within the last 3 years focusing on David Lynch the artist and reflecting back on his early life now that he is in his 70s. They contrast in tone and style yet both offer the viewer a thoughtful insight into the film icon and slightly more understanding of his influences and outlook on the world around him, although Lynch still remains highly enigmatic.


30 years ago at the age of 24, Peter Braatz received a letter from David Lynch simply stating "Dear Peter, I am interested. Signed David Lynch". Peter had asked permission to travel to LA and film a behind the scenes observation of the making of Blue Velvet on his Super-8 camera. All these years later and the footage has been edited together with memorable graphics and a wonderful soundtrack from Crammed Discs, resulting in a meditative experience and peek at the production of what has become known as Lynch's masterpiece. I was naieve to believe this would be a typical behind the scenes making of documentary. Far from it. Blue Velvet Revisited is a poetic memory of a time, a transcendental observation of Peter's experiences on the set. There is enough interview with Lynch to give the viewer an insight into the director's style of working and enthusiasm about the project whilst remaining completely fascinating and mysterious. An experience for the super fans and those who appreciate Lynch's art.


Over a period of 2 and a half years filmmaker Jon Nguyen shot Lynch working away in his studio in LA and conducted a series of interviews in which Lynch reflects on his life from early childhood up until he received the grant that allowed him to begin production on Eraserhead. The stories Lynch tells are brought to life by his paintings, sculptures and photographs which are used to illustrate his words. It is very interesting to focus on Lynch's artwork as opposed to continuously reading into his films. And it is clear that much of what he produces takes inspiration from everything he has personally experienced throughout his life. He clearly sees himself first and foremost as an artist and is at his most content experimenting in his studio, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes.

Lynch has often been misunderstood, including by his own parents, due to his obsession with subjects and materials which most consider particularly dark: death, decay and obscurity. But I feel he actually looks at life in a more straight forward manner than one would assume. He does not shy away from the juxtapositions we face daily between the natural beauty and wonder of the world, and the extreme torment, bleakness and tragedy that can also haunt us. This is evident in his artwork, films and the experiences that are most memorable to him.

Touchingly, the film is dedicated to Lynch's toddler daughter Lula who is shown sitting with her father and painting by his side. The stories that will be left behind in David Lynch The Art Life form some of the most intimate interviews given by Lynch and will I'm sure allow Lula to understand her father's life before she was brought into it. A fascinating examination of an artist and a must see for all Lynch fanatics.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

A Slice of Twin Peaks in London

If you've been reading my blog for a while then you will be well aware that I am a UK based (London to be exact) Twin Peaks mega fan. So unfortunately, journeying to North Bend, Washington and eating some cherry pie at the real Double R Diner won't be happening any time soon for me. Although it is top of my life time 'to do' list. So in the meantime I have to find ways to escape to Twin Peaks as best I can in The Big Smoke. 
Here are some of the places which help me do just that! Those marked with a * are particularly close to this year's Twin Peaks UK Festival venue (Picturehouse Central in the West End) so worth  checking out if you are visiting and staying nearby for the event.


19 Beak Street, W1F 9RP

If you are in need of a damn fine cup of coffee, black as midnight on a moonless night, then this is the place to go. I love this little coffee shop where the staff take their caffeine very seriously. It has a great atmosphere and in the evening they serve fabulous espresso martinis (a cocktail which was invented in Soho in 1983). If you are loyal enough you might be given a Black Card which will entitle you to £5 cocktails on Mondays. Doesn't get better than that.


75 Beak Street, W1F 9SS

Also on Beak Street (I spend a lot of time in Soho so this post is slightly area bias) you will find a great little diner which serves delicious fried chicken (my weakness) but also has mini doughnuts and a rather good cherry pie on the menu. It's not easy to find cherry pie in the UK and I'm always on the look out. A good place for lunch or an afternoon treat.

3 Greek Street, W1D 4NX

Milroy's is a very old whisky shop, with a secret... at the back of the shop, down a staircase is a hidden little bar tucked behind a bookcase. The dingy basement and books made me instantly think of the Bookhouse Boy's hang out. And because not everyone knows it is there, it has an element of the mysterious about it. A great place to go for an intimate drink.


Monthly at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club & November 12th at the Twin Peaks UK Festival

If you live in London, or near enough, and are reading this blog, but have never been to one of The Double R Club's shows than you neighbour, are an IMBECILE! As soon as you do attend one of their club nights you will fully understand why my opinion is so severe. The moment you step inside you are transported into a Lynchian dreamworld... 52 card pick up girls freshly scented from the perfume counter welcome you, a black cat may cross your path and the performers descend to the stage throughout the evening like spirits from another place. You can feel the owls watching you... Benjamin Louche (whose wonderful blue rose poem I posted previously and can be read here) is the charming and alarming compere and glamorous Miss Rose Thorne runs the show with the warmest hospitality. Do not miss this monthly happening.


58-59 Great Marlborough Street & 92-100 Stoke Newington Road

This is my favourite place to browse for retro Peaksy clothing. The shops are laid out really well, the staff are friendly and helpful and no matter which character you are trying to vibe, you will find the garbs you need here. You'll find everything from a glamorous shoulder padded 80s frock to an array of off duty Agent Cooper plaid. You could channel Bobby Briggs in a baseball jacket or make like Lucy in a hilarious knitted jumper. Great clothing at great prices! Definitely worth popping into pre-fest for a last minute costume.


4 Broadwick Street, W1F 0DA

These doughnuts are incomparable to regular doughnuts. These are atisanal doughnuts and absolutely drool worthy. Unfortunately I do not have the high metabolism of a bumble bee Agent Cooper possesses so have to restrict my consumption but it is so worth denying yourself until you have one. These are the doughnuts of your dreams. Flavours include Coffee Custard, Cinnamon Sugar and Sea Salt Caramel Banana. I am salivating just thinking about it... You can also order online!



Of course the concrete jungle of London cannot come close to the majestic beauty of Twin Peaks. There isn't a Douglas Fir in sight. But if you drive out of the city, or hop on the tube, you can quite easily find yourself back to nature with a visit to stunning Richmond Park. Here you will encounter free roaming deer, ducks on the pond and quite easily find yourself lost in the woods. A good place to go to catch your breath, do a spot of fishing or lounge the afternoon away with a picnic. Alternatively, woo your sweetheart with a boat trip in the more accessible Hyde Park (Kensington area) just like Annie and Coop.

I'm sure there are many more places of Lynchian interest in and around London (it was the setting for The Elephant Man after all) and if you know of anything I have missed out and would highly recommend, please let me know! 
Now that Autumn has settled in we have some exciting times ahead of us with the release of Mark Frost's much anticipated book The Secret History of Twin Peaks and then in November the Twin Peaks UK Fest is finally happening again. This Friday I'm going to see The Art Life documentary about David Lynch and then Blue Velvet Revisited on Sunday as part of the London Film Festival. I'll be sure to post some reviews of these next week. I'm so grateful for what this city has to offer us! It may not be North Bend but it isn't half bad...

Friday, 16 September 2016

Ballad Of The Blue Rose - A Poem By Benjamin Louche

Last night I left London and stepped into a Lynchian dreamland. The Double R Club were celebrating their 7th Birthday and put on a spectacular show. A highlight was this poem written by our fuckin' suave host Benjamin Louche. The subject being the mysterious blue rose. I woke up this morning desperate to hear it once again and thought it too good not to share...

Ballad Of The Blue Rose

What makes a rose blue, and what meaning therein?
Grown behind picket fence or worn on a pin,
Can a rose feel sorrow? Can its petals fall like tears?
Can the colour blue hold significance? Can its thorns prick out your fears?

Can they prick your thumbs in warning, that something wicked comes?
Something quite against all nature, something impossible that numbs
all your ability to differentiate between the waking world and dreams?
A thing that doesn't belong, yet ever closer than it seems.

For meaning lies in everything, in blinking eyes, in sour face,
In the thread they used to alter the dress, in Lil walking in Place,
But what secrets use the bluest rose for their habitat?
What secrets? Oh, I'm sorry child, but I can't tell you that.

But if you listen oh so carefully, when the nightsea wind doth blow,
You may hear the blue rose singing, and if you do then you will know...

This poem will be published in Voices In The Red Velvet Elsewhere: Vol 2.
Volume 1 which features more musings, imaginings and perverse prose is available to purchase from The Double R Club's online shop here.

To learn more about the author, visit Louche's website.
For Double R Club news and events visit

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Throwback Thursday Review: David Lynch's Crazy Clown Time

I've been doing a clear out recently in anticipation of moving out of my current abode and into a shiny new flat and stumbled upon some old newspaper clippings from my University days. I used to write film and music reviews for the student paper and when Lynch released his Crazy Clown Time album I jumped at the chance to write about it. I know it's old news but thought it worth sharing as it was such a brilliant album and re-reading the review I wrote, I can't help but notice how eloquently I used to write when I was a student of academia...! I better sharpen up my pencils and try a little harder on future posts!

Peak Performance - David Lynch's Crazy Clown Time

It may seem surprising that film maker David Lynch, the surreal all-American visionary, has just released début solo album Crazy Clown Time. But sound has always played an integral part in Lynch’s films and his varied oeuvre doesn't stop at film and music but also includes a Parisian nightclub, his own signature coffee brand, paintings and sculpture, even a furniture collection. This album has been a long time coming.

Lynch has always emphasised the great importance of auditory aspects of his films claiming that music is often the origin for most of his ideas. He has even stated: “people call me a director, but I really think of myself as a sound man.” Godard-esque unexpected musical interludes are common in his work, as are unsettling industrial sound effects and a mixture of equally stylish and darkly atmospheric soundtracks. Over the years he has closely collaborated with many significant names: multi-award winning composer Angelo Badalamenti has scored the soundtracks of the majority of his films, Lynch penned the lyrics for singer Julie Cruise’s album Floating Into The Night after she sang on the opening titles for Lynch’s hit TV drama Twin Peaks, Chris Isaak shot to fame after Lynch directed his music video for Wicked Games and featured him on theWild At Heart soundtrack and more recently he directed a Duran Duran concert for the internet.

The musicianship on Crazy Clown Time is entirely Lynch, apart from the killer opening track Pinky’s Dream to which Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ front woman Karen O lends her vocals. She sounds fabulously seductive, and its a good way to ease in the sceptics before some of the more ‘experimental’ tracks appear and Lynch’s own distorted vocals kick in. Crazy Clown Time mostly offers a dark, moody, hypnotic blues which is entirely evocative of the Lynch universe. But there are a couple of surprisingly upbeat electro-pop tracks in amongst the more quintessential Lynchian fare, like the frothy Good Day Today, which is already popular on the dance floors of Ibiza.

Lynch’s vocals are distorted and range from a raspy whisper to inane and occasionally irritating whines; at times one wonders if the ‘Czar of Bizarre’ is singing with some blue velvet stuffed into his mouth. His voice, which Mel Brook’s infamously once described to be like ‘Jimmy Stewart from Mars’, is not always pleasant on the ears. Track seven titled Strange and Unproductive Thinking lasts an unbearable seven and a half minutes consisting of Lynch mumbling on about transcendental meditation (for which he is an avid spokesperson) through a vocoder machine.

Crazy Clown Time, like all of Lynch’s work, is not for everyone, yet will inspire and stimulate some, particularly fans. Much of the album feels like the perfect soundtrack to a Lynch film which is yet to be made. Although his first official solo experiment is far from disastrous, lets hope that this is not a permanent leave of absence from what he does best.

Crazy Clown Time

David Lynch

Fat Possum Records


Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Philosophy of Agent Cooper

Twin Peaks is the most quotable show and we all have our favourite lines. One of my most loved is from who else but Special Agent Dale Cooper: "Harry, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present." The scene takes place in the Double R diner and Cooper demonstrates to Sheriff Truman how something as simple as a cup of hot, black coffee can become a highlight of your day. I absolutely love Dale's optimistic outlook and enjoyment of life's simple pleasures and recently I've been attempting to take on his philosophy and make it part of my own lifestyle.

Daily I've been taking the time to consider what present to give myself to ensure that pleasure can be found in each day, no matter how mundane it may have been. This week for example I had some stand out presents such as the purchase of the new Twin Peaks OST vinyl and last night I went for dinner and drinks at my favourite diner after work. But it doesn't always have to be extravagant. Wednesday was a particularly warm and sunny day in London and after work I went for an evening stroll in the park with a friend and we enjoyed a glass of rosé wine brought from home to enjoy whilst the sun set. 

This all sounds terribly happy bully of me (Betty Briggs and her smiley face badge come to mind) but making sure there is one thing, no matter how simple, in your day that makes you think that day was worth living can really make a difference to an outlook on life. Life is at times so stressful, disappointing, unfair and harsh. Finding ways to stop the darkness from seeping in is so important. So, I urge you to take on the philosophy of our trusted Special Agent and if you haven't done so already, give yourself a present right now! On that note, I'm going to pop open a bottle of fizz...

Thursday, 8 September 2016

The Perfect Twin Peaks TV Cabinet

I'm moving into a new flat later this year and have been thinking about things I need to purchase and how I want my bedroom to look. As well as what I need to get rid of to de-clutter my life! I was searching for a small table for my record player and also a neat way to store records and I stumbled upon this stunning media unit from Swoon Editions which would be absolutely perfect for a Twin Peaks fan... Click here to view more photos!

How amazing would it be to sit down to watch Season 3 next year with your television placed on top of this?! A very subtle and stylish way to decorate your home with a touch of Twin Peaks inspiration. I so want to store my collection of Lynch films and books behind those chevron embossed doors...

£269 is not a bad price for a decent piece of furniture but it's got me thinking that it would be really easy to DIY a unit you already own or a cheaper piece picked up at a market. Watch this space... I'm thinking I need a touch of Twin Peaks in the new pad.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Twin Peaks OST Release Party

Last night Peaks Freaks around the world gathered at their local record shops to celebrate the release of the new Twin Peaks original score vinyl re-issue by Death Waltz Recording Company. For me that meant travelling from work to Sister Ray Ace in Shoreditch, East London. It was a great little gathering with free cherry pie and coffee and the ethereal Angelo Badalamenti tunes playing on repeat.

Sister Ray Ace is a fantastic little shop with an awesome selection of records. After a terrible journey on the underground to get there, the friendly staff greeted us warmly and as soon as we arrived we were scoffing delicious, warm cherry pie. I dragged my lovely friend Gemma with me (she isn't entirely familiar with Twin Peaks but I'm working on it. And who says no to free pie?) and also met a charming man called Jon from the Twin Peaks Twittersphere. It was a great opportunity to talk about the latest Twin Peaks rumours, gossip and share our opinions on favourite characters as well as predictions for the new season.

Annoyingly we arrived late and missed the cherry stalk tongue tying competition. Apparently a woman successfully mastered the Audrey Horne party trick almost instantly! Clearly lacking Miss Horne's seduction, this is something I have never managed to accomplish myself...

After making my record purchase (£29.99) we left and popped across the road to a street food court called Block where we cooled down in the muggy September heat with a Peroni and gorged on delicious stone baked pizza.

It was such a treat unwrapping the vinyl. The designers, Mondo, have done an outstanding job with the artwork (approved by Mr Lynch himself). It's a very special item for a Twin Peaks collection and I can't wait to see what they do for the Fire Walk With Me release (apparently coming later this year). The vinyl itself is supposed to be the colour of coffee but I think it looks more like mahogany wood... which would also be somewhat appropriate was it the intention. I held it very close to the light and could just about read a secret message inscribed running in a circular loop in the middle: "I have no idea where this will lead us but I have a feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange."

It was a damn fine evening and I urge you to go out and purchase this beautifully crafted vinyl. Having just inherited my dad's record player this is the first record I have ever purchased myself and it couldn't be more perfect. On my way home from the listening party I spotted these enormous chevron patterns on a wall across the street. Is it just me or do you also see Twin Peaks symbolism absolutely everywhere? Spooky...

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

25 Years Later & Counting...

I am finding the wait for 2017 is becoming almost torturous... I know I shouldn't wish my life away and there are so many great Twin Peaks events coming later this year: Mark Frost's book The Secret History of Twin Peaks is published in October and The Twin Peaks UK Festival is happening again in November. But in the meantime I need to find other ways to satisfy my obsession and there are only so many times I can watch the series over and over again... So I thought I would share some Twin Peaks things that have been entertaining me recently!

Diane - Twin Peaks Podcast

I only discovered this fantastic podcast last week and it has been essential listening on my walk to and from work. There are a few Twin Peaks podcasts already in existence and although brilliant in their own way, I have found Diane to have some of the most refreshing and interesting views, opinions and analysis of the show. The lovely hosts (Rosie, Mark, Adam and Bob) are based in the English seaside town of Brighton and are a pleasure to delve into each episode with. Being a Twin Peaks nerd I sometimes think I know it all but listening to Diane I am finding out brand new pieces of information and observations which have previously passed me by. I highly recommend you download some episodes. Find them on twitter @DianePodcast and download here: 

Twin Peaks FAQ: All That's Left To Know About A Place Both Wonderful & Strange

This book was published in July and I had it on pre-order. I've been dipping in and out of it ever since. It's so well formatted and laid out and really fun to read. Again, it's one of those situations where I think I know all there is to know but Bushman and Smith include snippets of information I've never stumbled upon and some great (sometimes hilarious) analysis of characters and episodes. As it is a new publication, it is the first Twin Peaks book I've read which includes mentions of the new series and how it came to be announced to the world. Buy it on Amazon here.

Twin Peaks UK Festival Costume

I can't reveal too much here as I always keep my costume for the festival a closely guarded secret until the big day and although it seems a long time away (November 12th) my older sister is so well prepared and was showing me her purchases at the weekend for her costume. So, naturally I was inspired to immediately get mine together. Usually I go as some form of Laura Palmer but this year I'm doing something different... But you'll have to wait and see!
You can still buy tickets for the UK Twin Peaks event of the year here.

Twin Peaks OST Re-Issue

The new LP release of the Twin Peaks soundtrack looks so wonderful. I am yet to get my hands on it but have recently inherited a record player and plan to attend one of the listening events to make a purchase. Sister Ray Ace in Shoreditch are hosting a 'Cherry Pie & Coffee Evening' listening party on 6th September with a free record going to whoever can tie a cherry stem into a knot with their tongue the fastest. I tried this in anticipation at home last night and all I can say is, I'm struggling to summon my inner Audrey Horne! Link to the Facebook event page is here.

I hope you check out some of the above if you haven't already done so. Please send me your ideas of Peakie activities to keep me satisfied until next year! Hang loose Howies.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

In Defence of Donna

"I'm having the most beautiful dream...and the most terrible nightmare, all at once."

For a small town Twin Peaks is teaming with glamorous, beautiful and stylish women and as fans we cannot get enough of them. Audrey and Shelly seem to be very firm favorites among the online fan community and rightly so - their characters were mesmerizing and the actresses continue to indulge our Peaky obsession with regular appearances at the festivals and great online interaction with the fans.

But I never hear much, if anything at all, about Donna or actress Lara Flynn Boyle who portrayed her in the series (not to be confused with Moira Kelly who played Donna in prequel film Fire Walk With Me). In fact, the few tweets I have seen have predominantly been to share recent unflattering photos of the actress, trolling her about plastic surgery. It's been confirmed that Lara Flynn Boyle will not appear in the new series coming in 2017, yet this does not mean that Donna has been written out, and part of me hopes she might still be around, although I fully trust in Lynch and Frost.

I think it's a real shame that you don't see very much Donna love online... She was an absolute babe in the original series, a compelling and essential character as the deceased Laura's straight laced BFF and some of her scenes are unforgettable. The moment she realizes something terrible has happened to Laura in the classroom in the pilot is so haunting.

I did some probing and must say thank you to followers who promptly responded. I know a lot of you do have a fondness for Donna but overall she does not seem regarded as an essential character and won't be missed much in the new series. @TwinPeaksRevolution said they felt in a minority for liking Lara Flynn Boyle's Donna and hope the new Mark Frost book will shed some light on what has happened to Donna in the last 25 years if indeed her character does not resurface and I do agree - it would be nice to have explanations if main characters do not return. Whilst another TP fanatic @chaffro said Donna annoyed the hell out of him in Season 2 when the Harold plot line became convoluted. A fair point but I found Donna's investigations leading her to Harold the shut in and the bizarre Mrs Tremond and her magician son, some of the oddest and most riveting scenes. It was touching to see the risks Donna was willing to take to find out the truth about her best friend.

For me Donna helped humanise Laura Palmer. Laura wasn't just a troubled, drug addict nymphomaniac with nobody to turn to. Beneath the darkness was a normal teenage girl and even if Donna didn't know all about Laura's secrets, she did know the sweet, innocent Laura and she loved her in the way girls do love their friends growing up. The BFF bond is such an amazing one!

I just think Donna needs a little more recognition and love thrown her way. Lara Flynn Boyle had some great scenes and looked flawless in that black shoulderless cocktail dress with the red bow in the penultimate "you're my daddy" episode. It was one of my favourite outfits seen on the show.

I've been reading the recently published 'Twin Peaks FAQ' and love their summarisation of Donna:

"...her courageous willingness to confront the darkest aspects of humanity is all the more heroic when one considers her cozy, cloistered, wholesome upbringing. Donna's a good girl for sure, but she's not a drag..."

I don't like to dwell on the behind the scenes gossip and I know James and Donna's romance was sometimes too frothy to stomach but overall I think Donna was brilliant and we should all take some more time to recognise that!

What do you think? Was LFB a better Donna than Moira Kelly? Are you sad she might not be included in series 3? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, 12 August 2016

Tribute To My Dad

I have been terrible at blogging this year. It has been on my Summer ‘To Do’ list (alongside picnics, tennis, reading, swimming...) since June but recently I have been through one of the hardest experiences of my life and time fell apart for a while. This will be an emotional blog to write but after much thought I really think it is something I want to share.

After months of poor health and time spent in and out of hospital, my Dad died suddenly in July. Although his condition was getting worse it still came as a shock to me and my siblings and it has been a difficult five weeks since. But I finally feel that I have found myself again and have decided it is time to focus on the positive things in my life right now and the amazing time I spent with my Dad and what he has done for me.

The reason I am sharing this and writing a tribute post is because, without my Dad, I wonder if I would ever have discovered our beloved Twin Peaks! I grew up in the rural wilderness of the Highlands of Scotland and, unless you were really into hill walking and other outdoor ventures (which I am not particularly), there wasn’t very much to do. Fortunately my Dad was a film buff extraordinaire and we started a 2-person film society. He gave me a great foundation in Film Studies before I went to University to study at degree level. My dad had a flavour for films which transcend the mainstream. His most favourite of all were the Surrealist masterpieces of Luis Bunuel such as Un Chien Andalou in which an eyeball is sliced in half and juxtaposed with the moon. And after showing me Bunuel the natural progression was to the work of David Lynch.

We started with Eraserhead which I found totally bizarre, amusing and disturbing. My mum wouldn’t watch it as Dad had shown it to her once before and she was horrified by the baby. But I was intrigued. And Dad kept telling me about how this surreal filmmaker had later gone on to create a TV show set in a small American town and how there were strange dream sequences and a dancing dwarf. I couldn't begin to imagine it and was desperate to see it.

We sat down for the pilot together and from the moment the boy in the background does that funny dance from his locker in the high school I realized how completely unique it was to anything I had ever seen before and I was hooked. I was obsessed by the mystery and would race home from school every evening begging Dad to let us watch 3 in a row (this was before Netflix binging was the norm). We watched every episode together and went on to watch Lost Highway, The Straight Story, Wild At Heart, Blue Velvet, Dune...

My Dad and I bonded over Twin Peaks and he was so proud of me when I went on to write a dissertation on Lynch’s work (he gave me eager notes and opinions). Even when he was in hospital earlier this year I gave him a Get Well Soon card I made which features a thumbs up Cooper and a stuck on speech bubble saying “I hope you feel damn fine in no time”.

It gives me great sadness to know that we won’t be able to sit down together to discover Twin Peaks, 25 years later, but I will raise a cup of David Lynch coffee in his honour the day I do. I will remain forever so thankful that we shared the time we had together, that he introduced me to the wonderful and strange world which I am so in love with. It continues to bring me so much comfort during the darkest of times.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Copenhagen's Log Lady Café

Copenhagen is a wonderful city in Denmark where you can see most of the sights in a day by bike and scoff sweet cinnamon buns for breakfast. Apparently its the happiest place to live in Europe and I certainly recommend a visit after my recent weekend away with a couple of girlfriends from my university days. It also boasts a Twin Peaks inspired bar called The Log Lady Café and there was no way I could leave without a visit.

The Log Lady Café of Copenhagen

After sharing a bottle of fizz in our Air BnB apartment the three of us jumped in an Uber (thrilled we could use this abroad) headed straight for The Log Lady. Open till late, this Café come Bar was busy with local hipsters sat around candle lit tables and propping up the small central bar. A taxidermy owl sat impressively overseeing the action and dear Catherine Coulson's portrait as her iconic character, The Log Lady, was framed on the wall.

We love you Log Lady

We swiftly ordered some Gin and Tonics (an espresso martini would have been more appropriate but there didn't seem to be a cocktail menu) and moved through to the more atmospheric back room. The dark, candlelit room at the back is stuffed with squashy armchairs and chaise lounge and the walls are painted to look as if you are sitting in the middle of the woods. It felt as though we were in a combination of One Eyed Jack's amongst the trees... Amazingly, you could smoke back there in the 'woods' and the clouds of smoke added to the spooky ambiance. Little tree stumps were littered around to balance drinks on and a red curtain led to a chevron floored corridor, exactly like the black lodge.

My chevron shoes to match!
The Log Lady Café is a small, lively bar for coffee during the day and DJs and drinks at night. I wouldn't be surprised if many of its visitors weren't familiar with Twin Peaks as the themeing was subtle but for a big fan like myself it was a treat to soak up the atmosphere and appreciate that Twin Peak's influence can be found in all corners of the world. Definitely worth a visit if you're ever in Copenhagen!

Riding bikes in Copenhagen. The best way to see the city.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Happy Birthday DKL

To all my Twin Peakers and backward speakers! I apologize for not regularly updating... There will be so much more to come with the new series getting closer and closer to completion this year. 2017 will be a mega year for Twin Peaks fans. Meanwhile... I wanted to share this fabulously wonderful and strange photo with you all. It is in celebration of the joint birthdays of our David Lynch (70 yesterday!) and my bro Fred (25 yesterday!). HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR LYNCH. Here's to many more.

In other news, for all the UK readers, make sure you sign up to Sky TV - they have just sealed a deal with Showtime to screen Twin Peaks in the UK. Read more on The Guardian here.

Hang loose Howies!