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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Ari Up 1962 – 2010: No Typical Girl

We pay tribute to Ari Up: a distinctive voice who deserves credit as a punk pioneer in her own right

Written by Mic Wright

Tasha_Whittle
Illustration by Tasha Whittle.

The darker mornings and wetter evenings have already started driving the fair-weather riders away from the cycle lanes, more about but those of us who keep chugging on have our reasons to persevere in spite of the weather. After all, ask just because it’s getting colder it doesn’t mean the thought of getting on the tube every morning is any more tempting, is it? Tom Morris and Sian Emmison, the owners of eclectic Islington cycling outlet Bobbin Bicycles, certainly don’t think so. Saturday 16th October saw the opening of their brand new bicycle workshop, just around the corner of the shop claiming to be ‘The most beautiful bicycle shop in Britain’. Like the shop itself, the workshop specialises in upright town bikes, vintage rides and bicycles with hub gears and back-pedal brakes – all of which can be difficult to get serviced in a standard bike shop.

Carla_Bromhead
Illustration by Carla Bromhead.

‘Now, anyone with a Dutch, Pashley or vintage bike can come to us to get repairs done, be it changing a wheel, a handlebar or something more oily,’ a very busy Tom Morris told me on Saturday afternoon. Cosmetic touches, along with a few practical ones, were still missing from the space as Tom welcomed the first customers on Saturday, but that didn’t stop him from getting his hands dirty as one customer after another came knocking. Parked up the road was my own bike, fresh from its annual check-up, a service also offered at the Bobbin workshop. While it costs money, it’s worth doing as it prevents problems in the long run – for example my chain needed changing, the mechanic pointed out, saving me from a snapped chain in the road in a month or two. Servicing an upright bike is no more expensive nor complicated than a hybrid or a road bike, assured Tom, but it requires certain skills and tools. His employees Alexis and Laura are both trained bike mechanics, having been asked personally by Tom and Sian to come work at Bobbin. Laura has just finished a bike mechanics course where she took a specific interest in town bikes, while Alexis has five years of experience fixing bikes in Oxford and Amsterdam. ‘You keep learning new things. It’s enjoyable work, and there is obviously increasing demand,’ said Alexis, as he checked in a black Pashley with a flat tyre and broken gear shifter.

Genie_Espinosa
Illustration by Genie Espinosa.

The workshop will also be selling kit for what Tom calls ‘bike pimping’: cosmetic changes such as a new saddle, cream tyres, a carrying basket or colourful bike components. But the Bobbin workshop isn’t just for town bikes and other old-school models; ‘We will offer the same friendly service to any cyclist who comes our way,’ assures Tom. Once the workshop is properly up and running, Tom plans to hold classes in bike maintenance, ‘hopefully before Christmas’. I might sign up to one of these myself, as next time I get a flat tyre I’d like to be able to deal with it. Nothing knocks the feeling of independence out of cycling quite like hearing that thud-thud-thud of a flat, but I think mastering a tyre lever might go a long way to remedy this.

In the meantime I have my winter cycling gear ready. Rule number one is the mud guards, closely followed by lights with fresh batteries. A pocket-size rain cover now has a permanent place in my bag, and I have also splurged on a pair of padded, waterproof gloves. A proper pair of winter gloves are pricey, but vital to any semblance of comfort in the cold. Last winter a week of sleet forced the purchase of a cheap pair of waterproof trousers, which look ridiculous but are a life-saver when it’s pouring down and I have to cycle home from work. Lastly, a reflective vest undeniably makes you look like a geek, but you may want to consider one you commute in traffic. So as the fair-weather cyclists hang up their helmets in favour of the buses and trains, the cycle lanes are left to the hard-cores, or should I say freaks, determined to stick to two wheels through the winter. The tube might be warm, but we get to arrive at work bright-eyed and bushy-tailed from full exposure to the elements of the crisp London winter.

Get weather-proofed at Bobbin Bicycles, 397 St John Street, London EC1. Visit the Workshop around the corner on 23 Arlington Way.
Tasha_Whittle
Illustration by Tasha Whittle.

The darker mornings and wetter evenings have already started driving the fair-weather riders away from the cycle lanes, dosage but those of us who keep chugging on have our reasons to persevere in spite of the weather. After all, decease just because it’s getting colder it doesn’t mean the thought of getting on the tube every morning is any more tempting, is it? Tom Morris and Sian Emmison, the owners of eclectic Islington cycling outlet Bobbin Bicycles, certainly don’t think so. Saturday 16th October saw the opening of their brand new bicycle workshop, just around the corner of the shop claiming to be ‘The most beautiful bicycle shop in Britain’. Like the shop itself, the workshop specialises in upright town bikes, vintage rides and bicycles with hub gears and back-pedal brakes – all of which can be difficult to get serviced in a standard bike shop.

Carla_Bromhead
Illustration by Carla Bromhead.

‘Now, anyone with a Dutch, Pashley or vintage bike can come to us to get repairs done, be it changing a wheel, a handlebar or something more oily,’ a very busy Tom Morris told me on Saturday afternoon. Cosmetic touches, along with a few practical ones, were still missing from the space as Tom welcomed the first customers on Saturday, but that didn’t stop him from getting his hands dirty as one customer after another came knocking. Parked up the road was my own bike, fresh from its annual check-up, a service also offered at the Bobbin workshop. While it costs money, it’s worth doing as it prevents problems in the long run – for example my chain needed changing, the mechanic pointed out, saving me from a snapped chain in the road in a month or two. Servicing an upright bike is no more expensive nor complicated than a hybrid or a road bike, assured Tom, but it requires certain skills and tools. His employees Alexis and Laura are both trained bike mechanics, having been asked personally by Tom and Sian to come work at Bobbin. Laura has just finished a bike mechanics course where she took a specific interest in town bikes, while Alexis has five years of experience fixing bikes in Oxford and Amsterdam. ‘You keep learning new things. It’s enjoyable work, and there is obviously increasing demand,’ said Alexis, as he checked in a black Pashley with a flat tyre and broken gear shifter.

Genie_Espinosa
Illustration by Genie Espinosa.

The workshop will also be selling kit for what Tom calls ‘bike pimping’: cosmetic changes such as a new saddle, cream tyres, a carrying basket or colourful bike components. But the Bobbin workshop isn’t just for town bikes and other old-school models; ‘We will offer the same friendly service to any cyclist who comes our way,’ assures Tom. Once the workshop is properly up and running, Tom plans to hold classes in bike maintenance, ‘hopefully before Christmas’. I might sign up to one of these myself, as next time I get a flat tyre I’d like to be able to deal with it. Nothing knocks the feeling of independence out of cycling quite like hearing that thud-thud-thud of a flat, but I think mastering a tyre lever might go a long way to remedy this.

In the meantime I have my winter cycling gear ready. Rule number one is the mud guards, closely followed by lights with fresh batteries. A pocket-size rain cover now has a permanent place in my bag, and I have also splurged on a pair of padded, waterproof gloves. A proper pair of winter gloves are pricey, but vital to any semblance of comfort in the cold. Last winter a week of sleet forced the purchase of a cheap pair of waterproof trousers, which look ridiculous but are a life-saver when it’s pouring down and I have to cycle home from work. Lastly, a reflective vest undeniably makes you look like a geek, but you may want to consider one you commute in traffic. So as the fair-weather cyclists hang up their helmets in favour of the buses and trains, the cycle lanes are left to the hard-cores, or should I say freaks, determined to stick to two wheels through the winter. The tube might be warm, but we get to arrive at work bright-eyed and bushy-tailed from full exposure to the elements of the crisp London winter.

Get weather-proofed at Bobbin Bicycles, 397 St John Street, London EC1. Visit the Workshop around the corner on 23 Arlington Way. Read our previous interview with Tom Morris here.
Tasha_Whittle
Illustration by Tasha Whittle.

The darker mornings and wetter evenings have already started driving the fair-weather riders away from the cycle lanes, viagra but those of us who keep chugging on have our reasons to persevere in spite of the weather. After all, side effects just because it’s getting colder it doesn’t mean the thought of getting on the tube every morning is any more tempting, is it? Tom Morris and Sian Emmison, the owners of eclectic Islington cycling outlet Bobbin Bicycles, certainly don’t think so. Saturday 16th October saw the opening of their brand new bicycle workshop, just around the corner of the shop claiming to be ‘The most beautiful bicycle shop in Britain’. Like the shop itself, the workshop specialises in upright town bikes, vintage rides and bicycles with hub gears and back-pedal brakes – all of which can be difficult to get serviced in a standard bike shop.

Carla_Bromhead
Illustration by Carla Bromhead.

‘Now, anyone with a Dutch, Pashley or vintage bike can come to us to get repairs done, be it changing a wheel, a handlebar or something more oily,’ a very busy Tom Morris told me on Saturday afternoon. Cosmetic touches, along with a few practical ones, were still missing from the space as Tom welcomed the first customers on Saturday, but that didn’t stop him from getting his hands dirty as one customer after another came knocking. Parked up the road was my own bike, fresh from its annual check-up, a service also offered at the Bobbin workshop. While it costs money, it’s worth doing as it prevents problems in the long run – for example my chain needed changing, the mechanic pointed out, saving me from a snapped chain in the road in a month or two.

Servicing an upright bike is no more expensive nor complicated than a hybrid or a road bike, assured Tom, but it requires certain skills and tools. His employees Alexis and Laura are both trained bike mechanics, having been asked personally by Tom and Sian to come work at Bobbin. Laura has just finished a bike mechanics course where she took a specific interest in town bikes, while Alexis has five years of experience fixing bikes in Oxford and Amsterdam. ‘You keep learning new things. It’s enjoyable work, and there is obviously increasing demand,’ said Alexis, as he checked in a black Pashley with a flat tyre and broken gear shifter.

Genie_Espinosa
Illustration by Genie Espinosa.

The workshop will also be selling kit for what Tom calls ‘bike pimping’: cosmetic changes such as a new saddle, cream tyres, a carrying basket or colourful bike components. But the Bobbin workshop isn’t just for town bikes and other old-school models; ‘We will offer the same friendly service to any cyclist who comes our way,’ assures Tom. Once the workshop is properly up and running, Tom plans to hold classes in bike maintenance, ‘hopefully before Christmas’. I might sign up to one of these myself, as next time I get a flat tyre I’d like to be able to deal with it. Nothing knocks the feeling of independence out of cycling quite like hearing that thud-thud-thud of a flat, but I think mastering a tyre lever might go a long way to remedy this.

In the meantime I have my winter cycling gear ready. Rule number one is the mud guards, closely followed by lights with fresh batteries. A pocket-size rain cover now has a permanent place in my bag, and I have also splurged on a pair of padded, waterproof gloves. A proper pair of winter gloves are pricey, but vital to any semblance of comfort in the cold. Last winter a week of sleet forced the purchase of a cheap pair of waterproof trousers, which look ridiculous but are a life-saver when it’s pouring down and I have to cycle home from work. Lastly, a reflective vest undeniably makes you look like a geek, but you may want to consider one you commute in traffic. So as the fair-weather cyclists hang up their helmets in favour of the buses and trains, the cycle lanes are left to the hard-cores, or should I say freaks, determined to stick to two wheels through the winter. The tube might be warm, but we get to arrive at work bright-eyed and bushy-tailed from full exposure to the elements of the crisp London winter.

Get weather-proofed at Bobbin Bicycles, 397 St John Street, London EC1. Visit the Workshop around the corner on 23 Arlington Way. Read our previous interview with Tom Morris here.
Three oil cans; Tate Summer Party, sick Photography by Immo Klink

Gushing from floral skirts, spilling elegantly from giant white eggs, jetting from paint tubes across the floor of the iconic Tate Turbine Hall, 2010 has witnessed a flood of oily resistance against oil sponsorship in the arts. The likes of art activist group Liberate Tate have generated a fierce debate in the art world around oil, ethics and sponsorship.

Plans are afoot to spring board the campaign into the New Year, with a high energy, high profile mainstream gallery event to attract lots of new people and to keep the pressure up. In an innovative bid to raise dosh for the project London creative campaign group PLATFORM has launched a crowd- funding initiative at Indiegogo. The idea is that people can give what ever little bit of cash they can, and by Christmas there will be enough in the pot to book a snazzy venue and put on a truly sensational participatory exhibition in early 2011.

Tate Summer Party, Photograph by Immo Klink

This is all about entry level direct action at it’s most fun. More than that, the campaign is in with a real chance of seeing a tangible result. Protestors forced Shell to back out of the Natural History Museum, and with the right pressure applied to the right places there is no reason why all oil sponsorship in the arts can’t go the same way as tobacco sponsorship in sport; down the pan. The folk at PLATFORM hope to put on educational workshops to get people clued up about the effects of the oil industry, and to host debates about the role our public art institutions play in the branding campaigns of these oil multinationals. Most importantly they hope to empower people to get involved in active resistance and creative interventions.

Easter egg spill with wiggle, British Museum Photography by Amy Scaife

They would be really grateful if you could help by spreading the word forwarding the link bellow by email and facebook, and telling your economically empowered friends and relatives. What ever you can or can’t do to help fundraise, everyone is invited to the event itself, which is likely to be held in January (email sophie@platformlondon.org for more information about getting involved).

To say thank you for donations over £16 ($25) they are offering some quirky perks, including sets of beautiful postcards ideal for a Christmas stocking, invites to the first night private viewing of the exhibition, and limited edition hand made, ‘BP branded’ paint tubes full of molasses, hot from the intervention at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall

So whether you have some cash to spare – or if you just want to get messy with molasses – get involved!


Illustration by Stéphanie Thieullent

“Ari Up: John Lydon’s step-daughter dies.” The Telegraph’s headline was horribly reductive. Ari Up, viagra 100mg who died on Wednesday at the tragically young age of 48, viagra buy was the punk legend’s step-daughter but that was just a small and tangential detail in a fascinating life and career. With The Slits and later with the New Age Steppers and solo in several guises, Ari Up was a musical icon in her own right, not a bit player on the fringes of the John Lydon circus.   


Illustration by Gemma Milly

The granddaughter of the owner of Der Spiegel and daughter of Nora Foster who was at the centre of the London music scene for years (befriending Hendrix and dating Chris Spedding before finally marrying Johnny Rotten), Ari Up was born from privilege and chaos in equal measure.  

Nora’s tendency to invite poor punk musicians to bunk down at their house put Ari at the heart of the scene and got her guitar tuition from Joe Strummer. She was 14 when she formed The Slits with Strummer’s former-flatmate Palmolive. Her fascination with reggae gave the band a dubby feel that was in sharp contrast to the guitar thrashing of many other punk outfits.  


Illustration by Aniela Murphy


Illustration by Abi Daker

The Slits debut album Cut, with its memorable image of the band naked but for grass skirts and a liberal coating of mud, featured a cleaner sound than their live performances. While the band’s cover of I Heard It Through The Grapevine is still an indie disco staple, the record is studded with gems particularly the amateurish piano and bouncing bass of Typical Girls.  


Illustration by Faye West

The Splits broke up in 1981 and Ari moved with her husband and twins to Indonesia and Belize before heading for Jamaica, an appropriate location given her an enduring love of reggae and dub. She performed and recorded with Lee Scratch Perry and released a solo album, Dread More Dan Dead, in 2005.  

In 2006, The Slits reformed to some critical acclaim, releasing the Return of The Giant Slits EP which was followed by a new full length record, Trapped Animals, in October last year.The Slits final work together, a video for the Trapped Animals track Lazy Slam (below), was released yesterday in accordance with Ari’s final wishes.  


Illustration by Gemma Sheldrake

A whirling dervish of dreadlocks and energy even when The Slits returned in their middle-aged incarnation, it’s with sad inevitability that Ari Up will be pegged as John Lydon’s step-daughter first and a musician in her own right second. But more thoughtful souls will remember her as one of punk’s most distinctive voices whose work with The Slits confounded and confronted the heavy-handed misogyny of much mainstream punk – The Stranglers, I’m looking at you.  

The death of Ari up has deprived music of one of its most original and unpredictable voices. It’s a truly sad day.

YouTube Preview Image

You can follow more of Mic’s words on his blog here. You can read our review of Trapped Animal here. A superb album, go buy it now.

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3 Responses to “Ari Up 1962 – 2010: No Typical Girl”

  1. mark says:

    loved ari.
    loved the slits.
    loved her attitude.

    nice tribute..
    just no need for the lazy attack on the stranglers..too many journo’s do it and try an rewrite music history. the slits were there – as were so many others – and the stranglers were there and still are!!

  2. [...] I created for the ever engaging Amelia’s Magazine involved the Museum of Everything and an obituary post for Ari Up of the [...]

  3. Mike Smtih says:

    Hey we are putting on a tribute event for Ari Up in Bristol, UK (30.07.11) with Tessa Pollitt, Hollie Cook, Viv Albertine, Adrian Sherwood and Mark Stewart! Please watch our ad youtube.com/watch?v=qE5BCjxH5gM and check out our facebook event if you are interested? Big Love

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