Amelia’s Magazine | Review: The Lost Cavalry, Three Cheers For The Undertaker and interview with Mark West

The Lost Cavalry Three Cheers for the Undertaker album cover
Three Cheers for the Undertaker is the new album from The Lost Cavalry, the band founded by ex Fanfarlo guitarist Mark West four years ago. It opens with the mournful strains of Secret Steps, before crashing drums bang into Snow City Radio. Melodies are key in this atmospheric twelve track record, with lyrics gleaned from unusual sources in a bid to steer clear of generic love songs. The elegiac sounds of a brass section create a full sound that is beautifully harmonised with female voices in recent single Stars are Ripe, a stand out track that is the current single. The Elephant of Castlebar Hill shows off Mark as lead singer, who has a pretty voice that reminds me of the lilting King Creosote at his best. Only Forward takes a minimalist approach, with gentle male voices murmuring behind the gently building instrumentation that characterises most songs on Three Cheers for the Undertaker. The slow tale of Kings of Kings gradually builds to a lush denouement before the album comes to a close with the thoughtful Last Stand and Mono. I’ve listened to this album many times over the past few weeks and it has seeped gently under my skin: recommended for those who like bands such as Fanfarlo, 6 Day Riot and Beirut.

The Elephant of Castlebar Hill by Carley Chiu
The Elephant of Castlebar Hill by Carley Chiu.

Why did you leave Fanfarlo, and what parts of that band can we expect to find in The Lost Cavalry?
That seems a long while ago now! It was after we’d recorded the first album ‘Reservoir‘ over in Connecticut with Peter Katis. It was just a case of what people call ‘musical differences‘, we wanted to do different things with the songs. I certainly learned a lot from Simon and from recording with Peter, about putting a song together, being brave with edits and tricks for production and recording. I also actually changed the way I sing quite considerably after feedback from the guys, which has certainly made a big difference to the way The Lost Cavalry sounds.

How did you all the members of The Lost Cavalry come together?
When I decided to form the band I had a few people in mind – Nick and I had always had a good songwriting partnership ever since a band we were both in at University and I’d also played in bands with Oliver and Jonny before (Xup and with Simon Love). Toby was a good friend and I knew he’d be great to work with, and Derek actually joined the band after we were introduced to each other by a mutual friend to write the soundtrack for indie film ‘Booked Out‘ together.  We learned a lot through writing and recording that score, and I learned a lot from Derek, so afterwards it seemed natural to ask him to join the Cavalry.

The Lost Cavalry rehearsal
You have said that each song is a story – where do you find the subject matter for these vignettes?
On this album that does seem to be the way things have turned out, with the exception of a few songs like ‘Mono‘. I think I just wanted to write about something other than love, and often reading an article online, looking out of a plane or train window or overhearing a conversation would spark off some idea of a little story in my head. I do tend to write quite often while on the train – something about being out of London, whizzing along and seeing lots of different things from the window seems to make things happen.

The Lost Calvary by Christine Fleming
The Lost Calvary by Christine Fleming.

What have you been up to since your formation in 2009?
Well, quite a lot! We’ve of course written and recorded all the songs on our album, and we’ve released two EPs and a split 7″ vinyl single with Keston Cobblers’ Club. We’ve played a load of gigs and at some festivals (which is something we’d like to do a lot more of next year), Derek and I recorded the Booked Out film score and we already have a bunch of new tracks we’re excited about for album number two. We’ve certainly taken our time releasing the album, four years is pretty slow progress, but we’re in no hurry and we’ve enjoyed taking our time and getting the songs just right.

YouTube Preview ImageSnow City Radio

You have done numerous collaborations, what have your favourite ones been?
I’m proud of our 7″ with Keston Cobblers’ Club… and it’s been great to play with them at some gigs and some live videos. The 7″ launch show was especially fun with both our bands playing totally unplugged and joining in on each others songs. And singing with Sophie Jamieson at our album launch show last month was a lot of fun, she has such an amazing voice. We’re hoping to collaborate with Patch And The Giant soon too – we’ve written the start of a song but need to find the time to get it finished and recorded – our bands have been pretty close this year with Derek playing cello with them a few times and Angie from their band playing trumpet with us.

The Lost Cavalry rehearsal
What prompted the name of your new album, Three Cheers for the Undertaker?
I could come up with some sort of elaborate lie about the album name, but actually our original drummer Dave suggested it – it’s the name of an old song by Leslie Sarony which was actually a b-side, which Dave said he’d always thought would be a good album name. It’s a bit moody but also quite silly, which we liked. “Three cheers for the undertaker, he never makes a fuss, for he’s a jolly good fellow, and so say all of us“.

The Last Cavalry by Lynne Datson
The Last Cavalry by Lynne Datson.

Who designed the wonderful album cover, and why the shell?
All the artwork on our album and EPs is by Toby who plays guitar in the band. We wanted an image for the album that was striking at a glance but was also detailed when you looked closely. He came up with the nautilus partly because of the numerous songs about the sea we have on the album, partly because of the pleasing shape, but also I’d like to think it’s to do with the name of the submarine that was visualised by Jules Verne.

YouTube Preview Image Stars are Ripe

What next?
We’ll see really! We’re looking forward to starting to record some new songs we’ve been working on… we feel like we’ve found our feet with Three Cheers For The Undertaker and we’re all now pretty fired up and excited about where we can take the band next. We should probably put some effort in to arranging some more gigs and festivals for next year, and we have some video and collaboration projects planned too. Derek and I may do another film score, and Nick and I have an album of more mellow instrumental music we’ve been sitting on for a while which we might finish off and put out as a free download album. So yeah, it’s been a lot of work to get Three Cheers For The Undertaker released, but it’s definitely just the start.

Three Cheers For The Undertaker by The Lost Cavalry is out now.

Categories ,6 Day Riot, ,album, ,beirut, ,Booked Out, ,Carley Chiu, ,Christine Fleming, ,fanfarlo, ,interview, ,Jules Verne, ,Keston Cobblers’ Club, ,King Creosote, ,Lynne Datson, ,Mark West, ,Patch And The Giant, ,Reservoir, ,review, ,Simon Love, ,Sophie Jamieson, ,The Lost Cavalry, ,Three Cheers For The Undertaker, ,Xup

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with the charismatic front man of La Shark: Samuel Geronimo Deschamps

La Shark_emmi ojala
La Shark by Emmi Ojala.

If you’re living in the doldrums, cheapest drugs London based band La Shark may be just the cure for your bored eardrums. It’s been a rare occurrence to come across a band that gets me excited, dosage but La Shark has got me PUMPED. La Shark’s charismatic front man Samuel Geronimo Deschamps talks their latest single A Weapon, touring with Paloma Faith, what to expect (or not) from the band in the future and what makes people so opinionated about their music.

In a chance first encounter with the band in a botched effort to see another band, my friend and I unknowingly stumbled into and were consequentially treated to the delightful mix of poetry and music presented by The Soapbox Club, a monthly club night hosted by Derek Meins (now performing as The Agitator). La Shark, previously Le Shark (inconveniently also a clothing company of the same name), played a refreshingly quirky set: full of danceable, sing-a-long-able, get weird-able songs dripping with personality, enhanced by Samuel Geronimo Deschamps’ characteristically unusual delivery. It immediately incited an antsy excitement at first listen. Suspiciously good for a band we had just happened to stumble across. This was back in May of ’08 when the band wasn’t yet blogged about and they were still a mysterious, hidden gem: the type of band one likes to “discover” and adopt as their own. Flash forward two years and you’ll find a lot of people have now discovered the charm of La Shark. The five piece New Cross based band have secured themselves a spot on the underground music radar through their quirky pop tunes, buzzed about live performances, and a rep for being that peculiar artsy band touring with acts such as The Maccabees, Good Shoes and Paloma Faith.

YouTube Preview Image
The video for A Weapon.

The fresh and exciting vision of La Shark is really shaking things up. The band’s innovative approach to music has been dubbed a musical enigma, stumping just about anyone who has attempted to pigeonhole or categorize the band (Samuel Geronimo Deschamps, lead vocals; N.H.A. Buxton, drums; Lewis ‘Love’ Maynard, bass; Benjamin Francis Markham; Guitar, Sami El-Enany; keyboards). As a result, people are going nutty trying out appropriate terms (Vaudevillian Pop, Cabaret Pop, Freak Pop), searching for hints of something comparable to the whirring, whizzing, funhouse sound intermingled with a darker, off kilter, Vaudeville influence. During my phone chat with Deschamps, he suggests it’s because people like to be music critics, “At the end of the day they like to make sense of what they’re listening to and they like to go ‘I can hear a little bit of this in it and a little bit of this’. It’s their way of making sense of it.” He admits to finding comparisons interesting to hear, both negative and positive, as long as they aren’t consistently compared to one band or artist singularly. Otherwise, he stresses, “We’d be like ‘shit, we’re just ripping off a band that did this 25 years ago!’”

Talking Heads, David Bowie and Prince are some of the artists being thrown into the mix of the melting pot of genres from which La Shark draws inspiration, and to which they are compared. All of which can be noted on their single A Weapon (April, So Darn So) which is a new direction for the band: less dramatic, more groove. “Rather than releasing something old, we start off with something fresh and really truthful to us at the time” explain Deschamps, “We’ve been working a lot more on funk based dance music and working on interesting bass sounds.” While the band is experimenting with a step into something different, he points out they’re constantly reflecting on their material from the past so it’s still true to the band’s original aesthetic- what was once described as ‘riddle pop’.

La Shark by Katherine Tromans
Samuel Geronimo Deschamps by Katherine Tromans.

A portion of La Shark’s success can be credited to a reputation for their must-see highly energetic and theatrical live performances where the topsy turvy musical madness is visually and physically expressed – whether through the occasional painted face and costumes or Deschamps’ oh- so -deft dance moves. Controlling their set and giving the audience a journey is something La Shark focuses on experimenting with and building upon. “It’s about finding the balance between writing music that has sort of catchy pop credentials but also music that takes you into a new place, a new atmosphere that you’re not used to” he emphasizes, “It takes you out of your comfort zone musically and we see how that works live.”

Earlier this year, they took their live act on the road supporting the ever glamorous Paloma Faith on tour, which proved to be an intense experience for the band. However, the pressure of playing to large venues brought the guys together, “we felt like a unit for the first time… like one moving body of musicians moving together.” Whether loved or hated for their unconventionality, they gave it every last bit of energy they could. Deschamps notes his personal onstage strategy “dance until I’ve sweated a pint and hopefully people will be like ‘He can’t sing but at least he’s got a shit load of energy!’” With a live show he laughingly describes as “confrontational”, it has ruffled a few feathers. It’s not uncommon for his onstage persona (a French spouting, flame haired, ferociously vigorous madman- in the best way, of course), the band collectively, and/or the music to be misunderstood by the audience. “I feel very honest when I’m on stage- sometimes people completely misunderstand and make it something it’s not”, which has been a frustrating experience as newcomers to public scrutiny. But alas, Deschamps is not concerned, “At the end of the day, you just need a team of people whose opinions you really value”.

So what lies ahead for La Shark? The band is thinking about releasing a double sided EP to suit their two-sided musical tastes –part hip hop funk influenced dance tunes, part classically influenced, Edith Piaf-y drama. “Sometimes I just want to bring people into this world where they’re like ‘whoaa’ rather than them just whacking their heads”, says Deschamps of the forthcoming EP’s diversity. He does acknowledge the importance of the band finding the balance between skillfully executed eclecticism and confused, hot mess territory. The EP would act as a test drive so the band can gauge people’s reactions to both sides of La Shark’s musical personality. As for a potential future full length album, it’s possible there won’t be one. He explains “We might plan on releasing it in a different form…release one song a week, a year or something crazy like that. We don’t want to use the typical format, necessarily.” 

Not pursuing the predictable path seems to be a theme for the band- which is exactly why La Shark has been piquing interest in otherwise jaded music followers of today. When not touring, the band can be found playing their own gigs or with Brazilian artist Cibelle (as a few La Shark band members are also members of Cibelle’s band, Los Stroboscopious Luminous). They also can be found at their monthly club night Deptford Darling where you can expect to hear an assortment of covers.  “We want to do Changes by Tupac. We’re really into commercial nineties hip hop at the moment”, he laughs, “It’s different from us but so fucking catchy”. Whether covering 90s hip hop or absorbing the influence of the great French entertainer Maurice Chevalier, La Shark has a little bit of something for everyone.  Whoever said less is more?

Categories ,Cibelle, ,Deptford Darling, ,Emmi, ,Emmi Ojala, ,Good Shoes, ,interview, ,Katherine Tromans, ,La Shark, ,paloma faith, ,Samuel Geronimo Deschamps, ,The Maccabees, ,The Soapbox Club

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Amelia’s Magazine | Haiku Salut: Japanese Poems Steal Brains

Haiku Salut book_cover_1
Ian Watson is the manager of cult Derbyshire band Haiku Salut and they also happen to be signed to his label How Does It Feel To Be Loved? Ian has a very close relationship to the band and was the person who prompted them to make their new book Japanese Poems Steal Brains. Here he tells the tale…

‘The first time I took Haiku Salut out for lunch, they pretty much ignored me for the whole of the meal. They were a week and a half into a tour with folk legends Lau and, unbeknownst to me, knee deep in a quest to write 100 haikus in 24 hours. My memory of that day is of these “three mute girls”, as they sometimes call themselves, with their heads down, scribbling frantically in notebooks or jabbing at the screens of their phones.
That evening, after a typically joyous and emotional show in a church in Sandwich, we drove back to a friend’s fisherman’s cottage in Broadstairs, where – fortified by red wine and the relief of having completed their task – they insisted on giving a recital of their creations, over the course of a surreal and increasingly hilarious hour. For a band famed for never speaking onstage, they were entertaining in a way that their fans never get to see.
After that night, suggesting we turn a selection of the many hundreds of haikus they’d written over the last year into a book seemed obvious. Featuring wonderful illustrations by Katrine Brosnan, Japanese Poems Steal Brains tells the story of this quite unique band, as they trundle around the country in their red postal van, playing their gorgeous instrumental music in churches and interesting spaces, scribbling haikus as they go. Like them, it’s funny, poignant and contains the occasional piece of good advice. Just the thing to take on your next unusual lunch date.’

When did you start writing haikus? Was it just for fun or did it serve another purpose for you?
We were fans of haikus before we formed the band. When I first discovered and started reading them I found them very humbling, a reminder that there is so much happening everywhere all the time. I tried to slow down and take notice of things, tiny things. I started to write one every day to record snippets of potentially forgotten moments and I found it a lot of fun, I enjoyed reading them to Gemma, some of them were funny – like an anti-joke in poetry form. I don’t write one every day now as I don’t have the time but when I think back to the six months or so when I did I can remember things with such clarity! Not just the content of the haiku itself, but I can remember what I was doing before, after, who I was with, what music I was enjoying around that time. Unintentionally the haikus were documenting that period of my life. I can’t remember when Haiku Salut as a band started writing haikus…it sort of crept in I suppose and then somewhere along the line we decided we’d all write one for every day we were touring. When you’re on tour there’s a lot of none-time, we’re always waiting for something, to arrive, to soundcheck, to eat, to play, there’s a lot of time to fill and writing haikus is a way to keep each other entertained. We’ve branched out to univocular poems now too (poems that only use one vowel).

You famously don’t talk on stage. Why not? Is writing haikus a way for you to communicate something that you can’t with your music?
I can’t remember a time that we ever spoke on stage, it was never a conscious decision not to do so but it always seemed out of place. Like it would ruin something. Communication to the outside world wasn’t our initial intention when we started writing music together and the haikus that we’ve written weren’t written with an audience in mind either (except for each other).

Haiku Salut book_Lamps_1
How did you go from writing haikus backstage to publishing a book? How was it put together?
We were talking with our manager about them and he asked if we had ever considered releasing them in a collection. At first the idea seemed absurd and silly, but eventually it felt romantic and exciting, and we’re very excited that we’re going to be published poets. Our first port of call was our friend and illustrator Katrine Brosnan to see if she would be interested in working on the book with us. Her style is so naive and unique and so full of character that the idea of coupling her work together with haikus seemed like the perfect match. We had a lot of fun collecting together all the old haikus we’ve written and remembering incidents that would have otherwise been lost.

The book tells the story of what happened to you in 2013 and some of 2014, but actually starts in Sweden in 2011. What were you doing there, and what made the trip so memorable?
When we went to Sweden it was the first time we had played abroad which in itself made the trip memorable. We flew with Ryan Air and had to buy a seat for the accordion (Geraldo). The plane was hot and busy and two or three irritated people asked me to move Geraldo so they could be seated. Their irritation turned into bafflement with the response “He’s bought a ticket, that’s his seat“.

Haiku Salut book_Hummus_1
A lot of the book covers your experiences playing live, either doing your own tours or playing with Lau. What would someone learn about life on the road by reading the haikus?
Things go wrong. You will get lost.

One of the most striking haikus is about almost being sick through a trumpet. What can you tell us about the night before and the morning after that inspired that?
That’s my favourite haiku of the whole book! It’s one of Gemma’s. We were on tour with Lau at the time and we’d all spent the previous night drinking till the early hours in the kitchen of a Youth Hostel Association in Salisbury. Me and Louise had gotten off lightly and went into Salisbury the next morning to buy special olives whilst Gemma sicked muchly at the hostel. A few hours later we were soundchecking in Bexhill (Gemma in slippers) and…well…have you ever tried playing trumpet suffering from the worst hangover of your life?

Haiku Salut book_Graveskipping_1
At one point in the book, you almost seem overwhelmed by the need to write haikus. Did they take over your life?
Our friend Tim Clare is a poet and every year he writes one hundred poems in a day. We were on tour at the same time he was doing this and as we’d been writing haikus for the fortnight previous decided to match his goal with a hundred haikus. That day we spent a windy day in Canterbury, played a show with Lau in a beautiful old church in Sandwich and stayed in a fisherman’s cottage in a bleak seaside town called Broadstairs so there was lots to document. The title of the book is taken from the middle line of one of Louise’s haikus from that day “Japanese Poems Steal Brains“.

The book contains illustrations by Katrine Brosnan who also designed the sleeve for your debut album. Did you give her any pointers on what you’d like the illustrations to be? What’s your favourite illustration in the book?
No, we trust Katrine Brosnan completely. She had a free reign to do whatever she wanted and it’s turned out beyond anything we had imagined. My personal favourite is the lady with the inside out umbrella. I wrote the haiku that it relates to and I remember sitting in a Mexican cafe in Canterbury and looking out of the window as a gust of wind threw a lady’s umbrella inside out and she looked about her to see if anyone had noticed. I like that she will have no idea that two people have documented this occasion in poetic and illustrative form.

lampshowpic_haiku salut
Will you doing any readings from the book?
We’re doing a launch party on November 1st at Scarthin Books in the Peak District which is a stone’s throw from where we practice. Scarthin Books is the best book shop in the world (the 6th best according to The Guardian), it’s so spindly and there were rooms I didn’t know existed until a few months back. There’s also a vegan/vegetarian cafe that you can only get into by pulling out the correct book case. It’s going to be a fantastic evening with red wine and some surprises.

What are your hopes/ambitions for the book?
As the book has an ISBN number it that means that we have to send a copy to the British Library, that was a hope/ambition that we didn’t know we had! Our other ambition was to get it stocked in the best book shop in the world. Anything else is a bonus!

The book is published on November 3rd, but some advance copies will be onsale at the band’s forthcoming Lamp Show tour. The dates for that are:

Weds Oct 8, Nottingham Contemporary
Fri Oct 10, Victoria Baths, Manchester
Sat Oct 11, St John On Bethnal Green, London
Sun Oct 12, Four Bars, Cardiff

Ian continues, ‘The Lamp Show is quite something. It features twenty vintage lamps which are programmed to flash, fade and flicker in time to the music. There’s a video of it in action here if you’d like to take a look.

One of the things I love about Haiku is that they find so many ways to be creative – they don’t just write fantastic music, but they think of startling ways to present it live, and now have written a book too. It’s quite nice wandering around their creative world…’

Categories ,Broadstairs, ,Haiku, ,Haiku Salut, ,How Does It Feel To Be Loved?, ,Ian Watson, ,Japanese Poems Steal Brains, ,Katrine Brosnan, ,Lau, ,Sandwich, ,Scarthin Books, ,Tim Clare

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Amelia’s Magazine | The story of LOVE. Shown through music.

Valentines Georgia Coote
Illustration by Georgia Coote

I’m not going to lie to you. Valentine’s Day didn’t start as well as some people’s obviously did. The flaunting has been hard to avoid. I don’t know how I feel about these hearty couples. Jealous/sick/admiring/touched. For me, information pills all I can say was that there were certainly no freshly squeezed orange juice glasses on the side table, sildenafil and croissant crumbs left in the bed. For one; it was 6.30am, for two; we ‘don’t do’ Valentine’s Day, and for three; we have smashed all our glasses (not through venom). Thus I give you 6.30am – 6.32am: Me: “Meh, I’m sick, knives have fallen into my throat and got stuck.” Him: “Huh, oh no.” Me: “Feel my forehead, there’s fire I tell you, fire.” He puts palm on my forehead: “Yeh you’re a bit warm. You look a bit sick. Have a lie in.” Me: “Ummm so Valen..” Him: “No, Hels *chuckle*, there’s no Valentine’s here. Now, see you later. Be productive!” Me: “Oh yeh.” He puts his forefinger out for the double forefinger touch (because he blatantly thinks I am horrid and contagious), and he’s gone.

Mine and Charlie’s own seriously overplayed song: Van Morrison, Sweet Thing

It’s not that I care. But I care. 30% of me was hoping for a card on the kitchen table. 70% of me knew there wasn’t. This morning I have moaned about it on twitter (low points) in between work and cups of tea. And now I am listening to my love songs. Because I wanted to write this post on the mighty songs of love. Darn it! And I still hold hope that old Charlie comes back with some garage flowers. Not that I care. I have Francois, my cat, always ready for hugging action. His card is sitting here on my desk. Charlie’s, not the cat’s. Sorry, I can’t stop the cheese today.

Loved up! Woo, YEH! :D EMOTICON USE time. 4Hero, Les Fleur

As much as I may not admit it. I just can’t get enough of love, feelings and emotions. If I had a bath, I’d sit in it. Musing for a lifetime on everything from the beautiful bliss to the horrifically heartbreaking. Alliteration accepted in such instances, it’s Valentine’s Day after all. It’s just the best thing ever. As are sweeping generalisations. I speak the truth! This is a post about love in its many stages. Unpredictable blighter it is. Respect the ticker. Your heart is YOURS.

1. So, let’s start with the date. Oh and it is magical. Hearts are drumming and the colour’s are bright. Everything looks beautiful. Even twigs. The blood’s rushing so much you can hear it. And. You. Can. Feeeeel, your heart beats pulsating in your lips when you kiss. Four Tet, Angel Echoes.

2. Oh and we’re fully on the merry-go-round now aren’t we? Are you falling in love? Yep, I think you might be. Lykke Li, Little Bit.
Lykke Li Illustration by Russty Brazil

3. And it feels like nothing else huh? Like you’ve been born again and now it all, as in life; the world; your purpose – makes sense. So do days in bed, massive breakfasts, log fires, roll top baths and footsie in the pub. You didn’t? Yeh, you did. Bon Iver, Stacks.

4. Kisses etc. Bit almost anti-feminist with Bob taking the dominant position here, but you can’t deny this is a special song. And I’d like a big, brass bed. Bob Dylan, Lay Lady Lay.
Bob Dylan Avril Kelly
Bob Dylan Illustration by Avril Kelly

5. …Days together…. Incredible man, Nick Drake, Place To Be.

6. It’s just intense huh? Does anyone else even exist? Who cares, let’s dance, run around mazes and have loads of baths together. Nat King Cole, Love.

7. YES, no, I mean – I definitely do love you. I love you. Decoder Ring, Somersault.

8. WOW. Percy Sledge, When A Man Loves A Woman.
percysledge by daria h
Percy Sledge Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

9. Everything just feels so great, doesn’t it? I mean… JOY. Devendra Banhart, Santa Maria De Feira.

10) Post six months of so. Ah love, aint it grand, yet also very scary? Real love will have you going up, down and around. It will always be changing, sometimes thrilling your socks off, other times leaving you in despair. But it’s super. Just super. Grizzly Bear, Alligator.
grizzlybear by daria h
Grizzly Bear Illustration by Daria Hlaztaova

For those that have recently split. I’m sorry. This man is a superstar and this song is fantastic. Roy Harper, Me and My Woman

For myself and Francois, The Cure, Lovecats. I’ve basically forgiven Charlie now. I’ve listened to so many love songs and gone through a harangue of emotions doing so. Love to you all. Love, love, love, LOVE!

Categories ,4Hero, ,Avril Kelly, ,baths, ,Bob Dylan, ,Bon Iver, ,cats, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,Devendra Banhart, ,Emotions, ,Four Tet, ,Georgia Coote, ,grizzly bear, ,Helen Martin, ,Love, ,Lykke Li, ,Nat King Cole, ,Nick Drake, ,Roy Harper, ,Russty Brazil, ,the cure, ,twitter, ,Valentine’s Day, ,Van Morrison

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Amelia’s Magazine | Polly Scattergood

Tuesday February 10th

In Oxford? Get to the Jam Factory for the latest group show from Collective Era. “Chaos in Continuum” is a combination of old and new from this collective known for their bright, link store intense and hyper-surreal work, clinic incorporating elements of contemporary fine art, buy information pills urban art and surrealism within their collaborative paintings.


Wednesday February 11th

Lisson Gallery is worth a visit for two reasons at the moment. Lisson Presents, brings together the work of both new and already represented artists; fans of Bergman might like the piece from Igor & Svetlana Kopystiansky, who use footage from Persona centering on Liv Ullmann’s gaze. There is also a new work from Gerard Byrne, photographer and film maker for whom this will be the first solo show in the UK for two years, including a dramatized script of interviews conducted with prisoners of war awaiting the Nuremberg trails.


Thursday February 12th

Index will the first exhibition in a British institution from leading American artist Sean Snyder, running at the ICA until April 19th. His work is often conflict based, with images that document the Cold War, the Iraq War, and Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, throughout which Snyder explores the subjective nature of propaganda, the ethics of reportage, the staging and manipulation of images, and the changing role of photojournalists in the era of consumer digital imaging.


Friday February 13th

Whilst rifling through fabrics for a penguin suit in Soho, I found myself standing in line besides Caroline McCambridge, a striking array of materials piled on her arms. I couldn’t help asking what it was all for, to which she explained that she was an artist in the process putting together an installation for an upcoming show. A little google here and there and I have found Dubbing Light, a new exhibition at Kingsgate Gallery starting on Thursday. With improvisation at the centre of both their works, McCambridge and Aya Fukami will produce a two-part evolving exhibition starting life in colour and moving towards monochromatic pieces in the second week. I’m intrigued to see what she’ll do with all that fabric, and I promised I’d wear my penguin suit.

Caroline McCambridge – Plastic Space 2005

Sunday February 15th

There’s an all day event at Limoncello Gallery this Sunday, though I couldn’t quite tell you what it will involve. The so-called “Vanity Affairs” are annual occasions at Limoncello from Giorgio Sadotti. It’s all about grassroots art work in London and is very vaguely described. If you like surprises, then do go along.


Why haven’t we included fiction? Well exactly. So when we received some short stories from Sharlene Teo we thought it would be great opportunity to bring together writers and illustrators, page making ourselves the literary equivalent of matchmaker dot com. In time for heartbreak day we have a sorry tale of a girl and her cats, page ten of them. Something more light-hearted about Amelia Earhart to come.
Words: Sharlene Teo
Illustration: Anna Wadham


The day you left, ten cats appeared on my doorstep out of nowhere and would not budge. They sat by my muddy shoes regarding me dolefully, as if offering some sort of respite, some sort of mockery, some sort of consolation. I had no choice but to let them into my cramped one-bedroom flat for tea. The living room was the bedroom was the dining room. We sat around a shoe-rack, which I’d turned into a makeshift table, these ten cats and I. I tried to make conversation. But being cats and not humans, they were honest. They didn’t say anything.
We had tea and weak cookies until the sun folded itself on to dark strips on the wall. The shadows made me think of hand puppets. I knew, then, as an hour segued into the next that you had well and truly left me, and, by extension, I had well and truly left you. Oh, I wasn’t going anywhere. But there it was, I could almost see it silhouetted in cat’s ears, the outline of patient paws- this growing, gnawing, intractable distance. Thin as blocked light, but strong as a planet.
I knew you would leave but I knew it gradually, the way we learn language. The language of absence is filled in punctuation-first; the commas, the ellipses, the loping brackets. A full stop the first time we could regard each other seriously, and I wasn’t myself, I was a separate entity, unremarkable and noncommittal, could have been anyone else.
The cats stayed in my house but politely shitted on the potted plants. I only had three potted plants, on the balcony outside, but how they thrived. They grew and arched until they were full, strong trees, all-but blocking out the light. My flat became a greenhouse, a forest, and a haven for the cats that bred like rabbits and judged me with their casual grace and indolent flawlessness.
You went out to dinner, just across the street. Peering through the branches I could see you putting your coat on a chair, pulling a chair out for a girl. You were having dinner with two girls, maybe friends, maybe one day, one of them or one by one, a lover. There was nothing dramatic, for today- just three people, sitting down to dinner. Drawing out the menus, inaudibly deciding between chicken or lamb, a soup or a salad.


Me, I petted the seventh cat that had been born three days ago, a slip of a thing. I held it in my palm like a Palm Pilot and I had my dinner. Cat nip, because that was all we had around here, as we gathered around the 8 o clock soap opera. The grandmother cat, the first to have appeared after you left (the sound of your shoes dispersing like marbles) was especially fond of a certain actor. She purred appreciatively when he appeared. I found it very random because he was a supporting actor; in fact, he was the postman having an affair with the bitter matriarch. I thought about affairs and I couldn’t imagine having another- perhaps hyperbolically, perhaps realistically. I mean, maybe I could spend my whole life in this cream-walled apartment with my multiplying cats, the scarce sunlight, and little consolation. Perhaps I’d always sit here on my grandmother’s knitted quilt, hankering after a cure or else a stupid ideal.
Across the road, three strangers had dinner. None of them knew me. This is falsely true or truly false. Maybe one day in a space age somewhere they will invent a button you can press to so casually turn truth into fiction, or history into excess; spare paper you can fold and cut off. The thing is, I’m no wiser than a wheezing cat, a frivolous kitten. I know nothing; I’m so immature. My heart does not mend. It merely transfers from hurt to hurt and from love to great love. I need this to subsist upon, because my days are getting thick with hairballs and silence.
Yet if you set back the clock to the minute you’d just gone, I wouldn’t know what to do. I’ve tried to pickle that moment, but it is obstinately inedible. I suppose I would just stand there, in my mind racing after you, stumbling on my words and shoes, trying to unpick what I’ve stitched over forever.
It’s like a ball of yarn, rolling inexorably out of touch. I have dreams of leaving, but I’m right here when I wake up.
I say Sweden, viagra dosage you say…Ikea? ABBA? Ulrika Johnsson? Great fashion design might not be one of the first things that pops into your head – but this will change once you visit the Swedish Fashion: Exploring a New Identity exhibition, here which is on at the Fashion and Textile Museum.

The work of 13 of the countries most exciting and talented designers is showcased against a stark silver and white (some might say Ikea-esque) interior backdrop, this web giving all the pieces room to shine.

The new identity mentioned in the title is that of challenging the notion that Sweden is just a land of bubbly blondes. And these designers certainly do that.

The most established of the designers on show are Ann-Sofie Back and Sandra Backlund, who set the bar high with their designs but their compatriots don’t dissappoint, also showing strong, individual pieces.

An example of Ann-Sofie Back’s simple yet elegant designs that are on show.

Amazing sculptured knitwear from Sandra Backlund, redefining the idea that knitwear should be restricted to scarves and cardigans.

Lovisa Burfitt’s creations have a highly theatrical, dramatic edge. She cites punk, goth and rock music and styles as a major influence.

Due to the accessible way the clothes are displayed, you can easily see all aspects of the outfit, such as the interesting back on this Martin Bergstrom piece.

The unusually titled Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, otherwise known as husband and wife Lee Cotter and Astrid Olsson. Their exaggerated and unusual shapes call to mind such greats as Viktor and Rolf, which is good company to be in.

While walking around the exhibits, a large screen plays clips of the designers, showing them at work and creating the pieces, adding depth to the clothes that you see before you.

There is also a display of Swedish jewellery designers at this interesting and informative exhibition.

Swedish Fashion: Exploring a New Identity
Fashion and Textile Museum
6th February – 17th May 2009
Tickets: £5 / £3 Students and concessions / under 12′s free
At only 22, viagra 60mg recent London College of Fashion MA graduate Emilia Bariamova joins a wave of conceptual knitwear designers offering a highly skilled, artistically hand knitted collection that is rooted in deep and meaningful inspiration.

Emilia has taken the intimate and intense exposure of fighting with ones’ own confused state of mind and related it to the metaphorical process of knitting; creating comfort and protection through a tangled web of yarn that embodies a visual expression of a personal ‘breathing space’.

Hey Emilia, where do you hail from?

Originally from Moscow, Russia

Where did you study before the London College of Fashion (LCF)?
Moscow State Academy of Fine Chemical Technology. I did a degree in Chemistry for a year to please my parents but realised it wasn’t really my passion.

So you came to England to study fashion?

Yes, I studied a fashion foundation course, and got a BA Hons in Surface Textiles for Fashion and then MA Fashion, all at LCF. Also, I undertook work placements with Alexander McQueen and Russian designer Chapurin and others.

What was it like to study at LCF?



Your collection pays tribute to tradition and craft through knitting. Is this something you feel strongly about and if so why?
I do, actually. Living in the environment where most things are disposable and everything changes so fast, I find that people lose the appreciation of craftsmanship and perhaps, even quality.

Your collection uses colour to depict an emotional journey. Do you feel colour is an important metaphor for emotion and feelings?

I am very interested in psychology and always take my inspiration from various experiences and matters. I believe each colour carries a huge subliminal impact. Therefore, when starting a collection, I choose a colour palette. Personally, I love observing the shades of nail varnishes on people and whether they fit with the rest of the look; in their silence they speak volumes.


Do you have a favourite colour that you feel represents you?

I like them all. But if you ask me which colour do I relate myself to at the moment, I’d say deep purple.

Knitwear designers such as Sandra Backlund and Simone Shailes are gaining a lot of media attention at the moment. Do you think there is a gap in the market for more directional knitwear?
Possibilities in knitwear are endless. And, it’s great that there are emerging young talents that challenge the perception and purpose of knitwear. Raising awareness and creating trends for conceptual knitwear, which border-lines between art and fashion, definitely forms a solid gap in the market.


Which designers would you say most influence your work/ or do you aspire to?

I aspire to Ann Demeulemeester, Nicholas Ghesquiere, Stella McCartney, Coco Chanel and Sandra Backlund.

Can you describe your personal style?

Androgynous, eclectic and experimental.

What is your biggest personal achievement?
Perhaps, looking from prospective, I’d say moving from Moscow to London at the age of 16 on my own, not knowing anyone in UK.

What are you hopes and plans for the future?
I hope one day my dreams will come true, I plan on working hard to achieve it. (just kidding!).
I’ve got lots of plans, which are not necessarily related to fashion. Apart from launching my own luxury label in few years time, I would like to build a shelter for women in Russia and open my own chocolate factory.

Sitting comfortably next to the likes of Swedish knitting queen Sandra Backlund and recent Central Saint Martins graduate Simone Shailes, Emilia’s dreams of opening her own chocolate factory may have to be put on hold as we believe this is one insightful designer to keep your eye on.

Here we are with a second installment from Sharlene Teo. This time we have illustrations from the lovely Amelia Davies. You can see more of her work here. If you would like to submit a short story then do get in touch, health this might just be the start of something marvelous.


I have always been fascinated with disappearance. Who hasn’t? As a child my mother bought me a book from Popular bookstore; a trashy purple book called THE WORLD’S GREATEST MYSTERIES. It was full of disappearances. There was something about a pretty nurse. A young girl. Always women, dosage always beautiful. It’s the beautiful who are best remembered. It was then that i first read of Amelia Earhart. I thought she was fascinating and maddening and gorgeous, erectile with her glamourous pilot’s gear and her bright eyes and her headgear flapping in the wind. There was one picture of her, grainy, with her face slightly tilted to the camera. Mostly, she was looking at the sky ahead of her.??I asked my sister about Amelia Earhart and my sister said she got sucked into the Bermuda Triangle. I tried to imagine what it was like; being sucked into a timeless vortex of ocean and swirling newspapers. Did it hurt? Or did it tickle? It seemed like it would have tickled and you wouldn’t believe what was happening around you, as the wind gathered and everything turned dark. Ask someone today about the Bermuda Triangle and they might laugh. Mysteries seem to get obsolete after a while, passe or archaic. ??It is possible that Amelia Earhart didn’t really disappear, that maybe she landed on some tropical island somewhere and married a local man and had many babies. Or that disappearance and all the intrigue and glamour it connotes, is simply a euphemism for dead. Maybe she was drunk and flew into a tree. Maybe she ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean. All the male pilots probably laughed about it over beers. I don’t even know enough to begin analysing. All I have is that first impression of her, picture on a page, going missing somewhere and a mystery forever. It makes me wonder.??I know a girl from school who disappeared. I didn’t really know her, I saw her in the corridors and she was rich and rather haughty and honestly scared me. She disappeared because her father supposedly embezzled a lot of money.


All i know is one day she was everywhere, and the next she was gone just like that. And no one knows where she is even today. And this reminds me of another thing my sister told me, about how on the american livejournal secret sharing community some man said he had survived 9/11, and was living a different life some where else. All this is very fascinating. What is it like waking up and knowing that somewhere some people are wondering about you? ??I am sure that smug aura of mystery would wear off after a while; that someday someone will bump into Amelia Earhart in some supermarket in Boston, Manchester, Nice, Tahiti, and somehow recognise her. She would sigh like she’d just gotten back from the doctor’s, the two o’clock matinee and nothing mattered. And she would say, “Yes, it’s me.”
Women of the Global South Speak out about Climate Change.


The Ethiopian Community Centre on Thursday evening was a steaming melting pot bursting with real experiences and people willing to share them. Sheltered from a grizzly London evening, view we gathered to listen to the stories of women from the global south with first-hand experience of the repercussions of climate change. From Guyana, search India, price Bolivia, Uganda, China, Iraq and America, all women were united in their concern for their governments’ failure to rectify the damage and the inertia they encountered from the Western world.

First to battle through the low hum of multiple interpreters was Wintress Morris from Red Thread from Guyana. From January to March 2005 Guyana witnessed the worst flooding in their history. 750, 000 people were affected. 300, 000 people in 110 villages were severely affected by region 4 standards, many made homeless. In January alone, the rainfall rose to 28 inches. It is normally 7.3 inches. The government put the flooding down to climate change. Looking weary and tired Ms Morris is resigned to the fact that while ‘the natural part of that disaster was real,’ it was ‘bad management and corruption’ that caused the social disaster that ensued.

The draining and irrigation systems simply could not cope with the extreme rainfall. Many people lived in almost total submersion with no relief help for 7 weeks. It was the women who did most of the work for survival, left at home in the diseased water to care for the elderly and children while the men left to seek help from further a field. Before the crises there were serious racial divides in Guyana, especially between the Afro and Indian communities. As a response to the government’s brutal apathy, women from all ethnicities banded together for the very first time. Wintress and other women formed the pressure group Red Thread. On 30th March 2005, their hard work had achieved a public announcement from Guyana’s MPs. 50 US dollars would be given to each individual home and 300 US dollars to every business affected by the flood. Although this is still not enough, it is a great triumph for the grass roots women who fought to make the change. Their struggle is not over however, the people of Guyana are still faced with poorly maintained canals that cannot control water flow, and Red Thread continue to fight.

Manju Gardia‘s story was not dissisimililar and no more heartening. Her village in Chhattisgarh, India, was completely wiped out by two days and two nights of unprecedented rainfall. The rain started in the middle of the night pushing people into the darkness with no where to go. As women clutched onto branches with one arm, and their children with the other, their clay houses washed away. When the government stepped in, those rich enough to afford stronghold houses were taken care of first and compensation money hardly reached the poor who needed it most. Outraged by the unjust priority of the wealthy, Manju and other local women started rallying and protesting, and forced the government to provide more compensation. Their struggle against the corrupt authorities continues as does their fight against possibly the biggest threat to rural India; landgrabbing for the planting of crops for biofuels. Manju Gardia and the women’s groups are taking direct action by tearing the crops out of the soil with their hands.


Hannah Ibrahamin founded The Women’s Will Association in the aftermath of the US and British Invasion. Since the start of the war, Hannah has witnessed her country being ‘turned into desert-emptied.’ Her country has been used as a chemical playground, experimented on with anything nuclear and nauseating. One of the most horrific cases was the use of white phosphorous in Fallujah. Recently in the news for it’s use in Gaza, the chemical causes the skin to continue burning after impact and cannot be healed. 72% of the victims of the white phosphorous attacks were children, and to this day 20 children die each day in Fallujah from the after effects and radiation left by US bombs. Iraq has been left with an incomprehensible amount of damage. Stripped of anything resembling a habitable natural environment while we suck from it’s withered teat 2 million barrels (and rising) a day of that thick black treacle.

It was as if the tidal wave of the world’s injustice had crashed through the doors, filling this overcrowded hall off Finchley road with tainted water. I began to feel out of my depth, choked. Women from all parts of the world drowning in the same sea, and as Nell Myhand (the Hurricane Katrina representative) said simply ‘it is remarkable how similar the stories are.’.The event was organized by Climate Camp with speakers from Food not Fuel and Global Women’s Strike. All are activist groups who fight to bring environmental atrocities to our attention in the media-clouded west. I left overwhelmed and a bit depressed. But the integrity of each speaker and the sense of unity that swept the room gave me some hope. Maybe one day ‘climate justice’ will be reached. ‘The more we get together the stronger we are’ (Nell Myhand).

Some notes about The Bishops. I first saw them in 2005 at 93 Feet East. My friend thought their name was a Neighbours reference; I said it was something ecclesiastical. In matching skinny suits, viagra 100mg Mike and Pete Bishop (identical twins for added symmetry) tore through a set of memorably peppy three minute pop songs. It was like being present at a recording of Ready, Steady, Go (for added retro appeal they were supporting Hoxton rockabillies Vincent Vincent and the Villains).


The Bishops inhabit an eternal 1962. More Freddie and the Dreamers than the Beatles, perhaps, but at best, they have the wholesome charm which comes from an insistence on tuneful singing and harmonies. While this can be irritating when done ironically, the band’s sheer lack of irony renders it likeable and fresh. The gauche lyrics – “Tonight will pass away / just like the other nights and days / which pass away” are delivered with a choirboy wistfulness which is winning. Several of the titles, Nothing I Can Do or Say, Free to Do What You Want, If You Leave Today hark back to the Kinks, an obvious reference point, although The Bishops can’t compare for songwriting. Nonetheless, they share the ability to create songs around half-cliches: they don’t quite know what they want to say but, naïve suburbanites that they are, they really mean it. City Lights, the album’s opening track is an evocation of no city I’ve ever been to; it sounds like a Ted-infested metropolis conjured by the imagination of a metroland teenager fifty years ago. Along with the sweetly melancholy Nothing I Can Do or Say, it’s the best track of the record.

Despite this, the wholesome Mods I saw in 05 seem to be having an identity crisis. ‘They’ve returned as a more contemporary -sounding act, taking in new influences and broadening their guitar bass and drum sound’ their press release states. But much as the band’s desire to avoid straightforward 60s pop pastiche is understandable, their contemporary reference points, whatever they may be, are a whole lot less compelling. Better to be a Kinks tribute act than an Ocean Colour Scene one, which is what the weaker tracks (the unconvincing folk of Slow River and Rain Dance) come close to being. And, conversely, with their Merseybeat sound, they are, among the current crop of London bands at least, ploughing their own furrow. And as for the deeply unstylish album artwork (glossy black and white band pic, Helvetica lettering)? True Mods would never allow that.

This Valentines Day, look the Antics Establishment are hosting night of mahem and frolicking not to be missed:

Discard your cares, story your heart, pharm your sense. Come forth, come forth! May you slash your strings and run free from the hand of the marionette mistress to dance and frolic through the night. Run to where the force of love, from the dark to the light, shall be neither neglected nor damned.

The Antic Establishment is pleased to present a night where the forbidden is forthcoming, what is broken may begin to mend; the marionettes are free for a night and Revolution Amour is the playground in which to cross examine the plight and passion of a love come undone. In a world where harlequins will win the fire of a burning heart, we invite you to carouse and rampage without attachments to the steering hand of sense.

There will be musical feasting, theatrical binging and miniature vignettes of marionettes in love and unrest. Come dressed to entice, with binds discarded and boots tightly laced, as this will be a night to passionately embrace.

And at midnight….we will feast!

Click here to get tickets. They are £10, and for this round sum, they promise to keep the howlings of the lovehounds at bay with a firecracker of a line up, and a blazing troupe of fellow lovers, shakers and goodness knows what else…


DJ Russell (Reggae, Dub, Ska, Dancehall)
DJ Malaka (Balkan Beats, Electro Gypsy, Klezmer)
The Marionettes (DJs and rampaging comperes armed with rhyming couplets)


SOPHIE ROSTAS – Feast of Fools
The Shadow Puppets
Oli Cronk and Joie De Winter
The Time Keepers Paradigm
Zazie Zeff
Rainbow Collective
In Vice & Virtue, viagra it seems that Kasabian and Kula Shaker meet the Bluetones at the crossroads of the mid-90s. Keith is a strange moniker for a rock band, no rx and this young trio certainly hark back to the last decade, and but for brit-pop indie fans that’s no bad thing.


One listen is evidence enough that frontman Oli Bayston is a classicist at heart. Layers of dreamy piano soften jazzy drums in intersecting, cinematic noise. It’s really quite pleasant. In a past life the bassist was a techno dj and the drummer cites funk and Radiohead amongst his great loves. With such differing tastes, the band members must surely struggle to agree, yet admirable is their quest for a new genre: indie-folk-dance all wrapped up in acid-blues. The end product: a melange of styles that never really chooses one direction and perhaps doesn’t need to.


If it’s pure escapism you’re searching for, Keith might be the destination for you. Lullaby is a charming diversion with words that carry you away across the hills: ‘forget these city lights for a while’ and a beat that won’t quit. Wails and explosions of keyboard culminate in a drowsy, drunken finish. The single, Up in the Clouds, protrudes from the rest. Oli’s northern soul signposts the route to a rumbling bass groove and stirs with an echo-ey quality. This is proper road trip material, scenic, breathless, landscapes of sound. Runaway Town and Lucid go off on gentle tangents, whilst other tracks stand solid and are more memorable. Don’t Want To Be Apart is the most beautiful thing on here, and if Keith stick to its pared-down formula they’ll be onto a winner. Vice & Virtue is not spectacular, but worthy of your ears, nonetheless.

Kids Company is a charity founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh and provides practical, drugs emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children and young people.

They have many initiatives to raise money for the cause and awareness for the charity, one of them being Bare Thread, the fashion label branch of Kids Company, set up by the young people and staff to showcase their ideas and talents.

They cite a quote from the 1927 film Metropolis as their motto, “The mediator between head and hands must be the heart.” Referencing the importance of care and thought in the making of their clothes, rather than their love of early German cinema.



Their unique piece is the Hood that Hugs, pictured below:


Bare Thread is about more than just creating clothes, it’s about giving less privileged kids the opportunity to be creative and achieve.They are not a commercialised brand and look to avoid the pressure and throw-away culture of the fashion industry.

And brilliantly, all proceeds from the sale of the products are invested back into the label to fund creative and educational workshops, many of which are run in conjunction with London College of Fashion.

The success of Bare Thread is essential to enable Kids Co to create more workshops and work opportunities for under-privileged young people who would probably not otherwise get the chance.

Kids Co are always looking for new and exciting ideas for their Bare Thread label, if you want to get involved, send over an e-mail.


The American artist Sean Snyder has been editing and digitising his massive back catalogue of research for previous works, story to form the project Indext. Largely an online initiative, elements of Index are also currently being exhibited at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art). Whilst the images of storage media that have been destroyed after the digitisation process are fairly clinical, emphasizing Sean’s association of conceptual art with forensic science, the video installations are a lot easier to relate to. One film,entitled ‘Exhibition’ reworks Soviet propaganda films from the 1960s, depicting the creation of an art exhibition at a provincial museum in the Ukraine. By distorting the narrative and removing the voiceover, Sean examines exhibition culture, particularly that under the influence of extreme political propaganda.

Casio, Seiko, Sheraton, Toyota, Mars

The second film also deals with Soviet representation of events; this time in Russian occupied Afghanistan in 1985. Footage of Soviet soldiers dancing with local civilians, children and musicians would be heart warming if it was not so obviously staged for propaganda purposes. The resulting sequence is sinister to say the least, but nothing compared with the final film; ‘Casio, Seiko, Sheraton, Toyota, Mars’. A look at the role of corporations and consumerism in the colonisation of Afghanistan and Iraq following the American-led invasions includes footage of children gleefully receiving crates of Pepsi, Toyota trucks loaded with missiles, and the elusive Osama Bin Laden who sports various models of Casio watch in video footage sent to TV channels. Accompanied by a voiceover from Sean, the film also explains the relevance of consumer digital electronics and its effect on photojournalism today, in an era when the bystander is likely to have means of recording events themselves. The ethics of reportage, as well as the staging and manipulation of images, are issues that Sean addresses in an exhibition that does some very relevant thought-provoking.
To hear Sean himself speak about his work, head to the ICA on April 9th, where the artist will be in conversation with Mark Sladen, the ICA’s Director of Exhibitions, in the Nash room. Its free, but you should book, by calling 02079303647.

Polly Scattergood is such an excellent match of name to person, viagra dosage you feel that only Dickens could have believably come up with it. However, ailment her real name it is, viagra buy and her eclectic pop and experimental music, featuring a voice echoing Kate Bush, Bjork and Portishead, can be heard to fullest effect on her forthcoming self-titled album. Keep your eyes peeled here for a review of the record, closer to its release on 9th March.


Who and what are your main influences?

Polly Scattergood: My main musical influences come from things that aren’t particularly musical. I love listening to life, that is music in its self. I am really into artists like Gregory Crewdson. Lyrically I guess I am influenced by poets and writers like Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell.

If you could be in any band from history which would you choose and why?

PS: Pink Floyd would be pretty cool as they experimented lots!

A lot of your songs seem to be about destructive or painful love. How autobiographical are they?

PS: Some are autobiographical, some aren’t. I think everyone feels love and most people at some point feel it destroy them in some way, that is just life
and I draw from life, people and places every time I write. So not all of them are documenting my life and as a writer I need a bit of creative head space,
sometimes I go off into other peoples lives and other realms but where ever I go and however they finish, they are all very personal to me.

What do your parents think about your music?

PS: They are my parents so they have to like it!- my two brothers might have more to say! My parents are both artistic. My dad was an actor and my mum an artist so both of them have been very supportive and really understand me and the way I write.

Your music‘s both sweet and quite brutal. What are your thoughts on the current post-feminist vogue for idealised 50s domesticity? Do you think it’s damaging or empowering for women?

PS: God thats the kind of question I dread answering in the flesh as you would have to repeat it at least three times! I guess all trends keep repeating and the 50′s thing is up there at the moment. I actually do quite like it, but its not something that I particularly buy into. I am no domestic goddess; I live in the attic of a old victorian town house, my kitchen is the size of a small double bed; I can’t cook and I don’t really know anything much about genuine 50′s music, so I’m not going to start wearing polka dot dresses and pretending I do!


Where do you position yourself in relation to other female solo artists about at the moment?

PS: I don’t know, its hard to say!
I think it is easier for other people to listen to the record and decide where I sit in class…
Hopefully somewhere on the left hand side of the room, between the analogue synth geek and the girl with pretty glasses who plays the cello.

Where do you think you fit in to the Brit School explosion that seems to be happening?

PS: I don’t think I do particularly fit in to it! I didn’t fit in very well when I was there! I loved the experience of it, as for the first time in my life I was surrounded by music all day every day,
but when it came down to it I failed every music test they gave me and still to this day can’t read music-Although they did try very hard to teach me!

What are your hobbies that aren’t music?

PS: I like painting alot, its all really abstract stuff though!
I am in the middle of painting “Other too Endless” my new single on a big canvas at the moment.

Who’s your number one celebrity pinup?

PS: I don’t really have one!
ET maybe, he would be fun and scary to have as a poster on my wall!

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