ORGAN @ LONDON'S FINEST ALTERNATIVE STATION, RESONANCE 104.4FM... FM in London, worldwide on line...


Live live live, gigs, art, things...
THE LOST CAVALRY – Low-Fi Fayre @ Patrick’s Harvist, Kensal Rise, London NW10, 9th May – Patrick’s Harvist is a rather vibrant and inviting new cafe, venue and gallery space that you’ll find on Chamberlayne Road over in Kensal Rise, North West London. Today is the first Low-fi Fayre and the weather has let everyone down for the Saturday afternoon event, the outdoor part of the fayre has been chased inside by the rain and the unseasonal cold, where did that come from? The London weather has been good for ages, see what happens when you let the Tories in! There’s affordable art, there’s colourful paint, craft, all kinds of handmade creativity, vintage treasure, glorious shoes and more on sale in the crowded gallery space downstairs. Upstairs in the cafe area, backs to the big glass corner cafe windows, in full view of the afternoon traffic waiting at the crossroad lights, a cramped-in Lost Cavalry are playing – they’re an instant delight. Their x factor comes in the form of bright chimes of melodica and glokenspiel, that and simple acoustic songs that glow with such charm. This isn’t the band in full flow, no real space for drums for this afternoon show, no real problem, the cleverly brushed snare is a delight. What we get is a beguiling set of crafted alternative indie folk tunes, acoustic smiles and people munching impressive looking cakes while the band treat us to some rather fine songs. The Lost Cavalry are the new project of one time Fanfarlo guitarist Mark West, there’s five of them taking over a corner of the cafe (a much welcome new space over here in this relatively art-free area of London). The Lost Cavalry really are a delight, their songs are uncluttered gems, they’re doing something a little different, not just another bunch of indie heads turned alt.folk band, they fit perfectly with the spirit of the day, the cakes the crafted art and the all round friendly atmosphere of the space.... A new band to us and one to go check out some more... a charming delight of a band (and a day.). -
NO:ID FESTIVAL DAY 1 – RUDE MECHANICALS, COUNTRY DIRT – The Others, Stoke Newington, London – 16th April ‘10 - The Others isn’t your conventional rock venue, no, tonight we’re upstairs, above a 70’s looking snooker hall in some kind of DIY community space. No stage as such, bands down one end, on the floor, old armchairs scattered around, friendly space, relaxed atmosphere, boundaries blurred, where does band end and audience start? Slight air of chaos and punk rock, the more than healthy spirit of do it yourself. We’re deep in the depths of Stoke Newington, some kind of police incident up on the main road outside as we head for the venue. You’ll know you’ve found the place by the broken vintage synths chained to the wall in the stairwell. 
        There’s a man on stage with an electric guitar and backing tape things, he’s arguing with his drummer, accusing him of being a stalker, his drummer is a drum machine, the man’s name is Cornellius, he’s got songs that rip at education, at voting, he doesn’t release CDs because they can’t be recycled (yes they can, ask Robbie Williams, his last CD is now enjoying life as a road in China). He’s playing with echo and effects and mostly ranting about how kids shouldn’t be made to go to school and how people with degrees don’t know shit, he’s annoying a lot of people... Ah yes, this is indeed a throwback to the anarchic DIY us-and-them 80’s (and with an election around the corner and a lot of people forgetting how life under the last Tory regime was, we may just need a lot more of this sometime very soon). 
            There’s all kinds of strange people walking around in colourfully strange dress, there’s rather home made looking art on the walls (the venue doubles as a lo-fi art gallery that also hosts life drawing classes on Monday nights), the art isn’t that inspiring, then again, hard to get to it amongst the chaos of the cowgirls, the sweet dealers - “got some Dolly Mixtures here” says the dubious looking “punk” in the wrap-around glasses as he produces a sweaty looking plastic bag with three sticky looking sweets “five pence each, don’t tell anyone, three for twelve pence to you”. DJ’s are spinning cheesy 70’s/80’s disco pop alongside classic slabs of wholesome Black Sabbath, the place fills up pretty quickly... 
           Somewhere through the healthy chaos and confusion, once Cornellius has finished politely ranting and singing and telling us all we know nothing about anything (and just about gets away with it because he does it with an innocent smile and some harmless lefty-hippy good intention), a band finally takes to the ‘stage’... They take to the stage from the crowd, they appear to be called COUNTRY DIRT. She’s a star in her red stockings and white cowboy boots, the stage is hers, the fake redneck drawl and her talk of putting the cunt in country, you almost want the song to end so she can get in to the teasing performance once more.  The songs are good though, countrified bluegrass, banjos, sunshine, they throw in a rather decent Gram Parsons cover alongside what we assume are their own rather good songs. Songs with great titles, titles like Pussy Whipped, as she coverts around her microphone stand and makes sure you know she’s the centre of attention. Country Dirt are fun, they have their tongues stuck firmly in cheek as they bring a collective smile to the face of the venue, they have some seriously good bluegrass country rock there though, they’d be good without her, they’re excellent with her. They go down extremely well, she’s a star in her big cowgirl hat, her name is Marieanne Hyatt.. 
             And then a rather rotund ‘professor’ pulls a blackboard on to the ‘stage’ to have us all perform a mass sneeze and analyse how the sound forms...  pointer stick, board, all join in, while the two headed creature wanders around the audience and things are all going a bit early days of Club Dog (Pre Robey Wood Green Trade Union Centre sawing settees with chainsaws days), what is the ‘professor’ on about...? 
               We’re here because RUDE MECHANICALS are here, always good to be where those Rude Mechanicals are. You never quite know which Mechanicals will be on stage, no Lynda Beast tonight, violin is played by Stanley Bad, there’s some suggestion that they might be the same person but that really can't be can it? The dependently colourful bass and drums of Guy Avery and Tommy G are there anchoring it all down so well, fighting it all on beaches armed with strings and sticks, while the sartorially elegant Cos Chapman adds the intricate guitar. Miss Roberts out front of course, big white wig, even bigger red dress, plumy manner of hers, English treasure... The sound isn’t great, rough and ready DIY rather that clarity, more than good enough to keep the frantic dancing going though - strange convulsions, sin-eating goodness, strange English art rock and the best type of going off and things... The stitching of a perfect musical child, angular goodness and glorious eccentric insanity once more. You’ll need the teeth from a crocodile’s smile, you’ll need to shout hurrah, you’ll hear bits that are like this and that and a touch of King Crimson and poetic changes and high tea with alien theories and they’re all here you know, watching. People are dancing frantically, audience wigs are falling  off, smiles are as wide as those of crocodiles, Rude Mechanicals are like no one else, their set is over before they’ve started, strange waltz times, no one quite like these Rude Mechanicals... Cheers and chants for more, Rude Mechanicals have the whole place with them again, no more time though, there’s more bands yet, the evening is young, no ID needed here, just open minds and big sin eating smiles, more bands to come but we have other places to be tonight...  The next band looked like they were going to be good, all kinds of strange looking people heading toward the stage, looked very much like the spirit of the night would flow on through to the early hours...We couldn't stick around for Lonesome Cowboys from Hell and their "psycho-Country jazz mescaline for Methodists..." 

The NO:ID festival was and is part of the NO:ID network, anetwork of artists in East London, a gallery, and a question of identity, working equally with fine arts, performance arts, and musicians. here's some links... / /

DIVORCE @ The Stag’s Head, London, 25th March 2010 - Every now and again you happen upon a band that makes such a first impression that subsequent dates in the capital are obligatory. One such band that I’ve been watching for some years, Youthmovies, were, coincidentally, playing their final London gig the day after this, but as one journey ends, another adventure crosses your path: Divorce were compelling from start to finish. 
           Underpinning the incendiary sound of this Glasgow five-piece is a tumbling yet tight rhythm section: a churning, guttural bass that perfectly complements the relentless, tribal pummelling of the kit. Two guitars are thrown into the mix, and they constantly spar with each other, and while one sometimes lays down the structure of the song, there’s always one with the free rein to add scathing colour. The swirling, ugly/beautiful melody this creates makes the “nae wave” tag too simplistic, but there’s no doubting the frightening intensity of their music. 
        Key to this is the extraordinary voice of Sinead Youth. On their EP, there’s a moment in Juice of Youth where she implores “Children!” with a distressed ferocity that can’t help but deeply unsettle the listener, as if a terrible event is unfolding before her. And anyone present tonight hearing Divorce for the first time in any capacity, observing Sinead take to the stage in a dress and red-ribboned hair, would have been totally unprepared for the paint-stripping bark that emerges with impossible effortlessness, all the more incongruous given her innocuous appearance. Towards the end of the set the pub’s lights go out, but the band play on regardless, and the occasional illumination from a red camera light creates an intimacy that simply heightens the impact of the music.
              Pushed for comparisons, you could place Divorce in the family tree of noise rock, but as often as not the scratchy dissonance blossoms into psychedelic washes of distorted guitar, and the rhythm section brings a messy kind of discipline to what are not always straightforward arrangements. I’ve no idea whether the fact that Divorce are four-fifths female implies some kinship with riot grrrl ideology, but they could certainly be seen as part of that musical lineage. And their releases so far, on vinyl and cassette only, are clear nods to punk’s DIY ethic. Ultimately, when the music and the spectacle are this good, does gender really matter? Quite simply, Divorce are one of the most intense and intriguing bands to come along for a good while. Go see ‘em. (Phil Whalley)
PETER HAMMILL Cadogan Hall, London, Jan 31st 2010 

Peter Hammill deals in truth. His voice cuts like a sword, never less than clear and sharp, his thought processes irrisistably drawn, trapped, even, to slicing down to the bones of reality - the really, really tough questions, the ones about time, mortality. His recent album, Thin Air, has a stark beauty, an overall elegance - as does the Cadogan Hall, entirely the perfect venue for a solo gig from the Van Der Graaf Generator frontman. Hammill accompanies himself with piano and guitar, his powerful, unmistakable voice carrying to every corner of the room.  Dressed in white, he cuts an ascetic figure as usual, his demeanor seems more relaxed and quietly engaging  than it has as at any of his previous solo shows.
           Hammill's lyrics were revolving around time and mortality even in the early days of Van Der Graaf Generator, so the subjects of much of tonight's set is not entirely to do with the serious heart attack he recently recovered from - it spans his long career. There's little really morbid about his vision, somehow its not resigned or depressed; however dark it gets, it always seems to be driven by an insatiable curiosity about life. Oh, and love - Hammill writes a great deal about love, and doesn't balk at describing how it falls apart, whether through human failings or, again, the workings of time. His sharpest words are always for himself.
         There's the contradiction between being a romantic and possessing awful clarity of vision. And he always hopes - his voice has always had an apocalyptic, doomsayer's edge to it, yet there's always a sense that humanity, in every sense of the word, will come through - or at least try.  A healthy proportion of tonight’s set comes from the new album, a collection of songs and compositions that contains many of the best elements and feel from right across a career spanning over four decades. Including the introspective twists and turns of Faculty X and new one Stumbled.  Tonight, especially, he seems to carry that sense of hope in his voice, an extra spark of warmth that makes Undone (a looking-back-at life ballad, another from the new album and maybe that album’s best track) deeply emotional and surprisingly uplifting.  For all its valedictory lyrics, however, it just makes Hammill seem younger than a lot of his peers, his creative energy undiminished, even sharpening as the years go on.  An encore is demanded - appropriately enough, A Better Time, from the X My Heart album – as he declares his outlook to not be as dark as some would have it, he tells us he’s somewhere near the middle ground... This is the life and we’ve only time to be alive right now.. Peter leaves us feeling rather good about everything as he thanks the standing ovation that follows with a simple smile and leaves the sprase perfectly lit stage... (Marina)

Peter Hammill's website is at

There's a whole collection of Peter Hammill/Van Der Graaf Generator reviews here

COLD PUMAS @ The Lexington, LONDON, 29th Jan 2010 - In its original time and place, punk found a kindred spirit in dub reggae. Today it’s being genetically spliced with more promiscuous abandon. Brighton’s Cold Pumas are part of an emerging scene of young bands swearing allegiance to the church of punk while heretically veering off in strange directions to explore the less obvious possibilities of the genre. The three-piece lay down a relentless rockabilly gallop over which they layer intricate guitar parts and just-about-audible falsetto vocals, swathed in reverb. Repetition is the key to their impact, but the songs are too carefully worked out to sound like a jam. They maintain a geometric grace that survives regular shifts in gear from shoegazy softness to intense, locked-in freakout. At their most clipped, Cold Pumas can sound a little like Foals, but once into their stride the reference points become more eclectic: they can build hypnotic, kraut grooves, invoke the dense atmospherics of the Jesus and Mary Chain and the grinding energy of Ex Models. Given their love of the rockabilly shuffle and kraut rock hypnotics, one might expect references to The Fall, but the lack of vocals or a front man means that Cold Pumas don’t put on a ‘show’ as such, they just play with the minimum of fuss, more like an indie underground band than one flying the confrontational flag of punk. But Cold Pumas are investing in the most crucial aspects of the punk worldview: releasing music independent of moneyed interests, and playing with like-minded bands to create a self-supporting scene. The bands involved are intriguingly diverse – heartening evidence that punk’s cultural value resides not in a musical formula but in an ethos. We can only hope they continue to prosper. (Phil Whalley)

POINO, LIME HEADED DOG, MARIA AND THE MIRRORS @ The Miller, Borough, London, 27th Jan '10 -

       Recommendation from those with a sound ear and trusted judgement is the gilt-edged currency of the underground, and the chatter about Poino is starting to take on the tone of the excited speculator. It’s easy to see why. Their first London headline slot of the year, at Dexter Bentley’s Pub-Pop night, revealed Poino to be a lean and lithe beast of a rock band. Singer and guitarist Gaverick de Vis is as imposing a presence as ever, and his familiar growl lends the music an obvious comparison to his old band, Giddy Motors. But where ‘Make It Pop’ was built on dirty, slippery grooves, Poino are harder and more complex, driven by the sheer force of ideas tumbling out of all three musicians. Each contributes throughout, but they never compete for attention. The songs are heavy and generously sprinkled with riffage, but there’s also the nuance and subtlety that betrays careful composition. Forced to categorise, you’d locate their DNA somewhere stateside where the rock is loud but the conversation intellectual. In an age where bands post songs and videos before they play their local, Poino are a rare and gladdening example of the opposite: a perfectly formed rock band in prize-fight condition without even a demo.

         Before Poino came Lime Headed Dog, another three-piece, but not a guitar in sight. A drummer is joined by two multi-instrumentalists, and together they make a curious noise: defiantly off-kilter, raucous and yet spacey, and the feeling that beneath it all is a great pop tune trying to get out. The curious marriage of an array of classical instruments with the singer’s hi-tech equipment suggests an open-minded commitment to exploring unusual combinations of sound and texture. In that it’s difficult to think of comparisons, Lime Headed Dog succeed; their music has elements of twee kitchen-sink indie, math and dance, but doesn’t sound like any of them. Invest time in unravelling their music and the reward will be there; but to the untrained ear, it might sail close to unfathomable indulgence.

         Maria and the Mirrors serve up a terrific wedge of electro-punk – one glam dude with a box of electronic tricks, one fop sat in a corner with a trumpet, and two girls bashing away on the drums while their chants and wails are drowned in a deep reverberation. Messy and tribal, Maria and the Mirrors invoke a mid-70s collision of the Slits’ organic femme-punk with the radical industrial noise of Faust, and yet the sheer intensity of it all makes it entirely fresh and exciting. (Phil Whalley)

31st JAN '10: GRAFFIK GATHERING AND ART BINS: Graffik gallery. Portobello, West London, 28th Jan – On the eve of the Art Bin launch over at Peckham’s, South London gallery, and for what it may or may not be worth, we’re a million miles away over on the West side and Ladbrook Grove.  Ladbrook Grove is where art really does have both feet firmly planted on the street – those first graff-art moves, the Westway, The Clash (all documented on previous pages here). We really couldn’t be further away from the notion of a Michael Landy Art Bin and all those now ageing and establishment Bright Young Things lining up to throw their failed art away. It is an intriguing idea, failed paintings (that still must be worth thousands on the open market of course), treated as reverentially as always, in terms of packaging, transport and handling, until they actually get to the bin/gallery, and then, white gloves off and in they’re thrown. I guess everyone has a ‘failed’ piece, or a piece they’ve finally given up on, does a ‘failed’ piece ever come to a conclusion or do you just give up on it before you reach that point of ‘failure’? Surely a ‘failed’ piece is just an unfinished piece? The failure to conclude? Could it have been pushed, do ‘they’ have piles of ‘failures’ in the corner of their studios? Pieces that we never ever get to see? And what about all the artists who never get their work out of their studios anyway? Is that failure? All that art that no one ever gets to see? And have the pieces really ‘failed’ if they become part of Michael Landry’s latest (rather exciting) project anyway? Evolved rather than failed? Some of it really is ‘rubbish’, the sight of that Damien Hurst skull painting on canvas being dropped the thirty feet down in to the bin was a little under-whelming, looked like a bad Metallica tribute band album cover painted in a sixthform schoolroom artclass as it crashed down and hit the ground... The scoffing critic dismissing Tracy Emits piece as junk before being told who it was... Going to be ‘interesting’ to see how this all evolves, art from failure? It can’t possible fail can it... ? Art as spectator sport? Is that one good enough for the bin? it isn't any old rubbish in there you know, Mr Landy clearly know what he likes (or doesn't)
            Graffik arrived in Portobello Road late Summer last year, in the old Planet Alice place, a small shop sized gallery just up from the Westway. They’ve already enthusiastically hosted several impressive street art style exhibitions and events in gallery’s short lifetime - Trans 1, Loslohbros... It is more of a permanent shop than just a gallery, there’s always new work in there, unknowns rubbing canvas shoulders with street art names. The Graffik reputation is quietly growing, word has spread and the welcoming little gallery has become a rather decent friendly place to just drop in to and check out street art flavoured creativity and such. I guess the fact that MuTate’s One Step In The Grove happened right outside their front door late last year helped rather a lot – lot of the artists from MuTate with small pieces in here now, Snub 23 shields on the wall, some of the small scrapart sculpture pieces that were in MuTate’s show. It is mostly relatively small pieces - isn’t really the space for anything too big – small to medium pieces of canvas art, prints... Yes there are the racks of T-shirts and Banksy ‘souvenirs’, guess they have rent to pay like the rest of us ... 
            And as word has spread, has the art in Graffik evolved and swung towards what you might call the street art mainstream? Has the maverick edge dulled just a little as the bigger names have started to arrive and squeeze others out? The art in here, on the whole, is really good, we’re not complaining here, some of it sometimes seems rather obvious though, stencil ideas that may have been seen a few times already? Few too many ‘Banksys’ churning it out while they chase a slice? Tonight there’s a busy selection of graphic pieces on the wall, mostly on canvas, the more adventurous on discarded pieces of wood, old radiators, found cardboard boxes... There’s classic pieces of Code, Snub 23, lots of really good stuff in here, but is a lot of this just rather safe polite coffee table versions of the street art idea? And if that is the case then is there anything wrong with that? Is this the kind of art you simply buy, take home, put on your wall and enjoy – is it as gloriously simple as that? Is this where street art is going? Well in some ways yes, but with people like Roa, Blu and the excellent Rub Candy out there, when you can feel genuinely excited by the news that Swoon coming to town, when those Stik figures keep popping up around town then surely things are well? Yes, all is well, the notion of street art is still out on the street and still evolving in so many healthy ways, there’s room for it all, the evolving scene is rather exciting right now don’t you think...? if some of it evolves in to coffee table art to take home and hang on your wall that’s alright isn’t it? Just as long as it keeps evolving, as long as things stay fresh... 
        So Graffik is a good place to fine art, a place alive with reasonably priced pieces of exciting original creativity to take home and enjoy. And tonight, Graffik a good place to meet up and this is not where the debate on the direction of street art (or indeed art in general) should be happening, no art bins here (although the empty donut bags have been rescued and now have paint on them). Tonight we’re drinking beer, eating the aforementioned donuts and meeting lots of people, exploring sketchbooks, exploring the walls, eye constantly caught by something new, we’re having a good time. Graffik is simply a good place to pick up impressive pieces of very skilful graphic style street art - there’s a slice of busy manga influenced brightness here, a new stencil piece for your toilet wall over there - contemporary pop art, clever street art, comic book art, illustration, and most of it very slick and graphically impressive. This maybe isn’t the place to pick up anything that out on the edge, nothing that ‘lose’ or fine art based, this is very much street art as graphic art territory. Are we on dangerous ground now, when does street art become fine art? This isn’t the place for that argument, Graffik gallery does exactly what it says on the tin, this isn’t the place to drive arguments..  Pretty much all the work here is of a rather high standard - impressive, photo-realistic, slick street art, most of it is really good, most of it rather desirable. Most of it comfortable within the environment. Kind of want a ‘fault’ or two here or there, a jagged edge, a sense of danger, but hey, some of us like ‘accidents’, a challenge or two, the notion of out-there wild art rather than the now rather established rules street art? Graffik is great, tonight’s party gathering is fun. Sure there’s nothing in here in danger of being a Michael Landry Art Bin ‘failure’ and as someone said over at MuTate the other day, “this stuff ain’t for those artnobs”. Hang on, we’re getting in far too deep, we’re just here to meet some people, listen to some music, suck down a few tins of beer, enjoy some art and have some fun... 
          And Graffik is pretty full when we get there, lot of friendly people in here, people in the shop, people out back in the small yard (where the familiar sites of a Stik boy and a Code CCTV head are on the wall somewhere in the dark behind the bodies). There’s a DJ in the middle of the shop/gallery area and the place is packed with art. There’s people dropping in a bringing along beer, wine, and occasionally some art of their own. A nice big relief piece arrives and cause a bit of a stir... There’s pieces left on the side for others to pick up, there’s a couple of people (from the Isle Of Man) adding small stencil pieces to the front wall of the shop (with permission). People swapping information, ideas, news - art-makers, art-enthusiasts, there’s a nice friendly mellow party buzz in here, people swapping pieces of work, radio station interviews being done (Resonance FM in the house, Create and Survive), ideas and information being swapped - good time being had by all, good art shared... Roll on the next one, we like Graffik, if we had the money, we’d probably spend a fortune in there... (S)

Intersting bit on Michael Landy and his Art Bin here in the Observer

MuTate poster (Sean - BRITAIN: ONE FOOT IN THE GROVE – Under The Westway, Ladbrook Grove, West London, 8th Oct 

– Now this looked promising on the website, Mutoid Waste Company, under the Westway, with loads of graffiti, some serious names in UK street art and yes, this all looked very promising on line.... So we set off with a feeling excitement and anticipation, only a walk down the road, this is our manor  Tonight is the opening night private party preview of an event that opens tomorrow and runs throughout October. The MuTate team back for more following on from their infamous Behind The Shutters Show, back in Ladbrook Grove and what some of them say is their spiritual home, back with a team that includes some of the most respected names in current UK street art, alongside, photographers, stencil artists, paste up pieces, sculptors... 

The Mutoid Waste Company go way back with us Organs, we’ve been encountering them and their creations pretty much since Organ first started back there in the underground days of the 80’s. Strange vehicles parked outside places like Club Dog, Acid Daze, racing through the dust Mad Max style at the legendary Treeorgey free festival, Skreech Rock, that strange squat hospital that got surrounded by shield-banging riot police in the black of night that time (we all had to crawl through tunnels to get out...). These days the Waste Company pop up at what you might call more mainstream respectable events - official parts of things like Glastonbury Trash City, California’s Burning Man, major corporate festivals in Hyde Park, still as creative as ever though, and good on ‘em, stick them in the real Tate or the middle of Trafalgar Square, they deserve it all, they’re the good people doing well... 

MuTATE@ Grove (Marina - Organart)What were we going to get tonight though? What do the Mutoid Waste Company stand for in 2009? Where’s street art going? Graffiti art these days is pretty mainstream isn’t it? Bansky and all that, all been done hasn’t it? Are we going to be drowning in celebs and champagne, the Hoxton art poseurs heading west? Madonna and her cheque book? Brian Sewell stroking his chin and waving his arms? No, none of that, nothing to worry about, from the moment we get in through the big wooden building site type gates that let us through the high wooden fence wall - graffiti-covered naturally - past the friendly security (and the hopeful paparatzi), from the moment we walk in this is jaw-dropping good...  This is still the Mutoids on full effect, all is well in West London...

The old vibe is here, the place is buzziing with energy, alive with the feel of all that 70’s Westway graffiti/punk rock history, the feel of those old Club Dog/free festival/strange squat gig events that happened so much in the 80’s and early 90’s before rave and dance culture changed the shape of free festivals for ever. The heavy thumping dub coming out of the sound system, even the crowds of people look like they’ve fallen out of some kind of mutant page of a 2000AD comic, this is our kind of place, us Organs feel at home. No art-pose here, this isn’t Hoxton, this isn’t the Frieze Fair, there’s a genuine buzz of excitement in the night air alongside the big arc lights and the strange sculptures looming out of the dark above our heads. 

MuTate @ Grove (Sean -’s friendly conversations struck up with strangers, old friends, giant rastas, mohawked punks, graff writers, travellers, Notting Hill locals, geeks talking technique, well dressed families, excited kids, they’re all here soaking it all up in...  Nearly said ‘in’ here, but we’re not quite inside are we; we’re walled in by the wooden fence but we’re under the stars, the moon and the giant Westway, corporate billboards are invade from the side of buildings outside the fence, but this is a whole other world in here. Those imposing thirty foot high Westway support pillars make this such an atmospheric venue - the Westway pillars where some say British street art started back somewhere around ’76, the giant flyover roadway that dominates West London (check your Clash records, and your Hawkwind album covers, there’s a lot of counter culture history under this roadway, The Hall Of The Mountain Grill is just over there...). 
MuTATE @ Grove, Snub23 (Sean - in but out in the open air, Westway motorway as roof above us, tube trains flashing by on one side (must look brilliant to the passengers whizzing by), giant support piers acting as gallery walls... There’s some seriously impressive pieces, big pieces, some expertly crafted graffiti art up on those support pillars (there some seriously wasted looking artists, Snug23 tells us he’s been up for four days solid). 

Straight away you’re hit by the giant Mutoid Waste Company sculptures/vehicles – cannibalised Royal Navy helicopters, military scrap, bits of old fighter plane cockpits that are now bodies of strange looking metal dinosaurs. There’s giant (and we do mean giant) robots, strange mutant motorbikes - the Mutoid Waste Company creations are looking bigger and better than ever, more technical now, still the spirit of those strange psychedelic gun turret trucks parked outside the George Robey back there... The futuristic kinetic robotic creatures made out of bits of scrap that really do grab the most attention, giant fire breathing mechanical bull lurching at the crowds and.... wow! There’s stunning creativity wherever you cast an eye, this is wonderful. Giles Walker’s pole dancing robots are captivating, how did he get them to move like that?! Carrie Reichardt (AKA The Baroness), she of the Treatment Rooms, is by the gate as we go in - she believes the revolution will be ceramicised, there’s that tiled orange pick-up truck by her tile stall that you may have seen in the Funkcutter film. 

MuTate @ GroveAll around there’s impressive graffiti art battling for attention behind the sculpture – Sickboy, Paul Insect, Inkie, Dotmasters, Zeus, Mode 2, Bleach and many more... There’s a slightly more formal gallery area (formal for on outdoor event underneath a motorway flyover), actually a take on the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, where smaller pieces of impressive sculpture stand on plinths in front of some classic pieces of stencil art, paste up pieces of subversion and such. Neneh Cherry is providing the food over there...

There’s colour and energy coming out of the darkness wherever you look, the graffiti is far from tired, plenty of fresh creativity here, a little more than giant names and I’ve got all the books to copy from if you know what I mean, serious evolution – the old Banksy on the wall outside looks a little tired  (and no disrespect meant there, we’ve still got lots of time for Banksy, easy to shoot at the popular, take art the masses we say). Tonight’s opening was a triumph, need to go back today and take it all in again in the cold light of day. Serious street art, proper counter culture, genuine creative, amazing skill... Brilliant... Thank you MuTate crew, we had a great time 

MuTATE BRITAIN: ONE FOOT IN THE GROVE runs on Friday, Saturday and Sundays throughout October. 2pm – 10pm, under the Westway Flyover, junction of Portobello Road and Acklam Road, London W10. Nearest Tube, Ladbrook Grove, come out of the station, cross the road and walk along underneath the Westway –


‘When I think of the punk years, I always think of one particular spot, just at the point where the elevated Westway diverges from Harrow Road and pursues the line of the Hammersmith and City tube tracks to Westbourne Park Station. From the end of 1976, one of the stanchions holding up the Westway was emblazoned with large graffiti which said simply, ‘The Clash’. When first sprayed the graffiti laid a psychic boundary marker for the group – This was their manor, this was how they saw London.’ Jon Savage ‘Punk London’ Evening Standard 1991

‘All across the town, all across the night, everybody’s driving with full head lights, black or white turn it on face the new religion, everybody’s sitting round watching television, London’s burning with boredom now, London’s burning dial 999, Up and down the Westway, in and out the lights, what a great traffic system, it’s so bright, I can’t think of a better way to spend the night than speeding around underneath the yellow lights.’ The Clash ‘London’s Burning’ 1976 

8th OCT '09: ART: MuTATE BRITAIN: ONE FOOT IN THE GROVE opened in Ladbrook Grove, West London, under the iconic Westway last night, serious street art, frontline graffiti, scrap sculpture and Mutoid Waste Company creations that left jaws on the floor, a triumphant opening. The Event runs, under the Westway, just off Portobello Road in Ladbrook Grove, West London, throughout October. It really is not to be missed, full review and more photos up here in a bit, we’ll still recovering from tonight’s open preview party for a bit –

Is that the sun back? National poetry day today, here comes some music talk some more art, here comes who knows what... Still a non-stop operation... Just went to put a link to the National Poetry Day website and hang on Camaron has jumped on that bandwagon as well. Why is his slimy face on the front of their website? That's ruined things

7th OCT '09: ART: MuTATE: ONE FOOT IN THE GROVE in an art event that opens on 9th October (and runs until the 25th) under the Westway in Ladbrook Grove, West London.  (3-6 Acklam Rd, London, W10). A 15000 square foot open air exhibition of Street Art, giant Sculpture and Installations, fully licensed for 1250 people, underneath the West Way Road Bridge next to Portobello Road. Here’s what they say on their website:
        Following the success of their debut show ‘Behind the Shutters’ at the infamous Cordy House, the Mutate Britain team are pleased to announce One Foot in the Grove, an exhibition of painting and sculpture located in the heart of West London
“For us this is a home coming, Ladbroke Grove means a lot to Joe and I, now we’re back home to put on a show that we hope will be remembered for its inspiring art, inclusive atmosphere and all round good times.” Garfield Hackett
                   Since artists such as Futura 2000 (then touring with The Clash) and Mode 2 first painted the huge walls supporting the iconic West Way in the early 80s, they have been cited as a birthplace of British graffiti/street art culture. Almost 30 years later Street Art is a global artistic movement, rich with talent, diverse aesthetic styles and momentum sustained by passion. Now over 50 of its old school pioneers, infamous names and future masters are back to build a show that celebrates the depth and heritage of the movement. Expect surprise announcements to add to the mix of works by Mode 2, Matt Small, Dr. D, Part2ism, Best Ever and too many more to mention.... Go read the rest of this here

           Chrome Hoof are actually from outer space. I longed for a band like this when I was a kid, obsessed equally with sci-fi and music, but after decades of unconvincing costumes and not exactly cosmic rock (yes, I'm talking about you, eighties Hawkwind, with your fat Elric) I can't believe someone's actually gone and fulfilled the dream.  It's that sleek and shiny pre-'77sci-fi of Space 1999 and Barbarella and Silent Running, not the dirt of Mos Eisley and the Nostromo, and it's done with hallucinatory purity and authenticity. 
On come at least ten cowled figures, robed in flowing mirror silver, heading for numerous instruments including an actual harp. Let's see... two guitarists, bassist, keyboards, violin, sax, trumpet, percussion, two backing vocalists, glittering in stark blue light. And then this magnificent gleaming bronze Amazon stalks onstage, ceremonial staff and all, and the whole madness makes absolute sense, even before she opens her mouth. When the whole thing takes off, driven by the furious disco hi-hat   Of course, everyone knows it's supposed to be high camp, but it's actually just an excuse to be glorious. 
             When bands play these big, sit-down arts concert halls the space and formality can make them look like a fish out of water.  Not the Hoof.  They've have embraced the space with pleasure, spread their glittering presence right across the stage, bookending the whole shebang of extraterrestrial violins, brass, keyboards and spectacular dancing goddess woman with two more great dancers. In skin tight silver body suits. And not one bit of it is extraneous. 
              Chrome Hoof's music has been described, several times, as disco-prog, and there's little reason to contradict that - save that the results are more muscular and powerful than you might think. Whilst there are signifigant mathy moments, the core of the band is rhythm section and brothers Leo and Milo Smee, who turn that disco hi-hat groove, normally associated with 70s chart cheesiness, into a pummeling, driving thing. Add Lola Olafisoye's presence and vocals, and a collection of accompanying players with personalities and massive talents of their own, and this monster of a band miraculously gels into a coherent beast that makes absurd sense.   I'm astonished by the sheer success of their vision.
Then Chrome Hoof are transmuted into the backing band of this revered middle act, one J. P. Massiera.  It's hard to distinguish what is a Chrome Hoof composition and what's Massiera's without prior knowledge - good on them for such a thorough acknowledgement of their influence. So thorough, in fact, that the man himself is literally force-marched on stage by silver-clad sirens. Producer-genius/musician Massiera was creating unutterably bizarre records from the late sixties. I wish I'd heard more before the gig - I've since wrapped my ears around Phantasmes (one of the tamer of his canon, apparently... thank you prognotfrog ). It's hugely unhinged but surprisingly imaginative and technically accomplished, veering from pop hypercheese to mad fusion, White Noise meets George Clinton and just... oh, words fail. Just look at the cover, for a start  It explains Chrome Hoof instantly.  Of course, Massiera is getting on in years, and almost certainly engaged with the psychotropic culture of the time during his peak, so his performance is a little uncoordinated, but his guttural French demonic possession routine hinted at an extremely interesting past and a massive personality. He seemed to be enjoying himself hugely - the story is that Chrome Hoof had a week's intensive rehearsal with him and I wonder if the whole process of finding their hero and getting him to appear is an epic and moving tale in itself. When you start to delve into his work, having him there makes perfect sense.
             On which note: all praise to the brain behind this event. DJ Andy Votel champions this kind of esoteric music, and truly deserves the title of curator tonight - this is inspired bill, with Massiera neatly linking Chrome Hoof and Magma in many ways.

MAGMA 2008               Magma open with a composition I don't know, but I have an almost overwhelming need to hear again, now. It was as good as anything in their long-evolved repertoire. Turns out it's (probably) called Slag Tanz (Fire Dance in Kobaian?) and get this, it's new. Let's think about that a moment. New. Performed to perfection, the band immaculately lit (by someone who really knows the music) in shifting, apocalyptic supervolcano red, it's Magma at their most menacing, revolving over an impossibly ominous, restrained riff, full of tension and beauty. It's equally classic, unmistakable Magma, and indefinably contemporary.  On form like this, Magma really are a force of nature; it's impossible to resist those geological metaphors describing a piece of such restrained, implacable power. 
          Magma are ruled by extraordinary drummer and composer Christian Vander, the inventor of the Kobaian language and the whole complex mythology recounted in the band's lyrics.  There's nobody quite like them, not even the camp-followers of the Zeuhl movement the band have spawned, not even Ruins and Koenjihyakkei (Japanese bands who sing in their own off dialect of Kobaian).  Magma's power comes directly from Stravinsky and Carl Orff and 20th Century composers as much as rock; Vander also harnesses the energy of choral singing, contributing his own powerful and distinctive voice to a chorus consisting of a second male voice (in the shape of the imposing Herve Aknin) and three female (including Stella Vander).  They move to different parts of the stage in magisterial operatic fashion as each song progresses and the dynamics change, and when it's Christian Vander's turn a disembodied overhead mike is brought out of the dark from behind him, and Vander gesticulates passionately and a couple of times stands up behind his kit.  His drumming is immense - both extremely expressive and fierce, capable of delicacy and relentless driving movement. Meanwhile, there's the most astonishing bass lines you'll ever hear going on. Jannik Top is no longer in the band (though he does make occasional appearances) and bass duty is now performed by Philippe Bussonnet, taking on the technique and compositions of the remarkable Top; if you can't see the guy's fingers, your ears won't believe that that rippling growl is the bass guitar being played by real fingers at sequencer speed, locked-in to Vander. Naturally, there's a full contingent of world-class musicians here - guitar, classic electric piano (eg Wurlitzer or Rhodes) but there has to be a special mention for the extremely watchable vibraphone player, Benoit Alziary.
        After a lyrical and gentler piece, heavy on the choral element and Fender Rhodes, comes an absolute monster. Called Emehntehett- Re, it's from their forthcoming new album of that name, out in early November. I hear chunks of old works embedded in it, but I believe it's largely new, and proper Magma, all forty-minutes plus of it, ebbing and flowing. When Stella comes up front to sing it's one of many highlights. Once again - new!!!
         People will tell you that Magma are experimental, avant, weird - all that stuff about alien languages and epic science fiction. But that's beside the point. What they are above all is uplifting and euphoric. They have as much in common with raw gospel and spiritual choral music, and the elements of danger and harshness thread through their work only to intensify the revelatory lift of it.  Whatever the complex stories Vander has constructed, using Kobaian can also be a kind of scat singing that frees the music from meaning and leaves all the emotion. 
         Visceral, beautiful, utterly unique, even danceable in places; a genuine space opera, complete with alien grammar and mythology of Dune-like complexity, Magma are an astonishing creative force. And they finish the show with a performance of Magma's first composition, introduced by Stella. It's their single Kobaia, an initially-normal cheerful sixties' pop song that goes off somewhere most pop doesn't, and hints at things to come. They play it because it's Kobaia's fortieth anniversary this month. 
Astonishing.   (M)

3rd OCT '09: THE TUESDAY DILEMMA, MAGMA or UPSILON ACRUX? All over town progheads are pulling themselves apart, what to do! Which gig! Who booked the first ever Upsilon Acrux show in London on the same night as a rare appearance in the capital from Magma! I mean people have been waiting for Upsilon and there cutting edge avant-prog to get over here for ages! They’ve made it from L.A at last, they’re one of the very very best bands out there, consistently challenging albums, prog rock time changes that’ll leave you with twisted blood, and if that isn’t good enough they’re touring with two of the finest new prog outfits in the UK in the shape of THE LAZE and HONEY RIDE ME A GOAT, but then CHROME HOOF are opening for Magma with J.P MASSIERA also on the bill... Two of the most exciting gigs to happen in London all year and both on the same night. What are we going to do? The Upsilon Acrux gig happens over at Barden's Boudoir  while Magma are at the Barbican Centre. I think I know which one I’m going to... maybe... Both shows happen on Tuesday 6th October, oh the dilemma...
Showcase, Brick Lane 30th Sept (Sean)ART:SHOWCASE @ CAFE 1001, Brick Lane, London, 30th Sept 

- Cafe 1001 is just opposite Rough Trade Records, over on Brick Lane, deepest East London. Showcase happens every second Wednesday. Been happening all through the summer now and the Showcase reputation is growing. The event - not that easy to find, enter the cafe through the crowds sitting at the tables on the pavement, up the stairs, head for the back and there it is, an almost secret big room at the rear - the event is something like a very relaxed gallery opening night, the atmosphere is vibrant, inviting, friendly and rather energetic... Things have been building over the last few months as word of the fortnightly event spreads and more people get involved. We reviewed one of the first nights back at the start of Summer and suggested a little bit of quality control might be needed, things have moved on and evolved in a rather positive manner since then. Early shows were peppered with interesting pieces amongst the, well, the not quite so good. Last night it was pretty much getting near to an everything being worthy of your time situation. 

MIGUEL IVORRA @ Showcase, 30th Sept '09          Showcase is a one night only affair, things kick off at five thirty and go on until just after eleven. A chance to view art, interact with the creators, share thoughts, network and indeed buy very reasonably priced pieces (or at least pick up details for future reference). The one night only nature makes going to Showcase almost like heading out to a gig, it is something a little different to the usual stuffiness of a more formal gallery, things are relaxed, you can make a noise, you don’t have to politely creep around... This is very much a gallery situation though, don’t get the wrong idea, plenty of time and space to view without interruption or intrusion. A gallery with a nice big bar, music (not too loud) and something like twenty-five or so artists with a selection of work to check out. The work is all up on big white boards in a nice big open room. The audience is a mix of artists (both those showing and those checking things out), friends, the usual Brick Lane fashion fiends, people just dropping in on their way to or from East End gigs (or maybe a Brick Lane curry  house). You get the occasional passing celebrity, (I guess the organisers would love us to mention the fact that Keira Knightley dropped in last night and was seen enthusiastically talking to several of the artists. Don’t ask me, I wouldn’t know a celeb if she bit me. What did she say asked several people, none of your business, that’s between me and Keira), you got bands dropping in, people who’ve been to Rough Trade to buy records, graffiti kids (“You ‘da bomb man, respect to your art” yelled the skinny white kid being thrown out by security for tagging the walls), drunk city workers still in suites, ties rebelliously loose - you got a whole lot on different types (makes for interesting people watching while they're busy viewing your art actually), a constant revolving stream of colourful people all evening.... 
Blair  Zaye          So the Showcase reputation is building and across the board the quality is way up now, last time it was interesting stimulating work here and there, last night pretty much everything was worthy of further investigation... Stand out pieces included the strange light fitting bulb holder paintings of BLAIR ZAYE, CHRIS TIMOTHY’s rather striking photographic montage pieces, Barcelona pop artist MIGUEL IVORRA, SALLY SWINGEWOOD’s vibrant work, SIMON HAWES' slightly dark and twisted ‘Hi Kids’ childhood cartoon icons, ZARA LOCKWOOD’s imaginative portraiture... 
            Looking at art on websites is really no way to view art, most of websites do these artists no favours, vague hints is all you get, you really need to have it there coming alive in front of you, alive in the flesh. Tonight was great, Showcase is a great place to view art, meet people and introduce yourself to a few new names, a chance see the work there big and bold (or small and delicate) with the colours the way they really are. Showcase is great, get along to the next one... Showcase webpage

WEASEL WALTER, PIRATES and... Saturday, here we go, for those of you that may have missed the great news, The Observer has been saved, there’s some graffiti porcelain over here, “Russia's Roman Abramovich has quietly added a $90 million estate in St. Bart's to his global toy chest, which already includes a Cap d'Antibes chateau, an English soccer team and one of the world's largest yachts". Tomorrow is International Talk Like A Pirate Day, this new Buckcherry single is an OK slice of throwaway glam pop-metal but haven’t Aerosmith already released Love In An Elevator? “His newest boat, called Eclipse, exceeds 540 feet and is in the final stages of construction by German ship builder Blohm & Voss. Yacht builders say Eclipse has two helipads, a swimming pool, bulletproof glass, a steam room and a personal submarine. The boat cost an estimated $300 million or more to build. The ship, the world's biggest private yacht, recently started its sea trials off Hamburg and is expected to be delivered to Mr. Abramovich late this year or early next year" while WEASEL WALTER, he of the legendary Flying Luttenbachers has another in his series of podcasts ready for you to download... New podcast available at Luther Thomas tribute with Black Randy and the Metrosquad, Vinny Golia/Weasel Walter and more...

8th Sept '09: NEWS:  LONDON GIG GUIDE... London needs a decent informative alternative gig guide, several people have tried to get something going, takes a lot of time and effort though, takes venues and bands and promoters supporting and interacting and making things work, needs to be free of all the pub rock clutter, the tribute bands... we need a focussed uncluttered alternative... Latest valiant attempt comes from the London Gigs team, and so far so good. Early days and the website is only just getting off the ground, a decent gig guide is needed badly and this looks early days good... it will only flourish if people get behind it, make it work people, we need it, support it...
LIVE: MOBY – Rough Trade Shop, Brick Lane, East London, Sept 6th -  “..but the concert was I think the best Moby concert I've been to. I was expecting it to be all acoustic and low key but it was actually quite kicking, well a weird mix between intimate melancholy melodies and pumping drumming charging tunes...he did a few tracks from Play which was great and the two female singers were quite amazing, such a powerful voice and presence I've actually never seen a British audience get quite so into the music and dance like that before, it was a great vibe and it was brilliant to be up so close and really feel it, it was quite affecting.. Needless to say I didn't go to work today...”  (Emma) 
22nd AUG '09:  PAUL NORMANSELL @ Wanted Gallery, Portobello, London 

Modern, fresh looking, fresh feeling pop art, you don’t really get the art of Paul Normansell in any kind of serious way until you’re stood there in front of it – well that goes for most art/artists really, stating the bleedin’ obvious or what! Particularly important that you see the current work of Paul Normansell in the flesh though, you’re really not going to get the power or the colour from his CD covers or from photos... You’ll maybe know him from his recent cover work for The Killers. The work on show here is striking, rather original, and just different - stylish pop art in the most real of senses. Big pieces, a fascinating combination of gloss and enamel on aluminium that makes perfect sense when you stand in front of it and drink in the brightness – you’re really not going to get it from looking atwebsites, photos or CD covers (as good  as that recent Killers CD artwork is), you really need to stand in front of Paul Normansell’s rather expansive work and just really enjoy it. There’s two floors of work in a small shop-sized gallery, about half a dozen rather big bold colourful pieces.  The show ends on 23rd August, all work already sold so it seems – you’ll find it all, if you’re quick, at 15b Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill, W11 –   - Go look today if you’re in the area, Mick Jones from the Clash is playing a free gig at his Rock ‘n Roll library, just down the road at 5.00pm. The Rock & Roll Public Library is open free of charge Wednesday to Sunday from 11am until 7pm; until August 23rd.  2 Acklam Road, above 272 Portobello Road, London, W10...Ladbroke Grove tube. 

DIY LONDON SEEN - Covent Garden, London, 20th Aug - 

Tonight we’re heading for yet another closed down shop, another shop taken over, on a temporary basis, in the name of art... Tonight, right in the middle of Covent Garden, in the tourist trap of a plaza, and probably not the first place you’d go looking for DIY street art or the smell of underground alternative culture, we’re in search of the opening of an exhibition called DIY London Seen. Work inspired by the artists featured in Aaron Rose’s new film Beautiful Losers apparently... The film is out on DVD this week and currently enjoying a run at the ICA, so this is some kind of tie-in semi-launch - there’s a ‘marketing’ budget, entry by invite, food to eat and bottles of that pear cider to suck on, while the art is viewed... 
          The film itself (not being shown tonight) is inspiring, the film is important, the film is exciting, it should kick off the idea of just doing it yourself in the heads of many who never before really though they could... The film is essentially documenting something that’s been going on all over the world for years (and years) – something that really germinated back there with the second wave of punk rock. The wave that really was about doing it yourself and seven inch records in hand made covers, of making your own zines, putting on your own gigs, taking control and the possibilities, ideas that extended well beyond just the music... That real DIY street culture, birthed at the end of the 70’s with the coming together of street graffiti, skateboard culture and punk rock - that ever expanding thing that was alive with energy, excitement, cross-pollination and feeding off each others ideas - something that’s been evolving and regenerating for years now – and all there, documented in the film, and none of that is really to be found in this rather polite and starkly white downstairs shop-turned-into-gallery tonight... 

          There is some good art here, couple of really good pieces – this isn’t really the DIY culture we’ve been familiar with for the last twenty plus years though, this isn’t the hand-painted zines talked of in the film, this isn’t skateboard pits or graffiti, or doing it yourself because the gallery system is an alien concept you never even thought of approaching... This isn’t primitive art jumping off squat venue walls, warehouse gigs, this isn’t punk rock inspired do it yourself creativity. This isn’t expansive canvas alive with spray-painted energy, this is isn’t giant chess sets in the middle of Claremont Road or the acid junkyard sculpture of Skreech Rock. No giant pink windmills made of street-scrap, no Cheap Essential Scenery painted on sails here... None of the craft of those Bristol street artists like Milk or Dora who were over at Oblong with their Great Birds show the other week...  No hint of Montana Gold, no spray paint allowed by the looks of things... Nah. 
           There’s some good art in here, this isn’t really DIY culture though, this isn’t about ignoring the rules or doing it yourself - but there is good art in here...

           What this is, is a semi-corporate launch for a film that’s kind of missed the point of the film, an artistically polite show in a far too polite gallery with polite food and free drink and yes, some rather decent small pieces of pop art flavoured graphic design, some decent bits of illustration, photography and some rather good pieces of individual artistic expression. Some of it kind of feels like the work of half way through term design students rather than the street artists, punk-driven creators, skate-culture painters and such that you’ll find in the film... Some of it is genuinely rather good. 

        Yes, there is some good art in here, it is important to repeat that, and the fact that the Watch This Space team have enthusiastically pulled it together and found an empty shop and gathered it all in one place is to be celebrated – twenty or so interesting (young, we assume) artists getting a chance to get some work out there is what this is - and that is enough, that should be celebrated.

There is some good work here, well worth a visit, just don’t be expecting the energy or danger that Beautiful Losers should inspire, don’t be expecting real DIY culture. The fact that some of the artists have been found via a last minute competition, (insisted on by the film company so the Watch This Space curators say) and run on bloody My Space – the ultimate in none-DIY corporate marketing crapola – kind of tells you some of where we’re at here... The fact that the most interesting artist tonight, and the nearest thing to some kind of idea of street culture, Keiron Lee (AKA  XXXXXX) and his play on Frank Shepard Fairey’s Andre The Giant Has A Posse, has come through that My Space route suggests that no one really went out and connected with any of the real UK street artists or went out to find the real DIY art culture that is out there... 
           Street art? DIY attitudes? Alternatives? It really should be alive with energy and excitement in here tonight – it is in the film - the joy of the creativity, alternative communication, the attitudes, the sense of just getting out there and doing it - joining in, togetherness, defiance, rule-ignoring unity... Oh I really don’t like sounding like I’m down on this show, there is some good art – Robin Clare’s mix of 50’s futurist white goods and pop-art graphics, Harry Malt and his cartoonish Just Don’t Try To Talk To Jim Morrison piece (good to see GG Allin and John Cooper Clark there – a bit of punk rock after all then), the giant mirror bear sculpture of Arran Gregory brings a smile, Best One...  A collection of painters, illustrators, photographers and such, all worthy of the time and space, but this really isn’t the street culture or DIY or anything like the energy to be found in the film, this isn’t what we hoped to find, not what we expected...  Go enjoy the show for what it is, twenty relatively new British artists, photographers, illustrators and such showing some healthy new work in a closed down shop in the middle of town......

DIY LONDON SCENE runs until September 5th at 11, The Market Building, Covent Garden, WC2







KELLY JOHNSON (Girlschool)
KELLY JOHNSON (Girlschool)