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ARAF Collective London is a not-for-profit cultural organisation which provides a dedicated platform for London’s emerging musicians, writers, artists and film makers. Through our regular free-entry gigs, our pub-top lecture series and our now-famous fanzine, ARAF Collective London provides a much needed space for the sharing of creative talent. As a collective we exist to develop and support our members and have amassed a large network of musicians, writers and artists who share our ethos of not-for-profit cultural expression.





And THIS, THE ELEVENTH EDITION of our free zine, SMELLIN’ SALTS ON THE THEME of “ COMMUNICATION ” THE BANDS, ART, OPINIONS, and more FOR PERUSAL AT YOUR LEISURE! Cover art: posters, Scooter Cafe, Lower Marsh, Waterloo :by H.A.







ARAF COLLECTIVE LONDON THANKS PROFUSELY: THANKS AS EVER to JOSH MARRIOTT THE SULTAN OF SUPERIOUR SOUNDS; THANKS to ARAF Artists of the month: True Collectives, Dr. Peabody, Ziegler Co. , King of Hearts Thanks to Dean and Steve @ THE HORSE & STABLES, Waterloo. Thanks to Cerilan Rogers & The contributors to this issue of SMELLIN’ SALTS.

Thanks to the BLUE ELEPHANT THEATRE, WATERLOO EAST THEATRE, SOUTH LONDON GALLERY & Peckham’s REVIEW BOOKSHOP for stocking our Free zine & helping us to spread the word! SUGARLUMPS to YOU, Salt Sniffers, Show Jumpers & Stable Hands - thanks for mucking in with the mucking out!


Send us your artwork, creative writing, opinions and reviews - A5 sized submissions preferable. Please note this fanzine is printed in glorious monochrome: (colour costs $$$$$$!). FREE monthly print edition of 200 distributed at ARAF events & South London’s best art galleries, theatres, book shops, record shops & recording studios, online publication & incessant tweeting... SO JOIN US. ALL FANZINE ENQUIRIES AND SUBMISSIONS TO: follow us: @ARAFCollective check us out : WWW.ARAFCOLLECTIVELONDON.COM

NEWS FROM THE FRONT LINE... ARAFFLE III This week marks the return of our greatest piece of ARAFFEBRUARY: CANTER-CULTURE IV

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Last month’s Canter Culture welcomed some of the hottest talent to explode out of London.The opening salvo was provided by the fantastically-talented Little Liar whose Molotov cocktail of jazz, trip-hop and indie wowed the gathered crowds. This was followed by the elegant Hattie Whitehead and her band whose delicate, heartfelt performance captivated even the meanest, most war-mongering member of the audience. The serenity of Hattie’s set was shattered with the thundering of hooves and the booming of cannons … The Dallas Guild had rode into the breach. Their brilliant, unmistakably E.L.O. influenced, psychedelic rock (with crazy keyboard solo) tore through Lambeth, sweeping up Araf in its wake. To end, the honourable captains of araf vinyl division, True Collectives, span cuts that soothed us all the way to the night bus. It’ll be over by Christmas, they said….

based word play, the ARAFFLE - an exciting game of chance very much like the National Lottery without the technological ball-juggling apparatus and the multi-million pound jackpot. We decided to introduce a raffle to generate a few quid which could divvied up between the bands to cover travel costs for getting to our event: we often encounter fantastic bands that can’t afford to play ARAF gigs and end up out of pocket. Last month’s Arrafle prizes include a bar tab, art work by Eleanor Wemyss and a ticket to The Blue Elephant Theatre! It raised enough cash to cover a chunk of each band’s travel expenses. This week we have on offer a priceless Dr. Peabody ‘Goody Bag’, A Ziegler Co. EP, A voucher for Peckham’s Review Bookshop and the £30 bar tab is back: You’ve gotta be in it to win it, they said...

this month ARAF Dr. PEABODY


“Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please raise your stethoscopes for the return of the eminent Dr Peabody.” Having played at ARAF’s previous musical experience The Lighthouse at the Wreck in 2013, the good doctor has returned to Canter Culture to offer us the finest pharmaceutical-post-punk-art-school-rock available on the NHS. Recently returned from a pan-European tour and bringing with them tales of Michael Bay, Lichen, Strong Dogs and Gingerbread, we assure you there is nothing quite like it…. Is there a doctor in the house?


Ziegler Co. are a four piece band based in South-East London consisting of a former Thai monk, a Goldsmith’s graduate, a misanthropic bookworm and the allusive fourth member. The band’s first release, Roll Up, was recorded in a variety of salubrious locations from an unknown actor’s basement to a soundproofed garden shed and features Ribot-esque guitars, metallic percussion and three part harmonies. The band played several impromptu acoustic gigs around the café stages at Glastonbury after recording ‘Bad Men’ at the on-site Cowshed studio. More importantly, they have also won the prestigious, glorious and frankly ambiguous Sydenham Arts Festival Battle of the Bands. We welcome Ziegler Co. to Canter Culture at The Horse – Lambeth’s answer to Sydenham Arts Festival’s Battle of the Bands.


To make this evening a royal flush, we present King of Hearts one of the most exiting young artists to emerge from the musical casino that is New Cross. Creating majestic, glitchy sonic soundscapes interwoven with laid back break-beats, this monarch of contemporary electronica has been creating a stir across the capital. Appearing on Araf favourites, NX Records’ compilation album, Crossing Lines, and forming part of Bat and Ball (Canter Culture, 2013), King of Hearts is a welcome addition to the Araf Collective London deck. We are extremely excited to welcome his Majesty to The Horse. Long live the king…


(DJ Set) Back behind the wax, let the eminent ARAF favourites True Collectives entertain you with their choice cuts of the freshest beats.




Socially Inept.

In researching this week’s keyword, I read about the many senses in which the term ‘communication’ has been used over time- from physical transportation routes to digital information exchange, from the first telegram to industrial mass media column inches to todays truncated tweets, the symbolic, less directly verbal forms of interpersonal communication like our ‘body language’ or fashion choices. In Bennet et. al. ’s book, New Keywords, (the contemporary successor to Raymond Williams analytical lexicon of social change), David Morley perceptively draws an interesting link between the terms ‘communication’ and ‘community’- it is in fact communication which affords the creation of community or communality between people. He states that the designation of good communication as an increasingly crucial social skill for ‘successful participation’ in society:  ‘ is not for nothing that communication skills are now an increasingly important qualification for employment, and the absence of the relevant forms of verbal, literacy, or computer skills is enough to consign many of their poorer members to a position of social exclusion.’ I’d like to dedicate this issue, for what it is worth, to those who experience communication as a fraught daily struggle, for whatever reason- those our increasingly information based economies give fewer chances.  Communication skills are developed as part of our early socialisation as children, the examples we learn from adults around us, and as such, access to education is one, but not the only factor in the individual’s development. These skills are not only technical, (like computer literacy) but also forms of social or ‘emotional’ intelligence in the cut-throat personality game that is the world of work. The fact that our every communication is now recorded can only add to the reticence to speak out or disagree, under threat that our inept communications will inevitably come back to haunt us and threaten our precious hard-won careers. The proliferation of self-help books and courses, on everything from combatting communicative disadvantages such as social anxieties, interview fears, or anger management to managerial advice on employee communications would seem to suggest that flawlessly orchestrated, harmonious communication is seen as the only social glue. Should we want to develop these communicative, sociable, workcommunity-friendly personalities, attractive to potential employers? I would infer that this is a misunderstanding of both ideas- of what ‘community’ might mean, and what ‘communication skills’ constitute. Simple interpretatations tend to towards the ‘don’t rock the boat’  model of human communicative exchange: they privilege consensus and simultaneously silence dissent. Sometimes, to get things done, you need to have an argument. If you feel cornered, start shouting.


‘Team Phyllida Barlow’ takes on the Duveen Gallery at Tate Britain: a personal response.

wooden roller-coaster - one side still standing, propping up a wall with rope, material and mystery forms jutting out improbably over a pile of apparently collapsed (though clearly painstakingly arranged) detritus- splintered wooden frames dripped and splashed with paint in what I would call familiar Phyllida colours, tangled yellow or pink paintand-plaster dipped swathes of canvas, drawing your eyes into the rubble’s ominous hidden depths. Unexpectedly, I am struck by the singed-sap fragrance of freshly sawn timber- it takes me right back to the dancing dust clouds and friction-heat of the jigsaw’s blade as it hammers and screeches its way through thick ply.

The Thames, once the meandering intestine of London’s trade and communications networks, flows on beyond the walls of Tate Britain. Up and down river, its sturdy, utilitarian red-brick warehouses traded their grubby material concerns for the slicker products of the information and culture industries and vacant des-res penthouses with river views. Cinnamon Wharf no longer smells of cinnamon, I was recently informed. Mudchute’s name is but another enigma on the DLR commute. Phyllida Barlow’s sculptural response to the changing life and fortunes of the Thames at times appears as familiar forms might, refracted through memoryone is a towering, rough-hewn cranelike structure, swinging black polystyrene oblongs suspended in mid air, of equivalent proportions to today’s shipping containers, threatening to fall and spill their cargo. A comedy cardboard and gaffer tape pillar pokes fun at the Duveen Gallery’s architectural masculine neoclassicism. Another structure resembles a collapsed

Someone nailing something to a hollow wall, resonating from far down that basement corridor. Thunk Thunk Thunk Thunk. A metallic clatter as used planks are hurled into the sculpture studio skip, rich pickings for the next broke student on a recycling kick. Another familiar smell - decomposing poisoned rodent, irretrievable, deep beneath those paintthick studio floorboards, walked nightly by notable ghosts. I remember my

awkward grip on the power-tool’s machohandle-trigger, so clearly not designed with my girl sized hands in mind. Pushing my meagre body weight against the tool to master the saw’s vibrations as they kicked back into the bones of my palm, down my radius, unsteadying my arm as the last push splintered the board in two. Relief that I didn’t snap the blade and reveal my ineptitude! It was our first day in sculpture studio ten in the basement of the Slade and Phyllida made sure that everyone had a go with the jigsaw - even I didn’t escape. Several of my more adept colleagues later became Phyllida’s technical team- and when I stand under her work today, I imagine I can see each of their hands in the making process too. Consequently, I don’t look upon this Duveen Gallery commission as Phyllida’s handiwork alone, more as the culmination of ideas familiar from her teaching: an unwieldy, excessive, hands-on sculpture that gets in the way: it refuses to politely stand aside- and this time, it wants to crush you. I suggest you let it. No photograph can do the sensation of passing under and through these structures justice - go visit Tate Britain and smell the studio for yourself. Phyllida Barlow’s commission at the Duveen Galleries, Tate Britain, Millbank, until 19 October 2014




As I sit in front of this glowing laptop attempting to review ‘Richard III’ at Camberwell’s Blue Elephant Theatre, my cursor is distracted by the BBC website. The site is full of glaring imagery of aggression and division, a nation torn in two, families recounting of their sudden distrust of neighbours and countrymen. The situation in the Ukraine is alarming to say the least. It appears almost fiction, the crazed actions of a Soviet Premier in some 1970s Sunday afternoon movie. As I perused the live newsfeed crowded with ever more frantic tweets, I was struck by the parallels with the performance I had just witnessed in Camberwell. Lazarus Theatre Company’s Richard III was a revelation. As always the intensity of performance at the diminuative Blue Elephant was unsurpassed. We watched Richard slither and stab his way to crown mere inches from my tightly curled fists. Sitting on the front row, Lady Anne brushes past me on the way to bury her dead husband, Buckingham’s shoes touch mine, Queen Elizabeth’s desperate shouts erupt from behind. Through the sheer geography of the theatre, one is plunged deep into the story:, you are reporting from the frontline. Devoid of overbearing ceremony, luscious sets, and over-gilded costumes, the minimalist staging made the performance less fictional,

less abstracted from lived experience. Richard’s throne sat amongst the audience and characters were decapitated by Black-and-Decker saws or drowned in rusting buckets – this play drew upon the visceral brutality that separates reality from the safety of fiction. However, these moments of social realism were expertly intertwined with episodes of unsurpassed physical theatre and dramatic lighting. Richard’s famous dream was enacted with full physical lifts and torches in a blacked out theatre; the famous final battle was close to contemporary dance with characters diving in and out of the room with an alarming frequency. Some will not appreciate the careful editing of the original text to shorten the play to under two hours, however, for me this only added to the intensity of the performance. This is Shakespeare for the News 24 generation; it was violent, uncluttered and captivating. As I watched the events unfold in Crimea through my crowded laptop screen, I could only ask myself whether president Putin is, like Richard III, ‘determined to prove a villain’. More for fans of The Bard coming up at BLUE ELEPHANT THEATRE 23-26th April: The ‘visceral marriage’ of two tales: THE RITE OF SPRING/ ROMEO & JULIET

‘Performed in four hand piano and commedia half-mask to create an exciting re-interpretation of two classic works.’

TECHIE’s FOOD REVIEW PART I: YOU ARE PRIVILEGED. This might be the best blog you ever read. So please make sure you are comfortable, because this might just change your life. First off, the Four Seasons Park Lane. Watty informs me of the toilet situation; “Very subdued lighting – a real treat. More of a ‘giving birth’ experience rather than a ‘stressy pre-show poo’”. I thank him for his comments. A kindly frenchman – they exist – offers us beverages almost as soon as we walk in at 6am, very impressive. Watson throws him a curveball and asks for hot chocolate, and he barely blinks. Our drinks arrive:

of their number, lurking in the shadows of civilisation among them. In this blog you will be reading about the free food that is often given us, and which we claim as our god-given right. Expect some to-the-point, earthy and frank reviews of what appears before us, from people on the barest fringes of accepted society. Back to the conference, and I’m learning a lot of very interesting things about oil drilling. Questions are flying from the floor at an alarming rate, and I’m not sure how I’m quite able to write this blog while working so very hard with my one radio mic. But I persevere, just for you. Still, there is no breakfast. For shame, Four Seasons – it started with such promise. Plates and plates of bacon and egg muffins were delivered to a very small group of ungrateful bankers right under my nose, and none made a detour to the tech area. We are slowly dying inside. PART III : FOUR SEASONS:

Quite nicely presented, and a very large jug of chocolate for Watty. Unfortunately for me, quite a small cup of coffee, and no spoon. Tut tut. We are promised breakfast – more updates to follow in the next thrilling post... PART II or: AN INTRODUCTION

As an absolutely riveting conference continues, techie bellies begin to rumble. We love to review the free food that is thrust upon us for you, but that is a difficult task when none appears. Maybe now is an appropriate moment to introduce you, dear reader, to this most entertaining and informative of blogs. As you may or may not know, behind every awards ceremony, conference and corporate presentation, there is a small cabal of unshowered lowlifes known as technical staff, usually cowering behind a thin veil of shoddy set design. I am proud to call myself one

– the thrilling conclusion I’m sure you are awaiting our conclusion on the Four Seasons’ performance today with baited breath. Well wait no longer, reader – here is the thrilling conclusion. All tales must have a beginning, middle and end. This is The End. Having learnt all there is to know about oil drilling, and having mugged at bankers until they hurriedly left the room, we finally had the opportunity to claim our divine right – free food, directly from the clients tables. We pilfered bacon butties, croissant and some sort of yogurt concoction. Of the yogurt, Watty commented ‘vomit in a jar’, and I would have to agree with him. The bacon butties were of course cold, the bread was rubbery, but thankfully at least the bacon was rather good. The croissants were ‘dryer than the Sahara’. Frankly I’m used to better at this hotel. Obviously feeding their techs comes very low in their twisted priorities. I will give them a small reprieve however.

Watty’s last word on this job: ‘Muffins’ .

TONY BENN: GRANDFATHER TO A GENERATION Last Month I attended the funeral of Tony Benn MP who sadly died on the 14th of March aged 88. It was a sombre yet celebrative affair with members of the ‘Stop The War’ campaign, of which Benn was a keen supporter, and various Socialist groups lining the streets. As the hearse rolled through Westminster, the gathered crowd all burst into spontaneous applause interspersed with shouts of ‘God bless you Tony’ . A nearby mourner exclaimed, ‘Where are the new Tony Benns? Who will fill his shoes?’ I have to say, as I watched the assembled politicians and dignitaries, including Mr Miliband, I saw no-one with the appropriately sized feet. Since the early Sixties, Benn, rarely seen without his pipe, fought for the disenfranchised in the face of increasingly invasive capitalism. He was often a voice in the wilderness. A staunch critic of Nuclear armament, Mrs Thatcher and New Labour, Benn was deemed ‘one of the most hated men’ in Britain by the right wing press. In the spirit of his many diaries, complied obsessively over half a decade, I could write pages of gushing prose about my admiration for Mr Benn. I will, however, resist this temptation and urge you all to listen to an eloquent and quite astonishing youtube interview with the man himself, ‘Socialism in Britain’.




Smellin' Salts // April // 2014  

This cover was pinched from the tastefully-distressed walls of the Scooter Cafe, Lower Marsh. Our distress is anything but tasteful.

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