pour homme, pour femme
A sea of eyes fixed their gaze on the descending mist as five figures emerged from the shadows. An explosion of sound punctured the silence and engulfed the surroundings. Arms flailed uninhibitedly, feet shuffled frantically and hair intertwined into an indiscernible mass. The floor quaked in agreement with the disordered noise, as beads of sweat trickled reluctantly to the ground. It had begun. At the forefront, a bare-chested creature with a mop of flame red hair darted frantically from left to right. It contorted itself into an assortment of poses and dangled elegantly from the fixtures; it was inexorable. The entity performed perfectly executed headstands and somersaults. It yelped, screeched and pleaded in a defiantly staccato manner. Occasionally it communicated in an unfamiliar language. Surrounding this specimen were four other curious beings, all equally as absorbed in their duties. Like moths they flitted in and out of the dazzling light, oblivious to the presence of others. Their attentiveness was interrupted only to steal a glimpse of the intruders, of those who dared to observe this mesmerising display. The red haired one would sporadically engage with another and chaos would ensue. What were these possessed creatures? They could not have been clones, for each of their appearances and mannerisms differed immensely. Each had its own unique style whilst appearing to surrender itself entirely to this esoteric fantasy. This was a glamorous and frenzied contradiction, exempt from restraint. Some appeared unperturbed, whilst others were more volatile. Every aspect of them was as diverse as the five elements. It was evident that the survival of each depended entirely on the other. Curiosity stirred within, consuming thoughts and provoking an endless array of questions. The greatest of them all: What is LA SHARK?
â€˜LA SHARK: An Anti-Zineâ€™ was created in order to allow followers of LA SHARK a unique insight into their esoteric world. Contrary to a typical fanzine, it does not offer opinions or reviews. Developed over the duration of eight months, it instead provides an impartial glimpse into the constantly evolving life of LA SHARK. Included within the following pages are notebook excerpts, tour anecdotes, essays based on LA SHARK song titles and a recipe for the perfect mashed potato, courtesy of Lewis. All words featured within this publication are directly from Samuel, Lewis, Nick, Sami and Ben. All photography, graphic design and art direction is by Gemma Louise Wilson.
Earth INSPIRATION Samuel Geronimo Deschamps
Fire CLUB NIGHT Benjamin Francis Markham
Water PERSONAL INTERESTS Sami El Enany
Air IMAGE Lewis Love Maynard
Spirit TOUR Nick N.H.A. Buxton
Each member has a portrait to accompany their element
Samuel Lead Vocals 23 year old gorgeous blonde. Likes wearing pensioner clothing and face paint. Seeks Hollywood romance with trampoline owner.
For the good of MAN, For the good of MANHOOD. Picture the most beautiful ballroom you have ever laid eyes on. The walls and floors are decorated with marvellous wild flowers and exotic fruits. Deep rich turquoises compliment golden sculptures and ornaments. Women dance and perform pliés in black lace, moving amidst the wealth like spectres. Their male counterparts stand on the edges of the room, wearing gormless expressions carved out of marble as they observe the Haute Culture. There is only one unwelcome feature in La Chambre de Glamour. An ugly, offensive slab of concrete stands in the centre: a dead, decaying weight. The ‘guests’ pull faces as they weave around it, intoxicated by the smell of crude oil. They avoid touching the jagged sandpaper edges in fear of drawing royal blood. They remain intrigued by the light tapping and scratching which comes from within, ever so slightly tainting the sound of divine chamber music and virginal whispers. “What if they escape?” LA SHARK are like insects trapped in amber. Armed with nothing but toothpicks to prize away the brittle gravel and a peephole on one surface to observe the world they are missing. This absurd punishment comes by order of La Majesté de La Mode; the only just punishment for such a crime. These foolish souls attempted not only to breech the silver gates of the palace, but also to court and seduce members of the Palais Société. Now they will rot for their sins. They may survive for some years scratching at the surface, but they will die of old age the minute they break free. La Majesté had the industrial prison specially created, and may I just tell you how well it is all being received in the art world. Reviewers in Paris and Milan are branding it “Haute Torture: A Sublime Portrayal of L’homme Débile”. La Majesté has been nominated for a number of prestigious awards. The five sub-human beings begged for mercy, moments before being lowered into an eight meter cubed titanium cast. This was encased in concrete heated to a temperature of exactly 1020°C. They pleaded that they were just as entitled to a world of glamour and indulgence as any member of the Palais Société. They claimed they had been members in their imaginations for some years and had lost touch with reality. They claimed that they were sick from love, that they were violently ill. They believe that their crimes were for the good of man.
NOTEBOOKS BELONGING TO SAMUEL
Ben Guitar 23 year old Northern hunk. Likes Bruce Springsteen and keeping fit. Seeks vegan homeopath with a good work ethic and healthy fitness regime.
DEPTFORD DARLING adj ยนA SWEATY MISTAKE TO ALL CONCERNED
²A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE GO TO DISRESPECT THEMSELVES
YOUR HOLE IS MY HOLE
Once upon a time there were two other men in LA SHARK. One was filthy rich and the other had performed on ‘Top of the Pops’ on acid. These two men, let’s call them Hi-Tec and Groovy, were well up for the band starting a club night. This was to be a night that they could make their own, a night that would embody the world of LA SHARK. It was unanimously agreed that this was a great idea and so began the search for a venue. Not content with housing their baby somewhere boring and shit like east London or Soho, they sought out venues in the very affluent area of Deptford. I’m not sure how, maybe religion had something to do with it, but they came across The Bunker Club. The Bunker was not much of a venue; it was not even that much of a bunker. It barely passed for a hole, but they knew instantly that this glamorous space was destined to be the home of Deptford Darling. They arranged monthly fancy dress nights and invited their non blood-related family members, who in turn invited theirs. From the first night it was a resounding success, with kids dressing up as pricks in an assortment of hand-made costumes. This also included LA SHARK. Attendees queued in the hope of squeezing in to show off their bits and drink from Deptford Darling Springs, known also as a sweat dripping ceiling. After this, the LA SHARK family expanded on a monthly basis. Everybody contributed to the night. They had celeb DJs, like proper celebs that make it into the Metro every day. Incredible bands took pay and sound quality cuts in order to be involved. They even had coveted bespoke sets and props, all in keeping with the style of the monthly theme. These were constructed courtesy of a woman with a degree in art from 26 years ago. She was the owner of the venue. It was heaven. It still is heaven. LA SHARK hated going and dreaded it every time another one came around. Secretly they hoped that it had died or run away, but without fail it reappeared. Still, on the chosen evening of every month, LA SHARK and their extended family proceed to ritually get wet, naked, drunk, high and bruised. Memories of the night haunt the minds and bodies of those who attended, refusing to be forgotten. The End.
Sami Keyboards 22 year old Egyptian male. Enjoys red wine and long walks. In search of fantasty on every level at all costs.
fig.¹ Vintage Bike Saddle NICK’S FAVOURITE LONDON CYCLE ROUTES 1. Weybirdge to Kew (via Thames) 2. Greenwich to Tower Bridge (via Thames) 3. New Cross Gate to Southbank (via Old Surrey Canal) 4. Little Venice to Limehouse (via Regents Canal) 5. Richmond Park loop
fig.² Running Shoe A SELECTION OF BEN’S PREFERRED RUNNING MUSIC 1. Only You - The Platters 2. Best Friend - Roy Orbison 3. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood - Nina Simone 4. Corrine, Corrina - Ray Peterson 5. Dreams - Fleetwood Mac
fig.³ Potato Masher LEWIS’ GUIDE TO THE PERFECT MASHED POTATO Ingredients: 1kg of potatoes, 300g butter, warm milk and 1tbsp salt. 1. Heat saucepan to 175°F, add peeled and diced potatoes and simmer for 30mins. 2. Drain potatoes and run under cold water until they are super cool. 3. Clean saucepan, refill with cold water and salt and bring back to the boil. 4. Once water begins to boil, return to simmer and add the cooked potatoes until soft. 5. Drain potatoes, add butter and a little milk then mash the shit out of them. fig.⁴ Dungeons and Dragons Tetrahedral Die SAMI’S INTRODUCTION TO DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS 1. Feel no shame in the act. It cannot be a secret that you play. 2. Find a few others who feel the same and begin reading the player’s handbook. 3. Make a character with a good name and an interesting backstory. Note: You’re stuck with him/her until they die. 4. Buy some unusual dice (20/12/10/8/4 sided). These will either become your friends or a recurring nightmare, depending on how unlucky you are. 5. Acquire a bottle of whiskey, find a day in the week, gather your party and venture forth.
fig.⁵ Gymnastics Medal SAMUEL’S INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SINGING HEADSTAND 1. Drop to your knees and throw the microphone in the opposite direction. 2. Position forehead on the floor directly in front of mic and place hands on either side to create a triangle. Caution: This is really bad and dangerous for your neck. 3. Shift the weight of your body onto your arms and head. Lift feet until hips are directly above the head. 4. Straighten legs out to assume the standard gymnast headstand. Point toes and be as straight as possible. 5. Finally, use forehead as a pivot to tilt your face and mouth as close to the mic as possible. The heavier you are the more likely your neck is to snap.
Dungeons and Dragons
Lewis Bass Guitar 25 year old male with long hair and PokĂŠmon tattoo. Likes hip hop and charity shops. WLTM fun female interested in 90s metal and filthy sex.
MR MODERN MAN
‘I speak through my clothes’ is a well-known Umberto Eco quote in which he reveals his dedication to style. Style is unquestionably the principle method of communication, and is a means of wearing our personalities on the outside. The way we dress allows others to instantly judge and immediately apply all manner of social stereotypes to us. These may or may not manifest themselves, resulting in this facile aspect of our lives being negatively perceived. Such fleeting reactions often form the foundations of our opinions toward one another and emphasise the importance of first impressions. When viewed as such a vital means of understanding between individuals, why therefore is style not universally considered to be a serious visual, physical or verbal form of communication? LA SHARK certainly provide an interesting example, as five individuals with an assortment of styles and equally diverse attitudes towards style. These begin at abstract-bricolage and meander through apparent part-time indifference. Popular musical groups conventionally include various individual identities or sub-styles of mixed complexity. The result is a comprehensive and coherent collective style that is often easy to identify and equally as easy to emulate. The most successful musical acts have possessed the ability to manipulate their image, either artificially or sincerely, into perfectly formed, distinguished and superficial packages. Whereas so many of LA SHARK’s musical, moral and cultural ideals are shared, the concept of a united style has never evolved naturally. Stubbornness, refusal to sacrifice authenticity and a lack of enthusiasm has quite rightly seen contrived concepts come and go. After more than four years of performing together, it is only recently that a collective style has begun to surface of its own accord. It has emerged not from spending hours in wardrobes or shopping malls, but from the mutual experiences and emotions shared when at our most comfortable; performing music together. Albeit still embryonic, feeling an organic and authentic style grow amongst the group is certainly rewarding. A shared style not only defines us from the outside but provides unity, confidence and poise from within. It galvanizes the collective. For us, the notion of ‘speaking’ through our clothes was never an issue. Finding the right voice in which to do it was.
LA SHARK STYLE ANALYSIS
Nick Drums 26 year old leggy hockey jockey. Likes cricket and making furniture. In search of the perfect wicket keeper to catch my balls.
UK TOUR FEBRUARY/ MARCH 2011
February 8th WINCHESTER THE RAILWAY February 19th BOURNEMOUTH 60 MILLION POSTCARDS February 21st BRIGHTON THE HOPE February 23rd READING OAKFORD SOCIAL February 24th OXFORD JERICHO TAVERN February 25th LONDON THE EMPOWERING CHURCH February 27th BIRMINGHAM HMV INSTITUTE February 28th NOTTINGHAM BODEGA March 1st MIDDLESBROUGH UNCLE ALBERTS March 2nd SHEFFIELD BUNGALOWS AND BEARS March 3rd LEEDS THE WELL March 4th MANCHESTER NIGHT AND DAY
A WEAPON A large section of touring takes place in a van. In the van, we are reduced to competitively eating whole apples and their cores for sport, thinking about service stations and frequently creating games for our entertainment. ‘The Rating Game’ is one such game. This game evolved from the utter desperation for amusement in the Fun Bus 2010. It was our adaptation of Dungeons and Dragons, but instead with fantasy girls. Samuel was the appointed DM and would begin to tell a story in the second person, creating a protagonist out of all who cared to listen. He would evoke a scenario in which we would encounter a girl, a prospective love interest shall we say. Just as things would get interesting, or incredibly farfetched, he would pause the story and ask us all to rate the scenario out of 10. 10 meaning love. 1 meaning revulsion.
Example: Apologies in advance to Samuel, he was always quite protective of his role as the Portrayer. “You are walking through Soho alone on a cold evening. As you pass a small café on your left you notice a figure sitting at a table. She is smoking a cigarette without a filter. You glance at her and catch sight of a slender hand tapping the cigarette distractedly into the ashtray. Time to score.” I’d personally give this scenario a confident 7 out of 10. Nick wouldn’t like the smoke. Ben probably wouldn’t care. Lewis would possibly be intrigued. Onwards.
“Struck with interest, you slow your pace and try to distinguish her features without being too obvious. Without warning, she looks up at you and you observe that she has the head of a feline. The actual head of a feline.” I fucking love cats, but this has to be a deal breaker for me. I score an ‘Auto 3’. Scoring usually works by announcing ‘+2’ or ‘-1’ etc. If something as drastic as the woman with a cat head happens, using the prefix ‘auto’ is more convenient. On with the story.
“‘Oh sorry’, she remarks. You are astounded that the cat head talks. Or does it? Did those lips just move? ‘This is Bashir, my cat’ she whispers. With that, she raises her beautiful hands and lifts the cat from the front of her jacket, revealing her face. It is not that of a cat, but of a lady of immense mystery. Her eyes sparkle like red topazes and her smile like a dream so vivid that you awake instantly. Scores?” So it would continue and we would suspend our disbelief in this fashion for hours during many a bus journey. SAMI
LIFE ON TOUR
Produced by Gemma Louise Wilson in collaboration with LA SHARK www.gemmalouisewilson.com www.lashark.com