Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The Not So Secret Garden Party

Fortunately the lake was still in place, as was the pagoda although this time seriously oversubscribed with a massive wait to get onto (we commando style climbed over the fence one night as the queue was so severe). The events capacity had increased into another large camping field, which had a knock on effect as to the amount of people trying to get into more popular areas - which remained the same size. There were however a growth in tents to counteract this, yet some remained fairly unpopulated throughout. 
The camping crew - Jess, Matt & (new girl) Indi.
Jess calls me at Friday at 9pm, 'I'm inside where are you?' Weeks ago there was talk of her coming, but not a snitch since, needless to say her surpise arrival caused a massive boost in the already positive moral.
Swimming in the lake was monitored this year and was a civilised affair, the weeds ruled the water and had a definite touch of Ophelia about them - although this picture suggests a more comedic element.

Taken about 9am on the Sunday morning, we'd been scaling the den for hours and decided to retire to the comfort of the lawn and the distraction of the impressively loud mobile sound system. Glancing up we note a boy, he's wielding a giant sheep and surreptitiously launches it off the citadel, glorious.

For those unfamiliar the suicide Olympics it's a series of games set around a hill it's aim - to get down the hill quickly and in one piece. My favourite was the use of plastic sheeting, water and fairy liquid creating a giant albeit dangerous slide. We winced as we watched Matt going down in a wheelchair, it's 10am, he's wearing no bottom's and hasn't slept for two days.
A journey into the psychedelic and an daytime passed, we board a rather beautiful 1950's Ferris Wheel.  It's just the three of us, we squeeze into the carriage and the ride begins. This moment suspended in the air high on life, looking out at the world is easily the most paradisiacal of the entire festival. Thank you Secret Garden Party.

Bounce On Over...!

Now that the weariness of three days non-stop mischief in a sunny field of stimulation has diminished slightly; it is time to look forward to the weekend ahead and the joyous events in store. Watch this space for a quick commentary on Secret Garden Party 10 and an even smaller but choice photo edit (I was having TOO much fun to contemplate documenting the occasion).

Saturday brings a very novel experience, my first Jamaican/Nigerian wedding; I wait with baited breath for the visual feast in store. A glimpse into a culture of pattern and colour - the brighter, more flamboyant, the better. Whether the traditional costume or a more modern European influence will play president I do not know. One element I’m more certain about is the foods will undoubtedly represent a rich diversity of continents; the tradition is for many people to arrive with food for the feast.

Although the Wedding will be the main focus of my day it also clashes with two friends birthdays and a friend’s performance, fortunately all three will take place at the same location, Victoria Park, Field Day. The line-up is phenomenal - in fact it will be impossible to see even a fraction of acts that have caught my interest. I guess as with all festivals I will have to go with the flow… Sparks are flying for Mount Kimbie, The Fall, Egyptian Hip Hop and of course the infamous Boom Boom Club and the delightful Kitty Bang Bang.

By now my head is spinning, alas the day ain’t over yet, Arthur and Albert magazine which I’m involved in are holding an incognito fundraiser with live music, free daytime BBQ and post Field Day rave up. Bounce promises to be an extra special event with two nights coming together to deliver a hybrid of party sounds. Further information can also be found here. If you are interested in coming along drop me an email and I can put you on a cheap list.

Friday, 23 July 2010

T minus 44 and counting

I have precisely 44 minutes remaining until my weekend begins, I'm headed to Secret Garden Party along with majority of my friends. I'm navigating the tubes, trains, taxi's and alcohol shop on my own, wish me luck. It was either that or wait an hour and a half for my friends to finish work, bluergh.

As you can imagine I am finding it impossible to think of anything else. After a quick scan of the line-up I note two points of interest.

1. Summer Camp are playing (Lucy will be most pleased)

2. The Skatalites are making an appearance, this I greet with trepidation, old acts returning to the limelight can usually go either way. They are amazing though, anything near the mark will I'm sure bring a smile to my face.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Tomorrow at Drawers Gallery

The Haggerston Pub and Drawers Gallery bring us there second installment of work. This time it’s several artists in a group show with a comedic twist, there will be live performance and artwork from 12 young creative’s. With lots of collaborators I’m intrigued to see how they will use the space to effect; the two rooms provide a promisingly intimate setting for high impact.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The Big Flowery Bang!

I read the press release for this body of work and was lost in the fancy explanation, the fusion of nature and the big bang was I believe the crux of it. It's sentimental yet I have a penchant for images of flowers, especially when delivered in an interesting way. Allium's look amazing, in fact we had one growing in our front garden, which is surprising considering how feral it is out there. The photographs are the work of Alexander James who delivers slick commercial images for stock books and advertising. Does something become uncool when one makes money out of it?

Monday, 19 July 2010

Eastern Promises for free

As I sunk into the chaise longue on Saturday night after my 25 mile cycle ride, Viggo Mortensen shone out of the flickering box. His sharp suit, Russian prison tattoos, abrasive accent and quaffed hair provided suitable accoutrements for his role as an undercover agent.  Eastern Promises is a tightly knitted film about rape, sex trafficking and mobsters. This steady paced thriller set on the mean streets of London, carries a fight scene which takes place inside a Turkish Baths in Finsbury Park - it's so severe I find myself hiding behind my hands (second time round). You can catch this film for free on BBC iplayer until Saturday, so if like me you're having a chilled Monday night in, this might be the ticket.

I'm going to crack open the mockumentary Le Donk and Scor-zay-zee which has received mixed reviews. I think it's important though to not listen to the critics too much and make up your own mind. I'm a sucker for the skills of Paddy Constantine - here's a little taster of his previous work...

Scene taken from A Room for Romeo Brass, which is definitely worth a look in, you should also check out, Last Resort. Produced in 2000 the story centers on Russian women claiming political asylum after finding herself stranded on UK soil, she and her son are sent to a forgotten seaside town which doubles as a detention centre.

Carnival Vibes

St Paul's Carnival was the very first time I'd stepped foot on Bristol soil. A year on, after having spent ten months living in a city which had welcomed me with open arms, I returned to celebrate with London friends in tow.

Fueled on homemade Mojito, complete with cock straw we headed into the party, encountering a sea of revelers young and old, carnival queens and entrepreneurs...

Photos taken on Matt Barton's Canon 7D, cheers Matt

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Reasons to be cheerful...

Now that the tales of a Glasto unattended have started to subside, if only slightly, I am able to look beyond my loss/laziness and focus on the summer festivals ahead. I smile when I consider how many there are to choose from! For ease I've decided attend those I manage to get free passes for, which to my amazement has been much more than anticipated. First up is Secret Garden Party, a friend who's currently producing a play and chanting lots in the process is organising a performance, cue artists pass. I'm thankful that aged ten I embraced life enough to learn how to get your country dance on. We'll be pagan maypoling our way through the festival, slaughtering guys as we go...  best keep a look out for girls in sheer dresses with blood on there hands.

SGP 2008 thus far is the best festival I've been to, I think it was down to a variety of factors, glorious weather, no expectations, free entry, beautiful setting, the people encountered and the extra magical things being all the more spectacular. It will be a hard one to top but I sense a different experience from the last one I'm already happy about the prospect, two weeks and counting...

I'm also looking forward to catching Mount Kimbie at Field Day and Big Chill festival, their new album 'Crooks and Lovers' is out Monday on Hotflush recordings, with a sound clean and fresh, every tune is a bullet.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Palm me up baby...

I attended the Reebok/Vice party a week or so ago when the sun was still shining, we sat outside Chariots (gay sauna) drinking Sailor Jerry and watching the world go by. It was a fun evening, once the store party ended we were ushered over to a warehouse nearby with an impressive line up of bands and DJ's. My highlight of the evening was Wild Palms, alas I missed The Big Pink who I haven't seen play in a long time, I tactfully made my escape before I became too drunk to cycle home in ridiculously inappropriate heels... you can check out the Chatham boys at the Lexington on the 22nd July.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Wedding Eve...

The original family whippet, Clem, oh and my brother Alexander.

I've reached the eve of my oldest sister's wedding, I find myself in the muggy bedroom of my niece (brothers side, aged two) nestled in her bed, I'm too scared to move in case I whack my knee on the weird contraption which adorns the side.  I've returned from walking an excitable whippet called Sally with a penchant for licking and eating anything within reach, I mean anything. The late night stroll proved pretty uneventful save the detour which took us down the side of the dual carriage way's steep incline in flips flops, minimal lighting and tall grass. I did however experience something every dog owner should hopefully encounter - armed with a dog mess bag, I scooped up warm dog do - my only protection the wafer thin wall of plastic, soon to be inverted and knotted, I watched the steam appear inside. I count three new sensations in one evening, wedding eve, man handling of dog mess and sleeping in a bed belonging to a two year old... it's pretty rock and roll from hereon in...

Seeing as I'm feeling nostalgic, here are a few family photos of those unable to join us tomorrow.. alas there presence will be missed...

Grandma Verhoeven 

Grandad Verhoeven

Auntie Pat

On a lighter note a family wedding photograph from the 80's, my sister the bride-to-be is the tallest of the three pinkies...

Auntie Katrina's wedding circa 1984/5... note cousin Gerard in the shorts, tee, sock and sandals combo, pretty strong...

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The world we live in and why it matters to have a viewpoint...

This Sunday at 6.30pm i'll be heading over to Passing Clouds for a little Sunday screening of The battle for Broadway Market. It was filmed late 2005 i've still to watch it, yet sense the sentiment is as  relevant then as it is now. With ever bulging developments threatening the whole vibe of the east, run down historical beauty, exchanged for plastic commercialism. Note the Savoy Cafe post on East London Local. I think it is important we focus on what it is we want around us, what we want to see everyday and the type of world we want to live in. The film is made by political documentarian Emily James and explores the battle to save Arthur's Cafe as the developers attempt to build luxury flats in its place. See trailer below...

Emily also produced this and several other rather engaging short films of a social explorative nature, rather endearing. Be sure to link through to vimeo and check out the others...

Friday, 2 July 2010

Paint the town BLACK

Here are some pictorial excerpts from a live video installation my friend Carson McColl made to mark the end of Show studio's black and white exhibition. It makes interesting viewing and can be watched online here. It was used with black paint stored internally by Carson which appears quite a feat in itself, uncomfortable viewing for some, yet strangely transfixing.

From From London Fields with Love...

Sweet scent of Jasmine triggers thoughts of Persepolis...

Regents Park is in bloom; the flowers have come out ten fold from when I was there three weeks ago. The roses save the yellows have flowered in their masses; sweet smelling Ingrid Bergman's take centre stage, the raspberry ripple and pink to yellow fade look fantastic. We picked lavender; or rather I picked lavender, whilst my companion took the piss out of me. I put it down to his inability to savor the scents in their full glory - he has a weak sense of smell. On route back to Kentish Town I/we paused to smell sweet Jasmine, I plucked the scented white heads and stuffed them down my bra.

It reminded me of a scene from Persepolis, a poignant film that charts the right of passage of a young girl growing up in Tehran during a time of great conflict, repression and political shifts of power. Based on the eponymous graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi, it provides an autobiographical of life between 78-94 covering the Iran - Iraq war, rise of the Taliban and consequent repression of women. Although dark it provides a perversely uplifting account of a woman who strives to retain her identity in such incomprehensible times.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Another day, another swimsuit...

With my newfound unemployment, albeit of a temporary nature (I return to work on Monday), I've developed a fondness - alongside the rest of London Fields - for morning dips in the Lido. After a few visits I've come to the conclusion that bikini's just don't cut it in the 'serious' swimming stakes*. As a consequence I have now invested in a rather fetching 50's baywatch red Triumph number complete with boob moulds that make 'em all pointy. The side panels are rather 'Liz Hurley' as my housemate annoyingly points out, to which I remark, 'what came first the swimsuit or the Hurley'. I love it, it is ace, that is all...

*when I say serious I actually mean I prefer it when my boobs don't try to escape when diving, the only thing I'm really any good at. My inability is not for want of trying, I think it was lack of swimming club and the desire to spend trips to the pool mucking around on the giant inflatables as a child that thwarted my technique.
I can add though that with my new improved swim cozzie, I managed to overtake another swimmer and pull off a rather fancy dive, proof that clothes maketh the (wo)man.

African Dance - it's what I do.

I've woken with a stiff bum from last nights African dance class; it always gets you the next day, today is no exception. Majority of yesterday was spent doing nothing - my first day off in ages, I deserved it, I've barely stopped since my return. After lolling about in my room, catching up on old and new music (some of which to follow), I was very close to not leaving the house at all. However my impending dance class drew closer, after reminding myself how you feel at the end, rather than the beginning. I jumped on my bicycle and headed to the Baptist Church across the Park (of Victoria). There are only two more sessions left of term, so I was glad I went, also I discovered that the final weeks class takes place outdoors, in the park. If you're curious and want to check it out, we’ll be by The Wild Palm Pub, week on Wednesday. Listen for the noisy drumming (live of course) and the singing and shouting, it's quite a spectacle, or rather I'll provide a spectacle, to give you a clue as to what to expect there's an example of a typical class below...

Oh dear, I think I meant this one...