Listings

    No events to show

Follow

Twitter

|

Facebook

|

MySpace

|

Last.fm

RSS

Subscribe

Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Visa Swap UK

No.1 The Piazza, Covent Garden , 21 June - 20 July 2008

Written by Melinda Neunie

Not as impressive as their first output, more about mind not as depressive as their comeback, ask their third album manages to have some really solid hits while they explore their own roots and bring the angular guitars back. Unfortunately, site the excessive number of fillers making the experience less pleasant than it should be. You can’t blame them for trying. Their new songs see them trying to sound like their old selves – back when they had enough dancefloor anthems to make Franz Ferdinand jealous, and a major behind after them. After being dropped by their label because of News And Tributes, the second album which lacked the material which made them interesting in the first place, they had no option but to go back and give us their best impression of The Jam playing punk versions of Beach Boys songs. In The Beginning of the Twist, Radio Heart and Broke Up the Time they show that they still have what it takes to create shiny pop-dance songs. So what am I forgetting to mention? Oh, yes, the bad songs on the album. The ones that sound like a pastiche of themselves; soulless use of guitar and drums (as well as their accent – which we all liked) making me wonder where the energetic, meaningful two minutes of punk madness went. It could’ve been their chance to make it via their self made label, but regrettably This is Not the World could only be a good if it was an EP.

The member of Black Ghosts‘ solo project Lord Skywave is steeped in biographical influences and sways into the worlds of pop, and dub reggae and avant-garde electronica. Then again, order when you look at Simon Lord’s musical career you can see why his solo project is such a multi-genre mish mash.

Perhaps the most heartwarming part of this album is his extensive use of his families musical past. He samples the music his grandmother used to make so many moons ago. After a summer of visiting his grandfather’s house and going through his collection of old reel-to-reel tape recordings and 78′s, pilule he had an entire archive of her fantastically composed sweep off-your-feet instrumentals to work with.

lord%20skywave.jpg

As well as this, all the electronic bass sounds on the album were produced using the Lord Skywave synthesizer which was built by Simon’s dad in the 70′s, and only 10 were made. Which I find hard to believe with such a tantalizing name, surely there must have been more demand!

I don’t know about you, but I find all this absolutely fascinating, and such a refreshing change from the majority of music, which can sometimes can appear to be something of a soulless, money grabbing, dried out husk.

It’s so hard to pinpoint my favourite tracks on this album because it’s all so diverse and to start comparing them makes my retinas hurt. I think what I find so gripping about his style is his voice. At points it’s heartbreak in a sound wave and at others it‘s the happy morning shower singing that I thought only really occured in plays set in New York in the 1950′s.

Even though Simon Lord is an established musician, as both an ex-member of Simian and current half of The Black Ghosts, this album sets him apart from all his previous endeavors. It sounds like Prince if he was quintessentially British. What more can I say?
Amarylas.jpg

I’d seen the Amarylas a couple of weeks ago at an Oxjam night at Brixton’s Windmill and had been pleasantly surprised. Heading over to Islington’s hallowed pharmacy +Greater+London, what is ed +UK&fb=1&view=text&latlng=469594232395886090″target=”_blank”>Hope & Anchor, it was time to reacquaint myself with their psychedelia infused sound.

Tonight they were the opening act on the bill, so the venue was still pretty quiet, which was a shame. A guitar based four-piece, led by mop haired singer Luke Segura, they blend that classic, slightly psychedelic pop whimsy of Syd Barrett or Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake-era Small Faces with a Clash inspired New Wave edge. Basically, what Pete Doherty might sound like if he didn’t have quite so many, er, distractions!

For all of you still mourning the passing of the Libertines, make sure you check out the Amarylas when they play a venue near you.

Calling all budding fashion designer’s, adiposity Carla Fernandez, medicine founder of the leading ethical label, there Taller Flora, is giving designers the opportunity to jet over to Mexico to become part of her team for five months.

After winning the British Council’sInternational Young Fashion Entrepreneur Award, Carla has been rewarded with a cash prize to spend on a project which both tailors to her specific interests and contributes to developing the relationship between her country and the UK. The Mexican designer has chosen to give a printed textile designer and menswear designer from the UK the fantastic opportunity of working with herself and the Taller Flora team on two lines of clothing in Mexico in August 2008.

This is not, however, for someone who just likes the idea of sipping tequilas in the sun. The menswear candidate will work with Carla to develop tailoring within the range while the textile designer will help out on her printed textile designs.

Requirements for the menswear applicants:

Should have a BA or MA in fashion or be a talented designer.
Demonstrable competence of pattern cutting is mandatory
Ability to work independently
Team player with good interpersonal and communication skills
Knowledge of and an interest in ethical fashion
Knowledge of Spanish would be an asset
Must be a resident in the UK.

And the requirements for the textile applicants:

Should have a BA or MA in textile design or be a talented print designer
Excellent freehand drawing skills
Knowledge of Photoshop is mandatory
Silk screening experience
Ability to work independently
Team player with good interpersonal and communication skills
Knowledge of and an interest in ethical fashion
Knowledge of Spanish would be an asset
Must be a resident in the UK.

Sound like you? Designers interested in the project are asked to send a short (no longer than 300 words) written statement outlining why they want to be part of this project, up to 12 images of their work, their CV and the details of one of their references, to Alison.Moloney@britishcouncil.org or Carla Fernandez at carla@flora2.com by 16th June 2008.

For more info visit the British Council website.

Good Luck!

Carla%20Fernandez.jpg
music-listings.gif

JUNE

Wednesday 11th

HEALTH at Korova, abortion Liverpool
Emmy the Great, web Diane Cluck, buy information pills younghusband at Cargo, London
White Williams at Puregroove Records, London
The Dodos at Night and Day Cafe, Manchester
I Was A Cub Scout at Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Semifinalists at Amersham Arms, London
Beach House, Fleet Foxes at ULU, London

Thursday 12th

Gnarls Barkley at Bush Hall, London
The Dodos at Crawdaddy, Dubin
O Children, S.C.U.M. at Puregroove Records, London

Friday 13th

Little Boots at Club Pony w/Midfield General, Sheffield
Sportsday Megaphone at Club NME @ Sin City, Swansea
Wild Beasts at Cross Keys, London

Saturday 14th

Deerhunter, High Places at Dublin Vicar Street
Leonard Cohen at Irish Museum Of Modern Art, Dublin
Meltdown – Massive Attack, Fuck Buttons at Royal Festival Hall, London
Sportsday Megaphone at Club NME at Welly Club, Hull

Sunday 15th

The Twilight Sad at Edinburgh Bongo Club
The Sugars at Fleece, Bristol

On Monday evening Ethic held the award ceremony for it’s annual ethical fashion competition in London.

Being one of the hottest days this year, buy I arrived at the uba trendy Fashion and Textile Museum feeling slightly harassed having endured 10 minutes of the rush hour on London’s sweaty central line. Thankfully I quickly located the bar and after gladly helping myself to a chilled white wine and tasty mini tuna baguette I was ready to fully immerse myself in the show

Now in its second year, more about The Ethic Competition is a contest open to over 150 fashion courses in the UK. Students were given the brief of designing a garment under £100 which addressed a key issue surrounding ethical fashion (eg fair-trade, organic materials, recycling, animal friendly or innovative environmentally friendly new materials), while still maintaining elements of current trends.

While I’d admit that none of the finalist’s work could be worn beyond the museums four walls, credit has to be given to the students for managing to produce garments that were at least visually appealing and a pleasure to watch on the catwalk. Design team Reduce, Reuse, Recycle managed to create a strapless full skirted gown using just newspaper, bubble wrap, bin bags and scrap pieces of recycled material.

Reduce%20Reuse%20Recycle%20dress

The winners, and admittedly my favourites, were Nicole Da Silva and Phong Nguyen from Hackney Community College, who used second hand materials and clippings from the BBC website to address the issue of recycling while still managing to incorporate this season’s obsession with volume and ruffles in an extravagant tiered wedding gown.

urbanites.jpg

Once the winners had taken their lap of honor and the buffet started to fizzle out, I made tracks to leave feeling very inspired and I must admit, a little merry!
climate%20forum%20weekend.jpg

Whether you’re eco-minded, page bemused by the concept, price or like me, help just generally confused; scribble down in your diaries ‘Climate Forum’, which is happening this weekend! The event includes a huge range of 50+ seminars with speakers varying from Michael Meacher MP, Tony Jupiter (Director Friends of the Earth UK) to George Galloway MP. But, you’ll not be listening to others all day as workshops, art, music, performance, stalls and exhibitions allow you to get stuck in straight away. There’s even a Saturday night party ‘Climate Caper’ at the Synergy Centre for those groovy rebel campaigners wanting to throw some shapes.

The event is organised by the group CCC (‘Campaign against Climate Change’) who seek to raise awareness about the gravity and urgency of global warming. They aim to get people together, forming street campaigns, pushing for a reduction in global emissions. The first day’s plenary is: ‘Are we losing the race against climate catastrophe?’ where workshops will investigate solutions such as climate justice, biodiversity and even ‘Youth and climate change: Campaigning for our future’ (so all you raging student activists with burning questions to ask-note this down)! Sunday will consequently focus on ‘Climate change from around the world’ where speakers will be holding a selection of workshops, including: ‘direct action’, ‘climate change, energy and health’, ‘combined networks’ and many more.

One workshop that pinpricked my interest was: ‘Youth and climate change: Campaigning for our future’ with Abigail Jabines of Greenpeace on Saturday. In a 2007 seminar in Sydney she stated that a one-metre sea level rise would result in 700 million square metres of land where 15 out of 16 regions’ coastlines would be affected. Not only does risen sea levels effect eco systems but it also has immediate consequences for small communities ill equipped to deal with climate changes.

The assortment of workshops happening throughout the weekend range from the political (‘Energy and Anarchy: why we need to escape from market-based thinking’), economical (‘Climate change and your bank’), political (‘Direct Action’), to spiritual (‘Faith and Climate Change’). One organiser told me the objective of the Weekend was to ‘raise awareness and forge a community of people who care about these issues; through political action as well as individual choices’. Her sunny outlook imparted a sense of positivity in me, as in the words of Abigail Jabines in her lecture; ‘We can do something. The window for action is getting very slim and the time to act is now.’

Danananaykroyd.jpg

The line-up tonight does appear a little bit thrown together, page as all the bands don’t really lead on from one another. What Would Jesus Drive kick off the night’s proceedings. I’ve yet to decide on how feel about bands who get their names from bumper stickers, but judging a band by their favored car trinkets should always be avoided. This duo and their drum machine manage to put on a quirky live show of American tinged indie rock that seems to entertain this crowd at least.

Next on the bill is Polka Party, who offer a perfectly enjoyable bunch of pop songs with more southern drawl and dandy temperament than you could shake a stick at. Their latest single ‘Japanese Haircut’ is almost perfect indie disco fodder and it certainly had one girl at the front pulling Agyness Dean style pouts for the camera. I think this must be how indie music is rated nowadays.

Dananananaykroyd stole the show quite easily, though it’s not their style to do things effortlessly. The energy from their live show was infectious, and I’d have to say the catalyst for this was their duo of drummers. Facing opposite ways they dual perpetually, and the effect is almost hypnotic. Thankfully there is a large distraction from all the fun drumming in the form of the ever so brash lead singer. His microphone seemed to be broken for the majority of the set, but he truly didn’t care, and neither did I. He was shouting so loud that you could get the jist of what he might sound like if the microphone was working, and his flailing was for more interesting than any type of lyrics. I’d like to think of him as a lead flailer than a lead singer.

They also do this strange crowd interaction part in their set where an eerie silence is created and a guitar is handed to one lady in the crowd. The drummer also tried to hand me his sticks and pull me onto the stage. I’m sorry to say I didn’t react positively to his request though; in fact I pretty much rooted myself to the spot. I’m sorry but it was a Tuesday night, I wasn’t drunk and I can’t play the drums. The only outcome of this would have been some uneasy silence followed by an embarrassing, resounding tap on one of the cymbals. It was definitely for the best.

They are definitely a deservedly hyped band, their musicianship and vigorously bounding presence won me over, and I just hope this transpires onto record in their new mini album ‘Sissy Hits’.
I’ll start by saying a huge ‘Thanks and about time’ for the brain behind the change of location for GFW. I’ve been going for 5 years now and Battersea Park’s tent was just awful. Too hot, story too sweaty and just generally quite uncomfortable. Hurrah! It’s now in a real building, sildenafil Earl’s Court 2. It’s got bricks and everything! Even the loos have real plumbing! About time GFW sorted this, it’s only been running 17 years. Bring on the sweat-free fashion!

As a graduate from the AIB myself, I will always take an interest in what’s going on. Besides us graduates keep getting invited and when free booze is on the cards… well. Plus you get to have a real snoop around what everyone else is doing, which in turn inspires you to get a new job! There’s also the benefit of seeing a few long-lost gals.

So I ran (I was late) to the AIB’s Sunday show. First time ever I didn’t use my ticket as a fan once inside. The room temperature was quite comfortable. I remember the days when I used to dress the models as a tiny first year and it was a flustered affair I can tell you. Anyway, the room was packed and dark (lights down already, damn) and 14 lucky so-and-sos got to show on the catwalk.

First off down the crisp white runway with her collection of six was Camilla Sutton. Her garments were multi-layered with a hint of culture from everywhere. Evident was intricate embroidery, unique handiwork, weaving and leather inspired by Central America, China and capped off with Henry Holland Style tartan trousers. She’d used a lovely mix of prints, textures and a little bit of polka dot! My favourite was a floral embellished cape; I’d have that in a flash.

I really liked Anna Hirsch’s collection. This is the kind of stuff I would try on and want to buy in Topshop or Urban Outfitters. She had made some lovely summer dresses in pretty floral prints, retro indeed. She’d teamed her collection with 80′s chunky sunglasses but the cute print dresses with matching belts caught my eye. Brick lane eat your heart out!

Anna%20HIRSCH

Chloe Rees-Williams did a ‘Seduced’ all-black collection. Her garments were skimpy but sophisticated. The lady is a vamp not a tramp! Each outfit picked out different areas to emphasize. Whether that was the narrow waist or fuller bum! Due to only using one colour, Chloe really played well with what she had. There were a whole number of fabrics in play, but I liked the layered lace tutu on a corset. Stunning silhouettes ruled this collection.

Chloe%20Reese%20Williams.jpg

Finally, last on was Amy Xiao Pan and she was last for a reason. The entire collection was… wait for it, canary yellow, orange, gold lamé and brocade. Pretty daring huh? Not only was each outfit over the top (in a good way) and heavily detailed, but she’d done this eight times! Quite an impact indeed. Respect to her, she must have been making that lot for months.

There wasn’t much flesh on show either. One in particular was an all-in-one gold metallic Lycra cat suit, including covering the hands! This outfit had it’s own cape with an interesting detail of knots, Amy’s theme (traditions of Chinese knotting). Teamed with the lamé cat suit was a sequined gold skullcap with peepholes for eyes. I cannot not mention the all-in-one florescent orange number. I’m talking not a single bit of skin showing! It went over the face and zipped up the back. Luckily the model wasn’t claustrophobic. There were awesome headdresses in bright yellow to match the patent 8-inch heels.

Amy%20Xaio%20Pan

My favourite was the peachy orange floral swimming cap. Now these should make a come back. As a swimmer, I’d be happy for this to return. The collection left the crowd’s mouths open. This girl really went for it and because of that, she’s made it on to Drapers 15 GFW stars of the future. You can never be too daring, especially in fashion daaaarling. Go Bournemouth! I’ll be coming back next year (maybe for the free booze but I’ll be on time one hopes).
The brand new puregroove store opened just over a week ago, sildenafil and it’s fantastic. They’ve ditched the endless aisles and racks that you usually have to sift through and now only stock the 100 CDs and vinyl that you really want. You don’t expect to find something innovative that isn’t music when you walk into a record store, but this truly is.

puregroove-wall.jpg
Photos: Lucy Johnston

It’s also where we’re hosting the launch party for issue 9 of Amelia’s on the 18th June, which is only next week!

The 100 consist of all kinds of special editions with signatures or posters or other great stuff attached. It also links up with their website, and you can even go in and listen to tracks on some type of special computery thing.

As well as being a shop, the space also works as a venue. They have lots of in store gigs coming up which are definitely worth checking out, as they’re all totally free. There are some really great people coming up like Golden Silvers, Late of the Pier, Bumblebeez and O Children, to name just a few.

In case you were thinking they need anything more the store also showcases an excellent display of art and photography. Currently artwork by established illustrator Kate Moross is covering one of the walls. There is also a whole host of photographs of the band My Bloody Valentine by New York based photographer David Fisher on display. What I’m most excited about however is the work of Peter Saville, which is due to be exhibited at the store later in the year. He is the guy behind iconic artwork for Factory Records, including the artwork for ‘Unknown Pleasures’ by Joy Division.

art-listings.gif

sweettoof-burning%20bridges.jpg
The Brick Lane Gallery, pilule ‘Burning Bridges Exhibition’, buy Alexandros Vasmoulakis, Dave The Chimp, Labrona, Cum*, Bruno 9LI, Case, Herakut, Other, Gawd, plus a whole range of other urban artists: 13th-22nd June.
Brick Lane Gallery, 196 Brick Lane, London E1 6SA
Scorching new street art talent from the UK and abroad, set to rustle your conceptions and blow your mind. “Capow”! indeedy.
www.burningbridges.co.uk
Also Bruno 9LI designed the cover for our next issue.
front%20cover%2009sm-blog.jpg

beynon_becky-stew.jpg
The Rag Factory, ‘Stew’, Edward Ahlstrom, Ayla Akdemi, Michelle Anderson, Michael Anthony, Becky Beynon, Ben Bird and other artists: 13th-22ndJune.
16-18 Heneage Street, nearest tube stations: Aldgate East and Liverpool Street.
34 University College Creative Arts (Rochester and Kent) photographers, from UK and Europe tackling diverse themes such as journeys, memory, history, environment whilst questioning the place of photography in modern society.
www.stewphotography.co.uk

Beach-transition.jpg
Transition, ‘FAN FAIR’, Dominic Allan, Doug Jones, Cathy Lomax, Matt Rowe, Tabitha Moses:14th June-13th July.
Unit 25a Regent Studios?8 Andrews Road, London E8.
Deals with the ‘spectacle of seaside sensations’ including: a rock-dipped walking stick, delicate ceramic skittles, a deep-sea diver and souvenir hankies and Madam Sosostris will even read your tarot cards!
www.transitiongallery.co.uk

brisley-fieldgate.jpg

Fieldgate Gallery, TERRY ATKINSON?STUART BRISLEY?TIM HEAD14th June-13th July.
14 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES.
Artists who came to prominence in the 60s and 70s; operating within: Conceptual Arts, Performance Arts and other modes. Their commentary on art and politics has influenced generations of students.
www.fieldgategallery.com

On Wednesday evening fellow art editor, troche Tanya, viagra approved and myself journeyed down to Earls Court for THE fashion event of the month – the Graduate Fashion Week Gala Show and Awards. Now – being a somewhat high profile event, treat we were prepared to spot the occasional celebrity, what we were not expecting was the bizarre scene that we were greeted with on our immediate arrival. Huddled together in a group, Pixie Geldof, Agyness Deyn and Henry Holland stood ‘casually’ chatting outside the main doors – which just so happened to be conviently situated in full view of the paparazzis’ lens. While shimmying our way past this attention-seeking spectacle, all the while wondering why their conversation couldn’t possibly take place inside, we desperately hoped that this show would centre on graduate talent and not just end up being another who’s who celebrity parade.

Fortunately I can admit the show was brilliant. Sixteen graduates had their collections displayed in a flawless runway show which I’m sure was breathtaking for them to watch. The standard was impeccable from the designs down to the faultless music changes and lighting.

One of my top favourites was Nabil El Nayal from Manchester School of Art, who was also the winner of Best Womenswear on the night. His black and white collection was all about volume, layering and ruffles combined with light sheer chiffon, silk and cotton materials. Think big floating dresses worn by ancient Greek damsels in distress thrown in with a couple of sleek skin-tight bottoms, and you’ll get the gist of his clothing.

Sarah Kennedy from Northumbria University was another of my favs. Her catwalk show reminded me of a trendy modern day puppet show, complete with bright pink blush and bold accessories. The doll-like collection was crammed with childlike one-piece garments and baby doll dresses all covered in a Japanese style print.

The final designer who really wowed me was Craig Fellows from the University of Northampton with his classic Little Bo Peep inspired skirts and dresses.

All in all it was a good evening. I Particularly liked the mini hamburger hors d’oeuvre’s and the band’s radical frontman who slyly used this opportunity to lecture a room full of fashionistas on sustainable clothing.

Highlight of the night? – definitely seeing Gok Wan…I just love him!

Nabil%20el%20Nayal.jpg

Sarah%20Kennedy.jpg

Craig%20Fellows.jpg
Jessica%20Au_Gold%20award.jpg

And the winner is… JESSICA AU!

There must be something in the air of Ravensbourne College as they scoop up another River Island Gold Award second year running. Jasper Chadprajong first brought glory to the understated college’s wall of fame last year but no no, prostate that wasn’t enough for old Rave, they’ve only gone and done it again with textile graduate Jessica Au following suit! Her daring floral prints upon an array of suits and shirts wowed the panel of GFW judges, which included Claudia Schiffer, Julien Mcdonald and Lorraine Candy of Elle Magazine. Not content with winning the River Island Gold Award and the prestigious title of GFW designer of the year, Jessica was also awarded the Zhandra Rhodes Catwalk Textiles Award with an altogether cash prize of £21,000 – jealous much?

A brave colour palette of deep purples, fuchsia pinks and wine reds toned down with businessmen greys complimented her simple Teddy Boy inspired silhouettes, and the full impact of innovative print design was executed throughout the whole collection. Jessica’s prints compiled of graphic and linear floral designs that were both digitally printed and hand screen-printed, showing the endless possibilities of traditional and futuristic textile techniques; no wonder Lorraine Candy claims that ‘this person will go far.’ Make sure you look out for Jessica’s winning floral creations at Oxford Street’s River Island store, as she is sure to move on to bigger and better things soon; catch her while you can!

Jessica%20Au%20shoot1.jpg

Photo by Katie Mcdonald

P.s. Did I mention Miss Au is actually one of my real life friends?! I am honoured! And my first top secret mission concludes that she is still working her Chinese hiney off and humbly drinking tea after all the excitement and drama of Wednesday night – very rock ‘n’ roll. I’ll keep you guys posted…

On the first Tuesday of this month I trundled up to EXIT bar on Brick Lane after work, erectile carrying my laptop and recycled cloth bag; which together probably amounts to half my body weight! Tired from a previous late night, I was not feeling in the best of moods to impart my supposed literary genius upon others. However, after unloading all my stuff and making a beeline to the bar, my spirits were changed (note: I am not promoting that alcohol solves tiredness/problems- infact I had an orange juice)!
Mel (the fashion editor) and I got chatting to the organiser, Mr Salam Jones about the first ever Open Mic Night. He seemed slightly disorientated as he kept surveying the room for his friend who was running late. He told us this was the first one he had organised and that there had been a lot of support from poets, rappers and singers wanting to showcase themselves. Depending on how it all turned out, he hoped to run the night regularly, on the first Tuesday of each month.
Queue 9:30pm and Salam’s mysterious friend dressed in black finally turned up, running two hours late. Near to falling asleep on the sofas, Mel budged me awake, muttering, ‘aren’t you nervous?’ I replied, laughing, ‘I’m too tired to be nervous.’
The first poet was a middle aged Indian woman who detailed the natural landscape of India, citing moonlight, the exotic temperatures and sunrises. There were moments of real beauty. Then it was my turn!
Being my first time performing, I explained that my poems were from my creative writing dissertation on ‘Identity and the City.’ I explored different characters who lived in London through performance poetry. I began by saying the first piece was about an indie guy on the underground who was journeying to one of his many lovers. I raced into the poem entitled ‘Hot Stuff’ trying my best to emulate an indie-ish twang with:

This tube sends me wild
It gave birth to a multi-coloured child,
Live like a live wire
Set me on fire,
Travellin’ up higher,
Dialled the number to the moon up above,
Ridin’ free on the backbone of love…(etc)’

open%20mic%20night%20at%20EXIT%20bar.jpg

Other pieces were about: loss of beauty, memory, an attack on constructed notions of beauty in women’s magazines and rootlessness. One that differed was ‘…yes—yesterday’, a stream of consciousness poem on a particular encounter:

…..yes—yesterday coat-hang
errrs, ‘umm’- I said that too many times, times, times, AnOy
hiccup of dandy head yellow. Popping stalk-sturdy

we walked like chalk

Scratchy c l o u d s shaking in our radio-minds
——————-we were lunar praying forrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

the owl wings beat blue-flocking Up-uP uP twigs snapping in woods

(etc…)

On that note the crowd was miffed into silence. However I signalled that I was finished and they eventually erupted into applause.
Then another performance poet performed, whose poems were about lust, love and frustration. A rapper came after, who told a tale about his background and trying to break free from his former mould. Some decks were played in the background, making us all bop up and down to the beat. Later, the infamous Salam Jones read out pieces on racism in East London in the ’70s and his background as the only Indian kid at his school. My favourite piece was one called ‘I remember’ where he got into two different characters: himself (with an East end accent) and his dad (with a thick Indian accent). He even used a checkered hat as a prop to indicate the character shift to his father. The two differing experiences growing up in London was riveting stuff.
All in all the Open Mic Night was a massive hit with the regular crowd and a handful of interested people who came especially. I’ve been to past literary readings where everything is a bit ‘hwah hwah darling what do you think about this text?’ Events like the Open Mic Night acts against this by breaking the mould of what literature can be; where verse is opened up to regular people, not just those within literary circles. With an array of different people, perspectives and approaches to telling a tale, Mel and I really enjoyed it. If you’re ever on Brick Lane, pop into EXIT bar and ask Salam when the next Open Mic Night is. Who knows, perhaps you’ll even get to see him reincarnate into his father with the checkered hat once again!
On the first Tuesday of this month I trundled up to EXIT bar, remedy after work, discount carrying my laptop and recycled handbag; which together probably amounts to half my body weight! Tired from a previous late night, adiposity I was not feeling in the best of moods to impart my supposed literary genius upon others. However, after unloading all my stuff and making a beeline to the bar, my spirits were changed (note: I am not promoting that alcohol solves tiredness/problems- infact I had an orange juice)!
Mel (the fashion editor) and I got chatting to the organiser, Mr Salam Jones about the first ever Open Mic Night. He seemed slightly disorientated as he kept surveying the room for his friend who was running late. He told us this was the first one he had organised and that there had been a lot of support from poets, rappers and singers wanting to showcase themselves. Depending on how it all turned out, he hoped to run the night regularly, on the first Tuesday of each month. He then ran outside to chat to his friends, throwing his poems nonchalantly in our direction.
Queue 9:30pm and Salam’s mysterious friend dressed in black finally turned up, running two hours late. Near to falling asleep on the sofas, Mel budged me awake, muttering, ‘aren’t you nervous?’ I replied, laughing, ‘I’m too tired to be nervous.’
The first poet was a middle aged Indian woman who detailed the natural landscape of India, citing moonlight, the exotic temperatures and sunrises. There were moments of real beauty. Then it was my turn!
Being my first time performing, I explained that my poems were from my creative writing dissertation on ‘Identity and the City’. I explored different characters that lived in London through performance poetry. I began by saying the first piece was about an indie guy on the underground who was journeying to one of his many lovers. I raced into the poem entitled ‘Hot Stuff’ trying my best to emulate an indie-ish twang with:

This tube sends me wild
It gave birth to a multi-coloured child,
Live like a live wire
Set me on fire,
Travellin’ up higher,
Dialled the number to the moon up above,
Ridin’ free on the backbone of love…(etc)’

Other pieces were about: loss of beauty, memory, an attack on constructed notions of beauty in women’s magazines and rootlessness. One that differed was ‘…yes—yesterday’, a stream of consciousness poem on a particular encounter:

…..yes—yesterday coat-hang
errrs, ‘umm’- I said that too many times, times, times, AnOy
hiccup of dandy head yellow. Popping stalk-sturdy

we walked like chalk

Scratchy c l o u d s shaking in our radio-minds
——————-we were lunar praying forrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

the owl wings beat blue-flocking Up-uP uP twigs snapping in woods

(etc…)

On that note the crowd was miffed into silence. However I signalled that I was over and they eventually erupted into applause.
Then another performance poet performed, whose poems were about lust, love and frustration. A rapper came after, who told a tale about his background and trying to break free from his former mould. Some decks were played in the background, making us all bop up and down to the beat. After the infamous Salam Jones read out pieces on racism in East London in the ’70s and his background as the only Indian kid at his school. My favourite piece was one called ‘I remember’ where he got into two different characters: himself (with an East end accent) and his dad (with a thick Indian accent). He even used a corduroy hat as a prop to indicate the character shift to his father. The two differing experiences growing up in London was riveting stuff.
All in all the Open Mic Night was a massive hit with the regular crowd and a handful of interested people who came especially. I’ve been to past literary readings where everything is a bit ‘hwah hwah darling what do you think about this text?’ Events like the Open Mic Night acts against this by breaking the mould of what literature can be; where verse is opened up to regular people, not just those within literary circles. With an array of different people, perspectives and approaches to telling a tale, Mel and I really enjoyed it. If you’re ever on Brick Lane, pop into EXIT bar and ask Salam when the next Open Mic Night is. Who knows, perhaps you’ll even get to see him reincarnate into his father with the corduroy hat again!

young-knives.jpg

A short stroll to the venue is a very welcome change, approved and seemed to pass quickly due to my excitement over tonight’s bill. Golden Silvers are as Henry Dartnall from The Young Knives later states, “Very up and coming and hip.” They’re also one of my personal favorites at the moment. Their single ‘Arrows Of Eros’, which is yet to drop on Young & Lost Club, encompasses Morrissey on a shoestring vocals, jabbing, squeaky keys and Talking Heads era funk – all with a twist of beguiling originality.

The Young Knives take their place on stage with that straight from work to the office Christmas party look that they do so well. They really do know how to sport a fine pair of M&S slacks.

The first song to get the crowd hopping is the exemplary ‘Terra Firma’. I’ve never understood the meaning behind this song. I mean obviously it’s about fake rabbits, real snakes and the ground, but I’m sure it probably also has some deep metaphorical meaning which is way over my head. To me though, it just makes for a brilliant chorus, and you can’t help but get caught up in the raucousness of it all.

Between songs the most hilarious and delightfully coarse banter is exchanged between Henry and The House of Lords (I swear that never gets old). This finally escalated to point where the House of Lords shouted out to the sound guy, “Can you turn my vocals down, and turn up the voices telling me to kill him”.

‘Weekends and Bleak Days’ insights drunken, two pints aloft, shouting of “Hot summer, what a bummer” from some members of the audience. I think it’s always a delight to see stuff like this happen, in any other situation this act just wouldn’t be acceptable. I suppose it could only happen at what it says on wikipedia is “the ‘rarest gig’ of their career”. I know I shall treasure it like some sort of Fabergé egg of a memory.
On Saturday morning Oxfam officially opened the third of its boutique stores on Chiswick High Road.

Oxfam%20Boutique.jpg

For those of you who may not know, cialis 40mg former Topshop brand director, adiposity Jane Shepherdon recently volunteered to assist the Oxfam management team in creating a chain of fashion boutiques in London.

The new stores, medications which are situated in Westbourne Grove, Shawfield Street and now Chiswick, are a result of Oxfam wanting to shake off the negative images that are often associated with charity shops and to encourage consumers to visit them.
Stepping into these boutiques they are barely recognisable as Oxfam’s. Professional visual merchandisers have obviously been to work at the front of the stores, creating trendy, eye-catching window displays which aren’t unlike something that you’d find on the high street. Inside – classy wooden hangers hold oodles of neatly arranged dresses, trousers, skirts and shirts which you would actually enjoy sifting through.

The new boutiques only offer clothing and accessories from sustainable sources including; one-off pieces which volunteers and young designers from the London School of Fashion have created using donated clothes; donated fashion labels; fairtrade products and items made from organic/ recycled materials. The newly opened Chiswick store even included a pair of shoes donated by Gwyneth Paltrow herself.

Prices range from £5 to £240 so I reckon there is pretty much something for everyone in there. Go down there early if you don’t want to miss out on any of the unique one-off items or click here to visit the website where you can order clothing online.
Iniva, cialis 40mg ‘Mirror Image’ Oscar Muoz: 13th June-27th July.
Rivington Place, medical London EC2A 3BA.
The first solo exhibition in the UK, pill including works over 10 years by Columbian artist. He deals with memory and loss. In the words of Munoz, he is concerned with the ‘dark and corrupted succession of wars for more than 50 years’.
Nearest tube: Old Street or Liverpool Street.
www.iniva.org
oscar%20munoz.jpg

MAD@P3, Universtity of Westminster: BA Illustration, BA Information Design, BA Ceramics, BA Mixed Media Fine Art: 19th-26th June.
University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road London NW1
The modern underground P3 Space is hosting for the first time, a showcase of fresh creative talent from the University’s best Media, Arts & design graduates.
http://www.wmin.ac.uk/mad/page-1864

furrytickle%20illustration.jpg

Free Range, Graduate Art & Design Summer Shows: Photography: 20th-23rd June
The Old Truman Brewqery, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL.
Rotated each week to showcase a different creative discipline, this week showcases cutting-edge photographic talent. Free Range Director, Tamsin O’Hanlon explains, “Free Range is an unprecedented display of youth, art and creativity [and] uncovers tomorrow’s talent at today’s prices.”
www.free-range.org.uk
free-range%20graduate%20art%20%26%20design%20show.jpg

Paradise Row, ‘Laughterlife’: Georgy Ostretsov, Victor Alimpiev, Diana Machulina, Elikuka, Fedor Pavlov-Andreevich, Rostan Tavasiev: 19th June-27th July.
17 Hereford Street (Off CHesire St), London E2 6EX.
Focusing on the themes of absurdity and black humour at the heart of Russian culture, works include pieces from the early 19th century literary works of Gogol, to absurdists writings and theatre of the OBERIU group as well as young artists in Russia today.
www.paradiserow.com
paradise%20row%2C%20%27laughterlife%27%20exhibtion.jpg
music-listings.gif

This week in June

Monday 16th
Deerhunter and High Places – Brudenell Social Club, information pills Leeds
Coldplay – Brixton Academy, online London
Theoretical Girl and Hathcam Social – The Social, London
Trouble Over Tokyo – 93 Feet East, London

Tuesday 17th
The Twilight Sad – London Cargo
Bumblebeez – Hoxton Bar & Grill, London
Liars and Deerhunter – Koko, London
Le Tetsuo, Kids Love Lies and Joy of Sex – Buffalo Bar, London

Wednesday 18th
Amelia’s Magazine Issue 9 Launch Party w/Tokyo Police Club – Puregroove Records, London
Thieves Like Us and Midnight Juggernaughts – ICA, London
XX Teens, Attic Lights and Trash Fashion – The Fly, London

Thursday 19th
Ghostwood – Proud Galleries, London
The Twilight Sad, Her Name Is Calla and Fran Rodgers - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Yazoo – Hammersmith Apollo, London

Friday 20th
Goose, Joe and Will Ask? – Koko, London
The Chap, Gable – Puregroove Records, London
Vessels – Bar 1:22, Huddersfield
Deerhunter and High PLaces – Barfly, Brighton

Saturday 21st
The Week That Was – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
I Was A Cub Scout – Phoenix, Exeter

Sunday 22nd
My Bloody Valentine – Roundhouse, London
Franz Ferdinand - The Adelphi, Hull
Goldfrapp and Fryars – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

With holiday season fast approaching, online the countdown for getting our body’s into beach-shape for our bikinis has begun. With the pavements awash with joggers and the gyms fit to burst, treatment a new trainer from chic Parisian label Comptoir des Cotonniers could be the perfect piece of footwear to accompany the new get-fit regimes sweeping the country. Queue the new and exclusive pair of eco-friendly Veja trainers taken from the label’s Spring/Summer collection. Using organic Brazilian cotton and natural leather plucked straight from the Amazon Rainforest, these trainers promise to satisfy both our feminine shoe woes and consciences to boot.

Although only available in one – albeit incredibly trendy – style at the minute,
Comptoir des Cotonnier promise more for their Autumn/Winter collection with the introduction of a sage green with orange leather trim option.

With a percentage of the sales contributing towards a Forest Preservation Project, the brand also aims to stay green by refusing to use chemical pesticides during production.

Going to the gym never felt so good, knowing you’ve done your bit for the environment without having to compensate on elegant footwear.

Comptoir%20des%20Cononniers%20eco%20trainer%20.jpg

Mentalist%1D%1D%1D%1F%1F%1F%1E%1D%1Ds%08.jpg

The monthly helping of Dance Magic Dance at Shoreditch’s Old Blue Last was tonight serving up a distinctly female-fronted indie dish. First up were Kids Love Lies with their agreeably frenetic post-punk sound.

We were then treated to Betty and the Werewolves, case who gave us bouncy garage-fuelled stompers with lyrics guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Main course tonight was the all-girl group Mentalists. Taking to the stage in outfits that a cynic might have deemed as a touch Bangles-y, they mix a New Wave edge with power-pop sensibilities, led by singer Kim E. Leon’s powerful vocals, and they launched into a blistering set. With a spot at Glasto in a couple of weeks, they are bound to go down a storm. Watch out, Worthy Farm, these girls rock!

bumblebeez.jpg

Performances kick off with No Lay, buy who is apparently the best female MC in the grime scene. This is the grime scene that was pronounced dead not so long ago, and I have to say I agree. It was entertaining to a point, but where is the fun in shouting “put your hands up” over and over to a non-responsive crowd.

The DJ then proceeded to generate a definitive party vibe between bands, busting out plenty of Modular style house and electronica. All of which put the crowd in a frame of mind any band would welcome, especially one that practically specializes in sleazed out party tunes.

This evening however, the bumbleez’s attempts at sleaze sometimes seem to drift unnecessarily over into the nearly shambolic. With electronic beats pouring out the speakers there seemed little point in a drum kit, but it was used nonetheless. I couldn’t help but think that more use of it would have made their whole sound sit together better. If anything tonight’s performance highlighted the production talents. They certainly have the songs to keep a dance floor going when on record; I just wish this came across more in their live show.

Laura-Marling.jpg
Photo: Matt Bramford

Laura Marling, approved you say? Count me in. In a church? Lovely, approved sign me up! On Friday 13th? Oh, go on then!

I couldn’t quite believe my ears when I heard about the fascinating Miss Marling’s church tour – it seemed too good to be true. Arriving a little late (as almost every Amelia blogger seems too) wasn’t a massive problem this time, and I found a friend of mine waving from a very subdude queue leading to the grand church entrance in the heart of London. The atendees filed in calmly and quietly, with none of the usual teenage, angst-ridden pushing and shoving. People made their way slowly to pews, even letting others pass to get in first. What on Earth was happening?

Two support bands raced through a collection of lively folk-pop tracks - Mumford & Sons and Melody & Me. Both bands are worth a mention and had been chosen to suit perfectly: it comes as no surprise, then, to learn that the first – the more mature and superior of the support acts – form together to become Marling’s band in Act II.

When it was finally Laura’s turn to grace us with her presence, the sun had set outside and an array of imposing church candles and tealights were lit in order to modify the ambience. The congregation shuffled between pews and appeared behind pillars to catch a better glimpse of the diminutive folk sensation. When she appeared at the altar, sporting a short crop, a t-shirt with a hole in and battered pumps and carrying an acoustic guitar far bigger than her, there wasn’t a sound to be heard, except for the odd creak of old wood.

Opening her set, without any formal introduction, the adorable songstress wet our appetites with the believable, bitter but beautiful ‘Shine’ – one of my personal favourites from critically acclaimed album ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’. One after another, the album tracks (and some fantastic new ones) were showcased and sounded even better than the recording, as I had anticipated. ‘My Manic and I’ and ‘Night Terror’ were performed at their rawest with nothing but a guitar and Marling’s arresting vocals, while others like ‘Tap at My Window’ benefited from the help of Mumford et al and a string quartet. My personal favourite of the evening was album title track ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’, performed with pure beauty. If you’re not aware – it’s hidden at the end of Your Only Doll. Sorry to reveal the secret, but it’s too good a track to hide.

The time flew by and it was hard to believe that we had watched this angelic creation for over an hour. I was sad not to have heard live renditions of ‘Typical’ and ‘New Romantic’ – two tracks that I first heard on a promo EP that instantly had me hooked. Frankly, Marling could have played these 2 numbers, along with ‘Knees Up Mutha Brown’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, and I might not have noticed, owed to the splendour of one of London’s finest churches, but more the enigmatic melancholy of Marling’s sensational voice.
Tonight is the official launch party for issue 09 of Amelia’s Magazine which is to be held at the brand spanking new PURE GROOVES SHOP IN FARRINGDON! 6-7 West Smithfield, rx London EC1A 9JX

In order to show her support for upcoming artists, buy more about Amelia will be offering a sneak preview of the illustrations showcased in this issue. There is also the opportunity to order limited edition art prints at a discounted price!

So come along and help us celebrate, view some great art, listen to the sounds of TOKYO POLICE CLUB and O FRACAS who, I must add, will be playing live throughout the night!

There can’t possibly be a better way to spend an evening than in the company of the Amelia’s Magazine crew x

A.gifA Positive Future – by Amelia

When I was little I was obsessed with a book called Future Cities (The World of the Future) published in 1979. Looking back at the predictions therein it is interesting to see what they got right, even if the graphics on the home computers that would certainly fill every home feature cute Pacman styles instead of slick Mac graphics. Alongside more fantastical ideas such as space cities and towns on the moon, (where the 2020 Olympics were anticipated to be held!) the book also foresaw two very different possible futures – one where green cities support locally sustainable populations not disimilar to those towns envisaged by today’s modern Transition Towns movement, versus the polluted hellholes of a “dying world”. And for me the big question now is which way are we heading?
This book really fired my imagination as a child, something which I remember vividly to this day. Tempted as always onto Google to do a bit of research, I found this comment, from someone on Amazon: “I read the Chinese version of this book when I was a kid. For a children’s book, it’s surprisingly insightful. It’s also interesting to see how some of the preditions in the book have come true. The illustrations are great too. I find this book pretty inspiring even for an adult and I highly recommend it especially if you like sci-fi.” So it is clearly not just me.

We are intrinsically drawn to aesthetic beauty and art and creativity in all their forms are essential to human happiness… I love beauty – it is the reason why I produce my magazine and why people want to look at it. And this is where the role of illustrators and designers comes in – we could be the most amazing force for instigating change, because done well design can become all invasive and inspiring – a stimulus for a better way of life, where family, friendship, freedom, community and shared experiences are prized more highly than the possession of any kind of material goods.

Most communication about ecologically sound practices and speculations of what we need to do to alter the future of earth focus either on alarmist doomsday scenarios or the nebulous idea that small actions can make a big difference and technology will take care of the rest… but humans need experiences that stimulate positive thoughts to avoid becoming paralysed with fear; visions of a better future, a future where people have come to their own conclusions that to live sustainably in communities is actually a much better and more fulfilling way to live.

Of course noone can really know what our lives will be like in the next decade or two, but one thing is certain, things will be different. They have to be. What we desperately need are visions of a Positive Future… for it is ultimately in our hands to decide whether our future cities look like the “polluted cities of a dying world” or a “garden cities on a cared-for planet.” All this needs to happen soon because a shift in global consciousness needs to come before the double tipping points of climate change and peak oil send us into a spiral of unstoppable chaos, so let’s fire our collective imaginations and dream our way into the reality of a better world…

an original version of the article can be found here:

Stumbling out of Oval tube station and kitted with my A-Z London map, illness I made my way towards the Synergy Centre for ‘Climate Carper.’ Viewing the flyer, viagra I had high hopes for what promised to be an ace night including a host of DJs, live performances, food and drink, art, massage booths and poets. The event was part of the Climate Forum Weekend organised by CCC (Campaign against Climate Change).
Once I eventually found the place (my Duke of Edinburgh map reading skills leave something to be desired!), I was surprised at how busy it was. With a price tag of £5 at the door or donations for those who a wee bit broke (like me at the mo), I headed straight to the bar to get an orange juice (yes I am that poor- it’s an upgrade from water though)!
Drifting though the crowd I was drawn to a notice on the wall explaining some of CCC’s concerns. It pointed out that we can’t all afford to buy eco-friendly cars or expensive energy-efficient light bulbs but we could make small lifestyle decisions. Some examples of changes mentioned were: recycling plastic and glass, making small composts for organic waste and reusing carrier bags when we go to supermarkets. We could walk, cycle and make use of public transport. The pinned leaflet on the board concluded that ‘if people change their habits, it will force governments and councils to change theirs.’
Feeling better informed and filled with optimism, I continued to explore the rooms to see what I’d discover. Playing in the main room was a reggae band where people were dotted about and bobbing up and down to the chilled rhythms. It was only 10pm so there weren’t enough people yet to get the floor raving so I stood watching the scene envelop like an awkward prepubescent. However, I noticed that another guy was also looking around the room (not like a prepubescent- he seemed normal) so I got chatting to him.
Later, we journeyed upstairs to find the main room spread with cushions on the floor, paintings on the wall and live acoustic singers, which gave the space a communal feel where everyone was free to talk to one another. There were also people of all ages; kids and families, teenagers, young and more mature people. There, I met with a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time. He told me about the naked bike ride he had done that day, which made me smile. He was also with some friends so we found a spot and got involved in a group conversation about everything and nothing. Whether it was the place or the people, we talked about lifestyle changes we could do to make a difference, campaigning (one or two of them were already involved in), summer and our plans after uni as well as general nonsense. What was so cool to see was that not all young people are apathetic and environmental issues are not just for those hippy-dippy types-It effects all of us so why not care and see what you can do?
Catching a glimpse at the time, I realised how late it was so hot-footed it to the tube station (not before spreading some groovy shapes on the dance floor downstairs though)! Running down the escalators, I realised I had missed my train so had to zig-zag across London-town via a handful of buses. But despite that, I had a great evening. I had found out a few facts, caught up with a friend, made new ones and boogie-oogied to my heart’s content. I found out that the time to act is now and by going to events like this, it introduces you with relevant information. But most importantly, I was struck by the sense of community and the fact that people genuinely care about their environment as well as those abroad.

climate%20carper.jpg
carsick-cars.jpg

Varying from one side of your new wave record collection to the other, medicine Carsick Cars fuse the polar opposites within art rock. Tracks set off with the presence and gusto of something set to be in your head all day, this but as the guitars rise there is a sense of a liars-esque, sick strung out, Sonic Youth vibe that comes through very strongly. This escalates until the barrage of guitar feedback and vocals is so gripping you find yourself needing to crank it up just that ever-increasing notch.

I was introduced to them by Amelia, who discovered them during the production of issue 6 of the magazine. After first meeting them for an interview during her trip to Beijing they were again reunited at ATP festival earlier this year. To see them release their debut album, as well as play around the world, has therefore been quite a personal experience.

The undeniable stand out track on the album for me has to be ‘Zhong Nan Hai’. The rolling jangle of guitar and sporadic Theremin style interruptions sit perfectly alongside the fantastically dulcet repetition of ‘Zhong Nah Hai’ to create a song that personifies this band. It also has a fantastic interlude of soundscape feedback that sends the listener into dismay, only to slowly be introduced back into some type of structure by the recurrence of the bass line.

Perhaps it was a little naïve of me to single that track out, as the entire album works best as an entire body of work. It’s quite difficult to listen to just one or two tracks, as they all seem to lead on from one another. They really do fly the flag for China’s burgeoning music scene, and if I have to sum up this album I’d say it’s the most entertaining album I’ve heard since ‘Mirrored’ by Battles.
Hot-Club-De-Paris.jpg

Sharp, pill observational lyrics and experimental timings have always been the strong point of Hot Club de Paris‘ music, approved and it’s safe to say they haven’t changed the formula. Tracks vary from the slow paced ‘We Played Ourselves (Ain’t Nobody Else’s Fault)’, viagra 60mg which has beautiful swaying guitar loops, to tracks like that are brasher, with gruff yells that give some of their songs sound like old sea shanties.

Their math rock style indie pop always seemed to be ever so slightly smarmy, but I think this new album has eradicated what i felt was their only minor fault. All of the comedic asides that were a major part of their last album have been limited, constrained and have therefore become a more effective aspect of their music. In fact I really enjoy the more heartfelt songs on the album like ‘Let Go Of Everything’ and ‘The Dice Just Wasn’t Loaded From The Start’. I don’t know whether this is a sign of the band maturing since the last album, but I think it’s a sign that anything they do in the future could be even better, and that they should be a band that will be around for quite a while yet.

The album doesn’t really differ too much from their first album ‘Drop It Till It Pops’, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Most bands who try and make their second album different fail abysmally and produce something that just dissapoints there fan base. So for once, i think their lack of innovation is commendable. Hot Club De Paris have a sound that you could pick out from a mile off anyway, they don’t need to experiment.

I’ll be honest, for sale I am not a massive fan of holding parties cos I tend to get a bit stressed about whether anyone will turn up, look and it’s especially hard when promoting the very thing that I have put my heart and soul into… hence I am loathe to organize my own parties these days and it has been some time since I last had one. But when Pure Groove approached me to put a joint party on I thought what the heck… they are a great record shop and I’ve had a good relationship with them for awhile – they like the same sort of music as me and their new shop in Farringdon is a great space for both an exhibition and some live music.

amelias-mag-launch-party-busy.gif

We got there early – me by bike and the interns by tube. Pure Groove have these amazing magnetic display boards that can be hung from the rafters pretty much anywhere you fancy – and the magnets are so damn strong that it takes a sharp and strong pair of nails to separate them. So we had a bit of fun arranging the Positive Future prints… with text alongside by each artist to explain what they have done.

amelias-mag-launch-party-positive-future.gif
the magnetic display boards

Before long the linen-clad boys from O Fracas turned up to do a soundcheck, more about and I got to thank them for making the mission down to do the party (turns out I did have to get somewhat involved in the preparation after all – always the way)

amelias-mag-launch-party-O-Fracas.gif
O Fracas

The drummer’s parents were also in attendance and were grateful to hear that my dad would also be coming “so we won’t be the only old people then!” I thought this a very impressive sign of dedication, but turns out that they were in London anyway (O Fracas came down from Leeds)

amelias-mag-launch-party-Cindy-and-my-dad.gif
diamond Cindy, who helped me out in China for issue 06, and my dad

I also discovered that said drummer is studying art and has produced a very cool little zine that he gave me to take a look at – you can ask him for one yourself if you contact him via their website.
The start of a party is always the most painful part – in this instance a bunch of very young boys loitering around early for the Tokyo Police Club performance did not do much to put my mind at ease. Definitely not fans of Amelia’s Magazine. This was also the first time that I have put such a general invite out over the internet so I didn’t really have a clue who would turn up.

amelias-mag-launch-party-abi-renshaw.gif
the fab Abi, one of my favourite ex-interns, now designing for a christian mag!

Gradually more girls started arriving, surely a good sign… and so there was a very strange mix by the time we lugged the Brahma beers upstairs (who’s idea was it to empty the ice into the buckets in the cellar?!) and we were worried we might have to ID some of the younger creatures, but I think in the eventuality they stayed away from the freebies…

amelias-mag-launch-party-amelia-hannah-exintern.gif
me with Hannah Perkins, who was an intern several years ago and is now a stylist

amelias-mag-launch-party-ex-interns.gif
Matt and Sophie in the middle. Matt now designs for a famous tv magazine, and Sophie came to RUSSIA with me, but now works at a children’s charity, which she loves

Brahma were very kind to have donated a few beers at the last minute (although I would have prefered an advert, hello, 100 pages of modern Brasilian culture?! what more could possibly fit better a cool Brasilian beer brand!) and they sure went down a treat, if a bit fast.

amelias-mag-launch-party-serving-Brahma.gif
Charles and Tanya serving Brahma

We also had Alibi, a pretox drink that allegedly prevents a hangover if drunk before the booze. Well, I was very perky the next morning although I had a few beers to be sure, so maybe it works, but more importantly it was actually very tasty – a bit like Purdeys, full of yummy healthy ingredients, including milkthistle and artichoke – it was easily swigged. To be recommended.
One of the members of Tokyo Police Club played a heartfelt acoustic set of covers on his own, which wasn’t quite what I was expecting but it seemed to go down well. I have to admit that by this point I was stuck outside with a considerable amount of my guests because the store was by then rammed. I was quite alarmed to realise that my dad was trapped inside because he’s not good with loud music, but he was out like a greyhound from the traps as soon as the noise stopped. O Fracas were up next and they were a joy – really really ace, and lots of people commented to me on their way out how impressed they were. Check out the track they made for my USB stick; what all round lovely lads. Theoretical Girl also put in an appearance with two of the girls from her new band, all with very good eye make-up.

amelias-mag-launch-party-Theoretical-Girl.gif
Theoretical Girl

Kotki Dwa were also there with daddy Kotki who doubles as their manager – both bands are featured in my new issue too, and wrote for the USB, so it was great to have them make it down.

amelias-mag-launch-party-Kotki-Dwa.gif
Me with the Kotki boys

By this point lots and lots of people had arrived – my gang are always notorious for being fashionably late, and by jove they were… a significant amount of them managing to miss both bands, and the advance copies of the magazine too.

amelias-mag-launch-party-me-and-craig.gif
me with one of my best friends Craig

I only had 25 copies of the mag to sell with advance versions of the USB stick, and they swiftly went… it was really nice to meet a few avid fans of the mag, and at one point I swear there was a queue of people wanting to talk to me, mainly about getting work experience or contributing to the mag in some way. I actually felt quite overwhelmed by it all and couldn’t quite remember everything that was being said to me – it’s really flattering though and I am really grateful that people like what I do.

amelias-mag-launch-party-James-and-Matt.gif
James and Matt, both ex interns. (Matt isn’t really that small, honest)

amelias-mag-launch-party-jenny-charlotte-lauren-interns.gif
Jenny, Charlotte and Lauren, who were interns on issue 09

amelias-mag-launch-party-Jojo-Ma-intern.gif
the lovely Jojo, who was a joy to work with!

amelias-mag-launch-party-james-is-tall.gif
James really is very tall!

Lots of my old interns turned up which was ace – some I am now really good friends with, and I love getting a chance to catch up. They are all doing very well (and earning alot more than me, maybe I should be an intern of me and then leave and get a better job?!) and it makes me very proud to hear what they are up to. There were also lots of contributors there – lots of the illustrators featured in the exhibition of course, many of whom I met for the first time, and lots of others too, including Fred Butler, looking as amazing as usual (I see she is featured in Time Out as an up and coming jewelery designer: she was wearing a fabulous necklace customised with a fuzzy felt bird that first appeared in one of my issues – my dad was transfixed by it!)

amelias-mag-launch-party-Fred-Butler.gif
Fred is looking fab in the orange!

Illustrator Andy Macgregor – one of my cohorts on the Illustrators in Nature weekend and erstwhile designer of the Pure Groove calendar – was there with James Hatt who designed the treehouse. Oxana Korsun, who is a wicked stylist was also there, looking fab as ever.

amelias-mag-launch-party-Oxana-Korsun1.gif
Oxana outside Pure Groove

Annie Collinge and Louise Harries of Prick Your Finger, who put together the ace How To Make A Crochet Moustache were there, but I am not sure they actually got to meet each other.

amelias-mag-launch-party-Annie-Collinge.gif
Annie Collinge on the left

amelias-mag-launch-party-me-and-louise.gif
me in a fab fluffy jumper with the lovely Louise

Julia Kennedy made an appearance; she shot the fashion shoot in this issue that was covered in that hideous Class Of 2008, we’re-a-bunch-of-posh-kids-largin-it programme shown on the BBC recently, because the model was Portia, one of the featured kids. The shoot looks amazing though and also comes with a message, so don’t be fooled by the vacuousness of the coverage (AND they called the mag Amelia Magazine. Don’t they know that is a run of the mill women’s mag in Sweden?!)

amelias-mag-launch-party-reading-issue-09.gif
reading issue 09

By 8.30pm it was time to leave and head to the pub around the corner – this was only ever destined to be a short early evening event, but maybe I should pull all the stops out next time, it will be my 10th issue after all. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves though… Any sponsors interested?!

amelias-mag-launch-party-outside.gif
A couple of weeks ago we received an invite from the Association Of Illustrators (AOI) to Re-drawing the Line – a one day symposium that was set to explore the contemporary issues concerning illustration.

Being a magazine that prides itself on its appreciation of good illustration and all things creative and inspiring, pills I couldn’t help but pop along to the London College of Communication to see what leading industry professionals had to say on the topic.

After settling myself into a large lecture theatre – which humorously reminded me of the late nights and early mornings of University, thumb I was told one of the headliners, medications and opening speaker, artist Paul Davis, had called in sick and was being replaced by Adrian Shaughnessy – editor of the AOI magazine Varoom, Rod Hunt – Deputy Chairman of AOI, and illustrators Adam Graff and Paul Bowman.

Redrawing%20the%20line%20panel.jpg

Although the organisers appeared openly flustered by this hitch, it actually worked out quite well. The group held an improvised debate on the position of illustration in today’s society. Being unrehearsed, it turned into a light, informal conversation in which these industry professionals openly and honestly discussed their feelings on the subject matter.

The question of whether illustrators have a voice or are at the complete mercy of their commissioners was a popular topic that came up frequently. The audience members, who largely consisted of students, teachers and illustrators, openly joined in and had their say. At one point, in a moment of sheer frustration, Adrian inquired whether any of us were actually commissioners or worked within magazines which I admit caused me to sink uncomfortably into my seat, but on a whole I felt the debate was a perfect way to kick off the day. I was humbled by the complete passion that the entire room shared for illustration – a talent that isn’t always understood by those outside of the creative industries.

The rest of the day was equally as inspiring and perfect for students or those considering a career in this field. Among others Mark Wigan, Ski Scott and Justin Moore entertained us with humorous personal stories about their careers.

I particularly enjoyed the talk by John McFaul, who can only be described as a restless creative. As he guided us through his work portfolio, which included commissions for Jordan shoes, Specsavers and Liverpool Airport, he claimed a passion for what he is working on is always more important to him than the money involved.

Redrawing%20the%20line%20speaker.jpg

The Association Of Illustrators have organized a course called Business Start Up: Master Classes for Illustrators, which is set to take place on Wednesdays from the 3rd September to 12th November. The course, which is open to AOI associate members, recent illustration graduates and freelance illustrators, will include a series of workshops aimed at guiding participants through the steps to becoming a freelance illustrator. Based on my experience of the symposium, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking to take the illustration route and in need of a little inspiration, of if, just like me, you enjoy being around like-minded creative individuals who can appreciate a good piece of art!

Art groups: Campbarbossa, see Gallery Nosco and Planet Patrol teamed up in the hotly anticipated ‘Burning Bridges’ exhibition. With a line-up that included: Alexandros Vasmoulakis, Dave The Chimp, Labrona, Cum*, Bruno 9LI, Gawd, Mantis, The London Police, amongst others—(pheww! *inhale for breath*)- I was buzzing with excitement to see whether the exhibition could really live up to the hype.
Banksy once commented in the Observer that ‘galleries are just trophy cabinets for a handful of millionaires. The public never has any real say in what art they see.’ When entering the exhibition, what struck me was the hub of creative talent that was not a ‘trophy cabinet’ for the rich, but a place to display and celebrate innovative contemporary design.
Floating around the gallery, trying to soak up the varied approaches to street art, I came across Bruno 9Li who designed the front cover of issue 9 of Amelia’s mag. Feeling slightly sleepy from a day of work, I was startled by his pieces that took me to a world akin to Alice in Wonderland with an injected multicultural twist. Inspired by alchemical imagery, spirituality and his European, Japanese and Latin American descent he is a talent to watch!
Another cool artist that grabbed my attention was Alexandros Vasmoulakis whose mix of graphics, painting and prints displayed a sophisticated attention to detail. Working in Paris his work can be found on doors, telephones boxes and the sides of buildings up to 10 storeys high (so if you’re ever in Paris keep your eyes open)!
There were so many artists to get excited about. The variety of approaches kept my eyes rolling and my mind absorbed. From- CUM* self proclaimed ‘fucking erotic street entertainment’ involving pornography, Mantis whose work is a dark social commentary on grim reality, to the upbeat the London Police whose iconic smiley ‘lad’ figures brighten up the canvas, there was certainly an eclectic range on display.
Many of the pieces engaged in a ‘semiotic robinhoodism’, where, like ‘ad-jamming’ as described by Klein in ‘No Logo‘, defines culture jamming in terms of: when artists are hacking into ‘a corportation’s own method of communication to send a message starkly at odds with the one that was intended.’ Street art, by focusing on immediate environment, the political and social realms; this opens up debate and questions the society we live in. Street art is becoming more recognized as an art form (just look at Tate Moderns commission of 6 street artists) and things are now evolving. There is a way to go to convert art snobs that street art should be taken as a serious art form. However, the exhibition definitely succeeded in taking a step in ‘burning bridges’ by providing some sharp, scorching art that’ll alight your mind and burn your retinas (be warned).

mantis.jpg
Last weekend was the official launch of the 2008 UK Visa Swap campaign. Now in its second year, try the idea behind Visa Swap is that people take unwanted clothing and accessories to designated drop off points in Covent Garden. In exchange you receive a nifty little Visa Swap card loaded with points that coincide with your donation. The more exclusive or unique the pieces that you drop of, the more points you receive. So a high-end designer frock will earn you around 700 points while a high high-street skirt will get you about 40. At the end of the three-week drop off period, all donators are invited back to spend their points in a huge two day fashion swapping event in Covent Garden.

This might sound a little bit sad, but Being both immensely strapped for cash and a little bit of a hoarder, I’m actually really looking forward to this. The prospect of potentially updating my wardrobe for nothing sounds extremely appealing to me right now, particularly because, believe it or not, I still have a load of clothes knocking around from when I was around 16. A good 7 years later and several inches larger, I’ve finally come to terms with the unfortunate fact that there are certain items that I simply can no longer get away with – a pair of stretch cotton, metallic purple trousers comes to mind here. While I’m not exactly sure what I was thinking when I purchased them it’s likely some uba trendy, fashion forward creative could put them to good use!

I missed last weekends drop off, but I plan to have a good rummage through my chest of fashion no no’s in time for the next one, this weekend. If anyone plans to join me, have a lookout for my metallic bottoms, and Ill keep you informed on what I manage to buy in a couple of weeks time!

Lindsay%20lohan%20Visa%20Swap.jpg

Similar Posts:

One Response to “Visa Swap UK”

  1. Abi says:

    I really like your writing style, you’ve really made me want to get involved- I’ll look out for your trousers when I drop my clothes off.

Leave a Reply