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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week SS/08: Eley Kishimoto

BFC Tent, Natural History Museum, 16 September/2007

Written by Angelica Pena-Acosta

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Aided in no uncertain terms by a show stopping performance at Texas’ recent South By Southwest festival, order case Portland three-piece Menomena present their debut UK release. This is in fact the bands third release – with their two previous albums available in the US exclusively. School friends Danny Seim, mind Justin Harris and Brent Knopf have derived a creative process of much interest that has resulted in a work that is both experimental and forward thinking without being inaccessible.

The bands sound is essentially a combination of looped sounds which are selected from a computer programme called Deeler. The Deeler Sessions culminate in the layering of these looped sounds and vocal addition. The good news is that for the most part this results in songs of sonic density that are out of left field but rich in melody. It is a combination that makes ‘Friend and Foe’ a compelling listen.

Often the fragmented nature of the songs will result in a messy, disjointed sound to begin with. But cohesion arises from moments of inspiration that morph abstract noises into quasi – pop melodies. It maybe a gorgeous piano line, delicate vocal harmony or obscure drum loop. Whatever, these songs keep you guessing, and aside from the odd ill judged inclusion (notably at the tail end of the album) they are nothing less than enthralling.

There are echoes of Mercury Rev on the defiant ‘Rotten Hell’, whilst howling guitars and brooding Saxophone characterise ‘Weird’. Elsewhere Menomena take ‘Up’ era REM as a reference point on ‘My My’- A brilliantly structured song defined by its paradoxical use of warm keyboards and choppy, industrial beats. It is one of many gems.

It’s a shame that the record falls away so badly in its last quarter. The final three songs appear to be an afterthought – lumped on at the end to pad things out when there really is no need for their presence. It leaves a slightly bitter taste in the mouth, but spin straight back to the start and all is forgotten. Friend and Foe deserves attention.

It’s always a danger to be overly vocal about your influences, ambulance it invariably leads people to compare you to those you have cited as inspiration, more about and with a band name taken from a Wilco song, dosage Cherry Ghost have set the bar a little too high. Thirst for Romance is positioned firmly in the folk/country influenced indie rock category and despite not being a spectacular record it has some nice moments, even if they are a little bit uninspired.

The album rolls along inoffensively with piano filled folk numbers but it rarely grabs your attention, simply ticking the boxes seemingly without thought. Initially the sound calls to mind Willy Mason and the type of thumpety thump clickety click sound, rolling along like a freight train, with all the rhythm but none of the direction. The vocals are down to earth and do not attempt to be over the top, a good thing, however they lack truly memorably and heartfelt melodies that one would like to see on such a record, with lyrics that are delicate and thoughtfull but perhaps lacking the subtelty that we might hope for.

This is not to say that the album doesn’t offer some fine moments, the title track is an upbeat but lyrically melancholy number that gets you tapping your foot and feeling wistful both at the same time; a thing not easily achieved. Despite a similar tone that runs through the whole album there is a fair degree of contrast when it comes to the volume and feeling of different tracks which does make to break up the running order, Mountain Bird for example, cannot help to grab the listeners attention with plentiful percussion and obligatory Hammond organ, this adds nicely to the diversity of the record and breaks up the threatened monotony that it occasionally comes perilously close to.

Sadly the album just doesn’t have the originality and integrity of the likes of Bill Callahan (another of the bands favourites) and others in the same field, it isn’t breaking any ground or even seemingly attempting to do so. This is its biggest failing.

It’s difficult to fault the V&A of the past ten years and under the leadership of Mark Jones it’s gone from strength to strength. From their outstanding Vivienne Westwood retrospective to the Fashion in Motion runway shows featuring the likes of Gareth Pugh and Jean Paul Gaultier, ed they’ve successfully removed themselves from the stuffy, conservative image of old and in the process gained a whole new audience. So what’s happening around SW7 of late? Well amid the Grecian tiles and medieval bed pans you’ll find ‘New York Fashion Now’, which seems like a bit of a misnomer considering it only covers the period 1999-2004, but we’ll come onto that later.

The exhibition covers the ‘start-up stories’ of 20 designers including Mary Ping, Proenza Schouler, Zac Posen and a host of other usual suspects. In this respect it does a reasonable job of covering all the main players, each receiving a separate stand with one or two examples of their work. The somewhat overrated John Varvatos receives far too much attention, referenced at several points throughout the exhibition and I could have done without the tribute to Sean John’s very own brand of high glamour. However It was great to see a couple more avant-garde designers such as SSWTR, Cloak and Christian Joy, who had by far the most interesting section, showcasing several of his designs worn onstage by Karen O, including the fantastically mental ‘Day of the dead suit’. Menswear master Thom Browne (a favourite at Dover street Market) gets a showing too, his ‘sheer Swiss dot suit’ a great choice.

In terms of layout it was all a little confusing, separated into style ‘Atelier, Sportswear chic etc’, then for some reason into area ‘Soho, Lower east side, Chelsea…‘ These categories ended up being a little meaningless in the end and as a result the whole thing lacked direction. For me, NY fashion is intrinsically linked to the geography of the city. From the effortless cool of LES and Williamsburg, to the primped and preened residents of the Upper East Side, it was a shame that the exhibition made almost no reference to these very specific pockets of style. And what of the actual state of New York fashion NOW? No mention of more contemporary designers such as Rachel Comey or Adam Kimmel made the whole thing feel stale and out of touch. By overlooking the current crop of independent designers and making little or no reference to street style or vintage influenced trends it felt as if the organisers just didn’t get the point. The beauty of NY Fashion is the relationship between the glitzy and the avant-garde, underground and commercial, a balance that unfortunately just wasn’t addressed in this exhibition.

Festivals. These days its hard to know where to begin; with so many vying for our affections (and hard earned cash) you can’t see the wood for the trees. And with yet another Glastonbury washout, discount I decided this year should be the year of the new festival. Latitude, viagra dosage only in its second year and not too far from the madding crowd of London, it fitted the bill perfectly.

In the darkest depths of the south eastern countryside, just outside the nattily named Yoxford, we arrive. Our faint disappointment at missing Friday’s headliner Wilco was quickly replaced with elation when a door gaffe meant that all four of our female party were presented with backstage passes for the weekend! Whilst setting up my £5.00 Tesco tent, it became instantly obvious that Latitude has been marketed as a family orientated festival; buggies, babies and other little people were out in force which can be great for atmosphere, not so great for close proximity camping. After setting up base, we wondered through the festival grounds. It has to be said, physically, Latitude has it all; beautiful greenery illuminated by hundreds of fairy lights, untampered woodland, neon sheep and a glorious river running between camp and site – far from the haggard, baron fields we are accustomed to.

Music, for us began on Saturday. We were delicately yet masterfully eased in by the gentle genius of Natasha Kahn aka Bat for Lashes who, despite technical difficulties, sailed through her set and effortlessly filled the main stage area with her supernatural presence. In opposition, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, noted for their loathe approach to touring, failed to ignite the crowd and seemed to be boring even themselves. Odd, as I saw them bring down the house at Shepherds Bush Empire recently – some bands simply cannot transfer at festivals. Topping off Saturday night on the main stage, The Good the Bad and the Queen satisfied the upbeat crowd with a somewhat comedic battle for the limelight ensuing between old timers Damon Albarn and ex-Clash titan Paul Simonon. The top hats and political undertones provided a suitable juxtaposition to our next port of call – a dj set by Rob da Bank. Brilliant. Rob da Bank rejects the cool or obscure for a crowd pleasing set packed with the likes of the Prodigy and KLF, securing his position as an elite dj; the crucial element being the ability to read a crowd. A little over-excited, we scurry back to camp and almost immediately we are reprimanded for the commotion: ‘Excusing me, my children are trying to sleep!’ or ‘I have work in the morning’ became something of a motto for the croc-wearing liberals that seem to have forgotten the essence of the festival experience. They couldn’t dampen our spirits though as daylight beckoned.

Feeding fragility with fried foods seemed a wonderful way to start as we headed to the main stage for most promising line-up the weekend. First up, Hoosier. Granted, they gave it their best but no amount of Jeff Buckley-esque wailing could inspire the lethargic crowd. And then, the heavens opened. In the spirit of the festival and generally ‘wacky’ behaviour, we donned the nearest bin bags as makeshift ponchos and went about our business.
Blissfully, the sun broke through the clouds just in time for the limitlessly talented Andrew Bird who with his unique brand of tender vocals, charmed the seated crowd basking in the summer heat. Upping the ante, Cold War Kids stormed the stage with one of the most outstanding performance of the weekend. Their style of southern, bluesy rock really lends itself to the baking festival heat. And they’re not bad to look at either. Just in case things were getting a little too serious, The Rapture hit the main stage and chime through their greatest hits to the delight of the all ages crowd. Watching a middle aged bald man in a kagoul lose himself to House of Jealous Lovers was a truly heart-warming image.

Though we were all flagging, the music carried us through and on to the penultimate act of the festival, Jarvis Cocker. I have always liked Jarvis, mainly for his unabashed eccentricity but after the pleasure of watching him perform from the side of the stage – I am now a convert. The guy can do no wrong. Competently striding through his solo work, convulsing his body, using every inch of the stage and charming us with his wit – Jarvis, we were wooed even before your inspired cover version of Eye of the Tiger. With endorphins flowing we took our position for the universally adored Arcade Fire. What a climax. As a long time fan I was dubious that they might disappoint on stage. How wrong I was. Not only do they engage with the crowd, showing a playfulness which is not always found on their albums but they also play their little hearts out; bashing out each hit with passion and vigour fed off the crowd before them. The rain teased down again, but we cared not. We were dancing. Hats off to Latitude. I, for one will be back next year. But now the secret’s out….

Another dodgy-weather-weekend, medical another festival in London! This week the cool cats all bombed down to our beloved ask _East_London”target=”_blank”>Viccy P for Timeout’s Lovebox Weekender. Early shines were grim as the Hackney clouds amassed but the sun came out, sale the cheers went round and the Junior Boys continued their cracking set on the main stage like Hot Chip’s slightly dirty electro-bitch younger brother. Finally the scene was set, the punters were prepped with tinnies, tartiflette, falafel and another shits and giggles scenario began to unfold….

Beat boxing champion Beardy Man was our first host on Saturday keeping us entertained with vocal chord gymnastics through the classics. Patrick Wolf in all his beautiful insanity donned the stage; the skinny disco- violin- wielding- genius packed a rough, ready, steaming hot punch, wailing and screaming through a performance that set the bar very high very early on. With pre-song blurb relating his tracks to being held at knifepoint at Hackney Wick tube, East London’s favorite son forged a theme that lasted all weekend. This was a family affair; this was the Londoner’s festival.

Bringing in some Spanish flavour Ojos de Brujos had the Timeout stage in uproar in the early evening; we stumbled into the drunken mal-coordinated impromptu salsa class. They induced what was a truly seminal moment.

By the way… a few ciders on and nature takes its course so here’s a note for all the ladies out there who can’t wee standing and struggle to crouch in porta-loos! Lovebox provided the cleanest toilets I have seen all summer and with the boys and girls segregated you didn’t have to deal with the aftermath of the messier male contingent.

Cut-a-Shine had us pulling off a good old ho-down. Oh how we laughed, this lot sure know how to get the crowds moving…

Saturday night brought us Blondie, and thank God for it. Debbie’s legendary rock goddess status will always be safe as houses but on that fateful night she took herself to another level. The hottest person eligible for an OAP bus pass on the planet I fell in love with her all over again as she shimmied in a black and white striped number with rave Sunnies. The crowd was electric and I can say hand on heart I have never heard a rabble of people unified so perfectly in one voice as I did through Blondie’s show stopping rendition of Heart of Glass. I was kicked over by a giant Italian bunny rabbit and scooping me up we embraced and sang with all our might!

Sunday was rammed and the proverbial belt of rules was tightened with booze being confiscated on the gates and police were making their presence felt around the Trojan stage. But we rocked on in our after-affects-of-the-night-before haze. Again an early performance in the day from Hot Chip deserved another cream-of-the-crop, hands-down-we’re-not-worthy award. Similarly The Rapture offered up some afternoon goods in the blistering sunshine.

One of my personal faves of the day was Mr. Hudson and the Library banging out some bouncy ska in the Bassline Circus Tent. Sounding like a cross between The Police and what we could assume Jamie T would sound like if he could actually sing the beats – being strung out by some great keys and a steel drum. Later Toots and the Maytals took their sweet time getting onto the Timeout stage but I didn’t hear anyone grumble. Sadly it was so good I had to leave after being mildly damaged in a reggae mosh.

But onwards ever onwards to the last act of the festival…Groove Armada. Not a cloud in the sky, dusk falling about our ears GA put on a stonking show more then worthy of their ultimate position in the line up. The goose-bump inducing At the River got everyone into the flow before we were all eaten by funk shaking our asses and boogieing like we meant business.

When I finally got into bed my feet ached from dancing and my mouth ached from laughing. Small, intimate with a perfectly crafted line-up, the highlight of my summer so far. The Lovebox is a little ol’ place where we can get together, so for the love of everything sacred, next year go!

Without any prior knowledge of Icelandic sextuplet Jakobinarina, viagra 100mg one would be forgiven for assuming they were some sort of experimental electro nu rave outfit; something the record labels have latched onto and have been forcing down our throats since 2005. Not so. Instead, I was treated to a nostalgic trip back into my teenagehood when for several years I only listened to aggressive ‘so-cal punk’ and dressed like a lesbian skateboarder. It seems Northern Europe has decided not to ditch this once vibrant and popular scene in favour of other forms of new-folk or computerized indie as de rigeur in the UK. The songs were fast, adequately aggressive and edged with fast riffs and throbbing drums. Unsurprising considering the band were formed from the ashes of former straight ahead punk band, Lufthansa.

With an average age of 17, these young upstarts look slightly reticent on stage this is not helped by the fact that Koko failed to draw a big crowd until past midnight for headliners Electric Soft Parade. This is shame as it is essentially one of the only weekly band nights that consistently delivers big names and new music. Lead singer, Gunnar Bergmann shows promise, delivering his shouty lyrics with conviction and confidence. While competent with their instruments the remaining band members could use a red bull or two. Although the punk undertones are instantly recognizable, it is difficult to pigeon hole Jakobinarina as the next Millencolin. Keyboards and samples flit in and out of the set but rather than dominate, they enhance the power of the guitars and aggressive vocals. Collaborations with Klaxons and Simian Mobile Disco also serve to make Jakobinarina a confusing yet exciting group. To hazard a guess at what the future might hold for Jakobinarina; perhaps a downsize and another solid year of gigging to reach a place of confidence and influence, capable of bringing this once thriving rock/punk genre back to the fore. In Iceland and much further beyond.

Velvet Voiced Joan Wasser pops up with new offering ‘Real Life’ following recent headline shows at Shepherds Bush Empire and an appearance at Lattitude festival. Having earned her salt as a band member backing both Rufus Wainwright and Anthony Hegarty – Joan As Police Woman have slowly accumulated a reputation of worth, price aided no doubt by a relentless touring slog. This stealthy progress appears to have stalled somewhat however with the dissapointing ‘Real Life’.

Sparse, click plodding piano features for the main part – and this would be fine if the lyric had something meaningful to say. But it doesn’t and this results in the instrumentation appearing lazy and tiresome. Sure, her voice is easy on the ear, pretty in fact, but it also lacks the substance needed to drag this out if the depths of mediocrity.
The final minute passes in a comparatively enjoyable fashion thanks to the much needed addition of strings that sit nicely under the mix in an understated fashion. But this is scant consellation really. A record that deserves little attention.

It’s been 3 years since The Go! Team charmed us all silly with their marvellous debut album ‘Thunder, adiposity Lightning, cialis 40mg Strike’ –garnering a mercury nomination in the process. This then, story is the first cut off their second long player ‘Proof Of Youth’ scheduled for release at the tail end of summer.

Initial inspection reveals a rather curious affair. ‘Grip like a vice’ seemingly does anything but what its says on the tin. It runs just shy of four minutes but fails to engage for the duration – for a comeback single this simply won’t do. But, thankfully, all is not lost as is a record whose true colours are slow in coming to fruition, but what colours! This is electro garage fusion courtesy of fly girl raps, howling keyboards, and mammoth drums. Yep, they still pack a punch, and then some.

Given a little time ‘Grip like a vice’ eventually serves as a lovely little taster of (hopefully) further good things to come. Welcome back The Go! Team.

A Herb Ritts photograph is instantly recognisable and admittedly my first thought on seeing his early work at the rather stuffy Hamiltons Gallery was, treat ‘It’s all a bit Athena isn’t it’. As obvious as it sounds there is something incredibly late 80s/early 90s about his work. Take ‘Fred with tires’, one of his most popular prints featuring a muscle bound mechanic looking intensely at well, some tires. Homo-erotic seemed to be the order of the day. In effect, his photography is so of it’s era that your immediate reaction is to be a bit sneering. The days of buff young oil covered men and girls in tennis skirts adorning our living room walls are well and truly over. The 80s have become just one big ironic joke.

However, it was time to stop being smug, the fact is I actually love Herb Ritts. This is the man that gave us a crotch grabbing Madonna on the cover of True Blue and the Mer-boy in the ‘Cherish’ video. Remember the genius that was ‘Keep it in the closet’ featuring Miss Naomi Campbell? Herb was perhaps the only man to make Michael Jackson look sexy in a video. The infamous ‘Cindy Crawford straddling KD Lang’ shot ….the list goes on. Rather than being some anachronistic relic of the late 20th century, Herb actually helped define the aesthetic of the time, making black and white indicative of all that was fashionable and cutting-edge. Perhaps it was incredibly commercial and a touch cheesy but it worked. So, as much out of nostalgia than admiration I actually started to enjoy the exhibition.

A collection of his most well-known work, it covers all bases from his striking figurative work, all intense poses and clean lines, to his adventures in the world of celebrity portraiture. Tom Cruise (1994) and Nicole Kidman (1999) never looked better. His work with the A-list isn’t about creating the definitive image of his subject but stripping away the glitz and glamour and finding something new. In addition his more surrealist side is represented with works such as Mask (1989) and Djimon with Octopus (1989) as well as his near obsession with the body, specifically ‘skin’ (covered in oil, dusted in sand, dripping with sweat…), present throughout the exhibition. A great collection that rarely sees the light of day, wherever you are Mr Ritts, I apologise for ever doubting you.

Trundling around a field in the grounds of a beautiful Georgian farmhouse, help surrounded by colourful tents, remedy tucking into an page ,1921908,00.html”target=”_blank”>organic pie and a pint of pimms- it doesn’t get much more boutique than this. Secret Garden Party won the Sunday Times Small Festival award in 2004 and now in its fourth year, this not-so-secret little festival delivered its usual feast of foolishness and decadence, and quite a lot of good music too.

Sliding through the muddy gates on a sunny Friday afternoon we were immediately transported into a weird wonderland of beautiful tents and flags. The Head Gardeners reduced the numbers and enlarged the area this year, and also rearranged a lot of the stages so, unlike last year we didn’t have to take to sliding transport in a huge bath to avoid falling over.

There were ten stages scattered around a huge lake- my personal favourite was the Pontoon stage right on the water where we spent many a happy hour dancing to reggae in ballgowns. There are tents for dancing and drinking, but much more common are those for dressing up, body painting, wearing orange, celebrating New Days Eve every night at 12, even a tent where outside was a sign reading “Warning- vaginas drying” with ten painted vagina moulds lined up neatly next to it.

There is so much going on it can be almost overwhelming and, compared with bigger festivals, there is a much stronger emphasis on the non-musical fun and games. You basically spend four days doing whatever tickles your fancy, and living in a world of expensive decadence that takes more than a few days recovery. When raving in the Remix tent got too much we simply wandered off to sip tea in Granny’s caravan. Sunday morning was spent in a hula-hooping competition with all the other overgrown children at the Kid’s Tent and then mud wrestling with the Suicide Sports Club.

Saturday night we speed dated in a horn shaped tube of wooden palettes. One enthusiastic participant ended up with his head stuck in a palette. Luckily a German in an all in one leotard was on hand to help. Art installations like this one were scattered around everywhere. A huge white box with a maze of passages inside it rewarded those sober enough to make it through with a panoramic view of the whole site. From here we watched the launch of twenty Chinese lanterns into the sky whilst a huge pink hand on a floating island was set alight on the lake.

For all the fun and games there was actually some music too. It’s pretty much impossible to get a handle on everything from such a long list of varied acts, and it is a testament to the Gardeners that you always know there’s something equally exciting going on somewhere else. The closest thing to headliners were Echo and the Bunnymen, who let us know before a magical rendition of The Killing Moon that it is “the greatest song ever written”. Any smidge of arrogance is most definitely forgiven as, dancing in the sun next to two six foot octopuses, it certainly felt like it was. New Young Pony Club were the next biggest attraction. They drew the biggest crowd of the weekend and while it rained, we danced and danced. Ice Cream got the crowd thumping but overall they were a little uninspiring, rushing through their set and looking a little bit pissed off the whole way through. The Noisettes and their should-have-been-huge single Scratch my Name pulled everyone to the front of the stage too, and much more deservedly.

It was at this point that I lost my friend to the Where The Wild Things Are tent for a set by Timid Tiger, who seemed to have blown him away when I eventually found him tucking in to a Moroccan feast in the food wonderland. He was happy as larry and assures me they’re worth a listen. People definitely weren’t there for the big names and the happiest times were spent abandoning the muddy set list and just seeing what you fell upon- be it Kate Walsh’s flowers-in-her-hair Norah Jones style sleepy magic, or the sarcastic sign outside the Living Room Tent telling us that Kate Nash’s ‘people’ unfortunately felt that small festivals weren’t really her bag. Her loss I’d say. Beans on Toast popped up on the stage next to me whilst I was reading Harry Potter in a hammock and armed with two litres of White Lightning he sang us through an array of topics – “Sex, drugs or politics?” he asked at the beginning of each song, and proceeded to let us know his opinions. If not the most accomplished musician, which he is first to admit, he drew a full crowd of giggling spectators. Sunday afternoon’s highlight was Peter and the Wolf, and sipping raspberry cider whilst listening to their energetic interpretation of acoustic- tambourines, double bass, trombones, recorders and violins all enter the mix, was near perfect. Alabama 3, Fugiya and Miyagi and the New York Fund all pelted the Main Stage with equal perfection.

As for dancing-till-the-early-hours music, Utah Saints’ breaks and beats on Friday got the Remix tent going with a promising set, until one Klaxons remix too many shunted off even the most inebriated. A bit disappointing, but we turned to the Looniverse tent for help the next two nights, and this was where the magic happened. Their upbeat brand of ska, swing, tribal beats, electronica, gypsy, folk and funk was much more in keeping with the spirit of us silly revellers, and we only stopped for a short break to watch the Feast of Fools perform an intriguing and surreal kind of pagan ceremony. Novelty festival hats off to them for keeping their performances going practically the whole weekend, and to all the organisers of the fun and frolics that got everyone involved- one intention of this small festival that was definitely achieved. Weird and wonderful, decadent and foolish, Secret Garden Party is something special. I’ll be coming back next year, as should you.

When I heard Gang Gang Dance were to grace us with their presence at Cargo this Wednesday I let out a high-pitched puppy like yelp. I apologise to my fellow passengers on the 29 bus but I’ve been waiting quite a while for this one. You see, doctor Gang Gang Dance are responsible for one of my albums of the century, viagra 40mg God’s Money, see a musical offering so brilliant that within 5 minutes of listening I was ready to have their faces tattooed on my forehead. If you’re lucky enough to receive a copy, grab on and never let go.

Hailing from Brooklyn and working up quite a buzz in their hometown over the past few years, they’ve garnered a loyal following all the while remaining reassuringly underground. Commercial they aren’t and whilst to some it may just be a lot of indecipherable noise to others it all makes perfect aural sense. The crowd at Cargo seems to agree with the latter. So, after being entertained/confused by the one-man variety show that is the bespectacled Dan Deacon we were all sufficiently weirded out and ready to accept whatever came next.

The four-piece took to the stage, a quick hello from lead singer Liz Bougatsos (sporting an oversized Ghostface Killah t-shirt) and we’re off. Describing their sound isn’t easy, neo-tribal is thrown around rather a lot and to a certain extent it’s accurate. Firstly they aren’t particularly fond of ‘tracks’ in the traditional sense. Their set contained just 3 pauses, purely to give the group (and the audience) a chance to breath. Their music is very much a continual flow, with changes in pace throughout-hinting at drum n’ bass one minute and post punk noise the next, In essence it’s all a bit freeform. Vocals are of the primal variety, Liz’s voice as much an instrument as anything else, howling (but never screaming) admittedly I couldn’t make out a word but this was never going to be a good old sing along. However, above all it’s percussion that’s at the core of their sound, specifically heavy rhythmic drumbeats driving the music forward and dictating changes in speed and mood to great effect.

As you’d expect this works a treat live and prompted much head nodding and involuntary trance like swaying. The crowd couldn’t get enough, clapping and cheering for more once they finally left the stage. Return they did. However this was far from your normal encore. Guitarist Josh Diamond proceeded to offer the front row a variety of different instruments and suddenly we had a whole new line-up. Drums, vocals and guitar were now in the hands of the sweaty enthusiastic volunteers and with Liz at the helm they did a surprisingly good job. It was a nice touch, making the point that this wasn’t about being a pretentious ‘art-noise collective’ to name check at parties but just a group of people who enjoy experimenting with sound. Their skill isn’t so much in their obvious musical ability as their determination to try something new. Pretty simple really but it works an absolute treat.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting an establishment that combines two of my favourite past times: drinking and shopping. The only other place I have found that can offer this superb combination is the supermarket and somehow Morrison’s doesn’t have quite the same appeal. The Three Threads, recipe unlike certain supermarches, abortion doesn’t sell dodgy fruit and veg and bottles of “Spirit Drink” but rather lovely clothes from small, international designer brands.

So where does the booze come into this? Well, mainly through the name of the shop rather than pouring from beer taps. The Three Threads refers to a brewing process back in the early 1700s where beer was separated into three different casks. Although there aren’t barrels of beer out the back of the shop (to my knowledge) they do have some bottles of specially brewed beer to giveaway if they like the look of you.

I didn’t get one, but it was eleven in the morning, so it was probably for the best. In fact I would have been offended if I had been offered one. It may have suggested that I look like the kind who needs a drink mid morning and that isn’t a look I particularly want to convey. Or at least one I don’t want to flaunt.

I digress.

Not only do they have beer for the taking, but the shop is designed in such a way as to evoke the look of a bar. The counter is constructed as a bar, complete with bar stools, while there is a comfy seating area and games machine. Customers are known to come in and take a pew, have a chat with the friendly staff and generally relax. Not perhaps a great way to make money, but a nice place to be nonetheless.

However, the name of the shop is, importantly, a reference to the three main brands that are stocked within it: Pointer, Carhartt and Edwin. Alongside these three classic labels are a number of small, rare designers from across the globe which The Three Threads consider to be under distributed. Subsequently, The Three Threads is the only shop in the UK to stock labels such as Alakazam and the Sydney based Supply label.

For the ladies there are the exquisite clothes from American designer Wendy Mullin So lovely are these that, had I had a credit card to hand, I could quite have easily purchased the whole lot without a tinge of guilt. But, alas, I had to walk away empty handed. Luckily for the owners, I’m not a klepto.

Sweet London-based singer/songwriter Emma-Lee Moss, health a.k.a. Emmy the Great, hospital finally releases debut EP My Bad. Seems like Ms. Great has been spending more time making her presence known on the live music market, having spent most of her time supporting heavy-hitter acts like Martha Wainwright, Mystery Jets, and Jamie T (to name a few) rather than release a full-length record. Often discovered collaborating with a wide range of other artists as a rather prominent figure of the anti-folk scene, it’s hard to believe that this is merely her debut, but it’s a glowing release nonetheless.

Following last year’s Secret Circus seven-inch, My Bad EP features a five-track treat of delicate acoustic poesy-prose. With its quirky charismatic, home-made quality, Emmy delivers sugar-coated sayings in pretty packaging, complete with dainty strings and twinkling background harmonies. Despite sounding undeniably and inevitably youthful, don’t mistake her appealing adolescence for naivety or lack of craft, for her knack for a tight turn of phrase is simply irrefutable.

While taking advantage of the small time frame that is the EP, Emmy goes from quaint spirituality of Easter Parade to the ironic humour in MIA, to the old-fashioned love song City Song, expressing compassionate range and poise. The delightful consistency of soft guitar strumming compliments her soft, pretty voice that oh-so-sweetly vibrates to emphasize certain words here and there. Fragile as butterfly wings, it’s a musical experience fit for quiet summertime picnic at the park. Wrapped in D.I.Y. allure and home-fashioned modesty, Emmy the Great’s My Bad EP sparkles with intimate tenderness and thoughtful melody.

“I was on my way to Newcastle”, this said Badly Drawn Boy, viagra 100mg “but I just had to stop off to say thanks to Dpercussion.” The fact that our eccentric folk hero and his knitted beanie had again returned to this one day festival of rising stars and local treasures is testament to the career-platform it had provided for many over the past decade. Originally organised to celebrate the rebuilding of Manchester after the devastation of the 1996 IRA bomb and now bowing out after the frustration of funding problems, buy Dpercussion had evolved to include 11 stages, 200 artists, and a pirate party boat of all things. Add to that the 50,000 thousand music fans who travelled from across the Northwest to enjoy sunshine, live music and 40% proof cocktails, and the last ever Dpercussion festival was going out with a bang, not to mention several hundred brandished glowsticks.

While temperatures were nowhere near Mediterranean (of course, one must not forget that this is the city that spawned The Smiths, and we do like to have something to moan about…), the sophistication of the Tuaca cocktail bar brought a sense of the Bahamas to proceedings. In fact, considerable humour had been demonstrated in the laying out of cushions directly next to two large trenches (the festival site is a preserved Roman fort, with all the associated design features-cum-Krypton Factor obstacles) and as the revelry continued into the evening, this became an attraction in itself, as the Daiquiris took their toll and the ditches took their victims. Damn those Romans and their early security measures!

The urban regeneration of the area, which sees geometric high-rise apartments overlook well-worn cobbles (that I believe are now referred to as “shabby chic”) is a cosy amalgamation of Manchester’s heritage with the optimism of energised youth. Nestled under the kind of archways where you would expect to either find a boutique art gallery or the scene of a Mafia killing, I found myself in the midst of Guilty Pleasures’ sunshine soundtrack and Sketch City’s live graffiti demonstrations. Just around the corner, the Dukes acoustic stage cooed out heartbreakingly bittersweet folky melodies and acoustic pop ditties.

Always notable for its blissfully anti-elitist line-up, with only some unlikely branch of jazz-drone-tronica uncatered for (Yes, I did make that up), Dpercussion had evolved into something akin to a street party, from the days when people still recognised their neighbours. Since 1997 it had become a treasured opportunity for the people of Manchester to come together and stick two fingers up at their daily hardships; for militant City fans to embrace men in Ronaldo t-shirts, indie kids to discover drum’n’bass and for the gangstas of Moss Side to cheer for the new drummer in The Answering Machine or Cherry Ghost’s humanitarian sentiments.

Granted, old-timers like Badly Drawn Boy gained new audiences at the very germination of their careers through Dpercussion, but foremost, it has been a celebration of Manchester’s culture, its character and its communities, throughout a period of intense change.

With one eye carefully trained on treacherous ground, I raise my Daiquiri to Dpercussion.

“I was on my way to Newcastle”, order said Badly Drawn Boy, “but I just had to stop off to say thanks to Dpercussion.” The fact that our eccentric folk hero and his knitted beanie had again returned to this one day festival of rising stars and local treasures is testament to the career-platform it had provided for many over the past decade. Originally organised to celebrate the rebuilding of Manchester after the devastation of the 1996 IRA bomb and now bowing out after the frustration of funding problems, Dpercussion had evolved to include 11 stages, 200 artists, and a pirate party boat of all things. Add to that the 50,000 thousand music fans who travelled from across the Northwest to enjoy sunshine, live music and 40% proof cocktails, and the last ever Dpercussion festival was going out with a bang, not to mention several hundred brandished glowsticks.

While temperatures were nowhere near Mediterranean (of course, one must not forget that this is the city that spawned The Smiths, and we do like to have something to moan about…), the sophistication of the Tuaca cocktail bar brought a sense of the Bahamas to proceedings. In fact, considerable humour had been demonstrated in the laying out of cushions directly next to two large trenches (the festival site is a preserved Roman fort, with all the associated design features-cum-Krypton Factor obstacles) and as the revelry continued into the evening, this became an attraction in itself, as the Daiquiris took their toll and the ditches took their victims. Damn those Romans and their early security measures!

The urban regeneration of the area, which sees geometric high-rise apartments overlook well-worn cobbles (that I believe are now referred to as “shabby chic”) is a cosy amalgamation of Manchester’s heritage with the optimism of energised youth. Nestled under the kind of archways where you would expect to either find a boutique art gallery or the scene of a Mafia killing, I found myself in the midst of Guilty Pleasures’ sunshine soundtrack and Sketch City’s live graffiti demonstrations. Just around the corner, the Dukes acoustic stage cooed out heartbreakingly bittersweet folky melodies and acoustic pop ditties.

Always notable for its blissfully anti-elitist line-up, with only some unlikely branch of jazz-drone-tronica uncatered for (Yes, I did make that up), Dpercussion had evolved into something akin to a street party, from the days when people still recognised their neighbours. Since 1997 it had become a treasured opportunity for the people of Manchester to come together and stick two fingers up at their daily hardships; for militant City fans to embrace men in Ronaldo t-shirts, indie kids to discover drum’n’bass and for the gangstas of Moss Side to cheer for the new drummer in The Answering Machine or Cherry Ghost’s humanitarian sentiments.

Granted, old-timers like Badly Drawn Boy gained new audiences at the very germination of their careers through Dpercussion, but foremost, it has been a celebration of Manchester’s culture, its character and its communities, throughout a period of intense change.

With one eye carefully trained on treacherous ground, I raise my Daiquiri to Dpercussion.

Future Of The Left have always been, price and remain, awesome. If you still need the info, they’re born of two parts Mclusky, one part Jarcrew.

Those bands too, were awesome. Face it, it’s a recipe for success. Granted, this is their weakest single thus far, but it still rocks; no wait, it doesn’t rock, it fucking pulverises. It’s enormous, of course it is; it’s funny, they always are; it’s short, sharp and brutal, “Grow into your body happily…” is the chorus, that’s brilliant. But, fuck this, it’s not gonna chart, the album is out soon, buy that instead.
Seems to me that back in the 80′s there were a whole load of post-punk, cialis 40mg art-punk outfits dotted around the country, information pills most of whom are largely forgotten. A prominent concentration of these was centred in Scotland. Somehow though, case overshadowed by the continuing success of the very English The Fall and Gang Of Four, bands like Josef K and Orange Juice (both fellow Scots) seem to have fallen by the wayside. More forgotten than all of these, p’raps due to a mere eighteen-month existence, are Edinburgh’s Fire Engines.

They boast all the necessary attributes that’s seen a host of mainstream hugging bands ranging from mediocre to less so – Franz Ferdinand
, Bloc Party and The Futureheads – adopt their angular, feisty, wired, anti-melody. But they sound like anything but the sheeny reinterpretation that’s been jumped upon and made enormous.

Yeah, so I’m on a bit of a downer at those three; and, I’ll admit, four years ago I was kind of digging Franz et al, but the more I’ve investigated their lineage, the more I resent the way it’s been adapted to something lightweight. Take Candyskin with it’s vivid sexual imagery, razor sharp jangle, David Henderson’s vocal squeaks and distortions; or Get Up And Use Me with a cowbell intro, Television lick, pop bass, spazzy screams and repetition; it all sounds so goddamn urgent. Re-adapted for the radio friendly modern age, there’s no bite.

Then there’s the double, Velvet Underground-meets-twisted-guitar-solo instrumental freak outs of Lubricate Your Living Room Parts 1 & 2 which rock and roll like two distorted beasts on the end of the gritty, barely sung, absurdly spiky Murray Slade led title-track.

Make no mistake, this is pop music; sure the lyrics are ambiguous and the mood’s aggressive, but the songs are tight, short and witty. Highly influential too, judging by Bobby Gillespie’s claim that neither The Jesus And Mary Chain nor Primal Scream would’ve existed without them. They don’t make ‘em like they used to.

The queen of kooky anti-folk is on the rise and she’s moving at the speed of light. Emmy weaves beautiful narratives of heart break and the pain of sea-change in images so delicate and insightful the punch line literally knocks you out.

For example ‘City Song’ records the migration of a girl to the city; the roller coaster of disappointment, more about confusion and the loss of loved ones under the chaos of distraction. The kick in the teeth comes with the last two lines ‘they pulled a human from my waist/it had your mouth it had your face/I would have kept it if I’d stayed.’

It’s a heart stopper but it’s a stunning track, web making you feel very close to Emmy as she lays out someone’s dirty washing through her dulcet tones.

‘MIA’ is another as the narrative voice remembers how it felt to sit in a car crash next to a dearly beloved and now dead friend. The line ‘I still remember holding my hand against your face just before it was sprayed across the radio as it played’ sums up the fragile agony of the track and the pain that remains unresolved leaving your heart in your mouth. She sings of the white elephant in the room without showing it the door and I respect her for it.

She was good at The Green Man Festival but she was great at Borderline. Playing with her now usual medley of folk-kids, two of the band have been borrowed from The Mules, they appeared a more harmonious unit. With the embellishment of some backing vocals and more violin her music seems to be solidifying into more of a product and I don’t mean that in the cynical way that it sounds.

New songs, including Gabriel the story of a 17 yr old who stalked her on Myspace, the arrival of her mother who was introduced to the crowd as she watched shining with pride on the stairs and my excitement at the presence of a massive middle-aged Texan man who was completely captivated by little Emmy made it a memorable night. I genuinely love her, I wake up with ‘The Woods’ in my head and I sing her loudly in the shower. I think a lot more people are going to be loving her soon, so check her out before she does a Damien Rice and becomes too big to hold onto and claim as your own.

The blurb that accompanies ‘Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind’ make Vashti’s personal concerns for this album’s flight into the public sphere clear. Vashti was not in her tender years a folksinger. Andrew Loog Oldham did not lead her down the garden path of pop because in her mind she was already there. The singles and demos that stretch over two disks in this compilation do indeed support this statement. For example ‘Coldest Night Of The Year’ is testament to her mainstream tendencies brining back memories of the woah-wao-yeh-yeh-yehs of 60s pop, visit adorned with reprises and key changes.

However, as we stroll through the infancy of Vashti’s talent in this collection I can’t help but be struck again and again by the distinctly enchanting ‘I’d Like To Walk Around In Your Mind.’ Its unique quality makes me beg to differ with Vashti. It is true that Vashti has never been a traditional folksinger but whether or not she was aiming for pop in the early to late sixties, she didn’t make it.

This misfit brings us back to why Vashti is such a national treasure. She has always quietly carved out her own niche in the musical market, kept to the beat of her own drum and sung what she wanted not what she thought we wanted to hear. In keeping with her abandon-it-all-and-move-to-Scotland lifestyle ‘Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind’ serves to remind Vashti fans just how much the great lady has always stood alone.

At its heights her voice captivates with a feeling of innocence and translucence which makes her seem ephemeral and yet wholesome. She is both intimate and alien as if quietly singing to herself whilst she sits behind you. The crackles and distortions found on the album due to the condition of recordings left boxed up in damp attics for decades increases that notion of closeness and conjures a certain nostalgia. It is as if you have stumbled across these long forgotten tapes yourself, a musical Indiana Jones holding a dusty Vashti Holy Grail in your dusty paws.

That being said with the repetition of certain tracks and the clear undeveloped and unpolished quality of others ‘Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind’ is an album that will probably only be truly enjoyed by die hard Vashti fans. Of which there are many but to those who don’t know her well this will not serve as the best introduction; that being said if you don’t know Vashti already you should get to know her. She served up a blinding set at good The Green Man Festival last month enjoyed by many even though the late set changes threatened to leave her over looked. We all remain indebted to Devendra Banhart and the folk powers that be for coaxing her back out of hiding. That’s another reason to be in love with Devendra. Damn it there are just so many!

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Tatty Devine has opened up an exhibition space in their recently refurbished shop in Brick Lane. They will be holding regular exhibitions of like-minded artists and musicians, this and this month they have chosen the work of Rachel Ortas, illustrator, graphic artist and artist in residence at Central St Martins. The exhibition features her bright and beautifully made silkscreen print illustrations of the AI AI’s, monsters from outer space that are both adorable and slightly wild at the same time, with their cuddly bodies and menacing, pointy, little teeth. You’ll also get to see one of the 3-D AI AI’s in person… a delightful character.

Tatty Devine has opened up an exhibition space in their recently refurbished shop in Brick Lane. They will be holding regular exhibitions of like-minded artists and musicians, and this month they have chosen the work of Rachel Ortas, illustrator, graphic artist and artist in residence at Central St Martins. The exhibition features her bright and beautifully made silkscreen print illustrations of the AI AI’s, monsters from outer space that are both adorable and slightly wild at the same time, with their cuddly bodies and menacing, pointy, little teeth. You’ll also get to see one of the 3-D AI AI’s in person… a delightful character. Charlotte is also the creator and illustrator of the fun and didactic children’s magazine OKIDO, one that would actually make any grumpy adult a silly kid again. The magazine is issued bi-monthly, and is packed with stories, fun activities and great illustrations of characters such as Messy Monster, Squirrel Boy, ZIM, ZAM, ZOOM, Foxy and many more of their friends. Once you see one in person you’ll be hooked.

If all this wasn’t already enough good stuff not to miss this month, you’ll also get to see Tatty Devine’s new A/W collection “The Dark Stages” inspired on medieval times, mystery, magic and intrigue; look out for the grand piano and card suit jewellery. This original and forward-looking accessory brand, like many other great alternative shops, had pretty informal beginnings. Its creators, Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden met at the Chelsea School of Art in 1996 while dreaming of becoming artists. One night while Harriet was walking home from the pub, she spotted some bags of leather samples; was it ‘devine’ intervention and a miracle waiting to happen? Next thing you know, she and Rosie were making leather cuffs and selling them in Portobello and Spitalfields markets: the birth of Tatty Devine and the addition of a dangerously attractive place to stock up on fabulous accessories.
Tilly and the wall were on fine form tonight, headlining an impressive line-up at Camden’s finest dive-venue, remedy the electric ballroom. Placing myself in the front row, wedged against the humongous speakers was just asking for trouble but the 48 hour deafness was worth it. This was my first Tilly experience-if I wasn’t close enough to get hit by a tap shoe, I wasn’t trying.

The great thing about Tilly is their attitude to playing live, a joy as opposed to a chore, you get the sense that they’re loving every second of it. With none of the attitude or posturing that seems to be part and parcel of many live acts, everyone’s favourite Midwesterners are free to just get on with some gold old-fashioned crowd-pleasing.

This is very much a joint venture but you can’t help but get caught up in the incredible Kianna who spent much of the gig interacting with the crowd; leading chants, thanking us all for being generally wonderful, singing directly to some of the front row and causing the boys to my left to giggle like naughty schoolgirls every time she flashed her winning smile in their direction. I think we all fell in love with the tattooed-one that night. Oh and did I mention she can sing?

Thankfully there’s no ‘concept’ with Tilly. Occasionally reminding you of a deliriously upbeat Arcade Fires with hints of Dolly Parton and a touch of modern Christian pop/rock (without the scary message), even the Tap dancing doesn’t feel like a gimmick as I’d feared it might, turning out to be a percussive revelation. All the basics are there; great songs, brilliantly heartfelt lyrics, incredible voices from the two front women and a guitarist who isn’t afraid to sweat buckets. And that’s it. From the reaction of the crowd it was enough and when invited to take to the stage for the encore they didn’t need much encouragement.

Now, with the Tilly-fawning out of the way, onto tonight’s other acts. Missing Slow Club in order to cue outside the cashpoint was a bad move, I hear they were excellent and have been kicking myself ever since. Lightspeed Champion-an indie phenomenon in waiting. Having caught him a couple of months ago I was quickly reminded of just how impressive the be-denimed boy could be. The addition of a violinist was a smart move giving weight to his swooping melodies and adding a touch of the Manics to his distinctive sound. The Teenagers had a tough act to follow and sadly the sound system at the ballroom wasn’t set-up for ‘defiant electro-Gallic noise,’ the crowd reaction a little flat. Sometimes North London can be unforgiving and shouts of ‘MERDE! didn’t go unnoticed by the band but they took it well, Quentin never cranking down any of his trademark swagger. A shame really, The Teenagers can actually be quite fun in an x-rated Sweet Valley High sort of way but you felt that the crowd were anxious to get the main act (fawn-alert) and who can blame them when Tilly awaits…

Being unfamiliar with both Caribou and Architecture in Helsinki, online I headed down to the cavernous venue that is the Koko in Camden to open my eyes and ears to new music, cure or so I thought! Opening for AIH, this Caribou delivered a stormy six song set in true psychedelic style, needless to say this involved atmospheric guitars and vocals combined with driving drums and the mandatory animated optical illusion backdrop. Throughout the set the band remained static, and even with the addition of another drum kit to drive the final song I was left wondering, where is it all going?

Architecture in Helsinki promptly came on at 9:45 and also failed to impress. Although fully animated (almost to the degree of a child that has eaten too many Smarties) I was unexcited by the bouncing around and continuous swapping of instruments. Initial technical difficulties hindered the band and a mid set intermission due to the fact that “we don’t have the stamina that we used to” left me feeling disappointed.

The between song banter lightened the mood although offered no real insight into the bands mindset, “this songs about being eaten alive by bunyips in Sussex” for example. Mid set AIH launched into Live It Up by Mental As Anything which, I was politely informed by an Aussie fan next to me was a big revival hit down under in the 90′s.

All was not lost however with renditions of Hold Music and Heart It Races, showing a glimpse of the talent and excitement I had hoped to see. Sadly it wasn’t quite enough and I came away wishing that Architecture in Helsinki had stayed in the land down under along with the Crocodile Dundee soundtrack.

Something strange has been happening to electronic rock music recently. We all already know that bands like Klaxons are received ill-gotten awards for doing precisely what The Happy Mondays did at the end of the 1980s, dosage and there are still fluorescent loons bouncing off the walls of grimy nightclubs every weekend, but when did this hybrid genre start giving people goosebumps? Urging me to stand on the roof of my house with arms outstretched like only a football montage and Nessun Dorma ever have done before?

Picking up where The Postal Service left off, the new single from Leicester’s Kyte is as mature a debut as their hometown’s greatest export, with an other-worldly take on the epic rock song. ‘Planet’ kicks off with a clear and chiming guitar introduction which, while not a challenging listen, winds around a minimal but steadfast bassline to gradually establish Kyte’s atmospheric assault. It is with the wheeling and swirling ghostly vocals, however, that you realise this band aren’t merely flirting with grown-up music. Echoed and looped “you see, you see” combined with synthesized eeriness marries the blast of a live show with gentle electronic ambience, and with B-side ‘Secular Ventures’ given a guttural remixing by avant garde Mercury nominee Maps, soon it won’t just be the casual MySpace user who knows about Kyte’s ethereal majesty.
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When The Go! Team arrived, patient out of the blue, remedy almost three years ago with their exhiliratingly wonderful debut ‘Thunder, search Lightning, Strike’ they proved to be a breath of fresh air.Their childlike innocence, party packed live shows and an album full of unashamedly ‘fun’ tunes – fusing hip hop, rap, indie guitars and sampled brass, was the perfect tonic for a scene cluttered with spiky guitar acts who took themselves all too seriously. Sure the record missed on the much coveted Mercury prize, but it has endured and The Go! Team are now a fixture on any festival bill worth its salt.

So, to ‘Proof Of Youth’ – the hardly rushed released follow up from the Brighton sextet, it’s title incidentally a Phil Spector reference and the crazed maestro’s ideas of youth- motorbikes, leather and teenage death.

One listen to POY’s opening couple of tracks (both of which are singles) confirms that the clamorous nature of the first record has been retained. A good thing? Well yes and no. Both songs sound reassuringly familiar Go! Team – upbeat, bombastic collision, coarse brass and guitar and a wealth of layered samples with frontwoman Ninja’s soulful vocal holding the whole thing together.

But second time around the ‘breath of fresh air’ impact has waned considerably and so stripped of the surface appeal provided by a dazzling sound, the rather mundane melodies crumble under scrutiny. Both ‘Grip Like A Vice’ and ‘Doing It Right’ may have scraped onto the debut record, but no way on earth would they have been cut as singles. They are amongst the best on offer here however.

Things just don’t seem to get going. Laidback, but pointless instrumentals (My World) stifle any momentum, and song after song of clumsy samples and sounds means the record never quite lurches into a groove.

Public enemys Chuck D provides some much needed bite on the urgent ‘Flashlight Fight’, and the best is saved till last with the quite beautiful ‘Patricias Moving Picture’ – whose whimsical tones echo first album highlight ‘Everyones A V.I.P to Someone’ – and is destined to be heard backing numerous sport related tv clips this autumn.

It maybe slightly unfair to judge POY solely against its lauded predecessor, after all The Go! Team still offer a degree of originality. Having said that it is also unavoidable given the obvious similarities between both records.In attempting to play it safe and offering more of the same, The Go! Team have rested on their laurels, and unfortunately given us a watered down re hash of ‘Thunder, Lightning Strike’.
Well what a hive of celeb activity this was. “I just had to squeeze past Kelly Osbourne and Kate Moss to get a bottle opener” said my friend as I stumbled out of the toilet. We had managed to shuffle our grubby little East-end plimsolls over to the groomed W1 last night for a night of Smash & Grab at Punk, buy information pills where the Queens of Noize were DJ-ing and Peek-a-Boudoir were performing. My friend was sure she saw Kate Moss having a sneaky fag behind a sofa, discount I’d probably give it a shot if I was her to be honest.

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The nimble handed V&A (Victoria Shahrokh and Anna Fulmine) a creative duo from East London, visit this site both graphic design graduates had set up a nostalgic display of ‘Kisses’. Delicately cut paper flowers and plaster cast mouths attached to a string and label which read “A Kiss From Me To You” formed a part of the evening, which I believe was designed to get people Smashing and Grabbing for snogs, hence the kisses, and the Peek-a-Boudoir. These tokens of affection sold for £1 each, and they went down a treat. At midnight, Scottee one of the Peek-a-Boo’ performers took centre stage on the dance floor, wrapped from head to toe in bandages. He danced to “You’re so Vain” tearing off his bandages to reveal a chubby body covered in pen marks to suggest that he was about to undergo ‘the knife’ as it were. Rather apt being surrounded by celebs an’ all.

Kate and Kelly hung out on the really very pink and extremely comfortable sofas, and there were traces of Miquita Oliver, Courtney Love, Lily Allen and The Kooks kicking about the place.

The music was wicked, we danced a lot to some really groovy beats, from 80′s pop to 90′s rave. There were lots of very skinny ladies in massive wedged heels in patent reds and black. A dressing up box was situated at the other end of the Bar, I’m sure Kate Moss borrowed something special, it was a £4 deposit followed by an evening of a different outfit and then you’d get a £1 back if you took the garment back at the end of the night. So, a pretty cheap addition to wardrobe if you accidentally left it on.

So, yes Punk is definitely worth a visit if you’re up for some celeb spotting. The bar’s very expensive, but V&A’s kisses are worth checking out, and so is the Peek-a-Boudoir. Enjoy.
It’s time to wear those unashamedly plastic Holgas round your neck with pride people because the Lomography Congress is rolling into town. If your secret shame has had you hiding your 120 film under the bed and scribbling LEICA in tippex over your homemade pinhole camera, approved then unburden yourself and rejoice in this week long series of activities including talks, approved workshops, treat parties and various other geekcentric events.

Now, I understand that not everyone is as savant-like about cameras as me (so what if I have a gigantic drawer dedicated to all my trashy vintage cameras!?) So If you’re a lomo newbie never fear. Like taking pictures but don’t have 800 quid to spend on a Nikon D series? Hate glossy perfection & treasure those happy accidents? Enjoy loitering round Trafalgar square? Well, BINGO, because Pigeon central will be home to the awe-inspiring Lomowall, a collection of over 100,000 photographs contributed by us ordinary folk and taken with cameras of the budget-friendly variety.

Basically this is a celebration of those amateur photographers (it’s the new ‘I’m a DJ’ dontcha know?) with all the ideas and passion for the game but none of that pesky technical knowledge or pricey SLR nonsense. With tickets available for individual sessions throughout the day perhaps this week you can spend your lunch hour learning how to become the next Terry Richardson rather than picking over that limp salad in Prêt a Manger. Enjoy!

It was all about cool and sophisticated on the COS runway this season, doctor on the hot Saturday morning last weekend at the Royal Horticultural Hall. This season COS was obsessed with ‘clean’ looks, order and opted for stark and minimalist Scandinavian aesthetics. They drew inspiration from the modernist design influences of Danish and Scandinavian designers from the 1950′s and 60′s, focusing on architectural qualities and sleek proportions.

The models came down the catwalk with Nordic looking tans and glowing eye makeup, logically dressed with muted-coloured frocks of various shades of grey and beige, inky blues, crisp white and some highlights of bright tangerine, mustardy yellow and baby pink. For the girls easy fitting, short dresses with narrow belts highlighting the waistline, with subtle plays on volume and rich, textured fabrics. The menswear was full of sharp, figure-tracing frocks with skinny trousers barely reaching the ankle and jackets cropped to the hip; a sexy variation was the shorts and blazer grey schoolboy number. Overall, though not excessively exciting, there were some clever and useful staples that are definitely worth a thought… especially considering the good quality materials and reasonable prices.

After a long delay to the start of the show, view the “fairground catwalk” at Eley Kishimoto’s SS08 was worth the wait. The bright colours and bold graphic prints they are so well known for were complimented by a good dose of sophisticated humour on the accessory front. Easy fitting dresses as well as a myriad of separates in different combinations were at the order of the day.

These were styled with pretty socks and stockings of different lengths with printed stripes and winged motifs. A nice highlight were the elastic and lace details on the socks, cialis 40mg also worn with colourful flat sandals or heels. Most of the outfits followed a relaxed silhouette with linear proportions, but while there wasn’t much variation regarding the silhouette, the wide mix of materials made the ensembles rich and refined.
Playful detailing and adornment in the form of bows and ribbons was key to give the look a distinctive ‘wonder world’ character. Yet, this was accomplished in a subtle manner, making the pieces both wearable and fun at the same time. The accessories were particularly exciting, all part of a new range of jewellery and bags being launched this season. The cleverly designed jewellery is made of mixed materials such as plastic, metal and wood skilfully combined on vibrant colours. Even though they were inspired on objects randomly retrieved from curiosity shops, the end result was both polished and contemporary. The oversized bags made of leather, canvas and snakeskin of different colours will definitely come handy next spring.

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