Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Preview: Jayne Pierson


Rachel Freire S/S 2011, order illustrated by Krister Selin

‘I’m terrible at interviews’ I announce shortly after arriving at Rachel Freire‘s East London studio. A bit of a melodramatic introduction, this site maybe; but as I now sit staring at my notes which resemble the scribbles of a toddler I now know why I said it.

My trouble is that I just like to listen to people. I get lost in conversation and forget to write anything down. I refuse to record interviews because I hate the sound of my own voice and I find it a bit of a distraction, so my erratic notes are all I have to record our meeting. Sometimes, if I meet up with somebody and they don’t say much, I can manage it; when I meet people like Rachel Freire – gorgeous, mesmerising, opinionated, articulate – I’m left with nothing.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Abby Wright

Rachel is based at the Dace Road studios, home also to the likes of Christopher Raeburn (featured in ACOFI) and Rui Leonardes. Ex-tennants include Mark Fast and Mary Kantrantzou who’ve now moved to Shacklewell Studios, aka hipster central, but despite her successes, Rachel’s staying put. I meet her on a grey Saturday afternoon, she’s been up for most of the night, but you wouldn’t notice despite her protests.

”Whoever says January is a dead month is LYING!’ Rachel exclaims as she makes the tea. I do find that I get on better with people who drink lots of tea. I just don’t trust people who don’t like it. I know, as she gives them a stir, that we’re going to get along. We sit at a big oak desk in the centre of the studio, Rachel lights a cigarette and we begin our conversation. I ask Rachel how it’s going, and she seems pretty positive. She has an army of interns and creates ‘a sense of family’ in her studio, which is adorned with all sorts of interesting antiquities like skulls and baseball paraphernalia. A sign above the door, Rachel’s mantra, reads ‘IF IN DOUBT, SPRAYPAINT IT GOLD,’ a statement I wholeheartedly agree with.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Naomi Law

Rachel brands herself as a ‘costumier’ who happened to fall into fashion, which explains her unique and innovative approach to dressing. ‘I’ll never lose track of my costumier routes,’ she tells me, ‘I’m pretty anti-fashion. It dictates what we wear and how we feel, and I’ve never subscribed to that.’ Her models ‘need to have an arse’ and she’s conscious of the responsibility a fashion designer must adopt, whether that be ethical or environmental. ‘I am the cheapest person!’ Rachel admits, ‘but I will never shop in Primark. I look at the clothes and think ‘somebody suffered for this’. I want customers to hold things knowing somebody’s crafted it – that something is special.’


S/S 2011, illustrated by Gemma Milly

Rachel won’t compromise. She’s staying true to herself and won’t put her name on anything that she hasn’t rigourously vetted and knows exactly where everything has come from. Rachel is as much an ethical designer as any of the Estethica designers – if not more so. She values the work of other people and believes that you ‘have to be ethical in so many different ways’. How you treat your interns, where you source your fabrics, how you communicate with suppliers – all these things, Rachel believes, are necessary for good business, not just opting for ethical fabrics.

Rachel’s previous collections provide sculptural, architectural pieces with innovative techniques (read all about her glow-in-the-dark S/S 2011 collection here) and it seems A/W 2011 will be even more exciting. As we chat about the boy Rachel’s texting and get mixed up with whose tea is whose (easy mistake – Rachel’s recently got a new mug but the Queen of Fucking Everything option she’s given me still has sentimental value) we’re surrounded by leather nipples. REAL nipples.

Rachel and her team of merry men (and women) have been hard at work in the previous weeks to marry them together to make roses. They’re absolutely beautiful to touch and look at but there’s something rather unsettling about them. ‘That’s my aesthetic!’ Rachel declares.

A sneak peek at some of the fabrics, techniques and colours Rachel’s preparing to show this week:


A/W 2010, illustrated by Joana Faria

Rachel’s also working with Ecco, who are developing processes for leather manufacturing for couture houses. Rachel has devoted a lot of her time visiting the Netherlands tannery working alongside them in their quest to transform how we produce and approach leather goods. ‘I’m obsessed with materials!’ Rachel tells me. ‘It’s much nicer to make a jacket out of something that you’ve had an input in from the start.’ She shows me a new process she’s working on (damned if I can remember the name) which gives leather an ethereal ripple-like pattern that looks as if it’s been photoshopped. I’m speechless, and we both sit caressing it for a while until I can think of something to say.


S/S 2011, illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

So what’s up next for Rachel? Well, A/W 2011 looks set to be her bravest collection yet, and I had a sneak peek at some of the fabrics, textures, techniques and cuts she’s working on. On a grander scale, she ‘loves to teach’ and wants to establish a system where the efforts of designers to instil good practises and skills into their army of interns is recognised. She describes mainstay teaching as ‘box ticking’ and, as someone whose never done what she was told to do, feels there’s more to give in a studio-based environment than anything in the classroom. I hear ya, love.

Rachel’s excited about the future. She plans to dazzle once a year at the A/W 2011 shows while maintaining commissions with an ever-expanding roster of clients and other projects during the rest of the year. She also wants to live on a boat and explore costume design in cinema. She references Jean Paul Gaultier‘s work on flicks like The Fifth Element and is excited by the prospect of applying her unique aesthetic to film. It all comes down to financing. ‘Money dictates and creates a standard,’ Rachel tells me. ‘The system to support new designers is very small, but I won’t compromise my values. I’m here to stay.’

I should bloody hope so.

Rachel’s original draqing for her collaboration with Neurotica:

All photography by Matt Bramford
Illustration by Mina Bach

Chad Valley is Hugo Manuel. Oxford born and bred, viagra buy this musician and producer is a member of the recently established Blessing Force Collective and the frontman of alt-folk band Jonquil. As the cold light of the new year dissolved in February, sale Hugo Manuel finished a tour with Twin Shadow and participated in Blessing Force’s recent Warehouse Party at The Old Bookbinders in Oxford. In the days inbetween, Manuel chatted to Amelia’s Magazine about his latest solo venture and what would happen if he ever went for tea with Neil Young…

First things first, how are you finding 2011 so far?

2011 has so far been a blur and feels like its about 10 days old. Its still fresh, and there are lots of plans being hatched.

What’s the story behind the name Chad Valley? I see in previous interviews you’ve mentioned that it’s the name of a toy company begun in the Victorian era?

Chad Valley is actually a place near Birmingham where the toy company was based and it just a wonderful sounding pairing of words. I have no connection with the toy company and when I first knew of the word it wasn’t anything to do with toys. In fact, a friend of mine used it as his stage name when he was in a punk band. Its a kind of generational thing though, because people of my age don’t tend to know about the toy company whereas older generations are like ‘why did you name yourself after Chad Valley!?’ I guess it is a bit like calling myself Argos.


Video for Chad Valley’s Up and Down by Katie Harrison

Which era or decade would you say has inspired your music the most?

For Chad Valley specifically I would have to say the late 80s to very early 90s. Its a kind of end of the decade thing where there is change and new things coming in, a rebellion against what has come before. I think the production values of electronic music had, by then, reached something of a pinnacle and things had got so slick that its almost sickly, but quite amazing at the same time. Outside that though, I think the period of 1969 to 1974 is probably the time I would most love to be making music. The records that came out of that era by Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Crosby, Still and Nash, Jackson Browne are all some of my favourites of all time.

What’s the musical inspiration behind Chad Valley? Are you still listening to Studio and The Tough Alliance or have you moved on to pastures new?

I still have so much love for those bands, absolutely. And Ceo, which is one of the guys from TA’s new project, is also great. That was definitely the jumping off point for Chad Valley, but things are moving on, for sure. I’m listening to a lot more R&B at the moment, and that is having a big impact on the stuff I’m making right now. I’m delving deep into R Kelly’s back catalogue for inspiration.

Illustration by Maria del Carmen Smith

If Chad Valley were a geographical landscape, what or where would it be? How would you map Jonquil?

It would be New York in the early 70s, just like in Taxi Driver. Jonquil would be LA, in the early 90s. Like in the Ice Cube videos.

What are your thoughts on Up and Down being described in the Guardian as “a slinky Hot Chip on downers, a disco-infused summer “joint” featuring some shimmering synths, padded drum beats and Manuel’s impressive croon”?

That was nice to hear. I like Hot Chip a lot, I think they’ve done pretty amazing things considering how weird a band they are. Also, it’s nice to get press in places like the Guardian because you can show your parents, and they can be very impressed.


Video for Chad Valley’s Portuguese Solid Summer by Katie Harrison

Who is the most inspirational person you have come across? What would a meeting between the two of you be like?

Neil Young, without a shadow of a doubt. I would love to have a cup of tea with him and just talk about writing music. I’m sure I would be 100% intimidated and just drool or something weird like that.

What is the most exciting or scary thing that 2011 will throw at you?

At the moment I’m fairly petrified about writing and producing an album. Because it’s just me and I don’t have other people to bounce ideas off, it can be very quite scary making the big decisions about lyrics, or song titles, artwork… those kind of things. But I’m getting way ahead of myself… I have about 2 and a half tunes for the album I guess.

I really like the ambient atmosphere of the video for Up and Down – how did the idea behind the video develop? How did you come across the footage?

It was actually made by my girlfriend when she had the summer off, and a lot of free time on her hands. It’s all stuff from across the internet, so it’s a pretty amazing patchwork of different people’s home videos, pretty much. I like that idea a lot, and its fairly mind-boggling, the fact that that is at all possible!

Illustration by Alia Gargum

What’s been your favourite gig to play at so far?

There are two that I’ll mention, and they are at opposite ends of the spectrum for live shows. One was at a launderette in Hackney. A working laundrette that had been closed for the night and fixed up with a PA and some projectors. They place was heaving, in the best possible way, and everyone danced. Everyone. So at the other end is the show I did with Foals on New Years Eve at the Kentish Town Forum. I was on first, but being NYE there was excitement in the room, and the vibes were excellent.

What impact does being based in Oxford have on your sound?

The scene we have here… the whole Blessing Force thing, is so supportive and encouraging that I think being from Oxford has had a huge affect on the way I make music, and just simply the fact that I do make music. Being surrounded by other musicians all doing similar bedroom-recorded stuff gives you a huge amount of drive to make shit happen. But the things that make Oxford great are also the things that make Oxford not so great. People are always coming and going from Oxford… its in a constant state of flux and this give it an uneasy feeling sometimes. Like, if you stay here for a long time there must be something wrong with you. I can see myself leaving Oxford in the future for sure, but right now it offers so much to me, that I couldn’t keep away.

Illustration by Mina Bach

Chad Valley is Hugo Manuel. Oxford born and bred, see this musician and producer is a member of the recently established Blessing Force Collective and the frontman of alt-folk band Jonquil. As the cold light of the new year dissolved in February, medicine Hugo Manuel finished a tour with Brooklyn’s acclaimed Twin Shadow and participated in Blessing Force’s recent Warehouse Party at The Old Bookbinders in Oxford. In the days inbetween, approved Manuel chatted to Amelia’s Magazine about his latest solo venture and what would happen if he ever went for tea with Neil Young…

First things first, how are you finding 2011 so far?

2011 has so far been a blur and feels like its about 10 days old. Its still fresh, and there are lots of plans being hatched.

What’s the story behind the name Chad Valley? I see in previous interviews you’ve mentioned that it’s the name of a toy company begun in the Victorian era?

Chad Valley is actually a place near Birmingham where the toy company was based and it just a wonderful sounding pairing of words. I have no connection with the toy company and when I first knew of the word it wasn’t anything to do with toys. In fact, a friend of mine used it as his stage name when he was in a punk band. Its a kind of generational thing though, because people of my age don’t tend to know about the toy company whereas older generations are like ‘why did you name yourself after Chad Valley!?’ I guess it is a bit like calling myself Argos.


Video for Chad Valley’s Up and Down by Katie Harrison

Which era or decade would you say has inspired your music the most?

For Chad Valley specifically I would have to say the late 80s to very early 90s. Its a kind of end of the decade thing where there is change and new things coming in, a rebellion against what has come before. I think the production values of electronic music had, by then, reached something of a pinnacle and things had got so slick that its almost sickly, but quite amazing at the same time. Outside that though, I think the period of 1969 to 1974 is probably the time I would most love to be making music. The records that came out of that era by Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Crosby, Still and Nash, Jackson Browne are all some of my favourites of all time.

What’s the musical inspiration behind Chad Valley? Are you still listening to Studio and The Tough Alliance or have you moved on to pastures new?

I still have so much love for those bands, absolutely. And Ceo, which is one of the guys from TA’s new project, is also great. That was definitely the jumping off point for Chad Valley, but things are moving on, for sure. I’m listening to a lot more R&B at the moment, and that is having a big impact on the stuff I’m making right now. I’m delving deep into R Kelly’s back catalogue for inspiration.

Illustration by Maria del Carmen Smith

If Chad Valley were a geographical landscape, what or where would it be? How would you map Jonquil?

It would be New York in the early 70s, just like in Taxi Driver. Jonquil would be LA, in the early 90s. Like in the Ice Cube videos.

What are your thoughts on Up and Down being described in the Guardian as “a slinky Hot Chip on downers, a disco-infused summer “joint” featuring some shimmering synths, padded drum beats and Manuel’s impressive croon”?

That was nice to hear. I like Hot Chip a lot, I think they’ve done pretty amazing things considering how weird a band they are. Also, it’s nice to get press in places like the Guardian because you can show your parents, and they can be very impressed.


Video for Chad Valley’s Portuguese Solid Summer by Katie Harrison

Who is the most inspirational person you have come across? What would a meeting between the two of you be like?

Neil Young, without a shadow of a doubt. I would love to have a cup of tea with him and just talk about writing music. I’m sure I would be 100% intimidated and just drool or something weird like that.

What is the most exciting or scary thing that 2011 will throw at you?

At the moment I’m fairly petrified about writing and producing an album. Because it’s just me and I don’t have other people to bounce ideas off, it can be very quite scary making the big decisions about lyrics, or song titles, artwork… those kind of things. But I’m getting way ahead of myself… I have about 2 and a half tunes for the album I guess.

I really like the ambient atmosphere of the video for Up and Down – how did the idea behind the video develop? How did you come across the footage?

It was actually made by my girlfriend when she had the summer off, and a lot of free time on her hands. It’s all stuff from across the internet, so it’s a pretty amazing patchwork of different people’s home videos, pretty much. I like that idea a lot, and its fairly mind-boggling, the fact that that is at all possible!

Illustration by Alia Gargum

What’s been your favourite gig to play at so far?

There are two that I’ll mention, and they are at opposite ends of the spectrum for live shows. One was at a launderette in Hackney. A working laundrette that had been closed for the night and fixed up with a PA and some projectors. They place was heaving, in the best possible way, and everyone danced. Everyone. So at the other end is the show I did with Foals on New Years Eve at the Kentish Town Forum. I was on first, but being NYE there was excitement in the room, and the vibes were excellent.

What impact does being based in Oxford have on your sound?

The scene we have here… the whole Blessing Force thing, is so supportive and encouraging that I think being from Oxford has had a huge affect on the way I make music, and just simply the fact that I do make music. Being surrounded by other musicians all doing similar bedroom-recorded stuff gives you a huge amount of drive to make shit happen. But the things that make Oxford great are also the things that make Oxford not so great. People are always coming and going from Oxford… its in a constant state of flux and this give it an uneasy feeling sometimes. Like, if you stay here for a long time there must be something wrong with you. I can see myself leaving Oxford in the future for sure, but right now it offers so much to me, that I couldn’t keep away.


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Welsh designer Jayne Pierson won the Graduate Fashion Week Ecological Design Award in 2007 and since then has quickly risen up the fashion ranks. Her latest collection, capsule S/S 2011, was a riot of colour and military influences, with luxurious fabrics and bold tailoring.

Jayne’s previous employers include Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, and their influence is evident in her collections. She debuted solo-stylee in 2009 which saw her featured in Vogue Italia, Vogue and Grazia to name a few.

It’s Jayne’s combination of superior fabrics and innovative design concepts (as well as her extraordinary cutting ability) that makes her a stand-out label in a sea of new designers.

I caught up with Jayne in the run-up to fashion week A/W 2011 to find out how she’s coping and what the rest of the season holds…

Your SS11 collection went down a storm – can you tell us a bit about it?
My Spring/Summer 2011 was based on The Twin Parallel.  The theory of space and time and the existence of gravitational time dilation.  It engages with the notion that one could change the past to recreate the future. I wanted to create a collection that was ultimately timeless.


Illustration by Karolina Burdon

What’s inspiring you for A/W 11?
Black, bondage, gloss and industrial.

What can we expect to see on the catwalk from Jayne Pierson this season?
The silhouette juxtaposes the two opposites of restrained tailoring and freeform drape. The organic shapes and the mystery between the folds represent an unknowing, an uncertainty and an alienation. This inexpicably draws me in.

Have you had any major hurdles or experiences in the run up to this season? 
Not really but I can always do with another few months to schedule a holiday somewhere…??

What techniques/fabrics/patterns are you using?
Opposites of restrained tailoring and freeform drape; leather with taffeta.??

How do you gage the response to each collection? Do you read reviews?
Not really as I usually base it on how well the sales are doing.


Illustration by Rukmunal Hakim

??What kind of woman wears Jayne Pierson? Has this changed? 
I’m developing wearable garments with a high-end finish that retains a knowing irony for women that choose to march to the sound of their own drum. ??

What do you make of the current London Fashion scene?
I don’t really follow it as I’m based in Wales. I think it helps to give me space to reflect.

Which fashionable London hotspots would you reccommend to relax?
Tate, Hakkasan, Whiskey Mist and Spitalfields Market.

What does the rest of 2011 have in store for Jayne Pierson?
Paris Fashion Week and a well needed rest at my mum’s house in Dallas, Texas.

Jayne will show her A/W 2011 collection at On|Off today

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Alexander McQueen, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Hakkasan, ,interview, ,Jayne Pierson, ,leather, ,London Fashion Week, ,preview, ,S/S 2011, ,Spitalfields Market, ,Tate, ,The Twin Parallel, ,Vivienne Westwood, ,wales, ,Whiskey Mist

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: Welsh Designer Collective

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Criss-crossing the international date line over two days, sick ambulance the crew were very possibly the first and last people on Earth to celebrate Jan 1, viagra order 2009. (Photo by Adam Lau/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

New years eve. After the refuel and resupply we are back at sea, order enjoying cake, drinks and a super vegan buffet. The sea is rough and outside it is pitch black. As we clear the EEZ boundary the spy ship is nowhere to be seen. Last we heard it was waiting for us just south of Hobart. Our plan of sneaking out under the cover of darkness and in bad weather seems to work. When we left in December the whalers had hired surveillance planes under false pretences so they could track our movements. This worked for a while, until the hire company found out what the real deal was. Even if they were able to find someone to hire them a plane, the weather might be too bad for them to come out. A group calling themselves ‘Taz Patrol’ later announced on Twitter that the spy ship was still waiting for us at the EEZ boundary when we had already sneaked out and were way out of their reach. Hurray!

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Dusk aboard the M/V Steve Irwin (Photo: Eric Cheng / Sea Shepherd Conservation Society) 

We sail straight south towards the Commonwealth Bay area, where we were not more than a fortnight ago. An Antarctic cruise ship spotted the whalers and some of the passengers informed us. The Ady Gil is roughly in the same area, though low on fresh water and fuel, they are waiting on us to be resupplied. As we are heading down, another vessel is coming in from the west. Kept secret until now, this is our third vessel, the ice-classed Bob Barker, named after the American TV presenter and animal rights campaigner who purchased it for us. It has been at sea for over a month now, trying to reach the whaling grounds to join in on the action. With the Ady Gil south east of the fleet, the Bob Barker coming in from the west and us bearing down on them from the north, there is literally nowhere for them to run.

bob barker

The Bob Barker (photo: JoAnne McArthur / Sea Shepherd)
 
We have quite a way to go yet, about two and a half days sailing. The Bob Barker is closing in too and briefly meets with the Ady Gil. This is when things get ugly. The Bob Barker has located the whaling fleet and sets course for the factory ship Nisshin Maru. This ship, where the whales are hauled onto and processed once they have been caught, is at the hearth of the whaling fleet. You shut it down and the rest of the ships are unable to operate. The Nissin Maru starts running at full speed. Meanwhile, the other whaling ships scatter in different directions. It seems the chase is on.

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photo: Glenn Lockitch / Sea Shepherd

We are on watch in the engine room. The phone rings, it is the bridge. ‘Hey guys, have you heard the news?’ I listen intently as the story unfolds. The Ady Gil is drifting close by the Bob Barker, waiving and cheering before leaving to meet up with us, still some distance away. The vessel is drifting, not accelerating, and the some of the crew sit on the aft deck. In the distance the spy ship Shonan Maru No 2 is approaching at full speed. It is getting closer and closer and at a distance of about a hundred meters it starts to turn sharply towards the Ady Gil. When the crew realize what is going on, they fire up the engines and start to pull back, hoping to avoid a collision, but to no avail. The more than 800 tonnes heavy harpoon ship throws itself into the much smaller trimaran. It crashes into the vessel, tearing open its hull and cutting off 4 metres of the bow.

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Whalers Ram Sea Shepherd Ship Ady Gil  (photo credit: JoAnne McArthur / Sea Shepherd)

The Ady Gil starts sinking. A MAYDAY distress signal is sent out and the Bob Barker changes course and rushes to its aid. It gets there just in time to rescue the 6 crew members from the vessel. The Japanese whaling fleet ignores the emergency distress signals and steams away, hoping to loose us and continue their illegal whaling operation elsewhere. The Shonun Maru No 2 ignores the distress signal at first but later agrees to stay nearby after the Bob Barker makes numerous radio calls to them, relaying the urgency of the situation. The rest of the whaling fleet runs far west.

adygilsinks

Ady Gil Sinking  (Photo: Glenn Lockitch / Sea Shepherd)

The next day, everyone on the ship is catching up with the impact that the ramming and sinking of the Ady Gill is having. On the international stage, media wise and in turn how it effects people all over the world who hear about what is going on and are starting to ask questions. From the emails we are receiving and the reports we are reading, it seems that the world media is all over this. It has definitely put whaling back on the map, though I doubt that governments will finally live up to their obligation to uphold the laws they undersigned to protect these whales. In a sense it feels like governments aren’t even part of this whole situation anymore. It is down to us, the only force in the Southern Ocean to protect these gentle giants of the sea from the deadly harpoons that are after them. Looking to shoot, pull, haul up and process, what in business terms will be another few boxes of whale meat on the inventory. Another product in the freezer storage ready to be distributed once the fleet arrives back in Japan. Another statistic on the books for the whaling company. That is what it is for the whalers, for those with no regard for the sacredness of life, with no understanding of the importance that a healthy ocean and therefore healthy planet has to all of us.

icebergsun

Southern Ocean, Jan 2010 (Photo:  It’s a Wildlife)

After the sinking of the Ady Gil we turn at full speed in pursuit of the whaling fleet. After 10 days they are still running from us. When they are nearing the boundary of the area they have allocated themselves to conduct their ‘research’ in, an announcement is made that the area is to suddenly be expanded by another 1000 nautical miles west. Very convenient. We are forced to change course to meet the Bob Barker as they are running low on supplies.

whale

Humpback breaching, Southern Ocean (Photo:  It’s a Wildlife)

‘Attention all crew, whales breaching off the bow, whales breaching off the bow’. The announcement makes everyone jump into action straight away.
‘Whales! Quick quick!’ We all rush up the stairs and onto the deck. There, about 50 meters from the ship, two humpback whales jump out of the water, throwing their huge bodies up in the air, and crashing back down, causing huge eruptions on the surface. We all stand there in awe. So far, we hadn’t seen many whales at all. Quite a discouraging observation when you consider a vast industrial whaling fleet is looming about. But they’re definitely here and happy to show off their tricks. Under the sound of cheering and clapping from the ever growing spectator crowd on deck, they continue to breach, flip and dive back down. When you see these animals in the free, open ocean, their wilderness, their world, it gives you strength to carry on. Inspiration to pursue our goals in shutting down these pirate whalers.

humpback2

Humpback breaching, Southern Ocean (Photo:  It’s a Wildlife)

Read Part 2 and Part 1

For latest updates and news, please see the Sea Shepherd website
The Welsh Designer Collective is a handpicked selection of Wales’ emerging fashion design talent. The Welsh are GOOD. Who knew?

They certainly know how to plug Wales, adiposity for starters. I hope everybody noticed even the seats had been given the Welsh treatment – covered in fabulous geometric fabric by Melin Tregwynt.

The goodie bags contained Welsh cakes, online Welsh socks, order Welsh whiskey and Welsh spring water. Alright, we get it! They’d really missed a trick with the ambient music – a Sir Tom or Dame Shirley track would have been far more appropriate, considering.

Onto the show, where Josie Beckett’s collection appeared first. Models sported hair that was a hybrid of Bride of Frankenstein and soft, cloud-like forms. Some great stuff here, influenced by the Tudors. Puffed shoulders, typical of the era, were given a modern flavour – taking the fashions of the Elizabethan upper-classes and making them wearable and dynamic.

LFW_Welsh_JosieBeckett_1

Josie Beckett-AW10-JuneChanpoomidole

Fabulously illustrated by June Chanpoomidole

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Hem-lines were very high indeed, not particularly appropriate for Queen Liz I but very, very now. The collection was relatively simple, but extremely effective, and also included prints of infamous faces from the Tudor period. I loved the Henry VIII tee. Make one for the boys please, Josie.

LFW_Welsh_JosieBeckett_5

Elinor Franklin’s collection was sports-lux meets disco-glam, making great use of the aesthetics of leather and silk. These materials were juxtaposed across tops and skirts, developing into bolder winged forms, shaped like graduation gowns.

LFW_Welsh_ElinorFranklin_1

LFW_Welsh_ElinorFranklin_4

Both silk and leather were panelled into the same garments, and creases, twists and knots flattered the female form. An Elinor Franklin woman is confident and downright sexy.

ElinorFranklin-AW10-JuneChanpoomidole-72dpi

Fabulously illustrated by June Chanpoomidole

LFW_Welsh_ElinorFranklin_5

Emma Griffiths also made great use of materials, contrasting the aesthetic properties of varying forms. Totally body-concious, the models were literally wrapped in leather and PVC.

Emma Griffiths-AW10-JuneChanpoomidole-72dpi

Fabulously illustrated by June Chanpoomidole

LFW_Welsh_EmmaGriffiths_3

Patches of PVC were applied to yet more body-con dresses to echo the female form, and were pretty futuristic. Playful gemoetric jackets were structured and left little to the imagination. I loved Griffiths’ black and nude colour palette, which oozed sophistication.

LFW_Welsh_EmmaGriffiths_1

LFW_Welsh_EmmaGriffiths_4

LFW_Welsh_EmmaGriffiths_5

LFW_Welsh_EmmaGriffiths_8

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Cymru Am Byth!

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,Elinor Franklin, ,Emma Griffiths, ,Josie Beckett, ,London Fashion Week, ,wales, ,Welsh Designer Collective

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Amelia’s Magazine | Howies: Ethical active clothing pioneers in Wales

Tania Kowalski was a workshop manager at a well-known contemporary jewellery gallery in London when Synnove Saelthun arrived from New York to join the design team. They soon discovered that they had similar views on design and business ethics, more about cialis 40mg and became good friends. Several years later they started the Oria brand, prescription using Synnove’s design skills and Tania’s production expertise. Synnove is a technically brilliant goldsmith with a passion for design and an eye for detail. Tania is a trained jeweller, viagra with a wide range of experience in the jewellery industry, from design creation through to production. Her expertise includes sourcing ethical materials and ensuring fair business practice.

Tania’s passion for other cultures has led her to visit remote tribes in the Amazon of Brazil, hill tribes in Nepal and the Dogon people of Mali. It was during these travels that she became fascinated with the cultural importance and symbolic meaning of tribal adornment. When designing a new collection, the couple sit down together to discuss what the new collection will symbolise. They research and refine story boards, and after ensuring that the designs are technically feasible Synnove makes an initial prototype, the best of which will go into production.

The use of the phoenix is a symbol of honesty and justice in Chinese mythology, and is one of the inspirations for the Nina collection. The lotus symbolises purity and beauty in many different cultures, and it inspired their silver lotus collection.

Working in Nepal Tania discovered that the safe working conditions and fair living wages which we take for granted in the West are not necessarily the norm in other parts of the world. This early experience was important in persuading Tania to commit to fairtrade sourcing as a founding principle of Oria.

Vintage fashion, about it illustrated by Matilde Sazio

Kim Sklinar, viagra sale aka Preloved Reloved, cheap has set herself an interesting New Year’s challenge. For the duration of 2011, Kim isn’t going to buy any new clothes. No more high-street bargains, no more feeding corporate giants, no more fast-fashion waste, no siree. ‘Another one?’ I hear you cry – and you’d be right. But this one is a little different.

While Kim hopes to raise awareness about the amount of cheap clothing we purchase and what effects that has on the environment and people’s lives, there’s also a bigger reason closer to home. Kim’s father was diagnosed with cancer over 18 months ago, and she decided to set up the project to raise funds for Macmillan, the cancer care and support charity. Unfortunately, as of only last week, Kim’s dad won’t see the project through its fruition. But Kim will dedicate the project to his memory.

So, how do you do it? Well, Kim’s vowed to buy only vintage and from outlets like eBay, and she’ll spend more time in charity shops which also benefits all of the organisations that run them. I had a chat with her about the project and how she thinks she’ll manage it all…


Vintage shop, illustrated by Karolina Burdon

What gave you the idea for Preloved, Reloved in the first place?
Well I always like to dress a little differently. My style is mainstream with a retro edge, I suppose. I always seem to end up with a daft New Year’s resolution – last year I cycled from London to Paris for The Institute of Cancer Research. I like using my time to help others and spread awareness.

Were you a fan of vintage and upcycling before you started the project?
Yes! I always admire my friends’ outfits; well, those who wear vintage and second-hand fashion. Upcycling is something I have experimented with for ages at home and now is the time to make sure I actually finish some projects!

Where will you source your outfits?
Charity shops, vintage stores, eBay, my mum’s wardrobe…! I made a lined cape last night from linen and satin for balmy summer nights (booking a holiday soon!).


Charity shops, illustrated by Rukmunal Hakim

What does the project hope to achieve?
I want to raise awareness of numerous charities related to my Dad’s illnesses. I want my friends to know that too much of an unhealthy lifestyle is probably going to lead to an early demise. I also want to raise the profile of vintage and second-hand fashion; I remember as a kid we use to take the mick out of anyone who dressed from a charity shop. I myself as a student had a stigma against them. Now it’s become kitsch, cool and quirky. It’s good for the environment.

How much do you hope to raise and what are the funds likely to be used for?
£2500 is my Just Giving target – it goes directly to Macmillan. However, with my shopping at many different charity shops, my cash goes straight to them – win win all round! I have my thinking cap on about how to expand the project though.


eBay! Illustration by Avril Kelly

Why did you choose Macmillan?
My dad (and his dad) had cancer – he died last week unfortunately. And it wasn’t the cancer that killed him, it was his heart and his adult-onset diabetes. A poor lifestyle in his twenties and thirties caused it and he was only 57 when he passed. So as I said before, this project benefits other charities focussing on these causes too through me spending money at their outlets.

Not that far in, but have you come accross any problems so far? Has anything that happened that you weren’t expecting?
Avoiding shops is quite hard as I realised I can’t just pop into the Topshop sale and treat myself – which I suppose is good for my wallet and I’m going to do less impulse-buying on the way home from work.
With my Dad passing, I haven’t had as much time to go browsing shops as much as I’d like. This weekend, however, I’m going to the Girls of Guildford vintage fair and gig – for some serious retail therapy, cupcake-nomming and also to check out some great live music away from the bustle of London.


Vintage, illustrated by Jess Holt

What are you wearing today? Where’s it all from?
Dark blue skinny jeans, leather knee boots that I already owned with black and cream patterned blouse from River Island that I bought from Cancer Research UK. I’m also wearing red rose earrings from Magnolia Jewellery.

Do you plan to make or alter any of your clothes? If so, how?
Yes – I love sewing and making jewellery too – I made a cape last week and have upcycled a pair of old, torn jeans from my uni days into a denim mini. I have a small collection of retro patterns including a lovely dress with a pussy bow. I love being able to create something out of fabric I love: last year I went to a lovely Indian wedding and couldn’t find The Outfit – so I made a purple maxi-dress with a halterneck and glammed it up with ribbons dangling down my back. Saved myself a fortune too!


Illustration by Gilly Rochester

What else do you get up to?
I run Never Enough Notes – a music e-zine, and I’m cycling the London-Brighton this summer with my brother and friends to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

What would be your perfect Preloved, Reloved outfit?
For daytime it would easily be vintage jeans, brown boots that look a bit worn-out, a floaty shirt or cheeky tee, a tweed jacket and a battered satchel.
For evening, I love ball gowns and retro dresses so would be something glam that I could wear with a pair of 1970s heels! Oh there’s way too much choice, I love it!


Photographs by Kim Sklinar

You can follow Kim’s efforts at the Preloved, Reloved blog; donate online here.
Junky Styling S/S 2010 by Aniela Murphy
Junky Styling S/S 2010 by Aniela Murphy.

Annika Sanders and Kerry Seager are self-taught fashion designers. They started up Junky Styling after they received lots of compliments for their deconstructed and restyled secondhand suits made to go out clubbing in during the 1990’s.

What prompted your approach to dressmaking?
Our approach was initially borne out of a lack of money but it soon became a necessity for individuality and quality. At first Annika’s mother did most of the sewing so our designs were heavily directed by her.

Have you seen many changes over the years?
Aside from all the wrinkles on our faces? We have seen the tangible development of a marketplace that never existed before. Education has enabled the sustainable movement to become more widely accepted and understood, approved and now many new brands think about sustainability before they even start designing.

Where did you go out in the past and do you still go clubbing?
We went to a wide mixture of venues that hosted a similar dressy scene. It was such a brilliant time, and we still enjoy socialising and a bit of a shuffle. But we always try to ensure that we are not the oldest at the bar…

Read the rest of this interview and see more illustrations of Junky Styling’s clothing in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
You’ve been going for a very long time. Have attitudes to ethical fashion started to change yet?
Consumers are starting to question the huge exploitation of people and the environment that permits their clothing to be so cheap, treat because it doesn’t add up. There is still a long way to go but the fashion industry is slowly changing the way it does business.

What has the People Tree brand achieved?
We support 5, website like this 000 farmers, case artisans and their families in developing countries by producing well designed fairtrade and sustainable products. For us it’s about creating sustainable livelihoods that put food on the table at the end of the day.

You’ve collaborated with both Bora Aksu and Karen Nichol. What have they brought to People Tree?
We’ve worked with Bora for four years because we share the view that good fashion design should last for years. He is a master of beautiful, feminine draped designs that we produce in organic and fairtrade cotton, and we’ve already started designing an exciting new collection for S/S 2012. Like me Karen is passionate about handicrafts and she loves traditional Japanese textiles and designs. She works with our hand knitters in Nepal to create beautiful appliquéd and hand embroidered embellishments
You’ve been going for a very long time. Have attitudes to ethical fashion started to change yet?
Consumers are starting to question the huge exploitation of people and the environment that permits their clothing to be so cheap, see because it doesn’t add up. There is still a long way to go but the fashion industry is slowly changing the way it does business.

What has the People Tree brand achieved?
We support 5, try 000 farmers, artisans and their families in developing countries by producing well designed fairtrade and sustainable products. For us it’s about creating sustainable livelihoods that put food on the table at the end of the day.

You’ve collaborated with both Bora Aksu and Karen Nichol. What have they brought to People Tree?
We’ve worked with Bora for four years because we share the view that good fashion design should last for years. He is a master of beautiful, feminine draped designs that we produce in organic and fairtrade cotton, and we’ve already started designing an exciting new collection for S/S 2012. Like me Karen is passionate about handicrafts and she loves traditional Japanese textiles and designs. She works with our hand knitters in Nepal to create beautiful appliquéd and hand embroidered embellishments
How did the idea of working with old porcelain come about? 
I was tired of producing other peoples’ ideas (as a stage producer) so in 2007 I decided to start working on my own project, dosage which soon developed into my rapidly growing label, stomach Sägen. I go to flea markets as often as I can for inspiration and to collect source material; I have amassed a huge collection of vintage buttons as well as piles of chipped and damaged porcelain that is no longer wanted. I like to work with my hands and I love turning items from the past into modern accessories. 

Sägen means Old Saga in Swedish – why did you chose this name for your brand?
I come from a small island called Gotland in the middle of the Baltic Sea and I have wonderful memories of listening to all the old myths when I was a kid. I came up with the idea for Sägen when I was there and the name reflects my interest in recycling a little bit of history into new treasures, so I find the name very suitable.

How do you cut the porcelain and set it in silver?
I cut and grind the porcelain with machines, which is a very dirty, dusty and dangerous job: I have been close to losing my fingers many times. When I am working in my basement studio I forget about everything else, instead focusing on the patterns that I am obsessed with. I decide what shapes to make up depending on the motifs in the porcelain, then I set the porcelain in silver (which is 98% recycled) so that it curves, bends and stretches around the shape I have cut out.
Ivana Basilotta S/S 2011 by Bex Glover
Ivana Basilotta S/S 2011 by Bex Glover.

Ivana Basilotta is Italian but has lived in Germany as well as the UK. She channels her observations of different cultures into her work, treatment sometimes the ideas flowing so fast that her pen can’t keep up and her scissors can’t cut the fabric fast enough. Quite often she only realises she was inspired by a certain idea once the collection has been finished. Having previously studied business Ivana is well placed to run her label, prostate and feels that a good business knowledge is as important as the creative force of a design house.

A committed vegetarian, she designs with peace silk, which is made in India without the killing of the silk moth. Because peace silk is spun as a fibre rather than reeled as a thread it is warmer and softer than ordinary silk. “I cannot imagine eating meat,” she says. “I find it strange that people eat dead animals.” She feels that being a vegetarian brings a great sense of freedom and well being, and it is an easy way to lead a greener life. “Farm land that could directly produce food for humans is used to farm and feed animals for slaughter, which uses up far more resources.” She does not like to imagine the stress and sorrow that farmed animals must experience, and wants no part in it…

Read the rest of this interview with Ivana Basilotta in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
bex_glover_howies_collection
Howies by Bex Glover.

Howies has since 1995 pioneered the creation of ethical active clothing with a strong design aesthetic. Based in Cardigan Bay, case Wales, remedy the company has built up a devoted fan base via its affiliation with outdoor sports such as surfing, order mountain biking and skateboarding. Products are made from high performing sustainable fabrics that will last, with a proportion of profits ploughed back into grassroots social and environmental projects via the Earth Tax. Although some clothes are made in China and Turkey they ensure best practice by employing the same factories as other companies they trust, such as M&S…

Read the rest of this interview and see more illustrations of Howie’s clothing in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Active Wear, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Bex Glover, ,Cardigan, ,Cardigan Bay, ,China, ,Do Lectures, ,Earth Tax, ,Eco fashion, ,Ethical Fashion, ,howies, ,M&S, ,Merino, ,Severn Studios, ,sustainability, ,Turkey, ,wales

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Think Act Vote

Most bands have a shelf life, purchase especially the ones who are hyped. Although a review like “The first band in a decade to lay serious claim to the Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian) can put you in good stead when you’re starting out, it can also set you en route to Destination Doomsville, burdening you with a reputation you simply can’t live up to.

British indie rock band Delays have so far managed to fend themselves of this curse. They have gone from strength to strength following the release of their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ in 2004 to critical acclaim. Six years on, the four-piece are set to release their forth album, ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’ produced by Duncan Lewis who worked on their first album.

In a tiny room in the basement of music venue Water Rats in King’s Cross – decorated with blue and white fairy lights, a few old shelves and an enormous abstract painting – I join spiritual front man Greg Gilbert (GG) and down-to-earth drummer Rowley (R) before they take the stage at their sold out London gig to talk about their latest album, town criers and livin’ it up at Glastonbury over lime-flavoured Doritos

How would you describe your new album in three words?
GG: Rustic, organic and psychedelic
R: I don’t like organic, it sounds a bit vegetably
GG: OK then; rustic, psychedelic and melancholic
R: Yeah, that sounds better – I second that emotion
GG: Or we could say “Our. Best. Album” – three words – succinct and to the point

What has inspired your latest album?
GG: Our last album had a lot of orchestral arrangements and there was a real urge between the four of us to strip the sound back and become a four-piece band again. With that in mind we started to go for long drives at night along the New Forest, making music to soundtrack the journey. We built the record from the ground up and it was just a case of being inspired by the environment opposed to any concerns about writing a single. We banned the words ‘single’ and ‘commercial’ from the studio.
R: We used to do it all the time; we would say: “I think this one’s a single”, which makes you approach making music differently. We spent a lot of time in Southampton, reacquainting ourselves with the city and each other again, which does come through on the record. The result is a much more personal and honest sound.

How have you found the audience’s response to the new material so far?
GG: We’ve found that people who wouldn’t have liked our previous stuff have been positive about the new album. They’re responding to the fact that it’s a more personal record – they’re getting from it more from us as individuals then a commodity. So far, the people who have heard our record think it’s the best one.
R: The new tracks are going down just as well as our old stuff. It’s a great feeling when the roar for a new song is as enthusiastic as for an old song, like ‘Long Time Coming’.

How do you think your sound has changed over the years?

GG: The first album sounds like a beach, the second album sounds like a club, the third album sounds like a festival and this album sounds like the forest, with the roots growing underneath the city at night making the buildings shake whilst you’re asleep. The first album is quite delicate because we recorded that before we toured so there was a certain amount of discovery. For the second album we worked with Graham Sutton who is genius producer; he brought a real club edge to the record which had a raw but beautiful precision about it.
R: We wrote the third album with the approach that it would be amazing at a festival; it’s big and bombastic and sounds like you’re playing it to 100,000 people rather then making a record for headphones.
GG: This album’s much more abstract; you can hear this on a beach in Scandinavia at two in the morning with mist flowing in the morning. We were trying to create a record which maintained a mood and an atmosphere which carries you into different surroundings. I think the best records take you to different worlds and that’s what we tried to emulate.
R: It’s not necessarily one genre of music. There’s a certain atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, but it works for late night drives with aerial views over the city.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
GG: To me it’s the fact that we’re about to release our fourth album and our songs are still playing on the radio. Very few bands get to make four albums so that makes me feel very proud. We’ve been around since 2004 and we’ve managed to sustain and grow our fan base in a way that has been pure because there is no hype now around what we do.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
R: I’ve been going to Glastonbury for years so to play there was amazing. I was really ill on the day and I came so close to calling the others to say I couldn’t do it, but by the time it came to going on stage I’d never felt so healthy in all my life – Glastonbury has that effect, it wakes you up. There was another time when we played in Mexico City; we were headlining on one of the nights at a festival called ‘Manifest’ and we had no idea how big it was going to be. There were 6,000 people crammed into a wrestling/bullfighting arena all chanting ‘Delays, Delays!”. We were slightly in shock for the first couple of numbers.

Did you have any ridiculous demands on your rider in the early days that you don’t feel embarrassed about fessing up to now?
R: I don’t think our rider has changed much since the start; just the same stuff: vodka, beer, water bottles. In the beginning we did have one thing that we thought would be great to collect, which was to have a picture of the local mayor from every town where we played. The only one we got in the end was from Gloucester where they gave us a picture of the town crier which they also got signed – that was ace!

Now that you have played with your long-term idols the Manic Street Preachers, who would you most like to support?
GG: I always come back to Prince. I’m also pretty obsessed with Scott Walker at the moment – he’s the musician I most admire. I’m not sure how we’d go down with his audience but he’s awesome.
R: It’s still The (Rolling) Stones for me. Apparently we did get an offer to support them in Vienna about three years ago but we were already booked in for a festival in Wales on the same day.
GG: Keith Richards is pretty much top of the tree when it comes to rock and roll. Hopefully the opportunity will come up again…

The Delays release their fourth album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel on 21st June 2010 on Lookout Mountain Records, preceded by the debut track ‘Unsung’ on 14th June.


Most bands have a shelf life, web especially the ones who are hyped. Although a review like “The first band in a decade to lay serious claim to the Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian) can put you in good stead when you’re starting out, it can also set you en route to Destination Doomsville, burdening you with a reputation you simply can’t live up to.

British indie rock band Delays have so far managed to fend themselves of this curse. They have gone from strength to strength following the release of their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ in 2004 to critical acclaim. Six years on, the four-piece are set to release their forth album, ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’ produced by Duncan Lewis who worked on their first album.

In a tiny room in the basement of music venue Water Rats in King’s Cross – decorated with blue and white fairy lights, a few old shelves and an enormous abstract painting – I join spiritual front man Greg Gilbert (GG) and down-to-earth drummer Rowley (R) before they take the stage at their sold out London gig to talk about their latest album, town criers and livin’ it up at Glastonbury over lime-flavoured Doritos

How would you describe your new album in three words?
GG: Rustic, organic and psychedelic
R: I don’t like organic, it sounds a bit vegetably
GG: OK then; rustic, psychedelic and melancholic
R: Yeah, that sounds better – I second that emotion
GG: Or we could say “Our. Best. Album” – three words – succinct and to the point

What has inspired your latest album?
GG: Our last album had a lot of orchestral arrangements and there was a real urge between the four of us to strip the sound back and become a four-piece band again. With that in mind we started to go for long drives at night along the New Forest, making music to soundtrack the journey. We built the record from the ground up and it was just a case of being inspired by the environment opposed to any concerns about writing a single. We banned the words ‘single’ and ‘commercial’ from the studio.
R: We used to do it all the time; we would say: “I think this one’s a single”, which makes you approach making music differently. We spent a lot of time in Southampton, reacquainting ourselves with the city and each other again, which does come through on the record. The result is a much more personal and honest sound.

How have you found the audience’s response to the new material so far?
GG: We’ve found that people who wouldn’t have liked our previous stuff have been positive about the new album. They’re responding to the fact that it’s a more personal record – they’re getting from it more from us as individuals then a commodity. So far, the people who have heard our record think it’s the best one.
R: The new tracks are going down just as well as our old stuff. It’s a great feeling when the roar for a new song is as enthusiastic as for an old song, like ‘Long Time Coming’.

How do you think your sound has changed over the years?

GG: The first album sounds like a beach, the second album sounds like a club, the third album sounds like a festival and this album sounds like the forest, with the roots growing underneath the city at night making the buildings shake whilst you’re asleep. The first album is quite delicate because we recorded that before we toured so there was a certain amount of discovery. For the second album we worked with Graham Sutton who is genius producer; he brought a real club edge to the record which had a raw but beautiful precision about it.
R: We wrote the third album with the approach that it would be amazing at a festival; it’s big and bombastic and sounds like you’re playing it to 100,000 people rather then making a record for headphones.
GG: This album’s much more abstract; you can hear this on a beach in Scandinavia at two in the morning with mist flowing in the morning. We were trying to create a record which maintained a mood and an atmosphere which carries you into different surroundings. I think the best records take you to different worlds and that’s what we tried to emulate.
R: It’s not necessarily one genre of music. There’s a certain atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, but it works for late night drives with aerial views over the city.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
GG: To me it’s the fact that we’re about to release our fourth album and our songs are still playing on the radio. Very few bands get to make four albums so that makes me feel very proud. We’ve been around since 2004 and we’ve managed to sustain and grow our fan base in a way that has been pure because there is no hype now around what we do.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
R: I’ve been going to Glastonbury for years so to play there was amazing. I was really ill on the day and I came so close to calling the others to say I couldn’t do it, but by the time it came to going on stage I’d never felt so healthy in all my life – Glastonbury has that effect, it wakes you up. There was another time when we played in Mexico City; we were headlining on one of the nights at a festival called ‘Manifest’ and we had no idea how big it was going to be. There were 6,000 people crammed into a wrestling/bullfighting arena all chanting ‘Delays, Delays!”. We were slightly in shock for the first couple of numbers.

Did you have any ridiculous demands on your rider in the early days that you don’t feel embarrassed about fessing up to now?
R: I don’t think our rider has changed much since the start; just the same stuff: vodka, beer, water bottles. In the beginning we did have one thing that we thought would be great to collect, which was to have a picture of the local mayor from every town where we played. The only one we got in the end was from Gloucester where they gave us a picture of the town crier which they also got signed – that was ace!

Now that you have played with your long-term idols the Manic Street Preachers, who would you most like to support?
GG: I always come back to Prince. I’m also pretty obsessed with Scott Walker at the moment – he’s the musician I most admire. I’m not sure how we’d go down with his audience but he’s awesome.
R: It’s still The (Rolling) Stones for me. Apparently we did get an offer to support them in Vienna about three years ago but we were already booked in for a festival in Wales on the same day.
GG: Keith Richards is pretty much top of the tree when it comes to rock and roll. Hopefully the opportunity will come up again…

Delays release their fourth album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel on 21st June 2010 on Lookout Mountain Records, preceded by the debut track ‘Unsung’ on 14th June.


Most bands have a shelf life, healing especially the ones who are hyped. Although a review like: “The first band in a decade to lay serious claim to the Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian) can put you in good stead while you’re starting out, drugs it can also set you en route Destination Doomsville, burdening you with a reputation you simply can’t live up to.

British indie rock band Delays have so far managed to fend themselves of this curse. They have gone from strength to strength following the release of their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ in 2004 to critical acclaim. Six years on, the four-piece are set to release their forth album, ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’ produced by Duncan Lewis who worked on their first album.

In a tiny room in the basement of music venue Water Rats in King’s Cross – decorated with blue and white fairy lights, a few old shelves and an enormous abstract painting – I join spiritual front man Greg Gilbert (GG) and down-to-earth drummer Rowley (R) before they take the stage at their sold out London gig to talk about their latest album, town criers and livin’ it up at Glastonbury over lime-flavoured Doritos

How would you describe your new album in three words?
GG: Rustic, organic and psychedelic
R: I don’t like organic, it sounds a bit vegetably
GG: OK then; rustic, psychedelic and melancholic
R: Yeah, that sounds better – I second that emotion
GG: Or we could say “Our. Best. Album” – three words – succinct and to the point

What has inspired your latest album?
GG: Our last album had a lot of orchestral arrangements and there was a real urge between the four of us to strip the sound back and become a four-piece band again. With that in mind we started to go for long drives at night along the New Forest, making music to soundtrack the journey. We built the record from the ground up and it was just a case of being inspired by the environment opposed to any concerns about writing a single. We banned the words ‘single’ and ‘commercial’ from the studio.
R: We used to do it all the time; we would say: “I think this one’s a single”, which makes you approach making music differently. We spent a lot of time in Southampton, reacquainting ourselves with the city and each other again, which does come through on the record. The result is a much more personal and honest sound.

How have you found the audience’s response to the new material so far?
GG: We’ve found that people who wouldn’t have liked our previous stuff have been positive about the new album. They’re responding to the fact that it’s a more personal record – they’re getting from it more from us as individuals then a commodity. So far, the people who have heard our record think it’s the best one.
R: The new tracks are going down just as well as our old stuff. It’s a great feeling when the roar for a new song is as enthusiastic as for an old song, like ‘Long Time Coming’.

How do you think your sound has changed over the years?

GG: The first album sounds like a beach, the second album sounds like a club, the third album sounds like a festival and this album sounds like the forest, with the roots growing underneath the city at night making the buildings shake whilst you’re asleep. The first album is quite delicate because we recorded that before we toured so there was a certain amount of discovery. For the second album we worked with Graham Sutton who is genius producer; he brought a real club edge to the record which had a raw but beautiful precision about it.
R: We wrote the third album with the approach that it would be amazing at a festival; it’s big and bombastic and sounds like you’re playing it to 100,000 people rather then making a record for headphones.
GG: This album’s much more abstract; you can hear this on a beach in Scandinavia at two in the morning with mist flowing in the morning. We were trying to create a record which maintained a mood and an atmosphere which carries you into different surroundings. I think the best records take you to different worlds and that’s what we tried to emulate.
R: It’s not necessarily one genre of music. There’s a certain atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, but it works for late night drives with aerial views over the city.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
GG: To me it’s the fact that we’re about to release our fourth album and our songs are still playing on the radio. Very few bands get to make four albums so that makes me feel very proud. We’ve been around since 2004 and we’ve managed to sustain and grow our fan base in a way that has been pure because there is no hype now around what we do.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
R: I’ve been going to Glastonbury for years so to play there was amazing. I was really ill on the day and I came so close to calling the others to say I couldn’t do it, but by the time it came to going on stage I’d never felt so healthy in all my life – Glastonbury has that effect, it wakes you up. There was another time when we played in Mexico City; we were headlining on one of the nights at a festival called ‘Manifest’ and we had no idea how big it was going to be. There were 6,000 people crammed into a wrestling/bullfighting arena all chanting ‘Delays, Delays!”. We were slightly in shock for the first couple of numbers.

Did you have any ridiculous demands on your rider in the early days that you don’t feel embarrassed about fessing up to now?
R: I don’t think our rider has changed much since the start; just the same stuff: vodka, beer, water bottles. In the beginning we did have one thing that we thought would be great to collect, which was to have a picture of the local mayor from every town where we played. The only one we got in the end was from Gloucester where they gave us a picture of the town crier which they also got signed – that was ace!

Now that you have played with your long-term idols the Manic Street Preachers, who would you most like to support?
GG: I always come back to Prince. I’m also pretty obsessed with Scott Walker at the moment – he’s the musician I most admire. I’m not sure how we’d go down with his audience but he’s awesome.
R: It’s still The (Rolling) Stones for me. Apparently we did get an offer to support them in Vienna about three years ago but we were already booked in for a festival in Wales on the same day.
GG: Keith Richards is pretty much top of the tree when it comes to rock and roll. Hopefully the opportunity will come up again…

Delays release their fourth album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel on 21st June 2010 on Lookout Mountain Records, preceded by the debut track ‘Unsung’ on 14th June.


Most bands have a shelf life, medical especially the ones who are hyped. Although a review like: “The first band in a decade to lay serious claim to the Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian) can put you in good stead while you’re starting out, cialis 40mg it can also set you en route Destination Doomsville, sildenafil burdening you with a reputation you simply can’t live up to.

British indie rock band Delays have so far managed to fend themselves of this curse. They have gone from strength to strength following the release of their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ in 2004 to critical acclaim. Six years on, the four-piece are set to release their forth album, ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’ produced by Duncan Lewis who worked on their first album.

In a tiny room in the basement of music venue Water Rats in King’s Cross – decorated with blue and white fairy lights, a few old shelves and an enormous abstract painting – I join spiritual front man Greg Gilbert (GG) and down-to-earth drummer Rowley (R) before they take the stage at their sold out London gig to talk about their latest album, town criers and livin’ it up at Glastonbury over lime-flavoured Doritos

How would you describe your new album in three words?
GG: Rustic, organic and psychedelic
R: I don’t like organic, it sounds a bit vegetably
GG: OK then; rustic, psychedelic and melancholic
R: Yeah, that sounds better – I second that emotion
GG: Or we could say “Our. Best. Album” – three words – succinct and to the point

What has inspired your latest album?
GG: Our last album had a lot of orchestral arrangements and there was a real urge between the four of us to strip the sound back and become a four-piece band again. With that in mind we started to go for long drives at night along the New Forest, making music to soundtrack the journey. We built the record from the ground up and it was just a case of being inspired by the environment opposed to any concerns about writing a single. We banned the words ‘single’ and ‘commercial’ from the studio.
R: We used to do it all the time; we would say: “I think this one’s a single”, which makes you approach making music differently. We spent a lot of time in Southampton, reacquainting ourselves with the city and each other again, which does come through on the record. The result is a much more personal and honest sound.

How have you found the audience’s response to the new material so far?
GG: We’ve found that people who wouldn’t have liked our previous stuff have been positive about the new album. They’re responding to the fact that it’s a more personal record – they’re getting from it more from us as individuals then a commodity. So far, the people who have heard our record think it’s the best one.
R: The new tracks are going down just as well as our old stuff. It’s a great feeling when the roar for a new song is as enthusiastic as for an old song, like ‘Long Time Coming’.

How do you think your sound has changed over the years?

GG: The first album sounds like a beach, the second album sounds like a club, the third album sounds like a festival and this album sounds like the forest, with the roots growing underneath the city at night making the buildings shake whilst you’re asleep. The first album is quite delicate because we recorded that before we toured so there was a certain amount of discovery. For the second album we worked with Graham Sutton who is genius producer; he brought a real club edge to the record which had a raw but beautiful precision about it.
R: We wrote the third album with the approach that it would be amazing at a festival; it’s big and bombastic and sounds like you’re playing it to 100,000 people rather then making a record for headphones.
GG: This album’s much more abstract; you can hear this on a beach in Scandinavia at two in the morning with mist flowing in the morning. We were trying to create a record which maintained a mood and an atmosphere which carries you into different surroundings. I think the best records take you to different worlds and that’s what we tried to emulate.
R: It’s not necessarily one genre of music. There’s a certain atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, but it works for late night drives with aerial views over the city.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
GG: To me it’s the fact that we’re about to release our fourth album and our songs are still playing on the radio. Very few bands get to make four albums so that makes me feel very proud. We’ve been around since 2004 and we’ve managed to sustain and grow our fan base in a way that has been pure because there is no hype now around what we do.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
R: I’ve been going to Glastonbury for years so to play there was amazing. I was really ill on the day and I came so close to calling the others to say I couldn’t do it, but by the time it came to going on stage I’d never felt so healthy in all my life – Glastonbury has that effect, it wakes you up. There was another time when we played in Mexico City; we were headlining on one of the nights at a festival called ‘Manifest’ and we had no idea how big it was going to be. There were 6,000 people crammed into a wrestling/bullfighting arena all chanting ‘Delays, Delays!”. We were slightly in shock for the first couple of numbers.

Did you have any ridiculous demands on your rider in the early days that you don’t feel embarrassed about fessing up to now?
R: I don’t think our rider has changed much since the start; just the same stuff: vodka, beer, water bottles. In the beginning we did have one thing that we thought would be great to collect, which was to have a picture of the local mayor from every town where we played. The only one we got in the end was from Gloucester where they gave us a picture of the town crier which they also got signed – that was ace!

Now that you have played with your long-term idols the Manic Street Preachers, who would you most like to support?
GG: I always come back to Prince. I’m also pretty obsessed with Scott Walker at the moment – he’s the musician I most admire. I’m not sure how we’d go down with his audience but he’s awesome.
R: It’s still The (Rolling) Stones for me. Apparently we did get an offer to support them in Vienna about three years ago but we were already booked in for a festival in Wales on the same day.
GG: Keith Richards is pretty much top of the tree when it comes to rock and roll. Hopefully the opportunity will come up again…

Delays release their fourth album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel on 21st June 2010 on Lookout Mountain Records, preceded by the debut track ‘Unsung’ on 14th June.


Most bands have a shelf life, doctor especially the ones who are hyped. Although a review like: “The first band in a decade to lay serious claim to the Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian) can put you in good stead while you’re starting out, it can also set you en route Destination Doomsville, burdening you with a reputation you simply can’t live up to.

British indie rock band Delays have so far managed to fend themselves of this curse. They have gone from strength to strength following the release of their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ in 2004 to critical acclaim. Six years on, the four-piece are set to release their forth album, ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’ produced by Duncan Lewis who worked on their first album.

In a tiny room in the basement of music venue Water Rats in King’s Cross – decorated with blue and white fairy lights, a few old shelves and an enormous abstract painting – I join spiritual front man Greg Gilbert (GG) and down-to-earth drummer Rowley (R) before they take the stage at their sold out London gig to talk about their latest album, town criers and livin’ it up at Glastonbury over lime-flavoured Doritos

How would you describe your new album in three words?
GG: Rustic, organic and psychedelic
R: I don’t like organic, it sounds a bit vegetably
GG: OK then; rustic, psychedelic and melancholic
R: Yeah, that sounds better – I second that emotion
GG: Or we could say “Our. Best. Album” – three words – succinct and to the point

What has inspired your latest album?
GG: Our last album had a lot of orchestral arrangements and there was a real urge between the four of us to strip the sound back and become a four-piece band again. With that in mind we started to go for long drives at night along the New Forest, making music to soundtrack the journey. We built the record from the ground up and it was just a case of being inspired by the environment opposed to any concerns about writing a single. We banned the words ‘single’ and ‘commercial’ from the studio.
R: We used to do it all the time; we would say: “I think this one’s a single”, which makes you approach making music differently. We spent a lot of time in Southampton, reacquainting ourselves with the city and each other again, which does come through on the record. The result is a much more personal and honest sound.

How have you found the audience’s response to the new material so far?
GG: We’ve found that people who wouldn’t have liked our previous stuff have been positive about the new album. They’re responding to the fact that it’s a more personal record – they’re getting from it more from us as individuals then a commodity. So far, the people who have heard our record think it’s the best one.
R: The new tracks are going down just as well as our old stuff. It’s a great feeling when the roar for a new song is as enthusiastic as for an old song, like ‘Long Time Coming’.

How do you think your sound has changed over the years?

GG: The first album sounds like a beach, the second album sounds like a club, the third album sounds like a festival and this album sounds like the forest, with the roots growing underneath the city at night making the buildings shake whilst you’re asleep. The first album is quite delicate because we recorded that before we toured so there was a certain amount of discovery. For the second album we worked with Graham Sutton who is genius producer; he brought a real club edge to the record which had a raw but beautiful precision about it.
R: We wrote the third album with the approach that it would be amazing at a festival; it’s big and bombastic and sounds like you’re playing it to 100,000 people rather then making a record for headphones.
GG: This album’s much more abstract; you can hear this on a beach in Scandinavia at two in the morning with mist flowing in the morning. We were trying to create a record which maintained a mood and an atmosphere which carries you into different surroundings. I think the best records take you to different worlds and that’s what we tried to emulate.
R: It’s not necessarily one genre of music. There’s a certain atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, but it works for late night drives with aerial views over the city.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
GG: To me it’s the fact that we’re about to release our fourth album and our songs are still playing on the radio. Very few bands get to make four albums so that makes me feel very proud. We’ve been around since 2004 and we’ve managed to sustain and grow our fan base in a way that has been pure because there is no hype now around what we do.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
R: I’ve been going to Glastonbury for years so to play there was amazing. I was really ill on the day and I came so close to calling the others to say I couldn’t do it, but by the time it came to going on stage I’d never felt so healthy in all my life – Glastonbury has that effect, it wakes you up. There was another time when we played in Mexico City; we were headlining on one of the nights at a festival called ‘Manifest’ and we had no idea how big it was going to be. There were 6,000 people crammed into a wrestling/bullfighting arena all chanting ‘Delays, Delays!”. We were slightly in shock for the first couple of numbers.

Did you have any ridiculous demands on your rider in the early days that you don’t feel embarrassed about fessing up to now?
R: I don’t think our rider has changed much since the start; just the same stuff: vodka, beer, water bottles. In the beginning we did have one thing that we thought would be great to collect, which was to have a picture of the local mayor from every town where we played. The only one we got in the end was from Gloucester where they gave us a picture of the town crier which they also got signed – that was ace!

Now that you have played with your long-term idols the Manic Street Preachers, who would you most like to support?
GG: I always come back to Prince. I’m also pretty obsessed with Scott Walker at the moment – he’s the musician I most admire. I’m not sure how we’d go down with his audience but he’s awesome.
R: It’s still The (Rolling) Stones for me. Apparently we did get an offer to support them in Vienna about three years ago but we were already booked in for a festival in Wales on the same day.
GG: Keith Richards is pretty much top of the tree when it comes to rock and roll. Hopefully the opportunity will come up again…

Delays release their fourth album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel on 21st June 2010 on Lookout Mountain Records, preceded by the debut track ‘Unsung’ on 14th June.


Most bands have a shelf life, sildenafil especially the ones who are hyped. Although a review like: “The first band in a decade to lay serious claim to the Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian) can put you in good stead while you’re starting out, this site it can also set you en route Destination Doomsville, burdening you with a reputation you simply can’t live up to.

British indie rock band Delays have so far managed to fend themselves of this curse. They have gone from strength to strength following the release of their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ in 2004 to critical acclaim. Six years on, the four-piece are set to release their forth album, ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’ produced by Duncan Lewis who worked on their first album.

In a tiny room in the basement of music venue Water Rats in King’s Cross – decorated with blue and white fairy lights, a few old shelves and an enormous abstract painting – I join spiritual front man Greg Gilbert (GG) and down-to-earth drummer Rowley (R) before they take the stage at their sold out London gig to talk about their latest album, town criers and livin’ it up at Glastonbury over lime-flavoured Doritos

How would you describe your new album in three words?
GG: Rustic, organic and psychedelic
R: I don’t like organic, it sounds a bit vegetably
GG: OK then; rustic, psychedelic and melancholic
R: Yeah, that sounds better – I second that emotion
GG: Or we could say “Our. Best. Album” – three words – succinct and to the point

What has inspired your latest album?
GG: Our last album had a lot of orchestral arrangements and there was a real urge between the four of us to strip the sound back and become a four-piece band again. With that in mind we started to go for long drives at night along the New Forest, making music to soundtrack the journey. We built the record from the ground up and it was just a case of being inspired by the environment opposed to any concerns about writing a single. We banned the words ‘single’ and ‘commercial’ from the studio.
R: We used to do it all the time; we would say: “I think this one’s a single”, which makes you approach making music differently. We spent a lot of time in Southampton, reacquainting ourselves with the city and each other again, which does come through on the record. The result is a much more personal and honest sound.

How have you found the audience’s response to the new material so far?
GG: We’ve found that people who wouldn’t have liked our previous stuff have been positive about the new album. They’re responding to the fact that it’s a more personal record – they’re getting from it more from us as individuals then a commodity. So far, the people who have heard our record think it’s the best one.
R: The new tracks are going down just as well as our old stuff. It’s a great feeling when the roar for a new song is as enthusiastic as for an old song, like ‘Long Time Coming’.

How do you think your sound has changed over the years?

GG: The first album sounds like a beach, the second album sounds like a club, the third album sounds like a festival and this album sounds like the forest, with the roots growing underneath the city at night making the buildings shake whilst you’re asleep. The first album is quite delicate because we recorded that before we toured so there was a certain amount of discovery. For the second album we worked with Graham Sutton who is genius producer; he brought a real club edge to the record which had a raw but beautiful precision about it.
R: We wrote the third album with the approach that it would be amazing at a festival; it’s big and bombastic and sounds like you’re playing it to 100,000 people rather then making a record for headphones.
GG: This album’s much more abstract; you can hear this on a beach in Scandinavia at two in the morning with mist flowing in the morning. We were trying to create a record which maintained a mood and an atmosphere which carries you into different surroundings. I think the best records take you to different worlds and that’s what we tried to emulate.
R: It’s not necessarily one genre of music. There’s a certain atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, but it works for late night drives with aerial views over the city.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
GG: To me it’s the fact that we’re about to release our fourth album and our songs are still playing on the radio. Very few bands get to make four albums so that makes me feel very proud. We’ve been around since 2004 and we’ve managed to sustain and grow our fan base in a way that has been pure because there is no hype now around what we do.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
R: I’ve been going to Glastonbury for years so to play there was amazing. I was really ill on the day and I came so close to calling the others to say I couldn’t do it, but by the time it came to going on stage I’d never felt so healthy in all my life – Glastonbury has that effect, it wakes you up. There was another time when we played in Mexico City; we were headlining on one of the nights at a festival called ‘Manifest’ and we had no idea how big it was going to be. There were 6,000 people crammed into a wrestling/bullfighting arena all chanting ‘Delays, Delays!”. We were slightly in shock for the first couple of numbers.

Did you have any ridiculous demands on your rider in the early days that you don’t feel embarrassed about fessing up to now?
R: I don’t think our rider has changed much since the start; just the same stuff: vodka, beer, water bottles. In the beginning we did have one thing that we thought would be great to collect, which was to have a picture of the local mayor from every town where we played. The only one we got in the end was from Gloucester where they gave us a picture of the town crier which they also got signed – that was ace!

Now that you have played with your long-term idols the Manic Street Preachers, who would you most like to support?
GG: I always come back to Prince. I’m also pretty obsessed with Scott Walker at the moment – he’s the musician I most admire. I’m not sure how we’d go down with his audience but he’s awesome.
R: It’s still The (Rolling) Stones for me. Apparently we did get an offer to support them in Vienna about three years ago but we were already booked in for a festival in Wales on the same day.
GG: Keith Richards is pretty much top of the tree when it comes to rock and roll. Hopefully the opportunity will come up again…

Delays release their fourth album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel on 21st June 2010 on Lookout Mountain Records, preceded by the debut track ‘Unsung’ on 14th June.


Most bands have a shelf life, link especially the ones who are hyped. Although a review like: “The first band in a decade to lay serious claim to the Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian) can put you in good stead while you’re starting out, it can also set you en route Destination Doomsville, burdening you with a reputation you simply can’t live up to.

British indie rock band Delays have so far managed to beat the curse. They have gone from strength to strength following the release of their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ in 2004. Six years on, the four-piece are set to release their forth album, ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’ produced by Duncan Lewis who worked on their first album.

In a tiny room in the basement of music venue Water Rats in King’s Cross – decorated with blue and white fairy lights, a few old shelves and an enormous abstract painting – I join spiritual front man Greg Gilbert (GG) and down-to-earth drummer Rowley (R) before they take the stage at their sold out London gig to talk about their latest album, town criers and livin’ it up at Glastonbury over lime-flavoured Doritos

How would you describe your new album in three words?
GG: Rustic, organic and psychedelic
R: I don’t like organic, it sounds a bit vegetably
GG: OK then; rustic, psychedelic and melancholic
R: Yeah, that sounds better – I second that emotion
GG: Or we could say “Our. Best. Album” – three words – succinct and to the point

What has inspired your latest album?
GG: Our last album had a lot of orchestral arrangements and there was a real urge between the four of us to strip the sound back and become a four-piece band again. With that in mind we started to go for long drives at night along the New Forest, making music to soundtrack the journey. We built the record from the ground up and it was just a case of being inspired by the environment opposed to any concerns about writing a single. We banned the words ‘single’ and ‘commercial’ from the studio.
R: We used to do it all the time; we would say: “I think this one’s a single”, which makes you approach making music differently. We spent a lot of time in Southampton, reacquainting ourselves with the city and each other again, which does come through on the record. The result is a much more personal and honest sound.

How have you found the audience’s response to your new material so far?
GG: We’ve found that people who wouldn’t have liked our previous stuff have been positive about the new album. They’re responding to the fact that it’s a more personal record – they’re getting from it more from us as individuals then a commodity. So far, the people who have heard our record think it’s the best one.
R: The new tracks are going down just as well as our old stuff. It’s a great feeling when the roar for a new song is as enthusiastic as for an old song, like ‘Long Time Coming’.

How do you think your sound has changed over the years?

GG: The first album sounds like a beach, the second album sounds like a club, the third album sounds like a festival and this album sounds like the forest, with the roots growing underneath the city at night making the buildings shake whilst you’re asleep. The first album is quite delicate because we recorded that before we toured so there was a certain amount of discovery. For the second album we worked with Graham Sutton who is genius producer; he brought a real club edge to the record which had a raw but beautiful precision about it.
R: We wrote the third album with the approach that it would be amazing at a festival; it’s big and bombastic and sounds like you’re playing it to 100,000 people rather then making a record for headphones.
GG: This album’s much more abstract; you can hear this on a beach in Scandinavia at two in the morning with mist flowing in the morning. We were trying to create a record which maintained a mood and an atmosphere which carries you into different surroundings. I think the best records take you to different worlds and that’s what we tried to emulate.
R: It’s not necessarily one genre of music. There’s a certain atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, but it works for late night drives with aerial views over the city.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
GG: To me it’s the fact that we’re about to release our fourth album and our songs are still playing on the radio. Very few bands get to make four albums so that makes me feel very proud. We’ve been around since 2004 and we’ve managed to sustain and grow our fan base in a way that has been pure because there is no hype now around what we do.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
R: I’ve been going to Glastonbury for years so to play there was amazing. I was really ill on the day and I came so close to calling the others to say I couldn’t do it, but by the time it came to going on stage I’d never felt so healthy in all my life – Glastonbury has that effect, it wakes you up. There was another time when we played in Mexico City; we were headlining on one of the nights at a festival called ‘Manifest’ and we had no idea how big it was going to be. There were 6,000 people crammed into a wrestling/bullfighting arena all chanting ‘Delays, Delays!”. We were slightly in shock for the first couple of numbers.

Did you have any ridiculous demands on your rider in the early days that you don’t feel embarrassed about fessing up to now?
R: I don’t think our rider has changed much since the start; just the same stuff: vodka, beer, water bottles. In the beginning we did have one thing that we thought would be great to collect, which was to have a picture of the local mayor from every town where we played. The only one we got in the end was from Gloucester where they gave us a picture of the town crier which they also got signed – that was ace!

Now that you have played with your long-term idols the Manic Street Preachers, who would you most like to support?
GG: I always come back to Prince. I’m also pretty obsessed with Scott Walker at the moment – he’s the musician I most admire. I’m not sure how we’d go down with his audience but he’s awesome.
R: It’s still The (Rolling) Stones for me. Apparently we did get an offer to support them in Vienna about three years ago but we were already booked in for a festival in Wales on the same day.
GG: Keith Richards is pretty much top of the tree when it comes to rock and roll. Hopefully the opportunity will come up again…

Delays release their fourth album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel on 21st June 2010 on Lookout Mountain Records, preceded by the debut track ‘Unsung’ on 14th June.


Sweden is a small country but it has produced some big exports. Whether it’s infectious pop, ailment affordable furniture or fashionable, well-priced clothes (take a stab at guessing the brands!), the Swedes know what it takes to satisfy their consumers. Now if we extend these categories to ‘hip young musicians’, you’ll find that they have their bases covered here too.

We first featured Lykke Li back in February 2008 when she was just an emerging artist, relatively fresh to the gig circuit. Since then, she has well and truly established a name for herself amongst the underground and commercial elite of the music scene, building up a set of credentials to leave most of her peers looking on with green-eyed envy.

She released her debut album ‘Youth Novels‘ to critical acclaim in 2008 and has since performed with The Roots and hip hop legend Q-Tip, collaborated with Kayne West and MIA, and currently features on a track called ‘Miss It So Much’ on Roysopp’s latest album. As if that weren’t enough, she also penned the track ‘Possibility’ for the second installment of lovey-dovey vampire Twilight saga ‘New Moon’, gaining herself a healthy teen following in the process.

On the award front, Lykke’s musical talent and fashion sense have not gone unnoticed; she has received nominations for “Best Video” and “Best Female Artist” at the Swedish Grammy Awards and was voted “Best Dressed Woman” at the Swedish Elle Magazine Awards in 2009. Is there an end to this list of fabulousness?? (And she’s only 24!)

Dressed in an oversized black tassled jacket, a short black mini-skirt, bulky black boots and lashings of thick black eye make-up (and with few words), on meeting Lykke, I couldn’t help but feel that she exuded the demeanor of a slightly irked teenager.

I caught up with the Swedish starlet briefly, prior to her set at the Volvo Subject 60 launch party in London last week, for a rather intriguing interview in a drafty stairwell to talk about her international background, performing in front of big crowds and desert island necessities…

So how are you feeling about your set tonight?
Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to do some new songs tonight which I haven’t done before. The sets are also going to be more acoustic so it will be different and quite interesting.

You’ve had a very international upbringing – have you found that this has influenced your music?

I don’t know because I’ve never known any different. I don’t know how I would write music if I only lived in one place. I feel that my music comes more from within – not so much from the outside.

Who are your biggest musical influences to date?
There are just so many. I don’t really listen to a lot of new music. I get really inspired by weird chanting, like Voodoo music. I recently found these field recordings from the 1920s which I’ve been listening to a lot.

What bands currently excite you?
I really enjoy Beach House – the singer has a great voice and their songs are very well written. I am also listening to The Big Pink and a lot too who have an interesting sound. Of course, there’s always Leonard Cohen.

How have you found the transition of playing in big venues compared to small venues?
It’s been fine although I still enjoy playing small venues the most because there’s more of an intimacy you share with your audience.

How do you find playing in front of a UK audience in comparison to a Swedish audience?
It’s kind of crazy because I almost never play in Sweden; it’s so rare. I guess every audience is different but I find that in big cities, people tend to be slightly more reserved – there’s more of an effort that people make to be cool.

What has been your most memorable gig to date?
Last summer there was a festival on an island just outside Holland so we had to take the smallest boat to get there, but it was during severe storms and the water was really rough. Everyone on the boat thought that we were going to die. And then there was the coming back part when we were super drunk in the middle of the night. It was crazy but we had a great time.

Who would you most like to work with?
Leonard Cohen as always.

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer someone starting out?
It’s hard to maintain yourself in this industry. I think the main thing I would say is to be honest and always stay true to yourself. It’s clichéd but it’s true.

What are you most looking forward to this summer?
I’m looking forward to going for a swim in the lakes in Sweden when it’s finished. It’s going to be a long summer for me as I’ll going to be in the studio for most of it. It’s exciting but I can’t sleep anymore because I’m thinking so much – my brain is working all the time.

What three items would you bring with you if you on a desert island?
A hot man, a Swiss army knife and some erotic novels by Anaïs Nin.

I always look forward to the Northumbria University BA fashion degree show for two reasons. One, shop because it’s always effing good – the innovation, pills technique and creativity on display is second to pretty much nobody at Graduate Fashion Week. Secondly, viagra dosage I studied at the university, so this review might seem like a big fat plate of bias – I assure you, though, that it isn’t.

Nestled on the front row in between Style Savage Steve and the ever wonderful Hilary Alexander (who bopped, sketched and scribbled her way through the show) I was a little concerned that my big lens (said the actress to the bishop) might block the view of either of these fashion journalists. Neither said anything though, so I think I got away with it.

Opening the show with an explosion of glam-rock-meets-Elvis-meets-Lady-Gaga, Naomi New presented a very polished micro-collection featuring exaggerated shoulders of leather, spikes and studs, and horse-hair tails. Models strutted back and forth with real sex appeal and the quality of Naomi’s craftsmanship looked, from what I could see, incredible.

The key theme in this year’s show was digital prints, and it’s a testament to the late, great Alexander McQueen’s legacy that this is such a mainstay on graduate catwalks. Faye Chamberlain’s was the most striking of collections, owing to its wild neon prints reminiscent of MIA’s Kala album cover, and blingy embellishment. Short, short dresses with spikey hips challenged the traditional constraints of the female form.

Further print patrons included the work of Sophie Dee and Ludmila Maida. Sophie Dee presented a feminine, playful collection of vibrant prints, micro shorts and bubble skirts, accessorised with childlike objects such as candy floss and helium balloons, harping back to the glory days of the seaside. Ludmila Maida’s collection was a slightly more mature one, with elegant maxi dresses in neon, gathered into sections to create flattering asymmetrical shapes.

Gemma Williamson also hopped on the print train, with her slightly eery collection making use of religious iconography.


Illustration by Gemma Williamson from her graduate work

Menswear was, as always, well represented; one of the few menswear graduates to win the prestigious Gold Award in recent years was a Northumbria student. Sara Wilson set the standard with a mixture of soft tailoring and Japanese influence – loose fitting blazers were teamed with skinny trousers and shorts, while snood-like pieces of material attempted to cover the face, giving each outfit a martial-art feel.

Louise Dickinson’s inspired outfits seemed to draw influence from historical Britain and tradition in general. An oversized Barbour-style jacket here and a triangular-shaped cape printed with a vintage map there made for a intriguing and genuinely unique collection.

But it was Caroline Rowland’s eccentric tailoring that captured my imagination the most. A bit Sebastian Flyte, a bit Dries Van Noten, it was the perfect mix of traditional tailoring and quirky design flair. Ill-fitting gingham shirts (I presume on purpose) were teamed with tucked-in waistcoats and patterned bow ties, while cropped blazers looked great with high-waisted tailored trousers. You can never go wrong with a sock suspender either.

And now for a quick round of some of my favourite womesnwear collections. It’ll have to be a whistle-stop tour because I have 3 other shows to write up and I’m having my hair cut in an hour.

One of my absolute faves was Julie Perry, who combined body-concious all-in-ones with Meccano-style leather creations. These outfits had real sex appeal – not one for the supermarket but definitely for the fierce fashionista who isn’t afraid to show off. Julie’s pieces were architectural in shape and hinted at a little bit of kink.


Illustration by Julie Perry from her graduate work

Holly Farrar’s super sleek collection toyed with masculine tailoring and models had structured shoulders with outfits tapering downwards. Defined v-necklines gave the outfits an overall geometric look and were very sophisticated indeed.


Illustration by Holly Farrar from her graduate work

These gemoetric-slash-linear-slash-structured themes ran through many a collection, executed most effectively by Stephanie Price. Her futuristic collection married materials with aesthetic appeal with flattering shapes – mesh covered body-concious shift dresses had a dazzling effect, as did this dynamic jacket…


Illustrations by Stephanie Price, from her graduate work

Closing the show was Victoria Kirby, who had clearly been selected for her fresh innovation and coutourier-like craftsmanship. Elegant floor sweepers made from silk and velour had the appearance of two dresses in one, cut and merged down the middle. Exaggerating the shoulders and synching in at the waist created beautiful feminine shapes that flattered.


Illustration by Victoria Kirby, from her graduate work

All photography by Matt Bramford

Photograph by Vanya Sacha

Prior to the General Election, about it Amelia’s Magazine interviewed Amisha Ghadiali about her new project Think Act Vote. As the dust settles on the birth of the coalition, this site Amelia’s Magazine caught up with Amisha to find out about the Think Act Vote Poetry competition, how to be involved with the The Future I Choose Anthology (deadline the end of September, what are you waiting for?) and to find out where Think Act Vote will be for the remaining days of summer. (Hint! 13th – 15th August finds Think Act Vote at Vintage at Goodwood, for more details read the interview!)

How did Think Act Vote spend the election night?

The night before we had our amazing Think Act Vote party at The City and Arts Music Project, where we revealed the winner of our poetry competition, with live music from the Delirium Tremens and did a Think Act Vote Photobooth.

On election day, I cast my vote and then had to pack and head to the airport. My brother was graduating from film school at NYU Tisch Asia on the Friday in Singapore so I had to choose between watching the results live or being at the graduation.

I really wanted to go to the election party at the Hub Kings Cross hosted by NEF and Future Gov, and also the Billbored party. They looked really fun. There was no live coverage on the plane!

Showpiece by Beautiful Soul for Think Act Vote: Photograph by Dominic Clarke

What was your desired General Election outcome?

I can’t say I had one that was possible. I was hoping there would be a more inspirational leader in the race. But under the circumstances, I was hoping for a coalition.

Why were you hoping “under the circumstances’ for a coalition?

I don’t know; there wasn’t an ideal choice there for me. I just want a progressive government. I think the real issue is our system. We need parliamentary reform, this should have happened before this election, but hopefully it has shown Westminster that the current system doesn’t work.

I would like to see a system that allows more independent candidates to get into parliament. There is an argument that this will allow too many people from the far right to get into power, but actually we proved in this election that good old fashioned campaigning can keep the far right at bay.

I think it would be exciting for our country if we had more independents, as I think there are a lot of interesting individuals out there that would be interested in standing for parliament but don’t want to join a particular party.

Campaigns Group at Time for Tea. Photograph by Vanya Sacha

As the hung parliament reality dawned, whilst you were in America. Were you able to follow the developments in the Lib-Lab and Lib-Con talks?

It was strange. I wasn’t watching the TV news, so was seeing it all from the internet. I would have liked to experience it here and to have taken in the atmosphere.

From far away it seemed like utter madness, in any project, you plan for different circumstances. So I did find it strange that the Lib Dems hadn’t already decided what they wanted to do if this situation occurred.

What did you think to the press coverage during the General Election Aftermath (I found the ‘squatting’ headlines referring to Gordon Brown particularly unhelpful)?

Again from a distance, it did seem like a country in chaos. That nobody had a clue what to do. But yes I agree referring the Prime Minister as squatting is never going to be helpful!

Photograph by Deepti V. Patel

What were your initial thoughts on the Con-Lib Government?

Surprise, that the Lib Dems had chosen for the country to have a Tory Prime Minister. I would have thought that this would be the last thing they would ever want to happen. But I thought it was interesting that things would have to be passed through such differing views.

As the reality of the cuts loom, have your opinions changed towards the effectiveness of the Coalition Relationship?

I think it is a bit confusing, I don’t feel like Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems have shone through in any way. It does feel more like a Conservative government. I know that we are going through a hard time at the moment with the national deficit and the recession, but they have made some cuts to things that could be really important. For example totally cutting the Sustainable Development Commission and The UK Film Council.

Photograph by Vanya Sacha

Earlier this summer, you attended a Compass Conference – could you describe to Amelia’s Magazine readers the nature of these political events?

There are various political conferences that take place, I have been involved with Compass for the past four years. I used to be on the Compass youth management committee.

Compass was set up by Neal Lawson and is an umbrella organisation for progressive politics, bringing together politicians of all parties, pressure groups, trade unions, think tanks, NGOs, academics, activists, campaigners and individuals. They hold an annual conference every summer to discuss ideas.

There is an opening address in the main hall which this year had Caroline Lucas MP on the panel, and a closing address which had Pam Giddy, POWER 2010, Jon Cruddas MP & Chuka Umunna MP. There was also a Labour Leaders Debate which was quite interesting to see live.

The rest of the day is filled with smaller seminars, covering over 30 topics including Climate Change“>Climate Change, Parliamentary Reform, Tax Justice, The NHS, Feminist Issues and Poverty.

It is an opportunity to think through alternatives to the ways problems are currently being tackled, have open discussions, ask questions and be inspired.

Photograph by Maciej Groman

What are Think Act Vote’s recommendations for making your vote count everday?

It is just about thinking about what is important to you, and finding ways to take action and get your voice heard. Whether that is through supporting campaigns, or thinking twice about what you spend your money on.

If you haven’t yet, a good place to start is by contributing to our book. Ask yourself the question – What is The Future You Choose?
You might just give yourself the answer of what to do next..

You can read some examples and contribute online.

What are Think Act Vote plans for the rest of the summer?

More, more, more. We have been doing Think Act Vote Photobooths, and running around music festivals taking photos and getting people to take part. So we are going to carry this on until the end of September.

Ethical Fashion Green Sunday. Photograph by LUDOVIC DES COGNETS.

Where can you find out about the Photobooth events?

We do these events often, keep your eyes on our facebook page and the events page on the Think Act Vote website. Apart from the festivals, we are planning various other venues around London over the next seven weeks.

We are trying to find interesting venues, like the Union Street Orchard for example.

The release date for the The Future I Choose anthology has been delayed, what were the reasons behind this decision?

We had such a great response and more than enough content to publish the book straight after the election, but thought it made sense to get more people to take part over the summer.

Also we didn’t want to send out the message that you only get a choice in The Future You Choose in the run up to an election, because the whole point of our campaign is that you get that choice every day.


Playsuit by Tara Starlet for Think Act Vote: photograph by Dominic Clarke

Have you been working with new fashion designers since Amelia’s Magazine interviewed you? I see the blog mentions: Nancy Dee and Miksani?

We have been sharing on our site the full stories of the Think Act Vote Refashioned pieces, and in some cases instructions on how to make them.

The designers that took part were Ciel, Ada Zandition, Nancy Dee, Miksani, Junky Styling, TRAIDremade, Beautiful Soul and Tara Starlet. Other designers really wanted to take part but couldn’t at the time as they were out of the country, we might get them to do a little something.

The MA students on the Fashion & The Environment project at London College of Fashion are working on something for us now, which we can’t wait to see!

Photograph by Deepti V. Patel

What does the Think Act Vote campaign mean after the election?

Although inspired by the election, the campaign was never about voting in the election. It is about understanding that everyday we all express the future we choose by how we spend our time, money and energy. It’s about inspiring ourselves and others to live a life that reflects what we actually want from our future when we stop to think about it.

The ‘Vote’ is ours, it is about taking that word away from politicians as something we give to them every four years. About us not being afraid to use political language in our every day lives in a positive way.

I know that having Vote in the campaign name has put many people off it, and even a lot of my friends have thought it was about voting in elections until I explained that.

But I think it is important to be aware that everything we do is political and that every day we make choices that shape our world.

Photograph by Deepti V.Patel

Olivia Sprinkel, Winner of the poetry competition was announced on the night of the Think Act Vote Party, How was this decision made?

The poetry competition was judged by John Bird and Shane Solanki. The shortlist was read out at the party and went down really well.

Even though the competition is over, everyone is still welcome to answer our question – What’s The Future You Choose with a poem. It might end up in our book!

What’s next for Think Act Vote?

We are really excited about Vintage at Goodwood this weekend! We are doing Think Act Vote Refashioned workshops in the sustainability area where you can make your very own Think Act Vote Refashioned Dress. We will also be doing photoshoots, meet us outside our tent after our workshops.

I am also doing a talk in the talk tent on ethical fashion and creative activism.

This weekend (13th – 14th August 2010) finds Think Act Vote participating in Vintage at Goodwood’s, Sustainable Design Workshops. Find the the Think Act Vote team at 11-1 and 3-6 on Friday and between 1-4 adn 4-7 on Saturday and Sunday.
NB: sadly we can’t attend to report on this workshop: read more about why here.

From the Think Act Vote Team:

“It is an invitation for you to take part in Think Act Vote Refashioned. You can make your very own Think Act Vote one off piece and then have it photographed to be in our book, as well as a post online about how you went about your customisation.

You will be in very capable hands as the workshops will be led by Laura Metcalf and Alison Lewis who met on set of a channel 4 television pilot, they have been working together most recently on alterations and repairing vintage clothes at Clerkenwell Vintage Fair in London.”

Amisha Ghadiali will be interviewed by Leonora Oppenheim about Ethical Fashion and Creative Activism at 5pm on Saturday in the Talk Tent. This is an event not to be missed!

What’s the Future You Choose?

Categories ,Ada Zandition, ,Billbored, ,Compass, ,Future Gov, ,Junky Styling, ,Kings Cross, ,Not Just a Label, ,Photobooth, ,poetry, ,talks, ,Tara Starlet, ,Tara Starlett, ,The Future I Choose, ,The Hub, ,The New Economics, ,Think Act Vote, ,Vintage at Goodwood, ,What’s the Future You Choose?

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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 | Lammas Low Impact Courses and Conferences

Lammas Low Impact Aurelia Lange
Illustration by Aurelia Lange

Wales – the land of soaring song, viagra turf-churning scrums and cunning cross-dressing rioters – is today at the forefront of sustainable, information pills ecological development. In 2009 the Welsh Assembly Government announced a national sustainable development scheme, buy One Wales: One Planet, which led last year to Technical Advice Note (TAN) 6: One Planet Development. The objective of the One Planet Development policy is truly laudable: for Wales to be using only its fair and sustainable share of the earth’s resources – which was measured in 2003 at 1.88 global hectares per person – within the space of a single generation. To this end, One Planet Developments must be zero carbon in both their construction and use, and within five years sit on land that provides for the inhabitants’ basic needs of income, food, energy and waste assimilation. Developments can take the form of single homes, co-operative communities or larger settlements.

Tir y Gafel Hub Outside
Low-impact building The Hub at Tir y Gafel

Roundhouse in construction at Tir y Gafel
A family’s roundhouse under construction at Tir y Gafel

Tree Planting sign at Tir y Gafel
Crafted wooden sign at sustainable settlement in West Wales, Tir y Gafel

One such community is Tir y Gafel, nestled in 76 acres of dizzyingly beautiful ex-farmland mixed pasture and woodland deep within the Pembrokeshire hills. Tir y Gafel is the first eco village to be birthed by Lammas – a cooperative trust that exists to support the development of eco villages in West Wales – following efforts by its founders, members and fellow low-impact supporters to gain planning permission for such developments. Currently under construction by the residents and volunteers, within a few years Tir y Gafel will comprise nine residential smallholdings created using the latest innovations in permaculture, environmental design and green technology. And, of course, they’ll be completely off-grid: water will be sourced from Tir y Gafel’s existing spring; on-site renewables such as the village hydro-electric facility will provide the sparks; fuel supplies will exist in the form of willow and ash; and organic waste will prove food for the village’s abundance of plant life.

Tir y Gafel flowers decorate The Hub
Tir y Gafel flowers decorate village meeting and celebration space, The Hub

Tir y Gafel Cat
Two of Tir y Gafel’s diverse range of residents

The people of Tir y Gafel will not just live off the land, but will nourish it, enriching their plots to the end that the land can support a range of livelihoods, from the growth of cash crops such as blueberries to crafts conjured from the woven hair of malamutes. The completion of the village community building The Hub is also in sight.

For many gazing in awe at the energy, vision and strength of pioneering spirit exhibited by Lammas and the Tir y Gafel residents, a relocation to Mars can seem more reachable than a move to a One Planet lifestyle, with all the land issues and lifestyle transformations it might involve. One of the guiding principles of Lammas, though, is to create a model for sustainable eco living that can be replicated across Wales – and, hopefully, outside it. Education plays a central role in the current life of Tir y Gafel, with courses and conferences inviting people to experience and explore low-impact living, and while doing so help make this groundbreaking example a reality. WWOOFers and other volunteers have been a driving force in the building of The Hub, exchanging enthusiasm and sweat for experience of low-impact building and a role in the future of sustainable living.

Footprints in the farmhouse
Lammas: Steps in the right direction

Building a timber-frame barn wall at Tir y Gafel
Building a timber-frame barn wall at Tir y Gafel

Carving joists for timber-frame barn wall at Tir y Gafel
Joy of joists: getting to grips with timber-framing at Tir y Gafel

Aside from a regular rotation of passionate volunteers, attendees of courses held at Tir y Gafel go on to spread the word, objectives and feasibility of One Planet lifestyles such as those that they experience and learn about through Lammas. The Eco Village Conference will bring those inspired by Lammas’s work and eager to grapple with the practicalities of creating an eco home or village together between 9-11 September, when the folks behind Lammas will impart advice on everything from land-based livelihoods to legal details. Other courses currently booking include a weekend covering willow planting, harvesting and sculpture.

A couple of Lammas course attendees tour the land
People power: Lammas Low Impact Experience course attendees tour the land

Group cooking at Tir y Gafel
The community that cooks together…

Tir y Gafel volunteer spades

Foraged blackberries at Tir y Gafel
Foraged blackberries at Tir y Gafel

Later in the month comes another of the enormously influential Low Impact Experience weeks, which have so far seen dozens of eco-conscious minds enter Tir y Gafel curious and leave – a week and countless incredible vegetarian meals later – with fresh skills spanning cob building, bread baking, stem wall forming, foraging, escapee hen catching and beyond. Led by Hoppi Wimbush and James Giddings, the most recent Low Impact Experience Week, held in August, was for this writer an inspirational reminder of the joyful warm ache of limbs worked sawing barn wall joists; of the rich pleasure – irate wasps and all – of a permaculture landscape; and of the timeless worth of a mental store of stories to tell while rain batters darkened windows. Above all, though, the Low Impact Experience Week re-affirmed the significance of community to our selves, our health and our happiness – and not just because the attendees shared our foraged wood sorrel.

Foraging for wood sorrel at Tir y Gafel
Foraged Tir y Gafel wood sorrel during the Low Impact Experience Week

Baking bread at Tir y Gafel
Future kneads: The Low Impact Experience bake-off

Banquet at The Hub, Tir y Gafel
Banqueting at The Hub, Tir y Gafel

Fire at Tir y Gafel ceilidh

Long gone are the days when it was considered avant-garde to believe that the future health and happiness of our communities rests on the success and extended positive influence of low-impact living initiatives such as those that Lammas is pioneering at Tir y Gafel. As the people of Lammas and Tir y Gafel are showing through their courses and conferences, if we are willing to share knowledge, skills, sweat and time as part of a wider ecologically minded and responsible community, the future can look very, very bright. Even if it is lit via homemade solar panels.

Categories ,Agriculture, ,Aurelia Lange, ,Baking, ,Biodiversity, ,camping, ,Cat, ,Centre for Alternative Technology, ,Co-operative, ,cob building, ,community, ,composting, ,Conference, ,Coppicing, ,course, ,Eco-village, ,Education, ,Farming, ,Grass roof, ,Hoppi Wimbush, ,Hydro electric, ,James Giddings, ,Lammas, ,Land-based Livelihood, ,Livestock, ,Living Roof, ,Low impact, ,Malamute, ,One Planet Development, ,Paul Wimbush, ,Pembrokeshire, ,Planning Permission, ,Polytunnel, ,Renewable Technologies, ,Renewables, ,Roundhouse, ,Self-build, ,Solar panels, ,solar power, ,Straw bale building, ,sustainable living, ,TAN 6, ,Timber framing, ,Tir y Gafel, ,Tony Wrench, ,Tree planting, ,vegetarian, ,Volunteering, ,wales, ,Welsh Assembly Government, ,Wild Foraging, ,Willow weaving, ,Wind power, ,Wood crafts, ,Wool crafts, ,WWOOF, ,zero carbon

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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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[IMAGE] Reeds

Laura Ward has both striking portraits and moody black and white landscapes in her portfolio, viagra but what initially drew me to her work was her‘mirror’ set on Flickr. It’s a very low-key selection of random and sometimes a bit blurry shots, more about taken in a plethora of shiny surfaces. The photographer is always in the picture, generic half-hidden behind the camera, and you can practically hear her going ‘ooooh, shiny!’ as she goes for a quick snap in a car mirror, shop window or water-stained bathroom.

But don’t get me wrong – Laura takes ‘proper’ photos too. This includes some really excellent portraits, skillful and professional but always with a slight quirk. Then there are the airy landscapes and the soft, abstracts shots of female figures, not to mention the surprising plays with layers and light. Laura’s long list of previous exhibitions, past, present and future, demonstrates that this girl isn’t just talented, she also has drive and passion in spades. I think we will be hearing more from Laura – lots more.

[IMAGE] Self-portrait (2)

Your new exhibition with photography group Effra FC is showing now in Camberwell. Tell us a little about Effra please.

Effra FC is a South London collective of photographers, with varying levels of skill and styles, who meet once a month in a local pub. Over the last few years it’s grown from a handful of strangers into a 90+ group. Effra has favoured low-fi (ie free) techniques to show work in the past. Mark from Sun & Doves invited us to put on our first professional show and 16 members opted in. It’s a wonderfully eclectic group of people who don’t take Effra FC too seriously. I think that is what makes it work. I’m really proud to be a part of it.

[IMAGE]
Ponies, on show now with Effra.

Effra started as a Flickr group. It seems to me everyone who uses Flickr adores this site. What is it about this site that resonnates so strongly with its users?

The simplicity of Flickr is one of the reasons that we’re all photographers now. I remember the excitement of taking my pictures out of a static website and having this new interactive audience at my fingertips. Having strangers comment on your work is a thrill. It’s also a huge source of inspiration and reference as it’s saturated with so many impressive photographers and ideas.
[IMAGE] Self-portrait (1)

Your CV of photography exhibitions is impressive. Could you tell us about a favourite project please?

Thank you. I tend to favour projects that take me out of my comfort zone. That said, my favourite project is one called ‘Unthought’. I work on images collaboratively with Belgian photographer Stefan Vanthuyne. We don’t discuss how we do it and quite often it doesn’t work, but that is part of the process. Photography can be very isolating, so ‘Unthought’ is a very happy friendship. I also worked on ‘The Apollo Project’ with Jonny Hughes where we took over a shop for a month and turned it into an art/music venue. I could write a book about that month, so that was definitely significant. As soon as those doors opened, it belonged to the community.

[IMAGE] Unthought

Your previous show was the group exhibition ‘Send me a postcard darling’. What was the thought behind this, and how did you get the enchanting Melissa Auf Der Maur to participate?

I decided to book The Red Gate gallery in south London with the aim of doing something similar to shows in Nottingham and New York. SMAPD evolved into its own little thing thanks to the people that got involved. Postcards are such an accessible format for everyone to produce but it’s a size that can challenge you. A couple of established artists commented on how difficult the format was to work with. I remember seeing one of Melissa’s photographs many years ago which I was really drawn to. It was a self portrait called something like ‘When I’m sad, my nose bleeds’. She’s so supportive of creative projects like this so I just asked her. Having established artists like Melissa Auf der Maur, Chad Van Gaalen and John Riordan means more people might come along and take a look at the work of home studio heroes.

[IMAGE] Autumn

Is there a new project coming up which you can tell us about?

I’ve started planning a new project which is partly inspired by the film ‘The Double Life of Véronique’. At the moment it’s a portrait series of 10 people who lead double lives, or those who do one thing to fund something else. I’m really interested in layers and mystique in subjects and they’ll probably be multi-exposed. I’m also hoping that 2011 takes me out of my comfort zone, which is why I’m taking part in Sonny Malhotra’s ProAm Project.

You have an international background. Do you consider London your home? How does taking photos around London compare with photographing other places?

I’m 32 now and having lived in so many places, I can make anywhere feel like home but London is the one place I feel comfortable. I like diversity, uncertainty and the fact that I have friends from all over the world in the same place. I live in Herne Hill which is a wonderfully friendly little melting pot of the best of all worlds and I can’t help but take photographs of it. That said, I need to get out of it fairly regularly to be able to appreciate it. I’ve done very little London life photography this year and I’d like to get back into it.

[IMAGE] She makes war

Your website and Flickr stream has an impressively wide range of photos and styles. You have these amazing, intense portraits as well as the really fun, playful stuff. What kind of photography is your favourite?

I’ll take photographs of almost anything I prefer an element of surprise and untidiness. I don’t really favour studio lighting, and I try not to plan too much. My favourite kind of picture is a soft abstract female shot. I love Francesca Woodman’s work so if I could take more images akin to hers, I’d be happy. Though I’d never want to rip her off.

I really love the set of pictures taken in mirrors and shiny surfaces – I have one of these myself! But tell me, what’s the deal with these pictures?

It’s the depth, layers and the light! Puddles, mirrors, windows are so much fun. Taking photographs through layers is also great, whether it’s a layer of plastic, water, and even cling film. Despite having photoshop, I use these pre-digital techniques all the time.

[IMAGE] Mirrored

How did you get into photography? What is it you love about it?

I have absolutely no formal training. I started in my teens when my parents allowed me to go travelling to Italy on my own and my dad gave me a Pentax. I was still hoping to be a decent writer back then, but I quickly realised that taking pictures was much easier. I can never find the right words.

What do you do when you’re not taking pictures?

I’ve worked for charities for many years now. My day job is very much focused on numbers and organising – analysis, strategies, reporting, reconciliation and fulfilling appeals. I definitely get a kick out of working both sides of my brain but it’s not easy managing creative projects and having a day job. Having said that, I don’t think I could do one without the other.

Laura Ward’s work is showing now with Effra FC – on until 25 January at the Sun and Doves in Camberwell, 61-63 Coldharbour Lane, London SE5.

Laura Ward Reeds
Reeds

Laura Ward has both striking portraits and moody black and white landscapes in her portfolio, find but what initially drew me to her work was her‘mirror’ set on Flickr. It’s a very low-key selection of random and sometimes a bit blurry shots, ampoule taken in a plethora of shiny surfaces. The photographer is always in the picture, troche half-hidden behind the camera, and you can practically hear her going ‘ooooh, shiny!’ as she goes for a quick snap in a car mirror, shop window or water-stained bathroom.

But don’t get me wrong – Laura takes ‘proper’ photos too. This includes some really excellent portraits, skillful and professional but always with a slight quirk. Then there are the airy landscapes and the soft, abstracts shots of female figures, not to mention the surprising plays with layers and light. Laura’s long list of previous exhibitions, past, present and future, demonstrates that this girl isn’t just talented, she also has drive and passion in spades. I think we will be hearing more from Laura – lots more.

Laura Ward Self 2
Self-portrait

Your new exhibition with photography group Effra FC is showing now in Camberwell. Tell us a little about Effra please.
Effra FC is a South London collective of photographers, with varying levels of skill and styles, who meet once a month in a local pub. Over the last few years it’s grown from a handful of strangers into a 90+ group. Effra has favoured low-fi (ie free) techniques to show work in the past. Mark from Sun and Doves invited us to put on our first professional show and 16 members opted in. It’s a wonderfully eclectic group of people who don’t take Effra FC too seriously. I think that is what makes it work. I’m really proud to be a part of it.

Laura Ward Ponies Effra FC
Ponies, on show now with Effra.

Effra started as a Flickr group. It seems to me everyone who uses Flickr adores this site. What is it about this site that resonnates so strongly with its users?
The simplicity of Flickr is one of the reasons that we’re all photographers now. I remember the excitement of taking my pictures out of a static website and having this new interactive audience at my fingertips. Having strangers comment on your work is a thrill. It’s also a huge source of inspiration and reference as it’s saturated with so many impressive photographers and ideas.

Laura Ward Self 1
Self-portrait

Your CV of photography exhibitions is impressive. Could you tell us about a favourite project please?
Thank you. I tend to favour projects that take me out of my comfort zone. That said, my favourite project is one called ‘Unthought’. I work on images collaboratively with Belgian photographer Stefan Vanthuyne. We don’t discuss how we do it and quite often it doesn’t work, but that is part of the process. Photography can be very isolating, so ‘Unthought’ is a very happy friendship. I also worked on ‘The Apollo Project’ with Jonny Hughes where we took over a shop for a month and turned it into an art/music venue. I could write a book about that month, so that was definitely significant. As soon as those doors opened, it belonged to the community.

Laura Ward Unthought
Unthought

Your previous show was the group exhibition ‘Send me a postcard darling’. What was the thought behind this, and how did you get the enchanting Melissa Auf Der Maur to participate?
I decided to book The Red Gate gallery in south London with the aim of doing something similar to shows in Nottingham and New York. SMAPD evolved into its own little thing thanks to the people that got involved. Postcards are such an accessible format for everyone to produce but it’s a size that can challenge you. A couple of established artists commented on how difficult the format was to work with. I remember seeing one of Melissa’s photographs many years ago which I was really drawn to. It was a self portrait called something like ‘When I’m sad, my nose bleeds’. She’s so supportive of creative projects like this so I just asked her. Having established artists like Melissa Auf der Maur, Chad Van Gaalen and John Riordan means more people might come along and take a look at the work of home studio heroes.

Laura Ward Autumn
Autumn

Is there a new project coming up which you can tell us about?
I’ve started planning a new project which is partly inspired by the film ‘The Double Life of Véronique’. At the moment it’s a portrait series of 10 people who lead double lives, or those who do one thing to fund something else. I’m really interested in layers and mystique in subjects and they’ll probably be multi-exposed. I’m also hoping that 2011 takes me out of my comfort zone, which is why I’m taking part in Sonny Malhotra’s ProAm Project.

You have an international background. Do you consider London your home? How does taking photos around London compare with photographing other places?
I’m 32 now and having lived in so many places, I can make anywhere feel like home but London is the one place I feel comfortable. I like diversity, uncertainty and the fact that I have friends from all over the world in the same place. I live in Herne Hill which is a wonderfully friendly little melting pot of the best of all worlds and I can’t help but take photographs of it. That said, I need to get out of it fairly regularly to be able to appreciate it. I’ve done very little London life photography this year and I’d like to get back into it.

Laura Ward She Makes War
She Makes War

Your website and Flickr stream has an impressively wide range of photos and styles. You have these amazing, intense portraits as well as the really fun, playful stuff. What kind of photography is your favourite?
I’ll take photographs of almost anything I prefer an element of surprise and untidiness. I don’t really favour studio lighting, and I try not to plan too much. My favourite kind of picture is a soft abstract female shot. I love Francesca Woodman’s work so if I could take more images akin to hers, I’d be happy. Though I’d never want to rip her off.

I really love the set of pictures taken in mirrors and shiny surfaces! But tell me, what’s the deal with these pictures?
It’s the depth, layers and the light! Puddles, mirrors, windows are so much fun. Taking photographs through layers is also great, whether it’s a layer of plastic, water, and even cling film. Despite having photoshop, I use these pre-digital techniques all the time.

Laura Ward Mirrored
Mirrored

How did you get into photography? What is it you love about it?
I have absolutely no formal training. I started in my teens when my parents allowed me to go travelling to Italy on my own and my dad gave me a Pentax. I was still hoping to be a decent writer back then, but I quickly realised that taking pictures was much easier. I can never find the right words.

What do you do when you’re not taking pictures?
I’ve worked for charities for many years now. My day job is very much focused on numbers and organising – analysis, strategies, reporting, reconciliation and fulfilling appeals. I definitely get a kick out of working both sides of my brain but it’s not easy managing creative projects and having a day job. Having said that, I don’t think I could do one without the other.

Laura Ward’s work is showing now with Effra FC – on until 25 January at the Sun and Doves in Camberwell, 61-63 Coldharbour Lane, London SE5.
Laura Ward Reeds
Reeds

Laura Ward has both striking portraits and moody black and white landscapes in her portfolio, side effects but what initially drew me to her work was her‘mirror’ set on Flickr. It’s a very low-key selection of random and sometimes a bit blurry shots, taken in a plethora of shiny surfaces. The photographer is always in the picture, half-hidden behind the camera, and you can practically hear her going ‘ooooh, shiny!’ as she goes for a quick snap in a car mirror, shop window or water-stained bathroom.

But don’t get me wrong – Laura takes ‘proper’ photos too. This includes some really excellent portraits, skillful and professional but always with a slight quirk. Then there are the airy landscapes and the soft, abstracts shots of female figures, not to mention the surprising plays with layers and light. Laura’s long list of previous exhibitions, past, present and future, demonstrates that this girl isn’t just talented, she also has drive and passion in spades. I think we will be hearing more from Laura – lots more.

Laura Ward Self 2
Self-portrait

Your new exhibition with photography group Effra FC is showing now in Camberwell. Tell us a little about Effra please.
Effra FC is a South London collective of photographers, with varying levels of skill and styles, who meet once a month in a local pub. Over the last few years it’s grown from a handful of strangers into a 90+ group. Effra has favoured low-fi (ie free) techniques to show work in the past. Mark from Sun and Doves invited us to put on our first professional show and 16 members opted in. It’s a wonderfully eclectic group of people who don’t take Effra FC too seriously. I think that is what makes it work. I’m really proud to be a part of it.

Laura Ward Ponies Effra FC
Ponies, on show now with Effra.

Effra started as a Flickr group. It seems to me everyone who uses Flickr adores this site. What is it about this site that resonnates so strongly with its users?
The simplicity of Flickr is one of the reasons that we’re all photographers now. I remember the excitement of taking my pictures out of a static website and having this new interactive audience at my fingertips. Having strangers comment on your work is a thrill. It’s also a huge source of inspiration and reference as it’s saturated with so many impressive photographers and ideas.

Laura Ward Self 1
Self-portrait

Your CV of photography exhibitions is impressive. Could you tell us about a favourite project please?
Thank you. I tend to favour projects that take me out of my comfort zone. That said, my favourite project is one called ‘Unthought’. I work on images collaboratively with Belgian photographer Stefan Vanthuyne. We don’t discuss how we do it and quite often it doesn’t work, but that is part of the process. Photography can be very isolating, so ‘Unthought’ is a very happy friendship. I also worked on ‘The Apollo Project’ with Jonny Hughes where we took over a shop for a month and turned it into an art/music venue. I could write a book about that month, so that was definitely significant. As soon as those doors opened, it belonged to the community.

Laura Ward Unthought
Unthought

Your previous show was the group exhibition ‘Send me a postcard darling’. What was the thought behind this, and how did you get the enchanting Melissa Auf Der Maur to participate?
I decided to book The Red Gate gallery in south London with the aim of doing something similar to shows in Nottingham and New York. SMAPD evolved into its own little thing thanks to the people that got involved. Postcards are such an accessible format for everyone to produce but it’s a size that can challenge you. A couple of established artists commented on how difficult the format was to work with. I remember seeing one of Melissa’s photographs many years ago which I was really drawn to. It was a self portrait called something like ‘When I’m sad, my nose bleeds’. She’s so supportive of creative projects like this so I just asked her. Having established artists like Melissa Auf der Maur, Chad Van Gaalen and John Riordan means more people might come along and take a look at the work of home studio heroes.

Laura Ward Autumn
Autumn

Is there a new project coming up which you can tell us about?
I’ve started planning a new project which is partly inspired by the film ‘The Double Life of Véronique’. At the moment it’s a portrait series of 10 people who lead double lives, or those who do one thing to fund something else. I’m really interested in layers and mystique in subjects and they’ll probably be multi-exposed. I’m also hoping that 2011 takes me out of my comfort zone, which is why I’m taking part in Sonny Malhotra’s ProAm Project.

You have an international background. Do you consider London your home? How does taking photos around London compare with photographing other places?
I’m 32 now and having lived in so many places, I can make anywhere feel like home but London is the one place I feel comfortable. I like diversity, uncertainty and the fact that I have friends from all over the world in the same place. I live in Herne Hill which is a wonderfully friendly little melting pot of the best of all worlds and I can’t help but take photographs of it. That said, I need to get out of it fairly regularly to be able to appreciate it. I’ve done very little London life photography this year and I’d like to get back into it.

Laura Ward She Makes War
She Makes War

Your website and Flickr stream has an impressively wide range of photos and styles. You have these amazing, intense portraits as well as the really fun, playful stuff. What kind of photography is your favourite?
I’ll take photographs of almost anything I prefer an element of surprise and untidiness. I don’t really favour studio lighting, and I try not to plan too much. My favourite kind of picture is a soft abstract female shot. I love Francesca Woodman’s work so if I could take more images akin to hers, I’d be happy. Though I’d never want to rip her off.

I really love the set of pictures taken in mirrors and shiny surfaces! But tell me, what’s the deal with these pictures?
It’s the depth, layers and the light! Puddles, mirrors, windows are so much fun. Taking photographs through layers is also great, whether it’s a layer of plastic, water, and even cling film. Despite having photoshop, I use these pre-digital techniques all the time.

Laura Ward Mirrored
Mirrored

How did you get into photography? What is it you love about it?
I have absolutely no formal training. I started in my teens when my parents allowed me to go travelling to Italy on my own and my dad gave me a Pentax. I was still hoping to be a decent writer back then, but I quickly realised that taking pictures was much easier. I can never find the right words.

What do you do when you’re not taking pictures?
I’ve worked for charities for many years now. My day job is very much focused on numbers and organising – analysis, strategies, reporting, reconciliation and fulfilling appeals. I definitely get a kick out of working both sides of my brain but it’s not easy managing creative projects and having a day job. Having said that, I don’t think I could do one without the other.

Laura Ward’s work is showing now with Effra FC – on until 25 January at the Sun and Doves in Camberwell, 61-63 Coldharbour Lane, London SE5.
Laura Ward Reeds
Reeds

Laura Ward has both striking portraits and moody black and white landscapes in her portfolio, order but what initially drew me to her work was her ‘mirror’ set on Flickr. It’s a very low-key selection of random and sometimes a bit blurry shots, taken in a plethora of shiny surfaces. The photographer is always in the picture, half-hidden behind the camera, and you can practically hear her going ‘ooooh, shiny!’ as she goes for a quick snap in a car mirror, shop window or water-stained bathroom.

But don’t get me wrong – Laura takes ‘proper’ photos too. This includes some really excellent portraits, skillful and professional but always with a slight quirk. Then there are the airy landscapes and the soft, abstracts shots of female figures, not to mention the surprising plays with layers and light. Laura’s list of exhibitions, past, present and future, demonstrates that this girl isn’t just talented, she also has drive and passion in spades. I think we will be hearing more from Laura – lots more.

Laura Ward Self 2
Self-portrait

Your new exhibition with photography group Effra FC is showing now in Camberwell. Tell us a little about Effra please.
Effra FC is a South London collective of photographers, with varying levels of skill and styles, who meet once a month in a local pub. Over the last few years it’s grown from a handful of strangers into a 90+ group. Effra has favoured low-fi (ie free) techniques to show work in the past. Mark from Sun and Doves invited us to put on our first professional show and 16 members opted in. It’s a wonderfully eclectic group of people who don’t take Effra FC too seriously. I think that is what makes it work. I’m really proud to be a part of it.

Laura Ward Ponies Effra FC
Ponies, on show now with Effra.

Effra started as a Flickr group. It seems to me everyone who uses Flickr adores this site. What is it about this site that resonnates so strongly with its users?
The simplicity of Flickr is one of the reasons that we’re all photographers now. I remember the excitement of taking my pictures out of a static website and having this new interactive audience at my fingertips. Having strangers comment on your work is a thrill. It’s also a huge source of inspiration and reference as it’s saturated with so many impressive photographers and ideas.

Laura Ward Self 1
Self-portrait

Your CV of photography exhibitions is impressive. Could you tell us about a favourite project please?
Thank you. I tend to favour projects that take me out of my comfort zone. That said, my favourite project is one called ‘Unthought’. I work on images collaboratively with Belgian photographer Stefan Vanthuyne. We don’t discuss how we do it and quite often it doesn’t work, but that is part of the process. Photography can be very isolating, so ‘Unthought’ is a very happy friendship. I also worked on ‘The Apollo Project’ with Jonny Hughes where we took over a shop for a month and turned it into an art/music venue. I could write a book about that month, so that was definitely significant. As soon as those doors opened, it belonged to the community.

Laura Ward Unthought
Unthought

Your previous show was the group exhibition ‘Send me a postcard darling’. What was the thought behind this, and how did you get the enchanting Melissa Auf Der Maur to participate?
I decided to book The Red Gate gallery in South London with the aim of doing something similar to shows in Nottingham and New York. SMAPD evolved into its own little thing thanks to the people that got involved. Postcards are such an accessible format for everyone to produce but it’s a size that can challenge you. A couple of established artists commented on how difficult the format was to work with. I remember seeing one of Melissa’s photographs many years ago which I was really drawn to. It was a self portrait called something like ‘When I’m sad, my nose bleeds’. She’s so supportive of creative projects like this so I just asked her. Having established artists like Melissa Auf der Maur, Chad Van Gaalen and John Riordan means more people might come along and take a look at the work of home studio heroes.

Laura Ward Autumn
Autumn

Is there a new project coming up which you can tell us about?
I’ve started planning a new project which is partly inspired by the film ‘The Double Life of Véronique’. At the moment it’s a portrait series of 10 people who lead double lives, or those who do one thing to fund something else. I’m really interested in layers and mystique in subjects and they’ll probably be multi-exposed. I’m also hoping that 2011 takes me out of my comfort zone, which is why I’m taking part in Sonny Malhotra’s ProAm Project.

You have an international background. Do you consider London your home? How does taking photos around London compare with photographing other places?
I’m 32 now and having lived in so many places, I can make anywhere feel like home but London is the one place I feel comfortable. I like diversity, uncertainty and the fact that I have friends from all over the world in the same place. I live in Herne Hill which is a wonderfully friendly little melting pot of the best of all worlds and I can’t help but take photographs of it. That said, I need to get out of it fairly regularly to be able to appreciate it. I’ve done very little London life photography this year and I’d like to get back into it.

Laura Ward She Makes War
She Makes War

Your website and Flickr stream has an impressively wide range of photos and styles. You have these amazing, intense portraits as well as the really fun, playful stuff. What kind of photography is your favourite?
I’ll take photographs of almost anything I prefer an element of surprise and untidiness. I don’t really favour studio lighting, and I try not to plan too much. My favourite kind of picture is a soft abstract female shot. I love Francesca Woodman’s work so if I could take more images akin to hers, I’d be happy. Though I’d never want to rip her off.

I really love the set of pictures taken in mirrors and shiny surfaces! But tell me, what’s the deal with these pictures?
It’s the depth, layers and the light! Puddles, mirrors, windows are so much fun. Taking photographs through layers is also great, whether it’s a layer of plastic, water, and even cling film. Despite having Photoshop, I use these pre-digital techniques all the time.

Laura Ward Mirrored
Mirrored

How did you get into photography? What is it you love about it?
I have absolutely no formal training. I started in my teens when my parents allowed me to go travelling to Italy on my own and my dad gave me a Pentax. I was still hoping to be a decent writer back then, but I quickly realised that taking pictures was much easier. I can never find the right words.

What do you do when you’re not taking pictures?
I’ve worked for charities for many years now. My day job is very much focused on numbers and organising – analysis, strategies, reporting, reconciliation and fulfilling appeals. I definitely get a kick out of working both sides of my brain but it’s not easy managing creative projects and having a day job. Having said that, I don’t think I could do one without the other.

Laura Ward’s work is showing now with Effra FC – on until 25 January at the Sun and Doves,61-63 Coldharbour Lane, Camberwell, London SE5.
Why did you decide to set up business?
 
Akamuti grew out of my passion for plants! I’ve always been interested in their role in tree medicine, page herbalism and aromatherapy so it feels very natural to work with all these wonderful ingredients. Akamuti began in 2003 when I was only 20 years old and keen to start my own business. I think that being home schooled from the age of 10 instilled in me a very independent outlook on life and this streak has grown with me! The business started off in a really small way, advice mixing up tiny amounts of creams & balms from raw ingredients – always using only the best natural ingredients that we could source. Then I would set off to the local health shops with my little box and try to sell them. It was really exciting to get a positive response and this spurred me on to set up a website so that people could order online. From these humble beginnings the business slowly but surely began to grow. Nowadays the whole family are involved in the business, troche with five of us working together. Our combined enthusiasm for a holistic way of living, eating and healing keeps our creativity focused, ensuring that our products reflect our ethics.

Why is being part of a family business so satisfying?
Its good to work together because you have people you know that you can rely on in a crisis. We understand each better than anyone else and thankfully we all seem to rub along nicely so we make a good team.

How did you train yourself to make skincare products?
When I was 17 I did a herbal medicine course that taught me how to make balms and macerated oils, which was great fun to do in the kitchen. I loved drying herbs, hanging them from the airer so that they made a mess on the floor. I experimented, researched and got my hands dirty until I found a recipe that I was happy with. I’ve also worked in aromatherapy for many years so I know my ingredients inside out.

How is your organic vegetable garden, and do you grow any of your own ingredients?
I really love gardens and I’ve been trying my best to grow veg for years. This year I managed to coax some lovely potatoes out of the ground as well as salads, tomatoes and a million cucumbers. Sadly, my onions and garlic didn’t even get chance to see the sunshine this year (slugs!) but I plant them every year because it feels wrong not too! We have plenty of space so it’s been a dream of mine to grow our own ingredients for a few years now… I just need to find the time. 
I’m hoping to plant a lavender and rose garden at some point so that I can make a small amount of my own rosewater!  
 
Can you describe the set up in Wales?
We work from our workshop in a beautiful valley in south west Wales overlooking the Brechfa Forest. We have a smallholding so it’s not only home to us but a few unruly animals as well. It’s a truly inspirational place to live, with nature literally on the doorstep and natural beauty around every corner. I love the peace and quiet here, it really nourishes the soul.   

When you have visitors where do you take them out?
I would take them to our little town of Llandeilo to shop for organic bread and homemade ice cream, then we would visit Carreg Cennen Castle, dramatically perched on a limestone outcrop. I’d make sure we visited the seaside where there are countless coves to choose from, so we might just do them all. And to finish, we would end up in our local pub which has the best beer garden in the world!

What are the benefits of being in Wales, and the pitfalls?
I love the wild side of Wales most. It’s great to nip out the door and within minutes you can be in a forest, a meadow, or on a mountain. I love the trees and fields, the castles, the coastline, the views out to the Brecon Beacons, the stunning drive through the Towy Valley. There is a strong craft community here, we have several community run shops, and there is a lot of great food and farm produce about too. The pitfalls… what pitfalls!?
 
Been anywhere else lately?
I’ve just got back from southern Snowdonia where I stayed at the foot of Cadair Idris. There is a beautiful lake there which I love. It is very cool and quiet – you could be anywhere in the world. I’ve also recently discovered the New Forest – I particularly like all the animals wandering freely through the villages.

How do you source your fairtrade organic ingredients?
Thankfully the internet makes this very easy. We find new suppliers quite quickly and many come by word of mouth. A lot of the time I stumble across people doing amazing things which I note down for the future!

What is the first thing you do when you want to invent a new product?
I make myself a coffee, find a comfy spot, get my notebook out and start writing. I think of what I want to achieve with the product and what I would like to go in it and then I start putting them together. I also brainstorm with everyone else. A bit like planning a garden, the best part is picking the plants! 

What exciting new products are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a flower based perfume at the moment, so I’m playing around with sandalwood, rose, jasmine and a number of other oils to get the best combination. I’ve decided to keep the perfume as an oil, much like the ancient Attar perfumes, which were based on sandalwood oil. I am a big fan of eastern aromatherapy and I like the way the scents make me drift away to the ancient lands of Persia or Anatolia in my mind.  

What is your favourite ingredient to work with and why?
I’ve got a few favourites but I’ll try and narrow them down. My first love is definitely Rose Otto oil – it works so well for many physical and emotional problems, as well as smelling beautiful. I also love working with Neroli essential oil because it is so uplifting. If an oil could have the quality of kindness then this is the one! 

Why should people buy your products?
Because they are good for the skin and the soul! They are made with 100% natural ingredients from start to finish without any additional rubbish, and we try our best to harness all of the natural goodness of trees, plants and flowers in each product so that our customers get the very best we can make. Our products are people and planet friendly, and they are affordable too.
 
Akamuti by Jenny Lloyd
Akamuti by Jenny Lloyd.

I first became enamoured with Akamuti skincare products when I discovered the brand in 2008 and subsequently interviewed them for the last print issue of Amelia’s Magazine. A family run business in Wales that creates gorgeous organic fairtrade products – what’s not to like? Time to find out what founder Lindsey Hedges is up to these days…

Why did you decide to set up business?
Akamuti grew out of my passion for plants! I’ve always been interested in their role in tree medicine, information pills herbalism and aromatherapy so it feels very natural to work with all these wonderful ingredients. Akamuti began in 2003 when I was only 20 years old and keen to start my own business. I think that being home schooled from the age of 10 instilled in me a very independent outlook on life and this streak has grown with me! The business started off in a really small way, mixing up tiny amounts of creams and balms from raw ingredients – always using only the best natural ingredients that we could source. Then I would set off to the local health shops with my little box and try to sell them. It was really exciting to get a positive response and this spurred me on to set up a website so that people could order online. From these humble beginnings the business slowly but surely began to grow. Nowadays the whole family are involved in the business, with five of us working together. Our combined enthusiasm for a holistic way of living, eating and healing keeps our creativity focused, ensuring that our products reflect our ethics.

Akamuti skincare by Karina Yarv
Lindsey Hedges, founder of Akamuti. Illustration by Karina Yarv.

Why is being part of a family business so satisfying?
It’s good to work together because you have people you know that you can rely on in a crisis. We understand each better than anyone else and thankfully we all seem to rub along nicely so we make a good team.

How did you train yourself to make skincare products?
When I was 17 I did a herbal medicine course that taught me how to make balms and macerated oils, which was great fun to do in the kitchen. I loved drying herbs, hanging them from the airer so that they made a mess on the floor. I experimented, researched and got my hands dirty until I found a recipe that I was happy with. I’ve also worked in aromatherapy for many years so I know my ingredients inside out.

Akamuti-rose & marshmallow beauty mask
Akamuti’s Rose & Marshmallow Beauty Mask.

How is your organic vegetable garden, and do you grow any of your own ingredients?
I really love gardens and I’ve been trying my best to grow veg for years. This year I managed to coax some lovely potatoes out of the ground as well as salads, tomatoes and a million cucumbers. Sadly, my onions and garlic didn’t even get chance to see the sunshine this year (slugs!) but I plant them every year because it feels wrong not too. We have plenty of space so it’s been a dream of mine to grow our own ingredients for a few years now… I just need to find the time. I’m hoping to plant a lavender and rose garden at some point so that I can make a small amount of my own rosewater. 
 
Can you describe the set up in Wales?
We work from our workshop in a beautiful valley in south west Wales overlooking the Brechfa Forest. We have a smallholding so it’s not only home to us but a few unruly animals as well. It’s a truly inspirational place to live, with nature literally on the doorstep and natural beauty around every corner. I love the peace and quiet here, it really nourishes the soul.   

Akamuti-by-Nina-Hunter
Akamuti by Nina Hunter.

When you have visitors where do you take them out?
I would take them to our little town of Llandeilo to shop for organic bread and homemade ice cream, then we would visit Carreg Cennen Castle, dramatically perched on a limestone outcrop. I’d make sure we visited the seaside where there are countless coves to choose from, so we might just do them all. And to finish, we would end up in our local pub which has the best beer garden in the world.

Carreg-Cennen-Castle-by-Yelena-Bryksenkova
Carreg Cennen Castle by Yelena Bryksenkova.

What are the benefits of being in Wales, and the pitfalls?
I love the wild side of Wales most. It’s great to nip out the door and within minutes be in a forest, a meadow, or on a mountain. I love the trees and fields, the castles, the coastline, the views out to the Brecon Beacons, the stunning drive through the Towy Valley. There is a strong craft community here, we have several community run shops, and there is a lot of great food and farm produce about too. The pitfalls… what pitfalls!?
 
lindsey_akamuti_darren fletcher
Lindsey Hedges by Darren Fletcher.

Been anywhere else lately?
I’ve just got back from southern Snowdonia where I stayed at the foot of Cadair Idris. There is a beautiful lake there which I love. It is very cool and quiet – you could be anywhere in the world. I’ve also recently discovered the New Forest – I particularly like all the animals wandering freely through the villages.

Cadair Idris by Karina Yarv
Cadair Idris by Karina Yarv

How do you source your fairtrade organic ingredients?
Thankfully the internet makes this very easy. We find new suppliers quite quickly and many come by word of mouth. A lot of the time I stumble across people doing amazing things which I note down for the future.

What is the first thing you do when you want to invent a new product?
I make myself a coffee, find a comfy spot, get my notebook out and start writing. I think of what I want to achieve with the product and what I would like to go in it and then I start putting them together. I also brainstorm with everyone else. A bit like planning a garden, the best part is picking the plants! 

Akamuti-buttered rose & almond hand cream
Akamuti’s Buttered Rose & Almond Hand Cream.

What exciting new products are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a flower based perfume at the moment, so I’m playing around with sandalwood, rose, jasmine and a number of other oils to get the best combination. I’ve decided to keep the perfume as an oil, much like the ancient Attar perfumes, which were based on sandalwood oil. I am a big fan of eastern aromatherapy and I like the way the scents make me drift away to the ancient lands of Persia or Anatolia in my mind.  

What is your favourite ingredient to work with and why?
I’ve got a few favourites but I’ll try and narrow them down. My first love is definitely Rose Otto oil – it works so well for many physical and emotional problems, as well as smelling beautiful. I also love working with Neroli essential oil because it is so uplifting. If an oil could have the quality of kindness then this is the one. 

Why should people buy your products?
Because they are good for the skin and the soul! They are made with 100% natural ingredients from start to finish without any additional rubbish, and we try our best to harness all of the natural goodness of trees, plants and flowers in each product so that our customers get the very best we can make. Our products are people and planet friendly, and they are affordable too.
 
Akamuti-replenishing rose facial oil
Akamuti’s Replenishing Rose Facial Oil.

What do you expect to top your Christmas bestsellers list this year?
At the moment, our Replenishing Rose Face Cream is selling very quickly so we are making lots of it to try to keep up with demand. Over the winter the skin tends to dry out much more (I know mine has!) so your skin will really appreciate a good, rich moisturiser to put back all the goodness which the cold weather takes out of it. Replenishing Rose Face Cream is a welcome treat for tired, hungry skin because it is very rich and softening, combining nourishing raspberry, precious pomegranate and rosehip oils with luxurious Rose Otto oil. I expect all our face creams and exotic butters to be the bestsellers over Christmas because they make lovely, unusual presents that are totally natural and ethical.

***************************

I recently chanced upon a bottle of Kalahari Watermelon Body Oil that had been kicking around in the back of my bathroom, and let me tell you it is a glorious treat after a brief interlude of using a cheap Superdrug moisturiser. It smells utterly heavenly and soaks in really well, leaving a delicate waft of essential oils in its wake. You too can shop with Akamuti on their website and at independent retailers across the country.

Categories ,Akamuti, ,Aromatherapy, ,Attar perfume, ,Beauty, ,body butters, ,Brechfa Forest, ,Brecon Beacons, ,Buttered Rose & Almond Hand Cream, ,Cadair Idris, ,Carreg Cennen Castle, ,Darren Fletcher, ,face cream, ,fairtrade, ,Health, ,Herbal Medicine, ,jasmine, ,Jenny Lloyd, ,Kalahari Watermelon Body Oil, ,Karina Yarv, ,Lindsey Hedges, ,Llandeilo, ,Neroli oil, ,New Forest, ,Nina Hunter, ,organic, ,Persia, ,Pomegranate, ,Raspberry, ,Replenishing Rose Face Cream, ,Replenishing Rose Facial Oil, ,Rose, ,Rose & Marshmallow Beauty Mask, ,Rose Otto oil, ,Rosehip, ,sandalwood, ,Snowdonia, ,Towy Valley, ,Tree Medicine, ,wales, ,Yelena Bryksenkova

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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

JeffKoons_Popeye_email.jpg

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!

1.jpg

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.

s1.jpg

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

s2.jpg

STEP 3.
Cut the sideseams out.

s3.jpg

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.

s4.jpg

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.

s5.jpg

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

s6.jpg

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

s7a.jpg
s7b.jpg

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.

s8.jpg

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.

s9.jpg

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.

s10.jpg
s10b.jpg

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.

s11.jpg


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.

s12.jpg

You’re all done!

outi%20with%20bag.jpg

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…

CCCymru%20Mia.jpg

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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Amelia’s Magazine | Landscape Gallery – Oriel y Parc

Monday 12th Jan
Starting today: The Voice and Nothing More is a week-long festival at the Slade Research Centre that explores the voice as both medium and subject matter in contemporary arts practices. Established artists and emerging talent will work with leading vocal performers in an exploration of the voice outside language. On Wednesday the festival culminates in a presentation of objects, pilule generic performances, order and installations that are open to the public. There will also be performances on Thursday and Friday from 6 pm.

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Wednesday 14th Jan

Now in it’s 21st year, recipe the London Art Fair begins at the Design Centre in Islington. A hundred galleries are selected to show work from the last few hundred years. This immense exhibition will encompass sculpture, photography, prints, video and installation art. It ends on the 18th of January.
There is a talk this evening at the ICA entitled Can Art make us Happy? where artists Zoë Walker and Michael Pinsky explore the notions of art as a social cure-all in times of economic and social gloom.
A new solo show from Josephine Flynn begins today at Limoncello on Hoxton Square. The Mexican was bought off a patient who was in hospital with mental health problems. When the patient talked about The Mexican she described how the process of making him had helped her – ‘healing through making’ was how she put it.

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Thursday 15th Jan
Feierabend is a collaborative installation between artists Francis Upritchard, Martino Gamper, and Karl Fritsche, bringing together a shared aesthetic in their distinctive approaches to jewellery, furniture design, and sculpture. The exhibition plays with the boundaries of art and real life – looking like a workshop abandoned at the end of a day’s work, or a sitting room left in abstracted dissary, it’s only inhabitants a set of sculpted figures who seem lost in their own meditations.
Gimpel Fils opens a new photographic exhbition from Peter Lanyon and Emily-Jo Sargent, 100 Pictures of Coney Island.
The Asphalt World is a new solo show at Studio Voltaire from Simon Bedwell. Drip paintings are made from advertising posters in an ironic twist or corporate seduction.

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Feierabend


Friday 16th

There are two exhibitions starting today at Wilkinson on Vyner Street. In Upper Gallery a, Episode III, Enjoy Poverty, is the second in a series of three films by Renzo Martens in which he raises issues surrounding contemporary image making, challenging ideas about the role of film makers and viewers in the construction of documentaries. In the Lower Gallery, there will be the fourth exhibiton from German artist, Silke Schatz. Through the conjunction of video, sculpture, drawing and found objects, Schahtz composes a personal portrait of the city of Agsburg.

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Saturday 17th Jan

We featured David Cotterrell in issue ten, where in the picturesque surroundings of Tatton Park, he explained how his visit to Afghanistan, where he was invited by the Wellcome Trust, would be likely to have a lasting effect on his future work. Aesthetic Distance is David Cotterrell’s third solo exhibition with Danielle Arnaud, and focuses on the experiences and inevitable aftermath of a flight he took in November 2007 in a RAF C17, from Brize Norton to Kandahar. He was the sole passenger in a plane loaded with half a million rounds of palletised munitions and medical supplies to join Operation Herrick 7, a strange irony not lost on the artist.

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Earth Listings

Monday 12th January, viagra 60mg 7pm

Climate Rush hits Heathrow

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To whomsoever concerned by the biggest threat faced by humanity today-that of climate change,

You are cordially invited to Dinner at Domestic Departures. Join us for an evening of peaceful civil(ised) disobedience ahead of the government’s decision over a third runway at Heathrow. Inspired by the actions of the suffragettes, we will be calling for DEEDS NOT WORDS. The government acknowledges the huge problems we face from Climate Change but they continue with business as usual. This jolly evening is intended to produce much-needed positive change and we do hope that you would join us.

Location: Domestic Departures, Terminal 1, Heathrow Airport.

Time: 7pm (when the string quartet plays their first note).

Dress Code: Edwardian Suffragette: high collars, long skirts, fitted jackets, puffed sleeves, think Mary Poppins. Sashes will be provided. * Although advisable, it is not compulsory to arrive in Edwardian dress, the most important thing is that you your friends and family join us for dinner. To add the element of surprise, it is suggested that you arrive in a large coat to conceal your costume until the stroke of 7.

Bring: Jam tarts, scones, cucumber sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, tea cakes. Picnic blankets and table cloths. Tea and elderflower cordial. No alcohol please.

Entertainment: String quartet, art tricks from ArtPort, polite conversation.

We look forward to seeing you,

The Misbehaved Ladies from Climate Rush x

Tuesday 13th January, 6pm

Art, Activism and the legacy of Chico Mendes
RSA
8 John Adam Street
London
WC2N 6EZ

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Tonight will explore the ways in which the arts can help shift society’s attitudes in the face of unprecedented climate change. Elenira Mendes, daughter of environmental activist Chico Mendes, will talk alongside panelists Jonathan Dove (award-winning composer), Greenpeace’s senior climate adviser, Charlie Kronick and fasion designer and activist Dame Vivienne Westwood.

Wednesday 14th January

Wednesdays Do Matter
InSpiral Lounge, 250 Camden High Street NW1 8QS

A night of music, comedy, poetry and film (and really good vegan smoothies!) in aid of global justice campaigners, the World Development Movement. Remind yourselves why everyday matters, even Wednesdays.

Trouble the Water
ICA
The Mall
London
SW1Y 5AH

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Winner of this year’s Grand Jury prize at Sundance and announced as a finalist in 2009 Accademy Awards for Best Documentary. This is one New Orleans’ resident’s depiction of the catastrophic tragedy of Hurricaine Katrina. Shot with a (shakily) handheld camera, Kimberely Roberts’ footage starts from the weekend before the hurricaine and covers a period of a year. Michael Moore collaborators Tia Lessin and Carl Deal edit and append the tapes with their own film of the post-Katrina clean-up effort.An astounding portrayal of resilience and bravery.

Showing at the ICA 12th-15th January

Turning The Season
at The Wapping Project
Wapping Hydraulic Power Station
Wapping Wall
London
E1W 3SG

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Recent crisp bright skies have been a welcome respite from the usual drab January weather. But who knows what tomorrow may bring. Turning the Season explores the social and cultural phenomenon of the British Season. It would be fair to say that the increasingly visible effects of Climate Change have further fuelled our national fascination with the weather.
Expect 100 bird houses, a roof-top lily pond and a photo story showing the break-up of a relationship against the backdrop of seasonal events shot by fashion photographer Thomas Zanon-Larcher.

Until 28th Febuary

Amazonia at the Young Vic

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Although aimed at swarms of roaring key stage 3 schoolchildren as an educational piece on the issue of deforestation, this production from Palace People’s Projects is a true delight. Set in a traditional village in the Amazon that is eventually swayed by the ghost of Chico Mendes to not fall under the developers’ bulldozers. But not until some devastation has been wreaked first. A socio-political depiction of destruction of the Amazon with a mythical slant. All set to the music and dancing of Forro. An inventive stage (a mammoth man-made tree rather resembling an electrical pole, and pools of water seperating the audience) and brilliantly gaudy costumes by Gringo Cardia.

Until 24th January
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Monday 12th January

Dead Kids, cost O Children, erectile The Lexington, London

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Seriously energetic post-punk, sequinned and LOUD live act Dead Kids headline. No matter what you think of them on record, they’re sure to grab you live. Continuing the infant name-theme, as well as the intense post-punk sounds are support O Children.

Comanechi, Durrr at The End, London

With the ever-winning combo of Japanese girl singing drummer (also to be found as frontwoman for London band Pre) and jangular guitars, this is your best bet for a trendy sceney night out in London.

Tuesday 13th January


Banjo or Freakout
single launch party, White Heat @ Madame JoJos, London

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Part of the new-wave of ultra-hip, genre-smashing music sweeping the artier corners of the globe at the moment. Should be a celebratory atmosphere as it is his single launch party.

Wednesday 14th January

Goldie Lookin Chain, Metro, London

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Ho ho ho, GLC are sooooo funny. Free entry is promised to the gig but don’t leave your purse at home as you’ll have to pay to leave.

The Virgins, Rough Trade East, London

American New Wave tinged indie-rock.

Thursday 15th January

Wet Paint, Rough Trade East, London

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Playing this gig in anticipation of the release of their new album, they’ll be supporting Bloc Party later in the year.

Emmy the Great, 12 Bar Club, London

Intimate solo acoustic performance of debut album First Love in full, ahead of its release in February.

Push, Astoria 2, London

A massive farewell party for the Astoria 2 which will be finally demolished on Friday. Catch Cajun Dance Party live as well as DJ sets from Mystery Jets, Lightspeed Champion, Good Shoes and Neon Gold among many others and mourn the demise of the sticky-floored dingy music venue in central London.

Friday 16th January

Cats in Paris, Brassica, Braindead Improv Ensemble, The Woe Betides, George Tavern, London

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Massively hyped, bonkers 70s-ish glam-electro from Manchester.

The Golden Silvers, The Macbeth, London

Dreamy indie-pop from these regulars of the London gig circuit.

Saturday 17th January

The Bookhouse Boys, Empire, Middlesborough

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Catch this 9 piece mini-orchestra, complete with mariachi brass, duelling drummers and girl-boy vocals, for their Ennio Morricone-style soundscapes.

I Love Boxie: a web-based business in London that tailors a t-shirt especially for you based on the story you tell them. The most astute of the fashion-conscious clan know that style should reflect your spirit and not merely robotic trends. In light of this; don’t wear your heart on your sleeve– instead wear it on a t-shirt; a Boxie t-shirt.
Here, cure founder of Boxie, troche Moxie shares her views on what fashion is truly about, how her brand works and what she hopes to achieve through her t-shirts:

Tell us the story of I Love Boxie.?

Each t-shirt tells a piece of the way – a place we have been, a person we have seen. We have many lines that fit many situations and could tell a piece of your story too. If not, we offer t-spoke. You call us, tell us a story and we turn it into a line on a t-shirt. We believe everyone in the world should have an unbranded, authentic tee that sings a line of where they have been and what they have seen. We are the opposite of any company who just put a logo on a t-shirt.

?Where does the inspiration for your t-shirts come from?

?From the people who write and call in everyday with their stories. The stories are wild, heartfelt, quiet, poignant and are better than anything we could make up.

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What’s the idea behind the “half a conversation” concept?

If you think about branding for the last 30 years it’s been about distillation, reducing everything to a line eg: ‘just do it’ or ‘impossible is nothing’.
Our lines are about provoking expansion. It’s just the first line of the story, or the chapter heading. We want people to come up to someone wearing a Boxie tee – and go ‘wow, what the hell happened to you??’
?
Why do you make it purposefully hard for people to purchase your t-shirts, without contacting you directly first??

The tees are written about stupid, funny, weird, deep moments in people’s lives. All of them from the heart. They feel like they need more exchange than a credit card transaction. T-spoke especially. This is a creative collaboration that begins with the customer telling us their story. It is a strange and wonderful one off encounter between them and us. The t-shirt is their battle scar of that personal story.

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Is all your business Internet based? ?

As far as being web based goes, our tees are obviously a form of self expression and there is no greater arena for that than the web. This taps into what a tee originally was – a piece of underwear, something that wasn’t supposed to be seen but kept close to the chest and hidden like a secret.

These days, the web is a place where secrets can step out of the shade, where people can talk about things they wouldn’t usually talk about in real life. Most times, you can learn more about someone from reading their status report than talking to them for an hour in reality, because the web has taught us the language of openness and sharing.

Boxie exists in the ether as part of that fluency. More importantly those web values – openness, sharing, community – are overflowing back into real life now. So, yes, soon we’ll be on the streets in some form, although the tees will never ever be in a retail space, hanging limply on a rack.

Your favourite Boxie T-Shirt to date??

So High and Solo

How would you describe Boxie in one word??
Gonzo

Any advice for the penniless fashionista?
Everything great creatively comes from being up against it and with no cash. You can’t ever see it when you’re in it but, as far as imagination goes, you are in an infinitely better position than someone with a million dollars. Do something great with this time. And then call us to get the t-shirt. ?

Advice for those wanting to purchase something Boxie??

Write to us directly at moxie@iloveboxie.com
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New York is spawning many a catchy-tuned electro based band at the moment – meet The Discoghosts, more about firstly they have a brilliant name, look secondly, approved they do what they say on the tin, this is a disco fest. Their ethos is nicely summed up in their lyrics, “We love ladies and they love us, cos we’re cool and disco plus.”

Otherwise known as M-Boy and Tracky, they meant their album title – BAD – literally it seems, rather than a tribute to the King of 80′s pop, as they are apparently, “trying to break the taboos of “good” music, while playing with clichés of club sound like repetition, climax, stupidity, autofilter, and sound fetishism.” I see.

This album could be the OST to many an 80′s movie – it’s true, it may be the decade that taste forgot but it produced some pretty good tunes – there are obvious Ghostbusters references ie: track 2 being called Ghostbusters Busters and there’s also hints of the Beverley Hills Cop riffs in there, along with and slinky soul beats, electro voices, rubbish rapping and a guy that sounds suspiciously like the chef from South Park

That’s not to say they’re stuck in the past, their mellower synthetic beats, such as Jellyfish, track 9, have a Hot Chip vibe and that’s not a bad thing at all.

If their aim was to produce an awful album – they failed, maybe it’s just that I have a soft spot/great love for the 80′s but I very much enjoyed this, catchy, listenable songs that don’t take themselves seriously. My favourite line, from Straight but Gayish (sung by a high electro voice), “your boyfriend’s hetro but he looks homo.”

And they dress like this to perform:

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How could you not love them?
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It was legitimate for us to feel nervous. With indiscreet bullying from BAA and no knowledge as to how the police were planning to receive us, sick we tucked our dresses beneath our over-coats and shuffled through the throngs of intimidating fluorescent jackets at Heathrow Departures, illness passports at the ready and an impromptu conversation about flight times – very subtle. I wish I could have seen the briefing, look out for pretty girls in dresses and large jackets.

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Once in, all subtleties were abandoned, a charming sight when the order of the day was Edwardian dress and dinner, an evening of very civil (ised) disobedience. Instruments, top hats, high collars and puffy sleeves – all were revealed as the clock struck seven, the string quartet took to its first note and picnic blankets were unfurled for the beginning of the Climate Rush organized party, Dinner at Domestic Departures.

Music played, food passed cordially from plate to plate, and sashes were handed out. It was not long before currents rippled through the crowd into cheers, claps, and chants, “Deeds Not Words”, “Trains not Planes” and, “No Third Runway”, with a contingency singing to the tune of 90′s classic There’s no Limit. The complete transformation of Zone C was helped along by Artport, a collective of artists working in collaboration with Cilimate Rush to redefine the space as we know it. Green all-in-one clad waiters weaved through the crowd with a planet for a cake and planes for spoons, whilst a parachute game bounced a blow-up earth from edge to edge.

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In amidst this electric and elevating atmosphere, it was a spectacular delivery of a serious message. Climate Change is a very real threat and many people feel let down by the powers that be to address this threat.

We don’t want a third runway and call for cheaper train fares and better transport hubs instead of domestic short-haul flights. It is of course just part of a bigger picture: the greater threat of Climate Change of which aviation expansion is just a part, and the wider feelings of concern and dissatisfaction amongst citizens for whom civil disobedience is also, just a part.

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Describing herself as an ex-Camden townie, link the self-taught illustrator, Zarina Liew, has thrown her arms up at the big smoke and a career in marketing; and has chosen instead the serenity of the Cambridgeshire countryside, pencils, watercolours, and strange lonely creatures ridden by lust and self-ruin.
Her Hunter Series, eight inked paintings which exhibited at the Shoreditch Shuffle Festival, started life as a 24-page graphic novel. It tells the story of a gramaphone and a lonely creature, who forms an unlikely friendship with three musicians. She is driven by a need for company and music, they are captured by her beauty and seduced by her authority. The musicians fall into her charm and into her gramophone where they are trapped and eventually perish, singing songs of solidarity and love.

Over a virtual cup if Green Tea, we ask Liew a bit more about her curious creatures of emotional turmoil, her illustrative inspiration and whether or not she misses Camden.

Tell us about the Hunter Series.

I wanted The Hunter Series to be an extension of the original story both visually and metaphorically – a story within a story. You get a sense of the narrative from the different pieces, but as a whole, you see the Hunter for who she is – a hungry, lonely and melancholic being. It’s an illustration of lust and self-ruin; both the musicians and the Hunter are acting on impulse, blind to their terrible fates. Even though she is the one to end the men’s lives, the Hunter does not get what she wants. With no one to listen or play with, she’s alone again.

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Where do you draw information for your characters from?

I draw most of my information from observing the people around me. I never assume that what you see in someone is what you get – everyone has a hidden interior of ambition and desire. Music plays a large part as well. I found the musicians for The Hunter listening to an unsigned band playing at the Dublin Castle in Camden – the Parallel Animals. After falling in love with them – and the front man! – I offered to sketch them during rehearsals and help out at their gigs. Seeing how hard local bands work at this music business, and how ruthless the whole industry is, gave me a sense of direction in depicting the musician’s fate in my artwork.

The emotional context of the characters is strong; the nature of lust and self-ruin… is this an expression of your own emotional turmoil?

I suppose yes – in a sense that all of my work is an expression of myself, my feelings and thoughts. I wouldn’t say that I am strongly affected by the nature of lust and self-ruin though, let’s just say that I am extremely aware of it in myself, and all too conscious of letting myself go, or losing control of who I am. As I mentioned earlier we all have a hidden interior of ambition and desire – acting on lust however (whatever the desire – money, sex, fame) can only lead to self-ruin. Sometimes I wonder if I’m making the right choices, I question why I did certain things and what is behind my motivations. It’s a constant cycle of self-reflection.

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And finally, Camden vs Cambridge countryside… who wins?

This is a real toughie. Can I be wayward and say that weekdays are for Camden and weekends are for Cambridge?
During the week I get a lot of inspiration from the Camden kids, lovely hidden-away galleries and sweaty underpriced indie nights. By the weekend though it’s full of puffy tourists and very long queues for nothing.
That’s when I retreat to the gentle Cambridge countryside. It’s perfect for lethargic country strolls and relaxing afternoon teas; this is also where I get a lot of my inspiration down onto paper and start to paint. All the week’s bustle leaves my mind ready to draw in peace and quiet!

You can see more of her work here, or catch her at the Alternative Press Fair on Sunday 1st February where she will be featuring the Hunter Storybook alongside other homemade creations, and apparently, lots of Green Tea.

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Why is it no-one tells you that when you leave uni, approved your life will have a huge vacuum and those 3 years you spent studying illustration suddenly seem wasted when all the available jobs are in call centres? What to do? Give up the creative dream? Not if you’re Brighton girl Anna Wenger. She decided that if there was no jobs out there, adiposity she’d start her own business, viagra dosage and Sacred Stitches was born. Her idea of stitching classic tattoo designs onto clothes and homewares has really taken off in recent months, and she’s kindly chatted to us about it:

How did your business come about?
I needed to give my family and friends Christmas presents but without spending much money, so made everyone cushions. I got a lot of attention from these cushions and created more and more and now embroider onto everything I can lay my hands on!

Who are your favourite designers?
I love Angelique Houtkamp, her work mixes classic tattoo imagery with Hollywood romance and her eye for style is very inspirational.
Others include Inka Tattooist James Robinson, Alex Binnie, Jon Burgerman, Tara McPherson and Crush Design Studio.

How would you describe your personal style?

A very modern graphic twist on an old school tattoo style. I like to think that with my designs everyone can appreciate the art form of tattoos without having to get one.

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Do you wear your own designs?
Oh yes, and so does my boyfriend, his friends, my flatmates. My flat is completely covered in sacred stitches cushions!

Who or what inspires you? (i know the obvious answer here is tattoos –
but if there’s anything else!)

I live with a tattooist who influences my work; magazines and art exhibitions are good for getting new ideas. My boyfriend and friends are covered in tattoos and will come home with a new piece of art on their skin, so its hard not to be inspired when your surrounded by moving artwork.


Have you got any tattoos?

No, the design is still in progress.

Do you have a favourite tattoo design / what’s the best you’ve seen so
far?

My favourite so far is by Judd Ripley of an amazingly haunting pirate ship. (pictured below)

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Do you still love Brighton/can you see yourself living anywhere else?
I am originally from Brighton and moved back here after University, as it’s a creative city. I do love Brighton as it’s a very receptive place for my designs because people here like to buy from small businesses.

Can I have a t-shirt please?
Yes, what size are you, xxl?!?

How very dare you. A medium at the very most!
Thanks for your time Anna. Talent and ambition, the best combination.
Contact Anna about getting hold of your own personalised tattoo(ed piece of clothing) here.

So it may have looked like I was deserting my post last week, cheap swanning off to Paris to slide down hills on the ice and hibernate in nice restaurants. However, whilst my trip may have involved quite a lot of that sort of fun, I was not just being a bone-idle holiday-monger. Au contraire. I also had my ears opened to some great new music and had this excellent first EP by Hold Your Horses! thrust into my sweaty and eager palms (fine it was in a nice restaurant that this transaction took place but we were just following the model of most international business).

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Most recent French bands seem either to do an excellent line in electronica or a terrible one in punk rock – you just can’t do attitude if your beige converse match your cashmere v-neck and your hair is cleaner and shinier than a Pantene advert. Hold Your Horses! have most in common with the second school, essentially a guitar band augmented with some strings and wind. However, perhaps the fact that they are a motley crew of diplobrats and true Frenchies contributes to the broader and more interesting range of influences discernible in their music. Sure, The Strokes are probably in every single member of the band’s record collection and at moments on this record, if you were to replace singer Flo’s Chrissie Hinde delivery with a Casablancas drawl, you would be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped back to Strokes-fever 2003, but this is really just what provides the catchy backbone of these songs. There’s a pleasantly shambolic tone – perhaps a little too shambolic at times due to the slightly rough-around-the-edges self-done mix – and when the boy vocals kick in partway through track two, a vaguely Celtic edge emerges.

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Opener Cigarettes and Lies, the strongest song on the record, fanfares its arrival with a blast of trumpets before launching into a danceable meditation on youthful lust and confusion. After that, the titles get longer and the violins more prominent as they have a bit of an Irish-ska moment (fine that’s not like, an official genre but listen and you’ll know what I mean) before ending on the sultry Argue and the sweet Flo’s Folk. Although not perfect or polished, this EP is really promising and tips HYH! as a band it’s definitely worth catching live when they hopefully make it to this side of the Channel.

Click hereto get hold of a copy.

Now you see him now you…hang on, search is that? Yep a giant bunny in a smoking jacket who is theatrically drawing my portrait and grimacing at the fur collar of the girl standing next to me. ‘It’s mink!’ she frantically mimes through Wieden & Kennedy’s shop window on Hanbury Street. ‘Minks are bastards’ he mouths back.

I’m witnessing some of the day-to-day activity taking place outside Imaginary Friends, medicine a rather bizarre shop front exhibition that takes me back to long days spent in the airing cupboard as an only child. Back then, store my imaginary friend was a replica of the devilish dog that encouraged Tintin’s canine companion Snowy to do naughty things (don’t worry, no one else understood that either).

From now until Sunday your imagination takes the form of a wine glugging, abusive life size bunny rabbit (aka recent Central St. Martin’s graduate Jack Bishop).

I managed to catch him on a carrot break.

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LJ: I say ‘carrot’ you say?

IF: Parrot? Ok it is the main component of one’s diet but I much prefer Beef Wellington. I shall not be marginalised.

L.J. Can you be taken for walks?

I.F. Of course I can darling. I’m imaginary after all, I can go anywhere you chose. Usually down the local.

L.J. Do you get along with cats?

I.F. So-so. We have a mutual respect for one another.

L.J. Do you breed well with Holland Lops?

I.F. Most definitely. Although my ideal breeding partner would have to be Jessica Rabbit.

L.J. Of course what a babe, got any celebrity bunny mates or rabbits in high hutches?

I.F. Well Harvey is a dear friend as we’re very alike. I used to be drinking buddies with Bugs but…(he drifts) he said a few things about me…said I drank too much. Lightweight.

L.J. Oh dear, well hopefully you’ll settle your differences over a good carrot or a nice seed selection. What are your thoughts on the following high-profile bunnies?

L.J. Peter Rabbit?

I.F. Wet lad.

L.J. Easter Bunny?

I.F. Fatty boy (all that chocolate).

L.J. Energizer Bunny?

I.F. Nympho.

L.J. Thumper?

I.F. Good Kid.

L.J. Nesquick Bunny?

I.F. He’s sold out. Such a shame. Corporate bastard now.

L.J. Got any plans for Easter?

I.F. (He humphs dismissively) I’m not the religious type. I’ll most probably be alone listening to Smokey Robinson and Sam Cook, drinking fine wines.

L.J. That sounds fun, I’ll be your friend if you want.

I.F. You fool! I can’t chose to be someone’s friend, I’m imaginary, they decide what I am to them, it’s annoying. Sometimes I feel degraded. I’d much rather be on my own.

With that he lolloped back down Brick Lane.

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CarrotMobbing! No it’s not a bunny invasion in the run up to Easter, sick it’s the new consumerist activism from San Francisco. The idea is to sway more businesses to adopt greener habits. An alternative to boycotting, more about CarrotMobbing operates in a way that appeals to businesses by offering cash rewards.

In return for a percentage of a day’s takings to be spent on environmentally-friendly practises (e.g. better energy-efficient appliances, organic produce) a CarrotMob will descend on the establishment on a certain day and spend, spend, spend.

It is the brainchild of American environmentalist Brent Schulkin and it is unique in working alongside businesses that could be greener by offering them the ‘carrot’, as opposed to the ‘stick’ approach of boycotting or picketing.’We recognize that corporations must keep profit as their top priority.Historically, this fact has meant that the environment has suffered. We hope to change that by putting rewards in place that will make environmental responsibility the more profitable choice.’

The concept has already started to make an impact over here. The first UK Carrotmob was in September 2008 at the Redchurch bar in East London and since then carrotmobs have sprung up around the country including the restaurant La Ruca in Bristol.

When I proposed the idea to local cafe Yummy’s, Jason and his brother were really keen! Stay tuned for an Amelia’s Magazine CarrotMob expected to take place in a couple of weeks time.

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Bristol’s Thekla is a down-with-the-kids venue by anyone’s standards. The ship is moored in a floating harbour, approved featured in Skins, shop has been played by Massive Attack and was once graffitied by Banksy. To see a band there tipped as number two in the BBC’s ‘ones to watch 2009′ is incredible. White Lies quite literally rock the boat.

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Anticipation crackles in the air before they mount the stage. I’d fallen deeply in love with the singles months before: deathly, desperate melodies with the lyrics of a romantic poet born in the 80s set to gut-grinding electronica. And I’m praying they won’t let me down. In a swell of turbulence, the band storm on with Unfinished Business liquefying into To Lose My Life. Later, Farewell to the Fairground also stands out as a stark winner, perhaps a forthcoming single?

Harry McVeigh haunts his audience, both in voice and form. Recalling the two great Ian’s of post-punk, McCulloch and Curtis, he’s skinny with a voice that’s anything but. Glimpse him between the strobe lights and he’s a beautiful alien visitor. And the possessor of a truly spectral set of vocal chords.

Through White Lies’ unique ability to craft tangibly spooky scenes with their lyrics, as each new song rumbles into being, I’m by turns walking in an abandoned fairground at night, taking off in an aeroplane, wrestling a ghost in a dream. Captivating. Sound groans in the iron belly of the ship, the guitar rips through thundering drums and Harry wails into the watery deep. There’s no banter, no real movement and yet everyone’s rapt because they’re witnessing something really special.

A few technical hitches mar the proceedings and drown out the vocals, but not to worry, the finale is Death and we’re all singing along. White Lies have mesmerized their crowd good and proper and we pursue them from the boat like crazed rats into the night. Drunken fan’s yelps of ‘yes this fear’s got a hold on meeee’ follow me all along the dark waterfront home.

It’s half way through January – a long way from pay day and you want some new clothes. It’s the only thing that can cheer you up in this depressing month. Visiting an actual shop is out of the question, decease you can barely afford the bus fare there, visit this let alone any of the goods for sale inside the shop.
So here’s an idea – acquiring new clothes without having to actually spend a penny (on the clothes) – via the medium of clothes swapping.
This can be done in many ways, buy more about the first is attending this event:

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However, if the idea of not having complete control over what you actually end up with isn’t exactly what you had in mind, then try this, a swishing event – yes it is £5 entry but for countless amounts of clothes, well worth it. It’s a similar idea to the flyered event above but you can choose what you pick.

If you don’t fancy actually leaving your house, then Bigwardrobe.com is an online swapping platform which is similar to e-bay in that you put your unwanted clothes online and people buy them off you – it’s better than eBay as it has a swap function and it gets even better than that! – you can get actual cash for your unwanted xmas goodies or fashion mistakes of the past. You can use a combination of money and swapping to barter for goods, eg:, “ I’ll give you this blouse and £3 for your skirt,” or something along those lines.

In these lean times, clothes recycling is the best way to update your wardrobe.

St Davids, website on the far south-western tip of Wales, viagra approved is a city of contradictions. Being the smallest city in the UK, it is really more of a village with a great big cathedral plonked down at one end. It is a tranquil little place but alongside the tea-and-scones brigade is a growing community of surfers who ride the waves on the beautiful beaches nearby all year round. Beyond the shoppers rummaging through baskets of souvenir tea-towels are legions of walkers and nature-lovers who explore the coast paths, the sea and the cliffs in between in search of puffins, seals and the delicate, beautiful Manx Shearwater birds that migrate past the headland every summer. Even the visitor centre (known as Oriel Y Parc, which means ‘the park gallery’) is an odd mixture, for if you walk through the coffee shop and past the leaflets on local attractions you will find yourself in a world-class gallery.

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The gallery, a recent addition to the visitor centre, is itself beautifully harmonious in form and content. The environmentally sustainable building that houses it heralds what we can expect from a gallery in the 21st century. The graceful arc shape of the building catches the sun all day, keeping heating costs to a minimum. The ceilings are insulated with lamb’s wool and a green roof with its swaying grasses also brings warmth and helps to regulate the demand on the drainage system. Rainwater is used for the toilet cisterns and solar energy panels heat water for the kitchen. Recycled and second-hand materials have been used wherever possible – much of the stone for the walls comes from old derelict buildings.

Perhaps it is when you see what is on display inside the gallery that you truly understand the importance of all this low-impact building and energy conservation: to preserve the precious Pembrokeshire landscape that has inspired so many artists including London-born painter Graham Sutherland. Sutherland loved the landscape around St Davids, painting it again and again, and when he died in 1980 he left a great body of work to the people of Pembrokeshire.

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Sutherland’s work will form the permanent central focus of the gallery’s exhibitions. For those used to gentle water-colour scenes of the Welsh coast, Sutherland’s paintings are a hand grenade assault on the senses – fierce, energy-filled evocations of the landscape, both challenging and fascinating.
For Oriel Y Parc to be given permission to exhibit the bequest it had to meet a stringent list of standards, including careful regulation of the humidity and temperature in the air and a complex and highly sophisticated security system. Meeting this criteria has meant that the gallery has been awarded ‘Class A’ status, which means that the work by Picasso and Rembrandt that is displayed alongside Sutherland’s paintings in the current exhibition will be the first in a long line of world-class international art to be shown at the centre.

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Prompted by Sutherland’s extraordinary visions of the surrounding countryside, the gallery plans to use future exhibitions to investigate art’s relationship with the landscape and with nature. Brendan Burns a Cardiff-based painter has been making paintings of the Pembrokeshire coastline for about fifteen years. Being the first artist-in-residence at Oriel Y Parc is, he says, ‘so exciting because everything is new. It feels important, like you’re part of something major.’ He is thrilled by his proximity to his subject, as until now he has had to make the 100-mile journey home before he began to paint. He is also pleased to have Sutherland’s work in the next room, where he can pop in and refer to it whenever he pleases, and says he particularly draws inspiration from the photographs, drawings and writing in the bequest.
He can’t predict how the residency will affect his work, but says he is starting out by ‘taking walks on new beaches’.

• The work produced by Brendan Burns during his residency at Oriel Y Parc will be shown at Oriel Y Parc or the National Museum in Cardiff, towards the end of 2009.

Categories ,Art, ,Brendan Burns, ,Eco-Design, ,Graman Sutherland, ,Landscape Gallery, ,Oriel Y Park, ,Recycle, ,Wales

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