Amelia’s Magazine | Merthyr to Mayo Solidarity Bike Ride: Green Kite Midnight at Castlerea Prison

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Wales Velorution
My touring bike, more about kindly lent by Velorution.
GKM Roadtrip Galway Stop Shell

At the start of June I went on an exciting adventure to Ireland… on a borrowed bike from Velorution. It was a trip I’ve looked forward to for a long time because it combined two of my favourite things in the world. Or maybe three: Cycling (I love cycling A LOT), cost activism (we had a purpose) and being in lovely places with lovely people.

The Merthyr to Mayo bike ride was organised by a loose group of activists based around the country and included members of Bicycology, a cyclists’ collective who aim “to promote cycling and make links with wider issues of environmental and social responsibility”. This intrepid group of riders set off from the open cast coal mine at Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, armed only with an explanatory newspaper and lots of verve. The solidarity ride ended at Rossport in County Mayo, Ireland, thereby linking two communities who are resisting fossil fuel extraction, and educating other communities along the way.

Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Mini ceilidh en route in Wales.

An added bonus of this trip was the opportunity to play with my ceilidh band Green Kite Midnight, since providing music for people to dance to at protests is the very reason for our existence. Luckily our banjo player Dom has bought a big ambulance which he has lovingly converted into a tour bus for the band – and thus we set off for Ireland via Wales, stopping to spend the night at the parental house of our bassist Tim, way up in the secluded Welsh mountains. It was then onward to Holyhead, where we caught the ferry over to Dublin and carried straight onto Galway to meet the rest of the crew, who were hastily organising a demo against the atrocities against the flotilla bound for Gaza.

GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza

We marched straight into the local branch of M&S (to draw attention to the chain’s affiliation with the development of the Israeli state) much to the bemusement of Irish security guards, clearly not used to such confident behaviour. We then joined a gathering in the street organised by locals, but were eventually rained into the closest pub and from there we retired early to a friendly local’s house, quickly to sleep in preparation for our 90km ride the next day.

GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo
Awaiting news in the pub… many people knew activists on the flotilla.

We had been warned that Irish roads are quite dangerous and on our first day I did feel a little less than wholly safe, stuck on a narrow hard shoulder as – head down, legs pumping – we powered through the countryside with little more than a brief break for lunch in a small town.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

The main thing I noticed about rural Ireland is the predominance of ugly newbuild housing estates. Boy do the Irish like to build some shoddy housing! The more upmarket modern houses favour the architecture of American TV series such as Dallas from the 80s – amusing for their kitsch value if nothing else – but at the bottom end of the spectrum the Barrett home style identikit boxes are nothing short of a blot on the landscape.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
Endless housing estates.
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

Like many other economies the Irish housing boom was completely unsustainable, and speculative construction has given way to half-finished housing estates fronted by signs that looked spangly a few years ago, now peeling and faded.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

Okay, so I was a bit worried about the length of our first day’s ride with no preliminary warm up – but I needn’t have been. With nothing but a vista of endless stone walls, housing estates and crumbling barns (the Irish prefer new builds to renovations, apparently) to distract us from our mission, our little affinity group was one of the first to arrive at our final destination – the Lidl carpark at Castlerea. Being rather fast, and meeting at Lidl were both to become a bit of a theme…

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Lidl
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Lidl

Once everyone had arrived at we we were herded up the longest steepest hill I’ve ever tackled with such a heavy load… and this after a long hard day too. I stayed on my bike to the very top but boy was I glad that I hadn’t brought my Pashley – it never would have made it.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan

At the top our destination was a gorgeous stretch of land bordered by woods, owned by some friendly Pagans who greeted us with lentil stew brewed for us in a cauldron over the fire surrounded by medieval-style tents. Our two nights spent on the hill top were characterised by excessive amounts of midges and late night music sessions. The intervening day was spent at Castlerea Prison, which you can read about in my next blog.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Wales Velorution
My touring bike, salve kindly lent by Velorution.
GKM Roadtrip Galway Stop Shell

At the start of June I went on an exciting adventure to Ireland… on a borrowed bike from Velorution. It was a trip I’ve looked forward to for a long time because it combined two of my favourite things in the world. Or maybe three: Cycling (I love cycling A LOT), approved activism (we had a purpose) and being in lovely places with lovely people.

The Merthyr to Mayo bike ride was organised by a loose group of activists based around the country and included members of Bicycology, link a cyclists’ collective who aim “to promote cycling and make links with wider issues of environmental and social responsibility”. This intrepid group of riders set off from the open cast coal mine at Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, armed only with an explanatory newspaper and lots of verve. The solidarity ride ended at Rossport in County Mayo, Ireland, thereby linking two communities who are resisting fossil fuel extraction, and educating other communities along the way.

Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Mini ceilidh en route in Wales.

An added bonus of this trip was the opportunity to play with my ceilidh band Green Kite Midnight, since providing music for people to dance to at protests is the very reason for our existence. Luckily our banjo player Dom has bought a big ambulance which he has lovingly converted into a tour bus for the band – and thus we set off for Ireland via Wales, stopping to spend the night at the parental house of our bassist Tim, way up in the secluded Welsh mountains. It was then onward to Holyhead, where we caught the ferry over to Dublin and carried straight onto Galway to meet the rest of the crew, who were hastily organising a demo against the atrocities against the flotilla bound for Gaza.

GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza

We marched straight into the local branch of M&S (to draw attention to the chain’s affiliation with the development of the Israeli state) much to the bemusement of Irish security guards, clearly not used to such confident behaviour. We then joined a gathering in the street organised by locals, but were eventually rained into the closest pub and from there we retired early to a friendly local’s house, quickly to sleep in preparation for our 90km ride the next day.

GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo
Awaiting news in the pub… many people knew activists on the flotilla.

We had been warned that Irish roads are quite dangerous and on our first day I did feel a little less than wholly safe, stuck on a narrow hard shoulder as – head down, legs pumping – we powered through the countryside with little more than a brief break for lunch in a small town.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

The main thing I noticed about rural Ireland is the predominance of ugly newbuild housing estates. Boy do the Irish like to build some shoddy housing! The more upmarket modern houses favour the architecture of American TV series such as Dallas from the 80s – amusing for their kitsch value if nothing else – but at the bottom end of the spectrum the Barrett home style identikit boxes are nothing short of a blot on the landscape.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
Endless housing estates.
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

Like many other economies the Irish housing boom was completely unsustainable, and speculative construction has given way to half-finished housing estates fronted by signs that looked spangly a few years ago, now peeling and faded.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

Okay, so I was a bit worried about the length of our first day’s ride with no preliminary warm up – but I needn’t have been. With nothing but a vista of endless stone walls, housing estates and crumbling barns (the Irish prefer new builds to renovations, apparently) to distract us from our mission, our little affinity group was one of the first to arrive at our final destination – the Lidl carpark at Castlerea. Being rather fast and meeting at Lidl – these were both to become a bit of a theme…

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Lidl
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Lidl

Once everyone had arrived at we we were herded up the longest steepest hill I’ve ever tackled with such a heavy load… and this after a long hard day too. I stayed on my bike to the very top but boy was I glad that I hadn’t brought my Pashley – it never would have made it.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan

At the top our destination was a gorgeous stretch of land bordered by woods, owned by some friendly Pagans who greeted us with lentil stew brewed for us in a cauldron over the fire surrounded by medieval-style tents. Our two nights spent on the hill top were characterised by excessive amounts of midges and late night music sessions. The intervening day was spent at Castlerea Prison, which you can read about in my next blog.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Wales Velorution
My touring bike, malady kindly lent by Velorution.
GKM Roadtrip Galway Stop Shell

At the start of June I went on an exciting adventure to Ireland… on a borrowed bike from Velorution. It was a trip I’ve looked forward to for a long time because it combined two of my favourite things in the world. Or maybe three: Cycling (I love cycling A LOT), hospital activism (we had a purpose) and being in lovely places with lovely people.

The Merthyr to Mayo bike ride was organised by a loose group of activists based around the country and included members of Bicycology, a cyclists’ collective who aim “to promote cycling and make links with wider issues of environmental and social responsibility”. This intrepid group of riders set off from the open cast coal mine at Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, armed only with an explanatory newspaper and lots of verve. The solidarity ride ended at Rossport in County Mayo, Ireland, thereby linking two communities who are resisting fossil fuel extraction, and educating other communities along the way.

Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Mini ceilidh en route in Wales.

An added bonus of this trip was the opportunity to play with my ceilidh band Green Kite Midnight, since providing music for people to dance to at protests is the very reason for our existence. Luckily our banjo player Dom has bought a big ambulance which he has lovingly converted into a tour bus for the band – and thus we set off for Ireland via Wales, stopping to spend the night at the parental house of our bassist Tim, way up in the secluded Welsh mountains. It was then onward to Holyhead, where we caught the ferry over to Dublin and carried straight onto Galway to meet the rest of the crew, who were hastily organising a demo against the atrocities against the flotilla bound for Gaza.

GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo

We marched straight into the local branch of M&S (to draw attention to the chain’s affiliation with the development of the Israeli state) much to the bemusement of Irish security guards, clearly not used to such confident behaviour. We then joined a gathering in the street organised by locals, but were eventually rained into the closest pub and from there we retired early to a friendly local’s house, quickly to sleep in preparation for our 90km ride the next day.

GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo
Awaiting news in the pub… many people knew activists on the flotilla.

We had been warned that Irish roads are quite dangerous and on our first day I did feel a little less than wholly safe, stuck on a narrow hard shoulder as – head down, legs pumping – we powered through the countryside with little more than a brief break for lunch in a small town.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

The main thing I noticed about rural Ireland is the predominance of ugly newbuild housing estates. Boy do the Irish like to build some shoddy housing! The more upmarket modern houses favour the architecture of American TV series such as Dallas from the 80s – amusing for their kitsch value if nothing else – but at the bottom end of the spectrum the Barrett home style identikit boxes are nothing short of a blot on the landscape.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
Endless housing estates.
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

Like many other economies the Irish housing boom was completely unsustainable, and speculative construction has given way to half-finished housing estates fronted by signs that looked spangly a few years ago, now peeling and faded.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

Okay, so I was a bit worried about the length of our first day’s ride with no preliminary warm up – but I needn’t have been. With nothing but a vista of endless stone walls, housing estates and crumbling barns (the Irish prefer new builds to renovations, apparently) to distract us from our mission, our little affinity group was one of the first to arrive at our final destination – the Lidl carpark at Castlerea. Being rather fast and meeting at Lidl – these were both to become a bit of a theme…

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Lidl
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Lidl

Once everyone had arrived at we we were herded up the longest steepest hill I’ve ever tackled with such a heavy load… and this after a long hard day too. I stayed on my bike to the very top but boy was I glad that I hadn’t brought my Pashley – it never would have made it.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan

At the top our destination was a gorgeous stretch of land bordered by woods, owned by some friendly Pagans who greeted us with lentil stew brewed for us in a cauldron over the fire surrounded by medieval-style tents. Our two nights spent on the hill top were characterised by excessive amounts of midges and late night music sessions. The intervening day was spent at Castlerea Prison, which you can read about in my next blog.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Wales Velorution
My touring bike, approved kindly lent by Velorution.
GKM Roadtrip Galway Stop Shell

At the start of June I went on an exciting adventure to Ireland… on a borrowed bike from Velorution. It was a trip I’ve looked forward to for a long time because it combined two of my favourite things in the world. Or maybe three: Cycling (I love cycling A LOT), sick activism (we had a purpose) and being in lovely places with lovely people.

The Merthyr to Mayo bike ride was organised by a loose group of activists based around the country and included members of Bicycology, order a cyclists’ collective who aim “to promote cycling and make links with wider issues of environmental and social responsibility”. This intrepid group of riders set off from the open cast coal mine at Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, armed only with an explanatory newspaper and lots of verve. The solidarity ride ended at Rossport in County Mayo, Ireland, thereby linking two communities who are resisting fossil fuel extraction, and educating other communities along the way.

Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Mini ceilidh en route in Wales.

An added bonus of this trip was the opportunity to play with my ceilidh band Green Kite Midnight, since providing music for people to dance to at protests is the very reason for our existence. Luckily our banjo player Dom has bought a big ambulance which he has lovingly converted into a tour bus for the band – and thus we set off for Ireland via Wales, stopping to spend the night at the parental house of our bassist Tim, way up in the secluded Welsh mountains. It was then onward to Holyhead, where we caught the ferry over to Dublin and carried straight onto Galway to meet the rest of the crew, who were hastily organising a demo against the atrocities against the flotilla bound for Gaza.

GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo

We marched straight into the local branch of M&S (to draw attention to the chain’s affiliation with the development of the Israeli state) much to the bemusement of Irish security guards, clearly not used to such confident behaviour. We then joined a gathering in the street organised by locals, but were eventually rained into the closest pub and from there we retired early to a friendly local’s house, quickly to sleep in preparation for our 90km ride the next day.

GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo
Awaiting news in the pub… many people knew activists on the flotilla.

We had been warned that Irish roads are quite dangerous and on our first day I did feel a little less than wholly safe, stuck on a narrow hard shoulder as – head down, legs pumping – we powered through the countryside with little more than a brief break for lunch in a small town.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

The main thing I noticed about rural Ireland is the predominance of ugly newbuild housing estates. Boy do the Irish like to build some shoddy housing! The more upmarket modern houses favour the architecture of American TV series such as Dallas from the 80s – amusing for their kitsch value if nothing else – but at the bottom end of the spectrum the Barrett home style identikit boxes are nothing short of a blot on the landscape.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
Endless housing estates.
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

Like many other economies the Irish housing boom was completely unsustainable, and speculative construction has given way to half-finished housing estates fronted by signs that looked spangly a few years ago, now peeling and faded.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

Okay, so I was a bit worried about the length of our first day’s ride with no preliminary warm up – but I needn’t have been. With nothing but a vista of endless stone walls, housing estates and crumbling barns (the Irish prefer new builds to renovations, apparently) to distract us from our mission, our little affinity group was one of the first to arrive at our final destination – the Lidl carpark at Castlerea. Being rather fast and meeting at Lidl – these were both to become a bit of a theme…

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Lidl
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Lidl

Once everyone had arrived at we we were herded up the longest steepest hill I’ve ever tackled with such a heavy load… and this after a long hard day too. I stayed on my bike to the very top but boy was I glad that I hadn’t brought my Pashley – it never would have made it.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan

At the top our destination was a gorgeous stretch of land bordered by woods, owned by some friendly Pagans who greeted us with lentil stew brewed for us in a cauldron over the fire surrounded by medieval-style tents. Our two nights spent on the hill top were characterised by excessive amounts of midges and late night music sessions. The intervening day was spent at Castlerea Prison, which you can read about in my next blog.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison

For the past 10 years the local community in Rossport, drug County Mayo, nurse have been campaigning against plans to pipe raw untreated gas from an offshore well in the Corrib Gas Field through the beautiful unspoilt countryside to a refinery 9km inland. The pipeline will be the first of it’s kind in the world and despite assurances that nothing could go wrong the canny residents quickly smelled a rat. Refinery tailings have already poisoned Carrowmore Lake which supplies water to 10,000 people on the Erris peninsula, and many houses are situated in the “kill zone” – Shell consultants have conceded that those living within 200 metres of the pipeline “could burn spontaneously from heat radiation” in the event of an explosion from the highly flammable untreated gas. The current preferred route for the pipe takes it across a highly unstable bog. Hmmm, sounds very safe to me.

GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison

On top of this, the rights to profit from Irish resources were quietly signed away by the Irish government during the 80s and 90s (to the extent that extracting companies now have to pay less than 8% tax when compared with 50% in the UK and 78% in Norway), but despite this the Irish government has acted in complicity with Big Oil by placing compulsory purchase orders on furious local farmers. Quite apart from the human rights atrocities that are being inflicted on a daily basis against the residents of Rossport there is the need to preserve sites of spectacular beauty and of course lobby to leave fossil fuels in the ground in order to avert catastrophic climate change.

GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison
GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison

This is the backdrop against which locals and activists are campaigning against Shell in Rossport. Because of their actions two activists are currently imprisoned and it was in support of them that we went to Castlerea Prison.

GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison
GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison
Practicing our chants.
GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison

On numerous occasions local fisherman Pat O’Donnell has stood up to bullying by Shell despite numerous recorded assaults by the Gardai (Irish police) Last summer his fishing boat was boarded by masked men who held him at gunpoint and then sunk his boat.

Niall Harnett I know better – he’s a gentle giant of a man that I met at the Earth First gathering last year and I can’t imagine him harming a flea. He was sentenced earlier this year for alleged assault, an outcome that highlights the failings of the Irish judicial system, currently upholding the use of excessive force against ordinary citizens to appease the might of corporations.

For more on either of these cases I recommend that you read about Niall here and Pat here, but the main point is that we were at Casterea Prison as part of a prolonged campaign in support of these brave men, who have dared to stand up to the might of a multinational oil company.

GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison
GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison
GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison

Cycling en masse through the town we arrived to find the cheery faces of local supporters awaiting our arrival at the gates. A short cycle ride later through sun dappled fields of horses, and we were settled down for the sounds of a traditional band, who were soon joined by various musicians from the bike ride.

GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison
Lunch.
GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison
GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison
They can hear us!

The finale was a Green Kite Midnight ceilidh, against a backdrop of high concrete prison walls on which we had daubed some messages of solidarity in chalk. It was absolutely sweltering so thereafter I had to retire to a cool pub, but others continued and held a small dance in the local Topaz garage – in Ireland Shell has received so much bad press that all petrol stations have been renamed Topaz. This had led to the immortal phrase Topaz My Arse amongst the activists we were travelling with.

GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison
GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison
GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison
GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison
GKM Roadtrip Castlerea Prison
Pedals.
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
Pub.

From Castlerea we took an extremely picturesque trip to Ballina the next day: some of us swum in a lovely lake, and we all clambered up an old castle we found along the way. I wish it had been easier to take photos as we rode because the Catholic roadside shrines are great, and I particularly love the way that all the signs are plonked on top of each other all higgledy-piggledy – never mind that you may not be able to read the ones beneath.

GKM Roadtrip Ballina
GKM Roadtrip Ballina
GKM Roadtrip Ballina
GKM Roadtrip Ballina lake
GKM Roadtrip Ballina lake
GKM Roadtrip Ballina
GKM Roadtrip Ballina castle
GKM Roadtrip Ballina castle

Ballina is the nearest big town to Rossport so many people there are involved with and support the struggle against Shell. We put our tents up in the back garden of a big house and were completely spoilt for dinner.

GKM Roadtrip Ballina
GKM Roadtrip Ballina
GKM Roadtrip Ballina
GKM Roadtrip Ballina
GKM Roadtrip Ballina
GKM Roadtrip Ballina
GKM Roadtrip Ballina castle
GKM Roadtrip Ballina

The next day our final leg began with a quick critical mass around Ballina, joyfully dinging our bells to the sounds of Madonna and co, as played by Pedals, the Bicycology sound system that is present at so many of our direct actions as amplification for my voice and the instruments in Green Kite Midnight. We even had time to briefly blockade a Topaz tanker on the way.

GKM Roadtrip Ballina
GKM Roadtrip Ballina Topaz
GKM Roadtrip Ballina Topaz
“I don’t give a shit about Rossport.” That is literally what this man said.

Yoga on the top of a coastal bluff at lunchtime was followed by the hardest part of the ride – struggling into the wind past multicoloured sheep across a long long moor. At the end we were again greeted by hot tea and huge amounts of home-cooked food, courtesy of the friendly locals. By this point I was starting to wonder if we deserved so much goodwill.

GKM Roadtrip Ballina to Rossport yoga
GKM Roadtrip Ballina to Rossport
GKM Roadtrip Ballina to Rossport
GKM Roadtrip Ballina to Rossport
GKM Roadtrip Ballina to Erris
GKM Roadtrip Ballina to Erris
GKM Roadtrip Ballina to Rossport
GKM Roadtrip Ballina to Erris
GKM Roadtrip Ballina to Erris
GKM Roadtrip Ballina to Erris

From then on it was but a quick pedal over to the half built refinery site, a testament to the power of Shell. The pipeline to feed the refinery is in no way ready to be built, let alone operate! After a bunch of rallying speeches we freewheeled most of the way down to the location of this year’s Rossport Summer Gathering.

GKM Roadtrip Shell Refinery
GKM Roadtrip Shell Refinery
GKM Roadtrip Ballina to Rossport Shell refinery

I’ve heard a lot about how gorgeous Rossport is but nothing could have prepared me for the view that greeted us as we struggled up one last steep rise…. No wonder everyone who comes here falls in love – it’s a beautiful wild place on the edge of the world.
GKM Roadtrip Rossport

GKM Roadtrip Rossport

Nothing between Glengad Beach and America. We erected our tents against a backdrop of billowing sand dunes humming with clattering biting (as I was later to discover) bugs and bird calls I have never heard before. Places like these desperately need our protection and I challenge anyone to visit Rossport and come away unmoved by the sheer beauty of the natural world. That evening we partied with the locals in the pub despite being half-asleep with exhaustion.

GKM Roadtrip Rossport
GKM Roadtrip Rossport
GKM Roadtrip Rossport donkeys
There are donkeys everywhere!

More about the Rossport Gathering in my next blog post.

Categories ,Ballina, ,bicycology, ,Castlerea, ,Castlerea Prison, ,ceilidh, ,Corrib Gas Field, ,County Mayo, ,Direct Action, ,earth first, ,Green Kite Midnight, ,Merthyr Tydfil, ,Multinational, ,Niall Harnett, ,Pat O’Donnell, ,Pedals, ,Rossport, ,Shell, ,Shell to Sea, ,Topaz, ,Yoga

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Amelia’s Magazine | Rossport Solidarity Camp Summer Gathering 2010

Way back in 2007, shop Amelia’s Magazine was one of the first to recognise the raw talent of a young Johnny Flynn, decease who won us over with the delicately nuanced themes in his poetic and lyrical songwriting. (The fact that he could wield a Gibson guitar like nobodies business also helped make him alright in our books). Fast forward to today and it’s safe to say that the kid done good. Supporting Mumford & Sons in their upcoming October tour, performing at summer festivals all over the country (including this weekends Cambridge Folk Festival) and collaborating with Laura Marling and Anna Calvi, Johnny has more than established himself in the British folk canon. But Johnny is no one trick pony; his new album Been Listening shows a strong appreciation of musical diversity, and gives respectful nods to early 20th Century blues, African music, and even takes inspiration from Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. His creative streak runs deep, and the animated video for his new single, Barnacled Warship (released August 16th) is a dark dystopia directed by Christian DeVita, lead storyboard artist on Wes Anderson’s ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ as well as Tim Burton’s forthcoming ‘Frankenweenie’.

So, as you can imagine, we felt that a catch-up with Johnny was long overdue, and so when we were approached by his team to do a video interview, it was only a matter of fighting over which contributor was the biggest fan (the honour went to the lovely Chloe) and then we were ready to go!
Watch the feature for Barnacled Warship here:
YouTube Preview Image

Way back in 2007, sale Amelia’s Magazine was one of the first to recognise the raw talent of a young Johnny Flynn, sales who won us over with the delicately nuanced themes in his poetic and lyrical songwriting. (The fact that he could wield a Gibson guitar like nobodies business also helped make him alright in our books). Fast forward to today and it’s safe to say that the kid done good. Supporting Mumford & Sons in their upcoming October tour, erectile performing at summer festivals all over the country (including this weekends Cambridge Folk Festival) and collaborating with Laura Marling and Anna Calvi, Johnny has more than established himself in the British folk canon. But Johnny is no one trick pony; his new album Been Listening shows a strong appreciation of musical diversity, and gives respectful nods to early 20th Century blues, African music, and even takes inspiration from Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. His creative streak runs deep, and the animated video for his new single, Barnacled Warship (released August 16th) is a dark dystopia directed by Christian DeVita, lead storyboard artist on Wes Anderson’s ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ as well as Tim Burton’s forthcoming ‘Frankenweenie’.

So, as you can imagine, we felt that a catch-up with Johnny was long overdue, and so when we were approached by his team to do a video interview, it was only a matter of fighting over which contributor was the biggest fan (the honour went to the lovely Chloe) and then we were ready to go!
Watch the feature for Barnacled Warship here:
YouTube Preview Image

Way back in 2007, for sale Amelia’s Magazine was one of the first to recognise the raw talent of a young Johnny Flynn, search who won us over with the delicately nuanced themes in his poetic and lyrical songwriting. (The fact that he could wield a Gibson guitar like nobodies business also helped make him alright in our books). Fast forward to today and it’s safe to say that the kid done good. Supporting Mumford & Sons in their upcoming October tour, site performing at summer festivals all over the country (including this weekends Cambridge Folk Festival) and collaborating with Laura Marling and Anna Calvi, Johnny has more than established himself in the British folk canon. But Johnny is no one trick pony; his new album Been Listening shows a strong appreciation of musical diversity, and gives respectful nods to early 20th Century blues, African music, and even takes inspiration from Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. His creative streak runs deep, and the animated video for his new single, Barnacled Warship (released August 16th) is a dark dystopia directed by Christian DeVita, lead storyboard artist on Wes Anderson’s ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ as well as Tim Burton’s forthcoming ‘Frankenweenie’.

So, as you can imagine, we felt that a catch-up with Johnny was long overdue, and so when we were approached by his team to do a video interview, it was only a matter of fighting over which contributor was the biggest fan (the honour went to the lovely Chloe) and then we were ready to go!
Watch the feature for Barnacled Warship here:
YouTube Preview Image

Go to Johnny’s MySpace and website for lots more, including his newly released tour dates.

Way back in 2007, ed Amelia’s Magazine was one of the first to recognise the raw talent of a young Johnny Flynn, who won us over with the delicately nuanced themes in his poetic and lyrical songwriting. (The fact that he could wield a Gibson guitar like nobodies business also helped make him alright in our books). Fast forward to today and it’s safe to say that the kid done good. Supporting Mumford & Sons in their upcoming October tour, performing at summer festivals all over the country (including this weekends Cambridge Folk Festival) and collaborating with Laura Marling and Anna Calvi, Johnny has more than established himself in the British folk canon. But Johnny is no one trick pony; his new album Been Listening shows a strong appreciation of musical diversity, and gives respectful nods to early 20th Century blues, African music, and even takes inspiration from Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. His creative streak runs deep, and the animated video for his new single, Barnacled Warship (released August 16th) is a dark dystopia directed by Christian DeVita, lead storyboard artist on Wes Anderson’s ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ as well as Tim Burton’s forthcoming ‘Frankenweenie’.

So, as you can imagine, we felt that a catch-up with Johnny was long overdue, and so when we were approached by his team to do a video interview, it was only a matter of fighting over which contributor was the biggest fan (the honour went to the lovely Chloe) and then we were ready to go!
Watch the feature for Barnacled Warship here:
YouTube Preview Image

Go to Johnny’s MySpace and website for lots more, including his newly released tour dates.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

You may remember way back in the mists of time, this web well, viagra buy at the start of June at any rate, cialis 40mg that I went off on a solidarity bike ride to Rossport in County Mayo. I got the biking part written up but as is usual it’s taken me forever to get this last part together – but maybe that’s no bad thing because it means I can give you a much more up to date account of happenings over on Glengad Beach, Rossport in County Mayo, possibly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

My Saturday at Rossport Summer Gathering was spent in various workshops, hearing from locals who have struggled against the pipeline, talking about ways in which communities can be linked up, watching a gorgeous live animation about Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen of Mayo, playing football, ceilidh-ing into the sunset and possibly my highlight: hearing Niall Harnett (currently still incarcerated in prison – see my previous blog) speak live over the Pedals PA system from Castlerea.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
GKM Rossport Saturday by Amelia Gregory

On Sunday more workshops were followed by possibly the funniest, most surreal and enjoyable mass action ever. Gathering our spades we set off en masse with the locals to dig a hole on Glengad Beach where Shell’s oily pipeline has been illegally laid in an attempt to get a head start on planning permission. This was necessarily a bit of a fool’s mission since we didn’t really believe our merry gang would actually expose the pipe, even with the help of many burly hands.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory

Shell has hired private security to live above this remote beach 24/7 in order to intimidate anyone who makes a fuss, and if our intention was to freak out them out then our action could be considered a success. It took awhile, but after several hours of energetic digging and sand slinging a number of curiously stereotypical security staff finally appeared at the top of the rise, whereupon a group of us gleefully scrambled up to dance in front of their less than well hidden film cameras.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory

Eventually most people got bored and hungry enough to wander off in search of supper so we never did reach Australia, or even the pipe, which was presumably laid far deeper by machines than we could ever hope to reach. But it felt so so empowering and was certainly the most joyous action I’ve ever taken part in.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory

Since we were there for the June gathering the real work has started in earnest, as Shell sets out to drill 80 boreholes along the coastline to complete the survey for the pipeline. Because the estuary near Glengad Beach is part of the Broadhaven Bay Special Area of Conservation they will have to stop drilling when the Brent Geese arrive in October, but in the meantime the operation is damaging parts of the estuary and disturbing Atlantic salmon, otters and rare birds found on the intertidal areas.

The folks living at Rossport have therefore launched the Beat the Boreholes campaign calling for groups or individuals to come and stop a specific borehole this summer – by doing anything from holding a banner and walking out onto the sands, or getting in the way by kayaking out to and boarding the drilling rigs. The plan is to make progress so impossible that the surveys cannot be completed this year, thereby holding up the implementation of the pipeline and costing Shell even more money in the process.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory

The idea was inspired by the 365 day blockade at Faslane nuclear base in Scotland – a place I have also visited and helped to blockade way back in 2005 when I was at the G8 protests at Stirling.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Kayak training.

News just in: Only a few weeks ago a group of campaigners set out on kayaks and rafts to try and stop work on one of the drilling platforms. They were met by a group of Gardai (Irish police) and had their kayaks overturned. One of the activists attempted to swim under the platform and was manhandled aboard their boat even though he volunteered to leave the area. His throat was pinched to cut off the air supply as a Garda whispered in his ear “I have your last breath in my hands.” He later received medical treatment.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
It looks so peaceful doesn’t it?

There has been continuous human rights abuse at Rossport, just one more reason why you should get along and help out – your presence will help whatever action you chose to take when you are there, so don’t feel that you have to get all the way into the water like some brave souls. It really is so important to keep the pressure on at flashpoints like Rossport, and Erris is a place you will fall in love with. Find out more information about going to Rossport here.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,Beat the Boreholes, ,bicycology, ,Broadhaven Bay, ,County Mayo, ,Direct Action, ,Erris, ,Faslane, ,G8, ,Glengad Beach, ,ireland, ,Merthyr to Mayo, ,Niall Harnett, ,Nuclear, ,Pedals, ,Rossport, ,Shell, ,Solidarity Camp, ,Stirling

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Rossport Solidarity Camp Summer Gathering 2010

Way back in 2007, shop Amelia’s Magazine was one of the first to recognise the raw talent of a young Johnny Flynn, decease who won us over with the delicately nuanced themes in his poetic and lyrical songwriting. (The fact that he could wield a Gibson guitar like nobodies business also helped make him alright in our books). Fast forward to today and it’s safe to say that the kid done good. Supporting Mumford & Sons in their upcoming October tour, performing at summer festivals all over the country (including this weekends Cambridge Folk Festival) and collaborating with Laura Marling and Anna Calvi, Johnny has more than established himself in the British folk canon. But Johnny is no one trick pony; his new album Been Listening shows a strong appreciation of musical diversity, and gives respectful nods to early 20th Century blues, African music, and even takes inspiration from Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. His creative streak runs deep, and the animated video for his new single, Barnacled Warship (released August 16th) is a dark dystopia directed by Christian DeVita, lead storyboard artist on Wes Anderson’s ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ as well as Tim Burton’s forthcoming ‘Frankenweenie’.

So, as you can imagine, we felt that a catch-up with Johnny was long overdue, and so when we were approached by his team to do a video interview, it was only a matter of fighting over which contributor was the biggest fan (the honour went to the lovely Chloe) and then we were ready to go!
Watch the feature for Barnacled Warship here:
YouTube Preview Image

Way back in 2007, sale Amelia’s Magazine was one of the first to recognise the raw talent of a young Johnny Flynn, sales who won us over with the delicately nuanced themes in his poetic and lyrical songwriting. (The fact that he could wield a Gibson guitar like nobodies business also helped make him alright in our books). Fast forward to today and it’s safe to say that the kid done good. Supporting Mumford & Sons in their upcoming October tour, erectile performing at summer festivals all over the country (including this weekends Cambridge Folk Festival) and collaborating with Laura Marling and Anna Calvi, Johnny has more than established himself in the British folk canon. But Johnny is no one trick pony; his new album Been Listening shows a strong appreciation of musical diversity, and gives respectful nods to early 20th Century blues, African music, and even takes inspiration from Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. His creative streak runs deep, and the animated video for his new single, Barnacled Warship (released August 16th) is a dark dystopia directed by Christian DeVita, lead storyboard artist on Wes Anderson’s ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ as well as Tim Burton’s forthcoming ‘Frankenweenie’.

So, as you can imagine, we felt that a catch-up with Johnny was long overdue, and so when we were approached by his team to do a video interview, it was only a matter of fighting over which contributor was the biggest fan (the honour went to the lovely Chloe) and then we were ready to go!
Watch the feature for Barnacled Warship here:
YouTube Preview Image

Way back in 2007, for sale Amelia’s Magazine was one of the first to recognise the raw talent of a young Johnny Flynn, search who won us over with the delicately nuanced themes in his poetic and lyrical songwriting. (The fact that he could wield a Gibson guitar like nobodies business also helped make him alright in our books). Fast forward to today and it’s safe to say that the kid done good. Supporting Mumford & Sons in their upcoming October tour, site performing at summer festivals all over the country (including this weekends Cambridge Folk Festival) and collaborating with Laura Marling and Anna Calvi, Johnny has more than established himself in the British folk canon. But Johnny is no one trick pony; his new album Been Listening shows a strong appreciation of musical diversity, and gives respectful nods to early 20th Century blues, African music, and even takes inspiration from Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. His creative streak runs deep, and the animated video for his new single, Barnacled Warship (released August 16th) is a dark dystopia directed by Christian DeVita, lead storyboard artist on Wes Anderson’s ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ as well as Tim Burton’s forthcoming ‘Frankenweenie’.

So, as you can imagine, we felt that a catch-up with Johnny was long overdue, and so when we were approached by his team to do a video interview, it was only a matter of fighting over which contributor was the biggest fan (the honour went to the lovely Chloe) and then we were ready to go!
Watch the feature for Barnacled Warship here:
YouTube Preview Image

Go to Johnny’s MySpace and website for lots more, including his newly released tour dates.

Way back in 2007, ed Amelia’s Magazine was one of the first to recognise the raw talent of a young Johnny Flynn, who won us over with the delicately nuanced themes in his poetic and lyrical songwriting. (The fact that he could wield a Gibson guitar like nobodies business also helped make him alright in our books). Fast forward to today and it’s safe to say that the kid done good. Supporting Mumford & Sons in their upcoming October tour, performing at summer festivals all over the country (including this weekends Cambridge Folk Festival) and collaborating with Laura Marling and Anna Calvi, Johnny has more than established himself in the British folk canon. But Johnny is no one trick pony; his new album Been Listening shows a strong appreciation of musical diversity, and gives respectful nods to early 20th Century blues, African music, and even takes inspiration from Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. His creative streak runs deep, and the animated video for his new single, Barnacled Warship (released August 16th) is a dark dystopia directed by Christian DeVita, lead storyboard artist on Wes Anderson’s ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ as well as Tim Burton’s forthcoming ‘Frankenweenie’.

So, as you can imagine, we felt that a catch-up with Johnny was long overdue, and so when we were approached by his team to do a video interview, it was only a matter of fighting over which contributor was the biggest fan (the honour went to the lovely Chloe) and then we were ready to go!
Watch the feature for Barnacled Warship here:
YouTube Preview Image

Go to Johnny’s MySpace and website for lots more, including his newly released tour dates.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

You may remember way back in the mists of time, this web well, viagra buy at the start of June at any rate, cialis 40mg that I went off on a solidarity bike ride to Rossport in County Mayo. I got the biking part written up but as is usual it’s taken me forever to get this last part together – but maybe that’s no bad thing because it means I can give you a much more up to date account of happenings over on Glengad Beach, Rossport in County Mayo, possibly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

My Saturday at Rossport Summer Gathering was spent in various workshops, hearing from locals who have struggled against the pipeline, talking about ways in which communities can be linked up, watching a gorgeous live animation about Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen of Mayo, playing football, ceilidh-ing into the sunset and possibly my highlight: hearing Niall Harnett (currently still incarcerated in prison – see my previous blog) speak live over the Pedals PA system from Castlerea.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
GKM Rossport Saturday by Amelia Gregory

On Sunday more workshops were followed by possibly the funniest, most surreal and enjoyable mass action ever. Gathering our spades we set off en masse with the locals to dig a hole on Glengad Beach where Shell’s oily pipeline has been illegally laid in an attempt to get a head start on planning permission. This was necessarily a bit of a fool’s mission since we didn’t really believe our merry gang would actually expose the pipe, even with the help of many burly hands.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory

Shell has hired private security to live above this remote beach 24/7 in order to intimidate anyone who makes a fuss, and if our intention was to freak out them out then our action could be considered a success. It took awhile, but after several hours of energetic digging and sand slinging a number of curiously stereotypical security staff finally appeared at the top of the rise, whereupon a group of us gleefully scrambled up to dance in front of their less than well hidden film cameras.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory

Eventually most people got bored and hungry enough to wander off in search of supper so we never did reach Australia, or even the pipe, which was presumably laid far deeper by machines than we could ever hope to reach. But it felt so so empowering and was certainly the most joyous action I’ve ever taken part in.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory

Since we were there for the June gathering the real work has started in earnest, as Shell sets out to drill 80 boreholes along the coastline to complete the survey for the pipeline. Because the estuary near Glengad Beach is part of the Broadhaven Bay Special Area of Conservation they will have to stop drilling when the Brent Geese arrive in October, but in the meantime the operation is damaging parts of the estuary and disturbing Atlantic salmon, otters and rare birds found on the intertidal areas.

The folks living at Rossport have therefore launched the Beat the Boreholes campaign calling for groups or individuals to come and stop a specific borehole this summer – by doing anything from holding a banner and walking out onto the sands, or getting in the way by kayaking out to and boarding the drilling rigs. The plan is to make progress so impossible that the surveys cannot be completed this year, thereby holding up the implementation of the pipeline and costing Shell even more money in the process.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory

The idea was inspired by the 365 day blockade at Faslane nuclear base in Scotland – a place I have also visited and helped to blockade way back in 2005 when I was at the G8 protests at Stirling.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Kayak training.

News just in: Only a few weeks ago a group of campaigners set out on kayaks and rafts to try and stop work on one of the drilling platforms. They were met by a group of Gardai (Irish police) and had their kayaks overturned. One of the activists attempted to swim under the platform and was manhandled aboard their boat even though he volunteered to leave the area. His throat was pinched to cut off the air supply as a Garda whispered in his ear “I have your last breath in my hands.” He later received medical treatment.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
It looks so peaceful doesn’t it?

There has been continuous human rights abuse at Rossport, just one more reason why you should get along and help out – your presence will help whatever action you chose to take when you are there, so don’t feel that you have to get all the way into the water like some brave souls. It really is so important to keep the pressure on at flashpoints like Rossport, and Erris is a place you will fall in love with. Find out more information about going to Rossport here.

Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory
Rossport Solidarity Camp by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,Beat the Boreholes, ,bicycology, ,Broadhaven Bay, ,County Mayo, ,Direct Action, ,Erris, ,Faslane, ,G8, ,Glengad Beach, ,ireland, ,Merthyr to Mayo, ,Niall Harnett, ,Nuclear, ,Pedals, ,Rossport, ,Shell, ,Solidarity Camp, ,Stirling

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Amelia’s Magazine | Merthyr to Mayo Solidarity Bike Ride: Galway to Castlerea

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete the Temp
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

On Sunday we lost a few and gained a few. Pete Lawrie called by with terrible hayfever to say he couldn’t sing for fear of losing his voice but kindly volunteered to perform at another Climate Camp benefit. Of course I made him stand in front of our banners so I could get a photo anyway.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete Lawrie
Pete Lawrie.

Robinson just didn’t turn up. I missed a phone call whilst doing an impromptu Green Kite Midnight gig at the Greenpeace Stage, nurse which laughably requested that I get on the radios to sort out a vehicle escort to meet them from their Acoustic Stage gig (erm, buy information pills did you read any of my emails?) They then ignored all my later frantic calls. Professional. Still, they probably wouldn’t have had much of an audience, what with them clashing with that embarrassing worldcup football match and all. I missed most of Pete the Temp but managed to catch him performing some fun mashed up covers dressed in a tutu from our grand raffle.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades decided to play at the last minute once their Glastonbury tickets were confirmed. Fronted by my former art editor, the super talented Luisa Gerstein, I am ashamed to say that this was the first time I had seen them perform live. I had previously only visited them on myspace, which really doesn’t do justice to their ace live performance. Playing on a variety of strange string instruments, an old typewriter and an assortment of pots, pans and donating buckets scoured from the Climate Camp kitchen, they were incredibly inventive.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.

Both myself and Luisa have camped extensively with Forest School Camps, and her glorious melodies reflect the mix of traditional English, Irish, Scottish and American Bluegrass music that we love to sing around campfires.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades ended on an acapella version of traditional gospel song You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone – here performed with just two of the band members and some old yoghurt pots (another trick I suspect she learnt around the campfire). A cult classic if ever I saw one – there are already multiple tributes on youtube.

YouTube Preview Image

Luisa’s best bit about playing the Tripod Stage: our make-shift drum-kit from the catering tent.
Luisa’s best bit about Glastonbury this year: Sunday evening: Mountain Man in the Crow’s Nest followed by Dirty Projectors followed by Stevie Wonder; twas dreamy. 
 
You can catch Lulu and the Lampshades at Bestival later this year.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Cats and Cats and Cats then borrowed a number of instruments from Lulu and the Lampshades to play another exclusive for the Tripod Stage, lead singer Ben George having come down from his parent’s pottery stand in the Green Fields to offer us the gig. Quite fortuitously Cats and Cats and Cats have their debut album If I’d Had An Atlas out this week, so we were treated to stripped down versions of a range of songs which I’ve since been able to listen to on record.

cats and cats and cats
Cats and Cats and Cats by Farzeen Jabbar.

When and where was the album recorded?
If I’d Had An Atlas was recorded over 11 days in deepest darkest Wales (Giant Wafer Studios in the Brecon Beacons), it was great to be so far away from any bustling cities and we could really concentrate there. We also did some recordings of extra instruments (tuba, cello, accordion etc.) in Folkestone at Barewires Studios.

What inspired the name If I’d Had An Atlas?
The name is from a lyric in the title track which reads “I don’t know, if I’d had an atlas, where we would be,” which fell out of my brain at some point and I scribbled it down. I like the imagery of someone imagining that if they’d had a map they would have done things differently but of course there is no map and life is chaotic and that’s why it’s amazing.

What was the best bit about playing on the Tripod Stage?
I really enjoyed just turning up and using what instruments we could gather to piece together a set and then managing to pull it off! Thanks loads to Lulu and the Lampshades for lending us their equipment and also for being really brilliant. The only bad point was when I dedicated a song to my brother only to find he’d run off to watch Nora Jones!

What was your favourite part of Glastonbury this year?
I saw some of my favourite Glastonbury performances this year by bands like: Boxcar Aldous Huxley, Tubelord, The Dirty Projectors, Meursault and Imogen Heap; I was also gobsmacked at the lightning men and amounts of fire in Arcadia. But I have to say the weather, I was there for 8 days and I didn’t see a drop of rain. Amazing.

What other festivals are you playing at?
We’ve got a couple more lined up in July: Lounge on the Farm in Canterbury on Friday 9th (at 12pm) and 2000 Trees Festival in Cheltenham on Saturday 17th. Then we’ll be playing a farewell show for our violin player in London at some point as she’s leaving the band, but we’ll be back on the scene in October for a UK tour. Hopefully see you soon.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats
Ben has one of those voices that delights in the slightly out of the tune: it shouldn’t work, and sometimes it grates, but most of the time it somehow does: his wailing vocals become a feature in themselves, especially when offset against such a lush backdrop: brass, strings, entire orchestras, choirs, all of which have their place on this album – occasionally screeching to a standstill that echoes the offkilter vocals. It’s all great fun. Stand out single A Boy Called Haunts is a triumphant melody about
An acquired taste maybe, but wonderfully original and definitely a grower. Well worth checking out.

carolyn-alexander-attila the stockbroker
Attila the Stockbroker by Carolyn Alexander.

Our final performer was another late booking – Attila the Stockbroker, pint in hand, gave us some grand punk beat poetry. 60 years old and able to give any number of youngsters a run for their money. I’d like to see more of him one day.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Attila the Stockbroker

And so ended my Tripod Stage musical line-up. And what a joy it was. Here’s hoping we can do as well next year…
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

On Sunday we lost a few and gained a few. Pete Lawrie called by with terrible hayfever to say he couldn’t sing for fear of losing his voice but kindly volunteered to perform at another Climate Camp benefit. Of course I made him stand in front of our banners so I could get a photo anyway.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete Lawrie
Pete Lawrie.

Robinson just didn’t turn up. I missed a phone call whilst doing an impromptu Green Kite Midnight gig at the Greenpeace Stage, patient which laughably requested that I get on the radios to sort out a vehicle escort to meet them from their Acoustic Stage gig (erm, stomach did you read any of my emails?) They then ignored all my later frantic calls. Professional. Still, pharmacy they probably wouldn’t have had much of an audience, what with them clashing with that embarrassing worldcup football match and all.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete the Temp

I missed most of Pete the Temp but managed to catch him performing some fun mashed up covers dressed in a tutu from our grand raffle.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades decided to play at the last minute once their Glastonbury tickets were confirmed. Fronted by my former art editor, the super talented Luisa Gerstein, I am ashamed to say that this was the first time I had seen them perform live. I had previously only visited them on myspace, which really doesn’t do justice to their ace live performance. Playing on a variety of strange string instruments, an old typewriter and an assortment of pots, pans and donating buckets scoured from the Climate Camp kitchen, they were incredibly inventive.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.

Both myself and Luisa have camped extensively with Forest School Camps, and her glorious melodies reflect the mix of traditional English, Irish, Scottish and American Bluegrass music that we love to sing around campfires.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades ended on an acapella version of traditional gospel song You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone – here performed with just two of the band members and some old yoghurt pots (another trick I suspect she learnt around the campfire). A cult classic if ever I saw one – there are already multiple tributes on youtube.

YouTube Preview Image

Luisa’s best bit about playing the Tripod Stage: our make-shift drum-kit from the catering tent.
Luisa’s best bit about Glastonbury this year: Sunday evening: Mountain Man in the Crow’s Nest followed by Dirty Projectors followed by Stevie Wonder; twas dreamy. 
 
You can catch Lulu and the Lampshades at Bestival later this year.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Cats and Cats and Cats then borrowed a number of instruments from Lulu and the Lampshades to play another exclusive for the Tripod Stage, lead singer Ben George having come down from his parent’s pottery stand in the Green Fields to offer us the gig. Quite fortuitously Cats and Cats and Cats have their debut album If I’d Had An Atlas out this week, so we were treated to stripped down versions of a range of songs which I’ve since been able to listen to on record.

cats and cats and cats
Cats and Cats and Cats by Farzeen Jabbar.

When and where was the album recorded?
If I’d Had An Atlas was recorded over 11 days in deepest darkest Wales (Giant Wafer Studios in the Brecon Beacons), it was great to be so far away from any bustling cities and we could really concentrate there. We also did some recordings of extra instruments (tuba, cello, accordion etc.) in Folkestone at Barewires Studios.

What inspired the name If I’d Had An Atlas?
The name is from a lyric in the title track which reads “I don’t know, if I’d had an atlas, where we would be,” which fell out of my brain at some point and I scribbled it down. I like the imagery of someone imagining that if they’d had a map they would have done things differently but of course there is no map and life is chaotic and that’s why it’s amazing.

What was the best bit about playing on the Tripod Stage?
I really enjoyed just turning up and using what instruments we could gather to piece together a set and then managing to pull it off! Thanks loads to Lulu and the Lampshades for lending us their equipment and also for being really brilliant. The only bad point was when I dedicated a song to my brother only to find he’d run off to watch Nora Jones!

What was your favourite part of Glastonbury this year?
I saw some of my favourite Glastonbury performances this year by bands like: Boxcar Aldous Huxley, Tubelord, the Dirty Projectors, Meursault and Imogen Heap; I was also gobsmacked at the lightning men and amounts of fire in Arcadia. But I have to say the weather, I was there for 8 days and I didn’t see a drop of rain. Amazing.

What other festivals are you playing at?
We’ve got a couple more lined up in July: Lounge on the Farm in Canterbury on Friday 9th (at 12pm) and 2000 Trees Festival in Cheltenham on Saturday 17th. Then we’ll be playing a farewell show for our violin player in London at some point as she’s leaving the band, but we’ll be back on the scene in October for a UK tour. Hopefully see you soon.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats
Ben has one of those voices that delights in the slightly out of the tune: it shouldn’t work, and sometimes it grates, but most of the time it somehow does: his wailing vocals become a feature in themselves, especially when offset against such a lush backdrop: brass, strings, entire orchestras, choirs, all of which have their place on this album – occasionally screeching to a standstill that echoes the offkilter vocals. It’s all great fun. Stand out single A Boy Called Haunts is a triumphant melody about
An acquired taste maybe, but wonderfully original and definitely a grower. Well worth checking out.

carolyn-alexander-attila the stockbroker
Attila the Stockbroker by Carolyn Alexander.

Our final performer was another late booking – Attila the Stockbroker, pint in hand, gave us some grand punk beat poetry. 60 years old and able to give any number of youngsters a run for their money. I’d like to see more of him one day.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Attila the Stockbroker

And so ended my Tripod Stage musical line-up. And what a joy it was. Here’s hoping we can do as well next year…
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

On Sunday we lost a few and gained a few. Pete Lawrie called by with terrible hayfever to say he couldn’t sing for fear of losing his voice but kindly volunteered to perform at another Climate Camp benefit. Of course I made him stand in front of our banners so I could get a photo anyway.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete Lawrie
Pete Lawrie.

Robinson just didn’t turn up. I missed a phone call whilst doing an impromptu Green Kite Midnight gig at the Greenpeace Stage, price which laughably requested that I get on the radios to sort out a vehicle escort to meet them from their Acoustic Stage gig (erm, did you read any of my emails?) They then ignored all my later frantic calls. Professional. Still, they probably wouldn’t have had much of an audience, what with them clashing with that embarrassing worldcup football match and all.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete the Temp

I missed most of Pete the Temp but managed to catch him performing some fun mashed up covers dressed in a tutu from our grand raffle.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades decided to play at the last minute once their Glastonbury tickets were confirmed. Fronted by my former art editor, the super talented Luisa Gerstein, I am ashamed to say that this was the first time I had seen them perform live. I had previously only visited them on myspace, which really doesn’t do justice to their ace live performance. Playing on a variety of strange string instruments, an old typewriter and an assortment of pots, pans and donating buckets scoured from the Climate Camp kitchen, they were incredibly inventive.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.

Both myself and Luisa have camped extensively with Forest School Camps, and her glorious melodies reflect the mix of traditional English, Irish, Scottish and American Bluegrass music that we love to sing around campfires.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades ended on an acapella version of traditional gospel song You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone – here performed with just two of the band members and some old yoghurt pots (another trick I suspect she learnt around the campfire). A cult classic if ever I saw one – there are already multiple tributes on youtube.

YouTube Preview Image

Luisa’s best bit about playing the Tripod Stage: our make-shift drum-kit from the catering tent.
Luisa’s best bit about Glastonbury this year: Sunday evening: Mountain Man in the Crow’s Nest followed by Dirty Projectors followed by Stevie Wonder; twas dreamy. 
 
You can catch Lulu and the Lampshades at Bestival later this year.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Cats and Cats and Cats then borrowed a number of instruments from Lulu and the Lampshades to play another exclusive for the Tripod Stage, lead singer Ben George having come down from his parent’s pottery stand in the Green Fields to offer us the gig. Quite fortuitously Cats and Cats and Cats have their debut album If I’d Had An Atlas out this week, so we were treated to stripped down versions of a range of songs which I’ve since been able to listen to on record.

cats and cats and cats
Cats and Cats and Cats by Farzeen Jabbar.

When and where was the album recorded?
If I’d Had An Atlas was recorded over 11 days in deepest darkest Wales (Giant Wafer Studios in the Brecon Beacons), it was great to be so far away from any bustling cities and we could really concentrate there. We also did some recordings of extra instruments (tuba, cello, accordion etc.) in Folkestone at Barewires Studios.

What inspired the name If I’d Had An Atlas?
The name is from a lyric in the title track which reads “I don’t know, if I’d had an atlas, where we would be,” which fell out of my brain at some point and I scribbled it down. I like the imagery of someone imagining that if they’d had a map they would have done things differently but of course there is no map and life is chaotic and that’s why it’s amazing.

What was the best bit about playing on the Tripod Stage?
I really enjoyed just turning up and using what instruments we could gather to piece together a set and then managing to pull it off! Thanks loads to Lulu and the Lampshades for lending us their equipment and also for being really brilliant. The only bad point was when I dedicated a song to my brother only to find he’d run off to watch Nora Jones!

What was your favourite part of Glastonbury this year?
I saw some of my favourite Glastonbury performances this year by bands like: Boxcar Aldous Huxley, Tubelord, the Dirty Projectors, Meursault and Imogen Heap; I was also gobsmacked at the lightning men and amounts of fire in Arcadia. But I have to say the weather, I was there for 8 days and I didn’t see a drop of rain. Amazing.

What other festivals are you playing at?
We’ve got a couple more lined up in July: Lounge on the Farm in Canterbury on Friday 9th (at 12pm) and 2000 Trees Festival in Cheltenham on Saturday 17th. Then we’ll be playing a farewell show for our violin player in London at some point as she’s leaving the band, but we’ll be back on the scene in October for a UK tour. Hopefully see you soon.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Ben has one of those voices that delights in the slightly out of the tune: it shouldn’t work, and sometimes it grates, but most of the time it somehow does: his wailing vocals become a feature in themselves, especially when offset against such a lush backdrop: brass, strings, entire orchestras, choirs, all of which have their place on this album – occasionally screeching to a standstill that echoes the offkilter vocals. It’s all great fun. Stand out single A Boy Called Haunts is a triumphant melody about… a boy who is trying to impress a girl, so he dresses up as a ghost on Halloween. Only trouble is that he then becomes a real ghost and discovers that she spends her free time having sex with men in porn films. As you do. Ben has been learning Japanese for 3 years so he decided to write a song in Japanese “half to see if I could and half to show off”. Towards the end of the album curveball Suizokukanni works surprisingly well, even if the subject matter is equally bonkers. In it Ben’s fictional brother talks to the fish in the garden pond so he gets shunned. One day Ben hears the fish in the garden calling his name and realises he can talk to them. The last line roughly translates to “Lets go to the aquarium together and never return!”. This is followed by the beautiful The Smallest Song, a much quieter and more subdued affair, even as the brass section kicks in. The next single will be If I’d Had Antlers, which features sawed and plucked violin melded to off kilter beats and a surprisingly delicate melody. Watch out for the animated video. Cats and Cats and Cats might be an acquired taste, but they’re wonderfully original and definitely a grower. Well worth checking out.

carolyn-alexander-attila the stockbroker
Attila the Stockbroker by Carolyn Alexander.

Our final performer was another late booking – Attila the Stockbroker, pint in hand, gave us some grand punk beat poetry. 60 years old and able to give any number of youngsters a run for their money. I’d like to see more of him one day.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Attila the Stockbroker

And so ended my Tripod Stage musical line-up. And what a joy it was. Here’s hoping we can do as well next year…
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

On Sunday we lost a few and gained a few. Pete Lawrie called by with terrible hayfever to say he couldn’t sing for fear of losing his voice but kindly volunteered to perform at another Climate Camp benefit. Of course I made him stand in front of our banners so I could get a photo anyway.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete Lawrie
Pete Lawrie.

Robinson just didn’t turn up. I missed a phone call whilst doing an impromptu Green Kite Midnight gig at the Greenpeace Stage, there which laughably requested that I get on the radios to sort out a vehicle escort to meet them from their Acoustic Stage gig (erm, ailment did you read any of my emails?) They then ignored all my later frantic calls. Professional. Still, they probably wouldn’t have had much of an audience, what with them clashing with that embarrassing worldcup football match and all.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete the Temp

I missed most of Pete the Temp but managed to catch him performing some fun mashed up covers dressed in a tutu from our grand raffle.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades decided to play at the last minute once their Glastonbury tickets were confirmed. Fronted by my former art editor, the super talented Luisa Gerstein, I am ashamed to say that this was the first time I had seen them perform live. I had previously only visited them on myspace, which really doesn’t do justice to their ace live performance. Playing on a variety of strange string instruments, an old typewriter and an assortment of pots, pans and donating buckets scoured from the Climate Camp kitchen, they were incredibly inventive.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.

Both myself and Luisa have camped extensively with Forest School Camps, and her glorious melodies reflect the mix of traditional English, Irish, Scottish and American Bluegrass music that we love to sing around campfires.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades ended on an acapella version of traditional gospel song You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone – here performed with just two of the band members and some old yoghurt pots (another trick I suspect she learnt around the campfire). A cult classic if ever I saw one – there are already multiple tributes on youtube.

YouTube Preview Image

Luisa’s best bit about playing the Tripod Stage: our make-shift drum-kit from the catering tent.
Luisa’s best bit about Glastonbury this year: Sunday evening: Mountain Man in the Crow’s Nest followed by Dirty Projectors followed by Stevie Wonder; twas dreamy. 
 
You can catch Lulu and the Lampshades at Bestival later this year.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Cats and Cats and Cats then borrowed a number of instruments from Lulu and the Lampshades to play another exclusive for the Tripod Stage, lead singer Ben George having come down from his parent’s pottery stand in the Green Fields to offer us the gig. Quite fortuitously Cats and Cats and Cats have their debut album If I’d Had An Atlas out next week, so we were treated to stripped down versions of a range of songs which I’ve since been able to listen to on record.

cats and cats and cats
Cats and Cats and Cats by Farzeen Jabbar.

When and where was the album recorded?
If I’d Had An Atlas was recorded over 11 days in deepest darkest Wales (Giant Wafer Studios in the Brecon Beacons), it was great to be so far away from any bustling cities and we could really concentrate there. We also did some recordings of extra instruments (tuba, cello, accordion etc.) in Folkestone at Barewires Studios.

What inspired the name If I’d Had An Atlas?
The name is from a lyric in the title track which reads “I don’t know, if I’d had an atlas, where we would be,” which fell out of my brain at some point and I scribbled it down. I like the imagery of someone imagining that if they’d had a map they would have done things differently but of course there is no map and life is chaotic and that’s why it’s amazing.

What was the best bit about playing on the Tripod Stage?
I really enjoyed just turning up and using what instruments we could gather to piece together a set and then managing to pull it off! Thanks loads to Lulu and the Lampshades for lending us their equipment and also for being really brilliant. The only bad point was when I dedicated a song to my brother only to find he’d run off to watch Nora Jones!

What was your favourite part of Glastonbury this year?
I saw some of my favourite Glastonbury performances this year by bands like: Boxcar Aldous Huxley, Tubelord, the Dirty Projectors, Meursault and Imogen Heap; I was also gobsmacked at the lightning men and amounts of fire in Arcadia. But I have to say the weather, I was there for 8 days and I didn’t see a drop of rain. Amazing.

What other festivals are you playing at?
We’ve got a couple more lined up in July: Lounge on the Farm in Canterbury on Friday 9th (at 12pm) and 2000 Trees Festival in Cheltenham on Saturday 17th. Then we’ll be playing a farewell show for our violin player in London at some point as she’s leaving the band, but we’ll be back on the scene in October for a UK tour. Hopefully see you soon.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Ben has one of those voices that delights in the slightly out of the tune: it shouldn’t work but most of the time it somehow does: his wailing vocals become a feature in themselves, especially when offset against such a lush backdrop: brass, strings, entire orchestras, choirs, all have their place on this album – occasionally screeching to a standstill that echoes the offkilter vocals. It’s all great fun. Stand out single A Boy Called Haunts is a triumphant melody about… a boy who is trying to impress a girl, so he dresses up as a ghost on Halloween. Only trouble is that he then becomes a real ghost and discovers that she spends her free time having sex with men in porn films. As you do. Ben has been learning Japanese for 3 years so he decided to write a song in Japanese “half to see if I could and half to show off”.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Towards the end of the album curveball Suizokukanni works surprisingly well, even if the subject matter is equally bonkers. In it Ben’s fictional brother talks to the fish in the garden pond so he gets shunned. One day Ben hears the fish in the garden calling his name and realises he can talk to them. The last line roughly translates to “Lets go to the aquarium together and never return!”. This is followed by the beautiful The Smallest Song, a much quieter and more subdued affair, even as the brass section kicks in. The next single will be If I’d Had Antlers, which features sawed and plucked violin melded to trademark awkward beats and a surprisingly delicate melody. Watch out for the animated video. Cats and Cats and Cats might be an acquired taste, but they’re wonderfully original and definitely a grower. Well worth checking out.

carolyn-alexander-attila the stockbroker
Attila the Stockbroker by Carolyn Alexander.

Our final performer was another late booking – Attila the Stockbroker, pint in hand, gave us some grand punk beat poetry. 60 years old and able to give any number of youngsters a run for their money. I’d like to see more of him one day.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Attila the Stockbroker

And so ended my Tripod Stage musical line-up. And what a joy it was. Here’s hoping we can do as well next year…
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

On Sunday we lost a few and gained a few. Pete Lawrie called by with terrible hayfever to say he couldn’t sing for fear of losing his voice but kindly volunteered to perform at another Climate Camp benefit. Of course I made him stand in front of our banners so I could get a photo anyway.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete Lawrie
Pete Lawrie.

Robinson just didn’t turn up. I missed a phone call whilst doing an impromptu Green Kite Midnight gig at the Greenpeace Stage, diagnosis which laughably requested that I get on the radios to sort out a vehicle escort to meet them from their Acoustic Stage gig (erm, information pills did you read any of my emails?) They then ignored all my later frantic calls. Professional. Still, they probably wouldn’t have had much of an audience, what with them clashing with that embarrassing worldcup football match and all.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete the Temp

I missed most of Pete the Temp but managed to catch him performing some fun mashed up covers dressed in a tutu from our grand raffle.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades decided to play at the last minute once their Glastonbury tickets were confirmed. Fronted by my former art editor, the super talented Luisa Gerstein, I am ashamed to say that this was the first time I had seen them perform live. I had previously only visited them on myspace, which really doesn’t do justice to their ace live performance. Playing on a variety of strange string instruments, an old typewriter and an assortment of pots, pans and donating buckets scoured from the Climate Camp kitchen, they were incredibly inventive.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.

Both myself and Luisa have camped extensively with Forest School Camps, and her glorious melodies reflect the mix of traditional English, Irish, Scottish and American Bluegrass music that we love to sing around campfires.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades ended on an acapella version of traditional gospel song You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone – here performed with just two of the band members and some old yoghurt pots (another trick I suspect she learnt around the campfire). A cult classic if ever I saw one – there are already multiple tributes on youtube.

YouTube Preview Image

Luisa’s best bit about playing the Tripod Stage: our make-shift drum-kit from the catering tent.
Luisa’s best bit about Glastonbury this year: Sunday evening: Mountain Man in the Crow’s Nest followed by Dirty Projectors followed by Stevie Wonder; twas dreamy. 
 
You can catch Lulu and the Lampshades at Bestival later this year.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Cats and Cats and Cats then borrowed a number of instruments from Lulu and the Lampshades to play another exclusive for the Tripod Stage, lead singer Ben George having come down from his parent’s pottery stand in the Green Fields to offer us the gig. Quite fortuitously Cats and Cats and Cats have their debut album If I’d Had An Atlas out next week, so we were treated to stripped down versions of a range of songs which I’ve since been able to listen to on record.

cats and cats and cats
Cats and Cats and Cats by Farzeen Jabbar.

When and where was the album recorded?
If I’d Had An Atlas was recorded over 11 days in deepest darkest Wales (Giant Wafer Studios in the Brecon Beacons), it was great to be so far away from any bustling cities and we could really concentrate there. We also did some recordings of extra instruments (tuba, cello, accordion etc.) in Folkestone at Barewires Studios.

What inspired the name If I’d Had An Atlas?
The name is from a lyric in the title track which reads “I don’t know, if I’d had an atlas, where we would be,” which fell out of my brain at some point and I scribbled it down. I like the imagery of someone imagining that if they’d had a map they would have done things differently but of course there is no map and life is chaotic and that’s why it’s amazing.

What was the best bit about playing on the Tripod Stage?
I really enjoyed just turning up and using what instruments we could gather to piece together a set and then managing to pull it off! Thanks loads to Lulu and the Lampshades for lending us their equipment and also for being really brilliant. The only bad point was when I dedicated a song to my brother only to find he’d run off to watch Nora Jones!

What was your favourite part of Glastonbury this year?
I saw some of my favourite Glastonbury performances this year by bands like: Boxcar Aldous Huxley, Tubelord, the Dirty Projectors, Meursault and Imogen Heap; I was also gobsmacked at the lightning men and amounts of fire in Arcadia. But I have to say the weather, I was there for 8 days and I didn’t see a drop of rain. Amazing.

What other festivals are you playing at?
We’ve got a couple more lined up in July: Lounge on the Farm in Canterbury on Friday 9th (at 12pm) and 2000 Trees Festival in Cheltenham on Saturday 17th. Then we’ll be playing a farewell show for our violin player in London at some point as she’s leaving the band, but we’ll be back on the scene in October for a UK tour. Hopefully see you soon.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Ben has one of those voices that delights in the slightly out of the tune: it shouldn’t work but most of the time it somehow does: his wailing vocals become a feature in themselves, especially when offset against such a lush backdrop: brass, strings, entire orchestras, choirs, all have their place on this album – occasionally screeching to a standstill that echoes the offkilter vocals. It’s all great fun. Stand out single A Boy Called Haunts is a triumphant melody about… a boy who is trying to impress a girl, so he dresses up as a ghost on Halloween. Only trouble is that he then becomes a real ghost and discovers that she spends her free time having sex with men in porn films. As you do. Ben has been learning Japanese for 3 years so he decided to write a song in Japanese “half to see if I could and half to show off”.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Towards the end of the album curveball Suizokukanni works surprisingly well, even if the subject matter is equally bonkers. In it Ben’s fictional brother talks to the fish in the garden pond so he gets shunned. One day Ben hears the fish in the garden calling his name and realises he can talk to them. The last line roughly translates to “Lets go to the aquarium together and never return!”. This is followed by the beautiful The Smallest Song, a much quieter and more subdued affair, even as the brass section kicks in. The next single will be If I’d Had Antlers, which features sawed and plucked violin melded to trademark awkward beats and a surprisingly delicate melody. Watch out for the animated video. Cats and Cats and Cats might be an acquired taste, but they’re wonderfully original and definitely a grower. Well worth checking out.

carolyn-alexander-attila the stockbroker
Attila the Stockbroker by Carolyn Alexander.

Our final performer was another late booking – Attila the Stockbroker, pint in hand, gave us some grand punk beat poetry. 60 years old and able to give any number of youngsters a run for their money. I’d like to see more of him one day.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Attila the Stockbroker

And so ended my Tripod Stage musical line-up. And what a joy it was. Here’s hoping we can do as well next year…
June Chanpoomidole-Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. by June Chanpoomidole.

Our Saturday starter was none other than Sam Duckworth of Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. who changed his stage time so that he could watch the ill-fated England match on Sunday. Those Climate Campers who knew him were suitably excited and soon stood on the corner of the Craft Field with the megaphone. It’s amazing what a big name does… the festival goers were soon flooding into our small area, page slightly disbelieving that our wee stage could be hosting such a well known musician.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

Meanwhile I stood slightly panicked on the entrance as the minutes slowly ticked by… and then Sam came ambling down the leafy rise, slightly late having come straight from taking part in a debate about the rise of the BNP at the Leftfield Stage. A more mild mannered and charming young man you would be hard to come by, but Sam’s grasp of how important it is to speak out against the ills of this world is admirable. Without undue ceremony he was soon aboard the Tripod Stage, holding a borrowed acoustic guitar. “Can you all hear me? I’ve got a big voice so I can sing louder!”

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

Sunglassed against the blazing heat Sam sung new songs from his upcoming album alongside old crowd pleasers such as One More With Feeling. Unbidden he spoke with passion of meeting a Bangladeshi woman who had lost her family as a direct result of the effects of climate change, and how important it is to stand up to the big corporations. A truly special young man who has been off my radar for awhile, I now remember why I featured Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. in Amelia’s Magazine all those years ago. What a star. Sam’s new single Collapsing Cities is out in August, followed by a 22 date tour in September and October.

Kyla La Grange by Barbara Ana Gomez
Kyla La Grange by Barbara Ana Gomez.

Next up we had Kyla La Grange, a beautiful girl with a stunning voice (does it matter that she was beautiful? It shouldn’t, but she really was, what can I say? And talented…) She arrived without fanfare and I found her practicing behind our van on the same acoustic guitar that Sam had borrowed.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Kyla La Grange

This was the first time in awhile that the husky voiced Kyla had played her songs without added production but she’s an accomplished songwriter and songs like the catchy single Vampire Smile worked just as well without backing. Definitely a talent to watch: her debut album is currently in production.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Kyla La Grange

Kyla’s favourite bits of Glastonbury: Arcadia was absolutely brilliant but as far as performances go it was a tie between Laura Marling and Florence and the Machine. They were both faultless.

colin-stewart-patch-william
colin-stewart-patch-william
Patch William by Colin Stewart.

Patch William were another band we shared with the BBC Introducing stage (or should that be the other way around). They arrived complete with their own recording facilities, although I will hopefully attempt to cobble together some of the footage I shot myself (oh Final Cut Pro, how I yearn to learn your charms).

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Kyla La Grange

Fronted by William and his god sister Ali, Patch William braved the blazing heat dressed as if they had just stepped out of a fairytale, all flowing hair, wide trousers and Ali crowned in a flower garland so beloved of festival goers this year. Their melodic harmonies were perfect for a lazy summer day such as this, and culminated in the Ivor Novello nominated The Last Bus, a stunning song that saw Ali nimbly swap from guitar to cello. Just gorgeous.

Patch William liked playing the Tripod Stage because: It was great to be able to play a set which was powered solely by a solar panel! 
Patch William’s favourite bits of Glastonbury: Discovering a naked mermaid at Shangri La and being able to say ‘hello glastonbury’ during our set (something which we’d only dreamed of before).

Patch William play the Firefly Music Festival and Belladrum Festival in Scotland. Their next single release will be Skinny White Boy and they plan to go on tour in September. Watch their set at BBC Introducing here.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Patch William

Then we were supposed to host The Federals, but unfortunately some misunderstood information meant that they hadn’t come prepared for our particular stage set up and all I got was this picture.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp The Federals

Oh well! You win some you lose some: they seemed like nice lads, and went on to play, yes, you’ve guessed it, the BBC Introducing stage. Instead we had a bit of a gap before an exclusive secret set from the wonderful Robin Ince… who turned up a good hour early so we all sat around having a cup of tea and a chinwag.

Abi Daker - Robin Ince - Glastonbury
Robin Ince by Abigail Daker.

Robin was determined to perform his set back to front, so I would be introducing him after he’d finished, and Danny Chivers could come on as a warm up act at the end. This meant that Robin also started sat on the floor with his back to the audience. To another disbelieving crowd – “Yes, we really do have Robin Ince performing here in a minute” – Robin gave a brilliant performance that touched on themes of favourite suicides, the use of jazz hands in the popularisation of science and banality in politics.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Robin Ince

I’ve uploaded part of his performance for your delection here:

At the end he called on me to come up and introduce him, but then carried on heckling me from the floor. Can anyone tell me, did he do his gig in the Comedy Tent during the England match on Sunday dressed as an octopus? Muchos love going out to you Robin.

dry-the-river-by Lisa Stannard
Dry the River by Lisa Stannard.

Last but by no means least the Tripod Stage was delighted to host Dry the River, a folk band from East London attired in vaguely matched check shirts. Accompanied by guitar, bass, violin, glockenspiel and snare drum, Dry the River sing of history, culture, religion – often in gorgeous four part falsetto boy harmonies. Lead singer Peter Liddle studied anthropology and is now en route to become a doctor; a background that clearly informs his unusual lyrics. If there is any sense in this world Dry the River will be a major success: in fact if I were the betting kind I would lay the notes down hand over fist for this unsigned band. Really really brilliant, I feel so blessed to have found them.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Dry the River
dry-the-river-by Lisa Stannard
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Dry the River
dry-the-river-by Lisa Stannard
Dry the River by Lisa Stannard.

I asked bearded bassist Scott to answer a few questions:

Scott’s feelings on the Tripod Stage gig: The Climate Camp Tripod Stage was awesome! We played as the sunshine beamed down on our faces, and the people around were so laid back and friendly. Plus we all got a cup of tea while we played which was like a dream after two days of camping. We even got a chance to road-test a new tune we’ve been working on because of the relaxed atmosphere of the show, and it went down well!
 
Scott’s favourite part of Glastonbury: It’s tough to pick a ‘best bit’ for the whole weekend but for me heading out to get lost in the maze of Shangri La at night was amazing, and bumping into Neville Staple backstage in the Dance Arena was pretty cool. Obviously the gigs we were able to play while we were there all stand out too, the Climate Camp for the friendly hospitable people there, the Crow’s Nest for the amazing view of the whole festival at sunset and of course the BBC Introducing set was just so exciting with the cameras and everything.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Dry the River
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Dry the River

Make sure you catch up with Dry the River live – they’re playing Standon Calling, the Big Chill and Underground Festival in Gloucester. You can download a FREE 3 track EP from their myspace which includes an unreleased version of Coast, a never before heard track recorded earlier this summer. Dry the River headline the Lexington on September 30th and you can buy tickets here. In the meantime see them on BBC Introducing here.

Deviating from the subject of Climate Change, viagra approved Amelia’s Magazine finds ourselves mesmerised by Design Interaction Student, Kjen Wilkens’ Weather Camera.

What is the impact on our relationship with the environment – when existing in a world where sensor monitors constantly interpret our daily surroundings, producing endless streams of data? Are we moving into the final phrase of Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction?

Photograph by Ludwig Zeller

The Weather Camera is Kjen Wilkens response to her search for a human presence within this deluge of electronic readings. Instead of taking a photograph to a record a special moment, the user of The Weather Camera can record the atmospheric conditions, weaving these into autobiographical memory. In time encouraging new methods of narration, titled by the designer as “Sensor Poetics.”

Becky Pilditch‘s prothestics are “objects of empowerment”, showcasing how functional pieces of designs can be both a thing of beauty and an extension of the wearer’s personality. Becky worked and developed the project with Holly Franklin .

Hand 8 the final part of the project, played with ideas of gesture and personality by creating numerous arms that related to Holly’s actions as she spoke or moved around a space. A fantastic aspect of the website is the blog, which can be used by other prosthetic limb users to feed back directly to the project.

In the Animation section of the exhibition Lauri Warsta’s Traumdeutung awaited. A wonderful animation baring the hallmarks (whatever that may mean…) of a “documentary,” the calming, not too dissimilar to the 1940′s DONT PANIC! voiceover narrated the data currently available on the subject matter: The Global Reserves of Dreams. The beauty of the animation, being it contained the possibility, that it was entirely a dream.

The subtle block coloring of the animation maintained a ‘warmth’ more accustomed with hand drawn animation, that can sometimes be lost in 3D animation. This is an outcome of Warsta’s experiments in combining; “two extremes (3D and Handmade) clash and merge. For example, bringing the uncontrollable movement of real hand-held footage to an otherwise sterile computer animation”

Adnan Lalani‘s experiment with augmented reality catches the attention, through being something the viewer can interact with. The action of turning the Pop Up Book’s pages is suplimented by additional narration appearing on the screen placed directly behind the book and inline with the viewers eye.

Below is a video documenting the Pop Up Book’s Prototype. Earlier this week Adnan kindly took a few moments to explain the idea behind combining the narrative structure of a Pop Up Book with Augmented reality: “The pop-up book felt like a natural compliment to augmented reality. I was hoping to see how AR could be used in a more tactile, playful context… i.e. take something we already know and play with, and allow it to be enhanced with animation and digital interactivity.”

RCA Work In Progress Show – Pop Up Book Prototype Documentation from adnan lalani on Vimeo.

Eventually Adnan hopes that as we grow increasingly comfortable with the idea of Augmented Reality, ideas like the Pop Up book ” can allow a progression from the magical, novelty nature of AR, into more of a direct tool by which to communicate narratives and story telling”

The eye catching work of Design Interaction Graduate Louise O’Conner; used experimental dance to convey the movement of the smallest particles, for example: Atoms, in an attempt to connect us to movements that are beyond our physical awareness. Visit the exhibition to watch the film!

A particular lovely idea was the mapping out to scale, the measurements of the solar system along Kingsland High Street and up into Stamford Hill. Several shopkeepers were to host a planet…

Photography by Mark Henderson

You can find the map and information about the project here:

Katrin Baumgarten’s Aesthetics of Disgust explores humans’ relationship and our reactions; both emotional and physical to the things or materials which disgust us. Using inanimate objects all too often taken for granted, (i.e. Light Switches) Kartin added disturbing features such as goo or hair that moved as the light switch is pressed. By ‘touching’ us back, the presence of these inanimate objects is brought back to the forefront of our attention.

In the installation at the Royal College of Art a screen documents the level of the reaction of each user.

Another subject explored by Katrina is Intimate touch or sexual disgust and how these feelings can be created “merely by inappropriate behaviours in society, such as touching another person in an intimate or sexual way in public, even though that might comfort the two persons involved and is a part of our human nature.” The outcome of which is the Intimate Touch Object, an item which enables you to touch another person secretly…

FINALLY on my second trip (yes second, it’s that big and really worth the time) I came across the brilliant work of Sivaprakash Shanmugam’s Expressive Scribble. Children draw onto the projector screen (this could be the kitchen floor, wall etc…) and an bring their drawings to life by clicking the ‘movie’ button. The idea being to “enrich their visual vocabulary,” sense of narrative and most importantly encourage children’s creativity.

Part two of the RCA show continues until 4th July 2010. It’s open from 11-8 daily at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU. Admission is free.

Images Courtesy of the Students and addition photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

GKM Roadtrip Wales Velorution
My touring bike, information pills kindly lent by Velorution.
GKM Roadtrip Galway Stop Shell

At the start of June I went on an exciting adventure to Ireland… on a borrowed bike from Velorution. It was a trip I’ve looked forward to for a long time because it combined two of my favourite things in the world. Or maybe three: Cycling (I love cycling A LOT), activism (we had a purpose) and being in lovely places with lovely people.

The Merthyr to Mayo bike ride was organised by a loose group of activists based around the country and included members of Bicycology, a cyclists’ collective who aim “to promote cycling and make links with wider issues of environmental and social responsibility”. This intrepid group of riders set off from the open cast coal mine at Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, armed only with an explanatory newspaper and lots of verve. The solidarity ride ended at Rossport in County Mayo, Ireland, thereby linking two communities who are resisting fossil fuel extraction, and educating other communities along the way.

Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Mini ceilidh en route in Wales.

An added bonus of this trip was the opportunity to play with my ceilidh band Green Kite Midnight, since providing music for people to dance to at protests is the very reason for our existence. Luckily our banjo player Dom has bought a big ambulance which he has lovingly converted into a tour bus for the band – and thus we set off for Ireland via Wales, stopping to spend the night at the parental house of our bassist Tim, way up in the secluded Welsh mountains. It was then onward to Holyhead, where we caught the ferry over to Dublin and carried straight onto Galway to meet the rest of the crew, who were hastily organising a demo against the atrocities against the flotilla bound for Gaza.

GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo

We marched straight into the local branch of M&S (to draw attention to the chain’s affiliation with the development of the Israeli state) much to the bemusement of Irish security guards, clearly not used to such confident behaviour. We then joined a gathering in the street organised by locals, but were eventually rained into the closest pub and from there we retired early to a friendly local’s house, quickly to sleep in preparation for our 90km ride the next day.

GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo
Awaiting news in the pub… many people knew activists on the flotilla.

We had been warned that Irish roads are quite dangerous and on our first day I did feel a little less than wholly safe, stuck on a narrow hard shoulder as – head down, legs pumping – we powered through the countryside with little more than a brief break for lunch in a small town.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

The main thing I noticed about rural Ireland is the predominance of ugly newbuild housing estates. Boy do the Irish like to build some shoddy housing! The more upmarket modern houses favour the architecture of American TV series such as Dallas from the 80s – amusing for their kitsch value if nothing else – but at the bottom end of the spectrum the Barrett home style identikit boxes are nothing short of a blot on the landscape.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
Endless housing estates.
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

Like many other economies the Irish housing boom was completely unsustainable, and speculative construction has given way to half-finished housing estates fronted by signs that looked spangly a few years ago, now peeling and faded.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

Okay, so I was a bit worried about the length of our first day’s ride with no preliminary warm up – but I needn’t have been. With nothing but a vista of endless stone walls, housing estates and crumbling barns (the Irish prefer new builds to renovations, apparently) to distract us from our mission, our little affinity group was one of the first to arrive at our final destination – the Lidl carpark at Castlerea. Being rather fast and meeting at Lidl – these were both to become a bit of a theme…

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Lidl
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Lidl

Once everyone had arrived at we we were herded up the longest steepest hill I’ve ever tackled with such a heavy load… and this after a long hard day too. I stayed on my bike to the very top but boy was I glad that I hadn’t brought my Pashley – it never would have made it.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan

At the top our destination was a gorgeous stretch of land bordered by woods, owned by some friendly Pagans who greeted us with lentil stew brewed for us in a cauldron over the fire surrounded by medieval-style tents. Our two nights spent on the hill top were characterised by excessive amounts of midges and late night music sessions. The intervening day was spent at Castlerea Prison, which you can read about in my next blog here.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan

Categories ,activism, ,bicycles, ,bicycology, ,bikes, ,Castlerea, ,County Mayo, ,Dallas, ,Direct Action, ,Erris, ,Galway, ,Gaza, ,Green Kite Midnight, ,ireland, ,kitsch, ,Lidl, ,M&S, ,Merthyr Tydfil, ,Prison, ,Rossport, ,Velorution, ,wales

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Amelia’s Magazine | Merthyr to Mayo Solidarity Bike Ride: Galway to Castlerea

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete the Temp
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

On Sunday we lost a few and gained a few. Pete Lawrie called by with terrible hayfever to say he couldn’t sing for fear of losing his voice but kindly volunteered to perform at another Climate Camp benefit. Of course I made him stand in front of our banners so I could get a photo anyway.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete Lawrie
Pete Lawrie.

Robinson just didn’t turn up. I missed a phone call whilst doing an impromptu Green Kite Midnight gig at the Greenpeace Stage, nurse which laughably requested that I get on the radios to sort out a vehicle escort to meet them from their Acoustic Stage gig (erm, buy information pills did you read any of my emails?) They then ignored all my later frantic calls. Professional. Still, they probably wouldn’t have had much of an audience, what with them clashing with that embarrassing worldcup football match and all. I missed most of Pete the Temp but managed to catch him performing some fun mashed up covers dressed in a tutu from our grand raffle.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades decided to play at the last minute once their Glastonbury tickets were confirmed. Fronted by my former art editor, the super talented Luisa Gerstein, I am ashamed to say that this was the first time I had seen them perform live. I had previously only visited them on myspace, which really doesn’t do justice to their ace live performance. Playing on a variety of strange string instruments, an old typewriter and an assortment of pots, pans and donating buckets scoured from the Climate Camp kitchen, they were incredibly inventive.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.

Both myself and Luisa have camped extensively with Forest School Camps, and her glorious melodies reflect the mix of traditional English, Irish, Scottish and American Bluegrass music that we love to sing around campfires.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades ended on an acapella version of traditional gospel song You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone – here performed with just two of the band members and some old yoghurt pots (another trick I suspect she learnt around the campfire). A cult classic if ever I saw one – there are already multiple tributes on youtube.

YouTube Preview Image

Luisa’s best bit about playing the Tripod Stage: our make-shift drum-kit from the catering tent.
Luisa’s best bit about Glastonbury this year: Sunday evening: Mountain Man in the Crow’s Nest followed by Dirty Projectors followed by Stevie Wonder; twas dreamy. 
 
You can catch Lulu and the Lampshades at Bestival later this year.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Cats and Cats and Cats then borrowed a number of instruments from Lulu and the Lampshades to play another exclusive for the Tripod Stage, lead singer Ben George having come down from his parent’s pottery stand in the Green Fields to offer us the gig. Quite fortuitously Cats and Cats and Cats have their debut album If I’d Had An Atlas out this week, so we were treated to stripped down versions of a range of songs which I’ve since been able to listen to on record.

cats and cats and cats
Cats and Cats and Cats by Farzeen Jabbar.

When and where was the album recorded?
If I’d Had An Atlas was recorded over 11 days in deepest darkest Wales (Giant Wafer Studios in the Brecon Beacons), it was great to be so far away from any bustling cities and we could really concentrate there. We also did some recordings of extra instruments (tuba, cello, accordion etc.) in Folkestone at Barewires Studios.

What inspired the name If I’d Had An Atlas?
The name is from a lyric in the title track which reads “I don’t know, if I’d had an atlas, where we would be,” which fell out of my brain at some point and I scribbled it down. I like the imagery of someone imagining that if they’d had a map they would have done things differently but of course there is no map and life is chaotic and that’s why it’s amazing.

What was the best bit about playing on the Tripod Stage?
I really enjoyed just turning up and using what instruments we could gather to piece together a set and then managing to pull it off! Thanks loads to Lulu and the Lampshades for lending us their equipment and also for being really brilliant. The only bad point was when I dedicated a song to my brother only to find he’d run off to watch Nora Jones!

What was your favourite part of Glastonbury this year?
I saw some of my favourite Glastonbury performances this year by bands like: Boxcar Aldous Huxley, Tubelord, The Dirty Projectors, Meursault and Imogen Heap; I was also gobsmacked at the lightning men and amounts of fire in Arcadia. But I have to say the weather, I was there for 8 days and I didn’t see a drop of rain. Amazing.

What other festivals are you playing at?
We’ve got a couple more lined up in July: Lounge on the Farm in Canterbury on Friday 9th (at 12pm) and 2000 Trees Festival in Cheltenham on Saturday 17th. Then we’ll be playing a farewell show for our violin player in London at some point as she’s leaving the band, but we’ll be back on the scene in October for a UK tour. Hopefully see you soon.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats
Ben has one of those voices that delights in the slightly out of the tune: it shouldn’t work, and sometimes it grates, but most of the time it somehow does: his wailing vocals become a feature in themselves, especially when offset against such a lush backdrop: brass, strings, entire orchestras, choirs, all of which have their place on this album – occasionally screeching to a standstill that echoes the offkilter vocals. It’s all great fun. Stand out single A Boy Called Haunts is a triumphant melody about
An acquired taste maybe, but wonderfully original and definitely a grower. Well worth checking out.

carolyn-alexander-attila the stockbroker
Attila the Stockbroker by Carolyn Alexander.

Our final performer was another late booking – Attila the Stockbroker, pint in hand, gave us some grand punk beat poetry. 60 years old and able to give any number of youngsters a run for their money. I’d like to see more of him one day.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Attila the Stockbroker

And so ended my Tripod Stage musical line-up. And what a joy it was. Here’s hoping we can do as well next year…
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

On Sunday we lost a few and gained a few. Pete Lawrie called by with terrible hayfever to say he couldn’t sing for fear of losing his voice but kindly volunteered to perform at another Climate Camp benefit. Of course I made him stand in front of our banners so I could get a photo anyway.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete Lawrie
Pete Lawrie.

Robinson just didn’t turn up. I missed a phone call whilst doing an impromptu Green Kite Midnight gig at the Greenpeace Stage, patient which laughably requested that I get on the radios to sort out a vehicle escort to meet them from their Acoustic Stage gig (erm, stomach did you read any of my emails?) They then ignored all my later frantic calls. Professional. Still, pharmacy they probably wouldn’t have had much of an audience, what with them clashing with that embarrassing worldcup football match and all.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete the Temp

I missed most of Pete the Temp but managed to catch him performing some fun mashed up covers dressed in a tutu from our grand raffle.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades decided to play at the last minute once their Glastonbury tickets were confirmed. Fronted by my former art editor, the super talented Luisa Gerstein, I am ashamed to say that this was the first time I had seen them perform live. I had previously only visited them on myspace, which really doesn’t do justice to their ace live performance. Playing on a variety of strange string instruments, an old typewriter and an assortment of pots, pans and donating buckets scoured from the Climate Camp kitchen, they were incredibly inventive.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.

Both myself and Luisa have camped extensively with Forest School Camps, and her glorious melodies reflect the mix of traditional English, Irish, Scottish and American Bluegrass music that we love to sing around campfires.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades ended on an acapella version of traditional gospel song You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone – here performed with just two of the band members and some old yoghurt pots (another trick I suspect she learnt around the campfire). A cult classic if ever I saw one – there are already multiple tributes on youtube.

YouTube Preview Image

Luisa’s best bit about playing the Tripod Stage: our make-shift drum-kit from the catering tent.
Luisa’s best bit about Glastonbury this year: Sunday evening: Mountain Man in the Crow’s Nest followed by Dirty Projectors followed by Stevie Wonder; twas dreamy. 
 
You can catch Lulu and the Lampshades at Bestival later this year.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Cats and Cats and Cats then borrowed a number of instruments from Lulu and the Lampshades to play another exclusive for the Tripod Stage, lead singer Ben George having come down from his parent’s pottery stand in the Green Fields to offer us the gig. Quite fortuitously Cats and Cats and Cats have their debut album If I’d Had An Atlas out this week, so we were treated to stripped down versions of a range of songs which I’ve since been able to listen to on record.

cats and cats and cats
Cats and Cats and Cats by Farzeen Jabbar.

When and where was the album recorded?
If I’d Had An Atlas was recorded over 11 days in deepest darkest Wales (Giant Wafer Studios in the Brecon Beacons), it was great to be so far away from any bustling cities and we could really concentrate there. We also did some recordings of extra instruments (tuba, cello, accordion etc.) in Folkestone at Barewires Studios.

What inspired the name If I’d Had An Atlas?
The name is from a lyric in the title track which reads “I don’t know, if I’d had an atlas, where we would be,” which fell out of my brain at some point and I scribbled it down. I like the imagery of someone imagining that if they’d had a map they would have done things differently but of course there is no map and life is chaotic and that’s why it’s amazing.

What was the best bit about playing on the Tripod Stage?
I really enjoyed just turning up and using what instruments we could gather to piece together a set and then managing to pull it off! Thanks loads to Lulu and the Lampshades for lending us their equipment and also for being really brilliant. The only bad point was when I dedicated a song to my brother only to find he’d run off to watch Nora Jones!

What was your favourite part of Glastonbury this year?
I saw some of my favourite Glastonbury performances this year by bands like: Boxcar Aldous Huxley, Tubelord, the Dirty Projectors, Meursault and Imogen Heap; I was also gobsmacked at the lightning men and amounts of fire in Arcadia. But I have to say the weather, I was there for 8 days and I didn’t see a drop of rain. Amazing.

What other festivals are you playing at?
We’ve got a couple more lined up in July: Lounge on the Farm in Canterbury on Friday 9th (at 12pm) and 2000 Trees Festival in Cheltenham on Saturday 17th. Then we’ll be playing a farewell show for our violin player in London at some point as she’s leaving the band, but we’ll be back on the scene in October for a UK tour. Hopefully see you soon.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats
Ben has one of those voices that delights in the slightly out of the tune: it shouldn’t work, and sometimes it grates, but most of the time it somehow does: his wailing vocals become a feature in themselves, especially when offset against such a lush backdrop: brass, strings, entire orchestras, choirs, all of which have their place on this album – occasionally screeching to a standstill that echoes the offkilter vocals. It’s all great fun. Stand out single A Boy Called Haunts is a triumphant melody about
An acquired taste maybe, but wonderfully original and definitely a grower. Well worth checking out.

carolyn-alexander-attila the stockbroker
Attila the Stockbroker by Carolyn Alexander.

Our final performer was another late booking – Attila the Stockbroker, pint in hand, gave us some grand punk beat poetry. 60 years old and able to give any number of youngsters a run for their money. I’d like to see more of him one day.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Attila the Stockbroker

And so ended my Tripod Stage musical line-up. And what a joy it was. Here’s hoping we can do as well next year…
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

On Sunday we lost a few and gained a few. Pete Lawrie called by with terrible hayfever to say he couldn’t sing for fear of losing his voice but kindly volunteered to perform at another Climate Camp benefit. Of course I made him stand in front of our banners so I could get a photo anyway.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete Lawrie
Pete Lawrie.

Robinson just didn’t turn up. I missed a phone call whilst doing an impromptu Green Kite Midnight gig at the Greenpeace Stage, price which laughably requested that I get on the radios to sort out a vehicle escort to meet them from their Acoustic Stage gig (erm, did you read any of my emails?) They then ignored all my later frantic calls. Professional. Still, they probably wouldn’t have had much of an audience, what with them clashing with that embarrassing worldcup football match and all.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete the Temp

I missed most of Pete the Temp but managed to catch him performing some fun mashed up covers dressed in a tutu from our grand raffle.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades decided to play at the last minute once their Glastonbury tickets were confirmed. Fronted by my former art editor, the super talented Luisa Gerstein, I am ashamed to say that this was the first time I had seen them perform live. I had previously only visited them on myspace, which really doesn’t do justice to their ace live performance. Playing on a variety of strange string instruments, an old typewriter and an assortment of pots, pans and donating buckets scoured from the Climate Camp kitchen, they were incredibly inventive.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.

Both myself and Luisa have camped extensively with Forest School Camps, and her glorious melodies reflect the mix of traditional English, Irish, Scottish and American Bluegrass music that we love to sing around campfires.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades ended on an acapella version of traditional gospel song You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone – here performed with just two of the band members and some old yoghurt pots (another trick I suspect she learnt around the campfire). A cult classic if ever I saw one – there are already multiple tributes on youtube.

YouTube Preview Image

Luisa’s best bit about playing the Tripod Stage: our make-shift drum-kit from the catering tent.
Luisa’s best bit about Glastonbury this year: Sunday evening: Mountain Man in the Crow’s Nest followed by Dirty Projectors followed by Stevie Wonder; twas dreamy. 
 
You can catch Lulu and the Lampshades at Bestival later this year.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Cats and Cats and Cats then borrowed a number of instruments from Lulu and the Lampshades to play another exclusive for the Tripod Stage, lead singer Ben George having come down from his parent’s pottery stand in the Green Fields to offer us the gig. Quite fortuitously Cats and Cats and Cats have their debut album If I’d Had An Atlas out this week, so we were treated to stripped down versions of a range of songs which I’ve since been able to listen to on record.

cats and cats and cats
Cats and Cats and Cats by Farzeen Jabbar.

When and where was the album recorded?
If I’d Had An Atlas was recorded over 11 days in deepest darkest Wales (Giant Wafer Studios in the Brecon Beacons), it was great to be so far away from any bustling cities and we could really concentrate there. We also did some recordings of extra instruments (tuba, cello, accordion etc.) in Folkestone at Barewires Studios.

What inspired the name If I’d Had An Atlas?
The name is from a lyric in the title track which reads “I don’t know, if I’d had an atlas, where we would be,” which fell out of my brain at some point and I scribbled it down. I like the imagery of someone imagining that if they’d had a map they would have done things differently but of course there is no map and life is chaotic and that’s why it’s amazing.

What was the best bit about playing on the Tripod Stage?
I really enjoyed just turning up and using what instruments we could gather to piece together a set and then managing to pull it off! Thanks loads to Lulu and the Lampshades for lending us their equipment and also for being really brilliant. The only bad point was when I dedicated a song to my brother only to find he’d run off to watch Nora Jones!

What was your favourite part of Glastonbury this year?
I saw some of my favourite Glastonbury performances this year by bands like: Boxcar Aldous Huxley, Tubelord, the Dirty Projectors, Meursault and Imogen Heap; I was also gobsmacked at the lightning men and amounts of fire in Arcadia. But I have to say the weather, I was there for 8 days and I didn’t see a drop of rain. Amazing.

What other festivals are you playing at?
We’ve got a couple more lined up in July: Lounge on the Farm in Canterbury on Friday 9th (at 12pm) and 2000 Trees Festival in Cheltenham on Saturday 17th. Then we’ll be playing a farewell show for our violin player in London at some point as she’s leaving the band, but we’ll be back on the scene in October for a UK tour. Hopefully see you soon.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Ben has one of those voices that delights in the slightly out of the tune: it shouldn’t work, and sometimes it grates, but most of the time it somehow does: his wailing vocals become a feature in themselves, especially when offset against such a lush backdrop: brass, strings, entire orchestras, choirs, all of which have their place on this album – occasionally screeching to a standstill that echoes the offkilter vocals. It’s all great fun. Stand out single A Boy Called Haunts is a triumphant melody about… a boy who is trying to impress a girl, so he dresses up as a ghost on Halloween. Only trouble is that he then becomes a real ghost and discovers that she spends her free time having sex with men in porn films. As you do. Ben has been learning Japanese for 3 years so he decided to write a song in Japanese “half to see if I could and half to show off”. Towards the end of the album curveball Suizokukanni works surprisingly well, even if the subject matter is equally bonkers. In it Ben’s fictional brother talks to the fish in the garden pond so he gets shunned. One day Ben hears the fish in the garden calling his name and realises he can talk to them. The last line roughly translates to “Lets go to the aquarium together and never return!”. This is followed by the beautiful The Smallest Song, a much quieter and more subdued affair, even as the brass section kicks in. The next single will be If I’d Had Antlers, which features sawed and plucked violin melded to off kilter beats and a surprisingly delicate melody. Watch out for the animated video. Cats and Cats and Cats might be an acquired taste, but they’re wonderfully original and definitely a grower. Well worth checking out.

carolyn-alexander-attila the stockbroker
Attila the Stockbroker by Carolyn Alexander.

Our final performer was another late booking – Attila the Stockbroker, pint in hand, gave us some grand punk beat poetry. 60 years old and able to give any number of youngsters a run for their money. I’d like to see more of him one day.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Attila the Stockbroker

And so ended my Tripod Stage musical line-up. And what a joy it was. Here’s hoping we can do as well next year…
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

On Sunday we lost a few and gained a few. Pete Lawrie called by with terrible hayfever to say he couldn’t sing for fear of losing his voice but kindly volunteered to perform at another Climate Camp benefit. Of course I made him stand in front of our banners so I could get a photo anyway.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete Lawrie
Pete Lawrie.

Robinson just didn’t turn up. I missed a phone call whilst doing an impromptu Green Kite Midnight gig at the Greenpeace Stage, there which laughably requested that I get on the radios to sort out a vehicle escort to meet them from their Acoustic Stage gig (erm, ailment did you read any of my emails?) They then ignored all my later frantic calls. Professional. Still, they probably wouldn’t have had much of an audience, what with them clashing with that embarrassing worldcup football match and all.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete the Temp

I missed most of Pete the Temp but managed to catch him performing some fun mashed up covers dressed in a tutu from our grand raffle.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades decided to play at the last minute once their Glastonbury tickets were confirmed. Fronted by my former art editor, the super talented Luisa Gerstein, I am ashamed to say that this was the first time I had seen them perform live. I had previously only visited them on myspace, which really doesn’t do justice to their ace live performance. Playing on a variety of strange string instruments, an old typewriter and an assortment of pots, pans and donating buckets scoured from the Climate Camp kitchen, they were incredibly inventive.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.

Both myself and Luisa have camped extensively with Forest School Camps, and her glorious melodies reflect the mix of traditional English, Irish, Scottish and American Bluegrass music that we love to sing around campfires.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades ended on an acapella version of traditional gospel song You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone – here performed with just two of the band members and some old yoghurt pots (another trick I suspect she learnt around the campfire). A cult classic if ever I saw one – there are already multiple tributes on youtube.

YouTube Preview Image

Luisa’s best bit about playing the Tripod Stage: our make-shift drum-kit from the catering tent.
Luisa’s best bit about Glastonbury this year: Sunday evening: Mountain Man in the Crow’s Nest followed by Dirty Projectors followed by Stevie Wonder; twas dreamy. 
 
You can catch Lulu and the Lampshades at Bestival later this year.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Cats and Cats and Cats then borrowed a number of instruments from Lulu and the Lampshades to play another exclusive for the Tripod Stage, lead singer Ben George having come down from his parent’s pottery stand in the Green Fields to offer us the gig. Quite fortuitously Cats and Cats and Cats have their debut album If I’d Had An Atlas out next week, so we were treated to stripped down versions of a range of songs which I’ve since been able to listen to on record.

cats and cats and cats
Cats and Cats and Cats by Farzeen Jabbar.

When and where was the album recorded?
If I’d Had An Atlas was recorded over 11 days in deepest darkest Wales (Giant Wafer Studios in the Brecon Beacons), it was great to be so far away from any bustling cities and we could really concentrate there. We also did some recordings of extra instruments (tuba, cello, accordion etc.) in Folkestone at Barewires Studios.

What inspired the name If I’d Had An Atlas?
The name is from a lyric in the title track which reads “I don’t know, if I’d had an atlas, where we would be,” which fell out of my brain at some point and I scribbled it down. I like the imagery of someone imagining that if they’d had a map they would have done things differently but of course there is no map and life is chaotic and that’s why it’s amazing.

What was the best bit about playing on the Tripod Stage?
I really enjoyed just turning up and using what instruments we could gather to piece together a set and then managing to pull it off! Thanks loads to Lulu and the Lampshades for lending us their equipment and also for being really brilliant. The only bad point was when I dedicated a song to my brother only to find he’d run off to watch Nora Jones!

What was your favourite part of Glastonbury this year?
I saw some of my favourite Glastonbury performances this year by bands like: Boxcar Aldous Huxley, Tubelord, the Dirty Projectors, Meursault and Imogen Heap; I was also gobsmacked at the lightning men and amounts of fire in Arcadia. But I have to say the weather, I was there for 8 days and I didn’t see a drop of rain. Amazing.

What other festivals are you playing at?
We’ve got a couple more lined up in July: Lounge on the Farm in Canterbury on Friday 9th (at 12pm) and 2000 Trees Festival in Cheltenham on Saturday 17th. Then we’ll be playing a farewell show for our violin player in London at some point as she’s leaving the band, but we’ll be back on the scene in October for a UK tour. Hopefully see you soon.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Ben has one of those voices that delights in the slightly out of the tune: it shouldn’t work but most of the time it somehow does: his wailing vocals become a feature in themselves, especially when offset against such a lush backdrop: brass, strings, entire orchestras, choirs, all have their place on this album – occasionally screeching to a standstill that echoes the offkilter vocals. It’s all great fun. Stand out single A Boy Called Haunts is a triumphant melody about… a boy who is trying to impress a girl, so he dresses up as a ghost on Halloween. Only trouble is that he then becomes a real ghost and discovers that she spends her free time having sex with men in porn films. As you do. Ben has been learning Japanese for 3 years so he decided to write a song in Japanese “half to see if I could and half to show off”.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Towards the end of the album curveball Suizokukanni works surprisingly well, even if the subject matter is equally bonkers. In it Ben’s fictional brother talks to the fish in the garden pond so he gets shunned. One day Ben hears the fish in the garden calling his name and realises he can talk to them. The last line roughly translates to “Lets go to the aquarium together and never return!”. This is followed by the beautiful The Smallest Song, a much quieter and more subdued affair, even as the brass section kicks in. The next single will be If I’d Had Antlers, which features sawed and plucked violin melded to trademark awkward beats and a surprisingly delicate melody. Watch out for the animated video. Cats and Cats and Cats might be an acquired taste, but they’re wonderfully original and definitely a grower. Well worth checking out.

carolyn-alexander-attila the stockbroker
Attila the Stockbroker by Carolyn Alexander.

Our final performer was another late booking – Attila the Stockbroker, pint in hand, gave us some grand punk beat poetry. 60 years old and able to give any number of youngsters a run for their money. I’d like to see more of him one day.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Attila the Stockbroker

And so ended my Tripod Stage musical line-up. And what a joy it was. Here’s hoping we can do as well next year…
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

On Sunday we lost a few and gained a few. Pete Lawrie called by with terrible hayfever to say he couldn’t sing for fear of losing his voice but kindly volunteered to perform at another Climate Camp benefit. Of course I made him stand in front of our banners so I could get a photo anyway.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete Lawrie
Pete Lawrie.

Robinson just didn’t turn up. I missed a phone call whilst doing an impromptu Green Kite Midnight gig at the Greenpeace Stage, diagnosis which laughably requested that I get on the radios to sort out a vehicle escort to meet them from their Acoustic Stage gig (erm, information pills did you read any of my emails?) They then ignored all my later frantic calls. Professional. Still, they probably wouldn’t have had much of an audience, what with them clashing with that embarrassing worldcup football match and all.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Pete the Temp

I missed most of Pete the Temp but managed to catch him performing some fun mashed up covers dressed in a tutu from our grand raffle.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades decided to play at the last minute once their Glastonbury tickets were confirmed. Fronted by my former art editor, the super talented Luisa Gerstein, I am ashamed to say that this was the first time I had seen them perform live. I had previously only visited them on myspace, which really doesn’t do justice to their ace live performance. Playing on a variety of strange string instruments, an old typewriter and an assortment of pots, pans and donating buckets scoured from the Climate Camp kitchen, they were incredibly inventive.

katie-harnett-lulu and the lampshades
Lulu and the Lampshades by Katie Harnett.

Both myself and Luisa have camped extensively with Forest School Camps, and her glorious melodies reflect the mix of traditional English, Irish, Scottish and American Bluegrass music that we love to sing around campfires.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Lulu and the Lampshades

Lulu and the Lampshades ended on an acapella version of traditional gospel song You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone – here performed with just two of the band members and some old yoghurt pots (another trick I suspect she learnt around the campfire). A cult classic if ever I saw one – there are already multiple tributes on youtube.

YouTube Preview Image

Luisa’s best bit about playing the Tripod Stage: our make-shift drum-kit from the catering tent.
Luisa’s best bit about Glastonbury this year: Sunday evening: Mountain Man in the Crow’s Nest followed by Dirty Projectors followed by Stevie Wonder; twas dreamy. 
 
You can catch Lulu and the Lampshades at Bestival later this year.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Cats and Cats and Cats then borrowed a number of instruments from Lulu and the Lampshades to play another exclusive for the Tripod Stage, lead singer Ben George having come down from his parent’s pottery stand in the Green Fields to offer us the gig. Quite fortuitously Cats and Cats and Cats have their debut album If I’d Had An Atlas out next week, so we were treated to stripped down versions of a range of songs which I’ve since been able to listen to on record.

cats and cats and cats
Cats and Cats and Cats by Farzeen Jabbar.

When and where was the album recorded?
If I’d Had An Atlas was recorded over 11 days in deepest darkest Wales (Giant Wafer Studios in the Brecon Beacons), it was great to be so far away from any bustling cities and we could really concentrate there. We also did some recordings of extra instruments (tuba, cello, accordion etc.) in Folkestone at Barewires Studios.

What inspired the name If I’d Had An Atlas?
The name is from a lyric in the title track which reads “I don’t know, if I’d had an atlas, where we would be,” which fell out of my brain at some point and I scribbled it down. I like the imagery of someone imagining that if they’d had a map they would have done things differently but of course there is no map and life is chaotic and that’s why it’s amazing.

What was the best bit about playing on the Tripod Stage?
I really enjoyed just turning up and using what instruments we could gather to piece together a set and then managing to pull it off! Thanks loads to Lulu and the Lampshades for lending us their equipment and also for being really brilliant. The only bad point was when I dedicated a song to my brother only to find he’d run off to watch Nora Jones!

What was your favourite part of Glastonbury this year?
I saw some of my favourite Glastonbury performances this year by bands like: Boxcar Aldous Huxley, Tubelord, the Dirty Projectors, Meursault and Imogen Heap; I was also gobsmacked at the lightning men and amounts of fire in Arcadia. But I have to say the weather, I was there for 8 days and I didn’t see a drop of rain. Amazing.

What other festivals are you playing at?
We’ve got a couple more lined up in July: Lounge on the Farm in Canterbury on Friday 9th (at 12pm) and 2000 Trees Festival in Cheltenham on Saturday 17th. Then we’ll be playing a farewell show for our violin player in London at some point as she’s leaving the band, but we’ll be back on the scene in October for a UK tour. Hopefully see you soon.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Ben has one of those voices that delights in the slightly out of the tune: it shouldn’t work but most of the time it somehow does: his wailing vocals become a feature in themselves, especially when offset against such a lush backdrop: brass, strings, entire orchestras, choirs, all have their place on this album – occasionally screeching to a standstill that echoes the offkilter vocals. It’s all great fun. Stand out single A Boy Called Haunts is a triumphant melody about… a boy who is trying to impress a girl, so he dresses up as a ghost on Halloween. Only trouble is that he then becomes a real ghost and discovers that she spends her free time having sex with men in porn films. As you do. Ben has been learning Japanese for 3 years so he decided to write a song in Japanese “half to see if I could and half to show off”.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Cats and Cats and Cats

Towards the end of the album curveball Suizokukanni works surprisingly well, even if the subject matter is equally bonkers. In it Ben’s fictional brother talks to the fish in the garden pond so he gets shunned. One day Ben hears the fish in the garden calling his name and realises he can talk to them. The last line roughly translates to “Lets go to the aquarium together and never return!”. This is followed by the beautiful The Smallest Song, a much quieter and more subdued affair, even as the brass section kicks in. The next single will be If I’d Had Antlers, which features sawed and plucked violin melded to trademark awkward beats and a surprisingly delicate melody. Watch out for the animated video. Cats and Cats and Cats might be an acquired taste, but they’re wonderfully original and definitely a grower. Well worth checking out.

carolyn-alexander-attila the stockbroker
Attila the Stockbroker by Carolyn Alexander.

Our final performer was another late booking – Attila the Stockbroker, pint in hand, gave us some grand punk beat poetry. 60 years old and able to give any number of youngsters a run for their money. I’d like to see more of him one day.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Attila the Stockbroker

And so ended my Tripod Stage musical line-up. And what a joy it was. Here’s hoping we can do as well next year…
June Chanpoomidole-Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. by June Chanpoomidole.

Our Saturday starter was none other than Sam Duckworth of Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. who changed his stage time so that he could watch the ill-fated England match on Sunday. Those Climate Campers who knew him were suitably excited and soon stood on the corner of the Craft Field with the megaphone. It’s amazing what a big name does… the festival goers were soon flooding into our small area, page slightly disbelieving that our wee stage could be hosting such a well known musician.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

Meanwhile I stood slightly panicked on the entrance as the minutes slowly ticked by… and then Sam came ambling down the leafy rise, slightly late having come straight from taking part in a debate about the rise of the BNP at the Leftfield Stage. A more mild mannered and charming young man you would be hard to come by, but Sam’s grasp of how important it is to speak out against the ills of this world is admirable. Without undue ceremony he was soon aboard the Tripod Stage, holding a borrowed acoustic guitar. “Can you all hear me? I’ve got a big voice so I can sing louder!”

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

Sunglassed against the blazing heat Sam sung new songs from his upcoming album alongside old crowd pleasers such as One More With Feeling. Unbidden he spoke with passion of meeting a Bangladeshi woman who had lost her family as a direct result of the effects of climate change, and how important it is to stand up to the big corporations. A truly special young man who has been off my radar for awhile, I now remember why I featured Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. in Amelia’s Magazine all those years ago. What a star. Sam’s new single Collapsing Cities is out in August, followed by a 22 date tour in September and October.

Kyla La Grange by Barbara Ana Gomez
Kyla La Grange by Barbara Ana Gomez.

Next up we had Kyla La Grange, a beautiful girl with a stunning voice (does it matter that she was beautiful? It shouldn’t, but she really was, what can I say? And talented…) She arrived without fanfare and I found her practicing behind our van on the same acoustic guitar that Sam had borrowed.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Kyla La Grange

This was the first time in awhile that the husky voiced Kyla had played her songs without added production but she’s an accomplished songwriter and songs like the catchy single Vampire Smile worked just as well without backing. Definitely a talent to watch: her debut album is currently in production.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Kyla La Grange

Kyla’s favourite bits of Glastonbury: Arcadia was absolutely brilliant but as far as performances go it was a tie between Laura Marling and Florence and the Machine. They were both faultless.

colin-stewart-patch-william
colin-stewart-patch-william
Patch William by Colin Stewart.

Patch William were another band we shared with the BBC Introducing stage (or should that be the other way around). They arrived complete with their own recording facilities, although I will hopefully attempt to cobble together some of the footage I shot myself (oh Final Cut Pro, how I yearn to learn your charms).

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Kyla La Grange

Fronted by William and his god sister Ali, Patch William braved the blazing heat dressed as if they had just stepped out of a fairytale, all flowing hair, wide trousers and Ali crowned in a flower garland so beloved of festival goers this year. Their melodic harmonies were perfect for a lazy summer day such as this, and culminated in the Ivor Novello nominated The Last Bus, a stunning song that saw Ali nimbly swap from guitar to cello. Just gorgeous.

Patch William liked playing the Tripod Stage because: It was great to be able to play a set which was powered solely by a solar panel! 
Patch William’s favourite bits of Glastonbury: Discovering a naked mermaid at Shangri La and being able to say ‘hello glastonbury’ during our set (something which we’d only dreamed of before).

Patch William play the Firefly Music Festival and Belladrum Festival in Scotland. Their next single release will be Skinny White Boy and they plan to go on tour in September. Watch their set at BBC Introducing here.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Patch William

Then we were supposed to host The Federals, but unfortunately some misunderstood information meant that they hadn’t come prepared for our particular stage set up and all I got was this picture.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp The Federals

Oh well! You win some you lose some: they seemed like nice lads, and went on to play, yes, you’ve guessed it, the BBC Introducing stage. Instead we had a bit of a gap before an exclusive secret set from the wonderful Robin Ince… who turned up a good hour early so we all sat around having a cup of tea and a chinwag.

Abi Daker - Robin Ince - Glastonbury
Robin Ince by Abigail Daker.

Robin was determined to perform his set back to front, so I would be introducing him after he’d finished, and Danny Chivers could come on as a warm up act at the end. This meant that Robin also started sat on the floor with his back to the audience. To another disbelieving crowd – “Yes, we really do have Robin Ince performing here in a minute” – Robin gave a brilliant performance that touched on themes of favourite suicides, the use of jazz hands in the popularisation of science and banality in politics.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Robin Ince

I’ve uploaded part of his performance for your delection here:

At the end he called on me to come up and introduce him, but then carried on heckling me from the floor. Can anyone tell me, did he do his gig in the Comedy Tent during the England match on Sunday dressed as an octopus? Muchos love going out to you Robin.

dry-the-river-by Lisa Stannard
Dry the River by Lisa Stannard.

Last but by no means least the Tripod Stage was delighted to host Dry the River, a folk band from East London attired in vaguely matched check shirts. Accompanied by guitar, bass, violin, glockenspiel and snare drum, Dry the River sing of history, culture, religion – often in gorgeous four part falsetto boy harmonies. Lead singer Peter Liddle studied anthropology and is now en route to become a doctor; a background that clearly informs his unusual lyrics. If there is any sense in this world Dry the River will be a major success: in fact if I were the betting kind I would lay the notes down hand over fist for this unsigned band. Really really brilliant, I feel so blessed to have found them.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Dry the River
dry-the-river-by Lisa Stannard
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Dry the River
dry-the-river-by Lisa Stannard
Dry the River by Lisa Stannard.

I asked bearded bassist Scott to answer a few questions:

Scott’s feelings on the Tripod Stage gig: The Climate Camp Tripod Stage was awesome! We played as the sunshine beamed down on our faces, and the people around were so laid back and friendly. Plus we all got a cup of tea while we played which was like a dream after two days of camping. We even got a chance to road-test a new tune we’ve been working on because of the relaxed atmosphere of the show, and it went down well!
 
Scott’s favourite part of Glastonbury: It’s tough to pick a ‘best bit’ for the whole weekend but for me heading out to get lost in the maze of Shangri La at night was amazing, and bumping into Neville Staple backstage in the Dance Arena was pretty cool. Obviously the gigs we were able to play while we were there all stand out too, the Climate Camp for the friendly hospitable people there, the Crow’s Nest for the amazing view of the whole festival at sunset and of course the BBC Introducing set was just so exciting with the cameras and everything.

Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Dry the River
Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Dry the River

Make sure you catch up with Dry the River live – they’re playing Standon Calling, the Big Chill and Underground Festival in Gloucester. You can download a FREE 3 track EP from their myspace which includes an unreleased version of Coast, a never before heard track recorded earlier this summer. Dry the River headline the Lexington on September 30th and you can buy tickets here. In the meantime see them on BBC Introducing here.

Deviating from the subject of Climate Change, viagra approved Amelia’s Magazine finds ourselves mesmerised by Design Interaction Student, Kjen Wilkens’ Weather Camera.

What is the impact on our relationship with the environment – when existing in a world where sensor monitors constantly interpret our daily surroundings, producing endless streams of data? Are we moving into the final phrase of Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction?

Photograph by Ludwig Zeller

The Weather Camera is Kjen Wilkens response to her search for a human presence within this deluge of electronic readings. Instead of taking a photograph to a record a special moment, the user of The Weather Camera can record the atmospheric conditions, weaving these into autobiographical memory. In time encouraging new methods of narration, titled by the designer as “Sensor Poetics.”

Becky Pilditch‘s prothestics are “objects of empowerment”, showcasing how functional pieces of designs can be both a thing of beauty and an extension of the wearer’s personality. Becky worked and developed the project with Holly Franklin .

Hand 8 the final part of the project, played with ideas of gesture and personality by creating numerous arms that related to Holly’s actions as she spoke or moved around a space. A fantastic aspect of the website is the blog, which can be used by other prosthetic limb users to feed back directly to the project.

In the Animation section of the exhibition Lauri Warsta’s Traumdeutung awaited. A wonderful animation baring the hallmarks (whatever that may mean…) of a “documentary,” the calming, not too dissimilar to the 1940′s DONT PANIC! voiceover narrated the data currently available on the subject matter: The Global Reserves of Dreams. The beauty of the animation, being it contained the possibility, that it was entirely a dream.

The subtle block coloring of the animation maintained a ‘warmth’ more accustomed with hand drawn animation, that can sometimes be lost in 3D animation. This is an outcome of Warsta’s experiments in combining; “two extremes (3D and Handmade) clash and merge. For example, bringing the uncontrollable movement of real hand-held footage to an otherwise sterile computer animation”

Adnan Lalani‘s experiment with augmented reality catches the attention, through being something the viewer can interact with. The action of turning the Pop Up Book’s pages is suplimented by additional narration appearing on the screen placed directly behind the book and inline with the viewers eye.

Below is a video documenting the Pop Up Book’s Prototype. Earlier this week Adnan kindly took a few moments to explain the idea behind combining the narrative structure of a Pop Up Book with Augmented reality: “The pop-up book felt like a natural compliment to augmented reality. I was hoping to see how AR could be used in a more tactile, playful context… i.e. take something we already know and play with, and allow it to be enhanced with animation and digital interactivity.”

RCA Work In Progress Show – Pop Up Book Prototype Documentation from adnan lalani on Vimeo.

Eventually Adnan hopes that as we grow increasingly comfortable with the idea of Augmented Reality, ideas like the Pop Up book ” can allow a progression from the magical, novelty nature of AR, into more of a direct tool by which to communicate narratives and story telling”

The eye catching work of Design Interaction Graduate Louise O’Conner; used experimental dance to convey the movement of the smallest particles, for example: Atoms, in an attempt to connect us to movements that are beyond our physical awareness. Visit the exhibition to watch the film!

A particular lovely idea was the mapping out to scale, the measurements of the solar system along Kingsland High Street and up into Stamford Hill. Several shopkeepers were to host a planet…

Photography by Mark Henderson

You can find the map and information about the project here:

Katrin Baumgarten’s Aesthetics of Disgust explores humans’ relationship and our reactions; both emotional and physical to the things or materials which disgust us. Using inanimate objects all too often taken for granted, (i.e. Light Switches) Kartin added disturbing features such as goo or hair that moved as the light switch is pressed. By ‘touching’ us back, the presence of these inanimate objects is brought back to the forefront of our attention.

In the installation at the Royal College of Art a screen documents the level of the reaction of each user.

Another subject explored by Katrina is Intimate touch or sexual disgust and how these feelings can be created “merely by inappropriate behaviours in society, such as touching another person in an intimate or sexual way in public, even though that might comfort the two persons involved and is a part of our human nature.” The outcome of which is the Intimate Touch Object, an item which enables you to touch another person secretly…

FINALLY on my second trip (yes second, it’s that big and really worth the time) I came across the brilliant work of Sivaprakash Shanmugam’s Expressive Scribble. Children draw onto the projector screen (this could be the kitchen floor, wall etc…) and an bring their drawings to life by clicking the ‘movie’ button. The idea being to “enrich their visual vocabulary,” sense of narrative and most importantly encourage children’s creativity.

Part two of the RCA show continues until 4th July 2010. It’s open from 11-8 daily at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU. Admission is free.

Images Courtesy of the Students and addition photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

GKM Roadtrip Wales Velorution
My touring bike, information pills kindly lent by Velorution.
GKM Roadtrip Galway Stop Shell

At the start of June I went on an exciting adventure to Ireland… on a borrowed bike from Velorution. It was a trip I’ve looked forward to for a long time because it combined two of my favourite things in the world. Or maybe three: Cycling (I love cycling A LOT), activism (we had a purpose) and being in lovely places with lovely people.

The Merthyr to Mayo bike ride was organised by a loose group of activists based around the country and included members of Bicycology, a cyclists’ collective who aim “to promote cycling and make links with wider issues of environmental and social responsibility”. This intrepid group of riders set off from the open cast coal mine at Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, armed only with an explanatory newspaper and lots of verve. The solidarity ride ended at Rossport in County Mayo, Ireland, thereby linking two communities who are resisting fossil fuel extraction, and educating other communities along the way.

Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Green Kite Midnight Roadtrip Wales
Mini ceilidh en route in Wales.

An added bonus of this trip was the opportunity to play with my ceilidh band Green Kite Midnight, since providing music for people to dance to at protests is the very reason for our existence. Luckily our banjo player Dom has bought a big ambulance which he has lovingly converted into a tour bus for the band – and thus we set off for Ireland via Wales, stopping to spend the night at the parental house of our bassist Tim, way up in the secluded Welsh mountains. It was then onward to Holyhead, where we caught the ferry over to Dublin and carried straight onto Galway to meet the rest of the crew, who were hastily organising a demo against the atrocities against the flotilla bound for Gaza.

GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo

We marched straight into the local branch of M&S (to draw attention to the chain’s affiliation with the development of the Israeli state) much to the bemusement of Irish security guards, clearly not used to such confident behaviour. We then joined a gathering in the street organised by locals, but were eventually rained into the closest pub and from there we retired early to a friendly local’s house, quickly to sleep in preparation for our 90km ride the next day.

GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza
GKM Roadtrip Galway Gaza demo
Awaiting news in the pub… many people knew activists on the flotilla.

We had been warned that Irish roads are quite dangerous and on our first day I did feel a little less than wholly safe, stuck on a narrow hard shoulder as – head down, legs pumping – we powered through the countryside with little more than a brief break for lunch in a small town.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

The main thing I noticed about rural Ireland is the predominance of ugly newbuild housing estates. Boy do the Irish like to build some shoddy housing! The more upmarket modern houses favour the architecture of American TV series such as Dallas from the 80s – amusing for their kitsch value if nothing else – but at the bottom end of the spectrum the Barrett home style identikit boxes are nothing short of a blot on the landscape.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
Endless housing estates.
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

Like many other economies the Irish housing boom was completely unsustainable, and speculative construction has given way to half-finished housing estates fronted by signs that looked spangly a few years ago, now peeling and faded.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea

Okay, so I was a bit worried about the length of our first day’s ride with no preliminary warm up – but I needn’t have been. With nothing but a vista of endless stone walls, housing estates and crumbling barns (the Irish prefer new builds to renovations, apparently) to distract us from our mission, our little affinity group was one of the first to arrive at our final destination – the Lidl carpark at Castlerea. Being rather fast and meeting at Lidl – these were both to become a bit of a theme…

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Lidl
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Lidl

Once everyone had arrived at we we were herded up the longest steepest hill I’ve ever tackled with such a heavy load… and this after a long hard day too. I stayed on my bike to the very top but boy was I glad that I hadn’t brought my Pashley – it never would have made it.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan

At the top our destination was a gorgeous stretch of land bordered by woods, owned by some friendly Pagans who greeted us with lentil stew brewed for us in a cauldron over the fire surrounded by medieval-style tents. Our two nights spent on the hill top were characterised by excessive amounts of midges and late night music sessions. The intervening day was spent at Castlerea Prison, which you can read about in my next blog here.

GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan
GKM Roadtrip Galway to Castlerea Pagan

Categories ,activism, ,bicycles, ,bicycology, ,bikes, ,Castlerea, ,County Mayo, ,Dallas, ,Direct Action, ,Erris, ,Galway, ,Gaza, ,Green Kite Midnight, ,ireland, ,kitsch, ,Lidl, ,M&S, ,Merthyr Tydfil, ,Prison, ,Rossport, ,Velorution, ,wales

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Amelia’s Magazine | Climate Camp Cymru: Ffos-y-Fran mine action

Richard Hogg: Off The Wall

Concrete Hermit Gallery
Concrete Hermit?5a Club Row?
London?E1 6JX

Until 29th August
10am – 6pm Mon – Sat

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Off the wall is a simple story about happiness, order medicine freedom, check rebellion and its consequences, told across three pictures. Like a kind of triptych or a very simple comic. It forms the centrepiece of this show, Richards first since leaving Airside in 2007.

Candy Coated Canvas

http://www.londonmiles.com/
212 Kensington Park Road
Notting Hill, W11 1NR

Until 24th August
Tuesday & Wednesday : 10am to 6pm
Thursday : 11am to 8pm
Friday: 10am to 7pm
Saturday: 11am to 7pm

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CANDY COATED CANVAS is a themed group exhibition showcasing unique artworks by various established and emerging international talent. All artists have been asked to take inspiration from the title “Candy Coated Canvas” and create a unique art piece which is visually extremely colourful and playful, whilst sparking up memories of childhood, sweets, fantasy lands and those naughty but nice pleasures in life.
Scrumptious Delight (Canada)
Scrumptious Delight creates handmade plush dolls and sweets. All the toys are made to her original designs with much care and attention at her home in Canada. This is the first exhibition of Scrumptious Delights’ work in an art gallery setting and fits the Candy Coated theme perfectly.

Anthony Burrill: In A New Place

http://kemistrygallery.co.uk/
43 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch
London EC2A 3PD

Until 5th September

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For In a New Place, the exhibition presents Anthony’s exploration of industrial processes and materials with large scale laser–cut perspex pieces as well as digital prints. The subject of the exhibition focusses upon archetypal forms of nature, from rainbows to thunderstorms, all within Burrill’s uncomplicated and distinctive geometric style..

Jeff Koons : Popeye Series

http://www.serpentinegallery.org/
Kensington Gardens?
London W2 3XA

Open daily, 10am – 6pm
Free
Until 13th September

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The Serpentine Gallery presents an exhibition of the work of the celebrated American artist Jeff Koons, his first major exhibition in a public gallery in England.

Alexandre de Cunha

http://www.camdenartscentre.org/home/
Arkwright Road?
London NW3 6DG

Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm ?
Wednesday 10am-9pm ?
Closed Mondays & Bank Holidays
Until 13th September
Free

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Camden Arts Centre is proud to present an exhibition of newly commissioned work by London-based Brazilian artist Alexandre da Cunha. His dynamic, large-scale sculptures improvise on the concept of the readymade by reusing everyday objects: job lots from pound shops, surplus fabrics and recycled goods, reflecting on their specific histories and aesthetics.
Amelia’s Magazine have been pals with Finnish crafty-fan Outi from brilliant trashion blog Outsapop for a while now, sale and Outi has sent us over a piece which is an example of what she loves best – creating something new out of something old. Ladies and gentleman, information pills Amelia’s Magazine presents: the Outsapop Trashion t-shirt hobo bag tutorial – also for our Finnish readers, in Finnish! If you can speak both, well, there’s jolly well no excuse for not making this bag. Thanks to Outi!

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You´ll need:
2 same colored t-shirts (don´t have to be the same size)
scissors
sewing machine
needle and thread

STEP 1.

Cut the hem out from both t-shirts, about 1/4 inches from stitchings. Don´t cut the hem strips open, but keep them in one circular piece. Save these strips for later.

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STEP 2.
Cut sleeves and collar out. Save them.

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STEP 3.
Cut the sideseams out.

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STEP 4.
If the other t-shirt has a longer hem than the other, fold the longer bodice pieces in half and cut the hem curved like in the picture.

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STEP 5.
A) Pin the t-shirt pieces together (reverse sides out) from the sideseams. The shorter pieces will be sides and the pieces with curved hem will be bag front and bag back. B) Draw a slightly curved line from sideseam to shoulder. Sew all four seams.

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STEP 6.
Pin the curvy hem pieces together (reverse sides out) and sew.

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STEP 7.
A) Fold the sidepieces over (reverse sides out) the bag bottom and sew. B) Turn the bag right sides out.

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STEP 8.
Collar pieces will be our bag handles. If you want the handles to be short (like in my bag) take only one collar and cut it into two equal length pieces. If you want the handles to be longer, cut both collars open once to make each one handle.

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STEP 9.
Fold all t-shirt shoulders (8 fold layers each) to match the width of the collar pieces / handles. It does not have to be exact as the handle seams will be covered.

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STEP 10.
Place the collar/handle in between the folded shoulder layers and pin. Try the bag to see if the handles are placed correctly. Sew when ready.

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STEP 11.
Take the all hem strips, cut them into four pieces and tie each around one handle seam. Sew the strip ends by hand so they won´t unravel.

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STEP 12.

If you want inside pockets for your bag, make them by sewing the sleeve openings closed, and then attaching them inside the bag by sewing or with safety pins. My bag has no inside pockets but I kinda wished I had made them as the bag is big and small things get lost in it easily.

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You’re all done!

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Drawings by Outi
Photos courtesy of Mika Pollari

What would it be like to live just 37 metres from the gaping chasm of an opencast coal mine. Seems unimaginable eh? Surely it’s not possible? Who would choose to live this way?

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Well, viagra dosage noone as it goes. But for some there is no choice, diagnosis as shown in the aerial view above. The people of Merthyr Tydfil have no choice. Despite mass complaints from locals and a large scale direct action featuring polar bears and George Monbiot (a Welsh resident) it was decreed by politicians far away that coal would once again be mined from these hills. Last year the hilariously named ‘Ffos-y-fran Land Reclamation’ scheme began in earnest.

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Miller Argent is the company (funded by BT pension funds) responsible for scooping out the tops of these hills and delivering the low grade coal to the old coal fired power station at Aberthaw, more about which is now being run with 40% Ffos-y-fran coal. Tellingly, the environment section of the Miller Argent Ffos-y-fran website is empty; “under construction” whilst a photo of the mining ‘team’ lined up in front of their shiny new yellow diggers is given pride of place.

Of course there is plenty of space for company propaganda too, giving highly spurious reasons for destroying the landscape in the name of ‘reclamation’. But this was never ‘derelict’ land as Miller-Argent would have you believe – it was common land used widely by locals. As happens across the world, common or marginal land is seen as unimportant when in fact it often serves an important purpose to the populations close by. The truth of the matter is that this area has been prodded and mangled for its coal since it was first discovered – the hills are riddled with old mine workings. These were abandoned as economically redundant until new technology appeared on the scene and new government policies made it financially viable to crash into the landscape once more, just as it was recovering from centuries of destruction.

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As I climbed the hill towards Ffos-y-fran I cursed the wording on the website – “just 15 minutes walk from the station” it trumpeted. There were an awful lot of taxis passing me as I struggled towards a sign chalked enigmatically on the wall. “Getting There” it said. It lied. After another interminable uphill climb past rows of terraced houses I reached a roundabout. Not long after a huge neon yellow sign reading Clean Coal: Dirty Joke strung along the hedge revealed the entrance of Climate Camp Cymru. A van of Heddlu (Welsh for police) was parked idly on the other side of the road, but otherwise all was tranquil.

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I passed the familiar sight of the welcome tent and some solar panels atop a van, and came across someone I knew almost immediately, who offered me a tasty plate of vegan nosh.

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Perusing the beautiful and conclusive bilingual handbook about what workshops to do in which tent or “gwagle” I was massively cheered to see that Climate Camp Cymru had really taken Mia Overgaard‘s beautiful designs for the Climate Camp in London to heart (adapting the poster by adding some sheep and daffodils), and had used it on their handbook – sadly this hasn’t happened for the Climate Camp in London next week which, rather confusingly, seems to be using designs from multiple people. The perils of design by consensus…

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Once my tent was up I went on a tour of the site with my camera and found myself chatting to a pair of old biddies in a car at the back gate. They were keen to support us but felt unable to physically join us – I learnt that their parents were colliers and they thought they’d seen the last of the industry when it closed down last century.

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With some coyness they told me how they’d taken their placards into the council chambers when it was announced the ‘reclamation’ was reopening (dontcha just love the use of the word ‘reclamation’ – sounds like something to do with Shakespeare or have I got my history all muddled?!) I thought that was pretty impressive myself and told them as much.

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After dinner there was a plenary with a group of activists talking about community campaigns and how best to work with local residents. Activists from Plane Stupid, Rossport in Ireland, Mainshill in Scotland and Smash Edo in Brighton were joined by two members of RAF, or Residents Against Ffos-y-Fran. It was really thrilling to hear how similar everyone’s stories were and how possible it was to learn and grow stronger by offering solidarity with each other. By the end the tent was whooping and a plan had been hatched to go for a walk into the mine the next day.

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This was to be a hot topic of discussion at the neighbourhood and site wide meetings the next morning. Somehow, in a matter of hours, the word was put out amongst residents in town and by lunchtime we’d gathered our walkers. Joining us were members of the Rebel Clown Army, out of retirement after their costumes were confiscated at Kingsnorth last year, and the penguins from the Climate Caravan of 2008 – expert in the art of the waddle.

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We climbed over the gate with no problems but by the time we’d got to the roundabout a few confused police were attempting to curtail our progress. However, once the penguins had siddled around there was no stopping everyone else. We continued our ramble up towards the heart of the mine as locals slowed in their cars and their kids joined us. The clowns gamboled playfully around the police who hadn’t a clue what to do with these strange creatures, expert in the art of the carefully timed wind-up.

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And then we got to the intersection where the road continues through the centre of the great scar that is the mine. The police weren’t having it, even though it is a public highway, with a Section 12 (emergency restraint) being cited to stop us advancing any further. For our own safety mind you.

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Some people stayed on the road but the majority of walkers just decided to follow the penguins up onto the hill on the other side. I passed a large van of aggressive sounding police dogs, all the better to chase trespassers across mines huge opencast mines I hear.

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Despite the deployment of two large police horses as well as the dogs we failed to provide the running targets the police might have liked after three tense and boring days of sitting in their vans. Instead we wandered around the hilltop with the clowns and the penguins, taking in the full enormity of the mine and being given a potted history by the locals.

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As the drizzle moved back in again we descended the hill to head home for tea and discovered that one man had been arrested shortly after being bitten by a police dog for trying to break through the lines on the road. He was taken into custody and held for over forty hours during which he successfully contested bail conditions which meant he could not attend Climate Camp in London next week.

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The police were notabley absent on the walk back to camp, contrary to a statement released to the press stating that they escorted us home. I guess we didn’t provide the excitement they might have liked at the top of the hill and they lost interest. We even passed a few cheeky scoundrels who had managed to climb the low fence into the mine with apparent ease.

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“We set out to police this event, in a manner which reflected the needs of the protestors to lawfully protest… We are pleased that we achieved this aim and were able to avoid scenes in trend at other protests in the UK,” said South Wales police in a statement released yesterday. I had no idea we were ‘on trend’ as they like to say in the fashion world!

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Before dinner we went on a mission to buy some beer from the local store (cider of all cheap varieties is a must in this town if the shelves are to be believed) and a local lady kindly gave us a lift back up the hill – on the way she told of how she’s just had to install new windows because the dust has got so bad between the panes of glass. It’s a common refrain with locals, who suffer from all kinds of complaints due to the dust and noise coming from the mine, which, unbelievably, is open from 7am to 11pm six days a week. This in a town which already has the second highest incidence of chest complaints in Britain. But that’s okay! Because Miller-Argent is regulating pollution emissions. Well, self-regulating if you’re being picky. Self-regulating and under no obligation to share the information if you’re being particularly pushy. Understandably the locals aren’t exactly happy with this situation.

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The folks from Bicycology had a small bike generator with which to power films, so I spent much of that night glued to the screen, which showed, amongst other things, a film about mountain top removal for coal in Virginia in the USA. The mountains are literally blown off to reveal the coal, and the remnants are slung into the surrounding valleys – forever altering not just the entire ecosystem but the actual topography of the landscape. How can this kind of insanity be allowed to continue when we know what we know now? The USA is dependent on coal for over half it’s power, but at what cost? Not just to climate change but to the incredibly delicate ecosystems that support life on our planet.

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In Virginia there have been huge and devastating floods in the valleys below the mined areas, which have lost their topsoil and are no longer able to soak up rainfall. The companies responsible have of course abdicated all responsibility but I remember Geography GCSE! Back then I learnt that if you screw with the ability of the earth to soak up water there will be consequences. Could the same thing happen in the steep valley of Merthyr Tydfil? It seems highly likely if opencast mining continues.

On Sunday I went on a workshop to learn more about plants in the area, and was delighted to discover that the yellow berries packed tightly onto the branches of Sea Buckthorn are edible; tiny and tangy they are the richest source of vitamin sea after rosehips. I’ve brought a bag home to soak in some vodka – and wouldn’t you know it I discovered that the berries are used in a favourite Danish schnapps recipe.

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After lunch the final plenary looked at how the Climate Camp movement can go ahead in Wales and how relations with Merthyr Tydfil will continue going forward. There was a real feel of excitement in the air as it was decided that Climate Camp Cymru would have it’s first official national gathering within the next six weeks and many people seemed more determined than ever to make it down to the Climate Camp in London next week. Tat down, (clear up of the camp) continued apace afterwards and I left feeling extremely happy that I’d made the effort to travel up to Wales and take part in the camp.

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I’m now getting even more excited about the week long Climate Camp in London which starts next Wednesday 26th August with a city-wide “swoop” on our yet-to-be-revealed site. If you care about the planet you live upon (and you should, it’s the only one we’ve got!) come and join us this year. There will be hundreds of workshops on sustainability, direct action and how the financial system is affecting our environment – not to mention a diverse program of evening entertainments. We’ll be camping over the Bank Holiday weekend so why not come visit? It could be the life-changing experience it was for me at Heathrow in 2007.

Until then…

See more of my photos on the Climate Camp Cymru flickr site
Hear my phone blogs that I uploaded live whilst on the walk to Ffos-y-Fran here

Categories ,activism, ,Bicycology, ,camping, ,Climate Camp, ,Direct Action, ,Sustainability, ,Wales

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