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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

White Denim

Koko, Camden, London, 27th June 2008

Written by Paul Hanford

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The people who run record labels have traditionally had an image problem. Musicians are cool, visit this obviously; djs are cool; hell, information pills even some music journalists are, price but company execs? Not so much.

Both cynical and prone to hyperbole, they have a reputation for chalking up ounces of coke to their ‘flowers and chocolates’ expense accounts, spouting jargon and inventing spurious music genres in the pub. Indie labels fare better in musical mythology, of course, but with their earnest dedication to the egalitarian principles of Marxism, you can’t escape the feeling that Geoff Travis and his associates at Rough Trade couldn’t make the tea without voting on it. Well, Art and Commerce were always going to have an uneasy relationship. Anyhow, everyone knows that record company execs are frustrated musicians themselves. And they’re all boys.
The Young and Lost Club label is different. Reassuringly, founders Sara Jade and Nadia Dahlawi most emphatically don’t yearn to get up on stage. “We know our limits!” says Sara. This might be a touch disingenuous considering the girls’ status as precocious veterans of the London indie scene – at only 23 apiece, they’ve been fanzine editors, label owners, and club promoters as well as djing as the Pyrrha Girls.

“The first musicians I was into were the Velvet Underground, Jonathan Richman, Television, Richard Hell and Patti Smith and that led me to reading “Please Kill Me”, she says. “The DIY aesthetic and attitude in that book was a big influence on us, everyone just did things for themselves and created their own scene for similar minded people”. The idea of creating a scene seems to hold a continuing magic for Sara and Nadia, for whom the founding of a label seems to be the logical progression of their other interests. Already there’s been a Young and Lost national tour while recent clubnights have seen The Teenagers, Klaxons and Horrors play alongside their own signees.

They are clearly blessed with excellent taste. Currently on the Young and Lost Club roster are the Golden Silvers, who’s glorious Arrows of Eros – an arch disco track about lovelorn boys and girls dwelling in ‘London Town’ that recalls the best of Orange Juice – is getting played loads on 6 Music and looks set to be one of the defining songs of Summer 08. Previous highlights for the label have included the debuts of Vincent Vincent and the Villains, Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong and Larrikin Love’s Six Queens – in which Ed Larrikin memorably traded his usual pastorals for a glammy Velvets pastiche. Currently on their books are Pull Tiger Tail, Noah and the Whale (who will be Young and Lost’s first album release), Lord Auch and Naked and the Boys.
And they don’t see the gender thing as an issue: “I don’t think there is a big difference in the way boys and girls approach djing,” says Sara. “Girls are probably approached more for song requests though”.
Oh, and as for that vow not to take up instruments themselves, there is one exception… “Nadia would definitely make a guest appearance on someone’s album playing the harp, if asked”. Bet she’s a really good harpist, too.

Do you remember about 9 years ago when the UK was hit by that huge jelly sandals movement? Gentleman this period might not be as vivid to you, pilule but I clearly recall my twin sis and I owning an identical turquoise pair of these flat jelly numbers purchased by our loving mother who, healing always one to keep up with the latest trends, owned the higher heeled version. I think it’ fair to say most women during this period found themselves squelching their way around in different variations of these coloured jellies which were THE must have summer item. This jelly revolution stuck around for a couple of months and then was gone as quickly as it arrived, which is why I was particularly surprised when we recently received a sky blue pair in the post.

I’ve since been informed that jellies are in fact back for this summer and Gisele Bündchen has jumped on the PVC bandwagon by incorporating the material in her new collection, G2B.

The supermodel has teamed up with Brazilian Footwear Company, Ipenama flip flops, to produce a range of environmentally friendly summer sandals, which include a variety of 6 different styles.

According to the press information, we’ve been sent the classic jellies, which are apparently ideal for ‘trekking up a cliff path’. While I’m not sure I’ll be doing that anytime soon, I’ll agree these sandals would make a cute addition to a casual daytime outfit.

Other designs in the collection include Refresh which are classic Havana style flip flops; Cascade, a glamorous gold strappy Greek style sandal; Agua, a rather peculiar looking flip flop with a slightly irrelevant extra strap, and my favourite, Pure, a trendy T bare style with added diamantes. Gisele can also be seen here modelling the ‘Clear’ sandals in this surprisingly unflattering promotional photograph.

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Prices for the sandals range from £12.99 to £19.99, with a portion of the proceeds this year being used to support water preservation projects such as WWF, Y Ikatu Xingu and de olho nos mananciais.

They’re perfect little holiday shoes, so grab a pair online if you’re looking for something that can carry you comfortably from a long beach day to the intoxicated early hours of next morning. If however, like myself, you wont be going away this year, why not just follow our art editor Tanya, and bring them out on the rare occasions that the British sun decides to put in an appearance.

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White Denim’s drummer Joshua Block comes from the same physical gene pool as Will Ferrell, cialis 40mg Tom Waits and Ron Perlman and rides his kit right at the front of the stage. His arms wind milling like a man swimming with meat knives, this site cutting into each wave as it passes with the zeal of a drunk mid remembrance of a favorite song. Straddled either side by guitarist and bass player to make up this year’s Banana Splits. This year’s Magic Band. This year’s Monkees.

Debut album, Workout Holiday just in the shops. A frenetic yet accessible blending of southern wildcat zest and inventive charm that could only derive from a band that are far more clued up that they’d ever let on, a similar trick to that pulled off by prime era Pavement. White Denim have everything going for them this year. Tonight’s appearance at Koko’s Club NME is marred by the kind of volcanic reverb an old theatre style building generates and this ill fits a band you need to see tight and dry as fuck in a sweaty bar to get a full grip on their maniacal moonshine melodies and near math-rock riffage.

White Denim are shape shifters, and tonight the song’s are in mid mutation, arriving somewhere else by the time you grip what they had been playing a moment ago. A short blast of new single Shake, Shake, Shake’s Beasties-esque gang intro gallops into frenetic lashes of wah wah, while the venue’s reverb adds an oddly rockabilly twang to James Petralli’s voice. Losing your grip here is to be encouraged. It’s been a long time since a band came along both so viscerally for-the-kids and yet truly idiosyncratic and White Denim still have some way to go in terms of their name catching on before a song like ‘Don’t Look That Way At It’ is crowned the guitar looped anthem it demands. Judging by the way they blast through tonight, like pirates drunk on loot, the more we have of White Denim, the better.

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