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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Napoleon IIIrd

The Windmill, Brixton, 24th-May-2008

Written by Richard Pearmain

TONIGHT FROM 6PM – 9.30PM } WATCH AMELIA PERFORM AT THE ART VINYL GALLERY!

The Eel are launching Issue 10 of their Hackney based magazine; covering local issues and events with witty idiosyncrasy. Tonight will be particularly special however, medicine online as Amelia will be singing with the Hackney Secular Choir! Other contributors include Rosie from Tatty Divine and Rachael from Prick Your Finger, pills more about among a whole host of other great local creatives. The Eel also put on a community festival in August on Vyner Street that’s well worth putting in your calenders – last year there was a right ol’ fracas between the locals and artists.

And as for Amelia singing, physician more about expect undoubtedly dulcet tones alongside truly heartfelt renditions of Ian Drury’s Sex & Drugs & Rock ‘N’ Roll, as well as Buzzcocks and Sham 69 songs (and they’re open to suggestions). You can join the choir yourself, every Monday @ 7.30 St. Johns Church, Bethnal Green, anybody is welcome, particularly men, followed by debauched boozing down the local. Claiming to be a Punk Anarchist Choir, you’re therefore not expected to have the voice of an angel but to simply want to be a part of it, so clear your throat and get singing!

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Roll up roll up! Graduate Fashion Week is within sight, discount and this year it promises not only to be bigger, but even better.

Arguably the best place to spot the latest and greatest of new talent, this year’s GFW has moved to Earls Court 2 and will celebrate more than 1000 of the finest BA Degree fashion students from 29 selected universities and colleges from around the UK. The event attracts some of the industry’s biggest characters, with Victoria Beckham herself judging last year – ooh la la, we are blessed! – and other fashion incredibles such as Hilary Alexander, Sophia Neophitou from 10 Magazine, and Liberty’s Design Director Tamara Salman; everyone who is anyone should be pencilling this grand event into their diary.

The 2008 event will be showcasing from Sunday the 8th of June until the 12th, and tickets are available online now for Gala Show One, which is scheduled for 5.30pm on Wednesday the 11th. This first show will allow visitors to see all student entries for the Gala Awards, but no winners will be announced at this performance; that’s for the ‘invite-only’ Gala Show Two shown at 8pm on the same day – pah, that’s showbiz for you! This second show will feature the best 16 collections from the week’s shows, and include announcements of all prize winners. But don’t be disheartened all you non-invite-worthy fashionistas, GFW is still THE only major international fashion event open to the general public and a chance for anyone to sit alongside the greatest fashion editors and talent scouts from around the world, to watch the finest professional catwalk shows. So what are you waiting for? GET YOUR DIRTY MITTS ON A TICKET NOW!

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2007′s joint River Island Gold Award winners – Jasper Chadprajong & Nicholas Thomas

Admissions for GFW days June 8th -11th:
Static exhibition only: £10.00 (no advance booking) / University Show: £10.00 + £2.50 handling charge (if purchased in advance) inc. admission to the exhibition / Gala Show One 5.30pm: (June 11th ONLY) £25.00 + £2.50 handling charge.

Tickets for all University shows and Gala Show One available NOW online: www.gfw.org.uk

The quintessentially English Bragg arrives on-stage in a vibrant Colston Hall this evening looking decidedly American – Elvis quiff, this black and gold cowboy shirt and boots. It’s a look he just about pulls off thanks largely to the fact that though now in his 50′s, thumb Bragg’s looks have barely altered in over 20 years. The bard of Barking is here showcasing his first studio offering in 5 years, shop the rather good ‘Mr Love and Justice’, but tonight he cuts a lonely figure on-stage as he opts for a solo performance without long term backing band The Blokes, who’s rugged musicianship on said album offered a nice clarity of depth. So, we are left with Bragg’s no nonsense , one man attack approach for the best part of the next two hours.

With little way of introduction, ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ gets things under way, much to the delight of tonight’s knowledgeable audience. It’s a solid opening but soon, Bragg is bemoaning the fact that his voice is not quite 100% – the fallout of a St George’s day inspired session on Stella just the day before. Correctly, he is reminded that people don’t really come and see him for his voice, and the gripe is quickly forgotten. In between musings on Public Schools, Marmite – which is the source of a running gag throughout the show – and English breakfast tea, there is a workmanlike take on ‘Farm Boy’ from the new record and an excellent Woody Guthrie cover ‘I Aint Got No Home In This World Any more.’

An acoustic rendition of ‘Shirley’ reminds us of Bragg’s ability to write a brilliant piece of radio-friendly pop – something for which he receives little credit, albeit understandably given his commitment to the tireless promotion of weighty political and cultural ideals through his music. He returns to this ground with the engaging ‘O Freedom’ again from the latest record, which is preceded by a 5 minute introduction concerned with human rights and liberty. These type of soapbox moments are a staple part of the Bragg live show, and whilst he does tend to, on occasion hammer the point home a little too much, it’s forgiveable given his staunch libertarian stance, and obvious pride and belief in what he is preaching.

He gushes about this years Rock against Racism, (which took place two days after this) and harks back to the personal effect the initial event had on his personality and beliefs 30 years ago. Whilst ‘Power In The Union’ is in homage to the teaching strike that took place across England and Wales earlier in the day, and Bragg’s arms in the air youthful exuberance throughout this is refreshing.

Regrettably, a host of trite lyrical changes on ‘Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards’ manages to completely ruin what is one of Bragg’s finest compositions, but a superb encore consisting of a lovely ballad version of ‘Like Soldiers Do,’ ‘Sing Their Souls Back Home’ – probably the best anti-Iraq war song of the newbies and an audience sing a long of ‘A New England’ mean things end on a high.

Brainlove Records were holding an all-day session at the Windmill, abortion comprising of various (often slightly bonkers) artistes on their impressive roster. I’d wanted to catch the wonderful Tim Ten Yen (accompanied, ailment as ever, health by the Sinister Cat), as I’d seen him at the same venue some time ago, but sadly I’d missed him. However, the other main attraction for me, Napoleon IIIrd, did not disappoint.

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Tonight he was playing the many highlights of his debut album, In Debt To – backed by a full band. Running through favourites like Defibrillator and Guys In Bands, the supporting line-up of bass, backing vocals and drums provided a much beefier sound than on record, with the often weird and frequently wonderful toytronica accompaniment that dots the album more in the background. The set finished, with the aid of a guest trombonist, on the marvellous Hit Schmooze For Me, probably the greatest, wittiest dissection of the daily 9-to-5 yet committed to vinyl. How can you argue with a song that reminds you that a day job is just that, and not your life?

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