Amelia’s Magazine | Album Review: The Magic Numbers

ROKIT – the originators of vintage fashion boutiques (and my favourite vintage store) have done it again. Not so long ago they had me reminiscing of my time mincing around Hollywood, store with their Bailey Hats of Hollywood collaboration that bought silver screen glamour to any look.

This time around, more about ROKIT have excelled themselves with ROKIT Recycled.

ROKIT Recycled, previously known as ROKIT Originals, is the brand’s mission to upturn fast and throwaway fashion. Let’s face it – the statistics are shocking and in a world of #2 t-shirts and £4 dresses, things aren’t changing very rapidly.

It is estimated by National Recycle Week that if every fashionista purchased one item of recycled clothing each year (each YEAR for God’s sake) it would save 371 millions gallons of waterand 4571 million days of electricity. That’s pretty incredible.

With this in mind, ROKIT are taking ethical to the next level – ROKIT Recycled is an initiative to use every single piece of material available, with zero waste (the ethos they’ve stuck by since their humble beginnings in 1986).

With a new design team on board to conjure up new and exciting pieces, this new range is a real winner. From bags to belts and purses to hot-pants, unwanted materials are salvaged and turned into key pieces for any wardrobe this Summer and through to the Autumn. Each creation is individually handmade and therefore unique, all depending on what materials are available at the time. You might bag yourself a patchwork purse featuring vintage calfskin and suede, or a pair of denim dungarees made entirely of jean refuse.

These products give new form to old structure, re-envisaging covetable pieces from vintage goods. We’ve got a few images of a teeny tiny selection of what’s on offer, but the beauty of the initiative is that you just don’t know what you might pick up. So pop down to your local ROKIT as soon as is physically possible and check out what they’ve got in store!

ROKIT – the originators of vintage fashion boutiques (and my favourite vintage store) have done it again. Not so long ago they had me reminiscing of my time mincing around Hollywood, adiposity with their Bailey Hats of Hollywood collaboration that bought silver screen glamour to any look.

This time around, viagra 60mg ROKIT have excelled themselves with ROKIT Recycled.

ROKIT Recycled, previously known as ROKIT Originals, is the brand’s mission to upturn fast and throwaway fashion. Let’s face it – the statistics are shocking and in a world of #2 t-shirts and £4 dresses, things aren’t changing very rapidly.

It is estimated by National Recycle Week that if every fashionista purchased one item of recycled clothing each year (each YEAR for God’s sake) it would save 371 millions gallons of waterand 4571 million days of electricity. That’s pretty incredible.

With this in mind, ROKIT are taking ethical to the next level – ROKIT Recycled is an initiative to use every single piece of material available, with zero waste (the ethos they’ve stuck by since their humble beginnings in 1986).

With a new design team on board to conjure up new and exciting pieces, this new range is a real winner. From bags to belts and purses to hot-pants, unwanted materials are salvaged and turned into key pieces for any wardrobe this Summer and through to the Autumn. Each creation is individually handmade and therefore unique, all depending on what materials are available at the time. You might bag yourself a patchwork purse featuring vintage calfskin and suede, or a pair of denim dungarees made entirely of jean refuse.

These products give new form to old structure, re-envisaging covetable pieces from vintage goods. We’ve got a few images of a teeny tiny selection of what’s on offer, but the beauty of the initiative is that you just don’t know what you might pick up. So pop down to your local ROKIT as soon as is physically possible and check out what they’ve got in store!

Illustration by Natasha Thompson

ROKIT – the originators of vintage fashion boutiques (and my favourite vintage store) have done it again. Not so long ago they had me reminiscing of my time mincing around Hollywood, order with their Bailey Hats of Hollywood collaboration that bought silver screen glamour to any look.

This time around, discount ROKIT have excelled themselves with ROKIT Recycled.

ROKIT Recycled, more about previously known as ROKIT Originals, is the brand’s mission to upturn fast and throwaway fashion. Let’s face it – the statistics are shocking and in a world of #2 t-shirts and £4 dresses, things aren’t changing very rapidly.

It is estimated by National Recycle Week that if every fashionista purchased one item of recycled clothing each year (each YEAR for God’s sake) it would save 371 millions gallons of waterand 4571 million days of electricity. That’s pretty incredible.

Illustration by Dan Heffer

With this in mind, ROKIT are taking ethical to the next level – ROKIT Recycled is an initiative to use every single piece of material available, with zero waste (the ethos they’ve stuck by since their humble beginnings in 1986).

With a new design team on board to conjure up new and exciting pieces, this new range is a real winner. From bags to belts and purses to hot-pants, unwanted materials are salvaged and turned into key pieces for any wardrobe this Summer and through to the Autumn. Each creation is individually handmade and therefore unique, all depending on what materials are available at the time. You might bag yourself a patchwork purse featuring vintage calfskin and suede, or a pair of denim dungarees made entirely of jean refuse.

Illustration by Emma Block

These products give new form to old structure, re-envisaging covetable pieces from vintage goods. We’ve got a few images of a teeny tiny selection of what’s on offer, but the beauty of the initiative is that you just don’t know what you might pick up. So pop down to your local ROKIT as soon as is physically possible and check out what they’ve got in store!

Illustration by Natasha Thompson

ROKIT – the originators of vintage fashion boutiques (and my favourite vintage store) have done it again. Not so long ago they had me reminiscing of my time mincing around Hollywood, remedy with their Bailey Hats of Hollywood collaboration that bought silver screen glamour to any look.

This time around, purchase ROKIT have excelled themselves with ROKIT Recycled.

ROKIT Recycled, website like this previously known as ROKIT Originals, is the brand’s mission to upturn fast and throwaway fashion. Let’s face it – the statistics are shocking and in a world of #2 t-shirts and £4 dresses, things aren’t changing very rapidly.

It is estimated by National Recycle Week that if every fashionista purchased one item of recycled clothing each year (each YEAR for God’s sake) it would save 371 millions gallons of waterand 4571 million days of electricity. That’s pretty incredible.

Illustration by Dan Heffer

With this in mind, ROKIT are taking ethical to the next level – ROKIT Recycled is an initiative to use every single piece of material available, with zero waste (the ethos they’ve stuck by since their humble beginnings in 1986).

With a new design team on board to conjure up new and exciting pieces, this new range is a real winner. From bags to belts and purses to hot-pants, unwanted materials are salvaged and turned into key pieces for any wardrobe this Summer and through to the Autumn. Each creation is individually handmade and therefore unique, all depending on what materials are available at the time. You might bag yourself a patchwork purse featuring vintage calfskin and suede, or a pair of denim dungarees made entirely of jean refuse.

Illustration by Emma Block

These products give new form to old structure, re-envisaging covetable pieces from vintage goods. We’ve got a few images of a teeny tiny selection of what’s on offer, but the beauty of the initiative is that you just don’t know what you might pick up. So pop down to your local ROKIT as soon as is physically possible and check out what they’ve got in store!

Illustration by Natasha Thompson

ROKIT – the originators of vintage fashion boutiques (and my favourite vintage store) have done it again. Not so long ago they had me reminiscing of my time mincing around Hollywood, healing with their Bailey Hats of Hollywood collaboration that bought silver screen glamour to any look.

This time around, information pills ROKIT have excelled themselves with ROKIT Recycled.

ROKIT Recycled, nurse previously known as ROKIT Originals, is the brand’s mission to upturn fast and throwaway fashion. Let’s face it – the statistics are shocking and in a world of #2 t-shirts and £4 dresses, things aren’t changing very rapidly.

It is estimated by National Recycle Week that if every fashionista purchased one item of recycled clothing each year (each YEAR for God’s sake) it would save 371 millions gallons of waterand 4571 million days of electricity. That’s pretty incredible.

Illustration by Dan Heffer

With this in mind, ROKIT are taking ethical to the next level – ROKIT Recycled is an initiative to use every single piece of material available, with zero waste (the ethos they’ve stuck by since their humble beginnings in 1986).

With a new design team on board to conjure up new and exciting pieces, this new range is a real winner. From bags to belts and purses to hot-pants, unwanted materials are salvaged and turned into key pieces for any wardrobe this Summer and through to the Autumn. Each creation is individually handmade and therefore unique, all depending on what materials are available at the time. You might bag yourself a patchwork purse featuring vintage calfskin and suede, or a pair of denim dungarees made entirely of jean refuse.

Illustration by Emma Block

These products give new form to old structure, re-envisaging covetable pieces from vintage goods. We’ve got a few images of a teeny tiny selection of what’s on offer, but the beauty of the initiative is that you just don’t know what you might pick up. So pop down to your local ROKIT as soon as is physically possible and check out what they’ve got in store!

The Magic Numbers – The Runaway released July 26th on Heavenly Records

So it’s welcome back to our favourite hirsute sibling popstrels The Magic Numbers. One of those bands who split opinions, hospital some find the Stoddart/Gannon clan over saccharine and cutesy, there others declare them to be masters of dreamy, viagra buy intelligent retro pop. Third album ‘The Runaway’ sees to put an end to the cynicism of the former and delivers a more adult, spacious and classy experience that will appeal to anyone harbouring a fondness for starry-eyed wonder and wistful harmonies.
Having released their first two albums in quick succession, their second album ‘Those The Brokes’ failed to achieve the commercial success of their first, giving the impression of a rushed release. Whether this was due to pressure from their label, Heavenly, or a personal choice it seems that they then decided to take something of a sabbatical, spending the interim 4 years gathering their thoughts, going through their old record collections and reshaping their sound before embarking on The Runaway. Luckily for both them and the record buying public the break certainly paid off.
Album opener ‘The Pulse’ is a perfect, if somewhat unconventional choice for kicking off the record with Romeo’s fragile vocals, gorgeous epic strings and heart-rending melodies creating an uplifting, beautiful yet melancholic track. And the sentiment continues throughout the album.
With touches of Fleetwood Mac and The Beach Boys sprinkled throughout the record, The Magic Numbers have clearly invested their time and money on a larger studio, higher production values and a shed load more instruments.

‘Why Did You Call’ has Stevie Nicks written all over it, with the driving rhythm of the verses, the stirring epic chorus and the echoing oohs and ahhs of the backing vocals, together with the angry heart break of the subject matter. It’s compelling stuff.
‘Throwing My Heart Away’ sees Angela Gannon take lead vocals, creating a different dynamic to the usual ‘Numbers’ style. Sounding not dissimilar to something The Cardigans might have released ten years ago (and I don’t mean that in a negative way – quite the opposite, in fact) it is a stirring, charismatic and downright brilliant exercise in thoughtful and intelligent pop music.
‘The Song That No One Knows’ has something of a Style Council laid back jazz-lite feel to it, which may sound terrible on paper, but the airy strings floating over the top of the stolling melody pull it out of any smug acid jazz pit it may have been relegated to otherwise.
Their sound on this album is more epic, more interesting and a lot more accomplished than on their previous releases, but without losing the innocence and reflective charm of their earlier albums. They have grown up and grown into their sound, at the same time drawing on the influence of their predecessors in charismatic epic pop, and through doing so have produced a truly gorgeous album.
There are moments on this record where I wanted to kick off my shoes, get out my chiffon scarves and run through a field singing at the top of my voice. Other times I wanted to stare wistfully out of the window. Make of that what you will, but what is for certain is that this is a record that tugs at the heart strings and deserves to be taken seriously by all the hardhearted cynics out there. Disliking The Magic Numbers is a bit like hating on a box of puppies. There is something undeniably infectious and magnetic about their music and I can admit to being completely sold.

Categories ,album, ,album review, ,Dream-pop, ,fleetwood mac, ,Heavenly Records, ,Stevie Nicks, ,Style Council, ,The Magic Numbers

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Amelia’s Magazine | Music: Interview with Alessi’s Ark

Poster on Dutch posters SM 1968
Illustration by Mina Bach

We trudged through the mud. The boys were hungry and desperate to hit the falafel joint, search whilst I was yanking on my boyfriend’s arm, website telling him I really wanted to catch ‘this sweet singing lady’. Stomach comes first is his life’s motto, but I assured him that he had heard of her and she was folky, acoustic goodness. Tick, tock – wait for his response. I’m walking… slowly…Excellent! And there we stood in a big top candy striped tent. This is to be the first time we saw Alessi’s Ark, a few years ago at a festival. Wearing a full length, high necked, pastel coloured dress, she was late and a bit flustered, but this only added to her utterly likeable self. Full of ‘umm’s and little stories, she goes from timid to devoted singing and playing. Alessi is beautiful, sweet and a very good musician. We have since seen her several times, and she has got better with each performance. Not even 21, her voice is quirky, shy and vulnerable sounding, but also holds a confidence in her musical abilities. She has gusto, charm and modesty wrapped up in one. Here’s an interview with Alessi Laurent-Marke:

Could you introduce yourself please?
Hello there! I’m Alessi.

Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
I live in Hammersmith, West London, where I was born and raised.

What sort of music do you create?
It’s handmade and hopefully keeps others good company.

Do you write it yourself?

Image Source

What music/artists/eras influence your music?
Jake Bellows (of Neva Dinova), Coal Beautiere, Graham Nash, Neil Young, Rilo Kiley, Heartless Bastards, Bright Eyes, Karen Dalton, Rodriguez.

Where else do you get your inspiration from?
All kinds of things and there’s a whole world more to discover still.
The people I’m closest to inspire me and most things I listen to,read and watch slip into the songs in one way or another. Here are some people,books and films that I’ve found inspiring and excite me ; Angela Carter’s book ‘The Magic Toyshop’, the films ‘Rumba’, ‘Puppentanz’ and ‘L’argent de poche’, Leonara Carrington’s paintings, Zora Neale Hurston‘s book ‘Their eyes were watching God’…there is so much out there.

Wire, taken from Alessi’s forthcoming album, Time Travel, out in April, on Bella Union.

What’s your music background?
Going right back to the start and being honest ; I learnt the recorder and steels pans in primary school, the drums in secondary school and picked up the guitar at home when I was fourteen. I have an autoharp that I bought shortly after leaving school and have made a pact to start playing it again.

Do you feel free to create the music you wish, or is there pressure to be ‘mainstream’?
Yes I do feel free. The main pressure I feel is the pressure I put on myself.

Do you enjoy performing on stage?
Yes I do for the most part. Sometimes waves of nerves can stir in the stomach but usually after a song or two, they settle and roll away.

And tours/festivals – what are the like for you?
Festivals are good fun but can be very muddy in the U.K! Touring is a gift from making music that can be at once solitary and amazing ; you’re given the chance to share the songs as you travel through places and meet people you might not have done without your craft. I feel grateful to have experienced the tours I have done so far and feel lucky to have touring more on the horizon.

How do you relax?
By talking, writing to and spending time with close ones, reading, walking, drawing, sewing, visiting the seaside or by trying not to think at all.

Do you enjoy being in England? What does it means to you?
England is where my family is and where they are is home and very special. It’s a small island in the grand scheme of things that has been home to so many brilliant inventors, writers, musicians and so on.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
I can’t see so far.

Alessi‘s Album: Time Travel is out on Bella Union in April. You can find her tour listings here. Alessi appeared in issue 10 of Amelia’s Magazine, still available to buy online here.

Categories ,album, ,Alessi’s Ark, ,Angela Carter, ,Bella Union, ,Bright Eyes, ,brighton, ,Coal Beautiere, ,Graham Nash, ,Hammersmith, ,Heartless Bastards, ,Helen Martin, ,Hove, ,interview, ,Jake Bellows (of Neva Dinova), ,Karen Dalton, ,london, ,Mina Bach., ,Neil Young, ,Rilo Kiley, ,Rodriguez, ,Sussex, ,Time Travel, ,Willkommen Collective, ,Zora Neale Hurston

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Amelia’s Magazine | Music Listings

The eponymous release from New York based The Pains of Being Pure at Heart has everything you could want from a summer album. A certain been-in-the-sun-too-long hazy-headyness without the too-much-ice-cream sugariness of many indie-pop summer albums. No-No! I’m rallying for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart being trail-blazers for a new genre we shall call ‘Sandalgaze” aka Shoegaze for when it’s not raining out.


From the rip-roaring opener ‘Contender’, buy more about the album manages to be catchy without being twee, shop noise without being dreary, imagine My Bloody Valentine on a beach doo-wopping and you’re halfway there.
Whilst treading this line The Pains of Being Pure at Heart consistently avoid being schmaltzy. The track; Young Adult Friction is danceable, its lyrics of a whimsy worthy of Stuart Murdoch yet reflect on themes like first love with a sort of yearning nostalgia, again souring the sweetness. Here the oft-overdone boy/girl singing duo is slightly off-kilter and the effect is more reminiscent of early Yo La Tengo or Jesus and Mary Chain than Belle & Sebastian.


The Pains of Being Pure of Heart is definitely tinged with nods towards the 80s and early 90s,yet it is perhaps too easy to criticise the album for this. The band manage to utilise certain stylistic tropes without being too retrospective or shallow.
In fact The Pains of Being Pure at Heart is refreshing in it’s redefinition of certain preconceptions: summer isn’t all about whistling and tambourine jangling anymore and Shoegaze is reinterpreted with a sunny touch rather like enjoying a 99 flake with Kevin Shields!

The album ‘The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’ is available now and the single ‘Young Adult Friction’ is released on 18th May (Fortuna Pop!)
They play The Lexington, London on 15th May

Kitsuné has really got its groove on this time. Left eyebrows are often tilted to a 74-degree angle at the mention of a Parisian fashion boutique that puts out compilation CDs, symptoms amongst other music releases. At first, tadalafil you kind of expect endless Dimitri From Paris types churning out catwalk-flavoured lint, but Kitsuné really knows what it is getting, and won’t be holding onto the receipt. With utter confidence and bravado, you see, it was Kitsuné that released Wolfmother’s ball-busting old-metal limited edition EP. Benetton scratches its head in confusion.
For all that, Compilation 7 is a danceable disc, with lots of European disco-beats, and plenty of fruity basslines in the Frenchified Electro style. But it’s not the kind of thoughtless, juvenile poppy end of it. You won’t hear anything approaching “Lady, give me tonight, cos my feeling is just so right”, since the Maison-people (Maisonettes?) are clued up. They listen to Tangerine Dream and Elvis Costello, and anything they select from the here and now is selected with a certainty that reminds me of the chap who picks the leaves for PG Tips: He just knows where the good stuff’s at.
Highpoints include Chateau Marmont’s Beagle, filled with synths fresh from Tomorrow’s World demonstrations, sidewinding through arpeggiated chords, with the occasional crash-bang with a wooden spoon by the stove, and Beni’s Fringe Element, which popcorns along with hi-hats before going to a thoroughly spiffing hiatus of slap bass with one of the squidgiest, wiggly-wormiest synth solos since Mr.Scruff’s Shrimp. Probably the most exciting track here is Crystal Fighters’ (above) Xtatic Truth, a journey involving Epic-Ragga-Happy-Hardcore, hints of Chinese Folk, and a choir of the ether.
But it’s a plentiful CD. There are nineteen songs, in all, and although everything chugs along to the metronomic pulse of cubase, there is pacing and variety to the beast overall. Gentle relief comes best of all in This Sweet Love by James Yuill (above), as remixed by Prins Thomas, a ponderous chillscape based on the warmest fingerpicking, and an embrace of vocals. You will feel truly hugged. And once you’ve digested it all, you can take that lovely warm glow on the Eurostar with you, and buy yourself the bestest clothes (I’m not a fashion writer, actually) in all Pareeee!

You can buy the Maison’s goodies at or at their myspace.
If you are a university student, online what do you make of your schools environmental policies? Do they even have green policies to speak of? This week, the students of the University of Arts London have been bringing environmental issues to the forefront, and discussing the various ways that both themselves, their campuses and the courses themselves can be more environmentally aware.


The Go Green Week, also known as Green: The New Black has been running for the last few days and culminates in talks and workshops on Friday, that include Fashion Forward: Creating an Ethical Label between 4pm-6pm RHS East Space, LCF, John Princes Street
which asks: “How can you create a label that looks good, but is also good to the environment?” ECCA and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion present fashion design businesses that are sustainable throughout from their manufacturing processes and materials, to marketing methods that aim communicate and promote their ethical processes to their customers.
Also on Friday afternoon at LCC is the meeting “Students Going Green” –top of the agenda are the following points “Fed up with the lack of recycling at your College? … Want sustainability on the curriculum? … Think Arts London should GO GREEN?” Speaking with the Press Officers of the Student Union, I learnt that a large number of students have voiced their concerns over this topic. The recycling issue specifically has been on ongoing and much debated subject. Many students feel that not enough is being done to provide facilities to recycle. The Green Charter laid out by the Student Union demands that “Sufficient recycling facilities should be available at all Arts London Sites and all Halls of Residence, with consideration also given to specialist recycling e.g. textiles, wood at relevant sites.”

Also on the agenda is for the issues of sustainability to feature more heavily in the Universities curriculum, either in the form of specific modules, or integrated as a whole, and for the campuses to switch to a green energy provider. The student union also explained that they are setting up an “Ethical and Environmental assembly” that will set future Go Green Assembly’s. They have also been encouraging students to sign a petition that is campaigning for a greener Arts London. Realising that strong visuals are the best way to get the point across, the students were asked to be photographed with the green charter and upload their pictures to the blog. An example would be these brave folks.



Learning about the concerted efforts to raise environmental awareness amongst students started me wondering how other universities and student bodies broach this subject. As this is a topic that is dear to our heart, we would love your input on whether your schools and universities are committed to the environmental cause, and if so, do you feel that they are doing enough? . Tell us more at and maybe we can help to highlight the issue.
Be featured in this limited edition anthology of the best new illustrators engaged in environmental thinking. Read on to find out more…

***Please note that this brief is now closed: you can now order a copy of this book online by clicking here***

an illustration by Laura-Maria Arola from issue 9 of Amelia’s Magazine

Now, malady anyone who is following me on Twitter – my new favourite thing in the whole world – will know that I asked my dad to do the research for this book. I know what he’s like – apart from being a typical male who loves nothing more than “disappearing down the rabbit-hole” as my mum calls it (also known as busying himself in new projects) – he also loves a challenge. So I asked him to dig up some info on all the most obscure new alternative technologies currently being explored, sale so that I could put together a brief for Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration.

He rose to the challenge and then some… almost immediately I started receiving email updates on strange new ways of producing energy. But not only that… it seems I have been the unwitting catalyst for a whole new venture – or a whole new rabbit warren to explore, depending on your point of view. A trained if somewhat out of practice scientist, Bruce (that’s my dad, I know, wierd, I call him by his first name)- gleefully told me on Bank Holiday Monday that he’s just designed the best new wave power technology not yet invented. Having read nearly 2000 patents for various wave power technologies he has, in his inimitable way, decided that his idea is quite clearly the best (my dad ALWAYS knows best). Except he won’t share it with me, cos I might, like, post it on the internet or something, before he’s applied for a patent.

Still, exciting stuff, and just the kind of thing I hope to do more of with both this open brief and the resulting book that comes out of it. Amelia’s Magazine in print may be no more, but I could never leave print entirely, and so the idea for this book has been mulling around in my head for sometime now. What we need right now is a whole heap of imagination, because humans need to make a big leap forward if we want to get out of the mess we currently find ourselves in. And whilst the scientists and boffins of this world busy themselves with the minutae of complicated chemical reactions and intricate moving parts, we also need the skills of artists to make these technologies a concrete reality. Without both visions together we will continue to move at a snail’s slither, so my aim is to help quicken that pace. If I can inspire designers and illustrators to better consider the way their energy is produced by drawing alternatives, then maybe they will make better choices about where their own energy comes from. Of course I don’t believe that technology alone is a cure all for all our ills, but it’s a move in the right direction, and I aim to produce a book that provides a comprehensive resource of all the best new illustrators capable of engaging with environmental issues and envisaging future alternative energy sources.

an illustration by Allan Deas for issue 9 of Amelia’s Magazine

What will be in Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration ?
The book will be a compendium of profiles on the best illustrators who submit to this brief. Anyone is eligible to submit work, from anywhere in the world. I would particularly encourage new illustrators; those who are still at college, just graduating, or new to the field. Amelia’s Magazine is used by many influential creatives looking for new talent to employ, and this will be an even better way of getting your work noticed globally.

What will the book look like?
The book will be the same dimensions as Amelia’s Magazine, thereby sitting nicely on the shelf with any copies of the magazine that purchasers might already possess! It will be designed in a similar fashion but also expect some new ideas.

When will it be published and where will it be sold?
Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration will be self-published (again!!!!) The lead-times are just too long with the big publishers, plus they would want more design control than I am prepared to give to them. The ones I have spoken to also insist on producing all their books in the Far East, something I am very uncomfortable with given the dodgy environmental credentials of many industrial operations in that part of the world. It will be produced in the UK by Principal Colour as a limited edition hardback towards the end of 2009, in time for Christmas. Advance orders should be available to purchase on my website by the end of the summer, and will be much appreciated in order to finance the production process as it is going to cost me much more to keep production in the UK. The book will be sold worldwide at specialist art book shops such as those that already stock the magazine. I will aim to produce a second (possibly softback) edition the following year to be made much more widely available.

What can I do to contribute?
I need a number of different artworks from aspiring contributors, so please read the following information carefully and make sure that your submissions meet the criteria before you send them in to me.

Submission criteria


1. Most importantly:
ONE EXCLUSIVE LARGE PIECE done specifically for this anthology and not featured anywhere else.

This should feature an alternative technology that has not yet been built or mass-produced in any great scale. NO RUN-OF-THE-MILL WINDMILLS AND SOLAR PANELS PLEASE!

an intriguing design for a line of windmills on a bouncing rod

This is a challenging theme, but thanks to my dad there are dozens of links below that will lead you off in the right direction. You will need to disappear down the rabbit hole for awhile for this brief requires time and thought to complete. It also requires huge amounts of imagination, which is what illustrators specialise in! And my dad! I’ve always held a belief that the scientific mind and the artistic mind are not really so different from each other. How else do you explain me? The child of two scientists?! but rubbish at science….

Anyway, I digress. In this illustration I want to see ways that a new technology would be integrated into our future lives… so interaction with the surroundings or people will be good. This is not a technical illustration, it’s an aspirational one, but you should imagine this technology in some detail, however fantastical it may be. You could even look back at technologies that were patented as far ago as the 1800s, but that have never become part of the mainstream. Your chosen technology should be the main focus of your whole picture, but don’t forget to add detail.
This should be accompanied by a short written piece describing why you picked this particular technology and what the illustration means to you. This should be no more than 300 words.

A word to the wise: the more obscure your choice of technology the better, since I will probably choose different technologies for each illustrator that I choose to profile.
You can choose to work in two sizes:
Double page (as was used in Amelia’s Magazine)
SIZE: page size: 400mm wide x 245mm high, with a bleed of 3mm all around; ie. final size of your artwork: 406mm x 251mm.
Single page
SIZE: page size: 200mm wide x 245mm high, with a bleed of 3mm all around; ie. final size of your artwork: 206mm x 251mm.
NOTE: Don’t put important stuff in the 3mm bleed zone (but do continue your image into it) as this is where the printers may cut bits off when the magazine is cut and bound.
RESOLUTION: 300dpi, as a photoshop file in CYMK mode, using Photoshop print profile: euro standard swap coated 20% (or euroscale V2)
GUTTER: please also note that the book will have a very deep gutter in the middle so it is good to keep important parts of your illustration away from the centre of the spread in double page images.
MY STYLE: if you want to know about my taste in illustration you should check out the current issue of the mag, or buy a back issue here!

2. A exclusive PICTORIAL LOGO on an environmental theme

Logo designed by Adrian Fleet for Climate Camp in the City at the G20 protests

If you have submitted something for the Climate Camp logo open brief then you would be able to resubmit it for this brief, irrespective of whether it was used or not. The logo could be for an event or a company or a product or anything at all, but it must be promoting environmental themes and ideas. I will be looking for colourful and engaging logos. Consider the work of Adrian Fleet for the G20 Climate Camp in the City logo when thinking about what to enter for this. My style tends to be maximalist, but the words must always be a bold and easy part of the logo to read. It could be work that you have already created and has already been used by a brand (though please check with them before sending it to me) or you could create a new piece of work for a real or fictional brand. It should encompass a creative use of typography with illustration. There will be plenty of food for thought amongst the alternative technologies you will already have researched.
This should be accompanied by a short written piece describing what the logo has or would be used for. 50 words max.
It can be any size, but please create work at 300 dpi to a largish size.

3. Typography: YOUR NAME!
Please create your name in the most imaginative way possible. This could be done by hand, or on a computer, but you should really go to town! Amelia’s Magazine is well known for the use of creative typography, and for Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration the floor is open to you to create your own type for your own name (or how you would like to be known professionally) Don’t think of it as branding, but as something to go to town with. If your work is chosen it will be used to head your page, and it should therefore be really creative and fun. Think of this as your chance to really grab the reader’s attention!
For this reason please work to these dimensions and no smaller. (it could be bigger)
SIZE: 200-400mm wide x 40mm high
RESOLUTION: 300dpi, as a photoshop file in CYMK mode, using Photoshop print profile: euro standard swap coated 20% (or euroscale V2)

4. A Border
Again this should fit a single page and reflect an environmental theme. Be sure to work with 3mm bleed and no more than 25mm in from the edge.
SIZE: page size: 200mm wide x 245mm high, with a bleed of 3mm all around; ie. final size of your artwork: 206mm x 251mm.
NOTE: Don’t put important stuff in the 3mm bleed zone (but do continue your border into it) as this is where the printers may cut bits off when the magazine is cut and bound.
RESOLUTION: 300dpi, as a photoshop file in CYMK mode, using Photoshop print profile: euro standard swap coated 20% (or euroscale V2)

4. Two other bits of illustration.

These should be your best recent work. They do not necessarily need to be on an environmental theme but should showcase as wide a range of imagery as possible, eg. people, things, places, typography etc. If you have created artwork for any of my previous open briefs this could form part of your submission although I would prefer to see new work. Be sure to stick to one style though – illustrators with a strong style of their own will always make the biggest mark, and I am unlikely to pick anyone who does not show a strong style throughout their submissions.
These can be any size, but please label each illustration clearly with a name and date of creation.
SIZE: as big as possible to fit the book’s page sizes.
RESOLUTION: 300dpi, as a photoshop file in CYMK mode, using Photoshop print profile: euro standard swap coated 20% (or euroscale V2)

CLOSING DATE: Monday 3rd August, by midnight please.
Please send lo res versions of your images (saved for web) to in an email clearly marked ANTHOLOGY OF ILLUSTRATION so that I don’t lose sight of it in my inbox if I am rushing through things on the day it arrives.
(This should be 6 pieces of work altogether. PLEASE DON’T SEND MORE THAN THIS)

If you are chosen for inclusion in Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration then you will be notified shortly after this date, once I have made my decisions. I have yet to decide how I will put together the profiles, but I may well need a photo from you and a short interview. If this is the case you will be notified later on in the summer.
And if you have any questions that are not answered above then please email me for clarification.
Join the facebook event here to ensure you get updates as they happen.

Best wishes and happy drawing!

Below is a very long list of links, courtesy of Bruce: this is by no means conclusive, and the technologies may never work, but they are all being explored and would be valid ideas to illustrate. Youtube and Google Images are both a great source of innovative technologies, and I am sure you can find more. Feel free to go off and google you heart out – but you must illustrate something real and possible, and not a fantasy idea of your own. (unless you are also a scientist of course)

Wind turbines

Wikipedia wind power info

Magenn’s revolutionary wind power system on youtube

Magenn Air Rotar system

Magenn’s home page

The Floating Balloon Wind Generator

Motorwind Camping Set Wind Turbine

Knex wind turbine

Magnetically Levitated wind turbine

Great pic of huge Maglev wind turbine

Wikipedia entry about Maglev wind turbines

Maglev wind turbines homepage

Mag-Wind Vertical Axis Turbine

A Flying Wind Machine!

Floating Wind Turbines

A great blog about lots of different alternative energy projects including wierd and fantastical wind turbines

Huge Kites

Optiwind accelerating turbine

Selsam superturbines

Rotating wind power towers

Broadstar’s Aerocam

FloDesign wind turbines

Wikipedia definition of airborne wind turbines

downloadable PDF containing interesting info about different types of airborne wind turbines

Wikipedia definition of Kitegen

Kitegen website – plans for a huge airborne wind farm!

Great picture of how kites could generate electricity

Guardian article about kite power

Video showing how a kite ladder would work

Makani Power high altitude wind kites

Google have put money into the Makani vision

Makani “wind dam” picture

Great article about Saul Griffith — wind energy entrepeneur, and president of Makani

Tom Van Sant makes amazing kite ladders as sculpture

Wind Harvesting farms

Helix Wind

More Helix Wind porn

Google search results for wind power technologies

Mariah Power wind turbines

Google videos about wind power

The huge offshore aerogenerator

Quiet Revolution wind turbines

Wave power

Oscillating water columns

Anaconda wave technology

SIE-CAT wave energy accumulator

A list of wave power patents going back to the 1800s

Danish Wave Energy Society

the Wave Dragon

Wave Star Energy

Wave Energy Centre

CWave Power

the Aegir Dynamo


Columbia Power

Float wave electric power station

the Manchester Bobber

Orecon oscillating water column

OE Buoy

Aquamarine power

Sperboy wave energy converter

SSG Concept

The Seadog Pump

Buoys technology

Floating power plant

Surf Power

Power Buoy

the Wave Roller

Langlee Wave Power


video about Harnessing the Gulf Stream! (is this a good idea?)

Wikipedia entry about wave power

Pelamis on wikipedia

Pelamis wave power

Pelamis being tested in Portugal

Google videos on wave power

Biowave power system

video showing Biowave power working

Video – giant rubber snakes!

SRI wave powered generator

Ocean Power Technologies

video – Aqua Buoys

Aqua Buoy movie

Oyster wave power

Tidal power

Wikipedia on tidal power

Video – tidal wave energy

youtube – idea for tidal energy barrage in florida

Sea Gen

google video links for Sea Gen

Marine Current Turbines

video of Biostream tidal power system

Gorlov helical water turbine on wikipedia

Gorlov Helical Turbine

3D interactive model that shows blades of Gorlov turbine

Severn Barrage

Solar Energy

Wikipedia on solar energy


wikipedia on thermal solar energy

wikipedia on solar energy generating systems

wikipedia on solar power tower

BBC news report on solar power stations

Solar Power tower in Spain

image of Solar Power tower

more images of solar power tower in spain

Bright Source solar power on wikipedia

Bright Source Energy

Solar Reserve

youtube on solar tower energy

solar tower energy in spain on youtube

Enviromission solar tower


Dual axis solar tower structure


photovoltaic energy

youtube on israeli solar energy

First Solar free field power plants

youtube about plastic solar cells producing solar power

Konarka power plastic

Standard geothermal

Geothermal power on wikipedia

youtube geothermal energy vid

Enhanced geothermal

Wikipedia – enhanced geothermal systems

youtube video on enhanced geothermal systems

Hot Rock Technology

Alta Rock Energy



The Reluctant Photojournalist

Features a variety of vintage and modern prints from Werner Bischof’s well known humanitarian photography including the Bihar famine, more about Europe post WWII and the South Korean war. Alongside these sit Bischof’s equally beautiful but perhaps lesser known early experiments with abstracts and nudes.

Photographic co-op Magnum Photos Ground Floor, 63 Gee Street, London EC1V 3RS, 0207 490 1771
Free Entry



Reorienting common notions of contemporary Arab art and lifestyle and debunking ‘Orientalist’ depictions. Arab artists Marianne Catzaras, Dora Dhouib and Wael Shawky explore themes of mass media, Diaspora and religion via film and photography.

Selma Feriani Gallery, 23 Maddox Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2QN
7th Apr – 13th May 2009
Free entry


The Abyss

A new joint exhibition by former Wimbledon College of Art students, Nicola Stead and Dan Jupp.

The Outside World, 44 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP
7th May – 13th May By appointment Thursday to Saturday
Free entry


The Hiding Place

Lewis Chamberlain
Exquisitely rendered pencil drawings whisk the viewer away into muted landscapes
which toy with scale, suburbia and the surreal.

James Hyman Gallery Savile Row, London W1S 3PD, 020 7494 3857
30th April – 30th May


Contemporary Craft and Fine Art

An exhibition celebrating the materials, processes and techniques involved in making extraordinary objects, the exhibition will feature nine artists from different arts and craft and design fields.

Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Church Lane, Carmarthen SA31 1LH
4th Apr – 16th May 09, 10 – 5 Mon – Sat
Free entry

Monday 11 May

Telepathe are a too-cool-for-school three piece from Brooklyn. They’re playing 93 Feet East. They get obtuse Krautronica and make it go “POP!” – maybe they’ll be the next Animal Collective… Supported by Ou Est Le Swimming Pool.

Tuesday 12 May

Dan Mangan plays The Electroacoustic Club, salve housed at The Slaughtered Lamb, viagra Clerkenwell. He’s a heartfelt songwriting kind of guy, information pills sings like he means it, and he’s much better than that Elbow record. Support comes from Deer Park.

Wednesday 13 May

Our new favourite boyfriend-girlfriend duettists, Young Paul, will be giving The Cobden Club, 107 Kensal road a taste of 80s electronic treats. get in touch with the band for hassle-free entry, as it’s a private members club. Not just a fine gig, then, but also a chance to see where the Old Etonians schmooze.

Thursday 14 May

Alice and The Cool Dudes at Barden’s Boudoir. This is the high point of our music week. Alice Grant of Fulborn Teversham, is leaving her jazzhead buddies to one side to unveil some pensive indie songs, delivered by a totally unique voice that totters across a tightrope of uncannily powerful and tearful exhaustion. Surely she won’t disappoint?????

Friday 15 May

Up in Nottingham, North-East London’s finest jokeshop salesmen of parallel-universe, narrative ska will be testing out some new material where they think no one can hear them. If you can find a place called Demo, you must prove Hothead Show wrong. Prepare for shockingly tight wizardry of the jerky-jerky groove.

Saturday 16 May

A night of so-angry-we-can-only-tell-you-very-very-slowly Metal, with some catatonically droning Grunge, and atonal noise that may cause loss of balance on all but the lowest of seating. Roll up at The Constitution and enjoy Dethscalator, Scul Hazzards and Batrider. If you don’t take earplugs, then take cotton wool to mop up you bleeding lugholes.

Sunday 17 May

Always a good bet for a sunday night is Cross Kings, 126 York Way, in King’s Cross. On the ground level, David Goo will jolly along an open mic, which always has a few very eccentric envelope-pushers pencilled in. The avant-gardishness couples nicely with the family warmth, houmous and pitta that makes this a great pub. It’s worth paying a few quid to be allowed into the basement also. Things are a bit more organized (sound-checks and everything) but happily, there’s still no obvious divide between the musicians and the audience. What sundays are for.

Tuesday 12th May

Climate (Mis)behaviour
Dana Center
The Science Museum’s Dana Centre, dosage
?165 Queen’s Gate?, sildenafil
South Kensington
?London?SW7 5HD
+0044 (0)207 942 4040

Rescuing the planet requires behavioural change on an unprecedented scale. From individual action to global politics, what are the different strategies attempting to achieve this? Social psychology, advertising, policy and direct action are all thrown into the mix in this debate. ??This event is trying out a new format called Policy Slam, which is funded by the Democratic Innovation Fund of the Ministry of Justice. With the help of the experts, you will discuss, present and vote on several different options.

Illustration by Lea Jaffy

Wednesday 13th May
Morphic Resonance, Collective Memory and Habits of Nature – An evening with Rupert Sheldrake

6.30pm drinks & buffet at Gaia House, 
(18 Well Walk, Hampstead, NW3 1LD)

7.30pm Talk & discussion at Burgh House 
(Opposite Gaia House, New End Square, Hampstead, NW3 1LT)

When Rupert Sheldrake first put forward his idea of Morphic Resonance more than twenty years ago, it caused a great stir in the scientific community.  The Editor of Nature denounced it as “the best candidate for burning there has been for many years” and proclaimed that it was “heresy”.  In his recently published new edition, available on the evening, Rupert documents the evidence that has built up in support of this hypothesis.  He will reflect on the Human Genome Project and other reductionist ideas, where few of the grand claims have come to fruition, not unlike the economic bubble that has recently burst.
The paradigm shift that Morphic Resonance offers is coherent with the Gaia Hypothesis, where the cosmos is understood to be a developing organism, where nature is alive, interconnected and creative.  There is an inherent memory in nature, and evolution is an interplay of habit and creativity, like our own lives.  According to this way of seeing formative causation, all self-organising systems, including crystals, plants and animals contain an inherent memory, given by a process called morphic resonance from previous similar systems.  
These ideas also resonate with diverse indigenous traditions around the world, including those of European ancestry.  For much of our history humans have experienced our relationship with the Earth, and indeed the Universe, to be fluid and reciprocal.  Rupert has taken up the challenge of exploring this ancient wisdom thorough the modern scientific tradition.
You can reserve your place online at:
Or send  a cheque for £10, made payable to The Gaia Foundation.

For further details please contact Sarah at: or 020 7428 0055.
Rupert Sheldrake is recognised as one of the world’s most innovative biologists.  He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and a Research Fellow of the Royal Society, and is currently Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project.  He is author of more than 80 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and many books, including ‘The Presence of the Past’,  ‘The Sense of Being Stared At’, ‘Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home’  and  ‘Chaos, Creativity and Cosmic Consciousness’. His web site is

llustration by Eco Labs

Thursday 14th May

?Amnesty International UK
Human Rights Action Centre?
17 – 25 New Inn Yard
London EC2A 3EA
Nearest tube: Old Street

Free entry, refreshments and snacks provided
RSVP: or call 07534 598 733 (Early booking recommended!)
Find out what YOU can DO to stop climate change.?Throughout history ordinary people have been responsible for all major social changes – women’s rights, civic rights and even democracy itself in many places can be said to be result of direct action. Taking action is the very first step in making big changes happen. Direct action is taken by people who feel that the political process is not working to address profoundly important issues.
Climate change is the most urgent challenge we’ve ever faced – and politicians are not showing the strength of character needed to actually address this problem. Instead of serious sustainable solutions we see new runways and new coal fired power stations- deals that benefit the bottom line of the big players and not the wider population. Climate Camp believes that people everywhere need to work out what they can do – and then do it. Taking action yourself to make the world you want to see is a logical response to a very serious situation.

Are you interested in doing more to highlight the urgency of climate change? Or the relevance of direct action to struggles for jobs, peace and justice? Are you intrigued but feel uncomfortable about going outside the mainstream political process? Would you consider getting involved but don’t know how? Are you nervous about the consequences?
‘Take Back the Power! The Importance of Direct Action Today’ will be unique opportunity to hear about direct action from people who have participated in different ways. Speakers will range from people on the front line to those helping in the background. This includes Deborah Grayson – one of the Parliament Climate Rush – who is on bail and will be speaking about Climate Rush (photgraphed below)
To reserve a place/s please RSVP to or call 07534 598 733.

Photograph by Amelia Gregory

Saturday 16th May
Euroflashmob: Europe United Against Airport Expansion
Stop Airport Expansion

Saturday 16 May 2009. The day of the Eurovision Song Contest. 12 noon on the dot at Heathrow
Terminal 1 Departures. Join Heathrow Flashmobbers in a Europe-wide Flash Mob – taking place on the same day at 6 airports across Europe.
Flash Heathrow! Flash Paris! Flash Frankfurt! Flash Schipol! Flash Brussels! Flash Dublin!
Each flashmob will be singing Eurovision classics (song-sheets provided), so download your favourite eurovision song onto your ipod or phone and bring your friends, instruments, hats, wigs, and your dancing shoes and let’s party. Now for the serious bit: airport expansion is seriously bad for local people, increased noise, air pollution, and especially the climate. The aviation industry want to expand airports across the UK and Europe, but opposition is huge, and the scientists are telling us we have to drastically cut emissions if we are to beat climate change. Flashmobs are a fun way to highlight the real opposition there is to expansion at airports across Europe. Here’s another big chance to show our opposition to a 3rd runway at Heathrow.
See you in Heathrow Terminal 1 Departures at 12 noon on the dot!
Tell BAA to get in tune: No Third Runway.

Illustration by Sachiko

Green Wedge II
A major Green Party benefit gig, to aid the Euro Election campaign.

£5 entry.
Pangea Project
72 Stamford Hill,
Stoke Newington,
N16 6XS

The highly eclectic lineup includes:
The Refinements (Raucous Ska)
Sarah Ellen Hughes Duo (jazz singer)

Selim: 07853 725476
Come along and support the local bands by cheering loudly, the Green Party by giving us your money and support, and the Pangea Project by drinking copious amounts.
It’s all shaping up to be a fun night, ably facilitated by your host Matt Hanley (ahem), with comprehensive Eurovision updates throughout the evening!
You can buy advance tickets here:?
I love good days. Days that unfold in a series of pleasant surprises that put a spring back in your step and remind you that the world can be a good place. Three such things occurred today, buy well, four if you include the free coffee I was given for no reason, and five if you take into account the particularly magnificent texture of the water in which I swam early this morning (a good start surely), breathing fresh and clean from the night’s rain, silk to the touch and causing my skin to tingle for hours after; but silk water aside, only one of these things is relevant to you Zach, can I call you Zach?



There was a moment at tonight’s concert where you clasped your fingers behind your head, raised your eyes towards the ceiling, and sighed a private smile – do you sometimes not quite believe it? I couldn’t believe it. I’d given up the hope of seeing you (you the object of a little musical infatuation), play at the Forum tonight – a torment when that venue is within spitting distance of my home. I’d cycled past and seen the queues outside (one of the nicest looking crowds to gather outside the Forum, believe me I know), my head hung low and my pedal stilted, perhaps I could sneak in, how could I live here so long and not know a secret entrance? Just as I was reconciling myself to a night of listening to Gulag Orchestra within the confines of my bedroom and strumming Postcards from Italy alone on the roof, a good thing happened – buzz buzz in my back pocket.



“Hey Luisa how are you?”
“I’ve been better, well actually it’s been a pretty good day, but – ”
“Yeah well listen, you like Beirut right?”
“Like them? I Love – I mean yeah, they’re ok. I guess they’re ok.”
“Well you couldn’t do me a favour. I know it’s late notice and you’ve probably got plans”
“Erm, yeah I’ve got plans”
“Well I’m supposed to be reviewing them tonight but they wouldn’t give me a plus one and I don’t want to go alone, you wouldn’t go instead would you?”
(I’ve pulled over and am silently raising my fists to the sky)
Hmm…I suppose I could, I mean I would like to see them but then I don’t know what I’d write, I’m sure I’ll think of something-”
“So you’ll go?”
“Yes, yes I’ll go.”
“Oh great, thanks, just say you’re me, get some pictures, you know the drill, thanks again,”
“No problem, really,” (jumping up and down a little bit),
“What’s that noise?”
“Oh, nothing, some kid, thanks a lot, have a good night,”
“You too, byeeeee.”



So that’s how a good day found me watching you tonight, I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a gig. You came out to rapturous applause, rewarding the audience kindly with Nantes, how does it feel to have a crowd sing your songs along with you? It was as though you were singing old folk songs of a collective homeland from which we’ve all strayed, not something created from a photograph and a few months in Eastern Europe and Paris. And now you’ve moved over to Mariachi influences? I was raised on Cumbia, and I’ve always thought the sound is very similar to that of Eastern Europe, accordions and trumpets and powerful melodies. Everyone around me was in hushed silence for the entirety of the performance, and you seemed so relaxed, demure, a sound like yours doesn’t require anything else – I did like the occasional hand conducting though. On behalf of the audience, not that anyone would make me spokesperson for anything, thank you, it was wonderful incredible; but then you know that, not everyone gets two encores. See you again soon I hope, and erm, if you ever need someone to tap a tambourine or a cowbell, or maybe an old foot pedal harmonium just rescued from cobwebs, then … hi.


Lulu Lampshade

SM (small print): emotional content may have been exaggerated slightly for effect.
Will Morgan is an excellent photographer, store clever person and all round nice guy. His photographs are subtle and dream-like; intimate yet austere, information pills all of us here at Amelia’s Magazine are big fans of his beautiful and exciting work. I was lucky enough to catch up with Will to talk about his work and the politics of photography.



Hi, patient Will, how are you today?

Hello Roisin, I’m very good today thanks , the sun’s out and things are pretty much perfect.

I really love your photographs especially your use of light and attention to details- what makes a good photograph for you?

Thank you, that always nice to hear. Images work for me when they inspire an emotional response or are successful at conveying a mood and atmosphere. It’s the same for me with any art work really, every discipline. When I was at college I was really interested in domestic photography, family albums and the like, I always felt that these images were incredibly powerful because they are loaded with so much meaning, they tie into notions of memory, loss, happiness, sadness and the passage of time. I’m sounding a bit pretentious here but never mind eh? I think that an image can stand on it’s own purely by being beautiful as well, ideally one would combine the beauty with an emotional response. I think photographs are a form of language so it’s nice if they say something.


Can you tell me about your average working day?

I don’t really have an average working day, I shoot a lot of editorial so the jobs are varied and my personal work is even more so. If I’m on a commissioned job it’s usually an early start, double check the equipment as I have been known to leave vital bits behind. Drink some very strong coffee, try not to smoke (fail) and head to the location, be very nice to everybody and start to shoot. Obviously keep to the deadline, work in close conjunction with the art director and hope the client is happy! All my commissioned work is digital these days so there’s normally an hour at the end of the shoot to go through the images then I retouch and deliver. My personal work is far looser I identify a project I’m interested in and shoot on my own, with minimal equipment. I do get up a lot later on these days, probably smoke more cigarettes though.

Do you have a favourite camera?

I started off using a 1960′s Hassleblad and I still love it, but these days I mainly shoot with a 645 contax and a P30 back, with the advent of digital clients just won’t pay for film and now days they want to see everything immediately, plus you get used to the freedom of digital, you can shoot to your hearts content. I do like my contax but the Hassleblad is probably my favourite although I rarely shoot film these days, I used to have a Polaroid land camera which I throughly enjoyed but I lost it. Lets move on I’m getting a little emotional

What do you make of the whole film vs. digital photography debate? I mean do you view the advent of digital photography as a completely bad thing?

I’m not sure it’s even a debate anymore, digital photography is here and it’s a photographic tool, you just have to learn to use it and I think to deny it is a bit self defeating. I do believe that images shot on film look better than digital raw files but the technology is so good now and if you know a little about digital retouching I can’t really tell the difference. Digital has a huge amount of freedom, film is expensive with digital after the initial investment you shoot for free really, you can really experiment and as I’ve said all my commissions assume I’m shooting digital. I don’t think digital is a bad thing or a good thing really it’s just the way photography has evolved. Different jobs/projects lend themselves to different platforms/cameras and so on, whatever works for you is the best really. Even when I do shoot film I scan it and tweak it in photoshop so it becomes a digital image anyway.

I think that’s really interesting, it’s quite taboo I think to be positive about digital photography, it’s refreshing to hear that you’re pro-digital and proud; whilst film is beautiful, people can always become purist about things like that and I agree that digital technology can add something great to photography- as we can see in your work!


Continuing with this foray into the ethics or politics of photgraphy, do you agree with the idea that a photograph is the truest form of representation?

I’m probably misinterpreting the question but umm, not really, I think a photograph captures how someone or something looked in that split second the shutter clicked, it’s a tricky one but as a photographer you’re imposing yourself on the scene, you crop in camera, use apertures and f-stops different focal lengths, different formats, you edit your images, decide how to present them, all of this creates a selective reality, I’m not even sure if reality is the right word, also now with the computer technology you can completely alter the original image . All of these things have a huge bearing on whatever you’re photographing and of course you want it to look good. I don’t think it’s a true representation of reality but it has the edge over painting I think.


Can you tell me about your journey to where you are today (career-wise rather than transport-wise!)? Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers?

Well I went to India for a year when I was 20, I picked up a camera there for the first time and really enjoyed it, I’d stayed in India too long so I missed my University place to study English so i did a part time course in photography. I loved it so went the route of art foundation, photography BA at LCP (also this got me to London). I did well at LCP I won a few prizes and it gave me the confidence to believe I might actually be able to make a living from photography. After my degree I worked part time at the National Film Theatre and assisted various photographers as well as picking up a few commissions for my self. It’s only really been the last three years that I’ve made a reasonable living purely from my own photography but it’s always been fun and I’ve never wanted to stop. I think getting over the fear of the portfolio meetings was crucial! The only advice I would give is to keep at it, never be afraid of showing your work, shoot as much as you can and enjoy it, I think it’s the best job in the world (apart from rock star maybe)

Which photographers inspired you early on in your career?

I was always hugely impressed with Philip Lorca-di Corcia in particular his Hollywood Hustler series, I was and still am a big fan of Eva Vermendel and Martina Hoogland-Ivanow, Paolo Roversi’s work is always beautiful, Christian Boltanski, Stephen Gill, Bruce Davidson, Azim Haidaryan, Nadav Kander, there’s a lot of them but I’ll leave it there.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a few, I’m shooting a series of confessional boxes in Catholic churches, a series on cineastes based around the National Film Theatre and bus stops at night.

I can’t wait to see them!



All photographs appear courtesy of Will Morgan
At first glance, mind you might have thought that activism, arts and permaculture would make the strangest of bedfellows, but don’t let any preconceived notions cloud your judgement. The imaginative people behind ArtsAdmin are laying on a fortnight of activities which will demonstrate how effortlessly these subjects can work together. Under the name of Two Degrees , and with the recent quote by George Monbiot acting as a kind of frame of reference – ‘We have to stop treating climate change as an urgent issue, we have to start treating it as an international emergency” – the week long series of performances, activities, exhibitions and installations will have one thing in common; our relationship with the environment and the impact of climate change.


I chatted recently with ArtsAdmin, in their beautiful and unexpectedly peaceful surroundings (well, they are on Commercial Road!) of Toynbee Studios (also the setting of many of the forthcoming events). They explained that even the title of the festival is apposite. ‘Two Degrees’ is in reference to the reports that global temperatures are set to rise by that amount in around 40 years. A relatively ‘small’ rise such as this could lead to catastrophic changes on our planet.

While the message is serious, many performances will be light hearted, and all will be engaging. A case in point, the ‘set list’ reads thus;  
“A reconstructed airplane serves real airline food delivered from City Airport; permaculturists and artists lead a foraging exploration of the City; a crowd of Londoners, an artist and a water dowser trace the course of a great London river; radical temporary transformations of lunchtime London; an artist-activist family confess to past flights they have taken; climate change cabaret; an urban-rural walk to City Farm; a bicycle-powered DJ set (run by good friends of Amelia’s Magazine; Magnificent Revolution) and a filmed rural idyll accompanied by passenger jet noise form Two Degrees”


Personally, I like the sound of the climate change cabaret. It’s about time that cabaret branched out a little, don’t you think? Speaking of avant-garde performances, a particular highlight of the week will be C.R.A.S.H. A Postcapitalist A-Z, a collaboration between ArtsAdmin and the fantastically named collective that is The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination. While it is difficult to predict exactly what will occur, (it’s best just to come down to the City of London to watch), C.R.A.S.H will be creating a phantasmagorical world where “Eight postcapitalist commissions transform lunchtime in the City including the very last opportunity to purchase a real woman, a soup kitchen distributing bowls of gold soup to City workers, a lone cyclist pedalling a field kitchen around the Square Mile, a forum of bankers, ex-bankers, climate activists, artists and others confessing their capitalist tendencies, and a café of equivalence where a bowl of food costs the same as a banker’s daily salary in parallel with food costs in the developing world.” I believe it is safe to say; brace yourself!


Elsewhere, the issue of airline travel is of course, a pertinent topic in an event that is engaging in dialogue about climate change. At Toynbee Studios, it will be dealt with in an unexpectedly humorous way. In an activity that Dada would be proud of, the artist Richard DeDomenici (and his cabin crew) will be serving out helpings of airplane food, in its airline style packaging. Just in case you didn’t think that this was authentic enough, your meal will be served as you sit in a recycled airplane interior, which Two Degrees hasten to add, also includes in flight entertainment. For any of you who would pitch up just because you like the taste of airline meals (someone has to…?) there is a deeper meaning behind this. DeDomenici is responding to a recent quote by chef Marcus Wareing about British pub food, which he declares being of poor quality, so much so that for a proper meal, “you would be better off getting on a plane”. Now, I would disagree with chef Wareing on both counts. Has he never eaten at The Eagle? Moreover, it is an irresponsible comment to make, one which highlights the ease in which we get on and off flights, almost as if they were trains. So, rather than getting on a plane, you can experience all the wonders of a flight (but without the guilt of actually flying). Hurrah!


If you are anything like me; a bit of a hippy with a nerdish fondness for maps and discovering secret, ancient rivers, ( I’ll admit that there are very few of us around!) then you will especially enjoy the outing that Two Degrees have planned. The artist Amy Sharrock will be leading a walk which she describes as her response to global concerns. This will come in the form of an excursion from Islington to the Southbank, tracing the lines of the ancient, and lost Walbrook River. Not obscure enough for you? Did I mention that any participants will be dressed in blue and tied together to resemble water molecules?

All of the events can be booked online at It promises to be a thought-provoking and engaging week. Knowing ArtsAdmin and the people behind this event, however out of left field the performances may be, the message will be central: we are running out of time in which to save the planet, and the time in which to act is now.


Crochet, help shells and pipe cleaners…beasts banished forever to the chasmic closet of craft have broken free of the plastic furniture covers and dried flowers to be resurrected as one of the most entertaining young collections to have paraded down the catwalks in some time. Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales, the Australian born and bred design team behind Romance Was Born have glued-gunned themselves firmly in place as the merry pranksters of Sydney.


No one would blame you for crinkling your nose at the idea of a fashion collection inspired by someone’s nana. But peeking through the kaleidoscopic vision of these wizards of Oz . Driven by textures, shapes and above all colors, Romance Was Born in the fertile imaginations of these two talented designers when they met while studying fashion at the East Sydney Technical College.


After graduating in 2007 they were invited to attend the Fourth International Support Awards in Italy where they turned down internships with Galliano because “their fashion fairytale had another date with destiny”. These young (water)guns were intent on starting their own label with, and why not, the suitcase size booty of Galliano laces and silks they’d received as a prize from the competition.


These two confectioners are just as much substance as they are style. Clever tailoring and feminine shapes pepper the opulent couture showpieces. Collaborations with Australian artist Del Kathryn Bartonproduced original digitally printed fabrics and a 12 piece collection entitled ‘Garden of Eden’, which was exhibited at Kaliman Gallery alongside Barton’s work.


Romance Was Born has also found its way onto the figures of Debbie Harry, Lily Allen, MIA, Cyndi Lauper and Karen O (who opted for a red tulle dress with googly eyes) and rising star rockers Architecture in Helsinki, who wore their puppetry inspired glo-in-the-dark pieces for the filming of their band’s new clip. They must surely have tagged one particular Icelandic songbird for their next mark. we can’t wait to see what they pull out of their party hats next!


When you first gaze upon the work of Accessory designer Fred Butler it’s all rather indigestible, case flying from one medium to the other with all the energy and flair of an excitable child. She is constantly adding more layers, no rx depth and colour to her pieces, help the result culminates in mind bogglingly colourful and decidedly hap hazard pieces.

With such gusto It’s hard to fathom how to predict her, one instance you could be presented with a outlandish mathematical headpiece rather reminiscent of a futurist rubix cube. Then next your met with a piñata style headdress (lets hope the model isn’t planning on attending any children’s parties, it may conclude in a rather unpleasant knock to the head) Each piece is as brilliant as it is unique, Butler is one of the few designers it’s hard to typecast, her work has been vaguely linked to that of fellow kitsch designers Peter Jensen and Alistair Carr but apart from these she seems a law unto herself.




Her latest collection featured a hallucinogenic short film entitled “Conspicuous consumption” to which ethereal models clad in swarouski encrusted headpieces serenely sway in a rather hypnotic manner, its all rather like a trip back to Kate Bushes Wuthering Heights video, alas minus the haunting vocals!



Fred Butler is an infamous character in the fashion sphere; regularly her work adorns the pages of the magazine elite from Elle, I-D, Vogue, Lula, and Hommes Japan to Wonderland. She even graced the pages Amelia’s Magazine to which she featured in issue 10, which is still up for grabs for the record, it’s worth taking a peak!

Her success is universal, making waves not merely within the fashion sphere but within Music also. She boasts eccentric followers from electro folk icon Patrick Wolf to the elegant Bishi. But she doesn’t just appeal to London’s Underground sphere, she has a whole host of high calibre clients from MTV, Selfridges to the V&A!



Who knows what Fred Butler has hidden under her brightly coloured sleeve, I for one can’t wait to find out!
The Dø are Dan Levy and Olivia B. Merilahti, view who luckily for our ears found each other and started making pop music for fun whilst working on a soundtrack together.
They have already made it big outre-manche, site with their album A Mouthful got to Number 1. Their vibrant sound swings from the playground to the streets and back again, viagra making for an exciting album brimming to the rafters with curiosity, exuberance and passion. It’s strings sweep with cinematic drama over lullabies and hip-hop.
From their genre-switching music to their diverse cultural background; a mix of French (Dan) and Finnish (Olivia), their sound is more unique than any boy-girl duo to have come along for a while.


Hello Olivia, how are you today?
I’m good thank you- trying to relax …it’s been a while since I’ve had a day off, and we’re getting ready for our crazy UK/Germany tour

Wow, it sounds like your super busy! Are you in Paris right now? I’m jealous, I used to live there and I miss it…
Yes- shall we swap? i’d rather live in London! I dont know why, I’ve always felt very close to England.

It’s a plan! I’ll pack my suitcase as soon as we’re done interviewing! :-)

So it’s probably the first thing most people want to ask about, but how did you guys decide on the name The Dø ? I read it means ‘death’ in Danish…

d+o=Dan+Olivia. Do=do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do! “do(e), a deer, a female deer” (check The Sound of Music). In Denmark it means somthing about death, yeah but, the “ø” was mostly because it looks like the note as written in traditional music theory.


I like it, The Dø is a big melting pot of languages and cultures; even Austrian with The Sound of Music! I suppose musically as well you mix up the languages with English and Finnish…but not French- was that a concious decision?
Yeah- French was never an option in music for me, my musical language is English, it’s always been, because it is also my musical culture, and pop music has always been in English

Also French in it’s nature for me anyway seems very structured and constrained linguistically- maybe thats hard to put into music?

Like Opera was mostly sung in Italian, German or French…but not in English, really.
It’s just like using the instrument that feels right.

What about singing in Finnish? Listening to your album A Mouthful- it really adds a ethereal touch when it’s used, it such a lovely sounding language!
Hum, I guess the song & the melody of “Unissasi Laulelet” just came up naturally in
Finnish. I didn’t really plan to write a song in Finnish, but I do sometimes need to change and use Finnish in my compositions.

Cool, it’s great to be able to use language like another instrument like you said. Do you think you both approach music with different views on art and music or do you have a lot of similar tastes?
On some stuff we don’t agree, but we’re usually extremely connected. Two people working together is a very intense activity…our musical backgrounds are different, but we’re so complementary…


Talking about other experiences and influences- what are/were your personal inspirations musically?
I grew up on a lot of songs, in English or Finnish. My mum used to sing me a lot of lullabies in Finnsh, and I guess it is still an inspiration…Then I discovered Nirvana and Hole, then Bjork, Fiona Apple, Ella Fitzgerald, Goran Bregovic, The Wutang and Eminem.
Dan grew up on jazz and discovered classical music in his teens.Dan’s influences are John Coltrane (Dan played the saxophone for many many years), Bela Bartok, Zappa, etc. He was always sure he would become a composer, while I was singing in bands from age 14, but I was very shy about my own songs.

Wow, from 14! So music, even at a young age, was something you definitely wanted to do later in life? And what about for Dan?
Yes, but since I didn’t grow up in a family that was artistic in any way, I didn’t realise until quite late that it could actually become a job! Whereas there was no doubt for Dan.

So what does the future hold for The Dø ?
We’re gonna keep touring until august, in the UK and the rest of Europe, and then we record album 2…we’ve started recording a few songs already and it feels amazing!

I’m really excited to hear that! Thank you! :-)

A Mouthful is out now.
Welcome to the weird, order wonderful world of Catherine Le Page. This Quebecoise knows how to draw and her illustrations are have a beautiful je-ne-sais-quoi about them. The most interesting pieces create a unique vision of femininity from childhood to womanhood. Brands, case diets, boys, careers and children appear throughout her work, highlighting the concerns of the modern feminine psyche whilst utilising a self-consciously girly whimsical aesthetic. The combination of the two give a deeply intimate view of womanhood.



As we see below, she seems to condone a sort of universal sisterhood of happiness; the “for better” whilst marriage is perhaps implied as the “for worse”. She both embraces the feminine in her themes of nature, motherhood and celebrations of the female body whilst questioning its social implications.


The colours and lines used by Le Page are delightfully naive, like the imaginings of a teenage girl; all crushes and crying carved in crayon on pages torn out of squared exercise books, taking us back to the days of secret notes passed in class and writing boys names in pen on our knickers.



Her work is always mature in it’s treatment of subject matter; like her couple holding hands at the corner of a page faced with giant colourful block arrows, with Le Page‘s native Canada imprinted hauntingly in the background, like the big scary future looming. Or a couple coping with a long distance relationship. Le Page‘s illustrations manage to be both personal whilst universal whilst still maintaining a strong sense of narrative.



Le Page tightropes the line between a twee femininity and these astute quasi- feminist observations, whilst being neither particularly approving nor politically critical in her work. Yet because she, as a female artist, is asserted as a subject of creativity and expression; it is men who become objects of desire, whilst female concerns take centre stage. Yet does being female and addressing issues of femininity in art always have to be a feminist matter? Opinions welcome…I’m off to burn my bra.

Yesterday, about it an impassioned plea in the form of an email dropped through into my Amelia’s Magazine inbox. The subject matter was a slightly different topic to what usually features in the Earth section, unhealthy but instantly we knew that it warranted a feature, and needed to be shared with our readers. So todays topic is about 10,000 ex- battery farmed chickens that need rehousing urgently, otherwise they will be sent to slaughter.

Henny Penny was found at the bottom of a battery farm cage unable to stand.

It may seem a slightly incongruous topic, but then I have always had a soft spot for hens. While I love the little corner of urban sprawl that I now occupy in East London, I spent my formative years in Cornwall. Growing up in bucolic, pastoral countryside, my parents (recently decamped from Wandsworth) decided they wanted to have a bit of The Good Life, and got themselves a chicken hutch and about 10 hens. Every morning, my job was the Collection Of The Eggs – I took my job very seriously. Armed with a basket I would quietly step into the hatch; I will never forget the peaceful, warm atmosphere that I would encounter. Ten contented, almost post coital chickens clucking gently to themselves as they settled down for a rest after a morning spent laying eggs. Needless to say, the eggs tasted delicious – rich, thick and creamy. So, with these memories in mind, there is an incomprehensible difference between the hens in our back garden all those years ago, and the pictures of the chickens that accompanied the email. Emaciated, featherless and pathetic – the real image behind battery farming that you don’t see on boxes of eggs.


The people asking for our, and your help are a group called Little Hen Rescue, based in Norfolk. Yesterday I spoke with one of the volunteers, Emma, who told me that all of the group volunteer, and all are working up to 14 hour days in the pursuit of rescuing battery chickens. She explained that the hens will have spent most of their life in a tiny battery cage, laying eggs until their production level drops, after which they will usually be sent to slaughter. At this point, they are generally only sixteen months old, and seeing that chickens usually live for up to six years , they are not even halfway through their life span. The operation that they are currently undertaking is their most ambitious, and largest yet. At the end of June, a farm in Norfolk will be sending 10,000 chickens to slaughter, and Little Hen Rescue are hoping that all will be rehoused to members of the public throughout Britain. If anyone has ever thought of keeping chickens before, now would be the time to step forward. Although this may seem a daunting task, Little Hen Rescue are promising to guide every hen-keeping novice through all the initial steps. They are asking for a donation of £1.50 for each chicken ‘brought’, but more is always welcome, (and anyone who wishes to donate, but not get a hen is also welcome to do so, the website has details of their PayPal account. ). I asked Emma what the chickens are like, half expecting a description of severely traumatised birds, but she was quick to prove me wrong; “They are gorgeous! Where do you start? They are more friendly than any other breed of hen I’ve found. They are such loving little pets and considering what they’ve been though, they give you their all”


One characteristic to be expected of the chickens is the state of their feathers – or the lack of them. Unfortunately, this is just another by product of being a battery hen. Little Hen Rescue have already factored this in, and have a web page with instructions for how to construct fleeces and jumpers to keep the birds warm while their feathers grow back – which they always do. Helpfully, there are also pictures of the hens wearing breast plate knitted jumpers and fleeces to show you the finished ‘product’. I defy you not to be moved by these photos.

Illustration by Jessica Pemberton

One thing worth remembering if you want to go ahead and adopt a hen is that you will need a garden in which they can roam, and preferably you will need to construct or purchase a secure, fox-proof chicken house with an attached run. Amelia’s Magazine is not usually in the habit of acting as a broker in the sale of chickens, but then an appeal like this does not come along every day. If there is anything that you can do to help, get in contact with Little Hen Rescue and help a feathered friend.

Illustration by Jessica Pemberton

Phuong-Cac Nguyen left America more then two years ago to start a new life in São Paulo, visit this Brazil`s ginormous metropolis and the main economic and cultural center in the country. She went away with the purpose of sending contributions about the city to blogs and websites such as and However she found in town countless choices of how to spend her free time and decided to compile her favorite hidden Sao Paulo haunts into a brilliant guidebook. It`s been a hit between locals, so in order to find out more about how she came up with the project we chatted almost endlessly about the book – but also about Sao Paulo`s social problems, the paulista lifestyle and Brazilian politics.


I didn`t get if you`re American, Brazilian…??
Oh ok. Could you tell us a little about the book? It seemed very interesting. Loved the layout too.?
It comes from two years living there. While writing for coolhunting and joshspear, i picked up a ton of info. Also a lot of it came about naturally – I’m a super curious person, so to keep myself entertained I went discovering the city and chatted with people and as I did all this stuff about the city came out and I had all this info that I didn`t know what to do with and knowing that there was a lack of this type of book for Sao Paulo, I figured it would be a good idea to do a book and share these gems.??
That`s great! I`m looking forward to reading it.
?Thank you! The majority of the people who worked on it are Brazilians who live in São Paulo. I wanted to present a true insider’s view.
So you went to Sao Paulo by yourself and then started with the freelance jobs?
?Yes. I had saved up some money from my previous gigs. Jobs in the U.S.
And what made you choose São Paulo??
It was one of my stops during a South American trip I made in 2006, and when I got there I felt at home – first time in my life I have ever felt that way about a place.
Where are you from in the US?
?I am from L.A. California.
That`s a big change! What do you love the most about SP and the least??
Most: I haven’t figured it out totally, but I think it’s the sense that something is always happening, always changing, always moving, and I like being a part of that.
Least: the pollution – my acne has come roaring back as a result.
Yes it`s horrible! But isn`t this movement sentiment a thing that all the big cities have it? This idea that there`s always something going on?
?Yes, i guess so, but I’ve been to lots of big cities… there’s just something different about Sao Paulo’s movement… maybe it’s because it’s still developing yeah – and I also love the people there.
What do you love about them?
?People are so nice! And people from other Brazilian states complain that they think Paulistanos are snobby (back to the whole big-city thing), but I have met so many amazing people there, people from all over Brazil come to SP.

D-Edge Club


I think Paulistas are the best!
?hahah are you a Paulista???
Yes I am! But I`ve lived most of my life in Porto Alegre.?
Ah people there are so nice too! A lot of my friends are from the south.
So you got to learn some Portuguese??
Yes. I’m fluent.
Cool! Was it hard??
Believe me, after dealing with the printer, I am definitely fluent! Yes it was hard – but after about 6 months I was able to be understood.
??So that was quick!
?I knew my Portuguese was up to speed when I could complain with everyone else about the traffic and pollution haha.
??Hahaha. And that`s when you became a real paulista!?
Hahahah. Exactly!
Awesome! So do you plan of translating the book to Portuguese?
?Yes, that’s in the plans. the book is practically sold out in Brazil already, even in English!
Uau that`s amazing!
Yeah I’m shocked really.
Where did you use to live in SP??
Vila Madalena
So how would you describe SP`s like in a more detailed way? Because the idea people usually have from Brazil is from being a country with beaches everywhere, girls in bikini drinking caipirinha and dancing samba the whole day. But we both know that`s not true.?
Definitely. Well, SP is a modern city where you can get gourmet olives imported from Italy and we get stuck in traffic jams like in NYC, but combine that with a strong Brazilian culture and you have a totally unique place.

Museu De Arte Moderna

So in the book you describe the main neighborhoods??
Yes.?Restaurants, bars, boutiques, hidden gems.??
So would you say it`s targeted more to SP`s high class?
?Noooo! It’s for people working in the creative industry, people like artists, designers, architects, writers.
So not high class – when I think of high class I think of super rich and my readers are not. But they are by no means unsuccessful, if that makes any sense.
It totally makes sense. Do you plan on writing another guide??
Writing i don’t know but producing more under the Total series, yes. I have to take a rest before I would consider writing another one… I’d like to hire someone else to write the next one!
?Any idea for cities??
Yes – we’ll stick with South American cities. But as for what city next, that will have to be kept under wraps for now.
So could you tell me what are your favorites places in SP? Like a top 5 maybe?
?Bar do Museu, praça por do sol, filial, the historical center of the city, the Arab area of the Bras neighborhood. And of course I love my neighborhood! But that would be 6 and you asked for 5.

Loja do Bispo

So you`re still living in SP? Thought you were back in LA.
?I’m back in L.A. to handle the business end of the book, but will be back in SP this year. All my things are still there!??
How do Brazilian people usually react when you say you`re American? Probably a silly question, but I`m just curious.?
They are super curious, they love Americans and being Asian on top of that, I’m definitely an interesting specimen. They wonder why the heck I moved to SP when they all want to move to America!??
Exactly! Did you get to follow Brazilian politics? What do you think about it?
?I did a little bit, yes, and I find it fascinating the infamous bureaucracy, the corruption, but I see that there are also some good hearts in the government, trying to work against those two aspects. And it’s working, because Brazil is growing and being accepted into the worldwide market.
Really? Do you truly believe in that?
?Yes – you see it more on a local level. I don’t really understand national politics as much, my Portuguese is weak in this area, but nevertheless even though Brazilians are required to vote, and we aren’t in the U.S. but yet we’re infinitely more involved when it comes to campaigns, i find that Brazilians should take a deeper interest in helping to shape change…. but it’s complicated because they don’t trust the government. This is a sentiment that many Brazilians share with me, that they would in fact love to be more involved but they see it as kind of hopeless.
Yes that`s exactly what I think. It`s one of the reasons that made me leave together with crime as well, which it`s related, of course.?
Yes, definitely. The crime is insanely bad compared to America. I think this is why Paulistanos are so special… they have to deal with all of this and yet they are able to maintain a happy nature and positive view on life. This is amazing to me. I love SP with all its faults, I have gotten days where I wanted to pick up and move somewhere else because I was frustrated after hearing about a bounty hunter killing someone in my neighborhood, but I don’t because the city and its people have so much to offer
Yes totally. That`s what I`m always telling people about Brazilians: they can be miserable, completely poor, live in a shit hole, but they`re are smiling, cooking their Sunday barbecues and drinking their beer.
Yeah totally. In fact, what you say is what my friends say is the problem with Brazil, why things in government aren’t changing… instead of getting up and doing something about things, people don’t want to deal with it and rather focus on making churrasco. I can understand in a way.
Sad but true. Phuong thank you so much. Is there anything else you would like to say??Well I definitely would not have been able to do it without my team of photographers and illustrators! They believed in the project and as a result it shows through in the final product. That’s all!

Now, buy more about I know Surbiton quite well. It’s a place I associate with Waitrose, cost semi-detached houses, wife-swapping, Audis, Felicity Kendall’s loin-stirring fringe, and the Class System. Artistic notions don’t really seem to fit in this anodyne suburban mould.
And the good people of Surbiton probably don’t notice the gaping wound in their emotional channel. But here, in the valley of the shadow of death, cometh the man. A man with the vision to inject into their sterile lives the force of the creative spirit. And much calcium.

Robin Hutchinson graduated in Fine Art before Duran Duran discovered hair gel, a bit conceptual and performancey, and then embarked on life’s great journey. Decades later, he’s a happily married man who drinks a lot of Pinot Grigio and follows his arty heart. Ha has an amazing knack for getting people in authority to do things. One day, he decided that Kingston needed a theatre, and turned himself into a one-man lobby, pestering the Council and developers for years, until it was done, with the beautiful result of the Rose Theatre, a rounded Shakespearean structure that keeps it real with proper plays and comedy.
Then he decided to celebrate the life of photography legend and Kingstonian Eadweard Muybridge with a 20ft projection onto the facade of Kingston Police Station, located opposite Muybridge’s birthplace. A projection of Muybridge’s work, followed by a creepy-as-hell pair of eyes looking out across the town, framed rectangular, as though from a burqua. Behold surveillance society, and trust in society laid bare not in a gallery setting, but on Kingston’s High Street, with people strolling by to drink beer or buy kebabs.

So here’s a chap who likes a little confrontation, and wants the populace to let some Apollonian/Dyonysian into their lives. So maybe you’re wondering where the calcium fits in with this…
Robin (who, given the right costume, could easily pass for a Marvel supervillain), tells me of his Damascus moment. One afternoon, while having his car fixed up at Kwik-Fit next door, he popped into The Lamb for a pint and thought he’d try a selection from the deli counter. Yes, deli-counter! This would be a major revelation for anyone who remembers the way the pub used to be; an intimidating grotto of dirty looks for non-regulars, shifting Carlsberg-flavoured water to a single-digit client-base who would ruminate each afternoon on the finer points of Daily Star stories. Maybe a dartboard by the door to the ladies, maybe a jar of pickled onions – it’s all the stuff of legend, now (except for the huge plastic letters of the SKOL sign that adorn the side of the pub, in memoriam).
Deeply inspired by the warmth of fledgling Landlord and Lady, Adam and Liz, and the quality fare on offer (largely sourced from a relative’s Dorset farm), Robin decided firstly that the pub’s internal revolution should be advertised to the wider public, and that the wider public was deserving of a revolution of its own.

He admits that the first Homage De Fromage event was dominated by Robin’s personal friends, and was fairly low-key. However, by the time I discovered Surbiton’s Cheese Underground, months later, things were a little more lively, even unhinged. At the end of a busy evening, I had travelled to the pub to meet a couple of friends who were already cheesed up. When I arrived, they were building a monorail course out of straws and sellotape, for the passage of a tiny straw and sellotape basket, housing a pickled onion (you see, pickled onions aren’t wrong per se – it’s all about the context). At the end of the course, the basket landed in a tray of water and was suddenly deemed a boat. Well done, I said, but it was no good – I was near sober, whilst they had not only imbibed more than me, but had also been in the zone since 7.30 sharp. It seemed to make perfect sense to them that pickled onions should need transportation. I saw so clearly the dichotomy between us: I was just a citizen of the State, whereas they were engines of creation. They had the same spark that enabled the invention of the Artesian Well, pyramid-construction techniques, or the aquaduct. I would have to get in on the act from the beginning of the evening to attain this enlightened state. Nothing could stop them!… Except the end of licensed opening hours, or running out of chutneys.

Let me tell you how Homage De Fromage works: Claim your table (you’ll probably have to book, these days), pay your money, enjoy your cheese-platter (themed on a region of the British Isles) while examining your cheese-menu and discussing your observations with your cohorts, fill in your answers to the quiz which nobody seems to care about, then partake in the month’s challenge.

The cheese, obviously, is a big focus, and Adam and Liz put in the research to get the most exquisite and diverse cheeses from each region. There’s usually a bit of Goat’s, a bit of Blue, and some Brie-like, as well as the more familiar types. But this isn’t a foodie review, and the cheese is not what it’s all about. It’s the challenge, the problem-solving.
The challenge that I had walked in on yielded brilliant results, all put together in around half an hour. Little cars with olives for wheels and toothpicks for axles, a hot air balloon, rafts, a glider. And this is exactly what Robin wanted to see. It’s Art, but not as we know it.

For Art’s greatest achievement can only be shining the light of imagination into the hearts of ordinary men and women. Robin’s strategy for achieving this is so simple, yet it achieves so much for its very directness. A little of society’s familiar lubricant, alcohol, followed by the gustatory excitement and discussion that only the complexity of cheese can bring, and then the simple laying down of a gauntlet.

The month that followed the transport-design forced each table-team to create a Wicker Man, which was then burnt in the beer garden as the horde of possessed Suburbitonians chanted and danced, and occasionally gestured the pretence that it was ironic. A month later came the command to build a whale, using only blue sheets of A4, straws, sellotape and bravado. The variety of approach was broad. Some built a skeleton first, some were cartoony, one had a little Jonah sitting in it’s mouth, two used a live human as the basis of the beast, One referenced the evolutionary ancestry of the whale with ambulocetus features. And the room was filled with love.

The most recent event had the challenge of designing a work of public sculpture, specifically an alternative to Wallinger’s big horse, planned for the mouth of the Channel Tunnel. There wasn’t a single half-hour proposal that I didn’t prefer to the Wallinger. Just for the sheer ridiculous Pythonesque and throwaway ethos that infused each work. And Bacofoil was the medium of the day. Shiny, shiny.
(Apologies, dear reader, but there’s no way I can get through this feature without the words “You had to be there!”)…You had to be there.

Homage De Fromage is an evolving project. Or maybe the trunk of a tree of projects. In the last four months, popularity has shot through the roof, with the April event being fully booked before the March event had finished. The clientele is changing, too, with younger people and artier people increasingly following (that’s right, following) les petits bourgeoises into this vibrant new scene. Robin is planning to harness this force, with plans to build a scaled-up model of the board game Mouse Trap on the beer garden, and a community art project, called My Life In A Box, in which anyone and everyone is invited to represent their life inside a cardboard box measuring 25x25x7cm. Effectively, the man is luring people into Kingston’s underweight cultural life with cheese. A mousetrap will make a very fitting monument to Hutchinson’s methods.
But is it Art? Proper, capital-A Art? Does it need to justified in relation to The Death of the Author, Public Art Theory, Art Brut, Relational Art, blah, blah? Is Robin a Rirkrit Tiravanija of the non-gallery-dwelling suburban breed?

Robin gives the impression that Art is nowhere near as crucial as his real buzzword – Creativity. Art is almost a hang-up, totem of the stagnant and the done, whereas what matters is the force that drives creation. That’s why everything ends up in the bin at the end of Cheese Night; no debris shall slow the passage of creation, as it joyfully gushes downstream in half-drunk flux.

For some reason, this involves girls wearing false moustaches. And they look good.

You can involve yourself in the Homage on the website, or the facebook. Why not go the extra mile and help out the Mousetrap, or put your life in a box.

It helps to have a few aces up your sleeve when you’re trying to make it in the fashion/art world these days. In which case you wouldn’t want to be the one staring across the table into the lovely poker face of this particular card shark. French Illustrator extraordinaire Coco, healing has stacked the decks with talent and expertise in razor sharp and uber feminine illustrations in magazines like Nylon, Slurp, Russh, Wonderland, years of fashion consulting for designers, PR work for Valery Demure, and most recently her own line of luxurious silk scarves called Forget-Me-Not.

Coco’s graceful drawings appear in Illustration books, displays for London and Barcelona Fashion Week, Karl Lagerfield’s AW ’09 catalogue and milliner Yasmin Rizvi’s turbans. Sitting down with the skillful drafter and in a plaiting of French and English we talked about her unique perspective on what it takes to stay in the game these days.


“I started out studying at the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Dupres but after that I didn’t draw for ages. I was actually working in fashion PR in Paris when Valery Demure asked me to do some illustrations for an invitation. Then a few magazines asked me to do some artwork for them. Once my pieces were out there, I sent out a quarterly update to the right people. Valery, by then a good friend, suggested I do the scarves and three months later I was doing it and now she’s my agent.”

Fearless and instinctive, I suppose that’s the kind of nerve you’d need to contend in the notoriously fickle world of fashion.
“When someone offers you to do it and you say ok, that’s one thing. But to come up with something on your own and to push it is too anxiety ridden. I admire those people that can do it. To be able to say merde ou oui (sure or piss off) to someone. ”


Do you feel your connections and savvy in that milieu helped you avoid some of the pitfalls most young designers face?
“So many things can go wrong but you’re on your own so you have to follow up on everything yourself. People say it’s so easy but it’s a nightmare to find the right factory. Sometimes the graphics look dirty if they’re not done to a high standard. After 6-10 tests I’m still not happy with them. Then there’s transport, corrections, it gets expensive. But that’s not really a big surprise because I’ve worked with so many young designers. Mais le vivre et le faire….(But living the life and doing it are not the same thing).”

What suggestions would you offer to designers/illustrators new to the game?
“Above all you must do it with your own identity and always be thinking ‘who will buy this?’ As soon as you do one thing, everyone thinks that all you do until you prove otherwise. If you do just one thing without taking risks you’ll end up like a rat. It could be just a poster or a book.”

“When sending your work to the PR’s you need to make an effort, to think about the little things and make it easy for them… like including simple texts. And you have to keep at them. I understand why designers are so stressed out. Often they’re timid by nature. I put everything I have into it. The successful ones are really aggressive and they put the effort the whole year through rather than laying back. Everything goes so fast these days it’s hard to know who’s coming or going.”


The internet must play an enormous influence in the role of the consumer. What can you tell us about the quickening pace of the fashion industry?
“Buyers are some of my favorite people to work with, they can be so much more informed and creative than they’re given credit for. When I first showed my silk scarves I didn’t tell them they were my designs, just so I could get their honest opinion. In commercial showrooms I got to know a lot about their customers through them.”

“The client comes super early in the season (AW 09) and they know exactly what pieces they want by summer. They used to depend on magazines and whatever they dictated. But now they’re seeing it all, instantaneously. They’re informed and decisive. My S/S ’09 line of scarves went into Colette immediately. I get orders from the shops in April and they want it by June because that’s when their August display windows are being designed.”


I hope are readers are keeping up because this is very much the nature of many a conversation with designers these days. Delivery dates are creeping forward so fast it’s all most designers can do to keep up, much less concentrate on the fun of designing.
Where did the designing process start for you
“I can’t do just one thing or I get bored. I think that comes from my education in France, although it can stifle you at first by forcing you to take certain paths before you’ve had a chance to develop or explore. But you had to be an academic to do well in the arts, you have to do one thing exceptionally well. There had to be an identity behind the facade… which always fades. I need to observe and understand before attempting it but because I had a good technical base I could just move on to anything I fancied, like designing a font. ”


A box of samples from the manufacturer have arrived and there’s an excitement about seeing what surprises lay inside. She unfolds a giant piece of diaphonous silk with 8 or of the same print, each slightly different in hue or tone. She inspects it closely, turning it over delicately in her hand.

These gorgeous silk scarves you’ve done are so rich and detailed. Is it easy enough to get your hyper-fine drawings onto them?
“No, actually it’s extremely difficult. There’s a massive difference from screen to product. Firstly I chose to work on an unusually large size square so you can wear it plenty of different ways. Also silk absorbs ALOT so its very difiicult to get details because the silk just drinks the inks up. It’s important to have the back look good too, not blotchy but properly bled through. When Barney’s buys you and puts you on the shelf next to Pucci it better be good.”

Know your opponent. Something to keep in mind. When rising stars are quick to burn out it can be invaluable to do your homework. And this triple-threat artist from France has a full house of extra sweet designs on her newest collection of scarves forget-me-not available at her online store going live next week so check back with us here for details. Because as the French are fond of saying, ‘On ne vie pas sur l’air et l’eau fraiche’….We can’t live on love and fresh water alone.
Merci Coco!

Fanfarlo‘s album Reservoir opens with pianos that rise up like the morning sun, shop lush and warm. Their songs unravel like stories that balance between light and dark; definitely melancholic but never without a touch of child-like optimism.


Reservoir swoop and soar like a bird, from cinematic highs and gigantic orchestral arrangements not dissimilar to the brilliant chamber pomposity of our beloved Arcade Fire only to diminish into whispery vocals and xylophones. There is something magical about Reservoir, it reminiscent of fir tree forests, Northern Lights, magic stories and a yearning for yester-years.
This self-assured debut is a must for bookish types who are fans of fore-mentioned Arcade Fire, Beirut, Sleeping States, Belle and Sebastian and dream of woozy adventures in far-away lands.


Produced by the infamous Peter Katis (mind-bogglingly good producer of Interpol and The National ) this multi instrumental, melodic smorgasbord is whimsical, nostalgic whilst being meticulously arranged and intensely structured.



Having played SXSW this year, they are currently touring the UK including this weekend’s Great Escape and Reservoir is released on 25th May on Raffle Bat. Fanfarlo are very much kings of their own castle eschewing conventional modes of distribution in favour of authentic and personal approach by running their own living room based make-shift business; buy Reservoir direct from the band themselves!
Still in its infancy, page although you wouldn’t know from the sheer number of enthusiasts it has already won over, Craft Guerrilla is set to take over the world. Not just THE world but YOUR world.
With Portugal born Walthamstow based Deborah Daniel at the helm, steering a crafty crew of artists, movers, shakers, designers and visionaries, Craft Guerrilla is on a mission to capture your hungry hearts and idle hands with a creative collective to literally get in yourself in a stitch over. She shares responsibility for its genius with two others, Lisa Magreet and Louise Batten, and her encounters with numerous etsy-ites along the way. Deborah Daniel is a fingers in pies kind of girl; Head Girl for Craft Guerrilla, a former ceramicist and current mastermind behind the company Munano, described in her own words as ‘A kawaii project…lots of evil but cute bunnies and forest creatures so lots of sewing, cutting and stuffing!’ This all supplements a day job that pays the rent, and yet Deborah shows no signs of sitting still.
Well equipped with principled idealism, utopian collectivism and a whole host of other worthy ‘isms’ to get the ethical activist juices flowing, these ladies are dedicated to The Cause in a big way. Far less about being anti and far more about being pro, Craft Guerrilla talk a lot more about what they do care for than what they don’t; a refreshing wide eyed optimism to grace these somewhat grey and gloomy times. Using unoccupied buildings as venues; supporting independent businesses and small-time designers; they are far more interested in promoting collaborations, forming opportunities and hosting workshops than bitching about the depressing state of the high street and its predictable conformity. Siding with the peaceful rather than the anarchic, Deborah happily reports her movement has been embraced with open arms and is gratefully received across the board. However she does tells me ‘We did have a funny incident in Wanstead, east London though…a few older ladies thought we were actually funding South American guerrilla armies through our craft market sales. Maybe if we knitted them some guns but…the word “Craft’ kind of gives it away.’
Her down-to-earth grass roots approach to matters is mirrored by her citations of inspiration; ‘I guess as inspirational people go my Auntie Maria Jose epitomises everything I’m trying to do. She was a real socialist, great humanitarian, artist and person. She valued the power of art and craft and the teaching of skills so to leave a lasting legacy for others to follow through out their lives.’ This is one upbeat lady. In fact the only vaguely negative thing I squeeze out of her is her rejection that craft is exclusively for the middle classes. ‘It’s not a privilege it’s a right! Luckily things are changing and people see it not only as a hobby but as a valuable resource and an art form.’
I ask her how intrinsic the ‘make do and mend’ ethos is to Englishness and vice versa. ‘The term D.I.Y. is so English that I’ve had quite a time trying to translate it to Portuguese. People do D.I.Y. but the essence is very much a British one. Like afternoon tea and the attitude to craft! The Americans are quite tuned in to the whole Craft thing too though I guess the main thing that divides us is their “can do attitude”. I wish we were more like that sometimes! BUT London is a really creative place filled with self sufficient people and I’m constantly surprised how little help people need at our d.i.y. events. Also I’m amazed at how forthcoming other craft groups have been in offering to help us advertise our events and work together with us. The sense of community and sharing is really something!’
What’s so lovely about Craft Guerrilla is the distinct lack of competition. No commission charged for Craft Guerrilla’s online shop, no attempting to out doing each other with bigger brighter hipper events – in fact, copycat behaviour is actively encouraged. Print out and keep packs are readily available to people wanting to start out on their own, as well as advice and tips on running your own get together. Well, when you have your sights set on global domination you have to can’t expect to do it all single handedly. I wonder whether she worries about short cuts and reinterpretations of her original manifesto, if allowing people to grow their own means risking people shaming the name. ‘We have a few guidelines in place but in general we hope people have requested to be part of Craft Guerrilla because they identify with our ethos and principals so they too are likely to follow it. We need to keep some consistent but it’s not set in stone. We also want people to make it their own by adding their own ideas and energy to the collective. I have faith in people and if there is something we really don’t agree with we are all open and intelligent enough people to discuss it with each other.’ ‘Before we take anyone on we like to see what they make. Our criteria is that all designer makers must sell only hand made item. We also look for originality and quality designed products. We just feel that we need to choose wisely because we all represent each other as a whole.’
With monthly events springing up and taking off such as Crafternoon at the Old Queen’s Head, Craft Market at Beautiful Interiors and Swishing at the Pink Bar, she is one busy bee. And the demand is ever increasing. Inspired by these quirky gatherings of like-minded arty types in reclaimed buildings, more and more is appearing rapidly and not just in East London. With Edinburgh set up to follow suit with a ‘Sister Army’ this Summer, and interest mounting from as far afield as Sweden and Sydney we are at the brink of a revolution in doing it for our selves and having a darn good time while we’re at it.

It feels like a pilgrimage, help like I’m on some kind of DaVinci Code quest. Potent truths that remain hidden from most around me will soon be revealed. The Band Before The Band I’m Here For churn out some unimaginative geezer-rock. Wearing a selection of Hoxton-twat-headgear and oozing the “Oi, cheapest oi!” flavour to entertain a herd of jolly boppers, they leave me cold. I’m not in the mood for pacy (yawn), exciting (yawn) rocking out (yaaawwwwn) tonight.

I’ve been psyching myself up for a gig by Alice and the Cool Dudes. All else is distraction. Ever since Punk-Jazz emperor Seb Rochford enlisted her as the voice of his Fulborn Teversham project, Alice Grant has been one of my favourite singers in London. The soft end of her voice is all head-resonant, tender and earnest but never quite soothing. There’s always a dissatisfaction in there. When the lungs get involved too, it’s a shockingly obtuse cavernous roar, a cross between primal wheeze therapy and shouting yourself hoarse. The cusp of these two sounds tends to give the impression that her precious heart could shatter at any second. It’s beautiful.
But that’s just a voice, as it is used in a different band. How would the Cool Dude ethos differ from that of Teversham? And would the siren/banshee voice be the same? The moment had come, the previous band had removed all their pedals and their hats from the stage, and all that was left was a drumkit, a set of keyboards, and a bass. And so began a selection of songs that never got so weird you’d call it experimental, but never got so familiar that you could classify them. Among the most striking was Boobs, baroque in its harpsichord sound, baroque in its fingerwork, not so baroque in featuring a cockney sparrow singing about boobs and somehow basically being kind of a lovely pop ditty. There is top notch songcraft in this. Strong melodies, twists and turns, a beat-rest at the end of a verse in which Alice holds the “oo” of “boobs” for a crystal-clear couple of seconds. Mmmmm.

And it gets even better. The gig progresses, and we are treated to Toes, a sway-friendly trombone waltz (that’s Joe the drummer’s other instrument). Then comes Changebrain, which is easily the catchiest tune on offer. Alice’s sequencer starts things off, then comes the hooky vocal, then the backing vocal, then the rhythm section builds it up, suddenly we’ve got a really tasty driving hit, yet still with it’s quirky authenticity, as Alice sings of wrapping dogshit in a Tesco plastic bag. This is also where bassist Ruth Goller (familiar to fans of Acoustic Ladyland) shines brightest. Her vocal lines are the perfect counterpart to Alice’s. It’s not just backing vocal, it’s a cleverly intertwining thread of its own. In the end sections, where it seems like all the preceding parts have come together in a rich ecosystem of tone and chord, it’s Ruth keeping it deep, reusing a previous vocal, then inventing a Ringo-style flat melodic version of the main line, and playing an inexplicably perfect bassnote at the same time. It all comes across as quite sweet and simple at first, so it’s ability to take you over is a proper thrill.
Finally, The Truth, a song that feels just as epic as the name suggests. A boomy tom-tom beat, and a thick, deep hammond provide the perfect backdrop to Alice’s consoling utterances of what feels like pity. Really, just go and listen to them do it.

Returning to my stupid idea that this might need comparing to Fulborn Teversham, well, yes, it was stupid. There is a portion of common ground, but Alice and the Cool Dudes don’t need those shackles. The central motifs that make up Teversham are gone, and replaced by something which is more pure, or less diverse, depending on how you see it (and certainly less screamy). But either way, it’s no less playful, no shier about complexity, and no less true. For all their dryness, and stone-cold confrontational chutzpah, Alice and the Cool Dudes are the most intense, interesting, sincere, meaningful and promising new band in my life this year.
But there is something amiss down at Barden’s Boudoir tonight. And there are two possible solutions. The first to occur to me was that they could use a more intimate venue, maybe the Slaughtered Lamb or Cross Kings. I think most of us in the crowd were first-timers, and the message might have come across a bit more pokey without a sound system designed for noisy ragers, without a room designed for beerbottle dance moves. The other solution is the one I prefer though. They release an album, everybody in the kingdom buys and loves it, and then, when everybody knows what it’s about, a gig in Wembley even could not fail. For intimacy can take on huge proportions to the initiated.
Let’s be honest though, the Hoxton-hat brigade will probably beat them to it. Alas, there’s no justice in this cruel business. I’m off back to the bar for another lament of amaretto.

You can hear demos and find out about future gigs on the myspace.
May 18th
Free Aung San Suu Kyi Demonstration London
12pm -1pm
Burmese Embassy Street:
19 A Charles Street, viagra order
Mayfair, buy
London, W1J 5DX
??Join this demonstration to free Aung San Suu Kyi after she was arrested by the Burmese regime and taken to the notorious Insein Prison.
Protest outside the Burmese Embassy, London, for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all of Burma’s political prisoners.


Campaign against Climate Change London Branch Meeting

Zero Carbon and fast !

Real solutions to the Climate Emergency

Monday 18th June, 6.30 pm SOAS,
School of Oriental and African Studies,
Thornhaugh Street,
off Russell Square, Russell Square Tube

Tim Helweg-Larsen from the Public Interest Research Centre outlines solutions that are adapted to the real scale of the Climate Emergency we face.

Not the scale that the government would like, or that it is more politically acceptable to be addressing. There is a huge gap between the science and the politics of climate change but Tim will show that we can cross that gap, face up to the true scale of the crisis – and still beat it !

We can make a start with “Ten by Ten”, 10% cuts in emissions by the end of 2010 – and a crash program that starts right now – and which will be the most powerful message possible that this government can send to the international community gathered together at the end of the year for the Climate talks in Copenhagen….

Find out more …. come to the “Zero carbon and fast !“ talk and discussion…..

Archive poster showing the international support for The Rosenbergs

Wednesday 20 May


Curzon Cinema Soho
99 Shaftesbury Avenue
London W1D 5DY
Box Office: 0871 7033 988?
Recorded Information – 020 7292 1686
Certificate: 15
Duration: 94 mins
Plus Q&A with Colin Firth, Livia Giuggioli Firth, William Francome and Amnesty International Campaign Manager Kim Manning-Cooper
Colin Firth, Executive Producer of In Prison My Whole Life, will lead a Q&A following a special screening of Marc Evans’s award-winning, Amnesty International endorsed documentary. The film follows 25-year-old William Francome’s investigation into the arrest of Mumia Abu Jamal, famed death row prisoner and award-winning Black Panther journalist, in an effort to expose the truth about justice in America for black activists. The film is crafted with style and energy alongside a punchy soundtrack by Massive Attack and Snoop Dogg.

Tursday 21st May

Illustration by Bryony Lloyd

Climate Change and the Implications for People and Poverty

Practical Action course, 9am–5.30pm,
Holloway Road, N5.

For over 40 years Practical Action has been
working together with poor people to develop technologies that are owned by communities; simple solutions that are good for people and the environment.
Practical Action is working around the world to tackle climate change with adaptation,
technology, campaigning and advocacy.
To book your place, return your registration form to
Info: 01926 634 403

Friday 22nd May to Sunday 24 May

Permaculture A Weekend For Beginners

?Dial House,
Ongar Park Hall,
North Weald,
Epping, Essex
CM16 6AE
Description: An introduction to permaculture including sustainable design principles and ethics, organic gardening, community economics, forest gardening, ‘hands on’ practical experience and more…
This course can either be considered as a ‘stand alone’ introduction to Permaculture ethics, principles and design, or else can be a lead-in to the more in depth full 72 hour Permaculture Design Course. The weekend is led by experienced permaculture teachers.
Venue: Dial House, near Epping, Essex
Contacts: Graham Burnett

Sat 23rd May

Amelia’s Magazine is offering you these musical pearls from this week’s ocean of noise.

Monday 18th May

Brooklyn’s Vivian Girls whip up a surfy shoe-gaze treat with a dash of 60s girl group and Deerhunter-esque dreaminess at 93 Ft East. A must!

Tuesday 19th May

Fancy a soupçon of Gallic whimsy? Why not head à la Plage and catch the brilliant Yann Tiersen, page creator of the Amélie soundtrack, medications and other beautiful melodies, play Concorde 2 in Brighton.

Wednesday 20th May

Titus Andronicus– no, not the Shakespeare play you boffins; but the band (pictured below) from New Jersey, play music that makes you want to shake your hair and rock your socks. Catch them with equally good but slightly older looking the Soft Pack, who shoegaze whilst winking across the room to Stephen Malkmus. No small feat or should that be feet!

Thursday 21st May

Stag and Dagger– a veritable music lollapalooza hits Shoreditch, so come on down to catch the likes of Cold War Kids, White Denim, Black Lips (pictured below), the best thing to come out of Kendall since mint cake; Wild Beasts, Micachu and the Shapes and Evan Dando– Should be fun!

Friday 22nd May

Crystal Stilts are actually diamond. Woozy haunted-house lo-fi that echos the poppier side of Jesus and Mary Chain– brill!
As if I could be anymore excited, they’re playing with The Bats, who are my favourite New Zealand export, very closely followed by Lord of The Rings and lamb.

Categories ,93 ft East, ,indie, ,listings, ,lo-fi, ,london, ,pop, ,shoe-gaze

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Amelia’s Magazine | Emmy the Great: GABRIEL

Alex Gene Morrison’s art can’t help but attract attention. Despite being displayed on a backward-facing wall, mind purchase the second I walk into the ‘The Future Is Now’ show, website like this my eye is drawn straight to it. He is exhibiting three large canvases; each of a painted face, buy more about but it is the middle one that I find most conspicuous. The head, body and hair are hidden under a dense layer of matt black paint, leaving only a set of menacing eyes in the picture. The larger than life size does nothing to mask the unnatural peculiarity of Morrison’s portraits either. My walk around, champagne glass in hand, takes me past the odd inspiring piece. Somewhere on a balcony above me I spy a tower of precariously balanced teacups that look fairly beautiful from afar. Still on the ground floor, however, I stop to admire a row of miniature portraits, skilfully painted in muted colours. Each displays a varying degree of abnormality – none of the delicate faces are by any means normal.

David Hancock‘s enormous, hyper-real landscape is definitely something to be seen. Vaguely reminding me of one of those children’s T-shirts with unicorns, hills and fairy dust on, the canvas depicts a fantasy mountain scene, with wonderful skies and a dreamlike river. Hancock has chosen to makes certain parts of the canvas 3D, presumably using something lumpy like mod-rock to create an unsatisfying surface you want to reach out and touch.The piece that really stayed with me that evening though was by Alexis Milne.

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Whilst scanning some art on the other side of the room I caught sight of Amelia and the crew hovering around a small, darkly painted shack. On closer inspection I discover that inside the hut is the scariest clown I have ever seen, complete with tarot cards and a fake American accent. Pinned to the walls are various masks of animals and child-like paintings. The clown (perhaps Milne himself?) is reading Amelia’s ‘tarot cards’ in his loud,phoney, and frankly creepy voice. He tells her that she is a horny schizophrenic. I decide I must also have a go while we’re there. He wastes no time in telling me that I am to end up a chariot racing, lap dancer with a fondness of eating.

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Hmm. He also makes me wear a creepy cat mask whilst talking to him, so I understand this is to be taken with more than a pinch of salt. On the whole ‘The Future Is Now’ show displays an array of style, quality and substance in the pieces they have chosen to exhibit. I am left feeling overwhelmed (it really is quite a big exhibition) but more importantly inspired.

Photography: Amelia innit!
Photo 1: Sophie, Anna, James and Tim

After forgetting to RSVP to the Young KnivesRough Trade instore, case some of the A-Mag team and I were sitting outside nursing ciders wondering whether it was time to try and sweet talk the doorman. Funnily enough, approved munching on some food next to us was none other than the Young Knives manager, who took pity and kindly put us on the door. Thanks Duncan!

After trying to scull the rest of our cider – yes, all class we are – we walked into Rough Trade to the sounds of the song The Decision, and an epic, Phil Collins style drum fill. Oh yeaaah baby. I, not having the vertical advantage of my companion’s six foot four inches, had to crane my neck from mid-way through the crowd to glimpse the thick rimmed geek chic of Henry and Thomas “House Of Lords” Dartnell and Oliver Askew, garbed up in what Tall James described as conservative shirts and ties, looking like they’ve come fresh out of their nine to five jobs at a real estate agent.

With mature, well-crafted indie pop songs, the Young Knives are musically tight like tigers. As has happened in the past from what I gather, Razorlight got a mention – as they have a song called Up All Night as well…incidentally, as do Unwritten Law, Lionel Richie, Boomtown Rats and the Counting Crows. Their vocal harmonies are reminiscent of Crowded House. Repetitive guitar riffs ran under infectious hooks, getting heads bobbing and a warm reception from the crowd.

With their easy stage presence and self-deprecating banter that conveyed their confidence and self-assurance at the quality of their own music; and whether they were sartorially splendid or committing fashion faux pas in their outfits, they could convince me to rent a property any day. And then I’d ask them to play at the housewarming.

It was the most incestuous night of music ever – though apparently every night at the Brudenell Social in Leeds is a musical pit of incest…

Besides being an opportunity for solo music makers to take their bedroom brainstorms out onto the stage, visit web MAN ALIVE! borne of Leeds artist collective Nous Vous, pharmacy included a number of other artist collectives showcasing and selling various works and bits and bobs.


First up was Dinosaur Pile-Up, recipe popping his gig cherry with a two song set. With a hand injury in play and the first rehearsal with a band backing him up that same afternoon, performance-wise it was much better than some could have done under the circumstances. It sounds like commercial success to me. Love is a Boat (And We’re Sinking) is an infectiously catchy anthem for frustrated heartbreak and confusion at relationships enough for an entire American teen series (enter Ryan and Marissa).

Glaciers, one Nic Burrows was up next with a bumbling Mr. Bean-like stage presence that really charmed, to many female exclamations of “Aw How sweet!” One of his mates actually commented “That slick bastard knows exactly what he’s doing.” Musically, he certainly does. Plaintive, earnest and warm, Glaciers is lovely. Guest appearances by the darling she-beast Katie Harkin of Sky Larkin fame and Mike Payne aka Mechanical Owl in Melamine made it an onstage pow wow.

Vest For Tysso is Will Edmonds and is a one, and occasionally, a two man band. Glaciers’ Nic Burrows popped in and out of the set on various instruments. Sweet, rich and multi-dimensional, just like a hearty carrot cake, this was, amazingly his first and last gig before jetting off to play at Canada’s Pop Montreal Festival.

Star of the night though was Mike Payne aka Mechanical Owl, who surprised with some genuine pop gems. After some technical mishaps including a core meltdown on his MACbook, and a badly placed mobile phone (which resulted in the tell-tale interference of an incoming SMS – though in this context, it may not have been totally out of place), Mechanical Owl impressed with the well rounded maturity of his varied and well thought out songs – smile inducing, strong and melancholic.


Then came Napoleon IIIrd, who never disappoints, with his heady mix of strummed acoustics, undulating synth, full of cuts and clicks, a triumphant trumpet section, and impassioned and ragged vocals. His is a set full of choruses that will march around in your head, with a broody, somewhat troubled, but ever hopeful Napoleon IIIrd fully in command of his electronic brigade.

Whether you like it or not, the royal family themselves are a result of inbreeding; as are most sovereign clans. Generally, this sort of family tree results in at the very least, mildly cross-eyed, buck-toothed, hammy-eared dolts. On the other hand, the MAN ALIVE! bill saw everyone having some kind of finger in everyone else’s pie; and instead of the usual weak specimens, gave birth to the rather uncanny result of an unfairly talented line up, despite springing from a small (and refreshingly un-skinny) ‘jean’ pool.

Flier by The Nous Vous Collective
Napoleon IIIrd Photograph by Christel Escosa

One of my favourite artists at the moment, illness and one of my favourite London venues…. surely Bat for Lashes (aka Natasha Khan and co) at Camden’s majestic Koko would be fabulous, approved right? Of course it was. I missed the support because I was running late: I simply couldn’t decide what Natasha would want me to wear. When I finally arrived, mid the Bjork-esque Trophy, the quiet crowd were already mesmerized by the sound of Khan and her band. I couldn’t fathom whether the eerie, sombre silence and general lack of movement was good or bad – until the raucous applause at the end of the opener. Clearly the room was full of Bat fans, and it was a struggle to find any spot in the whole venue where a good view was to be had. I weaved in and out of folk until I found myself at the highest balcony, which was surprisingly only half full.

From here, a clear view of the stage was to be had. Winter trees framed the singer and her band, whilst a mystic moon hung creepily over the ensemble featuring interesting projections – available as a post card set for you to treasure after the gig.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing this incredible act live, and instead have only read a syndicate of reviews, by now you will no doubt feel nauseous reading the following words: eerie, scary, spooky, haunting, chilling, magical, bewitching. I’m afraid, dear readers, that only this compendium of descriptions summarises a gig like this. But what most reviewers often omit is that, beyond the monstrous melodies, this is a stunning woman – musically, technically, physically.

Natasha, dazzling as ever in a bat-winged glittered smock, leggings, long boots and staple headband, moved effortlessly from track to track – presenting her svelte frame sometimes at front stage centre, bells and all; sometimes taking time at the piano, or on one occasion brandishing her recently acquired ‘wizard’s stick’ for a reworking of classic track Sarah. Natasha firmly has her feet on the ground, and spoke short, sweet sentences in between songs – her timid demeanour shining through on lines sung bashfully – such as Taste The Hands That Drink My Body.

Seeing the gig from the upper balcony was a true experience – the crowd wore their complimentary Bat For Lashes paper masks (featuring Khan’s original trademark feather head dress) and witnessing them all lined up, facing the stage, heads tilted upwards – was a little disturbing. Feeling like a prize pervert at a strange cult meeting was not what I expected, but nevertheless it was entertaining.


Songs like the dazzling Horse and I and crowd favourite What’s a Girl To Do? were given an more interesting up-tempo flavour; it was a huge shame the latter was let down with weak backing vocals. These tracks were interspersed with softer choruses such as The Wizard and the poetic Saw A Light, which were kept at their spellbinding best. A sweeter cover of Tom Waits’ Lonely was an attractive interpretation and would have gone unnoticed to all bar revellers acutely familiar with Natasha’s music. New track Missing Time was also showcased; it sounded great but stuck out like Natasha’s outfit might do at a funeral.

Last night saw the end of the Fur and Gold tour, an album that has lauded critical acclaim internationally. Let’s raise a toast to Khan and Co, and keep everything crossed that the follow up album will be equally as affecting as the debut.

Photography by Matt Bramford
Nate Smith and Pete Cafarella met years ago at university and played in a lick of bands together, page during which time Pete also starred in Nate’s student films. After uni they were reunited in New York and started as a duo in Nate’s bedroom in Queens. Shy Child was born.


They don’t discuss references or influences, order as it is too difficult. As Nate states, ‘ How many tracks are on our ipods?’ They would like to go down as a modern-day Chas and Dave, and currently listen to Metronomy, SMD, Black Sabbath and classic Wu Tang, amongst many others.

This new-wave/electronic/techno/punk pairing are going down well here in the UK and had made it their focus for this year, and after the festive season they’re heading back Stateside to pick up where they left off there.

Saturday saw their last date in London, at the Carling Academy in Islington. Nice little venue. I had been banging on about this band for a while, so I took two friends along as they were keen to offer a listen. What I failed to tell them was that it was a MySpace backed night, beginning very early, and featuring the youngest crowd I have ever seen at a gig. Ouch. Now I know it’s a little while ago now, but at 16 I do not remember skipping everywhere. Honestly. And I have no real qualm with skipping, but it is really all that necessary? Maybe skipping is the new black, or the new new-rave, maybe. Hopefully not.

Anyroad, we arrived and were asked for ID. With 80 years between the three of us, I’m hoping as we enter that this isn’t going to be the only pleasurable part of the night / late afternoon.

Whilst in the UK, Shy Child have performed a number of gigs, appeared on Jools Holland and more recently teamed up with Stella McCartney for Swarovski Fashion Rocks, which saw them enjoying a little musical chairs action with the models. “It was really fun and different for us,” says Nate. “And what we did together was a lot more exciting than some of the other pairings.” Agreed. Such a gig has brought their music to the fashion set, and their synth-styled, new-wave beats have hit the right market (it is no haphazard coincidence they have supported the Klaxons, amongst many others). The true measure of this band’s phenomenon, though, is that they can appeal to such diverse crowds – from Stella’s shmoozers to angst ridden teens, whose parents just, you know, don’t understand. That sort of thing.

I bumped into a friend of mine from Vogue there, who had a tale to tell. She’d gone into the toliets with a girlfriend, and a young girl had run out of the toilet, sssshing anyone who entered. Politely, my friend asked “Why do we need to be quiet in the toilet?” Naturally, the girl remarked, “Because Leanne is in that cubicle on the phone to her parents, and they think she’s in Pizza Hut.” Classy.

The duo that are Shy Child, on record and on stage, sound much more than two guys with a keytar and a drum kit. They are innovative, exciting and raw. They’ve stripped what was a heavy, electronic sound back to basics. Painfully catchy Drop The Phone is an immensly funky beat and is a pastiche of all sorts of tunes. Other favourite tracks of the night were Astronaut which has a distinct Giorgio Mororder disco flavour. The superb Good and Evil also floated my boat and has an incredible reggaeton influence. All enjoyed by a huddle of excited teens bouncing at the front – as well as everyone 18+ tapping their feet at the back.


A great night had by all, not least the kids. So it was time to head home, and play muscial chairs.

Photography by Matt Bramford
It’s a brand new kletzmer world!

The new Rough Trade superstore is cavernous and full of trendy young things casually perusing the flyers and freebie magazines near the coffee shop, viagra many on their own like me, website due to the stringent ticket conditions of this in-demand gig. Yes, visit this this is a gig to be accompanied by coffee or fruit juice only – beers to be had later in the bar next door.

At the back under a sign saying Dance CDs, a small stage had been erected and the racks shunted out of the way. Beirut is a cute teddybear of a man accompanied by his scenester hoodie crew. Only here will you see what looks like a new raver playing double bass to a new wave kletzmer soundtrack.

Beirut is discombobulated…he’s got jet lag and the mikes are having feedback issues that mean I spend most of the gig with a hand over the ear nearest the speakers – but that doesn’t stop a rousing set. Accordians, multiple ukes, a man playing a funny drum thing on the floor next to the cds, mandolin, violin, trumpet – all musical bases are covered. This is the return of the rock orchestra – people are bored with the traditional guitar, bass, drums combo, and everywhere I turn I’m seeing a move towards the instruments of an orchestra or big band. This is music that wouldn’t be out of place in Red Square in Moscow, but suddenly it is being feted as the next big thing. Not a bad thing I say.

I met Nancy at Thermal Festival in September. She’s ace. Wearing a very fetching grey jersey dress – that I am sure had more than a few men drooling over some carefully revealed chest – she sat down between guitar and harp.


In her hair were some artfully arranged buttons (tip: she sews them onto hair grips) and on her lap she placed her harp. Nancy sings songs that touch your heartstrings. It’s just her, more about her pure sweet voice and a harp or guitar, nothing else. She peppers her uniquely modern folk songs with funny little Nancy-isms and anecdotes. “You’ve cheered me up. I get all flustered when I come to London; I feel all weird. I stayed on my brother’s sofa in Hackney and he told me not to leave the house today cause I didn’t have a key. So I stayed in on the sofa watching daytime TV. Not good!” Down to earth and naturally talented, Nancy didn’t disappoint. Not many people seem to know of Nancy in London yet, but with a multi-album deal sorted her reputation is bound to grow. Catch her while the venues are still intimate, where she can leap off the stage to sell her merch as soon as she finishes playing. “There’s albums over there for sale. By the way…”
Three years young and buoyed by the glowing acclaim heaped upon their second LP, approved 2006′s Yellow House, try Brooklyn’s own Grizzly Bear offer up something of a celebration of their talents with the release of Friend – a ten track compilation of covers, nurse collaborations, new material and reworked favourites. Having invited the likes of Band Of Horses, CSS and Zach Condon (Beirut) to contribute, Grizzly Bear have managed to avoid notions of ‘shameless cash-in’ and produced an offering of merit. Indeed there is lots here to enjoy.

Brooding, dirty guitars help define opener Alligator, an alternate take on a cut from GB’s debut release. It features the first contribution from Zach Condon, and though it plods and outstays its welcome slightly, a glorious choral burst midway through manages to save it from being the drab opener it threatened to be. Things take an upturn with a brilliantly dark cover of The Crystals smash He Hit Me. It’s sinister tone is offset by a vocal that tips it hat to the late 80′s new romantics, and the sporadic sonic explosions serve to create an unforgettable slice of haunting pop.

The middle of the record then drifts along in a pleasant enough manner, without really exciting – which is a bit of a shame. The bizarrely titled Granny Diner exemplifies the problem. Positively, things are kick-started again with an energised, disco version of Knife courtesy of CSS. It begins, rather unfortunately, with a sample that appears lifted directly from StereophonicsDakota, but soon recovers itself. Punchy, choppy beats and a wave of synths dominate, and the upbeat tempo is just what the record needs. Band Of Horses then take us from disco to country and western with a banjo led take on Plans. It doesn’t quite work, but there are enough quirks – a lovely honky tonk piano solo outro being one – to engage. The record ends in a melancholic way, with a rather dreary Daniel Rossen home recording entitled ‘Deep Blue Sea’. It’s inclusion ill-judged.

Despite it’s flaws there are some lovely moments on Friend. It is diverse, sonically ambitious and at times captivating, which is no mean feat.

Gigs like this, no rx epic ones, medical are always daunting. You want to see all the bands but you’re clearly not going to. At ALL TOMORROW’S PARTIES, pharmacy it works. It’s over a whole weekend and everyone is in the right mindset. So that is what made this gig kinda strange; as essentially it was all the same people you get at ATP looking slightly bemused.

With a line-up of bands like these, even though they are becoming big, you still like to think of them as your little secret. So when you see them playing at a venue like that of The Forum, the enchantment is somewhat lost, you wish you were seeing them at Barden’s or at a festival, or, most idealistically, your friends’ warehouse. Especially, ESPECIALLY, when at first you’re told you cannot leave the balcony (what is that all about?!) where I was confined to as I watched Black Lips. Who – besides being as far away as I could possibly be – were exciting. I missed Fuck Buttons and all but one song of Deerhunter, because I was putting my white face paint on. Which is a little unforgivable, as Fuck Buttons are one of the best dirty yet beautiful duos around of late. Though Black Lips, with their lo-fi garage punk and their sloppy vintage sound and sweaty little faces, was the perfect start for me. They did a very special cover of Thee Headcoats ‘Wildman’, which was the point when we got distinctly pissed off being stuck on the balcony so snuck downstairs, for Liars.

The Liars’ new album is strange. It is just really simple. Had it come first, before ‘They Threw Us In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top’ and two more equally as concept driven albums it would have made more sense. But ‘Liars’, self-titled as it is, is a key, not just as noise led or art like, like their set, which bar the old songs, resemble more of a 1970s garage band than that of the beautiful, sadistic nature of the Liars we have come to expect. Its like they’re doing everything backwards; digressing to a pared down, more simple punk sound. But they’re Liars, so in all probability just messing with us, so maybe we should just let them get on with it.


By Deerhoof I wanted to expect big things, a grand and innovative performance. It all began charmingly enough, but by this point and most of my friends were trapped outside because they smoke and I really wanted find two them to be there as Deerhoof are so magical you want to re-assure yourself its real. So I spent a good deal of time during Deerhoof’s set wondering around as a lost zombie, and the big venue meant I kept losing the sound and meeting more equally frustrated people who were leaving. So halfway though their set I did just that. Left. ATP do festivals best.

Gillan Edgar (yes, dosage that’s his real name) is a Scottish songsmith who has set up home in Manchester with his girlfriend, prostate their two dogs, rx and an cluster of instruments. His performances tend towards the retro; reliant on basic acoustic grooves, and he has a unique, happy-go-go-lucky sound. Imagine how today’s fix of troubled indie bands might sound if they actually had a smile on their face, and you’re half way there.


On Monday, Gillan and his band put on a show at the Indigo2 – the new, lavish O2 arena’s cooler, alternative sister venue, housed in what was the Millennium Dome. Edgar is, at the moment, unsigned; but the clock is ticking for him to find his perfect match in the music industry. Bound for the pop charts with his boyish good looks, Gillan exudes confidence and is a completely natural show-off. I’m not usually one for crowd participation, but encouragement by Gillan to sing The Greatest Gift’s chorus (No no no no, no no no no) was met by myself and the crowd with excitement. This is exactly the kind of thing he promotes at his intimate gigs, which light-up the faces of his small but loyal following. In between marvellous melodies he connects with his audience with his laid back, witty persona and larger-than-life stage presence. I had been waiting for him to play in London for a while, so imagine my excitement when I heard the Bedford (the small Balham live music venue) were to host him here at the Indigo.


Edgar’s music is exciting indeed – and can only be described as pop and rock sitting contiguously, providing heart warming lyrics and a musically ‘up yours’ to pretentious indie bands who have the attitude but not the substance. Gillan has the credentials to perform with his band in such a grand venue, and I’m sure seeing him play solo with his guitar at a cosy gig would be equally impressive.

It’s so refreshing to find a musician who combines honest music with good old-fashioned fun. Gillan knocks out quality tunes with a huge smile on his face. Hooks like Mr Inconsistent and The Eureka Song make you bounce with glee, whilst the more poetic The Greatest Gift and Victoria Has A Secret make the mind move instead.

Gillan’s music isn’t complicated, assuming or prescribing – it’s just effing good. I smile smugly at my compadres with a look of ‘I told you so’ as Gillan plays his last tune. A long awaited debut CD is in the pipeline (hurry up, man!) but until then, it’s back to his MySpace for a listen.

Photography by Matt Bramford
It’s the politest crowd of all time. People move out of the way without me asking them to. One skinny guy, site wearing glasses and a cardigan, sildenafil apologises for no discernable reason. This isn’t surprising. Nice people generally come to the Luminaire. Normally to watch nice men play quiet acoustic guitars, nicely. A bit like Gravenhurst’s first record Flashlight Seasons.

The first shock for anyone whose only involvement with Gravenhurst being Flashlight Seasons – an accessible, downbeat folk album – is that this is not just that one guy. It’s a four-piece ensemble onstage. Singer Nick Talbot wears earplugs, unnecessarily. He makes some Slint-y harmonics on his electric (!) guitar. Alex Wilkins on other guitar echoes it with warm swathes of gentle noise. The rhythm section is pounding, concise and unrelenting.

This is unsettling. Gravenhurst’s four excellent albums sound markedly singular, the product of one brain. But the band’s performance is crucial to their live sound; the instrumental moods build up, develop and fade. Talbot’s voice, when it finally arrives after a drawn-out jam, is fey and resigned. His voice is often the band’s main draw on record, but live it’s not quite translating. On The Velvet Cell, Talbot’s a pissed off computer techie, singing about murder “lying dormant in the heart of every man” with a touch too much passive relish. It’s great, but the harmonic guitar stuff at the beginning of the set led the songs better than his paper-thin voice, which was weedier and shyer than it should be.

The second shock is the music. It’s hard to think of a neater, more comfortable niche than “that band on Warp who do the quiet folk thing,” but to their credit Gravenhurst have moved closer and closer to total psych noise mania with every release. Hollow Men from new album The Western Lands is total Dinosaur Jr territory, without the solos. Talbot strums his guitar manically, making his right arm look like a crazed, live side of ham.

They get called “post rock” a lot. I guess that’s fair. The quiet parts are inventive and fluid. The loud bits are rocking, not revolutionary, but totally worth the wait when they arrive. That’s about the biggest plaudit I’m ever likely to give “post rock”. But it sounds more like bastard Kraut to me, anyway.

Occasionally the strumming, feedback, fragile voice and layered drums catch alight and it feels like everything is beautifully interlocking. Except, you know, in a non-stoned way. Talbot’s voice warms up and becomes the beautiful counter to the instruments’ tired, reliable funeral song. It’s weirdly welcoming, but it wasn’t what I expected.

When music editor Christel told me I was on the guest list for this gig, patient she was greeted with a week of agitated over-enthusiasm and stupid Devendra-related questions. Not only was I smitten for the Banhart, I was a recently converted Laura enthusiast too, after weeks of listening to her soothing melodic tones in Amelia’s kitchen. To say that she has featured on every one of my recent mix tapes is an understatement. (She’s made it on to each one twice.)

So finally the evening arrived, and with my floral maxi-dress and lace headband in place I met up with my +1 (boyfriend Jake) for a pre-gig beer in Camden.
I thought I might be a teensy bit jealous of Laura Marling before the gig – (she’s a 17-year-old singer/songwriter extraordinaire who gets to support folk legends for god’s sake!) but after watching her I was absolutely green. How dare she be so unfailingly talented and successful at her age! And her attributes didn’t even seem to end there: to watch, she was the cutest of urban nymphs: tiny, with somewhat scene (click on this, no really) peroxide hair, an oversized hoodie slung off the shoulder and an unassuming manner that found her mumbling graciously between songs. Though she looked like she might not be enjoying herself, she was making a lot of us in the audience happy. I sang along fanatically to the ones I knew, and enjoyed hearing some new tales from her latest repertoire. Unfortunately the set was pretty much over before it began – she slunk off stage after five prettily concise tunes (alas without playing my favourite New Romantic) but left me in high spirits.

Devendra kept an impatient audience waiting for half an hour after Laura’s set, while he probably did something cool like smoke a joint backstage with his bohemian friends. We were pretty heated up by the time he stepped out from the shadows (hey just ‘cos it’s folk doesn’t mean the audience don’t push and shove a little) but oh my god did he make up for it! The most beautifully enchanting man I have ever seen, Devendra practically seemed to shine in the light of his own velvet clad aura. He opened the set with a joke song that he deliberately mimed, and just kept the skillz coming and coming, somehow managing to be funny, talented and entertaining the whole way through.

His voice sounded quite different live, and I mean that in a good way. Maybe it was just to do with getting the whole Devendra Banhart experience. It would be unfair not to mention his band while reviewing the gig because they obviously play a big part in his live performances. I couldn’t stop looking at the guitarist to his left. I swear he had actually stepped right out of ’69, complete with a shoulder-length mat of centre-parted hair and three piece flared suit. Together they made a pretty marvellous bunch.

I left the gig with an even bigger crush than I’d arrived with and a desire to pick up the guitar and learn a few tunes… perhaps next time I’ll be the supporting act.

Aaaargh UPSET THE RHYTHM. What would I do without them? They make seeing the noisy and alternative acts so easy for me. Just pick up a long orange flyer from your local east end haunt and you’re pretty set for your spiky, here choice, information pills and intercontinental for most part of the month. I got to 93 FEET EAST, a relatively new venue for UPSET THE RHYTHM, (which sound wise I am fine with, but in terms of character I’m not so sure) in time for YACHT. Active is definitely the word. Bouncy, fun, epileptic dance moves bordering on ADHD. Formerly the second half of THE BLOW it is the best music for indie kids to dance to. Jona Bechtolt’s percussion is infectious with jerky legs and shoulder thrusting all over the show. I am willing to forget the Michael Jackson sample used as an intro and his public school boy style rambling, as he was much fun.

Then NUMBERS. Trios really work! CELEBRATION, GET HUSTLE, PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED. NUMBERS are a no-wave-art-punk band of relentless drumming. They are coarse but ultimately captivating. They make a powerful noise, which, although better in previous recordings, makes you stop and fucking pay attention. Indra Dunis on drums and lead vocals is scratchy and piercing in the best possible sense. NUMBERS claw away at you, drawing you down and throwing you away. And there is a synthesizer. Need I say more?

Oh the anticipation! Toe twinkling, recipe shoulder shivering, check hand tingling excitement; the kind that reminds you of waiting for Christmas, or going on a ride in a hot air balloon. Though my evening shuddered to a start by being in a decidedly bad mood, the infectious promise of the night ahead soon took over, imbuing the pilgrimage to The Roundhouse with impatience at all manner of minor public transport issues (like waiting nine extra minutes for the tube – well I never!).

The crowd at the Roundhouse was eclectic, and as excited as I was; waiting anxiously for Beirut to get onstage with the boy wonder Zach Condon at the lead. When they ambled on, there was a warm roar of approval as the raggle-taggle gypsy mob began to play.

Zach has the quiet self-assured confidence of one having been around for a little while and knowing what he’s doing. With his brass (a flugelhorn to be precise) slung over his shoulder, baggy white tee-shirt and tousled hair, he is a rather unassuming figure…until he begins to sing. Condon’s undulating voice soars over the joyful raucous of the other nine musicians who make up the collective that is Beirut.


It is a gorgeous din they make, warm and fresh. Their music manages to make the most jaded cynic feel like there’s still the endless possibility of many journeys to be had. Incongruously mature, yet still curiously innocent, the atmosphere that Beirut creates is simply a happy one. Uplifting and beautiful, the wide-eyed optimism of youth conveyed with well-travelled worldliness that is addictive to listen to. You just don’t want them to stop playing; even though the whole set sounds sort of like one long song with different variations on the theme – this is irrelevant, just like their image or whether they ‘put on a show’. Because it’s simply their sound, the purity of the music that absolutely holds you in rapt attention. Beirut is robust and swirling, just like snow and makes you feel like you’re seeing such a phenomena for the first time. Every song is epic, the soundtrack to the homecoming scene after the kind of adventure told in folktales, with a kind of refreshing joy and resolution that is ultimately satisfying.

For my virgin experience at the Roundhouse, I couldn’t have asked for a nicer time. And then came the after party in central Camden. The free bar made this buoyant Beirut fan a little more buoyant. The only vaguely eye-rolling thing was the opening few songs from the Djs – who I observed had a little trouble getting in at the door –making Liz (yet another tall companion of mine, who has the advantage of not having to crane to see ANYthing ANYwhere) and I raise our eyebrows. Ambient house at the Beirut after party? Hmmkay.

So we decided to make an exit a little while after the free bar dried up. Our timing was canny, as Beirut decided to make like trees (and leave) also. I caught Nick, the Beirut drummer, on the way out the door to tell him – like countless others had in the past no doubt of course – how much I enjoyed the gig. After a happily tipsy chat that I can’t actually recall very much of besides the fact that I flashed some blood (TRUST, click this) at him, my stomach grumbled and the best egg and bacon baps in London called my name. These are so good in fact, that Liz broke FOUR YEARS of vegetarianism to scoff a bit of my bacon a week ago. OH YES.

Nick decided that he too, could hear bacon calling him, and came with us. The lovely chap then proceeded to buy me an egg and bacon bap with BARBEQUE SAUCE! I had lost all hope that this condiment existed in the UK, and this event restored my faith in both rock stars and British condimentation. On that note, it was the perfect night…


…And the bus ride back into East London was free too, innit. Hollaaaa.

{Somewhat dodgy) Photography by Christel Escosa
Despite their credentials and that Robot Man song, sickness the Aliens just aren’t cutting it. Black Affair, cialis 40mg Steve Mason’s new incarnation, doctor is at once audacious and amazing but probably won’t please the faithful. So what are those once enamored with and still lamenting the demise of perhaps the only British band of the last decade to actually be any, er, good, to do? I’m mean fans of the Beta Band, of course. Easy now. You’d do well to investigate this stone cold gem of an EP by Peter Hedley a.k.a. Beneath Fire and Smoke.

Sounding not unlike a Romanian folk band free-styling over the best bits of the Beta’s first three EPs, this has much to commend. No surprise then that Hedley is a sometime collaborator with whacked-out-folk genius, Voice of the Seven Woods. His music is shot through with the same rustic romance and bleary eyed wooziness…but it’s so much more. Opener, Smoke and Flames, is the finest cut. It uncurls, ebbs and flows over euphoric flutes and strings, electro-acoustic beats, monastic, loved-up vocals and down right cheeky Fairport’s style bass. Hot damn! Songs from a Slipway is how A Hawk and A Hacksaw wish they’d sound whilst The Iceberg Waltz deals in the same desolate and disconcerting piano led melancholia last heard on a Beach Boys Smile bootleg circa December 1966. Closer, So It Came To Pass, contorts celestial psychedelic string parts over minimalist bass and heart broken lyrics of unrequited love: So it came to be/That you and me will always be/Apart

Beautifully packaged vinyl courtesy of the bespoke Battered Ornaments label, this is what it’s all about. No downloads. No guerilla PR campaign. No hype. Music for music’s sake. And don’t doubt it, pal – this is fucking music.
Dearest Anarcho-Hillbilly Barn Dance Compadres, visit this

Cut-a-Shine are at it again, viagra buy hosting another rip roarer at the glorious Finsbury Town Hall. It’s going to be a bonafide hoe-down; themed as a Barn Dating night, click with plenty of lil dawgie roping, partner swapping, do-si-do-ing, gingham neckerchiefs and yeehaw-ing.

Couples, trios, doubles, groups, gay straight bi, tri, or try anything, come on down. Single as sliced cheese? You might just meet a sweet thing to take you off to the love parlour for a roll in the hay. If you’re feeling really lucky, you might receive a gingham beard (for the girls) or a pretty bow (for the boys), with a saucy love note attached. If you’re from the house of jealous lovers though, maybe stay at home, as it’s gonna be a mixing and mingling good old fashioned time, and we don’t want no fighting shenanigans going on.

Opening up the evening will be The Bona Fide Family Band, promising some hillbilly mountain music on a wealth of odd instruments like mandolins and banjos.

Cut-a-Shine are on 9pm-11pm with Amelia calling some dances, if you fancy meeting the lady herself.

After all that there’s Fat 45. Jump jivin’, jitter buggin’, rock’n’rollin 11-piece swing band.

Can’t get any cooler than a shindig like this one. And whilst you’re cutting a rug out there on the barn dancing floor, spare a thought for the poor old band stuck up there on the stage, and send us some love too (cider will do).

So long now, see you at the shindig this here Friday!

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Huw Stephens – Radio 1 DJ (and all round good egg) have afforded the gig going hordes of the Welsh capital a real treat this weekend in the shape of a three day musical feast. It’s simple title (‘swn‘) belying the riches on offer. Aside from Sons and Daughters, more about tonight features the likes of The Cribs, stomach Beirut and The Duke Spirit scattered amongst a host of venues throughout the city. Over the course of the weekend there will also be the opportunity to catch anything from Two Gallants, viagra 40mg to DJ sets by Annie Mac and Steve Lamacq – these being just a handful of acts from the impressive 120 plus assembled by Stephens for the inaugural event.

The Scottish quintet arrive in Cardiff midway through a tour in support of new album This Gift, due early next year. Rather unusually, the bands online tour blog boasts of the pre gig joys of consuming Chinese green tea in Cambridge. So much for the Rock ‘n’ Roll excess then. But in the flesh they do a stellar job of presenting themselves as strangely stylish, sexy and diverse outfit. The striking presence is most welcome.

Style aside, so to the substance – and the songs. Or rather ‘song’ as it turns out. Tonight’s performance is so repetitive in nature that it almost feels like the set is one big song. From a very early stage in the set, songs blend into one another, and the absence of differentiation is stark with the overriding effect being one of tedium for long periods.

As a unit, the band kick and splutter without really going anywhere – even if at times they manage to create a surprisingly big sound. The lack of craft however often relegates this to mere ‘noise’. But, on occasion everything does fall into place. Cathy Come Home (a homage to socialist stalwart film director Ken Loach) has the necessary chorus, and said big sound (not noise in this instance) to resonate somewhat. Whilst new single Gilt Complex – which we are reliably informed is ‘about c*nts’ – recalls the wilder moments of Echo and The Bunnymen with some zest.

It’s all a little too late, but there are glimpses of excellence right at the end of the set. Chains is definitely the best new song on offer, it’s defiant energy and bite offering hope for the new record, and they end on Johnny Cash – with a bit of Iggy and The Stooges thrown in for good measure.

So much for the green tea eh.

It’s a Friday night and I’m in the SEOne club situated beneath London Bridge Station for an Evening with The Rakes. An interesting line up of new musical ‘talent’ including the likes of The Metros, sale We Start Fires, page Ghost Frequency and various DJ sets seems to have drawn in a mixed crowd for a Friday night knees-up south of the river.

Strolling between the two stages/bars (separated by a DJ room in which I thoroughly enjoyed some old school reggae) I caught bits and pieces of the support acts; none of which left a real impression on me – they weren’t bad, seek just not quite my cup of tea.

Not massively impressed at the new music on display, my ears pricked up when I heard the rumor that the special guests had “good shoes”. True enough half an hour later the Morden boys made an appearance on the second stage and ripped through the majority of their debut album Think Before You Speak as well as a new song for good measure. The fact that not only were they on top form but that all the scene kids were at the other stage awaiting The Rakes and guarding their “spot” only widened the grin on my face. That was more like it. With my clothes suitably ruined and my beer everywhere it was time for the main event (via the bar of course!).

Having been a fan of The Rakes first offering Capture/Release and a critic of their second, far more commercial album, Ten New Messages, I was both excited and apprehensive to see what was on offer. Opening with lesser-known songs from the second album and a few new ones left the crowd somewhat bemused. However, The Rakes soon riled us all into frenzy performing riotous renditions of Strasbourg, 22 Grand Job and Retreat. The front of the room seemed to erupt into chaos as tune after tune from Capture/Release got a much-deserved airing. With Alan Donohoe twitching and jerking around the stage like he’s the secret love child of Ian Curtis on speed and the band drilling through their best material, I stumbled home with my grin still firmly in place…

It’s the end of the show already and the stage is dripping in red light. From where I’m standing, what is ed the perspiration in the room looks like blood. Two Gallants have just been on for over an hour, so the perspiration on the walls feels like blood too.

They have wrecked this place. Their blues, rock, folk, punk, loud, quiet, angry, sad mayhem has blown the place to smithereens. Adam Stephens‘ voice is cracked, rasped and broken. His heart is heavy, his songs are long, his words are laced with the worn down dejection of a hard life. The mouth organ can barely hold up for the rust and rot.

Tyson Vogel bashes his drums like he’s making up for a past deed. He has no crash cymbal, just high hat and ride. He provides the drama, the beard, and the mystery. There’s just the two of them. Named after a James Joyce short story, as you know, they are literate. They tell tales: “I shot my wife today/Hid her body in the ‘frisco bay”. That’s a tough gig. They repent: “If you got a throat/I got a knife”.

But they’re not depressing. They’re painting a picture, writing a novel, making you think. Amidst the almost White Stripe-y rock-outs and the down beat Americana they’re doing rustic graffiti on the side of an old wooden cabin. They’re drinking whisky and opening their heart to a best friend because things haven’t worked out how they planned and they don’t know what to do about it. And they do it every single song.

Long Summer Day is as controversial and opinion-splitting as ever, the Gallants belting out Moses Platt’s lyrics as if they were their own: “And the summer day make a white man lazy/He sits on his porch killing time/But the summer day make a nigger feel crazy/Might make me do something out of line.” It raises an eyebrow, provokes, and stretches boundaries. But as reckless and offensive as some might see it, that, compadres, is what it’s all about.

The five piece – three scrawny men, abortion one portly man and one petite woman – clamber onto the stage. Fashion doesn’t trouble them. It’s five-years-too-late skinny jean/tie combos for the men (great for squeezing the tunes out presumably) and a trashy silver cocktail dress for the girl. They pick up their instruments and play a pick ‘n’ mix selection of all the pop you’ve grown to hate (Wham!, pills Katrina and The Waves, Aha), but somehow they’ve jumbled, mashed, stretched and twisted it into something kind of… well…good.

Really good actually. These geeky kids can play. And for all the cruise ship Europop melodies (they’re from Denmark) and synchronised shimmying you can’t help but move your feet with them. Your poor old heart – smacked around by dull jobs, worn-out worrying over neglected friendships and Kasabian on the radio – starts to really kick again. A weird craving for Nerdz and Curlywurly’s and Dib-dabs creeps up on you. Suddenly you want The Beano and Live and Kicking on a Saturday morning. Look around and see a dark room above a pub in North London half-full of thirty-somethings dripping from the miserable weather all lost in similar reverie.

Before you know it lead singer Anders SG is introducing the final song of a far too short set. Alphabeat scamper into a note-perfect performance of their flagship hit Fascination – sample lyric: “fashion is OUR fashion” (that’ll explain the wardrobe then). Andres whoops, spins, shakes and slams his tambourine against his chest. His band skip around the stage bellowing “Super-duper!” in unison and beaming at each other with undisguised affection. Alphabeat are making that kind of giddy pop that makes you want to run all the way home and yell: “Mum MUM, I found this brilliant new band and they made me dance until my feet were sore and they sound like S Club 7 smacking the snobbery out of Arcade Fire and let me sing you their songs and I want to BE in their band and can I go and see Alphabeat again tomorrow night please please PLEASE!?”

And if she’s seen them, she wouldn’t be able to say no.

The way into our hearts here at Amelia’s Magazine, link is through our stomachs. Faye Skinner, treatment the clever little muffin, wooed us with cupcakes hand delivered to our door – these ones in fact:


After worrying about whether they were actually meant to be eaten or not (admittedly, we were only briefly torn about it) and whether we wanted to digest the lovely little things, leaving only crumbs and paper cupcake wrappers as evidence that they ever existed, these three piglets couldn’t help but scoff the lot (with Amelia’s help).


In one fell inhalation, all the cupcakes were gone, so we thought we might ask Faye a few questions…

Who were the illustrations of on the cupcakes?
They were a little bit of everything that influences me, queens, victorian children, dolly birds and female musicians.

Were the illustrations actually edible?
Yes, entirely edible. I painted them onto wafer paper using food colouring which work just like watercolours. I then stuck them on with the pink icing.

How do you feel about people eating your illustrations and them disappearing into the bowels of their stomachs?
I quite like the idea of eating very pretty food, like sugared rose petals! Mary Pickford used to eat flowers when she was a little girl in the hope that she would be beautiful when she grew up. It must be very good for the soul.

Can you tell us the recipe for the cupcakes?


5 oz (150g) Butter – softened
5 oz (150g) superfine (castor) sugar
6 oz (175g) self-raising flour
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
drops of pink food colouring

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350oF (180oC).
2. Line a 12 cup cake pan, with cup cake papers.
3. Crack the eggs into a cup and beat lightly with a fork.
4. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl.
5. Beat with a whisk for 2 minutes, until light and creamy.
6. Divide the mixture evenly between the cake cases.
7. Bake for 18-20 minutes until risen and firm to touch.
8. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
9. Allow to cool fully before icing.

For the icing whisk together water and icing sugar and a drop of food colouring until slightly thick and runny, then dribble onto the cupcakes, stick on the wafers while the icing is still sticky.

You can buy packs of wafer paper which you can then directly paint onto with the food colouring and then cut out with kitchen scissors ready to decorate the cakes with.

Do you bake other things? Like what?
I do make a lot of chocolate cupcakes for my flatmates when I am having a domestic housewife kind of day. When I was younger I was obsessed with baking salt-dough fat mermaids.

Tell us some of your favourite things.
Some of my favourite things include Vivien Leigh, The National Portrait Gallery, The Electric Ballroom, pub quiz and kareoke on a tuesday, Katie Jane Garside, classic children’s novels, and shopping in and around Dalston’s £1 emporiums with my friend Victoria.


Scrumptious. Find out more about Faye at

Photography by Amelia
Photo 2, L-R: Jess Jayne and Christel
Photo 3: Jess

He’s come a long way has Dan Snaith aka Caribou. From the purer electronic instrumental cut’n’paste soundscapes of his Manitoba guise to this: the Odyssey and Oracle goes Pro-Tools psychedelic pop of his Caribou incarnation. Summer’s Andorra long player exemplifies just how a musician, medications given time to grow and develop creatively, can create beautiful art. That’s not to negate his previous works but Snaith’s most recent album is fucking light years ahead, marrying choral song-structures with a left-foot sensibility.

So, how to rock this complex and multi-layered beast in a live context. Get a bad-ass band together. Lap-tops, two drummers, vintage guitars, neck-ties, wigged out projections, Electric Prunes circa ’66 haircuts…Check, check, check….Oh man, it’s gonna so fucking rule. In truth, it nearly didn’t. Squandering triumphant nugget, Sandy, as first number was a shame. You could hear the band finding their feet and acclimatizing to the stage as the song thundered on in cack-handed fashion. No bad thing of course, but when it’s such an unabashed turntable hit as Sandy it kinda grates. Still, with Snaith finding his voice and his beautiful boys kicking up a psych-storm they lay waste to Brighton’s Audio with aplomb. Melody Day does that whole scorched earth thang leaving the audience mouths agape whilst She’s The One is just sublime, like Kieren Hebden producing the Beach Boys today. Desiree is heartbreaking; with soulfully strained harmonies seeping into our ears, glooping down like wild honey over a Midi-orchestra backing. Sweetness personified.

You rarely get to hear such celestial orch-pop made flesh. Vibrant, human…alive. Dan Snaith and friends know how to do retro and make it so fucking fresh. Tell that to the hordes of dim guitar slingers taking up space in this town or in the pages of the NME. This is how you do it, boys. Class dis-fucking-missed.

He’s come a long way has Dan Snaith aka Caribou. From the purer electronic instrumental cut’n’paste soundscapes of his Manitoba guise to this: the Odyssey and Oracle goes Pro-Tools psychedelic pop of his Caribou incarnation. Summer’s Andorra long player exemplifies just how a musician, information pills given time to grow and develop creatively, site can create beautiful art. That’s not to negate his previous works but Snaith’s most recent album is fucking light years ahead, prescription marrying choral song-structures with a left-foot sensibility.

So, how to rock this complex and multi-layered beast in a live context. Get a bad-ass band together. Lap-tops, two drummers, vintage guitars, neck-ties, wigged out projections, Electric Prunes circa ’66 haircuts…Check, check, check….Oh man, it’s gonna so fucking rule. In truth, it nearly didn’t. Squandering triumphant nugget, Sandy, as first number was a shame. You could hear the band finding their feet and acclimatizing to the stage as the song thundered on in cack-handed fashion. No bad thing of course, but when it’s such an unabashed turntable hit as Sandy it kinda grates. Still, with Snaith finding his voice and his beautiful boys kicking up a psych-storm they lay waste to Brighton’s Audio with aplomb. Melody Day does that whole scorched earth thang leaving the audience mouths agape whilst She’s The One is just sublime, like Kieren Hebden producing the Beach Boys today. Desiree is heartbreaking; with soulfully strained harmonies seeping into our ears, glooping down like wild honey over a Midi-orchestra backing. Sweetness personified.

You rarely get to hear such celestial orch-pop made flesh. Vibrant, human…alive. Dan Snaith and friends know how to do retro and make it so fucking fresh. Tell that to the hordes of dim guitar slingers taking up space in this town or in the pages of the NME. This is how you do it, boys. Class dis-fucking-missed.

When one thinks of Washington DC’s musical scene, website like this it evokes images of right-on punkers kicking up a politicised, ask Converse clad riot. Loud guitars. Soap box sermons between songs. Well, meet Washington’s Mark Charles, a.k.a Vandaveer, and prepare to swoon to a different beat. Or lack of beat…

There’s no shortage of neo-folkers right now and some might say we need another one like the world needs another epidemic of the Black Plague. But Vandaveer is something else. What he has is soul; and that genuine, bohemian restlessness that characterises truly great singer-songwriters. Seeing him play to six people in Brighton the other week did little to diminish his aura and captivating stage presence – it oozed into every nook and cranny of the venue.
Vandaveer’s debut album is a sonically stripped down affair that serves to melt the listener’s heart in slow motion. Its minimalism renders Charles’s voice the main weapon here. A good thing given that he sounds like a most pleasing bastardisation of Dylan and Donovan. These are appropriate musical and lyrical references too but, at times, Vandaveer seems even more archaic, beamed down from another place and time. The harmonies that caress the chorus of Grace and Speed are almost pre-Beatles in their innocence while the tumbling chords of Parasites and Ghosts will make the hairs on your neck stand up. Dark humour, too, abounds on Out Past The Moat, its mellifluous melodies couching disconcerting lyrics: “Got my guns, I got ‘em both/Now’s a good time as any, tell my brothers I love them both…”

There’s more to meets the eyes and ears then. All human life is here and then some. Not bad for a dude with a guitar. Clear all that Homefires Festival endorsed shit and make way for a talent that demands a place in your life.

Reckon you’ve got Sons and Daughters sussed? Think again. Over their successful five year career, cost the Glasgow foursome have released two addictive albums of lusty, rx ragged blues punk, ambulance but they are set to blow expectations skywards with forthcoming effort This Gift, out in January, which finds their trademark, dark and ferocious sound rubbing up against 1960s girl group stomp and straight-up pop with magnificent results.

Tonight in the normally clinical surroundings of the Islington Academy we are treated to a preview of this latest material as they mix songs old and new throughout a fiery and captivating set. But before they take to the stage, Foxface work their folky magic on an initially uninterested smattering of people, followed by an intense performance from Victorian English Gentleman’s Club who arrive sombrely to the sound of a single clanging bell and climax with ear-shattering howls, menacing basslines, scratchy riffs and the colossal impact of two thundering drummers when Sons and Daughters’ sticksman David Gow joins the Cardiff trio for a dramatic finale.

The crowd is clearly unsure of the second support act, but not so by our headliners who whip up a storm as soon as they kick into rhythmic opener Broken Bones, provoking a sea of flailing bodies and lobbed pints. The dapperly dressed band make for a striking sight – the boys boasting quiffs, braces, colourful shirts and skin-tight jeans and the girls in glittery gold tops and short skirts – and they have immensely grown in confidence since they last played the capital as they attack their instruments unabashedly, while bassist Ailidh Lennon skips and hops in time to the music and Adele Bethel prowls the stage, switching effortlessly between sweetly sung vocals, soaring choruses and blood-curdling shrieks.

Gilt Complex is a highlight, as are warmly received newies like Rebel With A Ghost, The Nest, House In My Head, The Bell, Darling and Chains, however, the most frenzied reactions come in response to the airing of fan favourites Taste The Last Girl, Dance Me In, Red Receiver, Rama Lama and finally Johnny Cash which sees the quartet bathed in flashing red and white strobe lights and ends with guitarist/vocalist Scott Patterson screaming into the front row astride an amplifier. Explosive stuff indeed, and on form like this, Sons and Daughters seem unstoppable.
With recent solo exhibitions at Rotterdam’s Witte de With Gallery and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, treatment one might imagine Tris Vonna-Michell; who has spent the last few years zigzagging across Germany and Europe, sick making and performing his work, would be in the throws of nervous collapse. But with future appearances scheduled at Performa, New York (2007), the Berlin Biennial (2008) and judging from the energy and dynamism with which he delivers his performance it would seem not.

Act three of Tris Vonna-Michell’s performances in the “Tall Tales and Short Stories” series will be showing at Islington’s Cubitt gallery on November the 24th. Those patrons of performance art who favour public nudity, blood and guts need not look this way however, as an all together more understated idiom of performance prevails.

Incorporating, slide photography, moving image, documents and found objects Tris’s performances are essentially stories, albeit with meandering and non-linear narratives. What is charming about this artists work is its uncontrived nature as well as his near obsessive engagement with its subject matter. Tales of intrigue and espionage are woven around the topography of various European cities. Those big themes of the late twentieth century, the chaos in the aftermath of the Second World War and the division of Europe are touched upon too, but strangely through references to Quail eggs and through rather fragile, melancholy photographs, often concentrating on objects which themselves have something of a faded and nostalgic feeling. Curious art lovers who long to see new work with real passion and individuality should seek out Tris’s next exhibition no doubt coming to a country near you.
Daniel Johnston has bi-polar depression. He has a unrequited love for Laurie Allen. A girl he met whilst at Art College and whom he idealizes and uses as his muse for his music. He also sings of Christianity, visit this Captain America, try Casper the Friendly Ghost, malady the Devil and has fixation with number 9. He was born in 1961. He was there when MTV boomed and in 1985 they did a special on Austin, which brought Johnston to a broader consciousness. Record shop started selling his cassettes which he had largely given away. He was hospitalised when he wrestled the controls form his father who was flying the plane in which they were travelling. In 1991 whilst hospitalised he was able to air his music where he sang of Mountain Dew and requested Yoko Ono produced his music. Kurt Cobain loved him. Wore his t-shirt on TV and his live performances are the most emotional and affecting you will ever witnessed, with each line you feel like you are watching some crumble. He is an unassuming genius.

Johnston never intended for drawings to be sold. They are his cartoons about his personal battle between good and evil, like missing frames of a much longer story. So the fact that they are now adorning the walls of galleries far and wide must be bemusing for him. Like when he painted the “Hi, How Are You?” frog, also known as Jeremiah the Innocent on the Austin Sound Exchange music store. It was initially going to be torn down when the shop closed but public outcry meant that $50,000 was spent to save it. His work is enjoyed. They are witty cartoons with characters like Joe The Boxer with his head cut off. He references from Greek sculptures that have been defaced though time in art books he get from the library. He doesn’t want to insult girls too much though, so he draws them with heads. He is Joe The Boxer. He is battling Vile Corrupt in his drawings, Vile Corrupt being is his alter ego. He is all of America’s ideologies residing in one effected fellow. His life in part hiding and consuming of comics and popular America culture combined with poetic and intuitive nature has made art wholey pure in intent but riddled with excessive certitude and fundamentalist rigor. I am not arguing that Johnston’s drawings convey the purest most infinite beauty but like Johnston once said ‘–if you’re not entertained, depression will get you.’

Alongside Daniel Johnston’s work in this exhibition is that of James Unsworth, I suppose a rather more together version of Daniel Johnston, whose work is darker than Johnston’s visually, dense and macabre. He uses print to develop his pen and ink drawing into something even more forceful. He is destined for seminal. His work is honest, dark and gruesome, which although some won’t admit is work we can all relate to sometimes. In short go see this show.

Johnston’s drawings were also featured in the 2006 Whitney Biennial. His artwork is shown in galleries around the world, including exhibits in London’s Aquarium Gallery (April 28-May 20, 2006) and New York’s Clementine Gallery (March 16-April 15, 2006). Unsworth has had previous shows at Crimes Town Gallery, Atlantis Gallery, The Boys Hall and NOGgallery.

Giant bow necklaces. There are not enough accessories that make me feel like a 5 year old kicking about nowadays. I’m not one to favour delicate jewellery, page and maybe that says a lot about my Peter Pan like refusal to grow up, more about but if brands like Neurotica have jumped on this idea then I guess I can get away with it (until my next birthday). Neurotica’s Spring/Summer 08 collection, Dark Heart/Grinning Soul, has been inspired by sci-fi culture including Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, but the part of the collection I’m most interested in is the accessories. Complementing the prismatic designs are giant bows hanging on silver chains, neon fireworks on black fabric. It’s all very futuristic and fun, and what better time of year to dress up like a Christmas present? When taking the photos of Jess wearing the bow, there was an old man larking about in the background wearing a boiler suit with what looked like a jet pack on his back. Maybe the world’s gone mad with sci-fi influences, but I wouldn’t mind running into Harrison Ford trying to save the world from old men cyborgs the next time I leave the house.
It’s always infuriating when you hear about a band, patient roughly about your age, visit from the same country as you, who suddenly grab everyone’s attention in the best possible way.

Now this is one of those things that’s just about possible to deal with if the artists in question are untalented and/or a flash in the pan and/or play thrash metal. Elle
are fortunately none of these things. Having only been together for less than a year, they are a wonderful mix of bouncy guitar pop with perfectly fitting lady vocals over the top. With beautifully worked in melodies, they’re just as catchy as one could want.

Little Flame is a perfect debut single, with the silliest lyrics this side of a Decemberists B-side, about a cheeky little flame who burns his way through a neighbourhood. The vocal harmonies of girl (Lucy) and boy (Andy) are delicate, sweet and sing-songy in equal measures. B-Side She Sells Sea Shells is perhaps superior even to its bigger sister, with layered keyboards on organ setting, it’s as chirpy as one
would hope for, and with a boy taking the main vocal line, it is a nice variation from Little Flame.

It’s only a matter or time before you see Elle S’appelle filling the more Death Cab inclined indie dance floors across the country, limbs will flail, feet will stomp, beer
will be spilled.
The Drawing Rooms is one of those rare salvations in deepest Dalston. True beauty amidst lofty tower blocks. Their current exhibition Every Eye sees Differently as the Eye, page has taken words spoken by William Blake to present what is almost certainly the most elegant body of art you will see in East London this year. It is truly stunning drawing. It sees existing visionaries expressing true imagination through their drawing for an exhibition that marks Blake’s 250th Anniversary.

Ernesto Caivano perhaps represents the most contemporary approach to folklore inspired narrative drawings. His long panels convey a story of a love that cannot be shared between a knight and a princess. Their paths are dogged with twisted trees, cheapest toothed plants and increasing branches and conveys their 1000-year separation. In his heartache the knight and the wood’s inhabitants struggle together incapable of movement. All off which meticulously drawn on an epic panoramic panels. Medieval in spirit but with present-day signifiers, Heiko Blankenstein‘s works on light boxes and paper cite humanist metaphysics and systems of chaos. The cognitive principles conveyed in his works are equaled in his drawing style, which is architectural. Augmented landscapes with depth and feature no figures, heightened in dynamic by being back lit. Charles Avery’s work is finely researched and philosophical in approach. He has twice been nominated for the Jerwood Drawing Prize and cites PG Woodehouse, Jorge Luis Borges, Joseph Beuys and Joseph Kosuth as influences. He work is extremely well observed and passionate and absorbs you. And you are left feeling like you have read a novel. Work by Dirk Bell and Kerstin Kartscher is also featured to make up a show of pure and striking hand rendered works that is truly inspirational, that I plead you to go see.

Beauty is a concept that we never tire of debating. Whether you’re philosophising, help politicising, fantasizing or simply scouring Perez Hilton for car-crash beauties fallen from grace, we are all out there searching for the secret behind the allure. One valiant attempt to unearth some truths on beauty in contemporary society is the fifth and latest issue of Garageland, a captivating magazine of substance from the editing suite of Cathy Lomax, a prolific east end painter and director of the Transition Gallery (which plays host to the launch of each issue).

On a low key, Sunday afternoon, works taken from the Beauty issue were sporadically displayed in the small yet adequate gallery and proved more than a warm welcome from the torrential downpour outside. Gentle conversation acted as an appropriate pre-cursor to the thoughtfulness and sensitivity used to explore the themes of art and beauty/beauty and art in this lovingly put together tome. Garageland is fortunate enough to boast some of the most revered names in contemporary modern art on its contributors roster, who do well to prove that their talents extend effortlessly from the paintbrush to the pen (surely this is unfair?).

The contrasting depths of commentary and insight sit comfortably side by side; Dolly Thompsett digs deep to uncover the beauty within war films, while Alex Michon looks into the effect of blusher in the childlike paintings of Stella Vine. And, what joy! To find a truly laudable article on the legendary John Waters, life-long purveyor of all that is revolting in its beauty. This article alone is well worth the modest £3.95 asking price. The true appeal of Garageland however, is that it is not solely a retrospective nor is it obsessed with deconstructing the zeitgeist; it is a serenely happy marriage of the two. Here, beauty is at times, disgusting and putrid and as such, it is a constant source of fascination. Beauty is not (as so often chimed into us by commercial mags for girls) all-encompassing and happy and glowing, it is a striking image, a brave representation of one’s self and bold step into the unknown.

My only discontent is that I now have to decide whether to rip out the gorgeous Garageland pages for my bedroom wall or archive it, untarnished in its original glory for lazy Sunday reading in years to come.

Ah London – cobbled streets, information pills spooky fog and Dickensian urchins around every corner. That’s what I expected when I moved to the big smoke. Not monsoon style rainstorms that make me look like a drowned rat and smell like a wet dog. But that’s enough about the effects of global warming, my point was that I got rained on when traveling to the Swarovski press day and I wasn’t too happy about it. Especially when it was held in the achingly hip Sanderson Hotel whose elegance was more than matched by the designs in the Swarovski suite. If Marilyn Monroe were alive, she would have been cooing over the contents. Crystals were strewn over Marios Schwab designs, evoking both frailty and defensive armour, whilst Hussein Chalayan‘s crystal dresses refracted light in a futuristic boudoir. Hot on the heels of Fashion Rocks, Swarovski have continued their commitment to nurturing the hottest new designers. As well as working with Schwab and Chalayan, highlights of the Swarovski collaborations include crystal skullcaps designed by Giles Deacon and encrusted bangles by Jonathan Saunders. Perfect for magpies (last animal analogy, I promise).

Bonde do Role are a 3 man band, order slash circus act. The relatively intimate venue that is King Cross’ Scala suits this shouty, effervescent band perfectly. With no instruments in sight – cheating a little, maybe – a rotund fella (DJ Rodrigo Gorky) bounds on to the stage and starts with a 90′s rave track (that I now cannot remember the name of, after a few beers) but it certainly brought energy to the crowd. The singers (shouters) come on when said rave track finished, and jump straight into crowd pleaser Danca do Zumbi. BDR have a certain baile sound which sounds incredible live, an attractive pastiche of disco, funk and metal. Marina Ribatski, the female lead, is a diminutive creature with the attitude and vocal capacity of Beth Ditto, but much nicer to look at. BDR fly through tracks from their debut album, mixed interestingly with a medley of past and present dance tracks. Personal favourite Davine Gosa is not showcased, which is a little annoying, but Gasolina and Office Boy are – and certainly make up for it. A small set finishes with a stage invasion from forty or fifty members of the crowd. Bonde do Role certainly know how to throw a party.
Arriving at the Finsbury Town Hall in jeans and a jumper, information pills hair bedraggled and mascara running down my cheeks, there I was initially there to help set up, but within minutes I had been roped into dancing with the band (Cut-A-Shine), drinking far too much Red Stripe and forgetting that I was at a single’s night after all… Welcome to Barndating Heaven!

We do-si-soed ‘til the cows came home, with flowers in our hair and our cheeks blushed… Amelia was carried through the cheering crowd to call some dances and following her instructions couples entwined and herds of people trampled on each other’s feet and laughed and drank and kissed and laughed and everything was bloomin’ marvelous!

If you haven’t been to the Finsbury Town Hall before I advise that you do so – it is a beautiful space with original décor and eccentric light fittings (random, I know but true). The ceilings are soooo high yet still, the place was bulging with crazy faces by 10pm – men were donning handmade bows and women wore elasticated beards and everyone was having a jolly old knees up to some rocking country sounds. In the corner of the hall was a Romancer’s Retreat (beautifully designed and manned by an East-end creative duo Lightning and Kinglyface) where couples could go to ‘gaze into one another’s eyes…’ There were a few snoggers and a certain amount of loving was most certainly kicking off but by the end of the evening a few people were having a kip in there. Notes of confession were pegged onto strings in this haven of love, a certain pencil-scribble stuck in my head and read ‘yesterday when you called, I pretended I was asleep’ – ah it makes your heart sink doesn’t it!? But others weren’t quite so romantic, and more explicit, and bloody hilarious…

The evening was heady yet relaxed and I remember I spent a lot of time twirling around in my gingham dress and probably looking slightly mad, hence I didn’t spot my nice young farmer (haha) but the night was brilliant and I hope there’ll be many more to come… Cut-a-shine – you rock. All in all a very groovy night. (Sorry – groovy, maybe not the right word) All in all a foot-stamping, dress-twirling hoe-down which left me aching and laughing for days…
After seeing Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong up all over the place on the Levi’s One To Watch posters being touted as ‘ones to watch’, nurse hearing they were playing Wembley supporting none other than Babyshambles was impressive. They have a Kooks-esque kind of feel about them; with their trendy looks and sounds – they’re catchy, but since someone else has done it first (second, third, fourth….), not particularly a stand out.

And onto the main event: He turned up! Surely an accolade in itself after his infamy for all the no-shows. Maybe now EMI are behind the non-shambles that is Babyshambles Peter Doherty has to put his money where his mouth is. And he has – selling out Wembley Arena (or nearly selling it out – whatever, it’s packed and everybody is wearing rosary beads in homage to their God) is perhaps a testament to this new-found direction whereby the band turn up, play a tight set and then leave.

It’s great. Everybody loves it and knows all the words to every Babyshambles song that is played (only ONE Libertines song is played during the whole evening – ‘Music When the Lights Go Out’ – and I don’t even hear any hecklers requesting anything from Up the Bracket, weirdos). But whilst this sleek professionalism is all well and good, I’m looking for a bit of mess – you can’t have the word ‘shambles’ in your band and turn up wearing pin-striped suits and acting all civilised. But this is how it is. And while part of you thinks, “Good on you, Pete.” You’re left feeling rather distanced by the whole experience.

Would it be wrong to call Emmy the Great‘s new single lovely? Well, drugs in the simplest sense that’s just what Gabriel is and unfortunately this review will be full of polite (anti) folk clichés, ed for this I apologise in advance.

Here Miss Emma Lee Moss continues in a similar vein to her debut EP My Bad, keeping production to a minimum and allowing her greatest strengths – her voice and prodigious song writing skills – take centre stage. The song itself was written and recorded in a matter of days; and this kind of DIY, back to basics approach is very much evident in her sound, as Emmy’s music is best served live and here she successfully brings all the encompassing atmosphere and low-key effectiveness of her gigs to this latest release. Lyrically, she is head and shoulders above many of her scene counterparts; intelligent, considered, poetic, no whimsical ‘slice of life’ musings or kooky intonation, thankfully choosing to instead creating something a little more left of center, otherworldly in places.

Supposedly written with ‘a cute boy from Myspace’ in mind (ok, I know, I know) it soon becomes clear that the spirit of the song lies somewhere else entirely, in fact the lady herself refers to it as a period drama, ‘about selling out, but in the 19th century..’, an altogether more convincing description. Written as a farewell letter, Emmy tells the story of a young woman set to follow convention and marry into money, leaving behind her girlish innocence, optimism (and Gabriel himself) for a life of security and predictability; and hey, I’ve seen my future in an evening dress and I’ve been walking to her step by step.

Performed and written with an incredible lightness of touch, Emmy isn’t interested in bludgeoning you over the head with stories of tragedy and lost love, preferring instead to present the intricate and melancholic wrapped up in the sweet, uncomplicated package that is her astonishing voice and way with melody.

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