Thursday, 31 December 2009

Smile for the camera

I went to see the very interesting Points of View exhibition at the British Library the other day as an antidote to Christmas.

Its my first visit to the library, and I really liked the space. The exhibition was interesting, and engaging, although I did hit exhibition saturation point about 5 mins before the end.

My favourite bits were the tales of set up pictures, depicting supposed far away lands and people. And, the thought that as people were travelling more, the advent of photography must have stunned and amazed everyone. Seeing their first hippo or foreign land.

Definitely worth a visit.

Its not Christmas unless you have seen the Pogues

We ventured out from our usual Brixton gig this year and went to see the Pogues in Sheffield.

A much smaller venue, it was good - but slightly more in range of the beer-soaking mosh-pit - to be more in the fray, and to see the band better. Not that you could see Shane, the only singer in history to demand darkness around him. Not a spotlight in site.

They were however the best I have ever seen them, seemingly getting on, exchanging some banter, and staying in time, and in tune. All in all a great night out, and I only got covered in beer once!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

ATP: the eventful year

I always look forward to All Tomorrow's Parties and this year was no exception. However, there were a few things set to try us: we were ill, I drove my car into a wall, I was burgled. These events will probably make it one of the most memorable years, but really, it should be remembered by the music.

Here are the bands I saw:

  • De La Soul - Used to love them when I was younger but on the day I hadn't had enough to drink yet
  • Primal Scream - Not as good as I thought they would be. Bit serious musio rather than fun 'god is this Primal Scream as well!'
  • Josh T Pearson - I like him, a bit Nick Cave/Seasick Steve
  • Buzzcocks - Fantabulous jumping around music
  • Television Personalities - Good fun, another blast from the past, featuring the violinist from Le Volume Courbe


  • The Tyde - Looked like a seventies porn star, very happy chappy
  • Sun Ra Arkestra - I recognise they are fab but not for me
  • The Horrors - Have had a makeover since we last saw them. Not so much black and leather, pretty good.
  • J Mascus and the Fog - Far to serious musio project by Dinosaur Jr blokey
  • Spectrum - I came, I saw, I can't remember!
  • Fucked up - Jolly Canadian Punk
  • Le Volume Courbe - I really liked these, French with cute violinist
  • That Petrol Emotion - Back to the old school, much better than I thought they would be, and so loving it.
  • Lightening Bolt - The highlight, WOW really
  • Ariel Pink - We had about a 30 min discussion on whether the lead singer was a boy or a girl. Also a strange man turned up in a raincoat who turned out to be the lead singer from the Lily's


  • Lily's - His camp chirpy pop amused me for a while but then he began to get on my wick
  • Th' Faith Healers - Quite grew on us after a while.
  • Dirty Three - fabulous druggie violins
  • Swervedriver - a little disappointing
  • Bob Mould - bless! Dull, dull, dull
  • My Bloody Valentine - Good music but couldn't hear the vocals
  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Good fun, we didn't stay for it all though because it was a fight between them or the Dirty Three, and the Dirty Three one

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Alphonse Mucha

Whilst swilling gluhwein at the Christmas markets of Munich I took time out to go and see the retrospective exhibition of Mucha's work which was pretty amazing.

Mucha is a world-renowned Art Nouveau figure head. He was famous for his poster designs, particularly of Sarah Bernhardt, book illustrations and jewellery creations. What I didn't expect to see though was a very occult/religious driven, spooky body of work which was also exhibited. It was beautifully executed, using pastels and chalk and all in all this was a pretty special exhibition.

Wham Glam Jam

Staying local the other night I went to see the lovely Lady Imelda and her erstwhile glamorous assistant at the Piano Bar at 286.

Having not been there for a while I had a fab, and very late night out. Enhanced by watching Jedward being kicked out of the xfactor first over a few drinks.

They are both terrific singers, and the members of the audience who got up and sang where also very good.

Roast potatoes at half time (be that about 11.30) reminded me of pubs of time gone by and did help to mop up the alcohol. All in all a very glam jam indeed.

Wacky Le Clique

We all had a fun night out to Le Clique at the Roundhouse the other day culminating in lots of drunken hilarity and that was just the performers!

My favourite acts were The Wau Wau Sisters - acrobats with a rock twist and Ursula Martinez - hailing from Spain via Croydon.

Some of the more bizarre acts included a Queen obsessed juggler, a purposely rubbish Swedish magician and Meow Meow, who got 4 unsuspecting guys from the audience to try and shape her arms and legs into a swastika (why I have no idea).