Amelia’s Magazine | Lisa Hannigan Competition

The Emerald Isles Lisa Hannigan has had a sparkling 2009. You may recognize her talents from album “O” by Damien Rice on which she featured on most of the tracks. The winds have since changed and she has set sail alone. The solo debut from Hannigan comes in the shape of the charming “Sea Saw”. The release of “Sea Saw” saw her nominated for numerous awards, prostate notably, viagra 100mg for The Mercury Music Prize.

lisa

The album includes the beautiful track “Sea Song“, which you can download for free, aswell as singles“Lille” and “I Don’t Know” that were visually represented with playful paper craft based videos. She has taken her “Sea Saw” stories on tour following a successful Glastonbury performance and sell out shows at Shepherds Bush Empire and Union Chapel earlier this year.

Lisa returns to London on Monday 23rd of November to play at The Royal Festival Hall.
If you would like to win two tickets see the songbird please e-mail with a short seaside story (just a few lines is fine) music@ameliasmagazine.com by midday Friday the 20th with your contact details.

LISA1

Further dates that Lisa Hannigan and her band are playing this month include:

22nd Nov NORWICH, Waterfront
23rd Nov LONDON, Royal Festival Hall
24th Nov MANCHESTER, Club Academy
25th Nov BIRMINGHAM, Academy 2

For more details about Irish dates in December and news visit Lisa’s myspace or official site.

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Coming up: Stag and Dagger Music Festival

Monday 20th

Slow Club is a duo formed by Charles and Rebecca, this web buy information pills who both come from Sheffield. He does the singing and plays the guitar; she deals with the drums and all sorts of weird instruments, from bottles of water to wooden chairs. The result? You can go hear for yourself tonight at Barfly.
7pm. £5.

slowclub.jpg
Slow Club

Tuesday 21th

We Fell To Earth and special guests at the ICA theatre. Richard File (UNKLE) and PJ Harvey-ish singer/bassist Wendy Rae doing something that they call “sinister and kind of arousing rock music”.
8pm. £10.

toearth.jpg
We Fell To Earth

Wednesday 22th
Vessels will be at Buffalo Bar this Wednesday launching “Retreat”, a collection of songs including a single, some remixes and an unreleased track by this Leeds five-piece.
8pm. £6.

vessels.jpg
Vessels

Thursday 23th
Camera Obscura make a come back with “My Maudlin Career”, the band’s fourth studio album that is coming out today.
All their sweet freshness that you could feel from the first single out entitled “French Navy” will be performed on the stage of Shepherds Bush Empire next Thursday.
7pm. £13.50.

camera_obscura.jpg
Camera Obscura

Friday 24th

Je Suis Animal single launch party for the upcoming release ‘The Mystery of Marie Roget’ 7″ at The Victoria. Support comes from Betty and The Werewolves and Hong Kong In The 60s. People from Twee as F*** also promise free cupcakes for earlybirds so that is a Friday night out you can not miss.
9pm. £6/ 5 concessions.

jesuis.jpg
Je Suis Animal

Saturday 25th

The Camden Crawl Festival brings the best of Indie to town. Line up for Saturday looks like great performances will be on stage. The Maccabees, Little Boots, Marina And The Diamonds and The Golden Silvers are only a few to be named.
12pm. £32.50 (Saturday only).

golden.jpg
The Golden Silvers

Sunday 26th
Due to the Casiotone for the Painfully Alone‘s sell-out London show on 27th April, a new show has been added on Sunday 26th April – also at The Luminaire. Releasing their fifth album, Vs. Children, the band succeeded to make a record that feels just as warm and intimate as the first.
7:30pm. £8.50, adv £8.

casiotone.jpg
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
On the cover of this CD, sickness Caroline Weeks appears to be a healthy, seek pink-skinned young woman. However, sildenafil fill your ears with her music, and you will be in no doubt that she is a ghost. And her clarinettist, too. Ghosts! Caroline has been to the other side, and seen things, and now wanders around my auditory cortex in a Victorian gown, lamenting the moment that life’s glories were cruelly wrenched from her grasp. Maybe Caroline drowned in a lake, or caught one of those Jane Austen chills, or fell under a horse, or was cuddled to death by an overaffectionate simple boy cousin. I can’t begin to imagine what happened to her polter-woodwindist. Probably choked on his reed.

cw1.jpg
This is the spookiest music I have heard in a long time. She feels like a sister to SixToes, playing with similar moods, guitar work and larynx-trembling. But much spookier. I can’t help but think of Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice, a morbid teenager rejecting the world from her wilfully glum bedroom. So it’s not a huge surprise to discover that Caroline is also Ginger Lee, colleague of Natasha Khan in Bat For Lashes. Although you can actually dance to some of Natasha’s ditties, there is the moody, brooding moroseness there too. But while Bat For Lashes keeps this in the realm of relationships with sprinklings of dreamy visions, Caroline Weeks takes it to the pure Victorian pre-Pankhurst inner world of reflective femininity.
It turns out that all the lyrics are taken from the poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay, an early Twentieth Century American who was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Musically, it is very accomplished. Recorded quite simplistically, with a few dramatic reverb effects, the instrumentation has plenty of room to shine. The guitar gently drifts between dextrous, finger-picked, rhythmic regularity and airy pausing in a lovely, caressy, wavey kind of way. But it’s the tender voice that dominates, or haunts, the album. Caroline sings to you. It’s deeply personal, and unwavering in its humourless, sorrowful plea. And there is much depth of feeling and depth of lyric, which I cannot really do justice to here.
This is simply music to surrender to. Alone. Dim the lights, let the shadows fall across your soul and be utterly, utterly alone with the ghost of Caroline Weeks.

La Weeks is performing at The Good Ship in Kilburn on May 19.
Tuesday 21st April

2pm
Institute of Education?
20 Bedford Way, buy
?London WC1H 0AL?

“How to Educate Children in the UK About Sustainable Development”
discussion with Professor Randall Curren, more about Institute of Education. Info: fbrettell@ioe.ac.uk or call 020 7612 6000

Lea%20JaffyEarth_kids.jpg
(Image courtesy of Lea Jaffy, email leajaffy_1@hotmail.com for further illustrations)

Wednesday 22nd April

“The Green Agenda: Are We Engaging The Consumer?”
9:30am

Dorich House Museum
67 Kingston Vale,
London SW15 3RN

The rise and rise of the green agenda is creating an ever increasing number of green initiatives, CSR projects, and local and national government proposals. Almost all organisations – both commercial and non commercial – want to establish their green credentials and communicate them to the consumer.
To explore these issues and to find new ways of engaging the customer, Kingston University has brought together a number of leading experts from a wide range of sectors – manufacturing, retailing, NGO’s, academics and a number of consultancies.
For full programme information and to book please go to http://business.kingston.ac.uk/flavor1.php?id=398.
Contact: Wendy Eatenton
?Tel: 020 8547 2000 ext. 65511
?Email: rm.rettie@kingston.ac.uk

“Can Developing Country Needs For Energy Be Met Without Causing Climate Change”

LeaJaffyEnergy3world.jpg
(Image courtesy of Lea Jaffy, email leajaffy_1@hotmail.com for further illustrations)

1.00pm
Committee Room 14
Palace of Westminster, London
SW1A 2PW
Recent studies suggest a large potential for clean energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa; if fully implemented, they could provide more than twice the regions current installed power-generation capacity. It has been posited that Latin America has a comparative advantage in maximizing clean energy opportunities; energy consumption could be reduced by 10 percent over the next decade by investing in energy efficiency. This suggests that the adoption of clean energy technologies typically results in a “win:win” situation for developing countries: reducing costs and emissions.
But many developing countries have been failing to reach their full productive potential for years. Growth diagnostic studies in many developing countries regularly identify constraints such as lack of grid electricity and poor infrastructure. Typically, levels of investment in the electricity sector in developing countries are around 50 percent of needs. Credit constraints mean that the cheapest available options are often chosen as opposed to those that deliver environmental benefits. So can developing country needs for energy be met without causing climate change?  How can developing countries be incentivised to adopt cleaner energy? And what steps do developed countries need to take to facilitate this?

Professor Sir David King, Gordon MacKerron. Info: 7922 0300/ meetings@odi.org.uk/ ODI

Thursday 23rd April

“Financial Meltdown and The End of the Age of Greed”

Aaron%20capitalist_final.jpg
(Image courtesy of Aarron Taylor, www.aarrontaylor.com)

7pm
Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2 1QJ
Info: 7479 8950
£10 Online booking now available
This event will be moderated by Michael Wilson, Business Editor of Sky News
Paul Mason talks about the ongoing financial crisis that has brough the global economy to the brink of depression. Gordon Brown hailed the result of deregulation as the ‘golden age’ of banking in the UK. Mason will give insights into how deregulation is at the heart of the collapse of the banking system in September and October 2008 and how it led to expanded subprime mortgage lending, an uncontrollable derivatives market, and the lethal fusion of banking and insurance.
http://www.frontlineclub.com/events/


Saturday 25th April

People’s Republic of Southwark April Mini Eco-Fair
People’s Republic of Southwark
Brandon Street/Orb Street
SE17

12.00pm – 4.00pm 
On Saturday 25th April, 12-4pm, People’s Republic of Southwark’s mini eco-fair goes all the way to SE17, to the Nursery Row Park http://www.nurseryrowpark.org/SaveNurseryRow/Welcome.html , a beautiful green space located just behind the East Street Market (between Brandon and Orb Street).?? We are hoping to have another great day out for everyone and some of the activities for the day are:?- mulching the orchard?- planting sunflower seeds?- making art?- a free shop (space where you can swap/give away/take things you need for free – bring easy-to-carry usable things you don’t need, ex clothes, dvds, books. and swap them for something you do need or simply give them away to someone who does; please don’t bring anything bulky or electrical)?- seed swap (get your window boxes, balconies, gardens ready for spring and summer)?- you can also find out about local environmental projects, issues and campaigns. ?Or just come along for a chat
Prepare to throw your sensibilities and all sense of conventionality out of the window! Why I hear you scream? Well, search this week sees Alternative Fashion Week bombard an unsuspecting Spitalfields in all its wonderful obscurity. Forget all the opulence of London Fashion Week; Alternative Fashion Week is going to assail you with raw, viagra buy un-censored Fashion Design.

alternative_2.jpg

The event unlike London Fashion Week is open to everyone and free for the designers to participate. It will be running all this week from the 20th-24th of April at Spitalfields Traders Market. So get your skates on people and get on down for all the outlandish action. With 15 shows a day, it will see at least 10,000-hop foot through their doors. Applicants range from recent graduates to independent designers keen to establish themselves in the fashion sphere. The participants are an eclectic range of designers from a myriad of different fields from the theatre to circus, so be prepared for a vivacious show. In conjunction with the free daily shows, the event hosts an adjacent market from noon till three showcasing a whole treasure trove of accessories, Womenswear and textiles for us to feast upon.

alternative_01.jpg

Here is a sneak peak at one of the accessory designers that will showcase her A/W collection at the event. Helen Rochfort’s innovative designs focus on all things delectable. Infact just glancing at her liquorice allsorts bag is enough to have me running to the nearest sweet shop for a fix. She describes her delectable designs as simply “ a sprinkling of vintage and a dusting of retro all whipping together with a kitsch twist of humour” So keep your eyes out for Rochfort’s designs, they are hard to miss!

alternative_05.jpg

The event prides itself on its promotion of sustainable fashion, and actively supports recycling and ethical sourcing. It’s organizers are The Alternative Arts, a group based in East London that invests in local artists and projects in the community. Its overriding ethos is the importance of accessible fashion and art in the public domain.

alternative_03.jpg

alternative_fashion6.jpg

The event is a riot of creativity that questions our ideological view of fashion design; Alternative Fashion Week provides that vital foundation for applications to bridge the gap between them and the seemingly intimidating abyss of the fashion industry.

alternative_07.jpg

alternative_fashion7.jpg

So keep your eyes peeled as Amelia’s Magazine will be reporting from the front line this week to bring you all the zany fun and frolics!
Sometimes the stories for Amelia’s Magazine come to us. And this story is one of unimaginable corruption by one of the worlds largest companies, search aided by an equally unscrupulous government. While there will never be a happy ending to this tale, medicine there may be, tadalafil after many years of campaigning, justice finally delivered. I was emailed recently by a group called Remember Saro-Wiwa, asking if I would attend a talk entitled Wiwa Vs Shell at the Amnesty International House in London.

sarowiwaMG_7163.jpg

I went along to the event, which was fully attended, and listened to what this case was about. In 1995, a man called Ken Saro-Wiwa, along with eight colleagues from the Ogoni region of Nigeria, was executed by the Nigerian State for campaigning against the devastation of the Niger Delta by oil companies, specifically Shell Oil. Thankfully, this is not where the story ends. On May 26th, 2009, after fourteen years, Shell will stand trial in New York for complicity in human rights abuses in Nigeria, including the execution of Ken Saro Wiwa and his eight colleagues. The purpose of the evening was to highlight the case, and I listened in horror and disbelief to what has been happening in Nigeria. Having not known much about the unethical way that oil companies conduct their business – and the ways in which they silence their objectors – I could almost not comprehend what I was hearing. The panel speaking included Katie Redford, a U.S lawyer and co founder of EarthRights International, which, along with the Center for Constitutional Rights has filed the case against Shell.

sarowiwaMG_7175.jpg

She discussed the upcoming trial, and included the seemingly never-ending charges which have finally been brought against them. As well as the charge of complicity in crimes against humanity, they are being charged with torture, arbitrary arrest and detainment. We learnt that this is a groundbreaking case – companies of this size do not usually find themselves in court for their actions – however reprehensible. If Shell are found liable, they could be forced to pay damages that could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.

We learnt about the situation between Ken Saro-Wiwa and Shell. From the time that Shell had started producing oil in the Delta in 1958, the local communities had been concerned about the levels of pollution, along with the gas flares which were coming from Shell’s production plant. Furthermore, drilling operations were routinely destroying farmers lands with oil spillage and rendering the lands unsuitable for use. When faced with such levels of devastation to their land (and health), it seems only natural that the communities would protest.

sarowiwa%23_-_Puddle_and_oil_CNV00010.jpg

sarowiwaheartoffire1.jpg

Unfortunately for them, Shell and the Nigerian Government were not in the business of facilitating these protests; instead, Shell would employ the presence of the Mobile Police Force, who were also known as the “kill and go”police. At one such protest, the MPF massacred 80 people and destroyed around 500 homes. Saro-Wiwa, who had always been a prominent figure in the campaigns against Shell was arrested and charged under bogus offences – unlawful assembly and conspiring to publish a ‘seditious’ pamphlet. On November 10th, 1995, Saro-Wiwa, along with 8 others was executed.

Speaking at Amnesty International, Ben Amunwa, who was chairing the evening, used a quote from Milan Kundera to help surmise the subsequent fight to continue with Saro-Wiwa’s cause, and bring long awaited justice : “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting”. I spoke with one of the campaigners behind Remember Saro-Wiwa afterwards and asked how others can get involved. He told me that ” We’re currently in the process of developing a website and hopefully actions people can take as part of the shell guilty campaign, we hope to use viral films, the media and activist actions to generate loads of attention on Shell around the trial. At the moment it’s just about spreading awareness of the trial to warm people up for actions they can take further down the line.    

In the meantime we would encourage people join the facebook group. Our current aim is to get 1000 members. One way we are thinking about framing this call out is:

Take the 999 action:

9 Ogoni activists died for their cause
2009: the year their relatives must see justice and gas flaring in Nigeria must end
9: the number of your friends we urge you to invite to join this group.”

Everyone involved with this case will be eagerly awaiting the outcome of the trial in New York. After the panel had finished, I spoke with Katie Redford and asked her whether she felt positive about the outcome of this groundbreaking trial. She explained that while no one can predict whom the jury will side with, or what the outcome may be, the fact that a global and powerful company such as Shell will be finally held accountable for their actions in the Niger Delta demonstrates the power that non-violent protesters actually wield. Although it took twelve years to get to this stage, it seems like justice is finally being administered.
Born in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, viagra buy living in Utrecht in Holland and half Spanish, online Maria Stijger is a fashion photographer who has recently sprung to my attention. Her style of surrealism mixes with vintage meets modern. Maria’s playful personality results in beautiful images which if nothing else are aesthetically striking.

Maria, link you’re images are beautifully created. How long have you been doing photography for?
I took my first photograph around the age of six and from then I always thought that it was a kind of magic. But I never picked it up seriously until I got out of high school, graduated from art school and after doing a lot of different things, including working as a photographer’s assistant. I started producing my own fashion stories about two years ago.

Is it true your work has been recognised by the Dutch publications of Elle and Marie Claire??
Yes, I’ve also had my work published in HMagazine (a magazine available in Barcelona) twice, and in professional and weekly magazines, newspapers, and once in a book about jewellery.

I really enjoyed the old fashioned-romantic-fairy tale-esc sequence of the photoshoot shown here:
%27Je%20ne%20l%27ai%20pas%20oublie%271%20-%20Copy.jpg
%27Je%20ne%20l%27ai%20pas%20oublie%271.jpg
%27Je%20ne%20l%27ai%20pas%20oublie%272%20-%20Copy.jpg
%27Je%20ne%20l%27ai%20pas%20oublie%272.jpg
%27Je%20ne%20l%27ai%20pas%20oublie%273.jpg
%27Je%20ne%20l%27ai%20pas%20oublie%274.jpg


What is the story behind this?

Well, I always like to make little fantasy stories, you can make up your own just looking at the series and here I was looking for an old feeling, using the atmosphere of the space that I found one day when I visited a party in the building. It’s a big building in the eastern part of Holland used by squatters. The guy that runs the place has a fantastic store inside it, where he sells all kinds of beautiful things he finds in old houses he restores. It is about a girl who is lost in time; she lives in a world of her own, surrounded by all this old stuff. She is a little bit weird, but happy and enjoying herself. She puts on shoes that are too big, plays with old porcelain dolls and likes funny hats. There is no story with a beginning and an end, but I like to make more images in my head, fantasize about what she does. I hope that others will do this too!

Do you prefer to work to a specific brief in your work?
No, in my personal work I really like to brainstorm in advance and come up with a lot of ideas, pick out the best and look for the right location, model and the stylist brings the clothes and things and we make our own décor if possible. But on the day of the shoot, I want to just let it all go and go with the flow of the day, see what comes on my path and switch if something doesn’t work. I like it when the whole team participates and gets excited and understands the feeling that I try to create and comes up with good ideas and then there is a buzz that I cannot describe…

Quite a lot of your work I found reflected some surrealism, would you say you have a specific style of photography, or does it vary?
I really love the Latin American magic realism and I try to use this in all my personal work as much as possible. I love surrealism, theatre and movies, things that are old. I love to mix it with modern age and fashion. I try to do this as often as I can, especially in my personal work, sometimes I like to go a little bit further than my commissioners want, so in the end my work varies quite a lot. But I like to show them that side as well so I always take some shots that link to this theme and sometimes they love it too!

eastrange3.jpg eastrange2.jpg

Can you explain the series of gloves images?

This was a great series to make! We had so much fun! We wanted to do something with beautiful gloves, but not in a studio or with a model. So I came up with this idea to make animal shapes, shadow play. I have a very old magic lantern (Lanterna Magica) that gives this great old feeling because of the dust and the frame. So this was the perfect combination mixing the old with the new fashion. We sold this particular series to (Dutch) Elle magazine.

148307.jpg
148308.jpg
148309.jpg
148310.jpg
148311.jpg
148312.jpg
148313.jpg
148314.jpg

Who would you say influences and inspires you?
A lot! Things like literature, art, music, European film, but not specifically one person. There are so many great and diverse people that I love for what they do, I couldn’t point out just one.

Can you see a progression or a change in your work from when you first started to now?
Yes. In the beginning I only concentrated on landscapes and snapshots of people. Now I love to make stories using fashion. I’d say it’s a big change, and I guess it will never stop changing. I like to move around and experiment.

Do you have a muse?
No not really, I value my boyfriend’s opinion a lot. So in that sense I guess it’s him!

What do you do in your spare time?
At the moment I am expecting our first child, so my extra activities are not so exciting ha-ha. But I love going to the woods, going out with friends and listening to music. I also love to make sweet little stuffed monsters, exploring other realms of creativity! Most of my time is for photography though. And my family is very important too.

When you were younger, what did you wish to be when you grew up?
Ha-ha, first I wanted to be a dentist, but I loved arts and crafts and drawing so much, that I discovered that this was “my thing”. Although my parents were scared that I’d drown in the competition and of course it is more difficult for an artist to make a good living, I knew that there was no other option for me. I get bored quite easily, so I need to occupy myself doing creative things with other creative and inspiring people.

Thanks Maria, and good luck with the bun in the oven!

You can view Marias work at here.
And contact her here.
Happy Earth Day, here Amelia’s Magazine readers!

April 22nd is Earth Day (mainly for America, but we can still take part in celebrating it – it is everyones Earth after all!) If you are in America, then check out http://earthday.net/all_events to see what is going on around your neck of the woods.

sachiko1.jpg
Images courtesy of Sachiko, http://www.loveandhatesati.com/

Perhaps this is fortuitous timing because this is also quite an interesting day in terms of the Government 2009 Budget. Hands up who was watching the budget today? I can understand if lazing around in the sun took top priority, so leave it to me to fill you in on the important facts.

Namely, that this is the first year that a carbon budget has been announced. Alistair Darling announced £1 billion will go towards funds to tackle climate change. This budget aims to cut 34% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. £375 million has been promised over the next two years for energy and resource efficiency in households, businesses and public buildings. £70 million will also be spent on small-scale and community low carbon energy and resource efficiency. With regards to fuel duty, increases in the duty are aimed to reduce emissions and pollution, saving 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2013-14.

Andy Atkins, executive director at Friends of the Earth spoke to The Guardian, and said that he was disappointed by the budget, adding
“The Government has squandered a historic opportunity to kickstart a green industrial revolution, create tens of thousands of jobs and slash UK carbon dioxide emissions. The green sheen on this year’s budget will do little to disguise the fact that yet again the government has merely applied a sticking plaster to a low-carbon industry on life support.”

So, do you think that the Government are doing enough to tackle climate change? Let us know what you think of the new budget at hello@ameliasmagazine.com

sachiko3-1.jpg
Image courtesy of Sachiko, http://www.loveandhatesati.com/
Sort of initiating the summer festivals around the area, information pills Stag & Dagger takes place next month bringing zillions of awesome groups to the city. Oh come on, order like you haven`t seen thousands of flyers and posters all over the city? Here in East London they are everywhere!

stag.jpg

The event actually happens in one single day and with one ticket you can have access to all the gigs (yes, I said all the gigs).
London is the first one and then Stag goes for a short roadtrip taking everybody to Leeds and Glasgow on the consecutive days.

The line up for London is particularly fantastic, with over 140 names distributed in 21 venues such as Cargo, 93 Feet East and Hoxton Bar & Kitchen.

I, as a proud Brazilian, am super excited to see Lovefoxxx, who is currently taking a well deserved break from CSS after a massive success last year, but will be having a solo performance at Catch.

lovefoxxx.jpg
Lovefoxxx

There is also Cold War Kids, our dearest Slow Club, Wet Dog, My Toys Like Me, Moshi Moshi and plus an endless list of musical geniuses.

slow-club.jpg
Slow Club

mytoys.jpg
My Toys Like Me

Many many many gigs and venues to be able to organize yourself and enjoy it all in one day only. Super difficult task, isn`t it?
Since the list is huge, I suggest you go check their website for the complete offer. Can you believe there is still more people to be announced? Man, there is no end to it.
And have I said how much does the pass cost? Freaking £16.50! Ridiculously cheap.
I still have no idea on how I`ll choose the gigs to go. At first I thought about making a list of pros and cons for each of the bands. Yeah right. Better start now …

Categories ,Cold War Kids, ,Live, ,Lovefoxxx, ,Music, ,Music Festivals, ,My Toys Like Me, ,Slow Club, ,Stag & Dagger, ,Wet Dog

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Music Listings: 31st August – 6th September

Having spearheaded the new London folk scene with their debut album, there medical Noah and the Whale are back with their hands full up, releasing a new single, album and film out this summer. We talk school plays, Daisy Lowe, weddings, gardening, Werner Herzog in the studio with the effortlessly charming frontman, Charlie Fink.

0819%20noah3.jpg
Photos by Katie Weatherall

Amelia’s Mag: You’ve got a whole host of new releases coming up – single, album, film – how are you feeling about it all, happy/nervous/excited?

Charlie Fink: All of the above… I dunno, we did the album so long ago… From the last album, I realised the only satisfying feeling you’re going to get is the feeling you get when you’ve finished it and you think it’s good, that’s the best it gets. Reading a review of somebody else saying it’s good is good to show off to your mum, but it doesn’t really mean anything. Likewise, if there’s something you believe in and someone says it’s bad, you’re still going to believe in it.

AM: And the live shows must add another dimension to that?

CF: Yeah. What I’m excited about really is that this record realises us as a band more than the previous one. So that’s going to be really exciting to go out and play that live to people.

AM: And is there anything in particular that has done this or has it been the natural progression of the band?

CF: It’s a million small things, from us playing together more, us growing up, learning our trade a bit better, from what happens in lives and the records you listen to. I very much try to rely as much as I can on instinct and satisfying myself. And this is not a selfish thing because the only way you can supply something worthwhile to somebody else, is if you’re totally satisfied with it yourself. Doing the right things for us and hoping that’ll transfer to the audience.

AM: Was there anything in particular you were listening to whilst making the record?

CF: The things I’m listening to now are different from the things I was listening to when I wrote the record. When I first started the record, I was listening to ‘Spirit of Eden’ by Talk Talk, which is a different sounding record to what we did. Nick Cave, lots by Wilco

AM: So tell me about the film, ‘The First Days Of Spring’, that accompanies the album (of the same name)… which came first?

CF: The first thing was the idea of a film where the background and the pace was defined by an album. But it totally overtook my whole life. It’s one of those things you start for a certain reason and then you keep going for different reasons. The inspiration was sort of how people don’t really listen to albums anymore, they listen to songs. We wanted to try making an all emersive record where the film puts people into it. We’re not dictating that this should be the only way people listen to music, we just wanted to offer something alternative. On a lot of records these days, you don’t feel like the unity of the album gives it more strength than each individual song. Whereas with this record, the whole thing is worth more than the individual parts. That’s how I see it anyway.

The First Days Of Spring Teaser from charlie fink on Vimeo.

There’s this quote from I think W. G. Collingwood that says, ‘art is dead, amusement is all that’s left.’ I like the idea that this project, in the best possible way, is commercially and in lots of other ways pointless. It’s a length that doesn’t exist. It’s not a short film or a feature, it’s 15 minutes and the nature of it is that it’s entirely led by its soundtrack. It’s created for the sake of becoming something that I thought was beautiful.

AM: And Daisy Lowe stars in it, how was that?

CF: She’s an incredibly nice and intelligent person. I met with her in New York when we were mixing the album and I told her I was doing this film… She was immediately interested. And her gave her the record as one whole track which is how I originally wanted it to be released. Just one track on iTunes that had to be listened to as a whole and not just dipped into. She sent me an email two weeks later, because she’s obviously a very busy person. With her listening to the album, a kind of live feed of what she thought of it. Making a film and having her was really good because she kept me motivated and passionate. She genuinely really took to this project. The whole cast as well, everyone really supported it and it was a pleasure to make. I had to fight to get it made and understood. It’s one of those things that people either passionately disagree with or agree with. From thinking it’s absurdly pretentious or beautiful. Fortunately all the people working on the film were passionate people.

AM: So is film making something you want to continue with?

CF: Yeah, definitely! At some point I’d like to make a more conventional film. The thing that really stuck with me about making a film was surround sound. When you’re mixing a film, you’re mixing the sound in surround because you’re mixing for cinemas. You realise the potential of having five speakers around you as opposed to just two in front of you. The complexity of what you can do is vast. So I’d love to something with that. If you record in surround sound you need to hear it in surround sound, so maybe some kind of installation… Then another film after that…

AM: You’ve been put into a folk bracket with your first album, is that something you’re ok with?

CF: I like folk music, I listen to folk music but then every folk artist I like denies they’re folk. It’s one of those things, it doesn’t really matter. We played last year at the Cambridge Folk Festival and I felt really proud to be a part of that. It’s a real music lovers festival. That was a really proud moment so I can’t be that bothered.

AM: I recently sang your first single, ‘5 Years Time’, at a wedding, do you ever imagine the direction your songs may go after you write them?

CF: Wow. That’s really funny. I’ve had a few stories like that actually. It’s touching but it’s not what I’d imagine.

0819%20noah2.jpg

AM: Do you write songs in that way? Some bands set out to write a love song, dance song etc…

CF: I can’t really remember how I write… I was writing last night but… do you drive?

AM: I just recently failed my test.

CF: Perfect! Well, you know when you start driving you have to think through everything – put my foot on the clutch, take it off the clutch etc. Then when you’ve been doing it a while, you just do all those things without even knowing you’ve done them. That’s how it feels with songwriting, I can’t really remember doing it. It just happens how it happens. Or like gardening… you’ve just gotta chop through and it’ll come.

AM: Is being in a band everything you imagined it to be?

CF: For me it’s more about being creative. I do some production for people, the band, the writing and now the film. I just love what I do and just keep doing it. I follow it wherever it goes. The capacity I have for doing what I do is enough to make it feel precious.

AM: So are there any untapped creative pursuits left for you?

CF: At the moment what I’m doing feels right. I never had any ambitions to paint. I don’t have that skill. I think film and music have always been the two things that have touched me the most.

AM: So how about acting?

CF: I did once at school when I was 13. I played the chancellor in a play the teacher wrote called ‘Suspense and a Dragon Called Norris.’ Which had rapturous reactions from my mum. I don’t think I could do that either. When you direct though you need to understand how acting works. It’s a really fascinating thing but I don’t I’d be any good at it.

AM: Do you prefer the full creative potential a director has?

CF: The best directors are the ones that build a character. Building a character is as important as understanding it. It needs major input from both the director and the actor. You can’t just give an actor the script and expect it to be exactly right. You need to be there to create the little details. The way they eat, the way they smoke… That’s an important skill.

0819%20noah1.JPG

At this point, Charlie asks me about a note I’d made on my reporter’s pad, which was actually a reminder about a friend’s birthday present. Which draws the conservation to a close as we recite our favourite Werner Herzog films. Turns out, he shares the same taste in film directors as my friend.

Monday 24th August
Mumford and Sons
The Borderline, more about London

UK’s answer to Fleet Foxes, online Mumford and Sons, visit this celebrate their music video to the first single off their debut album in North London tonight.

Mumford-and-Sons-otw.jpg

Tuesday 25th August
Wilco
The Troxy, London

If Charlie from Noah and the Whale tells us he likes Wilco, then we like Wilco. It’s as simple as that. It’s time to get educated.

wilco_2008.jpg

Wednesday 26th August
The Hot Rats
The Old Blue Last, London

Otherwise known as half of Supergrass plus hot shot Radiohead producer, The Hot Rats get their kicks taking pop classics by, amongst others, The Beatles and The Kinks and infusing their own alt-rock psychedelica – worth a gander.

The%2BHot%2BRats%2BCool%2BHat.jpg

Thursday 27th August
KILL IT KID
Madam Jo Jos, London

Their blend of durge blues, barndance and freestyle frenzy jazz blues make KILL IT KID a gem to behold in a live setting.

kill%20it%20kid.jpg

Friday 28th August
Swanton Bombs
Old Blue Last, London

If you like your indie adorned in Mod and brimming with angularity, then Swanton Bombs will be pushing the trigger on your buttons.

swanton%20bombs.jpg

Saturday 29th August
South East in East Festival – Teenagers In Tokyo, Tronik Youth, Ali Love, Publicist
Vibe Bar, London

It’s all about South East London – full stop. In this cunning event, it up sticks to East London, where synth-pop Gossip descendents, Teenagers In Tokyo headline a night of New X Rave.

teenagersintokyo.jpg

Sunday 30th August
The Gladstone Open Mic Night
The Gladstone, London

As it’s Bank Holiday Weekend and all the bands are at Reading/Leeds Festival, London is starved of big gigs. No fear, The Glad is here – A little known drinking hole in Borough that continually serves up a plethora of folkey talent… and pies!

moonmusicorchestra.jpg
Sunderland born designer Rosie Upright is truly passionate about design. Aren’t we all I hear you say? Well, health she’s up, recipe all hours, medical day or night… cutting away with her trusty stanley knife… stopping only when her numb fingertips plead for rest. Do your fingertips bleed? I thought not! Rosie developed her unique hand-crafted techniques whilst at university in Epsom, where she learnt all the usual computer design programs… and then decided to steer clear of them. She’s fled the suburbs of Epsom now, to live in London town with all the other hopeful new freelancers. She spends her days photographing, drawing, organising balls of string… and deciding what hat to wear.
We caught up with Rosie for a little chat…

Rosie-fightforyourright.jpg

Hi, how are you today?

I’ve got a bit of a sore throat coming on, the irritating children over the road are noisily playing some kind of shooting game, a car is beeping its horn continuously just below my window, itunes is refusing to play anything other than Billy Idol (which I’m not in the mood for), my coloured ink cartridge has just ran out, I’ve got a blister from my favourite pink shoes, an uninvited wasp is stuck in my blinds, my ginger hair has faded to a weird brown, I forgot to buy milk and Ronnie Mitchell is still crying on Eastenders – but apart from that I’m topper thanks.

What have you been up to lately?

Fingers in pies, fingers in pies!
Including…cross-stitch and a week in a cottage in Norfolk (no telephone signal or internet connection, bloody lovely!)

Which artists or illustrators do you most admire?

I don’t think I would have done a degree in graphic design if my ever-encouraging parents hadn’t taken me to a Peter Saville exhibition at the Urbis in Manchester many moons ago. Made me see the ideas process at its very best and the crucial-ness (that’s not even a word!) of initial doodles and sketchbooks.
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Where would any of us be if it weren’t for Dr Seuss?
I really love a bit of Russian Constructivism, in particular Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova, bloody genius.
Mr Vaughan Oliver, for making us all think differently about where to crop the image, for being an ongoing influence and for that opportunity.
Harry Beck, Robert Doisneau and most recently Philippe Petit.

RosieUpright-cut%20out.jpg

If we visited you in your hometown, where would you take us?

Stroll down to Seaburn beach because when you don’t live next to the sea anymore you really miss it, and it has really nice sand. Then to my very best friend Sarah Bowman’s house, to play with Peggy Sue the kitten, have mental vegetarian sandwiches off a cake stand, and a glass of red wine, ice cubes and coke. We should pop to an art shop in Darlington and then to The Borough, the best pub for tunes, a pint of cider and a Jaeger bomb.

RosieUpright-fragile.jpg

Who would most love to collaborate with creatively?

Mike Perry and YES art studio please. Thank you.

When did you realise you had creative talent?

When some hippy artist came into my junior school to create banners for some event at the local library with us. I was told after five minutes of colouring it in that I had to go away and read because I couldn’t keep within the lines.

RosieUpright-wood%20pigeon.jpg

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?

A teenage Mam or an actress, haven’t decided which yet.

Where would you like to be in 10 years time?

I’d like to be the designer than graphic design students hate because their tutors always tell them to get their book out of the Uni library. And I’d quite like to have my own shop in London, Brighton or maybe Newcastle (or all three, and maybe Paris then if we’re going crazy) selling things made by me!

What advice would you give up and coming artists such as yourself?

Take other peoples advice but make your own mistakes, don’t be a dick and always colour outside of the lines.

RosieUpright-mouth%20shapes.jpg

How would you describe your art in five words?

Hand made/ typography/ narrative/ personal/ I’d like to say idiosyncratic too but don’t want to sound like a twat.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Seeing people fall over.
(and cake)

RosieUpright-1final.jpg

If you could time travel back or forward to any era, where would you go?

It was horrific enough moving away to University and into London and trying to find a job and start my life up. I think if I had to go backward or forward to another era I would probably just straight up die. Having said that though I would like to be a highwayman’s assistant.

Tell us something about Rosie Upright that we didn’t know already.

I can’t wait till I’m an old lady so I can wear those lacy nighties from Marks & Sparks and I love animals in clothes.

What are you up to next?

Going to make a cuppa tea, kill this wasp and then take over the world.
While most of us at the tender age of 19 rooted our existence in smacking down vodka jelly shots at the bar with kebabs at four in the morning and the Hollyoaks omnibus on a Sunday, pilule some people, of course, are born to shine in different ways. Take, for instance, London College of Fashion student Millie Cockton, somebody who has already had their work featured in a shoot for Dazed and Confused, styled by Robbie Spencer.

As a lover of clean lines and beautiful silhouettes, Millie looks for the wearer to bring their own identity to her gender non-specific pieces. At the moment under new label Euphemia, with her AW09/10 about to be stocked in London boutique and gallery space Digitaria, after being chosen to be the first guest designer at the Soho store. Check out the Dazed piece to see some brilliant Shakespearian-style ruffs that Millie has also created working with paper (a material proving popular as with Petra Storrs, who I featured last week).

Each to their own, mind you. I could totally do all that, if I wanted to.

millie.jpg

At the age of 19 you’ve already received quite a lot of attention – how has that been?

It’s been great so far! It’s very flattering but its also very daunting! I am on a constant learning curve and my work is developing all the time so although the attention is great it creates a lot of pressure!

Describe your design aesthetic in three words.

Clean, sculptural, understated.

Who do you see wearing your designs? Are they reflective of your own personality?

I like to think of a real mixture of people wearing my designs. I love the way that the same garment can look completely different on different people- for me its all about the individual and how they carry themselves, bringing their own identity to the piece.

I don’t think that my designs are necessarily a true representation of my personality and personal style. I feel that my designs are more of a reflection of the aesthetic that i find desirable and aspirational.

millie2.jpg


Thinking about the ruffs featured in Dazed, people have touched on the theatrical nature of your designs – is the idea of performance important to you in fashion?

The idea of performance within fashion is something that interests me but I wouldn’t say that it’s a key element within my own designs. I like the notion of a performative element within a piece or a collection as i think that it helps gain a further understanding and insight of the designers thought process and inspiration.

What else do you respond to?

I am constantly discovering new sources of inspiration, being so young I know that I still have so much to learn!

Who are your fashion icons?

Yves Saint Laurent, Katherine Hepburn, Grace Jones.

millie3.jpg

Is craft something else you’re interested in too?

I like to use elements of craft within my designs, such as origami style folding. Craft elements can add interesting details to simple pieces.

What are your plans for the future? Who would you like to work for?

I am about to launch my new collection which will be stocked in Digitaria, recently opened on Berwick St, Soho. I have just started to work with Digitaria’s creative director , Stavros Karelis and stylist Paul Joyce on some future projects which are really exciting and I am thoroughly enjoying. I want to continue learning and developing my ideas, challenging myself and most importantly keep having fun!

red_trousers_silver_harness.jpg

‘Having fun’ of course might well translate to ‘becoming future fashion empress of the galaxy’. This is a talent to watch out for.

Photographs:George Mavrikos
Styling: Paul Joyce
Model: Antonia @ FM models

CC-poster-blog.jpg
Image by Mia Overgaard

The Camp for Climate Action 2009 is almost upon us – now’s the time to gather ourselves and prepare to swoop. Convinced that the response to climate change needs more? Ready to share skills, stomach knowledge and experiences? To be part of the grassroots swell of people demanding a difference? To get out there and do something?

Climate Camp is for you.

Be ready next Wednesday, 12th August, from noon, in London. We’re going to swoop on the camp location together. The more people the better. Secret until the last moment, you can sign up for text alerts and join one of the groups meeting scattered about central London before moving together to the camp.

Why Camp? We can all meet each other and learn stuff – reason enough? – I mean, an enormous, public, activist-friendly child-friendly student-friendly climate-friendly gathering with an ambitious and well-prepared programme of workshops covering all things from Tai Chi for those of us up early enough, through histories student activism, DIY radio, pedal-powered sound systems, legal briefings, stepping into direct action, singing, dancing, jumping and waving.

0819%20camp%20birdflock.jpg

Why London? Climate Campers have listed ten reasons to focus on London – right up the top of that list is : tall buildings and low flood plains. London is big corporate central, the City square mile itself accounting for a huge proportion of the UK economy, that FTSE100-flavoured slice of barely accountable, shareholder driven pie. And yet, as the Thames Barrier should always remind us, the whole city sits low on the ground. Just check out what the centre looks like with a few metres rise in sea level.

So what’s first? The Climate Camp Benefit party/shindig/jamboree/palooza/knee’s-up/gala ball/discotheque/rave/soiree at RampART, 9pm-3am this Friday 21st August. Consisting of fun/revelry/ribaldry/tomfoolery/jocularity/jive/merriment/high kinks, low jinks, jinks of all stature/cheer/gambol/horseplay & frolic. With bands & DJ’s including Rob the Rub & Sarah Bear & those amazing skiffle kids ‘The Severed Limb’. That’s at:

9pm-3am
rampART, 15 -17 Rampart Street,
London E1 2LA (near Whitechapel, off Commercial Rd)
Donations on the door much appreciated (and needed!) – all going straight to Climate Camp

And then? The Swoop – Night Before – Londoners and out-of-town visitors are welcome to ‘the night before the swoop’ – near the bandstand in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 7-8.30pm, Tuesday 25th August – for any last minute info, a legal briefing and an opportunity to join an affinity group and get excited. Lincoln’s Inn Fields is just behind Holborn tube station – this map here might help.

Awesome. See you soon.

ColorTripod-blog.jpg
Ctrl.Alt.Shift dropped us a line to let us know about a comics-making competition so get your promarkers and layout pads at the ready. Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmarks Corruption is giving you the opportunity to design a unique comic style story. Ctrl.Alt.Shift is the experimental youth initiative politicising a new generation of activists for social justice and global change. The competition hopes to raise awareness of the Ctrl.Alt.Shift and Lightspeed Champion goals and views by inspiring this generation of designers to work together.

COMICA.FLYER_AW.jpg

Oscar nominated Marjane Satrapi, medical V V Brown and Lightspeed Champion are amongst the judges for the Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmasks Corruption competition launched today. Corruption is both a cause of poverty, and a barrier to overcoming it. It is one of the most serious obstacles to eradicate.

Persepolis3.jpg

Entrants to the competition will be in with the chance to create a unique comic style story in collaboration with acclaimed musician and writer Dev Hynes aka Lightspeed Champion. After the first round of judging at the end of September, shortlisted entrants will be given Lightspeed Champion’s comic script as inspiration and asked to create a visual adaptation of the story.

COMICA_A5_FLYER_AW.jpg

The winning commission will be published in a comic alongside new work exploring the issue of Corruption by some of comic’s greatest talents. The work will also be showcased as part of a new exhibition, Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmasks Corruption, later this year at Lazarides Gallery, Soho.
To enter the competition please send relevant examples of your visual work along with your contact details to Ctrl.Alt.Shift by Friday 25th September by visiting www.ctrlaltshift.co.uk/unmaskscorruption.

ctrl.alt.shirt.jpg

Five short listed artists will then be given a comic brief to respond to and a winner chosen by a panel of judges including: Marjane Satrapi (Writer and Director of Academy Award Nominated Animated Film Persepolis) Paul Gravett (Comica founder), V V Brown and David Allain (Musician and Comic Book Writer/Artist duo), Lightspeed Champion and Ctrl.Alt.Shift.

The competition is restricted to UK Residents only
For further information about the competition please contact John Doe on 020 7749 7530 or Hannah@johndoehub.com / Jo.bartlett@johndoehub.com
Brooke Roberts is my favourite new designer. Why? Well, more about after exchanging several emails with her over the last few weeks, for sale for a young designer making such waves in the industry, her witty and playful personality has impressed even via my inbox! Having worked with such characters such as Louise Goldin and Giles, her avant- garde aesthetic really shines through in her highly tailored and retro-feel designs. Miss Roberts is going places, and she’s more than willing to take us along with her!

brooke3.JPG

What made you want to be a designer? What’s your design background?

I’m definitely not one of those designers who always knew that’s what they wanted to do. I did a degree in Applied Science at Sydney University (I’m from Australia) and worked as a radiographer for a year before moving to London to find out what I wanted to do. I did some work as a stylist with a fashion photographer (random hook-up). I knew his girlfriend and she knew my massive extensive collection of vintage clothes and shoes. My mum had a boutique when I was growing up and I loved clothes – I just never knew it was going to be my career.

I did a few jobs in London (pub, bank – more randomness) before realising I wanted to study fashion. I went to London College of Fashion and Central St.Martins (graduated 2005) wanting to be a pattern-cutter or tailor. I really wanted to create, rather than design. I get most satisfaction from making beautiful things and being involved in the whole process. I have a close working relationship with my suppliers, and go to the factories to develop my garments. I cut them all myself, which is probably bordering on control freakery, but I feel it shows in the final product and I can realise my designs exactly as I imagine them.

I’m waffling. I worked for Giles for two seasons after I left Uni, and started with Louise Goldin when she launched her label. We worked together for three years (until last October when I launched my label).

What are your inspirations for your collections?

I get lots of inspiration from my radiography job (I do that part-time to fund my label). So I’m running between the hospital and my studio all the time. I have used CT (cat) brain scans this season to create knit fabrics and digital prints. My obsession with reptile skins never seems to go away, and I have worked with Anwen Jenkins (awesome print designer) to create skull slice python skin prints. Basically, the python scales are replaced with multi-dimensional skull slices.

Apart from that, I research at museums and LCF Library. This season went to the British Museum and discovered Yoruba sculpture and traditional costumes. I researched these for silhouette and style lines. I also looked at Niger garments. They’re beautifully colourful, vibrant and flamboyant.

brooke%201.jpg

What are your favourite pieces from your latest collection?

Umm. I wear the cat suit most. I actually met my boyfriend the first time I wore it. So I’m renaming it Lucky cat suit. I also love the Flex jacket in red snakeskin. The razor sharp points make me feel like I am ready for world domination!

What was it like working with Giles Deacon and Louise Goldin? What did you learn from them?

I learnt that I hate taking orders from others! I’m really not one to toe-the-line. I am a perfectionist and this drives other people mad sometimes. I was a pattern-cutter at Giles, doing mostly tailoring, which suited me fine. Most people wanted to do the showpieces, but I was most happy cutting jackets. Giles is a really lovely bloke. Working with him was really my first experience of doing shows and the pressure and stress of getting everything done.

With Louise, my job was broader because in the beginning it was just the two of us. I learnt so much, I can’t even write it down. I worked in the London studio and the knitwear factory in Italy. I had the opportunity to learn knitwear programming, selecting yarns and cutting and constructing knit. I still work in the factory for my own label and really love it. The other big thing was learning about running a business and starting from scratch. The hoops you have to jump through, the process of getting sponsorship, doing shows, sales and production… It’s a massive undertaking starting your own label. And I still chose to do it! Bonkers.

brookegood.JPG

Who do you think are the most important designers of your generation?

Hmm. Well, I like the work of Tina Kalivas and Gareth Pugh. If we’re talking most important, it has to be Gareth.

I’m really a lover of 80′s and 90′s designers. I find the work of Gianni Versace, Thierry Mugler and Rifat Ozbek most relevant to my style and most exciting.

What do you think are the problems facing young designers at the moment?

The biggest problems are funding and dealing with suppliers, particularly for production. Creating a beautiful product that you can reproduce is actually really difficult! You need to understand the technicalities of fabrics and construction (or hire someone who does) otherwise it all goes wrong.

brookegood2.JPG

What’s next for Brooke Roberts?

In fantasy land, what’s next for Brooke Roberts is a holiday. In reality, I’m working hard on marketing and sales for London Fashion Week. I’m collaborating with jewellery designer Chris Edwards and shoe and bag designer Laura Villasenin on side projects for the label. Look out for skull slice stacked rings and metal bone-fixation embellished super-soft bags for SS10!!

Find Brooke stocked at the King and Queen of Bethnal Green.

Not slim tomatoes, viagra dosage narrow cucumbers or squashed, um, squashes – no, we’re talking about digging for victory in our own meagre abodes. With allotment waiting lists stretching beyond a century in Hackney and not many of us owning the half-county some how-to books seem to assume, options on grow-your-own approaches might look limited. But before you get the howling fantods at the piling impossibilities. As those of you who read the Amelia’s Magazine review of Growing Stuff (an Alternative Guide to Gardening) will know well, even the meagrest city apartment can burst forth in cornucopic life.

0820%20max%20gardening3.jpg
Illustrations by Maxime Francout

And but so then it seems the thing to do is simply to get a pack of seeds and a container and get growing, no hesitation about it. If a brief pause in favour of screenreading sounds like it could lead to better inspiration, I entreat you, read on. There’s a glut of blogs and enthusiasts all over the place to speak to or read up upon. Here are just a few of our favourites.

Life on the Balcony tells Fern Richardson’s encounters with gardens small and smaller, great for fresh faces and old hands alike, with an awesome friendly dirt cheap ways to garden.

Carrie, of Concrete Gardening blogging fame (true in a juster world), digs organic urban gardening, and has gotten into gardening without the erm, garden, since buying a house in the city (Philadelphia) and sees all the possibilities of planting up, sideways and over – just recently blogging about taking things to the next level and climbing up on her roof to plant out veggies, seedlings to sit and soak up sun.

0820%20max%20gardening1.jpg

Herbs and Dragonflies is written by a group set up by Kathy Marshall back in 2008 for the Pudsey Carnival and have been creatively, craftily planting since, encouraging others to get their green fingers dirty – doing activities with children and volunteering about the place. Most recently, they encouraged us blog-readers to leave the comfort of plastic planters and terracotta pots – most anything can sit with some soil in it. They suggest novelty Cadbury’s Fingers tins, I’ve used fancy jamjars, and seen anything from skips to wellington boots enlisted in the service of greenery.

Emma Cooper (I’m cribbing now from the ‘Growing Stuff’ contributor biogs page) lives in Oxfordshire with two pet chickens – Hen Solo and Princess Layer – and six compost bins. She has written an ‘Alternative A-Z of Kitchen Gardening’, which Karen Cannard The Rubbish Diet reckons is ‘an inspirational tour of an edible garden that can be recreated in the smallest of backyards. An essential guide for a new generation of gardeners who are keen to join the kitchen garden revolution.’And she blogs about anything from compost to pod plants to the future of food…

0820%20max%20gardening2.jpg

Madeleine Giddens loves herbs, which I guess you’d guess from the name of her blog – Mad About Herbs. But there’s nothing off the wall about any of it, she’s plunged into an obsession and come out smelling of roses and lavender, buzzing about bees too, recently, and their favourite flowers.

So there you have it, just a few spots and pointers. Good evening, and wishes for a fruitful weekend from Amelia’s Magazine.
The Royal Bank of Scotland. RBS. Formally known with pride as the “oil and gas bank” due to their close alliance with the fossil fuel industries. What on earth would I have to do with them? They may have lost the unfortunate moniker, treat partly due to a hugely successful campaign by People and Planet student activists who launched a spoof ad campaign and website named the Oyal Bank of Scotland before delivering a host of greenwashing awards – but they’re certainly not due for any special ethical mentions yet.

Not yet.

RBS%20building.jpg

There was of course a massive £33 billion bank bailout from the taxpayer for RBS last year. But RBS didn’t spend the money on anything worthwhile. Oh no, the truth is that RBS still has oily blackened hands. Most people will remember the Fred Goodwin debacle, he who managed to retire at the age of 50 on a £16 million pension funded by taxpayers. But that’s not the whole of it – since the bailout some of our money has been used to arrange loans for the fossil fuel industries worth a staggering £10 billion, including a substantial sum for E.ON, the company that wants to build a new coal fired power station at Kingsnorth. Despite the best efforts of activists –  there was an impromptu snowball fight during the winter, Climate Rush held a luncheon dance and Climate Camp set up camp down the road at BishopsgateRBS continues to invest in unsustainable resources.

But the good news is there is hope for change!

RBS_LOGO-oyal.jpg

As I’ve got more and more involved with activism I’ve got to know members of PLATFORM, who together with People and Planet and the World Development Movement have launched a legal challenge against our government to make sure that public money used for bailouts is put towards building sustainability. PLATFORM is an organisation that combines art with activism, research and campaigning, so in many ways we are perfect partners and I was really excited when they recently approached me to collaborate on an exciting new project at the Arnolfini gallery in Bristol.

As part of a wider festival named 100 Days, PLATFORM will be co-producing over 50 events, installations, performances, actions, walks, discussions and skill shares over a period of two months. This season is called “C words: Carbon, Climate, Capital, Culture” and is intended to highlight what needs to be done to change the world in the run-up to the incredibly important (but unlikely to solve anything) COP 15 conference (think Kyoto 2 – it failed first time around so why would it succeed now?) in Copenhagen in December.

Your part in this audacious experiment?

We’re going to re-envision RBS as a bastion of sustainability – the Royal Bank of Sustainability in fact. And it will be down to you to create the artwork… once more I will be running one of my becoming-somewhat-regular open briefs. We would like you to submit either a logo or a poster (or both) that will suggest a swing in the direction of all things sustainable in the most imaginative way possible. Around ten of the best artworks will be shown for a week at the prestigious Arnolfini gallery in Bristol as part of the whole shebang, culminating with a public judging and prize-giving overseen by yours truly and helped out by the folk at PLATFORM and no less than the Marketing Manager of the Arnolfini, Rob Webster, and Fiona Hamilton of Soma Gallery (Bristol), a woman with great taste in the arts who runs a cult art shop that has been a long standing supplier of my print magazine. We might even invite someone powerful from RBS! (invite being the operative word) After the event PLATFORM will profile you on their website with links to yours, and prior to the actual event I’ll be posting the best entries onto my website – one good reason to get your artwork in as quickly as possible.

If you are interested read on:

RBS-cashcoal.jpg

What you need to know:

Ideas:
Yeah yeah – we all know wind turbines are great news and polar bears are having a terrible time, but for this brief we’d like you to think a bit outside the box. We’ll be looking for the most refreshing ways of thinking about how we can live in the most sustainable way possible, and most importantly how RBS could play a possible role in aiding this transition to a low carbon world. Don’t forget that we, the taxpayers, own 70% of RBS – why not make it into the people’s bank? You should make clear in your chosen design the re-imagining of the old RBS into the new. Instead of investing in carbon-intensive industries the new RBS will serve the public interest by investing only in socially conscious, ethically driven, and environmentally sound projects.

rbs-logo.jpg

Style:
Think serious or earnest, kitsch or ironic, warm and fluffy, abstract or illustrative; whatever best communicates the concept and appeals to the broader public, the press and perhaps even people in government. It should engage and inspire. You can collage photography on your computer or paint with your fingers and toes – what matters is the outcome. We want to see imagery that speaks of something new, radical and POSSIBLE. Think positive social force. We love the Obama image that was used in the run up to his election – the reworking of his image in a simple pop art style somehow speaks volumes about new, positive change – and has fast become an iconic piece of graphic design, so we thought we’d use it here to demonstrate that you don’t have to be too literal in your interpretation of the brief to create a successful image. If you choose to create a poster remember that it could be made as an advert.

obama.jpg

Technical specifications:
your image should be created to these sizes and scannable or put together on a computer:
A1 for the poster.
A2 or squared off A2 for the logo.
Please send me a lo resolution version but make sure you work to these sizes. We will arrange for the printing of your image should it be chosen.

Deadline:
We need your submissions to reach me by Monday 2nd November. Please send lo res versions of your design to info@ameliasmagazine.com

Future projects:
Please bear in mind that if we really love your work we might want to use it in further literature and exhibitions. Just think, your work really could persuade RBS to change course at a pivotal point in our history. What a fabulous idea!

Join the facebook event here to stay in touch with updates
And join the “Stop RBS using public money to finance climate change” facebook group here

Below is a list of links you might want to peruse for inspiration:

PLATFORM’s website
Transition Towns
Centre for Alternative Technology
Zero Carbon Britain
Post Carbon Institute
the Oyal Bank of Scotland
Capitalists Anonymous
Britain Unplugged
Climate Friendly Banking
Banca Etica
GLS Bank

Get scribbling folks! Any queries please contact me directly via email rather than on the comments below.
If you have been to a UK festival in the last few years, pharm chances are that at some point you found yourself dancing in the OneTaste tent. Having residency at Glastonbury, sickness Big Chill and Secret Garden Party to name but a mere few, OneTaste have acquired a devoted fan base of festival goers who want a guarantee that when they walk into a tent they will get the following components; top quality live music, an high-spirited and friendly crowd, and twenty four hour revelry.

onetastepichydepark.jpg
OneTaste in Hyde Park, London

Yet their festival appearances are just one aspect of the multifaceted music troupe. When they are appearing at say, SGP or Glasto, they perform as a collective of musicians, poets and artists who, for many of the festivals, break bread and share space with Chai Wallahs. When they put on events in Greater London and Brighton, (where every night is different from the last), their roots run deep, towards diverse and innovative singers, performers and spoken word artists. They are fiercely proud of their reputation of facilitating and nurturing emerging talent; promoting, not exploiting it, connecting with the audience and creating a true OneTaste family, both onstage and off.

onetastepichydepark2.jpg

I have known of OneTaste for years, being friends with some of the artists who have performed with them. Having shamelessly utalised their tent at this years Secret Garden Party to dance, drink, chill, detox and then re-tox, I felt it was time to get to know them a little better. The perfect opportunity came at the recent OneTaste night at the Bedford in Balham which I attended recently on a balmy Thursday night. The vaudeville past of the Globe Theatre within the Bedford was an apposite setting for the style of event that OneTaste puts on. As the preparation for the evenings entertainment began in this deeply historical building, I managed to catch a quick chat with the creator of OneTaste, Dannii Evans, where we talked about the rhymes, reasons and the meaning behind this unique and innovative event.

onetastehydeparkpicby%20kim-leng%20hills.jpg
photograph by Kim Leng Hills

When I saw OneTaste’s excellent night in the Jazz Cafe a while back, I saw a lot of different styles of music and spoken word. What would you say is the one common thread that unites everyone?

We’ve always been trying to find out what the thread is! It is definitely not genre, we do every single style and welcome every style, probably the only genre we haven’t booked yet is heavy metal! The thing that links us all together .. (pauses)… is that everyone has got a massive social conscience; it is not always explicit, but it is implicit within a person, it’s in their art. It’s something that holds us all together, everyone at OneTaste has that in mind – that there is a bigger picture and that we need to better ourselves in everything that we do.

onetastebedfordcharlie.jpg
Charlie Dark performs at OneTaste Bedford

How did OneTaste begin?

The OneTaste music and spoken word night, started four and a half years ago by myself, and Jamie Woon. We basically started it in order that these musicians can do something where they could get paid.

You pay the performers? That’s so rare!

Definitely. We wanted to put on a night where the quality of every single act was really high and it could be where musicians could start their career, so that was the premise. Also the concept is that the event is always half music, half spoken word.

So is it a collective, a record label, an event? I’m kind of confused!

It started off as an event, with us meeting a number of artists and acts that we got on really well and gelled with, who we took on tour around festivals, and then out of spending three months together we formed the OneTaste collective. It started becoming an artist run collective where people would help with the actual event production and then it ended with them all collaborating on material together.

Who are some of the artists involved?
Portico Quartet, Stac, Inua Ellams, Gideon Conn, Kate Tempest, Newton Faulkner, to name just a few!

onetastebefordball.jpg

How do artists become part of OneTaste? Is it something that they can dip in and out of?

Absolutely, it’s not exclusive. It grew organically, it’s not an in or out thing – it happens more naturally than that.

Do you have to audition to get in?

To take part in the OneTaste night, either myself or someone running it have to have seen them live. Audience engagement is very important to us, to reach out and to be able to communicate with the audience is really vital. The live aspect and their live dynamic with the crowd is so important, so while they don’t audition, we do need to see how they will perform.

So it seems to have grown hugely in the last four years; Can you give me an idea of the numbers of acts that you have worked with?

In the collective, we have around 30 acts that we are currently championing, but in the last four years we have worked with around 300 artists. The audiences have grown from 40 people to 300 here at the Bedford, 500 at the Jazz Cafe, and 5,000 at the recent gig we did in Hyde Park.

How does OneTaste promote its artists?

It has always been very grass roots, we’ve never done an advert, it’s always just been people coming down and then telling their friends and from that it grew really quickly.

onetastebedfordgirl.jpg

Are there many of the artists signed to labels, and do you help them along their way?

We do, we give them industry advice – we develop their music, or spoken word, we try to help where we can. Some of the artists like Jamie Woon or Portico Quartet have gone on to get more media attention and they kind of carry the OneTaste name with them and still do gigs for us.

What is the direction that OneTaste is heading in?

Potentially, we might have our own venue at festivals next year, which is really exciting. We have a digital compilation coming out, the first one will be coming out in September, and eventually we may form a OneTaste record label.

onetastebedfordgideon.jpg
Gideon Conn performs at OneTaste Bedford.

Dannii and I continue chatting for a short while, and after this she has tasks to do. The audience is filling up, and the night is about to start. Sitting on a bench in the back with a big glass of red wine, I watch the event unfold. The performers are electric, and completely different from one another, yet equally complimentary. Most appear to be old friends, and loudly cheer each others performances. The atmosphere is infectious, I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed myself so much at a gig (and it’s not because of the wine!). I’m quite au fait with the open mic nights and acoustic gigs of London, but I haven’t been to a night which is as cohesive and inclusive as OneTaste. If you want to experience it for yourself, OneTaste are easy to find. Check out their Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Flickr for images, articles, and dates about upcoming shows, which include a September 8th gig at The Distillers in Hammersmith and 27th September at The Hanbury Club in Brighton.
This week Climate Camp 2009 swoops on London, this site aiming to pressure politicians ahead of the Copenhagen climate change summit in December. Climate Camp will achieve this by encouraging individuals to think about lifestyle changes possible both collectively and personally to prevent climate change.

Sharing these sensibilities, the French Collective Andrea Crews encourage a new life philosophy outside the corporate rat race so often associated with London and other major cities. Being introduced to the fashion/art/activist collective Andrea Crews felt like a breath of fresh air often associated with Amelia’s magazine, a long time supporter of sustainable fashion, craft, activism and individual design.

sunsetempire.jpg

flocage.jpg

Andrea Crews Collective express their desire for economic and social change through “the use and the reinterpretation of the second-hand garment” calling it “a social, economic and ethical choice.” A choice displayed by the sheer volume of abandoned second hand garments used throughout the catwalk shows, art exhibitions and activist events. The group criticise the relentless waste of modern consumption, fast fashion has helped to create, through visualising the stress on land fill sites around the world in their staged events. Subsequently by ignoring market pressures: mass seduction and seasonal calendars, Andrea Crews re-introduces a slower, more individual fashion culture through the processes of sorting and recycling.

jedinomindtrick.jpg

ANDREACREWS-47.jpg

The Crews Collective march to the same tune as Climate Camp, not only by caring for the environment but in their dedication towards an alternative developed sustainable economy. Andrea Crews encourages mass involvement stating that the project “answers to a current request for creative energy and social engagement. Recycling, Salvaging, Sorting out, are civic models of behaviour we assert.” Thus the power of low-level activism or grass roots activism becomes apparent, if enough people participated with Climate Camp or The Andrea Crews Collective. The pressure on governments to look for an alternative way of living would be undeniable.

orlan.jpg

neoud.jpg

The ever-expanding coverage of ethical, eco fashion on the internet plays testimony to the idea that the individual is changing. The Andreas Collective through their exquisite catwalks –particularly the Marevee show with the appearance of clothes mountains which the models scrambled over to reach the runway- draw attention to the powerful position regarding sustainability, fashion can occupy if it so chooses.

mareeve.jpg

All quotes and images are from the Andrea Crews website.
DIY LONDON SEEN
The Market Building
Covent Garden, doctor London WC2 8RF
Until 5th September

DIY%20LONDON%20SEEN.jpg

DIY LONDON SEEN hopes to illustrate the growth of the movement inspired by the ‘Beautiful Losers’, doctor which is now a global phenomenon, generic by showcasing the work of local artists whose work takes the ethos of the Alleged gallery Artists and runs with it.

KNOT EXACTLY
Hepsibah Gallery

Brackenbury Road, London W6

Show runs from: 28th August- 2nd September ’09,
with a preview on the 27th September from 6.00-9.00pm

KNOT%20EXACTLY.jpg

Artists: Ellen Burroughs presents intricate technical drawings of a surreal nature, Sophie Axford-Hawkins shows bespoke jewelery that follows an identical theme.

The Jake-OF Debut UK Solo Show
Austin Gallery

119A Bethnal Green Road,
Shoreditch London E2 7DG
Running from the 3rd-16th September.
The opening evening is on the 3rd at 6:30pm.

Jakes%20Quink%20Painting%201.jpg

Featuring a collection of his best print, sculpture and instillation work from the past four years. The show will include prints from the Quink series and the first original Quink painting to be exhibited.

So Long Utopia
East Gallery
214 Brick Lane
?London ?E1 6SA

Until 2nd September

SOlONGUTOPIA.jpg

EASTGALLERY is proud to present the first solo exhibition of UK artist Sichi. ‘So Long Utopia’ will feature a thematic collection of new paintings and drawings. ??‘So Long Utopia’ is an energetic exhibition focusing on the theme of the lost Utopian dream. The artworks in this collection are of portraits, statements and imagined characters, where any premonition of ‘Utopia’ is quickly dispelled by the creatures inhabiting Sichi’s dystopian world.

Art In Mind
The Brick Lane Gallery
196 Brick Lane,
London E1 6SA

Opening 19 August 6:30 – 8:30
20th – 31st August
Free

Art%20In%20MindBrickLane.jpg

A busy August Bank holiday weekend is almost upon us, dosage and if you cant make it to Climate Camp starting on Wednesday there is plenty of other events to keep you occupied this week.

Festival of The Tree 2009

Delve into the world of wood and trees with sculptors, workshops, walks, art exhibitions and more with all proceeds going to treeaid, a charity that is enabling communities in Africa’s drylands to fight poverty and become self-reliant, while improving the environment. Weston Arboretum has a week long run of activities, with the organisers calling it a radical transformation from last year with exciting new additions.

tree%20pic.jpg
Check the full programme of events here.
From Monday 24 – Monday 31 August… 
Open daily from 9am-5pm?Admission: Adult £8, Concession £7, Child £3.?

Camp for Climate Action

A week long event kicking of this wednesday with with a public co-ordinated swoop on a secret location within the M25, make sure you sign up for text alerts and watch Amelias twitter for updates. Join your swoop group here, the locations have been revealed so get planning your route.
Check the great list of workshops here, and get ready for some climate action.
There’s workshops to suit everyone from direct action training to consensus decision making for kids, as well as evening entertainment from the Mystery Jets among others. Come along for a day or the whole week.

cc.jpg

Wednesday 26 Aug 2009 to Wednesday 02 Sep 2009
E-mail: info@climatecamp.org.uk
Website: www.climatecamp.org.uk

Carshalton Environmental Fair

The Environmental Fair is one of the biggest events in the London Borough of Sutton. 10,000 people attend with over 100 stalls with environmental information, arts and local crafts, with stages showcasing local musical talent, a Music cafe and a Performing Arts Marquee. Food stalls and a bar thats also showcasing some local talent. There is a free bus operating from Sutton.

eco%20fest.jpg

Adults £3, concessions £1 and kids get in free.
Monday 31st August
Contact: fair@ecolocal.org.uk
Website: http://www.ecolocal.org.uk/

Green Fayre

Range of Green craft workshops where you can learn about the most pressing environmental issues and how you can live a more sustainable life, all set in the Welsh country side. Yurt making, permaculture design, spinning, screen printing, pole lathe, bird box making, cooking from the hedgerows and much more.

Date: Friday 28 Aug 2009 to Monday 31 Aug 2009
Weekend Camping for the family £40?E-mail: info@green-fayre.org
?Website: www.green-fayre.org

Benefit gig for Anarchists Against the Wall

At RampART social centre, music with Hello Bastards, Battle Of Wolf 359,Suckinim Baenaim (Israel), Julith Krishum (Germany). The AWW group works in cooperation with Palestinians in a joint popular struggle against the occupation.

Monday 24 August 2009 19:00
RampARTSocial Centre?15 -17 Rampart Street, London E1 2LA?(near Whitechapel, off Commercial Rd)

London Critical Mass

Cyclists get together to take control of the roads around London usually with a sound system in tow. The London Mass meets at 6.00pm on the last Friday of every month on the South Bank under Waterloo Bridge, by the National Film Theatre. critical_mass.gif
Not got a bike, dont worry, any self propelled people from skateboarders, rollerbladers to wheelchairs are welcome.

Friday 28 August 2009
Website: http://www.criticalmasslondon.org.uk/
Earth First Gathering 2009 was held over last weekend. It’s an event we’ve been looking forward to since it appeared in our diary back in July. Check out our Earth First preview for more information. We all pitched up our tents in the wettest place in Britain which unluckily lived up to its name, doctor but although it didn’t feel like summer it didn’t stop any of the numerous workshops from going ahead and there was even a handy barn where people could take refuge if their tents didn’t survive the downpours.

efintro.jpg
There were chances for people to get to grips with water activities like building rafts and kayaking on the nearby Derwent lake, help plenty of discussion groups and chances for people to learn new skills. A forge kept many enthralled, viagra me included, and it was great to see the dying trade in action and people learning from the experienced blacksmiths.

forge.jpg
Seeds for change, a group that holds workshops for action and social change, were down at the camp, get in touch with them if you’re thinking of holding your own event and they will be willing to facilitate a range of engaging talks and discussions.
Tripod, a Scottish based training collective working with grassroots and community groups is another to check out – there is plenty to benefit from with training and support that gears towards social action.

Earth First has been going for decades and with direct action at the heart of what they do, it has helped and nurtured many to get involved and start taking action themselves rather than relying on leaders and governments. Look out for the next gathering, as EF notes, “if you believe action speaks louder than words, then Earth First is for you.”
We legged it up the amazing waterfall that created a great backdrop to the camp before tea one evening to get some great views over the valley.

ef%20veiw.jpg
Joining the queue for our meals was a daily highlight, you could browse the radical bookstall along it that had numerous zines and books for sale. Then the food, put on by the Anarchist Teapot, was amazing and i was queueing up for seconds at every opportunity. Evening entertainment was put on by a ramshackle group of poets and musicians and hecklers, and sock wrestling was also a new experience for me, got to try that one again.

slowcc.jpg
On cue the heavens opened on the last night, but I managed to get my tent down and joined the chickens in the barn where I literally hit the hay.
Just thought I’d say well done to the police FIT team who were able to navigate the windy and tricky road to turn up most days: good effort!
The Legion in Old Street has undergone a bit of a refurb since the last time I was there. Vague recollections of dodgy sauna-style wood panelling on the walls and a Lilliputian stage awkwardly occupying one corner are now banished by what seemed like an even longer bar than was there before. The venue has had a fresh wave of new promoters which appears to have progressed it from a jack of all things club-based, website like this in an area drowning in the like, there to somewhere incorporating a broader musical palette. A case in point tonight, being the headline band, Death Cigarettes.

Death%20Cigarettes%201.JPG

I’d seen Death Cigarettes a couple of times around various East London venues over the last twelve months. For a band whose reputation is in part founded on an explosive live show, the cavernous confines of the Legion seemed to take some of the sting out of them, compared to more intimate settings.

Musically, they inhabit that driving New York No Wave inspired sound – thrashing guitars, pounding drums and rumbling bass coupled with urgently delivered vocals. An obvious comparison is with early Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and there is certainly more than a touch of Karen O in enigmatic lead singer Maya.

Death%20Cigarettes%202.JPG

With this band though, the music is only half the story. Coming on unusually late for a Sunday night, Maya emerges from the encaves of a slightly startled audience to take the stage to join the rest of the band as they thrash away around her. It’s not long though before she heads back out into the throng… One group of people were ensnared by her mic lead, another was treated to an intimate introduction with a flying mic stand before Maya suddenly reappears behind the audience, exhorting the crowd before her from atop a table. At this point, the guitarist also wanted a piece of the audience action and decides to go walkabout, before concluding the set with a piece of probably not premeditated Auto-Destruction, reducing his guitar to matchwood.

Death%20Cigarettes%203.JPG

Death Cigarettes have certainly been making a few noises of late, with the likes of Artrocker and The Fly singing their praises, and they are set to appear at the Offset Festival (new guitar permitting). For a band with a distinct approach to their music and performance, it will be interesting to see if they will, over time, develop their sound to the same extent that NYC steadfasts, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, have so spectacularly done.
Liberty prints have become something of a British Institution in the fashion world, cialis 40mg inspiring the current vintage scarf and headband trend as well as influencing designers to include whimsical prints in their own creations (basically everybody on the high street). Prints conjure up an image of refined country values, thumb and have a truly English feel to them, stomach reminding us of our grannies chicly riding their bicycles in winding country lanes after World War 2 (maybe that’s just my overactive imagination!)

Until 2nd September an entire exhibition is being dedicated to this quintessentially British item on the fourth floor of the London Liberty store, and Amelia’s Magazine think you should get in touch with your inner fifties housewife and check it out!

carbaby-st1.jpg

Aptly entitled Prints Charming, the designs at Liberty’s exhibition certainly do what they say on the tin. Six designers were invited to contribute to the show to create their own unique take on Liberty’s iconic prints. Designs span from the pottery artist Grayson Perry’s enigmatic creations featuring tombstones, teddy bears, knuckle-dusters, swings, roundabouts and bicycles mounted on fabric, to uber-famous Meg Matthews’ teeny floral print wallpaper pieces given an injection of rock and roll heritage (like Meg herself) with snakeskin and skulls motifs. Other artists involved with the project include Paul Morrison, Mike McInnerney, Michael Angove, Anj Smith and Simon Hart, each taking an individual and modern approach to the eponymous Liberty print.

graysonperry.jpg

IMG_8094.jpg

The exhibition reads like a piece of installation art. In fact, art aside there is much more happening. Take note of the furniture and décor (mirrors, chairs, chandeliers and tables) coated in Liberty prints, heavily featured throughout the window display designed by Interiors company Squint. Not forgetting that the store’s entire exterior is decorated in the Betsy micro-floral print. The show also includes full size dolls dressed in Liberty rags, a Wendy house covered in strips of print by artist Helen Benigson, and vintage bicycles by classic bike-maker Skeppshult redesigned with a Liberty twist (complete with feather headdress!)

squint.jpg

Liberty_Wendy-House.jpg
(Image from: fashion-stylist)

Being an exhibition, the history of the iconic print is thrown in for good measure too. Documentation of the label’s historic collaborations can be found throughout, featuring modern legends such as Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony, APC, NIKE and Kate Moss for Topshop. This is an art-fashion collaborative experience not to be missed!

IMG_8101.jpg

Everything designed is available to buy; whether that be in fabric, notebook, scarf, luggage tag, boxer short, wellie boot or lampshade form! With the endless list of talent involved, there’s no doubt something to catch anyone’s magpie eye. Several prints are one-off pieces made especially for the show, such as Matthews’ wallpaper, therefore ensuring a chance of grabbing a piece of history in the making. And who doesn’t love a bit of print patterning? After all, with the current revival of all things retro, Liberty prints are up there with shoulder padding and acid wash in fashionistas’ hearts! So get down to the exhibition before the opportunity to soak up the artistic atmosphere disappears (like most the stock will be sure to do!)
Swap shops, ampoule Freeshops, generic give away shops, visit this site they all aim to go against the capitalist framework, and often people can’t quite get their heads around the idea, that, yes it is free and you can take it!

doshfreeshop%20screen%20copy.jpg
Illustrations by Thereza Rowe

When I dropped by the free shop near Brick Lane, I received firsthand experience of this when a woman asked the way to the ‘trendy’ Shoreditch area and when invited to look around the Freeshop declined with a shrug of the shoulders. It appears it just wasn’t hip enough, that or she couldn’t quite comprehend the idea of a piece of clothing for under 50 quid.

fh.jpg

When speaking to some of the squatters, the Freeshop felt like an organic progression from the original squat in the building: “The idea of this Freeshop had come out from a series of workshops held in the squatted building last month. Originally, the building was opened up for a free school, and when that was over we realised we had this shop front on Commercial Street and felt it would be interesting to kind of undermine the shops down the road.” Donations from friends helped to get it off its feet and now they seem to be undated with more than enough.

fh2.jpg

With our ‘throw away society,’ Freeshops can form direct action and can engage people to think about the way they live and consume. They also see it as a chance to try and engage with the community, which means the squatters don’t get isolated in the neighborhood. They also feel the shop was an important medium of communication to people. It seems to be working well with most people having a chat or picking up leaflets when they come in to look around. The basic idea is that it should not just be about taking things, but sharing ideas too.

The squatters make efforts to engage with the community, with flyers sent out when they set up shop. Although the state has rigid bureaucratic rules to follow regarding squats they hope that support from the community will help their cause. The court date regarding an impending eviction is on 28th August, but they are hopefully looking to get it adjourned. Signatures and people giving support certainly can’t hinder their defense.

swaptillyoudrop%20screen%20copy.jpg

As well as offering clothes, shoes and household items, the Freeshop also has space for regular workshops and events where members of the community and network can get involved. A wind turbine course is in the pipeline so make sure you drop in to check when it’s happening.

I had a chat with one of the squatters to get a better insight into the ideas and experiences behind the Freeshop.

Have you had any experiences of Freeshops before you came here?

Berlin, Barcelona, Bristol all have set up freeshops and there are plenty more around the world. One time in Barcelona went down the main commercial road with a stall, loads of people came to pick up stuff, completely ignoring the chain stores. It was like people were just interested in consuming products wherever they came from. The cops were called of course.

Can you get moved on for that?

Maybe, I mean, but look at the number of people selling sausages in the centre of town – it depends on how big or moveable the stand is. We had the idea of maybe setting something up down in Hanbury Street, just at Spitalfields Market, but that’s just an idea so far.

What kind of people do you get coming in?

Some homeless people come in and others, how shall we say, are like the kind of people who go down Brick Lane on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. There’s a really broad range.

Can people get involved in the Freeshop?

Come along to say hello or to the meeting on Tuesdays, that’s a good place to start, talk about and organise things we want to make happen, maybe do a shift in the shop.

Do you look to publicise, and how do people find out about the Freeshop?

There’s a big difference between being on the net and Facebook/social networking, and just relying on old style traditional methods, just by being here, and it works like a shop that people can just come into. It’s good to see how far just traditional ways can get us, and if that works well, then maybe others will do the same. It’s not rocket science, there’s no big intellectual concept behind it, it’s just a free shop.

fh3.jpg

Located on Commercial Road at the end of Quaker Street, drop in to pick up some new stuff while it lasts and offer your support.
What was formerly the Lush store in Covent Garden’s main piazza is now host to the exhibition ‘DIY London Seen’, this site a homage to the subjects of the film ‘Beautiful Losers’.

BL_EFlyer.jpg

The film recounts the story of a group of likeable young suburban artists who, approved despite creating work outside the established art system in 1990s NYC, more about very quickly rose to commercially vaunted fame and success.

Their ethos, borne of skateboarding, punk, graffiti and DIY living, was to be an artist without adhering to art history or education. Doing what you love whatever the rest of the world thinks. These artists, Harmony Korine, Ed Templeton, Mark Gonzales, Barry McGee, Shepard Fairey, Jo Jackson, Thomas Campbell, Deanna Templeton, Stephen Powers, Chris Johanson, Mike Mills and the late Margaret Kilgallen were united by the then curator of Alleged Gallery, Aaron Rose, now Director of the film “Beautiful Losers’.

In the 90s, the Beautiful Losers’ work was outsider. In 2009, the art exhibited at DIY London Seen is mainstream commercial fodder that is regularly used for major branding.

However, this fact doesn’t reflect negatively on the spirit of the artists’ work or the exhibition itself. It merely highlights an unprecedented support for the arts (commercial or otherwise) and a vastly adjusted attitude about what it means to be an artist where to be commercial does not mean being a ‘sell-out’.

The space is donated by Covent Garden London, which provides gallery space in the West End to diverse forms of art through part of Covent Garden’s Art Tank movement.

The exhibition is curated by Bakul Patki and Lee Johnson of ‘Watch This Space’. Their previous experience in the commercial and critical art markets spans over ten years and as a result, they know how to put together a good exhibition.

charlie_woolley.jpg

The private view, replete with canapés filling enough to make a full dinner, was packed mainly with trendy young adults in their 20s and early 30s and a few stylish characters in their 40s. The invitees milled about in the two-storey, three-roomed space, drinking free cider, looking at the art and gathering in pockets outside to chat and smoke.

The exhibition space boasts 52 pieces of mainly original art including a seven foot tall mirror-tiled bear created by 21-year-old Arran Gregory and a lightbulb suspended from the ceiling, revolving on a record as it spins (I kept hoping that the bulb would eventually melt the record but instead the record keeps endlessly spinning).

LS_200809_004.JPG

There is a lot of illustration and photography of the sort you see around in many galleries in East London and on various advertising paraphernalia and as usual, some of it is good.

What stands out most about the exhibition is how, in a decade and a half, enough has changed so that what might once have been outsider art is now perfectly at home and fully catered for in the bustling centre of one of London’s most well-trafficked areas.

Young artists and older artists, property organisations, the public and the commercial world are a blur, shaking hands in every direction.

Disused property is now the breeding ground for emerging artists and successful commercial art curators are there to provide fully functioning and well-run exhibitions.

Whether the Beautiful Losers were the seminal artists paving the way for opportunities afforded to such artists as those of London Seen or not, they were lucky enough to rise to success. The acceptance of skateboard, graffiti, DIY culture could have come earlier, later or not at all.

London Seen and Beautiful Losers are reminders that in a commercially driven market making art isn’t about how much the public loves, or ignores, what you do. As trends come and go, their message is to never forfeit the ethos of doing what you love whatever the rest of the world thinks. History will always move forward and with it, the randomness of success.

Check out DIY London Seen in Covent Garden until 5th of September at 11, The Market Building, Covent Garden, London WC2 8RF.

Beautiful Losers is now available on DVD from the ICA.

Images courtesy: Joshua Millais (bear) and Watch This Space.

COMICA_FLYER_AW.jpg

Are you a budding comic artist? By that I don’t mean stand-up of course, approved but rather someone who fancies themselves as a bit of a comic stripper…

Well, visit this if so you might fancy getting your teeth sunk into this little competition from Ctrl.Alt.Shift.http://www.myspace.com/lightspeedchampion Judged by such luminaries as Dev aka Lightspeed Champion and Paul Gravett – who directs the Comica festival at the uber cool ICA and has authored countless books on comic art – this should be an excellent chance to get your work seen by a wide audience.

All that is required is for you to submit some examples of your work to Ctrl.Alt.Shift. by Friday 25th September.

So what happens then? If your work is picked as the winning entrant you will be asked to interpret a comic script written by Dev, which will then be featured in a 100 page book about corruption in politics and contributed to by all the best names in the world of comics and graphic novels. 5000 copies of the book will be sold in aid of charity and your work will feature in a month long exhibition about political comic art in the Lazerides Gallery in Soho during November.

The suggestion is that you pick as your submission something that is applicable to the theme of the competition (ie. corruption in politics), but bear in mind that the final entrants will be chosen on the basis of their visual flair rather than subject content. You can see the competition flyer below.

This is your chance to have your work included a really great project with a whole host of the best names in comic art. Plus it’s for a really worthwhile cause… Sounds like a great plan to me!

COMICA_A5_FLYER_AW.jpg

Here at Amelia’s Magazine, sales we’re aligned more with uplifting, buy information pills good time folk than gut wrenching, angst-y emo. We just think, why be so sombre? So when an album lands on the doormat like the Mariachi El Bronx‘ new output, well, we couldn’t be happier. Those formerly depressed LA lads in The Bronx, have employed a guitarrón, knocked back a heavy dose of tequila and picked up their maracas to deliver an album that is more Latino fun times than their usual emotional dirge.

mariachi-el-bronx1.jpg

A quick glance over the track listing tells you that they haven’t lifted their mood all that much, as the titles still bemoan tales of ‘Cell Mates’, ‘Litigation’ and ‘Slave Labor.’ Although tracks on this album have been masked by a scrim of vihuela solos, trumpet fanfares and accordion bellowing.

mariachielbronx2.jpg

Mixing traditional music with a hardcore ethos is nothing new – think 90s Finnish folk metal of Finntroll and Moonsorrow – which blend a 6-piece folk band with paganism tales. This combination of Hispanic sounds and wailing of lyrics, such as “The dead can dance if they want romance/All I need is some air” on ‘Quinceniera’, seems to make perfect sense when you consider the Mexican celebration, Day Of The Dead, where they leave out food and gifts for the deceased.

dayofthedead.jpg

Despite sounding like the tough LA outfit have gone soft and found God, take a closer listen to tracks like ‘Silver Or Lead’ and you’ll find they’re singing, “Quit asking Jesus for help/Go out and find it yourself.” Rather a rebellious punk rock move, when sung in the musical style of a devoutly Catholic culture.

marichielbronx3.jpg

El Bronx might not be everyone’s cup of tea (-quila), but it’s a fun, refreshingly, tongue-in-cheek album whose Mexican flight of fancy will have you in the mood for a corona and nachos in no time. I say more bands should get out of their comfort zones and explore new genres like El Bronx have – ¡Arriba!

Grey Gardens is a documentary by Albert and David Maysles on the lives of Big and Little Edie at their East Hampton Mansion of the same name, more about Grey Gardens.
When watching the film, treatment the fashion influence of Little Edie becomes undeniable, ambulance beginning with the 1940′s inspired shoulders and nipped in waist, (an Autumn 2009 trend) to the headscarf held in place by jewellery combination (also seen on recent catwalks) finishing with the 1950′s shaped swimming costume worn during interviews. Not forgetting, it is Little Edie’s stamp, which is all over the luxurious granny chic trend favoured by Mary Kate Olsen and the catwalks in recent seasons. All this is without mentioning her quirky fashion advice!

“Why wear a skirt upside down? You do if your waistline has expanded and you can’t close it at the waist.”

greygardens2.jpg

The fashion community from Marc Jacobs to Ashley Olsen (The Twins are often credited with continuing to have fun and make ‘mistakes’ with fashion) has embraced little Edie’s alternative style and self-expression. Play is inherent in her choice of clothes and embellishment. It is Edie acting as herself that transformed her into a style icon. The film is a credit to Albert and David Maysles skill and compassion as documenters in how they managed to capture the two Edie’s individual spirits. For this reason the film becomes truly special as it replicates on screen their at times complex loving, resenting and co-dependent mother/daughter relationship.

The documentary is peppered with half-told remembrances to make past lives bearable, poignant for Big and Little Edie’s heartbreaking denouncement of each other’s memory. The dialogue throughout the film is often refreshing for their –intentional or unintentional- political philosophical undertones.

Near the start of the film, a five-minute conversation discusses the symbiotic relationship between freedom and support (Little Edie argues the opposite to her mother, saying without support you can’t be free). A prophetic conversation, whose sentiment is applicable to the British Government’s ever increasing reliance on business and continuing refusal to accept the pressure big business places on the climate.

Big Edie: “You can’t get any freedom when you’re supported.”

How can the Government make a rational decision on Climate Change when they build over-familiar relationships with Heathrow BAA and the aviation business?

Big Edie: “When are you going to learn Edie your part of the world?”

Whilst Big Edie’s comment is more of an undertone, this is what I hope the Government will realise this week during the Climate Camp protests. That governments and societies cannot exist without the physical world. We must be accountable for looking after the planet.

The film is beautifully composed enabling Big and Little Edie to have their moments in front of the camera, both alone and together. The film’s editing conveys an idea of a romantic time endlessly passing, though quite still and almost stagnant. It is the perfect fashion moment and Little Edie’s style becomes timeless in it’s absence.
The film watches Little Edie reminisce refuting her life choices, whilst Big Edie forever reminds of how different the past looks as one ages stating, “everyone thinks and feels differently as they get older.”

The documentary records the power struggle between the two women choosing and not choosing their unconventional decaying life style. Within each conversation, the viewer senses that Big Edie is the controlling personality and Little Edie the controlled. The relationship is summarised with the phrase “I didn’t want my child taken away, I would be entirely alone.” The sadness of the film occurs at the references to the stories off stage, which appear to surround the two Edies’ day after day. Forever acting out their parts within their own play. In front of the Maysles camera the endlessly groomed Little Edie becomes a star. Grey Gardens is a celebration of complex relationships and the unique individual, additionally highlighting the frequency at which fashion’s history is plundered to influence catwalk designs today.

See Grey Gardens and Little Edie’s outfits at Rich Mix Cinema as part of the Fashion on Film Season

http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/
Grey Gardens is a documentary by Albert and David Maysles on the lives of Big and Little Edie at their East Hampton Mansion of the same name, case Grey Gardens.
When watching the film, the fashion influence of Little Edie becomes undeniable, beginning with the 1940′s inspired shoulders and nipped in waist, (an Autumn 2009 trend) to the headscarf held in place by jewellery combination (also seen on recent catwalks) finishing with the 1950′s shaped swimming costume worn during interviews. Not forgetting, it is Little Edie’s stamp, which is all over the luxurious granny chic trend favoured by Mary Kate Olsen and the catwalks in recent seasons. All this is without mentioning her quirky fashion advice!

“Why wear a skirt upside down? You do if your waistline has expanded and you can’t close it at the waist.”

greygardens2.jpg

The fashion community from Marc Jacobs to Ashley Olsen (The Twins are often credited with continuing to have fun and make ‘mistakes’ with fashion) has embraced little Edie’s alternative style and self-expression. Play is inherent in her choice of clothes and embellishment. It is Edie acting as herself that transformed her into a style icon. The film is a credit to Albert and David Maysles skill and compassion as documenters in how they managed to capture the two Edie’s individual spirits. For this reason the film becomes truly special as it replicates on screen their at times complex loving, resenting and co-dependent mother/daughter relationship.

The documentary is peppered with half-told remembrances to make past lives bearable, poignant for Big and Little Edie’s heartbreaking denouncement of each other’s memory. The dialogue throughout the film is often refreshing for their –intentional or unintentional- political philosophical undertones.

Near the start of the film, a five-minute conversation discusses the symbiotic relationship between freedom and support (Little Edie argues the opposite to her mother, saying without support you can’t be free). A prophetic conversation, whose sentiment is applicable to the British Government’s ever increasing reliance on business and continuing refusal to accept the pressure big business places on the climate.

Big Edie: “You can’t get any freedom when you’re supported.”

How can the Government make a rational decision on Climate Change when they build over-familiar relationships with Heathrow BAA and the aviation business?

Big Edie: “When are you going to learn Edie your part of the world?”

Whilst Big Edie’s comment is more of an undertone, this is what I hope the Government will realise this week during the Climate Camp protests. That governments and societies cannot exist without the physical world. We must be accountable for looking after the planet.

The film is beautifully composed enabling Big and Little Edie to have their moments in front of the camera, both alone and together. The film’s editing conveys an idea of a romantic time endlessly passing, though quite still and almost stagnant. It is the perfect fashion moment and Little Edie’s style becomes timeless in it’s absence.
The film watches Little Edie reminisce refuting her life choices, whilst Big Edie forever reminds of how different the past looks as one ages stating, “everyone thinks and feels differently as they get older.”

The documentary records the power struggle between the two women choosing and not choosing their unconventional decaying life style. Within each conversation, the viewer senses that Big Edie is the controlling personality and Little Edie the controlled. The relationship is summarised with the phrase “I didn’t want my child taken away, I would be entirely alone.” The sadness of the film occurs at the references to the stories off stage, which appear to surround the two Edies’ day after day. Forever acting out their parts within their own play. In front of the Maysles camera the endlessly groomed Little Edie becomes a star. Grey Gardens is a celebration of complex relationships and the unique individual, additionally highlighting the frequency at which fashion’s history is plundered to influence catwalk designs today.

See Grey Gardens and Little Edie’s outfits at Rich Mix Cinema as part of the Fashion on Film Season

Read more

Amelia’s Magazine | Latitude Festival

MenomenaFandFArt.jpg
Aided in no uncertain terms by a show stopping performance at Texas’ recent South By Southwest festival, order case Portland three-piece Menomena present their debut UK release. This is in fact the bands third release – with their two previous albums available in the US exclusively. School friends Danny Seim, mind Justin Harris and Brent Knopf have derived a creative process of much interest that has resulted in a work that is both experimental and forward thinking without being inaccessible.

The bands sound is essentially a combination of looped sounds which are selected from a computer programme called Deeler. The Deeler Sessions culminate in the layering of these looped sounds and vocal addition. The good news is that for the most part this results in songs of sonic density that are out of left field but rich in melody. It is a combination that makes ‘Friend and Foe’ a compelling listen.

Often the fragmented nature of the songs will result in a messy, disjointed sound to begin with. But cohesion arises from moments of inspiration that morph abstract noises into quasi – pop melodies. It maybe a gorgeous piano line, delicate vocal harmony or obscure drum loop. Whatever, these songs keep you guessing, and aside from the odd ill judged inclusion (notably at the tail end of the album) they are nothing less than enthralling.

There are echoes of Mercury Rev on the defiant ‘Rotten Hell’, whilst howling guitars and brooding Saxophone characterise ‘Weird’. Elsewhere Menomena take ‘Up’ era REM as a reference point on ‘My My’- A brilliantly structured song defined by its paradoxical use of warm keyboards and choppy, industrial beats. It is one of many gems.

It’s a shame that the record falls away so badly in its last quarter. The final three songs appear to be an afterthought – lumped on at the end to pad things out when there really is no need for their presence. It leaves a slightly bitter taste in the mouth, but spin straight back to the start and all is forgotten. Friend and Foe deserves attention.

It’s always a danger to be overly vocal about your influences, ambulance it invariably leads people to compare you to those you have cited as inspiration, more about and with a band name taken from a Wilco song, dosage Cherry Ghost have set the bar a little too high. Thirst for Romance is positioned firmly in the folk/country influenced indie rock category and despite not being a spectacular record it has some nice moments, even if they are a little bit uninspired.

Read more

Amelia’s Magazine | Festival Review: Aeon 2010


Man on Fire courtesy of Tim Shaw.

To be honest I had not heard of the Threadneedle Prize before nor was I rushing to attend the preview party on Wednesday the 1st of September. The Mall galleries have managed over the years to develop a reputation as the purveyor of stuffy exhibitions.

Phenomena (1) courtesy of Jarik Jongman

But no! No this new cool kid on the block of a prize with its decisively rock n roll intention of freeing figurative art from the shackles of conceptual taste. Move over Turner Prize. It was a nice surprise to get acquainted with this young show at a time when similarly funded prizes are running scarce and the government siphons money erstwhile dedicated to the Arts to programs deemed more “in the public’s interest”.


Oil Baron courtesy of Martin Roberts.

Detail of Moon Loght courtesy of Mark Entwisle

Let’s huff a long sigh of relief! At last art on display that does not pretend to be what it’s not… Yep, more about this dedicated art lover has been more than once unimpressed by the shovelful of bad abstract material pushed down her throat! But let’s not be mistaken by what kind of art Threadneedle is offering us either; theirs is a bold break from the past with a new kind of figurative art that does not pretend to ignore the Tate came that way and altered the artistic landscape.


Displace courtesy of Louise Folliott.

This second will last forever courtesy of Fiona Finnegan

This year the public is encouraged to choose the Visitor’s Choice award’s £10,0000 winning entry. Let me tell you what I was definitely not going to vote for! Some things seemed rather gimmicky to me such as the upside down portrait of Georgina by Oliver Jones. It’s upside down so it is clever so it’s in?


It’s a Bloomin’ Marble! courtesy of Garry Martin


Plexus courtesy of Valerie Jolly and Toilet Pipes courtesy of Thomas Doran

The exhibition’s booklet read, “our selectors have chosen a smaller but more coherent exhibition than previous years” with 2,170 submissions to arrive to a final 46. So why in the world choose such dreary artefacts that seemed to me to make more of a statement than to offer any redeeming value to the overall group! I was mightily unimpressed by Simon Carter’s Gulls on a Breakwater – it’s representational but hey look, doesn’t it seem abstract? Or Enzo Marra’s John Singer Sargent- it’s got thick paint and tonal Sargent palette. Is that all? Toilet pipes seemed to be all the rage this year…

But to be fair the overall level of work on display was very high. I fell in love with the sculptures and installations. Man on Fire by Tim Shaw (see above) got me all worked up and Stuart McCaffer (see below) got the crowd queuing to enjoy its view! Built like a shed, it reminded me of a watchtower somewhere in the Scottish Highlandds. The dichotomy between the sense of isolation and of space and freedom was interesting.


Den courtesy of Stuart McCaffer.

The prize spoke to me most when it was attempting to be political, daring, intriguing or just plain funny. Special mention to Wendy Elia’s Elsewhere, Jarik Jongman’s piece or the Anna Adamkiewicz cabinet.

Cabinet courtesy of Anna Adamkiwicz

Elsewhere courtesy of Wendy Elia


Frame, Figure, Frame, Figure courtesy of Caroline Walker

But my personal favourite was Caroline Walker’s surreal narrative. I am still haunted by the evocative psychological space this painting put me in. Very troubling.


Clee Hill courtesy of Boyd and Evans

The Threadneedle Prize for painting and sculpture runs until the 18th of September 2010 at the Mall Galleries, the Mall, London SW1.

Sports Day, site illustrated by Faye West

After a hurried fish ‘n’ chip supper by the Quay near where I work on Friday evening, I enjoyed my hours’ journey to Shobrook Park, in mid Devon, with the promising late afternoon glow of a sunny Bank Holiday weekend.

Arriving through the old stone gates and through an avenue of trees, I saw the orange flags of Aeon, luscious greenery and silver lakes. Bit like Camelot.

On greeting my already established friends, I was shown their fruits of labour: wooden spoons which they carved from small logs in the Campcraft workshop. After thee hours of chipping away under the trees they had rather crude Goldilocks spoons, decorated in little smatters of their own blood and proudly sporting large blisters on their thumbs. The main subject then turned on to our beloved Lost Horizon tent, and where was it? My friends had looked out for it all day but sadly it wasn’t to make an appearance. This was a brilliant cushion scattered tent-come lounge area, chai teas, blessed rose custard and madder-red onion bhajis, the sweetest you’ll ever find. It also held open-mic sessions and boasted a very DIY spa in the outside tepee area, with a paddling pool plunge bath, Native American style sauna, and shanty showers with lots of naked hippies with free tours offered. Hopefully Lost Horizon will return next year.

But on to what was there to entertain between the bands. There was a Recycle Centre chap with a stall called Release Your Inner Vandal. You could smash up some old 80s crockery with 3 balls for a £1. We rescued a charming yellow fish dish who escaped his mosaic project destiny because you could purchase the bric-a-brac for pennies. Book Cycle was also crammed full of treasures again this year. A volunteer-led charity where you can pay whatever you wish, the money goes towards tree-planting across the UK and to schools in countries such as Ghana.
Tents for psychic readings, mental health, massage, cupcakes, morning Tai Chi and a bit of second hand clothes/fancy dress (which unfortunately wasn’t as bountiful as the year before; we had hoped to pick up some animal-type garb for this year’s World Safari theme.)


Aeon Festival t-shirt, illustrated by me!

We sought out the No Guts No Glory stall which sold this years Aeon Fest tees, which yours truly illustrated and enjoyed some little tea cups of complimentary champers.  Workshops for the children included clay creations, face paints, hair decorations, circus skills and Punch and Judy.  We started off feeding on yummy falafel and feeling quite virtuous, and there were certainly loads of tasty, healthy, nourishing food for the veggies, even a Make Your Own Veggie Burger stall which my friend tried in the early morning. Unfortunately she didn’t quite like her mushed-up mushroom burger and basically described it as actual poo – oh dear.  All this healthy food soon sent us on a meat hunt, and then we found the pies, lots of lovely pies for only £1.75 from the fantastic Butchers stall which sold local produce and other Devonshire goodness. Breakfasting on bacon and egg butties and marmite on toast to a bit of gentle Dub in the mornings at a graffiti decorated open air cafe is bliss.

The biggest attraction at Aeon for me and my friends is the beautiful settings, the affordability and the cleanliness. Each camp had a mound built up to accommodate bonfires and logs for everyone to gather round, to discover strangers’ life stories in one conversation and warm up the cockles before heading back to our tents. Aeon has been voted as one of the Top Ten festivals with clean loos by the UK Festival Awards. As their budget-fantastic £1.50 program states, ‘If you spot a poo loo please report it to a steward who can get a message to one of us to clean it up.’ And so they did – the portaloos were positively peachy.


The Vintage Movie Bus

We observed the Sports Day races on Saturday afternoon, this was a humorous event to behold including lots of tumbled bodies and broken organic eggs. Prizes were fabulous medals of animals sprayed gold on ribbons.  After a local Dunstable Farm chocolate ice cream, we visited the recently restored, one-of-a-kind Vintage Movie Bus which had been salvaged, cleaned up and put back into service, and now works with local projects and museums as a real cinema and to bring old documentaries to the public in it’s unusual setting. We were treated to the local archive film Hippies and Hooligans. For Devon this meant cute little children scamming a few extra pennies for Guy Fawkes day, and a few youths sat on curbs or hanging around public lavatories. It mainly documented the ‘youths’ at their deportment lessons, and young lads acting out restaurant etiquette. Not exactly This is England, but very amusing and queer.

World music being played in Cabaret Voltaire ended up being the highlights for us this weekend, in particular RSVP Bhangra hailing from Bristol got everyone learning energetic moves such as ‘Windscreen Washers’, ‘Screwing in Light Bulbs’ and ‘Picking Up a Tenner and Still Looking Cool.’ Everywhere you looked the crowd was full of bumpkins in sync. K’Chevere, an afro-Cuban salsa group that sounded like Holly Golightly’s party mix tape, also got our feet moving nineteen to the dozen.


Doll and The Kicks

We all marvelled at Philip Henry and his tremendous talents on the steel guitar and harmonica, a mix of American and Indian sounds with a bit of harmonica beat boxing thrown in. He was also joined by a lady fiddle player who really was quite beautiful to watch. I imagined some kind of romantic drama between them. They are also part of the band Roots Union who played later in the evening, unfortunately I find the singer sounds too much like James Blunt to enjoy their lovely music, it was all about the harmonica for me. Inflatable Buddha and their comedic singer entertained with fun gypsy music. On the Prophecy stage we took in a bit of polished rock and roll from Karen O-esque Doll and The Kicks. I missed some of the headlining acts such as The Boxettes and Acoustic Ladyland but some of the best moments for me and my friends at Aeon are the ska and gypsy bands, such as Backbeat Soundsystem and Melosa suiting everyone’s drunken enthusiasm to dance with great energy and celebration at the foot of the stage.

Sunday’s grey sky and showers came along. We lounged in anoraks on the grassy ampi-theatre next to a man with a giant Lego head and a man with a potato/sausage/apple/fried egg and fork piece of millinery and watched Glorious Chorus fill the stage in red evening finery, as they began to sing ‘Oh Happy Day’ the sun burst through and everyone cheered, and I got teary eyed, as usual during happy moments such as these when feeling tired and generally chuffed with everything. Another Aeon, another perfectly agro-free weekend, not just a music festival, but a spot in the country which is a community event, where feathered children run free with dogs, families dance, teenagers dress up like hippies, rock stars and ravers, and where the rest of us can get involved, get a bit older and party gracefully. Happy fifth birthday Aeon, see you next year!

Categories ,Aeon, ,Backbeat Soundsystem, ,Bank Holiday, ,Birthday, ,bristol, ,Cabaret Voltaire, ,Camelot, ,Devon, ,Doll and The Kicks, ,Dunstable Farm, ,Faye West, ,festival, ,Fish & Chips, ,ghana, ,Glorious Chorus, ,Goldilocks, ,Guy Fawkes, ,Hippes and Hooligans, ,James Blunt, ,K’Chevere, ,Lego, ,Lost Horizon, ,Melosa, ,No Guts No Glory, ,Oh Happy Day, ,Philip Henry, ,Portaloos, ,Recycle Centre, ,recycling, ,Release Your Inner Vandal, ,review, ,Roots Union, ,RSVP Bhangra, ,Shobrook Park, ,T-shirts, ,The Boxettes, ,This Is England, ,World Safari

Similar Posts: