Thursday, 31 December 2009

A ditty to the passage of a Wounded Warrior


Ripped by duress, unwilling to rejoin
A piece of my beat has disintegrated
Odds played in earnest
Failed fruition
So textbook for all to see, yet me
Desire bereft, conscious on repeat
My body lingers enough

It exists in my gut, insurmountable trust
Born from the existence of certainty
Credence is true
Adventures achieved
Self-belief is stronger than any foe I know


Monday, 21 December 2009

TEED - Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

I saw this guy play again on Friday at the LAB, he was despite technical difficulties, outstanding. A very ordinary looking boy surrounded by a serious amount of gadgets including a keytar. He sang, mc'd and played live whilst dressed in a dinosaur outfit. A particularly strong balkan inspired mashup of Deathray Trebuchay can be found on his myspace. Entertaining.

Christmas Panto with a DIY ethos.

As I begin to pack up my belongings ready for my journey east to London I reflect over the past few days events with contentment. Bristol seems to have opened its doors to me, the city has become a village and faces familiar. Friday was Heavy Metal Acid Panto, hosted by Invisible Circus, performed on a stage in the main room at the Old Fire Station right in the centre of town. The delivery was crotchy, thrusts and codpieces prevailed, the band rather alluring in a thrash metal Kiss kinda way, the humor lifted me from my SAD dysfunction. Most attendees had made the effort to glam up in LSD Disney style as recommended on the invite. For an £11 entrance it was well worth the money. Something that Bristol does well is DIY events, perhaps a reflection of the culture here. My small gripe was down to the seating, it was slightly shambolic with floor space at a premium you had to find and appropriate yoga position and ride in out. Costumes were excellent with the main dame outshining everyone save a few repeated put downs for various heckling audience members.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

A Christmas Carol

On Thursday I was invited to a most Dickensian encounter which made me feel like an extra in A Christmas Carol (easily in my top five Christmas films), I was led through the back streets up and down until we reached the dead yet rather pretty end of Orchard Street (pictured), encased by grand houses in white complete with wrought iron fencing. The night was clear and bitterly cold warmed by the iridescent glow of tea lights shimmering from home made lanterns we sang seasonal carols to our hearts content. Kindly accompanied by cold-fingered pianist, a few passers by and several glasses of warm mulled wine. It was my first taste of Bristolian Christmas and I liked it.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Resuscitate the Rainbow...

Birmingham home to Brummies, once upon a time home to me also, like Simon le Bon, I like to think of myself as an honorary Brummie. A place I hold in high regard yet not without its downfalls, for example it has its ginormous overdeveloped Oxford Street inspired centre which save the rag market and Digbeth is a haven for chain stores and discount shops. I sense traffic is now a problem in all major cities, however none more prevalent in Birmingham, however there seems to be no workable solution (aside the talk of congestion charging) in place. The problems that face Birmingham are simple ones, too many people not enough space in the centre, creative, edgier nights are slowly finding spots outside of town. Places set to step forward and take the crown are Moseley, Kings Heath, Digbeth and Hockley, all of which contain excellent pubs and parties hosted by forward thinking music promoters, it would be great if the fashion and music shops that supported these were to follow.

Sunday I attended Below - a minimal tech night - hosted at the Rainbow in Digbeth, an excellent venue, which is under threat due to complaints from a new development of flats (which makes me pose the question which was there first – the pub or the flats?). UB40 recently played a gig to highlight the pubs plight - all money raised from ticket sales went towards sound proofing the roof. The main bar is still retains its original features with a grand bar in the middle, decorated with candor and compassion it incorporates its current usage and past history, with art on the walls and graffiti elements. The bar could have been stocked with a little more forethought, disappointingly the resident drunk turned out to be the landlord. However this doesn’t detract from the beauty of the place, the rear once a garden, now a roof warehouse space with graffiti, plants, fairy lights and installations is a soft intimate stead for bands and dj’s to do their thing. Below is best judged by the non-arrival of two its (I believe) three promoters, an excellent night was had by all those who attended, however I sensed it was nearing the end of its glorious run spanning a good five (if not more) years. I left hoping for projects, more nights and more life into the Rainbow!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Where has the face gone?

Last week I was lucky enough to have a shelf of old magazines dating from the early eighties to the nineties (The Face, Blitz, i-D) at my disposal. The greatest revelation was the vast difference in content spanning current social/political issues. Have we changed a great deal socially in terms of what we care about? The injustices and failings of the world we live in still have a place in a lifestyle publication. Yet the politics/annoyances seem to have taken a backseat and been replaced by the latest ‘product launch/sponsorship deal/collaboration’ aimed a keeping the magazine afloat through ‘special projects’. Has the money and drive for something genuine and honest completely run out? In The Face dated 1989 features a double page spread vehemently rejecting the then current YTS (Youth Training Scheme) as unworkable and divisive. How would today's readers of Dazed or i-D react to an article covering the lack of jobs for this years recent graduates, do people want to be engaged by the issues of life or simply prefer to bury their heads in the sand?

Back Up! Back Up!

My inevitable return to web logging has been played out my head repeatedly since a rather fruitful rekindling excursion to the big smoke last Monday (that’s a week last Monday in fact). Such as the reality of life, my documenting attempts do not appear to be as smooth and organised as I originally envisaged, however, the passion to produce an upfront delivery of my musings remains habitually steadfast. I shall be gradually offloading anecdotal snippets from the events not as I encountered them, rather in a similar vein to a patient suffering from alzheimers.

When dipping in and out of London you are lucky enough to be presented with a fresh set of senses, observantly you clock the changes as you are ushered into new venues by your friends in the know, you absorb and revel in their respective successes, a new record released, a gallery launch, a new fashion label booming, a new rather exotic sounding boyfriend and the evolving career monopoly. Gorging off the energy they happily throw at you and all the generous meals they lavish in your honor. In short it makes you feel like life is good. You don’t have to deal with a bullshit that comes with the day to day, for me, as a struggling creative it’s the constant battle for survival. My dreams aren’t of marrying my prince or winning the lottery instead they contain a career ‘sponsor’, born into rich parentage, a wealthy boyfriend or a rather generous old lady with a penchant for working class fashion students, someone capable of removing the financial burden of existence in an industry entirely supported by people working for free for protracted periods of time, in the hope of achieving creative enlightenment. The question –‘How long can I work for free until the job centre comes knocking and wants to know when I’m going to bite the bullet and get a sensible office job? Recites gleefully in my worried little head.