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I s s ue 4 // 2011 ‘ p e rf e c t ion ? ’ £4.50 w h e re s o l d


Issue 4 // 2011 full credits on page 17 Photography

Natasha Alipour-Faridani Styling

Heather Falconer shirt

Paul Bench model

Timothy Renouf @ Elite Models Illustration

Sarah Ferrari

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Issue 4 // 2011 Editor in Chief and Creative Director Heather Falconer heather@spindlemagazine.com 07719 528 622 Art Direction and Design Sarah Ferrari sarah@spindlemagazine.com www.sarahferrari.com Music Editor Amy Lavelle amy@spindlemagazine.com Music and Events Co-ordinator Bee Adamic bee@spindlemagazine.com Arts Writers Kathryn Evans Lana Lay Film Writers Thomas Dearnley-Davison thomas@spindlemagazine.com Toby King Contributing Fashion Writers Emily Amelia Inglis Vanessa Austin Locke Lois Walker Fashion Assistant Shane Hawkins Photographers Jean-Luc Brouard www.jeanlucbrouard.com Kevin Mason www.kevinmason.garage-studios.co.uk Natasha Alipour-Faridani www.natashaalipour-faridani.com Christopher George Sims www.christophersims.com Contributing Photographers Damian Fry www.damienfry.com Lee Man www.leejohnmannphotography.co.uk Xanthe Hutchinson www.xanthehutchinson.weebly.com Sarah Bird www.sarahbirdphotography.co.uk Chad Burton www.thexoxokids.com Contributing Stylists Sara Darling Lauren Eva Lisa Nicolaou Hair Stylist Kalvyn Celic kalv@hotmail.co.uk

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Lauren Eva Sarah Ferrari Amy Lavelle Lana McDonagh Bee Adamic

6 Kathryn Evans 7 Heather Falconer 8 Thomas Dearnley-Davison 9 Jean-Luc Brouard 10 Shane Hawkins

Photography (Cover)

hair (Cover)

Styling (Cover)

Illustration (above & opposite)

Kevin Mason at Garage Studios Heather Falnconer

Kalvyn Celic

Maria Sagun

for more

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without permission from the publisher. The views expressed in Spindle are of those retrospective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the magazine. The magazine welcomes ideas and new contributors, but can assume no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations. Spindle is printed and published in the UK 4 times a year.

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Illustrators Jason Allsebrook www.newgiraffecity.com Liv Bargman www.livbargman.co.uk Pierre Bolide www.pierrebolide.fr Laura Brown www.laulaulikes.blogspot.com Karolina Burdon www.karolinaburdon.blogspot.com Mariana Chemes www.flickr.com/kinska Chantal Clarke www.chanticlark.tumblr.com Stone and Spear www.stoneandspear.com Philip Dennis www.philipdennisart.com Joana Faria www.atelierjoanafaria.com Ruth Ferrier www.ruthferrier.com Peter James Field www.peterjamesfield.co.uk

Emma Fitzgerald www.emmafitzgerald.co.uk Tom Forman tomforman.illustrator@yahoo.co.uk Hannah Forward www.hannahforward.com Daisy Gam www.daisygam.com Sarah Haug www.the-steak.net Sara Japanwalla www.sarahjapanwalla.com Paul Jode www.umbrellephant.co.uk Emilie Lashmar www.lashmar.co.uk Paul Loubet www.gregoletpoluar.com/poluar Make Believe Collective www.makebelieveco.blogspot.com Sarah Maycock www.sarahmaycock.co.uk Tommy Nicholson www.tommynicholson.com Matthew Reay www.matthewreay.com Running For Crayons www.runningforcrayons.co.uk Lisa Rust liska_rusty@hotmail.co.uk Maria Sagun www.mariasagun.com Emma Shoard www.emma-shoard.blogspot.com Phoebe Swan www.phoebeswan.co.uk Freddy Thorn www.the-drawn-identity.blogspot.com Sundeep Toor www.sundeeptoor.com Rachel Williams www.missrachelle.co.uk Online Editor www.spindlemagazine.com Thomas Dearnley Davison thomas@spindlemagazine.com Website Design Bevan Stephens Interns Laura Arrieta Paris Dickens Elise Kerr Salma Manik Will Marsden Samantha Mew Chris Moon Toni Ogle Tori Rodway Olivia Sopel Jessica Tse Briony Warren Charles Wood Publisher Heather Falconer Many Thanks Mary Falconer, for believing in the dream John Falconer Katie Gorman Carole Jordan Dean Marsh Sam @ Toni & Guy Essensuals Brighton Sidonie Warren Sponsorship and Advertising Heather Falconer advertising@spindlemagazine.com Submission Email info@spindlemagazine.com Spindle Magazine is printed by Wyndeham Grange Ltd, Butts Road, Southwick, West Sussex, BN42 4EJ Š 2011 Spindle What do you think of Spindle? info@spindlemagazine.com


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Welcome to issue 4 // The Perfection? Issue. What is perfection? Is it strength? Beauty? Intelligence? Obedience? Each one of our fashion stories interprets different ideologies of ‘Perfection’, from Lee Mann’s ‘Nobody’s Wife’ (page 24) to our cover star Rene, female bodybuilder. Amy Lavelle interviews Chloe Steadman, child beauty queen (page 40), and we look at the rise in popularity of gap tooth models (page 50). It has been one year since the first issue of Spindle Magazine launched, and what a year it has been. After three issues of being free, we’ve decided to add a cover price to the magazine. We’ve done this because we don’t want to substitute the quality of the magazine. We’ve had a busy year, not just producing four magazines; we’ve also hosted fashion and art sales, curated our first exhibition, put on numerous gigs and parties. We’re no longer just a magazine; Spindle is a brand which strives to promote your creativity interactively through our numerous events. If you’re interested in being involved in a future exhibition or performing at one of our gigs, then get in touch: info@spindlemagazine.com. I hope you enjoy this issue, we’ve had a lot of fun making it! Stay tuned for issue 5, ‘Heritage’, which is out in September. Details for how to contribute can be found online: www.spindlemagazine.com/contribute

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Looking back to where you began; where did you study and what did you study? Were you able to express yourself in such a courageous way from the start or has your sense of style evolved? I started university in Norway back in 2002. From 2002-2005 I did a BA in womenswear at Esmod, and from 2005-2008 I did another BA, but this time in Fashion Knitwear at Central Saint Martins in London. The first two years in university, I didn’t really have a personal design style, it evolved around the same time as my graduation collection, and at the same time Gwen Stefani’s video ‘What Ya Waiting For’ came out. I think I actually died for a second the first time I saw it. After that everything came in to place and I understood who I was. In both schools I’ve gone to, they have always encouraged me to be who I am.

Your work is very bold and playful, in what other ways would you describe your work and would you say that is reflective of your own personal style too? I think I might be a walking poster for my brand, perhaps a bit embarrassing but i do love colours and quirky things. I would definately say that my brand is childish, quirky, humoristic and colourful, at least I’m trying to be.

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What is it that inspired such eccentricity? There’s notable inspiration from the pop art style, but how do you take from this and make it your own? I draw most of the inspiration from children’s books, harajuku, pop art, inspiring make up, exciting East London people, going out clubbing, art and photography. I spend a massive amount of time Googleing weird things and strange people. It’s not hard to make it my own, I don’t even know how I do it. If I see something interesting or something that inspires me my head starts making clothes immediately, all I need to do is to use my fingers and draw it. I don’t think my head is really attached to the rest of my body.

Why children’s clothing? Are you yourself a mother/are you drawn to children’s fashion for a particular reason? Im not a mother yet, but I’m seven months pregnant, so I will be by summertime. I have always been really interested and inspired by children and toys, colours etc, that is why it came quite natural to me that I also should have a childrenswear line a bit more commercial than my womenswear one. We were also granted a prize of £15,000 in 2010 by Innovation Iorway to get started. Was it a stark contrast working with jewelery design compared to clothing? Would you like to continue this collaboration beyond this initial collection? I really enjoyed working on it. Its different from what I normally do, and it made me think differently. After doing this I got really interested in continuing doing jewelery. But I think I would do them a bit differently in the future – perhaps other materials.


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What is next for you and how do you see the Fam Irvoll brand growing? I really hope that we will be able to expand and have stockists in London and Paris by next year, both for children and womenswear collection. I will continue making two collections a year and hopefully show in London next season.   What have been the highlights of your career? I have had a lot of amazing moments so far. Some of them are winning designer of the year 2010 in Norway, meeting Lady Gaga back in 2008 and have her buy a few of my pieces. I think that’s when it all started really, all of the amazing people I have met so far. I have been able to work with the fantastic and talented Marina and the Diamonds.   If you could have 3 guests over for dinner, who would it be? Think a Come Dine With Me... Made in Fam Irvoll heaven. That would have to be Marina and the Diamond, Isabella Blow, Michael Alig and Leigh Bowery – sorry that’s four but it would have had to be. What piece of clothing or jewelry best describes what you and your work is about? That would have to my 3D work. I love love love 3D fashion and it’s what I’m all about

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Emily Amelia Inglis photography

Kevin Mason styling

Heather Falconer Model

Georgie Hobday @ Profile Illustration

Sara Japanwalla


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ussie duo Tim and Jean make the kind of synth pop that’s destined to be the music you dance to all summer, and have the kind of looks that are destined to be splashed on posters stuck to the ceilings of teenage girls everywhere. words

Amy Lavelle Illustration

Emilie Lashmar

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The guys had one of those cool cosmic, meant to be, Fate with a capital letter type chance encounter (that musicals will have you believe all the great matches have) at a train station, no less, and immediately started jamming together. After that, they launched themselves into the limelight after getting to the finals of Triple J’s ‘Unearthed High

School’ competition for unsigned bands, and it was all downhill from there. “Our first gig was a festival,” Parklife Festival, to be exact. As well as that their debut single ‘Come Around’ has already gone viral, with album ‘Like What’ to follow, they’ve worked with John O’Mahoney and have supported the likes of La Roux, Franz Ferdinand, Two Door Cinema Club and Moby. “The Moby show was our second gig and it was at the Sydney Opera house which was pretty cool.” It’s safe to say they’ve skipped the ‘playing in the parent’s garage’ stage. So, it’s kind of hard to believe that the boys still don’t feel like they’ve had any success. “We don’t feel we’ve had any success yet- still got a lot of work to do and a long way to go.” It’s no wonder they’re not only our ones to watch


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Bee Adamic Illustration

Sarah Haug

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he London based electronic duo consisting of Emily and Tom picked up a lot of blog love during the middle of last year with their euphoric remixes of Alex Winston’s Choice Notes, and a throbbing reconstruction of Local Natives World News. Their own material is equally as fantastic: I couldn’t stop listening to their dreamy lo-fi hit “Snow White” after first hearing it. Towards the end of 2010 they released a stunning five track EP and gave it away for free. It was a perfect combination of Emily’s enchantingly icy cool and whispery vocals and Tom’s cool wave synthesizing beats. Every single track on the EP is fantastically produced with an infectious and charmingly eerie vibe – the tracks are sung with dreamy loving lyrics, but all have added underlying 80’s synth tones. The demand for Labyrinth Ear to perform live is growing by the day but they’re still preferring quirky intimate venues for now, so catch them somewhere small before it’s too late!

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OTW words

Lana McDonagh

Illustration

Chantal Clarke

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pindle caught up with upcoming artist Joe Simpson to hear about his new project ‘Musician Portraits’ which features many renowned faces belonging to the contemporary music scene...

Artistic background: I work primarily in oil paint to create realistic images that utilise the conventions of cinematography to present ‘staged’, fictitious scenes where time has been stopped and extended. These frozen moments are deliberately ambiguous, inviting the viewer to inject their own emotions, motivations and narrative context into the scene, thereby avoiding limiting interpretation. Who inspires you? In terms of painters – Edward Hopper, Lucian Freud, Jenny Saville and Peter Howson are big influences. I also really admire Damien Hirst, Gregory Crewdson, Frank Warren and Tessa Farmer.

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How did the ‘Musician Portraits’ project come about? I always like to work on ‘projects’ that have a unifying element to a number of pieces. I came up with the idea of doing a series of portraits of notable figures, where the project would be as much about the pursuit of making contact with the subjects and persuading them to be a part of the collection. I toyed with the idea of different groups – like writers, or comedians, but ended up settling on musicians, mainly because I’m a massive music fan and also because I thought it gave a wide scope for really interesting portraits. Who has been involved in this project and why? I’ve been approaching my favourite musicians and people who I think would make great

paintings. It started out being quite slow and I’ve sent out a lot of emails that have been ignored, but a lot of amazing people have now started to agree to be involved. I’ve met some of my favourite acts that I’m a huge fan of – including The National, Vampire Weekend, Mark Ronson, Faithless, Iron & Wine and many more. It’s been a really interesting process. I meet up with each musician to take original photographs to paint from (getting them to sit for the whole painting process just isn’t realistic unfortunately). When and where I’ve met people changes with each act and really pushes my limited photography skills to the test. I’ve met musicians at their homes, at festivals and backstage of arena concerts. I should be heading to Las Vegas to meet Brandon Flowers next month, which is very exciting


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osmo Jarvis may be best known as a musician and you’ve probably seen the video for ‘Gay Pirates’, the song that went viral after Stephen Fry tweeted about it. But what you may have missed is the wealth of short films he has written, directed, performed in and edited.

‘My Dad used to rent a camera and I’d mess with that. I made a lot of character shorts around weird characters my friends and I would play. I just kept going from there’ Certainly his films and characters fit no mould: ‘Happy F***in’ Valentine’s Day’ (the unofficial ‘sequel’ to ‘Gay

Pirates’) could be viewed as either a sub-‘Sopranos’ parody or a sharply observed meditation on the long-term relationship between two gay gangsters; and ‘2 Dicks’ is a council estate ‘Odd Couple’ with Cosmo as a 21st century Walter Matthau. I spy a theme…‘I love playing a nasty bastard!’ he explains. ‘Dunno why actually, maybe that’s bad? I mean no one wants to know an unflawed character though, right?’

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Does he prefer working in film or as a musician? ‘Film is still so new and the possibilities really are endless… whereas mainstream music, although still hugely evolving, is run by the likes of Fearne Cotton! I’d rather be a hobo on film street than a prostitute on music street.’ As for the future, Cosmo says ‘I guess I just want to make films and act until I die. Get better at it and try and eventually do it without it being such a fucking ball ache.’ …and that is something we can all relate to

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Thomas Dearnley-Davison Illustration

Paul Jode

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clothes left to right

Trousers and cut off sack top: Ashok Ji Odedra Jumper and trousers: Mr Lipop Suede jacket: Mr Lipop

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Shirt: Paul Bench Leggings: Ashok Ji Odedra above

Boiler suit: Paul Bench right

Shorts: Paul Bench Shirt: Ashok Ji Odedra

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Photography

Natasha Alipour-Faridani Styling

Heather Falconer make up

Ellie Tobin Assistant

Ben Reeves models

Timothy Renouf @ Elite Models and Shane Hawkins Illustration

Sarah Maycock

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words

Lois Waller

As someone who stretches time with endless emailing, writing and blagging, I’m not one for waiting. Like most I hate waiting to get paid, waiting in line and waiting for a package but waiting for Tom’s response regarding this interview, I was pleasantly patient. With fluff press releases and emails I would never subscribe to, I was quite looking forward to an email from Mr Lipop. Maybe I’ve met too many designers or just fallen in love their work but I have found they can be are pretty truthful and Tom didn’t disappoint.

Project Catwalk, Series 3 which was a great adventure and worked solidly for 2.5 years. I also gained experience with designers such as House of Holland, Nathan Jenden, and Griffin Laundry whilst freelancing and building up my own contacts.’

So firstly, what made this Seaside kid want to become a designer? ‘I’ve always been interested in design whether it be architecture, product, graphics or fashion. I love the whole process from the point of being inspired to producing a final product.’

With all the highs and lows of the design world, inspiration is at the forefront of the brands direction. Tom seeks influence from rather unusual sources such as household appliances and furniture but still rather than forcing creative thinking, the designer would rather it would come naturally.

Growing up in Brighton, with plenty of out-door space, an early fixation of Football and design resulted in hours spent drawing football kits Tom thought he may wear one day. With dreams to become a footballer on the horizon, a snapped leg put a stop to the premier league dream but opened up new goals. So after a short-lived Sports career, Bournemouth University was next on the agenda; ‘I studied for 3 years specializing in menswear but as far as I can see, I will be studying in this industry for the rest of my life. You’re always learning. I was part of

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So with a busy schedule and time to work on new collections, it must be hard to watch what the rest of the industry is doing? ‘It’s hard to keep up when you’re an upcoming brand. There is so much to do and organize already and generally you only have a small team, if any, so finding time is difficult. I try to keep up to date and spend most evenings checking out other brands, blogs and website to see what is happening.’ And amazingly, Tom still has time for London Fashion week; ‘It was amazing showing with Vauxhall Fashion Scout. The support they gave was fantastic and although the show went great, probably

the best part was the amount of exposure we received afterwards. We have signed with Blow PR since and have been featured in numerous high profile magazines and secured new stockists, all of which came after just showing our second collection. This makes us enthused for the future.’ In regards to exposure, designers can face comments regarding the price of their product. Is it right that the fashion folk have to use their flexible friends for expensive items or can designer items be affordable? ‘I think Fashion as a whole is already affordable, hence the high street. Design on the other hand is for me, a little more thought through. Having a high price point does make it slightly less accessible but of course more desirable in that you are not going to see every Tom, Dick and Harry wearing it. It is difficult as a young designer to keep price points low when you are producing small quantities; it’s trying to balance it all out that’s key.’ Balancing act it can be but then the high street can also abuse designer’s creative ideas to make a quick buck. ‘To be honest, it doesn’t really bother me, its part and parcel and happens in every industry. At the end of the day Skoda will never build a Ferrari, likewise the high street will never create Mr Lipop. Fabrics, cut, quality and finish are impossible to get at a high street price. You get what you pay for and when it comes to fakes and replicas that is a different story!’ Wise words from somebody who has achieved so much from two collections. Maybe the trials of Project Catwalk, Shadowing high profile designers and London fashion week, has taught Tom many things University couldn’t.


Issue 4 // 2011 So as Menswear is a great success for the Designer, are there plans to expand the brand to a more womanly friendly collection? I think it is definitely something we might think about when we have fully established ourselves in menswear. I would like to collaborate on womenswear with certain designers, which there is a couple in particular which I would love to work with but you will have to watch this space. Already much greatness is hinted at and touched on but what does the near future bring? ‘The plan is to get over to Paris in June for Menswear Fashion Week with our sales agent in the hope of securing some new stockists. We are looking to break into stores in Japan and Korea following a very successful

meeting with our new distributer for those regions. We should be showing during London Fashion Week in September whilst developing our new website and collaborating with a few labels on products such as a shoe line, glasses collection, hats and a new range of bags. We are also going to be launching our black label ‘tailored by’ line, a progressive collection of suiting in luxurious fabrics. With a packed rest of the year and plans for further expansion in 2012, any advice for budding designers out there? “Working in the industry is your best stepping stone. Work hard, it always pays off, and know that no effort is ever wasted! Be focused and have your aim very high in your mind but be open as the path may not necessarily be straight.” That’s the best

“as far as I can see, I will be studying in this industry for the rest of my life. You’re always learning.” piece of advice I received and I think it’s best to share. Also be intuitive when working for other labels. If you’re thinking of starting your own line, ask them about factories and suppliers and take note, build up a contacts list so that when you go it alone you have somewhere to start. Find a balance between wearable and show, ultimately you are trying to run a company so you have to sell but people want to see something different. Lastly, have confidence in your work and others will have confidence in you!

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Photography

Damien Fry Styling

Cherry Collins Make Up

Ole Elias Reinholdtsen Hove Hair

Josh Goodwin Illustration

Ruth Ferrier Thanks

Vince @ StarrStudios

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Photography

Lee John Mann Styling

Victoria Barban Make Up

Lauren Amps Hair

Eleni Georgiou Model

Amber @ Profile Models Illustration

Daisy Gam

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Xanthe Hutchinson Styling

Taheed Khan Make Up

Temi Sawyerr Aboderin Clothes

James Steward Couture, Lisa Jane Dan and Kevan Jon hats

Couture Hats by Beth Hirst Model

India Lownds @ Boss Illustration

Jason Allsebrook

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They were given one word: ‘Perfection’ and one image to convey their ideas. Here’s Spindles selection of future fashion photographers. Joanna Natalija Gourley

London College of Fashion MA Fashion Photography www.jngourley.com

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Illustration

Hannah Forward


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Kamil Szkopik

London College of Fashion MA Fashion Photography

Danielle Zazulak & Kathryn Daubney Northbrook College, Sussex Photography Foundation Degree

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Issue 4 // 2011 Sophie Pycroft

London College of Fashion MA Fashion Photography www.sophiepycroft.com

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Issue 4 // 2011 Paula Maso

London College of Fashion MA Fashion Photography www.paulamaso.com

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Photography

Christopher Sims Photography assistant

Nick Thompson Styling

Lisa Nicolaou Styling assistant

Si Mac

Make Up

Jonas Oliveira Hair

Luciano Rodrigues Illustration

Sundeep Toor

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far left

Leather top: Bora Akusu Body: American apparel Plastic skirt: Emmy Slattery Tights: Pamela Mann @ MyTights Gloves: Harmony left

Black & white dress: Liz Black Latex boob tube: House of Harlot Gloves: Corlette right

Yellow dress: Emmy Slattery Wire necklace: Emmy Slattery Glasses: Emmanuel Katsaros

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Body: Ann Summers Thigh high boots: Mascaro Jacket: Jena Theo Knuckle duster ring: ParamorJ RIGHT

Sheer body: American Apparel Braces: New Look Trousers: Jena Theo Necklace as arm piece: Pierre Garroudi Ring: Peter Lang @ www.barberinifashion.com

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Dress: Ruth Tarvydas Harness: Harmony

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Issue 4 // 2011 blue photos

Pink dress: Sweet Millie White sequined ball gown: Sweet Millie Flower broach (worn in hair): Sweet Millie Jewellery: Pretty Eccentric

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Amy Lavelle Photography

Sarah Bird Styling

Lauren Eva Make Up

Becca Robb Hair

Kerry Hobbs Model

Chloe Stedman Illustration

Laura Brown

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“She is beauty and she is grace, She is queen of 50 states, She is elegance and taste, She is Miss United States.” S

ings a doe eyed man staring in adoration, with just a smidge of jealousy, at the weeping my size Barbie, draped in a sash with her tiara firmly in place and a smile stretched from ear to ear (whether through happiness or pain because she can’t move her face anymore is unclear).

The beauty pageant is a staple of American culture that epitomises beauty, perfection and riding around atop a float. Hello to big teeth, bigger hair and a face held on with hairspray and Vaseline.

team within minutes of meeting them and is staunchly opposed to the plasticity of the American pageants, insisting the UK do it differently. “Sometimes in the American ones their mums say ‘You’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do that, you’ve got to have the fake stuff; it makes you stand out, it makes you be beautiful”, but really it doesn’t. It makes people think bad about them, about the kids but really it’s not the kids fault, it’s the parents.” Not a toddler-in-tiaras-throwing-tantrums type Chloe entirely shuns the stereotypes and is dismissive of the shows they thrive on across the pond: far from being a victim of the dictatorial ‘Pageant Mum’, it was Chloe’s own interest in pageants that got her family involved on the circuit; those costly gowns that mother’s have been known to spend thousands on, have been found on Ebay for as little as £50; and Chloe is involved in pageants, such as Miss True Beauty, which ban make up on the younger children, as her mother Alison tells us.

“They were allowed a lit tle bit of lip gloss but that was about it.”

Then there’s the offshoot of that: the kiddie pageant; the undeniably creepy and ethically debatable institution that brought to us children’s swimwear sections, frankly questionable male judges and the ever terrifying Pageant Mum, often ex beauty queens gone to graze who now live vicariously through their children and rule over them with an iron first. And it might be worth mentioning now ‘flippers’: false teeth glued to gums recently bereft of their milk teeth.

Now the utterly hideous phenomenon that made a special generation of even mini-er Lolitas hit the stage is establishing itself in the UK. Enter ten year old Miss Chloe Stedman, second runner up of the UK’s first ever Mini Miss UK, who won over the entire Spindle

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“They were allowed a little bit of lip gloss but that was about it. They all had to be natural beauties… They were allowed to wear little high heels. The dress was normally to the knees with the finale gowns to the ground. Nothing higher than above the knees.”

Chloe even has ideas of how she can show the Americans the folly of their ways. “They have fake teeth and they have fake tans and everything. Well I had an idea what we can do; I was thinking I could get a group of girls that do pageants over in England to go over to the American ones to do the American pageants so then we could show the Americans that you don’t need all that make up and fake stuff when it’s just fun making new friends and you don’t need to always wear fake ‘cause there’s no point.” However, despite the positive message Chloe and her family emanate about their experience of the UK’s pageant circuit to date, it’s not like that for all the other children involved. “There are some pushy parents. There were a few little girls that looked a bit unhappy like didn’t want to be there. I mean there was one little girl that did the catwalks that didn’t smile at all. She didn’t look like she was enjoying it,” Alison says. “Some of them are forced into it, aren’t they,” Jeanette, Chloe’s grandmother, agrees. Noting that other mothers they have met have spent up to £1000 each on gowns, both Chloe’s mother and grandmother are wary of an inevitable move towards the more traditional, Americana style pageant. “A couple years time it will be like the Americans ‘cause they make money,” Jeanette warns. “At the moment it’s nice and it’s elegant,” Alison says. “Americans are too over the top with the little short dresses and the bikini swimwear.” “If they change it, it ruins it,” Jeanette adds. Should this be the case, Chloe will be pulled from the pageant circuit. For Chloe and other little girls like her that stand to gain from a chance to compete in pageants that promote a healthy, natural beauty outlook, let’s hope that the UK’s pageant scene doesn’t take start taking its cues from its American counterpart. There’s only so much Fake Bake a girl can take This is an ongoing photography project for Sarah Bird who will be photographing beauty queens of all ages over the next few months for an exhibition in October.


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left to right

Necklace and jumpsuit: Mrs Jones String vest: Beyond Retro Red leather shorts: Mrs Jones

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String vest: Beyond Retro Red leather shorts: Mrs Jones Hooded poncho: OOPS! Fashion Leggings: Mrs Jones Beaded neckpiece: Mrs Jones ‘Rhianna’ jumpsuit: Mrs Jones Necklace: Mrs Jones

Photography

Kevin Mason at Garage Studios Styling

Heather Falconer Make Up

Breianne Zellinsky hair

Kalvyn Celic Illustration

Sarah Ferrari

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Demelza Reveley won Australia’s Next Top Model at the tender age of 16. Three years on Vanessa Austin Locke talks to her about life as a symbol of perfection. We asked the model (also a budding artist) to illustrate her own article with her ideals of perfection before and after her journey through the fashion industry. Demelza and I met by chance on a filthy sleeper tour bus through our respective boys for a few hours a couple of years ago. The boys didn’t last but, despite living at opposite ends of the globe, our friendship has. While chatting with Demelza over Skype about an article I was trying to find an angle for on the subject of perfection, we fell into a lengthy discussion on the subject, and without realising it, I had my article. At a glance Demelza and her life might seem perfect. Crowned most beautiful girl in the Antipodes at sweet 16, waltzed into a world of fame and fortune, with skin that reflects light like the surface of the moon (even at 7am over a webcam), she’s a saleable symbol of perfection. But being the muse is not the languid, beautiful experience the smoke and mirrors (or windmachines and Photoshop) make it out to be, and despite all her perfection, her hips were ‘too big’. All the way through the show she was told to lose weight and so, as a 16-year-old is bound to do when listening to those who surely know so much better than she, she lost weight. “I struggled with being told I was too big to be a model and that I didn’t have the right measurements and if I only lost this much weight then everything would be fine.” What’s interesting about this is that she’d never had a problem with the way she looked before she was recognised by the industry, something which should (should) have been

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a confidence boost rather than the opposite. But being in that microcosmic alternate universe skews perception. “Everything gets magnified but nobody else really sees it. So people on the outside tell you you’re fine and people in the industry tell you you’re not and it’s like a tug of war in your own mind trying to work out who’s right and who’s wrong and how far you take something before it becomes quite detrimental to you. Being 16, my mind was so malleable to all the criticism that was being thrown at me.” De refers to ‘hindsight’ a lot as we talk; not with regret but with learning. She’s made a study of her mistakes and the result is a mature young woman, wise beyond her years, who doesn’t preen and is, remarkably perhaps under the pressure, level-headed and happy with her figure. It would seen that she’s managed to lash, tether and tame the ridiculous stamping beast of the fashion industry and, as though it were a naughty, wailing child, she just ignored it until it piped down. She’s continued to do things her way, calmly and without a song and dance or indeed a soapbox. “I’ve always had a womanly figure and I never want to get rid of that. I’ve come to an understanding with the industry that I’m in. Things aren’t going to change, I’m one person and I’m not going to be able to make a big difference. But I always feel that as long as I’m doing it on my own terms then at least I’m doing something.”

So, as a saleswoman of perfection, are we being scammed or does the product exist? “No. I think there’s this weird crazy ideal that people have figured, but I don’t know where it’s come from and I don’t know who decided that that’s what everyone should look like. When I was at New York Fashion Week last year one of the MUAs (make-up artist) was telling me that the average age at fashion shows was 14! It seems so strange to me, when did that become ok? That’s the ideal of perfection that we’re meant to live up to and it’s an unobtainable thing.” So it seems that we’re all buying into a willo’-the-wisp… or are we? Demelza’s closing insights are the most intriguing considering all that’s gone before, which might have hinted at a contempt for perfection and admission that it’s unobtainable. So should we stop buying into beauty? Should the fashion industry pack up its concealer and show us reality? “I don’t know that people would like it if things changed. I think people like the aspiration. I think they need it. In a weird way I think people need that sort of drive in their life to aim for something else.” I find I’m inclined to agree. Perfection may be fantasy, but she’s also my dear friend and she’s perfect whether on a billboard, or on my webcam at 7am. The ultimate irony, and our parting shot is this… Demelza has finally lost those pesky inches from her hips (quite naturally we should add) and as soon as she did, her bust increased by several sizes. Imperfection’s got to go somewhere it would seem. Although I doubt everyone feels as hostile to those extra inches as the fashion industry is bound to do


Issue 4 // 2011

“As long as I’m doing it on my own terms then at least I’m doing something.”

words

Vanessa Austin Locke Illustration

Demelza Reveley

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Issue 4 // 2011

“ T here’s a crack i n ever y th i ng, that’s how the light gets i n.” L eonard Cohen T

he first thing we need to understand about perfection is that there’s no such thing. However, it’s still one of the most important concepts in existence. It’s the thing, ultimately, that gets us out of bed in the morning. Call it drive, call it desire, call it obsession, we all want something better. This is the crux of art. The desire to achieve the impossible. It’s the reason we create anything. The Greek tragedy is, that we’ll never, ever get there. It’s a dangerous concept too if not understood and channelled correctly. Dreams of utopia have caused

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damaged art students and intellectuals to become dictators, inspired musicians to turn to heroin, religious zealots to commit crime upon crime against women. And on smaller scales too, the search for perfection has caused heartache beyond measure when the object of desire is exposed as flawed and falls from his or her pedestal. Or the moment a young girl, looking in a magazine, suddenly realises she’s never going to look like the girl staring back at her and she begins to look at her own face and body with disgust.


Issue 4 // 2011

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aying that perfection doesn’t exist is too simple though. It’s true, it doesn’t, but there’s something better than perfection... imperfection. The moment at which something becomes iridescently, breath-takingly perfect is the moment when it’s accepted as beautiful, regardless of its flaws. It’s this perfect acceptance of a permanent state of imperfection, which might be the closest thing we’ll ever have to true perfection.

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beautifully crystallised example of this very process in action has been scattering the pages of our favourite fashion magazines for some months now, building momentum to the point at which April’s Vogue was just saturated with it. I’m referring of course, to the rise of the gap-toothed model. No doubt your mind immediately goes to Lara Stone, the queen of butt-toothed-gaptoothed gawkyness. Naturally, the ever-unoriginal fashion fascists out there dubbed her Lara Tombstone at once, but the girl’s no doubt been dealing with that since

kindergarten. Lara’s been on the scene for ages, but it was back in 2009 when Rimmel replaced Ms Moss with Georgia Jagger and Vogue promptly slapped her on the cover of the November issue, that things started to change for toothy girls. Around the same time Chanel chose Vanessa Paradis to front their Rouge Coco campaign, albeit with a closed mouth.

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ast forward to April 2011 and the model of the moment is the utterly strange-looking Lindsey Wixson. Were her features a whisker more pronounced she’d be bordering on deformed. As it is, she’s featured in two multi-page editorial shoots in April’s Vogue, one by Alasdair Mclellan and the other by Tim Walker. Mulberry’s current campaign sees two redheads, one open-mouthed, revealing her perfect imperfection, the other, closed-mouthed, clearly her teeth are not so spatially blessed. Other embracers of the look are Calvin Klein, Miu Miu, Karen Millen and Sandro. One wonders

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Issue 4 // 2011

‘O ne g irl we spoke to w i l l wear a w ire for life to keep that gap neatly closed.’ 52


Issue 4 // 2011 if Chanel are wishing they shot Paradis open mouthed in hindsight. As for the girls, Lara and Lindsey aside, there’s Alex Wek, Anna Paquin, Jessica Hart, new face Molly Smith, Madonna and of course, Bridgette Bardot to name a few. So, it may seem like fashion picked the latest trend and made it huge in just a few months but this one’s been on the burn for a fair few of years before being packaged and presented.

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he faces of Paul Smith’s latest add campaigns have been air-brushed most delicately, leaving slight traces of bags under the eyes or a line here and there. Various designers such as Mark Fast are attempting to use a healthier model size and the likes of Lindsey Wixson are laughing all the way to the bank and no doubt in the faces of all those who bullied them at school. The fashionable powers that be have graciously given us a nod to the imperfection that us mere mortals must bear. How kind.

hen you find yourself looking in the mirror and wishing you had big butt teeth with space for a pound coin in the middle, you know there’s a new trend in town and you’ve been well and truly seduced by the media. So what is it that’s so charming about that inelegant space between the central incisors? We spoke to some gaptoothed girls and guys (note the lack of gappy guy models, sorry boys, you’re still dorks), about their relationship with their grins pre and post fashion’s latest fancy.

ashion is telling us that our imperfections are the very things that make us most beautiful. In a strange way, the industry that is so slammed for making us feel bad about ourselves is suggesting that imperfection is perfect, that we don’t need to strive for perfection because we’re already there. Master this and... well, we’ll probably be bored and dissatisfied because everything will be perfect. As Alanis Morissette once said, “Isn’t it ironic?”

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ome thought fondly of playground performances their teeth allowed, such death-defying feats as sticking the straw from their Um Bongo carton through their teeth. Others, more sadly, of teasing and painful trips to the orthodontist. One girl we spoke to will wear a wire for life to keep that gap neatly closed. Another thought she wanted rid of her gap, only to discover, after her braces were removed that she missed it terribly. Yet another said her gap made her feel young and impish. To our question as to whether gaps between your teeth really were lucky, as goes the old wives tale, the response was pretty unanimous, “Yeah, in the same was as having a bird crapping on you is lucky.”

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ow could someone please tell GAP to get with the program because they’re missing a genius opportunity for an ad campaign

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o what is it then, that makes this the look so appealing? It’s cute, it’s geeky, it’s sexy because of something to do with the way the teeth rest on the lower lip perhaps. But more than any of that, it’s got to be that imperfection we were speaking of earlier. There’s been a palpable shift within the fashion industry of late, caused by a growing agitation from the public over absurdly thin girls, over-airbrushed faces and a general misrepresentation of reality. Now, fashion is in the business of providing us with ideals and fantasies, they’re not going to admit to imperfection, instead they’ll make it perfect. They have been paying some kind of attention then.

words

Vanessa Austin Locke

Illustration

Karolina Burdon

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Issue 4 // 2011

“I’ve always been a bit of a rebel in music.” Kissy Sell Out: not your usual DJ, producer, graphic designer and all round bloody nice guy. He’s a trained artist turned songwriter who channels his vision through music, creates dance music with grunge and classical influences and has been described as one of the decade’s most charismatic DJs yet is a misfit. Raging contradiction that might be, he makes it work.

“I’ve never really been part of a clique of people, never really been part of a sound and I think that sums up my whole upbringing really… My whole first record came about ‘cause of the fact that I knew absolutely nobody that was into the same kind of music as me so I thought I’ll just give it one more go and I’ll make it this record.” Having already made a name for himself through his work as a successful DJ and producer, Kissy stepped up to a new level when he brought out his debut album ‘Youth’ in 2009 (an experience he described as one of the hardest years of his life), showing off complex melodies with intensely personal lyrics. “I was straight out of art school and I wasn’t a musician. I was just constantly being told I wasn’t good enough, I was constantly being told I couldn’t do things and that was a very de-motivating experience.” But in the years since, Kissy’s career has only gathered steam and, with the release date looming when we have this chat, his second album has already been dubbed ‘the most anticipated dance album of the year’. (“Has it?” he laughs.) “I truly think it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I know everybody says that but I didn’t say that when I released my first album and I don’t think I’ve ever said that about any music I’ve released before so it really feels like a really special moment in time for me.” So what can we expect? “It’s kind of like the missing link between my radio show and DJ set. It has the undeniable banging-ness of my DJ set in that the whole things punctuated by very obvious break downs and huge over the top bass lines and stuff, but it has the really crazy moments from my radio show like the classical music touch and it has the super complicated Kissy melodies and stuff. But unlike my first album it has a real clubbing edge to it.” The multi-talented man has even made further inroads in the creative world by adding designer to his credentials, collaborating with Scott Rogers to make his own range of skinny jeans. “I spent many years really sewing my own jeans and therefore to finally get an opportunity to design my own jeans was very exciting. I owe a lot to Scott for that.” For now, though, he’s sticking with music. God knows what the man will do to shake things up next but, until then, good luck with the new album Kissy words

Amy Lavelle

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Illustration

Matthew Reay


Issue 4 // 2011 words

Amy Lavelle Illustration

Philip Dennis

It’s not 1991. We’re not in Seattle. And chances are you’re not a disenfranchised youth wearing plaid and ripped denim and plucking along on your battered guitar to ‘Nevermind’. Sorry. The good news, though, is that we are full swing into a grunge revival. And who doesn’t love a good revival? Japanese Voyeurs may be just the band to put you right back in your greasy haired, stoner bedroom of yore. In fact, the parallels are all so screamingly obvious, it’s hard to imagine they could be anything other than gung ho revivalists intent on bringing back the glory days of the nineties music scene. And yet, they’re not. “We’re not trying to resurrect anything.” But you’re in plaid…? Intentional or not, the dark side of this is that there will be those that will inevitably see them as a tired rehash of better bands gone by. So we might as well face up to it now; sure, you can pick out Melvin reminiscences

in the heavy thrash of their guitars and front woman Romily Adams childlike wailings are authentically in the style of Kat Bjellend and KatieJane Garside (I’m sure she gets that a lot). And, 20 years later, hearing a damaged little girl’s voice screeching about naughty things like sex is as eerie as ever, but they’re as bona fide grunge with their lyrics as they are with everything else.

“It’s really interesting the way it is exhibited; visitors had to view them in the dark exposing each photo with a torch and take on the role of the voyeur. I’m really interested in psychology, the darker hide of the human psyche and examining why good people to bad things, or are troubled, or struggle to fit in within the confines of society and what is expected of us on a moral and social level.”

“The concept for a song like ‘Blush’ came from looking at that word and its associations with shame, guilt and the feeling of doing something bad. I also liked the childish connotations it comes with and on the flip side, the sexual undertones.”

In fact, the only recurring reference which doesn’t have much of a foot to stand on are the Paramour references. “It’s annoying and to be honest just sexist. It’s just because there is only one other band that has a female singer backed by four guys, we don’t actually sound anything like them.” Don’t expect to see Japanese Voyeurs on the soundtrack of the Twilight series anytime soon, either.

Course, the degree to which Romily is inspired by sex and human perversion can’t come as much of a surprise; the clue is in the band name, derived from the voyeuristic exhibition of photographer Kohei Yoshiyuki, who took photos of couples having sex in a park in Japan and the peeping toms that surrounded them.

Like it or not, Japanese Voyeurs are dead ringers for the resuscitators of grunge that they’re being lauded as

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Issue 4 // 2011

Paper Crows are a new London based duo making gentle light sounds with a dark impact. Made up of Emma Panas and Duncan McDougall, who met at music school in Kilburn.

Hey there how are you and how’s it going?

Paper Crows execute spacey, spectral sounds with the Neo-goth beauty seen in that of artists such as Bjork and Bush. Having been signed to Future Cut’s independent label (who have worked with the likes of Lily Allen), this duo have created quite an online buzz for themselves, and with a string of Radio 1 airplay’s off the back of their first track ‘Stand Alight’, the momentum is certainly starting to build.

(Duncan) Yes, yes we are it’s our first Great Escape and we are super excited, hope you can make it.

Back in late March they released a new double a sided single ‘Fingertips/Follow The Leader’. The track Fingertips manages to fall somewhere between the heavier experimental darkness of current bands like The XX, whilst cleverly adding a lighter touch through the use of an acoustic guitar, whilst Emma’s ghostly vocal presence beautifully weaves through the track perfectly. The reverse side Follow the Leader counterbalances Fingertips beautifully. Being a more upbeat piece with an electro tribal kind of feel. The beauty in Paper Crows music that seems to be lacking in the current alternative music scene is this surge from light to dark in both sounds and style... basically it’s adjectives galore! I manage to catch up with the pair of them midway through a fashion shoot to talk festivals, rituals and gig experiences...

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(Emma) We’ve really just been in the studio at the moment transferring all our tracks into an acoustic sound, which has been really good. Plus gigging and getting ready for our gig at The Great Escape... yeah! Aah yes I was going to ask you about The Great Escape.. exciting stuff!

As well as The Great Escape what other festivals are you doing?

(Emma) We have a few actually Live at Leeds, Lounge on the Farm and also Beacon Festival.. we are also waiting on a few other confirmations too, hopefully one or two in Scotland too. Tell me how Paper Crows came about?

(Duncan) We’ve known each other for about 3 years and we’ve been a band for almost 2 years. We met at music college in Kilburn both doing solo stuff and then started working together, supporting each other through keys and vocals. Then we started to write and collab’ with each other before deciding that we should maybe start something together... as much as I hate using the word ‘organic’, it did actually happen that way. Where did the name come from?

(Emma) From a song... we were struggling to come up with something so thought let’s just leave the name. Then we wrote this song with the words Paper Crows in the track and we thought, actually that really suits our sound. It kind of sums up who we are, it’s the fragility and softness combined with the darkness of the crow.

“arnadgilitys f

nes softbined com the with ness dark e h of t . w cro


Issue 4 // 2011

Do you have any collaborations in the pipeline?

(Duncan) We love to colloborate and we have hooked up with a band called Changers and remixed their track called ‘Chaos’ which we absolutely loved and it’s been picked up some blogs Is there anything strange you’ve read about yourselves?

(Emma) A weird one for us is being called ‘The Gothic La Roux’... quite a crazy comparison.

You’ve had some really good supports recently such as Anna Calvi and Clock Opera - how have you managed that and how have the crowds reacted?

(Duncan) We’ve got an awesome live agent and his work and expertise. The Anna Calvi gig was interesting as our equipment stopped working mid way through a track and Emma just continued singing and I think the crowd thought it was deliberate and it kind of went off.. it was really fun. Do you have any weird rituals that you do before a gig?

(Emma) Well we go off into a weird quiet place before a gig, Duncan and I just sit on our own listening to Under Pressure... I kid you not! We kinda zone out, but once the gig’s finished it’s time to get stuck in and have a drink

words

Bee Adamic photography

Wade Fletcher Illustration

Tommy Nicholson duncan wears

T-shirt: Long Clothing

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Issue 4 // 2011

Welsh rockers Innercity Pirates make the kind of frenetic pop punk whose complex melodies and acerbic lyrics, delivered in front man Russell Toomey’s rasping shouts and growls, are fuelled by a surge of anger that makes you feel that their debut album ‘Cutting Noses, Chasing Tales’ is flipping you off. If you ever had a run in with the band, it probably is. “I would say when it comes to the bones of the music it’s very punk, but I think the non intentional anger that comes through probably steers it that way. We go for melody straight off the starting line then usually someone or something has given me reason to feel like shite so can’t help but write about it. I’m not an angry person it’s just I think a lot of shite comes my way.”

“We used to busk a lot and taking money from people in that fashion made us feel like Pirates.”

Toomey built up a strong and lingering fan base with his previous band ‘My Red Cell’, who are just delighted to see him back with a vengeance in his new incarnation as a Pirate; so called because “We used to busk a lot and taking money from people in that fashion made us feel like Pirates.” In his time away, he hasn’t lost his edge. Just to clarify, they’re not your traditional pirates. “No parrot, peg leg or ship sorry.” But they’re not short of their own quirks, choosing an old ambulance for a tour bus before it met an untimely demise. “It was slow, noisy and smelly but it was our slow, noisy smelly beast. It would break down almost daily, we had the RAC on speed dial. ” If you weren’t already following Toomey’s career after ‘My Red Cell’, you may well have first become acquainted with the Pirates through the medium of your television, from the Google and Guinness ads they lent their sound to; apparently, they make the kind of noises that advertising execs go nuts for. However, they have their standards. “No smoking companies, I do smoke but I wouldn’t want to think I helped in getting someone to start.” Now, soon they will be offering up fresh material for your ears, as they have already started on writing the follow up to ‘Cutting Noses, Chasing Tails’. What can you expect? “Some really minimal dark slow tracks I’ve been writing on an acoustic and piano and some tracks that you will want to dance to. The dance tracks are really basic as in they only have drums, bass, one guitar and vocals but it seems to be working. The drums and bass are basic, fast and driving and the guitar and vocals are taking it easy, it’s two ends of the spectrum energy wise but they seem to compliment each other.” And if it’s anything like their debut, it will all be rounded off with lashings of their ‘fuck off’ attitude

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Issue 4 // 2011

‘Edgy pop goddess? Art piece of the techno generation? Call me whatever you want.’

words

Amy Lavelle photography

Christopher Sims photography assistant

Nick Thompson

Illustration (This page)

Joana Faria

Illustration (opposite)

Pierre Bolide

“I would define myself as a singer and a visionary.”

I’ve got to say that, getting ready for my interview with Mel Merio, I was expecting some dominating, electro pop institution/possibly robot whose mobile phone functions as an extra appendage/ weapon to be thrown at under functioning minions. I mean, just look at the list of credentials displayed on her website: ‘Music star, MTV host, television talking head, fashion model and personality, radio commentator, event producer, and the namesake of her own Cosmetic line in Germany’ and owner of her own record label. Usually you have to be Paris Hilton or the Olsen twins, possibly Leona Lewis at a push, to rack up such a long list of credentials. Boy was I wrong. “I would define myself as a singer and a visionary.” I got an interview with woman who dedicates her life to spreading the word of love and acceptance, finds inspiration by looking in her boyfriend’s eyes and balances her commitments with yoga. “The only difference between me and you is that I don’t listen to the little voice in my head putting me down. This voice is not you. You are love, trust and divine energy.” See? Welcome, folks to the Lovemore revolution. Chances are you may remember Mel in her previous incarnation as part of the group ‘The Menstruation Monster’; she’ll have been the chick that threw the used tampon at you. “Music wise it is very ruff, pretty aggressive and very obvious.

Music was just used as a medium for the performance art. The members are a tranny, a lesbian and myself. We did throw fake blood tampons on the audience and our biggest hit was dirty soaked tampon. It differs so much to what I do now.” Ever since those days though, she’s transformed herself into a sleek, synth pop star channelling some serious 80s influences with her debut album Lovemore, released on her record label of the same name. Surprisingly, though, this isn’t what she wants to talk about; all roads lead back to her personal quest to spread unity and happiness. That Lovemore revolution is not about the future of trash pop. “The most important thing for me is that everybody feels its own greatness. I am dedicated to tell you how wonderful you are and what a master of your universe.” Remember, she’s a singer AND visionary. It’s these two most important aspects of her life that she will be combining to make her second album. Ready for this? “It is a mantra album. Mantras are ancient prayers in Sanskrit. The exiting thing about it is that we are approaching this field, which is so much associated with smoke sticks and hairy women, with a new idea. It is more like KLF, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, Erasure and Talking Heads influenced synthie pop meets those holy words.” Mel Merio’s waiting for you on the other side of the revolution

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Issue 4 // 2011

It’s the perfection issue so who is better for it than the next big boy band of the moment, The Wanted? They already have a calendar, a book deal (‘the most wanted book of the year’), a prestigious slot on the X Factor alongside the Bieb and are generally making JLS quiver in their cardigans.

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Amy Lavelle Illustration

Peter James Field

And really, how long has it been since we all had a chance to have a good old fashioned bitch about a boy band? You know how it goes; manufactured groups thought up in the mind of a music mogul, with hands-framing-their-thrustingcrotch dance moves, wearing dungarees sans shirts. Well, I said it’s been a while; granted now it’s more a rainbow array of American Apparel hoodies and dog tags. But now the rumble the is boy band is back and The Wanted are just laying it out there for us again. The Wanted epitomise everything the boy band is supposed to be about; five pretty young men, thrown together after a mass audition who wear waistcoats and say deep things in interviews like ‘my guitar changed my life’, who have massive, commercial, co-written musical success and go on to hook up with the adjacent girl band counterparts. But let’s be serious: easy as it is to mercilessly ridicule and mock such boy bands, sorry, wait, they’re a ‘lad group’, it must be tough for the guys to be taken seriously, as I ask Siva (the indie one) and Jay (the curly haired one). Do you ever think there’s too much focus on your looks? “Yes,” says Jay. Okay then. “But that goes for every artist, you have to accept that more people with check you out if you look like what your sound is. Indie bands are styled ‘indie’ and we are styled ‘pop-ish’.” Really, it’s a minefield of negative stereotypes for them to navigate their way around. “The usual 1) girlfriends 2) who’s the gay one 3) boy bands that mime,” Siva points out. So, let’s get it all out

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there now: the rumours about The Saturdays are rife and their line on miming is firm: “Singers should sing live.” As Jay says, “it’s not about overcoming them, it’s about accepting them. Some people think we are just pretty boys, some people think we’re too ugly. People always get criticism and you ignore it or learn from it or shave your head.” Meanwhile, with the help of Steve Mac, Guy Chambers and Taio Cruz on their debut album, last year their first single went straight to number one. And now the charts are under the threat of another onslaught as they return to the studio to co-write their second album. “On the first album we co-wrote with various different writers and worked with some brilliant producers. Now with the second album we’re really enjoying being back in the studio writing again,” Siva says. Could the rumours be true? Amidst this flux of women could it finally be time for the return of the good old fashioned boy band to our MTV screens, stealing the limelight back? “Its time for us to take it! I would personally like to hear a new different male voice capture the UK. Love all the quirky females out currently but where’s the male Gaga?” Jay asks. “We aren’t the male Gaga,” he adds. If The Wanted are anything to go by, the return of the boy band may not be limited to the options shat out by the X Factor each summer. In the meantime, may the debate over who’s the gay one rage on


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Issue 4 // 2011

The quest for pop perfection: it famously inspired Louis Walsh’s demand that Girls Aloud lose weight (‘From Popstars to Porkstars’ and back again), made cellulite a condemnable sin and validates Simon Cowell’s entire career of passing judgement on the good, the bad and the ugly; the first two are fairly irrelevant but if you’re ugly, you need not apply. words

Amy Lavelle Illustration

Peter James Field

Is there any genre that strives for its own brand of perfection like pop does? It wasn’t always this way. Popular music used to actually have some musical talent to pride itself on; Motown in the 60s, disco in the 70s and synth in the 80s. But the glory days of The Shangri Las, ABBA, and Queen Madge in any of her incarnations, pre creepy British accent, have long gone. Now, pop has a reputation of being manufactured, regurgitated drivel that focuses more on the prancing stick figured bobble heads miming along in matching Pleather to songs that they should probably be done for plagiarism than for any actual musical talents. Too harsh? Jedward. Admittedly, I’ve never been a huge fan. I grew up watching Peter Andre gyrating, shirtless and oiled, confessing his love to himself in videos for songs like ‘Mysterious Girl’, showing first a hot girl rolling about in the sand and then him rolling about in the sand, making it obvious if there was a choice for one of them to have sex with, he’d choose himself. Then there were the cut and paste groups who formed on reality shows, slated reality shows, then went on to judge reality shows. Yes Girls Aloud, I’m talking to you. And did someone say ‘vocal harmony group’? But really the death rattle for the last vestige of pop’s dignity came with the seemingly endless barrage of lip syncing scandals: there was the career ending Ashley Simpson ohGod-what-was-that hoe down, which she later tried to cover up by blaming her band for playing the wrong song (uncanny imitation of your voice there, love, you complete prat); Kerry Katona’s entire musical career, which can be summed up by the admission that she can’t sing for shit but can talk real nice on the songs instead; and even the we-play-our-ownguitars-so-hard-there’s-no-need-for-amps hence the lead tucked into your pocket and that one chord being strummed

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all song, Busted. (Disclaimer: Eyebrows may have later learned to play his own instrument and gone on to succeed in a rock band.) Of course, if you should ever find yourself in the midst of such a scandal just do what Britney did. No, not almost drop your baby on its head, but publicly swap spit with her Madgesty and Xtina. (But seriously, aren’t we all just gunning for a comeback?) An example later followed by Katy Perry, whose anthem of getting silly with your girl friends forever proves that bisexuality sells and is one of the cornerstones of modern day pop music. Unless, of course, you’re in a boy band in which case you’re sole role is to look pretty and be a not-til-marriage sex symbol to pre teens everywhere. Lose that image and forever lose your audience in an ugly, raging, tearful scandal that will be the end of your career until ten years later when you can do shots with those same pre teens, who once had your poster on their bedroom ceilings, in gay bars around the country. Unless, of course, you’re H (Lee? H? Lee? Lisa?) from Steps in which case, it’s not a big reveal, we already knew love. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber are… Nope sorry, so screamingly insignificant I can’t be bothered to finish that sentence. Yes, you are the institution that paved the way for Rebecca Black. All is not entirely lost though. It’s had some time away while the indie bands took the stage, but now the resurgence of those independent women that’d make Destiny’s Child proud (before Beyoncé went solo, got married and started singing lyrics like “I got your slippers’) like Jessie J and Adele, who actually have the musical nads to back up their glossy exteriors, are bringing back some hope for the world of pop. For the meantime, the Brits ‘ave it


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“ W e’ r e t ry i n g to connec t with people as i m m ed i at ely a s p os s i b l e wi t h o u r mu s i c ,” mu s e s Alex E v ery t h i n g. “It’s the same g oa l s a s t h e S p i c e Gi r l s h a d.” J er e my E v ery t h i n g a d ds.

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t’s not every day that a band is heralded as being ‘the antidote to the stale indie scene’. Except that it kind of is. As Alex points out, “So are the Vaccines.” “No, they’re the saviours of guitar,” Jonathon Everything contradicts him. So really they’re not even the sole God’s gifts on the NME tour. But Everything Everything’s uncontrollably catchy art-pop, which doesn’t so much inspire an accompanying foot tap as a jittering twitchy spasm, has already earned them a whole load of accolades that let you know that, actually, they’re pretty undeniably good and certainly

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worth your attention (that is to say if you’re not already one of the dedicated fans singing along with the choir boy-esque falsettos). After all, you’ve got to give credit to a band who can get away with an ‘unofficial’ lyric like “Who’s gonna sit on your face when I’m not there?”. Then there was that nomination for the Beeb’s Sound of 2010’, XFM New Music Award and the NME Best New Band and their South Bank Sky Arts/The Times Breakthrough Award win; a momentum they insist was a flash in the pan which they intend to honour by never winning anything again. Ever.

“We’re natural pessimists like that but think that is also accurate. It’s nice to be nominated for these things, what can you say…. I don’t think we’ll win anymore basically,” says Jeremy. “Now that Radiohead have released an album everybody is screwed,” Jonathon agrees. That’s fairly hard to believe. For starters, it’s Mancunian bands like Everything Everything that are helping generate the buzz centred on and surrounding the city’s music scene right now; coincidentally Hurts, who happened to be the ones to beat the guys to the punch for


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NME’s Best New Band Award, are another. Then there is the band’s refreshing and somewhat inspirational mission statement of striving to avoid clichés at all costs. “It can get as ridiculous as becoming a cliché of your own, what you’ve played before... It’s sort of ‘I’ve done that already,’” Jeremy explains. “You’ve got to continually push to find something new and that’s generally the way we work.” It’s noble, really, and it’s that can-do spirit which is what should hopefully carry them through the making of their second album.

“We’re right in the middle, well at the start of writing new stuff so after this tour now we’re going to be rehearsing and starting to get the ball rolling one the next album,” Alex says. “That’s the classic fault everyone has on second albums, you don’t realised when you’re making you’re debut how much time you’ve got on your hands. You don’t know that you’re making a debut,” Jeremy agrees. “We’re about to start this kind of strange double life that I supposed every band goes through... This sort of overlap period where you’re promoting one record and you’re making the next one at the same time and

what you want to talk about and what you want to be playing and you’re excited about is the second bit but you also want to do the first bit justice as well and so we’ve got all of that to come.” Let’s hope the boys can derive some hope and comfort from the fact that they’re not the only ones who’ve hit that wall of ‘difficult second album’. The Spice Girls probably encountered similar issues when they set about making their second album too words

Amy Lavelle

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Lisa Rust

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Issue 4 // 2011

Give it up for the grrl: Kate Nash, AKA Not Lily Allen, is back. Although apparently she wasn’t actually gone that long (just a couple of years, it’s just been bloody ages since her first album ‘Made of Bricks’ was released) but you can understand why when I told people I was interviewing Kate Nash their main response was, ‘Blimey, she still around?’. And yes, I did mean grrl and not sweet voiced, cockney girl singing about being sour like lemons and preferring her boyfriend’s fit mate, because apparently in her time off as well as, “Doing ordinary things like learning to drive, and like finding a flat,” she also listened to a lot of Bikini Kill and Sleater Kinney, because now her latest album has a shiny, ‘Parental Advisory’ sticker on it and shows an edgier, ever so slightly more punk Kate Nash, who has clearly been influenced by her other half, Ryan Jarman, and is now leaving a trail of slightly bemused fans in her wake, who are requesting ‘Foundations’ and being told to look it up on YouTube. She is after all 22 now, and a reinvention in an ‘I’m all grown up’ way is hardly uncommon for young pop starlets. So it can’t be that much of a surprise that Nash has ditched the frilly ankle socks, learned the word cunt and started flinging it about with gay abandon (never mind that the result is the equivalent of Topshop doing punk).

photography

Christopher Sims

styling

Heather Falconer

photography assistant styling assistant

Nick Thompson

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Shane Hawkins

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Monika Swiatek hair

Kalvyn Celic

kate wears

Jumpsuit: Neurotica Fox Jumper: Migh-T Kumiko Watari

And yet, even so, the foul mouthed ‘Mansion Song’, “Get undressed ‘cause that’s what you do best/Strip, strip, strip and shag, fuck get fucked”, will still be the talk of the album. Kate’s making no apologies.


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“Someone asked me about the Mansion Song early on. ‘Do you think it’s like letting your own fans down?’ I think it’s really funny how some parents will be completely fine with letting their kid listen to stuff like the Pussy Cat Dolls’ lyrics, like ‘Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me’. I said nothing in that song is as damaging as those kind of lyrics, where the entire point of their existence is primarily for a guy to have sex with them, or think they’re sexy, or think they’re hot. That’s completely offensive!” So really, whether the bad language and darker subject matter is working for you or not, it’s sort of a ‘means to an end’ kind of thing, and thus much more worthy...

I couldn’t believe how few female songwriters there are in comparison to male. I decided to try and change that statistic.

Presenting a strong, feminine image is something that is important to Kate, and she puts into effect by surrounding herself with women as often as possible in her work and employing an all female backing band. But the main way in which she’s doing her bit to rectify the damage caused by Nicole Scherzinger gyrating on national television is with her After School Rock Club for Girls.

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Amy Lavelle Illustration

Running For Crayons

“I couldn’t believe how few female songwriters there are in comparison to male. I decided to try and change that statistic. I’m doing after school music clubs in five schools across the country and I want to encourage girls to get into music, from writing and playing, to sound and etching, to managing or working for a label. Girls need to be encouraged and to feel entitled. They are mainly held back by insecurities about the way they look which is such a shame and a waste. I want to make these girls feel more positive about who they are and what they can achieve.” Watching her Brighton gig, it’s one of these success stories that opens the show. Throwing herself across the stage, it’s pretty much the embodiment of every teenage girl’s dream (that Kate hasn’t already addressed with ‘Mansion Song’, that is). Think Jack Black in ‘School of Rock’, with more lace and tassels, and you effectively have the same heart warming message. The fact is, we now have a new, parental advisory Nash, who is all about making a statement: she’s grown up; girl power; and she’s definitely not Lily Allen. And yes, the cockney accent was flawless

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Delorean’s sound pretty much defines the summertime vibes of the indie landscape. Formed in 2000 this Spanish four piece hailing from the Basque country actually started off as a hardcore punk band. Now over a decade later, four albums, and remixes for the likes of El Guincho, the Teenagers, Glasser and the Big Pink they are now executing a ‘sleeker’ blissed out Baleric disco pop sound and seem to be in a very good place. 68

In their latest album ‘Subiza’ they have created a deliriously ‘sun-dazed’ sound using keyboards, synths and samplers. Spindle were lucky enough to catch up with frontman Ekhi Lopetegi during their album tour. How has your latest album Subiza been received? Did you enjoy making it? The process of making it was great. It was so much work but we were all so focused that we all felt for the first time we were actually working on a record, like for real. And the album’s been received very well. You all moved to Barcelona to develop your sound and fan base - tell us about how it all happened? We never had the intention to move to Barcelona for that. Actually I (Ekhi) moved because I wanted to study here 9 years ago, with Unai who simply wanted to hang out here. Then slowly, the rest of the members moved for personal reasons such as girlfriends. It’s good to be based here though. You started your own club night in Barcelona - is this still going? Yeah, Desparrame. DJ K**O is in charge for that now. It was a way for us to party and join forces with people we felt close to.

What is the indie music scene like in Spain.. and which bands do you rate both in your home country and worldwide? There’s good music here. We really like Extraperlo, El Guincho or John Talabot here. There’s many more. Your music has been categorised as ‘dance rock’ which has been likened to Primal Scream’s sound... what are your thoughts on that? Yeah we really like Primal Scream. We feel pretty close to Primal, New Order because they are all rock guys that were seduced by dance music and I think that the same happened to us. What bands inspired you when you were developing your music? The list will be neverending so to name a few I will say that during the writing process we were really into Enya, lots of chipmunk hip hop (thats our main inspiration for vocal sampling), Chicago house and 90s trance and house, and of course Screamadelica by Primal Scream

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Bee Adamic

Illustration

Make Believe Collective


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Win Festival Tickets! We at Spindle Towers always love to give something back to our readers, so we’ve managed to get hold of a load of festival tickets for you to win. Read on to find out a little more about which festival you might like to attend and then log onto www.Spindlemagazine.com/competitions to enter.

25th – 28th August // Location tbc

4th – 7th august // Eastnor Castle Deer Park

30th June – 3rd July // Vicarage Farm, Winchester

12th – 14th August // Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire

Shambala (UK) is a small, diverse and lively festival, famous for its warm atmosphere and unexpected surprises. Confirmed acts include Willy Mason, Johnny Clarke, The Bolly wood Brass Band and The Correspondents.

Amongst the latest acts fitting the bill at this diminutive family festival are Tricky, Fenech Soler, Delays and James Yuill. Summer Camp, Chad Valley and Sound Of Rum are also fresh on the line-up, which already included the likes of Frank Turner and Andy Burrows.

The Big Chill is more than a music festival, it’s a way of life. Acts playing include: Kanye West, Bullets Feat. Lucy Lui and Jay Electronica, Neneh Cherry, Dionne Bromfield, 2manydjs, Chris Cunningham.

A celebration of arts and outdoors in the wilds of England. This year Wilderness welcomes Gogol Bordello, Mercury Rev, Anthony and the Johnsons plus many many more!

TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR FULL TERMS AND CONDITIONS PLEASE GO TO: WWW.SPINDLEMAGAZINE.COM/COMPETITIONS By participating in the Spindle Festival Competition 2011 Free Prize Draw, you fully agree and accept the Festival 2011 Free Prize Draw Terms and Conditions (the “Terms and Conditions”) set out as stated on the website.The Promotion opens on 20 June 2011. Each festival competition has a different closing deadline. Please check www.spindlemagazine.com/competitions for full information.

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‘Queen of Hearts’ embodies the combination of power and vulnerability and I think that sums me up and what my songs represent.” A new reign in pop is about to begin; Queen of Hearts is the latest pop monarch to stake her claim to the throne. “It’s the year of the woman in music right now; Jessie J, Clare Maguire, Rihanna, Gaga. It’s a tough job to stand out when there are so many amazing women to compete with.” There’s no denying it; when it comes to pop, the nineties had the boy band, the noughties Mcfly and whatever-ridiculous-name-thisdecade’s-been-given the ‘vocal harmony group’... If you hadn’t already given up on the pop charts, the rise of the Barbershop quartet-esque harmony groups should have done it. So it’s really no wonder that a new age has been ushered in and the girls are taking the stage by storm like never before. Thus, it takes something special to stand out amongst the swarm of empowered females practicing their vocal ranges in your ear. “I want to entertain, to make people talk. I don’t want to play safe and I want to be something different to what’s currently out there.” All hail Queen of Hearts.

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Don’t let the name fool you; this isn’t some bloomer wearing, double chinned royal tyrant akin to the giant-forearmed dinner ladies that made your every school lunchtime a living terror. She’s the couture clad singer/songwriter who is dead set on changing pop’s bad reputation. Or as she puts it ‘pop shouldn’t be a dirty word’. “I think “pop” is perceived to be quite fake and manufactured. Often an artist has no say over their sound or style, compared with an indie band who are organic and develop their own identity and are therefore seen to be more ‘credible’. For me, music is incredibly personal and I love being part of the writing and creative process. Music should be fun, but have a meaning, a purpose.” She’s got her work cut out for her. Yet, the girl remains an enigma; for a new artist, she’s playing extremely hard to get. Her Myspace page offers up only limited teasers of her perfect synth pop to whet the appetite, with videos clips of her standing statuesque still in a fabulous get up while her subjects dance ethereally around her. Finding a full length version of debut track ‘Freestyle’ is practically impossible. But, against the odds, it’s working; we may not

know her actual name but Alison Goldfrapp and Kylie are fairly hard hitting stand ins in the meantime. “I think you naturally take little bits from artists you like, but it’s so important to have your own identity and sound, no one wants to be a carbon copy.” And forgetting her name, there are those that she’s already being associated with: “I’ve been really lucky to work with some great producers; Johan & Ercola, Diamond Cut, Fabien Waltmann, Dreamtrak, Devils Gun. I’m an electro girl through and through.” Not bad for a new artist. She’s not just a big tease though, there is the promise of a full solid track to come that may even break the two minute mark. I know: whoa. “In May, I have a single coming out that I collaborated on with Johan Agebjörn & Ercola callled “The Last Day Of Summer”. It’s up tempo, but the message is quite sad, so it gets the QOH seal of approval.” All those pop princesses that full short of the mark should hold onto their heads. Queen of Hearts’ reign is just getting underway


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Amy Lavelle Illustration

Daisy Gam

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Bee Adamic Illustration

Mariana Chemes

Sweden has a reputation for being a hotbed for unique and captivating bands, and guitar free band Little Dragon are no exception to this. Hailing from Gothenburg, Little Dragon is made up of four music school drop outs who joined forces to form the band back in 2006. I managed to catch up with them just before the festival season kicks off, and as I was told by front woman Yukimi that the name “Little Dragon” is a nickname given for her temper while recording... so I acted with a little caution throughout the interview. 72

Having toured all over in the last few years I’m keen to find out where their favourite place is to gig. Yukimi excitedly answered “We love California, LA and San Francisco, but we’ve also had some great gigs in Poland, Lithuania and Lexington Kentucky”. I also asked the band about the their track ‘Twice’, which featured on the hit US TV series ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. None of the band seemed particularly into the show, but Erik added “We had a look at it on youtube and it was interesting to hear ‘Twice’ being used for a surgery scene’. Little Dragon have collaborated with a number of bands as well over the years, but their most memorable to date was according to Erik with Gorillaz. Yukimi also added, “Gorillaz stands out because we got to meet so many different people from different places, it was soo cool. It was a memory for life”... Yukimi and Fred shared a bus with Bobby Womack and had the privilege of hearing untold stories of

music history for a month. “We also had the opportunity to experience playing at venues like Madison Square Garden and the o2 in London, it was great!” The band’s new album ‘Ritual Union’ will be out early summer, and Erik explained “During the making of this album we all tried to have fun and be spontaneous and try new stuff out”. Little Dragon are doing a number of festivals this summer including Glastonbury, Sonar and Roskilde, and even Brighton’s Soundwave. Collectively they shout “Yeah we get to showcase our new stuff at these events, we love it.” Together with releasing their new album and supporting it with a tour they’ve got an exciting year ahead, and during any quiet moments they made it clear that they’ll be filling the time in with listening to, “Big Boi and Ariel Pink, played very loudly!”


Thomas Tantrum reckon their ‘scrappy’ days are well and truly behind them. Claiming to be the all new slicker band, their bass player Jim Shivers pipes up, “the past couple of years were spent in studios and living rooms. It’s been really tough actually because we’ve all been super broke for so long. And there are times when you stop and think, wait a minute, ‘Why am I doing this? Why am I living like Oliver Twist?” But now they are back with a polished, verging on perfect indie-pop proposition, the all new Thomas Tantrum come bearing scrumptious melodies, lyrical sophistication and, for the very first time, the occasional synth. The reason behind the introduction of a synth is quite a funny one, through accident rather than design. “I kind of fell down a hill,” murmurs guitarist David Miatt mysteriously. “So I couldn’t play guitar for a while”. Releasing their self-titled, acclaimed debut album in 2008, the quartet have seen some changes since Lily Allen feted them as her favourites and Megan has adopted a more softer style of singing (something to do with repetitive straining on her throat and strict advise from her doctor). When I asked them to define their ‘new’ sound Megan confirmed, “it’s alternative pop music with interesting arrangements and elements of shoegaze grunge”. It seems this newly developed sound of theirs seems to be catching the attention of a number of other bands with Band of

Skulls having just done a remix of ‘Sleep’ giving it a more thumping twist. “Yeah the remix they did for us is amazing instead of a typical dance remix they did an interpretation of the track. It’s literally BOS meets TT,” added Megan. It seems there could be a lot more collaborations in store for Thomas Tantrum this year, but at the moment their lips are sealed as to whom these might be with. Explaining that the musical influences of the group are quite eclectic, David explained “We are all into different music but there is definitely some common ground. The second album is influenced by artists such as Shangri-Las, British Sea Power, Blondie, Sonic Youth, Television and Patti Smith. Maybe a bit of Kate Bush too” With a new album due for release in June this year, we simply cannot wait to hear what Thomas Tantrum has in store for us! words

Bee Adamic Illustration

Phoebe Swan


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After hearing a lot about Sound of Rum through friends who caught the trio at various festivals last year, I was truly excited when the opportunity came up to interview Kate Tempest the rapper poet lyricist and front woman in the band. Sound of Rum formed in the summer of 2008. Since then rapper Kate, guitarist Archie Marsh and Ferry Lawrenson have been playing gigs all over the UK and pretty much every festival going either on stages or just busking in a field. Explaining how they met Kate says “Well, I was rapping and telling poems all over the place, and Archie was playing guitar and bass all over the place. Ferry moved down to London and one night we all ended up on stage together having a jam. Then, when I started putting a new band together I asked them if they’d be up for it, they said yes, we had a rehearsal booked in, and none of the other people I’d asked to come down and play could make it... but the three of us went for it anyway, Archie showed me the stuff he’d been working on with his loop pedal, and we

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worked out a couple of songs. That was a Wednesday, by the end of that weekend we’d played three shows, and the momentum hasn’t really slowed down since then”. With their sound being described by legendary producer John Dent as a cross between “PJ Harvey and Dr Dre”, Kate claims “We’re still discovering our sound, and every time we play a show or write a song we get a bit closer to working it out. Basically, you could call it hip hop inspired, live music. I rap, so you could call it rap music although it isn’t, Archie plays guitar, Ferry plays the drums, so you could call it jazz or rock or funk or whatever, but it isn’t any of them either. Whatever you call it won’t quite sum it up, and I think that’s ok. Although it’s meant that nobody really knows how to sell us, or what genre we fit into”.


Issue 4 // 2011 Kate Tempest started out in the hip hop arena at open mics night, she is now considered to be a rising star in the world of Spoken Word. Now thanks to the support of hip hop front runner and label mate Scroobius Pip, Sound of Rum has now been signed by Rob Da Banks’ Sunday Best label.

the same way we have. It’s got a load of different kind of sounds and styles of production on it, we went for a live kind of feel, coz primarily we’ve been a live band since we started, so it’s pretty full on, there is a couple of moments of respite, but not many”.

“We’re fortunate enough to be surrounded by hugely inspiring musicians, poets, artists of all types”

They’ve gained many high profile fans along the way including Root Manuva, and Kate enthusiastically explains “it’s incredible to have the support of artists you respect. It’s very humbling, and also very exciting. We’re fortunate enough to be surrounded by hugely inspiring musicians, poets, artists of all types, and the support of our peers and our elders is very valuable to all three of us. Roots Manuva is one of the best hip hop artists the UK has ever produced and the fact he even knows who I am, as a rapper, is a big deal for me”

The band has finished recording their first full length album ‘Balance’, which will was released late April 2011. “This album has been everything we’ve thought about pretty much for the last couple of years, so it’s a bit too close to me for me to be able to explain it, but hopefully it works as a body of work, and hopefully people will fall in love with it

In terms of future projects for Sound of Rum and the potential to work with other artists, Kate adds “collaborations are very interesting to all three of us, especially for me as a vocalist and we’re planning on getting some good people in for the second record to work on some stuff with us. There’s a girl rap group called Where Da Track At who are absolutely amazing and I want to work with them and I’ve been working on a track with Micachu”.

However focusing on the here and now, Sound of Rum are getting back into the studio to start putting down some tracks for album number two, as well as more gigging, hopefully in Europe. Most importantly they wanna enjoy hanging out with each other as friends and have a fun summer words

Bee Adamic

Illustration

Freddy Thorn

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Crammed into the back of a church, passing a smuggled can of Strongbow back and forth while surrounded by the reverent, watching the jubilant indie-folk-pop set of Slow Club at The Great Escape was a perfect introduction to the band’s live show and one of my stand out gigs of last year. It’s nice to know they enjoyed it too.

“That was one of our favourites that year. It was brilliant, I really enjoyed it.” Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson generated a buzz back in 2009 with their debut album ‘Yeah So’, a collection of charming, saccharine melodies that largely involve the two singing about their loves and loves lost; the simple harmonies coupled with Charles belting the hell out of his guitar and Rebecca wielding an array of bottles and chair backs in place of drums were only enhanced by the pair’s on stage charisma. They soon gained a reputation for Rebecca’s ability to turn any innocuous objects into a percussion section and a musical style that seems to shun any compartmentalisation, although those pesky ‘twee’ and ‘English White Stripes’ labels continue to linger like a bad smell. “I’m past the point of caring!” Charles sighs. But it’s been two years since ‘Yeah So’ was released and in that time Charles insists that they’ve graduated past creating simplistic melodies of break ups, love and more break ups. There’s finally a new album on the horizon that will showcase the new, improved and more grown up sounding Slow Club. Their Sheffield bedrooms have been swapped for a studio, there’s talk of keyboards and strings, “trying to make it sound colourful, bit more exciting” and perhaps finally a chance to ditch the twee rep. “I think the thing that we’ve concentrated on the most is to make it have continuity as a record ’cause the last album we did was done in fairly different places over two years. It just sounds really all over the place but this one was done in the same studio in one big session, it’s got a similar sound going through the album.”

And while they may have been able to, for the most part, avoid those weird ‘are they, aren’t they/married’ vibes that haunt other boy/girl bands (here come the White Stripes references) with ‘Yeah So’, Charles claims that their second album will take them away from it all together. “We’ve never really sung to each other. I think people assume that because one of us might sing one line and the other might sing the other but there’s never been anything between us like that. But definitely this album, we’ve definitely removed ourselves from a certain aspect of what our band was. We’ve tried to move on and do something we’ve never done before.” But perhaps the most obvious change from the Slow Club brand will be the end of Rebecca brandishing a bits n’ bobs percussion section and instead graduating to a full on drum kit. Say it ain’t so. “We kind of started off using weird things and we’ve got more and more conformist as the time’s gone on. We started with some pans and some bottles and a chair and all that stuff but we’ve grown up a little bit and started to be introduced to different kind of music. Becky’s started playing hi-hat on this album which I’m quite excited about. I’ve been trying to get her to use cymbals for the last five years and she’s resisted until now. So I think maybe the most extreme for us is to play hi-hat.” The pair will be hitting the road once more with a full length tour in September to promote their new wares. Let’s hope that the more mature Slow Club haven’t lost the simplistic magic they are known for bringing to their performances. Somehow, I don’t think they will have

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Tom Forman

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The Uncanny Perfection of

Werner Herzog’s unique repertoire of ‘feature’ films and ‘documentaries’ reveal a deeper truth to filmmaking, combined with his ‘hands-on’/guerrilla style they depict an uncanny perfectionist style of filmmaking. words

Toby King Illustration

Liv Bargman

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Werner Herzog has been making films for over 40 years. In this time he has travelled the world and been able to tell stories about people, places and ideas that mainstream filmmaking has often been oblivious to or failed to get a strong grasp of.

made with a visible guerrilla quality, a genuine Do-ItYourself aesthetic, that not only is a visual quality but it also lends itself to a greater meaning, a more poetic and resonant meaning that often challenges and ultimately rewards in its viewing.

From Europe to South America, Alaska to Antarctica, middle America to Cambodia, Klaus Kinski to Nicholas Cage, Herzog’s feature films and ‘documentaries’ have explored this world and the weird people that inhabit it. Simultaneously telling (or re-telling/re-imagining) specific stories whilst exploring a deeper meaning and understanding of the subject matter, telling stories that ultimately draw on and are essential to the human condition. Whether it be about a futile journey of a crazed conquistador in Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972) an exploration into the phenomenon of mirages in Fata Morgana (1971), re-imaginings of German literature and filmmaking in Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) and Woyzeck (1979), or epic tales of obsessed and passionate men in Fitzcarraldo (1982) and Cobra Verde (1987), to contemporary tales of urban madness in My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009) and The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009) or documentaries focusing on the natural world in conjuncture with the people who have made such places their lives, La Soufriere (1977), The White Diamond (2004), Grizzly Man (2005), Encounters At The End Of The World (2007). Werner Herzog’s films have consistently (and continue) to show this world, challenge this world and to suggest possible meaning and deeper understanding of what is going on around us.

There are good examples of this throughout his work, and can also be seen through his unique blend of ‘feature’ films and ‘documentaries’. Many of his ‘documentaries’ are seen as more narrative driven than documentation, such as Fata Morgana, where Herzog and his small crew filmed footage in various deserts in Africa and the Middle East, shooting images of mirages (‘fata morgana’ literally translates as ‘mirage’), oil fires, the landscape and the inhabitants of desert areas, whilst a voice over reads the ‘Popol Vuh’, an ancient Mayan text that recounts the beginnings of the world. The combination of mythical text and factual images combine to create a strong narrative, one which does not comfortably fit in the traditional sense of ‘documentary filmmaking, yet delivers a genuine narrative and story. “For me, the boundary between fiction and ‘documentary’ does not exist; they are all just films. Both take ‘facts’, characters, stories and play with them in the same kind of way. I actually consider Fitzcarraldo to be best ‘documentary’” (Werner Herzog).

“For me, the boundary between fiction and ‘documentary’ does not exist”

Herzog continues to push deeper meaning into his films and the language of cinema, but he does so in ways that few other filmmakers are capable of expressing. There is an uncanny perfection to his films, in that (perhaps in comparison with high-end mainstream movies) they are

Fitzcarraldo - probably Herzog’s most notorious film and most acclaimed (he won ‘Best Director’ for the film at Cannes 1982). The film (loosely based on a true story) is a narrative driven feature set around the turn of the 20th century in the Amazon, about an obsessed rubber baron (‘Fitzcarraldo’ portrayed by the one and only Klaus Kinski) who yearns to build an opera house in the town of Iquitos deep in the Amazon rain forest. In doing so he has to create a route through the jungle that requires hauling a massive steamship over a mountain. Herzog literally did this. No CGI, no miniatures, no soundstage. Herzog and

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his crew of a thousand extras, hauled the steamship over the mountain as depicted in the fictional narrative of the film. In doing so the film has a genuine feel of actuality, we are actually watching a real life event happen within a fictional narrative medium. It is this unique hybrid of reality and hyper stylised fiction (in both a ‘documentary’ format and a ‘feature’ format”) that raises Herzog’s work to another level, a possible other realm of cinematic perfection. “I did not undergo those exhausting things for the sake of realism…as it is, the whole thing has been transformed into an operatic event of fever dreams and pure imagination, a highly stylised and grandiose scene of jungle fantasies” (Werner Herzog). This style of rugged realism that somehow creates a fictional stylisation, can be seen in other elements of his work. Herzog is never afraid to make the audience aware of what he is doing and how his films are being made. In Aguirre, The Wrath of God, in the opening scene where the conquistadors are trekking through the Peruvian jungle, the box they are carrying falls and they stumble to balance it again. A hand appears from off screen pushing the box back upright - this is Herzog’s own hand. This again shows a level of realism (these actors/conquistadors are really trekking through a real jungle, and things do go wrong in such endeavours), but it’s realism that heightens the deeper the meaning of the story and the madness that ensues as the film goes on.

the story of the worlds most ancient art). Throughout the documentary there are several aerial shots of the surrounding landscape. These shots are interesting because they first appear as hand-held steadicam shots on the ground that suddenly rise into the air. They create a bizarre effect (especially in 3D). Herzog playfully reveals how these shots were created. By showing an extended aerial shot, the camera does a 180-degree turn and flies back toward the small film crew (including Herzog), as the camera gets closer, we see a man operating a remote control, as the camera arrives right up to the film crew, the camera mans hands reach out (through the screen in 3D) and take the camera of the remote controlled flying machine that made the shots possible. This shot simultaneously exploits the 3D filming technique used and creates a unique visual awareness that correlates with the films ultimate subject of the ancient cave art.

“the whole thing has been transformed into an operatic event of fever dreams.”

Similarly, in his ‘documentaries’ Herzog often depicts the ‘making of’ into the actual narrative of the film itself. This is extremely prevalent in his most recent film Cave Of Forgotten Dreams (3D) (2011), which is a fascinating 3D documentary about the astonishing cave paintings discovered in the Chauvet Cave in southern France, the oldest paintings in the world, some 32,000 years old (there’s a great irony that Herzog uses the most modern artistic medium at his disposal (stereoscopic 3D) to tell

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This again is a great example of utilising reality to create a deeper statement and uncover a more palpable depiction of storytelling and art. These techniques, employed by Herzog, are often ignored by the majority of films and filmmakers. Many perceive a perfect ‘documentary’ to be factual, and a perfect feature film to obey certain narrative and continuity rules. Yet Herzog, time and again, fuses the vital aspects of practical filmmaking and more profound ideas of dreams and fantasies within both ‘documentaries’ and ‘feature’ films to create a more profound level of truthful cinema and human expression. “I know that by making a clear distinction between ‘fact’ and ‘truth’ in my films, I am able to penetrate into a deeper stratum of truth most films do not even notice. The deep inner truth inherent in cinema can be discovered only by not being bureaucratically, politically and mathematically correct. In other words, I start to invent and play with the ‘facts’ as we know them. Through intervention, through imagination, through fabrication, I become more truthful than the little bureaucrats.” (Werner Herzog)


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Last year, the stately, disability-themed costume drama ‘The King’s Speech’ won the award for best picture at the Academy Awards; the year before, it was the intense war drama ‘The Hurt Locker’. Now, I’m sure that you, like me, sat through both of these films and considered them both Very Good Films. Important Films. Serious Films. But after the overwhelming solemnity of ‘The King’s Speech’, didn’t you just want to go home and stick on your DVD of ‘Mamma Mia!’? Or switch over and watch ‘The Only Way Is Essex’? And, Lord strike me down for saying this... didn’t you have much more fun?

Since the advent of film, there have been sharp divisions over the kind of material that is considered, broadly, ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Over time, this has evolved into more nuanced yet basically euphemistic terms: ‘art’ or ‘pulp’, ‘worthy’ or ‘trashy’. With the increasing importance of awards to the film industry, the lines started to become blurred and it seemed film-makers were filling in their tick boxes in order to make ‘worthy’ films. Consider this: Sean Penn or Jeff Bridges shout and gnash their teeth as a lawyer/ doctor/inside man who has to work against the system while his disabled and or slightly foreign wife played by Meryl Streep or Susan Sarandon cries a lot from the artfully lit darkness of their apartment. Sound familiar? Type in ‘Trailer for every award winning movie ever’ into youtube and you’ll realise why...

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Now, zombie-thriller ‘The Evil Dead’ on the other hand, holds no such predictability. While it spawned many imitators, nothing can hold a candle to the somewhat haphazard terror of the 1981 film. Made on a budget of roughly twenty pence, production shut down with only half the film in the can and resumed months later without many of the original cast. Stand-ins, known as ‘fake shemps’ were used, shot from behind or, as conveniently as the film’s plot would facilitate, covered with heavy zombie make-up. This doppelganger effect serves to wrong-foot the audience and actually adds to the sense of horror. In the same way, the thick white

Of course, there will always be high-budget productions that are so bad they’re bad.

contact lenses the actors were forced to wear meant that they were essentially fighting blind - but if you watch the finished film this gives the creatures an extra terrifying element as they erratically flail about and indiscriminately swipe at the living. ‘The Evil Dead’ was released unrated due to its horrific content and was condemned in the UK as one of the first ‘video nasties’. Not bad for a low budget horror film. So as ever, the rich and the poor are always with us. Nominated alongside ‘The Hurt Locker’ and child-abuse misery-fest ‘Precious’ for best picture of 2009 was ‘The Blind Side’, the all-too familiar tale of a Nice White Lady taking in a black kid and turning his life around through a series of ever-increasing cliches. The film was roundly derided and Sandra Bullock was inexplicably awarded the best actress Oscar... but after sitting through the unremittingly downbeat tonality of the aforementioned films, I found the lighter touch of ‘The Blind Side’ to be the perfect tonic. Of course, there will always be high-budget productions that are so bad they’re bad. The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films are getting worse and worse, what the bejesus was ‘Alien vs. Predator’ even about, and have you ever tried sitting through an episode of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’? But even the most unrelenting film snob has to admit: sometimes, you have to love something because it’s so bad it’s good

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What do you think of when you hear the words ‘film festival’? It’s Cannes, Tribeca, Sundance, isn’t it? Sun and sea, the bold and the beautiful with their cocktails and canapés acquiring movies for the price of a small principality. But the Oska Bright Film Festival is one festival with a difference: it shows short films made exclusively by artists with learning difficulties. Like most great ideas, it was borne out of necessity. When Junk TV, a communitybased film production company, and Carousel, a learning disabled arts charity, began working together to produce animated films in 2000, they found that there were very few outlets where the completed work could actually be screened. So they decided to take matters into their own hands and set up their own event.

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‘Our initial call for submissions got 84 short films entered in 2004’ explains Mark Richardson, creative director of Carousel. ‘It was a one day festival attended by 1200 people – who made it known that they wanted another festival in 2005 – which grew to 2 days and was attended by over 1600 people, with over 100 films submitted.’ Matthew Hellett heard about the festival through the Southdown Housing Association: ‘I wanted to make sure my film, ‘Cooking With Matthew’ was shown, seen, and recognised as a quality film by a new film maker at a national festival.’ The film went on to win an award and Matthew was given a film making bursary. ‘I couldn’t believe I won an award for an upcoming new film maker. It inspired me to go on making films.’ The sense of achievement that taking part in the festival instils in its participants is palpable, and clearly leaves a mark on their lives. Matthew Eggert, whose first film ‘Tree Whizz and the Apple Attack’ also won an award at the first festival says ‘I have won a few awards now, which I’m very proud of. Simon, from Junk TV, showed me and my Mum, Sue, how to animate

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the drawings ourselves, so all the rest of the films we have made together. I love making films. It takes a long time and there’s a lot of work but it’s all worth it to have a film to keep at the end of it.’ With a sense of pride he adds ‘Now I am a film maker myself. I am very happy.’ It is obvious that the Oska Bright Film Festival enriches people’s lives. ‘I am meeting so many interesting people’, says Matthew Hellett. ‘It’s helping me do things that I would never have had a chance to do before - like working in Prague, Australia, Ireland, Canada. It’s a privilege! Not many learning disabled people have a chance to do all of this!’ Perhaps Oska Bright is not so different from Cannes after all? Especially since after the second festival, they decided to go ‘on the road’. The festival itself is now bi-annual and in off-years travels the globe in order to show the films to a wider audience and reach the most learning disabled people they can to teach them about film making. One aspect that is crucial to the future success of the festival is their online element,


Issue 4 // 2011 which is rapidly expanding. ‘In the last few months we have been building our social networking sites and it will be interesting to see what effect that has on future levels of films submitted.’ Mark Richardson tells me. ‘We have noticed a significant improvement in the quality of the films that are submitted since we made the accessible online film making resource on the website.’ They also have plans to run VJing evenings during the next festival and further their work with partner galleries around the world.

Like many arts organisations, one of the biggest obstacles they face is funding. ‘We have been successful in getting sponsorship in the past from Channel 4, Sky... but because the Corporate Responsibility Officers there move on so quickly, we haven’t been able to develop an ongoing sponsorship relationship’ Richardson explains. ‘We were dependent on the UK Film Council, and are worried about what the future will be for us now they are going…’

Thank you very much ‘Prime Minister’ David Cameron. And if Dave needs any more convincing that arts funding needs protecting, Richardson sums it up: ‘We have a wide variety of films entered, united by the fact they are all made by people with a learning disability, offering a unique insight into their culture – which hasn’t been seen in this way before.’ The next Oska Bright Film Festival takes place in Brighton in November. To find out more, visit www.oskabright.co.uk

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Internet giants Google have very nearly mapped every street on earth and have now turned their documenting eye to the world’s art galleries. This technological advancement marks another step in the reproduction of art, taking us further still from the object itself. But what is the perfect distance from which to view art and how does technology seduce us from this ideal? 86

Obviously the perfect conditions to view art are in its presence, but for a whole host of political, sociological, financial and geographical reasons this is not always possible. Whilst the printing press has gone a long way to bridging that gap in the past, the Internet could potentially be the perfect tool to grant accessibility to all. Google Art Project, with the full might of Street View technology, aims to literally take you there, with the added bonus of multi-media educational tools in your back pocket. In its beginning stages, the project has mapped 17 worldrenowned galleries, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and our own Tate Britain, spanning the breadth of 9 different countries. So, instead of flying to the Uffizi Gallery in Italy to see The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, I can sit at home and see Venus’ nipple, 6cm in diameter across my screen through gigapixel photography (yes I measured it). So why leave the house? In the case of Chris Ofili’s No Woman No Cry you are gifted an image that a conventional gallery visit is unlikely to afford you. Not only can you zoom in to see each fleck

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Chris Ofili No Woman, No Cry 1998 © Chris Ofili Photography

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Chris Ofili No Woman, No Cry Google Art Project

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‘In the most part, Google Art Project’s impressive technology pays more service to their skill than to anything else.’ of glitter, you can also view the painting in night vision, unveiling phosphorescent paint glowing in the dark and the words “RIP Steven Lawrence 1974-1998”. This is a rare opportunity in the Art Project to see the work of an artist that is still alive and is testament to what can be done with the artist’s cooperation and a secret to reveal. However, in the most part, Google Art Project’s impressive technology pays more service to their skill than to anything else. It’s exciting zooming in to see Van Gogh’s thick strokes of paint that glisten in the gallery lighting as if still wet, but you will quickly find yourself zooming into each painting compulsively and it becomes clear you’re more excited by the technology than the art. Google boasts that their high-resolution imagery gives a “vantage previously only seen by art restorers”, but what is the benefit in seeing an artwork at a higher resolution than your own eyes would allow, or indeed the eyes of the person who made it? Just as we should question whether the advancement in HD film brings us better films, or simply the distraction of an actor’s open pores. More extreme still is the numerous examples 3D film has provided us with, of mesmerising technology papering over the cracks of two-dimensional characters and an uninspiring plot. The point is, technology is fascinating and relentlessly advancing. There is something addictive about utilizing it and on the contrary, not using it seems like a step backwards. If you can’t have an eureka moment zooming in to discover the ‘art’ molecule, why start an excavation that could hamper your ability in finding the ‘art’ in the painting later on?

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The casualty of art reproduction is historically significant artworks that through over-documentation seem lacking in presence, or smaller than you imagined when you finally get to see them. Far from being an attack on Google Art Project, which is only marginally more guilty than a magazine or book, this article is symptomatic of the debate that has raged since the invention of photography and will continue to rage as 3D viewings of sculptures surely become possible in the not so distant future. The technological wheel will keep turning and bring us a great many things, greatest of all: accessibility to the masses. And I welcome it, but spare a passing thought for the death of the art ‘aura’, for we shall carry on regardless. I will leave you with a quote from Stephen Fry on the BBC documentary The Virtual Revolution, discussing the possible negative effects that the Internet could have on communication and personal relationships: “Some genies when they’re let out of the bottle can cause serious problems and certainly can’t ever go back in the bottle. When cars first arose, people were horrified at the deaths on the road, horrified! There were hundreds of people being squelched every day, it was grotesque. Did they say: “Oh well, that’s it then. We can’t have cars, I’m sorry.” In the same way as if someone says, “Actually these mobile phones do give out microwaves and they will give you brain cancer,” are we going to say: “Oh well, that’s the end of that technology then?” Not on your nelly.”

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Conceptual Art has succeeded in almost completely concealing the artist’s hand, deemed too emotionally charged and potentially distracting from the all-important concept. So what can the traditional image of the toiling artist bring to the themes of conceptual art? Steven Emmanuel’s labour intensive approach to the readymade object brings two poles of art history together. It is by no coincidence when the exacting hand of Steven Emmanuel is put to work. Far from being an influence of craft, his often lengthy approach is constructed to serve art’s more intellectual pursuits: “I am trying to engage with elements of art as a subject matter; attempting to understand the physical and the philosophical qualities and ingredients of contemporary art. I often think of art as an autopoietic machine that self creates and continually perpetuates itself. I have even gone as far as to imagine the artist as being the protagonist and possibly the operator of this machine having the role of taking things apart, putting them back together and making sure the machine still works.”

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placing marbles side by side to resemble a rug, with a central line of symmetry. In both cases the act is done with such precision that you question if the whole thing is a readymade, until logic brings you back to the pleasing image of the artist painstakingly toiling over his work. “I spent five days bent over on my hands and knees in the gallery space, staying throughout the night on the eve of the exhibition, working until I was asked to leave a few minutes before the opening. It could go on indefinitely to try and create a perfect reflection and I knowingly did it with the understanding that it will only ever be a representation.”

From the offset Steven’s work has all the telltale signs of contemporary art: the clean objective presentation of just the right amount of materials needed to get across a concept; a clinical title hinting at the artist’s train of thought. But then there is the ambiguous presence of the artist’s hand, albeit, as Steven describes it: “the de-skilled hand of conceptual art”.

It is this image of the artist in the act of making that brings an element of humour into Steven’s work, for the amount of effort seems disproportionate to the lowbrow materials he works with. Steven said: “I don’t really set out with the intention of making things humorous but accessible I suppose. Humour can certainly give an audience a way in.”

Sorting the Hundreds from the Thousands, 2009, as the name suggests, involved separating Hundreds and Thousands into its composite colours, which took six months to individually select each sweet and arrange by hand. Rorschach’s Rug, 2010, involved individually

There is something of the ridiculous in Sorting the Hundreds from the Thousands as we imagine him, eyes straining to pick out each piece one by one, but this only goes to further emphasize the varying value we place on objects. It is here that a labour intensive practice can

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Sorting the Hundreds from the Thousands 2009


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Issue 4 // 2011 bring fresh insight to concepts of significance and the subjective hierarchy that we impose on our surroundings. The work hilariously demonstrates the human desire for order and labelling and seems to act as a critique of art’s self-imposed authority on these issues. The much addressed subject matter of significant/ insignificant, something/nothing has brought about a great deal of cynicism from those unconvinced by the often simple execution of contemporary works, missing the important ‘blood sweat and tears’ that traditional art has left them craving. Steven himself when reminiscing about his artistic mother, whom he credits for her encouragement, said: “It sometimes shocks me the way my practice has manifested itself. I always thought I would be an artist in an old fashioned sense, with a wonky easel and some oil paints”. In that way there is something trustworthy about Steven’s engagement with conceptual issues, as instead of placing an object in the gallery and asking the viewer to reassess its values on his good word, he has the strength of conviction to quite literally spend years preparing the question. “Inside the White Cube is my most sustained piece of work to date. I have been painting from nothing thin layers of paint to a dab of paint that I made in the palm of my hand sixteen months ago. Every day I apply new layers and am now on my second five-litre tub of paint. I will continue this process for the rest of my life and hope at some point it gets too large to house and will exist outside the gallery, making a strange and laborious transition to becoming a public art piece. This is obviously a long way off, it is currently about the size of a melon at the moment but it will inevitably get bigger.” Not only is Steven’s artwork aware of its position in art history, but also the history of the materials he uses, such as his ironic use of mass produced marbles from China in Rorschach’s Rug, which was made for a show in a centre devoted to the craft of glass. He also produces a narrative through the history of his own practice as each piece inspires the next; with the desk based piece, Sorting the Hundreds from the Thousands, leading defiantly onto Stand up Protest. The highly considered nature of Steven Emmanuel’s practice enables the artist’s hand to once again sit comfortably within the boundaries of conceptual art; and may even open up the field to the more traditional art lover. Rather than being a distraction, the intensity of his labour acts as an indication of the work’s conceptual framework, so with all parts aligned and supported the art machine can keep running on smoothly. Hurray!

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“It sometimes shocks me the way my practice has manifested itself. I always thought I would be an artist in an old fashioned sense, with a wonky easel and some oil paints”


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Inside the White Cube Ongoing above

Rorschach’s Rug 2010

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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, gather round as the inner workings of Simon Cook are laid out like a geometric game of “Operation”. Combining techniques old and new to bring you a timeless sense of fun and adventure… shortlisted for New Designer of The Year… ringmaster to a carnival of colour… the man, the legend… Stone and Spear!

How did you decide on the pseudonym stone and spear? Conceived through my middle names, Stone meaning Peter and Spear meaning Frank. Stone and Spear has been my way of creating a fantasyland where anything is possible… a world in which I could escape the monotonous routine of day-to-day life. There’s a strong sense of magic and wonder within my work relating strongly to the Surrealism idea too - exploring dreams, the imagination, and the opposite of reality. Deep. Can you take me through the process of how you make your work? For me it all starts with some coloured origami paper and scissors. It’s light, easy to use and cuts really well, perfect for making little collages to scan into the computer and work on top of later. Everything I create is handmade and collaged, which to me is very important. Not only does it give a desirable look and feel but ultimately establishes who I am as a designer.

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Do you think using (real life) collage as part of the process makes your work feel more tactile to the viewer? Definitely. Collage to me is something with a lot of love. Something that has been crafted and cared for, that feels engaging with a sense of narrative. Handmade collage connects to the viewer on a totally different level from digital, and I like bridging this back. Your circus themes, bold shapes and bright colours appeal to the more playful side of life. Do you always try to bring a sense of fun and adventure to your work? From a young age, I was always drawing and doodling away as a child. My obsession with the circus has perhaps been my main influence. That’s how it all started. By constantly seeking inspiration through nostalgic memories and childhood experiences, the playful combination of wit and humour is something that continues to develop and excite within my work. I couldn’t ask for anything more. What is your happiest memory? Probably when my guinea pig Norman gave birth. I was confused too.


Issue 4 // 2011 You also use a lot of retro photography in your work. What draws you to this? The contrast between the striking black and white retro imagery and bright geometric forms is what really breath’s life into Stone and Spear. I love flicking through old photographs and books to find quirky imagery. You’ve recently had your first solo exhibition, how did this go? It went really well. It was great to have total creative control over an exhibition. My mind went wild! Described as ‘a journey into the mind of Stone and Spear creator Simon Cook and an insight into his enchanted world’, that’s exactly what it was. It’s just the beginning. You’ve accomplished a lot in your career so far, what do you consider to be your biggest achievement? Being able to do what I love best is probably my biggest achievement. Being asked to illustrate the Design Week front cover was a pretty big deal and my tutorial for Computer Arts Magazine was a huge honour. You never know who might drop you an email next so it’s really exciting. What did you have the most fun working on? One of my favourite pieces as of late has been my tutorial for Computer Arts Magazine. Not only was it a big opportunity to show off my skills but allowed me to bring the world of Stone and Spear to life. The tutorial was a 15 step guide to creating bespoke brushes and adding textural tools to create a Stone and Spear city! When working to a brief for a client, how do you tackle juggling their identity whilst keeping your own voice? It’s really important to stay true to who you are as a designer because at the end of the day you were approached for a reason, ultimately your style. Which is really cool. It’s just a matter of balance, making sure the client is happy whilst having a voice of your own. What plans do you have for the future? I’m currently working on two cool projects one with Lucy Jay, a really cool graphic turned fashion designer and also Noodoll, on a range of exclusive Stone and Spear products. But shhh. Watch this space

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Kathryn Evans Buffalo Breath: Tee Hee

Stone & Spear Logo Big Top - Ringmaster

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The Scientist (collaboration with Lucy Jay)

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S t ock is t s Bora Akusu 130 Milligan Street London E14 8AS +44 (0)20 7515 0535 studio@boraaksu.com www.boraaksu.com American Apparel www.americanapparel.net Ann Summers +44 (0)845 456 6948 www.annsummers.com Paul Bench 287 Bethnal Green Road London E2 6AH paulbenchinfo@gmail.com Beyond Retro 42 Vine Street Brighton BN1 4AG +44 (0)1273 671 937 58-59 Great Marlborough Street, London +44 (0)20 7434 1406 www.beyondretro.com Liz Black www.lizblack.net Corlette 14 Basil Street London SW3 1AJ +44 (0)20 3402 5577 info@corlettelondon.com www.corlettelondon.com Pierre Garroudi Arch 6 Crucifix Lane London SE1 3JW +44 (0)20 7378 1187 pierre@pierregarroudi.com Beth Hirst +44 (0)7530 743444 beth@couturehats.co.uk House of Harlot 90 Holloway Road London N7 8JG 44 (0)20 7700 1441 info@houseofharlot.com

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Irregular Choice 38 Bond Street Brigthon BN1 1RD +44 (0)1273 777 120 www.irregularchoice.com

New Look www.newlook.com

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OOPS! Fashion www.oopsfashion.co.uk

Mrs Jones 49 Hackney Road London E2 7NX www.mrsj.co.uk

ParamorJ www.paramorj.com

Peter Lang Barberini Fashion Limited 41 Oakley Street London SW3 5HA +44 (0)7739 518 701 info@barberinifashion.com www.barberinifashion.com Mr Lipop Wolf & Badger Boutique 46 Ledbury Road London W11 2AB www.mrlipop.com Long Clothing www.longclothing.com Pamela Mann 46 Upper Bond Street Hinckley Leicestershire LE10 1RJ +44 (0)1455 636231 info@pamelamann.co.uk www.pamelamann.co.uk

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Pretty Eccentric Meeting House Lane Brighton BN1 1EB +44 (0)7870 607 925 Little Southgate Bath BA1 1AS +44 (0)7870 607 925 info@prettyeccentric.co.uk www.prettyeccentric.co.uk Emmy Slattery emmyslattery@gmail.com www.emmyslattery.com James Steward Couture +44 (0)797 996 1906 jamesstewardcouture@ yahoo.co.uk Ruth Tarvydas www.ruthtarvydas.com

FREE ENTRY We are days away from starting to announce the line-up of this years festival and are chomping at the bit to tell you but we aren’t allowed... yet! Three music stages packed to the brim with the most eclectic sounds around. Each with a headliner along with some fine local DJ talent.

Jena Theo studio@jenatheo.com Somerset House Strand London WC2R 1LA

Expect festival food, arts and crafts and a plethora of visual and performance artists all creating a truly unique atmosphere.

Mascaro 13a Marylebone High St. London W1U 4NS +44 (0)20 7935 1795 www.mascaro.com

Toni & Guy Essensuals Brighton 6 Prince Albert Street Brighton BN1 1HE +44 (0)1273 720550

See you in the fields...

Neurotica 55a New Road London E1 1HH +44 (0)7950 534 914 www.thisisneurotica.co.uk

Topshop www.topshop.com

www. littlelondonfields. co.uk

Migh-T Kumiko Watari +44 (0)7885 467 309 info@kumikowatari.com www.kumikowatari.com


Issue 4 // 2011

bu y spindle here S p indl e Ma g a z ine i s a f a s hion // mu s i c // a r t m a g a z ine w hi c h p romo t e s e me rging t a l e n t. Ma k e s ure y ou ge t y our c op y, be f ore i t ’ s gone ! bu y y our c op y he re

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www.stoneandspear.com / www.lucy-jay.com


Spindle Magazine Issue 4