Amelia’s Magazine | Depeche Mode at the O2 Arena: Live Review

Depeche Mode by Sam Parr

Depeche Mode by Sam Parr

I was definitely in unknown territory, trying to make sure I took the right exit from North Greenwich station on a bitterly cold evening, with literally minutes to spare before stage time. I’d been reassured by a friend who had already gone ahead to the venue “don’t worry, Depeche Mode won’t be on until 9.30”, only to subsequently receive a text (with many exclamation marks) that it was actually half an hour earlier. It didn’t help that I’d never actually been to the O2 before (well, not since the days of its original incarnation as the Millennium Dome), so I was flying blind in terms of where I had to go. Luckily, after scaling two sets of escalators, I’d made it to my seat just in time, perched precariously in the top tier of the venue (the O2 is definitely not for those of a vertiginous disposition).

Depeche Mode by Daria Hlazatova

Depeche Mode by Daria Hlazatova

The O2 Arena seems to get mixed reviews, certainly in terms of the sound quality (though on the night, from where I was sat, it seemed fine to me), but being so far from the stage does, I think, make a difference to the whole gig experience, it tends to feel a bit more detached (especially if, like me, you’re more used to venues like the Lexington, the Windmill or the Buffalo Bar – about as much contrast as you can get!).

Depeche Mode by Claire Kearns

Depeche Mode by Claire Kearns

Well, what is there left to say about Depeche Mode that hasn’t already been said? Formed in Basildon, Essex, they first appeared as part of the synth pop scene that coalesced in the wake of acts such as John Foxx, Gary Numan, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark and the (original) Human League, and whilst many of their contemporaries have long since been consigned to the annals of music history, Depeche Mode recently released their thirteenth studio album, Delta Machine.

Depeche Mode by Laura Collins

Depeche Mode by Laura Collins

Tonight’s appearance was the band’s third gig in London this year (after two nights at the same venue in May), with the current Delta Machine tour apparently being their biggest in around 20 years. Still comprising of core members Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher, the live band is complemented by Peter Gordeno on additional keyboards and Christian Eigner giving the songs some beef on drums.

Coming on to a darkened stage, backed by giant video screens, Depeche Mode kicked off with the opening track from the new album, Welcome To My World – all brooding synths and Dave Gahan’s typically lugubrious vocals. Another new track, the pounding Angel, followed, before old favourite Walking In My Shoes made an appearance. A fair few tracks from the generally well received Delta Machine album cropped up during the set, including the single Heaven (accompanied by a black and white film from long time collaborator Anton Corbijn), whilst Martin Gore took over vocal duties for The Child Inside. Accompanied solely by Peter Gordeno on keyboards, Gore did a couple of other solo numbers, including a mid 1980s B-side, But Not Tonight, which got the crowd singing along, and a reworking of an even older song, Leave In Silence (from 1982’s A Broken Frame album). The inclusion of oddities like these, at the expense of some of the more well known tracks from Depeche Mode’s extensive back catalogue, meant that this was no greatest hits set, but the crowd (made up of a real mix of ages) didn’t mind.

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Depeche Mode by Daria Hlazatova

Depeche Mode by Daria Hlazatova

On stage, you could see the band had three very different roles – Dave Gahan was very much playing the rock star, spending much of the set bare-chested and spinning his mic stand, leaving Martin Gore to divide his time between playing keyboards and guitar (when not taking centre stage himself), with the bespectacled Andy Fletcher diligently prodding away at his keyboards and waving to get the crowd clapping along. All the while, a series of dazzling visuals, both specially recorded films and treated close-ups of the band, filled the wall behind them.

There were a few crowd pleasers thrown in too, with some selections from the band’s late 80s breakthrough albums, Black Celebration, Music For The Masses and Violator. As the set approached its end (well, until the encore at least), we got an extended version of Enjoy The Silence, which at times seemed in danger of morphing into New Order’s True Faith, and a slow, bluesy opening to Personal Jesus, before the song just took the O2’s roof off.

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During the encore, Depeche Mode went back to basics with that staple of student discos (and having played it as a student DJ myself, I should know) Just Can’t Get Enough, though it did seem a bit odd, especially considering how much darker the band’s material subsequently became, to see a tattooed, 50 year old Dave Gahan singing this light and breezy electro pop classic. The band finished the set with an imperious Never Let Me Down Again, with Gahan getting the crowd (when they weren’t all singing along) to wave their arms in the air.

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Depeche Mode by Daria Hlazatova

Depeche Mode by Daria Hlazatova

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And so we departed from the arena, some people braving the queues to get on to the Jubilee Line, some deciding to let the moment linger in the bar that was having a Depeche Mode theme night, with cocktails named after various DM songs and a playlist consisting (with the exception of the odd incursion from Erasure and the Pet Shop Boys) of songs from Basildon’s finest. One thing is for sure though, and that is, after over 30 years, Depeche Mode are showing no signs of slowing down, and they can still deliver an amazing show. Music for the masses, indeed.

Categories ,Andy Fletcher, ,Anton Corbijn, ,Buffalo Bar, ,Christian Eigner, ,Claire Kearns, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,dave gahan, ,Depeche Mode, ,Erasure, ,Gary Numan, ,Human League, ,John Foxx, ,Laura Collins, ,Lexington, ,Martin Gore, ,new order, ,O2 Arena, ,Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, ,pet shop boys, ,Peter Gordeno, ,Sam Parr, ,Windmill

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Amelia’s Magazine | Keyboard Choir – Mizen Head To Gascanane Sound

keyboard%20choir%20album.jpg

This is music that makes you look at your computer strange and start looking for the source of the problem that’s causing it to create such obscure noises.

Keyboard Choir come across as a Jean Micheal-Jarre for the last.fm generation. Their production appears to be encapsulating the sounds of their experimentations with keyboards within something recognizable as structure, creating an end product which just sounds really, really good

Their influences would appear to be obvious, with Aphex Twin, DJ Shadow and Briano Eno being detectable. But they also bring something of their own to the table – something a lot more post-rock than many of the aforementioned. The exclusive use of keyboards gives the album a live feel which is often very difficult to create in electronic music.

Tracks like ‘Skylab’, ‘Legal Boards’ and ‘In This Situation, Thinking Wont Help’ really show the range of sounds they can create so masterfully. It’s an album that will fill you with intrigue and delight you on every listen.

They are definitely one of the flagship groups for Oxford’s impressive music scene, and those thinking Foals were the most experimental band to come from should definitely check them out.

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Amelia’s Magazine | Prêt-à-Groover!

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, amongst other music releases. At first, 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.
crystalfighters.jpg
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.
jamesyuill.jpg
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 www.kitsune.fr or at their myspace.

Categories ,beni, ,chateau marmont, ,crystal fighters, ,james yuill, ,kitsune maison, ,two door cinema club, ,we have band

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Amelia’s Magazine | Album review and interview with Swedish duo Pallers: The Sea of Memories


Pallers by Shauna McGowan.

The upcoming album from Swedish duo Pallers is a blissed out slice of wonder. The Sea of Memories opens with Another Heaven and indeed listening to this is a license to float away to another place, viagra buy where chilled out beats back dreamy vocals. Lush melodies remain integral even on mini tunes such as Tropical Fishbowl, nurse with pop music a key inspiration for the boys behind the sounds. Wicked, information pills all bleeps and glitches, soon morphs into a super danceable melody with guest female vocals. The Kiss is one of my favourite tracks, tribal beats heralding a story of love and yearning. But to be honest I love the album as a whole. Scandinavian Chillwave, you have me hooked. Let’s meet Henrik Mårtensson and Johan Angergård.

pallers-cover artwork

How did you first meet each other and what do you remember about that day?
Henrik: I was classmate of Karolina, Johan’s girlfriend at that time, this was a long time ago and I don’t have any specific memories from the first encounter. We shared the same taste in music but Johan had tons of records and I didn’t so I borrowed tapes from Karolina that Johan had recorded for her. Lots of Sarah Records stuff and Television Personalities on these tapes…

YouTube Preview ImageThe Kiss

How have your locations over the past few years… across Sweden and the rest of Europe, Miami and South Africa… affected your approach to music making?
Henrik: It has probably inspired us a lot, both the fact that these places are very different and shape your thoughts and impressions alot and also the fact that it is possible to bring a computer and create music everywhere. It’s very comfortable doing music in a hotel room and not have to sit in a studio. After a mellow day in the sun it’s pretty difficult making uptempo breakcore or something like that so I guess the environment affects me.

Pallers by Chris R Wright
Pallers by Chris R Wright.

Your music has been described as ‘shimmering‘ – how is this effect achieved with the use of instrumentation and has it be a conscious decision to achieve it and if so why?
Henrik: I dunno about the specific term ‘shimmering‘ but we try to make our rather monotone music come alive in different ways, for instance by adding sounds that slide in and out of focus. Or using way too many sounds at once. Personally I think the term shimmering is used as soon as there is some reverb and a stereo-delay or an echo involved.
Johan: I always use the word ‘three-dimensional‘ to describe our music. That’s where I’m aiming and that’s what effects the instrumentation I want to use. Most songs have ridiculously many channels and a large amount of effects to create a musical mystical world of it’s own where the sounds surround you and absorb you.

pallers
What inspires you? Are there key themes that you keep returning to in lyrics and if so what are they?
Henrik: Musicwise I get inspired by artists making music that takes me away in my mind and also makes my feet move. Not necessarily dance but to me it’s rather important that there is a nice rhythm. But mostly music doesn’t inspire me that much, I tend to think about it in a more technical way nowadays and that spoils alot of the fun. Nice sceneries and nice daylight inspires me though, the yellow evening light is one of my greatest loves.
Johan: Death and desolation are recurring themes. Death has been a fixation of mine since I was very young. I got rid of some of the less pleasant sides of it a couple of years ago through therapy, but the shadowy, desolate sensation of non-existance still seems to creep into the lyrics. And the music.

Pallers
Pallers
Which of you is the photographer and are you responsible for your press shots? How do you set these up?
Henrik: I am the photographer and responsible for those moody faces that represent Pallers. (see Henrik’s website here) We usually discuss what we want in terms of colors and light; then we take our shirts off and take turns pressing the button on the camera that we’ve put on a tripod.

Pallers_duo
What is your involvement in the world of pop? What do you like most about a great pop tune?
Johan: It’s where I live. I’ve always been fond of melancholia in music, anti-macho expressions and I’ve always loved a great pop melody. For a long time a great pop melody on it’s own could more or less do the trick for me, but now I tend to demand more and more. A great pop tune should be a world of it’s own.

pallers by chloe bonfield
Pallers by Chloe Bonfield.

How do you balance your other commitments with making music with Pallers? Is there ever any conflict and how do you resolve this?
Henrik: There’s a constant conflict for me since I feel a bit bad doing music when I should be working on pictures and also the other way around. But I know at the same time that there is the a reason I like doing both, if I only did music there would eventually be this pressure around it and then creating wouldn’t be as playful as it is now.
Johan: I haven’t really thought of it. Perhaps that means there hasn’t been any conflicts with other commitments?

pallers art
Will we be able to see you in the UK anytime soon? What can we expect from a live show?
Johan: I don’t think we expect a live show at all. I think live shows are terribly overrated.

The Sea of Memories is out on September 28th 2011 on Labrador Records.

Pallers by Caroline Coates
Pallers by Caroline Coates.

Categories ,Another Heaven, ,Caroline Coates, ,Chillwave, ,Chloe Bonfield, ,Chris R Wright, ,Duo, ,Henrik Martensson, ,interview, ,Johan Angergård, ,Labrador, ,Labrador Records, ,Melody, ,Pallers, ,photography, ,pop, ,Revier, ,Sarah Records, ,Scandinavian, ,Shauna McGowan, ,Swedish, ,Television Personalities, ,The Kiss, ,The Sea of Memories, ,Tropical Fishbowl, ,Wicked

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Amelia’s Magazine | Ari Up 1962 – 2010: No Typical Girl

Tasha_Whittle
Illustration by Tasha Whittle.

The darker mornings and wetter evenings have already started driving the fair-weather riders away from the cycle lanes, more about but those of us who keep chugging on have our reasons to persevere in spite of the weather. After all, ask just because it’s getting colder it doesn’t mean the thought of getting on the tube every morning is any more tempting, is it? Tom Morris and Sian Emmison, the owners of eclectic Islington cycling outlet Bobbin Bicycles, certainly don’t think so. Saturday 16th October saw the opening of their brand new bicycle workshop, just around the corner of the shop claiming to be ‘The most beautiful bicycle shop in Britain’. Like the shop itself, the workshop specialises in upright town bikes, vintage rides and bicycles with hub gears and back-pedal brakes – all of which can be difficult to get serviced in a standard bike shop.

Carla_Bromhead
Illustration by Carla Bromhead.

‘Now, anyone with a Dutch, Pashley or vintage bike can come to us to get repairs done, be it changing a wheel, a handlebar or something more oily,’ a very busy Tom Morris told me on Saturday afternoon. Cosmetic touches, along with a few practical ones, were still missing from the space as Tom welcomed the first customers on Saturday, but that didn’t stop him from getting his hands dirty as one customer after another came knocking. Parked up the road was my own bike, fresh from its annual check-up, a service also offered at the Bobbin workshop. While it costs money, it’s worth doing as it prevents problems in the long run – for example my chain needed changing, the mechanic pointed out, saving me from a snapped chain in the road in a month or two. Servicing an upright bike is no more expensive nor complicated than a hybrid or a road bike, assured Tom, but it requires certain skills and tools. His employees Alexis and Laura are both trained bike mechanics, having been asked personally by Tom and Sian to come work at Bobbin. Laura has just finished a bike mechanics course where she took a specific interest in town bikes, while Alexis has five years of experience fixing bikes in Oxford and Amsterdam. ‘You keep learning new things. It’s enjoyable work, and there is obviously increasing demand,’ said Alexis, as he checked in a black Pashley with a flat tyre and broken gear shifter.

Genie_Espinosa
Illustration by Genie Espinosa.

The workshop will also be selling kit for what Tom calls ‘bike pimping’: cosmetic changes such as a new saddle, cream tyres, a carrying basket or colourful bike components. But the Bobbin workshop isn’t just for town bikes and other old-school models; ‘We will offer the same friendly service to any cyclist who comes our way,’ assures Tom. Once the workshop is properly up and running, Tom plans to hold classes in bike maintenance, ‘hopefully before Christmas’. I might sign up to one of these myself, as next time I get a flat tyre I’d like to be able to deal with it. Nothing knocks the feeling of independence out of cycling quite like hearing that thud-thud-thud of a flat, but I think mastering a tyre lever might go a long way to remedy this.

In the meantime I have my winter cycling gear ready. Rule number one is the mud guards, closely followed by lights with fresh batteries. A pocket-size rain cover now has a permanent place in my bag, and I have also splurged on a pair of padded, waterproof gloves. A proper pair of winter gloves are pricey, but vital to any semblance of comfort in the cold. Last winter a week of sleet forced the purchase of a cheap pair of waterproof trousers, which look ridiculous but are a life-saver when it’s pouring down and I have to cycle home from work. Lastly, a reflective vest undeniably makes you look like a geek, but you may want to consider one you commute in traffic. So as the fair-weather cyclists hang up their helmets in favour of the buses and trains, the cycle lanes are left to the hard-cores, or should I say freaks, determined to stick to two wheels through the winter. The tube might be warm, but we get to arrive at work bright-eyed and bushy-tailed from full exposure to the elements of the crisp London winter.

Get weather-proofed at Bobbin Bicycles, 397 St John Street, London EC1. Visit the Workshop around the corner on 23 Arlington Way.
Tasha_Whittle
Illustration by Tasha Whittle.

The darker mornings and wetter evenings have already started driving the fair-weather riders away from the cycle lanes, dosage but those of us who keep chugging on have our reasons to persevere in spite of the weather. After all, decease just because it’s getting colder it doesn’t mean the thought of getting on the tube every morning is any more tempting, is it? Tom Morris and Sian Emmison, the owners of eclectic Islington cycling outlet Bobbin Bicycles, certainly don’t think so. Saturday 16th October saw the opening of their brand new bicycle workshop, just around the corner of the shop claiming to be ‘The most beautiful bicycle shop in Britain’. Like the shop itself, the workshop specialises in upright town bikes, vintage rides and bicycles with hub gears and back-pedal brakes – all of which can be difficult to get serviced in a standard bike shop.

Carla_Bromhead
Illustration by Carla Bromhead.

‘Now, anyone with a Dutch, Pashley or vintage bike can come to us to get repairs done, be it changing a wheel, a handlebar or something more oily,’ a very busy Tom Morris told me on Saturday afternoon. Cosmetic touches, along with a few practical ones, were still missing from the space as Tom welcomed the first customers on Saturday, but that didn’t stop him from getting his hands dirty as one customer after another came knocking. Parked up the road was my own bike, fresh from its annual check-up, a service also offered at the Bobbin workshop. While it costs money, it’s worth doing as it prevents problems in the long run – for example my chain needed changing, the mechanic pointed out, saving me from a snapped chain in the road in a month or two. Servicing an upright bike is no more expensive nor complicated than a hybrid or a road bike, assured Tom, but it requires certain skills and tools. His employees Alexis and Laura are both trained bike mechanics, having been asked personally by Tom and Sian to come work at Bobbin. Laura has just finished a bike mechanics course where she took a specific interest in town bikes, while Alexis has five years of experience fixing bikes in Oxford and Amsterdam. ‘You keep learning new things. It’s enjoyable work, and there is obviously increasing demand,’ said Alexis, as he checked in a black Pashley with a flat tyre and broken gear shifter.

Genie_Espinosa
Illustration by Genie Espinosa.

The workshop will also be selling kit for what Tom calls ‘bike pimping’: cosmetic changes such as a new saddle, cream tyres, a carrying basket or colourful bike components. But the Bobbin workshop isn’t just for town bikes and other old-school models; ‘We will offer the same friendly service to any cyclist who comes our way,’ assures Tom. Once the workshop is properly up and running, Tom plans to hold classes in bike maintenance, ‘hopefully before Christmas’. I might sign up to one of these myself, as next time I get a flat tyre I’d like to be able to deal with it. Nothing knocks the feeling of independence out of cycling quite like hearing that thud-thud-thud of a flat, but I think mastering a tyre lever might go a long way to remedy this.

In the meantime I have my winter cycling gear ready. Rule number one is the mud guards, closely followed by lights with fresh batteries. A pocket-size rain cover now has a permanent place in my bag, and I have also splurged on a pair of padded, waterproof gloves. A proper pair of winter gloves are pricey, but vital to any semblance of comfort in the cold. Last winter a week of sleet forced the purchase of a cheap pair of waterproof trousers, which look ridiculous but are a life-saver when it’s pouring down and I have to cycle home from work. Lastly, a reflective vest undeniably makes you look like a geek, but you may want to consider one you commute in traffic. So as the fair-weather cyclists hang up their helmets in favour of the buses and trains, the cycle lanes are left to the hard-cores, or should I say freaks, determined to stick to two wheels through the winter. The tube might be warm, but we get to arrive at work bright-eyed and bushy-tailed from full exposure to the elements of the crisp London winter.

Get weather-proofed at Bobbin Bicycles, 397 St John Street, London EC1. Visit the Workshop around the corner on 23 Arlington Way. Read our previous interview with Tom Morris here.
Tasha_Whittle
Illustration by Tasha Whittle.

The darker mornings and wetter evenings have already started driving the fair-weather riders away from the cycle lanes, viagra but those of us who keep chugging on have our reasons to persevere in spite of the weather. After all, side effects just because it’s getting colder it doesn’t mean the thought of getting on the tube every morning is any more tempting, is it? Tom Morris and Sian Emmison, the owners of eclectic Islington cycling outlet Bobbin Bicycles, certainly don’t think so. Saturday 16th October saw the opening of their brand new bicycle workshop, just around the corner of the shop claiming to be ‘The most beautiful bicycle shop in Britain’. Like the shop itself, the workshop specialises in upright town bikes, vintage rides and bicycles with hub gears and back-pedal brakes – all of which can be difficult to get serviced in a standard bike shop.

Carla_Bromhead
Illustration by Carla Bromhead.

‘Now, anyone with a Dutch, Pashley or vintage bike can come to us to get repairs done, be it changing a wheel, a handlebar or something more oily,’ a very busy Tom Morris told me on Saturday afternoon. Cosmetic touches, along with a few practical ones, were still missing from the space as Tom welcomed the first customers on Saturday, but that didn’t stop him from getting his hands dirty as one customer after another came knocking. Parked up the road was my own bike, fresh from its annual check-up, a service also offered at the Bobbin workshop. While it costs money, it’s worth doing as it prevents problems in the long run – for example my chain needed changing, the mechanic pointed out, saving me from a snapped chain in the road in a month or two.

Servicing an upright bike is no more expensive nor complicated than a hybrid or a road bike, assured Tom, but it requires certain skills and tools. His employees Alexis and Laura are both trained bike mechanics, having been asked personally by Tom and Sian to come work at Bobbin. Laura has just finished a bike mechanics course where she took a specific interest in town bikes, while Alexis has five years of experience fixing bikes in Oxford and Amsterdam. ‘You keep learning new things. It’s enjoyable work, and there is obviously increasing demand,’ said Alexis, as he checked in a black Pashley with a flat tyre and broken gear shifter.

Genie_Espinosa
Illustration by Genie Espinosa.

The workshop will also be selling kit for what Tom calls ‘bike pimping’: cosmetic changes such as a new saddle, cream tyres, a carrying basket or colourful bike components. But the Bobbin workshop isn’t just for town bikes and other old-school models; ‘We will offer the same friendly service to any cyclist who comes our way,’ assures Tom. Once the workshop is properly up and running, Tom plans to hold classes in bike maintenance, ‘hopefully before Christmas’. I might sign up to one of these myself, as next time I get a flat tyre I’d like to be able to deal with it. Nothing knocks the feeling of independence out of cycling quite like hearing that thud-thud-thud of a flat, but I think mastering a tyre lever might go a long way to remedy this.

In the meantime I have my winter cycling gear ready. Rule number one is the mud guards, closely followed by lights with fresh batteries. A pocket-size rain cover now has a permanent place in my bag, and I have also splurged on a pair of padded, waterproof gloves. A proper pair of winter gloves are pricey, but vital to any semblance of comfort in the cold. Last winter a week of sleet forced the purchase of a cheap pair of waterproof trousers, which look ridiculous but are a life-saver when it’s pouring down and I have to cycle home from work. Lastly, a reflective vest undeniably makes you look like a geek, but you may want to consider one you commute in traffic. So as the fair-weather cyclists hang up their helmets in favour of the buses and trains, the cycle lanes are left to the hard-cores, or should I say freaks, determined to stick to two wheels through the winter. The tube might be warm, but we get to arrive at work bright-eyed and bushy-tailed from full exposure to the elements of the crisp London winter.

Get weather-proofed at Bobbin Bicycles, 397 St John Street, London EC1. Visit the Workshop around the corner on 23 Arlington Way. Read our previous interview with Tom Morris here.
Three oil cans; Tate Summer Party, sick Photography by Immo Klink

Gushing from floral skirts, spilling elegantly from giant white eggs, jetting from paint tubes across the floor of the iconic Tate Turbine Hall, 2010 has witnessed a flood of oily resistance against oil sponsorship in the arts. The likes of art activist group Liberate Tate have generated a fierce debate in the art world around oil, ethics and sponsorship.

Plans are afoot to spring board the campaign into the New Year, with a high energy, high profile mainstream gallery event to attract lots of new people and to keep the pressure up. In an innovative bid to raise dosh for the project London creative campaign group PLATFORM has launched a crowd- funding initiative at Indiegogo. The idea is that people can give what ever little bit of cash they can, and by Christmas there will be enough in the pot to book a snazzy venue and put on a truly sensational participatory exhibition in early 2011.

Tate Summer Party, Photograph by Immo Klink

This is all about entry level direct action at it’s most fun. More than that, the campaign is in with a real chance of seeing a tangible result. Protestors forced Shell to back out of the Natural History Museum, and with the right pressure applied to the right places there is no reason why all oil sponsorship in the arts can’t go the same way as tobacco sponsorship in sport; down the pan. The folk at PLATFORM hope to put on educational workshops to get people clued up about the effects of the oil industry, and to host debates about the role our public art institutions play in the branding campaigns of these oil multinationals. Most importantly they hope to empower people to get involved in active resistance and creative interventions.

Easter egg spill with wiggle, British Museum Photography by Amy Scaife

They would be really grateful if you could help by spreading the word forwarding the link bellow by email and facebook, and telling your economically empowered friends and relatives. What ever you can or can’t do to help fundraise, everyone is invited to the event itself, which is likely to be held in January (email sophie@platformlondon.org for more information about getting involved).

To say thank you for donations over £16 ($25) they are offering some quirky perks, including sets of beautiful postcards ideal for a Christmas stocking, invites to the first night private viewing of the exhibition, and limited edition hand made, ‘BP branded’ paint tubes full of molasses, hot from the intervention at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall

So whether you have some cash to spare – or if you just want to get messy with molasses – get involved!


Illustration by Stéphanie Thieullent

“Ari Up: John Lydon’s step-daughter dies.” The Telegraph’s headline was horribly reductive. Ari Up, viagra 100mg who died on Wednesday at the tragically young age of 48, viagra buy was the punk legend’s step-daughter but that was just a small and tangential detail in a fascinating life and career. With The Slits and later with the New Age Steppers and solo in several guises, Ari Up was a musical icon in her own right, not a bit player on the fringes of the John Lydon circus.   


Illustration by Gemma Milly

The granddaughter of the owner of Der Spiegel and daughter of Nora Foster who was at the centre of the London music scene for years (befriending Hendrix and dating Chris Spedding before finally marrying Johnny Rotten), Ari Up was born from privilege and chaos in equal measure.  

Nora’s tendency to invite poor punk musicians to bunk down at their house put Ari at the heart of the scene and got her guitar tuition from Joe Strummer. She was 14 when she formed The Slits with Strummer’s former-flatmate Palmolive. Her fascination with reggae gave the band a dubby feel that was in sharp contrast to the guitar thrashing of many other punk outfits.  


Illustration by Aniela Murphy


Illustration by Abi Daker

The Slits debut album Cut, with its memorable image of the band naked but for grass skirts and a liberal coating of mud, featured a cleaner sound than their live performances. While the band’s cover of I Heard It Through The Grapevine is still an indie disco staple, the record is studded with gems particularly the amateurish piano and bouncing bass of Typical Girls.  


Illustration by Faye West

The Splits broke up in 1981 and Ari moved with her husband and twins to Indonesia and Belize before heading for Jamaica, an appropriate location given her an enduring love of reggae and dub. She performed and recorded with Lee Scratch Perry and released a solo album, Dread More Dan Dead, in 2005.  

In 2006, The Slits reformed to some critical acclaim, releasing the Return of The Giant Slits EP which was followed by a new full length record, Trapped Animals, in October last year.The Slits final work together, a video for the Trapped Animals track Lazy Slam (below), was released yesterday in accordance with Ari’s final wishes.  


Illustration by Gemma Sheldrake

A whirling dervish of dreadlocks and energy even when The Slits returned in their middle-aged incarnation, it’s with sad inevitability that Ari Up will be pegged as John Lydon’s step-daughter first and a musician in her own right second. But more thoughtful souls will remember her as one of punk’s most distinctive voices whose work with The Slits confounded and confronted the heavy-handed misogyny of much mainstream punk – The Stranglers, I’m looking at you.  

The death of Ari up has deprived music of one of its most original and unpredictable voices. It’s a truly sad day.

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You can follow more of Mic’s words on his blog here. You can read our review of Trapped Animal here. A superb album, go buy it now.

Categories ,Abi Daker, ,Aniela Murphy, ,Ari Up, ,Dub, ,Faye West, ,Gemma Milly, ,Gemma Sheldrake, ,Heard It Through The Grapevine, ,John Lydon, ,Johnny Rotten, ,Lazy Slam, ,music, ,Obituary, ,punk, ,reggae, ,Stéphanie Thieullent, ,the slits, ,The Telegraph, ,Typical Girls

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