My love for baile funk runs deep. I know it has had an awful lot of coverage in the past few years, more about generic and it only really fell out of the limelight earlier this year – but there’s something about the simplicity of the production, and the feisty vocals that just makes it fantastic club music.
So, arriving in time to see a DJ set, from the guy out of support act Gameboy/Gamegirl, was a bit of treat. I’m not a fan of their own work (bit too Super Super for my taste), but the crowd may have even gone wild for his selections, if it hadn’t of been about boiling point in the packed venue.
As they made their way on stage, I was shocked at how easily i had managed to get right at the front – something I very rarely opt for, usually preferring to stay right at the back (near the bar, with more space). I didn’t last long though, about 4 songs in I thought I was actually going to melt like a witch and the couple next to me seemed to be getting annoyed at me for having a bag that was getting in the way of their dancing, so I ungracefully weaved my way to the back.
Alongside their own releases, they threw in some real classics – much to the delight of the bulging crowd. The reaction to the snippets of ‘Robot Rock’ by daft punk was almost frightening, with sweat now literally dripping off the walls. Another highlight was ‘Summer Nights’ being mixed into ‘Push It’ by Salt-N-Pepa. The risk of the whole thing becoming naff was overshadowed by the fun factor of it all, with so many smiling faces it’s hard to fault them for a little bit of cheesiness.
The opening bars of ‘Solta O Frango’ was greeted by some debaucherous dancing from pretty much everyone within spitting distance of the stage. Not surprisingly really considering the sassy behavior of the two female MCs in the group. Leaping around the stage, throwing water around and making lude gestures with inflatable palm trees it was like they were at Corey Worthington Delaney’s house party.
This frenzy was then whipped into something else by the snippet of ‘I Just Can’t Get Enough’ by Depeche Mode that signaled the end of their set. I can’t honestly say I’ve never heard a bigger groan of disappointment when a band leaves a stage.
Bonde Do Role are perhaps responsible for carrying the torch of their genre after the world music ambassadors Diplo and M.I.A helped introduce baile to the world. They’ve made the genre more accessible to the masses, often (in my opinion) showing themselves to be a far more impressive outfit than the ‘nu rave’ bands they were grouped alongside.
Setting our watches to the Climate Caravan agenda, cheap Amelia and I heard of an event at Liverpool Street Station. Detailing the event on exciting yellow flyers as “Climate and Capitalism, more about ” we thought we’d roll down after a delightful spread of cous cous and see what these dedicated folks were up to. The meeting point, 3.30pm outside the Bishopsgate exit, we stood at attention with our eyes peeled for some dread locked cyclists.
As time ticked by, we began to wonder if the crew had been held up in the hectic roads packed out with numerous buses and cars beeping for their bid at cramming through the tight city roads. With our ears flapping, we began to chat to other eager beavers hanging around. Spotting a few scruffy troops, we followed their footsteps and found ourselves stopping at The Royal Bank of Scotland. Joining in the chit chat, we circled round the bunch at the front of the unsightly glass structure listening to news of the current events. Eavesdropping while Amelia chatted to the activists she knew, I heard words of penguins, umbrellas and suits…
Mel from Platform filling in the group with fellow suited activist… oh and me (lovely flattering shot, thanks Amelia!)
Cue the arrival of activist Mel of climate change experts Platform, clutching onto bags of pennies. Crowding round her, she announced she and her fellow suited and booted associate had acquired these pennies from RBS as a statement about carbon emissions. I must admit now, I may well be manning the earth section, but these Climate Caravan events have been a huge learning curve for me. As Amelia bids farewell to continue her schedule I bite the bullet and ask the dreaded question (quietly to the friendliest looking one), “why RBS?”
It is happily revealed to me that RBS are the UK’s largest financial drivers of climate change. Publicly marketing themselves as “the oil and gas bank,” RBS are in fact one of the world’s largest funders of oil and gas extraction. These fossil fuels investments they are making will trap us into emissions for decades, a low carbon economy will thus become impossible.
The coins jamming the revolving doors
Meanwhile Mel (above) and Olly (below) provided us with some light entertainment with a bike powered sound system and clarinet
Causing quite a stir outside the RBS
Ah ha. I can see clearly why these these bags of coins are being thrown into the set of three revolving doors causing them to jam. As I dart around the guys, eagerly snapping the action I digest this in my mind. The camera goes back in my pocket. I don’t need 10 different angles of the activists, there are real photographers here for that. Gawping a little while at the security stuck in the bank, it occurs to me i quite like all this freedom of speech stuff (I have always been slightly bitter that my parents lived the 60′s, may be more for Woodstock and psychedelia). So as the guys start using the remainder of the coins to spell out slogans “dirty oil money” and “oil bank” I find myself kneeling with them, gathering the pennies and making my statement. Admittedly, my input was more of a continuation of a swirly line (it was supposed to represent the oil) which framed the slogans.
After ten minutes (not too efficient guys) the security decided to join in the coin play
The Climate Caravan crew didn’t stop there, eagerly using the confascated coins to re express their sentiments
The security dealing professionally with the issue shortly before the cops arrived
Just as I was plucking up the courage to use words over images (I’ve just finished an Illustration degree so typography is a little scary to me) activist Penny announced the police were on their way and we had better move along. As cleaners gathered round the doors sweeping up the coins, kicking away our masterpiece the activists gathered the coins and headed to a local pub for a celebratory drink (phew these guys may all be dedicated vegans, but they do like a tipple).
With a slightly brisk step in my walk so as not to get caught up with the law, hurried back to our headquarters and blurted to Amelia and my fellow interns what I had seen. Still curious about why I had heard speak of penguins earlier, Amelia mentioned we had missed a large parade on London Bridge involving fancy dressed homeless penguins and polar bears to make a statement about the causes of global warming. What will they do next time?! (find out and COME TO CLIMATE CAMP!!)
After an exhausting day in the life of Antartic creatures, the crew made tracks to Hackney City Farm where Amelia headed down to join in the celebrations of securing the site in Kingsworth.
If I was between 5 and 10 years old I would have had the time of my life at Camp Bestival, more about and I guess that was the point. The child in me was well jealous that there was no Camp Bestival around when I was a wee nipper – but then there was no way my parents would ever have taken me to such a debauched affair with no obvious cultural import so I might as well end the dream right there. And of course to enjoy Camp Bestival as a child you have to come with some adults; in all likelihood your parents.
Castle family fun
This meant that the festival was jammed to the pink lit Disney towers of Lulworth Castle (it looked so unreal!) with yummy mummies and trendy dads, most of whom were my age or only a little older. Oh how I have fallen out of my social norm! Nothing brings it home like going away with all your offspring-blessed peers to a festival catering to just such families. However I didn’t begrudge it – I actually really enjoyed the presence of the younger age group – it gave the place a light air… and my mates in their early twenties may have been somewhat bemused by the demographic (didn’t they read the site?!) but I think it is safe to say that for a virgin festival just finding its feet, a good time was had by all.
The Incredible Hulks
Kids watching binocular football
I travelled down on Thursday evening with my friends and their 2 year old, who got the weekend off to a flying start (literally) by projectile vomitting in spectacular fashion just, and I mean just, as we pulled up to the gates. And there was me wondering why I was singing Old Macdonald to myself… still it was a suitably dramatic way to enter the grounds, where we immediately met the rest of the band. It seemed so quiet, I could hardly believe that it could fill out, and indeed our graveyard slot on Friday morning was played to an empty field in the Kids’ area. Having said that I enjoyed very much watching the Insect Circus on my own, and we were loving lounging about on the soft grassy manicured lawns of Lulworth. It was like stroking velvet! But my, what a treat to share the same stage with thecocknbullkid, who did a grand job of playing to a crowd of well, me, dancing on my own. I loved her single On My Own Again, and it was great to see her showcase some of her other tunes. I’m really not sure what the ridiculous name is for, because it doesn’t really describe the sound of Anita’s look or music, which is all 80s synths meets 50s doowap dance moves: she was wearing a very nice frock indeed and swinging her tush for all it was worth given the distinctly slim audience. I particularly like the track I’m Not Sorry. Expect big things from this lady’s debut album.
Friday – not really rocking it yet
The Insect Circus
I later caught a bit of Kitty Daisy and Lewis who were of course on the mainstage, being part of the Sunday Best label. Looking glamourous as ever…. another youthhood I can aspire to have lived, playing in a band with my cool parents. George Pringle also played – how disappointing. I put her in the mag a few issues back on the strength of a single but had never seen her live before, but she was dull dull dull.
Kitty Daisy and Lewis
By Friday evening the post work crowds were descending in force and the place was thick with buggies, and a sedate but relaxed atmosphere pervaded the air. Electing to hang out at our campfire we had a drunken night as our posse, both Cutashine and Lost and Found, was about 50 members strong. Lost and Found
have pioneered festival madness at Bestival and Secret Garden Party for several years now – oft imitated but never matched for the sheer ridiculousness of their ideas, they did not disappoint. For Camp Bestival they donned specially-made Blue Coats and coralled the children into activities that could have seemed really quite wrong in any other context. A dog show featured an obstacle course where a willing parent could steer their dog (child) through hoops and over fences, whilst wearing a leash. Needless to say the kids absolutely loved it! A fox hunt had the Lost and Found crew careening all over the festival after a pair of particularly determined young lads made off with said fox. Never underestimate the competitiveness of small boys! A sock fight between children ended in tears but drew a large crowd of (possibly) sadistic adults. I learnt the joy of hulahooping and my mate Kat got so hooked that she bruised her ribs. Oddly, Hularama
appeared to be run by a posse of tubby men…. nothing like shaking up the old stereotypes!
The specially-made Blue Coats
Bluecoats dog show
The fox hunt
The dog show
The festival was full of make and do tents, from the cute little mushroom haven of Bobby Dazzles, where they were teaching how to make your own animal out of odds and ends, to the Knitting tent, full of cute young girls and their mums (and dads) busy knitting up a storm. We even found a lad on the Bestival staff featuring a specially made Bestival handknit. Granny would be proud (well, not mine, they don’t knit, but you know what I mean) There was also an enchanting woodland which led to a little farm that seemed to specialise in ducks and llamas. I was particularly taken by the Indian Runner ducks, who seem strangely upright compared with ours!
The Bobby Dazzles
The knitting tent
The Indian Runner Ducks
Cutashine had another gig on Friday night, unfortunately this time up against headliner Chuck Berry – needless to say we didn’t stand a chance, although a crowd of youngsters seemed to enjoy it – not our usual audience for sure and I think the band struggled a tad to get any kind of vibe going.
Cutashine attempt to av it
On Saturday Lost and Found held a Mad Hatters Tea Party – the theme of the fancy dress for the day being said concept. A huge table was laid out with fine china and flowers, and it all culminated in the Lost and Found Alice standing on the table and calling all the Alices of the festival to come and join her – amongst all the cuter little Alices there was perhaps inevitably a particularly fetching larger male.
Mad Hatters tea party
What I found most mind-boggling about the festival was the fact that there was such a large area given over to Boutique Camping – who pays for this?! It was a mystery to us all, especially when we heard a rumour that to stay in a tipi or dog house or beach hut or double decker bus or yurt or any number of crazy options (each with their own regimented area) cost as much as £500. I can only imagine the kind of money floating about at Bestival if this was true…. as I said, mind boggling. But then a very beautiful programme which I would love to have had cost £7 – illustrated by our very own super talented Jess Wilson (who did a picture for me in issue 6) and Josie Da Bank, it was a work of art I just couldn’t afford…. so as usual I was oblivious to the line-up for much of the weekend.
The Boutique Camping
Instead I had my first go at Singstar in a special booth with my mate and a seven year old, who instantly got in a grump because she felt upstaged – I was asked to come back for the grand finale on stage that night, so we did a duet of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. My favourite part being watching a gaggle of young teens singing along and then doing the conga….. fab!
The Flaming Lips headlined on Saturday night, to a crowd by now mostly in the fancy dress that Bestival is famed for and in a real party mood – the theatrics went down a treat and they declared the festival their favourite one ever no less! For the evening a whole bunch of my mates decided to paint themselves silver and gold. The idea had been to go almost nude, but most of them were not prepared with gold bikinis and covered up for most of the night, leaving them with strange alien faces. However, a few did end up with their boobs out, and were told on no uncertain terms to cover up or get chucked out of the festival once Folkaoke – karoake to a folk backing band – took to the stage. It seems there are limits to debauchery at a kids’ festival, but surely this was a step too far when it was night time! I, having been sacked from the band (I was a backing singer) was asked to be page-turner. Oh the humiliation. Unfortunately things were running very late and after only a few songs, and just as we were getting into the swing of things, we were booted off stage. With adrenalin riding high it was decided to shack up at the Boutique Camping campfire, where Folkaoke managed to engage a few hundred people in a mass singalong. Overheard was that phrase that every performer lives to hear “that was the best thing I’ve seen at this festival yet.” Hurrah! Even if I am not in the band!
Folkaoke Stone Roses
The gold singers
A Gold Girl
Campsie Folkaoke singalong
Early on Sunday morning it was up and onwards to Lovebox… the festival scene is now in full flow!
Monday 4th August
Idea Generation Gallery, page ‘Robert Altman’s Photography from the ‘60s’: 16th July- 29th August
11 Chance St, London E2 7JB
Take a trip down memory lane to the 60s where naked love-ins and anti-war sit ins rule. Altman captures the psychedelic 60s as well as taking some shots of the Rolling Stones.
Madder139 Gallery, ‘Paul Chiappe‘: 10th July- 9th August
137-139 Whitecross Street, London EC1Y 8JL
Chiappe questions the illusion between subject and object in a series of hyperrealist drawings. Taking images from the traditional school photo, books and vintage postcards, Chiappe then recreates the images with pencil drawings to blur and smudge the plots and characters. This emphasises the transitory and fragile nature of memory.
Tuesday 5th August
The Art Vinyl Gallery Shop, ‘The Art of Fac51-The Hacienda’: 31st July-27th August
13 Broadway Market, E8 4PH
Peter Hook from New Order and Joy Division curates the Art Vinyl Gallery with some classic designs from the Factory Record Vaults.
Artprojx, ‘Automamusic’: Aura Satz: 9th July-16th August
Artprokx at Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, London WC2H 1LB
A film about mechanical music investigating intricate view of self playing violins, accordions, drums and pianolas offset by scenes in which floating musical instruments are played by invisible hands. This highlights the similarities between the beginnings of musical reproduction in the 19th century and spiritualist invocations of the dead, through sound.
Wednesday 6th August
South London Gallery, ‘Games and Theory’: Jakob Kolding, Nils Norman, Lottie Child etc
65 Peckham Rd, London SE5 8UH
International artists who share interests in play, sports and gaming invite viewers to become active participants in the exhibition and climb, crawl and experience the gallery in new ways. The show explores Situationalist ideologies and the radical potential of play as a form of resistance and expression of freedom.
Thursday 7th August
Sartorial Contemporary Art, ‘4X4′: Chris Tosic
101A Kensington Church St, London W8 7LN
Four Artists are given a four day show each week in august. Each artist has been given free reign of the gallery and a prominent journalist or critic has been asked to write 444 words about them. Tosic’s pieces focus on collage, typography and collage.
Friday 8th August
Nottinghill Artsclub, ‘Gin & curiosities’: Robert Rubbish: 4th July-5th September
21 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JQ
Robert Rubbish of Le Gun magazine (he is co-editor) keenly celebrates old-fashioned eccentric ways and places in a body of work that brings together his interests in: curiosity and joke shops, facial hair, Victorian Punk revivalism and Gin. A mish-mash of paintings, drawings, posters and typography inspired by glitter and 70s cosmic rock band hawkwind is presented for your viewing pleasure.
Hackney, ‘hackney wicked’: decima gallery, Elevator Gallery, Mother Studios, The Residence, Schwartz Gallery: 8-10th August
Hackney Wicked is Hackney Wick’s first major art festival celebrating contemporary art with open studio and galleries showcasing the best fresh new talent.
Saturday 9th August
Viewfinder photography Gallery, ‘Nearly Nothing’: Mark Bellingham, Gerd Hasler, Kelly Hill and others:12 July-17 August
Linear House, Peyton Place (off Royal hill) London SE10 8RS
A photography group exhibition exploring the aesthetics of ambiguity. Images are often poetic and allusive.
Sunday 10th August
Spacex Gallery, ‘International Film Programmes’: curated by Negar Azimi: 26th July-20th September
45 Preston Street, Exeter EX1 1DF
Presenting films by international artists. The programme includes screenings curated by Negar Azimi for www.tank.tv titled ‘She doesn’t think so but she’s dressed for the h-bmb’. Other short videos are by Siad Antar, Yael bartana, Haris Epaninonda and others. Also featured is ‘Sop. Watch‘ concerned with ecological emergencies. Artists Jordan Baseman, Phil Coy, Manu Luksch et al aim to inform and engage.
I am quite the sucker for nostalgia so when I saw the Victoria and Albert Museum was putting on a village fete; I jumped at the chance to attend. Judging by the amount of people there on Friday night as part of the Lates series, more about I am not the only one who has a pair of rose tinted spectacles firmly in place when it comes to the past. Decked out with balloons and bunting the garden of the V&A looked like something the WI would be proud of, cheapest but the stalls on offer had a more modern twist to the usual rusty tombolas and coconut shy.
Photo courtesy of Fever Zine
Wandering around the myriad of stalls I didn’t know where to start, there was fetebook, bringing social networking back into the real world, Mugshot, the chance to decorate a mug then hurl it at a mug tree (delightful for pent up rage). Also catching my eye were Adapt React‘s beard tent, which involved cramming as many trickets onto your beard as possible, not your actual beard but a hand made version thus avoiding a look pioneered by Mr. Twit. The lauded canvas bag was given an update at Here’s One I Made Earlier, a pic-a-mix selection of patches and buttons awaited pasting onto said bag. I saw one girl showcasing her adorable puffa fish patches. Over at ico designs you could flap your arms to race a chicken to the finishing line and I am assured no actual chickens were harmed in the process.
Photo courtesy of Fever Zine
I spotted a rather manly bloke dragging up, even declining the offer of red lipstick he still made a fetchingly sophisticated lady, for his turn in front of the camera over at Pose Me a Postcard by Fred and Teo. Chuckling, we joined the small queue awaiting our chance for a dress up. I subtly hinted my appreciation of the cat drinking tea picture and lo behold I ‘randomly’ drew it from the various pictures on offer. I then had 20 secs to set up and recreate my picture before I was snapped for my postcard. Twenty minutes later we returned to find technological wizardry had transformed ourselves into picture postcards.
The fun continued with a caring attitude and guess work at Garudio Studiage’s stall. The R.S.P.C.A. make it clear that people should be nice to animals and Garudio Studiage seemed to agree. Taking the responsibility out of pet owning they came up with a fantastic idea to substitute a furry friend. Flat pets! Won in a game of chance by picking three matching animals from behind the doors of a host of hutches you could walk away with your cardboard bunny, kitten or puppy (ok maybe not the furriest of friends, but there would defiantly be no cleaning up after this little Rover)
A fete go-er feels hungry
Photo courtesy of Fever Zine
Feeling a bit peckish I wandered over to Fever Zine‘s stall where they were serving up delicious illustration card sandwiches. Complete with brown paper bags! Ink stamped bugs infected the lettuce, a Caticorn on the cheese (my favourite), a wonderful Octopus teapot on the ham and finishing with a garnish of tomato, stamped with the head of a tyrannical leader. I always like my food to come with a slice of politics. With such a great concept Fever Zine highlighted why it has received so much attention in a sea of zines. However, snacking on cardboard just doesn’t quite cut it. So I headed over to the food tent and was rather pleased to see the fete theme had influenced the culinary delights on offer. Small quiches, a variety of homemade worthy cakes, jugs of Pimms and beers served in brown paper bags all added to the festivities.
Photo courtesy of Fever Zine
Spotting a familiar looking moustache I weaved on over to check out the Prick Your Finger tenet. For the current issue the girls of Prick Your Finger created a pattern for a crochet moustache (hence the deja vu). Bedecked in their woolly facial hair they hosted a silhouette portrait tent, with the choice of being drawn little or large. The lazer cut wizard Rob Ryan had made scratch cards from one of his whimsical papercuts, for a chance to scratch your way to a limited edition print. Pitted against the clock and the familiar countdown theme tune, I gleefully revelled in the competition. The leader board showed who was top of the scratching pops and for a few glorious circulations of the garden, between us we held the top three spots.
Scratching at Rob Ryan’s stall
Over at the lovely Lady Luck Rules Ok stand, Punch and Judy would have been suitably pleased with puppet inspired staging. Offering personalised bespoke jewellery, they had taken the fete theme to heart. Rockabilly tattoo themed necklaces and brooches jostled for attention. But my eyes were drawn to the rosette themed jewellery. For those not lucky enough to honoured best in show, you could buy your own pin or necklace, in either girlish gingham or sunny stripes (I opted for ravishing red gingham).
Pretend puppetry at Lady Luck
Photo courtesy of Fever Zine
Then came the moment I had been waiting for: heli-oke! It pretty much is what it sounds like. Karaoke twinned with helium, resulting in more hilarious embarrassment then when the vicar judges the phallic shaped vegetables. I’m not usually the sort of person who volunteers for public attention, but I caught the karaoke bug when I was in Japan and since then it’s been one big sing-along me (well not all the time). Despite the previous practices, our rendition of Madonna’s ‘Into The Groove’ was officially rejected by the discerning judges. But we did walk away with our once helium filled balloons to treasure forever. Feeling light-headed I moved on.
Perhaps this light-headedness was why I failed to loop the rings on the giant sized gloved hands at the Tatty Devine stall. Having lusted after anything Tatty Devine related for quite some time I really wanted to get my average sized hands on the moustache rings up for grabs. I overheard one women proudly stating she had spent £14 in pursuit of a ring (that was 21 throws, how could she not fail?!).
Finally as the evening was drawing to a close, we made for the undying queue at the tombola stand. With prizes on offer from Tom Dixon, Eley Kishimoto, Fortnun and Mason and B Store this most definitely wasn’t any old rusty tombolo. With the glittering booty displayed the Scarlet Projects tombola had attracted a steady stream of people all evening. Feeling lucky I reached in. But luck had other ideas and I failed to win the lusted after goodies but that blow was sweetened with a lollypop for my journey home.
Photo courtesy of Fever Zine
With so many stalls and all of them such fun, next year I will be bringing a whole pouchful of pound coins to try out all the stalls on offer. As a testament to how successful the Lates series has and continues to be, my only complaint, I couldn’t find the Bauhaus ball pit. The effort gone into last Friday’s event really paid off with fete-ing good fun had by all!
Heartbreak without a doubt put on a show. Singer Sebastian Muravchix gyrates his hips, thumb moon-slides (a hybrid of moon-walking and sliding, thumb yes I did just make that up), more about points, postures and poses all over the stage. In fact it in some places in descends into something a bit like Dad dancing, but he most definitely pulls it off. He is a little reminiscent of Har Mar Superstar, but with less sleaze. In contrast Ali Renault demurely plays his keyboard at the back. With such an energetic performance by Muravchix the crowd responded in the only way possible; dancing!
Heartbreak play such a catchy blend of Italian disco, it is hardly surprising they get this response when performing. Previously I saw them at Stag and Dagger and that show was just as impressive. As live performances go, they are pretty much like Christmas, in all its (cheesy) glee. And finishing with ‘We’re Back’, the song everybody loves, the crowd understandable danced that little bit more extravagantly.
Whilst researching a new label founded by two LA socialites Lauren Alexander and April Leight, dosage appropriately called LnA, I started thinking about the ever fading line separating men’s and women’s clothes. The pair’s debut ‘Boyfriend Tee Collection’, launched in Spring/Summer 2007, is described on their website as “a colourful, flattering and wearable take on the men’s under tee” and is made up of lots of different designs of plain, basic tees, all 100% cotton and all comfortable.?
I’m kind of missing the link between their masculine inspiration and the final product. Correct me if I’m wrong, but these look like plain women’s Tees to me. What’s so special about these designs? Upon reading of the website I discovered; “The duo’s designs are wholly inspired by their lifestyles, sharing an affinity for wearing their boyfriend’s Tees out to LA’s hotspots.” Surely more inspiration can be found living in sunny LA, surrounded by movie star history and going to all those crazy ‘hotspots’?
As well as a love for wearing boyfriend tees, the website says that the partners originally bonded over their fashion backgrounds. High fashion aspirations might explain the high prices, but the less than high fashion designs lead me to wonder whether their ‘fashion backgrounds’ amount to much more than that they both love a good shopping sesh. Then again, maybe I’ve been too harsh. I mean, these t-shirts do come in at least FIVE different colours. ? ? ?
As can be expected, the celebrity following of the brand is huge. Nicole Richie, Rachel Bilson, Paris Hilton – they’re all wearing it. Lauren Alexander and April Leight evidently have some good contacts. This celebrity interest has no doubt affected the popularity of the brand (as these things do.) One review I found was from a massive fan of the ‘Deep V T-shirt’ (all the items are named after their cut – another injection of creativity from LnA) as seen on Mary-Kate Olsen. The fan boasts having the garment in seven different colours. I worked this out and, if my calculations are correct, she spent $392 (that’s around £196) on seven plain T-shirts. Either the tops are lined with gold or that’s one major Olsen fan.
In case you didn’t pick up on it, I’m not much of a fan. LnA ask for a lot of money for something so simple (which they claim to be the product of an individual idea). Yes, ok, they are 100% cotton, but you would think that for $50 you would be, I don’t know, helping the environment or half the cost would be donated to charity? Unfortunately no, you’re not. Although I’m all for basic, classically cut clothes with no prints or fancy bits, the way in which they seem to claim the ownership of the popular T-shirt design annoys me. Because of this I can’t get the idea of money grabbing attachment to this brand out of my mind.
The live musical spectacles that you should try and attend this week.
Monday 4th August
Das Pop – Durr at The End, no rx London
With their debut album being produced by the brothers from Soulwax, and acclaim from just about everyone Das Pop deserve your listening time.
Peggy Sue And The Pirates – Pure Groove Records, London
The Mae Shi and Dananananaykroyd – The Old Blue Last, London
Reverend Horton Heat – Carling Academy, Glasgow
Tuesday 5th August
Cutashine – Climate Camp, Kingsnorth Kent
Come down to Climate Camp and see Amelia’s band, as well as learn lots and lots about climate change and how we can stop it.
Nisennenmondai – Bardens Boudoir, London
Bombay Bicycle Club – Pure Groove Records, London
Wednesday 6th August
Jack Cheshire, Mumford and Sons and Josephine Oniyama – Folkadot at Green Note, London
Drive-By Truckers – Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh
Lawrence Arabia, Planet Earth and Dash Delete – The Lock Tavern, London
Reverend Horton Heat, Nashville Pussy and Vince Ray and The Boneshakers – Astoria, London
Thursday 7th August
Gig of the week
Zombie Zombie, Sportsday Megaphone and Night Visions – Pure Groove Live at The Macbeth, London
As Pure Groove’s night at The Macbeth goes weekly, I can’t hlp but wonder how long they’ll manage to get line-ups like this. Hopefully forever, as this looks mighty tempting.
Chrome Hoof, Diagonal and Invasion – Dingwalls, London
The Maccabees – Junction, Cambridge
Lawrence Arabia – North London Tavern, London
Magistrates and Esser – Proud Galleries, London
Mr Hudson And The Library, thecocknbullkid and Miss Odd Kidd – The Wonky Pop Club at Cargo, London
Those Dancing Days, Bombay Bicycle Club and The I Hearts – New Slang at McClusky’s, London
White Williams and Personality Crisis – The Lock Tavern, London
Friday 8th August
Slow Club, Mathew Sawyer & The Ghosts and Tim Clare – Duke of Uke Salon at The Whitechapel Gallery, London
Make sure you get there early, apparently the last Duke of Uke Salon was rammed – and I can see why. Slow Club especially promise to be a real treat.
Bearsuit, Hotpants Romance and The Winter Club – Twee As Fuck at Buffalo Bar, London
Errors – Summer Sundae, Leicester
Saturday 9th August
Field Day – Beyond The Wizards Sleeve, Foals, Howling Bells, Laura Marling, Les Savy Fav, Mystery Jets, Wild Beasts and so many more – Victoria Park, London
For me, this line-up is yet to be challenged by any other festival this year.
The Wave Pictures – Concorde 2, Brighton
The Rascals and Televised Crimewave – Push at Astoria 2, London
Sunday 10th August
King Creosote and Sportsday Megaphone – The Lock Tavern, London
I think almost every girl I know has tried making their own jewellery at some stage in their life. Whilst I never got much further than a fabulously sticky liquorice all-sort necklace, buy more about Melissa Leon has gone on to open her own jewellery design studio in London. I went along to the launch on Saturday, where we were treated to a sneaky peak at some of Melissa’s latest designs. Working with materials like Venetian glass, freshwater pearls and rose quartz, her pieces are full of colour and individuality. The jellybean inspired ‘candy cuff’ and necklaces are the kind of fresh and youthful creations that are bound to make Melissa’s pieces stand out from other jewellery collections.
Rose Quartz and polymer clay bracelet and earring set
Venetian glass and semi-precious stones
Venetian glass and semi-precious stones
I arrived at the studio to find everything running fashionably late. A small runway show was soon underway allowing us to sit back and nibble down on the cakes provided, feeling that usual pang of guilt that you always experience when you eat in the presence of models. Seeing the necklaces in the flesh highlighted just how much the big statement pieces could transform an outfit, making them a great investment for updating your whole wardrobe.
Melissa is keen to share her design skills with all wannabe jewellery makers and is running workshops throughout August and September this year. Participants will not only learn basic jewellery making techniques, but will get the opportunity to create their own set of earrings and bracelet. She’ll also be holding a special Black History Month exhibition at her studio in October. You can sign up for her courses online. I’m even thinking of reviving my own jewellery making efforts -edible accessories anyone?
If your walls at home are looking a little bare and you have some (a lot) of extra cash to spare, case then head down to the HOST Gallery to buy some art where the first annual FOTO8 Awards and Summer Show is going on until August 31. The exhibition is filled with the best reportage, physician portraiture and landscape photography shot by established and emerging artists. What makes this show unique is that all the prints are for sale, so if you desire, the art can come home with you.
A total of 1,800 images were submitted, and after being narrowed down by a panel of judges, 170 were chosen. I enjoyed the collection, however, I’m not sure these are the types of photographs I would have hanging in my living room. I was looking for brighter and more cheerful work. The images were similar to what I would see on the pages of PDN magazine, but not necessarily in a home decorating catalogue. Yet, maybe this is the appeal of it all. I absolutely loved the photograph shown below, taken by Aleksander Bochenek, called 4am on Las Ramblas, Barcelona, 2007. I think the eye contact and facial expressions are great, but personally, can’t imagine paying 700 quid to look at it everyday. If you are willing to pay the price, you get a 20″x30″ framed Giclee print(edition 1/20).
One photograph that caught my eye as a good buy was of this woman on the beach, shot by Claudia WIens. This 20″x30″ color print runs at 500 quid.
Whether your intentions are to purchase work or not, it is well worth the trip just to view the show. You can also vote at the gallery for your favorite shot. The photographer with the most votes will receive the People’s Choice Award. The exhibition is going on until August 31.
Bethnal Green’s friendly local yarn shop, here ‘Prick Your Finger’, doctor is a cosy, more about homely establishment. Owned by Rachael Matthews (the co-founder of Cast Off knitting club) and Louise Harries (textile artist and Amelia’s Magazine issue 9 contributor), this little shop wouldn’t usually seem capable of hosting a rip roaring pom pom party. And yet, last Friday, Prick Your Finger did just that, and was packed to the woolly rafters with pom pom party animals looking to reconcile their differences through the medium of wool.
Pom Pom International is the brain child of the American born, honourary Brit, Amy Lamé. Not content with only juggling radio and television presenting with being a model, comedian and club promoter, Lamé decided it was high time she started getting crafty in order to save the world.
“I’ve been making pom poms at Duckie for about two years now” Lamé tells me, referring to her long running, alternative gay and lesbian club night. “I felt like; Oh my gosh, this is just such a brilliant ice breaker! It’s a really great stress buster and it really gets people to talk to each other.” From this small realisation a more ambitious idea began to -ahem- puffball.
“I had the idea of using pom pom making as a tool to get people who are in conflict talking to each other.” Lamé explains, her trademark fly-away black-rimmed spectacles twinkling as she proudly scans the pom pom participants busily working away inside the shop. “The idea is that we’re collecting all the pom pom’s together to make the biggest collective pom pom for peace.”
Pom Pom International has been seen at plenty of arts events, similar to this one at Prick Your Finger, but will soon be taking it’s first foray into solving larger conflicts with a tour of Northern Ireland this month to mark the 10th anniversary of the peace agreement. Lamé doesn’t plan to stop at that, though “My big goal is to take it to places like the Gaza strip or the border between India and Pakistan” she says.
Although I haven’t really brought any of my own conflicts with me to the party, as the invitation had suggested, I am moved by Lamé’s vision of a wonderful world without conflict and so start preparing my own pom pom contribution. As soon as I start to wind my wool, I am struck by how easily the conversation begins to flow between myself and other pom pom makers.
I get chatting to some craftivists who had been involved in the making of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, but more from them later. I also managed to ask Louise Harries about the inspiration behind her contribution to Issue 9 (which is proudly displayed within the shop); the crochet patterns for some lovely furry facial hair.
“I definitely have beard envy,” she confides “Facial hair can signify so many things from authority to rock and roll excesses. Sod handbags as hot accessories beards are were its at!” Harries is resplendent in a full on Father Christmas beard for the party, and I wonder if she wears beards often “I haven’t yet worn one to pop to shops to get milk but after the V&A village fete I got the tube home and realised I still had a large pink curly beard on…..I thought the funny looks were for the sequin jumpsuit!”
After admissions of facial fuzz fetishes, I am totally sold on the bonding power of pom poms. With my furry ball of woolly wonder done and dusted, the last step is to write a peaceful message to the world on a special Pom Pom International luggage tag. ‘Make the world like a pom pom,’ I write; ‘Warm and fuzzy.’ It’s a small gesture, I know, but standing back I can take in all the other pom poms hanging from the shop’s ceiling, all complete with well wishing notes. Hell, I think, this crazy idea just might work!
You may recall Dearbhaile and Jocelyn writing about their trip to see the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef at The Hayward last month. As they said at the time, information pills this man made reef (partly put together by keen crotheting volunteers using recycled materials) draws attention to the plight of the coral reef that is being destroyed by our disposable lifestyle; ‘Over 50 years plastic trash has accumulated in the North Pacific Ocean and is now a mass that is 4 times the size of England and 30m deep. Consequently, page the coral reef is disappearing at a rate five times faster than the rainforest; each year 3,000 square km is obliterated.’
Whilst making pom poms at Amy Lamé’s Pom Pom International event at ‘Prick Your Finger’, I was lucky enough to bump into some of the volunteers who had put their time and crocheting skills into forming part of the Crochet Reef. Crafty activists Alex Willumsen and Khadija Ibrahim were kind enough to take the time to pause their pom pom making and tell me all about how they got involved in the reef.
Taking a well earned break from pom pom making are (L>R) Gemma, Khadija and Alex.
“We saw an email going out saying crocheters were needed to contribute to this coral reef,” Alex tells me “So we stepped up to the plate and we attended.”
“We’d never crocheted in our lives either.” Khadija goes on, “So it was a bit of a challenge, but so much fun. It’s very democratic, anyone can go and add to it. You don’t even have to be very good! We felt very welcome.”
“Crochet is a very forgiving craft” Alex says, almost thankfully “The crocheted coral reef has imperfections but, as in nature, things don’t always turn out perfectly”
Khadija agrees; “It does represent nature in a way. I like the word organic to describe the process, it’s very organic the way people just come and add their pieces. It kind of grows.”
Of course, the crocheted reef isn’t just an aesthetic wonder. It’s very existance aims to highlight the fact that litter, dumped by humans without a second thought, is eroding the natural beauty of real reefs. “You had to crochet with recycled material so it was a little bit of a challenge.” Alex says “We used cassette tape which is quite sticky and quite difficult to crochet with. You know what, though, a Waitrose bag makes a lovely pattern. The white and the green looks lovely!”
“We’d never done anything like this.” Khadija admits “We just went to this one workshop and the first piece that we ever made went on display.” “Honestly, that was such a sense of achievement.” Alex beams.
Apparently Chicago is the next place the reef will visit. As we contemplate the organic nature of the reef, a reef that is growing with it’s contributors (“About another 10 people attended on the day we went, but there were several sessions.” Alex tells me) the mind boggles at how large the reef may become as it makes it’s journey across the globe.
“It’s accompanying a professionally made coral reef that’s going on display in the Hayward gallery” Khadija explains. “But,” Alex interjects “the amateur one is actually better!”
We are then joined by Gemma Tucker, a fellow pom pom maker and fledgling crafter (“I once made a whole dress out of crisp packets, if that counts?” she says) and it’s a good opportunity to talk about Pom Pom International. I ask Gemma if she has enjoyed her pom pom making experience;
“It’s a very therapeutic thing to do.” she says, and when I ask her if pom poms might change the world she responds positively; “Definitely!”
“There’s something about doing a craft which makes conversations come to the surface that wouldn’t normally be there,” Alex contemplates “and I think that’s very interesting While your hands are occupied your mind is more free to wander.”
Let’s hope that all these crafty minds can help wander us towards a brighter future!
The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef can be seen in the Hayward Project Space and Royal Festival Hall Level 2 Foyer until the 17th of August.
Sweet Fanny Adams are a rock band hailing from Recife, viagra 100mg Brazil. With ‘Fanny, You’re No Fun’ Diego Araújo, Leo Gesteira, Hélder Bezerra and Rafael Borges follow up to their self titled 2007 EP with four new slices of rock and roll. These tracks see the Brazilian boys rattling along noisily in such a way that you can almost see their manly swaggers. This is cock rock that aspires to Stooges status but, whilst the music is not far off, the lyrics leave something to be desired.
Since English is Sweet Fanny Adams’ second language, I know I should really be giving the band a bit of leeway on this, but with first track ‘Hate Song’ I really can’t give an inch. With a very simplistic and clunky bass line (strangely similar to Flight Of The Conchords’ ‘She’s So Hot’), accompanied by minimal guitar strumming, all ears are on the lyrics.
If ‘Hate Song’ is singer Diego Araújo’s one chance at venting some hatred then he hasn’t really grasped the opportunity. ‘From now on I’m just going to unleash all my hatred’ he promises, but never does, instead constantly confirming ‘This is a hate song’ as if this will make up for the distinct lack of bile. At one point Diego barks the lyrics; ‘If this offends you, you are allowed to shout back’ which at once presents an amusing scenario; a ‘rock and roll’ front man (who says he carefully chooses his words just to sound more cruel) politely encouraging his listeners to express their own opinions if he rubs them up the wrong way. This isn’t how Iggy would have done it!
‘Everyday I wake up worse than ever’ Diego goes on to lament in second track ‘Killing Spree’. This is a man talking about losing his mind and sometimes having to break things just to calm down, but the song lacks a vital punch to make these admissions feel like any sort of reality. On this track it feels less like it’s the lyrics that don’t ring true, and more that the track could be saved if only the production was dirtied up a little.
I’m still wondering where the danger is when we get to ‘She Wants To Burn’. To me, this kind of rock and roll should pick you up on a heady, hedonistic rush of youth and carry you to a place where you feel unstoppable and unaccountable. So far, Sweet Fanny Adams’ have given me the impression that they are just naughty boys, rolling out nihilistic cliches, who pose no real threat.
This is how I feel until the last track, ‘C’mon Girl’, comes around. A Kings of Leon style rabble rouser this track is all the things I had been hoping for from the EP’s previous offerings. There is something delightfully fuzzy about the bass, something heart-racing about the driving force combination of guitar and drum beat. Admittedly, there is also something rather out of tune about the singing, but that just adds to the whole rebellious feel. Who cares about a bit of off key vocals if the soul is there? There is even a slowed down snarl that works itself into a frenzy…one of those tricks we love so much. With ‘C’mon Girl’, Sweet Fanny Adam’s prove themselves to be anything but just ‘naughty boys’ and I am prepared to eat all my previous words. There is definitely something really sophisticated coming to the surface here and it excites me.
With ‘Fanny, You’re No Fun’ Sweet Fanny Adams show that they are a name to watch out for. This EP is worth a listen, not just because of the fantastic ‘C’mon Girl’, but also because this is good music if you like your rock manly, dirty and well made. I anticipate Sweet Fanny Adams to grow and gain in strength, this is only their second EP after all, and I’m sure they have it in them to create bigger and better things. In order to do this it’s not going to be a case of practicing what they preach as such, since sonically Sweet Fanny Adams are gutsy enough to pull off the rock and roll sound. It will be more a case of preaching what they practice; by moving their lyrics and emotions forward to truly convey that anarchic angst that is so essential to this style of music. I will look forward to seeing the outcome of Sweet Fanny Adams’ evolution.