Monthly Archives: August 2009

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Mick Jones’ Rock n’ Roll Public Library

Pink-portraitNo, it’s not a comic strip from Viz, it’s a real life exhibition of stuff – books, magazines, clothes, instruments, posters etc. from Mick Jones’ personal collection.
Imagine The Clash/BAD/Carbon Silicon guitarist/front-man went on holiday and asked you to house-sit for him. Well, this is what it would be like – free to root around in his vast collection of music mags, poke about at his samplers, drum machines and synths, sit down and watch his videos, go through his wardrobes and nose around in his office.

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Billy Childish, Rough Trade 14/8/09


On the way to Rough Trade in Brick Lane I cut down Fournier St where I spy for the second time up close;  two of our greatest national treasures, Gilbert and George. The first time was many years ago in Streatham Hill when I passed them in the street and on turning round for one final look, found George doing exactly the same thing to me! Anyway, as always, I digress (sort of) which brings me to Chatham’s own punk rock renaissance man – painter, poet, author, musician and of recent years, the very dapper Billy Childish. One of the few men who can carry a moustache and a collarless shirt with any sort of panache.
Childish is at Rough Trade for one of their regular free in-store gigs which make up a significant part of my own gift economy. The introductory abortive poetry set almost descends into farce Continue Reading →


Norman Records

Those inestimable folks at Leeds’ Norman Records have some kind words to say about “Sketches For A Lost Summer”.

‘Sketches For A Lost Summer’ looks appealing. Beautiful cover art, recycled packaging and swish foam padded CD tray, lovely stuff. Music is pretty sweet too. The Untied Knot a.k.a Nigel Bryant (from 90’s indie rockers The Fables amongst others) makes the old acoustic six-string sing like a bird chorus on a summer’s morning. ‘An act of kindness’ sounds like Donovan jammin’ the soundtrack for BBC1’s Gardener’s World, and it sounds better than you’d think. This whole record oozes tranquillity….Bryant’s guitar does most of the talking but the occasional percussive element elevates the tracks and adds colour. Things even sway into psychedelic territory with the introduction of analogue synthesizers on ‘The Clocke Stopped At Mydnyte’ and ‘A Premonition’ among others. I can hear elements of The Byrds, John Fahey, Simon and Garfunkel, Donovan and Nick Drake…..All good references. If you like modern psyche influenced folk ala Static Caravan then you’ll dig this for sure. Limited to 500 copies so catch ‘em while you can.

Norman Records is my favorite independent mail order store, they’ve got a vast range, top service (free sweets!) and actually give a damn about new independent music – pop along and treat yourself to something nice…



I feel compelled to say a few words about Lars Von Trier’s latest film having seen it yesterday. I’m not giving much away but it’s probably better not to read this if you haven’t seen it.

The first thing I will say is that the controversy surrounding this film, though understandable is misplaced. The level of graphic violence is no worse than say, for example the opening scene of “Goodfellas” but because it is directed towards their procreative organs, many will instantly find it more disturbing.  For me, the sight of a person repeatedly smashing their own head against a toilet bowl is equally, if not more disturbing to view. If you want something truly horrific why not try “Irreversible”? As for the other accusation – to dismiss Von Trier as a misogynist on the strength of this film would be trite and disingenuous.

Antichrist still

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Hurricane Woman

Bus-stopA few years ago I started noticing these intriguing notes in my locality, the first was attached to Vauxhall Bridge. Last Sunday I discovered two similar notes both stuck to bus stops on Wandsworth Road. Continue Reading →