Amelia’s Magazine | Sound It Out: an interview with Jeanie Finlay

sounditout by Sarah Jayne
Illustration by Sarah-Jayne Brain

Record shops have always been a particular haunt of mine – from my (short-lived) days as a superstar student DJ when I’d go on the hunt for Friday night floor fillers for the student union, to my weekly shopping expeditions to the much missed Selectadisc in Nottingham to boost my Bowie collection, right up to the present – rummaging through the record racks in such establishments as Rough Trade and Sister Ray.

Being a record geek, I naturally had to check out a new documentary which I’d heard had been made about a small independent record shop in the North East (at a time when such shops are disappearing at an alarming rate), especially when it was then premiered at this year’s SXSW in Austin, Texas, and subsequently became the official film for Record Store Day 2011, picking up plaudits along the way! That film is Sound It Out, by Jeanie Finlay, and it follows the trials and tribulations of running Sound It Out Records, an independent record shop (the last one, in fact) in Stockton-on-Tees.

Sound It Out by Jeanie Finlay
All photography courtesy of Jeanie Finlay.

I caught a screening of the film at Rough Trade East a while ago, which was followed by a Q&A with Jeanie Finlay and a typically robust performance by Stockton’s Chapman Family (who also contributed to the soundtrack). It’s a funny, touching piece, and it’s more than a just film about a record shop, it’s also about a love of music, and what it means to the community that gathers around the shop, and about the larger community, in Stockton, as well.

YouTube Preview Image

Amelia’s Magazine posed a few questions to Jeanie Finlay about the documentary.

What inspired you to make the documentary? Is the finished film how you imagined it when you first started, or has it taken on a life of its own?
Sound It Out is a documentary portrait about the very last record shop in Teesside, Sound It Out Records, Stockton-on-Tees. It’s a film about music and passion and collecting, all encased in a tiny shop on a small street in the place where I grew up. I went to school with Tom (the shop owner) and although Sound It Out isn’t a shop from my formative years (Alan Fearnley’s RIP) it was clear how much the shop meant to people when I’d go in to visit. It seemed like the perfect place to make a film about what music means to people and about the North East, about my home. Over the last five years a record shop has closed in the UK every three days so it seemed important to document Sound It Out in all its glory. It’s the first film I’ve made on my own – I usually work with a crew. For Sound It Out I wanted to just start shooting, just me and the camera and see what happened. I sensed there was a film to be made in the story of the shop but I really wasn’t sure until long into the shoot. I needed to find out by just doing it. All the way through, from the filming, edit, design and distribution I’ve just tried to follow my gut instinct and go with it.

Sound it Out by Jeanie Finlay girl

Was it easy to persuade Tom to let you film in the shop? It must have been a bit of an unexpected request!
He was totally open and gave me complete access to the shop. The filming was a bit of a novelty at first and then I think it just became normal. When I’m filming things get good when it just feels boring – everyone has got so used to me filming that it’s not anything out of the ordinary. I’m just that girl in the corner with the camera. Tom was the only person I knew before I started and it was really interesting getting to know the regulars and deciding who the film would focus on. I was totally drawn to the shyer people who came in.

You get a few candid interviews with a lot of the regulars in the shop. Was that intended, to capture the ‘person behind the record buyer’, or was it something that just happened naturally?
I’m always interested in getting to know people ‘on camera’. The people I met were very candid and generous with what they shared. My films are always pretty personal and aim to find a glimmer of the person inside. I hope that people come away from the film feeling like they’ve got to know the people they’ve met on screen, for a moment. I’m not just interested in music – I’m interested in what it means to people and how it moves them. For me – music is powerful because other people’s lyrics and sounds can tell the story of our lives in a way that could be hard to articulate with words alone.

Sound it Out by Jeanie Finlay

Were you surprised by the critical reception Sound It Out received? And what did Tom and the customers think when they first saw it?
I was really nervous to show the film to Tom and the customers but they all seem to have taken the film to their hearts. Tom had been at a rough cut viewing but the first time he saw the finished film was the world premiere at SXSW, Austin. I was so overwhelmed after I did my introduction I burst into tears. I then just sat back in my seat and watched the audience. They were incredibly warm and Tom ended up on stage giving out advice on the best way to clean records. It was an amazing day. Since then the critical reaction has been kind of crazy. I originally imagined that I would do a small DVD run of the film and sell it in Tom’s shop. The film’s played at festivals all over the world. We’re now looking at a UK theatrical release and putting out a soundtrack EP on vinyl. We did a weeks run in NYC last week and got reviewed in the New York Times. I could not have predicted any of this:

Ms. Finlay’s smartly assembled film is an affectionate portrait of a shrinking group of record collectors under technological siege… Like a mint pressing in a bargain bin SOUND IT OUT is a rare find. Sweet.‘ (Daniel M. Gold, THE NEW YORK TIMES)

I don’t think it’s a film for everyone but the people that do like it seem to really like it.

Sound it Out by Jeanie Finlay man

Teesside has got a pretty vibrant music scene, and you include tracks by a few local artists (such as the Chapman Family, Das Wanderlust and Soviet Disco) in the film. Do you think that the area’s environment has helped create a distinct Teesside sound?
Totally… absolutely. Das Wanderlust makes me think of the strange landscapes of my youth and I love the moody, brooding sounds of the Chapman Family. Teesside runs through their music like words through Brighton Rock.

You’re currently trying to raise funds to get Sound It Out a full UK cinema release. With record shops still in a perilous position, are you hoping to inspire more people to support their local stores?
My film has been made with blood, sweat, tears and the support of (so far) 329 backers on crowd-funding website Indiegogo.com. It’s a micro budget film and we crowd-funded the shoot, the post production and when we got into SXSW we raised enough to get there for the premiere. It’s been like running a sponsored swim with a film as the goal and backers picking perks in exchange for their support. We’re now trying to finish our DIY story by raising enough to take the film to 30 cinemas across the UK. If we reach our goal of $10,000 we will unlock BFI P&A funding which will make it happen. Supporters can choose a limited edition 7” gatefold DVD with a baby blue vinyl soundtrack EP, a tour of the shop, a portable record player or bring the film to their own home. We still have a way to go but I’m hopeful. Each $ pledged gets us that little bit nearer – it’s the power of the crowd! I really do hope that people make the most of their local record shops. One of the pleasures of working on this film has been visiting some amazing shops. If you don’t use it – it will go, forever! We’re planning to hook up with local record shops when we take the film to cinemas. Get people in there buying something surprising.

After all the promotional work for Sound It Out, do you have any other projects in the pipeline?
Yes! Two new films, both feature documentaries – The Great Hip Hop Hoax (for BBC Scotland and Storyville), a film about LA hip hop act Silibil n’ Brains. No one knew they were Scottish, with fake American accents and made-up identities and ORION: The man who would be King, the rise and fall of a masked singer on Sun Records that tens of thousands believed was Elvis back from the grave.

Categories ,Alan Fearnley, ,austin, ,BBC, ,BFI, ,Bowie, ,brighton, ,Chapman Family, ,Das Wanderlust, ,Elvis, ,High Fidelity, ,indiegogo.com, ,Jeanie Finlay, ,New York Times, ,nottingham, ,Record Store Day, ,Record Store Day 2011, ,Rough Trade, ,Selectadisc, ,Silibil n’ Brains, ,Sister Ray, ,Sound It Out, ,Sound It Out Records, ,Soviet Disco, ,Stockton, ,Sun Records, ,sxsw, ,Teesside, ,texas, ,The Great Hip Hop Hoax

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Amelia’s Magazine | Modern Love: S/S 2012 Preview Interview with designer Sarah Arnett

Modern Love by Ola Szpunar
Modern Love by Ola Szpunar.

Sarah Arnett is a multi talented designer who just happened to train at the same university as me. She graduated the year above, and since then has had an extremely interesting and varied career – from contributing illustrations to Amelia’s Magazine to creating a beautiful fashion line that is exclusively stocked in Liberty – it seems she is capable of turning her hand to all aspects of design! Prepare to be very inspired….

Modern Love SS12
sarah arnett Modern Love by angela lamb
Modern Love by Angela Lamb.

You’ve had an eclectic career, training firstly in woven textiles for fashion on the same course as me at Brighton Uni, and then moving into illustration, interior design and back into the world of fashion. Can you tell us more about your journey across these disciplines?
I found it very difficult to decide what to do in the first place, all I knew was that I wanted to go to art college, I grew up with a family of designers and makers so being able to sew and paint seemed normal and I used to watch my father work in his studio, everyone was able to draw, paint… in fact my great uncle designed fabrics for Liberty. Things happen in your life like having children, and other things become important… it’s the same with my work, other things become more exciting and more important. I am totally inspired by the process and that drives me to try more things. It’s an exciting time for crossing over disciplines and I have always just thought of my self as a designer… It could be fashion, interiors… or illustration. I am so inspired by working on a range of projects; in the last couple of years year I have shown in a couple of exhibitions at Somerset House, worked on Modern Love, designed the new look of the uniform for the National Trust, as well as creating illustrations for The Sunday Times Style Magazine. I also design a small bridal collection that I sell through a vintage shop in Brighton… and there is a long list of other things that I want to do!

Modern Love SS12
Sarah-Harnett-by-Laura-Griffin
Modern Love by Laura Griffin.

What is the highlight of working across disciplines?
No day is the same….

Modernlove ss12 Long v neck dress
And what have been the difficult parts?
I love and hate fashion, sometimes I think it’s a frivolous waste of time and on the other hand can make someone feel beautiful and have a real impact on their life… I don’t think I am a fashionable person and have never felt very comfortable in my own skin, but I am and have always been fascinated by clothes. I find fashion a very big challenge. The stress of running your own business is hard work, as is that freelancer’s worry of where the next job will be coming from… and there is always self doubt. But I look at all of these as things that drive me on to try and do better.

Sarah Arnett Modern Love by Isher Dhiman
Sarah Arnett’s Modern Love by Isher Dhiman.

Why did you name your clothing brand Modern Love?
Myself and my business partner Kim Hunt really liked the idea of a name that encompassed what we felt and admired about good design. The Love of beauty, vintage, heritage and the feminine and the Modern… a way of thinking, responsibility to the environment, ethical and local manufacturing, our vision, our way of working and maintaining a good work/life balance for ourselves (we did have our production meeting on the beach over looking a very calm sea today!) and a reference to David Bowie never hurt anyone! I

Modern Love print design SS 2012
Print design from the current collection.

For S/S 2012 Modern Love is all about a mix of tropical and country garden prints – described as earthy African hues meet the soft English sky (love that description) Where did you find inspiration for the imagery?
I find that I am constantly working and re-working the same themes which are a mix of my African, big sunshine early influences and my love of the softer, rolling South Downs up-bringing. I can’t ever choose between them. If I admire or value or find something beautiful or fascinating I am drawn to design with it, I think it’s a very similar sensation to eating something or collecting things. It’s a different way of owning or tasting something. I draw it.

Modern Love print design SS 2012
How do you reconcile living on the sometimes rainy south coast of Brighton with your fabulous African childhood? Are there ways to bring a bit of African sunshine back into your life?!
In a strange way having the coast and that big expanse of water and sky to look can be as dramatic and uplifting as the sunshine and dry African plains: I walk down to the sea every day I possibly can, it’s very important to me. Without it I would hate the winter even more than I do! My ideal situation would be six months here, six months there. 

Modern Love print design SS 2012
How easy is it to design shapes to suit your prints, or do you begin the other way around?
The collection starts out with shapes and a woman in mind first. Then I feel like I have to think about that woman, what she would wear and start to fit the prints around it. It’s always a bit of a narrative, there has to be a reason for the print to be there. Quite often we will find an image of a woman for each season and then we will always question whether she will wear each design. Kim and I design the shapes together so we talk and talk and draw and have to justify why it has to be there. Once we have the bones of the collection together I go into my own world for a few weeks getting the new prints together. I like to engineer the print to the pattern pieces of the garment.

Modern Love print design SS 2012
Why did you decide to print the fabrics in Como, Italy?
There is a fantastic tradition of textiles in Como. I first went there when I did a work placement in Switzerland. We were very near to Como and visited it often. If you have to choose a location for a factory visit, I can’t imagine anything more beautiful! The printers I work with have printed in a traditional way for a couple of generations and then moved over to digital twenty years ago when it was first being experimented with. The laying down of pigment, whether via digital or by screen print, is only part of the process. They are very skilled in the handling and finishing of the fabrics which makes them feel beautiful and gives them a longevity. The digital process is much cleaner than traditional screen printing and uses far less water and energy. I like the tradition and the finesse of the final production. What they lack in delivering on time they make up in the detail and quality!

Modern Love SS12
Modern Love SS12 5
Modern Love by Nanae Kawahara
Modern Love by Nanae Kawahara.

Who are the craftspeople who make the collection for you? Can you introduce us to them!
Brighton is so full of talented machinists and pattern cutters, it’s a very sociable place and over the years I have met lots of people I can call on to help me. I have used the same machinists for the last ten years. They work form home and small studios as well as working for me they are working for lots of top designers; a good machinist is worth her weight in gold! There used to be a lot of small garment factories in the area and it’s a shame they have all disappeared. There is a new initiative called The Fashion Trust based in Sussex which is trying to pull all the local resources together which will be great for designer just starting up.

Modern Love SS12
Sarah Arnett Modern Love by Jacqueline Valencia
Sarah Arnett’s Modern Love by Jacqueline Valencia.

Modern Love is stocked exclusively in Liberty – a dream for most clothing brands. How did you get the label into this most prestigious of shops?
Well, Liberty made it very easy, even with beautiful photographs and constant emailing it’s very difficult to get the attention of the buyers unless you see them face to face at a show. We lined up with everyone else at their Best Of British Open Call and were the only womens wear brand to have got through last year. It was a great experience because at least you knew you had a few minutes of complete attention to show your collection in the flesh. I think it has been a great success and we feel very proud to have our collection there, especially since it was our first goal when starting Modern Love.

Modern Love SS12
Modern Love SS12
Find Modern Love at Liberty right here.

Categories ,africa, ,Angela Lamb, ,Best of British, ,Best Of British Open Call, ,Bridal, ,brighton, ,Como, ,David Bowie, ,fashion, ,Fashion Textiles, ,illustration, ,Interior Design, ,Isher Dhiman, ,Italy, ,Jacqueline Valencia, ,Kim Hunt, ,Laura Griffin, ,liberty, ,Modern Love, ,Nanae Kawahara, ,National Trust, ,Ola Szpunar, ,print, ,Sarah Arnett, ,Somerset House, ,Sunday Times Style Magazine, ,Sussex, ,The Fashion Trust, ,University of Brighton, ,vintage, ,Woven Textiles

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Amelia’s Magazine | Little Glass Clementine jewellery

visit this site ‘Times New Roman’, adiposity ‘Bitstream Charter’, Times, serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px;”>Climate Camp meeting at the Voldparken school, Copenhagen

Climate Camp meeting at the Voldparken school, Copenhagen

I was always going to go to Copenhagen. 27 hours on a coach? Nah, didn’t phase me. And anyway I lucked out and got on the one with a loo and a dvd player… okay so the former was a sloshpit of doom and we had no dvds, but it was an auspicious start to my journey.

Climate Camp meets at Embankment to get on the coaches to Copenhagen

Climate Camp meets at Embankment to get on the coaches to Copenhagen

Now, what should you absolutely not do on a trip to the Cop 15 summit protests? Eat a McDonalds? Confess that actually, you’ll be flying home, because you’re a journalist who *absolutely* has to file a story before the weekend? Surreptitiously read Heat magazine in the ferry terminal sweetie shop? All of this happened on our trip to Copenhagen. You’ll be glad to hear (maybe) that I was only implicated in the latter offence, along with several other ladies who would prefer to remain anonymous.

Climate Campers pretending not to read Heat at Dover

Climate Campers pretending not to read Heat at Dover

The thing is, we climate activists have a very dull reputation to live up to – what with most people believing we’re just a smelly do-gooding bunch of un-fun loving “hedge monkeys“. But actually, we’re not. My friends from Climate Camp are for the most part an amusing gang to hang around with. And so am I. Hopefully. You see, we’re not here to push austerity, hardship, denial. That way failure lies – no one is going to change their ways if this is the story that we tell the world. It’s really important that actually, moving into a new way of life is more appealing. And the way we do that is by living it. How? Well, that’s a whole other blog. For now the point is that we laugh at ourselves quite a lot.

the Climate Camp coach. a bus load of fun, honest

The Climate Camp coach. A bus load of fun, honest.

German sandwiches. Very good. The cheese ones that is.

German sandwiches. Very good. The cheese ones that is.

So yes, back to the coach. Which is hardly a good way to back up this motive, surely? Maybe not. The coach ride was marginally uncomfortable, we got hardly any serious sleep (I snored – sorry Murray, my neighbour on the outward bound journey) and don’t even get me started on the trip back. BUT for me there were quite a few plusses. We got to see a German carpenter, a young man dressed in full traditional regalia, waiting to hitch a ride at a service station in the early hours of the morning.

a German carpenter boy trying to find a lift at a service station

A German carpenter boy trying to find a lift at a service station. This outfit is for real. At 5am

And we got to marvel at the miles and miles of beautiful wind farms on the border between Germany and Denmark. Even our coach drivers were impressed by the sight of them, elegantly swooping across the sky way above our heads. “Yeah, but I’m not giving up my car. And anyway, why didn’t you lot just fly? It’s way cheaper, quicker and easier.” Yes, erm. But, against the odds, it was actually a laugh and gave us time to form a sense of camaraderie with the people around us – most people didn’t know each other (I think I talked most of the way). Of course there was a certain sense of self-righteousness in travelling this way but it my point is it wasn’t as bad as you might think, especially when we took a short cut and managed to avoid the lengthy searches at the border that we had feared, which meant we steamed ahead of the other two Climate Camp coaches (who said our competitive spirit was dead?)

Why, I think I'll have an ice-cream with my coffee. For breakfast in December.

Why, I think I’ll have an ice-cream with my coffee. For breakfast. In December.

There was also, of course, a palpable sense of anticipation, for none of us had a clue where we were going to stay, or really what we would be doing, once we reached Copenhagen. But the kind of impromptu planning that would have my mother in an absolute tizz suits us activists, probably because we’re used to walking into situations that we have little control over, and of which we have no idea of the outcome. As we bowled along the motorway our sporadic contacts in Denmark informed us that we might be staying in a huge cold warehouse that was housing hundreds, had no heating and one toilet.  And which had just been the subject of a police raid. Then we heard word that there was in fact nowhere for us to stay. Still we remained calm. I’m sure that much of this confidence had to do with the fact of being with so many like-minded people, and the knowledge that we are good at acting as a community that looks after each other.

Voldparken School, Copenhagen. so sexy.

Voldparken school, Copenhagen. So sexy

Of course, our home was magically sorted out just as we arrived in Copenhagen and we were swiftly taken to the huge Voldparken elementary school that is the centre of a large suburban housing estate. (warning: I am about to go an architectural digression) Built in 1957, it has been moth-balled since 2008, which left me wondering where on earth the local children are now being educated. Needless to say I was immediately in love, modernist architecture being my absolute favourite. Now, unlike us the Danes build for cold weather so that every exit to the exterior is buffered by a well-insulated antechamber. Through the first chamber you come straight into a distinctive central hallway bounded by lilac pillars and bold staircases surrounded by galleries – this would be where we would hold our daily meetings. Behind the main building is a large play area and other buildings, including a big sports hall and large communal showers (with lovely hot pressured water, much better than any shower I ever have in London) I could talk at length about how beautiful the Voldparken is to a geek like me, but I’ll stop here, since this is a blog about climate and activism and exciting things like that. You can see a tour of the accommodation on my qik video stream here.

the main hallway at Voldparken school, Copenhagen

The main hallway at Voldparken school, Copenhagen

Sharing 18 to a room we laid our sleeping bags out within the carefully masked out fire lines and marvelled at the generosity of the massively overstretched Danish activists who had worked so hard to sort this out with the City Council. There was one downside, however, which was that fire regulations meant we weren’t allowed to cook in the school. Of course, we easily got around this by boiling lots of kettles and skipping food that could be eaten without heating up (Denmark is something else for skipping – the quality was out of this world, sooooo much yummy pastries and bread)

the play area behind the main building at Voldparken after a sprinkling of snow

The play area behind the main building at Voldparken after a sprinkling of snow. You can see people heading for the portaloos!

the room where I slept, laid out like a sausage, with 17 other people.

The room where I slept, laid out like a sausage, with 17 other people. It wasn’t exactly luxury, but I liked it, being a social bean (and used to slumming it) Plus I had two lovely thick thermarests to soften the floor.

eating skipped food at the Voldparken school. YUM!

Eating skipped food at the Voldparken school after a long cold day on the streets. Yum!

It wasn’t long before we had boarded a bus into town, which delivered us straight into the belly of the beast, the Hopenhagen display, sponsored by the likes of Coca-Cola and Siemens, glowing like an alien installation beneath a huge McDonalds advert. Greenwash anyone? Open mouthed we walked past brilliant green boxes of nothing very much except hot air, and stood gawping under the giant balloon. (Why?) From there we went in search of food, coming across the bizarre spectacle of a “Klima Camp” in the central shopping district – a small group of friendly scouts heating marshmallows over braziers. Quite a contrast to the jamboree down the road.

Hopenhagen Greenwash in the centre of Copenhagen

Hopenhagen Greenwash in the centre of Copenhagen

ooh, is it an alien spaceship? No, it's HOPENHAGEN, here to save the world with corporate sponsorship

Ooh, is it an alien spaceship? No, it’s HOPENHAGEN, here to save the world with corporate sponsorship

Hopenhagen advertising EVERYWHERE. some say it looks very similar to the Climate Camp poster for 2009...

Hopenhagen adverts EVERYWHERE. some say it looks very similar to the Climate Camp poster for 2009…

Klima Camp - Danish scouts camped out in central Copenhagen!

Klima Camp – Danish scouts camped out on the flagstones in central Copenhagen!

Via the freezing docks we had soon found our way down to Freetown Christiania, which is a well known autonomous community that is a haven for alternative thinking and thereby a fitting place for the Climate Bottom alternative Climate Summit, held inside a big top tent. Inside we found warmth, hot vegan slop and familiar faces – for many Climate Campers were already in Copenhagen, and spread out around crash spaces throughout the city.

graffiti on the walls in Christiania

Graffiti on the walls in Christiania. Next to this was an incongruous and very chic restaurant – gentrification has started.

still find it very hard to reconcile this peaceful space with the knowledge that only a few days later the Danish police carried out a completely disproportionate tear gas attack on a bunch of activists who were enjoying a drink and a boogie after a speech by Naomi Klein. Designed to demoralise and fracture our networks, it certainly left a lot of people with their first experience of the sheer panic that tear gas can cause in a confined “safe” space. Luckily I had left a few hours earlier, but as news of the attack twittered its way to me I lay awake through the night worrying about my fellow roomies, many of whom had been detained and some of whom did not return until the morning.

cooking for lots of people in Christiania

Cooking in huge vats for lots of people in Christiania

Watch this space: second installment coming soon, featuring talk of the actions I got involved in and possibly a bit more on the analysis front…

viagra 100mg ‘Times New Roman’, ‘Bitstream Charter’, Times, serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px;”>Climate Camp meeting at the Voldparken school, Copenhagen

Climate Camp meeting at the Voldparken school, Copenhagen

I was always going to go to Copenhagen. 27 hours on a coach? Nah, didn’t phase me. And anyway I lucked out and got on the one with a loo and a dvd player… okay so the former was a sloshpit of doom and we had no dvds, but it was an auspicious start to my journey.

Climate Camp meets at Embankment to get on the coaches to Copenhagen

Climate Camp meets at Embankment to get on the coaches to Copenhagen

Now, what should you absolutely not do on a trip to the Cop 15 summit protests? Eat a McDonalds? Confess that actually, you’ll be flying home, because you’re a journalist who *absolutely* has to file a story before the weekend? Surreptitiously read Heat magazine in the ferry terminal sweetie shop? All of this happened on our trip to Copenhagen. You’ll be glad to hear (maybe) that I was only implicated in the latter offence, along with several other ladies who would prefer to remain anonymous.

Climate Campers pretending not to read Heat at Dover

Climate Campers pretending not to read Heat at Dover

The thing is, we climate activists have a very dull reputation to live up to – what with most people believing we’re just a smelly do-gooding bunch of un-fun loving “hedge monkeys“. But actually, we’re not. My friends from Climate Camp are for the most part an amusing gang to hang around with. And so am I. Hopefully. You see, we’re not here to push austerity, hardship, denial. That way failure lies – no one is going to change their ways if this is the story that we tell the world. It’s really important that actually, moving into a new way of life is more appealing. And the way we do that is by living it. How? Well, that’s a whole other blog. For now the point is that we laugh at ourselves quite a lot.

the Climate Camp coach. a bus load of fun, honest

The Climate Camp coach. A bus load of fun, honest.

German sandwiches. Very good. The cheese ones that is.

German sandwiches. Very good. The cheese ones that is.

So yes, back to the coach. Which is hardly a good way to back up this motive, surely? Maybe not. The coach ride was marginally uncomfortable, we got hardly any serious sleep (I snored – sorry Murray, my neighbour on the outward bound journey) and don’t even get me started on the trip back. BUT for me there were quite a few plusses. We got to see a German carpenter, a young man dressed in full traditional regalia, waiting to hitch a ride at a service station in the early hours of the morning.

a German carpenter boy trying to find a lift at a service station

A German carpenter boy trying to find a lift at a service station. This outfit is for real. At 5am

And we got to marvel at the miles and miles of beautiful wind farms on the border between Germany and Denmark. Even our coach drivers were impressed by the sight of them, elegantly swooping across the sky way above our heads. “Yeah, but I’m not giving up my car. And anyway, why didn’t you lot just fly? It’s way cheaper, quicker and easier.” Yes, erm. But, against the odds, it was actually a laugh and gave us time to form a sense of camaraderie with the people around us – most people didn’t know each other (I think I talked most of the way). Of course there was a certain sense of self-righteousness in travelling this way but it my point is it wasn’t as bad as you might think, especially when we took a short cut and managed to avoid the lengthy searches at the border that we had feared, which meant we steamed ahead of the other two Climate Camp coaches (who said our competitive spirit was dead?)

Why, I think I'll have an ice-cream with my coffee. For breakfast in December.

Why, I think I’ll have an ice-cream with my coffee. For breakfast. In December.

There was also, of course, a palpable sense of anticipation, for none of us had a clue where we were going to stay, or really what we would be doing, once we reached Copenhagen. But the kind of impromptu planning that would have my mother in an absolute tizz suits us activists, probably because we’re used to walking into situations that we have little control over, and of which we have no idea of the outcome. As we bowled along the motorway our sporadic contacts in Denmark informed us that we might be staying in a huge cold warehouse that was housing hundreds, had no heating and one toilet.  And which had just been the subject of a police raid. Then we heard word that there was in fact nowhere for us to stay. Still we remained calm. I’m sure that much of this confidence had to do with the fact of being with so many like-minded people, and the knowledge that we are good at acting as a community that looks after each other.

Voldparken School, Copenhagen. so sexy.

Voldparken school, Copenhagen. So sexy

Of course, our home was magically sorted out just as we arrived in Copenhagen and we were swiftly taken to the huge Voldparken elementary school that is the centre of a large suburban housing estate. (warning: I am about to go an architectural digression) Built in 1957, it has been moth-balled since 2008, which left me wondering where on earth the local children are now being educated. Needless to say I was immediately in love, modernist architecture being my absolute favourite. Now, unlike us the Danes build for cold weather so that every exit to the exterior is buffered by a well-insulated antechamber. Through the first chamber you come straight into a distinctive central hallway bounded by lilac pillars and bold staircases surrounded by galleries – this would be where we would hold our daily meetings. Behind the main building is a large play area and other buildings, including a big sports hall and large communal showers (with lovely hot pressured water, much better than any shower I ever have in London) I could talk at length about how beautiful the Voldparken is to a geek like me, but I’ll stop here, since this is a blog about climate and activism and exciting things like that. You can see a tour of the accommodation on my qik video stream here.

the main hallway at Voldparken school, Copenhagen

The main hallway at Voldparken school, Copenhagen

Sharing 18 to a room we laid our sleeping bags out within the carefully masked out fire lines and marvelled at the generosity of the massively overstretched Danish activists who had worked so hard to sort this out with the City Council. There was one downside, however, which was that fire regulations meant we weren’t allowed to cook in the school. Of course, we easily got around this by boiling lots of kettles and skipping food that could be eaten without heating up (Denmark is something else for skipping – the quality was out of this world, sooooo much yummy pastries and bread)

the play area behind the main building at Voldparken after a sprinkling of snow

The play area behind the main building at Voldparken after a sprinkling of snow. You can see people heading for the portaloos!

the room where I slept, laid out like a sausage, with 17 other people.

The room where I slept, laid out like a sausage, with 17 other people. It wasn’t exactly luxury, but I liked it, being a social bean (and used to slumming it) Plus I had two lovely thick thermarests to soften the floor.

eating skipped food at the Voldparken school. YUM!

Eating skipped food at the Voldparken school after a long cold day on the streets. Yum!

It wasn’t long before we had boarded a bus into town, which delivered us straight into the belly of the beast, the Hopenhagen display, sponsored by the likes of Coca-Cola and Siemens, glowing like an alien installation beneath a huge McDonalds advert. Greenwash anyone? Open mouthed we walked past brilliant green boxes of nothing very much except hot air, and stood gawping under the giant balloon. (Why?) From there we went in search of food, coming across the bizarre spectacle of a “Klima Camp” in the central shopping district – a small group of friendly scouts heating marshmallows over braziers. Quite a contrast to the jamboree down the road.

Hopenhagen Greenwash in the centre of Copenhagen

Hopenhagen Greenwash in the centre of Copenhagen

ooh, is it an alien spaceship? No, it's HOPENHAGEN, here to save the world with corporate sponsorship

Ooh, is it an alien spaceship? No, it’s HOPENHAGEN, here to save the world with corporate sponsorship

Hopenhagen advertising EVERYWHERE. some say it looks very similar to the Climate Camp poster for 2009...

Hopenhagen adverts EVERYWHERE. some say it looks very similar to the Climate Camp poster for 2009…

Klima Camp - Danish scouts camped out in central Copenhagen!

Klima Camp – Danish scouts camped out on the flagstones in central Copenhagen!

Via the freezing docks we had soon found our way down to Freetown Christiania, which is a well known autonomous community that is a haven for alternative thinking and thereby a fitting place for the Climate Bottom alternative Climate Summit, held inside a big top tent. Inside we found warmth, hot vegan slop and familiar faces – for many Climate Campers were already in Copenhagen, and spread out around crash spaces throughout the city.

graffiti on the walls in Christiania

Graffiti on the walls in Christiania. Next to this was an incongruous and very chic restaurant – gentrification has started.

still find it very hard to reconcile this peaceful space with the knowledge that only a few days later the Danish police carried out a completely disproportionate tear gas attack on a bunch of activists who were enjoying a drink and a boogie after a speech by Naomi Klein. Designed to demoralise and fracture our networks, it certainly left a lot of people with their first experience of the sheer panic that tear gas can cause in a confined “safe” space. Luckily I had left a few hours earlier, but as news of the attack twittered its way to me I lay awake through the night worrying about my fellow roomies, many of whom had been detained and some of whom did not return until the morning.

cooking for lots of people in Christiania

Cooking in huge vats for lots of people in Christiania

Watch this space: second installment coming soon, featuring talk of the actions I got involved in and possibly a bit more on the analysis front…

Little Glass Clementine cottongold
Images throughout courtesy of Little Glass Clementine.

The jewellery designer Little Glass Clementine is enough to melt the heart of any eco-conscious fashionista, more about the innocence in its name alone summarising the beauty of the designs– jewellery with soul. The ethos for these designs is simple; naturally sourced materials used to maximum effect to create intricate necklaces and exquisite hair pieces. The brainchild behind this brand that can regress even the most mature person to ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ in child-like wonder, hospital is Clementine James, cheap or Clemmie. Many Amelia’s readers will recognise Clementine from the earth section of our magazine as she was interviewed last year about her time spent in the remote location of Tuvalu in the South Pacific. A self taught jeweller Clementine has been skilfully making and selling her creations since the tender age of 16. Her aim is to tell a story with recycled materials stumbled upon to create something new by transforming the old so memories can live on.

Little Glass Clementine

Clemmie describes her sourced materials through a set of findings: “A ring from a love affair, a pebble from a Scottish shore, a button from a grandmother’s box, gems from India, a single earring, jewels from a charity shop, junk from a boot fair, lace from an antique market, fabric from an old coat, and pearls from the sea.” These individual items work together to create the ultimate in reclaimed possessions, and comprise the perfect accessories to make even the most ordinary outfit look both unique and interesting.

Little Glass Clementine golden park

Clementine has exhibited in galleries and boutiques in both London and Edinburgh and has sold in a plethora of shops, markets and even Brighton beach! For me the best thing about the designs in the brands back catalogue is the inspiration they can ignite for others. Whether it’s the urge to buy a Little Glass Clementine necklace, to revisit old memories or to get crafty with the pliers, there’s something about Clementine James that can make anyone feel inclined to be creative and eco-friendly.

Categories ,brighton, ,Clementine James, ,Ella Okore, ,Little Glass Clementine, ,Tuvalu

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Amelia’s Magazine | Frock Me! Vintage Fair at the Brighton Corn Exchange


Illustration by Rosie Shephard

Coming in from a freezing cold Brighton day, here dosage I was welcomed with the warm glow of row upon row of vintage. A cornucopia of vintage clothing and accessories including 1950s lace wedding dresses, link 1960 shifts, information pills 1970s smocks and 1980s mohair. This was Frock Me Vintage Fashion Fair at the Brighton Corn Exchange. An enticing collection of clothes, bags, jewellery, shoes and even a whole stand dedicated to vintage buttons.

Frock Me Vintage Fashion Fairs, a vintage fashion institution no less, have been running since the mid 1990s. With awareness and demand for vintage apparel rising massively since the early 1990s, it’s clear to see Frock Me haven’t missed a trick. Walking in to the Corn Exchange was like stepping in to a props and costume department, no surprise really as Matthew Adams, who runs Frock Me, studied Costume and Theatre Design during the mid 1970s.

There’s something quite liberating about rummaging through row upon row of vintage clobber. The feeling that you’re buying a one-off,  something that’s built to last, something that’s stood the test of time, something with a history. Why would you want to buy anything new and mass produced ever again? Vintage is big business with everyone searching for one-of-a-kind fashion, and fairs like this attract an eclectic bunch adorned in various clothes throughout the ages, 1940s swing mixes seamlessly with 1960s kitsch, like a history lesson in style.


Illustration by Rosie Shephard

There was an overwhelming choice from over 70 exhibitors, but something caught my eye, all feathers and netting and appliqué, so like a magpie swoops on something shiny, I swooped in on a hat stall. To me these millinery marvels were the stars of the show. Lovely 1920s cloches, 1950s pillboxes and 1960s fur felt styles were begging to be tried on.

Frock Me Vintage Fashion Fairs have become a regular face on the vintage fashion circuit with fairs being held several times a year at Chelsea Town Hall and Brighton Corn Exchange.  Check out frockmevintagefashion.com for more details.

Categories ,1920s, ,1940s, ,1950s, ,1960s, ,1970s, ,1980s, ,brighton, ,Chelsea Town Hall, ,Corn Exhange, ,Costume, ,Dress, ,fashion, ,Frock Me, ,Matthew Adams, ,vintage

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Amelia’s Magazine | Becky Becky: Good Morning, Midnight

Becky Becky by Gareth A Hopkins
Becky Becky by Gareth A Hopkins.

I often listen to the music that I am sent when I am driving, and only a very few albums make a big impression: ones that I return to again and again. Good Morning, Midnight by Becky Becky is one such record, combining the extraordinary narrative of an ageing party girl out on the lash with hugely danceable beats, the ennui of our protagonist’s tale somehow brought alive in a wonderfully life affirming manner. If you love early era The Knife (and I do) then you will revel in Good Morning, Midnight. I spoke with Gemma Williams (formerly of Woodpecker Wooliams) and her ex-boyfriend Peter J D Mason, about making music after a relationship ends, and the power of doing it for yourself.

Becky Becky Good Morning, Midnight album cover review

What were your main influences when this album was in gestation?
The main influence of this album was always the work of Jean Rhys, specifically the novels and short stories she completed in the ‘20s and ‘30s. The songs first took shape on scraps of dog-eared paper in a tiny studio flat in Prague, with no access to any computers for recording or instruments for figuring out some music. At first all we had was copies of Jean Rhys’ novels and words on paper – nothing musical at all. The music came later, ideas were formed on an old guitar with only two strings originally belonging to the deceased mother of one of us. When it came to finally recording the songs proper, we sold some old vinyl and bought a synthesiser, and a lot of the ideas came from tinkering with that. Musically, we listened to a lot of ‘80s synth-pop like Bronski Beat and Soft Cell, and we also drew a lot from The Knife, Hot Chip and Legowelt.

Becky Becky press photo 2

What did you mean by Good Morning, Midnight?
The title of our album comes from the title of a book by Jean Rhys, which we drew most of our inspiration from. We toyed with the idea of using another title, but it seemed to fit the album we’d made perfectly. Jean Rhys herself took the title from an Emily Dickinson poem. In the poem, Dickenson talks of being rejected by ‘day’ and turning towards ‘night’. Obviously, this has been interpreted into ideas of leaving ‘the light’ and being drawn into ‘darkness’, life and death, etc. It fits the protagonist of our album. She’s losing her place in society, becoming an invisible person – a woman, ageing and single – she’s being rejected by society and turning towards darkness. That’s the tale of the album in once sentence. Hence, Good Morning, Midnight.

The album features the tales of a ‘lonely, ageing female‘ – what inspired such a choice?
Our protagonist is a single, ageing woman who is also a drunk. This is almost a sin in western society. People don’t care for or about these kinds of people. If you’re too old to be the object of someone’s lust and not a mother, what are you? Nothing. These people don’t exist as far as most media is concerned. Yet these women do exist. We didn’t make an album about a young, carefree, partying clubbing woman – songs about these people abound, especially in electronic music. We wanted an interesting story, an interesting character, someone more real to be at the forefront of our music.

Becky Becky by Cristina BanBan
Becky Becky by Cristina BanBan. ‘I tried to reflect the image of a powerful, glamorous and very feminine woman as it was the feeling I had after listening to Good Morning, Midnight. I wanted to capture the sexy and stylish beats of the new album through a strong contrast between bright colours. I think it comes from a huge influence of the cover albums from club scene in the 80s’.

Do you know of anyone who fits this bill in real life? And if so, what advice do you have for them?
As we said, there are plenty of women out there who could be our protagonist. For us to give advice to them would be a bit presumptuous on our part, though. This album is a snapshot, a description of one woman’s experience. It’s a piece of narrative. We have no advice for anyone.


Fire & Wings: This song details the end of an alcohol-fuelled evening in a European city, wherein the narrator drunkenly vows to ‘drink [herself] to death‘, laments love lost, encounters a sinister older gentleman with designs on her; all culminating in a joyous paean to that particular feeling that, ‘comes in a glass… fire and wings.’

How did you put together the video for recent single Fire & Wings? Can you tell us a bit about the making of…
We are essentially a zero-budget group. The album was written when one of us was pretty much homeless, sleeping on sofas in Europe. So when it came to making our first video for the album, we didn’t have access to a load of cash. We do have some friends, however. Richard Sanz had put together an animation for us to use as a projection some time prior, with no specific music in mind. With a bit of editing we found it fit to Fire & Wings perfectly. As it was originally designed as projection, we decided to mix it with some live shot-footage, albeit heavily effected. We’re great fans of ‘one-shot’ videos – where it’s just one camera with one shot for the whole thing. With a music video, often you want the music to speak for itself – the visuals are an assist to that. Take a look at Once In A Lifetime from Talking Heads’ live DVD Stop Making Sense. Despite having access to god-knows how many camera angles, for the first four or so minutes, the shot is just one, a close up of David Byrne. That’s all you need. A friend of ours has created a piece of software called Lightsynth that we’ve also used for animated visuals – so far, only live, but we may use it in a video too, and another group of friends is putting together a kind of cubism-based video for House of the Black Madonna. These will be released over the next couple of months.

Becky Becky by Simon McLaren
Becky Becky by Simon McLaren.

A DIY aesthetic and process is clearly important to you – how has this manifested in the release of your album?
Everything about this album we have done ourselves. We recorded and mixed the album ourselves, created our own label to distribute it, booked our own gigs. Everything we’ve shouldered ourselves which has been quite stressful, yet gave us the control we wanted.

Becky Becky press photo 1

Have you any plans to tour in 2014, and if so where can we see you live?
We find playing live quite difficult, for various reasons and we are still developing how we present ourselves and our music in a live environment. We very much believe in putting on a ‘show’ rather than a gig – we use a combination of mixed-media and extra performers to try and create something that’s more theatrical than a standard concert. However, so far, it’s still a work-in-progress that develops with every performance. We’re playing Supernormal festival in Oxfordshire in August, and then we aim to conduct a European tour in the autumn, primarily Spain, Germany and Italy.


House Of The Black Madonna.

You first got together in 2011 and became a couple. When your relationship fell apart, you continued to make the album – what have been the best bits and pitfalls of this creative process?
The pitfalls have mainly been learning how to work with one another. The first time we got in a room together to record after our break-up was quite difficult, as there was still a lot of tension in the air. This also transferred to rehearsing for live concerts, too. Recording and rehearsing can be quite stressful, and with the history between us, it can feel very personal. The best bits have been that we have actually created something very positive out of our acrimonious split. We have built something together that has kept us in each other’s lives. It was a real struggle to achieve, but we made something we’re really proud of. And we’re not just talking about the album. We have also created a strong friendship, and we are now very close. Without making this record, it’s hard to say if we’d even still be speaking to each other.

Would you and will you do it again?
Would we do it again? Definitely. Will we do it again? That’s a harder question to answer. We can’t really promise anything. After the album was first finished, it felt like that might be it. That might be all we’re capable of doing together. However, now we’re on a bit more of an even-footing, there may be more to come from us yet.

Good Morning, Midnight by Becky Becky is out now on Feint Records.

Categories ,album, ,Becky Becky, ,brighton, ,Cristina BanBan, ,diy, ,Emily Dickinson, ,Feint Records, ,Fire & Wings, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Gemma Williams, ,Good Morning Midnight, ,Hot Chip, ,House Of The Black Madonna, ,Jean Rhys, ,Legowelt, ,Lightsynth, ,Peter J D Mason, ,Prague, ,review, ,Richard Sanz, ,Simon Mclaren, ,Supernormal festival, ,The Knife, ,Woodpecker Wooliams

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Amelia’s Magazine | An illustrated interview with designer Rebecca Cluett


Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou AKA Slowly the Eggs

Now living in Brighton, doctor Rebecca Cluett graduated from Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication in 2009. Since leaving college she has completed placements with designers Marios Schwab and Halston, visit followed by setting up her own company – now residing in a shared studio with a ceramicist and milliner, drug she sells her clothes online and from her Albert Mews Studio in Brighton. I caught up with her for a quick interview…

First off, can you tell me a little about yourself and how you decided that you wanted to be a designer?
I always had an interest in clothes and fashion and whilst studying Fashion Design at University I found that I had an ability for the technical side of fashion, the pattern cutting especially. This was the route I thought I would take as a career however when I started cutting patterns for other people I found myself being a bit frustrated not being in control of the designs I was cutting. Financial and personal reasons brought me back to my hometown of Brighton where the opportunity arose for me to share the rent of a studio with two friends, a homeware designer and a milliner. This meant that I could start designing my own collections and gave me the space and facilities to produce them.


Illustration by Francesca Harris

Describe your current collection…
This is my first collection since graduating and it is a more wearable, sophisticated version of my graduate collection. The colour palette is more grown up and the shapes flatter the female body whilst being easy to wear. Motorcycle jackets initially inspired the details around the bust on most of the garments but the shapes have been toned down to be more feminine and delicate.

What advice would you give to recent graduates about establishing yourself?
I think you just have to go for it. If its what you really want to do it should happen in the end. I am just starting to get to grips with social networking and think once you have the work it is really important to get it out there as much as possible.


Illustration by Francesca Harris

You’ve done placements with Marios Schwab and Halston – how did these contribute to your style development?
I wanted to work with Marios because I loved the body consciousness and neatness of his designs. I feel that these are qualities I aim for in my work and think I learned a lot of techniques that gave me the ability to carry this out myself. My placement with Halston was just focussing on the pattern cutting. I got to shadow one of the pattern cutters who was lovely and taught me a lot about pattern cutting and generally working in the fashion industry.


Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou AKA Slowly the Eggs
Do you enjoy working in Brighton, what made you decide to set up your studio there?
I decided to move back to Brighton from London to cut down on living costs. I knew I would need somewhere to work and when the opportunity came up to share a big studio with two friends I couldn’t pass it up. I love being in Brighton, especially being right by the sea but I do miss London. Luckily it doesn’t take long to get back on the train so I can be in London whenever I need to be but enjoy the space and setup that I have in Brighton.


Illustration by Claire Kearns

You spent time travelling around Asia following graduation, did you pick up any new ideas there/learn new techniques?
Not so much techniques but loads and loads of photos of beautiful colour combinations and shapes. They have inspired my sketchbook work and print work more than the clothes but I will always go back to the sketchbook I did for reference and inspiration for future projects.

What made you take the decision to turn half of your shared studio into a boutique style shop?
We opened our studio up to the public in May and had a brilliant response so we have decided to open up on a regular basis. We are currently sorting the space and looking for other designers, we look forward to be able to offer an affordable outlet for other designers in a similar position to us.

Illustration by Claire Kearns

Have you found it difficult entering the competitive world of designing during such a tough economic time?
Yes, it is difficult financially and I do have to take on freelance work in between working on collections to pay the bills, but we are always saying that if you can keep going now then surely it can only get better?

Where can we buy your lovely clothes?
The best place to buy them is on asos marketplace or directly from Albert Mews Studio. Visit my website for up to date information on stockists.

Categories ,ASOS Marketplace, ,brighton, ,Claire Kearns, ,fashion, ,Francesca Harris, ,Halston, ,illustration, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Marios Schwab, ,Rebecca Cluett

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Amelia’s Magazine | Apartment C – ‘A fashion retailer that just happens to sell lingerie’

still corners singer

Illustration by Joana Faria

At the top of Marylebone High Street lurks a lingerie shop with attitude. Surrounded by fashion-favourite names and organic cafés, generic it’s both niche-market neighbour and rebellious relative. Meet Apartment C, ‘a fashion retailer that just happens to sell lingerie’. And a lot more besides.

Invited to join Apartment C’s owner Kenya Cretegny for a teacup of G&T, I arrive  feeling excited, curious and thrilled to escape London’s relentless chills. While my eyes dart around the dramatic window-display, the door opens and I’m cocooned by an intense warmth that’s almost hypnotic. Falling further under Apartment C’s ‘spell’, I recline on a cherry-coloured chaise longue while Kenya explains her design-inspiration: “the home of Serge Gainsbourg” meets “the apartment of Coco Chanel at the Ritz”.

Photographs by Kate Ingram

Forget white-washed minimalism à la nearby boutiques. Here, it’s black walls, wax candles, red-tinted photographs and “a bit of taxidermy”, creating a boudoir-showcase for lacy, racy and eye-catching lingerie. Yet this is no ordinary ‘boudoir’; it’s grown-up and fashion conscious. No red-light-seediness or clichéd kitsch. Escapist? Definitely. And, deliciously naughty. But it’s also a place where you “feel free to stay and visit for a while”. Boys are welcome too.


Illustration by Matilde Sazio

A Central Saint Martins graduate, Kenya always envisaged Apartment C as a concept store, designing interiors herself, “right down to creating foam board models of the space”. First stop from the high street is the “Lounge”, where lingerie displays are instantly different, adorned with dramatic jewels and paper eyelashes. Walk through to the “Library” and discover a treasure-trove of accessories, swimwear, fashion books, trashy romance novels and G&T’s served from a retro 1930’s bar (an enviable eBay purchase). Furniture, generally, is a cool blend of Art Deco and 1960’s pieces, which seemingly never belonged anywhere else. I sense that the “Library” is Kenya’s favourite part; almost the inner workings of her imagination, to which you are granted access. Play along and purchasing possibilities are endless; who’s thinking about the rain, or recession now? With soft carpet underfoot and French perfumes spritzing the air, I’m soon agreeing with Kenya’s friendly team that I could happily move into this stylish apartment, I mean, shop.


Illustration by Cat Palairet

So, which lingerie labels are seducing the Apartment C woman (or her G&T-fuelled lover on the chaise longue)? While “primary focus” is upcoming talent, Kenya and her team stocks “fashion-forward lingerie brands that [they] consider innovators”. A diverse selection, including Princesse Tam Tam, Stella McCartney, Lascivious, Fleur of England and Marlies Dekkers, appeals to many forms of femininity. Kenya shares insightfully: “women are multi-faceted and sometimes we want lingerie that is romantic, sometimes it’s fashion-focused and sometimes it’s sexy…and sometimes we just want to sit in something lovely and comfortable and have a cup of tea.” Save for a few ‘dominatrix’-style pieces, there’s nothing too intimidating about Apartment C, nothing too outrageously sexy. Even the mannequin ‘posing’ provocatively on the bar, appears refreshingly innocent. Particularly so, considering other, more overt versions of sexuality, which reinforce the psychology that women only wear lingerie for someone else. Kenya longs to change such attitudes. Wearing good underwear for yourself? “It’s like saying I love me. We all need a bit of that!”


Illustrations by Joana Faria

Kenya has become a self-made ambassador for emerging lingerie designers, but  her finely-crafted backdrop to the bras and bodices has likely led to equal recognition (namely, “Vogue’s favourite lingerie boutique”). Where did the concept for Apartment C originate? Copenhagen. “We heard the most glorious party… the tinkling of glasses, music playing softly in the background, the quiet rumble of voices and then deep, throaty laughter….the whole experience felt so decadent and wonderful and alive.”

Ah, the mysterious ‘C’ refers to Copenhagen? Or, Cretegna? Neither. It’s based on Kenya’s discovery that people living in ‘Apartment C’ always seem to host the best parties! Kenya’s passion for her business is tangible, from meticulously arranged costume jewellery, to spacious changing rooms, to her personal style: “…dependent on my mood, and what kind of conversation I would like to have with the world on that particular day.” Well today, Kenya’s skinny leather trousers worn with A/W 2010 aplomb are pitch-perfect ‘Apartment C’. Feminine, but strong. Sexy, but not too much. Fashion-forward and charismatic, despite  extraordinary surroundings. A fashion retailer that just happens to sell lingerie? I couldn’t agree more.

Categories ,Apartment C, ,Boudoir, ,boutique, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Coco Chanel, ,copenhagen, ,Fleur de England, ,G&Ts, ,Kenya Cretegny, ,Lascivious, ,lingerie, ,london, ,Marlies Dekkers, ,Marylebone High Street, ,Princesse Tam Tam, ,retro, ,serge gainsbourg, ,Stella McCartney, ,The Ritz, ,underwear, ,vogue

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Amelia’s Magazine | David Bramwell introduces his upcoming book to be published with Unbound: No.9 Bus to Utopia

No9 Bus to utopia cover
I first heard David Bramwell talk about his upcoming book No.9 Bus to Utopia at Wilderness Festival last summer, where he spoke engagingly about his adventures whilst searching for happiness and meaning in communities across the world. In a neat turn of affairs I also heard John Mitchinson speak passionately about his revolutionary new crowd funded publishing company at Dark Mountain festival last summer. So when Unbound got in touch to ask whether I’d like to interview David about No.9 Bus to Utopia I of course said yes.

david bramwell and swan
What is the No 9 Bus to Utopia about and why should people support the project?
It’s a book that chronicles a year spent visiting seven extraordinary communities in Europe and America after a relationship breakup. It was undertaken partly to learn how to be better at sharing and also just for the sheer adventure. Over the twelve months I visited sexual arcadias, a new city being built in the Arizona Desert, ashrams, anarchist communes and a place in the Italian Alps straight out of the pages of a sci-fi novel. I returned home full of inspiration from the people I’d met and wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Brighton by helping strengthen my local community through an event called Zocalo. Zocalo takes place one day each year when we encourage people to leave their houses and sit on a chair outside as a way of saying: I’m a friendly neighbour, come and have a natter. It’s been steadily growing over the years and is an informal street party all over the city. Better still it’s mercifully free of fund-raising, council approval, red tape or Union Jack bunting. It was dreamt up by a local guy, David Burke, and is a simple way of getting people talking to their neighbours again and re-kindling a sense of community. There’s lots of good will for it in Brighton and I can honestly say I now consider many of the people in my street as friends as a consequence. We hope that Zocalo will spread around the country. I learned from my adventures and experiences in communities that generosity and compromise are at the heart of all good relationships.

oddfellows band picture
What kind of people do you hope will read it?
I love humorous travel writers like Bill Bryson and hope people will find it entertaining, personable and funny. It’s for anyone who’s ever wondered if the way they live could be better and how we can make a difference as individuals in the way our cities function (as well as our relationships). I was offered the chance to do the No9 Bus to Utopia as a TED talk last year which might be a good way for readers to get a taster of what the full story is about.

YouTube Preview Image
What was your biggest surprise discovery from visiting all these utopian communities?
A place in Italy called Damanhur which has built the world’s largest underground temple. It’s the most incredible place I’ve ever visited. The temple is about the size of St Paul’s Cathedral and was built in secret at night with little professional knowledge in how to accomplish such a feat. There are chambers where, if you press a certain stone slab in the wall, there’s a great whooshing sound and the wall slides away to reveal more secret rooms. It’s real Indiana Jones material. Visiting it took my breath away. Ok, if I’m really honest it actually moved me to tears!

one of the chambers in the Damanhur temple
Damunhur cross section of temple
Would you go back to any of them for any length of time, if so which one?
I’d return to all of them given the chance. The one I have been back to is Damanhur. I went a second time with a friend, Teowa, and we got to take part in some incredible rituals deep inside the temple. I even got the chance to jam with a rubber plant called Hellie, who the Damanhurians claim to have taught to make music. Hellie has even released a seven inch single. And no, I’m not making this stuff up.

hellie singing plant
What has the process of publishing your book been like and how did you hook up with Unbound?
Unbound was recommended by my friend Tom Hodgkinson from the Idler. They’re a hugely supportive and personable publishing company run on a crowd-funding ethos. We’ve raised a quarter of the money for the book so far in a short space of time, made a promotional video and I’m currently looking for opportunities to do the No9 Bus as a storytelling show/lecture. I’ve already spoken about it on TED, 5×15, Alain de Botton’s School of Life and the Idler Academy and it seems the best way to get people interested in reading the book.

oddfellows album cover
You’re a bit of a Renaissance Man – how do you divide your time up between all of your different activities?
I made a conscious decision to get rid of my telly many years ago and no longer read papers or follow the news. I felt I could do better things with my time and fill my head with more life-affirming information and ideas, rather than that sense of righteous indignation the news headlines seem to instil in us. I admit, I’d struggle to identify Nick Clegg in an identity parade but I do have more time now to dedicate to pursue my passions and causes like Zocalo. I also teach music part time so I’m blessed with lots of paid holidays and free time.

zocalo poster
Any news about Zocalo? Is it spreading around the country yet?
This year Zocalo has spread out of our neighbourhood of 3,000 houses to several other areas of Brighton. We’re hoping for our biggest ever turnout (weather permitting!) and have had lots of offers from local people wanting to run Zocalos in their streets. It’s yet to spread around the country but our long-term plan is a national holiday called Zocalo Day where everyone in the UK takes the day off work to sit outside their houses drinking tea and eating cake with their neighbours. OK, it’s an ambitious dream but why not?!

zocalo
zocalo
Are there any special festivities planned this Sep 9th?
To keep it simple we encourage people to bring their own entertainment to Zocalo on the day. We’ve had spontaneous table football tournaments, families cooking and sharing dinners out in the streets and sometimes people dragging their entire living room out onto the pavement, complete with stag’s head and Persian rug.

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zocalo
Why have you made Brighton your home? (I studied there and love it)
I grew up in Doncaster and studied in Coventry, so coming to Brighton for the first time was like stumbling upon an oasis. I’ve been here twenty years and still feel like I’m on some extended family holiday. It’s a liberal, bohemian party town where anything goes and to top it all, there’s a beach. Sure it’s also overcrowded and expensive but I only need go back and visit my home town of Doncaster to remind myself what an exceptional city I live in.

YouTube Preview ImageZocalo promo video

How would you describe your band?
Oddfellow’s Casino specialise in orchestrated melancholic pop with songs about nature, death and hauntings. The music seems to evoke the bleak English landscape, both pastoral and industrial. It’s something to do with being Northern I’m sure. It’s that same ethereal sonic quality that I find appealing in bands like Joy Division. It probably comes from eating too many pies and walking the Pennines in the drizzle. We’ve been making records for ten years now and have a strong, cultish following all over Europe from Estonia to Norway. 2012 has been a good year for us. We released a new album in May, The Raven’s Empire (on the theme of death) and had terrific radio play and support from Cerys Mathews, Gideon Coe and Lauren Laverne. We just released a new single, We Will Be Here, which is an anthem for the dead and was filmed in the Shell Grotto in Margate. We’ve got a handful of videos on youtube as well as a short film on our website that we made with former Dali model Drako Zarhazar.

YouTube Preview ImageWe Will Be Here

What has been your favourite festival experience this year?
Taking part in a Friday night spelling test at Port Eliot hosted by The Wire‘s Dominic West had to rank as the most surreal festival experience this year. I also took part in a record-breaking attempt for skinny dipping at Wilderness Festival. Sadly we were 200 people short of breaking the record. When I got out, I couldn’t find my towel and was a lone naked man wandering through crowds of fully-attired, drunk festival-goers.

YouTube Preview ImageWinter in a Strange Town

Have you discovered any other great acts that you could recommend to us?
Favourite festival band this year was We Were Evergreen, a Parisian trio who won over the crowds with their energy, humour and exquisite power-pop, led by ukulele. Current favourite artists are Alt J and Other Lives.

YouTube Preview ImageThe Crows and the Rooks

Finally, what next? And have you found true love again?
I’ve just made a short program for Radio 3 about a man, David King, who provides accurate long-term weather forecasts by reading nature. I’ve got a new talk on the history of pranks and mischief coming up at the Idler Academy in October and I’m hosting TEDx Brighton on my home turf in October. True love, I hope, is waiting in the wings, armed with a box of quality biscuits and good tale to tell.

You can support the No9 Bus to Utopia on Unbound by pre-ordering a copy. Find out more about how to run a Zocalo here. Keep up with David Bramwell at www.drbramwell.com.

Categories ,5×15, ,Alain de Botton’s School of Life, ,Alt J, ,Bill Bryson, ,book, ,brighton, ,Damanhur, ,Dark Mountain, ,David Bramwell, ,David Burke, ,David King, ,Dominic West, ,Drako Zarhazar, ,Idler Academy, ,John Mitchinson, ,joy division, ,No.9 Bus to Utopia, ,Oddfellow’s Casino, ,Other Lives, ,Port Eliot, ,Radio 3, ,TED, ,TEDx Brighton, ,The Crows and the Rooks, ,The Idler, ,The Raven’s Empire, ,Tom Hodgkinson, ,Unbound, ,We Were Evergreen, ,We Will Be Here, ,Wilderness Festival, ,Winter in a Strange Town, ,Zocalo

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Amelia’s Magazine | Earth Listings: 5th – 11th October

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Turner Prize

Enrico David, price treatment Roger Hiorns, search Lucy Skaer and Richard Wright are the lucky shortlisted ones on the Turner Prize’s notepad this year and it’s been noted that the Prize has gone for less shock and awe than usual, buy information pills resulting in a more thoughtful set of works on show. You will probably have at least heard of Roger Hiorns via his incredible work coating an entire flat in blue crystals.But it’s not about the fame of course. From Tuesday, you can go along to the Tate Britain and see for yourself.

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Booker Prize
Announced Tuesday

The 2009 Booker prize shortlist is full of big-hitters, in the form of Sarah Waters (The Little Stranger), JM Coetzee (Summertime) and A.S. Byatt (The Children’s Book), as well as historical fiction from Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall) and lesser known authors Adam Foulds (The Quickening Maze) and Simon Mawer (The Glass Room). If you’re not sure what to read next the Booker shortlist is always a good place to get ideas outside of lists of the 100 Greatest Books of All Time. If you’re quick enough to have read them all already, look out for the winner announcement on Tuesday to see if you, in your wisdom, agree with the judges’ decision.

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Grayson Perry’s Walthamstow tapestry

Grayson Perry is trying his hand at something other than ceramics with his “Walthamstow Tapestry”, an amazing, detailed piece of work a bit like a Bayeaux Tapestry for 2009. They cared about war, we care about shopping, it seems. Perry examines our consumerism but has also made something that is anti-consumerist: a one-off object that is the opposite of fast fashion or instant gratification.

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Dance Umbrella

In recent years we’ve all rediscovered how amazing it is to watch and do dancing that is more involved than shuffling from one foot to the other while hoping that person over there will notice you. A big part of this change, other than Strictly of course, is Dance Umbrella. The influential dance festival-makers annual season kicks off this week, with the theme “African Crossroads”. They are staging performances and “days out” where you can get a little taster of lots of the shows going on around London over the next few weeks.

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Origin London Craft Fair

There’s something special about an item that’s been made with love by another human being and not just generated by a machine or made under duress in a sweatshop. All the 300-odd artisans at this craft fair at Somerset House make beautiful pieces that are worth treasuring or just getting inspiration for your own Autum projects from.
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Goodone clothing is a classic example of super-apt naming. Only ‘good conscience, online good clothing’ would be a more fitting term. The clothing brand based in the fashion mecca of East London designs quirky pieces all girls want to wear, discount sourced from recyclable materials that everyone’s conscience can appreciate (must be why they are stocked at Fashion Conscience, approved that emporium of ethical fashion). Everything is that most coveted of all must-have clothing qualities- individually hand-made and therefore one off, not to mention, kickass and street-cool.

Goodone 3

Recently short listed for the ‘Re-new Designer of the Year’ Award. Goodone are aiming to shake up people’s expectations of ‘recycled’ clothing, with designs that are not obviously second-take or old-hat. Instead Goodone offer fresh, modern pieces made through reusing existing fabrics (aptly coined upcycling). By working closely with other retailers and designers, the Goodone team are able to provide (and champion!) a way of creating sustainable fashion from other people’s ‘waste’. Good not just in the quality then, but in heart, you can see what I mean about perfect naming. ‘Rubbish’ has never looked so good.

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Featured in street-bible i.D magazine, Juice magazine and shown at London Fashion Week through collaboration with NOKI NHS at Fashion East. Goodone certainly seem to cater to their target audience; fashion conscious, ethic conscious, bright young things set to change the world.

goldone

It’s no surprise then that shop-gods Asos have snapped up some pieces for sale from next month. One glance at Goodone’s online shop currently and our drool glands are in overflow, so it’s no wonder that Asos have jumped on the game. The team design on-trend 80s bodycon dresses in black and white (made from recycled Breast Cancer T-shirts and to raise money for the same charity). As well as futuristic t-shirt dresses with playful coloured breast detail – these are pieces a girl would drop dead for in Topshop – and that’s meant as a compliment! Coming in several different colour schemes, some including extra designs, there’s definitely a dress to suit everyone, with slouchy jumper bodycon to cross-over long sleeved designs. It’s all very reminiscent of youth-hero Christopher Kane with the fluro and the bodycon, and we
like it.

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There are basics-a-plenty in store. The WWF hoody is a highlight, taking on the world in a boxer-esque manner in neon-fluro-brights. The panelled-body is another case in point, providing solid clothing we can move in, perfect for those ethical rallies and climate change demonstrations! These guys aren’t afraid to design wearable clothes – its street style gone ethical and completely in tune with what we want. Take a look at the knot back tee and the diamond slouch dress and you’ll see what we mean.

Goodone 1

It’s not only Asos who have pricked their ears to Goodone. Japanese-version-of-the-BBC, NHK, have been following the gang around with cameras to make a soon to be aired documentary entitled ‘Inspirational European Lives’. It seems then that these East-Londoners with hearts of gold are going to get the rewarding recognition their endeavours deserve all too soon. Watch this space and keep checking Asos for their stuff!

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Despite last year’s reports of the economic sky falling and gathering clouds sending buyers scurrying for safe ground, website one designer stood defiantly against the whipping winds of change, scanning the skies for a little golden sunshine. And gold he found….caves of the stuff!

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Designer Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi found refuge in the troves of religious iconography, mosaics and relics housed in the massive hull of the Royal Academy of Art’s exhibit Byzantium. Al Qasimi explains the concept behind the armor-like boleros and rippling sheaths, “It’s based on Byzantine women who have been woken up from a crypt and hauled on to the catwalk”. Wish I looked that good when I woke up, not to mention after a 2,500 year long catnap! What he has awoken is an appetite for unabashed opulence.

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Qasimi presented a legion of angular gold boleros crowning regal sheaths in tomato and turquoise along with luxe ivory jodhpurs. His glazed, ‘Midas touch’ eyelids and halos of jutting jackets transformed models into saintly icons. His integration of geometry in this collection was inspired by 84 yr old Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian who encorporrates mirrored mosaics and reverse-glass painting in Islamic geometric patterns.

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Qasimi enlisted the skills of British jewellery designer Scott Wilson, who has worked with groundbreaking designer Hussein Chalayan, to collaborate on the project. One of the most enticing of which were the bejeweled (and interchangeable!) spats.

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The bubble of Byzantium existed in the Dark Ages, in may ways not disimilar to tremors we’re experiencing these days. While the Roman Empire disintegrated around them, plunging Europe into the Dark Ages, the rich island nation of Byzantium continued to pour money into the arts by commissioning religious works . While the safety and priveleges enjoyed by some evaporated to be replaced by a constant state of danger and uncertainty, others simply exchanged one set of miseries for another. A fitting era to look to for clues. “I wanted to create something optimistic to lift us from all the financial doom and gloom,” said Al Qasimi.

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Byzantium continued to advance the arts in a cloak of spirituality when the lights went out in the rest of the world and it helps to remember that there would have been no Renaissance without it.

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Currently in talks with leading department stores to produce a capsule evening-wear line aimed at Middle Eastern women we can just imagine Dubain princesses licking their lips for these Faberge dresses.

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One person whose eye it pays to catch is that of Dazed and Confused creative director Nicola Formichetti. The style whisperer has already slipped Lady Gaga into a Qasimi creation for her new video and has tempted vocal vixen Florence Welch, from Florence and the Machine, into a new look by the designer.

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Qasimi’s elevated tastes, if not perspective, never disappoints. So while we nibbled on foil-wrapped chocolates in the cavernous Old Sorting Building it was hard not to believe that luxury and limitless optimism were still kicking around out there somewhere.

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Swoop, advice swoop, yep the buzz word of the time. But only for a couple more weeks. If you don’t manage to come across some outreach for the The Great Climate Swoop this week, you aren’t going to the right places.

Bloom In Bloomsbury
Tuesday 6th October

A students gathering to tackle the problem of climate change and a chance to engage those minds out there. The gathering will enable university green groups to see how they can add a bit of bite, there will also be a chance to learn practical skills to pass on to others. A marquee will be jam packed with people, workshops, music and food all united though an aim of addressing the state of our planet.

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Illustration by kotryna zukauskaite

Workshops include:
1-2pm  Introduction to the Camp for Climate Action & a guide to Direct Action
2.30-3.30pm The Great Climate Swoop and Copenhagen 
4-5.30pm  London student plotting: what can we do together to make a difference?
Alongside these, there’ll be other workshops on bike maintenance, ClimArt and Guerilla Gardening as well as:
Bike Doctor
SOAS Food Co-op (whole foods at cost price)
Info and stalls from associated campaigns.
All-you-can-hear open mic for words and music.
Live, danceable music to take us into the evening.

Time: 12 noon ’til dusk
Venue: Torrington Square, near SOAS, London WC1H 0XG
 
Transition Camden Town
Tuesday 6th October 2009 ?

Following from the growing amount of Transition towns across the country, this initiative by Camden council is aimed at engaging the local community to become more green. The venue, inSpiral lounge will be showing powerful documentaries. “The Power of Community” – A classic film about life after oil and urban food growing in Cuba & “A Farm for the Future” – An inspiring film from the BBC about farming without oil. Come and enjoy this evening of conscious entertainment and try some of inSpiral’s food and drinks

Time: 7pm
Venue:inSpiral Lounge, Camden

Kingsnorth: The Great Debate
Wednesday October 7th 2009

An evening of exhibits, discussion and debate about dirty new Kingsnorth coal.
Burning coal is the biggest single cause of climate change, yet the government is still considering giving the go-ahead to a series of dirty new coal power stations, the first of which is proposed for Kingsnorth.
This public event will give YOU the chance to quiz the experts and find out what dirty new Kingsnorth coal would mean for the environment, for jobs, and for global justice.
A range of speakers will be joining us, including:
Tim Jones – Head of Climate Policy, The World Development Movement
Sean Furey – Deputy Director, CPRE – Kent
Claire Fauset – Researcher, Corporate Watch

Time: 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Venue: Rochester, Medway, Kent
The Roffen Suite, 41 New Road

The Great Climate Ceilidh
Friday 9th October 2009 ?

GKM

Swoop down the isles with rig ‘n’ jeelers Green Kite Midnight while raising funds for the Climate Camp. If you missed them at Blackheath Climate camp, where they entertained hundreds in the biggest Ceilidh I’ve ever seen, make sure you get there for a night of frantic fun.

Time: 8pm-11pm
All welcome. £7/£5 (sliding scale)
Venue: Hackney Round Chapel
Website: http://www.greenkitemidnight.com/

Powershift
9-12 October

Young people from all over the UK will be heading to the Institute of Education in London. They’ll be ordinary people. Taking time out from their jobs or their studying. Traveling the length of the country just to get there.
Organised by young people, for young people, Power Shift marks a new chapter in youth action on climate change.

Website: http://powershift.ukycc.org/

Climate Camp Brighton presents The Climate Swoop Info and Training day
Saturday October 10th
swoop copy

Learn more about the Great Climate Swoop! A national day of mass action against the catastrophic coal industry and climate criminals Eon, at the big ‘n’ dirty Radcliffe on Soar power station in Nottingham. Come and meet other people who are going on the action- Find out whats being planned for the day of action – Find out about transport plus Non Violent Direct Action training 4 – 6pm

Time: 2 – 7pm
Venue: Brighton, Westhill Hall, Compton Avenue, 7 Dials

Electric Circus for Gaza
Saturday October 10th

Brought to you by Skandalous, Fluorotrash and Naked underground party crews – proceeds will go towards purchasing and delivering precious medicines needed by the people of Gaza. With Zion Tain, DJs, cabaret acts, pole dancers, mutant walkabouts, circus performers, acrobatic arts, VJs.

Time: 10pm – 6am
Venue: Scala, Kings Cross London ?Price: £8.50 adv, £12 on door
?Website: http://rumble.ironfire.org/circus2iraq.org/

Categories ,action training, ,Bloom in Bloomsbury, ,brighton, ,Celilidh, ,coal power, ,Copanhagen, ,corporate watch, ,discussion, ,ebvironment, ,Electric Circus, ,Gaza, ,Green Kite Midnight, ,swoop, ,transition Camden

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Amelia’s Magazine | You Me Bum Bum Train in New Oxford Street, December / January 2011-2012: Review

You Me Bum Bum train sign
Writing about You Me Bum Bum Train is hard work: for understandable reasons visitors, and especially pesky reviewers such as myself (a necessary but somewhat unruly mob) are asked very kindly at every opportunity not to give anything away about what happens on the ‘ride’. And fair enough – once the element of surprise is removed some of the fun undoubtedly goes out of the Bum Bum experience. Even those who have been on previous trains are likely to have a very different experience to ‘virgins’ such as myself.

You Me Bum Bum train Game_Show_Flier
One of the fab You Me Bum Bum Train flyers, which are all designed by show creators Kate Bond and Morgan Lloyd.

Immersive participatory theatre is having something of a moment, with the likes of Punch Drunk and ilk encouraging visitors to take part in the theatrical process – which means you, the paying guest, are not going to just sit back and relax. Rather, you are going to be required to remain fully engaged through the 45 minute experience. In a society where we are too often passive viewers this is a refreshing antidote, and probably far more natural to us as humans – in past history all members of a community would be required to take part in celebrations and entertainment. Think fire side rituals or village hall dramas.

You Me Bum Bum train NYE_covent_garden_Theatre
So, what is it okay to say? Well, dress for interactive fun – the website stresses no high heels and no bags or big coats (though these can be left in the cloakroom). Be prepared to fill out a health and safety form, but there’s no reason to be alarmed, creators Kate Bond and Morgan Lloyd are just covering their backs. And most of all, come with an open mind and be prepared to get stuck in: you’ll be taking part in the various scenes that you encounter, all of which will whirl past at such frantic speed that you will barely have a chance to register what is going on before you’re on to the next mini drama. The You Me Bum Bum Train crew want you to experience a range of situations that you’d never normally get to experience in one lifetime and however bonkers your life might be I can guarantee that you will. All of it done with brilliant accuracy and believability.

You Me Bum Bum train Umbabungo
Once you are spat out at the end of the ride there’s time to visit the on site bar, which is a great place to catch on the experience with fellow passengers. Due to this year’s popularity (the good word has spread, rapidly) the ride has sold out for December, but today a lottery opens to find passengers for a newly released series of slots in January. So if you fancy yourself a bit of Bum Bum action then get yourself over to Run Riot… and sign up. But whatever you do, keep the experience to you and your fellow passengers. I got a sharp telling off for inadvertently responding to a tweet from a friend who took part as a performer last week. And on that note, there is a cast of hundreds, and the You Me Bum Bum Train are always looking for more volunteers, so if you fancy seeing it from the other side do offer your services – they’d love to have you. I’m thinking of signing up myself….

You Me Bum Bum train
Find out more general info on the You Me Bum Bum Train website and read another great review here by There Ought To Be Clowns, whom I met in the bar afterwards. Amelia’s Magazine contributor Luisa Gerstein was lucky enough to take an early You Me Bum Bum Train back in 2008 – read her review here.

*Enter the You Me Bum Bum Train lottery with Run Riot here!*

You Me Bum Bum Train press shots by Sean Raggett.

Categories ,2011, ,bar, ,brighton, ,Christmas, ,illustration, ,Interactive, ,Kate Morgan, ,Morgan Lloyd, ,Ought to be Clowns, ,Participatory, ,Punch Drunk, ,review, ,Run Riot, ,Sean Raggett, ,theatre, ,Volunteers, ,You Me Bum Bum Train

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