Thing of the Day

Tonight the rather excellent GRUBBY MITTS and THE JOHNNY PARR CHAMBER ORCHESTRA celebrate the life of Dan Cox at East London’s Café Oto…

April 21st 2011

Grubby MittsTHE GRUBBY MITTS have a beautiful new single called To A Friends House, a warm piece of experimental musical understatement, and a song that now takes on something of an extra shade of meaning. To a friend's house the way is never long... Tonight they planned a release party and celebration of their new single at Café Oto in Dalston, East London….

'Originally arranged as the launch party for the single, To a Friend's House, the Grubby Mitts have, after the recent tragic death of Dan Cox on the crossroads of Dalston Junction, changed the emphasis of the evening to a celebration for their close friend. The song To a Friend's House was Dan's favourite track, and due to the sentiment of the song, it seems only right to dedicate the night to him. All are welcome and all money from the concert will go to the London Cycling Campaign and Johnny Parry, one of Dan's favourite musicians, will now also perform on the night.'
The Grubby Mitts
Dan was pointlessly killed in yet another London cycling accident earlier this year, knocked off his bike at a busy road junction by a lorry. We can’t claim to have really known Dan that well but we had spoken to him at gallery events, art shows and such, seemed like a really decent positive creative enthusiastic guy, always ready to contribute…  

At the time the accident London Evening Standard reported….

Daniel CoxAn aspiring art curator who died after being hit by a lorry while cycling was remembered today as a "future star of the art world".
Goldsmith College graduate Daniel Cox, 28, died in hospital two days after the collision in Dalston. He had been working part-time since last summer at the PayneShurvell gallery, Shoreditch.
“Mr Cox, from Clapton, had made such an impression on gallery bosses that he was allowed to curate an exhibition, Welcome To Paradise, featuring work by Polish artist Anka Dabrowska, just weeks after joining as an assistant.
Gallery owner James Payne said his death on Friday at the Royal London Hospital  was a "massive blow".
He said yesterday: "We all felt it today at the gallery and we will probably do some kind of tribute to him.
"He was very bright and within two months of starting I decided to let him curate a show. He did an amazing job, really spectacular. I think his career was going to change. He met so many artists through our gallery and everyone said he was really great. He was very outgoing and intelligent, particularly with art theory and practice.
"He was also very funny, the kind of person who lit up a room. Our artists got really attached to him. He was an exceptional person who will be terribly missed here. I really believe that he was a future star of the art world."
London Evening Standard (Rob Parsons, 9th Feb 2011)

   People do naturally tend to say these politely nice things when a tragedy like this happens; I do recall speaking to people at the PayneShurvell gallery at the time, though, and the sentiment really was absolutely genuine, they were really distraught about it, seems Dan was loved and respected by his friends, his colleges in the art world and the London art community.

 Tonight Dan is celebrated by his friends in The Grubby Mitts. Here’s what someone has had to say about the event on the bike forum London Fixed Gear And Single-Speed this week…  

“There's a memorial gig tonight for Dan Cox who was killed after being hit by a lorry on Dalston Junction:

Grubby Mitts The Impossibility of Crows: Grubby Mitts + Johnny Parry,  An evening commemorating Dan.

The crows like to insist a single crow is enough to destroy heaven.
This is incontestably ture, but it says nothing about heaven,
because heaven is just another way of saying: the impossibility of crows'
(Kafka: Aphorism 32)

" To a Friend's House the Way is Never Long (The Grubby Mitts)
The Grubby Mitts have been described as “…Wonderfully sad, with huge conviction and emotion” (the Guardian). Hailing from Bedfordshire, the band are fronted by visual artist Andy Holden; whose recent solo exhibition at the TATE Grubby Mitts big sculptureBritain was praised by The Guardian as "Inward-looking and subtly monumental... Holden's work confirms the seriousness and intelligence of young art at the moment." The band describe their music as, “assembled from scraps and fragments of melody, as if remembered from the night before or heard floating down from a window and taken up as a hum by someone passing by on the street below”. Lyrics and refrains are taken from unlikely sources, such as a cross stitch that used to hang in Holden's Grandmother's house. These are then looped, layered with woodwind, electronics, harmonium, guitars, percussion and strings, and then brought to epic conclusions. The live shows also incorporate specially made videos and films.

"Johnny Parry Chamber Orchestra  - Johnny Parry’s mixture of dark songwriting and intricate orchestra arrangements have drawn comparisons with Scott Walker. Recent concerts with his sixteen piece Chamber Orchestra at the Union Chapel and St Giles Churches saw the full extent of his vision realized, with passages recalling Michael Nyman, Avro Part and Ennio Morricone, interspersed with sparse passages of song in the tradition of Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave. The live performance will incorporate specially made films by Andy Holden.

Dan's Bike"Afterward we will be attempting to move Dan's Ghost Bike as the council will be remodelling the junction and it needs to go to a temporary home. We've put about a million locks on it and I have no idea if we'll get all the keys back so this may just be a reccy and we'll have to return with some bolt cutters and a car jack - if anyone can help with that it would be appreciated".

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