Down in Chicago a collective of environmentally aware artists have collaborated with curator Elga Wimmer to make a body of work responding to climate change. Entitled Nature Interrupted, erectile ambulance the exhibition details a wide range of approaches and concerns. We love the work of French artist Soazic Guezennec who has focused on pollution, prescription healing by tackling the idea of metaphors for acid rain which destroys Africa’s natural environment. The installation works with a disintegrated umbrella which allows water to pass through, unhealthy purchase collecting in a pool at the ground.
Drawing inspiration from Giovanni Batttista Piranesi’s (1720- 1778) renditions of the collapse of Rome in depicting architecture being taken over by nature, Helen Brough works with a series of diagrams which lead to glass work. The enamel painted fired glass work with glass layers of flowing ink lines contained in acrylic boxes to simulate a peering window of the progression of time. Mixing ideas of the haunting potential realism of disaster films and unconscious dreams, iconic architecture is used which, with the progression of global warming, may eventually become ruins. Brough describes her outcomes as “imagined forecasts of moments.”
Other featured artists tackle issues with recyclable materials from Joan Backes with the incredible construction of cardboard and paper houses, to Jon Brumit with a 35 ft cob made from 436 recycled bags, 6000 staples and a fan. Brilliant news to anyone who’s near Chelsea Art Museum, if not have a surf of their site.
Cardboard and Paper house by Joan Backes
The Monsanto Diet by Jon Brumit
I’ve only ever been to Brighton once. Which is ridiculous actually, buy information pills as I’ve been told it’s lovely. I think I must have picked the wrong day to show my New Yorker mate the seaside, about it which consisted of a wide variety of capped gentlemen screaming at some sort of sporting event. It must have been a really big deal, doctor because they all seemed to be angling to get arrested. Oh yeah, and my friend fell asleep once on the beach and got so sunburnt her face blistered! So to sum up, really great reviews methinks.
But seriously, it’s obviously awesome. Google told me that Simon Cowell, Natasha Kaplinsky and Des Lynam come from there and clearly they’re all making the world a better place. And so is the cute Brighton-based website Red Hot Ruby, literally. The online boutique of adorable t-shirts and bags are all ethically produced in Europe, with absolutely no funny business. And with free postage and packing to all of the UK and a re-usable mailing bag to boot, Katharine Hamnett would be seriously proud.
And if that doesn’t get your organic knickers in a twist then you should really check out the products – from the new mini ice-cream design to the classic nautical anchor print on a variety of affordable t-shirts and tote bags for both the lads and the girlies. With a little bit of 1950s Americana thrown in for good measure, you can purchase a trashy novel clutch bag (my personal favourite thing – ever) and a Bettie page notebook. The website is also pretty darn helpful as well. There’s even a Ruby’s ‘Guide to Brighton’ section, clearly helpful in avoiding the hen parties and/or providing me with a more wholesome view of the place I’ll be visiting pronto, that is, after I check the sport listings…
Tuesday 19th August
The Death Set – ULU, London
Catch The Death Set on their apprently never ending tour. I really don’t know how they do it, i get tired just watching them.
Wednesday 20th August
Pivot – Roundhouse, London
Pivot are almost definately the best live band i’ve seen this year. They are a band that have something truly unique and there album is a fine body of work.
Thursday 21st August
Broadcast 2000 and Kinzli – The Lock Tavern, London
Cut Off Your Hands – Pure Groove Records, London
Das Pop – Hoxton Square & Kitchen, London
Noah & The Whale – Duchess, York
Finn Peters, Micachu and The Shapes and The Invisible – Cargo, London
Operator Please – Bar Academy, London
Pharoahe Monch – Jazz Café, London
The Ghost Frequency, The Clik Clik and Rosalita – Madame JoJo’s, London
Friday 22nd August
Saturday 23rd August
Cut Off Your Hands, Green Man Says Go and Swanton Bombs – The Macbeth, London
Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band – Carling Academy 2, Liverpool
Holy Fuck – Push @ Astoria, London
Madonna – Millenium Centre, Cardiff
Sunday 24th August
LCD Soundsystem – The Medicine Bar, Birmingham
This is perhaps not a gig i would most enjoy on a Sunday evening. LCD Soundsystem are just too much of a party, and The Medicine Bar can become quite a raucous and heated venue. I’m sure it will be lots of fun though.
People sheltering from the rain under the band stand
For me, symptoms Saturday mornings are supposed to be about late rises and very large breakfasts; but the Saturday of Field Day was one very large exception. The coming of Field Day meant that I had to co-ordinate the meeting point of many friends at one spot in central London. With them all arriving at different times, I opted to solve it the only way that seemed reasonable. Tell them all to meet us there and bring drink so that we could wait for the rest to arrive. This seemed like the perfect plan, apart from the fact that the few I had already found and myself were then stuck under a tree, in the rain, drinking gin and tonic.
Finally we began our field day with a mad dash over to the Adventures In The Beetroot Field tent to get out of the rain. We were met with cheers, not for ourselves obviously, but for White Lies who had just taken to the stage. They played the few songs they have to a packed tent, but there was something a little lack luster about the show. We found ourselves talking, much like the rest of the crowd – finding ourselves easily distracted due to the less than deafening sound levels. Our growing interest in a plastic horse we had found served as proof that there really was no reason for us to linger.
We opted to brave the rain again, heading over to the main stage to catch the end of Wild Beasts. It seems like if you can stand Hayden Thorpe’s falsetto vocal assortments, you fall in love with them very soon afterwards. The ridiculousness of it all seeps away as soon as it’s teamed with structure of ‘The Devil’s Crayon‘, leading fans to a point of defense as soon as remarks like “He sounds like someone got him by the John Thomas” are made. I’m sad to say though, it was over all too soon, and we were forced to find shelter in the colourful bar/tent.
This was when horror stories of the previous years Field Day began to surface. Toilet queues, inaudible sound levels and sold out bars made it sound like a very traumatic experience, and I was comforted by the fact that apparently a whole host of sound and management experts had been roped in to rectify the previous year problems. Fat load of use they were though. The toilet queues stretched as far as the eye could see, and the noise levels, well, I’ll speak about that a bit more later – but to put it bluntly, two borrowers could have had a long and intricate conversation right at the front of the tents, without having to repeat themselves at any point due to mishearing.
The new village mentality idea was a bit of a washout. I’m sure it would have added some much needed fun factor to the day, if it hadn’t of been for the persistent rain. I couldn’t help feeling that perhaps they should have sorted out the lots of more basic aspects of the festival, before putting so much effort into something like this.
The village mentality not really capturing people’s imagination
I then headed over to the Bugged Out tent to check out Modeselektor. The German duo have been on my to see list for ages and by the swelling mass of people at the mouth of the tent I’m guessing I’m not the only one. Perhaps one of the most bizarre things about it was that everyone seemed to have different ideas as to whereabouts in the tent would be best to actually hear the music. Some were trying to get as near to the front as possible, others opted to stand by the smaller speaker at the back.
Modeselektor and the less than enthralled crowd
Basically, it was a shambles, and in the end Modeselektor stopped about halfway through their set announcing that, “if there is no bass, there is no point”. To which everybody was infuriated, yet understanding. The annoying part was that it obviously wasn’t the artist’s fault, and I don’t eve think it’s even really the organizers fault. It’s just a case of people wanting to kick up a fuss over nothing; I just wish people could be a bit more lenient in these kinds of situations. London is hardly a tranquil haven, how is a bit of music any worse than the cars, trains, tube and planes we have surrounding us?
of Montreal being Fantastic
Well, now my rant is over I suppose I should speak some more about the music. One band that were a real treat from start to finish was of Montreal. A band I had heard a lot about, but hadn’t really been exposed to. A friend’s persistent statements on how he was longing to see them however won me over, and I’m very glad they did. If Patrick Wolf were to make NY-esque disco in a similar vain as Anthony Hegarty and his Hercules and the Love Affair shenanigans, it would sound like of Montreal. I know that’s probably a statement that some time fans don’t want to hear, but to me, that’s how it came across. The real treat of their show was the epic ‘The Past Is A Grotesque Animal’. Clocking in at approximately half of their set it should have had people slowly filtering away, but instead the sound grew and grew around the same hook. People were transfixed, if not on the on stage performers, then on my friend who seemed to know every word. It was astounding.
The next few hours then disintegrated into catching bits and bobs of stuff, whilst persisting through the rain. Attempting to stay together soon became the least of our worries as a big effort was made to enjoy James Holden’s set. It was just impossible to get more than a few feet into the tent, and the sound was still pitiful. If Spinal Tap had amps that went up to 11, Field Day’s dials must have gone down to at least -1. But I think I’ve done enough moaning on that frontier.
Due to a rather hairy adventure trying to make my way out of the tent, I was only able to catch the last few songs of Les Savy Fav. I think it’s more than likely that half the crowd was purely there to see the lead singer and his distasteful antics, I certainly was. They were great nonetheless, and I’ll definitely try and catch them again, preferably somewhere drier and louder.
My choice of headliner was Benga, who proved almost impossible to find. He had been moved to a smaller tent where he was now headlining, but once we had found him I certainly wasn’t complaining. Once he had put his foot down enough for them to pump up the volume, the small tent was soon filled with the most ridiculous bass lines, and some dancing that you would usually find only in the earliest of hours. It was horrendous fun though, and although everyone would probably say they had wanted him to go on longer, I was completely exhausted by the end of it.
Overall, the whole event was perhaps one of the worst organized events I’ve ever attended, but also perhaps one of the most entertaining and fun. If the organizers ironed out all the faults, I think it could quite easily become the highlight of the year.
L.A. is a funny place. It’s the place where more than a dozen Arnie and Demi wannabes pop their gum while waiting tables, order but it’s also is the place where the musical gems Health and No Age call home. Both touted as the ‘next big thing’, approved both peddling a different version of noise and both playing Scala last Monday night.
If you listen to your dear old Aunt Betty, she would tell you that modern music is just noise. And with Health, Aunt Betty is kinda right. Health make an awful lot of noise. Ear bleeding, nose bleeding, eye watering, pace wearers beware noise. “Take earplugs” is a frequent suggestion when someone learns you are going to see Health. And walking into the Scala I was not disappointed to learn that their noise levels were cranked up to a million! Screeching, whining guitars compete with banging drums and hair swinging from the band. When ‘Triceratops‘ pounds down I am reminded of how much an intense live performance Health put on. By the time ‘Perfect skin‘ is given an airing I feel my ears might drop off. Feeling ever so slightly relieved when Health call time on their performance I head to the toilets to double check my eardrums are still intact.
Courtesy of Upset the Rhythm
A lot easier on the ears are No Age, with their weary vocals and droning guitars they could easily sound like a drag. But, no doubt as I’m sure your aware, in the hands (and vocal box) of Randy Randall and Dean Spunt (what ace names) their music is anything but dull. In testament to this, ‘Everybody’s Down’ engages the young pups at the front to frolic onto the stage where they roll around like the Andrex puppy, for pretty much the rest of the set. This invasion eventually pulls the plug on ‘Neck Escaper’, but ever the trooper Randall powers through. Now that’s what you want to see in a musician. Probably not either bands best performance I have seen, but no doubt about it Health and No Age know how to put on a show. Consequently grins are as broad as the Cheshire cats and isn’t that what music is supposed to be.
Courtesy of Upset the Rhythm
Institute of Contemporary Arts, price ‘The Crystal Gaze’:Ursula Mayer: 18th-25th August
The Mall, viagra dosage London, SW1Y 5AH
Female figures set within iconic architectural interiors are part of combined photos and films inspired by the classic Hollywood glamour and Modernist avant-garde genres.
Jake and Dino Chapman ‘My Giant Colouring Book’: 16th August-14th September
27 Belfast Rd, London N16 6UN
These two brothers are no strangers to scandal when it comes to transgressing the boundaries. Defacing works by great masters, using join the dots drawings from children’s picture books are the starting point. From this has sprung improvised monstrous creations, chaotic imagery and dark obsessions. Expect the unexpected.
Institute of Contemporary Arts, ‘Shoot Yr Idols’ films: 15th August-7th September
The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH
A selection of arty documentaries inspired by the film Face Addict, a new film release which takes place in the Downtown scene of 70s, New York. Other films include Ed Ruscha, Robert Mapplethorpe, Patti Smith, Jean-Michel Basquiat, the Velvet Underground, Ed Kienholz and, of course, Andy Warhol.
Empire Gallery, ‘David Le Fleming‘s Gulliwing May and the Dannevirke Divas’ and ‘ElleMay Logan’s Monsters and Grotesques‘: 20th August-8th September
Empire Gallery, 30 Vyner St, London, E2 9DQ
LeFleming’s visual puns, flat colours and vintage objects as well as ElleMay’s grotesque 3D paper cut outs, inspired by book ‘Demns, Visions of Evil in Art’ makes intriguing viewing.
Campbell Works, ‘You Turn’: in addition to five artists in residence,: (Shaun Doyle and Mally Mallinson, Harriet Murray, James Unsworth, Neil Taylor)15 gifted and talented youths make their response to the Chapmans imagery during a seven month workshop programme: 16th August-28th September
A counterpart to the Chapman Borhters’ series of etchings is now showing at Campbell works. As well as five artists in residence who will respond to the infamous Chapman brothers’ work, 15 talented youths will also display their work. In addition to this, art goers can get in on the act by createing their own response to become part of the exhibition. Get you paintbrushes at the ready!
Transition Gallery, ‘Pretty Vacant’: Nina Ogden, Keera Stewart, Rachel Potts: 22nd August-7th September
Unit 25a Regent Studios, 8 Andrews Road, London E8 4QN
Lo-fi methods display a quiet passion in the beautifully banal. Nina Ogden uses obsessive detail culled from eggs, bees and tadpoles to create surreal characters whilst Keara Stewart delicately displays through deadpan drawing and sculpture, her fascination with the unknown stories left behind in architecture. Rachel Potts creates a blank detachment in the painted surface whilst simultaneously hinting at fantasy.
Proud Gallery, ‘No one is innocent’ Sid Vicious: 4th June-11th August
32 John Adam Street?London?WC2N 6BP?
Intimate photographic exhibition of the most infamous and tragic of punk icons features exclusive pictures from key punk photographers from the late 1970s. The highlights Sid’s chaotic life with his band-mates in the Sex Pistols, as well as his ill-fated relationship with the notorious Nancy Spungen.
The hospital, ‘Frieze 20′ : Damien Hirst, Anya Gallaccio, Gary Hume, Sarah Lucas etc
24 Endell St, London WC2H 9HQ
Twentieth anniversary celebration of the ‘Freeze’ exhibition that lauched the YBA movement.
Lemoncello, ‘Rehearsal of a Cross-Dressing Stepfather’ by Sally O’Reilly and Zoe Pepper with Shaun French: Sunday 24th August: 3-7pm with a v short performance at 7:30pm
Limoncello, 92 Hoxton Street, London N1 6LP
‘Rehearsal of a Cross-Dressing Stepfather’ is an attempt to represent the behaviour of a fascinatingly dysfunctional, but real person through the body of an actor. Using scripts based on recorded monologues about how many meals you can serve from a single goose from Aldi, an actor, a director and a first-hand witness will explore the manner and mien of a penny-pinching, a-social, dress-wearing stepfather. Want to add a bit of drama to your Sunday? Then go to this!
Notting Hill, ‘Notting Hill Carnival’: 24th-25th August
Chepstow Rd, Westbourne Grove, Ladbroke Grove, W2
This festival needs no introduction. Europes finest celebration of music, sound systems spanning 3 miles, colour, glitter and dance all in London. Get set for some groovy shinanigans.
Shoreditch, ‘Street fest’: DJs, Cinema, live art, fashion show, hair show and events: 16th-24th August: 12pm-10pm
Make like a banana and slit your time between nottinhill and Shoreditch festival. The latter has music from the likes of Junkboxx, Damian Lazarus and others. Cimema from Future Shorts, live art: Ronzo, Andy Seize and an exclusive fashion show from satoshi date.
Just a quickie to let you all know that Beyond the Valley will be holding a special countdown sale over this upcoming bank holiday weekend. The store, dosage which houses a range of products from upcoming design talent, will be starting their end of season sale on Friday 22nd, when all sale products will be cut down to £30. Prices will reduce by a further £5 every two days until everything is cleared. Discounted items include end of season fashion, accessories and sample garments.
It’s worth a little look. If you do go have a flick through the ‘When Fletcher and Hay Met …’ – the book that I mentioned in my previous blog.
- Fashion Listings 16-22 November
- When Fletcher and Hay met….
- Fashion listings 7– 13 December
- Book Review: Wearable Vintage Fashion by Jo Waterhouse and Clare Bridge
- January Sales – Ethical Style