Listings

    No events to show

Follow

Twitter

|

Facebook

|

MySpace

|

Last.fm

RSS

Subscribe

Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

A letter to Kings of Leon

Review of Sex on Fire

Written by Dearbhaile Kitt

My climate camp adventure started with the realisation that I’d have to spend a night in camp alone after a little mis-communication with my fellow interns. While the prospect of sleeping in a tent, sildenafil rx alone, pill for the first time in my life scared the hell out of me, I’m glad I didn’t bottle out, as I would have missed out on a once in a lifetime experience.

Wednesday evening at camp started off with a surprisingly filling slap-up vegan meal supplied by the hardworking volunteers in the London tent.

climate%20camp_london%20tent.jpg
Volunteer making food and wearing one of the aprons made by Emma

climate_camp_me%20leaving.jpg
Me chumping down on my food

After bidding a brief farewell to fellow intern, Emma, I gathered with the rest of the campers under the stars to listen to the captivating words of performance poet Ben Mellor. As we sat absorbing his witty words on society and the mind numbing nature of television, whilst watching the sky light up with flashes of lightening, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride at the strong feeling of community and goodwill shared by all the campers.Wednesday evening was Latin American night at Climate camp, so after Ben’s words of wisdom, we all made our way to the main tent to dance the rest of the night away with the help of a brilliant Bolivian band.

climate%20camp_Bolivian%20dancers.jpg
The brilliant band which kept us on our feet all night

Climate%20camp_bolivian%20band.jpg
A Bolivian dance group


Emma and a couple other campers practiced a Bolivian dance routine earlier on in the day

I was up bright an early on the Thursday morning after a bit of rough night alone in the tent. Thankfully Kate had left her sleeping bag behind as quite stupidly I’d completely forgotten to bring any bedding of my own. Unfortunately after warning shouts of a police raid at 5:30 in the morning (which turned out to be a false alarm), I found it a little hard to get back to sleep.

There were absolutely loads of workshops that I liked the sound of, each of them employing different angles to tackle the issue of climate change. I went along to one organised by the Student Climate Project called Guerilla Art, which promised to illustrate how we could use creative means, such as art, to fight against climate change. Unfortunately in order to protect the SCP I can’t go into exact details on everything that we discussed. What I will say, however, is that I went in there expecting a discussion on producing traditional artwork that incorporates messages of environmental dangers, but was delighted at the more contemporary, dare I say radical, approaches that we examined. The coordinators started off by discussing artists such as Banksy who have used more direct means to raise public awareness of social issues, before instructing us to get into groups and produce some artwork of our own. I loved the proactive nature of this workshop, particularly because passive attempts to change public opinion can often feel a little futile in my opinion.

climate%20camp_workshop.jpg

Myself, and the remaining members of Team Amelia said our goodbyes and made tracks to leave late Thursday afternoon. I couldn’t help, but feel a funny sense of nostalgia – in a strange way, it almost felt like I was leaving home. I have to admit the whole experience of being at protest was pretty new to me – but I loved being a part of it.

climate%20camp_leaving%20camp.jpg
Myself, Kate and Sarah packing up the tent – it felt like we were leaving home!

golden%20silvers%201.jpg

golden%20silvers%202.jpg

There was a time when I used to watch, see point and laugh at eighties music videos on MTV… oversized shoulder pads, viagra leg warmers, ed parachute pants need I go on?!
I remember this as I catch myself gazing longingly at the golden silvery lead, admiring his Esser-outdoing mop, and instead a smile to cross my face as the Spandeau Ballet video for True springs to mind.

The sound quality at The Macbeth certainly is awarded a 10/10 (even if these trendy bums and their clumsy footsteps do begin to grate on me). After a couple more tunes (and beers) my moves loosen up and I could even be accused of stamping on their feet a couple of times. Effortlessly punching the keys of his keyboard, dreamily humming his tales of love and loss there is no doubt these tunes are as catchy as velcro yet, perhaps a little limited in content. After all, there is more to life than just girls, boys and heartache (or perhaps that’s because I’m a bitter spinster)?

Golden Silvers sound like a splash of Duran Duran mixed with sugar sweet melodies, rippled with spicy synth action, a dash of Talking Heads and a slight pinch of Pete Doherty’s voice… shaken up in a disco ball. Great live acts, but possibly not the most varied poetry to have on your headphones.

golden%20silvers%203.jpg
The finale of Arrows of Eros with a guest guitarist

What a wonderfully British week we’re having; deceptively sunny mornings followed by torrential rain, recipe thunder, there lightning and flood warnings by tea-time. As we say goodbye to the sad excuse for a summer we’ve had, we can at least look forward to investing in one of this winter’s fashion staples; tights. I’m maybe slightly over enthusiastic about tights thanks to a deprived childhood where my mother would make me wear socks with my school uniform well into January, when she would finally acknowledge that it was cold enough for tights. As a result, I get really excited about autumn/winter fashion, particularly when tights feature as prominently on the catwalk as they do this season.

Top of my wish list would have to be a pair of Chanel’s two tone stockings; not only do they go with everything, but they are also ridiculously slimming as the black section makes your calves seem narrower. What more could you want?

tights_chanel_aw08_paris_b.jpg
?
London Fashion week saw tights worn as a statement piece in Emma Cook’s Autumn/Winter 08 collection. Like most of her designs, they were richly textured and feminine, laced with stars and intricate abstract patterns.

tights_05.jpg

?Designers Mhairi McNichol and Chloe Patience have collaborated to bring us an innovative take on modern hosiery at The Shop Floor Project. One pair of their handprinted stockings will set you back £54, but they are a genuine works of art. Embellished with beads and sequins, the tights feature quirky and intricate drawings by Chloe alongside Mhairi’s intricate embroidery.

tights_Lady%20Godiva%20Teal%20and%20Mustard.jpg

tights_pretty%20peacock%20cropped%202.jpg

Sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy of New York fashion label Rodarte have managed to cross breed the classic fishnet with thick cable tights, creating their large weave hosiery, reminiscent of a spiders web. The Gothic take on knitwear was inspired by Japanese horror films, and is bang on trend for those wanting to have a go at that ‘good girl gone bad’ look set to be big this autumn.

tights_00060m.jpg

Last, but not least, for all your hosiery needs, the one stop shop has to be the Tights Please website, where you can find all the best brands and styles, including industry staples such as Falke and Jonathan Aston. £20 may seem a lot to spend on one pair of tights, but it’s definitely worth investing in well made labels that can transform a whole outfit and will last all winter, snag-free. Besides, think of all the money you’re saving on waxing and fake tans.

cut%20off%20your%20hands.jpg

Lunch time gigs are something I’ve very rarely experienced, approved but if there is one thing I know about them it’s that unless the band are more than captivating you’ll find your mind will drift off into thoughts about sandwiches. I will therefore remember Cut Off Your Hands as being more entertaining than lunch; quite an accolade I think.

Kate and myself arrived at puregroove to find a nice little turn out for a daytime gig. Cut Off Your Hands are not the most known of bands, and I couldn’t help but think how almost criminal this is. What they may lack in originality, they make up for by simply offering perfectionist pop punk that rivals The Cribs.

Their hyperactive stage presents could strike some as sickly, they certainly appear to have eaten one too many smarties, bouncing around like children full of E numbers. Being twee always seems to split the crowd, and I’m often left feeling that presenting yourself in such an inoffensive manner isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just makes creating music that interesting a lot more difficult.

With want of a better expression, they could definitely make a record label a lot of money quite easily. There’s a market for them, and although it’s ever so slightly saturated, they are a lot better than most bands they would sit alongside. Put it this way, if people who love The Pigeon Detectives loved these instead, and there were an awful lot more canvas bags with their faces on, and the number of cd-r’s made by local indie disco djs had their tracks on increased – then I’d find the NME ever so slightly more readable.

I got an email a while ago tempting me to go to the ‘Art in mind’ exhibition at Brick Lane Gallery. What drew me were Sarah Beetson‘s illustrations, ampoule which contain a dollop of fun, viagra order a spoonful of neon attack and a dash of imagination. So after work I convinced the crew to join me in some arty fun, hospital after all the gallery is only round the corner from work, which is handy!

brick%20lane%20gallery.jpg

Peter Ellison‘s mixed media pieces involve photography, printing and painting resulting in expressive pieces, which are inspired by fashion and advertising images.

peter%20ellison.jpg
peter ellison art work

Steve Rack‘s friendly world of acrylic creations allowed us to momentarily return to our childhood; to remember a simpler world where crayola colours, hope, happiness and bouncy characters littered children’s tv. He describes his work as containing a ‘glimpse into a magical world where anything is possible’.

steve%20rack.jpg
steve rack

Donald Cameron’s black and white photography is really quite beautiful. Silence, surfaces and textures are documented to serenade your senses.

donald%20camero.jpg
david camero

Sarah Beetson‘s illustrations were the best thing in the exhibition. Small illustrations hung from the wall. Her naughty sense of adventure was pungent in the half naked figures parading perfectly perky breasts adorned with neon gell colours. Some frisky fun indeed!

sarah%20beetson.jpg

sarah%20beetson%202.jpg
sarah beetson illustrations

Downstairs there wasn’t that much to see. Whilst upstairs felt modern, downstairs felt like a trip to the past-to galleries where the sort of art you’re meant to ‘appreciate’ for your GCSE projects.

downstairs%20brick%20lane%20gallery.jpg
gary monitto

downstairs%20brick%20lane%20gallery2.jpg
‘internal bleeding’ by Jaufran

bricklane%20gallery3.jpg
esti eini

team%20amelia%20at%20brick%20lane%20gallery.jpg
us posing for the camera

If you do happen to go to ‘Art in mind’ make sure you keep an eye out for Beetson’s illustrations.

You know how it goes, find first the slowness, then the grinding and eventually the total no show of anything. Shit, hard drive where have you gone?! Thus it went with my Powerbook laptop early on Sunday morning as I was trying to upload wedding photos onto Facebook. Rats! I took it to show my dad who can sometimes take computers apart, but he laughed and said I need to go to the Mac fixer, whoever that magic little gnome might be.
Luckily I live close to Mac1, an eccentric little repair shop opposite Spitalfields market which is perversely housed underneath a messy antiques shop. But it turned out that most of their staff were away on holiday and thus I found myself peddling like a mad woman into town to visit their West End branch first thing on Monday morning.

Mac1%20Hanover%20Street%20sign.jpg

And spending most of the day reading a fine book by Doug Macdougall, Frozen Earth: The Once and Future Story of Ice Ages, whilst sat on a lovely wooden rocking chair underneath an oversized ficus plant (real and all). Sure, I desperately needed that computer back online, but hell, it’s not often that I get to immerse myself in a good book for any length of time, well at least not without feeling unnecessarily guilty and that I should be doing something else. So the experience was not altogether bad.
After several false starts the pesky business of transferring info hard drive to hard drive began, but once that was all completed the fan started whirring away again like a noisy little gremlin in my keyboard, prompting us to wonder if that had been the problem all along. No matter, a fan transplant later all seemed to be okay, except now of course my desktop is all wierd and not how it used to be.
Mac1 director Marc was extremely pleasant to me even though I took up most of his day, and I witnessed him time and again tending to customers with ridiculous queries with the utmost grace and patience, whilst artfully tending to my sick computer with one hand. Meanwhile his son Julian played quietly on his game, having been dragged unceremoniously from the surf in gorgeous Cornwall and plonked down in grotty central London.

Mac1%20Marc%20and%20Julian.jpg

Mac1 serves as a handy alternative pit stop for all the frustrated Mac customers who have just been told that there will be a 10 day wait if they put their beloved in for treatment at the Regent Street Mac store. At Mac1 you are likely to get your problem sorted within in the day, and with none of the tedious corporate bollocks that Mac likes to peddle as a unique experience. Mac1 sounds to me like something you do in a fighter plane, oooh I’m coming over all Top Gun all of a sudden – but for all your Mac problems, it is definitely the way to go.

burntsugar.jpg

For those who like to enjoy their tasty treats without having an unsavoury impact on those involved in the production of their sweeties, cost Burnt Sugar is set to become a firm favourite. Lauded by all and sundry (the Telegraph had said that they ‘may be set to do for the sweet market what Green & Blacks have done for chocolate’) the FairTrade certified brand, set up by Justine Cather in 2001, seems to be going from strength to strength. This should be no surprise really as, for starters, their ethical stance is exemplary. Sourcing their unrefined sugar (no nasty chemicals used this way!) from West Kenyan sugar farming co-operative WEKO, the company supports small local businesses and provides premiums so that communities can enrich their villages with water pipelines and electricity. Burnt Sugar has also become ‘Carbon Zero’ by offsetting their carbon dioxide emissions through energy efficiency projects, such as providing Solar Stoves and energy efficient light bulbs to communities in Africa. Even their West Kenyan sugar mill is energy self sufficient, since the sugar cane (once crushed and squeezed of it’s sugary juice) can be burnt to provide heat for the evaporation process.

Now, this is all well and good and fine and dandy, but a sweet company will never get far if it’s goodies aren’t so good. This is why I insisted on a few taste tests before bigging up Burnt Sugar (it’s a perk of the job, what can I say?). I’m not usually one for fudge but The Observer Food Monthly deemed Burnt Sugar’s ‘Original Crumbly Fudge’ to be the world’s best fudge, so I put aside my preconceptions and popped a piece in my mouth. The verdict? I’m a fudge convert! This grown up fudge has a surprisingly malty smell, like snuffling at a slice of Soreen or a particularly dense Christmas cake. It’s juicy as well, something I wasn’t expecting, with treacly, syrupy juice lending each chunk a really dark copper tone. It’s crumbly and melt in the mouth; like eating home-made biccies but with all of the sugar and none of the substance.

We were also given a packet of ‘Original Chocolate Honeycomb’ which Amelia sampled and deemed ‘lovely’. A little research on the Burnt Sugar site reveals that their confectionary collection is almost as big as Willy Wonker’s; There’s chocolate crumbly fudge, dark chocolate covered caramel crunch, strawberry and white chocolate crumbly fudge, coconut ice… I could go on, but I’d start dribbling on my keyboard. Burnt Sugar have packaged their products in larger pouches and tubs for sharing (yeah, right!), smaller trinket sized boxes for giving (what!?) and little bars to indulge in all alone (that’s more like it!).

I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for Burnt Sugar when I’m next grocery shopping. I may even take Burnt Sugar’s advice and indulge in their not-so-guilty pleasures whilst I’m curled up with a good book, a past-time the company love so much that they even created their own online book club! But, wouldn’t you know it, this is yet another initiative to make the world a better place; they simultaneously use the book group to draw attention to Book Aid International (who support literacy, education and training in the developing world). Burnt Sugar founder, Justine Cather, says; “I love the idea that our book club is a fun thing for our consumers to join and at the same time it helps promote the great work that Book Aid International are doing in the Sub-Saharan African communities, especially as this is where our Fairtrade sugar is grown”.

Burnt Sugar look to be a confectionary company with delicious products and a wholesome work ethic. Could it get any sweeter?
music-listings.gif

Tuesday 26th August

Be Your Own Pet and The Hot Melts – Dingwalls, viagra approved London
We Are Scientists – Empire, viagra approved Middlesborough
The Miserable Rich, patient The Sleeping Years and BB & The Dead Dog – Betsey Trotwood, London
Crystal Castles – Exeter University
Dirty Pretty Things and Florence and the Machine

Wednesday 27th August

Yacht – Barfly, Glasgow
yacht.jpg

Yacht is the R&B tinged pop jewel in the DFA crown. I’d really like to see just how effective his tracks are at getting a crowd moving live.

Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band – Electric Ballroom, London
Turbowolf – Thekla Social, Bristol
Ra Ra Riot and The Daves – Monto Water Rats, London

Thursday 28th August

The Week That Was, School Of Language and Absentee – The Barfly, London
Maths Class – Underworld, Edinburgh
Bombay Bicycle Club – End Bar, Newcastle upon Tyne

Slow Club – Hoxton Bar & Grill, London
Slow%20Club.jpg

If Slow Club aren’t worthy of being your entertainment for a Thursday evening, then I’m not sure we can be friends.

Skream – East Village, London
The Week That Was – Barfly, Glasgow
Yacht and Sportsday Megaphone – ICA, London

Friday 29th August

Gig of the week

The Faint – Cargo, London
the%20faint.jpg

So long as the number of new tracks is limited then this would be so awesome. I hate when bands play loads of songs off new albums that nobody has heard. Why do they do that?

Saturday 30th August

Offset FestivalYoung Knives, XX Teens, Chrome Hoof, Little Boots, Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man and more – Hainault Forest Country Park, London
gang%20of%20four.jpg

A festival in a wood, just 30 minutes out of London, with animals. I am officially there!

Bass Clef, Leonie and Brass Roots – Vibe Bar, London
So So Modern – The Freebutt, Brighton
Ladyhawke, The Checks and Nathan Haines feat Vanessa Freeman and Mike Patto – Koko, London
Capitol K, Micachu and Untitled Musical Project – The Monarch, London
The Chemical Brothers – Olympia, London
Eugene McGuinness and Agaskodo Teliverek – The Macbeth, London

Sunday 31st August

Offset FestivalGang Of Four, Blood Red Shoes, Hot Club De Paris, So So Modern, Metronomy, Slow Club, Prinzhorn Dance School, Ipso Facto, Radioclit and more – Hainault Forest Country Park, London
José González and Juana Molina – Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, London
Future Of The Left, Working For A Nuclear Free City and Dinosaur Pile-Up – The Harley Sheffield
The Clik Clik, Eliza Doolittle and Mpho Skeef – Wonky Pop at The Lock Tavern, London

I saw Stephen Fry on that road parallel to Oxford Street once. I nearly walked into a lamppost. It’s all that smart-ness in his brain that does it for me, information pills nothing like a man who can recite Shakespeare and what-not to make me go weak at the knees. So it was only natural that Miss Bruno’s limited edition ‘My so-called dress collection’ caught my four-eyes, ask fusing what would probably be my two favourite things ever: A wee bit of intellect and fabulous fashion darling. Perfect.

It helps that the garments are bloody cool as well. Deep earthy tones and exotic prints are paramount to the collection which combines an American city slickness with an African laid-back country style. Each individual piece is hand-cut using vintage and recycled fabric so no two items are ever the same.

Miss%20Bruno_A-3.jpg

Miss%20Bruno_B1.jpg

Miss%20Bruno_A.jpg

The sisters that form the collective duo known as Miss Bruno not only believe in making things for sustainable living, abortion but for other ‘unassuming revolutions’ as they put so poetically. The two list their influences as the countryside, old french and spanish architecture, conservative buildings that are vibrantly designed and the DIY culture found in counties such as Haiti where creative and sustainable living is a natural way of life. This becomes apparent in the shape of their ‘The Farming of Us’ blog, exploring thoughts on fabrics, musik, film, and general philosophies of life mixed in with memories of youth and happy chatter.

As a side dish to the Miss Bruno collection, the blog gives you a real sense of their commitment to the arts, ap sense of lifestyle and closeness to the product that makes viewing the clothes all the more believable and personal. Clearly the art of fashion blogging is of the highest calibre, if I say so myself.

Mis%20Bruno_A-1.jpg

Miss%20Bruno_A-2.jpg
HermanDune1.jpg

Long ago, page or so it feels now, salve when I was living as an art student in Leeds there was nothing that I’d like better than to get myself down to the Brudenell Social Club and take in some anti-folk. Aaah, page the wonderful anti-folksters that I was lucky enough to see perform in front of that glittery back wall! Moldy peach Kimya Dawson was always a thrill, as was Jeffrey Lewis and his wonderful ‘lo-fi music videos’. Diane Cluck would send us to sleep, but -ultimate favourites- Dufus would always set our hearts on fire again.

And then there was the lovely Herman Dune. Herman Dune stole the hearts of my friends and I on our first encounter with them at the Brudenell. It was probably their laid back indie-pop folk sound, conjuring up summer trips and friendly gatherings. Then again, it could have been their rather endearing manner, as the two lanky, bushy bearded brothers supported each other’s nasal voices with skilled guitar plucking whilst the drummer clip clopped along behind. Or maybe it was the playing-two-recorders-at-once technique during Red Blue Eyes.

Whatever it was, Herman Dune very soon became our sing-along soundtrack to happy summers and laid back bonding sessions. That’s the kind of music that Herman Dune make; joyous little ditties that seemingly promote togetherness and understanding. We’d listen to ‘Not On Top’, ‘Jackson Heights’ and ‘Mas Cambios’ on rotation. Though there were songs of loss and nostalgia, it was all a bit fluffy and rainbow coloured really.

As my life changed from the creative wonderland that was art-studentdom and became the decidedly less fluffy affair that comes with the 9-5 existence, I had all but forgotten about Herman Dune. I let their albums Giant (2006) and 123 Apple Tree (2008) completely pass me by. Even more crucially, I had no idea that Andre Herman Dune had left the band! This fact only became apparent as I stared down at Herman Dune’s new album sleeve…featuring only David-Ivar Herman Dune and Néman Herman Dune looking slightly lonely and incomplete.

Wikipedia imparts this information; “On December 13th, 2006, André Herman Düne played his last show with the band, and subsequently changed his name to Stanley Brinks.”

“Herman Dune lost the two dots on their “U” the day Andre Herman Dune left the band after the recording of the album GIANT” the band’s myspace page tells me. For a band I had once held so dear, this actually feels heartbreaking. With rumours of ‘artistic tension’ causing the split, I am actually dubious about popping the CD into my laptop in case what I hear isn’t Herman Dune at all but something that will shatter all my precious memories of the band.

But the truth is, I needn’t have worried. ‘Next Year in Zion’ is what we’ve come to expect from Herman Dune; lovely indie folk pop. Sure, it’s all gone a bit more cutesy pie – the departed Andre always seemed to be the more intellectual/introverted/cynical brother. With him out of the picture, David-Ivar is free to sing about his ‘baby’ and well, take a look at this. Hmm, perhaps that’s a bit unfair, because these songs are definitely full of substance and there are even a few sad ditties (‘My home is nowhere without you’). Still, with the harmonized lady singing and a good dose of schmaltz ( ‘My best kiss’ and ‘Baby baby you’re my baby’) there’s no denying that David-Ivar enjoys constructing his pop around romantic themes.

With this album, the nostalgic in me longs for a few of Andre’s more pained songs, or even just to hear the two brothers nasal harmonies once more. But hey, that’s just my being an old stick in the mud looking back to what once was. Such nostalgia shouldn’t detract from this album – which is great, by the way. I’m so glad that Herman Dune, in whatever form they now take, are back in my life simply because they craft perfect sing-along pop. Pop that reminds us of good times and sunny days. And we all need a bit of that, I’m sure. Bring on the fluffy rainbows!
PureGrooveMicachu.jpg

Having proved myself to be the resident Micachu maniac at Amelia towers, about it it was presumed that I’d like nothing better than to go to every Micachu event happening and dissect each and every one for your reading pleasure. What can I say? I like this gal’s music, buy more about but I’m no stalker. Honest.

chalkboard.jpg

Besides, Micachu and the Shapes are keeping a pretty busy schedule right now, in preparation for a super stardom that seems to be promised to them. I’d applaud anyone that could keep up with this busy bunch! Feeling it too big a challenge, I opted out of Micachu’s single launch on the 11th and instead dragged fellow interns Mel and Tanya along with me to the Pure Groove record store a couple of days later to watch the band perform in store.

micachu1.jpg

As we arrived to a packed out Pure Groove I was suddenly so glad that I hadn’t let this in store performance pass me by. As I had whinged about a teeny-tiny bit before, Micachu’s addition of a flesh and blood backing band seemed to me to have changed the dynamic of her performances from intimate and intriguing to something a little less inviting. Perhaps I should just be getting with the programme and not harping on about ‘the good old days’ (ummm, the one time I had seen her with a mini tape player as backing) but in any case, the more recent live performance I witnessed at Hoxton Bar and Kitchen had left me somewhat frustrated at having to strain to hear lyrics and guitar under layers of fuzzy keyboards and clattering drums.

Micachu2.jpg

Not so at Pure Groove! Naturally, this relatively small shop makes for an uber intimate setting for live music. Not only that, but the sound quality was pretty lovely – especially considering that the obviously keen audience kept as quiet as church mice throughout the entire performance. This was great because all the intricacies that I love about Micachu’s music, those skipped beats and background beeps, could be heard loud and clear. And lyrics too! Pure Groove punters were priviledged indeed…

Micachu3.jpg

This instore performance meant that I had to eat all my own words too, since it proved exactly why The Shapes are an asset to the Micachu set-up. Playing this electronic bedroom music live lends it a whole other quality, which is what seeing an act live should be all about (after all, it gets dull watching bands who are so formulaic that you might as well be listening to them on your itunes). With The Shapes Micachu’s music becomes more immediate and driven. The innovative percussion was a joy to behold too (check out the wine bottle and table top drumming combo in ‘Guts’ as recorded by Pure Groove themselves).

“I’ve never done one of these instore things before…” Micachu admitted to the audience early on, “it’s…unusual.” She seemed to take to it like a duck to water though and I’m hoping this won’t be the last time we will get to see her and the Shapes in such a setting, as it really is the best way to hear this music.

Micachu6.jpg

Familiar favourite ‘Golden Phone’ was pulled out towards the end to much foot tapping (interesting to hear that this track will be polished by production until ‘squeaky clean’ on the album). Mel tells me this track was her least favourite, however, much preferring the whining electronic guitars and bassy buzz of ‘Lips’ instead.

Pure%20Groove%20Crowd%20disperses.jpg

As the crowd dispersed, I was so pleased that I had decided to go along to this performance rather than the single launch. It may have been a much more low key affair but that’s what made it so great. The music came across so much better in this lovely little venue and I was reminded of everything that had excited me about Micachu’s music the first time I saw her. I was also feeling quietly confident that I’d made two new Micachu fans of Tanya and Mel (am I right, ladies?). Okay, who can I convert next?

MicachuGeetar.jpg
future%20of%20the%20left.jpg

Stepping into the Water Rats last night felt like stepping back in time to one of the awful rock club nights I used to frequent aged sixteen. This didn’t bode well. I felt rather out of place waiting for Fighting With Wire to go on, viagra approved being as I was the only person there not shod in a studded belt and a popular make of skater shoes. Things got more ominous when the sound system started blaring old favourites by The Clash, approved At the Drive-In and Incubus. Incubus, medications I kid you not.

As Fighting With Wire started it sounded like they would blow the cobwebs out of the crowd’s badly dyed red and black hair. Unfortunately, after a forceful start, the music slowed to a banal, sing-along chorus reminiscent of Biffy Clyro or Foo Fighters’ duller moments. This was a pattern that could be heard in almost every song of their tired sounding set.

The singer seemed to be emulating the look of Dave Grohl too, with his checked shirt and dark wavy hair falling in his eyes. Regrettably, what this young whippersnapper failed to realise is that thrashing around stage with your guitar uncontrollably and singing really quite loudly does not a rock god make. You’re never going to be ‘rock’ with song titles like ‘Last Love Song’ and a chorus that has the energy of a limp lettuce leaf.

Thank the lord that Future of the Left pulled us out of the 2002-sounding time warp we were in. By contrast, when they started with the fantastic ‘Wrigley Scott’ nothing sounded more fresh and straining with energy. Until something went wrong with the bass amp and they had to stop playing. The singer, Andrew Falkous (formerly of Mclusky), kept things ticking along with some amusing banter; usually this sort of thing really grates on me but the wit evident in Falkous’ lyrics thankfully shined through, until the gig was in danger of morphing into a stand-up routine.

Every song that followed was perfectly succinct; sounding like a more aggressive, stripped down Les Savy Fav. Nothing in the music was superfluous; everything had been considered but still sounded artlessly spontaneous. The use of both the lyrics and the driving, infectious sound was almost annoyingly clever – yet Falkous and the gang could never be labelled the kind of musicians that act like intellectual poseurs, the music is too raw and fun-filled.

The deceptively simple sounding melodies had me breaking out the classic uncle-at-a-wedding heeltap and head nod, while everyone else in the venue was jerking around with not quite the same amount of grace. The fact that the set was being recorded added to the already dynamic atmosphere, the sound had to pulse its way through the sweat-filled air.

I, like everyone else, was rapt for the whole set. The mantra from the brilliant ‘Manchasm’ encapsulates Future of The Left’s ethos: ‘Audience please! Every minute matters!’ And it did.

Tuesday 26th August
Vegas Gallery, hospital ‘The house of Pain’: Pascal Rousson: 21st August-14th September
64-66 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP
Elements from flea markets and charity shops, American pulp fiction and artists as rock stars all feature, with a D.I.Y slap dash feel. Mixed media pieces highlight modernist American artists as self-obsessed figures, whose works echo the ‘low aesthetics of amateur home improvement projects.

pascal%20rousson.jpg

The bluecoat, ‘Green Spot‘: 19th August-3rd September
School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BX
By installing solar powered audio-visuals in a courtyard, Green Spot aims highlight the importance of green spaces in urban environments.

green%20spot.jpg

Wednesday 27th August
The Others, ‘Venusts Effercio’: Paul Banks, Jennifer Brown, Timothy Dixon etc
6 and 8 Manor Rd, Hackney, London N16 5SA
Venustus Effercio (lovely stuff) explores the notion of carnivals and festivals. 8 artists and three live acts: Richard Wigglesworth, Liberation jumpsuit, Society present their work.

venustus%20effercio.jpg

A&D Gallery, ‘Artefacts from the Dumpling Dynasty’: Fiona Hewitt: 13th August-12th September
51 Chiltern Street, London W1U 6LY
Illustration which fuses traditional imagery with digital techniques transport you back to your childhood. Illustrations full of rich colours and iconographic Chinese art mixed with commerce and fairytales are sure to tickle your fancy.

fiona%20hewitt.jpg

Theprintspace, ‘A Motorcycle Adventure’: Iain Crockhart: Wednesday 27th August: 7pm-10pm
74 Kingsland Rd, Shoreditch, London E2 8DL
Book launch of Crockhart’s new book detailing his adventre to Himachai Pradesh/India.

a%20motorcycle%20adventure.jpg

Thursday 28th August
Barbican Gallery, ‘Frolic’: Huang Yong Ping: 25th June-21st September
Barbican Centre, Silk Street London, EC2Y 8DS
Combining contemporary western art with traditional Chinese aesthetics and philosophy, Huang Yong Ping’s installations and sculptures use avant-guard elements to explore culture difference, identity and colonialism that characterise Chinese history.

frolic%20exhibition.jpg

Barbican Gallery, ‘Dolls Night Out: Club Night with Viva Cake’: Party: Wednesday 27th August: 6:30-10pm
Barbican Centre, Silk Street London, EC2Y 8DS
Join Viva Cake for a dolly’s tea party. There will be rock n’ roll for all you cool cats, beauty bar and parlour games for active types and free cakes and tea served by the wonderful Viva Cake roller tea girls (for everyone- come on who doesn’t like tea?!). One not to miss. See you there.
To avoid disappointment, book an ticket in advance for event entry.

dolls%20night%20out.jpg

Newlyn Art Gallery, Bedwyr Williams (Chydig Back Yn Too Much): 28th June-30th August
New Road, Newlyn TR18 5PZ
Exploring the notion of place and being born in North Wales, his photos resonate with rural connections. Video, photography, performance, drawing and text are also the many other forms of expression he utilises.

Trolley Gallery, ‘Romance is dead’: Isabelle Graeff and Le Gun
73a Redchurch St, London E2
A collaboration between Trolley Gallery and collective Le Gun will commence a week long exhibition and temporary arts space.

romance%20is%20dead%20exhibition.jpg


Friday 29th August

The London Book of Dead Exhibition: The Real Tuesday Weld,?Catherine Anyango,?Eva Bensasson etc.
Antique Beat ?PO Box 58132?London?SW8 4YN: 29th-31st August
Antique Beat is celebrating its launch with a short multimedia exhibition of manipulated photography, painting, film, collaged tableaux and music in the extraordinary surroundings of the crypt beneath the historic St Pancras Church in London. The show brings together a group of contemporary artists whose work reflects themes of death, dreams and the city for the first time.? The show will also celebrate the UK launch of the latest album: ‘The London Book of the Dead’ by art-pop musical collective the Real Tuesday Weld.

london%20book%20of%20the%20dead%20exhibition.jpg


Store, ‘The moon is down’
: Margaret Salmon: 28th August-4th October
27 Hoxton St, London N1 6NH
Haunting black and white photography and film highlighting time’s transitional quality.

Shoreditch Town Hall, ‘Rapunzel Rapunzel’: Sarah Cooney, Sarah Gillham, http://www.franciskylegallery.com/sites/Gorick.htm etc: 29th-31st August
Shoreditch Town Hall (Basement), 380 Old St, London, EC1V 9LT
Rapunzel Rapunzel uses printmaking, painting, sculpture, collage and drawing from eight exciting new female artists in London to reference themes of fairytales, dreams, mythological visions, memories, creatures, domestiv interiors and other vividly imagined worlds.

caroline%20gorick.jpg


Saturday 30th August

Madame Lillies, ‘MUCALYD’ Paintings by David Fletcher & Ben Birch: 30th August-7th September
10 Cazennove Rd, London N16 6BD
Whilst Fletcher demonstrates an archetypal style towards subjective imagery, Birch focuses on stream of consciousness in drawings; involving motifs which lead to subtle narratives.

madame%20lilies%20exhibition.jpg
kolpic1.bmp

Dear Kings of Leon, store

How are you? I’m good, see made all the better by listening to your latest single Sex on Fire (although with that title have you been listening to much Metallica of late?). What though I wonder are you trying to tell us? Too much sex leads to a fire in your pants, which if the rumours are to be believed you are all no strangers to. Oh no, I’m being overly literal aren’t I, its probably something really deep. But with your gravelly voice Caleb, its difficult to make out what your lyrics are. That Southern drawl is most definitely on top form.

As much as I like you all I can’t let that cloud my critical judgement of your musical endeavours. So I find myself thinking Sex on Fire is not quite the sex. Sure, it ticks all the right scratchy Americana rock boxes, but it sounds more like it should be track 6 or 7 of the album, hidden away between the other more stand out tracks. Its your typical style boys, but perhaps a bit too typical. That said though Caleb, Jared, Matthew and Nathan I do like this offering, even if the old saying springs to mind, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

Looking forward to hearing the rest of the album!

Much love,

Derv

Similar Posts:

Leave a Reply