Amelia’s Magazine | Things to Make and Do with It hugs back

LuckyPDF is a new artist-led project based in Camberwell and Peckham, this web search South East London. LuckyPDF aims to promote and support new artists and creative talent within the area by finding innovative and effective ways to produce and exhibit work.

Recently taking up residence in the UNITY centre on the busy Peckham High Street, LuckyPDF will play host to a series of exhibitions, events and happenings over coming months, working within the restrictions of this unique space and around the other groups that share it.


The current Exhibition features Molly Smyth’s Sculptures which tackle the difficult subject of fear in relation to the recent attacks in Mumbai. I asked her what initially inspired her;

“I originally wanted to create an overtly violent exhibition which highlights the horror of the terror attacks in Mumbai towards the end of last year. That’s however not what materialized. It became more to do with the fear involved.”


An integral part of the show is a large piece entitled ‘Continuo’ which both propels the art to another level but also acts as an invasive field for the viewers.


“It’s based on the the Basso Continuo rhythm within Baroque music which lies underneath the melody and both propels and holds back the music.”


The exhibition continues tonight and tomorrow night @ UNITY, 39 Peckham High Street.


The Norwegian artist Lise Bjorne Linnert has created a project in response to the tragic, viagra and ongoing situation in the Mexican border town of Juarez, discount which sits on the border of the USA. It is difficult to comprehend, sales but the statistics are chilling – over 560 women have been murdered, hundreds more have disappeared, their whereabouts forever unknown, but it is suspected that they have been kidnapped for trafficking.

Desconocida:Unknown has to date, traveled through 22 countries. The project is very much a participatory affair. Those who come to the exhibition are encouraged to become involved, and embroider two labels; one baring the name of one of the murdered women, and one with the simple word – ‘unknown’. These name tags are added onto a wall which becomes the central medium of the project. Until March 22nd, it will be showing at The Gallery at University for the Creative Arts Epsom. Here, visitors can embroider whilst watching a documentary about the situation, called Threading Voices, also made by the artist.

descondida4resized.jpgFrontera 450+, at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston Texas. A show dedicated to the women of Juarez and their situation. This inspired me to start the project. i had moved back to Norway at the time and I wanted to create a project that somehow diminished the distance, the physical distance to the place and the psychological distance to take in information of such difficult issues. I wanted to create a connection, because violence towards women is a global issue, happening in every society, rich or poor, far or near.The situation in Juarez is extremely complex and very difficult to describe using just a few words. But I think it is very important to share that despite the horror that still are happening and the increasing violence towards both men and women due to a war on drugs in the city, the women and the community I have seen and collaborated with is not a victimized community, it is a community of an enormous strength and ability to fight back and with a believe in change. Believe in change through working with the youth, education, support of the families so they can speak for themselves. It is all organized with the smallest means and in an environment of violence and mistrust. The government’s attempts on improvements are described by the activists as cosmetic.”

What inspired you to choose to have participants embroider the name of the murdered women onto the labels?


” The idea of the embroidered nametags came after a long time researching and thinking. I wanted to use a female activity as a way to protest against the violence, I did not want to celebrate the violence. I wanted to establish a connection that would enable us to see the women and hear the stories told, see them as individuals. I also wanted an activity that had connections back to Mexico but yet were global, which embroidery is. We all have a relationship with names, it is the first thing we learn to write and by embroidering the names we would remember that name. By being embroidered, the mass of names each take on an identity again, a dual identity, that of the named and that of the embroiderer.”


Other than the labels, have you been using any other art forms alongside the embroidery, and how to you feel that this compliments?

“The project has inspired me to work using different art forms. After visiting Juarez in 2007, I decided to go back to tell the story of Marisela Ortiz Rivera and the organization Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa. I wanted to share the power and strength the women are fighting with and made the short documentary Threading Voices. When exhibiting the project I also show the video “Missing young women” by the Mexican filmmaker Lourdes Portillo. This film shares the stories about the murders, following the families in their search for their daughters and for justice.
For me it has been very important to show that women are not victims but have strength to fight back. During the openings of exhibitions where Desconocida has been shown, I have done a voice performance, Presence, where I give a tone, and then I give silence. I take away the words, the relation to music and this leaves the viewer and I with the purely the voice, the note and the silence, and I think this brings presence forward. There are “no escapes”
For the opening at the Gallery at the University for Creative Arts, Epsom, I made a sound installation based on my performance idea.”


What has the response been to this project, and where would you like to see this project going (apart from bringing justice to these women, of course).

“The project has grown much larger than I imagined when I started this, it has almost taken on a life of its own. I have decided that as long as people want to be part embroidering and the situation in Juarez remains the same, the project will continue to run its course. I hope more venues would like to show the project and by this engage more communities. It is important for me though that the labels eventually do not end their journey in a drawer in my studio. I am currently researching different ideas of how to bring the labels back out to the communities where they have been created, and doing so through an action/performance in Ciudad Juarez.”
What do you do when even the charity shops turn their noses up at your second hand freebies? Have them stripped for parts just like you would your bike! Tracey Cliffe, find with a background in costume design, information pills knows exactly how to spin fresh dresses out of frocks non-grata. Check out her popping new boutique in Afflecks Place in Manchester.

Love Me Again Logo


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Polly Scattergood

Rough Trade

Saturday 28th Feb, approved 2009

The ethereal Polly Scattergood performed a short set at Rough Trade East on Saturday evening to a small but attentive crowd. Whether they had wandered in from hearing her sound or were hardened followers was difficult to determine, pharmacy but all were enthralled by what Scattergood had to offer.


Scattergood is an open and candid storyteller with the adorable quirkiness of Kate Bush and the timid vulnerabilty of Bat for Lashes. Part vocal, part soliloquy, Scattergood‘s songs are honest and real. She was a little nervous on Saturday, resplendent in an metallic puffball number with slightly tousled blonde locks. Her vocals wavered, but it’s a bold move presenting your music in a space as stark as a record shop. There’s no production, no flashy lighting, and there are customers wandering aimlessly trying to find their would-be purchases.


In between haunting melodies, Scattergood gave little away apart from song titles. From one track to another, she kept a rapid pace, backed by a three-piece band who spend far too much time looking in a mirror (I’d imagine). The songs are original, though – and her dulcet spoken tones blend smoothly with her powerful voice (she dips like a young Moyet and peaks like a more mature Goldfrapp). She has a fresh indie sound with a scrumptious catchy pop twang, best detected on the balladic Unforgiving Arms. Scattergood is also onto a winner with the short show’s closing track, Nitrogen Pink, born with a whisper and maddening as it reaches its climax.


April sees Polly embark on a comprehensive tour around the UK, with the album Stateside Releases expected to hit the shops this week. With a nod, a huge smile and a timid curtsy, Polly‘s off, safe in the knowledge that she’s served up a teatime treat.
Aussie by heart, for sale New Yorker by nature, pills Deanne Cheuk is at the vanguard of her field in fashion illustration. Her work has already graced the pages of Nylon, ampoule Dazed and Confused,Vogue and Tokion.She is showered with accolades, recently she featured as one of the top “50 creative minds in the world” by Face Magazine.


Cheuk’s utilises a myriad of mediums that beautifully unite to create ethereal and dreamy pieces.Whisking you away from the realms of reality into the fairy tale-esque utopia of Deanne’s mind. Like a trip to the realms of Willie Wonker’s chocolate factory her visions are inhabited by mushrooms and a whole spectrum of colours, rather reminiscent of hundreds and thousands ,yum!!!

I have to concede I am so utterly besotted by Deanne Cheuk that even the thought of approaching her made me blush. But I am pleased to say I shook off my anxieties and hunted down this astonishingly talented lady to squeeze in a quick chat!.


1.What other artists inspire you?

I’m always inspired by what my friends are doing, artists like Chris Rubino, Rhys Lee, Dmote, Suitman, Rostarr, Jose Parla, photographers like Jason Nocito, Juliana Sohn, Coliena Rentmeester, Davi Russo

2. In the past few years you have worked more in fashion illustration, was this a natural progression?

Yes it was a natural progression, I started out with drawing the Mushroom Girls series, and then ended up getting commissioned to do variations on that style for fashion magazines and fashion brands. I don’t really do alot in the Mushroom Girls style anymore as it started to get copied alot and a really tacky shoe company on the West Coast ripped it off as their branding. I’ve been doing alot of textile prints for different designers including my favorite designer Sue Stemp.


3. You published a book a few years ago entitled the Mushroom Girls Virus Book, is there any chance of this going back into press?

Unfortunately there isn’t much chance of my book getting re-printed. The embroidered covers were all hand glued and that was incredibly time consuming for the printers to put together, it took a long time to produce. Though, regardless of that, I’d be more interested in making a new book than revisiting something that was already out there.

4. Alot of your work features mushrooms, do you have a fungal fetish at all?

I’ve always absolutely loved the under-sides of mushrooms, how delicate, intricate and soft and unique that part is. I’m also fascinated by the incredible varieties of mushrooms and amazing colors that are found in nature – so yes there is some fetish there for sure!


5. Alot of your work is multi-media based, what mediums do you usually use when you work?

I nearly always start with pencil and watercolor on paper and finish up in photoshop on the computer, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and like to be able to retouch and control the final image in that way.


6. Are their any plans to publish any more books?

Yes, I have a bunch of ideas for a typography book, and an art book and some kids books.


7. Have you been to any interesting exhibitions recently?

I went to the Works On Paper show in New York this week at the Park Avenue Armory, my work is all on paper so it was really inspiring to see . My favorites were old Warhol’s and Lichtenstein’s’.


You get a awe-inspiring sense from Cheuk of her passion for design, ,not content in conquering merely the fashion sphere she has set her intentions further a field in the world of children’s literature and graphic design. I for one can’t wait to see how these ideas materialise!

Going from a magazine to an online blog; we at Amelia’s Magazine know all about the wonders of the internet. However until an email from Mousse Magazine landed in my email box I had no idea how much the process has moved on. Although the magazine is printed in runs of 30, viagra sale 00 and available from museums and galleries across the world it’s also available to download entire issues (and back issues) online. The best bit is that it’s completely free!

Founded in 2006 and distributed internationally since 2008 Mousse Magazine is a bimonthly and bilingual, written in English and Italian, review “that contains essays, interviews, conversations, exclusive artists projects and columns by correspondents from the international art capitals.” They aim to, “surf the trends, offer in depth analysis meet with the hottest artists, and capture the latest currents and developments in the international scene.”

Eager to see whether I could give up the thrill of flicking through the glossy pages of an art magazine I downloaded Mousse straight from the website (no visit to the shop necessary!) and had a look.


Ok so it doesn’t smell the same as a new printed magazine, but I was pleased to see that there were still lots of lovely images of art for me to treat my eyes to. These pictures are accompanied by over 100 pages of articles about big contemporary artists such as Phillip Lai and meaty interviews with people such as Peter Coffin. The only issue is that reading the magazine on Adobe Acrobat is a bit of a challenge if you don’t have a massive computer screen. But think about the trees you’ll be saving!

Over the last three months, treat I’ve done a lot of traveling. I toured with a band for three weeks around America and Canada. I turned that band on to Deer Tick by playing “Art Isn’t Real” for them as we drove through Ohio. After the tour, mind I went to visit friends in Brighton, England, Scotland, and Wales. I listened to “Standing at the Threshold” on the train to Brighton. I woke up blissful on my best friend’s living room floor to the tune of “Ashamed” and I cried, listening to “These Old Shoes” the entire plane ride home from England back to New York. For three months I was continually barraged with new things, new cities, new friends, new sights, sounds, and tastes, with one constant – Deer Tick was with me the entire time. I had their album “ War Elephant” piping through my headphones, regardless of where I was. All of these facts I “forgot” to share with the boys of Deer Tick, seeing as how I’m a shy person, and slightly embarrassed about my ‘superfan’ status. I did, however, manage to find out a bit more when I nervously found myself face to face (to face to face – because there are four of them!) with the band at a Chinese food restaurant around the corner from Manhattan’s Bowery Ballroom, where they were about to play a headlining show, the first night of a 6 week tour around America.

Deer Tick had very humble beginnings,” explains John McCauley, Deer Tick‘s mustached front man. “A few years ago I started writing songs like this and recording them with my friend, Paul, on drums, and that kind of fizzled. I kept trying to create the band that I had named Deer Tick. It was kind of me for a while and I really didn’t like it that way. I didn’t like to be known as a singer songwriter with a moniker, I thought that was kind of stupid, but I was really patient and made sure I waited to find the right group of guys to play with.”


John’s patience paid off and resulted in the formation of the band in its modern day incarnation: Dennis Ryan on drums, Andy Tobiassen- to whom James Felice refers as “the cute one”- on guitar, soft-spoken and self described “post-adolescent, geeky looking kid” Chris Ryan on base and of course, John himself is responsible for guitar and lead vocals as well as penning all of the group’s lyrics.

While “War Elephant” is the work Deer Tick is best known for at the moment, their upcoming album, “Born on Flag Day” will be the first that these 4 have played on together. “It sounds way different than War Elephant, and, stylistically, I think it’s much better than War Elephant too. War Elephant, to me, feels more like a greatest hits rather than an actual album, and this one feels like an album to me, and I’m really glad that I got to record it with a band, rather than multi-track mostly everything myself, which was the case with War Elephant.”

Deer Tick has received positive reactions to both their album, and their live shows. At the near sold out Bowery show, the crowd is singing along, and everyone I talk to in the crowd is genuinely excited to be there, indicative of Deer Tick‘s growing fan base. While the media is desperately trying to pigeonhole Deer Tick‘s sound (terms like “freak-folk,” indie-folk,” and “lo-fi” plague any literature you might find about them, as well as attempts to lump them in with other emerging Brooklyn bands, as John, originally from Providence, Rhode Island, is now living in Brooklyn) John insists that “We can fit in anywhere, from a dive bar to the Bowery Ballroom, like tonight. We’re not trying to be anything, I’m just writing songs in a variety of styles and they get pinned down as folk. And then you can’t just call anything done by a young person ‘folk’ anymore, you have to call it something stupid like “freak-folk.” I just don’t get a lot of labels that people give us. I like to think that rock and roll encompasses everything we do, and that’s where my heart is.”


“Born on Flag Day” is scheduled for release in June 2009.

The world of neckwear has never looked so exciting. So say goodbye to the days of that tedious and generic tie lurking in the bottom of your wardrobe. I think as a general consensus every male has one, information pills right? Yes, sildenafil the one that only raises its ugly head for job interviews, weddings, or funerals. Well, cast that aside and end his tragic existence. Instead say hello and embrace the innovative, hopelessly stylish and nonchalant new accessory line from design collaborative Timo. Fashion Designer Timo Weiland originates from the bustling sidewalks of the Big Apple. He is no newcomer to the fashion sphere, having already enjoyed cult acclaim nationwide for his distinctive wallet designs and environmental conscious design ethos.


Their kitsch Manhattan style exudes chic, and the brand have become regulars in hip fashion magazines such as Super Super. After the roaring success of the wallet designs ,Timo decided to set his sites higher and break into the broader world of accessories. Utilising a myriad of different fabrics from satin to cashmere the new AW O9 features beautiful and opulent neckwear.


Weiland draws influence from all facets of design and genres. Reinvigorating class silhouettes from the bowtie to the skinny tie, and then racing up the spectrum to highly architectural draped collar pieces evoking a distinctly Elizabethan air. Then to top it all off he throws some traditional southern American western in for good measure.


The unique feature of Timo’s designs is there ultimate use as a cross functional accessory. So that bland dress that hasn’t been out of solitary confinement for months could suddenly be unleased on the unsuspecting world with a whole new look.


Weiland blurs the lines between gender with many unisex styles, so keep a close eye on that boyfriend of yours if you want to keep your bowtie to yourself!.
Prepare yourselves for quirky design group KIND! Injecting a healthy dose of cool to knitwear. The latest installment to their eccentric collections makes no exceptions fusing conceptual art with fashion, medicine in a burst of colour and activity.


The Design collaborative are no newcomers to the knitwear sphere and have been in production since 2005. Each collection showcases new and innovative styles, continually pushing the boundaries in conceptual yet functional knitwear design. KIND have been avid followers of ours here at Amelia’s magazine and vis versa, we even featured them in issue 7 ( which is still available to get your mits on by the way!) We just can’t get enough of them, so I thought it important to unleash their new S/S collection on you. So prepare your eyes for a visual feast!

The new collection banishes all recollection of winter embracing the joyous arrival of summer with a myriad of warm colours and shapes.


The brand are heavily involved in photography, interbreeding art with fashion is of paramount importance to these cool cats. Just one look at their S/S 09 lookbook validates this statement. Pieces are set against vivid tapestries reminiscent of the fundamental cubist painter Henri Matisse.


focus is on functional and wearable clothing. The collection offers all your staples from dresses,tanks, to jumpers, all in lightweight cashmeres. So perfect for those cross seasonal periods, when its too cold for a t-shirt yet too warm for a jumper.

Kind has enjoyed universal success, having stocked their collections in Labour of Love, Tatty Divine, Liberty, Collette in Paris, UK style in Moscow, Isetan in Tokyo. Gosh its making me breathless just listing them all…….


So keep your eyes open for KIND, I have a sneaking suspicion we haven’t seen the last from this eccentric bunch!
With a repertoire that boasts Blonde Redhead, page Stereolab, buy Pixies and the Cocteau Twins, approved 4AD rarely disappoint. The latest signing from the cult indie label, Kent four piece It Hugs Back, are no exception.


Photo by Steve Double

Initially, you can’t help but notice how very young they all seem, which makes it all the more satisfying when they launch into such a mature set, cultivating a sound that is much older than their twenty three years.

Beautifully blended rhythmic guitars and soft Thurston Moore-esque vocals, they are clearly a group who have spent a lot of time cooped up in their bedrooms listening to shoegaze records. Although in essence, It Hugs Back are a product of their influences, this is not such a bad thing when your influences are so definably Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Yo La Tengo and potentially Wilco.


Photo Coutesy of

Indeed, it’s their appreciation for music and sound that makes them so enjoyable and strangely refreshing. Clearly identifiable ‘Daydream Nation’ moments like in ‘Now and Again’ are juxtaposed with much more subtle melodies in tracks like ‘q’, where looped riffs and jangling guitars meet more industrial feedback sounds. In fact, many of the songs are indistinguishable, as they play with structure, breaking down more definable song narratives, so that the music remains continually listenable.

Definitely ones to watch.

‘Inside your Guitar’ is out on 6th April

Categories ,4AD, ,Blonde Redhead, ,Cocteau Twins, ,Daydream Nation, ,It hugs back, ,My Bloody Valentine, ,Pixies, ,Sonic Youth, ,Stereolab, ,Things to make and do, ,Yo La Tengo

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Amelia’s Magazine | Leon Diaper: Photographer Spotlight

wietse22With a passion for the natural world and the understanding that things
are going the wrong way, capsule Wietse started getting involved with activism
in his Dutch homeland at the age of 15. Putting himself in harms way to
defend the defenceless didn’t get him the school grades his parents had
hoped for, ed but it set the tone for the years ahead. After moving to the
UK and studying at the Newark Violin Making School in Nottinghamshire,
his activism focused on direct action, creative activism and community
media. He is a founding member of the community media outlet Notts
Indymedia, the Riseup! Radio project and the art activist collective the
Mischief Makers. In the last two years his focus has moved towards ocean
conservation and he currently lives and works as ship’s carpenter on the
Steve Irwin, the ship operated by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Wietse’s hobbies include sewing, embroidery and drawing.
wietse22With a passion for the natural world and the understanding that things
are going the wrong way, erectile Wietse started getting involved with activism
in his Dutch homeland at the age of 15. Putting himself in harms way to
defend the defenceless didn’t get him the school grades his parents had
hoped for, but it set the tone for the years ahead. After moving to the
UK and studying at the Newark Violin Making School in Nottinghamshire,
his activism focused on direct action, creative activism and community
media. He is a founding member of the community media outlet Notts
Indymedia, the Riseup! Radio project and the art activist collective the
Mischief Makers. In the last two years his focus has moved towards ocean
conservation and he currently lives and works as ship’s carpenter on the
Steve Irwin, the ship operated by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Wietse’s hobbies include sewing, embroidery and drawing.
wietse22With a passion for the natural world and the understanding that things
are going the wrong way, information pills Wietse started getting involved with activism
in his Dutch homeland at the age of 15. Putting himself in harms way to
defend the defenceless didn’t get him the school grades his parents had
hoped for, but it set the tone for the years ahead. After moving to the
UK and studying at the Newark Violin Making School in Nottinghamshire,
his activism focused on direct action, creative activism and community
media. He is a founding member of the community media outlet Notts
Indymedia, the Riseup! Radio project and the art activist collective the
Mischief Makers. In the last two years his focus has moved towards ocean
conservation and he currently lives and works as ship’s carpenter on the
Steve Irwin, the ship operated by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Wietse’s hobbies include sewing, embroidery and drawing.
wietse22With a passion for the natural world and the understanding that things
are going the wrong way, approved Wietse started getting involved with activism
in his Dutch homeland at the age of 15. Putting himself in harms way to
defend the defenceless didn’t get him the school grades his parents had
hoped for, sildenafil but it set the tone for the years ahead. After moving to the
UK and studying at the Newark Violin Making School in Nottinghamshire,
his activism focused on direct action, creative activism and community
media. He is a founding member of the community media outlet Notts
Indymedia, the Riseup! Radio project and the art activist collective the
Mischief Makers. In the last two years his focus has moved towards ocean
conservation and he currently lives and works as ship’s carpenter on the
Steve Irwin, the ship operated by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Wietse’s hobbies include sewing, embroidery and drawing.
mattAll photographs courtesy of Leon Diaper

Leon Diaper is a 23-year-old very talented photographer hailing from New Forest. Leon graduated last summer from the art institute of Bournemouth where he had studied a BA in Commercial Photography. He is now trying his luck in the big city of London.

Valerie Pezeron: Hello Leon, malady how are you getting on living in London?

Leon Diaper: I am trying to make my way with everyone else, health doing my own work. I have a day job to earn money in American Apparel at the moment. This is all right. I have a few friends who work there. I needed a job when I came to London and this is better than the bar job I used to have back home, with crazy hours. It does not make you particularly productive.

VP: Why commercial photography?

LD: If you want to make a living, the course I did was more grounded than the other photography BA a few of my friends did. Theirs was a really open-ended and really fine art based course. It wasn’t anything I liked, looked at or ventured towards. With my course, I could do fashion, documentary and you get 6 weeks to do a project in anything you want. I was shown how you could sell your work and get it published.


VP: So you did work for Dazed and Confused? How did that come about?

LD: Just band stuff and portraits, which is always nice to do. Normally I would email them, just annoy people and then call. Most of the time, clients you approach are quite nice; I’m going to meet someone from Tank magazine today. They just said, “Come over and show me your work”. It’s often quite informal, and then you just have to prop them again to go “hey, what do you think!’ and things like that. It was a paid gig, which is always really nice.

VP: So far you have been photographing bands but the rest of your portfolio is quite different.

LD: Yes, because music photography is the easiest way to get your work into magazines. I have so far photographed bands like Siren and Siren. My personal work tends to be more documentary stuff. I enjoy doing narratives, meeting groups and individuals.

VP: What king of magazines would you see your work fit in best?

LD: In Dazed, they have the editorial piece. I would love to do stories for such magazines. I love spending a lot of time building a body of work in order to narrow it down into a piece. Bands are always really hard to make that exciting, to be honest. It’s a really good thing to do but… but here are two guys I have never met and I’ve got 50 minutes to get a picture that is good!

VP: I love the work of Anton Corbijn. Who do you like and who influenced you?

LD: I’m quite traditional. William Eggleston and Steven Shaw…all the photographers from back in the 60s and 70s, these are the people I go back to, that I am excited about. That’s why I do a lot of work in America when I go away.

VP: Did you always know you wanted to be a photographer?

LD: I remember doing photography way back at A’ levels and being a little bit unsure where to go. I was doing communications then and did not know what to do with it so I thought maybe I’d give photography a go. I’ve carried on with it since. I don’t come from a family of artists. My step dad played the guitar, that’s about it! My mum is science based and no one took photos around me. I’d say music was always the thing I was into and I am in a band. Film, music and photography all excite me.


VP: What do you play in the band?

LD: I play the guitar and sing. I try to sing! It’s quite 90’s grungy pop songs sort of thing. Louder bands like Sonic Youth and singer-songwriters like Elliott Smith are on my play list, Joanna Newsom also. Things like that are good to listen to when you are reading. I love the nostalgic sound of albums one used to listen to a while ago and you listen to now to remember things by.

VP: What kind of camera do you use?

LD: I use a Bronica medium format camera for some stuff. My favourite camera for my documentary work is the Kiev; it’s got a really nice quality to it for things like portraits..

VP: Tell us about your printing methods? Do you use just colour?

LD: I normally take it somewhere because colour is really hard, black and white you can just do at home. Lately I have popped in a few black and white images in there.

VP: You seem to enjoy manipulating light, light effects such as smoke.

LD: I bring in little props such as powder to make an image such as photographs of people dynamic, less stiff. Things become fun; it brings surrealism and freedom to the images. I pay special attention to colours also.


VP: What is your most precious possession?

LD: Probably my guitar! I’ve been in bands for years and I have had it through the whole time. It’s quite a good electric guitar; I remember saving a lot of money for it. My Kiev and Bronica come next. These two are my main cameras. I have other pinhole cameras that I have used for series with the sort of dreamy sequence.

VP: What do you think of Pentax and Leicas…?

LD: I’d love a Leica camera but they’re so beyond being able to afford them! I’d love to buy lots and lots of cameras, but now that I’ve found ones that I can use I’m sticking with them.

VP: Yes, and these are gorgeous pictures! What would be your dream job?

LD: I’d love to be paid to do the sort of documentaries like this one I did when I went to America for two months, establishing myself as part of those great photographers. It’s that kind of that grand ambition of great adventure, of disappearing and coming back.


VP: Have you read “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac?

LD: I have! My pictures of Slab City are a great example; it’s an old military place in the middle of the Colorado Desert. Back in the war, it had been used for bombing then they closed it. The army stayed and lived there for a bit, people started coming there for a bit and in the 60’s, there was a huge commune…

VP: It’s one of the last frontiers, isn’t it?

LD: Yes, and it looks like something out of Mad Max. Have you seen the film “Into the Wild”? They filmed at Slab City this guy; my friends and me helped him paint the mountain at 6 am. Everyone has a dog in Slab City. It’s probably one of the coolest places I have ever been, being there with these people. It’s people on drugs, down and outs and I see the beauty, the freedom. These people are living their own way with their own means, getting by without harming anybody. Some people there have super posh motor homes and on the other end of the spectrum, others live in makeshifts. They live day by day almost for free, gas and food are almost all they worry about. I’d be lying to myself if I claimed I could live like that.


VP: It’s really quite different from Bournemouth, isn’t it?

LD: It’s definitely worlds and worlds away from Bournemouth! I love the contrast of American Pop culture because it’s loud and all quite new, the strange, weird and wonderful.

VP: Literature seems to have played a big part in your development.

LD: Ah yeah, definitely! 50’s and 60’s culture, Beatniks…Faulkner. I’m currently reading Hunter S. Thompson. The backbone of my work is freedom based American culture. Another photo series of mine is in San Francisco, outside of this bookstore where Kerouac and friends used to meet. The first year we drove from New York to LA for two months. We rented a half decent car and did a five a half thousand miles!

VP: There is an overwhelming sense of nostalgia in your work. It’s as if you wish we were still in that place.

LD: Massively! Definitely! I’ve always wanted to go back and we did; we went from Vancouver to San Francisco- the pacific Coast. Why can’t we do this all the time!

VP: Have you watched Planet of the Apes and Soylent Green?

LD: I have but never looked at it artistically.

VP: There is something there about civilisation having been there a long time ago, but then you look back on it. Things have really moved on but there are places, like in the movie where Charlton Heston discovers the Statue of Liberty in the sand…

LD: Forgotten times, yes. I like kind of weird stuff like Harmony Korine and Gummo. The mix of playfulness and the serious: I did some work on wrestling, obviously it’s bigger in the US. I always see images in films and that informs my work. I try to find weird and wonderful people.


VP: What are your plans for this year?

LD: I’d like to go away again somewhere. I’d like to go to Alaska.

VP: Oh, wow! Maybe you could put Palin back in her habitat, which might be good.

LD: (Laughter) Exactly! There is a British Journalism Photography competition I entered last year and got short-listed for. I got some work in their magazine, which was nice- I am not quite sure when I hear from them if I win. You get 5 000 pounds if you win to do a project you propose to them, that’s why I want to go to Alaska o follow the Transatlantic oil line that goes from north to south. It would be reportage on the freedom of meeting different kind of people along the way. I like taking detail shots and landscapes.

VP: Any other plans?

LD: A Masters Degree one day but not any time soon. I’m doing a group photography exhibition called “Clinique Presents” from the 11th of February at the Amersham Arms. There will be some prints for sale and the theme is loosely based on magic.


Categories ,Abisham Arms, ,alaska in winter, ,American Apparel, ,American photography, ,Anton Corbijn, ,art, ,bournemouth, ,British Journalism Photography competition, ,Charlton Heston, ,Clinique Presents, ,Dazed and Confused, ,elliott smith, ,Harmony Korine and Gummo, ,Hunter S. Thompson, ,interview, ,Into the Wild, ,Jack Kerouac, ,Kiev, ,Leica, ,Leica camera, ,Leon Diaper, ,music, ,musician, ,Pacific Coast, ,photography, ,Planet of the Apes, ,San Francisco, ,Sonic Youth, ,Soylent Green, ,Steve Shaw, ,William Eggleston

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Amelia’s Magazine | Austra, Viv Albertine & Daughter at the Windmill: music review

Sarah Baardarani, search illustrated by Naomi Law

With Fashion Scout releasing their Ones to Watch for the coming season last week, it was only going to be a matter of fashion minutes before the British Fashion Council announced who was going to feature on the stands this A/W 2011 fashion week. And here they are!

I like the exhibitions a lot. You get to really get a feel for the collections – you can see them up close and touch them – hell, you can even smell them if that’s your bag. While a big-budget catwalk show has the atmosphere to accompany the clothes, I often miss many of the design quirks and fabric features because I’m just too damn busy photographing, tweeting and scribbling what will later become illegible notes. With the stands, you can see the colossal effort that a designer has put into their collection and often they’re hanging around, so you can EVEN chat to them too.

It’s also a great place to find up-an-coming design talent: fresh ideas and new ways of doing things. Sod the oldies on the catwalks. This year looks like it won’t disappoint. Here’s a round of the ‘Emerging Designers’ that the BFC has added to its roster:
austra by anko
Austra by Anko

It may have been a typically miserable Monday night in January, thumb but we were safe from the elements within the hallowed hall that is the Windmill in Brixton. This unassuming little pub just off the busy thoroughfare of Brixton Hill (and in the shadow of a real windmill, the only one remaining in London), has seen many upcoming bands and surprise appearances from old faces grace its stage over the years. My favourite music venue in London (and my second gig there in 48 hours), I’ve had a lot of nights at the Windmill that have been great (including my second New Year’s Eve in London), hazy (ditto) and just plain bizarre.

elena tonra by ellie sutton
Elena Tonra by Ellie Sutton.

The evening began with some haunting acoustica from Daughter, aka Elena Tonra. Plucking at an acoustic guitar, and backed by some subtle electric guitar washes, Tonra’s hushed vocals delivered some daintily dark lyrics that drew the onlookers in. As the Windmill began to fill up, Viv Albertine took to the stage with her new band, Limerence. Once the guitarist and co-songwriter with iconic punk band The Slits, Albertine had been off the music scene for over 20 years after pursuing a career in TV and film directing, but she recently made a return to the stage (indeed, her debut was here at the Windmill) and has gone on to release an EP on the label of Sonic Youth’s very own Thurston Moore.

Viv Albertine by Karina Yarv
Viv Albertine by Karina Yarv.

“Limerence” was a term coined to describe a near-obsessive form of romantic love, though Albertine joked that her songs were generally about pretty much the opposite. Limerence the band is a loose collective of musicians – I’d seen them play at the George Tavern in Stepney last year with pretty much a full compliment, but tonight it was just a pairing of violin and a combo of keyboard, guitar and ukulele. Musically, Albertine has moved on from the reggae infused sound of her old band, though her guitar is still as distinctive as it was on songs like Typical Girls. If anything, there’s a hint of Syd Barrett about songs like Fairytale and the twisted pop of Never Come, and the lyrics are as witty and spiky as you’d expect. Void references a darker part of her punk past, and was introduced with a few reminiscences of 1976. The paired down line-up actually gave an extra edge to Albertine’s songs, highlighted on the unsettling set closer, Confessions Of A Milf, which descended into a one-chord riff on suburban paranoia.

Canadian headliners Austra have been causing a bit of a buzz of late. Hailing from Toronto, and centred on vocalist Katie Stelmanis, with Maya Postepski on programming and Dorian Wolf on bass, they recently renamed themselves (having previously been going under Stelmanis’ moniker), signed to Domino and currently have a 12” single out, with an album in the pipeline for later this year.

Austra gig at The Windmill by Laura Godfrey
Austra gig at The Windmill by Laura Godfrey.

For the UK leg of a whistle-stop European tour, starting tonight, Stelmanis and co were joined by a drummer, keyboard player and two extra vocalists. There was a bit of a shaky start with a technical hitch before things got into their stride. It would be easy to make comparisons with Fever Ray and Glasser (especially as I’d seen both live fairly recently), and Austra do fall into that category of brooding female vocals over dark electronic beats. However, they’re not as dense as Fever Ray or as spectral as Glasser, especially live. I’d read somewhere that Austra were like “Fever Ray gone disco”, which actually isn’t a million miles off the mark. The single, Beat & the Pulse, is distinctly dance-friendly, and while Stelmanis’ vocal delivery may be reminiscent of Karin Dreijer Andersson, the general vibe is more akin to the early to mid 80’s indie-dance crossover. In the confined space of the Windmill, Austra’s songs become much more organic, with the live drums and bass giving an added kick. There was also plenty of theatricality, with Stelmanis and her sidekicks whirling and dipping during each song.

It was a typically great and varied mix of bands and styles tonight, another in a long line of great nights that I’ve experienced at the Windmill, and another one I’m sure that the venue’s legendary Roof Dog would approve of.

Categories ,acoustic, ,Anko, ,Austra, ,Brixton, ,dance, ,Daughter, ,domino, ,electronic, ,Elena Tonra, ,Ellie Sutton, ,Fever Ray, ,George Tavern, ,Glasser, ,Karin Dreijer Andersson, ,Karina Yarv, ,Laura Godfrey, ,Limerence, ,LJG Art, ,punk, ,reggae, ,Roof Dog, ,Sonic Youth, ,Stepney, ,Syd Barrett, ,the slits, ,Thurston Moore, ,Toronto, ,Typical Girls, ,viv albertine, ,Windmill

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Amelia’s Magazine | Shonen Knife at the Scala: Live Review

Shonen Knife by Sally Jane Thompson
Shonen Knife by Sally Jane Thompson

After a month long tour around Europe which kicked off in, information pills of all places, more about Brixton’s Windmill, viagra Shonen Knife arrived at the Scala for their 30th birthday bash. Originally formed in Osaka by sisters Naoko and Atsuko Yamano, along with their friend Michie Nakatani, and influenced as much by 1960’s girl groups as by punk bands (especially the Ramones), Shonen Knife created an energetic, upbeat, irresistibly catchy yet still underground sound (packaged in colourful, often homemade outfits). Their music made its way to the US alt-rock scene and they eventually found unlikely champions in such luminaries as Sonic Youth and, especially, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain (who invited Shonen Knife on a tour of the UK in the early 90’s). Now on their (at the last count) eighteenth studio album (a set of classic Ramones covers), Shonen Knife were back in town and ready to rock Kings Cross.

Shonen Knife by Fi Blog
Shonen Knife by Fi Blog

I’d first caught Shonen Knife at their Windmill gig in August (I think only their second or third in London in around 15 years) when they were in the guise of the Osaka Ramones, and it was an exhilarating run through of the Ramones’ finest. The Windmill was pretty rammed that night and, filing into the auditorium of this old cinema with our special Shonen Knife wristbands, I could see that the Scala was going to be pretty busy too.

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The trio cheerily took to the stage holding bright orange scarves aloft, and then we were underway. On lead vocals and guitar, Naoko is the only remaining founder member, but she is more than capably supported by the ever smiling Ritsuko Taneda on bass, and the band’s newest member, Emi Morimoto, is certainly no slouch on drums.

Shonen Knife by Claire Kearns
Shonen Knife by Claire Kearns

Kicking off with Konnichiwa and Twist Barbie, Shonen Knife started as they meant to continue – fast and frenetic. Their songs may be uncomplicated, they may be about such everyday things as candy or furry animals, but they’re played with such energy and delivered with such enthusiasm that even the biggest grump would find it hard not to enjoy them. Shonen Knife are all about fun!

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As well as assorted gems from their back catalogue, there were a couple of tracks from their more recent albums, such as Super Group, the reggae-ish and intensely catchy Capybara (about, yes, a furry animal) and Perfect Freedom (both from last year’s Free Time LP). Ritsuko took time between thrashing her bass for lead vocals on Devil House, whilst Emi was also on vocal duty for the very 1960’s sounding I Am A Cat. Naoko was not to be outdone by the youngsters as Shonen Knife properly rocked out at the end of the set with Economic Crisis (see, they don’t just sing about furry animals!), which had just a hint of Motörhead about it, and Cobra Vs Mongoose.

Shonen Knife by Louise Wright
Shonen Knife by Louise Wright

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To the particular delight of the mosh pit that had formed in front of Naoko, the band returned as their alter egos, the Osaka Ramones, and, with Ritsuko once again on lead vocals, launched into Sheena Is A Punk Rocker. Emi took over for The KKK Took My Baby Away before we headed, inevitably (and with the help of a stage diver), towards Blitzkrieg Bop. I’m pretty sure the whole of the Scala was shouting “hey ho, let’s go!” There was no rest for Shonen Knife, though, as they straight away headed to the foyer to sign autographs for the throng of ecstatic (and exhausted) fans afterwards.

Shonen Knife by Gabriel Ayala
Shonen Knife by Gabriel Ayala

As Shonen Knife return home to Japan for some more shows, and with the prospect of a US tour on the horizon, it certainly looks like the party isn’t over just yet!

Categories ,alt-rock, ,Brixton, ,Claire Kearns, ,Fi Blog, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Girl-Groups, ,japan, ,Kings Cross, ,Kurt Cobain, ,Louise Wright, ,Motörhead, ,nirvana, ,Osaka, ,Osaka Ramones, ,punk, ,Ramones, ,Sally Jane Thompson, ,Scala, ,Shonen Knife, ,Sonic Youth, ,underground, ,Windmill

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Amelia’s Magazine | David Grubbs


Monday 19th January

Greg Dulli/Mark Lanegan, viagra sale information pills Union Chapel, cialis 40mg London


For fans of the drug-n-whisky soaked darker side of life this intimate venue should be the perfect place to catch the full intensity of this bad boy duo’s melancholic rumblings.

Still Flyin’, patient Stricken City, We Have Band, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, London

15-piece Californian band/orchestra/whatever headline with their sunny but diverse indie pop. Plus cool electro pop from We Have Band.

Tuesday 20th January

Kasms, White Heat, London

Noisy and shambolic guitar sounds from these metal-tinged black-haired Londoners.

Wednesday 21st January

Wire, Cargo, London


Sometimes gigs from old favourites can be a risky business, often liable to disappoint when your heroes have become sad old has-beens. With any luck these late 70s punk stalwarts were too cool to age badly and this should be a great gig.

Little Joy, Dingwalls, London

Strokes drummer Fab Moretti becomes a front man on this side project. Expect New Yorkey, indie-pop in a similar vein to, um, The Strokes via Brazil.

Thursday 22nd January

La Roux, Cockpit, Leeds


She’s in Issue 10 so she must be pretty good but don’t just take our (and every other music journalist in England’s) word for it. Check out her fun dance pop live.

Friday 23rd January

Sky Larkin, Barfly, Cardiff


Cute but clever indie rock from Leeds with a definite off-beat edge.

David Grubbs, The Croft, Bristol

Once the founder of 80s punk metallers Squirrel Bait, David Grubbs now plays grungy post-rock as a solo concern.

Saturday 24th January

James Yuill, The Macbeth, London


Think Jose Gonzalez without the advert but with plenty of electronic sounds to accompany the quiet and introspective acoustic numbers.

Of Montreal, Digital, Brighton

Much loved indie pop, spreading a little happiness whilst supporting Franz Ferdinand on their latest tour.

Sunday 25th January

Le Corps Mince de Francoise, Library, Lancaster


Daft Finnish pop in the same vein as CSS, Chicks on Speed and others of that ilk. Crazy make up and fun party girls = a great end to the weekend.

Rows of fish heads preserved in salt – even in the quirky world of Tatty Devine, viagra 60mg that’s an unexpected sight. They peer out from a long black board mounted on the gallery wall like hunting trophies. Next to them, buy cast copies of ripe oranges burrow into blocks of dark red velvet, rx as if victims of a bloody fruit massacre.



This is the first solo show of sculptor Amaia Allende, which opened on Thursday at the Tatty Devine boutique and gallery space in Brick Lane, east London. Allende claims to tackle the “subject of belonging” by assembling similar everyday items into tidy rows. It looks suspiciously like she has emptied her kitchen bin around the shop.

By the front door, some sort of green pear-like fruits line up on a narrow shelf. Poking out of the top are long strands of polyester blond hair, which make them look like a family of Mrs Pear Heads. So they belong together, you see, while at the same time having individual personalities (because of the hair).



Tatty Devine is famous for its unique jewellery and edgy art exhibitions, including “Jane Amongst the Birds”, a competition for the best foreign bird or budgie (complete with Tatty Devine trophy) held in September last year. So when it comes to belonging, it seems that Allende and her sombre line-up of fish heads and old fruit, have found an appropriate home.
The most glamorous way of recycling clothes is buying vintage. Last week was launched by luxury fashion PR, viagra order Carmen Haid, about it and fashion journalist, Alice Kodell, and it is a literal vintage heaven. It’s not the place to go if your vintage needs are met by Beyond Retro but if you want a designer dress to suit your decadent palette, you’ll love it.

In the 1930′s Carmen Haid’s grandmother, Klaudia Mayer ran a haute couture atelier in Vienna, selling exquisite clothes sourced from all over the world and it is this that recreates as an online boutique.

The launch truly indicated the splendour of the site, as we entered Marks Club – gentlemen’s club extraordinaire – in Mayfair, we were greeted with roaring fireplaces, country estate décor and the elegant melodies of the violinists could be heard wafting down the staircase.

Photograph by Tilly Pearman

Such a grand setting was fitting for the designer and couture gowns on show, a taste of what can be bought on the site. As well as on rails, the clothes were worn by models and the violinists, to show off the true beauty of them.


Photographs by Tilly Pearman

The site not only allows you to browse through the clothes online, the style me section acts as your very own personal shopper, taking into account your size and preferences and finding appropriate pieces and accessories for you. is also a great source for brushing up on your fashion knowledge, it has biographies of designers and fashion houses, guides to buying vintage and the style minute section contains a collection of fashion videos, including a fabulous Audrey Hepburn montage and an interview with key sartorial players including Coco Chanel, which is in her native French but we (Prudence Ivey – bilingual Music Editor) has done a handy translation of the key questions for you:

Could you give me a definition of elegance?
Coco: It’s difficult, you ask a difficult question, what is elegance? It’s many things. I will say something which I repeat all the time that for me is obvious but which many people don’t understand: that you can never be elegant enough.

Many of the dresses you designed last year have been copied or imitated in practically every country in the world. The Chanel style has descended to the street. Are you happy about this?
Coco: I am delighted. That was my goal. I don’t believe in defending fashion. You can’t have fashion if you are against imitation. There is no fashion if no-one sees it. Not me but many of the couturiers have an insane fear of imitation but you can’t be successful without it. For me success is the copy. You can’t be successful without that and imitation.

Wise words Coco.

photograph from Gavin Cullen

I should confess that I don’t come to First Love with impartial ears, information pills but more as an inadvertent geek, verging-on-groupie, who has faithfully been following the movements of Emma-Lee Moss since first stumbling across the girl who sang out prophecies of premature death and the difficulty in distinguishing between love and a stomach disorder. Assembling whoever I could, I stood among many a rowdy crowd turned to enchanted silence – the boys would always fall in love and the girls would come away a little jealous.

Now her album has appeared on our desk and I am all excitement and nerves. The name is taken from Samuel Beckett’s depressing novella about a violently misogynistic lover, whilst Emmy’s First Love is a “hard-won innocence-to-experience saga about a destructive but ultimately character forming relationship, in which songwriting process was her final act of catharsis”. But the tracks that most explicitly fit this bill are the ones I find hardest to warm to, stripped of the subtlety and delicacy of earlier songs, they can be a little sour to the taste. For the most part however, the album shines with all the appeal that makes Emmy great. Lyrics that are dark, humorous and full of brilliantly evocative imagery – all veiled beneath teasingly playful melodies and a disarmingly sugared deliverance – “Our guitarist Euan says our songs are passive aggressive – people think we’re harmless unless they’re really listening”.

We went along to 12 Bar to see her play an acoustic set of before an intimidating crowd of straight clothed industry folk, though she was unfazed, always confident, “we’re used to much bigger stages” she joked …. and so Emmy the Great enters into the mainstream, and perhaps it is just the natural preconditioning of any fan but I think I preferred her on intimate stages when it was just her, her guitar, and a pool of admirers. Saying that, ‘We are Safe” is my new favourite song, full band.


Opening with a Billy Bragg mockney cry, web you expect Napoleon IIIrd’s mini-album to be a fairly straightforward chronicle of the times, viagra sale Jamie T stylee with shades of Blur in the guitars. All fine but all a little 2006 and not terribly promising. And then the second track, A Strong Nuclear Force, hits you very much as it says on the tin, with its Prince via Beck falsetto and electro beats and you realise there may be more to this boy. A Leeds music scene stalwart, having played with iLikeTrains, iForward Russia! and The Research and remixed a whole bunch of his Northern counterparts, it is perhaps no wonder that there is a little more variety and interest in this collection of songs than might be expected.


So much variety in fact, that it is easy to feel a little disorientated by the broad mix of genres which Napoleon IIIrd introduces, apparently on a whim. He certainly keeps you on your toes with his playful approach to continuity but challenging the audience is no bad thing and just a couple of listens bring out a common thread running throughout the record. The songs seem to build up to and around the pulsing, driving and crashing The Sky Is Too High, which at around 7 minutes certainly stands apart from the punchy observational territory of the rest of the disc, lacking as it does any discernable lyrical content. Proceedings are then rounded off on a dramatic note with the electro-hymn See Life, down-tempo enough to fall asleep to but interesting enough to give your full attention to on a long dark wet afternoon of the soul. It may take a little perserverance but this mini-album is definitely worth the time.


Now based in London, pill Finnish designer Minna Hepburn is showing her A/W 09 collection as part of Esthetica, and the ethical branch of London Fashion Week. Her beautiful and delicate designs caught our eye and even better, they’re eco-friendly, with all her materials being locally sourced, organic and fair-trade. She took the time to talk to us about her ideas and work:

When did you decide to persue a career in fashion design?

After I graduated, I went travelling with my husband and we ended up in Asia. I felt lost in terms of my career as I had studied War Studies at Kings College and worked a bit in the city, neither of those options really inspired me. Travelling and my ever so encouraging husband gave me the confidence to do something that I really loved – which is fashion.

What are you currently working on?

I am putting together my A/W 09 collection that I am showing at London Fashion Week, Esthetica in February. I think Esthetica will be bigger and better this year. I am really looking forward to it!
I am also finalising designs for my online boutique, which will be launched at the end of February.


What designers do you admire?
I absolutely love Rodarte. What they have achieved without any proper training in fashion is incredible and very inspiring!

Who or what inspires your work?

My biggest inspirations are lace and antique markets. England has such amazing antique markets. We never had anything like that in Finland. It’s amazing that you can find gorgeous pieces from the early 1900′s and they are still in wearable condition. Sometimes I might find an old buttons or a postcard and get an amazing design idea.
When I am travelling I always look out for antique markets, France has some of the best ones I have seen!

What has been your biggest professional achievement so far?

Being accepted to do London Fashion Week and putting a collection together after just having a baby. My son Hayden was merely days old and I was still sore after a cesarean when I returned to work to finish the collection. I could not have done it without my friends though!

Also, I think one of the proudest moment was when A la Mode, started stocking my designs. They are such an institution, old and respected shop with impressive list of labels. They have been such a joy to work with!

Why did you decide to create an eco-friendly label?

With my first label, SE1 London, I experienced fast fashion as its worst. It was a range of silk dresses, tops and skirts that were made in Vietnam but I did a lot of traveling and it opened my eyes. It made me re-think the whole fashion industry and how it operates. I decided that second time round I would do it differently. I took some time to research the ethical fashion market, suppliers and the whole concept. I noticed that there was a gap in the high end of the ethical fashion market. A lot of the other ethical fashion brands were doing lots of wardrobe staples and there was not much choice, so I wanted to focus on that and provide some.
I really wanted to create not just a label, but a brand, and to feel that I was doing something differently and maybe setting an example.



Is it important to you that your materials are locally sourced?
I wanted to show that beautiful and affordable garments can be made in the UK, which is where Scottish lace came into the picture. Also, I have always loved antique markets and found Scottish lace to have that vintage look and appeal.
I started testing my designs with high end shops in Bath and London and got positive feedback. Encouraged by this, I applied to London Fashion Esthetica and decided to produce a full collection for S/S 09.

How do you feel ethical fashion is perceived by the public?

I think ethical fashion is getting better every season. It’s important to show people that ethical fashion can also be commercial, affordable and in line with the current trends.
The media has played a very big part in bringing the message that eco-fashion is in vogue. With the current economical climate, I think people are more aware how they are spending and what they want to spend their money on. With lots of cool ethical brands emerging, I think fashion with conscience has never been more in fashion.

How would you describe your personal style?
At home, as a mother of two young children I try to keep things simple. White lace tops and baby sick does not go well together…
But when I go out, it’s all about antique cocktail rings, pieces from my collection, dresses, high heels and vintage.

Do you like to wear ethical brands yourself?
I wear lot of vintage and I have discovered this amazing French brand, Ekyog, who have a shop on the Kings Road. They have the softest organic knitwear I have ever worn! But I have to say that most of the time I wear my own designs. Also by wearing it, I am testing each design, the fit and the fabrics before I put anything to production. It’s important to know how the garment will behave and last.

Thanks for talking to us Minna, have fun at Fashion Week.
London Fashion Week runs from 20th-25th February 2009.

Woman? Good. Self-publishing? Also good.

This Saturday at the The Women’s Library there will be a hands-on day celebrating woman’s involvement in self-publishing. Publishers, information pills artists, stomach illustrators and crafters – all will come together to share advice and techniques for making zines, magazines and comics. There will be a creative workshop with zine producer Red Chidgey, who will be dishing out advice on how to get started with your own zine, or you can just browse through stalls to find little treasures of your own, and meet zine distributors and makers, you might just come away inspired.

Check here for a more detailed itinerary. This event is free, but you must book.

The 7:20s are an enigmatically named bunch of attitudinous blokes from the West Midlands whose debut EP landed with a feisty thump on our doormat a couple of weeks ago. After some fairly bolshy correspondence and downright pestering we were convinced that we really had to give it a listen and the results lived up to expectations.

Aquarian Charm is a real rock record in the old tradition of driving guitars and powerful male vocals with some great hooks and, buy more about no surprises, more about lyrics with balls. As a relatively new and unsigned band there’s not much info about the 7:20s on the internet so we decided to get in touch with them to find out what they could tell us about themselves and their music.


What are your main influences?

Andy: Our musical influences start with Depeche Mode and early electronica, pill cool beats and synths through to Massive Attack, MGMT and M83. Add to that 90s influences from The Stone Roses, Nirvana, Radiohead, Primal Scream and through to Coldplay, The Editors, The 22-20s to name but a few from recent years. All journeys in life and the people you meet influence you and this comes through sonically too. Everyone that knows us is an influence!!

Where does your name come from?

Ed: It happened in 1981, in Preston. My mum and dad thought about many different names but decided on “Edward Paul Thurstan Wright”

The name of the band came because it was better than “Big yellow floppy cheese band”.

What do you think you’ve got to offer that other bloke bands can’t? Especially when all music critics are proclaiming this to be the year of the female solo artist.

John: We make epic, anthemic music infused with atmosphere with lyrics straight from the heart and soaring melodies. There’s no pretentiousness, no angular jangly chords, just pure music, pure emotion. We aren’t in the business of criticising other bands, but we will only say that if you’re after the real deal, you need to listen to our music and see us live. If it turns out to be true that 2009 is the year of the female solo artist, then we have a contingency plan of disbanding, and choosing one band member to front the music in drag. That should sort it…

You’re from Rugby. Is there much good music knocking around there?

Eddy: Yes there is a lot of really good music about in Rugby at the moment, such as Dukes Jetty, Lost Theory and Who Needs Heroes.


How important do you think a band’s image is? How important is your image to you?

Andy: Naturally, image is important….Why are there so many Elvis impersonators? He was arguably the most memorable artist in history but he was a cool artist too. Our first priority is to make life changing music and our band mirrors that in its image. We haven’t created an image to suit an environment. Instead, we hope our music will influence it. And, we look cool as fu*k to boot ha ha!

Ed: Image is only important to bands if their music is sh*te and they need to conform in order to be accepted and liked by the Topshop brigade and Radio One…though we are kinda guilty of that too!

Hm well, speaking of image, our Fashion Editor was keen to offer some styling advice when she saw these pics, perhaps they’d like to drop her a line for some tips on how to jazz up their look. We think it would lead to greater success in the future!

To find out more, visit

Danielle Arnaud likes change but is not all that inclined towards interior design, link and so her house on Kennington Road is both home and gallery, troche transformed every few months to the workings of whichever artist she happens to be exhibiting. “A change in space brings a change in the mind” she tells me, and I cannot help but wonder what kind of sobering experience it must be to see the protruding and bloodied flesh of a soldier as you walk through your front door each day.

Aesthetic Distance is the second body of work born of David Cotterrell’s stint with the Joint Forces Medical group in Afghanistan, where he was the commissioned artist invited as witness and observer, a task he found to be overwhelming and emotionally turbulent. It is a sentiment you can only try to empathise with as you pass through stark rooms bearing windows to intimate scenes in operating theatre, destruction and individual human cost conjoined with compassion, dignity, and medical industriousness. As you too become observer and witness, you begin to understand why the work seems so distant. I at first strained to find the artist in the work before me, Cotterrell’s own engagement with the bizarre world into which he was emerged, but the photo-journalistic nature of the the photographs makes both artist and viewer witness in way that is impartial and almost matter-of-fact, stripped and exposed are the quiet processes that roll endlessly beneath the wheels of the war machine.

Two films, also eerily distant, document the transport and treatment of casualties during a Major incident. You don’t actually see the patients, just the fact of it; a bleak and wasted landscape where the hum of slicing blades form the backdrop to a continuously arriving and departing Chinook helicopter, whilst Green Room gives an alternative vision of the same event. Medics wait for their assigned patients, their bodies and faces concentrated on the tasks to come over the next four hours, like actors preparing to go on stage.




It is well worth dipping into Cotterrell’s diary entries, where a more personal documentation of his own experiences are captured. The exhibition lasts until February 15, and though sobering is well worth a visit. Be sure to say hello to Danielle’s chiwawa.

David Cotterrell is featured in issue ten which you can order here.
David Grubbs is something of a legend – the connoisseurs’ post-rocker of choice. It’s no surprise that he’s packed out the cosy environs of the Albert even with the little fanfare afforded his performance. Or that fact that it’s a mercilessly cold, sildenafil recession bitten Blue Monday night he’s playing on. Or that it costs an extortionate amount to see him.


So who is this unassuming, view bookish gentleman? Grubbs started his career playing with Louisville, Kentucky pop-metal messiahs, Squirrel Bait, and hails from the same fertile Southern indie rock scene that gifted the world Slint amongst other chin-stroking fare. Decamping in Chicago, he went on to form the seminal, nineties outfit, Gastr del Sol with Jim O’Rourke. Meshing musique concrète, folk and jam-band Tropicália with a sense of audacious abandon that belied the pair’s studious persona, Gastr del Sol cemented Grubbs’s reputation as a major post-rock player way before the term was used to describe dire, instrumental indie bands. When O’Rourke jacked it in to be a big shot bassist in Sonic Youth, Grubbs continued exploring the outer limits of acoustic music with a series of challenging albeit rewarding solo albums. This deconstruction of the ‘singer-songwriter’ is what characterizes most of his recent output and new album, An Optimist Notes The Dusk, is no exception.


I was wary of the David Grubbs live experience though. A friend of mine had seen him play a few years ago and, apparently, he performed briefly before a reel to reel machine spewing noise and walking offstage to laugh from the sides at those still watching. No such sonic japery tonight as Grubbs takes the stage, unaccompanied, and eeks out of his amped up electric guitar Danny Whitten style slabs of warm, creamy, washes of love. Segueing seamlessly into Gethsemani Night, he has the audience enraptured and it’s clear we’re in the presence of some kind of quietly confidant maestro. The evening goes on thus with Grubbs playing most of his recent offering in this minimal style. It works well but tracks like An Optimist Declines feel slightly less weighty without his percussionist Michael Evans or the trumpet drones of Nate Wooley, both of whom adorn Grubbs’s recent offering with poignant poise. It’s a minor quibble though as Grubbs has enough chops, licks and modal phrasings to keep the faithful more than happy. You see, as academic as his music may well be – he’s a professor of Radio and Sound Art at Brooklyn College – Grubbs’s music is always from the heart and suffused with soulfulness. He taps into a rich vein of Americana and the fact that it comes out so aurally fractured, so ideologically fearless exemplifies what Grubbs still is at heart: a punk rock kid from Kentucky.

Categories ,David Grubbs, ,Live, ,Rock, ,Singer Songwriter, ,Sonic Youth

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