Contents pg 4; Neil Maguire An interview and look at the work of street artist Neil Maguire. pg 7; James Andrews - The attraction of Analogue. An article on the benefits of analogue photography. pg 9; Neil Reddin An article on local artist Neil Reddin and his up and coming exhibition. pg 10; Scrapbook Love A look at Photography by Mark Flynn and Chloe Snell. pg 14; Aloha! A review of new Tiki bar- Aloha ! pg 18; Jenn Manning A look at Liverpool Designer Jenn. pg 19; Raiders Boutique A review of local store Raiders pg 20; Meow Meow = bad? An article on controversial drug Meow. pg 22; Vektor Monkey Pictures and an interview with Vektor Monkey creator Stephen White. pg 27; Take it Back You Vile Cretins! James Dougherty A look at how the Beatles have potentially destroyed the Liverool Music scene.
Contributors Editor- Rachel Morris Design- Rachel Morris Feature Writers - Rachel Morris, James Andrews, James Dougherty Models- Chloe Snell, Mark Flynn. Neil Maguire, Lauren Cannell, Jess Morris, Stephen White, Jared Jones, Mark Hollywood and Liam Oâ€™Neil. Art Work- Neil Reddin, Neil Maguire, Theo Di Caprio, Stephen White, Graham Watson. Photography- Neil Maguire, Karl McKeown, Craig Mesham, Mark Flyynn, Neil Maguire, Chloe Snell, James Andrews, Stephen White. Thanks to Aloha Bar, Raiders Boutique, Jenn Manning and everyone else who has contributed to the creation of this magazine.
To contribute or advertise email ; Rachel_morris_1989@hotmail.co.uk
Where do you gain inspiration from? Most of my inspiration is from things around me, whether that is me having a bad day and getting that pent up aggression out on my sketchbook or when I’ve seen a gnarly looking fat guy with his shopping walking down the street who’s expressions make me want to start drawing. A lot of inspiration is also gained from looking at other artist’s work, inspiring me to keep the next images lines cleaner than the last or too push my work that bit further.
Describe how you create your characters?
Neil “sicknote“ Maguire could well be the next big name in street art, He creates an interesting display of characters, ranging from the cute to the ugly to the just plain strange. With their distinctive thick black lines and bold colours (his trademark style) his pieces are definitely ones to watch out for. We caught up with him to ask him a few questions!
It’s a little difficult to describe how I create each character because the way in which I create a sketch changes all the time. Lately I have been starting each of my characters by its ears then forming the shape of the character from these (little weird I know) but a few months back I started every image with these signature eyes I exhausted myself with. Generally my characters aren’t pre conceived each line laid can turn into a different character element until I think it has its own personality.
Whats your favourite piece of your own work? I’d probably have to say the ’Do I Smell?’”piece I did for an exhibition called No Way Home. I had spent like a week trying to tidy up the
clean lines on my main canvas pieces and the night before the exhibition, I found these old picture frames with these old prints in them, that I quickly knocked up two characters for on sticker paper that fitted the pictures perfectly. It was crazy that they seemed to have more meaning and attitude with these characters on then without. In this particular image there was a house next to a river during the autumn, with some geese in the background flying away. This just got me thinking about when your sat on the bus and no one sits down next to you and your start to feel like
I smell?“” I guess the process and story about this piece just worked.
Where do you hope to be in 10 years time? In ten years I would want to be a more prolific figure in the illustration industry, be that as a full time illustrator or graphic designer, I also would hope to have been part of many more group exhibitions as well as having my own sweet exhibition with a messy opening night maybe some where in Liverpool or Europe. My dream would be to live in Germany and Berlin in particularly, being commissioned to create my character designs. Like most people and artists I want to sustain my lifestyle through what I enjoy, my art. To me if I reached the heights of the people I look up to now I would be more than happy.
Who is your favourite artist, favourite painting?
Choosing favourites is like picking your favourite Star Wars movie, they’re all sick but with so many it’s hard to choose as they all have their own individual qualities. Guys like Jonathan Edwards; he’s a sound guy and has always taken the time in the past to give me advice on my own art. Also people like Dave the Chimp, Karl Toon and Eugene and Louise are also some of my favourites. My favourite painting would probably be one of the Insult to Injury series by the Chapman Bros. I went to see these pieces on a college trip to the Tate Liverpool and thought they were great, it took some nuts to “deface (if you want to call it that) Goya’s etchings so I’m into that.
Do you prefer drawing or using computers to create your characters? Drawing all the way, there’s nothing like the reaction you get when you’ve created something on the spot, plus
I feel like doodling isn’t as regimented. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy using computers to create my characters, there’s no other way quite like it to create a crisp clean image but it doesn’t match up to something straight off the bat.
Do you think there’s enough help for young artists out there to get there work about?
Attraction Analogue of
by James Andrews
There seems to have been a recent resurgence of events to showcase young artists popping up all over the country many local bars are hosting drawing nights that are a great place to meet like minded nutters as myself. This in turn leads to other opportunities. The internet is also a great place to find these events and the ideal place to find group exhibitions to be part of. So yeah, I think there is enough help but it seems to be artists of a similar thinking getting together to make things happen wish is always good fun.
Do you prefer street art, or when your work is displayed in galleries? Both are awesome, with the street art there are so many elements that are added to the work. When a piece becomes weathered and worn it almost becomes a part of the surroundings. I feel like street pieces almost feel like they’re-invading the space. Walking down a street can get so repetitive. Pavement, dog shit, concrete, people, shops, traffic. Having a small vinyl sticker or large scale paste up breaks this normality up. The gallery side of work is also great it does contrast to the street stuff and some might say it contradicts it, but that’s bull. My work is for whoever wants to see it. In a gallery setting you have your opening night drinks and wine and get to meet new people. On the street your work reaches new people all the time, so I don’t differentiate between the two.
The argument of film vs. digital in regards of photography is a question that has been asked since the introduction of the digital camera. In my opinion this is not a fair comparison. An oil painting would not be compared to a water colour both would just be commended for their individual merits, both having distinct strengths and weaknesses in certain scenarios or aspects of the medium. I have taken photography seriously for about 3 years now. Experimenting every chance I get trying to learn new things and replicate commercial looks. Up until this year I have shot almost exclusively digitally. The thought of the added complications and risk surrounded by film was always unap-
pealing to me. It took a visit to a local charity shop which had recently inherited a collection of cameras from a photographer that had passed on. I purchased a Yashica Mat TLR Camera which took medium format film producing 6x6 images onto the negative. I wasted no time in using my new camera which was fully manual; all exposure working outs had to be done by me with no aid from an onboard light meter. I liked how the camera worked, the 100% manual approach to photography was a lot more rewarding than the usual point, expose, view which was the norm with digital. I had used 35mm several times be-
fore, developing and printing myself; with limited success. However this was my first time using a fully manual camera and also my first time shooting with medium format. With this in mind I did not expect much from the shoot and headed to the darkroom to develop my film with little expectation. I developed the film in a similar way to 35mm doubling the chemical amounts to cover the larger film service. Once the development process was complete I was relieved and surprised to see my 100% manual work on the shoot had resulted in 12 beautiful 6x6 analogue negatives. I then began to print from the negatives, something that had been one of the major drawbacks that had kept me from using film in the past. Printing paper is expensive; around £30 for a box of 100 10x8 sheets. A lot of which would be wasted in the pursuit of the perfect print. After viewing my images as positives on a contact sheet I selected a couple that I would print. After several prints, fine tuning by means of selective exposure and printing filters I was eventually rewarded with a black and white print with rich blacks, white whites and stunning grain something that was far superior to my initial test prints. At this point I was converted, not to put down my digital camera but to the fact that the traditional silver based approach to photogra-
phy has its own uses and merits. I instantly began researching different cameras, looking for a medium format camera that I could not only learn with but one that would allow me to express my creativity without limits. I knew Hasselblad is the camera of choice for many top professionals but that was out of my budget. I went for a Mamiya RB67 Pro S described as the workhorse of the pros. I listed my Yashica mat which had been the reason for my sudden love of film on Ebay and made a £130 profit and along with several other vintage cameras from my collection funded my purchase of the Mamiya. So now I have a rose tinted view of film does that mean I’ll no longer be using my digital camera? No. Digital still has the upper hand. Whilst film has its certain aesthetic quality and “one off” originality, digital is safe, proven and incomparably manageable. If I was commissioned to do a wedding or anything for that matter I wouldn’t even consider using film. Taking a risk with other peoples memories or projects in which I had been entrusted to envision and capture for sake of personal preference isn’t logical. So for now digital wins, but film certainly put up a fight. Something of which I would never have expected myself to of said only a year ago. www. jayaphoto.com
Neil Reddin In the first of a series of visual Art exhibitions by Liverpool Artist Neil Reddin, they are intended to act as social commentary, reflecting on themes such as civil liberty, system theory and the corporate contract. Within these varied themes Reddin explores emotive subjects such as ‘isolation’ and ‘loss,’ as well as making reference to ‘containment’ and the struggle to retain a sense of self. In Response 0.1, Reddin incorporates complex geometric design and assemblage with an expressionistic painterly style, this combination of approaches and concepts are used by the Artist as a metaphor for contemporary existence, which attempts to identify some of the complexities of the human condition within the ever increasing constraints of modern society. ““I am interested in making work which reflects modern themes, be it sociological, political or otherwise. Some of the work is autobiographical and also reflects my attitude towards particular subjects at certain times. The technical aspects of making the work are just as important, if not more important to me than the concept. The many processes which are undertaken to create a piece of Artwork which I am ultimately pleased with interests me a great deal. A large proportion of my practice revolves around creating complex, geometric design in paint, resolving technical problems within this approach is still a challenge but something which essentially keep me interested in continuing my practice.” Neil Reddin will be exhibiting his first solo show at the Novas Contemporary Urban Centre Liverpool January 16th - February 13th 2011.
As soon as I laid eyes upon the bamboo covered entrance I knew that the cities newest bar was going to be like nothing Iâ€™d ever experienced before . Looking like the set of an Elvis film, Aloha, is a tiki themed club on Colquitt Street (what used to be bar Fresa) complete with masks on the walls, flamingo embellished straws and
staff clad in Hawaiian shirts this bar brings a burst of tropical paradise to the city. As an array of 1950â€™s and 60â€™s dance tunes play, visitors to the club let out a range of moves that surely must have been learnt from watching Dirty Dancing too many times. Feeling like I had been transported back in time, I took a seat in
of the many comfortable looking booths while my friend went to the bar, only to return with two very bright and tasty looking cocktails in tiki style vases. I was busy admiring the attention to detail the owners had clearly gone to, as everything from the cushions to some of the seats themselves are tiki themed when one of the bar staff brought over a selection of delicious complimentary Hawaiian style snacks! After a few cocktails I decided it was time to hit the dance floor. As The Beatles â€™twist and shoutâ€™ played I noticed the tiki hut dj booth and the parrots adorning the bar, which really show how much time and love have been put into thisplace. Aloha has the potential to be extra cheesy but manages to pull it off in a retro kitsch sort of way that lets you escape to a 1950â€™s paradise on a rainy Tuesday night. I will definitely be returning and recommend that you do too before it becomes to popular!
Raiders[ A rail of vintage fur coats and jackets on one wall, shelves full of slingbacks and Mary Janes on the other and in between a collection of skirts, dresses, knitwear and handbags. Entering the shop is like looking at a Vogue article on fashion through the ages, from Victorian slip dresses to 80’s puff ball skirts this shop seems to stock it all which is why Raiders is widely considered to be Liverpool’s premiere boutique for vintage fashion.
If you’re looking for stunningly designed vintage inspired pieces then look no further than local designer Jennifer Manning. Her clothes capture the gorgeousness and elegance of the flapper style but with a striking modern take. Made from a wide range of fabrics, including delicate laces and exquisite chiffons, cut in a flattering fashion and tastefully embellished with an array of beads and sequins, Her dresses hold the potential to give any woman the aura of a femme fatale or make them an icon of the silver screen. Jenn, who is currently attending the prestigious London College of Fashion, draws inspiration from a multitude of things from film noir to the Russian ballet, to the fashions of the past century and thrift stores. These influences can be seen in her design collection which feature slinky drop waisted dresses, leotards and prom style gowns all of which all encompass the elegance and glamour of a by gone era.
The shop started out as a stall in The Heritage market selling handbags, from there a small shop in the old Quiggins building to its current position on Renshaw Street. The store is beautifully decorated with its old fashioned white washed cupboards, comfortable arm chairs and gold framed mirrors it makes you feel like you are stepping into another world. A world of glamour, sophistication and original 1950’s prom dresses.
Meow Meow = bad?
’Its fairly obvious to compare the current hype/hysteria over Mephedrone a new “legal” high to the seminal Brass Eye episode on drugs where Chris Morris invented the fictional drug Cake, and got celebrities and politicians to rail against it.. It really does seem almost too good to be possibly be true – sold as “plant food”, called in slang, ridiculously, “Meow Meow”, “Miaow” or supposedly “Bubbles”, and now we have the deaths linked to it in which everyone seems to be completely ignoring the fact that the two men in Scunthorpe who died mixed it with alcohol and then apparently, and we say apparently, as it’s impossible to know yet what killed them until the toxicology
reports come back, used Methadone of all things to try and make the comedown smoother. Methadone has all the dangers of heroin, and is incredibly easy to overdose on, especially when you have no tolerance to it and are unable to therefore know what a ’safe” dose’ is. While it’s possible they may have overdosed on just the Methadone, it’s also possible that the mixture of the three could just have well have caused their deaths. As a drug that only emerged in 2007 as a “recreational” substance, much about Mephedrone or 2-methylamino1-p-tolylpropan-1-one to give it its proper systematic name is unknown, including the true dangers involved in taking it and the long-term side ef-
fects. What is known is that so far only one death has been definitively linked to the drug, and that also involved the taking of it with another drug, in that case cannabis. An earlier reported death in this country of a 14-year-old girl was found to have been caused by bronchial pneumonia, and not 4-MMC, as we’ll call it from here. We don’t then have any solid evidence whatsoever, let alone any scientific studies, to show that the drug is inherently dangerous on its own; what we do have is reports from users that suggest that it has unpleasant side-effects, and also isolated reports that some have become addicted to it, although those have to be treated with the usual scepticism. To put this somewhat in context, the rise of 4-MMC doesn’t seem to be just because its legal status is currently in limbo, nor that it can currently be obtained easily and acquired for relatively trivial amounts of money, but because of both the relative scarcity of Ecstasy, and the perceived drop of quality in both MDMA and cocaine. 4-MMC is currently felt to be far more likely to be purer in quality because of its legality, in difference to the aforementioned drugs, although there have been rumours that some batches could have been contaminated. The other drug to rise hugely in popularity in the last few years has been Ketamine: it’s no coincidence that while Ket is a controlled drug, its use as an anaesthetic in both humans and animals means that it is relatively easy to obtain, and that its quality is somewhat assured as a result. It hardly then follows that making 4-MMC illegal, as demanded by all the usual suspects, will either halt its growth in popularity or reduce the risks associated with it. Indeed the ban on importing it into Guernsey has had two predictable effects: pushing up the price, fuelling acquisitive crime, with organised crime gangs filling in where previously dodgy if legal outfits had been supplying it. Making a substance illegal only increases the possibility of contamination when the ingredients are more difficult to get hold of (the quality of the ingredients is also bound to
suffer) – witness the recent deaths of heroin users who found their supply had been contaminated with anthrax. Lastly, as the equally reasoned Prof. David Nutt makes clear, that 4-MMC is a “designer” drug only makes the possibility of a replacement substance coming along relatively quickly after a ban is put in place all the more likely. Nutt also offers the best “prohibitive” short-term solution, a so called “Class D” classification: This is a holding category where drugs can be put before they are well understood: sales are limited to over18s; the product is quality-controlled so users know what they are getting, at doses limited as far as possible to safe levels; and it comes with health education messages. Society can limit sales and collect data on use. Unfortunately this would never be close to acceptable to the “usual suspects” mentioned above. In fact, they’d consider it the government openly sanctioning the use of such dangerous substances, and if someone was to die in circumstances similar to that of the two young men in Scunthorpe where it hasn’t yet been proved that their deaths were anything to do with 4-MMC, then they’d declare that the government had blood on its hands. Like the Private Eye taxi driver stereotype where hanging and flogging is the only thing that “they” understand, so in this instance only a ban is acceptable or likely to be understood. That drug prohibition has almost certainly been the most destructive political orthodoxy of the post-war years in terms of lives destroyed and lives lost continues to be completely ignored by the entire mainstream. Where we then need knowledge, understanding and time to make informed decisions of just what harms drug pose, we instead have the equivalent of the celebrity in Brass Eye declaring that Cake could make you throw-up your own pelvis bone. What a f*****g disgrace.
Vektor Monkey is the brain child of graphic and web designer Stephen White. Fed up of a lack of options when buying tshirts he decided to create his own, thus Vektor Monkey was born. Compromising of a range of mens and womens tshirts and vests featuring his bold and colourfull illustrations the designs are set to go down a storm. Expect the companies monkey logo to become much more familiar !
What is Vektor monkey? Vektor monkey is me. I came up with it because I like to create vector artwork. What does the range include? This first range I was going for a movieish music sort of urban cult theme. For the moment I’m just testing the water so I’m just doing mens thirsts but hopefully if it goes down well I’ll make womens too. At the minute I’m in the middle of designing mens hoodies. What inspired you to make them? I like to collect tshirts, and I have a wide range. I’ve always wanted to get involved in some sort of fashion design. I am also inspired by trainer spotter tshirts and Tyler Stout. Who is the range aimed at? Its aimed at young adults, like skaters and people into the urban scene, mainly men but as I say hopefully there will be a womans range soon. I’ve also been asked to put my designs on childrens tshirts. Where can we buy your designs? WWW.vektormonkey.com I’m also trying to sell to a few local independent shops around Liverpool. So hopefully they will be available soon. What’s the future for Vektor monkey? I am looking at opening my own shop in Liverpool City Center, but for the minute I’m just doing freelancing, creating more designs and building up the range of clothes on offer.
To start things off, I’m more of a Stones fan than a Beatles fan. I wanted this out in the open in case it was revealed post-article in an unscrupulous Red Top, and my reputation as a Scouser and a music fan be left in tatters. After my high profile court case win (in which I overturned a petition to have me banished to the Wirral for crimes against the city), I decided to evaluate what the Liverpool Music scene means to me. Yes we have had famous sons (and daughters) fly the flag abroad, but what is it about the area that has only really allowed one band to hit the big time to world domination? A Flock of Seagulls, Atomic Kitten, Cast, The Coral, Dead Or Alive, Echo and The Bunnymen, The Farm, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Gomez, The Las, Lightning Seeds, Shack, Space, The Wombats, The Zutons 15 bands that have had hits, and varying degrees of fame. Why haven’t any of them, not even one, made the transition to ’Globalsupermegastarband?’ My answer is a sobering one. One a lot of hard working folk will find hard to swallow. Most of these bands are shit (apart from Atomic Kitten). This aside however, the real pertinent issue is the fact that The Beatles themselves inadvertently ruined the Liverpool music scene. No one can ever leave the shadow of such a towering record and merchandise selling machine. John Lennon was fucking sainted *. Such a high bar has been the thing that has ruined most Liverpool Football Club squads post 1990,
and even with a great glut of local talent (of which I would not like to name, for fear of favouritism and free advertising), no one can ever escape being the band from the same city as The Beatles. It may even only be subconscious, but the comparison will always be there. When that only half-decent second album comes out, the scrap heap will not be far away. They will be another forgotten local relic. I have no beef with The Beatles, but they are not the best band ever, not by a long shot (Radiohead, there I said it), but their record sales speak for themselves. Yes, they are an iconic band, and part of our cultural and national heritage. Yes, they made a lot of good music. And of course yes, we all love an underdog story of local folks done good. At the end of the day though, they where four lads who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments. To move away from this slavering hero worship and to start appreciating our local music scene once again, we would do well to heed the word of Scroobius Pip: “The Beatles were just a band”. *Do not check this statement, you and I both know it is false, and I have lied my way through this and many articles before. It was used for comedic effect, and to emphasise my point. I will not change for anybody.