Amelia’s Magazine | Holly Fulton: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review

Holly Fulton - lfw a/w 2013 - amelias magazine - Isher Dhiman
Holly Fulton A/W 2013 by Isher Dhiman

The line of freezing cold fashionistas standing outside Me London early on Saturday morning clutched Holly Fulton tickets bearing a giant red cartoon heart, like an I Love NY heart. I was almost surprised not to see an I Love HF shirt in the collection this year as Holly Fulton has embraced high kitsch in a big way, albeit without losing any of her signature sophistication and art deco-esque patterns. The place was so packed I barely managed to see a snatch of side view, so was unable to get any good photos. My catwalk sketches and illustrations will have to do for this article, but do seek out the photographic proof of this collection’s brilliance.

holly fulton - lfw - aw13 - jenny robins - amelias magazine
Holly Fulton A/W 2013 by Jenny Robins.

In September it was roses and pin-ups, this season it’s hearts, tigers, polar bears, calligraphy swirls, shiny feathers and lipsticks. Lots of lipsticks. The A/W 2013 collection celebrated a fierce, fun femininity and it made a big impact that was backed up with a sea of detail. I loved it.

1 Holly Fulton by Isher Dhiman
Holly Fulton A/W 2013 by Isher Dhiman

Holly Fulton sees A/W 2013 mostly in black, white and red, with strong geometric shapes offset by more fluid touches – gauzy sleeves and a giant puffy white skirt featuring a pixelated black and white tiger (tigers seem to be everywhere this season). Even the room was drenched in red light, whilst details such as heart shaped earrings and hearts on the back of jackets gave the collection a distinctly Valentine’s vibe. The models emerged from a giant red circle that reminded me of a Japanese flag, and walked in black shoes down a red catwalk. Guess what colour their lipstick was?

holly fulton 2 - lfw - aw13 - jenny robins - amelias magazine
Holly Fulton A/W 2013 by Jenny Robins.

There were yards of graphic repeating prints that included cultural icons such as cassette tapes, safety pins and ring pull can tops. These throw-away commodities were paired with sumptuous fabrics and clean tailoring to create an intriguing mix. I can’t wait to see how this designer continues to develop.

Categories ,A/W 2013, ,black, ,calligraphy, ,fashion, ,geometric, ,heart, ,Holly Fulton, ,I love NY, ,Isher Dhiman, ,kitsch, ,lfw, ,Lipstick, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,me london, ,polar bear, ,Red, ,Tiger

Similar Posts:

Amelia’s Magazine | Copping Out: The latest from Trafalgar Square

Illustration by Verity Smith

Waking on Friday morning I can tell by the sunlight streaming into my room that for a change it’s a bright and clear day, doctor cheapest good news for those taking part in the COP OUT down at Trafalgar square. I’ve been going back and forth from the square since last Saturday, cost the day when following the hugely successful event ‘The Wave’, buy in which around 40,000 decked out in blue descended on Parliament to demand direct action against climate change, the resilient bunch that is Climate Camp went the extra mile and set up camp right between Nelson’s Column and that giant Christmas tree. Known as the ‘hardy types’ the next day in The Sunday Times, they popped up their tents, hung up their banners and got the tea going on a make-shift stove.


By the time I arrived on Sunday, learned a few names and attempted to help out in the kitchen-tent, which for me involved eating cous cous, (which was amazing) and X-factor related chit-chat, it was clear the original planned 48-hour stay was a given and this was just the tip of the melting iceberg. After a quick meeting in the afternoon drizzle, the resolution was clear; the campers would continue to occupy Trafalgar Square until the end of the Copenhagen Summit on the 19th, meaning a 2 week stay. As the meeting broke-up and everyone started to busy themselves in preparation for the ‘alternative’ carol service that evening, I began to wonder how on earth this was going to pan out; how the group would manage to stay in The Square without it ending in them being dragged away by the authorities, kicking and screaming.



Upon my arrival on Monday, I learned I couldn’t have been more wrong. I glimpsed from the crossing on The Strand a small huddle and a flash of day-glow yellow and thought, “yikes”, this spells trouble. However all it really meant was what seemed to be a friendly discussion with a police man and a police woman who just wanted to know what was going on, but warned that the Greater London Authority planned an eviction notice for around 4.00 that afternoon. The camp by now was certainly smaller; the kitchen was reduced to a stove for tea and many loaves of organic bread, which had been donated by a local bakery. However still lots of the same determined faces, one of which was Marina who won me over on Sunday in the meeting, she is animated and commands attention, and I generally gravitate toward her and pester her about the latest goings on. Still no word from the GLA, I get handed a leaflet by a smiley chap in a blue suit whose name I didn’t catch about what I should do if I am to be arrested, “eek”, is trouble a brewing? No, that’s just the tea. Still no word so I trudge home in the rain.


Tuesday morning and a guy in a polar bear suit has joined the camp, word is he was protesting against Tar Sands outside the nearby Canada House. Marina updates her Twitter telling how the bear has given her some shoes, as hers were soaked (her tent is by a fountain), what a bear indeed!
Illustration by Verity Smith

A few new faces have appeared and the numbers are still good, the GLA eventually deliver letters to the tents saying they cannot camp in the square without permission, but it’s not an eviction notice. I rush back to work because it’s the launch of Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration later at Concrete Hermit, which goes down a treat complete with Adnam’s carbon neutral beer. On Wednesday I’m running late for work after accompanying my pal Katie to the station, so I don’t get down to the COP OUT. I hear they’ve called up Boris Johnson but he’s in Copenhagen.


Come Thursday morning and the GLA are after the names of the campers, like they are going to tell them. Jenny Jones of the Green Party was also down there making cups of tea. I head down on Friday and the camp is buzzing. After an amazing week of action, negotiation and discussion it is time to bid farewell to those off to Copenhagen, and what better way than with a special lunch. A new kitchen has sprung up as well as yet more new faces, eager to get involved. I get a leaflet about the ‘Feeding the 5000’ event that is taking place next Wednesday the 16th, in which waste food will be used to prepare delicious meals. So with one more week in The Square what is in store? Who knows but Climate Camp still needs volunteers, as well as useful items such as water bottles, blankets etc. All week they’ve been joining forces with other groups that occupy Trafalgar Square during the festive season, from The Salvation Army to Hare Krishna’s to collectively push for effective solutions to the climate crisis.



On Monday at 10.00am, in solidarity with the activists in Copenhagen, will be an open action taking place in The Square and at Canada House to protest against the use of Tar Sands.  In order to develop these large deposits of sticky crude oil rainforests the size of our country will have to be cut down, as well as the extraction and processing of just one barrel of Tar Sands equalling 3 barrels of natural gas and 4 barrels of water; do the maths, it equals bad news for planet earth.

With COP15 in full swing those remaining in the UK need to get together and stand against the further destruction of our planet. So if that sounds like your cup of tea, why not go down to Trafalgar Square and tell your friends, as the COP OUT will only succeed if people lend as much or as little of their time as they can.
Illustration by Verity Smith

For more updates and information on the COP OUT and Climate Camp

Follow Twitter updates on what is happening in Copenhagen from Amelia’s Magazine’s Amelia Gregory

Categories ,activism, ,camping, ,Canada House, ,Climate Camp, ,Climate Change, ,COP OUT, ,earth, ,london, ,polar bear, ,police, ,protest, ,Tar Sands, ,Trafalgar Square

Similar Posts:

Amelia’s Magazine | Christmas Guide 2012: Artist & Designer Christmas Cards

Matthew Land Christmas Cards
Christmas card by Matthew Land.

Christmas is nearly upon us, yes really. And to start my lengthy round up of gift recommendations for the entire family I firstly give you a fab selection of artist cards: available to buy (more or less) direct from the artist.

Matthew Land Christmas Cards
First up, it was hard to choose which of Matthew Land‘s cards to include as thy are all so pretty but I settled on this one (and the opener) as the family scene resonates with me these days. Matthew was indeed inspired by ‘the joy, innocence and excitement of the festivities we recall from childhood.‘ In his designs he has ignored the tawdry trappings of a modern Christmas, simplifying things and concentrating on the best bits of Christmas in a traditional way. Here here!

madi illustration bahhumbug
Madi Illustration has gone for a cute yet contemporary look, incorporating hand-created typography. Her Bah Humbug card was created for those who don’t really enjoy Christmas; something that might appeal to them a little more than the usual card, and putting a smile on their face.

Livi Gosling foodie christmas cards
Livi Gosling has created a stunning collection of 6 cards themed around edible Christmas treats.

Nicholas Darby Holly Card
Nicholas Darby combines bold shape and detailed line work with hand produced textures. The cards themselves are then printed using 100% recycled Mohawk stock. I particularly like this dashing set of Holly leaves and berries, but he also does a fine line in the ever popular Matryoshka dolls.

Forget santa and his reindeers, send something a little different this Christmas! Joanne Hawker‘s Pack of 6 Bird House Christmas Cards show little birds with perfectly decorated little homes, patiently waiting for their stockings to be filled full of presents! She has also produced a range of line art cards, designed for bespoke kiddie colouring in.

stacie swift xmas cards
Christmas cards by Stacie Swift were inspired by traditional motifs and imagery; hand drawn illustration combined with a simple colour palette give them modern appeal.

elisa mac christmas card
Elisa Mac was inspired by seasonal imagery and festive colour schemes to produce a collection of traditional cards with a contemporary twist.

rebecca rawlings
Rebecca Rawlings‘ bright cards have been finished off by hand with glitter to add a bit of extra Christmas sparkle.

Emma Cowlam Anna at the Rink
Emma Cowlam‘s illustrated Christmas cards are currently stocked at the Rizzoli Bookshop, Somerset House where she is showing her original stitched illustrations as well as prints. The Somerset House Christmas Arcade pop-up shop also stocks her illustrated ceramic tableware which was a result of her successful application to a Handmade in Britain open call out.
louise jenkins artic animals
Illustrations of the mystical Arctic Fox and Polar Bear by Louise Jenkins have been hand painted in beautiful decorative style using water colour and Gouache.

Jenny Robins xmas cards
Jenny Robins has created a collection of colourful Christmas cards inspired by Christmas carol lyrics.

Chloe Bonfield christmas cards
Chloe Bonfield is offering a range of tasteful watercolour Christmas cards, and a personalised service for that special someone.

Why not pick your favourite cards and shop straight from your artist of choice this year? Just think how much your friends and family will appreciate such an individual choice.

Categories ,Arctic Fox, ,Bah Humbug, ,birds, ,ceramics, ,Chloe Bonfield, ,Christmas, ,Christmas cards, ,Elisa Mac, ,Elisa MacDougall, ,Emma Cowlam, ,etsy, ,Guide, ,Handmade in Britain, ,Holly, ,illustration, ,Jenny Robins, ,Joanne Hawker, ,Livi Gosling, ,Louise Jenkins, ,Madi Illustration, ,Matryoshka dolls, ,Matthew Land, ,Nicholas Darby, ,polar bear, ,Rebecca Rawlings, ,Rizzoli Bookshop, ,Somerset House, ,Somerset House Christmas Arcade, ,Stacie Swift

Similar Posts:

Amelia’s Magazine | Music Listings: 21st – 27th September


After witnessing a whole lot of jolly sensible fashion trends being bandied about – think short, visit this generic sleek, stomach unhealthy sophisticated and feminine – we were thrilled to see a total vision of insanity at the Blow Presents… show where the models were barely human, NEVER MIND feminine. Ladies and gents, meet the new woman of 2010: the Fembot.


Wigmaker Charlie le Mindu’s collection made Danielle Scutt’s hairstyling look positively placid: models were bombing down the catwalking with “haute coiffure” teetering atop their tiny heads, like a warped modern paraphrase of 18th century wigs.


Squeezed into flesh-coloured PVC bodysuits, these were pneumatic bodies that resembled genetically mutated Barbies, with the hairpieces swelling into jackets (bearing a strong resemblance to Margiela’s two seasons ago) or even shoulder pads, evidently a trend that translates into the most avant-garde of arenas.


Next up was Gemma Slack’s collection with pieces constructed from leather and suede, it was a bold collection that turned the models into superheroes and warriors, with the conical bras making another resurgence as seen with Louise Goldin’s latest offering.


The inclusion metal studs and slashed leather also made it profoundly sexual – with the oppressive metal-plated umbrella and circular skirts mechanising the body, a territory previously explored, of course, by Hussein Chalayan. Unlike Chalayan this mechanisation was also sexualised, with the constant sado-masochistic details (even the traditional Burmese neck rings looked more like dog collars) in line with uncomfortable images of fetishised modernity that J.G Ballard expressed in Crash.


Margiela reared his head again with Lina Osterman, in a show styled by Robbie Spencer, who by masking her models also evinced a preoccupation and an evocation of Victoriana repression by playing with the effects of concealing the face and the body. A difference so far for a series of shows that has been all about long, bare legs.


A completely androgynous collection, there were undertaker-style long tailored jackets paired with trousers and shorts, with Osterman manifesting the Victorian secret obsession with sex, like Slack, with bondage-like details and choices in fabric. Lurking underneath all the bravado, however, was a surprisingly soft and wearable collection, with some fabulous knits and grandpa shirts both for the boys and the girls.


Finally upping the drama stakes was Iris van Herpen, with a slow and intense collection of sculpted leather and rubber – heavy and cumbersome pieces that were inspired by radiation waves around the body, results of collaboration with artist Bart Hess.


Proving a fantastic metaphor as a means of highlighting parts of the human body, this was true craftsmanship, with sequins and reflective panels catching the catwalk lights – as the models lined up together for the final few moments they seemed like soldiers with armour constructed from artwork.


A rather fascinating foursome on show, then, and at least Lady GaGa will have some new things to wear with those big pants of hers – well until next season anyway.
Cooperative Designs presented their latest designs aboard a Bauhaus Chessboard and on entering the presentation hall I was greeted with delicious looking (and tasting) Bauhaus birthday cake. The collection titled Happy Birthday Bauhaus was a homage to a constant source of inspiration (Bauhaus and Russian Constructivism) and the only female to become a master at the school: Gunta Stolz and her 5 Chord Weave.


The display was a feast for the eyes, viagra 60mg as the garments and dressmaker dummies found themselves positioned across the black and white squares encouraging the viewer to walk freely around the set and in-between the brilliant knitwear.


The board was also interjected with giant cardboard pieces and props or pawns from Amy Gwatkin‘s elegant film projected onto the space behind the game. Filmed through prisms, visit the film portrays the delicate fluid movements, sick the bold lines and clever tailoring of Co-operative’s designs as Rahma Mohamed dreamily paraded across the presentation hall (filmed in the same room, the moving lookbook acted as an extension to the space).


The static presentation enables the viewer the opportunity to be up close and personal with the clothes, to view the extensive variety of fabric used in construction. I enjoyed being able to carefully consider the patterns adorning large hanging pieces and the distinctive body conscience garments. Whilst the film portrayed how the clothes would move when adorning the human body complimented by the bold jewellery.


Several people became statuesque through their bodies occupying a variety of past season’s designs, displaying the constant craftsmanship of the design duo: Annalisa Dunn and Dorothee Hagemann. the collection is instantly desirable from the exquisite knitwear combining “wild silks, paper cotton and linen yards” to the jewerelly designed by Corrie Williamson and the shoes made in collaboration with Daniel Harrison.


The entire ethos of the show was Bauhaus and it’s ideas on the importance of experiment through collaboration; from the film to the set designed by alex Cunningham to the shoe and jewellery collection.


I could have stayed in the room all day, visually digesting the block colours peeking amongst the patterns. Whilst examining the construction of sleeves that hung from the manikin at right angles as if an invisible elbow occupied the negative space.

Watch the film here:

All Photographs by Matt Bramford
Explore the mindset of protest movements, website like this learn from previous campaigns and make your own affinity group, side effects this week is all about getting ready for action, page wether it be at the Climate Swoop in October or campaigning against your local Tesco.


Illustrations by Sinead O Leary

Global Wake-Up Call

Monday 21st September

A flash mob extravaganza, on the 21st of September people will be gathering at hundreds of locations around the world. It’s an opportunity to vent your frustration against the government’s lack of initiatives towards climate change and to raise awareness of the issue. Check all the events all ready happening on the website or alternatively set up your own
and register it online. Avaaz and partners will help turn out a group of fellow-citizens to participate in each event, and send you all the information you need. Remember Global leaders have only three months to get their act together and sign a strong Climate Treaty in Copenhagen.

Tourism and climate change
Tuesday 22nd September

An event to look at the problems relating to the tourism Industry and the threat of climate change. What can be done to lessen the impacts from the Industry which sees huge amounts of carbon dioxide let into the atmosphere each year. The rise of short haul flights in the UK will be discussed as well as the future threat to people and communities across the globe that
rely on tourism for their livelihood at home and abroad.


Time: 18.30 until 21.00
Venue: Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), 1 Kensington Gore, London,

Picnic to Stop Tesco
Tuesday 22nd September

A protest picnic at the proposed site for a new Tesco, just behind the current Tesco car park, I presume after taking over all the local businesses they need some more expansion. Bring food, friends and ideas to stop the plans from going ahead.

Venue: Titnore Woods
Time: Meet 12 noon, then move to the field.

Chronicle of a Road Protest
Wednesday 23rd September

The legacy of the road protest movement lives on, Adrian Arbib will be holding a talk and presentation from his experience in 1994 at camps set up in Solsbury Hill, where ‘eco warriors’ launched a bid to halt construction of the Batheaston to Swainswick bypass at Bath. The campaign was also credited for boosting numerous other activists to set up similar
camps against road building projects which eventually led to 300 road schemes being axed by the government.
Adrian Arbib lived on site photographing the events. In so doing he captured all aspects of life on the protest, a talk that is sure to inspire and educate the next generation of protest movements.

Time: 7pm till 9pm
Venue: Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX

RSA debate: Food in a World Without Oil
Wednesday 23rd September

Hosted by Roger Harrabin, BBC Environmental Analyst, the debate will look at the politics of food and farming, and the consumers carbon footprint. The UK Government has signed up to a target to reduce our emissions by 80% by 2050 but so far hasn’t addressed the problem of the food and farming issue.
With oil running out the panel will also discuss what the implications of this are on the industry, joined by Peter Melchett, Policy Director at the Soil Association; Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy, City University London the audience will also hear about some solutions such as Transition Towns and possible controversial methods like GM crops.

Time: 6.00-7.15
Free entrance, but places need to be booked
Venue: John Adam Street, London WC2N 6EZ

Landscapes of the Mind
Friday 25th- Sunday 27th September

One of the biggest threat to climate action is peoples lack of belief that anything can be done, how many times have you heard the phrase “but what can i do?” With the ‘tipping point’ just around the corner, where climate change will have irreversible effect on the planet, why is there such a lack of conviction in the world? Landscape of the mind, a conference held at the Eden project, will focus on this issue, along with a panel of experts and commentators. It will look at our awareness of nature and our mental health in relation to it. A fascinating weekend long set of talks and workshops chaired by Professor David Peters and Nick Totton which challenges one of the biggest challenges we face in the modern world.

Venue: The Eden project


The Incredible Veggie Roadshow
Saturday 26th September
A chance to learn everything you ever wanted to know about being a veggie or a vegan, the day is a great day out for the family with loads of stalls, food tasting, cooking demonstrations as well as a range of books, information and campaign news.

Time: 10.30am-4.30pm
Venue: Town Hall, Cheltenham

The Great Climate Swoop Affinity Group Speed
Saturday 26th September

The climate swoop is almost upon us, in only a few weeks groups like Plane Stupid, Rising Tide and Climate Rush are going to take over Ratcliffe on Soar, a coal fired power station.
This event is for people to meet up with other like-minded souls who are planning to go to Ratcliffe in October. It will also host some inspiring speakers for people that may need some convincing. Speakers will include one of the Drax 29, a Great Climate Swooper and an expert on the history of direct action.
The day is for all experience levels of direct action, from newbies to road protesting veterans. Hopefully you will finish the day with your new affinity group, with a workshop that explains the roles within an affinity group and how you can achieve your aims on your action.

Time: 5pm
Venue: Hampstead Friends Meeting House, 120 Heath Street, Hampstead, NW3 1DR
This event is free (donations welcome). There will be tea, coffee and cakes!

Monday 21st September: FrYars, sickness  Rough Trade East, sickness London

FrYars is winsome 19 year old, Ben Garret – and all-round Amelia’s Magazine favourite – who makes synth-drenched compositions of a Patrick Wolf-come-Pet Shop Boys ilk. We have his debut album, Dark Young Hearts, on repeat here at Amelia’s HQ.


Tuesday 22nd September: Elvis Perkins, Scala, London

Not only does he have a cool name, but his dad played Norman Bates in Hitchcock‘s ‘Psycho‘. Oh and his music pretty alright too. Perkins will be joined by a troupe of multi-instrumentalists to perform his new album, LP, which brings a cheerier 50s pop sound to his sterner debut.


Wednesday 23rd September: Teenagers In Tokyo, Rough Trade East, London

Amelia’s Magazine will be catching up with this Sydney quintet before this in-store, so look out for the interview on the blog soon. Their ability to blend grunge, goth, and punk whilst adhering to an altogether pop aesthetic is fast making them a dance floor disciple.


Thursday 24th September: Alexander Wolfe, National Portrait Gallery, London

Curious singer songwriter, Wolfe, launches his album, ‘Morning Brings A Flood’, along with a screening of his short film starring Emilia Fox and based on, ‘Stuck Under September’, one of Wolfe‘s songs. Talented chap. See you down the front.


Friday 25th September: Polar Bear, Croydon Clocktower, London

If you go down to the outer reaches of South London today, you’ll be sure for a nice surprise. Intriguing venue, Croydon Clocktower will see Mercury Prize nominated post-jazz quintet, Polar Bear, play tracks from their forthcoming album, ‘Peepers’ alongside favourites from their acclaimed ‘Held On Tips Of Fingers’.

gang of four21

Saturday 26th September: Gang Of FourThe Forum, London

Influential post-punkers have reformed of late and we’re thankful for it. To celebrate its 30th anniversary they will play their eponymous debut, Entertainment!, in it’s entirety as well as other tracks old and new – enough to wet the appetite of the, no doubt, mix of balding rockers and indie youths in attendance.


Sunday 27th September: Autumn Equinox Fair, Cecil Sharp House, London

A fantastically robust line-up of Amelia’s favourites She Keeps Bees, pop-noirette Gemma Ray, former Arts Editor, Luisa Gerstein and her Lampshades, obscure psych-folkers Circulus, plus folk scribe Will Hodgkinson in London’s home of folk. Sounds devine.

Categories ,acoustic ladyland, ,alexander wolfe, ,alfred hitchcock, ,circulus, ,electro, ,elliott smith, ,Elvis Perkins, ,folk, ,fryars, ,funk, ,gang of four, ,gemma ray, ,goth, ,grunge, ,Indie, ,leafcutter john, ,listings, ,Lulu and the Lampshades, ,Patrick Wolf, ,pet shop boys, ,polar bear, ,pop, ,Post Punk, ,punk, ,sebastien rochford, ,she keeps bees, ,teenagers in tokyo

Similar Posts:

Amelia’s Magazine | Polar Bear – Peepers – Album Review

I thought I’d gone wrong. I pressed play and… drums (so far so good), stuff then (wait for it) a guitar!?! Have I put on a Maccabees CD by mistake? No, thumb the drumming’s too, too wowsome. My confusion lasted for a full 15 seconds before the sax hit me. But still, a guitar? Polar Bear are opening an album with twang rock guitar?

Maybe you don’t know Polar Bear. Maybe you need to change your friends. If my friends hadn’t told me about Polar Bear, I would have ditched them. Except that I wouldn’t have known what they hadn’t told me about, obviously. Polar Bear are a jazz outfit of indistinct number. Let’s say five, which includes Leafcutter John, who’s like Aphex Bez. It’s complicated. Their last proper album, ‘Held On The Tips Of Fingers’, was the token jazz nomination for the Mercuries a while back and should have won because it’s one of the best four things jazz has done since 1963 and it pisses on anything that ever wins a Mercury Prize.

Band background: part 2. Sigh. There’s a body of bands. Effectively, Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland are each other’s opposite ventricle, sharing a drummer and a saxophonist. And then there’s the F-ire skin, the Teversham spleen, blah blah blah blah. What you need to know is whether you should buy this record: you’re not adopting sextuplets. The short answer is “Yes, It’s excellent”. The long answer is “I wouldn’t start my Polar Bear collection with this”.

The really long answer is that this is their most Ladyland-like album yet. There’s less emphasis on finding complex beauty and arranging it cleverly, a la Duke Ellington or Charlie Mingus. There’s more emphasis on finding a groove and a handful of notes and getting a stink on, a la Acoustic Ladyland. Interplay is discarded in favour of immediacy. Drum yogi Seb Rochford is chief songwriter in Polar Bear and his new songwriting mantra is, “let’s not write it, let’s just feel it”. Bap Bap Bap, indeed. So we’re left with a performance album, and the performances are stunning. Pete Wareham is on top form (I’m assuming I can tell the difference between the two saxophonists, like I can tell Cab Sav from Merlot), and I might even call this some of his best work. Tom Herbert on double bass is lovably sturdy, yet cuddly. Seb Rochford is brilliant, but not showy. There’s no risk of him ever turning Billy Cobham (limitless ability and diminishing soul) on us. And it’s probably on the album’s more tender moments that we discover what a delicate and sensitive collaboration this is. Ego is not an issue in the least.

But it’s not just one flavour. Think smorgasbord. We find lively bouncy grooves like “Happy For You” and “Peepers”. Stocking-filler curiousities like “Drunken Pharoah” and “Bump”. Romantic tearjerkers like “The Love Didn’t Go Anywhere” and “Want To Believe Everything”. And impressively, hypnotically, boldly, we have “A New Morning Will Come” and “Finding Our Feet”, which sound like nods toward Boards Of Canada or Plaid fortified with jazz wisdom.

The spread of guitar-infection from Acoustic Ladyland’s last album is hardly the most significant development in fact. It’s the lean toward simplicity and punch. It’s not something I’d hoped for. Rochford is as good a composer, songwriter even, as he is a drummer (which is really really good, by the way, thus no offense to the Maccabees earlier), so it seems daft to put that strength to one side until he next thinks of a spare bandname. All the same, this is a brilliant album by the only first rate act of their kind around. A band totally on top of their Bap Bap Bap.

But I wouldn’t start my Polar Bear collection with this…

Categories ,acoustic ladyland, ,jazz, ,london, ,pete wareham, ,polar bear, ,seb rochford

Similar Posts:

Amelia’s Magazine | Kiki Neon – Interview


At Amelias we get tons of emails every day from bands asking us to take a listen to them and see what we think. More often than not they’re pretty decent but not quite right for us to cover. However, when we heard Kiki Neon we knew that we’d stumbled onto something a little special. We got in touch with them and asked them a few questions.

Amelias. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, approved background etc?

Kiki Neon. We started writing these songs about a year ago, ask around a film idea that featured Kiki Neon.  The story is about a girl who runs away from home and travels north in search of adventure and experience.   She is chased by an over protective father who fears for her sanity.  On her way she encounters many great dangers but is protected by her innocence – she also finds love, in a way.

A. What influences you as a group?

KN. We like a lot of different kinds of music, it’s stuff with stories that inspires us most – we like Polarbear , Velvet Underground, The High Wire, Joe Gideon and the Shark, Jake Thackray, and Led Zep.

Kiki Neon 1

A. The songs and videos on your myspace page have a very homemade feel about them. Is that an aesthetic which is important to you as a musician, being able to control what you do?

KN. We are at that brilliant stage where we can do anything, which is really exciting, as long as it doesn’t cost too much!  Making films was always part of our aim.

A. How do you go about recording your songs, do the lyrics come first and then you write a song around it or is it more of an organic process?

KN. Each song comes out of a session.  We find a musical thing and get that going – driven by Albie who’s a multi instrumentalist – whilst one of us (usually Smed) scribbles away in the corner.  If he hasn’t come up with any words we like we usually leave him in the room while we make tea or something.  He likes watching football matches – sometimes we bribe him.

Kiki Neon 2
A. Other than your myspace page is there anywhere else people can hear your music?

KN. Not yet.  More places coming soon!

A. There don’t appear to be any upcoming live dates either, is playing gigs something that you’re not interested in or are you just taking a break at the moment?

KN.We have a little tester gig coming up in February, mostly for friends. If it goes okay we’ll do more. Fingers crossed.
Kiki Neon 3

A. It shows that you’re unsigned, is being on a label something that you’d eventually want to work towards?

KN. We would love someone to help us – when the time is right.  But we may have made the big film by then and Kiki Neon will be a household name!

You can see/hear more about Kiki Neon here and here

Categories ,Jake Thackray, ,Joe Gideon and the Shark, ,Kiki Neon, ,Led Zeppelin, ,polar bear, ,The High Wire, ,The Velvet Underground

Similar Posts: