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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

John Joseph Sheehy, Novas Gallery

Novas Gallery, Camden, 13 August – 21 September 2008

Written by Alexa Hall

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Before listening to this Ep, link sickness I had heard of Slow Club but never listened to any of their songs properly. Slow Club are on Moshi Moshi, therefore Its almost agiven that I will like them. I put the Ep, “Let’s fall back in love” into my cd player and am greeted with sweet twinkly guitar mmmmm, I sigh with relief at finally hearing some good modern noise. I am sad to admit that I have been decidedly lost when it comes music lately, I have very little desire to buy cds anymore, why why why would I be interested in the ting tings? or whoever are supposedly this years kooks? i dont want to listen to the banal sound of nothing coming out of the radio. I just want good noise! It seems I have found it now! In the air of sleepy happiness lovely voices of Sheffieldian boy-girl duo Slow Club. Listening I Immediately think of Shout Out Louds, Spinto Band and Tilly and the Wall. Much as i love all those bands, the sound of Slow Club is much simpler, its cheerily different, perhaps due to their only having two members. The title track, begins with a strange choir like jaunt about a fake brother and has a folksy jangle to it, aah nice tambourine i think, though after reading that Rebecca occasionally plays the chair, yes thats right the chair, I am less convinced about my instrumental identification skills and start to question all the gloriously curious little sounds I’m hearing.

Dance till the morning light, is definitely my new favorite song, its sweet, quirky, lovely yet self deprecating tone develops into clever little ryhming lines of thought. Its soft, pretty and not overworked or over considered so feels really pure to listen to. Charles sings, ‘i can tell you that im not the one you need’, is this perhaps almost a Bob Dylan line that creeps in? not that i mind you understand! ‘Im always 3 steps behind the dance and the times’ feels like my motto! “Trick question”, is my close second, its just so pretty! its a twinkling air of sadness in my ears. At one point her voice is so soft you can barely hear it, then it develops into bright genuine melting little melodies. Summer shakedown is also really nice, it’s a brilliantly mischievous song that will have everyone within hearing distance tapping their feet.

Slow Club are sweet but nowhere near sickly sweet, they are clearly sure to become a regular comfort on my strange wooden retro cd-record player, and after listening to this I vow to see them live and cannot wait for their new album to come out. Moshi Moshi never disappoints me, I love this, in fact Im off to listen to it again, bye!
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This World Is Crazy cheeps Karen. And yes, stomach I certainly agree as I swiftly cancel order of my vodka and cranberry juice when I realise its £9.50 a pop. Opting for what I thought would be a safer option for the linings of my pockets I alter to a straight cranberry juice. At £3.50, viagra buy Charlotte my companion and I stare into the glass expecting to see gold leaf or maybe even crystals floating, pilule but no. Just juice.

Well at least the waitresses were cheerful, sneakily attempting to swipe my 50p change then bitterly chucking it on a silver tray with a bitter glance which seemed to question why exactly I had turned up to this place. I too had the same question as I occupied my square foot of standing space. As a fat 6 ft tall drunken toff decides to be particularly charming (these lot are soooo down to earth) and block my view. I bite my tongue, again, and again.

Drizzled in Arabian decor, this place certainly felt like another world. I squeeze into my section of standing space which is rapidly disappearing and begin to allow the soothing drools of Karen to take my mind away as Casablanca seeps to every corner of the room. Like a slightly bewildered china doll trapped spinning in an antique jewellery box she whirls a web of melodies. Undertones of innocence work well with her fragile presence, complimenting each other well to create a sense of sincerity in her tales.

Or perhaps not. Karen is not lonely nor in disguise. Her real name is in fact Tanja Frinta, supported by some dark and dishy chaps a.k.a Marc Melia Sobrevias and Giorgio Menossi who, as they unleash an accordeon, bells and a ukulele, capture an atmosphere reminiscent of a scene from Ameli. Not only is it a real treat to hear such an eclectic mix, but a certain theatrical essence is created, reeling in the crowd through the highs, lows, flows and twinkles of every piece. Picking to play smaller venues to create more intimacy, you can find Lonely Drifter Karen globetrotting across bars and clubs in Europe over the summer.

If you carried out a survey of the creatives influencing British art students today, ask Outsider Artists would come way further up list than the list than the YBAs of the nineties. Call it a backlash against ultra-conceptualism and Absolut ads, troche there’s something undeniably appealing about the homespun, viagra amateur and obsessive. Also known as Visionary, Self-Taught or Intuitive artists, Outsiders penetrated the heart of Shoreditch with the Whitechapel Gallery’s brilliant Inner Worlds Outside show in 2006, and the cool kids flocked to it. After all, who doesn’t love Henry Darger – the reclusive Chicago hospital porter whose twee yet ultra-violent epics of the anatomically confused Vivian girls make the Chapman brothers‘ mutated children look wholesome in comparison, if only because Darger didn’t work with one eye towards the newspaper headlines.

Of course, it’s a whole lot trickier when your Outsider is alive and kicking, has graduated from art college and is about to have his first gallery show. When does an Outsider stop being an Outsider? It’s a tricky one – as anyone ever required to compose a uni essay on the subject will know. Sidestepping the semantic minefield, however, is Raw Vision magazine contributor Julia Elmore, who curates an exhibition of new works by John Joseph Sheehy at the Novas Gallery in Camden Parkway. Sheehy, who has undergone episodes of homelessness and mental illness, was inspired to create art by his psychotherapist in 1999 and completed his Fine Art degree from the University of East London this year. His work is intensely wrought, colour saturated and alive with meaning. “When I’m painting it’s like I’m dreaming with my eyes open,” he says, “it’s like I go into a trance, it’s just pure divine magical”. Even if Sheehy’s not an Outsider any more, he’s still a visionary.

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