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TWENTY20 VISION THE WORLD OF CRICKET COMES TO NOTTINGHAM
QUESTIONMARC / GRAEME PARK XYLOPHONE MAN / JOHN HARVEY FULL NOTTINGHAM EVENTS LISTINGS
of the passing of the one and only Frank Robinson. n the reason he was so beloved in Notts …
y: Michael Wetherburn · original composition: Frank Robinson
LeftLion Magazine Issue 29 June - July 2009
Youths and ducks, boggaz and boggarettez, Whenever people ask us why LeftLion has managed to keep going for so long (it’ll be the mag’s fifth birthday next issue, so get the jelly and ice cream ready) while other free mags are shutting up shop and even the professional ones are looking a bit nervous, I can give ‘em a long answer and a short one. The former explanation would take up the entire mag, so I’ll give you the latter: Xylophone Man. He’s been almost like a guardian angel to us, and not because we all write our articles by bashing at a keyboard with wooden mallets and shouting “WAYYYY!” at the end of each sentence. He was the first indication that we were on the right track.
Let me explain: back in the day, when LeftLion first started, in a conversation between three people in a pub (none of whom were me), it was a reaction to the general rubbishness of media in Notts. The local so-called independent TV station was pulling out of town, and eventually started broadcasting East Midlands news from Birmingham. The newsdesk of another local radio station was based in London, and the local rag…well, it didn’t seem to like Nottingham at all, and couldn’t be bothered to work out what people really wanted to read about.
04 he 11 The Twenty20 21 you Axeman, about World the rack of to made ‘Mr Sex’ stripeswho the used to hang Cup comes If it’ssmile. happening in Notts, it’s inother here. people ged into H&M,Nottingham’s How many canin point; there was a bloke in town mashing a Case city across its bare buttocks with the Records town, soin for Viccy God’s sake look busy. And if it’s not in Notts, we care not a badges at Pendulum Market xylophone who’d been at it for over a decade, that everyone e. I spent much of you say that about? buckle of his Newsy jot. knew about, and who was far more well-known than any andBelt. brag on to twelve year-old Mods about gham, and whenever local politician or captain of industry - and it did our heads Park Drive, Unfiltered the chapter of Hells Angels he commandeered 12 Nottingham’s greatest DJ talks to the Now all out where I came that’s left is a memorial in the spot in that no-one had even thought about talking to him. So we LeftEyeOn Write Lion 05 wouldexplicit(even 26 Bookregularly though no-one has‘Lion. ever seen him on a And it not only got us noticed in the city, but elsewhere images of morris reviews andplayed. a Lowdham ad been thereWarning: where he InFestival a perfect did. world, - the website was hit up all over the globe by expats, and motorbike). Cross-dressing ‘Denis’ still treats dancers. special. , load of pubs, and every fourth of July should be commemorated the curious. When he died, we were bombarded with Mansfield Road as his own personal catwalk, Punktuation requests from professional media organisations to run the e”. Whenever you with us all gathering round it, armed with 15 and Whycliffe is still King Bong Reviews Whycliffe. Questionmarc breaks his (or her) interview, as they couldn’t believe the reaction in Notts. 07 28 ly, the first thing you kiddie xylophones, and starting a minute-long The ballad of Frank Robinson, the Another all-Notts serving of dolphin silence and explains all. We could. We felt the same way. We also knew that we cacophony ofone mallet clatter friendly of noise at noon. And here’s a thought; and only Xylophone Man. tunage. were filling a gap that other local media didn’t even realise None of them have ever come close to the was t you were home. there’s a reasonable chance that he will bethere. Spending so much of our free time hunched over Artist Profiles level of affection we18 had for Xylophone Man, keyboards for no financial remuneration whatsoever was, the only person who lived in Notts during this A Canadian In New Basford Notts Trumps Joe Hardy, Vicki Lawson, Cassie 08 30 Plus Rocky Horrorscopes, The Arthole and continues to be, actually worth it probably because he hassle us for Peskine. a just a little bit didn’t Thompson and Anthony on hammered Our Rob becomes decade that will be commemorated for future more British. money (he seemed to be quite happy to do it and LeftLion Abroad. Obviously, now we’re on the cusp of the fifth anniversary hearts? After all, centuries, and after all of us have long gone, for nothing), he didn’t tell us we were going to of the death of Xylophone Man, we’ve taken the time to tip Splendour n short of ‘local the time we spent on this particular part of 20 Theand the hat to him one more time (as well as getting in first on John Harvey sizzle in Satan’s chip pan, returnhe of the Wollation all-dayer. didn’t pretend 10 Pope, the gentleman the planet – and all our travails, achievements, the Questionmarc enigma; having a chat with Graeme Park, The Resnick author on his Polish was something he wasn’t. In a city that, the man who put Notts firmly on the dance music map; and stand. ed to sit in thedetective’s lasthe hopes, dreams and fears - will be represented all the usual rammell you pick us up for). We dedicate this like everywhere else, is becoming more and of the rain (and by an old man who never finished a tune issue not only to Frank, but to all local media types feeling more anonymous and unfriendly by the year, sed people to avoid properly, whilst sitting on a crate outside theC&A. pinch and mithering about their jobs, whether they’re Xylo was someone that everyone knew, and in competition with us or not. We’d also like to thank Tasha acks). There’s How mint would that be? Chowdhury, who is stepping down from the role of Music everyone liked. You saw him in town, and he s. There’s been Ed after many years of holding it down and keeping it May Contain Notts
A Billion Eyes on Nottingham
Nottingham Events Listings
Park Drive, Unfiltered credits words: Mike Atkinson photos: David Blenkey
locked. Ta, duckeh. Word to your Nana,
Two years ahead of the fabled 1988 Summer Of Love, The Garage on St Mary’s Gate became oneAlofNeedham the first Photography Editor Podcast Overlords Editor Al clubs Needham-(email@example.com) Dominicclub Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org) Will Forrestin house music, (almost) all email@example.com hell, perhaps even the first in the country to specialise night long. Simon Tew And its introduction had nothing to do with smiley faces, bandanas, MDMA-drenched Ibizan epiphanies, Theatre Editor Editor In Chief Jared Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Adrian Bhagat (email@example.com) “Ah me seh cricket, lovely cricket Michael Abbott or any of that distracting flim-flam - and everything to do with the knowledge Got to lick de baal before it reach de and wicket”enthusiasm of one Pulsing Brain of Nottinghamia Cover Image Jah Thomas, Cricket Lovely Cricket, 1979 Artparticular Director music obsessive... David Blenkey Mad on ‘ISTREH ever since he David Blenkey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
clocked ‘Whore Lane’ on an old If you would like to reach our readers by One day when I was in there, they said, “Somebody’s ill, can you to the factin that people would come in, a bit down on their luck, FromEditors late 1983 until the end of the decade, Last Issue’s Deputy Cover Image advertising your company these pages please map next to the Castle, when not and get rid ofor classic It’s dead simple.” I knew it was dead simple, Rikki Marrhelp (soz,out? Rikkeh) contactbecause Ben on 07984 275453 emailrock and pop albums. Stuff like The Doors, Charlotte Kingsbury (email@example.com) Graeme Park was Nottingham’s most pioneering, cramming his head with all things Love and all that late Sixties stuff that had gone out of fashion. I used to work a Saturday job at a record shop in Scotland, so Nathan (firstname.lastname@example.org) email@example.com mostMiller influential and best-loved club DJ, whose Nottsular and antiquated he’s rollin’ I started working there part-time, and when Mel left, I was I’d play them in the shop and go; “Wow, I actually get this band; residency at The Garage took a generation ofContributors put in charge of upstairs, which was brilliant. That was about I can understand why this is a classic album.” deep with the Dealmaker Records Michael Abbott Technical Director 1982-1983. Brian Selby the original owner had his office at clubbers on a journey from early Eighties stylekliq and striving towards his goal of Alan Gilby (firstname.lastname@example.org) Mike Atkinson LeftLion has an estimated readership of 40,000 in had a massive stock of cutBridlesmith Gate and would often pop out to make a cup of tea The other great thing was that they pop to late Eighties garage and techno, via being a cross between Arthur Seaton Rob Cutforth ofwell. Nottingham. LeftLion.co.uk and ask what we were playing, so I got to know the him city really outs, which used to be received the name for cheap imports from Europe. electro, and hip-hop, rare groove, DC go-go, Chicago Brian used to have his own Northern Soul label. He was just million page We could sell in those a lot less than the proper British releases. and Bendigo. Marketing Sales Manager Sneinton Dale over eight views thefor last twelve jack tracks, and all points in between. And itManchurian all really into music, you know? He dabbled with restaurants Brian had access to all these warehouses that stocked all this months. as Ben Hacking (email@example.com) Roger Mean well. He had some sort of diner called Zuckermans at the top of stuff; Jim (Cooke, last manager of Selectadisc) and Brian used to began in one little shop on Bridlesmith Gate… Sarah Morrison Astrologist and Psychic Hockley. drive around in this Transit van to get stock.Resident One minute you’d Designer Joe O’Leary be serving people in the shop, the next minute Brianwas would be in ancient Greece Roger born Tom Wingrove (firstname.lastname@example.org) Aly Stoneman LeftLion is distributed to over 300 venues across running up the stairs: “Come on, we need this you to help us unload it wasn’t for Selectadisc, I’d have neverever have been a DJ. know, I’m Ifthe only journalist that interviewed into his busking basket. Again he looked confused, time and known as a major drinker among Nik Storey Nottingham. If your venue isn’t one of them, and but the van.” You’d go downstairs, he’d have got boxes and I ended up in Nottingham more by luck than design, to be contemporaries Antwas Whitton on 07984 emailalbum that had Arthonest; Editor of the 275453 new Big or Country just come out andsuch as Socrates and inson - which still bizarre toon,me, astohe so rather pleased too. please contact Benboxes I wasseems playing in bands, signing and used frequent Frances Ashton (email@example.com) firstname.lastname@example.org was flying off the shelves. Xenophone. After an argument with his Selectadisc: both stores, on Market Street and the smaller one n around the city. To this day I wonder why no-one Illustrators on Bridlesmith Gate. Apart from the fact that it was slightly elders he was banished and frozen for I vividly remember the day that Brian walked in and said “Guess morehim friendly, Bridlesmith Gate used to have the second hand Jenny Webber Editor speakingLiterature to before. After he died, the bigger local media picked up on both the thousands of years. Fished out the Trent what I’ve bought? The Ad Lib club.” And I’m like “that department so I used to spend more time there. Rob In the James Walkerupstairs, (email@example.com) White This magazine is printed onjust paper sourced from five years byit members of the LeftLion seedy, place, where can smell weed comingago out of singles department was a guy called Mel, and then there was story and the serious outpouring ofdark grief from locals. I the gave BBC sustainable forests. Our printers are ISO you 14001 I loved the fact that I was in charge of buying in the singles, on reggae nights? Why?” He says, “Becauseteam I thinkand Nottingham bought back to life with HP Jeff downstairs in the albums part, and they were both very Music Editors Photographers certified by the British Accreditation Bureau for iew we did pre-dated magazine, back the because I had Nottingham accessfortheir to republishneeds the interview and histhedeath quite eclectic taste. I remember example a really cool little club, just like Wag Club in London.” knowledgeable. Andthe like most 19- or 20-year-olds who in are really sauce, he writes for us now. He is very Natasha Chowdhury (firstname.lastname@example.org) Lewis Stainer management system. Madonna’s first single Holiday. There was a great offerenvironmental on it I said, “Brilliant, but what are you gonna do - close it and do it into music, I kind of knew my stuff. I used to buy what I thought n LeftLionPaul was web-only. I approached him outside made the front page of the Evening Post and countless other Klotschkow (email@example.com) Pete hairy. from the rep: buy one, get one free. I bought shitloads of them, up?” “No no no. As of tonight” - because it was a Friday night were quite cool records, and what they thought were quite coolZabulis because I knew it was going to be massive. We sold them all or something - “I’m renaming it The Garage, and I want you all www.leftlion.co.uk/issue29 3 records. t Information Centre in the Council House on a lunch media too. Many other journalists rang me up to get quotes for
Wilson recalls an early coup for the ‘Lion, and a bemused old man who realised how important he was. illustration: Chris Summerlin
)F IT WASNT FOR 3ELECTADISC )D HAVE NEVER HAVE BEEN A $*
and made lots of money on them. I also liked being in charge of
to come down”. “So what about all the regulars?” “Well, they’re
My eclectic owes even a lot not gettingto in, it’s gonna be a new “Soa who’s gonna be te 2003. At first he seemed confused but he agreedbuying in the second-hand articlesstuff. about himcollection and we tried get NCT to thing.” name tram a few questions, though he mumbled throughout and after him. They didn’t – but when the next lot come out we’ll try 12 www.leftlion.co.uk/issue29
Brian Clough statue vandalised It’s got to be an outside job, surely? Nobody from the city would do such a thing. Stillman I ain’t a fan of Clough or the statue but it’s out of order to muck about like that, The CCTV will get ‘um! Barnze As much as football and anything to do with it sends me numb with boredom, this is disgusting and offensive to anyone from our fair city. A shameful act that will plague them for the rest of their lives. 44ton It was bound to happen. I’m sure lots of people in Notts could think of better ways of spending £70,000 of taxpayers money... Samyouwell Taxpayers money? Are you sure? I was under the impression that the money for the statue was raised through the ‘Brian Clough Statue Fund’ aka donations. Daysleeper The statue was funded by charitable donations. No taxpayers money involved as far as I’m aware. Jared If Cloughie was here he’d given them a good slap, They wouldn’t do it again. Purple Jim That’s the worst attempt at Kiss make up i’ve ever seen. ROB
Beach planned for the Market Square Upstairs in Wetherspoons is the perfect place to keep an eye on the kids while they’re paddling in the water. Ed It does seem pretty pointless to be fair. Yay sand in a city centre, that’s both original and exciting. Well I suppose it would be quite exciting of I was 10 years old, and I’d never been to another city centre in my life. Alan The more mad stuff in the Square, the better, I say. I reckon we should all dress us as Mods and Rockers and have a big pretend fight. Lord of the Nish I’d love to be portfolio holder for culture, leisure and communities! It seems all the job involves is brainstorming mad things to put in the middle of town. “Right, we’ve had an ice rink, ferris wheel, yoghurt village, zombies and Germans... how about a beach?” Seamus Flannery We should turn the square into the surface of the moon or something mildly original. South American Jungle? Egyptian themed? Alan Are people visiting the city going to think that us Nottinghamers love our city so much that instead of merely getting in our cars or booking flights, we decided to bring the innocent pleasures of the coastline to us? I sure hope so. Cookpassbabtridge According to the organisers, when they did this in the nineties they used 50 tonnes of sand each time. This year they’ll be using 300 tonnes. So it’s bound to be six times better than ever before! Mean Apparently Skeg are spending £8million tarmac-ing their beach in a show of solidarity. Christmasatthezoo
MAY CONTAIN NOTTS with Nottingham’s ‘Mr. Sex’, Al Needham
April 2009-May 2009 April 1 Nottingham is still in the thrall of Google Maps, the application that allows us to gaze anywhere in the world and brings home the fragility and all-oneness of humanity as it clings to the planet. Except that we use it to gawp at prostitutes on Forest Road and check which houses in the posh bits leave their back windows open. Have you seen ‘Denis’, the matriarch of Mansfield Road, flicking a V-sign at the Google car? Lovely.
April 9 A devastating blow to Nottingham Culture, as it is announced that FHP – the magazine that contained nothing but photos of Cheese Managers from Asda standing next to their wives and grinning like electrocuted chimps at the opening of a crisp packet as if their pointlessly meaningless husks of lives actually counted for anything – has folded. Right about now, there are hairdressers standing stock still in Tantra, their faces set in a wild-eyed rictus, waiting to be photographed at the VIP launch of a new condom machine in the gents. Waiting there for a photo that will never be taken. Breaks your heart, doesn’t it? April 15 The two-minute silence for the victims of Hillsborough takes place in the Square, and it’s eerie as owt. I swear the sky darkened when it started, and all you could hear was the flapping of the flag at half mast and the beating of pigeons wings overhead. It was like Bizarro New Years Eve. April 19 The world record for abject, non wind-assisted window-lickery is smashed on Forest Road when a Dad from Bulwell – obviously worried that his 14 year-old son might be falling behind at school, or he might be Gay, because he’s made noises about being a vegetarian or starting to look a bit Emo – decides to sort him out by treating him to a slap-up prostitute virginity-losing session. Unfortunately, said prossie turns out to be an undercover police officer, and Dad gets rightfully slapped on the Sex Offenders Register. And before any of your lot start braying that you wished you had a dad like that, imagine yourself trapped in a Ford Cortina at the age of 14, with your own father leaning over and saying things like “Just gerrit up ‘er, youth” and “This is where I go when your Mam gets on me wick”. Shudder. April 26 Carl Froch gives an American lad a tumpin’ in his own back yard in an amazing fight that keeps everyone watching TV at home in Notts on the edge of their seats. Except it doesn’t, because nobody running a TV station in Britain thinks to screen it, preferring to show Kerry Katona: When Fat Kaylide Mams Attack The Drinks Cabinet, or suchlike. April 29 No sooner do we start to slowly recover from the death of Selectadisc (and we devote a cover to it, which was the last thing that was left hanging in the window – pause to breathe on fingers and buff them against lapel of school blazer) than two London businessmen announce that they’ve taken over the name and are reopening it. General rejoicing all round, but hang on – it’s not going to really be proper Selectadisc, is it? That’s like me going around town with a carrier bag of blood vomit and calling myself Yates. Couldn’t they call it ‘Tekatune’ or summat? May 6 Once again, it’s Nottingham Two, London Nil Day – that annual event when occurs when the last London team gets knocked out of the Not Really For Champions League. All those teams, all that money, all those players, all that tedious peacockery, and they still can’t come close to us. Ha. Ha. May 8 What a beautiful day, missus, what a beautiful day for the Royal Concert Hall to tell Ken Dodd not to bother doing his Christmas show this year because his act is ‘repetitive’. Because everything you see, listen to and experience at Christmas is completely different year after year, in’t it? May 13 The council announce that the idea of making the Market Square look like a beach resort is to be reactivated over the summer
holidays. Mint idea. And here’s a suggestion to make it even more authentic: why not surround it with a crust of horribly depressing pubs, with gangs of lobstery meatheads shambling around outside in sweat-ringed football shirts, grunting at each other and making you ashamed to be British? Nah. Way too ambitious. May 19 A couple of banjo-twangers from Kimberley go on trial for beating up some poor sod on the bus after a heated discussion over the latest book by Richard Dawkins, particularly the claim that atheists should not be apologetic for or timid about their beliefs, because atheism is evidence of a healthy, independent mind, uncowed by traditional though. Ha, not really – it was over a pink jumper someone else was wearing. I’d love to be around when they realise that they actually live at a girl’s name. May 20 The Brian Clough statue gets defaced. Surprise, surprise, the culprit turns out to be everyone’s favourite mouth-breathing tagbitch, the contemptible Smokey. Here’s a suggestion – let’s put the statue on a pivot, so the God-Like Brian can headbutt the worthless dangling of clag from the bumhole of futility into the ground, over and over again, until nothing remains but a puddle of congealed Mong. May 21 The BNP, those cheeky scamps, are up to their usual japery. This time they’ve sneaked flyers, containing the usual yitneyesque bleating about Eastern Europeans wanting to take your jobs, only pausing on their dinner hours to gnaw at chopped hunks of your kiddies before giving your daughters a bit of what-for, into Pizza Hut menus. Unfortunately, they rather spoil the effect by using an illustration of a Spitfire with Polish markings. Y’know, when they were helping us to fight the Nazis. May 22 A young friend of May Contain Notts is informed by someone at their local job centre that 1,400 people have applied for a manager’s job. At Greggs. May 24 Notts is represented in Britain’s Got Nothing Better To Do on A Saturday Night Than Watch This Load Of Rammely Toss by a 73 year-old breakdancer from Sutton Bonington. Alright, so he’s not really busting wicked bad fresh moves in his chilly duds, but he can do a forward roll, which is more than most people reading this piece can do... May 25 But, oh dear, it turns out that said superannuated B-Boy is immediately exposed as being on the sick and claiming £70 a week for a badly leg. By the way, when I go on there and Amanda Holden asks me what I’m going to do, I’ll say “I’m going to knock off Les Dennis to get me face in the papers and then totally destroy him by slagging it with Rocky out of Boon. After all, that’s what you did to get on, duck.” In his proper job, ‘Mr Sex’ tells you how to do thingy whatsit properly in his award-winning blog, www.todgertalk.co.uk, while his book about how to give someone a proper, er, wash, The Going Down Guide, is published in July. Only in America, though.
What’s aroundNotts Nottsofoflate, late,through throughthe thelenses lenses of uz local camera folk... What’sbeen beengoing goin off raand local camera folk...
Captions - left to right from the top From top left to bottom right... Hillsborough remembered Old Marker Square MS - April 15 Hillsborough remembered at the Old Market Square, April 15 (Lewis Stainer / Flickr: lewisphotography86) Lewis Stainer (Flickr: lewisphotography86) Parliamentary expense advisor visits Nottingham Day of the Dance - March 28 A(Pete parliamentary expense advisor visits Nottingham for Day of Zabulis / Flickr: PeteZab) the Dance, March 28 Pete Zabulis PeteZab) 1940s Knees(Flickr: up Brewhouse Yard Museum - May 4 (Pete Zabulis / Flickr: PeteZab) A proper 1940s knees-up at the Brewhouse Yard Museum, May 4 Pete Zabulis Hatch One (Flickr: PeteZab) Frame 186 of 365 frame animation by Annie Parry, Matt Watkins and the audience. Part of Hatch Nottingham’s Hatch One event Frame of a 365 at the 186 ropewalk - 5frame May ‘live’ animation by Annie Parry, Matt Watkins the audience. Part of Hatch’s One event at the See it atand hatchnottingham.co.uk Ropewalk, May 5 (Dom Henry / Flickr: domhenry) Dom Henry (Flickr: domhenry) Morris Men Some of the legions of real ale suppin, handkercheif waving folk Real handkerchief-waving folk prepare to shake it whoale-supping, converged on Nottingham for the Day of the Dance - March like 28 a Polaroid, erm, tapestry. Day of the Dance, March 28 Pete PeteZab) (PeteZabulis Zabulis(Flickr: / Flickr: PeteZab)
19th July 2009 Wollaton Park
IMELDA MAY THE RIFLES KID BRITISH DOG IS DEAD 3 MUSIC STAGES
Non City resident Standard entry
£10 £15 11-17yrs
Royal Centre box office Rock City box office City Council leisure centres
www.alt-tickets.co.uk Royal Centre box office & Rock City box office
11-17yrs with NG postcode
Royal Centre box office Rock City box office
10 years and under
Discount tickets available with proof of City of Nottingham residency or with Citycard. Citycard application to be completed at point of sale.
For more information TEXT: SPLENDOUR to 80800 or visit www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/splendour
July 4th sees the fifth anniversary of the passing of the one and only Frank Robinson. Al Needham attempts to pin down the reason he was so beloved in Notts … illustration: Hayley Donna Clarke · scored by: Michael Wetherburn · original composition: Frank Robinson Five years. Is it really that long? Half a decade since we heard that sound? The magnificent cacophony of randomness that went; “Bing Bong Bing Bang Bong”? If you weren’t here when Nottingham was under the rule of Xylophone Man, you missed out. Town hasn’t really been the same since. Here’s the story: at some point in the 1980s, a man in his late fifties from Cotgrave came to town armed with a child’s metallophone and a crate, which he plonked down outside the C&A on Lister Gate, and banged away on. At the same tune. Over and over again. First time you heard it, you swore blind that you knew it. You never did; it remained on the tip of your brain forever. Like the obsessed artist returning to the same canvas for one more splash until the paint was three inches thick, he chiselled away at his magnum opus until his dying day. Nottingham being the big city with the small town attitude it is, it wasn’t long before he got a nickname (Xylophone Man, naturally – we’re not interested in poncy wordplay round here) and the rumours spread. He was a millionaire who had gone a bit mad. He was a musical extortionist who would target shops in town, banging away until the manager came out with a tenner. He was an undercover Fed. He was suspected of being everything but the thing he actually was; a genial old chap bonging away on a metallophone and yelping along to himself with undisguised glee because, well, he wanted to. And he carried on doing the same thing for almost two decades. Which leads to the obvious question: was he mad? Well, you can’t hit the same bit of metal for that long without not being a little bit batchy, but on certain days, after coming out of your rammell job on a rammell day after a row with your rammell boss over some meaningless rammell, you’d see Xylo bashing away with a smile on his face for some baccy money, and wonder who the really mad people in town were.
By the time C&A had changed into H&M, he was already a civic treasure. I spent much of this time away from Nottingham, and whenever I got into conversations about where I came from, 100% of people who had been there would say “Loved it – great shops, load of pubs, and that bloke on the xylophone”. Whenever you came back to see your family, the first thing you did was seek out the tinkly cacophony of mallet on metal to remind you that you were home. So how come Frank Robinson hammered his way so deeply into our hearts? After all, Nottingham has never been short of ‘local characters’. There was Mr Pope, the gentleman of the road who was allowed to sit in the doorway of Selectadisc out of the rain (and the stench from whom caused people to avoid entire letters in the record racks). There’s been a million Bible-bashers. There’s been
Axeman, who used to hang about the rack of badges at Pendulum Records in Viccy Market and brag on to twelve year-old Mods about the chapter of Hells Angels he commandeered (even though no-one has ever seen him on a motorbike). Cross-dressing ‘Denis’ still treats Mansfield Road as his own personal catwalk, and Whycliffe is still Whycliffe. None of them have ever come close to the level of affection we had for Xylophone Man, probably because he didn’t hassle us for money (he seemed to be quite happy to do it for nothing), he didn’t tell us we were going to sizzle in Satan’s chip pan, and he didn’t pretend he was something he wasn’t. In a city that, like everywhere else, is becoming more and more anonymous and unfriendly by the year, Xylo was someone that everyone knew, and everyone liked. You saw him in town, and he
made you smile. How many other people can you say that about? Now all that’s left is a memorial in the spot where he regularly played. In a perfect world, every fourth of July should be commemorated with us all gathering round it, armed with kiddie xylophones, and starting a minute-long clatter of noise at noon. And here’s a thought; there’s a reasonable chance that he will be the only person who lived in Notts during this decade that will be commemorated for future centuries, and after all of us have long gone, the time we spent on this particular part of the planet – and all our travails, achievements, hopes, dreams and fears - will be represented by an old man who never finished a tune properly, whilst sitting on a crate outside C&A. How mint would that be?
Jared Wilson recalls an early coup for the ‘Lion, and a bemused old man who never realised how important he was. illustration: Chris Summerlin As far as I know, I’m the only journalist that ever interviewed Frank Robinson - which still seems bizarre to me, as he was so well known around the city. To this day I wonder why no-one thought of speaking to him before. The interview we did pre-dated the magazine, back in the days when LeftLion was web-only. I approached him outside the Tourist Information Centre in the Council House on a lunch break in late 2003. At first he seemed confused but he agreed to answer a few questions, though he mumbled throughout and never stopped playing his instrument. Eventually, after about five minutes, he was tired of talking and so I left him alone. That was pretty much that - or so I thought... To our amazement, the interview was picked up by bigger websites like b3ta and Popbitch. We suddenly had thousands of visitors to Leftlion.co.uk, and through this viral chain we started to realise just how well known he was across the whole country - mainly by people who had lived here and moved away. Within a month of first publishing the article, we’d received literally hundreds of comments about him on our website. The last time I saw him, I put a printout of them (alongside with a sandwich)
into his busking basket. Again he looked confused, but this time rather pleased too. After he died, the bigger local media picked up on both the story and the serious outpouring of grief from locals. I gave BBC Nottingham access to republish the interview and his death made the front page of the Evening Post and countless other media too. Many other journalists rang me up to get quotes for articles about him and we even tried to get NCT to name a tram after him. They didn’t – but when the next lot come out we’ll try again. I was even invited to his funeral, which was a strange occasion. I was glad to be able to pay my last respects, but I felt a bit out of place to be honest, as I didn’t know his family or friends who obviously had more to grieve about than I did. To me, Frank Robinson stands as a major symbol of Nottingham culture. We come across a lot of local bands and musicians at LeftLion and pretty much all of them have more talent than our Frank. But as he’s proved, if you practice hard enough people will notice eventually. www.leftlion.co.uk/issue29
Rob Cutforth is now a British citizen, which now completely knackers up the title of his column, the selfish get Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves! Dum dum something something hey gabba hey! Pip pip, tally ho, cor blimey, anorak, pass the spotted dick. Yes, it’s true, I am now a half-Brit. It’s a weird feeling to become a citizen of this country… erm, collection of states… kingdom… uh, whatever it is. Maybe us half-Brits aren’t British enough to know exactly what ‘Great Britain’ is. Maybe it becomes clearer after a couple pints of Landlord, a sausage roll and a Glasgow kiss. This certainly couldn’t be less helpful than the citizenship test. Don’t get me wrong, it has some great questions, but surely a question or two on what Great Britain actually is might be as important as the significance of April Fools Day or the make-up of a Christmas pudding. I quickly learned that being a half-Brit has its own unique challenges. I had unintentionally sentenced myself to a life of inner conflict. I may have been a dirty, no-good foreigner before my citizenship ceremony, but at least I had known where I stood. I could rip into everything British without an ounce of guilt. It’s all changed now; as a half-Brit, I don’t know what to think anymore. Bloody foreigners, stealing our jobs… Oh wait, that’s me. Football is the greatest sport there is - if it weren’t played by the biggest bunch of blouse-wearing pansies on the planet. Walking through farmers’ fields is trespassing… no it isn’t, it’s my God-given right! Chas and Dave are talentless dicks. No, they’re simply misunderstood! Morris dancing is not an outlet for old, repressed gay men, it’s perfectly rational! Puns are funny! Marmite tastes good! THE BEST BRITISH BEACHES ARE IN ALBERTA! Like everyone’s favourite schizo comic book hero, Batman, I confronted my duality head-on. I got in touch with my new-found Britishness by venturing out amongst the British public on St George’s (AKA ‘It’s okay To Be Racist’) Day. I had barely stepped off the bus when I overheard a bunch of yobs in England shirts dissing Canadian geese. Not because the birds are horrible hissing guano-machines (which they are) but because they’re foreign. Exact quote: ‘Fookin Canadian geese, why don’t they fook off back home?’ The Canadian in me was hurt. The Brit in me peed himself laughing. How many different races of people did they have to go through before they got to hating foreign geese? The wild-eyed Canadian in me told me to punch his ignorant limey lights out, but the sensible Brit in me (who sounds just like Brian Blessed) said, ‘No no, dear boy. Confrontation with his type will end poorly. Why lower yourself to his level? It’s only a bloody goose after all’. I figured, being that it was St George’s Day (and that the guy was massive), I would listen to Brian. I’d had a particularly bad month with the English public at large. In addition to my new goose-bashing friends, I’d been on the business
end of a couple bouts of Limey-shouting and someone had stolen my bike. I’d even had a ‘Why don’t you fook off back home?’ myself. I hadn’t had one of those in ages. Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling particularly British; in fact, I was pretty disinterested with the country as a whole. It was with this attitude that I attended my citizenship ceremony. I slouched, I looked at my watch and I didn’t sing the anthem. I took the mick out of the other immigrants from Africa, India and China who were dressed in their Sunday best. People who stood and sung the anthem proudly, who immortalised every second by snapping pictures like methaddicted paparazzi following Madonna’s latest Malawian babynapping escapade. People who were positively beside themselves with joy. The idiots. What are they so excited about? It’s only England, I thought to myself. It won’t be long until they get their very own ‘Why don’t you fook off back home?’ This month I was really going to let you people have it. I was going to rant about how crap this country is in my column and I was going to go on the Nottingham Evening Post website and give you people a piece of my mind directly. Before I wrote anything on the NEP site, I wanted to do some research so I lurked for a while to see what people were saying
on the site. Quite frankly, it lived up to my expectations. My favourite comments included ones blaming the Hillsborough disaster on the Scousers, and pretty much every crime committed in the city on immigrants. That latest stream of racist cack coupled with my recent experiences had brought me to the conclusion that the average Nottinghamian was nothing more than a witless, foreigner-hating chav who made even the most backwoods Alabaman hick look liberal. I’d had enough. In an article about a woman who was attacked on the tram (an article that didn’t mention the nationality or race of the perp at all), a dude called ‘Dave’ wrote: ‘If Labour had not of opened our borders to the world’s criminals and misfits, and encouraged them to swamp us, most of the attacks would never have happened, including the one above.’ To which I replied: ‘I think Britain would be better off if we shipped 90% of the Brits out and replaced them all with Poles.’ I expected a number of racist replies and had intended on outing them all in the very column you’re reading. What I got was a major smackdown by a guy called ‘Macca’ and a number of other posters who pointed out how offensive my post was, as well as a number of posts slating Dave and a bunch more expressing their frustration that many of the threads ended up in some kind of
immigrant bashing. In fact, as I went back to the other comments on the site I’d read earlier, I noticed that for every racist chucklehead that spouted ignorant crap on the site, there were ten people who condemned him. After about the twentieth comment chastising me, I explained that I was being facetious, I apologised and reminded them that I couldn’t be racist against Brits as I was in fact British myself. It might sound silly saying that it took a forum on a Nottingham news website to give me my first feeling of pride at being a half-Brit, but it’s true. It reminded me of the good things about the people in this country; like the self deprecating question I always get when I meet a new Nottinghamian, ‘You’re from Canada? Why did you come here?’ or the good natured raggings or the simple fact that despite the whinging about this city and this country I do in this column, you still read it. God bless ya. It’s easy to forget how good the people here can be because (like any place) the dickheads are always loudest. I felt like a jerk for ripping into my fellow half-Brits in the citizenship ceremony; they had the right idea. I should’ve been grinning like an idiot and snapping photos myself. www.canuckistani.com
JOHN HARVEY CRIME 101 He was one of the first people to publish Simon Armitage and Sue Dymoke when he formed Slow Dancer Press in 1977. His 101st publication comes out in June. He is a former University of Nottingham lecturer and a devout Notts County fan. But most of all we love him for immortalising Nottingham through the jazz-loving Polish detective Charlie Resnick. With Cold in Hand bringing a close to the series we caught up with the seventy-year-old author who has won more awards than his beloved County. words: James Walker illustration: Jenny Webber
You are predominantly known for writing crime, yet started out writing westerns... It was what the publishers were buying. It helped that my dad had taken me to every western that ever played in north London when I was growing up - and bought me the Buffalo Bill Wild West Annual. Elmore Leonard said the reason he started writing crime fiction was that the market for westerns dried up; if the market for crime dries up, maybe I’ll go back to writing westerns. Who has been an influence on your style? My style probably - and hopefully - owes more to Hemingway than any other single writer, though I’ve tried hard to crib the art of dialogue from Elmore Leonard. William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw, a police novel set in Glasgow, gave me a sort of green light, as did the Swedish crime novels by Sjowall & Wahloo. But really, all writing - good writing - to a greater or lesser extent affects what you do. The Resnick novels favour simplicity over, say, the inner workings of someone’s mind... I don’t think using a simple style means you can’t go into the inner workings of someone’s mind, you just wouldn’t do it in the manner of Virginia Woolf. You might show it through dialogue or external observation, for instance. Nor do I think that a simple style means you can’t have a complex narrative; I think, for instance, that the narrative of the new book, Far Cry, which moves between locations and time zones, is fairly complex. But I use a style that, on the surface at least, is relatively simple because I think it’s most suitable for the kinds of stories I’m telling. Why use two words when one will do? Lonely Hearts kickstarted the Resnick novels; where and when did you decide to write about this character? I’d just finished writing a series for Central TV called Hard Cases, which was filmed in Nottingham and dealt with a fictional probation service team. It gave me the idea of doing an ensemble piece based in the city. Hill Street Blues was something of an inspiration behind
the TV series and Lonely Hearts, with Resnick as a middle-management police officer along the lines of Hill Street Blues’ Frank Furillo. As the Resnick series developed I realised I wanted to show something about inner city life at a certain time of change. Violence is a big feature of inner city life in Cold in Hand. As it is based in Nottingham do you see it as a local or national problem? Amidst the spate of fatal stabbings that beset London last year, one was less than 150m from where I now live. The immediate area was recently designated an anti-social dispersal zone, giving the police powers to move on groups of more than three or four and return any under16s to their home. Most afternoons, in addition to the normal community support officers, there’s a transit full of regular officers parked outside the local mixed comprehensive - and a few weeks back someone chased a youth into the school playground with a sawn-off shotgun. So it’s not just a Nottingham problem at all. Is there a solution? Some of the police activities described above keep the lid on trouble and/or move it elsewhere. None of them touch the root causes. Youths go around angrily demanding respect because the society they’re growing up in affords them precious little, but, by the same token, some of them do little enough to earn it. By and large, we’ve become a society that lives by false values, whether you think those values are best epitomised by Jade Goody or Sir Fred Goodwin or both. Despite Labour Party promises, the gap between rich and poor continues to grow. As you deal with crime, I was wondering how Nottingham City Council perceive your work? The last few times I’ve done readings in the city someone associated with the Council in some way has come along and asked if I didn’t feel some sense of responsibility towards the city and the picture of it I was giving. If I have a responsibility it’s towards getting it right - as right as I can. But I’m writing crime fiction, not sanitised brochures, and anyway, I think there
are far more important things to be concerned with. Nottingham’s reputation is much more seriously damaged by the poor results of its schools or teenage pregnancy rates than by my books. How do you go about researching a detective novel? My research is pretty minimal and mostly consists of reading the newspapers, local and national, and, nowadays, doing a little rolling around the net. I do have a police contact, a senior CID officer from the Nottingham force, now retired, and it’s to him that I go with my queries about procedure and he will read through all or part of a manuscript, trying to stop me straying too far from the probable. Do you have a favourite literary detective? The American writer K C Constantine has written a number of novels about Mario Balzic, a police chief in a small industrial town, who is a fully-realised character beset with personal and professional problems. He attempts to solve these with honesty and dignity and ‘nous’, and occasionally succeeds. Jamie Harrison’s books about Jules Clement, the Sheriff of Blue Deer, Montana, are funny and perceptive and as much about relationships and cooking as they are about solving crime. What about on screen? I love the character of Sgt. Valnikov as played by Robert Foxworth in Harold Becker’s 1980 film from the Joseph Wambaugh novel, The Black Marble. With his eastern European background, though Russian not Polish, he was quite influential in the development of Resnick’s character. So why Polish for Resnick? I wanted to find a reason for Resnick, though brought up in Nottingham, being something of an outsider; the obvious presence of a large Polish community in the city gave me a way of doing this. Were you involved in the screen casting of Resnick in nineties? Yes, I was involved in the choice of Tom Wilkin-
son as Resnick. As far as I was concerned, he was a pretty perfect incarnation of my character and has helped when writing about him since, because in my mind, he now has Tom’s face. Why did you decide to end the Resnick series? After ten books I felt I was getting into a rut. Then, ten years on from Last Rites I felt ready to write about Resnick again, mainly as I had a story that was right for him, and the result was Cold in Hand. You and Resnick share a love of jazz. How, why, when? There was a jazz club at school - just a bunch of us sitting round listening to records - and then when I was about 16 we started going to jazz clubs to dance and listen to the music and, hopefully, meet girls. In those days, the mid- to late-fifties, it was what you did. I played teachest bass in a skiffle group at around that time and then started playing drums. Still scarcely a day goes by without me listening to some Thelonious Monk. You can invite any four people to dinner... Hard! The writer Thomas McGuane, whose books I love and admire; the pianist and composer Joanna MacGregor. The British abstract expressionist painter, Albert Irvin, whose work I love and who has remained lively and open into his eighties, finally another writer, Geoff Dyer, because his interests are so diverse and because he makes me laugh like no one else. Any advice to budding writers on our forum? To paraphrase Stephen King: read a lot, write a lot, read some more.
Minor Key is published in June by Five Leaves £9.99 Far Cry was published in May by William Heinemann £8.99 John will be appearing at the Lowdham Book Festival on Saturday 20th June.
a BILLION eyes On nottingham The world comes to town this June when Trent Bridge Cricket Ground hosts the 2009 ICC Twenty20 World Cup, bringing with it some of the world’s best cricketers. Michael Abbott checks his box in anticipation of the biggest sporting event to hit Notts since Euro 96... Trent Bridge has been synonymous with international cricket for more than 170 years, making it the world’s third oldest test ground, and it is widely regarded as one of the finest cricket venues on the world stage – ask anyone not from round here about Nottingham and they’ll invariably mention Robin Hood, Brian Clough and Trent Bridge.
Words: Michael Abbott Photo: David Blenkey
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London to host matches for the World Cup, bringing with it more than £10m in revenue. Thirteen matches will be played at Trent Bridge throughout the tournament, including four Super Eights and a semi-final expected to have a mind-boggling 500,000,000 people staring into the former beer garden of the TBI through their tellies – a billion eyes on Nottingham. There are also four warm-up matches starting 1 June, including England vs Scotland on 2 June. Other top teams in action during the warm-up include Australia, Pakistan and South Africa. The group stages start on Saturday 6 June with India taking on Bangladesh at 5.30pm. There are two back-to-back matches on Monday 8 June and Wednesday 10 June and four Super Eight matches (11 June and 16 June). The men’s semi-final will take place on Thursday 18 June. The main tournament is now sold out, but there should still be tickets left for the warm-up matches if you’re quick...
20/20 VISION THE CRICKET WORLD CUP
Looking around the new 17,000 seater stadium today, with its iconic floodlights and stateof-the-art scoreboard, it’s a far cry from its humble beginnings when a cricket-mental chap called William Clarke married the landlady of the Trent Bridge Inn in 1838. Back then a charming little meadow backed onto the grounds of the TBI and Clarke saw this as an opportunity he couldn’t let go – within a year he was hosting matches in his all new purpose-built field, cunningly fenced off in order to charge admission.The first international match to be played at Trent Bridge was in 1899 and, true to recent form, it ended in a draw between England and Australia. A few months later, Trent Bridge had the honour of hosting the first match of the inaugural five-match series between England and Australia, later known as The Ashes. This was the last test that W G Grace played in, just before his 51st birthday. Strangely, the only player ever to play at a greater age, Wilfred Rhodes, made his debut during this match.
Twenty20 explained in twenty plus 20 words
COMES TO NOTTINGHAM
It’s like one-day cricket, but each team bats for a maximum of twenty overs each, with a few new fielding and no-ball rules and penalties for timewasting. If the teams are tied, there’s a tie-break over. So it’s slogging a-plenty.
The Groups Group A
QUESTIONMARC? / GRAEME PARK
Over the best part of two centuries and almost 3,000 matches, the Bridge has treated fans to some right good action from some of the sport’s best players. The most famous local player was probably Harold Larwood, the hard-nut fast bowler from Kirkby-In-Ashfield. He, along with Annesley Woodhouse miner Bill Voce, scandalised the world of cricket during the infamous ‘Bodyline’ tour of Australia when they were instructed to bowl at the batsman, not the wicket. This was a terrifying prospect for the batsmen who had never yet seen a cricket ball travel at over 90mph in the direction of their face. Good lad. Although they were dropped from the England team afterwards, they now have a nice pub named after them behind the ground.
XYLOPHONE MAN / JOHN HARVEY
Groups E & F SPLENDOUR SHAKEDOWN AND NOTTINGHAM EVENTS LISTINGS
Nottingham’s greatest player was – of course – West Indies master Sir Garfield St Aubryn Sobers (Gary to his mates), widely regarded as the best all rounder ever to take to the crease. His list of honours is longer than Cloughie’s and includes the Wisden Cricketer of the Century, putting him on a par with Pelé and Ali. Everyone knows he was the first player to whack six sixes in one over in a competitive game - he also held the highest ever test match score for thirty six years, with a 365 not out performance against Pakistan in 1958. Strangely he was also born with an extra finger on each hand, which were removed as a child with catgut and a knife. Only two years ago, Trent Bridge was facing a stark future when it lost out on The Ashes to the new SWALEC arena in Swansea due to capacity issues. So, with help from Nottingham City and County Councils, Rushcliffe Borough Council and EMDA, more than £8 million was raised to increase capacity with a new stand, floodlights, admin suite, press box and state of the art scoreboard. Now the future’s bright, with Trent Bridge being the only venue outside
Top two teams in each of the previous groups in two groups of four
Group Matches Saturday June 6 India v Bangladesh (6pm)
Monday June 8
Wednesday 10 June
Ireland v Bangladesh (1.30pm)
Sri Lank v West Indies (1.30pm)
Australia v Sri Lanka (5.30pm)
India v Ireland (5.20pm)
Super Eights Thursday 11 June
Tuesday 16 June
1st Group S v 2nd Group A (1.30pm)
1st Group D v 2nd Group C (1.30pm)
2nd Group B v 2nd Group D (5.20pm)
2nd Group D v 1st Group A (5.30pm)
Semi-finals: Thursday 18 June
Winner Group E v Runner-up Group F (5.30pm)
Park Drive, Unfiltered words: Mike Atkinson photos: David Blenkey
Two years ahead of the fabled 1988 Summer Of Love, The Garage on St Mary’s Gate became one of the first clubs - hell, perhaps even the first club - in the country to specialise in house music, (almost) all night long. And its introduction had nothing to do with smiley faces, bandanas, MDMA-drenched Ibizan epiphanies, or any of that distracting flim-flam - and everything to do with the knowledge and enthusiasm of one particular music obsessive... From late 1983 until the end of the decade, Graeme Park was Nottingham’s most pioneering, most influential and best-loved club DJ, whose residency at The Garage took a generation of clubbers on a journey from early Eighties stylepop to late Eighties garage and techno, via electro, hip-hop, rare groove, DC go-go, Chicago jack tracks, and all points in between. And it all began in one little shop on Bridlesmith Gate… If it wasn’t for Selectadisc, I’d have never have been a DJ. I ended up in Nottingham more by luck than design, to be honest; I was playing in bands, signing on, and used to frequent Selectadisc: both stores, on Market Street and the smaller one on Bridlesmith Gate. Apart from the fact that it was slightly more friendly, Bridlesmith Gate used to have the second hand department upstairs, so I used to spend more time there. In the singles department was a guy called Mel, and then there was Jeff downstairs in the albums part, and they were both very knowledgeable. And like most 19- or 20-year-olds who are really into music, I kind of knew my stuff. I used to buy what I thought were quite cool records, and what they thought were quite cool records.
One day when I was in there, they said, “Somebody’s ill, can you help out? It’s dead simple.” I knew it was dead simple, because I used to work a Saturday job at a record shop in Scotland, so I started working there part-time, and when Mel left, I was put in charge of upstairs, which was brilliant. That was about 1982-1983. Brian Selby - the original owner - had his office at Bridlesmith Gate and would often pop out to make a cup of tea and ask what we were playing, so I got to know him really well. Brian used to have his own Northern Soul label. He was just really into music, you know? He dabbled with restaurants as well. He had some sort of diner called Zuckermans at the top of Hockley.
If it wasn’t for Selectadisc, I’d have never have been a DJ
I loved the fact that I was in charge of buying in the singles, because I had quite eclectic taste. I remember for example Madonna’s first single Holiday. There was a great offer on it from the rep: buy one, get one free. I bought shitloads of them, because I knew it was going to be massive. We sold them all and made lots of money on them. I also liked being in charge of buying in the second-hand stuff. My eclectic collection owes a lot
to the fact that people would come in, a bit down on their luck, and get rid of classic rock and pop albums. Stuff like The Doors, Love and all that late Sixties stuff that had gone out of fashion. I’d play them in the shop and go; “Wow, I actually get this band; I can understand why this is a classic album.” The other great thing was that they had a massive stock of cutouts, which used to be the name for cheap imports from Europe. We could sell those for a lot less than the proper British releases. Brian had access to all these warehouses that stocked all this stuff; Jim (Cooke, last manager of Selectadisc) and Brian used to drive around in this Transit van to get stock. One minute you’d be serving people in the shop, the next minute Brian would be running up the stairs: “Come on, we need you to help us unload the van.” You’d go downstairs, and he’d have got boxes and boxes of the new Big Country album that had just come out and was flying off the shelves. I vividly remember the day that Brian walked in and said “Guess what I’ve just bought? The Ad Lib club.” And I’m like “that seedy, dark place, where you can smell the weed coming out of it on reggae nights? Why?” He says, “Because I think Nottingham needs a really cool little club, just like the Wag Club in London.” I said, “Brilliant, but what are you gonna do - close it and do it up?” “No no no. As of tonight” - because it was a Friday night or something - “I’m renaming it The Garage, and I want you all to come down”. “So what about all the regulars?” “Well, they’re not getting in, it’s gonna be a new thing.” “So who’s gonna be
Ours Was A Nice House, Ours Was Nottingham latched onto the house boom long before most cities but was too cool for smiley T-shirts, as Mike Atkinson recalls... For me, it all began at The Asylum, in the autumn of 1982. Tucked round the back of Woolworths on Stanford Street, the basement venue had previously been a gay club called Whispers. As a hangover from those times, it continued to sell little brown bottles of poppers from behind the bar. ‘Avoid direct contact with the nose’, said the label - and so, knowing no better, we would hold the bottles at chin height, making vague wafting motions and wondering why nothing was happening. Ah, such innocent times. The Asylum wasn’t Nottingham’s first poser’s paradise - that honour would probably go to the Saturday ‘futurist’ nights at Rock City - but it was perhaps the first club in town to adopt the ethos of London venues like The Mud Club and The Wag. The music didn’t change much from week to week, but we were happy with the familiarity of Blue Monday, Buffalo Gals, Planet Claire by The B52s, The Cure’s Let’s Go To Bed, Blancmange’s Feel Me and Lies by the Thompson Twins. A year later, as its allure began to dwindle, a new place
opened up in the Lace Market: the legendary Garage. Back in the day, The Garage’s clientèle split right down the middle, mingling only in the ground floor bars. Upstairs was for the toggedup trendies, downstairs was for the crimped and buckled Goths. Our gang liked it better upstairs, where Graeme Park mixed stylepop with funkier stuff, gradually nudging the music policy towards the latter. By the middle of 1985, the conversion was complete, with the harder, tougher sounds of early Def Jam (Beastie Boys, LL Cool J) and Washington DC go-go now dominating Park’s dance floor. Twelve months later, Chicago house hit The Garage - and clubbing was never the same again. Entry was never guaranteed, though - for this was also the age of style fascism, led by the fashion pages of The Face, Blitz and i-D. ‘Dress up, dress down, dress sideways - but above all, dress’, ordered one of The Garage’s posters, and the door staff had been instructed
the DJ?” “Well, tonight, opening night, you’re gonna do it.” And I’m like, “Whoa, hang on a minute - I’m not DJ-ing!” And he says, “Come on - one of the reasons you work here is that you know your stuff, and you play in bands, so it can’t be that hard to DJ.” Then he pretty much said that if I didn’t agree to do it then I wouldn’t be working in Selectadisc! I’d only DJed once before. At school. For a laugh. My mate did a disco, and all he played was progressive rock - Deep Purple, Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Rush, all that stuff. Nobody was liking it. So I went home, got all my new wave and punk records, and played them. Everyone loved it, but I didn’t think: “oh, this DJ-ing lark’s great”. I just did it because I knew that this guy was just not happening at the decks. So there I was, at The Garage, upstairs in this room where the DJ box was behind the bar. Downstairs they had a guy called Martin Nesbitt [the one and only Reverend Car Bootleg], who played gothic, punk, dark stuff. Upstairs there was me playing anything and everything. I was playing current stuff; there was a lot of really great dancey pop stuff around like Orange Juice, The Associates, and of course New Order, Talking Heads and Blondie. I was also playing lots of old Motown, Atlantic and Stax, a bit of old disco, and it worked really well. This was long before house music. Before I knew it, I was working there Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. I took to it like a duck to water. People were saying “Oh yeah, you’re really good”. They’d come in the shop and go “Ah, you’re the DJ at The Garage”. It was then that I decided that I was really gonna concentrate on it. In a band you have to lug all your equipment in your rented van, set it up, do a soundcheck, play, take it all down, lug it back, and you were lucky to end up with a fiver. By DJing three nights a week, I was getting 75 quid a week extra, which I didn’t have to split with anyone. Then Brian opened a place in Leicester called The Fan Club, so we used to do a night over there as well. Obviously, working in Selectadisc meant I had access to all the new stuff that came out, while Martin played lots of reggae and things like Sisters Of Mercy and The Cult, which of course Selectadisc sold. So it worked really well.
accordingly. One Friday night, a group of us showed up in less than cutting-edge apparel, only to be turned away at the door. ‘But we’re interesting, creative, exotic people!’ I pleaded - not entirely seriously, but giving it a lastditch shot none the less - ‘Oh, okay, you’d better come in then,’ muttered the doorman, remembering his brief. A couple of months later, faced with the problem of sneaking in a mate-of-a-mate with a streaked mullet and stone-washed jeans, I tried the same line again, with equal success. It was like uncovering a magic password. 1988’s fabled Summer Of Love might have revolutionised the scene in London and Manchester, but the acid house explosion largely passed us by. Down at The Garage, now re-branded as the Kool Kat, Graeme Park continued to ride the entire spectrum of BPMs: half an hour of hip-hop, half an hour of house, and back again. It wasn’t druggy, either - the eccies didn’t make their empathy-inducing presence felt until the early nineties, and so we continued to sulk in designer threads,
People were saying “Oh yeah, you’re really good”. They’d come in the shop and go “Ah, you’re the DJ at The Garage”. It was then that I decided that I was really gonna concentrate on it.
Round about that time, I was introduced to electro: Afrika Bambaataa and The Jonzun Crew and all the early Arthur Baker stuff. I’d play it in the shop, and think: this is great, this is fantastic. But Brian would say, “What’s this stuff you’re playing? I don’t like it. I don’t think we should be selling it.” He just didn’t get it. But I played it in The Garage, and it was just brilliant. Electro did irritate some people, but for every one person who didn’t like it you’d get three or four new people who did. And then in ‘85, all the early Def Jam stuff was coming in, but again Brian wasn’t keen on us stocking it. I had to keep working in the shop, and I wanted to play this stuff, but he wouldn’t let me buy it in. So in my lunch hour, I had to go to Arcade Records. Then came Roxanne Shanté, Big Daddy Kane, all the early hip-hop stuff. In 1986, all the early house stuff started coming in from Chicago and Detroit: J.M. Silk, Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley, Farley Jackmaster Funk, Derrick May, Rhythim Is Rhythim, all that stuff. I thought: my God, this is incredible! I had to give up working at the shop, because by then word had spread about what I was doing at The Garage and The Fan Club and I was doing nights in Sheffield and Birmingham. It was impossible to do both. But the shop was still important to me, even though I had to pop down
sucking on bottles of Sol with wedges of lime stuck in the necks. Zhivagos in the Viccy Centre tried a one-off acid night, but it didn’t really work. The usual crowd turned up, aloof as ever, but obediently stuck their hands in the air - because that was what you were supposed to do, right? Meanwhile, James Baillie had opened The Barracuda on Hurts Yard, where Michael Murphy’s anything-goes ‘Queen Vic’ nights became the stuff of legend (Abba’s Dancing Queen, in a cool club? It felt radical at the time). In the spring of 1988, Baillie and Murphy upgraded to Eden on Greyhound Street, and in late 1989 Ballie’s Venus - housed in the same venue as the old Asylum club - brought clubbers of my generation full circle. Next came the hazy hedonism of the nineties, but that’s a whole new chapter... www.troubled-diva.com
to Arcade to get the house, hip-hop and dance stuff. I had - and still have - eclectic tastes, even though I’ve become known for mainly being a house DJ. Virtually all the records I played at the Hacienda came from Selectadisc; I was DJing in Manchester, and had moved to London, but I was still doing The Garage and I would always pop into the shop, where I’d obviously still get staff discount. In the late Eighties you still had bands like the Blow Monkeys, who I used to love - they embraced club culture and dance music. And let’s not forget New Order, who carried on working with club people and making 12-inch mixes. Unlike many DJs, I haven’t got rid of my vinyl at all. I’m 45-yearsold, I’ve been buying records since I was five or six, and the bulk of that collection is from Bridlesmith Gate. But the landscape’s changed now. I lecture part-time at a university in Wrexham on a music production degree: my students are in their late teens, early twenties, and none of them buy physical product. They all buy their music online, and they all make music on their own. They all just sit with their laptops, beavering away, whereas at Selectadisc, people would go in there to buy something, get into a conversation and end up being in a band. That stuff just doesn’t happen anymore. I suppose it’s all through Facebook, isn’t it? I still come to Nottingham from time to time. I still do gigs, and my bank account is still in Nottingham. It was a big part of my life. In your early twenties, you’re working out what you’re going to do - and it was Brian Selby, Selectadisc, and The Garage that carved my path out. It was great, great times and it was a great city, as well.
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words: Jared Wilson images: Questionmarc
Keeping their true identity under wraps is a priority for Questionmarc. Ever since he/she first came to public attention last Christmas by pasting up ‘urinate here’ signs all around the city centre, they have been wanted for questioning by Notts police. So before you ask… no, we don’t know who it is. However, unlike the Feds, we managed to fire some questions to them over via email… Are you originally from Notts, then? I was born here, yes. Your work deals with a lot of issues and negative messages relating to Nottingham. Would we be right to assume this is born out of a love for the city in the first place? Absolutely. Nottingham is my home, it’s a great place and I love it here. I want visitors to the city to share my opinion, but there are a lot of strange restrictions that prevent this from happening. For example, I went to the Castle grounds a few weekends back and had to pay to get in. My council tax goes to the upkeep of the place and I’m not even allowed to see it! So what made you want to do street art? I do it because I believe art in all its forms should be freely available for all to enjoy. Most art is restricted to galleries or museums and many of these cost money to get into. This immediately deprives a huge number of people the chance to enjoy the work inside. Street art is a way of knocking down those walls for people that wouldn’t normally have the chance to experience it first hand. How close have you been to getting caught while doing a piece? I’ve had a few close shaves, but all in all I have been pretty lucky. It never fails to amaze me how most people don’t even bat an eyelid when you’re sticking a six foot high painting to a wall. Would you agree that most of your pieces are fish-in-a-barrel targets - parking fees are bad, Jade Goody being deified, etc? I don’t know of a single person that doesn’t get irritated by parking tickets, therefore the concept was likely to get the appreciation of the majority. But I think most of my other work is less so - even the Mother Goody piece was a far more taboo subject at the time. Are there any pieces around in Nottingham that haven’t been discovered yet? Not at the time of answering these questions, unfortunately. What’s the difference between you and someone like Smokey, the local tagger who got sent down recently? I have never really been into the whole tagging thing. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate it. There’s a guy called Tox in London who has managed to get his name in some unbelievably impossible places, which I find pretty impressive.
Does the relatively recent development of graffiti towards street logos, stickering and stencils signify that it is becoming more premeditated, subtle, artistic and design-led? I think a lot is already very design-orientated and I personally love the thought and subtleties that lie within them. I believe it is this that makes them successful. After all, anyone can throw paint up onto a wall. What do you think to legal graffiti sites? Do you use them? I think the walls by themselves are nothing. It’s the fantastic community projects that surround them in which their success lies. They are great for nurturing talent and helping to point kids in the right direction in life. I have never used one - which probably now makes me sound like a hypocrite - but when it comes to street art, the location is often as important as the piece itself.
“Smashing a window or kicking down a fence is vandalism. Raising a smile or a good point through an imaginative use of public space is creativity” What one piece would you love to do, if you had the money, opportunity and diplomatic immunity? I’d like to modify the clock in Big Ben to go backwards like in Benjamin Button. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of time control, even if only as a metaphor. It would have to be done illegally, although if I had enough money I could probably get granted permission to do it. But where’s the fun in that? What would you say to people who complain that you’re a vandal costing the taxpayer money? Smashing a window or kicking down a fence is vandalism. Raising a smile or a good point through an imaginative use of public space is creativity. Besides, most of my work is simply put up with paste, so leaves no lasting damage. There have of course been a few incidents where the council have scrubbed off my spray paint which in turn has been at a cost to the tax payer. But why isn’t this money being used to remove all graffiti? Those Smokey tags we mentioned earlier are still littered around the city - including one right outside my house. If I make a valid point it gets removed, yet other people’s graffiti is allowed to stay for some reason.
Do you want to change people’s behaviour or just get their attention? Well, the attention always leads to discussion which I’d like to think in turn contributes to change in some way. Even if it’s just a change in the way someone thinks about a particular subject matter. There are thousands of pranksters and street artists in the world, yet only a small few who are incredibly famous Banksy, Shepard Fairey in the US, etc. Do you think you’ve actually got anything in common with those? The general public have only ever heard of Banksy, which is why people draw comparisons. He has done some amazing work and is a very talented artist. Shepard Fairey is also very cool - my Mother Goody piece was loosely inspired by his style - so it would be right to see similarities along the way. However there are plenty more artists out there that you should check out too. I’m constantly blown away by works from all over the world which can be seen daily on a great website called The Wooster Collective (www.woostercollective.com). What do you get up to when you’re not running around Nottingham in the early hours? I enjoy ice skating - it’s fantastic having the National Ice Centre practically on my doorstep. But I recently buggered my knee which has left me out of action for a while. How does Nottingham look at 3am in the morning? Pretty awful, to be honest. If it’s a weekend, the roads are usually filled with kebab leftovers, bottles, urine and vomit. Credit where it’s due though - the council do a good job of clearing it up before the sun rises. But no, it’s not a pleasant place to be at such an hour. How significant might it be for you to be a woman - if, as some have suggested, you are - working with street art? Gender shouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference and it actually annoys me to think that it might. What’s your fancy dress costume of choice? Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Anything else to say to LeftLion readers? Buy local produce and support local shops. Finally, I’d love to see more artwork on the streets of Nottingham as it can be a very dull place at times. Join me!
Driven Up The Wall The verdict on Questionmarc, from assorted Notts arty types
Once You Pop… ‘It’s generally believed that once you start carrying weapons, it’s very hard to put them down. Nottingham seems to have a reputation in the media for gun crime, so what better place to display this image?’ Castle College, Maid Marian Way NG1 6GE - lasted four days
My initial reaction to the Mother Goody posters was one of slight ennui at the familiar ‘one-liner’ approach that perpetuates in street art of this nature. Most people will recognise the ‘pop’ references to Warhol in Jade’s Marilyn Monroe-esque hot pink lips (which leap out from her demure disguise) and the temporal nature of the screen-printed flyposter: here today, gone tomorrow, just like the latest medianominated celebrity. There is nothing particularly original in this brand of satire - there are obvious comparisons to be drawn between an earlier Questionmarc artwork involving ‘legal to pee’ signs (which earned the artist the nickname ‘The Phantom Piddler’) and the famous Banksy spoof of National Highways Agency ‘designated graffiti area’ signs spraypainted onto walls in various hotspots around London, complete with convincing ‘official’ crest.
Parking Fines ‘An artistic representation of the modern city landscape. Parking tickets are a form of legalised littering and Nottingham is practically yellow with them. Fortunately mine wasn’t at the expense of a poor single mum who was late by twenty seconds.’ High Pavement, NG1 1HN - lasted five days
Questionmarc does, however, seem genuinely motivated by frustration with media-hype and the perceived injustices she (allegedly a female) identifies in her home town and this makes her a genuine public-spirited renegade. The campaign to increase public toilets in the city centre is normally one led by pensioners with weak bladders and a concern for public dignity, so the fact that the issue was highlighted by a mediasavvy street artist is a surprising, sincere and generous act. Questionmarc’s humorous attempts to stimulate debate and opinionforming amongst a normally apathetic public are applaudable. Public Urination ‘These fake signs were put up to remind Nottingham that there are so many pubs in our city, but nowhere to urinate at chucking-out time.’ Various places in Nottingham city centre - lasted up to seven days
Neighbourhood Nuisances ‘It annoys me to see the council spending money on crap advertising campaigns that are supposed to make you feel safe. They do not. If somewhere is safe, you don’t need to be told this by a sign. This was both a stab at the signs and a stab at the fact that community protection officers don’t really seem to do a lot. I was recently moved on by a CPO for quietly sitting on the Market Square steps next to the left lion as I waited for a friend. “You’re not allowed to sit on the steps any more.” “Why?” “You’re just not”.’ Bus stop, Ilkeston Road, NG7 3GD - still exists
Mother Goody ‘Jade’s funeral plans had the same feel as Princess Diana’s, which I think is kind of scary considering she didn’t really do much. The piece depicted her as a Mother Teresa figure - which is exactly what she had seemed to become in the eyes of the public thanks to the PR company that managed her.’ St Mary’s Church, 12 High Pavement, NG1 1HN - lasted up to eight days
Where’s Robin? ‘I did this after the local headline that Nottingham was falling off the ‘tourist map’.’ Lace Centre, Castle Gate NG1 7AS - lasted five days
Abi Spinks Assistant Curator, Nottingham Contemporary I have been lucky to see a few bits of her work. They are well rendered and show good choice of locations, although sadly, due to the high visibility, spots don’t last very long. The subjects chosen provoke debate, show a good sense of humour and make some nice social comments; my favourite bit of work so far being the ‘Twitter’ paste-up. For me street art is about doing something without limitations, adding something to the street, making people smile and think, causing a reaction. Even if people hate it, at least it’s causing a reaction and giving them a break from the usual corporate advertising we see everywhere. Look forward to seeing more! Kid30 Graffiti Artist, Smallkid Design What do I think of Questionmarc? It’s all in the name really. As an artist they obviously aim to question and to leave their mark. This kind of work, whether you want to describe it as street art, has a sense of humour that will hit a chord with some and rub others up the wrong way – especially the authorities. So like all art, it’s subjective. I find art like this - sometimes subtle, sometimes overlooked appearances into everyday life that can in some way change the way we look at things – exciting. I like the fact that people can walk past things and not notice them (I have never seen a Questionmarc artwork ‘in the flesh’) but others may notice something different on a journey they take every day. For me the real genius in Questionmarc’s work comes through the website. This adds the cult value where followers can sign up to email alerts, blog their comments online, learn how long an artwork lasted and even go and seek out locations where they were. The thing that makes Questionmarc’s art work is people’s reactions to it, and in that way they are no different to any other artist. So what does Questionmarc’s art represent? It gives us something to think about, if only for a few moments, and something for the Council to clean up. Frances Ashton, Arts Editor, LeftLion
Working Men’s Club ‘This either represents sexual discrimination or a sign of changing times depending on how you want to perceive it.’ Arnold Working Mens’ Club, 151 Front Street NG5 7ED - lasted 15 minutes
Twitter ‘I thought I’d try and grasp the whole Twitter concept by sharing with the world exactly what I was doing at that particular time. I still don’t get it.’ Bromley Place, NG1 6HL - still exists
LeftLion would like to remind you all that graffiti is against the law, apart from in designated areas, etc etc. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
www.questionmarc.co.uk More interviews with artists at www.leftlion./co.uk/art
What is the underlying theme of your work? My work is about trying to live through promises and being disillusioned by having to live through broken promises. The fact there is so much disappointment in the work is that it’s based on promises, the promises in adverts, and in religion and pretty much everywhere. The promises that surround us, I’m just trying to fulfil them and by making these artworks I realise it’s just not possible, so from the promises comes disillusionment. What’s your favorite colour? Orange. What’s the best exhibition you’ve ever been to? In The Darkest Hour May There Be Light, curated by Damien Hirst at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park. If you could be any other artist, alive or dead, who would you be? The Gorrilaz, all at once, because they don’t exist and are quite successful.
What kind of art do you make? I endeavour to make beautiful, exciting, abstract paintings. My work exhibits an emphasis on surface texture, layering and visual depth, where colours and amalgamated forms jostle and surge in competition. My paintings borrow from a wide range of sources for inspiration and focus loosely upon my experiences of city living, in terms of form and colour. What are the advantages of being a Nottingham artist? There is a lot of support available in Nottingham for emerging artists. Not being from the city originally, it’s been vital for me to find people with whom I can network, and belonging to Tether studios has been instrumental in this. Being part of a thriving arts community is one of the most important things that an artist can do, as it not only opens doors, it creates a sense of belonging and can be extremely rewarding. Apart from that, Nottingham is a vibrant city, with loads going on, and this in itself can be very inspiring. What’s your favourite colour? My favourite colour has been purple for as long as I can remember.
Favourite subject other than art? Pop music and supermarkets.
What kind of art do you make? Ladybird book science projects, geeky electronics, short films, 2D animation, music, photography, LP sleeves, posters and sketchbooks.
What kind of art do you make? I make drawings and paper sculptures through which I try to articulate my fear of the mysterious internal workings of my body. What’s the best exhibition you have ever been to? Aberdeen University has an amazing historical anatomical model collection – with some incredible objects up there, such as giant Victorian papier maché snails and fleas which you can take apart and look inside. Biology was the one science subject I enjoyed at school, but I was too squeamish to take part in dissections. They also have a collection of beautiful glass jellyfish made by Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka, who made costume jewellery and glass eyes for wealthy clients in the 1880s. I love that crossover between slightly squeamish and highly decorative. I think they’re amazing both as learning tools and as fantastical objects. Tell us about a recent project … I’ve got a group show coming up at the old Angel Row Gallery in Nottingham (9-23 July). Finishing the work for this is my main priority at the moment and is giving me many sleepless nights! I am making a series of large paintings on paper which imagine what would happen if my insides suddenly made themselves visible on the outside.
What’s the best exhibition you have ever been to? Janet Cardiff’s Forty-Part Motet at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield in 2004. The piece was a forty-channel playback on individual speakers of a choir performing Spem in alium by Thomas Tallis. The arrangement of the gallery allowed for you to wander freely, hearing individual voices from each speaker close up, or to stand in the centre of it all in awe of the huge polyphonic sound being created. Every part of the work served a functional purpose as well as possessing a stark sculptural presence in the space. It was an incredibly successful piece of contemporary art. What’s your favourite subject other than art? Definitely film. I love the experience of the cinema, I find the format so alluring. My favourite director is Kenji Mizoguchi – The Life Of Oharu is genius. www.egb7.com
This issue’s Artist Profiles has been curated by Liam Aitken of the Tether studio group. A collective started by Nottingham Trent graduates in July 2007, Tether is a creative hub for Nottingham artists to convene within the city centre. The artists selected are either studio members, artists who have exhibited at Tether’s Wasp Room gallery or are otherwise affiliated with the group.
Rachel Reupke 26 June - 19 July 2009
Preview 25 June 6 8pm
Forthcoming Gallery Projects:
East International Showreel
23 July 6 9pm
7 30 August
1 T hor esby Str eet +44 (0)7786257213 www.mootgallery.org Nottingham NG1 1AJ +44 (0)7771866822 email@example.com
LEFTLION LISTINGS JUNE-JULY 2009.
S P LE NDID!
Buying tickets for events in Notts? From the latest DJs at Stealth to the latest bands at venues like Seven and The Rescue Rooms, you can get them all through our website, at no extra cost. Even better, thanks to our partnership with gigantic. co.uk, every time you buy one through us some of the funds will go towards LeftLion and a bit more goes to those nice folks at Oxfam. www.leftlion.co.uk/tickets
FESTIVAL SEASON From local faves like Splendour and Download at Donington (featuring the immortal Faith No More) to the further away greats like Latitude, Bestival, Beatherder and Glastonbury. We didn’t have space to fit all our summer festie recommendations into the mag, but for a full round-up check out www.leftlion.co.uk/festivals
photo: Dom Henry, Splendour 2008
TOURING BANDS As always there’s a great selection of live music to be found nearer home - Athlete, Jarvis Cocker, Jamie T, UFO, Thin Lizzy, Therapy?, Aqualung, Neil Young, Taskforce, Boyzone, De La Soul, LA Guns and Thunder. Favourite mad band names this month include Ghouls Garden, Turbowolf, 12 Gauge Facelift, Kid Harpoon, We Were Promised Jet Packs, Napoleon 3rd and The Age of Stupid.
LOCAL VOCALS As well as our appearance at Splendour, LeftLion continues its residency at Brownes for the next two months with Fists (see page 21) and Swimming (page 22) performing in June, and Nottingham School of Samba and Karizma (TBC) lined up for July. After that we’re having a break from the monthly nights for a while, so get yourself down to one of them while you still can - free entry to all. We’d also like to give a shout out to venues like Seven, The Old Angel and The Maze for consistently giving local bands a chance to impress - look out for the Notts In A Nutshell nights at the latter during the next two months...
For even more listings, check our regularly updated online section at leftlion.co.uk/listings. And if your event is still not in there, spread the word by aiming your browser at leftlion.co.uk/add. 20
The summer festival scene finally kicks off, but you don’t have to travel to another city, spend hundreds of pounds on tickets and hours pitching a tent, only to go to the toilet in a small plastic box that stinks like Jeff Capes’ jockstrap, says Glen Parver… Instead you can get your festie fix by simply catching a bus to Wollaton Park. For the measly price of £30 per adult (or the even more bargainous £15 if you have an NG postcode), you can spend a day out in the sun, watch some great acts and then go home to your creature comforts afterwards. Splendour is the brainchild of Nottingham City Council and - in our opinion - a fantastic use of our council tax (and they also make a bit of money back, too). This year’s line-up includes… Madness Madness first formed in 1976 as The North London Invaders, and went on to dominate the eighties with songs like One Step Beyond, Baggy Trousers and It Must Be Love. During the first six years of that decade alone they spent a record 214 weeks in the UK singles charts. After a long break, they reformed in the nineties with a series of festival-sized gigs known as Madstock to more than 75,000 people per time in Finsbury Park, London. Apparently during the stomp frenzy of One Step Beyond, several local residents reported an earthquake to the police. Let’s hope Wollaton residents keep a watchful eye over any ornaments... The Pogues Nottingham’s first chance to see Shane MacGowan’s new gnashers! Yes, everyone’s favourite Irishman of many words and few teeth has actually gone and got himself a whole new set of dentures. Of course, there’s more to The Pogues than just their wreckhead of a frontman. The rest of the band include tin whistle player Spider Stacy, guitarist Phillip Chevron and bass player Darryl Hunt, who spent over a decade living in Nottingham after studying fine art here in the seventies. With hits such as Fiesta, A Pair of Brown Eyes and Fairytale Of New York under their belt, The Pogues’ gigs are known for their hardplaying, hard-drinking and hard-jigging shows. Q Magazine listed them as one of the fifty bands you have to see before you die. Now’s your chance. Fun Lovin’ Criminals In the early nineties Hugh Morgan (aka Huey), Brian Leiser (aka Fast) and Steve Borgovini (aka Steve-O) all worked together at a club in New York and decided to form a band, covering for any acts that didn’t show up. On one of these nights, an executive from EMI was in the crowd and offered them a record deal. Fast forward a couple of years and they released their debut album Come Find Yourself – a mix of rock, hip-hop and lounge music. It flopped drastically in their home country and they were about to be dropped from the label when suddenly and surprisingly it took off over here due to hits like Scooby Snacks, King Of New
York and Bombin’ The L. From there they released four more studio albums and a Greatest Hits compilation. They still love touring and are always a fun band to see live. Imelda May An Irish female vocalist who has shared the stage with the likes of Jools Holland, Elton John, Elvis Costello and Scissor Sisters. Imelda has released two studio albums (No Turning Back and Love Tattoo) and was voted best Irish female at this years Meteor Music Awards. The Rifles Straight outta Chingford, The Rifles were inspired to form a band at an Oasis concert in Knebworth. So far they’ve released two albums - No Love Lost (produced by Lightning Seeds’ Ian Broudie) and Great Escape. Kid British According to The Guardian, these guys are ‘the best new band in Manchester’. Varying between ska and indie in style, their debut album It Was This Or Football was released on Mercury Records earlier this year. Dog Is Dead The hot young things on the Nottingham music scene - and when we say young we mean young. They’re barely old enough to legally buy a drink in a pub, yet their mix of pop and nu jazz has brightened up many a live venue. In addition to all this there will be a comedy stage at the festival (line-up to be confirmed, but expect some fresh local and national acts), a funfair, stalls and a kids’ area. Plus, it goes without saying that LeftLion will be heavily involved in the festival again this year, representing in the Courtyard with a selection of the finest local talent you’ll have seen since, well, when we did it last year. Discounted tickets for city residents (£10 for 11-17 year olds and £15 for 18+) can be purchased from Rock City, the Royal Centre and City Council Leisure services. Just bring some identification confirming your NG postcode. Standard entry tickets (£30 for adults, £15 for 11-17 year olds) can be purchased at the same venues and through LeftLion at www.leftlion.co.uk/splendour. Kids under 10 get in free. Splendour Festival, Wollaton Park, Sunday 19 July 2009. www.splendourfestival.com
nottingham event listings... Monday 01/06
Band Of Heathens The Maze £12, 7.30pm
Human Beatbox Championships The Rescue Rooms £8 adv, 8pm Taskforce live, Stig of The Dump.
Metronomy The Rescue Rooms £10, 7pm Wonky Pop Tour Stealth £7, 7.30pm Example and Flamboyant Bella.
Tuesday 02/06 Djangology Live The Hand and Heart Free, 8pm Notts In A Nutshell The Maze £3, 8pm General Public Chemistry Set, The Murdocks, Angryman, Twisted Kite and Curtis Whitefinger Ordeal. The Shanklin Freak Show Seven £4 / £5, 8pm Plus The Whores.
Wednesday 03/06 The Age Of Stupid The Maze Free, 7.30pm
Thursday 04/06 Po’Girl The Maze £12, 7.30pm Plus The Carrivick Sisters. Radar with live guests Ou Est The Bodega £3, 10pm Chris Ward Southbank Bar Free, 7pm Martyr Defiled Seven £4 adv, 8pm Plus Save The Last, I Call Shotgun and Twisted Whistle.
Diplo Stealth £10, 10pm With Jack Beats and Riva Starr. GBH Seven £8, 9pm NOISE* presents Jamcafe Free, 8pm DJ Arkeye Presents The Maze £tbc, 8pm With Spam Chop and Arkeye. Wholesome Fish Deux £5, 9pm
Saturday 06/06 Tyketto The Rescue Rooms £15, 7pm Cult DnB Sessions - Kasra Muse £5, 10pm - 3am Arse Full of Chips Rock City £3, 10pm The Old Nick Trading Company The Hubb Free, 9pm Phil Jackson, Dave Sidebottom and Tim Disney. Dogs D’Amour Seven £11, 8pm
for more: leftlion.co.uk/listings
The Moot Gallery Back open for business this summer
If you’ve been wondering why the listings section has been a bit Moot-light of late, there’s a very good reason - for the past few months they’ve been moving lock, stock and canvas to an old four storey mill and former Boots warehouse located on the corner of Pennyfoot and Manvers St on the fringes of town. It’s already shaping up to be a vast improvement over the old space – there’s a brand-new and much improved studio facility for Stand Assembly and an extra gallery on the ground floor. The paint won’t be fully dried on the new place until early 2010, but that’s not getting in the way of its 2009 programme, which kicks off in late June with a solo exhibition by London- Rachel Reupke. Now Wait for Last Year. 2007 9’ 20”, based artist Rachel Reupke. Building on her previous col, sound, digital video. Courtesy the artist. involvement in Moot projects last year (Digital Broadway, The Long Take, Zoo art fair), Moot will be commissioning entirely new work for the show, marking a change in direction for the artist - her current practice is video-based and typically features meticulously crafted video work created through layers of still images and film, but this the artist will be using the space to the max with an ambitious large-scale sculptural installation that should catapult Moot back to the forefront of the local arts scene. Rachel Reupke, June 26 - July 19. Preview June 25, 6-8pm Moot Gallery, Unit 3, The Factory, Dakeyne street, Sneinton, NG3 2AR. http://www.mootgallery.org
Back to Basics The Maze £tbc, 9pm
Tasty Morsels The Maze £3, 8pm Plus The Limits. Boyzone Nottingham Arena £32.50, 7.30pm
Mechanical Evolution album launch day 1 Maze Free, 7.30pm Dead Soul Nightmare and The Little Imp, Bonus Beyond, No Sheep in Mongolia, Benji, Bonus Beyond, Fury Kuri and Autonomy.
Buster Southbank Bar Free, 7pm
The Drones and Snowman The Bodega £7, 7.30pm
The Acme Jazz Band Deux Free, 7pm - 9pm
Middle Class Rut Rock City £6.50, 7.30pm
Roth Notman Nottingham Playhouse £10 / £12, 8pm
Breakage The Bodega £6, 10pm with support from Geiom. Dan Britton Deux £3, 9pm Plus Andy Griffiths and David Wyatt.
Djangology The Malt Cross £3, 8pm
The Northwestern The Bodega £6, 8pm
The Smears album launch The Chameleon Cafe Bar £tbc, 6pm
Mela 21 Old Market Square Free, All day
Fists are playing alongside Swimming at the LeftLion Presents night on 19 June. Frontman James Conway had a natter with Paul Klotschkow about this and that… What was your first gig like? It was a rock all-dayer in Corby. A metal band called New England headlined. I headbanged for 12 hours solid because I didn’t know what else I was supposed to do. I went to school the next day with my neck muscles so ruined that I couldn’t lift my head up. The school thugs pinched my neck all day. What has been Fists’ favourite live experience? The chaotic ones, where we still manage to play decently. Friends of ours got married recently in this stately home - we spent ten hours beforehand getting on the free booze and then played Proclaimers and Johnny Cash songs whilst a gang of businessmen charged around in a conga line for the rest of the night. Oxjam last year at the Broadway was great. There was a palpable sense of anticipation which we’d never really had before. And the worst? A gig in Birmingham. The sound guy was clueless. He didn’t know how to work a DI box so criss-crossed wires all over the stage a foot in the air instead. It was like a Crystal Maze challenge. We ended up kicking water over the headlining bands’ gear. Everyone in the room hated us because they were there for them. A few days later we got an e-mail from their drummer filled with all this nonsensical legalese about drumming for Roni Size and professional practice, which somehow qualified him as a lawyer. If you could put on a festival locally, where would you stage it and what local acts would you have playing? A big, well-organised house party event. Like the Hockley Hustle, but in living rooms and stuff. Everyone would party-hop from house to house. There’d be indie rock house parties with bands like Lords and Human Hair, and grime, dubstep and hip-hop houses and quieter pastoral folky houses. At the end everyone would congregate in that big hole surrounded by the caves in The Rock Cemetery on Mansfield Road, for some reason. What can we expect from you at your LeftLion Presents gig? Lots of heart. A bigger sound as we’ve got some new equipment, hopefully some new songs as well. We’ll also have copies of our single this time too. www.myspace.com/fistsmusic
De La Soul Rock City £18.50, 7.30pm White Belt Yellow Tag The Bodega £6, 7pm Acoustickle The Maze £2 / £3, 7.30pm Beswick and Lance, Louis Cypher, Ill Citizen, Liam O’Kane, Jody Betts, Sam Wilson, Dave Anderson, Solomon Smith, David Apple, Gaz and James playing a chair..
Tuesday 09/06 House of Brothers and Jonquil The Bodega £5, 8pm
Wednesday 10/06 John Wesley Harding The Rescue Rooms £10, 7.30pm Greg Attonito Rock City £8, 7.30pm Ravetrent and Tektonik Stealth £4, 10pm The Troubadours The Bodega £5, 7pm brokeNCYDE Seven £10 adv, 7pm Plus Cure The Disaster, Winch House and What Makes You Beautiful.
Roy Stone Southbank Bar Free, 7pm
Friday 12/06 Rigbee Deep Alley Cafe Free, 8:30pm - 1am With Minister Hill, Nowhere Common and Jah Bunndy. Chester French The Bodega £6, 7pm Farmyard Presents Moog Free, 8pm - 1am Stiff Kittens DJs and live bands tbc. Hoodoo 2nd Birthday - Adam Freeland and Miles Dyson Stealth £10, 10pm Kap Bambino and Radiant Dragon The Chameleon Cafe Bar £6, 9pm The Shakes Jamcafe Free entry, 8pm – late Oeuvre Presents... Igloo Free, 11pm Mechanical Evolution album launch day 2 The Maze Free, 7.30pm With Cookie Monsta, Breathe Beats, DJ Mickey Real, Mirky Megz, Das Helmet, Truth Danny P and Co. Ascendance of Seven, Improvisations and Ghoul Garden.
event listings... Saturday 13/06
Athlete The Rescue Rooms £15, 7pm
Revolution Sounds The Maze Free, 8pm - late
Noodle with Warlock and Sir Real Moog Free, 8pm - 4am
Saturday Night Knees Up! The Malt Cross £3, 8pm Duke Dumont and Nero Stealth £5, 10.15pm
Ghoul Garden The Maze £3 / £3.50, 9pm
We Were Promised Jet Packs The Bodega £6, 7pm
Sticky Morales Southbank Bar Free, 7pm
Cup of Tea Lee Rosy’s Tea Shop £4 / £5, 8.30pm With Rue Royale and Andy Whittle.
Jarvis Cocker Rock City £20, 7pm Jamie T The Rescue Rooms £12.50, 7pm Baber Luck, Ruby Kid The Maze £5, 8.30pm Plus Twenty Five Past. Richie Muir Band Southbank Bar Free, 7pm
Introducing Copper – West Bridgford’s brand new nosherie As well as being an essential mineral found in many foods, Copper is the name of a recently opened café bar in West Bridgford under the stewardship of Anthony ‘Willo’ Wilson, formerly of Harts restaurant. On what was previously the site of La Vina, the designers have served themselves proud transforming what was once an average space with little design impact into a sleek, cosy interior. Comprising a cafe downstairs and a bar/lounge upstairs, the venue offers an impressive variety of food (served 8am to 7pm) and drink.
Revolution Sounds The Maze £5 / £6, 8pm – late With Mischief Brew, Johnny One Lung, 10 O’Clock Horses, Resolution 242 and Al Baker.
UFO Rock City £18, 7.30pm
All Snap, No Tin
Kid Harpoon The Bodega £5, 7pm
Psycle - Bermuda shorts special Blueprint Bar club £5, 10pm – late Full Lotus, Petran, Bren Shiv Danm, Bashi Bashi, Hypnotoad, Animinimal, Boystrike and Tommy.
Love Ends Disaster Seven 8pm, £3.50 Plus The Amber Herd, We Are The Man, The Cult Of Dom Keller, Smugglers Run, Old Basford, The Kull, Yipil DJs, And loads more.
for more: leftlion.co.uk/listings
The entire breakfast menu (including classics like the full English or a scrambled egg and smoked salmon bagel) and the full range of coffee, teas, and fresh juices are available to take away - making Copper an ideal pitstop on the way to the office. Or, if you take full advantage of their free wi-fi, it could even become the office.
Lunchtime offers a salad bar and tasty baguettes (such as their delicious Merguez sausage with confit of red onions). For a taste of New York, check out their very own deli counter with a range of homemade chutneys, jams, terrines, pates, soups and breads - all homemade and prepared on site Into the evening hours indulge in an extensive wine and cocktail list, try one of their imported beers or go for a more traditional ale in conjunction with the Local Ale scheme. A well devised, inviting venue that provides a welcome retreat from the usual city centre haunts. Copper, 21-23 Central Avenue, West Bridgford NG2 5GQ. www.coppercafe.co.uk
Thursday 18/06 Thin Lizzy Rock City £21.50, 6.30pm Tubelord / Blakfish / Colour The Bodega £5, 7pm Plus Grande Duke and Ocean Bottom Nightmare.
A Smiths and Morrissey Night The Rescue Rooms £4, 9.30pm - 1.30am
Notts Music Showcase The Maze £3, 8pm With Tim McDonald band.
Richie Muir Southbank Bar Free, 7pm
LeftLion Brownes Free, 8pm - 1am With Fists, Swimming and Stiff Kittens DJs, see box out for info.
Hallé Royal Centre £9 - £30, 7.30pm
25 Past the Skank Jamcafe Free, 7pm - late
Kerfuffle Nottingham Playhouse £10 / £12, 8pm
Mark James Bluu Free, 8pm
Steve McGill Southbank Bar Free, 7pm
Lippstik, Abaddon Seven 7.30pm, tbc Ghost Cassette Gentlemans Buffet.
The Deep End
They may have beeb dabbling with improvisational ‘headphone-only’ shows of late, but on June 19, Swimming will be bringing their full-on rock oeuvre to Brownes. We had a chat with John Sampson
Sould Southbank Bar Free, 7pm Therapy Seven £tbc, 7.30pm
Sunday 21/06 Kathy Stewart and The Frequent Flyers The Maze £9, 7.30pm Serpico / Here’s To Tragedy Seven £4, 8PM Plus Ocean Bottom Nightmare Performance Southbank Bar Free, 7pm
Monday 22/06 Aqualung The Rescue Rooms £12.50, 7.30pm
Explain the headphone-only gigs with Dallas Simpson… They’ve been amazing to play. It’s a totally different mindset with those shows - you can’t see the audience directly so it’s just you, the band, the music and Dallas floating nearby.
Buttonpusher Seven 8pm, tbc With These Monsters, Freezing Fog, Venice Ahoy, Stag and Maybeshewill DJ Set.
Friday 26/06 Fat Digester The Maze £tbc, 9pm Plus Celariac and more tbc. Detonate Stealth £10 / £12, 10pm - 4am Goldie, Calibre, Plastician, SP:MC and Transit Mafia. The Old Nick Trading Company Jamcafe Free, 7pm - late Tom Wardle Bluu Free, 8pm
Ronnie Londons Groove Lounge Grosvenor £3 b4 11pm, 8pm - 1am
What was your first ever gig? Foo Fighters at Rock City. I lost my shoe crowd-surfing and someone lobbed it at Pat Smear.
Neil Young Nottingham Arena £50, 7pm
Silversun Pickups The Rescue Rooms £9, 7pm
What has been your worst live experience? Playing a night in Chester to the bar staff, bands and the promoter - everyone else was at a party next door where they were trying to break the world record for the most people in one place dressed as a Smurf.
Jason Isbell The Maze £10, 7.30pm
Saturday Night Knees Up! The Malt Cross £3, 8pm
Napoleon 3rd Seven £5, 8pm
Green For Go’s Gazeebo’d The Running Horse £4, 8:30pm - 2am
Junk Yard The Market Bar £5, 10pm - 4am Mike Monday, Luke Black, David Russel, Paul Sekhri and Mark Cohen.
If you could put on a festival locally, where would you stage it and what local acts would you have playing? We’d stage it at the planetarium at the Space Centre down the road and split the event into eight parts - like The Planets by Holst. With The Petebox, Lone, APOF, Pilgrim Fathers, Fists, 1st Blood, JCDecaux, WeShowUpOnRadaR, Love Ends Disaster, Russian Linesman, Cuban Crimewave, The Cusp, Made of Leaves, Souvaris, Spaceships Are Cool, 7081, Origami Biro, Scorzayzee and Zero Theory - all in zero gravity.
Kasabian Rock City £22.50, 7.30pm
If you could play in any other band, who would it be and why? Clark - his sounds are flippin’ bonza. I’d want to play slide and blip guitar.
If you could introduce one law to make gig-going more enjoyable, what would it be? Promoters who really care, amazing PAs and trampolines.
Thin Lizzy Rock City £21.50, 6.30pm
What can we expect from you at your LeftLion Presents gig? We’re going to do some tracks with Peter [Champion beatboxer the PeteBox] beatboxing instead of on the kit.
In Isolation The Maze £4, 8pm Plus The Jackdaws.
Jack Rabbit Slim The Maze £5, 9pm Jason Heart Band Southbank Bar Free, 7pm Syndicate Seven 7.30pm, £1 Delta Red, The Arcadian Kicks, The Fakers and Jon Brookes DJ Set.
nottingham event listings... Sunday 28/06
M. Ward The Rescue Rooms £11, 7.30pm
Daor Seven £tbc, 8pm Plus Moscow and Internal Conﬂict.
Lucy Kaplanski The Maze £15, 7.30pm Wavves The Bodega £8, 8pm
Revolution Sounds The Maze £tbc, 8pm
Establishment Southbank Bar Free, 7pm
Malcolm Middleton The Bodega £10, 7pm
The Answer Swanee River The Rescue Rooms £11, 7pm
Notts In A Nutshell The Maze £3, 8pm With Long Nines, Songs By Canadians, Slinky Peach and Jacket.
Tuesday 30/06 Death Angel / Kataklysm / Keep Of Kalessin Seven £12, 7pm Muzika!! The Maze £tbc, 8pm Accidentals, Bonus Beyond, The Judos and Low Down Dirty Reds.
Wednesday 01/07 You Animals The Bodega £5, 7pm The Dead Formats Seven £4, 7.30pm
Working Nights The Loggerheads Free, 9 – late With Matt, Alex and Neetin. Tee Dymond Bluu Free, 8pm Liferuiner Seven £tbc, 8pm Mindvox The Maze £tbc, 8pm
for more: leftlion.co.uk/listings
On Yer Bike
Dig out your old bicycle from the shed this summer and you will find a good few reasons to get active and have a bit of fun at the same time. The Big Wheel, the organisation tasked with helping you get around Nottingham using sustainable transport, is putting on a series of events to encourage you to forsake four wheels for two. Saturday 13 – Sunday 21 June is UK Bike Week and the largest mass participation cycling event in the country. This aim is to encourage people to ‘get more out of life’ by exploring their local communities using pedal power. First up, the Castle Galleries is holding a special Bike Week exhibition in the Exchange Arcade. Showing daily for the whole week, they will be displaying paintings and prints with a cycling theme by some of the country’s leading artists. Then on Sunday 14 June at 1pm in Broadway Cinema there is a screening of Overcoming, a documentary which follows the riders of the CSC Pro-Cycling team as they take on the Tour de France. This is accompanied by a short film about a pedal powered cinema! On Tuesday 16 June at 6pm check out the Nottingham Classics Drivetime Concert at Nottingham Royal Centre. This is a fantastic introduction to classical music, featuring pieces by Beethoven, Handel and even a bit of Star Wars. Those cycling to the event can receive a 25% discount by quoting ‘Drivetime biker’ when booking. On Wednesday 17 June, you can get some free snap with the Wheelie Big Breakfast in the Old Market Square from 8–10am, by turning up on a bike between those hours. Register at www.thebigwheel.org.uk/bigbreakfast and enter the free prize draw too. Later that day (10.30am-12.30pm) the annual Cycle Forum will take place in the Council House and attendees can learn more about the past, present and future of cycling in Greater Nottingham. Also don’t forget The Big Track, a serene ten mile car free route that runs between Trent Bridge and Beeston Marina, along the River Trent and canal. Visit www.thebigwheel.org.uk/bigtrack/ for more details. www.thebigwheel.org
LA Guns Rock City £15, 7pm With Steve Riley and Phil Lewis.
John Mayall Rock City £19.50, 7.30pm
Transition Nottingham The Maze £2, 9pm
Johnny and the Raindrops Polish Club £2.50, 2.30pm - 4pm
BlastOff! Festival Marcus Garvey Ballroom £59 Weekend Pass, 8pm - 6pm Runs until: 11/07 Acts include The Gories, The Oblivians and The Ghastly Ones.
Ebony Bones Stealth £5, 10.15pm
Saturday Night Knees Up! The Malt Cross £3, 8pm
White Denim The Bodega £9, 8pm
Back to Basics The Maze £5, 9pm
Thunder Rock City £22, 7pm
That Petrol Emotion The Rescue Rooms £10, 7.30pm
Sleepy Sun Seven £6, 7.30pm
Friday 10/07 Rigbee Deep Alley Cafe Free, 8:30pm - 1am Plus Minister Hill, Nowhere Common and Jah Bunndy.
Out And About
The title of our regular outdoorsy preview section couldn’t be more appropriate, as Nottingham Pride gets bigger than ever… It’s been a regular event on the Notts calendar for ages, but for the first time ever, Nottingham Pride – the annual celebration of all things L, G, B and T – kicks off on the morning of July 25 with a march from the Forest that takes in Mansfield Road, Shakespeare Street, North Sherwood Street - ending up in the Arboretum. Hopefully, the march will be a regular event from now on, so get out there and give it the full support it deserves – and it goes without saying that the actual event is one of the outdoor highlights of the year… www.nottinghampride.co.uk Before that, from 27 June to 4 July, the Sneinton Festival promises a full seven days of full-on Sneintonian Pride, with a full array of events from gigs (featuring bands such as Captain Dangerous, Fat Digester and Mr Plow) to a tea party hosted by Nottingham Craft Mafia and the Sneinton Ladies Club to the wonderfully-titled Sneinton’s Got Talent competition, it climaxes with the carnival on the 4 July. Someday, all areas of Nottingham will have something as brilliant as this, and we’ll be a much better place for it. www.sneinton.com If you just can’t wait to have a dabble in outdoorsy creativity, Sherwood Art Week occurs from 13 June to 20 June. Over 70 shop windows in the area will turn themselves into gallery spaces, some of the area’s most gifted artists will be displaying their work for sale, there’ll be talks and events a-plenty, and the opportunities to have a go at creating your own masterpieces will be endless. Don’t miss out! www.sherwoodartweek.co.uk For more information on what’s happening in the NG over the next two months, our online listings section is the first place to visit – hit up www.leftlion.co.uk/listings for full details on, well, everything.
Lowdham and Proud The East Midlands’ largest literary event is celebrating its tenth birthday in style this year, with an impressive line-up featuring local, national and international writers. Poets Jackie Kay and Pauline Prior-Pitt, crime writers John Harvey and Stephen Booth and Nottingham’s very own Nicola Monaghan will all be making an appearance alongside new up-andcoming young writers from the region, Dan Tunstall and Jonathan David. The festival programme covers a variety of topics from cookery books to cricket and includes a French day, a transport themed afternoon and a reprise on Charles Darwin, besides some Lowdham on Tour events in Nottingham , Caythorpe and Calverton. Writing workshops, music, films and storytelling adds to the diversity of the event, with a licensed bar at The Village Hall and a deli café on the last Saturday providing refreshments. The book fair on the final day is Nottinghamshire’s largest, with stalls from publishers and writers’ organisations, and second hand bargains to browse. Accessible by car, bus and train, there’s no excuse for missing out - so get along to our very own Hay-On-Wye for a spot of culture! Tickets are available from The Bookcase, 50 Main Street , Lowdham NG14 7BE over the counter, by mail or by credit card over the phone (Festival Box Office is 0115 9663219 10am4pm Monday-Saturday) or, subject to availability, on the door at events. The Lowdham Book Festival, June 15-27, Lowdham Village, Notts. Tickets are not required for free events - see website for booking details for certain events Words: Aly Stoneman
for more: leftlion.co.uk/listings
From sniffing aerosol to using Anusol Garage Band: When Punks Get Older
words: Adrian Baghat
Back in the late seventies, some people were punks. They were young, angry, rebellious, cynical and raised two giant fingers to society. Today, those people have 2.4 children, worry about paying their mortgage, drive a Ford Galaxy and cross the street if they see someone a bit scruffy heading towards them. They look back on their former selves with a mixture of bemusement and envy. If any of this sounds familiar, local playwright Andy Barrett has written a play just for you. The punk movement posed a serious threat to the establishment both in music and politics. Kids who could barely play a few chords were challenging big rock bands while nurturing a grassroots political movement that was radical, iconoclastic and truly revolutionary. Yet somehow the music was tamed and commercialised and the politics neutralised. How did that happen? It’s hard to say. Maybe the Playhouse’s latest show has the answer. Garage Band tells the story of a group of forty-somethings living in suburbia who try to defeat middle age and recapture the heyday of punk by forming a covers band. Gavin is the driving force behind the group, infecting the others with his enthusiasm. Alan is a technocrat, bringing band promotion up-to-date by making YouTube videos in between sessions playing Guitar Hero. Penny fulfils her dream of being Beki Bondage and Danny looks set to become the first punk professor. The band begins to play well together, thumping out classic songs, but, inevitably, problems arise as they realise that rebellion is a lot easier when you’re young, and balancing their new punk lifestyles with children and careers is not going to be easy. While all this takes place, the play features live performances of the music of bands like The Damned, Sex Pistols, The Clash and the Buzzcocks. Garage Band runs from the 5th to 20th June and the opening night features a Guitar Hero competition. If you are under 26 you may be able to get free tickets to see the play. Consider that a consolation for being born too late to experience music’s best and most chaotic period.
BassLaced Stealth £6, 10pm - 4am Pinch with Senate, Dawntreader and Dread MC.
LeftLion Brownes Free, 8pm - 1am With Nottingham School of Samba and Karizma.
The New 1920 Rock City £3, 10pm
Haiki Berhane Jamcafe Free, 7pm - late
Tom Wardle Bluu Free, 8pm
Richie Muir Bluu Free, 8pm
Better Left Alone Seven £7, 2pm Plus Make It Through, Almost home, We Stare at Mirrors, Feral Eve and Nochaa.
Warrior Soul Seven £7.50 / £9, 7.30pm Plus The More I see, Suicide Tuesday and Remedy.
Saturday 11/07 Sonic Dirt Afternoon Blowout The Old Angel £5, 2pm - 6pm With Thee Vicars, The Hipshakes, Beast With A Gun, Thee Fair Ohs and The Murdochs. Más Y Más The Malt Cross £3, 8pm Ghoul Garden The Maze £3 / £3.50, 9pm
Tuesday 14/07 Kylesa Rock City £8, 7.30Ppm The BossHoss Seven £8 adv, 7.30pm Acoustic Tuesdays The Malt Cross fFree, 8:30pm
Wednesday 15/07 Cup of Tea Lee Rosy’s Tea Shop £4 / £5, 8.30pm With Sam Beer and Trailer Star’s Suit of Nettles. Derillium Seven £tbc, 8pm Plus Laceration Of Fate and Arcanite Reaper.
Saturday 18/07 Saturday Night Knees Up! The Malt Cross £3, 8pm Turbowolf Rock City £3, 10pm The Warlocks The Bodega £8, 7pm Dividing The Line Seven £tbc, 2pm Plus Many Things Untold, Deaf Havana, Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Ghosts On Pegasus Bridge, Oribine, Proceed, A World Defined and more.
Sunday 19/07 Eliza Gilkyson Trio The Maze £13, 7.30pm Splendour Festival Wollaton Hall, History Museum and Industrial Museum £10 - £30, All Day Madness, The Pogues, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Imelda May, The Rifles, Kid British, Dog is Dead and loads more, including a LeftLion Stage...
Wednesday 22/07 Joseph Arthur and The Lonely Astronauts The Bodega £11, 7pm The Casino Brawl Seven £5, 7.30pm Plus Millicent Grove, Skies In Motion and With Silent Eyes.
Saturday Night Knees Up! The Malt Cross £3, 8pm Blood Divided Seven £6 / £7, 8pm Plus 12 Gauge Facelift.
Sunday 26/07 Nottingham Folkus The Maze £4, 8pm With Syzygy, Steve Turner Bob Ballar and Al Harris.
Thursday 30/07 Pepper Rock City £8, 7.30pm
Friday 31/07 Hot Club of Cowtown The Maze £15, 7.30pm Detonate Stealth £10 / £12, 10pm - 4am Jennifer James Bluu Free, 8pm
THEATRE Tuesday 02/06 An Inspector Calls Royal Centre £11.50 - £23.50, 7.30pm Runs until: 06/06
Friday 05/06 Garage Band Nottingham Playhouse £7.50 - £26.50 (NUS), Check website for details Runs until: 20/06 See box out for more information. Brian Cloughs Way Royal Centre £20, 7.30pm Kenny Burns, John McGovern, Tony Woodcock, Larry Lloyd and Garry Birtles talk Forest.
The Happiest Days of Your Life Lace Market Theatre £6 - £9, 7.30pm Runs until: 13/06
The Big Friendly Giant Royal Centre £12.50 - £17.50, Various Runs until: 11/07
Mad Crop The Musical Royal Centre £13 - £22, 7.30pm Runs until: 13/06
Chicago Royal Centre £14.50 - £33, Various Runs until: 18/07
Opera North Summer Season Royal Centre £14.50 - £45, 7.15m Runs until: 19/06
Quartet Lace Market Theatre £6 - £9, 7.30pm Runs until: 25/07
DIY Poets present Maze TBC, 8pm
Sophia and the Magic Skirt Arts Organisation £3.45 per child, £4.60 per adult, 2pm-3pm Runs until: 24/07
Monday 22/06 Spiders Web Royal Centre £9 - £24.50, 7.30m Runs until: 27/06
Wednesday 24/06 Once On The Island Nottingham Playhouse £12 / £17.50, Various
Tuesday 30/06 Roll Out The Barrel Royal Centre £10 / £12, 2pm
Wednesday 01/07 Defending The Caveman Royal Centre £10.50 - £19.50, 7.30pm Runs until: 04/07 Helen Lace Market Theatre £6 / £7, 7.30pm Runs until: 04/07
COMEDY Tuesday 02/06 Funhouse Comedy Grove £4 / £5, 8pm Ben Schofield, Geoff Norcott, Ben Briggs and Compere Spiky Mike.
Tuesday 09/06 Funhouse Comedy Maze £7 / £8, 8pm With Sarah Millican. Flintoff’s Ashes Preview Nottingham Arena £15 - £125, 8pm With Paddy McGuinness.
Thursday 11/06 Russel Howard Royal Centre £15, 8pm
Saturday 13/06 Just The Tonic Royal Centre £20, 7.30pm
The Next Stage
Adrian Bhagat lays out your board-treading options for the next two months Although the theatre season is nearly over, there are lots of great shows to see before the summer. First up is Stephen Daldry’s fantastic production of An Inspector Calls which has played for years in the West End and Broadway, winning countless awards, and returning to the Theatre Royal from 2nd to 6th June. JB Priestley’s thriller depicts a wealthy family being confronted by a detective who gradually reveals the harm they do to the working class and picks apart their moral facade to reveal the most telling hypocrisy. A more classical theatre experience can be found from 1st to 4th July at the Lace Market Theatre where the amateur company will be performing Euripides’ tragedy, Helen. After the destruction of Troy, the beautiful Helen is a fugitive in Egypt. On hearing of the death of her husband, Menelaus, she is in danger of being forced to marry the King. For comedy fans, Bill Bailey is performing for a full week at the Theatre Royal starting on July 27. His musical stand-up routine is unmissable, and this tour promises to include lots of new material as well as excerpts from his London show, Tinselworm. www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk www.royalcentre-nottingham.co.uk www.lacemarkettheatre.co.uk
nottingham event listings...
for more: leftlion.co.uk/listings
Funhouse Comedy Maze £7 adv, 8pm With Rhod Gilbert.
The Grounds Project Nottingham Castle All day Runs until: 07/06
Joan Fontcuberta - Datascapes Lakeside Arts Centre Free, All day Runs until: 14/06
Finding Time - Exhibition White Rabbit Studios Free, 10am - 5pm (Sat) 11am 5pm (Sun) Runs until: 14/06 whiterabbitstudio.wordpress.com Adam Goodge, Amanda Going, Jeannie Clark, Katrine Brosnan and Rebecca Gove-Humphries.
Funhouse Comedy Maze £7 adv, 8pm Ican Brackenbury and Zoe Lyons.
Tuesday 14/07 Funhouse Comedy Maze £7 adv, 8pm With Rhod Gilbert, James Sherwood and Compere Spiky Mike.
Thursday 16/07 Funhouse Comedy Maze £7 adv, 8pm With Andrew Lawrence and Pippa Evans.
Monday 27/07 Bill Bailey Live Royal Centre £25, 7.30pm Runs until: 01/08
EXHIBITIONS Monday 01/06 Laxton: Farming in an open field village Lakeside Arts Centre Free, All day Runs until: 16/08
Back To Life: Jennifer Bell Yard Gallery Free, 11am - 4pm Runs until: 05/06 Folk and Tribal Art from India New Art Exchange Free, All day Runs until: 19/07
Thursday 18/06 Nazir Tanbouli - Baptism of Hailstones Surface Gallery Free, All day
Skies Nottingham Castle £tbc, All day Runs until: 12/07
Rachel Reupke Moot Free, All day Runs until: 19/07
Laura Mccafferty Lakeside Arts Centre Free, All day Runs until: 02/07
PhotoRadar Various Locations Free Runs until: 14/06 The 13th Annual Nottingham Trent Photography Degree Show.
Thursday 11/06 Mark Titchner Backlit Free Runs until: 28/06
Saturday 13/06 Sherwood Arts Week Various Locations Free, Daytime Runs until: 20/06
Exhibition-Homing Nottingham Society of Artists Free, 9am - 5.30 pm Runs until: 08/07
Thursday 23/07 East International Showreel Moot Free, 6pm - 9pm
Friday 07/08 Dan Ford Moot Free, All day Runs until: 30/08
Bonington Voyage The return of Nottingham Trent’s Art and Design degree shows It’s that time of the year when another load of Art and Design students get re-introduced to the big, bad world, but not without letting said big, bad world have a look at what they’ve been doing for the past three years, and what they intend to keep doing for the rest of their careers. Yes, it’s Nottingham Trent University’s Art and Design degree shows, and this year’s exhibition – which usually takes over half the city - is heralded as the biggest festival yet. As always, there’s a phenomenal array of disciplines on offer, from sculpture, painting, illustration and graphics to photography and print; from moving image, theatre and digital design to directional fashion, knitwear, textiles, and decorative arts; and from futuristic products to cutting-edge furniture and interior design solutions. Naturally, the centrepiece of the whole shebang is the University’s Bonington building, and it’s open to all – yes, even the divviest local - from June 6 to June 11 - where Fashion students will also be showing a selection of their work. Meanwhile, Photography student exhibitions will be scattered right across the city, from the Surface Gallery to the former Beatties from June 1 to June 12, while over 100 students pool their talents at the Photoradar exhibition, at Bonington. And for the first time, Architecture students get a look-in: they’ll be taking over the Waverley building for the duration of the shows. Whether it’s film, fashion or fine art that floats your boat – or you just fancy having a nose around the campus – this is one event that is, as they say, not to be missed. Nottingham Trent University Art and Design degree shows. Saturday June 6, 11am to 5pm; Sunday June 7, 11am to 4pm; Monday June 8 to Thursday June 11, 10am to 5pm. www.ntu.ac.uk/degreeshows
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Lowdham Book Festival (15-27 June), we would like to dedicate this page to the man behind the scenes, Ross Bradshaw. All poems and books reviewed are by people who will be performing or have been associated with the festival over the years. But fear not, our regular contributors from the forum will be back with a vengeance next issue and - if they’re interested - could also feature in a special poetry podcast. Please visit www.leftlion.co.uk/forum for more details. That Afternoon
She sleeps, and into consciousness swim fish and flatworms, a cloud of moths; termites building ziggurats, beetles crossing tarmac roads.
Sad poetry. It’s written everywhere, by broken hearts in search of self-expression: the universal language of despair.
I think I’ll start an élitist club for people like me, catastrophically unfocussed despite the valiant efforts of teachers down the years.
She turns, and from the midday heat comes a fever of lizards with iridescent crests, a carpet of serpents, a sunlit rain of frogs.
She writes of anguish (and it’s hard to bear). She chisels, from the floes of her depression, sad poetry. It’s written everywhere.
Its members will be chaotic, bumbling souls, its patrons hand-picked from the good and great of seeming-vagueness.
She murmurs, and as her body twists trilobites scuttle across the coastal shelves, jellyfish ripple translucently with the flow of the mind.
He tries (in vain) to emulate John Clare, to forge a bridge between his self-obsession and the universal language of despair.
Rothko, whose monolithic forms loom out of the fog of their canvases, can alternate as chair
She stretches, her leg muscles flexing like the wings of a ray in the turbulence, prised from sand to pulse and float like breathing gills
But he’s not self-aware, not debonair, he lacks the savoir-faire, the self-possession… Sad poet, try! It’s written, everywhere,
with Vermeer, the latter so slick at avoiding a hard-edged finish, the undisputed Master of the Blur,
on the edge of the shore. When she wakes, beside her on the floral sheets, is a body, of the species hominid, picking crumbs from the folds of its clothes
that anyone who’s sad, and solitaire, should curse in verse, as if their flair could freshen the universal language of despair.
not forgetting Monet (his water-lilies drift apart, break up, the more one stares)
like a chimp with a straw at a termite-nest. In the window, the windows of another house, red brick and rain, the aquatic light of TV in a darkened room.
And round they go - mad fingers twirling hair (which tends to give a negative impression: sad!). Poetry? It’s written. Everywhere, the universal language of despair.
nor the intimiste, Vuillard, famous for a long life devoted to making nothing quite hang together.
by Wayne Burrows (from The Protein Songs)
by Mike Wilson
by Jenny Swann
Our brief will be: To celebrate things that are ill-defined, lie in wait, bide their time, out of focus -
Forever Afters by John Agard
Extract from a Fine Romance by Roger McGough copyright Penguin
Served, as always, for the last. The tail end of the menu. The main course’s epitaph. A pudding knows the meaning of waiting one’s turn in queue. Patience is what puddings know best. And when all face the final test on that day of reckoning, puddings will array their glory down to the smallest gooseberry, for every pudding knows one truth – that the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Yes, puddings shall have the last laugh when the sweet inherits the tooth.
the peripheralised, the marginalised, only minds and eyes in the habit of wandering off at the critical moment, would notice.
Excuse me darling, in advance for the slow, macabre dance I may one day lead you into. Holding you too tight for comfort and whispering endearments, if I should call you by another’s name, a lover’s perhaps, from years ago, don’t be startled. It’s just a slip of the moonlight.
Book Reviews James Walker
I Love Samuel Taylor
The Sea of Azov
edited by Anne Joseph
Weathervane Press, £7.99
Five Leaves, £9.99
Award-winning poet Ian Collinson proves he is a literary jack-ofall-trades by setting up his own publishing house and kick-starting it with his debut novel. This is the exact kind of positive enthusiasm which is making Nottingham one of the fastest growing literary scenes outside of London. The novel is an easy-flowing romantic love story, set between Nottingham and Leeds, and best summarised by the line ‘what a difference a boy makes’. The boy in question is Samuel, a wannabe writer with a good heart who helps central character Jess come to terms with her family’s emotional and financial problems. Given the current economic climate, this could be the first of many on a familiar theme.
The sea in question is the birthplace of Chekhov – the master of the short story, and this collection pays suitable homage with an impressive list of authors such as Jon McGregor, Nicola Krauss and Etgar Keret. The book was published in association with the World Jewish Relief and is themed around ‘connections’. These come in various forms ranging from domineering matriarchs still correcting offspring from beyond the grave to more reflective pieces such as Ali Smith’s offering, which uses the short story format to explore wider social issues. An excellent accompaniment for any writer/reader wishing to learn this simple yet underrated craft.
James Walker www.weathervanepress.co.uk
The Dirty Thirty: Heroes of the Miners’ Strike
James Walker www.fiveleaves.co.uk
David Bell Five Leaves, £7.99 David Bell is something of an expert when it comes to local history and he here turns his attention to the infamous 1984-5 miners’ strike which saw thirty out of 2,500 Leicestershire miners stand up against the pit closure programme. The ‘dirty thirty’ in question give first-hand accounts of why they felt so passionate about the closures and continued to fight with the same spirit as the Tolpuddle Martyrs before them. The book gives an insight into the effect these changes had on local communities and, perhaps more importantly, explains how we have arrived at the impersonal and subservient working conditions which epitomise modern employment. Given the contempt the current government seems to have for its people, this is a timely reminder of how important solidarity can be. James Walker www.fiveleaves.co.uk
Gerrem in yer tab www.leftlion.co.uk/podcasts
Once again, a full page of all-Notts reviews. We’d like to keep it this way, so if you’re local and you have a new release, go to www.leftlion.co.uk/sendusmusic to find out how you can get your stuff reviewed on this very page...
MUSIC …And Stars Collide …And Stars Collide EP
Dog Is Dead Dog Is Dead EP
Fists Cockatoo/ Skit 7”
Boasting an excellent live sound where their songs truly come to life - often in a violent and ultraloud fashion - ASC are the best parts of Explosions in the Sky and Red Sparowes. From sweet and vulnerable guitar arpeggios to crushing riffage and heavily delayed and fast-picked lead, they are sure to impress any post-rock fan. Opening song Every Step Takes Me Further From Home (part II) starts with a guitar harmony-laden build-up that eventually gives way to a complete implosion of epic high-pitched lead, guitar and bass riffage. See the Opening Morn is very aptly titled, bringing to your mind’s eye a particularly beautiful sun rising over a horizon of lush forestry, before everything going supernova with Your Winter and Night Spent in Disguise, which begins with layers of bass fuzz before giving way to a build-up riff that Young Teamera Mogwai would’ve been particularly damn proud of. Closer We Are None Of Us Long Of This World maintains its sensitivity and innocence for longer than any of its predecessors, like the calm after a bombing raid. This EP is an excellent exercise in instrumental moodiness. There comes great difficulty with crafting a good, long post-rock song, but these guys do it very well. Nothing meanders for too long, and the whiplash heaviness is maintained with great intensity. Ant Whitton
Dog Is Dead have successfully secured themselves a place on Nottingham’s ‘keep a bloody close eye on’ list with this, their debut EP. With a brazen mix of indie-flavoured tunes with choppy rhythms, jazzy saxophone, complex textures and endearing lyrics, this is an accomplished record by anyone’s standards, but especially so considering their age - they’re all doing their A’ levels this month. It’s a refreshingly indefinable sound, bending the generic indie-pop template almost beyond recognition to incorporate their jazz-fuelled licks and full vocal harmonies to create songs that are fun, complicated, and sound something like collaboration between The Futureheads and Madness. They’re tight as hell through every song, and with so many unexpected stops, starts, tempo changes and surprise bursts of musical energy it’s a wonder you don’t hear them collapse halfway through the second track! Although the record doesn’t do justice to their explosive live shows – if you get the chance, go and see them play, and thank me later – it shows a level of musical maturity that’s well beyond their years whilst maintaining their cheeky youthful charm. Sarah Morrison
Over the past few months Fists have been slowly but surely gathering a groundswell of support, with each of their gigs being even more rammed than the last, and it’s not hard to see why. This 7” from the mighty Hello Thor stable is their debut release, and is a perfect showcase for their talents. This is a 45 full of charm, melody, and wit, all delivered with right amount of knowingness, like a cheeky wink from that crush you know you will never have. A-side Cockatoo is delivered in such a ramshackle, yet sweet, way that you almost think that it’s all going to fall apart at any minute. Yet the delicate female vocals somehow manage to keep this sixties C&W-influenced song together. On the flipside, Skit is the complete opposite; it powers along in a whirlwind of screwed-up, manic, rusty vocals and a barrage of dirty, distorted, jagged guitars. The song goes along with such momentum that it is all over in under two and a half minutes. In fact, like any great single, both sides are short and to the point, with each song complementing the other perfectly. Paul Klotschkow
Available from the website and at gigs www.andstarscollide.com
Dog Is Dead will play the main stage at Splendour on July 19 www.myspace.com/dogisdeadband Lenroy Guiste Roots Rock Dub LP
Geiom ft Spamchop Sirius Star/Cave Rave 12” single Over the last three years Geiom has been working hard on releasing some uplifting and solid wax action. Now on his twelfth 12-inch release, from his independent label Berkane Sol, this will be found in the dubstep section of good stores soon. The release sounds technically smashing and - dropped correctly during a set - is guaranteed to keep clubbers sliding and gurning until early morning with production as tight as ever. The flip sees Wigflex regular Spamchop pitching in on the collaborative track Cave Rave - a deep stepper with a sexy rolling bassline switching into some jerky quirky synth action. Hand in hand with Geiom’s Island Noise album, the Midlands is looking extremely bass-healthy. Manchurian Available now from selected stores and www.boomkat.com www.myspace.com/geiom
Rory McCarthy Memories I Never Had EP This is McCarthy’s debut EP, but even on first listen you would never know - this clutch of songs sound as if they were written and performed with the gusto of a seasoned professional. Themes of love and loss are handled with maturity - there is no bubblegum pop or lovelorn cheesiness here. Comparisons to Conor Oberst, Bright Eyes and Bonnie Prince Billy can be made, but the influences never transform into mimicry, thanks to passionate but fragile vocals. The highlight here is Plain Sailing, a song where the country-tinged pop formula really works, with a hook reminiscent of Ben Kweller at his most perky. I Don’t Even Know and Dream (I Can’t See the Way) also bounce away with country guitars, flourishes of harmonica and glockenspiel adding texture to the summery feel of the songs. Ships Have Sailed is perhaps a hint as to where his sound will go next, with an electronica tinge. Singer-songwriters come and go a lot nowadays, but this chap may be around for a very long time. Joe O’Leary Available for download on the website www.myspace.com/songsbyrory
Inukshuk Morninglights EP
One of the greatest instrumentalists Nottingham has ever produced, having been a founder member of the god-like Natural Ites (one of the best UK roots bands of the 1980s - check Picture On The Wall on YouTube) as well as Royal Roots and Porcelain Dolls, Lenroy ‘Bassie’ Guiste unfurls an electric mix of dub, world music and beats on this envelope-pushing slab of 21st century roots. Opening track China Dub sets the tone; a soulful and spacious riddim, featuring sinuous and majestic erhu lines (that’s ‘Chinese Violin’ to non-world music types) with punishing stabs of electric guitar. The influence of the titans of reggae are never far away - particularly on Elements Of The Past, which draws on a bewildering array of influences and hits harder than your first gas bill after being made redundant. Naturally, because it’s a dub LP, its light on the vocals, but contributions from Taxman (on Frontline) and Jodie Ayers (on You Ted) smooth things out considerably. There’s even a monged-out nod to Jimi Hendrix on Purple Dazed. All in all, proof positive that there’s more to modern-day reggae than you think. Sneinton Dale
Matt Rai has assembled a band that may well fly the flag for local indie/alternative bands, and Inukshuk have arrived with a thought-inspiring trio of treasures. Formed in 2006, with influences such as Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley, Morninglights is a well-balanced sample of what hopefully will be to follow. Paint is the first stop with an intro that may draw similarities vocally to Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, laced with heavy guitar stabs with a well-placed underlying piano-driven melody giving the track an orb of life and drama. Second track Morninglights is a ballad which has an eerie and adventurous feel to it with a delightful piano melody contrasted by raw beats. Tunnel is a real gem and a track that can be likened to Queens of the Stone Age, opening up Rai’s vocal chords and giving a climactic finish to the EP. If these guys appear in a local venue, a visit is a must for those wanting drama, entertainment and a local band who not only want to break the mould, but have already done it. Nik Storey
Available from website as a CD or download www.lenroyguiste.co.uk
Available now from iTunes www.myspace.com/inukshukmusic
Russian Linesman Amsterdam Story EP Since previous EP Love Is Over in 2006, Russian Linesman have remained under the radar, mainly opting to release fourtrack tasters from time to time with the odd extended session. Fuelled by a refreshing ambience, Amsterdam Story EP contains 4 tight, midi-tastic tracks of progressive techno, warmed with pads and classy electro hooks. Amsterdam Story is the most instantly appealing track, with a steady paced techno beat and traces of Kraftwerk etched into the melody. Without any vocal tracks, this still manages to be well layered and mood evoking, dark and occasionally sinister release. Offering a more uplifting reprise, Poor Runa is brighter and has a more chord-driven triphop direction sounding not dissimilar to The Beloved or Moby. The overall feel of the EP is very adventurous and has a dreamlike atmosphere with the light melodies and gentle beats. Occasionally, EPs can be a diamond in the rough and leave you wanting more, others aren’t short enough. In this case it’s more than worth a listen. Nik Storey Available from www.manual-music.com www.myspace.com/russianlinesman
Available from www.hellothor.com. See them at Left Lion Presents at Brownes on Friday 19 http://www.myspace.com/fistsmusic
Swimming The Fireflow Trade LP This debut release is an ecstatic rush of Smashing Pumpkins altrock theatrics, combined with a hedonistic trip of dream pop and a dabble of soaring postrock thrown in for good measure. Walls upon walls of warm, fuzzy guitars and glistening keyboards are built up, acting as the perfect backdrop to the high, soaring vocals, creating some of the most glorious music you are likely to hear all year. Swimming have never been a band content to rest on their laurels, and are determined to push themselves and their sound as far as the constraints of a typical two guitars, keys, bass, drums set-up will allow, resulting in a deeply satisfying listen, with repeated plays bringing out the depth of each track. This is an album that challenges the listener to lose themselves in it. It’s extremely rare for a debut album to sound so fully realised, self-assured, and perfectly executed, and even more excitingly, they’re from our very own city. Hopefully this will get more local bands pulling up their socks to push themselves to create something just as fulfilling and ambitious. Outstanding. Paul Klotschkow Out now on iTunes, Amazon and Napster. Catch them at LeftLion Presents at Brownes on Friday June 19 www.swimmingband.com
Electro - House - Techno
Capricorn (December 23 - January 19)
It’s easy to get nuns and penguins mixed up from a distance! I found this out to my cost recently when I spent the best part of an hour confessing my sins to an Emperor, with little in the way of a reply. Still, at least I managed to p-p-pick up Sister Amelia of the Benedictines later that evening. Don’t tell the wife…
Aquarius (January 20 - February 19)
Cocktail season is underway and they’re all on offer: two for none if you steal the ingredients from Asda and make them yourself. My own personal favourite is the 1964 Car Bomb. But I’m also partial to A Crow Left of the Murder, A-Rang-A-Tang and A Short Trip To Hell.
Pisces (February 20 - March 20)
When buying cigars, it’s important to choose wisely and spend a bit extra to get the quality. If you’re going to stink of faeces and have a fiery stick in your mouth, which you can’t even inhale, you might as well do it in the most expensive and tasteful manner possible. Check out Arturo Fuente Añejo No. 48, and tell him I said hello.
LEFTLION ABROAD Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland.
Aries (March 21 - April 20)
The Death Adder is not the most poisonous snake in the world. That honour goes to the brown or olive-skinned Oxyuranus microlepidotus (aka Fierce Snake), found across Central Australia, which has enough venom to kill 100 humans in a single bite. However the Adder will still do a decent number on your legs later this week.
Taurus (April 21 - May 21)
A day at the races this month will do you good. But remember, all experienced gamblers know that a prize-winning horse should have a thick coat, strong hindlegs and an elegant gait. It probably shouldn’t talk in multiple voices, suddenly split in two and run off in opposing directions though. All bets are off!
Celtic Park is the home stadium of Celtic Football Club. The all-seater stadium is also known as Parkhead and occasionally nicknamed Paradise by Celtic fans. This photo was taken outside before the home game against Hamilton Academical on Saturday 4 April 2009, which Celtic won 4-0. It is the largest football stadium in Scotland in terms of capacity and the third-largest in the UK after Old Trafford and Wembley. It contains four stands, 60,832 seats and one copy of LeftLion Magazine. If you can get a photo of a LeftLion sticker or a copy of the magazine somewhere interesting and outside of England, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gemini (May 22 - June 22)
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so when you come across someone doing impressions of you this week, then there is some cause to look on the bright side. However, the exaggerated and drawn-out stutter, monotonous voice, hideous features and total lack of conversational skills may indicate otherwise.
Cancer (June 23 - July 23)
No seas tímida y no dejes que el orgullo o el decoro se interpongan para entablar una conversación con alguien. El tiempo pasará, debes saberlo, y siempre está la posibilidad de que puedan convertirse en grandes amigos. Relájate, sonríe con tu sonrisa más encantadora, y disfruta del viaje.
Leo (July 24 - August 23)
Being headhunted by a major Japanese organisation sounds like it could be a major boost for your career. However the more you learn, the more you realise that they’re less likely to offer you a job than to make you an offer you can’t refuse. The Yakuza are looking for you.
Virgo (August 24 - September 23)
I danced for the scribe and the pharisee, but they would not dance and they wouldn’t follow me. I danced for the fishermen, for James and John, they came with me and the dance went on. Dance, then, wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the Dance, said he and I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be and I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.
Libra (September 24 - October 23)
Space and time as we know are concepts that are soon to be broken. A course of events that seems incomprehensively long to the human mind, yet is totally small and insignificant in terms of the greater span of the universe, is coming to an end. It’s time to reassess time itself. Don’t be late.
Scorpio (October 24 - November 22)
When we met, it wasn’t quite clear to me. What you had in store was there for only me. Silly, you know you took me by surprise. Then I turned and looked, I saw that message in your eye. And I thought what a strange place to put a message? In your eye? How does it even fit in there?
Sagittarius (November 23 - December 22)
TRE WATCHING TWENTY20 AT
DRINKING 20/20 UNDER TRE NT BRIDGE
Bonding with new puppies lesson one: At feeding time masticate (yes I said masticate!) a piece of white bread till it is gooey, then feed this as a titbit to them once a day for the first week they live with you. It mimics the regurgitation process when pups and cubs are being weaned in the wild and will help them settle.
The next issue of LeftLion Magazine will be out in Notts on friday 31 July. With extra monkey blood... 30
Cost: Up to £100 on eba
ear: Big poncy fedora
ple of Aussie Sitting next to: A cou oby Doo Sco lads dressed as Chance of seeing Ian
Cost: £4.50 from Bargai
Headgear: Manky bal
Sitting next to: A poo l of your own vomit and needle s Chance of seeing Ian
Botham: Ver y high
UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE SHOWS: June 6–11 (admission free) Twenty stunning exhibitions of final-year degree work spanning all areas of art, design & creative practice – Photoradar Photography Festival: June 1–12 – Knitwear & Fashion Catwalks: May 21, 22 & 23 POSTGRADUATE MA EXPOSITION: July 11 & 13–18 (admission free) A showcase celebration of the vibrant & diverse work of our Masters art & design community
NTU@GRADUATE FASHION WEEK Earls Court 2: June 7–11 D&AD NEW BLOOD Olympia National Hall: June 29–July 2 FREE RANGE Old Truman Brewery: July 9–13 NEW DESIGNERS Business Design Centre: July 9–12 & 16–19
MAKE YOUR MARK@NTU
All enquiries, locations, information & tickets: www.ntu.ac.uk/ntushow09