FOR THE REST OF US
/ ABOUT Who’s Jack is a multi media platform that encompasses a monthly London centric magazine, both online and in print, a blog style website and Jack TV which is unique in the way it offers click to buy opportunities alongside bespoke content. This, as well as Facebook, Myspace groups, Twitter outreach, events, launches and experiential opportunities make Who’s Jack Ltd one hell of an umbrella. Jack Loves You More.
/ FROM JACK Jack has had so many brilliant meetings this month about excellent things in the pipeline. Frustratingly none of the aforementioned things are ready to be announced (expect maybe covering a metal cruise the Caribbean in the coming months) in this issue but keep your eye on our website because some things may just come to light sooner than the next issue. The website is also having a rejig this month that, meaning, as you may of noticed this issue arrives to you on the 2nd. The restyle will make all our topics much easier to navigate, not to mention bring you a whole heap of extra content. This month has seen fashion week come and go and marked the very sad departure of Lee Mcqueen, an enormous loss to the industry. Our fashion girls Leila, Faye and Jo were down at Somerset House, the setting for Fashion week this AW2010, every day reporting on new collections and general goings on for the fashion section of the site. Laura and myself meanwhile were beavering away in the office seeing to preparations for our recent event down at the Old Queens Head. The night saw our friends Jeff Leach, Erik Hassle, Josh Weller, K-Tron and half of Gaolers Daughter (the lovely Ben and John) doing some excellent DJ sets and ensuring the night went off. So from excellent DJs at venues to excellent contributors on our pages. This month we welcome PC Williams who puts her fashion label know how into our fashion section, Alex Cameron who shows us the countryside that we rarely see living within the capital’s walls and Reggie Yates tells us his favourite places to go to ensure the concrete rather than country continues to keep our attention this month. Lu x
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/ ON JACK TV THIS MONTH Jack TV has been a bit quiet. For those that don’t know, we have been swapping over servers so we can accommodate more of you at a faster speed! So this month you can expect a flurry of new programs. What to watch out for: Laura and Lu make friends with The Band of Skulls, Leila, Faye and Jo do fashion week.
/ TEAM JACK CONTRIBUTORS
PC Williams Fashion designer
Alex Cameron Photographer
Reggie Yates Presentor/DJ
We covered PC Williams last year in our Runners to Riches section looking at the budding designer. She comes back to us now fully flowered and bearing this issues ‘Shades of Noir’ fashion shoot.
Alex Cameron caught our eye with her soft, countryside portraits. We asked her if she wanted to do a shoot for us and gladly, she did. Find it on page 36.
Reggie, as I am sure many of you know has plenty of strings to his bow. He can be filed under actor, DJ and presenter, and now, he adds Jack contributor to the list! Reggie tells us his favourite things about London on page 30.
# FEATURES / REGULARS
/ ISSUE 34 . MARCH / 2010
folloown us tter Twi r . c o m /
te t w i t mag . w ww jack whos
#5. Jack Loves.............................................La La Love @ Super Sweet. #6. Music.....................................................Alex Metric : A man of many talents. #9. Film........................................................Mark gets all international on us. #10. Computers for Commuters..................We take a look at the best netbook and notebook options for around town. #11. Fashion for the Boys.............................Jason gets to grips with the bow tie. #12. Fashion..................................................Shades of Noir : PC Williams. #18. Music.....................................................Huskey Rescue : Their countryside influences and their plentiful band members. #22. Pick of the Month..................................Art, Music and Graphic Ts. #27. Actor Profile..........................................Branko Tomovic : Rising fast. #29. Music.....................................................Alan Mcgee and The Remix : What is it’s relevance and who should you watch. #30. My London............................................Reggie Yates : What does it for him in the capital. #32. Bonnie Greer.........................................Marylin Monroe, young people today and why Britain doesn’t need it’s own Obama. #36. Fashion..................................................Fields of Fancy : Alex Cameron. #46. Art...........................................................Xander Bliss : Black ooze and painting people. #49. London...................................................Back Roads : The ones you really should know. #56. Retro Gaming........................................”When I was your age, we had to blow on the video games to make them work”. #57. Music.....................................................The Plasticines : Rock’n’Roll. #59. Fashion..................................................Leila Likes : Black Milk Leggings. #62. Art...........................................................Donna Howard : The aging of art. #65. Music......................................................Review One Liners. #65. Art...........................................................Champagne and Baked Beans : Designer Simon Shilton. #66. Capital Cocktails....................................Bistroteque. #70. Fashion...................................................Leila Likes : Christopher Shannon. #71. The Idiots Guide To...............................Social Networking. #71. London...................................................Pigeon of the Month. #71. Bucky Litch.............................................When status updates aren’t as good as the real thing. #72. My 2-4-6 pound life...............................Guides to attracting men. #73. Modern Day Dilemas............................The Body. #74. I Love you For Loving Me.....................Erin speaks of parties, personal trainers and bleeding faces. #76. Fashion...................................................The Kredit Krunch Katwalk Krew invade a wardrobe near you. #78. Arthur Cadaver......................................The next installment in Marco’s segmented novel. #82. Scene Stealer........................................London Fashion Week.
Size? - (in London stores) : Beyond the Valley : Number 22 : Paper Dress : 55 DSL: Camden Blues Kitchen: Old Queens Head:
Carnaby Street, Soho, W1F 7DW 200 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W11 1LB 37a Neal Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9PR www.size.co.uk 2 Newburgh Street, W1F 7RD www.beyondthevalley.com 22 Carnaby Street, London, W1 114-116 Curtain Road, EC2A 3AY www.paperdressboutique.blogspot.com 10A Newburgh St London, W1F 7RN www.55dsl.com 111 - 113 Camden High Street, NW1 7JN www.theblueskitchen.com 44 Essex Road, Islington, N1 8LN www.theoldqueenshead.com
Chateau Roux: Shock and Soul: Howies: The Westbury:
17 Newburgh Street, London, W1F 7RZ www.chateauroux.co.uk 46 Essex Road, Islington, N1 8LN www.shockandsoul.co.uk 42 Carnaby Street, W1F 7DY www.howies.co.uk 34 Kilburn High Street, NW6 5UA www.westburybar.com
See an up to the minute list of stockists online, if you would like to stock Who’s jack contact:: email@example.com
SH*T OF THE MONTH
Editor/Creative Director : Lu Orcheston-Findlay : firstname.lastname@example.org // Deputy Editor : Laura Hills : email@example.com // Advertising : firstname.lastname@example.org // Contributing Features Editor : Josh Spero : email@example.com Contributing Fashion Editor : Aradia Crockett : firstname.lastname@example.org Music : James Lynch : email@example.com // Pick Of : Lu Orcheston-Findlay : firstname.lastname@example.org // Laura Hills : email@example.com Fashion Comment : Leila Dante Hartley : firstname.lastname@example.org // Film : Mark Williams : email@example.com Stylists : Lu Orcheston-Findlay : firstname.lastname@example.org // Aartthie Mahakuperan : Arti@whos-jack.co.uk // Georgie and James // PC Williams : www.pc-williams.blogspot. com // LOL + POP Vintage General Comment : Adam Roan Henderson : adam@ whos-jack.co.uk // Photography : Barry Macdonald : www.barrymacdonald. co.uk : email@example.com // Kristoffer Myhre : www.krismyhre.com // Stuart Leech : www.music-photos. co.uk // lu-xx.com // Andrea Bono Tempo // Tom Mattey // Eman Ali // Johannen Romppanen // Chris Hall // Alexandra Cameron : www.alexandracameron.carbonmade.com // Oara Dan Emil : www.oaraphotography.com Contributing writers : Marco Casadei // Jason Gregory // Ruthie Holloway // Lucy Hancock // Jo Hunt // Jeremy Williams // Philippa Abbott // Erin Daniel Mckee : firstname.lastname@example.org // Donna Marie Howard // Georgie and James // Doireann Ronayne // Reggie Yates // Amy Swales // Alexandra Pullin // Alan Mcgee // Illustrations/Artwork : James Lightfoot // Elliot Rooney : www.elliottrooney.com // Jack Walker : www.pandamilk. com // Andrew Clark // Xander Bliss Models : Janet Adyeri // Bethany Harper Walsh Hair & Make up : Dorina Plunmer Cover Image : Alexandra Cameron Want to see your work in Jack? Contributions : email@example.com Thanks to : Tom at The Old Queens Head, The Paradise by Way of Kensal Green, The waiters at Kensington Roof Gardens, Ciro for some lovely Lasagne and Russ for his offer of Dj lessons. Who’s Jack Ltd All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part with out the permission of Who’s Jack. The opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the opinions of Who’s Jack. Who’s Jack Ltd can not be held responsible for any breach of copyright arising from any material supplied. Who’s Jack, 93 Barker Drive, Camden, London, NW1 0JG
Firstly, laptops. We have had a nightmare with laptops this month, they really should be made so they don’t just break. Wolfman needs to go in Sh*t of the Month too, the launch of the new Vue was great but the film we were shown fell below par. A shame, so much potential, but a poor costume and a wooden performance from Benicio Del Toro led to a complete letdown. The current ‘Be Stupid’ Diesel campaign also gets a mention this month. Guys, you can do better, this just looks like a half baked idea that was cut short to give up and go down the pub, stupid really... Nowhere near as novel as what we have come to expect from Diesel. This, their rising prices and sliding collections leaves us hoping that one day soon they might drop the attitude and realise they can’t keep their innovative crown by believing their own hype. Onto a number of faceless and nameless annoying people including those that hail buses (if you are standing at a bus stop they will stop, if you’re not, they won’t, it’s very simple). The people that stole a food package from outside our office door and then gave it back the day after when all the contents had gone off. And finally the people that set on Jeff outside the Old Queens Head on Friday. Before we go into our full on tube rant below we would like to give a special mention to Radio 1’s daytime playlist. Add some more songs to the A list yeah? And, if that is an unreasonable ask then at least get rid of Fireflies and Never be Your Woman. They Do.Our.Heads.In. So onto the tube, the below rant is from Amy Swales. First up, People who read their paper on the tube without folding it, know what I mean? If I can read one page at a time, surely you can too. Doing this at rush hour amounts to a Cardinal sin so how about you put your paper under your arm, or at least take your f**king backpack off and think about someone else for a change? Knobs. Second, kids should be banned from the tube during rush hour, if this can’t happen then at least tell them to stop standing on people’s feet, elbowing people in the face, grabbing their books, leaning over their shoulders, or being generally badly behaved. Most of all keep them quiet. Other people do not find your children as endearing as you do, we do not need to hear - “Bobby, how many stops do we have to go? We have to go five stops Bobby. Count them, Bobby. Five stops.” To Bobby I say - Stop standing on my f**king feet and practically sitting in my f**king lap. I’m not your f**king mum and I don’t find you anywhere near as adorable as she does. Amy goes on to tell us that she would sent more, however “I’ve deleted it because it was massively long and making me angry writing it” Do you want to get something off your chest? Let us act as a free counselor, send us your woes and grievances at firstname.lastname@example.org
LALA LOVE @ SUPER SWEET Both La La Love and Super Sweet go into our Jack Loves for March. They kind of come as a pair. Super Sweet tells us “La La Love is a mascot for [us] when it comes to styling. It’s not about following trends or dismissing something for being popular either. Like us, Linda Charoenlab’s line strives to be a ringleader of the unique, the interesting, the extraordinary, the strange, the ambiguous and the downright fabulous!” Our particular favourites can be seen on the right. There is also a very nice Agyness Deyn style that you may be hard pushed to find now as every time they come out they sell out. Keep an eye on Super Sweet to catch them when they next come in. www.supersweet.org
Alex Metric interview : James Lynch words : Laura Hills images: Oara Dan Emil
ALEX METRIC IS A MAN WHO REFUSES TO BE PUSHED INTO A BOX. NOT LITERALLY OF COURSE, BUT MUSICALLY. HAVING SPENT THE LAST FEW YEARS REMIXING AND PRODUCING OTHER PEOPLE RECORDS ALEX IS NOW BRANCHING OUT AND MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF AS ONE OF THE HOTTEST NEW DJ’S TURNED SINGERS/PERFORMERS OF 2010. WHEN WHO’S JACK WENT ALONG TO THE HOXTON BAR AND GRILL TO SEE HIM LIVE WE WITNESSED FIRST HAND THE SHEER MENTALNESS THAT IS AN ALEX METRIC SHOW (THINK JUMPING UP AND DOWN NON STOP, HANDS IN THE AIR AND REACHING ANOTHER LEVEL OF SWEATY AFTER JUST THE OPENING SONG). WE ALSO MANAGED TO CORNER THE BUSIEST MAN OF THE MOMENT FOR A QUICK RUM AND COKE AND A CATCH UP...
So tell us, who is Alex Metric? I’m a producer, I sing songs, I’m a remixer, a DJ and I’ve got my live band. Oh and I’ve got a radio show as well. I kind of do lots of different things.
Now I’m guessing Alex is your name but that Metric isn’t... why did you add that in? There’s no reason for it really. I was at college and wanted a name to release tracks on. I started putting tracks out as Metric but then the Canadian band Metric became quite successful and there were a few confusing incidents. For example my mate was at Coachella Festival and Metric were on the bill and he rang me up thinking it was me playing. So I cleverly changed it and put Alex in front of it.
And now you’ll never forget which one you are. You’ll forever be Alex Metric. Exactly!
So there was no secret measuring system reason behind it? No, there was no rhyme nor reason to it really. I don’t know why it came to me, it just did. I actually think Alex Metric sounds better than Metric anyway and it gives me anonymity as well because it’s not my real name. I like having a stage name.
How would you describe your sound? It’s such a mix of things really. My influences growing up range from die hard indie to break beat and French house. I fully got into the electronic world too. When I first started making records I felt a lot of pressure to make them a certain way and to fit into a category. It was only when I sat down and thought, ‘Right, who have I loved over the years?’ and tried to put them all into one record that I actually found my sound. So it’s indie, it’s a bit rock, it’s electronic, it’s house music, it’s noisy, it’s 80’s, it’s just such a mish mash of stuff. It’s all my favourite things thrown together, not across an album but across one track.
So it’s all the best bits of every category rolled into one? Yeah. The point where things started going well for me was when I hit this drive with my production and now I think you could put on a record of mine and instantly know it’s mine which I think is really important.
When did you start singing on your tracks? I started off being in bands when I was younger so I was always singing with those and then as I started getting into the DJ, electronic side of things I didn’t want
to have to rely on working with others and using flaky musicians. When I was first working on the production of my music I put vocals on a bit of a back burner. I wanted my productions to be the best they could be. I’ve really enjoyed it, it’s been great. I’m in a really fortunate position where I can do remixes and stuff but also do my own songs as well. I’ve got fans who’ll like some stuff and not like other stuff but I’m lucky that people are allowing me to do it all.
And how have people reacted to your singing? I don’t think people actually realise it’s me! It’s only when we made the video for It Starts that people actually realised it was me singing. Even at my gigs people would be like, ‘Who’s that singing at the other end of the machine?’ and I’d be like, ‘Erm, it’s me!’
From what I’ve heard of your music I’d say it’s definitely more electro-pop than say, French house. Is that what we can expect to be hearing on your album? It’s going to be much like the EP in the respect that there’s a bit of everything. There’s pop moments, there’s some really noisy club records, everything. I don’t see the point in boxing myself off and concentrating on just one genre when I love so many. I love pop music, some of my favourite bands are pop. I like music that puts a smile on your face, it’s not all about being moody.
So when is the album out? That’s the question that always crops up and I really wish I knew. Hopefully this year. Probably September I imagine. There’s a few collaborations I need to add in like one I’ve done with Charlie XCX who is a name to watch out for and an amazing 17 year old pop girl who’s doing two tracks with me so I just need to finish those off really.
Do you find it weird having to alter your music so that you can play it with a band at live gigs? Is it a bit strange to have to cut it up to be able to perform it live? It took me a while to get used to it actually. Working out how to do it live was quite strange but now I think it’s one of the biggest buzzes, writing a record and then playing it live and watching peoples reactions. It makes songs take on a whole new life.
Do you find yourself trying to take all the good bits and saving them for yourself? It’s funny because there’s a track I do that Bnann from the Infadels sings and
normally I perform it live, however tonight he is and I’m a bit disappointed. Like I want it to be me singing it now, I’m a bit jealous.
Do you find it strange having to come out from behind the decks and set yourself up as a front man now? It’s not strange as such. I DJ at a club a lot in Bristol and I performed there live for the first time the other day and the manager came up to me and asked me how I got the balls to get up there and sing in front of everyone but it doesn’t seem that weird to me. DJing is still performing in a way so it’s all pretty much the same. I do get nervous though.
Now, I love your keytar that you play. Can we expect to see him busted out throughout your shows now? Yeah! I’ve only just been able to get it into the live shows because it was a bit much to be singing and playing the keytar and everything else. So far I’ve only done three shows with it but I love having my keytar on stage with me. I brought it two years ago in LA and I’ve been waiting to get it on stage with me ever since.
Does it have a name? It doesn’t! Charlie XCX named all my synths when we were in the studio together but we didn’t name the keytar!
So it got left out? That’s not very nice is it Alex? No. Sorry!
It’s OK. Now, you obviously remix and produce some really good people, is there anyone you’re working with at the moment? I’m working on the Infadels album at the moment and that’s sounding awesome. And there’s a really big band that I can’t really mention at the moment. All I can say is it’s their third album and they’re one of the biggest bands in Britain but I don’t want to jinx it by giving away names right now. I’m actually remixing Cheryl Cole at the moment too and I produced part of her music for the Brit Awards. That was great, I really want to do some good pop stuff because I really like the point where underground cool and out and out pop music cross over.
You’ve done so many remixes over the last year, it’s really quite impressive. Didn’t you win the XFM remixer of the year award? Yeah that was insane. Some of my all time hero’s have won that before and were nominated too so that was just great.
Did you get a trophy? No I didn’t actually get anything! I just got a radio pat on the back.
So not even a real pat on the back? Disappointing. Now, not only that, but you’ve also become an international radio DJ too. Did you ever think you’d be on the BBC broadcasting to 2 million people? No, not at all. I never ever, ever dreamt that would happen and it’s great, I really do love it. When the BBC ask you to do something like that you’d be pretty mental to say no.
What song do you wish you could remix? Current or not. I would love to remix a Daft Punk record. I’m putting it out there so now lets make it happen.
What can’t you live without? Coffee. I have an espresso machine in the studio and without that I wouldn’t make any music. Espresso is key to my sound.
Aside from the album what is happening in 2010 for Alex Metric? Loads of festival gigs with the band, hopefully I’ll stop doing so many remixes too. Having said that every time I say I want to stop remixing another amazing remix comes in that I can’t say no to. So I think I’ll just carry on being the busiest man in the world and not ever having a life.
Alex Metric, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you! www.myspace.com/alexmetric www.twitter.com/Alexmetric
words: Mark Williams
So, what has February taught us? Well it turns out that Mariah Carey may not be as entirely mad as a bag of spiders after winning a great deal of critical acclaim for her performance in Precious. Nelson Mandela was, in fact, Morgan Freeman all along and A Prophet was a fantastic piece of French filmmaking that suggests we will be seeing a lot more of its leading actor Tahar Rahim. And you just can not do a werewolf transformation scene without it looking like An American Werewolf in London so why even try? But this isn’t a column for reflecting on what we already know, it’s about looking to the month ahead. We hang the world of film upside down by its metaphorical ankles and give it a shake to see what’s stored away in its pockets. First to fall out along with 20p, a yoyo and half a Snickers bar is Swedish film The Ape (12th March). Director Jesper Ganslandt has taken the unusual approach of not giving his lead actor (Olle Sarri) a script or even access to a full overview of the plot of the film. Instead he was taken to each filming location where all the other actors would be waiting in all their well-briefed, scripted smugness and more or less thrown into the scene. The sense of not really knowing what’s going on is part of the film for the audience too, so this could be a treat for fans of the much under-rated Memento. House of The Devil (19th March) is a horror film that has been deliberately shot in the style of seventies to eighties classics such as The Omen or The Amityville Horror. Even the girls haircuts are authentically hair spray enhanced and eighties-tastic. The story line involves two girls that are offered a large sum of money to babysit for one night. The catch (what, there’s a catch?!?) being that the baby sitting is to be done in a big, remote, spooky mansion where the inhabitants look like the kind of people who turn up to audition in the first round of X-Factor. Although the film is clearly aimed at fans of the genre and could even be considered more of a homage, it has received good enough reviews in the US to be a great horror film on its own merits. It also features a very creepy-looking turn by Tom Noonan who earnt his creepy stripes in Manhunter and has more recently appeared in the brilliant headache of a film Synechdoche New York.
Looking for an offbeat Japanese love story? Then look no further than Kakera: A Piece of Our Life (2nd April). On the quirky love story-ometer, it looks to rate somewhere between Amelie and I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK. At this stage I’m not sure where it sits between those two. What we do know is that it’s lightly comic tale of a girl who grows bored of her slobbish boyfriend and therefore embarks upon a more exciting friendship with Riko, a girl who designs prosthetic body parts. L’ Affaire Farewell (2nd April) is a French spy thriller packed full of espionage, backstabbing, plot-twists and the kind of political wrongdoing that makes dodgy expense claims look a bit redundant. Set in the Cold-War early eighties, there are agents, double agents, and shifty looking men in suits a-plenty. They’ve even found a part for Willem Dafoe, who almost managed to make Daybreakers a good film (but not quite…) To round off a very international film column this month, April 2nd will see the release of Samson and Delilah, a powerful Australian film about a young aboriginal 9 couple who are forced to run away from home in order to survive. It looks visually stunning and has already been racking up awards quicker than a banker can rack up lines in the toilet of a cocktail bar. The filmmakers have made every attempt to ensure that the film is a genuinely aboriginal experience from the locations to the actors and the way characters interact with each other and their surroundings. It’s also worth giving a mention to the film’s official website (see below) which really gives you a deeper understanding of how you go about trying to accurately represent the oldest living culture on the planet. Bringing us neatly back to London town, this month the BFI hosts the 24th annual London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (17th – 31st March) “celebrating the best in new queer cinema from around the world”. And the East Festival (4th – 9th March) promises more than a few films amongst its showcase of creativity in East London. www.houseofthedevilmovie.com www.fasad.se/apan www.thirdwindowfilms.com/films/kakera-a-piece-of-our-life www.laffairefarewell-lefilm.com www.samsonanddelilah.com.au
computers for commuters What with this month’s iPad launch and the growing need for computers to function on the go, we thought it about time to have a look at a few things on the market that are not an iPad and not a fully fledged laptop. In short, affordable pieces of technology that don’t take up your whole lap, can fit on a coffee house table and can sufficiently connect to the world wide web . U200 (above) Positioned as a mini notebook, the U200 has the best screen of this bunch, we still can’t quite work out why the screens on all notebooks don’t utilise all available space. This is the largest of the three. With great internet connectivity this is also very similar to a Mac in both look and feel for those that have sold their soul to the Apple god. Although this is the largest notebook here it still fits perfectly into a handbag! The U200 comes in pearl white or piano black. £399 www.cclonline.com eCAFÉ™ EC-1000W (right) The eCafe netbook is the middle runner in size, small enough to fit in any bag but won’t do your eyes any damage. The only slight niggle we had was the mouse pad, it can be a bit sticky. The fact that this laptop isn’t too tiny means you can actually sit and work on it. Not only for the teen that wants to watch films and check their Facebook, the eCafe deals with spreadsheets and emails with ease. £169 www.ecafe.hercules.com
Chie (right) The Chie is the smallest of the bunch and a really attractive little thing. It’s got people talking quickly. The screen really is small though so if you need glasses probably not the best option as you may end up with a headache. Great for the massively on the go, although not brilliantly straight forward to get on the net with. The best thing about this notebook is the price - £99. It only came out in January and comes to us straight from Asia which explains the brilliant size. www.blazenetbooks.com
The Bow-Tie Over the past year, there’s been a conservative effort by the fashion industry to reinstall the bow tie into a category it likes to refer to as “on-trend”. That is, into a position where any owner of the above accessory can be considered a genuine trailblazer - and not, as would have been the case eighteen months ago, someone simply trying to harness the spirit of the late Keith Floyd. The results, so far, have been mixed. While TV shows like Mad Men and Gossip Girl have both broadly incorporated the bow tie, the average high-street shopper has yet to be convinced that scandalous love-rat Chuck Bass’s favourite accessory to bag hot Upper East Side chicks is a good look. A study last year, for example, showed that fewer than 5% of men regularly wear one. Of course, that’s no real surprise.
FASHION FOR THE BOYS
If you consider the bow tie’s chequered history as an accessory worn mainly by hapless children’s entertainers and right-wing politicians, then any attempt to reinstate it as an alternative to the tie was always going to be up there with humanity’s other great struggles, like solving world debt. Then, of course, there are the countless negative stereotypes, which make the thought of actually wearing one less appealing than chewing your arm off. There’s the memory of that awkward first - and probably last - school dance; the derided belief that they project intellectualism; and, worse of all, that old lecturer who’s now enlisted on a register. The list goes on - and I haven’t even mentioned the biggest stumbling block: they’re a pain in the arse to tie. But wait. While fashion can’t eradicate all of those drawbacks, it has been able to fix the last problem. Whereas ready-made bow ties were once a rarity, you’ll be hard-pressed this season to find one - whether in a block colour or polka dot - that hasn’t been prepared for you. Mine, for example, fastened in seconds and, thankfully, didn’t even leave me with the sudden feeling that I was now the life and soul of any party. Yet caution is still advised. Anyone who fancies adopting this look themselves this spring should bare in mind two things: one, make sure the bow tie is in proportion to your head and extends no farther than the outer seams of your shirt; and two, don’t blame me if you end up looking like a TV chef.
Shades of Noir
Credits: Photographer: Eman Ali Styling: PC WiLLiAMS Make-up artist: Davina Plummer Model: Janet Adyeri Tights: Jonathan Aston @ MyTights.com, Leather pant: East End Thrift store, Leather bra: The Assembly
Shoes: Topshop, Trousers: Vivienne Westwood Anglomania @ mywardrobe.com Lace Bustier: East End Thrift Store, Bag: East End Thrift Store, Gloves: East End Thrift Store, Glasses: Stylist Own.
Dress, Topshop; Bangles, Modelâ€™s own; Socks, Transparenze @ MyTights.com; Shoes, Topshop.
Braided Leather Skirt, Topshop; Gloves, East End Thrift Store; Leather and PVC Bra, The Assembly.
Husky Rescue words Jeremy Williams | image : Johannes Romppanen
“I think’ it’s good to be back. Overall we’ve done more gigs here than in Finland. We’ve been here so many times, it feels like home. It’s been more than two years since we’ve been here with the whole band.” Finland’s Husky Rescue have been in the UK for three days and have already had no end of trouble.
On their way up to Manchester to record a session for BBC6 they had car troubles, turning a quick journey into something of more epic proportions. However, as I sit down for a quiet lunchtime chat with the group’s founder Marko Nyberg and vocalist Reeta Vestman ahead of the launch party for their stunning third studio album “Ship of Light” everything seems to be calmly on track, with both Marko and Reeta seeming reflective. “When we started I actually traveled quite frequently to bigger cities and back then, when someone asked ‘Do you find nature an influence for the music?’, I never felt it was. I had such an urban life back then. Much more now, I have got that feeling of a place where nature is cool and calming. The nature in Finland is really calming. In contrast, I went to Iceland two or three years ago and the nature was much more unpredictable. Volcanic, you know like in New Zealand or Japan, that sort of volcanic nature is much more frightening, you never know what’s going to happen. But in Finland it is really stable.” Marko, the composer, producer and musician at the helm of Finland’s ambient-popstrels Husky Rescue admits that a lot has changed in the eight years since he first conceived the Husky Rescue project. Having released debut album ‘Country Falls’, Marko’s studio experimentation proved so popular that live shows were demanded. “I really didn’t think when I started to compose, the music just came through and then we were asked to play in London in 2004. That is how the band thing started, because obviously we couldn’t bring 15 people over. Then for some reason it felt quite natural.” Realising that it would be financially limiting to tour with an entourage of musicians in tow, Marko restricted himself to the essentials. Soon enough he’d recruited Reeta Vestman (vocals), Miika Colliander (guitar), Ville Riippa (Keyboards) and Anssi Sopanen (drums). With a unit formed, the tour began and the unit gelled. So when it came to recording ‘Ghost Is Not Real’, Husky Rescue’s second album, it was clear that the project would no longer be a solo venture. As Reeta explains, “Then of course when you have been touring for several years with the same people, you want to make the next album with them.” So, all in all that explains the presence of five band members setting up for their album launch at London’s Wilmington Arms, but the question has to be asked ‘Who is the sixth person wondering around?’. “I had a dream of having twin sisters playing in the band” is Marko’s brief explanation. Reeta informs me that “we are now a six piece, the new girl is Maria who plays squeezebox and guitar. The new material on the album really required an extra person due to its texture. One twin dropped out the band, so we have one left. The other twin has done shows in Finland but when you are traveling around you can’t have so many people. It is really nice to have one extra female.”
...the question has to be asked ‘who is the sixth person wandering around? Extra member explained, Reeta assures me that there are occasional additional members for live shows but Husky Rescue are a sextet currently, who do have “three Godfathers – one does the lyrics (Jari Salo), one the music videos (Miikka Lommi) and one the artwork (Kustaa Saksi).” Marko is keen to explain that Husky Rescue are “not a collective of people. We have been working together for many years.” Reeta seems equally keen to stress the importance of the band unit. “Marko is the mastermind of how the album sounds. But when it comes to live gigs, we rearrange things because some things in the album are not actually real instruments. For example a sound can be the throwing of water, but we can’t do that live. We start as a band and discuss who plays what kind of instrument. Sometimes we record all instruments played by Marko for a track, live we can’t do that.” Husky Rescue may be renowned for their colourful, vibrant live shows but equally their albums have achieved both critical and commercial acclaim. Noted for reflecting the natural aspects of their home country, a similar source can be clearly heard throughout the optimistically soothing “Ship Of Light”. Simply close your eyes whilst listening and you can picture the incandescent beauty of Finland. Reeta terms it “imaginary fantasy. Our songs have all the beautiful elements of Finland. Of course we have lots of not so beautiful elements as well. I think nature is one of our big influences.” Clearly aware of Finland’s apparent obsession with the darker side, Husky Rescue are the antithesis of the country’s ever popular death metal scene. Marko has “some sort of romantic view of some cultural elements, like people dancing in their 60s in the countryside. It’s more like a party, the music itself is building some sort of world around it.” “I moved a little bit out of the city, from Helsinki centre. I have such a beautiful neighbour, he is maybe 60 years old and I told him that I had been picking mushrooms when I was a child. I was with my Grandmother and I must have been 8 or something, that was the last time I’d picked mushrooms. It was also the very first time. Last Autumn, the doorbell rang and Marco my neighbour, he asked me to join him picking mushrooms from the f
forest. It was such a beautiful six hours. He goes to forest weekly. I feel that I’m quite urban but he’s helped to make me appreciate the rural side of life” Whilst Husky Rescue’s past records have been noted for their reflections of Finland’s natural beauty, Marko feels that it is only now, 8 years after ‘Country Falls’ that he personally feels at one with nature. Clearly a conscious effort to oppose sometimes negative representations of Finland, which as a country has the highest suicide rate globally, Husky Rescue have created a world of their own which draws only from the positive. As a result, Reeta feels their music is not produced “to represent Finland, but for the Finns. Finnish people listen to a lot of heavy metal and that can depress them even more. I mean it doesn’t always, but we want to do an album for the Finns that is a light of hope. The world is not easy, it’s not always full of light but you can concentrate on the positive things instead of focusing on the sad things.” Marko agrees with her, but only to a degree. “It’s not pure optimism. Some people that feel really optimistic do like dark music. Some of my friends for example. I think if you live really busily, then this kind of music is relaxing. Music can be some sort of port or door to a fantasy world where you want to stay. I kind of feel that it is nature or something. You open the door and you are in a different world. I don’t feel that is full of positives, there are negatives.” Shades of light and dark can be found throughout ‘Ship Of Light’ for example, whilst the album has a floaty air, there are the whirling, starker contrasts when the airy lightness gets heavier. Reeta concedes that “sadness is part of beauty, but instead of concentrating on the darkside you can see the sad things in a beautiful light.” Though images of Finland are immediately evident upon listening to ‘Ship of Light’, there appears to also be an equally obvious thread throughout being love. From the incredibly catchy innocence of ‘Sound Of Love’ through to the haunting undertones of ‘Beautiful My Monster’, ‘Ship of Light’ is unashamed in its relishing of the ‘l’ word. However, when the subject of love is broached, both Reeta and Marko seem coy in their response.
The recently married Reeta will admit that “lots of good things have happened to us. We can really feel it”, whilst Marko simply points out that “if you have love in your life, then it’s a theme. If you don’t have love, then it can be as well.” Though unwilling to elaborate further it is immediately apparent that perhaps the peaks and troughs of love relate to the earlier beauty in sadness that Reeta mentions. “I had really wanted to do something different with this third album, like going abroad to record it. But then we ended up using a similar method to before, where we recorded in my home studio.” To ensure their sound progressed, Marko had been determined to try a different approach for their third album, however why fix something that isn’t broken.? The result of their hard work has paid off, with their newer sound a mellower development of their earlier work. With Marko firmly at the helm it is without doubt his new frame of mind that alters the overall sound. “I really don’t compose, it is some sort of melody. I have this emotion that this melody needs to be saved. I actually get really angry if I am not saving the melody, or the kind of emotion I want to express. If you lose that kind of feeling, then I get really bad feelings.” Though the initial concept is of his creation, the final product is the result of a combined effort. As Marko unleashes the bird from his palms, it is free from his total control. Marko is no longer the solo composer, they are no longer just his emotions. “Then we start recording and I kind of feel that it moves further in the direction I set it off in, that I am now the producer, not the composer, then I want to create some of the elements that my friends might have when they are playing or singing, though some stand out more than others. I try to make them each as strong as possible. Preserve the quality of their musicality. There is, of course some sort of vision but it gets filtered through everyone’s possibilities.” Somewhere along the way the Godfathers get involved. Whilst Marko composes overnight and the band join him during the day, rough cuts are sent to the lyricist and the artist for their impressions. “Sometimes I send him the really rough demos to listen to. Then I find it really beautiful when he send back the visuals. It is so inspirational.” Far from his days as a solo artist, Marko feeds off the feedback to further his project. It is on these closer forces that he relies for inspiration. Whilst at the time of recording Reeta “was listening to a Norwegian singer called Ane Brun, I love her singing. And The Cardigans, even though they are a bit more poppy. But I really like the way Nina Persson uses her voice” to feed her vocal contributions, Marko doesn’t feel that the music of others sways his own creations. “It is really difficult, because for a long time I loved Bon Iver.
But I wouldn’t say that was an influence. Influences go much deeper, there are some things I really love but personally music is not my influence. It is something more. The source where it comes from is the influence. When we launched the first album, I had a hectic life and I watched sh*t loads of movies. I’d never been a movie nerd, but I found them so influential but nowadays I don’t get any real feelings when watching films. I mean things can trigger emotions, music and films and reading good books can but they aren’t my main source of inspiration. It is more my setting and location.” With the album finished, Husky Rescue are ready to unleash it to the world. Having not had the chance to bring the new songs to the live arena, Reeta feels unable to really distinguish her favourite track on the album, “I think at the point where we start to play live, maybe after 20 gigs there are songs that really hit me. But now, not really. Right now ‘Wolf Trap Motel’ is my favourite. I really like the intro, when it goes to the other sections within the track and things start to happen. Just the total contrast to Hotel California. I didn’t write the lyrics but I love how you can just leave any time you want.” Whilst Reeta didn’t write the lyrics, she did experience ‘Wolf Trap Motel’ live, for real. It appears that though current Pepe Deluxe producer and Husky Rescue Godfather Jari Salo is responsible for the wording, Marko had actually drawn inspiration for the track from Husky Rescue’s time Stateside. “There is a nice story with the ‘Wolf Trap Motel’, We spent four months touring the States and we spent time in the ‘Wolf Trap Mote’ in Washington. I had a pen from there. I found it really inspirational that the Huskys went to the Wolf Trap. I had a vision of people dancing in the snow, a 3 by 4 waltz.
If you listen to the tune, you can see the people. Fortunately when we left Finland, we left a properly beautiful winter. So much snow. It was really magical because everywhere everything was white. The intro of the song sounds like a city turning white. It calms down everyone’s voices. It’s like walking but losing the speed.” Given that “there is a really different vibe now” and Husky Rescue are once again on the British Isles, Reeta hopes that their ‘Ship of Light’ will really “take off”. Marko doesn’t disagree with her intentions, but has very different goals for his music.“ I kind of feel that it doesn’t matter how big you are. But I would really like to see people touched by the music. It is super beautiful when people find your music. When they become friends with the music. My main thing is that it’s super beautiful to make music as I go through so many emotions when I hear it. I’d like to be able to give people that feeling.” “When I first heard Roykskopp, it instantly brought imagery forward. I actually went to north Norway two years ago, I was driving around there and was listening to Royskopp. At some points I couldn’t listen to it as it was too obvious to be listening to that music there, as there wasn’t any kind of contrast. Instead I quickly switched over to Dolly Parton. I find contrast really beautiful. In music there needs to be contrast. When you open the door to a musical world, there needs to be a mix, the bitter as well as the sweet.” Given that Britain has already welcomed the Huskys into their hearts and Marko’s world contrasts distinctly from that of these shores, there is more than a fleeting chance that their ‘Ship of Light’ will successfully set sail. www.husky-rescue.com
“I had a dream of having twin sisters playing in the band”
Epoh Beech: The Marriage of The Thames & The Rhine Epoh walked the length of the River Rhine in Germany from its source as part of her research, the exhibition features new drawings and a hand drawn animation, featuring the mythological characters Pegasus and Hermes. Beatutiful drawings not to be missed. The Gallery, Redchurch Street 2-7 March, 2010 www.epohbeech.co.uk
Scream Gallery presents the solo exhibition of Mark Evans. Powerful images of contemporary icons from the worlds of fashion (Naomi Campbell), politics (Putin), and more, have all been meticulously captured on animal hide. These images are Skin Deep in more ways than one. March 18th, open Tue-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat 11am-5pm www.screamlondon.com
Things I made, Things I found and made This is the current exhibition on at the Salon Gallery in Westbourne Park. It also includes a life size mirrors statue of Lady Gaga. Artists include Vanessa Harden and Sarah Gwyer. 82 Westbourne Grove London W2 5RT www.salongallery.co.uk
Supra Pure Beef T-Shirt £20.00 www.supralondon.com
Puma Urban Mobility Graphic T-Shirt £13.00 www.fashionbeats.com www.puma.com
March 20th will see NYC based Kinetika Records release Tasty Tim’s T-Total: The Anthem EP. With a remix package headlined by Disco Damage and Sammy Jo (Scissor Sisters Tour DJ). Available exclusively on iTunes, Beatport, and Juno. www.idontlikemondays.us £296
Nixon headphones These are the beautiful latest offering from Nixon, how can you not look good with these stuck in your ears, we hear the sounds pretty good too. £30 www.streetfusion.co.uk
fashion As I write this the sun is shining in through the window of the pub I’m sitting in. This can only mean one thing, Spring might well and truly be on its way. I am choosing to ignore the fact that the person currently sitting in make up to my right has just confirmed the weather man has predicted snow this weekend. I refuse to listen. So with the sun firmly lodged in my mind I think it’s time to get out those graphic T-shirts again. The following are a selection of T’s that fit both boys and girls and can give last years collection a spruce up.
The Garage has been re-opened for a while now so if you’ve not been down there yet you really should. Relentless has put together some great lines ups and the sound is excellent. www.relentlessenergy.com/the-relentless-garage
JACK’S PICK OF THE MONTH
This new gallery opened last month and can already boast a host of exciting names about to grace it’s newly white walls. Last month saw the opening of the gallery showcase the pop rhetoric work of Gerald Liang and this month sees Rupert Shrive. Shrive exhibits three dimensional paintings, showing paper portrait heads. The gallery say’s ‘...they are psychologically arresting works, questioning accepted tenets of contemporary beauty and cultural interpretation.” Rupert Shrive After St. Theresa 3 March 2010 - 6 April 2010 Morton Metropolis 41 - 42 Berners Street, W1T 3NB www.mortonmetropolis.com
Huge Type Looks Sweet
Design is Honest, Advertising is Lying £18.00 www.designbyhumans.com
After gracing the cover of our October issue last year Ellie has gone from strength to strength and this month sees the release of her debut album. Buy it. www.elliegoulding.co.uk
The Flowerpot really is our favourite venue. Near Camden and Kentish Town tubes, no ques and always free to get in it is a perfect option after the pub on a Friday or Sat. We might miss the fact that Ronnkie Pop (the Sat regular) is no longer present but with nothing else changing, we’ll get over it. www.flowerpotlondon.com
Billionaire Boys Club Rocket Tee £69.99 www.wellgosh.com
Another Nixon offering, and you thought they only did watches! These beauties fold away into an equally ergonomically pleasing case so perfect for travelling or being generally on the go. £80.00 www.streetfusion.co.uk
Lead this month goes to the amazing Kensington Roof Gardens. With both indoor and outdoor dining and the most friendly and attentive staff you might think that was al the venue needed to offer but couple that with the beautiful flamingo gardens, beautiful food and to our surprise a very enjoyable desert wine (we didn’t think that existed!) you get a truly stunning restaurant. Kensington Roof Gardens is open for both drinks and dinner, we sampled a beautiful edible flower champagne cocktail 99 High Street, Kensington, W8 5SA www.roofgardens.virgin.com
Jack’s suggestions this month include pricey to mid range to bargain depending on your fancy and your pocket.
London’s whispers and pearls This month we take a look at where you can find some free food. There are several places in London you can go to get a little bit extra with your drink. Namely food. Hotels are the best for offering that little something extra.
2-4-1 deals 2-4-1 doesn’t always mean two packs of lager for the price of one down the local co-op. The best place for the best 2-4-1 offer? Fifty Five Bar. 2-4-1 on all cocktails, Monday to Sat 5pm till 8pm - that’s an amazing deal! 31 Jamestown Road NW1 7DB www.fiftyfivebar.co.uk Whispers
The Chesterfield, Mayfair Pop in from afternoon through to evening and you will soon be offered some lovely snacks to go with your chosen tipples. Namely finger food sized cheese on toast. 35 Charles Street W1J 5EB 020 7491 2622
Silent movies. We’ve been hearing whispers for some time about a new site called Pass the Popcorn. It seemed it was certainly to do with movies only sadly, most certainly invite only too. Still in the beta stage these guys won’t speak a word to us about what’s going on, but we’ve heard on the grapevine that You Tube own this frustrating conundrum of a site and they are gearing up to do online movie rentals.
St Georges Hotel Go straight through the foyer and into the lift at the back on the left, go to the top floor. Ignore the decor, concentrate on the view and wait for the complimentary canapes to start. Langham Place, Regent Street, W1B 2QS
Proud to add to the brand. It would seem, not content with conquering both art and the club/bar world that the Proud brand are set to go yet another step further and open up a restaurant. The new eatery is set to open in April. www.proud.co.uk
Mayfair Hotel Does an excellent selection of nuts, vegetable crisps and savory biscuits in the bar in the afternoon. Stratton Street, W1J 8LT www.TheMayFairHotel.co.uk
The Anthologist On the food front there is another excellent new offering to come in the next couple of months, keep an eye on Gresham Street in the City for The Anthologist.
The iPad We wanted so much more, 3D graphics, maybe a hologram or two, the ability to turn into a hover board... instead we got an enlarged version of a toy we already have. Bigger is sometimes better, but in this case we feel it’s a bit of a cop out. We won’t even start on the name.
Very Young and very on it.
These guys are responsible for more magical music than you know so are sure to always have their fingers on the musical pulse. www.neongoldrecords.blogspot.com
Keeping us updated with all the underground art London has to offer. www.art.artofthestate.co.uk
There aren’t that many great film blogs out there but here is one to start. Loads of insider tips on news before films even go to the funding board. www.slashfilm.com
It’s been around for a year already and we’ve heard it might soon be putting a few roots into London soil, great for independent reporting. www.thedailybeast.com If you know of a blog that should be highlighted here, let us know. Email : email@example.com
Kate Nash That new song- ‘I just love you more’, what were you thinking? The same line repeated what must be about ten times? The ‘I just love you more’ seems to pick up when ‘than anything’ is added but then Kate just scream a bit. Sorry but we just think it’s a bit sh*t.
Daisy Dares You Daisy, we dare you to find your self. Taking Pixie Lott’s hair, I blame Coco’s style and Avril Lavigne’s kiddy lyrics does not an amazing female artist make. None of these girls are epic. There are, however, a handful around already so we can do without a watered down annoying one.
The middle ground goes to Hoxton Bar and Grill and their amazing nachos. Perfect for a lunch with friends or a stomach lining before a few drinks. Maybe even a date. 2 Hoxton Square, N1 6NU www.hoxtonsquarebar.com
For a cheap yet breakfast that doesn’t skimp on quality get yourself to Mikes. Arrive early though, it fills up fast, however not with tourists, thankfully. You do get a good view of that ‘blue door’ though. Mike’s 12 Blenheim Crescent, W11 1NN
Banksy : Exit through the gift shop
If you don’t want to go out at all then treat yourself to Dim Sum indoors and order from Teachi. Ping Pong haven’t quite sorted out their delivery service yet so in the mean time this is your answer. 29-31 Parkway NW1 7PN www.teachi.co.uk
Many already think this is a film by Banksy, it’s actually by the people at Sundance Music festival but does heavily feature the illusive artist. The film is the story of an eccentric French shop keeper and an amateur film maker attempting to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results. Billed as ‘the world’s first street art disaster movie’ the film contains exclusive footage of Banksy, Shephard Fairey, Invader and many of the world’s most infamous graffiti artists at work. In UK cinemas from March 5th www.banksyfilm.com
glowing The Langham Hotel Pop to Regent Street for afternoon tea. Sensual not stuffy, with a whiff of something both operatic and cinematic. Pricey, but well worth it. www.london.langhamhotels. co.uk
Bonnie McKee Tortora A post-surrealist painter. NYC based. Her recent sell-out show at the prestigious Oyster Point had art dealers salivating, critics lauding, and celebrity/ society art lovers buying. Oh and, she’s also my Aunt. www.bonniemckeetortora.com
Nite Visions Only ever so slightly under the surface. This new band, formed by two spawn of rock and roll royalty (I’ll let you guess who), James and Andrew Taylor are getting all the right kind of hype. Do keep your eyes open for an impending name change. www.myspace.com/nitevisionsuk
BRANKO TOMOVIC MAY NOT BE A NAME YOU ARE INSTANTLY FAMILIAR WITH, HOWEVER IF YOU GOOGLE HIM, HIS CATALOGUE OF WORK IS INSTANTLY RECOGNISABLE. HIS CV INCLUDES WORK AS DIVERSE AS ITV’S HIT DRAMA WHITECHAPEL TO THE BLOCKBUSTER FILM BOURNE ULTIMATUM.
“The reason I wanted to be an actor was because I saw David Lynch’s Blue Velvet as a child.”
artwork : Andrew Clark words : Jeremy Williams image : Chris Hall
It is a cold, slightly damp Wednesday evening when I meet Branko for a drink at the National Theatre on London’s Southbank. Branko is in his element, the British weather apparently suits his temperament. “I love the clouds and rain, so I’m perfectly fine here in the UK. I’d probably live in Scotland if I could.” Though his resume might appear factually online, Branko assures me not to “believe everything you read on the internet” including information about his birthplace. Whilst doing my research on Branko’s I found this to be true, his birth place is in fact up for much discussion when it comes to the world wide web. He informs me he was born in Germany but moved back to Serbia straight away. “I am originally from Serbia, The Carpathians – very near Romania. A very little place. I went back to Germany when I was 13 so I went to school in Germany. Then I went to New York to study acting.” London however, is now very much home for Branko. Having set his mind on a career in acting, Branko was lucky enough to have things fall pretty much into place. After reading an article about the Strasberg Institute, Branko applied and won a place. “The building I studied in is still the building where Marilyn Monroe and James Dean studied. It was very hard work. There wasn’t time to get carried away. There wasn’t a sense of pride, rather a feeling of fulfillment.” He attended Strasberg for an intense year before heading out into the real world. At the time based in New York, it was only natural to try his luck with the American acting scene, experiencing almost immediate success. Yet one obstacle proved too high to overcome. “I don’t like the hot weather so I couldn’t live in LA. The first thing I did after drama school was a war film called ‘Remote Control’, which was set in the Balkans but filmed in LA. They had everything you needed over there, even goats! Unbelievable, you can actually hire goats! I was there for 6 or 7 months and didn’t really settle, I have found instead that I am quite happy now in London.” “I wanted to go back to Europe, not only because there is more work but for the stories that come out of Europe. The characters in LA don’t suit me, I like films like Monster and Frozen River but there wouldn’t be any characters in them for me.” Deciding that Europe was his home, Branko returned to Germany and set about establishing his name in the European film industry. “After New York, I lived in Germany for 3 years and I always had to come here (London) to audition. I didn’t want to be in Germany anymore, so I decided to stay here. It’s now 5 years down the line and I don’t see myself going anywhere else. Other than Scotland maybe. Though I’ve never been actually been there, I’ve seen lots of lovely pictures of the Lochs.”
The next step Branko took was to appear in a low budget film, a film that got the attention of his first British agent, allowing him to now build his career on both sides of the Channel. “I was one of the first generations to be taught English in school, we used to only have Russian as it was a communist country.” The now multi-linguist Branko soon found that exploiting his languages talent would prove a useful tool in developing his career. In fact, had it not been for his proficiency in Russian, he would have fallen short for his role in Bourne Ultimatum. “We didn’t have to speak Russian in the first audition but the second one we did. The audition was a bit like X Factor as we had stunt training and Pinewood and not everyone made it through to the end. We were eliminated as we went along.” Using his different tongues to the best of his ability has allowed Branko diversity in his choice of work. Whilst many actors are constantly are keyholed into one market area, Branko can continually commute between his London home, Germany and Serbia without any language barriers. “I don’t really make a geographic choice, more a story choice. I try to be able to choose. Obviously if you do a low budget project, then it has to be very well written and I have to connect with the character I am being offered. I am splitting myself up between Serbia, Eastern Europe, Germany and here. I now live in London but I still have an agent in Berlin. It is very fortunate that I don’t have to audition in Germany anymore. I just get the script and have a look at it, if I want to do it then I can. It’s very cool but it obviously hasn’t always been like that. At least I can now appreciate it” With language opening borders, all Branko had left to do was overcome his fear of auditions. “I was very, very nervous in the beginning because I wasn’t used to it. There is that scene in Mulholland Drive, where she has an audition and she is being introduced to everyone, the producer, director etc. At the beginning I used to be nervous because I didn’t know what they were looking for and you’d get comments, but then I just realised it came down to preparing for what they want. It is about strong choices. Even if they don’t like your choices, they will remember that you’ve made them. They can always ask you to try it differently afterwards. Whitechapel for instance, which is the Ripper show, which is a very well done, high quality British television show, was very dark and original. I was one of the main suspects, a guy who works in the morgue who gets blamed for slitting throats. He even sleeps in the morgue amongst the dead bodies. When I auditioned I was too young, but I made some strong choices. He was a weird character so I made him slow, a living corpse, and I could have been wrong. They liked it so much they made him younger and so my strong choice worked.” Broken borders aside, if you glimpse at Branko’s British film credits it becomes immediately apparent that he is
“I love the clouds and rain, so I’m perfectly fine here in the UK. I’d probably live in Scotland if I could.” consistently cast as the Eastern European. Perhaps obvious casting choices, but Branko insists that he doesn’t mind “... that’s why I am working. Everybody is being typecast but that doesn’t make you a one trick pony. The characters aren’t always the same because they are Eastern European. Actually, it is shifting at the moment to the darker, broken people. I have just finished playing the morgue man in Whitechapel as well as a pyromaniac junky type character. It’s more interesting but it also comes easier to me. Those are the roles I am happy to get and want to get.” Branko also sees his roles as fundamental to who he is. “I am glad you have these political films here and I’m happy to play those characters as that is who I am.” Characters are clearly Branko’s passion. The Strasberg Institute, whose notable alumni include most recently Scarlett Johnassen and Angelina Jolie alongside screen greats Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Jane Fonda, Branko appears to develop actors for select roles that veer to the quirkier, darker side. Branko insists that he doesn’t just choose the creepy characters “...it’s more like the damaged souls. You can look into someone’s eyes and see what’s going on.” Perhaps roles that his acting inspirations, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Daniel Day Lewis, Edward Norton, Christian Bale and Natalie Press would choose. However, there is one role that he lusts after. “Nicholas Tessler, the Serbian inventor. He went to New York. He’s not a creep or anything but he has some weird manners and strange behaviours. He is little known today and I don’t know why nobody has done a film about him really. That would be a dream part.“ Given that Branko is strictly an actor, “I’m a crap writer”, he will have to hope that someone reading this article picks up a pen and writes his dream role. In the meantime, Branko is happily focusing on further developing his career in Britain. A big fan of the unique, darker and grittier British independent film, he is unwilling to switch anonymity for the heights of Hollywood fame. “I think they takes those risks anyway. If you look at British television its very different to American television. American television is one hundred cuts just for one minute,
it goes very fast and it’s very over the top. British film is more political and intelligent. Britain really does have a nice setup.” If not here, Branko has already become a celebrity in his home country, appearing in November’s Serbian Hello Magazine (his parents were very proud). Branko tells me his desires are not for fame, he aims to be an actor not a celebrity. “Lady Gaga gets away with it, I think she is brilliant. You don’t know anything about her. On YouTube there is this girl with long dark hair from years ago and she wrote music for others first. But she uses a disguise to get out there and really say what she wants to say.” In his eye’s celebrity can bring you freedom of role choice but it is a large price to pay when it comes to your privacy and is it necessarily needed to boost the actor’s title and role choice? Branko seems to be doing alright without acquiring the fame so far. It is already nearly two years since Moviewatch named Branko as their ‘One To Watch’ and it appears their observations were more than accurate. Not only can you see Branko in ITV’s Whitechapel, but he will also be cropping up in A Touch Of Frost later in the year. You can add to that his appearance, albeit brief, alongside Sir Anthony Hopkins and Benicio del Toro in The Wolfman remake and his more notable performance, in the more notable production ‘Pope Joan’ as Paschal, which is of British, German and Italian origin. “There were many British actors in the film. We were filming for 3 months in Morocco even though the story is set in Rome. Morocco is used a lot for epic historical films. They have a very large studio there, but it’s not like filming in Western Europe as in the middle of the day people leave to pray, or you get birds disturbing the filming. It was very weird but beautiful.” With so many high profile projects on the horizon, it will be hard not to recognise Branko by the summer. However, he stands firm by his declaration “I just want to continue to do films, that’s my ambition.“ Branko wants to do this while proving that a career in film does not necessarily equate to the cover of Heat magazine. “Last year at the Academy Awards for Best Female there were 3 well known actresses and then there was Melissa Leo from Frozen River. Everyone was like who is she, but if you look at her resume, she’s been doing great work for 25 years. Also if you look at the series Damages, with Glenn Close, which is one of my favourites, there is a brilliant Slovenian guy who won an Emmy award last year. He’s been a theatre actor in New York and done films for 30 years yet nobody had heard of him before.“
So with that in mind, what does Branko hope for? It appears, he is happy as long as he keeps working in the medium of his choice. “Right now I love film, it’s the most powerful medium. Everything comes together, the composition of the picture, the music, the action, the direction. Film can be very reality based but still a piece of art.” Though saying this, he is not adverse to theatre should the right offer land at his door. “If you have a good director, his vision is all that’s important. It’s the same for theatre and film. Usually what they all have in common is a unique vision and voice. It doesn’t matter if it is Ken Loach with a strong political voice, or Tim Burton’s gothic world or David Lynch’s twisted surreal world. It just has to be their own vision.” Already able to tick the Ken Loach box (2007’s It’s A Free World...), Branko’s twisted characters seem perfectly suited to both Tim Burton and David Lynch’s visions. Only one obstacle stands in his way, “I would probably take over from Helena Bonham Carter. Those are probably the parts I would want. They are always the tortured, misunderstood, outsider parts. I think that probably describes it best, they are who Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter play. Even Christopher Walken in Sleepy Hollow plays that sort of role.” Who knows if Miss Bonham Carter will stand aside for Branko, but having headed straight off to Munich after our meeting to film a role in a German crime series, Branko Tomovic is well on the road to being a well established European actor. www.imdb.com/name/nm1036127
AS THE REMIX GROWS IN POPULARITY AND EVERY OTHER PERSON WITH AN UNDERSTANDING OF A COMPUTER AND A BIT OF SOFTWARE IS CHOPPING AND RE-EDITING MUSIC WE ASKED ALAN MCGEE TO GIVE US HIS THOUGHTS ON THE WHOLE SITUATION. WELL - WHO BETTER TO GO TO ?
THE What’s happening in the remix world as of late? With the internet’s insatiable need for blogspot material, it seems, more and more musicians and record companies are relying on the remix to give the internet it’s teenage kicks. The blog remix satiates the internet’s seemingly insatiable demand for new material without giving the game away of the All Important Single. Yet without the portent of vinyl in the equation, the constant influx of remixes, sometimes, does not give the remixer, their due. Why? Beneath the endless re-workings and remixing of tracks sometimes hides a heavier talent than the original being remixed. And it’s important to keep an eye on the remixers. I, for one, have always dug remixes. Andrew Weatherall’s remix of Primal Scream’s Loaded (and subsequent chart success) set the template as Scream’s reinvention as Acid House Evangelists, but also as remixer-as-artist. It also gave the world the classic genius of Weatherall, whose subsequent forays into music only prove his original pioneer status (and indeed, his recent production work on Fuck Button’s ‘Tarot Sport’ only proves this). Remixers come and go with alarming regularity, yet - every remix is a worth a punt, especially if they are from:
1. Floating Points: Floating Points (aka Samuel Shepherd) came onto the scene in ‘09 via his own record label ‘Eglo Records’. Straight outta Manchester, he is reviving the previous Northern dance moratorium with fresh energy coming straight outta of his laptop (and working out in between the huge pillars of acid and deep house). Floating Points is staggeringly good. He has been proving his worth with his own DIY releases and mind shatteringly great remixes for Sebastian Tellier, Basement Jaxx, and Four Tet. 2. Neon Indian: At 23, Neon Indian aka Alan Palomo already heads up - not one but two bands - Vega and Neon Indian. However, It is Neon Indian that has caught the zeitgeist and imagination of the public. Neon Indian’s style is hard to match as he seems to want to condense all music on the internet and wrap it up in one big, chattering, genre busting, acid damaged moog pop song. Could this be the new.rar Pop? (see Memory Tapes, Teengirl Fantasy for more ‘wrap my arms around the internet’ remixes).
3. Zomby: Who is Zomby? Nobody knows. Even in his recent cover issue for Fader, he stilled refused to divulge his identity. The focus is on the music. And hey, Zomby with his take on early-90s rave, jungle and drum and bass, remains referential, but brings the party 29 forward, and all the while looking historically back. What can I say? That’s a hard trick to pull. People are starting to dig DJs who take on entire decades of music as a speciality (Dam Funk’s Modern Funk, etc). Zomby can take entire genres on within a remix. His remixes are master classes in the technique of the party. 4. Joy Orbison: The sound of Croyden? If inspiration were to be found in the ‘Manhattan of London’ and within it’s concrete jungle atmosphere, it’s to be found with Joy Orbison. 22 year old Pete O’Grady’s fusion of dub and house, made its impressive debut with Hyph Mngo 12 and more impressively, a brilliant remix for Four Tet.
Great Frog An amazing jewellery shop, off Carnaby Street, that I get a lot of custom made pieces that I’ve designed myself from. Every piece is made on site and manager, Reino there makes all my rings and pendants. The store has been going since the 70’s, they used to make items for the likes of Ozzy, Led Zepplin, Slash, Aerosmith etc.
Shoreditch House If I get to pick where I have business meetings then I’ll always choose Shoreditch House, they do the best pressed apple juice in London and there’s nothing better than having a meal with views over the city.
Kimo’s Caribbean Restaurant In Stoke Newington – a local spot that when I can’t be bothered to cook at night I take a wander down too. They do the most incredible food and the best buffet, their stewed chicken is amazing!
Living Space On Cross St in Islington – this is a modern furniture haven. I own a lot of modular furniture and they have some fantastic mixed use products here, you can customise everything from colours to fabric.
Hurwendeki clothing Japanese clothing store, there’s one store in central London another in Spitalfields. Everything they sell is amazing and all limited pieces, if they make a shirt they’ll only do 30 copies world wide, which means you rarely ever see anyone in the same clothes as you. My brother and mates also shop there though so we do have fights when new stock comes in.
Stolen Space Gallery Around the back of Brick Lane, it’s a great gallery and I’ve bought quite a few pieces from there over the years including a D*Face piece which I love.
Bonnie Greer Doireann Ronayne speaks to
about Marilyn Monroe, the mediaâ€™s shameless pimping of young people and why Britain doesnâ€™t need its own Obama
IT’S THE COLDEST DAY THIS WINTER AS I WEAVE THROUGH THE STREETS OF BLOOMSBURY TO MEET BONNIE GREER, I’M EXCITED BUT ALSO A BIT NERVOUS. GREER HAS LONG BEEN ADMIRED BY HER MANY FANS AS A SUCCESSFUL PLAYWRIGHT AND AUTHOR AS WELL AS FOR HER WORK AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM. HOWEVER, IT WAS HER APPEARANCE ON THAT INFAMOUS QUESTION TIME SHOW IN NOVEMBER ALONGSIDE THE BNP’S NICK GRIFFIN WHICH SPARKED RIOTS AT THE BBC STUDIOS AND ATTRACTED SOME MILLION VIEWERS, THAT PROPELLED HER TO A NEW LEVEL OF FAME AMONG THE BRITISH PUBLIC. The bright whiteness of the shimmering
glass dome muffles the sound of hundreds of jostling school children and makes me feel as though I’m in a snow globe. It’s one of those exquisite moments when London is at its most captivating and unpredictable. And suddenly there she is! She is not as tall as I imagined but far more vibrant than I could have hoped. And, despite the fact that she has been in the UK for over twenty years, her accent retains a pleasing Chiagoan lilt which is at times as soothing and suave as the jazz she loves, and occasionally quite deep when she labours on a point she wants you to really listen to. Chicago is where Greer grew up and is a city she remains fiercely attached to, despite experiencing the less favourable side of America’s jazz capital. She grew up in a gang neighbourhood and was attacked by a girl gang when she was just ten years old. “Gangs are a big part of Chicago’s culture. In a way, it’s a strange thing to say but I think we need to study the nature of gangs. These organisations are recruiting young people to join them so we have to understand what role they play in society. The gangs are about people being alienated. And we’re a species that needs other people.” She is very worried about young boys, in particular those who feel the need to bond and are attracted to these types of gangs, the initiation rights of which are becoming increasingly more sinister. One organisation that has recruited alarming numbers of followers recently, and exploited the alienation felt by some in different parts of the UK, is of course the BNP.
While sceptics furrowed their brows at the inclusion of Greer on that particular Question Time panel, she struck a chord with young viewers. While Jack Straw and Sayeeda Warsi sung religiously from their respective New Labour and Tory hymn sheets, Greer gained respect for not mincing her words; respect that has been waning for British prime ministers and politicians in general in recent years. She mentions the war in Iraq. “Look how many people spoke out against the war and look what happened there.” She doesn’t harp on about the MPs flipping their second homes; she is irked by the British public being ignored. “People are just trying to get their career going, get their grades together or just trying to survive and they will think I’m not going to waste my time, knocking my head up against the wall for a group of people who aren’t listening to me”. Of course British prime ministers are no strangers to grandstanding on the international stage. However, Greer is adamant that Britain does not need an Obama and UK politics should not be dominated by individuals. “We have a parliamentary democracy; it’s not a presidential democracy. So it’s no use in getting attached to a person and deciding that you like that person and voting for them because of that, that’s not how a democracy works. There’s no use in people sitting around and wondering why we don’t have an Obama. Well we couldn’t because we don’t have that kind of system. In our parliamentary system, the party can dismiss the leader.” She is very critical on the tendency of politicians to dismiss the young vote. “They think young people are superficial and always interested in the glam.”
“I think this generation of young people is the smartest generation for at least my lifetime. And you guys are super-talented.”
Greer believes that most young people want to get more involved politically and have plenty to say. “I think this generation of young people is the smartest generation for at least my lifetime. And you guys are super-talented. You’ve been competing and working since you were eleven or ten years old and nobody has turned around and said ‘Hey, maybe we need to listen to these people.’ Being 22 doesn’t make you stupid or irrelevant.” She takes a far tougher line on the images of youth being used to sell products, music, fashion and just about everything else to the young. “The media is always trying to sell to young people. I call it pimping.” She feels however, that people are wising up to this merciless corporate marketing. “I think the revolt against the Simon Cowell number one isn’t about him so much, it’s about people making up their own minds. Maybe it will be number one, but let us decide. Let us make up our own minds.” Greer is a firm advocate of people having the freedom to make up their own minds. “Maybe people do think that David Cameron’s a toff but they don’t mind. Maybe they don’t think Gordon Brown is a dead duck - maybe he’s the guy with the answer. But we’re not consulted. So because of that they think we’re easily manipulated.” So what does the general election mean for Britain? Greer believes it is a critical turning point for British politics. “It’s about whether this culture decides it wants to have an equitable society or whether it’s everybody for themselves. That’s the first thing. The second thing is whether this culture is going to understand its role in immigration, whether it is going to accept that it is an island nation with a large number of newcomers and really try to find a way to accommodate them. The third is whether this country is going to continue punching above its own in terms of being part of the bigger picture or whether it’s going to become a powerful medium-sized country. And finally whether the United Kingdom is going to step forward and assert its individuality in relation to America.” Very vocal on the need for young people to be politically active and come together to talk about a party’s history, it is clear that Greer is remarkably passionate about the need for young people to grapple with the big issues. “I think young people have to say what party is going to benefit them, how will it impact their family, their jobs, their houses. They need to understand what the party stands for and then say right – what are you going to do for old people? What are you going to do for our parents? What are you going to do for our future?
“Being 22 doesn’t make you stupid or irrelevant.” What are you going to do for us in regard to war? What are you going to do for us in regard to global warming? Because, we’re the ones who are going have to pay”. The media does not escape lightly either; Greer touches on the one-upmanship that she considers an inherent part of that world and dismisses its interest in wanting the government to change as ‘just part of show business for them’. “The media - newspaper columnists, sketch writers, talk show hosts - they tend to talk to one another. The rest of us have our noses pressed against the window pane.” Now is an interesting time for Greer as she is finding her heightened level of fame a little overwhelming. “When people go into Britain’s Got Talent or X Factor, they are preparing for that level of fame. But with Question Time, it wasn’t the first time I ever did it. Normally I do the show and go home, but this time….it’s quite different when you walk into a room and you realise everyone is looking at you.” Being ‘famours’ does not interest her. And unlike countless other ‘celebs’ who claim to be hounded by the media, all the while drip-feeding snippets of intimate information that the world doesn’t need to know to journalist, when Greer speaks out, it is to deliver a political message. Who can forget her acerbic response to Spectator’s Rod Liddle who wrote that the overwhelming majority of London’s serious crime was carried out by young Afro-Caribbean men, yet all we get in return is rap music and goat curry? Greer replied: “The overwhelming majority of paedophiles, murderers, warmongers and football hooligans are white males and all we get in return is beans on toast and Top Gear.” She seems quite saddened by that fact that we live in what she calls ‘a media-whore age’. An advocate of responsible journalism, she believes 80 per cent of this stuff doesn’t deserve a response. So why did she? “Well, he’s a responsible journalist and that’s not what a journalist does – you quote statistics or a report. What’s interesting is the media ran my quote against Rod Liddle’s for the whole week but Liddle and Clarkson could have taken that on in their columns and the reason they didn’t take that on is because they didn’t have a come-back. If I had said ‘How dare you say this about black guys?’ it would be still running.”
She believes that Britain needs to reflect itself more and refers to the recent TV adaptation of Andrea Levy’s Small Island. Many viewers could hear that the accents were incorrect and they complained to the BBC who responded by saying it was a universal film. But Greer insists that this type of misrepresentation can be demoralising. “This affected a segment of very intelligent women. Britain needs to reflect itself more; it doesn’t do that and that is the most disappointing thing.” In her latest play ‘Marilyn and Ella at the Mocambo’, Greer gives a voice to Marilyn Monroe’s attempts to right social justice. The play focussed on the travails of Ella Fitzgerald, who battled racial prejudice as she tried to secure gigs. Before discovering this side to Marilyn, she admits to not being the greatest Monroe fan. “Growing up in Chicago, I knew what Ella’s travails were so I knew what she was about. But you would never think that Marilyn Monroe - whose picture seemed to be just a deeply, tragic blonde was actually somebody who was very clued in and very, very conscious of the world around her. It’s interesting how somebody like her who sold bits of herself and then realised that the price was too high, who was so beautiful…was very conscious of social justice.” One of the British Museum guys waves cheerily from across the floor and updates her on the progress of a new exhibition. It’s clear that Greer develops a rapport with those around her and her demeanour is upbeat. One of the things she is unflinchingly positive about is love. Why? “Because I found it in my mid-forties. And I had given up on it. All women are brought up to seek love, seek the connection. I had gone through my share of boyfriends, lovers and thought, obviously that’s not for me, and then the minute I did was of course when I found that person.”
It’s a very simple message, but an affirmative one. “Love is a huge, huge universe. Don’t put yourself in a tiny corner of that universe and think that if it doesn’t happen there, if you can’t connect with it there, that it’s never gonna happen. That’s just not true”. Another thing that comes across clearly is her deep attachment to London. She surprises me by saying that since Question Time, the city has become more like home. Why? “Since then I’ve met so many people and I’ve been able to understand what being a Londoner is, because of all the people I’ve met. But a Londoner is someone very particular.” So, will she be staying in our capital city? “I like the sort of transient nature of London; you can meet anyone here and it’s a crossroads. London is almost its own nation, as New York is its own nation as well. I like all of the contradictions about London. I think I’m always going to stay here. I never thought I’d say that but it’s a city that accepts.” So what does 2010 hold in store for Bonnie Greer? “I’m going to set up my website, I’m going to be doing more spoken word with jazz, I’m going to write another book or two – I’m working on a film version of Marilyn and Ella but mainly I’m going to be going out to listen to people. There’s too much talking. So I’m going to do a lot of listening. This fad, this grand spin on things – people are tired of that. People 35 want to hear the truth and be allowed to go off and decide.” I couldn’t agree more. As I emerge under the snowy light of the British Museum’s dome, and prepare to embrace the stark winter, she asks about my holiday plans and we laugh about TV interviews that go awry. And with two kisses on the cheek and a waft of warm amber, she is gone. She may be tough-talking when it’s called for, but in person Bonnie Greer is indomitable, endearing, and sincere.
“I like the sort of transient nature of London; you can meet anyone here and it’s a crossroads. London is almost its own nation, as New York is its own nation as well.”
Fields of Fancy
Photographer: Alexandra Cameron Model: Bethany Harper Walsh Stylist: LOL and POP Vintage
Jeremy talks to
“I have retro art, which is based on simple patterns mixed from unusual shapes. I also have portraits which aren’t supposed to look like the person physically but rather their personality. In every painting I have black ooze dripping from the canvas because I don’t believe anyone is perfect.” It is the latter that appealed most to Who’s Jack.
Whilst I am personally a fan of Bliss’s Andy Pandy the Night Terror Boy series, for the purposes of an article we felt more of a challenge was required. Upon speaking to Bliss he felt he could rise to any challenge we should wish to set. So thinking caps on we tailored a challenge. Having further discussed possibilities, the gauntlet was thrown to the ground as Xander initially offered to create an image of myself. Unaware of what this would entail, we felt that as an actor and writer it would be best for him to read some of my work. I selected a piece of prose and awaited results. In the meantime, my job was to find more willing subjects. It was important that the subjects were not too prominently in the spotlight as this would have allowed Bliss an opportunity to base his images on more than the material provided. Reconsidering 2009’s music scene and the prominence of the female vocalist, it was decided to find three names that Who’s Jack felt could easily continue the trend. Our selection; The Good Natured, Manna and Rosie Oddie (The Oddyssey). Bliss requested that each act chose one self-penned track that related something about his subject alongside an image which best represented how they saw themselves. All data collected, Bliss set about creating his works. The process was without questions, Bliss didn’t require further information as he interpreted his four subjects and within a fortnight the results were produced and the individual processes explained. Jeremy Williams Xander : “When I first started talking to Jeremy, I thought his talent focussed entirely on writing. I found it hard to come up with an image based on him because the writing he showed me was fiction. I decided to get to know him a little more through emails and viewing his Facebook page. I noticed that he is involved in a lot of things and suddenly my perception of him completely changed. I now thought of him as a more complex and artistic person. I stalked his Facebook and scanned through his photos. I noticed that he is an actor and has done some pretty strange and emotionally challenging plays. I think he thrives on testing what he can actually do. The Maids, for example, is an incredibly hard play to perform so I needed to portray him in a kind of raw way. I painted his face in a way that made it feel like a photograph. I see him as a camera whore (not intended as an insult, just saying that the camera is attracted to him), always willing to try new things. This isn’t a bad thing, it just means he is more likely to push himself when most others would simply give up. The bags under his eyes represent the amount of work he has done and the way it takes its toll on his face. I wanted to open him up for all to see because isn’t that what an actor must do?
In each painting I have black ink oozing from the person I am painting. This represents the soul of the person escaping them. It’s their talent, their personality. His comes from his eye because I believe if he sees something he wants, he’ll get it.” Jeremy : “When I first saw the image I was a bit perplexed. What I saw in the image didn’t relate to me at all. However, on reading the explanation I could understand and relate to Xander’s interpretation of me as an individual. However, finding out the extent of private research that went on behind the scenes and the diversity of character facets Xander uncovered was eye-opening. Manna is already a well-known musician in her home country of Finland, but she is all set to unleash her chants on the British public in 2010. Xander : “Before I painted each singer, I sat down with my head phones on and listened to their songs about 10 times. I wrote down all the lyrics I could understand and I visited their Myspace pages. Manna is different to the other two singers, not only in her style of music but also in her attitude. I find her more gentle but deeply emotional. I wanted to portray her ‘in the moment’. I felt that she needed to be painted at the exact moment she connects with her audience. I took little from her photos. I don’t think my paintings need to look like the person so I only took the colour of her hair from her photos and added it to the painting. The rest relied on her lyrics, which I found hard because her lyrics were not obvious in any way. She didn’t spit her story out, she wrote a song that meant something to her but could mean something completely different to another person. which is what I liked about her music. As she is a singer I felt it correct to have black ink oozing from her mouth. This is where her talent is and when people hear her music and her voice, they remain stained forever. Stained with the impression they each get from her music. I really like the Truth Song and I connect with it in my own way. I showed the blatant ‘700’ on her top as a way to relate to the line “seven hundred stories, seven hundred more, you’re the one that I adore” because I feel that this line is important in her message.” Manna : “I like it, it has contradiction and complexity like my music. It’s also cartoonish in a good way- a bit pop art. I like the fact that there’s layers to it, you can look at the picture and find more and more details to analyse. The Good Natured is the alter-ego of home counties girl Sarah McIntosh. Hailed as a cross between Kate Nash and Tracey Thorn, her eclectic mix of DIY electro has proven a useful aid in overcoming a broken heart.
Xander : I decided to concentrate on a photo in this painting. I saw a photo that showed only half of her. This said more to me about her than any of her posed photographs. It showed vulnerability and rawness, which I love to see. I chose three lines from her song and I added them to the painting. “It’s only a matter of time before all the springs in the mind, break like you have broken me” I wanted to show her falling apart, to show how her life has affected her. It’s as if her emotions are taking over her body and causing her to break piece by piece. “All I care about is shapes and all I care about is colours” this line I did not understand but felt compelled to include it because I feel it means a lot to her. I show the different colour shapes floating around as if they have escaped her mind. “Vanity is quite exhausting” we all know this and we all feel it but we have to keep it up or we don’t exist. Looking beautiful is what most people want and will go to extreme lengths to get. The vacant expression on her face gives the feeling that she is almost not a real person, she is fixed in time and will remain beautiful until her mind gives up. The ink comes from her mouth because she has a unique way of writing lyrics and expressing them through song.” The Good Natured : “I think this picture represents my song very well. My face is broken which is very accurate, as it shows how I felt at the time of writing the song. The shapes coming out the hair represent the experience of using drugs and the different shapes and colours you might see..” Rosie Oddie is the latest in a long line of celebrity offspring to try their luck in the spotlight. Daughter of Bill Oddie, Rosie is a full-time member of punk pretenders Oddsyssey. Xander : The companion is a great song and you can clearly see that I have taken lyrics from it and added it to the painting (i.e. the parachute and pocket watch). The ink is sweating from her for all to taste. As she rocks her music to her audience everyone gets a taste of her. It’s a bitter and sweet taste. It’s the kind of taste that still remains days after a gig. I get the impression that Rosie Oddie is a dangerous girl whom acts on emotion. When she sings, her entire body sings which is why I feel her talent is not only in her voice but in her presence...hence the black ink sweat. I don’t think Rosie is the kind of person who cares about looking beautiful, maybe it’s because she doesn’t have to care or maybe it’s because she’s more evolved than most people. I clearly show her looking quite grotesque because when she performs all sense of vanity goes out the window. See Xander’s images at www.whosjack.org
London may have a plethora of high streets but it has even more back streets. Here we take at a different back street each issue and let you in on why it sometimes pays to stray away from the bright lights of the main stream high street once in a while. If you have a back street near you that holds certain delights that should be shared, tell us. email firstname.lastname@example.org
This issue, Royal College Street. A perfect option when Camden Town gets over crowded come the weekend. To get here from Camden tube simply walk up Camden Road past the big Sainsburys and it is on your right. Once half way down Royal College Street you can also duck onto the walk way by the river that takes you straight back to the lock and Camdenâ€™s main market.
The Prince of Wales on Royal College Street is our first stop. A pub that used to house scary old men was refurbished two years ago now providing Royal College Street with a comfy, sofa laden gastro pub that houses a plush but excellent value, organic restaurant upstairs. This place also has great offers on almost all the time like 2 courses in the restaurant for ÂŁ10, wine tasting and quizzes. Walk past and eye the blackboard outside for more details.
This brightly coloured shop front houses a tucked away Barber shop. Filled to bursting with plants and birds (in the summer you can barely see it through all the plants they put outside) and so bright you canâ€™t miss it. An excellent option for boys wanting classic, cheap, speedy cuts from a barber that will remember your name the next time you visit.
The Royal Fish Bar Kebab House. Not only does this place have a name worthy of royalty it’s fish and chips are worthy of royalty too. Proper fish and chip chips that are sometimes soggy and fat fish that actually has more flesh than batter. Their kebabs aren’t bad either and probably most importantly, it’s cheaper than all those you will find on Camden Road and open later.
The nearest station to Royal College Street, just at the end of it in fact. Everyone seems to forget about Camden Road but if you are coming from Essex way or East London then itâ€™s your best bet. Way quicker than the tube and never as busy. Keep this one in mind for the weekends but always check travel reports first, it can sometimes be down for no apparent reason.
Feeling frisky? Marylins Relax is also on Royal College Street. Although we can’t vouch for the quality of Marylins massages (if anyone can please let us know) we can tell you that they recently came under new management and have taken their ‘massage’ price down to £15 from £20. Bargain!
The Grand Union comes at the end of the street and although a Jack members wallet was stolen here fairly recently (keep an eye on your belongings in the evening) we have forgiven them. Namely because they have very, very good burgers and lovely staff. A comfy bolt hole when all other pubs nearer the underground are full.
UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, B, A, START They’re jerky, the graphics are awful, loading them takes ages, yet we can’t get enough of them. Alexandra Pullin looks at how retro gaming has become a reason to get out of the house.
We never forget our first computer games. Sonic, Mario, Pacman, Dizzy, Chung Lee and her birdkick, Guybrush Threepwood and even that dog from the one with the flying ducks, you’ll have spent time with some of these characters. Quality time, good times and times more frustrating than you will ever know again. Nowadays computer games are more sophisticated.The possibilities are endless and the average console has more power than it took to go to the moon in 1969. The adverts on TV could almost be mistaken for films, the plots are so complex and the graphics are so realistic that they have to be certificated, something that certainly didn’t happen with Mario, Yes, we can all agree that modern games are fantastic but, and I’m worried I sound like someone’s mum here, aren’t they just a bit difficult and fussy? “People like to play older games because they’re good at them,” says Andy Lim, a director of Recombu and organiser of a retro gaming evening. “I think old games were simple and fun.” Retro Gaming is on the increase. Once the preserve of the terminally geeky, the nights now are the perfect evening for going out, getting together, reminiscing and, most importantly, destroying your mates. Joanna Vos, a PR executive, who went
along to a friend’s retro gaming evening recently reckons it’s just another thing to do in the evening, “I think you’re bound to cultivate a good atmosphere with a night in a bar and some nostalgic game playing, even if you never played the games the first time round. Games and graphics have come so far over the last decade or so, that it’s quite quaint to go back to those characters that have been around since our childhood.” One of the great things about the older games is the addictive simplicity of gameplay. Repeating the same levels over and over again. The blocky graphics are, it seems, part of the simplicity. “It’s about entertainment not fancy graphics,” Explains Andy. Retro gaming evenings have also become bigger than a group of people sat round a Mega Drive, Atari Lynx or Sega Saturn in a basement. These days they are being held in bars and clubs on giant screens and it’s not just the geeks playing. Both Andy and Jo disagree that it’s just the nerds there. “Everyone remembers playing these games,” says Andy, who thinks that everyone has a game that they love or remember. As everyone knows the games, everyone has their own strategy and, of course, everyone wants to win, a retro gaming evening sounds like it could be a recipe for some serious falling out.
“If the screaming and shouting coming from the corner of the room were anything to go by, there was definitely some friendly competition,” says Jo. “But there were no black eyes or broken thumbs.” A downside of the older games is the really long loading times. At his event, Andy decided that he was going to take down names to avoid arguments. He also managed to persuade computer giant Dell to sponsor his event and pay for the bar. “There were also gaming computers for people to play with, including a 3D gaming system,” he explains. Also there’s the issue of having to occasionally take out the game cartridge and blow on it to get the dust out. But bizarrely even this is looked back on fondly. On the Facebook group ‘When I was your age, we had to blow on the video games to make them work’ fans can come together and share memories of blowing the dust out of their games. It seems this is an important part of everyone’s early gaming experience. Surely Retro gaming is about regression. “Who doesn’t like regressing a few years back into childhood on a Thursday night?” says Jo. “It’s like going bowling with a huge group of friends – it doesn’t have to be your go the whole time to enjoy yourself, but atmosphere, the people and the bar are all there rooting for you.”
The Plastiscines The end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 have been completely saturated with amazing female solo artists. Think Ellie Goulding, Paloma Faith, Marina and the Diamonds and Little Boots to name just a few. So now that a band of four girls from France, The Plastiscines, are hitting our shores to convince us that the girl band is back and the solo artist is no more, are people really going to pay attention? Is there even any room in the already female dominated charts for a rock‘n’roll girl band who are about to release their latest single ‘Bitch’? According to them the answer is, of course, yes. So move over Ellie. Grab your coat Marina. And you can jog on Paloma because The Plastiscines want to show you how they think it should be done...
“He loves Daft Punk and Phoenix so he’s clearly got good taste in French artists. I’d love him to do a remix of Bitch.”
In case you didn’t already know The Plasticines are a Parisian quartet made up of Louise (bass), Marine (guitarist), Katty (lead vocals) and Anais (drums). During an interview they once claimed, “We’re rock ‘n roll, we can do what we want,” although that hasn’t always been the case. The band formed in 2004 after a Libertines gig in Paris and following the release of their first batch of material were met with much criticism in their native France. They were criticised for being too young with many critics claiming that an all girl rock‘n‘roll band was a ridiculous idea. They also weren’t too pleased by the fact that they insisted singing everything in English. It soon became apparent to them that they needed to work a bit harder if they were going to be accepted so they spread a fake rumour that they had split and fled to America where they worked on their second album by a beach in Malibu. Very nice indeed. It’s fair to say it was probably one of the best decisions the band have made for when they returned to France and released their new material fans and critics alike sat up, listened and liked what they heard. This was partly due to the band being brought to the attention of Alex Patsava, the music supervisor on hit US teen programme Gossip Girl. Alex instantly fell in love with The Plasticines and set about finding ways to work their songs into the show. With Gossip Girl itself being one of the most watched programmes both in America and Europe and with the show having an almost cult like following of fans, those that originally doubted the band had no choice but to admit they had, perhaps, got it a little bit wrong. For now the band aren’t making any big plans to try to break the US market any further. “We try not to think about stuff like that too much, we like to follow the opportunities we have and just see where they take us. We’ve had a few opportunities in the US recently which have been amazing but we’re just going to see how it goes. That is the first rule of Rock’n’Roll just go with the flow,” muses Marine. Having made some head way in the US and back home The Plasticines are now concentrating their efforts on breaking the UK and have already made some high
profile fans including DJ/producer Alex Metric. “I’ve heard he’s a big fan which is amazing. He loves Daft Punk and Phoenix so he’s clearly got good taste in French artists. I’d love him to do a remix of Bitch,” says Anais. “We love the UK and it’s a great pleasure having a fan base here and playing gigs here too. We’ve been on tour with Cobra Starship and the audiences were always amazing. Whenever we come here we have a good time.” There has however, been slightly less-than-brilliant gigs here in the UK too with one recent performance being called time on by Katty as everyone was sitting and staring at them. “This ain’t no jazz club” the singer shouted before letting rip at two other audience members before carrying on with the set. The some what aggressive tone worked and the audience spent the rest of the time clapping along and dancing. When you think of rock‘n’roll you’d be forgiven if the first image that came to your head wasn’t four pretty girls dressed in vintage clothing singing about broken hearts and erm, Barcelona, however this is something The Plasticines are hell bent on changing. “I could describe us in just five words, Peace, Love and Death Metal. It doesn’t take a lot of words to summarise what we are about,” says Anais. And just because they don’t dress in all black and walk around with a moody stance doesn’t mean they are any less deserving of the rock genre insists Anais. “A bands style can define them and we’re fine with that. But style always has been part of music. How you dress reflects how you feel about the music and it’s another way to express yourself, which is sometimes as important as the music itself,” continues Anais. These are certainly four young women who are doing everything they can to represent talented, stylish women in what is very much a male dominated genre. “We love all the big designers like Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs, Balmain, but we prefer to dress with vintage clothes from charity shops in London or Paris because it has a more unique feel. Unique like us,” says Marine. The Plasticines seem some what undeterred by the gang of female solo
singers who seem to be taking over our airwaves at the moment. Something they put down to the fact that they are a band rather than just one person. “I think it’s a fair point when people ask us how we feel about this but what makes us more original is that we are an all female rock band. In the UK the famous all girl band is Girls Aloud and they’re definitely not rock are they? There’s no doubt there’s a place for us to do our thing.” Marine thinks that musically both in the UK and in France the scenes are more than ready for their new wave of rock. “In France at the moment it’s a pretty exciting time for music. There are more and more bands coming out from everywhere like The Dodozs, Kap Bambino, Kids Bombardos and BB Brunes. They are all part of a new indie rock scene that we never had before. England has always been a huge influence for us. We’ve always loved Brit bands like The Libertines and now we really feel that the kids are ready for rock‘n’roll.” What with the girls having all grown up together, attending the same high school and the levels of oestrogen that must be flying around on a daily basis the band do clash from time to time. “Of course we argue,” says Anais. “We’re spending 24 hours a day together, we’re friends, we’re working together, we’re travelling together. So yes, it happens, but it takes only a minute before we talk about gossip again and start laughing like nothing happened.” And what about boy trouble? Do any of them ever fall out over the same man? “Hmmm, nope!” With song lyrics that often slag off men and relationships and speak about standing together with your friends it isn’t hard to jump to conclusions of female angst and feminism although they insist they are far from being feminists. “We are not feminists, just girls playing in a band. People always take our lyrics so seriously. We are more of a stupid band than a feminist band,” laughs Marine. Their words, not ours...
s e k i L a eil
L ack Milk Bl
James Lillis of Black Milk Clothing can be credited with making the ultimate post-apocalyptic strength PVC leggings. The Classic collection also includes amazing double slashed and chain detail leggings but what caught my eye was his new run of printed leggings. I love â€˜The Anatomistâ€™ (right) and its negative version with skeletons up the legs but also worth a mention are the rainbow (page 61) and sky coloured ombre leggings. Black Milk is another amazing designer to come out of Australia, but luckily for us he ships to the UK. www.blackmilkclothing.com
The Aging ANDY WARHOL’S MARILYN MONROE SCREEN PRINT IS ONE OF THE MOST REPEATED IMAGES OF ALL TIME. POSSIBLY THE MOST RECOGNISABLE PIECES TO COME OUT OF THE POP ART MOVEMENT, THE WORK IS AUTOMATICALLY SYNONYMOUS WITH THE 1960S, COLOUR, FAME AND EXCITEMENT. THE WAY IN WHICH THE FACE FILLS THE FRAME, THE SIMPLICITY OF CURLS, THE GAZE, THE OPPORTUNITY THOSE
MARKED MARILYN AS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT OF THESE SCREEN PRINT IMAGES.
Despite the fact that Warhol employed his favourite technicolour process to frame numerous figures, it is Marilyn to whom he returned again and again – the most marketable product of the constant businessman’s career (the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is currently showing a collection of 150 variations of the piece). Of course, Marilyn was made for reproduction - that was the beauty of it: a simple process, a simple image that can be reproduced with endless variations. Naturally this has been taken advantage of by successive generations; now there is even a website that allows you to tailor the work to your own specific palette. But what of it? Why should it matter that ‘old’ art is providing direct source material for contemporary work? We all acknowledge that images will be reused, recycled, and re-appropriated. However, it is how this trend operates within modern society that seems to not only flatter the past but actually provides an opportunity to really exploit the capabilities of our new technologies. Showing established images in a new light can really capture
this sense of change. Lena Gieseke’s Guernica is a work I happily stumbled across on the artist’s website (lena-gieseke.com) a few weeks ago, the overall effect of which is one of ‘Wow, I didn’t know we could do that’. Gieseke takes Picasso’s 1937 monochrome cry against the devastating Spanish bombing as her template, but invests it with such attention that its already striking message is refreshed and is seen to resonate once again. A 3D visualisation of the piece, Gieseke’s video solidifies the figures, the camera negotiating their screaming forms with an intense intimacy, forcing close-ups and circling the desperate figures. Each character is granted its own time, its own chance to stand alone. All are recognisable but having them presented in such a fashion renders them unfamiliar, eerie, almost ghost-like echoes of a past that should not be forgotten. The haunting, melodic soundtrack that overplays the digitisation engenders a sense of memento mori and caution, and yet you still just cannot tear your eyes away. As such, digital art has managed to translate the piece into a vernacular appropriate for Generation i, one that
words : Donna Marie Howard
seems to be halfway to bringing the figures completely to life but stopping just short, leaving them in freeze-frame purgatory. One of the most interesting notions Gieseke’s work introduces is, however, if digital art can do this with an established image – what else can it do? It broadens the horizons for an art form that is still on the verge of penetrating the echelons of ‘high art’ and alludes to its potential. La Liberté Raisonné (English: Liberty Guiding the People) is a new work by Spanish artist Cristina Lucas. The 4:20 minute video piece is a Super High Speed recreation of Eugene Delacroix’s most famous painting, but this one sees the figures made real. Delacroix’s work commemorates the July Revolution of 1830 in France, the event that saw the fall of Charles X. The artist took it upon himself to record the momentous occasion, claiming that as he hadn’t fought for his country, he would at least paint for her. The piece shows an allegorical Liberty (personified by Marianne, a French symbol) striding confidently over the bodies of the fallen, the French flag wielded in her right hand
protruding forcefully outwards as if to puncture the invisible barrier between the picture plane and the viewer. Lucas’ work exposes a contradiction within the painting itself; Liberty is denied her freedom by being frozen to the canvas. By releasing the character from her painted prison, Lucas reinstates Liberty’s role within the image and allows her to fulfil it, enacting a feat that is alluded to in the original but never achieved due to the limits of the canvas. As such, this translation of Delacroix’s work into video, a live-action piece that opposes the fixed nature of the original painted image, unveils the development of media since Delacroix’s time, once again demonstrating the ability of modern technology to invest ‘old’ art with new life. Indeed, the piece caused quite the stir at last year’s Frieze. But what is it that this extensive cluster of appropriated images have in common? What makes them ripe for the picking for new artists? It seems as if for the most part the values invested in the originals may not actually play a role in their resurfacing. I wonder, for example, how much attention is paid to the Louvre’s
display of Leonardo da Vinci’s 1503 Mona Lisa as ‘Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo’. Probably not much – it is the image visitors flock to see, not the background information. She is the Mona Lisa, the image and all the associations thereof. Duchamp declared that she had a hot arse with his 1920 work LHOOQ and gave her a moustache. She has been manipulated into a busty blonde, a child blowing bubble gum, and an advocate for all things ‘I heart NY’. As these many faces of the Mona Lisa emphasise, her subjectivity is usually negated and she is instead invested with a separate iconic status. This is the symptom of the appropriated image. It will be easy to manipulate. It will be sold as a poster or a fetching t-shirt. It will probably have been parodied on The Simpsons. This employment of ‘old’ art naturally will not stop with our generation, though. Our great-great-grandchildren in their space-age hover cars and suchlike will be drawing from our technology-heavy society and thinking of a selection images we produce as templates, in the same manner by which we already approach the Marilyn.
What image from our generation will be invested with such attention by our successors? Now this poses an interesting question: what image from our generation will be invested with such attention by our successors? Frustratingly, when pondering this question a piece immediately came to mind that simply refused my polite requests to stand aside such that I could think of others: Damien Hirst’s The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, otherwise known as ‘the one with the shark’. Now my resistance to this is not the piece itself – so is my personal apathy towards the artist enough to reject the image? I think not. The piece is visually striking, not to mention monumental in size, and incredibly thought-provoking, as irritating as that may be to all anti-Hirsts
out there. If we return to the Mona Lisa actually a living person but now the painting can be adapted completely devoid of association and appreciated on a purely aesthetic level – we can assume the same mindset with regard to our formaldehyde friend. It matters not that the work was initially poorly preserved and needed urgent repair. It matters not that the shark is a tiger shark, or even that said shark has actually been switched for another; as Michelangelo once said: who’s going to care in fifty years? What matters is that now the work is an established image in collective memory, it can be employed to other ends. Hirst himself, a la Warhol, has returned to the theme of boxed-in animal and his series includes a cow and a sheep – even the artist has employed the idea as a sort of transferable template. The real beauty of this piece is that it employs technology that would only have been feasible by the 1990’s. Just as the oil paint for the Mona Lisa only came about in the century before its production, and just as Gieseke’s digitisation exploits the capabilities of contemporary IT, Hirst’s formaldehyde shark in custom-made tank gives a nod to twentieth-century industrial technology and preservation techniques.
Now what to do about enticing flocks of potential new artists and aficionados through the doors of our museums and galleries to see the originals of these images, or discuss the virtues of ‘new’ works? Technology is again playing an important role, with multimedia tour guides continuing to proliferate the museum circuit, and increasing numbers of 360 degree views of galleries finding their place on the internet. The Courtauld Gallery is one that has recently jumped on this technological bandwagon, and websites such as Artdaily.org are often featuring interior views of substantial buildings that are essentially movie trailers for museums. The idea of the iconic ‘template’ image is one that will continue to change and develop as our capabilities do the same, and seemingly our marketing of this art will follow in similar footsteps. We cannot predict with any certainty what images produced in our epoch will continue to be appropriated for future ones – the shark could well fade into the ether - but the burgeoning synthesis of technology and the ‘template’ will continue to prove an exciting one.
BAKED BEANS & CHAMPAGNE
Candidate: fashion designer Simon Shilton
words : Ruthie Holloway image : Tristin Fennell and printed black on black denim with flashes of orange, Samurai tattoos, which become a signature to the collection, and intricately embossed blacked-out jewellery are central themes, along with some bold manipulation techniques. Even more mightily impressed are we when we try on one of the leather jackets ‘coz it looks so damn good on! (Okay, so it was on the large side for me being a man’s jacket, but the fashion critics du jour are certainly not done talking about masculine cuts, androgynous looks or girls in men’s clothes trends just yet, am I right?!)
BIN: Justin Bieber Baby (Feat. Ludacris) Many tragedies have occurred in these still very early months of 2010 but to see a talented rapper and fully-grown man reduced to guesting on a cheesy tween RnB love song being chirped by a blank-faced childrenswear mannequin is heartbreaking… what makes it sadder still is that this will probably be the best thing he does all year. www.justinbiebermusic.com BURN: Laura Marling Devil’s Spoke Those expecting a re-invention of sorts from Ms Marling after nearly two years since releasing any solo work will be slightly disappointed by this new single, as she doesn’t exactly break the mould but more just politely dents it with a djembe drum and her new haircut, which is what seems to be attracting the most attention. www.lauramarling.com BOOM: Audio Bullys Only Man (Rock Remix) These Mockney Electro-Chavs have remixed their new single exclusively for Zane Lowe after being inspired by him making the original version his ‘Single Of The Week’, which proves that as irritating as the New Zealander may be, he does actually find some right proper corkers every now and then. www.audiobullys.com
If Baked Beans and Champagne is designed to sometimes focus on some of the freshest talent amongst up and coming London Creatives - before they hit the ground running - then designer Simon Shilton, who graduated with an MA in Menswear Design last year from the Royal College of Art is a perfect example. Feast your eyes on the innovative culmination of a collection uniquely inspired by the Satsuma Revolution in 1877 (a revolt from the few remaining Samurai’s against the modern imperial Japanese government supported by Western military.) Some intelligent thought sought through looking back into military history and then innovatively reworking it into the garments in his latest collection makes for refreshingly different answers to the same old, but necessary question to a column such as this, of ‘what inspires you?’ Shilton successfully resists the usually inescapable influence of a culture heavily dominated by everything that now comes under the term ‘popular culture’ and boy does he do it well. For the interview I am in the showroom owned by an agent who runs Chataura53, where Shilton has brought his collection for viewing. We are both mightily impressed by the consistency with which the aforementioned theme runs through the collection: studded embossed leather
Speaking of critics, Shilton has not had to chase the press, rather the other way around. His work has been featured in Dazed Digital, Draper Homme, Another Magazine and WGSN amongst numerous fashion blogs. Previous to the RCA, Shilton attended Ravensbourne College for his BA, after which he took a year out and worked for the All Saints menswear design team. Whilst he is very much aware of the importance of commercialism and the necessity of funding when it comes to launching his own brand, Shilton’s passion and ambition are not diluted by the threat of these and nor is his creativity controlled by them. “I think the fashion industry is a very difficult place to exist in,” he says. “It’s a collision of business and creativity: two things which don’t always complement each other.” Acknowledging that most designers, “don’t have a mind for business”, Shilton modestly has a quite a pragmatic approach to it, recognising that “it is easy for designers to become exploited as they are all so eager for their designs to get noticed.” His next biggest challenge is finding a manufacturer who will produce his work whilst he simultaneously designing a ready-to-wear collection which will include some t-shirts and jeans, amongst the leather jackets and embossed creations of his graduate collection. For this next phase, he, his partner and his dog Lucco are moving to Milan, so he can unleash his talent on the Italian market. Shilton is a savvy but amazingly down to earth guy whose ambition and integrity will pave the way for a bright future. I envisage that where he goes and however long it takes, the spotlight will definitely follow. To find out more information please contact email@example.com
AS ESQUIRE’S 1950S HANDBOOK FOR HOSTS PUTS IT: ‘OF THE HUNDREDS OF BARS AND COCKTAILS OUT THERE, ONLY A HANDFUL REALLY MERIT ENCORES AND RE-POURS’. OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS JACK WILL SEEK OUT THAT HANDFUL. FOR OUR HIT LIST, WE’LL BE EXPLORING BARS ACROSS LONDON, AVOIDING HOTELS WITH GREAT DRINKS BUT BANKRUPTING PRICES OR THOSE CHEAP ‘HAPPY HOUR’ PLACES THAT ESSENTIALLY SERVE OVERPRICED WKDS. ALSO, OUR MONTHLY GUIDE TO COCKTAIL ETIQUETTE HERE’S HOW! WILL TEACH YOU TO MAKE GREAT COCKTAILS, CONDUCT YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY WHILE THROWING FUN PARTIES! Jack’s Hit List
There’s got to be rules – these are ours.
Fun is fun but so are funds
The cocktail must be under £10. No amount of interior design, shaker theatrics, poncy peanuts or pretty rainbows in glasses warrants £15.
Va va voom!
Cocktail bars should be va va voom glamour!
We like rum. You might not. Each cocktail list needs a wide selection of drinks.
Access all areas
No part of London is off limits. Got a suggestion you’d like us to try? Email us.
One martini, two martini, three martini, floor!
With our martini glass system we’ll rate bars on the following: bar, crowd, cocktail list, one cocktail, food and location. The more glasses the merrier and at the end of the year (or when we get bored/suffer liver failure) we’ll tally up the glasses and crown one bar top of the Hit List.
CAPITAL words : Phillipa Abbott images: Tom Mattey
THE HIT LIST :
Bistrotheque The Bar
Beautiful bar, minimal luxe, concrete grey crossed with chandelier opulence – Bistrotheque is really rather gorgeous. You can look sexy propping up the bar or sat at one of the seven or so tables. The best bit is that the bar… is a bar! Not a bar/restaurant/dancefloor. No it is just a bar, where you can go to drink lots. It’s so refreshing! Not to say Bistrotheque doesn’t offer all of the above – they do, just not all in one room, so you have the cabaret next door and the restaurant upstairs. They also have ace loos – all white with cool illustrations. Excellent bar staff in particular head bar chick Kika Chinchilla (that’s her real name - beyond porn!). And great music ranging from Brigit Bardot to Hot Chip via disco lounge plus plus. Score: 5 martini glasses
Faassshiioon faasshiiooon. Bistrotheque definitely draws a creative bunch. Yes that is a slight euphemism for gay but if you had to define it then it would be ‘fashion gorgeous straight/gay whatever’ rather than ‘camp disco gay’ or ‘shirts off pumping pumping gay’. Everyone looks really hot – probably due to the very good lighting and the atmosphere is ‘lively’ Score: 4 martini glasses
The Cocktail List
Split into Martinis, Longs, Shorts and Flutes Bistrotheque make yummy cocktails – the list is kept simple - while classics are available on request. All the drinks on the menu are served with a twist. The Daiquiri is caramelized, the Old Fashioned is infused with lavender honey and camomile, and the superb Camp’Arry mixes prosecco with grapefruit and campari. They are all really good, and we should know, we tried the lot! Average price £8, so not bad, not bad at all. Score: 5 martini glasses
When Kika Chinchilla told us we had to try the Kings Ginger Sour who were we to refuse? And it was mighty fine. For Dark n’ Stormy fans (that’s dark rum and coke guys) this cocktail is a total winner, it still packs a punch but loses the sickly sweetness you get with Coke based
drinks. It’s a short cocktail and gloriously orange berocca in colour so it must be good for us! Score: 5 martini glasses The Food We didn’t have any food. We probably should have done. They do have food however. It looks … er...nice? I mean it is a bit pricey for this bar fly. Posh French/English like Moules, steak tartare, posh fish n’chips. If you are up for a nice meal out Bistrotheque looks cool and they do reasonable set menus (during the week 3 courses for £17.50 ooh lala!). If you are a bit like us and get distracted by the drinks there cocktail compatible bar snacks are on offer. Score: 3 martini glasses The Location East! That’s right, we are in deep dark Hackney which means ‘cool’. This is indeed a ‘cool’ location where London’s Bright Young Things are bound to be found. Typical of the area Wadeson Street looks urban and bleak and Bistrotheque is missable unless you know its there. The street that runs parallel is the wonderful Vyner Street with all its lovely little galleries and hot art boys and chicks so Bistrotheque is a pretty good stop off if you fancy a bit of culture and whatnot. Score: 5 martini glasses Bistrothque total score: 27/30
69 HERES HOW! Make your own Kings Ginger Sour King’s Ginger Liqueur was invented in 1820 to keep the King of England warm when he was travelling about town. If it’s good enough for the King of England... Ingredients 35 ml Kings Ginger Liqueur 20ml lemon juice 50ml orange juice Orange peel A dash of lemon bitters Another dash of rhubarb bitters An egg white Glassware Old fashioned Instructions Oooh it’s got an egg in it! How exciting! Don’t worry it’s still easy to make despite this thrilling addition of raw egg. Basically plop all your ingredients into a shaker and add cubes of ice. Shake ‘em up vigorously and strain into an empty old fashioned glass. Serve with a twist of orange peel. Bistrotheque 23-27 Wadeson Street, London, E2 9DR 0208 983 7900 Nearest tube: Bethnal Green www.bistrotheque.com/
s e k i L n o a n l n a i h e
S r e h istop
Christopher Shannon’s AW11 collection had a track sports feel to it this fashion week, helped by the use of felt, fleece and giant platform trainers. It showcased a full PE kit of fashion, starting with the waterproof jackets, cut beautifully like dress shirts, ending with an all in one aertex number. In between were jersey shorts, fleece trousers, colourful puffa jackets and polo necks all in a distinct colour palette of blue and white with accents of purple, yellow and pink. If Christopher’s AW11 show was anything to go buy get ready to layer. At least you won’t be so cold when it snows again next year. Not with your two pairs of trousers, three jumpers and a couple of pairs of gloves! www.christophershannon.co.uk
Jack’s guide to social networking Do : Have a go. Very soon if you don’t have at least one social
networking account on one of the offered platforms you will simply cease to exist.
Don’t : Give away too much. Leave your teenage angst in the real world when it comes to status updates
Do : Remember people are watching. If you put something up
on a social networking site you need to be prepared for people to see it. These might not be people you intended to see it. Keep your privacy setting high.
Don’t : Tell us every, single thing about your boring life. You may
have Twitter downloaded enabling you to tweet on the go, it doesn’t mean we want renditions of how you feel on the buss or what you just ate at your desk as a snack. This Don’t is boring you? Oh yeah, that’s our point.
Do : Stalk people (within reason), it’s fun, you can make sure your not about to go out for a drink with a total wierdo and you can find out wether those people you have eyes for are attached or worse still, born about 7 years after you.
Don’t : Play games. It will do your ego no good to take your
Facebook page down only to find no one notices. Even if you are still ‘friends’ with that girl/boy you went on a date with and never heard from again, it won’t make then message you.
Do : Put up pictures and get fully involved, otherwise, what’s the
point? We don’t want you clogging up our friends and follow lists if you never do anything you boring f**ker.
Don’t : Log in and out of Facebook Chat hoping someone will talk to you.
Do : Come up with inventive themes for status updates, it keeps us all entertained.
Don’t : Go over the top with info and constant posts.. we may be
your friends, we may not, but whatever we are, we don’t care about your life that much.
PIGEON OF THE MONTH BREED | Common London AGE | 1 LIKES | Left over pizza, bridges, parks DISLIKES | Children that try to kick him, rats, shelly (his ex) FINDER | Jim, North London
DO YOU KNOW A PIGEON WORTH OF THE PIGEON OF THE MONTH BOX? Make his/her day, take a snap of your favourite London pigeon and send it in to press@whos-jack. co.uk. We need a high res image along with your pigeon’s breed, age, likes and dislikes.
Ive been living in Korea for 5 months now and people are commenting on my social networking page, remarking on how much fun I’ve been having in jaunty and comprehensive commentary. My pictures have the right number of drunken shots, (at clever angles of course, to create the illusion of slimness AND sultriness) and a few ‘culture’ shots in which a wizened old woman will be laying her chillis out to dry, or a temple will be looking all mystical-like on a hill.
Korea at times, looks and feels perfect. My job is a doddle and the people are fun, the food is spectacular and a jolly in Seoul is a neon night of madness always. The taxis are cheap and the love motels have dildo vending machines. Yet, at times, you’ll be overwhelmed with frustration when you cannot decipher someone talking to you, or order a drink, or find that book you want to buy. A pang of loneliness will hit you when your best friend has a baby back home, a baby she’s wanted for 5 years, you’ll feel sad when your mates tell you they missed you at their birthday drinks. Perfect pictures and perfect status updates sometimes don’t cut the mustard. You want something a little more real. Flaws. History and literature have been shaped by the flawed heros, Achilles, Falstaff, Holmes, Superman in Superman 2. It makes them real and intriguing and forever. You don’t want to read about Barbie and Ken. You want Cathy and Heathcliff. Time for video chat. I’m quite a newbie when it comes to Skype and it takes me a while to find a headset in Korea, (obviously) but when I do I arrange to talk to my friends back in London. Unfortunately, due to the 8 hours time difference, we only seem to be catching each other when either they are so paralytic it would appear their livers are about to bleed out of their eyes, or I’m half asleep trying to get up for work. One time however, we manage to catch each other at the right time. They are returning at 4am from a lock in, and they miss me, and they are all dishevelled, and declaring their undying love for each other, and opening cans of Carling and spilling it down themselves, and eating chips with salt and vinegar. One of them is slurring her words but her eyes sparkle, another one has fallen in love recently with a man who will undoubtedly break her heart. It was a beautiful, catastrophic scene and I raised a glass to them. Probably not wise as it was the beginning of the working day for me. A few days later, I speak to my friend who just had the baby. She was born to be a mother and has had a heart wrenching time with miscarriages, hospitals, problems left right and centre. And it pains me to have not been there to help her through her last nightmarish pregnancy months. A time of fear, joy, excitement and hope. These are the moments that make friendships and this is the one thing I’m missing out on here on the other side of the world. And there she is, little Jessica, finally. Her Mum, my oldest friend, looks exhausted, pale, drained. Dark circles under her eyes, minor flaws. But her eyes tell a different story. She’s complete. My flawed hero never looked so perfect.
My two-for-six-pound life By Lucy Anne Hancock
Another day spent in bed, alone with a bumper pack of ibuprofen and a new batch of half memories. I cannot actually bring myself to turn my phone on due to the steady stream of messages alerting me of new and individually humiliating events of last night. All I can really remember is the denouement. My hands clasped around a greasy blonde bob, staring up into the faintly crossed eyes of a strange guy I had somehow managed to lure into my passionate embrace. Apparently I did quite literally fight for his love (including air punching) whilst miming the words to Cheryl Cole. The rest of it I am not quite sure about, but I can only guess that it was a pastiche of past drunken attention seeking methods often applied by my peers, that I have narrowed down into three mix and match approaches: Approach 1: One of the Lads This usually involves introducing myself by means of an aggressive handshake, often emasculating a member of the opposite sex by telling them theirs is ‘sh*t’ and ‘weedy’. I will later move on to arm wrestles - which I always lose, and giving rugby players piggy backs - which has irreparably damaged my sciatic nerve. My desire for adulation often extends to volunteering myself for beer bong competitions. Through years of practice, I have sadly become rather good at beer bongs. There’s the peer pressure, the glory and the 10 seconds afterwards when you think you might actually be dying of asphyxiation. A challenge of any sort, including a slow clap followed by the rapid consumption of spicy foods seems to strike a chord somewhere deep in my 14 year old subconscious. A desperate bid to prove I am ‘hardcore’. Advice: This is not attractive to boys. A girl that can down a pint of lager in 5 seconds and carry you home is probably not a girl that you would want to have sex
with. You will also however, not suddenly start being invited on fishing holidays and camping trips with the lads because they are overcome with respect for you. Approach 2: The Crier This is usually the result of an unanswered bid for attention. After all the gyration and stolen glances have failed and the apple of their eye has found someone more sober/less deranged. On a 2am walk home from the library the other day I discovered a smurf in the doorway of a closed pub with tear tracks running down her little fat blue face screaming into her phone between sobs, ‘YOU HATE ME...EVERYONE HATES ME.’ It transpired that she had torn out of the club in an explosive display of emotion only to realise halfway home that no one had noticed, nor were they particularly bothered. There is always one. Thankfully it is rarely me. The last time I was discovered in this predicament, face stuck to a bag of frozen peas, sobbing (too overcome by emotion to finish making the fish finger sandwich I had planned) my housemates joined me in a heap on the kitchen floor. By the time I had managed to stop blubbing I had completely forgotten what I was crying about and proceeded to merrily fill my frozen face with the dubious, grilled contents of the freezer. Advice: Crying has never really been a winner. As a man, having a girl face down in your crotch may be great, but not if she is lamenting her rocky relationships or close bond with a recently deceased pet. Approach 3: The Sexpot As a voyeur this is probably the most comical. Made particularly painful if an ex lover is present, this alter ego is perhaps the most tragic of all. Lady Marmalade comes on and for approximately three minutes of your short
life you really do believe you are, or could be Christina Aguilera. You slap your own bottom, strutting around the sticky dancefloor pinging the waistband of your imaginary chaps. Many fellow sexpots have been known to make eye contact with a potential target invariably involving a defenceless male confusedly partaking in this jumbled routine. There are the ones that dance on tables and the ones who whoopsadaisies, flash their cleavage whilst biting their lip. Subtlety is a concept that goes out the window with your dignity after three bottles of wine, but thankfully, the facebook paparazzi are there to document every bump and grind of this excruciating ordeal. Advice: Your hips may not be lying. Your hips are likely to be telling the truth: that you cannot dance and what you are doing is not making the men around you wild with desire. Middle class white girls really should leave the hip thrusts to Beyoncé. Alas! Either I did not employ any of these tactics this time, or my target was as far out of his tree as me. However, I am still surprisingly footloose and fancy free for Valentine’s Day. Shocking that.
modern day dilemmas the body So the body is back in. Not that crushed velvet specimen you might of had when you were about ten and thought you looked well grown up in, no. Iâ€™m talking about the sexy, sometimes see through, sometimes lacy, actually pretty flattering sort that are in many high street windows at the moment. Not to mention the windows of the ambassador of the body bringer backers: American Apparel. If you are of similar age to me (24-27), then like me you probably had one of these many years ago... mine happened to be black and included a half turtle neck... nice. Luckily today we have many new options, thank god. Now, for those of you intending to launch into this trend head on you may be noting a few potential setbacks to the functional wearing of the body. There are indeed a few obvious problems, the main one being how exactly do you go to the loo? A similar problem is brought on by the Playsuit another all in one undresser offender. You do have to take off pretty much everything every time you go to the loo making this a bad choice for first dates or possibly the cinema, dinner or anything generally exciting that you donâ€™t want to be stuck in the loo for. This is because you find yourself spending up to 20 minutes in the loo getting caught up in tights and tops and bra straps trying to relieve yourself and then essentially getting dressed again. Not to mention itâ€™s sometimes a bit chilly being in some pub loo with all your clothes in a heap around your ankles. Another problem comes when you choose to wear a body and later find yourself in an increasingly intimate position with someone - depending, of course, on where your confidence rating is you have two options - get totally naked instantly or hang about for a bit in what essentially looks like a swimming costume and is no where near as flattering without accompanying bottoms. Unless maybe your surname is Gaga in which case you will be totally comfortable in body alone and probably look great. Tough one. I, personally can only see one solution here and that comes from my old faithful turtle neck all in one number from circa 1999. That is to re-introduce the popper system. Poppers in the gusset - again, not the sexiest option but by far the most practical. Why has no one thought to add these in already? If you are undeterred by the hurdles above (maybe you constantly carry a pair of scissors with you and are a dab hand with a needle and thread) then these lovely examples on the left are from Super Sweet and combine just the right amount of sheer and cover. Just sadly with not easy escape route.
I LOVE YOU FOR LOVING ME ERIN DANIEL MCKEE
image : Andrea Bono Tempo
Glamourous Ghosts Of The Past Recently my past caught up with me – all in one roo at the best party in years. The occasion: The joint birthday celebration of my best mate Duran’s Roger Taylor and his beautiful wife Gisella. I assisted in organising this very opulent event held at The Dorchester Hotel. It was black- tie and Venetian masks. Tatler magazine covered the whole affair and U’Luvka Vodka provided martini’s. Much of London’s beautiful people would be in attendance – it was a hot ticket and those that were not invited hastily made their way out of the city for the weekend. The very select bunch of invited were abuzz for weeks before- what they were wearing? What masks could they source? On the day many of the guests convened at Neville Salon to prepare themselves for the evening, including yours truly. The anticipation was palpable. Now having been a part of this circle, dipping in and out through the years I was well aware that there were many people coming with which I shared good and bad history. Having had a baby, moved to Italy, and not being so inclined to ‘keep up with the Rotschilds’ I was a bit worried and apprehensive about seeing so many ghosts together in one room, or even a gilt ballroom. It was a bit like a school reunion, but with supermodels, popstars and caviar. I found that all the old conflicts had been forgotten. The masked theme of the evening helping break the ice. Ex-inlaws danced with ex-wives, ex-stepmothers chatted with ex-stepchildren, ex-business partners clinked glasses, ex-popstars got tipsy and sentimental and ex-friends kissed and made-up. It taught me that ones mind can exaggerate the most finite things. Although you should never look back, if you do take a peek, keep the rose-tinted spectacles firmy in place. It was never that bad. My Venus Is Growing Since my men’s beauty piece, Venus As A Boy, was published last issue, I have been inundated with info and requests from beauty specialists. Lucky me! I will be trying these out and reporting back on my progress. One particular treatment had me very curious.The Genuine Dermaroller has had a lot of press recently and rave reviews. It is used for general skin improving as
well as scarring, acne and a whole range of skin problems. The procedure sounds scary. I was. For it involves a small instrument that contains dozens and dozens of tiny needles. This is called the ‘Dermaroller’. I went along to it’s chief doctor. A God in the cosmetic industry, Dr Sach Mohan, has a Harley Street office, but admits most of his clientele are rather well known so he usually offers them home visits. After some anesthetic cream was applied to my face, the Dr went to action with the Dermaroller, perforating my face over and over. It doesn’t hurt, But you do bleed. The fact is it boosts collegen and is quite something. Full effects come after three visits and six weeks. My skin looks incredible. And onto Nick Mitchell, my trainer, also introduced in Venus is a Boy. He has just been named London’s top personal trainer by Time Out magazine. He is hard work. He makes me eat chicken and fish for breakfast. But it is working!! I feel great, still a long way to go to look like his previous client Brad Pitt, but I’m well on the way. One From The Vault: Hef’s World So I get a call from James Herring, “Can you help me out? Hugh Hefner is arriving in the UK for the first visit in ten years and I need you and Naihala ( my then partner in crime and Queen Bee) to look after his social activities.” Cut to two nights of organising Hef and his entourage. At that time he is dating twins Sandy and Mandy as well as Brande. He is also with Playmate of the Year Heather Kozar. About 20 other people surround him constantly. It was the most bizarre experience of my life. Truly. I will expand on this in my book. In the daytime I would visit most of London’s hotspots with his ex-secret service security director, checking all the security options (While I’m thinking – he’s not a President, he’s a pornographer WTF?!?) in the event we should choose to visit one that evening. Then we would decide at the last minute where to go and alert a select bunch of London’s elite, who had been kept on hold till we gave a code word. All for his safety. The circus ended with many kisses to me from the blondes and his security saying “Hef has to leave now, his Qualudes have come up and he needs to have sex with the girls”. Ughhh! I LOVE YOU dear Who’s Jack readers for LOVING ME! EDM
3 apps you should have
See the back page or www.whosjack.org for more information
They’re free, they now work on most phones (come on Blackberry) and they make your life better, here are our top three this month. LAYAR Layars is a free app (just the way we like it) that is a point and shoot map function that shows layers of interest, pubs, historical information, tourist information depending on what layer you pick. (get it?) With so many extra bits of information on offer about where you are it’s like opening a new door onto your surroundings! Displaying real time digital information on top of reality on your phone screen helps you get to the nearest place that serves beer or maybe just home. layar.com
woZZon The award winning woZZon app is also free and enables you to discover ‘What’s On’ near you, the search engine provides access to a comprehensive events database of 60,000 entertainment venues in the UK and 90,000 unique events. woZZon won Nokia’s Calling All Innovators competition 2009, ad has now provided an app for the Android phone called: ‘What’s On’ in the UK. WoZZon covers a variety of events such as art, film, music, theatre, comedy, restaurants, clubs, family, special events and more. With its simple user interface, woZZon is not only fast, fabulous and easy to use, with an extensive interactive map view, it’s also free to download in the Android market. Yey! woZZon.com Finally the Carling offering from Beattie McGuinness Bungay. It allows you to look like you’re drinking a pint housed in your iPhone, good for bored times. www.carling.com
GEORGIE + JAMES AND THE KREDIT KRUNCH KATWALK KREW THE KREDIT KRUNCH KATWALK KREW
Georgie and James visit the home of our newest Katwalk Krew recruit, have a rummage through her wardrobe and come out with two looks and some large stories. The Story of THE UNTANGLER In Sao Paolo, on a dusty side street, we came across The Untangler. The Charity Shop she worked in was crammed full of various odds and sods, strange knitted pieces which seemed to take on a life of their own being lit by the strong sun streaming through the windows.
It was hot, and being surrounded by wool in a tight space didnâ€™t help our rising temperature as we plowed through the endless bags of scrags. She had pearls of wisdom, and beads galore. We had beads galore = beads of sweat as we buried ourselves into the fray! Laughing, we pulled out odd looking, beautifully edgy half finished knitted creations. We knew that this would be fun, not to mention just as easy as following a Vogue knitting pattern. In between assembling decoupage flowers on a feathered bustier, and lifting out a peach coloured pleated vintage dress, we discovered the remains of a shattered chandelier behind an old chest. We knew straight away that this would form the concept of her distressed & dishevelled but fabulously vintage raison dâ€™etre. Miss Pristine, as we came to know her, then showed us our piece de resistance. Within a perspex box sat a rose coloured shiny mask, forming the would-be cherry on the cake for a vintage priceless princess. Thus The Unraveller was born. Born into a world of dusty moth ball villany.
The Unraveller Wears : All Knitted Pieces : Liria Pristine Cape : Liria Pristine All other garments borrowed...... Broken chandelier Umbrella : Cinderella ella ella Magical mask : 25 de Marco
Do you want Georgie and James to raid your wardrobe and come up with a Kredit Krunch Katwalk look? Just email georgieichikawa@gmail. com with details of your location and the kind of things you have to transform. Next month the pictures on these pages could be of you! Have a look at www.georgieandjames.blogspot.com for further inspiration
The story of TWITT TWOO Our friend works in TV. She’s always asking if we’d “like to appear in this”, or “have cameras installed in your house to appear in that”. So for once we thought we’d turn the tables on her. We went round one day for shepherds pie, which actually turned out to be ‘shepherds pie island’, as she’d made too much sauce. But it was delicious anyway. She thought we would engage in an evening of drinks and full bellies, but we had ulterior wardrobe motives..... Working in TV and living the high life, travelling around the globe, we knew she would have some treasures tucked away for us to utilise to create a monster of a transformation. After too much vino and far too much SJP style conversation, we knew she was too drunk to refuse a bit of ‘Magic Maquillage” It was easy at first, pulling out Marc Jacobs florals and Marks & Spencers tights, but we soon realised she was keeping her real treasures hidden. Probably as they were endangered species she’d clubbed to death whilst on safari and stuffed into her Vuitton suitcase. We decided to create a look based on her worldly ‘wise’ personality, as well as her love of Twin Peaks. Bangles from Africa became her spook-specs, a fur hot water bottle cover inverted to form a hat, the character was taking shape. As she flailed her arms aloft, tiddly on grape juice, we realised she would become a creature of the night. Not one of the vampires from Buffy, but an animalistic wise creature, who prowls the night looking for vermin. For some reason we decided she would be lonely up in the treetops, so improvising with a wooden sculpted monkey that hooked into her lazercut feathered dress, she was ready to go and swoop away.... Bill Oddie better hope he doesn’t meet her on a dark night!
TWITT-TWOO wears: Dress : Topshop boutique Water bottle worn as hat : Habitat. Owl-vision bracelets and necklace from South African mud hut. Shoes : Kurt Geiger, Watch : Browns Tights : M&S Earrings and nails by : Chanel Patent belt : Twin Peaks gift shop Monkey companion : present from Agent Cooper
A segmented novel
By Marco Casadei Image by James Lightfoot January 21st 1994
As if from nowhere darkness descends and clothes me in cold solidarity. My heart leaks down into my guts and all hope is lost in the acceptance of my constant personal struggle. It’s as if I have fallen off a tall ledge and descend infinitely in black without ever hitting the bottom. At one point in my life I thought that I had indeed hit the bottom but later years proved the pit can always grow deeper. Still, as I descend I can see the sunshine at the top of the crevice. It’s always there as a reminder that there is still a chance, but most of the time it just represents what I can never achieve, which is eternal happiness. I was recommended a new treatment by Doctor Plender today as the counseling and medicinal treatments have not been as successful as he had hoped. The councilor was a tubby lady with grey hair and no sense of style, possibly a product of her contentment in life and marriage. I envied her. We would discuss what was on my mind and I would regale lists of my dissatisfaction to which she would just silently nod and smile. She never disagreed with me and would amaze me with how much of my pointless information she would remember and question. It was good just to know that my thoughts were not purely insane. By the end of the sessions it seemed there was not much she didn’t know about me, but I did felt no wiser nor more enlightened. Dr Plender led me into a wing of the hospital I have never seen before, through another white door, perhaps only significant as it was the only door without a sign on it. There was less bustle in this part of the building and I was conscious of mine and the Doctors conversation being easily over heard. I noticed we kept turning left which made me think of the dichotomy of the left hand path. We were finally met with an unassuming brown door and a small plaque reading “Dr Feelgood”. “Are you serious” I asked Plender He smiled and replied in the affirmative. He knocked and led me through. The waiting room was small and what you would expect, with a few general reading magazines a year out of date dotted about the place. I didn’t have a moment to wait however as I was met promptly by Dr Feelgood, a tall grey haired scholar who greeted me with a smile. Plender made the appropriate introductions and then said his goodbyes.
I felt strangely nervous as this whole scenario felt incredibly private and secretive. Still I followed Feelgood into an office and sat where I was told. “So Arthur, how are you today?” “Do you want the truth?” I quipped. He nodded. “I feel like I have never achieved anything and am a lost cause to medicine and the human race” “I understand your feelings Arthur, I understand exactly what you are feeling. I would like to offer you the opportunity to change all of this, to make your own life and the lives of others better.” I couldn’t help but think he was going to have me put down like a dog. “I am running a new experimental program that will allow you to achieve the happiness and contentment you strive for. You would need to move to the new wing of this hospital and be involved with a new team.” “What does this program entail? Does it involve pills. I don’t like the pills.” “No pills. The pills are designed for mass consumption and do not cater for an individual such as yourself. We think you are special Arthur and if you will allow us to we will improve your life simply through non medicinal techniques.” “Doctor, I am cynical. This whole thing seems shrouded in secrecy and makes me nervous. Please tell me exactly what you intend to do with me so I can make an informed decision” “With your permission we will reprogram you, train you and give you a new vocation. It’s a life changing opportunity that only very few have undertaken before. It’s had a 100% success rate” I find the idea of being reprogrammed a daunting prospect but equally I question what I have got to lose which I quickly realize is nothing but the horrors inside my head. I tell him I accept and instantly realise that I am being reckless. “Excellent” Feelgood beams at me and pulls out a brown folder and opens it up. “I have been reading the transcripts from your counseling sessions and I can see you have a lot on your mind.” I felt cheated and exposed. I thought this was supposed to be confidential. Nothing is confidential, I should know better than that. “One thing seems clear and that is you feel you are living in a world that does not make sense. What if I was to tell you that the world IS NOT what it seems and your gut feeling has been right all along. You are being lied to every second of your waking life and you are nothing more than a thread in the fabric of this vast economy. Does this make you feel better?” “Yes it does, but only to the extent that I know I am right. The fact remains that I am still being lied to and it makes me so angry” Feelgood stares at me solemnly and mutters “Be angry, you should be” And with that I feel I don’t have more to say. He presents me with a document which I skim read and sign and we he leads me through to my new home in the house of Cadavers.
exhibitionism Exhibitionism: The Art of Display
Exhibitionism will be open for one weekend this month. Come down to The Courtauld Institute of Art at Somerset House on the Strand to check out the amazing collection and to pick up a copy of Who’s Jack. The exhibition includes work by the future stars of the art world like Hugo Wilson, Tessa Farmer and Polly Morgan alongside famous works by Grayson Perry and Damien Hirst among others. Our favourite pieces include Alexis Harding’s lilac temporary painting, which drips and oozes out onto the furniture and Jordan McKensie’s cum paintings. Go to www.eastwingnine.co.uk for dates, times and more information.
fash ion week
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Jack has had so many brilliant meetings this month about excellent things in the pipeline. Frustratingly none of the aforementioned things...