FOR THE REST OF US
ISS 32/JAN jan10.indd 1
/ ISSUE 52 . SEPT / 2011 FOR THE REST OF US A new era of Jack is coming… Over the past few months we’ve been secretly tucked away at Who’s Jack HQ making some pretty exciting plots and plans for the future of Who’s Jack magazine and our online platforms. We can now reveal the results of our planning are three exciting new aspects that we’ll soon be launching under the Who’s Jack umbrella. The first of which is a brand new logo which you can already see on the front of this issue. Secondly, our existing website www.whosjack.org has been having something of a make over recently and we’ll be bringing you the new, improved, better-than-ever-before website in a matter of weeks. The site will not only look all sparkly and new it’ll also have a number of key differences and new features which we hope you’re going to love and that will help you feel an even bigger part of the Who’s Jack community. Lastly, we will also be launching a new website, WJTV, which will host video content from all the same subjects that we already cover within the magazine and online. Expect interviews, documentaries, behind the scenes footage from some of the cities biggest events, tour diaries, scripted programs and loads, loads more. If you like the sound of all of this, and we really hope you do, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be in with the chance to be sent a special preview log-on so that you can trial the new sites and let us know what you think before they’ve even gone live.
8. Fashion For The Boys The Snapback Cap 10. Going Ghetto Women’s wear fashion story 22. Jack Loves Actual Pain 23. New The Shacket 24. Jack Loves Silas 25. Get That Look Modern Goth 27. Fades Women’s wear fashion story 32. Aqua Light Men’s wear fashion story 40. Fashion Pick Of The Month
42. Introducing Billy Lockett 43. Review One Liners 45. Alpines We are not Night Pop 48. Penguin Prison From boybands to credibility 49. Skylar Grey Singing with her Mum about rainbows 54. Dave’s Band Picks 56. Music Pick Of The Month
ART & DESIGN
58. Mark’s SeptemberFilm Round Up The films you want to spend your money on this month 62. The Cohen Brothers 25 years worth of film and going strong 65. I am Jack’s Expectant Gaze. Our new monthly feature piece from those boys over at Heyuguys. 66. The Riddle Of The MIddle Ground Film’s forgotten bread and butter 68. Film Pick of The Month
70. Artist Introductions Mark Ward 73. Art Spotter Stay + 75. The Process Ludovica Gioscia 78. Art Pick Of The Month
LIFE & LONDON 80. Beauty : The Best of 2012 What we can expect next year 82. Busking The buskers of our London Streets 86. Our Social Every Day Life How important is what we document? 92. Esme Riley Super Powers 93. The Best Underground Bars 93. Tamlin’s Column 94. Life and London Pick Of The Month
/ TEAM JACK / CONTRIBUTORS
Editor : Louise O-F email@example.com
Dept Editor : Laura Hills firstname.lastname@example.org
Film : Mark Williams email@example.com
Contributor: Jon Lyus
Contributor: Amie Corry
Contributor : Joe West
Music : James Lynch firstname.lastname@example.org
Film Online : Matt Hamm email@example.com
Layout: Jack Walker
Stylist: Rickardo Maxwell
Dating : Georgina Childs
Make Up: Luke Stephens
Music : Charlie Allen
Styling : Faye Heran firstname.lastname@example.org
Art: Eleanor Davidson
Styling : Jo Bevis email@example.com
Music: Rory Broadfoot
Columnist : Tamlin Magee
Columnist: Esme Riley
Potographer : Harriet Turney
Contributor music : David Macnamara www.andeveryonesadj.com
Contributor : Matt Bass
Photographer : Tracer Ital
Photographer: James Lincoln
Photographer: Barry Macdonald
/ THE CREDIT STUFF
/ HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Cover Image : Tracer Ital Want to see your work in Jack? Contributions : firstname.lastname@example.org The Jack-Father : Edward Fitzpatrick //
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Who’s Jack Magazine is part of a range of platforms that all come under the company Who’s Jack Ltd. This is the magazine and it is a monthly glossy both in print and online that covers art, fashion, film, music and general London and life. We aim to be attainable just as much as we are aspirational and never to talk down to our reader, you. We are what you’ve been waiting for.
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jack / STOCKISTS NORTH
Camden Blues Kitchen: 111 - 113 Camden High Street, NW1 7JN www.theblueskitchen.com The Old Queens Head: 44 Essex Road, Islington, N1 8LN www.theoldqueenshead.com The Hawley Arms: 2 Castlehaven Road, NW1 8QU www.thehawleyarms.co.uk The Lexington: 96-98 Pentonville Road, N1 9JB www.thelexington.co.uk The Keston Lodge: 131 Upper Street, N1 1QP www.kestonlodge.com The Lock Tavern: 35 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AJ www.lock-tavern.co.uk Shock and Soul: 46 Essex Road, Islington, N1 8LN www.shockandsoul.co.uk The Westbury: 34 Kilburn High Street, NW6 5UA www.westburybar.com Rokit: 225 Camden HIgh Street, NW1 7BU www.rokit.co.uk LCB Surf Store : 23 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 7RU www.lcbsurfstore.co.uk Edinboro Castle: 57 Mornington Terrace, NW1 7RU www.edinborocastlepub.co.uk Joy: 21-22 Upper Street, N1 0PQ www.joythestore.com
Rough Trade: 130 Talbot Road, W11 1JA www.roughtrade.com The Electric Brasserie: 191 Portobello Road, W11 2ED www.electricbrasserie.com Mau Mau Bar: 265 Portobello Road, W11 1LR www.myspace.com/maumaubar Portobello Music: 13 Allsaints Road, W11 1HA www.portobellomusic.net Smash: 268 Portobello Road www.sandmcafe.co.uk Defectors Weld : 170 Uxbridge Road, W12 8AA www.defectors-weld.com Size? - (in London stores): 200 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W11 1LB www.size.co.uk
SOUTH Bar Story: 213 Blenheim Grove, Peckham, SE15 4QL Bullfrog: 20 Greenwich Church Street, SE10 9BJ www.bullfrogs.co.uk The Rest Is Noise: 442 Brixton Road, Brixton, SW9 8EJ www.therestisnoisebrixton.com Joy: Clapham Junction Station, SW11 1RU www.joythestore.com Banquet Records: 52 Eden Street, Kingston, KT1 1EE www.banquetrecords.com
EAST Paper Dress: 114-116 Curtain Road, EC2A 3AY www.paperdressboutique.blogspot.com Vintage Store: 182 Brick Lane, E1 6SA The Lazy Ones: 102m Sclater Street, E1 6HR www.thelazyones.blogspot.com Beyond Retro: 110-112 Cheshire Street, E2 6EJ 58-59 Great Marlborough Street, W1F 7JY www.beyondretro.com The Book Club: 100 Lenard Street, EC2A 4RH www.wearetbc.com Beyond Retro: 110-112 Cheshire Street, E2 6EJ 58-59 Great Marlborough Street, W1F 7JY www.beyondretro.com Behave: 14 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR LCB Surf Store: 121 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 7DG www.lcbsurfstore.co.uk Rough Trade East: Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL www.roughtrade.com The Victoria: 110 Grove Road, Mile End, E3 5TH www.thevictoriae3.com Junk: Old Truman Brewery, Grey Eagle Street, E1 6QL Elbow Rooms: 97-113 Curtain Road, EC2A 3BS theelbowroom.co.uk Bar Music Hall: 134 Curtain Road, EC2A 3AR www.barmusichall.co.uk Rokit: 101 Brick Lane, E1 6SE www.rokit.co.uk Rough Trade: Old Truman Brewery, Grey Eagle Street, E1 6QL www.roughtrade.com Absolute Vintage: 15 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR www.absolutevintage.co.uk GShock Shop: Old Truman Brewery, Grey Eagle Street, E1 6QL www.g-shock.co.uk Smiths of Smithfield: 67-77 Charterhouse Street, EC1M 6HJ www.smithsofsmithfield.co.uk (weekends only)
CENTRAL Beyond the Valley: 2 Newburgh Street, W1F 7RD www.beyondthevalley.com 55 DSL: 10A Newburgh St, W1F 7RN www.55dsl.com Chateau Roux: 17 Newburgh Street, W1F 7RZ www.chateauroux.co.uk Tatty Devine: 44 Monmouth Street, WC2H 9EP www.tattydevine.com The Sun and 13 Cantons: 21 Great Pulteney Street, W1F 9NG Candy Cakes: Monmouth Street, WC2H 9EP www.candycakes.com Size? - (in London stores): Carnaby Street, Soho, W1F 7DW www.size.co.uk Size? - (in London stores): 37a Neal Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9PR www.size.co.uk Fopp: 1 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LL www.foppreturns.com Mint: 20 Earlham Street, WC2 H9LN www.mintvintage.co.uk Sanctum Hotel: 20 Warwick Street Soho, W1B 5NF www.sanctumsoho.com The Hospital Club: 24 Endell Street, London, WC2H 9HQ www.thehospitalclub.com Beyond Retro: 58-59 Great Malborough Street, W1F 7JY www.beyondretro.com Sanctum Hotel: 20 Warwick Street, W1B 5NF www.sanctumsoho.com Joy: 1620170 Wardour Street, W1F8AB www.joythestore.com Volcom: 7 Earlham Street, WC2 9LL www.volcom.com Joy: 11 The Market Building, Covent Garden www.joythestore.com Rokit: 42 Shelton Street, WC2 9HZ www.rokit.co.uk Wesc: 53 Neal Street, WC2H 9PR wesc.com Miyson: 3 Lowndes Court, off Carnaby, W1F 7HD www.miyson.com
Also with online orders of Urban Outfitters : www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk See an up to the minute list of stockists online, if you would like to stock Whoâ€™s Jack contact: firstname.lastname@example.org All stockists have magazines delivered once a month in the first week of each month. We would advise getting to stockists early as they go quick.
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Photo: Vincent Skoglund
PLATTAN TANTO &
Available in 14 colors:
Feature 3.5mm standard microphone and remote.
James tries his best to dress the male and this month is really using his head to bring you the best way to cover up yours.
The humble old baseball cap means different things to different people. To most older people it signifies the gradual slide in society’s morals and dress code, to fans of urban music it is an integral piece of uniform and to most farm workers in the south of America it is an essential piece of kit akin only to a tractor, slop bucket or twelve bore shotgun. But in recent years the baseball cap has become an ever increasingly familiar feature of most modern wardrobes. On the vacant heads of WAGs and wannabe footballers wives in the form of a lurid pink Von Dutch trucker hat, perched on top of indie and ‘scene’ kids in a mildly ironic nod to the fitted cap styles of Hip Hop and jammed onto the heads of any and every F1 racing driver as soon as they get out of their car, just so no one forgets the hundreds of companies that are sponsoring them to continue polluting the planet at high speed. I mean, shit, even Barack Obama has worn a baseball cap at least once. The fitted cap in particular has gone from being the sole persuasion of those of a more ‘urban’ disposition (and I use that word begrudgingly as no other will unfortunately help me to explain), to being a style widely worn by everyone from Kanye West to David Beckham and stopping en route atop the billionaire bonce of Bill Gates. History lesson nearly and mercifully over, we come to my vague point. The fitted peak, which was a modern classic in the form of the New Era and Starter cap, has slowly been usurped by it’s lesser known cousin; the Snapback Cap. The snapback gets its name from the rather self-explanatory fastening system, which is, unsurprisingly, at the back of the hat. Similar to the fore-mentioned fitted cap in its boxy five panel design and with New Era-style NY designs and NBA/NFL team colourways, the Snapback has become the hat of choice for American street
subcultures, being seen on the heads of skaters, rockers and of course those partial to a little swearing and misogyny over a stolen drum beat. If you are looking to indulge yourself in a little headwear treat then luckily you don’t have to change your lifestyle that drastically and move to downtown LA, work in a pizza parlour by day and host parties at underground clubs by night, like a lesser-financed Bruce Wayne, just jump on the internet instead. American webshop Snapbacks.com hold an impressively massive range of new and vintage hats, including classic and officially licensed NBA and NFL team caps. For the those who want to stand out less, Crooks and Castles have a nice range of understated and tasteful hats in muted colourways, whereas New York street brand Only has a collection of primary coloured hats with contrast peaks and large white branding to really get your sweaty head noticed on a hot day. Top marks also have to go to the LA cool kids favourite, The Hundreds, who have a huge headwear collection, ranging from redesigns of the classic baseball pinstripe to a ‘The Hundreds’ logo design embroidered onto electric blue corduroy… if you like that sort of thing. And as always, you can hit up eBay to find some unusual and rare delights and even high street stores like Size? are getting in on the act. So when summer does and it gets a bit colder jam a hat on your brain. Not only will your Mum be happy that you are protecting yourself from those bitter winds but you will be too when you finally bump into Rihanna and she wants to marry you because you are wearing a cool cap… maybe. Caps from a collection at Hundreds : www.shop.thehundreds.com
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TOM BUNNING STYLING BY SARITA MORALES MAKE UP : LUKE STEPHENS ASSISTING : PAULA EVANS MODELS : JESS PIANI / DAISY AND ALEX @ MILK MANAGEMENT
Lace top, £34, American Apparel Bandeau top underneath, £13, American Apparel / Stripe skirt(including belt), £19.99, Missguided. com / Black high tops, £62, Adidas Gold ring, £5, Rokit Gold square earrings, £10, Freedom at Topshop
Leopard print dress, £14.99, New Look Black fringe bag, £75, Topshop / Black boots, £86, Dr Martens / Gold cuff, £5, Beyond retro
Grey RUN DMC tshirt, £20, Amplified at truffleshuffle. com Leather look trousers, £45, Miss Selfridge Diamante sunglasses, £24, Jeepers Peepers White with pink high tops, £65, Nike at Schuh
Denim playsuit, £29, Motel / Leather jacket, £59, Dorothy Perkins / Stars and stripes rucksack, £32, Topshop / Headscarf, £13, River Island / Star earrings, £3.99, New Look / White high tops, £57, Nike at Schuh / Vintage oversized ring, £15, Rokit
Red and black print leggings, £20, Topshop / Charcoal text tshirt, £69, Wildfox / Bumbag, £15, Beyond Retro / Leather gilet, £85, Miss Selfridge Spike bracelet, £35, Freedom at Topshop Black cut out ankle boots, £80, Topshop
Denim shirt, £12.99, H&M / Vintage denim shorts, £20, Rokit / Star print tights, £15, Henry Holland for Pretty Polly / Pink block heels, £12, Primark Red lips bag, £4.99, H&M / Gold link belt, £15, Motel Gold hoop earrings, £10, Freedom at Topshop / Gold bangle with black stone, £2.50, Primark / Zig zag bangle, £3, Primark
Faux fur scarf, £12, Beyond Retro Black body, £25, American Apparel Black studded shorts, £45, Topshop Burgundy socks, £2.99, New Look Leopard print ankle boots, £25, New Look Chunky watch, £22, River Island
CHARCOAL COVERT COAT, BODEN, BEIGE SHIRT, CK BY CALVIN KLEIN JEANS, SHAWL COLLAR WOOL MIX CARDIGAN WITH LEATHER BUTTONS, NEW LOOK.
ctual Pain is a T-shirt brand that came to life in a bedroom in Seattle, Washington in 2007. Their T-shirt imagery centers around illustrative cartoons, typography and the occult (so in right now). If 2012 is going to be the year of the witch in fashion (and we think it is) then these guys are on the money. Actual Pain’s founder, TJ Cowgill designs 90% of what’s put out 5 years on, though as well as making Ts Actual Pain has grown into a successful blog as well as putting on once a month art shows at their wharehouse for the public. As for the themes of their designs Cowgill has said in an interview with Vice Style : ‘I think that there is a lack of the
l a u t c A PAIN
devil in modern art, clothing, music, and the rest. It all stems from the Judeo-Christian belief that mischief, humor, drinking, dancing, sex, and basically anything fun is wrong and needs to be removed from our lives in order for people to go to heaven.’ T’s are cut in a different more ‘boxy’ way to what we are used to and are a bit longer than your average but we feel this works. Mostly becuase the cotton is a bit thicker than than normal also. The great thing about the brand is that they are affordable and can ship! Our favourites from the current collection are featured. www.actualpain.org
ack h S
It is always a problem in transitional weather as to what jacket to get out of hiding. Luckily the these light wieght jacket options are solving that problem. Shirt jackets or, Shackets, as we have now christened them are basically heavywieght shirts, heavy enough to act as a light jacket. Makes sense. A trend is fast emerging for Shackets and we have seen many an example in upcoming collections. The great thing about them is that they can not only be layered but also scrumpled up into a bag. So if the unpredictable sun does decide to show at any point you will be prepared and not be sweating - becuase with our weather you really never know. Equally they will dry out quickly if you get caught in an equally unpredictable downpoor. Here are some of our favourites:
23 E a s ti e Empire Tailors
This heavy duty cotton orange Bedfor Jacket from Eastie Empire Tailors will match with the autumn leaves and take you all the way through to next spring fashion wise.
This is a thin denim option from Pretty Green. Always a good option for lightwieght coats this brand is great at hard wearing slim fitting options. www.prettygreen.com
Urban Outfitters have a great collection of Renewal clothing like this French Workmans Jacket (Shacket to you and me will this take off? who knows). www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk
ilas, the UK brand that relocated to Japan and left us waiting has returned. This month Silas opens its new flagship store in Islington, putting it firmly back on our shores, and we hope, for good this time. All garments and accessories have that unmistakable Japanese edge that so often comes from fashion brands residing over there or indeed being created over there. Materials are slightly thicker than normal, garments seem to be ever so slightly stiffer and lines are clearer than your average UK menswear brand. Silas originally smade a name for itself by sticking close to skatewear and avant garde music genres to sew their seeds in to their now loyal fans. Their Autumn Winter collection which they bring back with them however is more grown up and the skater influence is harder to see than in previous collections. The range is totally befitting for the winter to come and although it may surprise old fans of the brand it wont alienate them. www.silasandmaria.com
Dorothy Perkins £8.00
Zoe Karssenat for Net-a-Porter £55.00 ASOS angora mix gloves £10.00
GET THAT LOOK
A Miss Selfridges £45.00
nother winter brings another drab wardrobe but drab doesn’t always have to be bad. A key trend this winter will be a modern goth look. Less lace, more black, less velvet, more chunky knit. It’s an easy option to both hide away from the winter but still look like you should be being photographed for a blog or some such. Key things to remember are - tight is good, lace is bad. Knit is good, colour is bad (unless it is a cream or peach). Finally a bit of metal whether that be silver, gold or steel along with a tassle always sets this look off a treat.
ASOS maxi skirt £65
Forever 21 £19.75
Zara printed T-shirt £25.99
PHOTOGRAPHER: HANNA KRISTINA STYLING: HANNA KRISTINA MAKE UP: CARLEY BURKE MODEL: LIZZIE @ PROFILE MODEL MANAGEMENT ALL CLOTHES TOPSHOP
AQUA LIGHT Photographer-Karl Slater Stylist-Rickardo Mattocks-Maxwell MUA-Emma Broom Hair Stylist- Adam Bennett Models-Ossian @D1 All clothing, jewellery and footwear is provided by Aqua. www.aquabyaqua.com Special thanks to Ella Dror
P I C K OF THE MONTH
The Time Has Come, Home Dye Is About To Re-surface Remember what your mother told you all those years ago in the mid nineties? Use a bucket and a stick and do it outside. For anyone that is too young to remember you can make your own dip-dye/tie dye/badly dyed clothing at home with just some Dylon (pictured left) and if you want patterns then some elastic bands (no sticky back plastic). Take pinches of the fabric where you want funny squiffy circles to be, bunch them up and tie the elastic bands around them. After dying this will leave a lovely white circle. = Fun.
Westfield Opens In Stratford
New Era Introducing Are Looking For Creative Talent
On the 13th September the new Westfield will open in Stratford. The website looks young and different to many of its contemporaries with a Tumblr feel to it that makes us have high hopes for the shopping destination itself. www.westfieldstratfordcity2011.com
Have you got a passion for fashion and a creative flare that needs showing off? Then read on because New Era Introducing may just be the prefect opportunity for you. The cap brand are looking for a new generation of artists from across the globe to take part in their new competition which could see you win a £10k bursary to help kick start your creative career as well as the chance to design your own New Era cap and have it featured in a special limited edition book that will be released once the competition has finished. There will also be a touring gallery of each entrants work. So now we’ve got the important bits out of the way have a look at the video below which explains it all in a bit more detail or visit their Facebook page for all the info you need to enter. www.neweracap.co.uk
The 10 Space Shoe brand Swear are celebrating 10 years of their brand and curating a space and concept store that spans fashion and art at The Old Truman Brewery. Other independent labels will be there as well as more established ones for example Fred Perry alongside sculptures installations and more. Sept 1-Sep 13 Dray Walk Gallery, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6Q www.swear-london.com
High Street Fashion Week This year when Fashion Week starts shops up and down Oxford High Street will be getting their own fashion forward amount of attention with their High Street Fashion Week. Events will be held in a number of retailers in the area. There will be multiple events and collaborations to highlight the strength of the UK high street. From design lectures by Cheap Monday and a London College of Fashion student showcase to Topman’s celebration of menswear day and a party at John Lewis to celebrate People Tree’s new look book there will be loads going on.
Bags From Supreme Every year this NY brand bring out a different bag collection and every year we love it. For 2011 there are three colour ways in this check print, the above maroon, a dark blue and a black. The collection includes a backpack, a duffle bag, a small utility bag, a camera bag and a small snake stash pouch. All bags except the snake skin pouch are made out of 1000 Denier Cordura nylon. www.supremenewyork.com
Adidas Originals adiMEGA Collection It seems the 90’s van is certainly hurtling towards us with all its words (Mega) and colours (clashing) and shows no sign of stopping until it mows us down. Something to fall off on route is this new collection from Adidas Originals. A gaudy collection of large soled trainers that somehow we like though if asked to clarify why we would be in trouble. www.adidas.com/uk/originals
PR Manager - Kurt Gieger The exciting opportunity of PR Manager has arisen at Kurt Geiger within our Press and Marketing Team, currently based at our satellite office on London’s Regent St. www.kurtgeiger.com/careers Freelance Fashion Production Manager - Lulwa Al Amin We are recruiting a freelance fashion production manager to start work by mid September. Managing the Autumn Winter collection’s production. email@example.com
INTRODUCING Billy Lockett
I am… Billy Lockett. I grew up in... Northampton. My childhood was mainly... erratic. The three words I’d use to describe my music are... soulful, upbeat, indie/ pop.
I mainly write about... past experiences that have happened to me, or people close to me, and recently have been drifting away from the classic song topic of love. My big break in music came when...
Selfish media and producer Phil English discovered me, this has had a big impact on my life, however I am always searching for bigger and better breaks.
I’ve been writing songs since I... was about 13 years old
The first song I wrote was...
called “Wake Up” about nightmares, it was awful and very repetitive but my parents said it was catchy ha ha, everyone has to start somewhere though I guess.
I find inspiration from... other bands and life around me for example, people, situations, life, love, hates and radio 4. I would describe fans of my music as... encouraging, its nice to know peo-
ple are behind you when trying to concur the near impossible world of the music industry, my fans used to be primarily young girls but recently its become a lot broader since the debut E.P has been finished.
In the next few months I will mainly... be working on promoting the debut E.P that we have just finished by
gigging the country as much as possible and hitting the industry hard.
You will like my music if you...
are bored of the classic dance manufactured mainstream music on the radio 90 percent of the time and want real music with real instruments and real meaning.
You won’t like my music if you...
dislike the band sound, but then you’ll have to come to a gig and be converted
The best review I could ever read about my music is... I sound like James Blunt. Hmmmmm.
The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is... to
work hard. Music isn’t the easy way out of getting an office job it is a difficult industry to crack but I want it way too much to fail.
My motto is... to be a good guy, if your nice to the people on the way up there nice to you on the way down. You can next come and see me live in London at... the Regal Rooms on the 16th September in Hammersmith, it’s a sit down gig with a grand piano so it should be quite personal.
The one thing you need to know about me is... I am Mr music, I eat sleep and
breathe music, I worry a lot but I am confident that one day Ill accomplish my dream.
I couldn’t make music without...
the help of my dad giving me the space to write and the instruments to play. He has always been the biggest support. www.myspace.com/billylockett1
BIN: Sugababes Freedom
The three interchangeable women that make up the current version of Sugababes Mk.4 are quite possibly the blandest collection of oestrogen and high heels in musical history, aside from perhaps The Corrs, and in order to make them seem in any way interesting or relevant to anyone, the faceless figures behind them have latched onto this ‘steppy electronic dancey sound’ that they have probably only half-heard once on Radio 1 and are using it to help sell pink Nokia mobile phones. The end is almost nigh. www.sugababes.com
BIN: Cerebral Ballzy Cutting Class
I have some issues with Cerebral Ballzy; first is the word ‘cerebral’ and secondly, the word ‘ballzy’ but what really annoys me is the conjoining of the two into what was assumedly someone’s idea of a brilliantly funny band name like Test Icicles or Limp Bizkit but is in fact an incredibly insensitive trivialisation of a horrifically restricting and affecting physical disability while also containing a ridiculous Americanism that isn’t even spelt properly… Also, do they not know that no one listens to punk any more?! www.cerebralballzy.com
BURN: Das Racist Relax
After releasing two unbelievably entertaining and free mixtapes, artistic Hip-Hop antiheroes Das Racist are unleashing their first long player upon the paying public and by doing so are pretty much breathing new life into the mouth of the creatively stifled and musically malnourished body of modern Rap. Relax teams the obscure wordplay and references of Heems, Kool A.D and Dap with some sonic big guns in the form of Diplo, El-P and Yeasayer to prove that Hip-Hop still has the power to surprise and amuse, not just irritate. www.dasracist.net
Music Review One Liners
BURN: Russo Fool
Upon first listen this slice of Dubstep-powered Pop nonsense sounds like a conversation you might be forced to listen to on the top deck of the 35 through Brixton on a Friday night but thankfully the stuttering but sharp production is somewhat better than the tinny din you hear pounding from some kids iPhone and the delivery and slang-heavy lyrics (special mention to the word ‘neek’) from 25-year-old Russo give the song a much needed touch of authenticity but unfortunately guarantee some rather unfair yet inevitable comparisons with Katy B.
BOOM: Beastie Boys & Major Lazer Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win (Feat. Santigold)
‘And we have just received some breaking news… The recent massive disturbance of cartoon flavoured Dancehall noise has finally been linked to the renegade Jamaican commando Major Lazer, who has a laser cannon for a right arm. It seems that the Major and regular cohorts Switch and Diplo have joined forces with the three man musical mischief team known as the Beastie Boys and friend Santigold to create a barrage of percussion and sound that appears capable of igniting dancefloors across the country. Stay inside and stay safe’ www.beastieboys.com
BOOM: Ed Sheeran +
Armed with his trusty loop pedal, battered acoustic guitar and trademark shock of vibrant ginger hair, Edward Sheeran has been hard at work with his grimy friends, steadily building up a fervent fanbase for a fair few years now and it was only a matter of time before the rest of the world, apparently led by the shrill and overenthusiastic plank of Topshop branded pinewood that is Ferne fucking Cotton, caught on to his heartfelt, earnest lyricism and infectious live energy. www.edsheeran.com
NT YO WE WA
Think you know a fair bit about music? Don’t really know anything other than that you love it? Well we want your mix tapes. 6 tracks, a sentence in explanation for each and a title is all you need to send us. Tracks either need to be all sound Cloud searchable or all You Tube searchable. One or the other. Our favourites will go online each Thursday as a new regular ready for the new website launch. Email mixtapes to : firstname.lastname@example.org
Alpines! - Not
words : David Whelan | images : Barry Macdonald
Right now, in London, as you browse your copy of Who’s Jack, there are over 1 million good looking, cool bands harbouring aspirations to take over your eardrums and iPods at the earliest opportunity. I bet you, however, that none of them will be quite as successful (or as tall) as Alpines, the triphop duo of Bob Matthews and Catherine Pockson. When I meet them at Universal’s plush Kensington office for a quick chat, they’re sharply dressed and ooze friendly charm.
A lightning quick rise from their first meeting, where Catherine saw Bob’s previous band playing at a wedding (Bob is keen to point out that his band ‘wasn’t a wedding band’), culminated in them being signed to Polydor Records in 2010. When you hear the two talk about it, the band’s genesis sounds as smooth as they come. Sometimes they even finish each other’s sentences. ‘I was making my own music on my piano and Bob was making beats. Over time it became a natural thing,’ says Catherine, before Bob pitches in: ‘By the beginning of 2010, we had 5 or 6 songs and we thought, ‘Maybe we 45 should start doing something with this,’ and that’s kind of when the band started.’ Don’t dare to think this outfit is twee though, just because they have good
chemistry. A single listen of their brooding debut EP, Night Drive, will put away any suggestion of such thoughts from your mind. They once described its sound as ‘night pop’, something they’re now keen to re-address. ‘Night Pop was a joke term we came up with at the start’, Bob says, ‘We needed a buzzy sub-genre to describe ourselves with. We did think of what we wanted to sound like really early on. We had a really clear idea of what we wanted to do musically. At the time, ‘night pop’ summed it up quite well – pop music but darker and deeper. I think now, 18 months later, our sound has evolved beyond that. We’re definitely not flying the standard for ‘night pop’ anymore.’ In Bob’s own words their upcoming debut full-length, which may or may not be called ‘Nocturne’, will be
‘less night-time, more daytime.’ Alpines are definitely a band pushing for a musical transition. The haunting sound of Night Drive is clearly something they’re trying to move beyond, as Catherine is more than happy to point out: ‘I think when you hear the album you’ll
see that the songs aren’t coming from that place. They’re a bit more poppy.’ Bob laughs and compares the sound to one of their earliest tracks, Ice and Arrows: ‘I think what we mean with the album being a bit more ‘daytime’ is that it’s less dense and less dark. The songs are really quite big, and bright. Large sounding. There are real tender moments in there. It’s not all brash and hard edged. It’s soft in places. We really want to make pop music that a lot of people can really enjoy. I think we didn’t want to get stuck in that dense, almost gothic frame, which is not what we’re about at all.’ In fact, the sound of Alpines is something that everyone has an opinion on. Bob informs me that, ‘recently NME tried to claim that we’ve taken Massive Attack’s Teardrop for the basis for our entire sound,’ before laughing and continuing to say that ‘it’s a nice idea … It’s not true, though! To be fair, I love that song and I am very influenced by the production on tracks like that.’ I remind them that beyond Massive Attack, they’ve also been compared to everyone from The XX to Florence and the Machine. ‘It’s funny,’ says Bob, ‘because The XX are so introverted and quiet, and Florence has this huge bombastic voice. I think we have elements of both, but we’re really nothing like them. It’s easy to compare us to both of them because Catherine’s a girl!’ They’ve even done a Bon Ivor and run off to the wilderness to do some writing. ‘We’ve done a cabin thing,’ chirps Catherine. But the time they do their best stuff, Bob tells me, is when Catherine sits at her piano, ‘usually by herself, coming up with tracks. 90% of the time that’s how our songs start.’ Come on, I say, it can’t be that one sided? ‘On the Night Drive EP, you’ve got Drive and Ice and Arrows and both of them were a very collaborative experience’, Catherine admits. ‘We’re still exploring and learning about each other, and how we make music.’ The writing process, she continues, always seems to go best when removed from the big smoke, London, where they both call their home: ‘I like to go back to where my parents live and play on my old piano. I’ve been making music there since I was about 12. I often go back there just to get some silence and peace, be removed from the world. They only live in Surrey, but it feels like another world!’ Another world, indeed, I say. At the time of our chat, the London riots were literally just a day in the past. Bob struck me as being genuinely moved by what he saw: ‘I was really ashamed. We’ve grown up in London our whole lives. There was no reason for it at all. No justification. I was really scared to be honest.’ ‘For the first time in our life time,’ Catherine says, ‘Londoners have felt really fearful.’ I playfully query whether there will be any music coming from it. ‘No,’ they both agree, ‘we’re not the band
to come out and write the protest song.’ Catherine puts it well: ‘I think, for us, lyrically, we’ve always been so removed from the world.’ To take us back onto the track that I, rather cheekily, diverted us from, I ask them who they’re listening to and whether they try to steer clear of any influences whilst they write. ‘A lot of the stuff that we’re listening to at the moment has been brought to us through the producer we’re working with, Craig Silvey,’ Bob tells me. ‘One of his favourite albums is Talk-Talk ‘Spirit of Eden’ and I’d never heard that before. Now I’m massively into it – particularly the atmosphere that they’re trying to create. Also, The Horror’s new record, which Craig worked on earlier this year, is amazing.’ In my humble opinion, Craig Silvey, producer for Arcade Fire, The Horrors, Portishead and Arctic Monkeys, is quite a catch for a new band. Bob describes the whole thing as ‘amazing’ and adds happily that, ‘we met him in the pub.’ I ask whether he will try to put his own stamp onto their production, which Catherine gladly denies. ‘Oh, no. He’s more of a mixer, than producer. As a debut album, we really wanted it to come from us and not have loads of different producers on it. We didn’t want the sound to be a mix of loads of different people’s ideas. We want it to be clear and, in a way, like The XX’s album. There’s such a coherence through it.’ Being in control of their own sound and image is clearly something Alpines is interested in. Just look at their slick website – complete with webisodes, Catherine’s blog and, well, lots and lots of Polaroid’s. ‘Yeah, I know! It’s a recent thing,’ says Catherine. ‘I did History of Art at University and a really good friend of mine has just had an exhibition about the Polaroid. It just keeps coming up. Also, the last press shoot we did was Polaroid based. I feel like there’s this new trend for it, which I’ve picked up on.’ In fact, Catherine seems to be completely in control of their online presence. Their blog, as she says, ‘is led by my love of photographers and fashion.’ The whole thing came full circle quite poetically recently when fashion photographer Rankin chose their song Drive as the soundtrack for a video he was making for designer Hannah Marshall. I ask Catherine how that came about. ‘Basically, they were looking for a tune for it and it got to 4 days before the show and my friend Sophia was working in the office at the time and suggested our music. Hannah loved it from that point onwards. From then, we’ve really got to know each other. She’s been really supportive with the music. She’s great. And Rankin, equally, he really wants to work with us, but we just need to find the right time. It’s amazing – he’s so established, he’s photographed
everyone!’ When I ask them if they’d be interested in moving further into the world of fashion in the future, Catherine laughs before adding that ‘maybe down the line we could make a range inspired by ALPINES, which we could sell from the website. Having a bespoke range would be amazing.’ Everything that Alpines does is constructed for a reason, it seems. ‘What’s important with our band,’ they told me, ‘is the whole world that we create.’ That’s where their webisodes come in, which were recorded in the west border of Devon. Bob describes them as ‘something we really wanted to do. … They’re quite mysterious and we loved having some visual content. We wanted to do some short films even if we weren’t quite ready to do a music video at that point.’ Indeed, they’re even eyeing up moving into soundtracking. ‘We’re talking to a director at the moment about working on our first film. It’s about half an hour long, it’s a film called Skin directed by Ryan Hope [the director of the music videos for their singles Drive and Cocoon]. I think it’s going to be a real revelation when it comes out in a couple of months. It’s about these normal people who have had tattoos, designed by people like Damien Hirst, put on to them. Hopefully we’ll be involved with that.’ It doesn’t just end there, though, as the cover art for their debut album is also something they’re monitoring very closely. Catherine informed me that, ‘we’re working with a guy called Jason Tozer whose a macro-photographer, who does extreme close-up shots. He’s working on a project with us concerning crystals…’ Before Bob picked up the sentence (once again!), ‘…he’s growing these crystals, and doing time-lapsed photography as they form, to make the ALPINES ‘A’.’ Alpines seem so dedicated to their craft and image, that perhaps we shouldn’t expect the album any time soon. There seems to be a real sense of craftsmanship with everything they do. When I pushed them for a release date, they quite understandably didn’t want to drop a deadline they didn’t feel they could keep. Bob tells me that, ‘we could release an album tomorrow, but it’s a case of getting it right. We’re taking our time with it. We want to make sure it’s great when it comes out.’ Bob goes on to say that he believes that one way to make sure one of his songs is good is to listen to it from a couple of rooms away: ‘For some reason I find that a really good way of finding out what’s best about a particular track. If you can still sense something about it through two thick walls… then it must be good.’ It’s safe to assume that once Bob and Catherine are happy their album sounds great from a few rooms away, that we’ll be able to get our grubby mits on it. I’ll definitely be picking it up. Will probably listen to it through my headphones, though.
words : Laura Hills | images : Harriett Turney
As far as reinventions go, the likes of Madonna and Lightspeed Champion/Blood Orange/ Test Icicles front man Devonte Hynes aint got nothing on New Yorker Chris Glover. Currently riding a wave of success as his dance/pop alter ego Penguin Prison, it might seem a little far fetched to tell you that he has already had reasonable success in a boyband, as a member of several punk bands, as part of a hip-hop outfit that caught the attention of Q-Tip and singing in choirs with the likes of Alicia Keys, but in fact it’s all true.
Penguin Prsison Described as making ‘intelligent dance music’ the singer/producer extraordinaire has been working under his current guise of Penguin Prison for the past couple of years and is finally beginning to reap the rewards of years of hard work, building himself up a strong fan base both here in the UK and back home in the States. Ahead of his self-titled debut album release on 5th September we caught up with the man behind the music to find out a bit more about remixing some of the world’s biggest artists, acting in a play alongside Natalie Portman and how being friends with Holy Ghost! finally helped him find his sound…
Before even hearing one of his tracks you could be forgiven for thinking that Penguin will have a lot in common musically with the likes of his New York electro/pop peers LCD Soundsystem, MGMT and Holy Ghost! but as he explains that is not the case. ‘I get described under a fair few different music genres but I’d actually describe myself as being more like Michael Jackson or Prince than any of the electro dance bands that have come out of where I live,’ he explains. ‘I’m not ashamed to say that the music I make is pop, I mean people dance to it when they come to my shows but that doesn’t mean that it’s dance music. I’m heavily influenced by the likes of Prince so naturally that comes through in my music. I’m like an updated version of the type of music they used to make.’
Penguin Prison grew up in the Upper East Side of New York with his business coach mother and his father who writes running handbooks and during his senior years at High School he began attending the Professional Performing Arts School along with the likes of Natalie Portman and Alicia Keys. The curriculum was broken in half, one part academic and one part performance training. ‘My time at the school was honestly one of the best times of my life. I mean the school part of it I didn’t like so much but I loved the performance aspect. It’s how I first discovered that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,’ he remembers. Among his claims to fame, of which he has a fair few, Glover performed along side Alicia Keys in gospel choir that played gigs all over the state and starred opposite Natalie Portman in a school production of Annie Get Your Gun.
‘The choir was wicked, we had this teacher who wrote all original songs for us to perform and we’d travel around the city performing at events.’ Like a more professional Glee? ‘No! Our songs were mainly about African history and odd stuff like that.’ Despite many of his classmates going on to star in films and Broadway productions Penguin Prison went on to attend Bard College where it was a novelty boyband called The Smartest People At Bard, that would send him on the next leg of his musical career. ‘We were a mix between the Backstreet Boys and the Beastie Boys which was a bit weird but bizarrely it worked quite well. I was the lead singer mainly because I was the only one in the band who could sing,’ he explains. ‘It started off as a joke but we actually ended up getting quite a few fans around the campus so we kept it up for a while and put on gigs around the college.’ However the next Nick Carter he was not and, after one of the bands members quit and they disbanded, it wasn’t long before he started seeking out yet another genre to try his luck with. ‘It was around that time that I saw an advert in the paper saying the rapper Q-Tip was looking for demos to find new artists for a record label he was starting. So I recorded a predominately pop/rap demo and sent it off to him. He liked it, called and arranged a meeting at a place called Bubbles in Tribeca where he ordered a Macaroni Cheese and we had
a good chat. It all looked promising but for some reason the label didn’t end up happening so I was back to square one. We hung out a bunch of times though, he even flew me to LA and to the MTV Music Awards so it wasn’t all bad.’ Just before beginning work as PP, Glover was signed to Interscope Records and recorded a solo album which was never released, ‘It was a crazy album and I don’t think the record label really got it. One song was a power pop tune and the next was a rap song. I used too many genres because I couldn’t make up my mind. I’ve spent a long time looking for a sound that works for me. Something that’s unified and that I want to keep doing and it’s only in the last two years that I’ve finally found that with the stuff I’m making as Penguin Prison,’ he says. It was during a recording session with his friends Holy Ghost! that he finally settled on a sound he was really happy with, ‘Things finally began to click. The stuff we made was a good mix of electro, dance and pop and I knew it was a bit different to what other people were doing at the time so I decided to go for it and here I am today.’ Unlike his friends Holy Ghost!, with whom he’s worked on his new album, the majority of Penguin Prison’s work isn’t made on computers or through highly technical equipment, instead he uses instruments that he taught himself to play to make the sound he wants
to achieve. It is this refreshingly simple way of making his tracks that has made him such a big success on the live scene too. Notorious for jumping in to the audience mid set with his guitar Penguin Prison has perfected his live set, which he plays along side the backing of a band, by spending much of the past year touring with his new material including a support slot on Jamiroquai’s European tour. ‘The tour was important for me to build my fan base up, I didn’t want to release a single out of no where and have everyone be like, ‘Penguin who?!’ you have to build up a relationship with your fans and I think the best way to do that is by playing gigs. I haven’t done many gigs in London yet but I will be soon. It wouldn’t be fair to compare London crowds with this back in New York but I have to say that Londoners need to let themselves go a bit more, it sometimes feels like you guys don’t want to let yourselves go and just dance!’ Now his fan base has been firmly secured, in no small part we imagine by the amount of remixes he’s put out for the likes of Marina and the Diamonds and Goldfrapp, Penguin Prison is going to be concentrating on promoting his debut album which is out this month. ‘Anyone who’s heard one of my songs and liked it will enjoy the album because it’s all of a similar vibe. The last song was a bit of a gamble as it’s a bit of a ballad but the rest of it is upbeat and good quality pop. It’s nice, I think I’m finally on the right track.’
Skylar Grey >>
To some people, if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. To Wisconsin born singer songwriter Skylar Grey, if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing better than anyone else. Her name maybe new to you but her voice and songs won’t be. Skylar, aka Holly Brook Hafermann, has helped pen some of the biggest songs of this millennium, performed alongside the likes of Eminem and is now decorating her mantelpiece with some pretty shiny awards. And what better way to start off a musical career than in a folk duo, with your mum, singing about rainbows… Hey, it’s worked so far! words : Ben Welling | Image : Elliott Rooney
As is tradition with hopeful travellers to our beautiful isle, Holly Brook Hafermann’s first appearance in London as Skylar Grey is greeted with the dimmest drizzle and undecided temperature, saved by the powers that be for such occasions. En route down an unnamed motorway, from somewhere to somewhere else the voice we hear is far happier and more confident than daunted by what’s in front of her, but what would you expect when the world is at your feet. As a 10 year old, most of us are pretty uncertain of what the big wide world has in store but this defiant nipper new that whatever happened, music was the way forward. ‘My first real experiences with music were playing with my mom, she played a bunch of instruments like Celtic Harps, Banjo’s and Guitars. It was just the two of us and we toured around a lot. I had a different lifestyle to most kids at that time because I was a professional performer which was something that few other people could be involved in so I spent a lot of time on my own as a kid’ say’s Skylar. ‘I did my first live show when I was six years old and we did a Mother’s Day event at a library’ she remembers. Despite not being the most rock and roll of introductions to the music industry, that’s definitely the best way to do it for a six year old, although those library audiences can be a tough crowd.
This was only the first step in the creation of Skylar Grey however. Once the difficult teenage years began, she did what every angsty teen dreams of doing – sneaking into clubs you’re clearly too young for and starting a band. ‘When I was in middle school I started getting made fun of by my peers a lot, mainly because of the type of music I was singing with my mom. We were singing songs about rainbows and not smoking tobacco and my grandpa snoring and all the kids around me were starting to get into pop music. I wasn’t making ‘cool’ music’. Kids can be so harsh. This set the budding songstress on a mission of expression and discovery and introduced her to some pretty cool people along the way. In your face evil bullies! ‘Everything I was going through at the time kind of pushed me to go out and find a new thing and I ended up telling my mom I wanted to go solo when I was about fourteen’ says Skylar. A defiant force to be reckoned with, the young singer wasn’t deterred by America’s strict drinking laws and set out in the direction of the nearest live music venues. ‘I looked a lot older than I was at fourteen or fifteen, so when I went to Maddison,
the biggest city nearby. I would sneak in to jazz clubs and managed to get away with it most of the time! I went to hear the music, I wasn’t there to drink and got heavily in to Jazz for a while’. Not content with getting in and hiding at the back, young Skylar made a bee line straight for the stage. ‘I got some of the players I met to start my first band with me but after a few shows I knew that being in Wisconsin was not the place to be to have a career in music, so when I was seventeen I moved to L.A’. L.A. is the Mecca for budding young stars and it’s where they go to shine at us, the rest of the world. Skylar clearly had one thing on her mind and was determined to make something of her ability to write and perform. As we all know every celebrity in the world lives in L.A. and it wasn’t long before they started popping up. ‘I was there for about a year and a half, working on demo’s with different writers and producers and through my manager I met Brad Delson (guitarist with Linkin Park, you know, the one who wears big headphones all the time…). ‘I played him some of my songs on a piano in a bar and he came back to me the next day and wanted to sign me to his label’.
‘I lived in the wilderness because I didn’t want to ask my parents for help’
With a deal on the table and one of the biggest bands around as a benefactor things looked pretty good for Holly Brook, as she was known back then. 2006 saw the release of her debut album Like Blood Like Honey which managed a respectable 35 chart positioning in the U.S Billboard Chart, however things didn’t quite go to plan. ‘Things kind of fell apart after that, I went completely broke and moved out to a cabin in the woods in Oregon. I went totally back to basics’ says Skylar. The lifecycle of a successful artist is more often than not, full of ups and downs but these happen over the course of a lifetime. For the mid twenties girl from Wisconsin everything that history predicts will be your fate, seemed to have been rolled out all too quickly. ‘I lived in the wilderness because I didn’t want to ask my parents for help and feel like a failure. My whole life I’d been saying I wanted to play music and climb higher and that scares a lot of parents I think’ says Skylar. Determination is obviously something Skyar has in abundance and knowing that your child is aiming for the top and nothing else, must be a proud but daunting thought… Knowing that your child is content with living in a cabin in the woods, slightly more worrying. ‘Everything was falling apart, I was broke and I couldn’t make a career out of music happen, so living up in the woods I kind of became a different person. During that time before I changed my name, I really started to feel like I had grown out of being what I was. I was proving to myself that I could be self sufficient and independent and capable of a lot more than I had ever thought’ says Skylar. ‘This gave me a lot of confidence to come back in to the music industry with a new strength. So two years ago I went back to my publisher who was the only person left in my corner and said here’s what I want to do. I needed to get the right team together, starting with the producer. I wanted someone who could really understand where I come from as an artist and know how to achieve the vision I have for my songs’. Says Skylar.
‘After a lot of talking she finally suggested Alex Da Kid’ who had produced the likes of Dr Dre, Eminem and Nicki Minaj. ‘Not long after that Alex sent me a beat to where I was still living in the woods in Oregon and I sent him back the hook for ‘Love The Way You Lie’. They say that some of the best things in life come from the most unexpected places and there nestled amongst the trees in the depths of Oregon, emerged one of the biggest selling songs of the decade. ‘This was the first thing we did together, which Alex then sent to Eminem and a couple of months later my whole life had changed again’. Love the Way You Lie went Platinum worldwide and reached the number one spot in too many countries to mention, with Rihanna singing the parts penned by Skylar. As a first step back into an industry that had been so fickle before, this was definitely a good one and a big one. The song won her numerous awards and lead to more writing credits with Diddy-Dirty Money as well as Dr Dre’s I Need A Doctor on which she sang the bit you’re probably humming in your head right now? Her reinvention left behind the old life of Holly Brook Hafermann but took with it all the lessons she’d previously learnt. ‘The name represents the unknowns in life. People seem to be afraid of the unknowns, but I’m the complete opposite. I dive in because I feel like that’s where all your possibilities come from’, says Skylar. With a team of people around her to share the vision and more importantly understand how to achieve it, Skylar Grey is about to embark on a new journey with her first single under the new guise – Invisible. ‘Before I went to the woods, I felt invisible, like all of my efforts had gone pretty much unrecognised after trying so hard my whole life. I realised out there that I had always been trying to please other people and I truly was invisible to myself, I didn’t know who I was’ says Skylar.
‘I did a lot of soul searching in the woods and figured out what would make me happy and Invisible is about that feeling that no one notices what you’re doing’. The song takes the heartfelt and almost desperate elements of her performance on I Need A Doctor and mixes them with the melancholic nature of the song all the while behind the flawless hook laden production of Alex da Kid. ‘But this is just the very beginning of the story’ she says. ‘I metaphorically tell a story throughout this album of my journey to becoming Skylar Grey’. With plans to tour the UK this Autumn Skylar has a voice that clearly works live as well as on record. But things nearly didn’t happen at all, well how could they if you’re dead? ‘Once on tour I was in the middle of nowhere in Massachusetts and I took a walk late at night. I wasn’t thinking about it and I was wearing all black, then it started raining and I was about two miles outside of town on country back road. There were no cars on the road that I could see so I was totally caught off guard when I got hit. I thought I was dead because the impact was so loud, the car must have been going fifty miles an hour at least. But I was lucky, it was a miracle that I came out of that with just a bruise!’ remembers Skylar. Since then Skylar has donated some of her time to helping other people, in particularly organisations promoting world peace. Enter, as you’d expect, the Dali Lama… ‘I was invited by the Dali Lama to sing at an event on Capital Lawn in Washington, he put this white scarf round my neck before I sang which I think was his was his way of giving me a thumbs up!’ says Skylar. Things are just beginning again for Skylar Grey and with her team assembled, it looks like she’s got her sights set on world domination, again. From getting the message across that Cigarettes are bad to her peers at the age of six, to promoting self confidence and independence today, Skylar is a girl on a mission, one she truly believes in.
DAVE’s Band Picks
(terrible title for a column.) words: David Macnamara
If you listen to my podcast you may have heard an ‘interview’ I conducted with one of Murkage, a man known only as Murkage Dave. I’ll admit, it wasn’t the most profound thing I’ve ever done, but know this; Murkage are the future sound of the UK Underground. They hail from Manchester, with the presence to intimidate, without ever being threatening and the potential to be big, without ever selling out.
Spector were one of my highlights from this years Field Day. Playing an earlier slot, on the Shacklewell Arms stage, they showed exactly why they have been subject to a lot of A&R attention in the last few months. Yes, they are named after that gun-totting, production whizz Phil Spector, and yes the lead singer used be in Les Incompetents (by the way, still one of the few band names that looks mega on a t-shirt), they’ve got the soaring chorus’s and stage presence that would make Brandon Flowers weep.
Having worked with Christian AIDS (Now Stay+) and pilfering a classic sample from Ian Browns F.E.A.R., they recognise their roots, and Manchester should be ready to recognise them. Onstage, the chemistry between each member, 4 distinct personalities, is raw and electric, reminiscent of NWA, and better than anything Oddfuture have put out, the sound of angry Britain, that instead of smashing the place up, and setting fire to stuff, just wants to enjoy itself, the way it only knows how. If you could bottle it, you’d be minted. Still not sure about the name though. www.murkage.net
DZDeathrays A couple of months ago, I went to check out DFA1979. It was more out morbid curiosity than any expectation that they could be any good, and unfortunately, the show only confirmed my suspicions. They were rubbish. But God never closes a door, without leaving a window open....or something, anyway DZ Deathrays are here to take the DFA title of my current favourite fuzz-metal-foreign-duo. Congratulations to them. Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, Simon Ridley and Shane Parson can thrash a kit, and shake a hip behind a stratocastor with equal aplomb. Their Brutal Tapes EP, which featured Gebbie St, was brutal and funky, fucked up and filthy all at the same time. It went down a storm when it came out in May. Check out Teeth too, which didn’t feature on that EP, but is still a rather cracking listen, retaining the bands distinct punk sound, despite the obvious progression they seem to be quickly making. www.soundcloud.com/dzdeathrays
Listening to them, it’s impossible not to see stadiums (next single What You Wanted is the century’s Radio Gaga) in their future. They make guitar pop sound ambitious, and in Fred Macpherson, they have a front man unafraid to prance like Jarvis, yet still have the acerbic, self-deprecating wit of Morrissey. It’s refreshing to finally have a character, someone who will give you those one-liners, backed up with music that could make them headliners. www.spector.co.uk
Born Blonde It was one of those ‘..what the fuck is this?’ moments when I first heard of Born Blonde. Their debut single, Solar, came out in June and while I’d been vaguely familiar with the name, I’d never bothered to give them much thought. Pitched somewhere between The Verve, The Stone Roses and Doves, their hypnotic groove, and space-out vocals are ambitious and widescreen. It’s not just about stating their obvious influences however, because although Signs Of Fear sounds very Ashcroft-y on the demo, when you listen to the finished cut of Solar, you can hear how they have crafted and developed a sound that makes me very excited for what they come up with next. Of course, we’ve been here before, stand up Tame Impala, let everyone see you, so perhaps it’s best to exercise a bit of caution, but like I often say ‘...caution schmaution lets just fuckin’ do it!’ It’s a great motto. www.myspace.com/bornblondeofficial
Gigs This Month Russo 04.09.11 : Bingley Music Festival 09.12.11 : Supporting Example, Brixton Academy
Still Corners A week after Field Day and I’m still trying to come to terms with just how great this band was/is/are. They were so good in fact that I completely forgot about them until about a week later, after going through my crumbled, badly written notes. Cuckoo is the lead single off their debut album, Creatures Of An Hour, which comes out on Sub Pop in October, and it’s a sparse, echo-y, ghost-like ode to being in love, and it being a bit weird. Lead singer Tessa Murray, her vocals sounding like the death breath of a ghost, makes every song sound like it’s being whispered into your ear by a princess from a fairy tale. While around her, a Joe Meek-esque produced sounds creates cavernous atmospherics which make you wonder just how did the princess end up at the bottom of this woodland cave, and how can I possibly save her before the dragon returns? Should really have checked the expiration date on that cheese, this is getting far out. www.soundcloud.com/stillcorners
10.09.11 : Bestival, Isle Of Wight 02.10.11 : O2 Academy Oxford 03.10.11 : Sheperds Bush Empire 04.10.11 : Bournmouth Academy 05.10.11 : Falmouth Princess Pavillion 06.10.11 : Brighton Concorde 2
Murkage 01.10.11 : Plug, Sheffield with Lethal Bizzle
Born Blonde 17.10.11 : Southsea Festival 26.10.11 : Leeds Metropolitan University
Still Corners 10.10.11 : Cafe OTO Album Launch, London
The Duke Spiirit 01.09.11 : The Boston Arms, London 19.09.11 : The Cockpit Leeds 21.09.11 : Scala, London
Red Hot Chili Peppers 02.09.11 : KOKO, London
02.09.11 : Rough Trade Live 05.09.11 : XOYO, London
Alpines are a two-piece from Kingston-On-Thames signed to Polydor. My mate came back from Secret Garden Party raving about them, and I have to say, for once, she might just be right (normally when she tips me off it’s the biggest pile of gash), but hey even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Again, I’m loving a lead singer who also sounds like a ghost, however in this case, Catherine Pockson sounds a bit more like the ghost of Bjork and En Vogue, cooing over post-dubstep drum patterns and throbbing basslines. Basically, if there is a woman better suited to singing a Bond theme, I’m yet to hear her. Alpines will make you sit up and take notice, their sound is pure sheen, an advance on LA Roux and Zola Jesus, all pretension and thought-out structure, but without ever really being pretentious....if that makes sense? I’m not sure it does. Read our interview with them on page 45. www.soundcloud.com/alpines/
Penguin Prison : http://www.myspace.com/penguinprison Holy Ghost : www.myspace.com/holyghostnyc Alpines : alpines.bandcamp.com Billy Lockett : www.myspace.com/billylockett1 Penguin Prison : www.myspace.com/penguinprison Skylar Grey : www.skylargreymusic.com
P I C K OF THE MONTH MUSIC
Example Gets a Shop Job Example will serve behind the Oxford Circus HMV counters to promote his new album, Playing With Shadows. We hope there will be a decent amount of security there as he takes up his place behind the till from 5pm. Example will also be on hand to offer advice on purchases as well as signing copies of the album which on the day (5th Sept) is sold with a free poster (subject to availability).
3rd annual Arthur’s Day celebrations in Ireland Take a short trip to Ireland this month to celebrate Arthurs day with Guinness. The date will be marked by a series of high-profile music events and celebrations to honour the remarkable life and legacy of Arthur Guinness—the legendary philanthropist and founder of GUINNESS®. Following the huge success of last year’s celebrations, a worldwide ‘toast to Arthur’ will start in Ireland at exactly 17:59 on Thursday 22nd September; honouring the date Arthur Guinness signed the lease on the St. James’ Gate Brewery (in 1759) and introduced GUINNESS® to the world.
Relentless Freeze Comes To Town
Napster Goes The Same Way As The Social Network Napster is the second enourmous web sensation to be brought to the big screen following Facebook with the Social Network last year. You won’t see Justin in this one though. It seems that the film will be more of a documentary speaking to those involved in the rise of the wite.
Friday night at Freeze sees Groove Armada and Beardyman take to the stage for Relentless’s annual winter festival. Freeze is the UK’s leading winter sports and music festival and is held at Battersea Power Station on the 28th-29th October. As well as music the event has the worlds best skiers and snowboarders competing on the specially erected 100m long, 32m high real snow kicker. Tickets are still available online and are priced at £37 for a day, £60 for two days. www.thefreezefestival.com
With headline acts at St James Gate such as Stereophonics it would be silly not to go. Events will take place in venues all over Ireland packing in as much music as possible to celebrate the anniversary. Acts you will find at Arthurs Day this year are stellar and include the following;
* The Enemy * Wretch 32 * Joshua Radin * Seasick Steve * DJ Fresh * Jamie Woon * James Walsh (Starsailor) * Yasmin * Labrinth * Sunday Girl * Sharon Shannon * Florrie * Maverick Sabre * Paloma Faith * Ash * Miles Kane * Ryan Sheridan * Royseven * Cashier No. 9
National Radio Plugger – Label A fantastic role for an exceptional Plugger with passion, enthusiasm, and excellent communication and people skills to join this global music brand. Handle Recruitment Production Manager - Snapper Music A hands-on role with tasks including liaison with artists, dealing with multiple manufacturers, and managing both major new titles and catalogue on labels across a wide range of genres. email@example.com
Whether you see yourself as a film enthusiast, a full-blown cinephile, or just someone who has a casual, open relationship with the cinema, popping in every now and then for an audiovisual booty-call when the mood takes you, welcome one and all. Sometimes life can be a hectic old thing. You find yourself working long hours, rushing about from one place to the next and constantly wondering where the time has gone. The only time you have to stop and think is when youâ€™re on the tube with your face wedged in some strangerâ€™s armpit, and even then the temptation to play Angry Birds is too much to resist.
The Devils Double
words : Mark Williams
Cowboys and Aliens
In A Better World
Where is the downtime?
When are we supposed to stop and take stock of everything? Well, out on DVD at the end of this month (26th September to be precise) is a delightful little Italian film called Le Quattro Volte, which quite frankly is
Jane Eyre (9th Sept) the cinematic equivalent of having a www.focusfeatures.com/jane_eyre full body massage, whilst The novel Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë whale-song music plays gently in was first published in 1847, and has since received a good many adaptations on the background and incense sticks stage and screen. The latest version stars waft calmly about you. Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) as Jane and Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Set in a small rural Italian village, it Basterds) as the brooding Edward Rochis an ode to serenity, following the ester. And let’s not overlook Dame Judi Dench as Mrs Fairfax. lives of various inhabitants of the As the story goes, Jane Eyre runs away from Thornfield Hall and it’s master, Mr goats and even the life cycle of a Rochester and is taken in by clergyman St. John Rivers (played by Jamie Bell), tree. It’s a hard one to sell to the where she has time to recover and think action-fan admittedly, as to describe upon all that she has seen at Thornfield Hall. She comes to the conclusion that it sounds like virtually nothing she must return if she is to conquer not happens for 90 minutes. But that is only her own demons but those of Mr Rochester too. Wonderful cinematograexactly the point. Once you get over phy and set design abounds, and if you the initial realisation that it is going like the sound of a period drama with something a bit darker bubbling away unto plod along like this all the way der the surface, Jane Eyre could be just through, the tranquility just washes what you’re after. village, from a shepherd, to his
over you and the experience becomes like looking at the most beautiful, detailed painting of a landscape that you’ve ever seen.
Attenberg (9th Sept) www.haosfilm.com Attenberg is a Greek film, directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari, who was a producer on the rather kooky, but altogether
excellent Dogtooth. There is an obvious similarity in the subject matter of Attenberg and Dogtooth; young people attempting to make sense of the world after a very sheltered and insular upbringing. In Dogtooth it was three siblings whose parents had raised them from within the gated compound of their home. In Attenberg we follow Marina, a 23 year old woman who has spent most of her life learning about the world through the wild-life documentaries of David Attenborough. Her best friend Bella has attempted to educate her in certain social etiquette and has even provided her own brand of sex education lessons, but 23 is quite a late age to leave it to finally start interacting with society. The films deals broadly with themes of life, death and sex, and questions why we supposedly normal people do the things we do, suggesting that perhaps Marina isn’t that strange in her life choices after all. Troll Hunter (9th Sept) www.trollhunterfilm.com When a group of Norwegian film students discover that their government has been covering up the existence of giant trolls for years, obviously the first thing they want to do is find them and film them. So they drive out to the supposed locations, and track down some of the locals who know all about the creatures.
The Salt Of Life
61 Troll Hunter is shot in a documentary style, from the perspective of the students and is steeped in Norwegian folklore, featuring the kind of trolls you would expect to find in the fairy tale Three Billy Goats Gruff, i.e. big, mean ones that want to eat you if you cross their bridge. It’s a fun action-adventure story and has already been snapped up for a big budget Hollywood remake, so watch this space and you might be reading about Nicolas Cage hunting giant Norwegian trolls in a year or so. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (16th Sept) www.workingtitlefilms.com With an impressive cast which features, among many others, Gary Oldman and Colin Firth, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a classic thriller, full of corruption, doublecrossing and 1970s cold war-era paranoia. Gary Oldman plays George Smiley, who has been recalled by the British Intelligence service in order to try and track down a Russian mole that has managed to infiltrate the highest levels of the secret service. It calls to mind such espionage films as All The Presidents Men and The Conversation, but in a British setting with Gary Oldman producing a very convincing Brit accent. Expect shady meetings with information given on a need-to-know and such high-tech listening devices as cassette-tape dictaphones, in what looks to be a very faithful adaptation of the novel
by John Le Carré, who was a former spy himself. Drive (23rd Sept) www.boldfilms.com The story of a Hollywood stunt-driver, who has a second job as a getaway driver, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, the man in charge of Bronson in 2008 and Valhalla Rising in 2009. Ryan Gosling plays a man known only in the film as Driver, and he supposedly chose the director himself, plumping for Winding Refn based on his admiration of his previous work. Drive was nominated at Cannes this year for best picture, it looks incredibly stylish and moody and could be considered to be a heist-flick with a brain. The Killer Elite (23rd Sept) www.killerelite.com From the trailer, The Killer Elite looks to be the ultimate ‘don’t mess with Jason Statham’ film, of which there are many. Whilst tied to a chair with a gun pointed at his head by Clive Owen, he manages to take out poor old Clive by launching himself at him and he then jumps out of the third floor window to escape. Still tied to the chair of course. The basic premise is as follows: Jason Statham is Danny Bryce. Danny’s mentor, a man named Hunter (Robert De
Niro) has been kidnapped, by men working under the instructions of Clive Owen. This makes Jason Statham, sorry, Danny Bryce angry, and he wants to get him back. Cue a one man army trouncing bad guys in an attempt to rescue his mentor. Even with a natty moustache, our guess is that Clive Owen is not going to win against Jason Statham. No one does. Has he seen Crank? Anonymous (28th Sept) www.anonymous-movie.com/ Was Shakespeare a fraud, and have we “all been played?” is the central idea being examined in Anonymous, starring Rhys Ifans as Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. In this tale, de Vere is not only the lover of Queen Elizabeth (Vanessa Redgrave) but also the real writer of the works of the great bard, William Shakespeare. It’s set against the backdrop of the Essex Rebellion, an attempted coup on the crown and ponders one of history’s most important questions of authorship. Fans and scholars of Shakespeare have already spoken out against what they perceive to be the potentially damaging allegations of the film! Rhys Ifans plays Shakespeare as a kind of Machiavellian schemer and ne’er-do-well, and although the trailer looks a little CGI heavy, it will no doubt be a gripping tale of political intrigue, back-stabbing and Tudors being naughty.
The Coen Brothers
Joel and Ethan Coens’ first feature film, Blood Simple, was released over 25 years ago and it’s sibling joint directors are still going strong. That’s no mean feat for any film director, in an industry that is notoriously fickle and driven by what will make the biggest profit. Especially when you consider that they haven’t always been basking in the warm light of success that films such as True Grit and No Country for Old Men has brought them. The brothers, who grew up together in Minnesota, are sometimes affectionately referred to as the two-headed director, because they always share such a similar vision of their projects. As much as they would find it hard to believe, they are part of the furniture of Hollywood now, something that didn’t seem at all likely after the massive box office failure of their fifth film, The Hudsucker Proxy (it lost roughly $25m!), which had been preceded by Barton Fink and Miller’s Crossing, both of which also made big losses. Despite how those films may have performed in the box office in the early nineties, their quality is nonetheless apparent and the Coens talent as film-makers was clearly visible for all to see.
Happily, the huge success of Fargo in 1996 got them back on track and they haven’t looked back since. Their CV has grown to fifteen films, taking in a variety of styles and genres along the way. No one is ever to sure which direction they are going to head in next, and this can only be a good thing in Hollywood, a place that doesn’t always set the world alight with creativity or originality.
2004 The Ladykillers Budget: $35m Gross: $76.7m
So, pull on your comfy dressing gown, pour yourself a White Russian, put on your favourite Credence tape and take a look at our Coen Brothers time-line.
50 mil 40 mil
1998 The Big Lebowski Budget: $15m Gross: $27.7m
1987 Raising Arizona Budget: $6m Gross: $23m Comedy child kidnapping caper, featuring Nicolas Cage with a full head of his own hair! Cage plays H.I. McDonnough, a repeat offender who promises to go straight if Ed, a policewoman who has fallen for him, will marry him. All goes well with leaving the life of crime behind until they discover they are unable to have kids, and so resolve to kidnap one from a rich family that has just had quintuplets.
1984 Blood Simple Budget: $1.5m Gross: $2.15m Their debut film, a crime thriller, starring recurring Coen actress Frances McDormand. Darkly comic, and rather violent, it is a tale of a bar owner who hires a man to kill his wife, whom he suspects to be having an affair. Was given a much deserved cinema re-release in 2000.
Quite simply put, anyone who hasn’t seen the Big Lebowski should rectify this immediately. (After reading Who’s Jack cover to cover of course). Jeff Bridges plays The Dude, an affable and incredibly lazy hippie type, who hangs out with Walter Sobchak (John Goodman), a right-wing, gun carrying member of his bowling team and the never-quite-up-to-speed Donny (Steve Buscemi). When a rich businessman’s trophy wife is kidnapped, he offers The Dude a reward to get her back.
1990 Miller’s Crossing Budget: $14m Gross: $5.1m Prohibition era flick, full of gangsters in sharp suits with even sharper dialogue. One of the many Coen films in which Jon Polito appears, and this is probably his best role, as crime boss Johnny Caspar. Despite being a critical success, it was the first of a trio of box-office failures for the Coens.
A remake of the 1955 original with Alec Guiness, the 2004 version starred Tom Hanks in his first outing with the Coens. Hanks plays Goldthwait Higginson Dorr, a conniving schemer who hatches a plan to dig a large underground hole from the house of his landlady Marva Munson, in order to rob a nearby riverboat.
1991 Barton Fink Budget: $9m Gross: $7m Blew away the Cannes Film Festival in 1991, winning the Palme d ‘Or prize and bagging John Turturro the best actor prize. Turturro plays the eponymous Barton Fink, a playwright lured to Hollywood in 1941, during the time of the studio-era, with the promise of untold riches.
2010 True Grit Budget: $38m Gross: $249m And True Grit brings us bang up to date on the Coen Brothers. A true Western, it brings a welcome return to the Coen fold for Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn, a man hardened by years of tough living and heavy drinking. Fourteen year old Mattie Ross is sure that he is the man to help her track down those who killed her father, and he reluctantly accepts the commission. The film was nominated for ten Oscars but did not win any!
2007 No Country For Old Men Budget: $25m Gross: $171m Eleven years after the success of Fargo, the Coen’s struck Oscar success again with the dark and brooding No Country For Old Men. Although he had been in English language films before, this film also brought Javier Bardem to the attention of a U.S audience, as the unnervingly measured, but undoubtedly psychotic killer.
2000 O Brother, Where Art Thou? Budget: $25m Gross: $71m The story of three brothers in depression-era Deep South America who are on the trail of a hidden $1.2million. The film follows their journey as they encounter various characters who wish to help or hinder them and they even manage to embark upon a promising music career as the Soggy Bottom Boys. Music plays a very big part in the film, and the soundtrack was a great success in it’s own right, and was a big contributor to a bluegrass revival of the early noughties.
2001 The Man Who Wasn’t There Budget: $20m Gross: $19m
2008 Burn After Reading Budget: $37m Gross: $163m An all-star cast by Coen standards, Burn After Reading is unfairly seen as a throwaway comedy by some, a light-hearted filling between the two pieces of more serious cinematic bread that are No Country for Old Men and A Serious Man. But it’s a solid comedy thriller, with enough twists and turns to keep you entertained throughout.
2003 Intolerable Cruelty Budget: $60m Gross: $120m For their first crack with a budget of over $50m, the brothers went for what could be considered their most mainstream film, a romantic comedy starring George Clooney and Catherine Zeta Jones. As a highly paid divorce lawyer, Clooney is given ample opportunity to charm his way through the proceedings and fall for Zeta Jones the gold-digging wife of the billionaire he is supposed to be representing.
1996 Fargo Budget: $7m Gross: $60m A triple murder occurs in a usually sleepy Mid-America town, policed by seven-months pregnant Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand). Despite not being as mobile as usual, Marge is no fool and starts to put together the pieces of the puzzle. Fargo was a big critical and financial success and re-affirmed the Coen Brothers as a safe investment for producers and investors, and brought the Coens their first Oscar success.
Commercially speaking, The Man Who Wasn’t There is the last time that Joel and Ethan made a slip up, although the film nearly broke even and was a long way from the losses of the Hudsucker Proxy. A black and white homage to the neo-noir crime thriller genre, it is slow burner, and although it received generally positive reviews, it was never going to set the box office alight. Billy Bob Thornton plays a barber named Ed Crane who is embroiled in a seedy world of blackmail and murder.
2009 A Serious Man Budget: $7m Gross: $31.3m The relatively unknown Michael Stuhlbarg stars as Lawrence Gopnik in a subtle comedy about how life can slowly unravel before your eyes without you really being able to do anything about it. In addition to his many family-based problems, Larry is determined to meet the senior Rabbi at his synagogue, in order to seek out help in the form of wisdom, but finds that the Rabbi is never available.
2012-ish? 1994 The Hudsucker Proxy Budget: $30m Gross: $5m The Coens’ biggest box office failure, starring Tim Robbins as a new employee of Hudsucker Industries, with plenty of ambition to rise to the top, but lacking the necessary brainpower. He does however, have one invention up his sleeve which he is sure will revolutionise the American toy market. Is a better film than box office results would have you believe, but some argued it was all pastiche and offered little new for an audience.
So, what does the future hold for The Coen Brothers? Well rumours are abound that they are lining a sort-of biopic of the 1960s New York folk musician Dave Van Ronk (on the right in the picture). So far little is known about it, other than it will have a musical sensibility much like O Brother Where Art Thou? words : Mark Williams
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Roland Emmerich is about to shock you by not serving up an apocalypse. Instead the only world he is ending is the one in which people hail the recognisably bald and bearded bard as the author of Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet and the like with his new film Anonymous. He missed a trick in not calling it Shakespeare in Doubt, and the long, po-faced clips we saw gave the majesty and poetry of Shakespeare’s work a thorough kicking and we suffered in silence. Mind you Geoffrey’s Rush’s Henslowe will be happy - it’s Roland Emmerich so there’s bound to be a bit with a dog.
Christ, this one was tough. Down Terrace director Ben Wheatley returns with the uncompromising tale of a family man with a not so steady job (which involves killing) offered the chance to earn some decent money. All he has is a list and sack-load of cash at the end of it. When a conversation about dinner has you squirming on the edge of your velveteen cinema seat you know there’s worse to come. This one is a must see.
Star Wars The Complete Saga on Blu-ray Newly restored with every orifice stuffed with new documentaries the complete Star Wars saga has been given a polish so severe you can see the fleas jumping on the Wookie. Anthony Daniels (C3PO) was on hand to tell us unprintable stories of the filming and if you like your dark side rendered in high definition then there’s a lot to enjoy here. At least until the 3D Blurays come out in a few year’s time. Real Steel
What we have here is Rocky with Robots and Hugh Jackman begrudgingly reunited with his son while he builds a huge battling bot which he hopes will earn him fortune enough to keep him in cigars and
tight vests for life. This is Disney film, and one with a dysfunctional family at its heart so you know full well where this is going. Jackman, however, is charismatic enough to elevate it above a Transformers-esque heavy metal ballet - one of the fights we saw ended with a move screamed out by the ringside announcer as a ‘De-cappucino’ so subtle it ain’t. Raging Bullshit? Let’s hope the father/son dynamic packs as much of a punch.
The clips we saw of Ralph Fiennes’ big screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s (or was it…Curse you Emmerich!) Roman tragedy had the misfortune of opening with a stand off between a gaggle of riot police and an angry mob in the same week the nation’s major cities suffered some of the worst violence seen on its streets since the last Tory government. Yet Fiennes’ presence in the leading role would have stopped even the most rabid looter in his tracks. Bloodied, bruised and with a cold stare of death honed to perfection Fiennes’ portrayal of Coriolanus shows up his blood brother Lord Voldemort as the ‘one with the charm’. The footage was gripping, deadly serious and intense to the point of personal injury.
Fresh from scooping up the Best Director gong at Cannes Nicolas Winding Refn introduced the footage from his latest film Drive with a story of how a heavy dose of flu medication and REO Speedwagon got the film off the ground. In a moment of Lynchian darkness Ryan Gosling shares a lift with Carey Mulligan and a tall man with a gun in his coat and a job to do. What happened next has stayed with me and those who saw the film (it played as the second night’s secret screening) were suitably impressed. Refn said he wanted to make a John Hughes film and Drive is the result. Let’s hope he never wants to make a Lars Von Trier film.
Come on - it’s The Muppets and only the stoniest and boringly cynical heart could fail to be warmed by the return to the cinematic spotlight of a group of characters who inspire devotion and love wherever they go. When the clip played grown men cried as Kermit sang about the sad passing of time and floating the idea of getting the gang back together for one more show above his head and into a tuneful, bright reality. It was the most well received of all the panels, flooding the place with emotion and warmth. The Muppets are back, and I cannot wait to see them light the lights on the big screen again. So, what else impressed or depressed? Daniel Radcliffe hammers the ghost of Potter into the dark night with The Woman in Black which had a nicely spooky, if a little bloodless, clip on offer. Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire had Michael Fassbender and MMA star Gina Carano returning to their hotel room, going from one slap-up affair to another. Stop motion Gods Aardman brought The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists to the table with a Pirate King voiced by a booming Brian Blessed. Genius. Elsewhere Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy looked impeccable with Gary Oldman heading straight for that Oscar. Guy Ritchie promised a naked stephen Fry in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, there were some eye popping deaths in Final Destination 5, The Three Musketeers continued to resemble The Matrix Renaissance. Both Titanic and The Lion King showed off their new 3D feathers. Footloose looked like a musical episode of True Blood. Plenty to see, and quite a lot to miss. It’s going to be a good year.
words : Jon Lyus www.heyuguys.co.uk
DVD Releases This Month 13 Assassins
(5th Sept) A group of samurai gather together for an assassination attempt on Lord Naritsugu.
(12th Sept) Concerned parents believe their house has been haunted, but it turns out their young boy has been possessed.
(12th Sept) Spanish thriller about a woman who is slowly losing her sight, but is determined to track her sister’s killer.
Le Quattro Volte
(26th Sept) Aforementioned Italian gem following the cycles of the seasons in a rural village.
Attack the Block
words : Mark Williams
(19th Sept) Aliens attack a south-London council estate and land themselves in ‘bare’ trouble.
The Riddle Of The Middle Ground Breakneck action, rock solid leads, scenery chewing villains and taut thrills were the domain of the mid-range action thriller in the late 80s and early 90s. - Matthew Ogborn -
They made any Friday night video marathon zip along at a furious pace; these guilty pleasures of my youth fuelling a love of film that has seen me work both sides of the industry as a journalist and screenwriter. They rocked, no two ways about it. They had my friends and me on the edge of our sofas, pleading for more. The illicit buzz of watching a cuss heavy 15 rated flick aged 12 or violent 18-rated boundary pusher in between GCSE studies was unsurpassed outside of finding our feet with the opposite sex in all of its fumbling glory. Betamax or VHS, we lapped up 8 Million Ways to Die, Angel Heart, Betrayed, Blue Jean Cop, Dead Calm, Deadly Pursuit, The
January Man and The Morning After in the 80s. They might not have set the box office alight, something we were hard pressed to follow anyway in the pre-Internet age, but they did a bang-up job of keeping us entertained. Our parents turned a blind eye and we thanked them for it, pubs and clubs still a little way off. Instead expletives were repeated with schoolboy gusto in the playground the following week, plot twists debated with rampant curiosity and action rolls thrown in for good measure. Of course, we weren’t the only ones getting a kick out of these no nonsense crowd pleasers. They helped propel the
nascent rental market into the stratosphere on the coattails of blockbuster cinema fare like the Indiana Jones, Die Hard and Terminator franchises. There simply weren’t the amount of screens in those days to see many of the mid-range pics rolling off the LA production line. Budgets topped out around $40m as a rule, though most reached around $20m, casts were crowded with quirky character actors and memorable set pieces largely devoid of encroaching CGI. Actors flirting with the A-list or sliding precariously back down the Tinseltown ladder gave it their all, while the villains chewed up the scenery in classic B-movie fashion. Red herrings abounded, the plot climax often telegraphed way ahead of time yet pulled off with aplomb. This was a time when gnarly Tom Berenger rivalled Bruce Willis in our affections, Nicole Kidman slinked into our consciousness and Jeff Bridges seemingly took every job offer going. We were suddenly surrounded by films at every turn and the quality matched the quantity. We were certainly less fussy back then, but they still delivered bang for your buck. These were halcyon days for the burgeoning movie rental market, keeping the studios’ bottom line ticking over unlike the blockbusters that had the potential to make a fat cats year or leave executives nursing a whiskey glass on skid row. The early 90s didn’t disappoint either, Internal Affairs, Q&A, Ricochet and Shattered keeping the pot boiling before the genre ran out of steam. We loved the fact Richard Gere blew rising star Andy Garcia off the screen in the former, the trio of Berenger, Bob Hoskins and Greta Scacchi combining to glorious, if unlikely, effect in the latter. I am not quite sure why the Hollywood bean counters fell out of love with this subset of films, but they did and the punters suffered. Scrap that, who am I kidding? This is La La Land. They got greedy, simple as. They saw the licensing opportunities inherent in blockbuster franchises, got all giddy and pulled the plug on the small fry. Sadly, not every blockbuster works out that way hence the need to crank out a few low-risk high-upside movies to keep the shareholders from tearing off their toupees and tiaras. For every Star Wars success, there is Last Action Hero waiting to punch you in the crotch. Why do I bring this up now, you ask? Mid-range action thrillers are back in a big way. Limitless, Source Code and The Lincoln Lawyer may well have been pitched for the silver screen first; nevertheless they are sofa staples in all but name. Director Duncan Jones had no hesitation in taking the reins of his first LA movie with Source Code on the back of Moon’s breakout success. With Jake Gyllenhaal in need of a hit to follow Prince of Persia’s predictable tanking on the back
of a bloated budget, it made perfect sense. Whereas Moon had a languid innovative style more suited to the Ridley Scott school of filmmaking, Source Code echoed brother Tony’s rapid fire American cutting style. This versatility will stand Jones in good stead down the line and paid off the studio willing to take the risk. Throw in consistent performers like Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright and Source Code ticked even more boxes. When you can earn back an estimated $32m budget with US ticket sales alone, the rental market is where you can truly hoover up coin. Now take Limitless. Bradley Cooper is hot right now, that much we know. You could cook a fry up on his six-pack abs and be out the door in time for your morning train. The Hangover went ballistic, the Bangkok sequel did enough business in the face of so-so reviews to nullify disappointing returns from The A-Team and keep his celluloid halo intact. Add Mr Prolific aka Bobby De Niro, no stranger to mid-range fare, and Aussie starlet Abbie Cornish and the chemistry is set. Looking behind the camera, edgy director Neil Burger may not have been the ideal choice at first glance. The Illusionist and The Lucky Ones didn’t have weekend crowds banging down the doors despite decent reviews across the board. Howeber they did show a lens magician who could bring something different to the table in much the same way eclectic directors Kathryn Bigelow, Phillip Noyce and Pat O’Connor did before him in the golden era that captivated my attention as a boy. How did that pan out for financial backers Relativity Media, Rogue, Intermedia and the rest? Handsomely, that’s what. Audiences dug the high-concept storyline, slick direction and faces up on screen to the tune of almost $80m, three times the original $27m budget. Put some marketing dollars behind the current rental push and that’s huge upside for everyone involved. Not only that, the folks at home get another gem to savour over in a possible 1-2 punch with similarly skedded rental Source Code that can rival the best down the years. How does The Lincoln Lawyer play into this rebirth? It delivers aces in that essential rental cornerstone that is the legal thriller – a fearsome beast when executed perfectly. When John Grisham first put pen to paper on A Time to Kill practicing law in Mississippi, little did he or any of us know how important his stories would be to the worldwide film industry and the rental market, in particular. His later books The Firm, The Pelican Brief and The Client got the feature treatment first and turned mid-range budgets into significant cinema and rental jackpots themselves. For those of you who thought The Firm looked like a big-budget flick with Tom Cruise front and centre, think again. It cost just $40m and mopped up nearly $80m in
rentals alone. Reverting back to A Time to Kill, Warner Bros. took a punt on a relatively unknown actor in the form of Matthew McConaughey, teamed him up with Speed heroine Sandra Bullock, handed flamboyant director Joel Schumacher $40m too and let them get on with it. One year later, they snagged $146m worldwide and a shedload of rental coin to boot. After Runaway Jury failed to return the same revenues for its backers in 2004, it appeared the Grisham effect had run out of steam. The drop in quality reflected the novels’ tired demeanour. Six years later, step forward fellow novelist Michael Connelly. A firm favourite in my family, voracious readers of crime fiction, Connelly’s books had only previously made the leap to the silver screen with Clint Eastwood’s Blood Work, which did not do justice to the original tome despite Clint’s enviable track record of late. Connelly’s intriguing Mickey Haller series, however, was tailor made for the Grisham treatment. This time little known director Brad Furman was handed $40m on the back of some interesting shorts and LA B-movie The Take from way back in 2006. He could also call upon McConaughey, anxious for a return to form after his over reliance on cookie cutter romantic comedies and the Sahara debacle that did nothing for his CV. Cue another sleeper success that made back its budget in US theatres alone, en route to a robust rental return this year in 67 households around the world. Reviews for our chosen three are also indicative of the level of quality filmmaking that goes into them, Rotten Tomatoes awarding Limitless 70%, Source Code 91% and The Lincoln Lawyer 83% - nothing to be sniffed at in a time when the cyberspace chat can sink a film before it’s even reached its first preview screening. The formula is not rocket science. Give film fans what they want with strong stories, slick production values, cunning twists and box-office proof faces that look happy to be there and we will shell out. If you can achieve that with less than $40m outlay, even better. Everyone’s a winner. What has Hollywood got up its sleeve now that the mid-range sleeper is back in business? Well, looking at the rest of the 2011 release schedule we have Colombiana, Drive, Straw Dogs, Abduction, Killer Elite, The Ides of March, Trespass, Margin Call and In Time all before November in the States with many more to come down the pipeline. Coming to a cinema soon then Zoe Saldana, Ryan Gosling, Kate Bosworth, Taylor Lautner, Jason Statham, George Clooney, Nicole Kidman, Zachary Quinto, Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. Me, I’ll probably wait for the DVD and turn back the thriller clock.
P I C K OF THE MONTH
The return of quality Vampire movies The wait is finally over as this month will see the release of ‘grown up’ vampire flick, Fright Night. The remake which stars Colin Farrell and Anton Yelchin first caught our attention when we heard the songs lead tune by Kid Cudi, the haunting No One Believes Me and then we saw the trailer which showed us a topless David Tennant wearing more eye liner than Taylor Momsen and we were sold.
The Woman In Black Looks Set To Blow Our Minds Admittedly we had our reservations about whether a big screen version of the infamous theatre production and novel would be able to pull it off but following the trailers release a few days ago we can officially say that we’re fully backing this one. Creepy children, dark figures sneaking up on people in the woods and Harry Potter himself has made this could-so-easily-have-been-atrain-wreck of a film a must see.
Portobello Film Festival The 16th free Portobello Film Festival kicks off on 1st September celebrating the best in new London films and European cinema. Running until 18th September the festival will play a whole programme of different films at their pop-up cinema including a film called The Ottoman Empire about where things end up when they’ve vanished down the back of sofas and Rite, a film about a dysfunctional relationship between a father and a son who have to share a day together. wwww.portobellofilmfestival.com www.portobellofilmfestival.com
Jurassic Park Is Coming Back This month see’s the return of everyone’s favourite dinosaur-munching-on-humankind movie, Jurassic Park. To celebrate the Blu-ray DVD release of the trilogy Universal are re-releasing the film at UK cinemas on 23rd September.
THE BAD Lone Ranger Gets The Axe It was set to star Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Armie Hammer but after weeks of speculation it was finally announced that the Jerry Bruckheimer produced remake of The Lone Ranger is being put on a backburner for the time being due to an ever increasing budget. Porn Gets The 3D Treatment When we first heard of new Japanese 3D porn flick, 3D Sex & Zen: Extreme Ecstacy we have to say we were intrigued. And then reality sunk in that it would include is spending two hours with sweaty body parts flying at our faces and it was then that we realised, we’d much rather stay at home and get our porn fix the old fashioned way. On the internet.
Future Cinema Brings California To London It’s hard to believe that it would ever be possible to turn the streets of London in to something that resembles the sunny climes of California but that’s exactly what Future Cinema play to do on 4th September. Teaming up with California Tourism they will turn a secret London location into San Diego for a screening of Top Gun. Tickets cost £24.50 from www.welcometocalifornia.co.uk
Back to the Future IV Hype Dismissed Imagine the excitement on children of the 80s faces around the world when a viral video that appeared to be hinting at the released of a new Back to the Future appeared on the internet. The excitement was short lived though as it was revealed that the video was in fact some crappy commercial for an unknown product and was shot in Argentina.
All Day David Lynch Movie Marathon At Riverside Studios On 11th September the guys over at Twin Peaks festival will be hosting an all day David Lynch movie marathon. From Black Velvet to Mulholland Drive there will be screenings of some of his best work with tickets being sold for individual screenings and for the whole event. Tickets also include burlesque and cabaret performances as well as donuts and cheery pie. Get your tickets from www.riversidestudios.co.uk
Casting Assistant, Capataz Casting Looking for a bright, hard working individual to become one of their assistants. Applications ASAP to firstname.lastname@example.org Bi-Lingual Promo Producer Looking for Bi-lingual Promo Producers, fluent in French, German or Bulgarian. Apply via www.ondemand.co.uk
This Month : Mark Ward >>Where do you live? South London >> Tell us a little about yourself I’m 30 years old, trying hard to carve a niche for my work, and married to my amazing wife Catherine. >>What inspires you? I have an unhealthy obsession with Americana. It was all brought on through watching cartoons as a kid, and then in my teens skateboarding came along. I was amazed by all the board graphics and culture surrounding it. The whole culture of skating and most of the main big cartoon animation houses came from America - Jim Henson, Warner Bros, Matt Groening etc. It built up an image of this American wonderland, that I wanted to be part of - parades on every street corner, skateparks everywhere, bikini girls roaming the streets, - especially as this was all pre internet. You couldn’t just Google image to see the realization of it all. Of course when you go there, it’s not that much different from home - it rains, everyone isn’t beautiful - they have the same problems we do. It was that disappointment that drives my work. That world I wanted to exist unfortunately doesn’t - only in my head. I think that other people understand it though, as it is built from images that we can all relate to. My work is a distorted view of that 80/90’s Americana bubble. >>What are the tools of your trade? They vary depending what I’m working on, but the consistent materials are: Pencil, Paper, Spraypaint, Animation Paint, Canvas, Metal, Plastic. >>Do you have any notable fans? Not that I’m aware of. There are people who’s work I admire, that like my work so that’s nice to know. As far a celebrities - I haven’t reached that stage yet. .>>What do original pieces by yourself go for It varies depending on size/ materials etc. Ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand. >>Tell us a fact no one knows about you If I did that, then everybody would know... >>Where can we next see your work (in the UK) More than likely on someone’s T-shirt walking down the street. I have more shows planned, possibly later this year, if not early next year. Website: www.markwardstudio.com Mark has just collaborated for a Limited Edition with éS apparel and accessories.
Photo by Dominic Marley
TER T O P ART S Davidson r Eleano Eye popping visuals in a combination of fluorescent and grainy imagery depicting close ups of seedy porn stars, political rallies marching in thousands, and mass production of drugs. This was not an exhibition, but a gig.
Next Show : Boiler Room Corsica Studios Elephant and Castle London
Stay+ (previously known as Christian AIDS) are the first band I have seen to transcend the boundaries of art and music to such an extent, synchronising vast projections on a huge screen with a pulsing bass and beats, to create a sensory extravaganza which goes beyond the normal dance, or art experience. Vice versa, the exploration of sound is increasingly important within the art world also, as demonstrated by Susan Philipz who won the Turner Prize last year with her â€˜sound artâ€™ submission. These emerging projects suggest the arts are converging, intermingling and transcending their individual genres to create a mass source of material from which to rouse an audience.
Music is a means of tapping into one particular sensory avenue and using it to communicate and affect the listener. Art does this also, but through the use of imagery. Stay+ then uses the combination of the two to strengthen their impact, with each component working to enhance its counterpart. Imagine blundering into an inky black room before being blasted with internal-organ rattling tracks that somehow manage to induce feelings of impending doom and blind euphoria within the space of sixty seconds. Couple this with live-mixed film, or VJing (not to be confused with vajazzling) displaying psychedelic colours in gloriously
inappropriate places and unsettling footage of current affairs and studies of human nature. All of which is done with a hint of irony and humour. It is not wanky. The film/art therefore works to both enhance what is already present in the music as well as suggest alternative passages of interpretation. The transcending of the arts could well correspond with the digitalisation of both forms of media. Neither music nor film is bound to its physical form of CD or DVD and instead is now mostly represented in digital data, meaning music and film are essentially the same. This applies to art in that its form is much less structured, the
meaning in contemporary art overriding its form. The ultimate aim is for the viewer to interpret the work in the strongest way possible, in some cases sound working most effectively. Whether or not you’re a fan of sound art, it is considered a powerful form of expression with its ability of evocation growing equal to visual mediums, proven by the endorsement of the Turner Prize. Susan Philipz’ Lowlands Away consisted of four speakers in an otherwise empty room with no visual aids whatsoever apart from a sneaky peek of someone’s Facebook over their shoulder whilst sitting on the cosily small bench in the middle. The fluidity of form in both art and music has therefore paved the way for collaboration as the differences grow
smaller and the power of combination becomes more apparent. Stay+’s next gig will be the epitome of a sound and visuality collaboration, at Club Silencio in Paris, the interiors of which have been designed by film director David Lynch. It appears Lynch has picked up on the possibilities of cross-disciplinary arts, working to create microcosmic rooms within the club, including an art library and a live stage with a reflective dance floor. Each room therefore creates visual aids for the reception and enjoyment of the music, as inevitably the surroundings will impact on mood and create mental signposts for a means of interpretation. I really want to go.
With clubs, bands and artists emerging such as these, it becomes more and more obvious that an integration of sound and art, music and film, is the future and an exciting one at that. As technology and form moves forward, so must the arts, and multi-sensory experiences such as Stay+ demonstrates the potential of its flexibility today. Also, I really enjoyed bouncing along to the music whilst watching a video of a skinny man with a deer head dancing against a lime green background accompanied by a hairy Turkish man and a creepy grinning creature in a Hawaiian grass skirt.
Other Artistic Bands To Check Out The Bambi Killers
A performance art band that mostly end up covered in blood and wielding chain saws on stage in bikinis.
The Tiger Lillies The Tiger Lillies are three slightly strange men who make slightly strange music and performance pieces. Worth a look.
Eclectic Method Live Video DJs that mix sound and film footage equally on multiple screens and with DVD and CDJs www.eclecticmethod. net
Soft Power X, 2011 . 24.5 cm by 35 cm . print on Fuji matt archival photo paper Soft Power XI, 2011 . 24.5 cm by 35 cm . C-print on Fuji matt archival photo paper Soft Power XII, 2011 . 24.5 cm by 35 cm . C-print on Fuji matt archival photo paper
The Process : Ludovica Gioscia
‘At the heart of my practice lies a fascination with manifestations of hedonism throughout history. ’
In my work you will find many references to the baroque, the binging practices of the romans or more recent phenomena such as the Paninaros of the 1980s. Found and custom wallpapers, pictures of rococo furniture, images of squashed make-up from magazines, buttons, playgirl centrefolds, paninaro original paraphernalia are just some of the things I collect and assemble in my installations. For instance I have a vast wallpaper archive: some of these wallpapers I buy on ebay, others around the world and others I screen print myself. I work with archives created by collecting things that unfold the patterns imbedded in these excesses. Much like an anthropologist decoding artefacts my archives are formed by a gathering of all sorts of things connected to consumption. In my giant collages I look at a particular phenomenon and reflect on it by juxtaposing multiple patterns which in turn create a scrambled and cacophonic language. For instance in Bomarzo Vertigo I referenced the ‘Parco Dei Mostri’ (Park of monsters) built in the 16th century, which is considered to be the first example of an amusement park. The grotesque face is a portrait of one of the enormous monsters carved in stone. The wallpapers that I have layered in this installation are all infused with patterns ranging from the iconic man-made Jumeirah ‘palm tree’ island in Dubai to bootlegs of Baroque church plans; im-
ages of 17th century firework displays to 80’s Disney wallpapers; acid house smiley faces to rococo inspired asian metallic wallpapers generally used to decorate luxury aspirational hotels. I also make three dimensional works from the wallpapers, like the Beheaded Monarchs named after the royalty that underwent the guillotine during the french revolution. In 2009 I was commissioned to make a series of Beheaded Monarchs by the curator of The Warhol, Eric Shiner. He sent me some original Warhol wallpaper to include in those works. The whole series, including these new works, was then shown over Andy’s self-portrait wallpaper at the museum. In 2010 I created a new archive from Paninaro paraphernalia, which I collected by buying bits on ebay and asking old friends for material from their basements. The Paninaro embodied the naïve pre-teen consumerism of the 80s, a true hedonist caring for nothing else but consumption and leisure. This trend existed prevalently in Italy but was subsequently exported to the rest of Europe in various permutations. I have been looking at the Paninaro because it was quite unique. Born in the early 80s, when the textile industry in northern Italy was in full bloom and bringing prosperity to the local areas, it represents a pivotal moment in which the fashion industry
wasn’t only producing luxury goods but also began catering (and creating) for a 75 fashion conscious pre-teen and teen market. Often the textile factories themselves were also fashion houses and produced their own lines. One example, Naj-Oleari, offered an entire galaxy of products. Heavily patterned garments became their trademark; you could buy anything from a hair band to socks to wallpaper to bed linen. All their advertising featured teenies covered in Naj-Oleari products launching a ‘total look’ that was quickly adopted by the Paninaro. ‘Paninaro fashion’ was mainly a re-elaboration of the American preppy look and featured lots of sporty leisurewear. The names of the brands, for example ‘U.S. copy’, reflected an American provenance, but most of them were produced in small factories around Mantova in northern Italy. You can tell they weren’t produced in a native English speaking country because of the amount of spelling mistakes or bizarre grammar involved. I see the Paninaro as a solid embodiment of the American cultural colonisation that has been filtering globally since the 50s. The Paninaro totally embraced all that was American to the point of naming themselves after a sandwich bar (Panino in English translates ‘sandwich’) and used
as a meeting point the newly opened ‘Burghys’. McDonald’s was just about to open it’s first restaurants in Milan and the novelty of the ‘cheeseburger’ and all it represented became their emblem. I present the paraphernalia in vitrines and as collages. Alongside this a large scale installation of painted wood letter cut-outs that spelt Paninaro and that operated as sandwiches inside of which I had some clothes and other objects. The shape of the letters was taken from some of my old diaries written during the Paninaro days and are also typical of the scene’s fanzines. In the last year I have developed a new obsession: make-up ads in which the product itself is shown squashed and smeared. It is only in the last 5 years and
increasingly so that make-up adverts feature samples that are more ‘physical’: lipsticks, eyeshadows, foundations and mascaras are squashed, smudged, dissected, crumbled, a fine line between destroying the product advertised and manifesting it as raw paint and pigment. There is something that appeals to my primitive instincts in these substances that are designed to make the body ‘nicely packaged and flawless’ but in advertising they are shown destroyed. I have been wondering whether that marketing strategy meets a more recent one which acknowledges that people are increasingly ‘off hands’ in their jobs and daily life and if these images of raw make-up are very effective in promoting the product because they play on the primordial instinct to be ‘tactile’. I have
been reading a lot of Zygmunt Bauman lately, in particular Consuming Life, and I find there is a strong relationship between his observations on the new phase of consumerism that we are living in and these new marketing strategies. Bauman talks about the fact that, unlike our parents’ generation, we do not reach satisfaction as consumers through accumulation but through the total consumption of what we purchase: seeing our purchase ‘destroyed’ is what satisfies our needs. Whether the annihilation of the product manifests itself in bodyless purchases such as third life transactions or perhaps the destruction of the product itself which is turned by marketers back into an ad to sell the product itself.
The Soft Power series reflect on these new trends in consumerism and are critical of it by revealing its inner mechanisms in a parody like fashion. In order to accumulate so many make-up cut-outs without creating a mini-landfill of my own and going broke I offer a magazine re-cyling service.
Summer Pan-Collection, 2010 Paninaro paraphernalia, 66cm by 130cm PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHELE PANZERI
At the moment I am working towards a make-up counter that will be part of a show curated by John Walter in Newcastle in November. The show is called ‘Two Peacocks’ and takes the form of a department store. For this show I am creating large body of new work, all of which stems from this make-up archive. Winter Pan-Collection, 2010 Paninaro paraphernalia, 66cm by 130cm PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHELE PANZERI
P I C K OF THE MONTH ART
Hipstermatic x JD exhibition at Orange Dot Jack Daniels joins with Hipstermatic and The Orange Dot Gallery to celebrate Mr Jack’s Birthday this September. An exhibition will be put on show exploring the subject of ‘found art’ through the lens of Hipstermatic prints. They are also inviting submissions to be part of a competition at the event. To enter go to www.community.hipstamatic.com/contests/60 You have until the 5th to enter and the exhibition starts on the 22nd September.
Stuart Semple and Stephen Fry announce arts grant fund and show
Tiny Games At The Southbank Centre Remember how you filled your school days with games of hop scotch and snakes and ladders, all painted on the playground floor? Well for the next few days if you head down to the Southbank Centre you can relive your childhood with some old school games. Hide & Seek are the new artists in residence at the Southbank Centre and they have dotted 10 games, each of which has descriptions painted next to them, each of which has been designed to encourage visitors to unlock the child within for a few minutes of playing around with each game being specific to the area it is painted in. It’s absolutely free too but it moves on to new pastures on 4th September so be quick. www.hideandseek.net
Leading British Artists have joined forces with Stephen Fry and Melvyn Bragg to raise awareness and funds for vital creative therapies throughout the UK. Teaming up with Mind and artist Stuart Semple (above image) the exhibition will explore the link between mental health and creativity. The event will span two iconic London venues, The Imperial War Museum and the Old Vic Tunnels at Waterloo. The show will feature both contemporary and historical work with other artists such as Jake and Dinos Chapman, Mat Collishaw and Tessa Farmer as well as many others all contributing work. Selected works will be on sale with money going towards the cause for all paintings sold. Mindful exhibition open to public 22nd – 27th September
Get Your Hands On Limited Edition Bon Iver Cover Prints If you’ve got a spare bit of money lying around for some nice art work and you’re a big Bon Iver fan then this might be of interest to you. Gregory Euclide, the artist who designed the cover work for Bon Iver’s latest self-titled album is putting on sale 500, pencil signed and numbered limited edition prints. Measuring at 24 x 24 inches and printed on Photo Rag paper you can get yours from www.davidbsmithgallery.com for £138.
Gallery Administrator, Shoreditch Gallery administrator required to assist with all aspects of the day to day running of a small but successful commercial Gallery. www.artshub.co.uk Arts PR Internship, JBPelham PR Looking for intelligent, creative and ambitious intern candidates to assist staff with various press communications responsibilities. email@example.com
-UP : MAKE ephens St Luke
So it’s the beginning of another beauty season, and the beauty desk at Who’s Jack has been groaning with new products, news, and some exciting additions to some already very glamorous ranges! The colour trends this autumn are most definitely dark purples, plums and general warm, wintery hues. Here are some of my favourites. There’s a lot to get through...
cosmetics have introduced a range of Nail Colours this year, £12. They are free from Formaldehyde, Toluene, Camphor and Dibutyl Phthalate, so none of the nasties that polish is often full of. Long lasting varnish comes in three shades thus far, and three new staple autumn plum shades are coming out this month. www.beccacosmetics.com. Celebrity favourite
Dermalogica are not only a staple
favourite in my kit, but also my bathroom. Launched in the mid 80s as the first professionally developed skincare system, their products are prescribed by trained experts rather than picked erroneously off a shelf. They use the best ingredients money can buy, and nothing fancy distracts from them doing their job. Having suffered really badly from breakouts, and acne as a late teen, I have been using their Overnight Clearing Gel £23, since my late teens, and it never fails to blitz a breakout situation. They have a superb range of treatment foundations also, which are lightweight and a real skin treat. Always a staple on no make-up days. Available at salons nationwide. www.dermalogica.co.uk
Laura Mericer, famous for her ‘Flawless Face’ , has a new foundation out this month. The new Moisture Supreme Foundation £33, has a whole load of innovative ingredients such as Argan oil and Omegas 3 and 6 to hydrate and help to smooth the appearance of fine lines on the face. Perfect for a skin on the drier side, this long wearing base will become a very popular addition to their already amazing collection of high quality long wearing foundations.
Taking the beauty industry by storm are the miracle serums that promise to lengthen
To lengt short or hen nonexis lashes. tent ..
short or nonexistent lashes. Chantecaille, as with all of their products, sat and waited until they could produce an amazing product to knock all others out of the water before launching their offering. They have combined their own lash boosting Sym Peptide 17, encouraging the strength and length of your natural lashes, with their cult favourite Faux Cils Mascara. This Mascara promises to boost length and thickness of your eyelashes by 25% after just 2 weeks of use. £60, available from Space.NK, Fenwicks, Harrods, Libertys.
Illamasqua will be launching another amazing new collection, ‘Theatre of the Nameless’ at the end of this month, and I was invited along to have a chat with the make-up maestro herself, Alex Box to tell me all about it. The collection is inspired by the nightlife of the theatre in the 20’s and 30’s in Berlin, under the Weimar Republic. Alex told me that she wanted a truly decadent collection, with ‘dangerous’ colours, all staying true to the Illamasqua true pigment story of what you see is exactly what you get. The most interesting story was how she managed to achieve a ‘wet powder’ look with the Pure Pigment in Beguile, £15.50. Dusted over eyes, or the face this pigment gives a super shiny, almost perspiration look to the face. Another favourite of mine is the Nail Colour in Kink, £13.50. ‘I really wanted a colour that was the same as gun boots! Not only in colour but texture too!.’ This nail colour is a gorgeous bottle green, but dries to a matte, rubber looking finish. Illamasqua has added a Shimmer Blush, £16.50 to this collection, a great glittery addition to the existing range of super colours.
I often get asked about natural products, and whether they are any good. To be perfectly honest, up until about 2 years ago it was difficult to find any brand that matched the quality of the more mainstream luxury products
out there. Well, enter Inika. Started by Miranda Bond as a result of the lack of good quality make-up available with no chemicals or ‘nasties’ in it, she started her own range with no animal testing, no talc, no parabens, the list is endless. Inika has a full range of every type of make-up you could wish for. My faves are the Mineral Foundations, £29.50, acting as a concealer, foundation and sunscreen all in one.
fabulous quirky make-up has launched two new funky eyeshadow compacts. The theme being nightime glamour, and the moon, these palettes have a super shimmer colour, and in a moon shape peeking round the top an intense Eyeshadow in navy blue, or black. Infused with a delicate pearly highlight for cheeks and eyes, this is perfect for a really easy ‘smoky eye’ look. £36.
is relatively new to this country. Once signed up, every month you will receive a gorgeous box packed full of the newest beauty products to try, tailored to your specific profile. The box contains instructions, and product information as well to help you enjoy the products. You also have the option to offer feedback online, and receive GlossyDots. Once you have 20, your next box is free! It’s a real bargain at £10 a month. Register online at www.glossybox.co.uk.
Minx-e nail art sque home... at Glamoxy Snake
Designer Nail Wraps have caused a bit of a sensation in the office here for a while now. Coming in a huge range of colours and designs, these babies are so easy to apply for a bit of talon glamour, and they last a good while too (£6.95). Available at River Island, TopShop, Lipsy, www. ASOS.com, Bank and www.Misguided.co.uk.
cosmetics never fails to impress with their versatility, and sheer glam appeal! Self named Boutique Chic brand has re-branded, and had every line in the range re-formulated bringing it bang up to date and looking super sexy. New additions to the range include a brand new Flawless Cream Foundation, complete with SPF 15, and light-absorbing pigments to give a really satiny finish, this really is an absolute must have. My favourite newby to the collection is the amazing, and I mean AMAZING Seventh Heaven Facebase £15. This is a primer that smells all posh and lemony, so a great morning pick-me-up for underneath your foundation, or on its own for a radiant complexion. Treat yourself, or a loved one if you must, to the new Gorgeous Gifts available through Argos, there are ten to choose from, each one having a selection of really special products suitable for just about everyone. Prices start at £14.99. www.argos.co.uk
Serum by Rodial, how much do I love thee, let me count the ways. I used this for a while before the results kicked in, but the wait was well worth it. No word of a lie people were asking me if I had ‘something done’, which begged the question, how rough was I looking before this? Here’s the science, the serum contains a neuro peptide that mimics the Temple Viper’s venom to lift the face, freeze muscles and plump out fine lines. Not cheap at £127, but a real ‘does what it says’ product.
Benefit also have a great new mascara, ‘They’re Real’ promises to be the mascara that’s beyond belief! Lengthening, curling, and volumizing all in one, and stays on all day. The bristles are staggered so more opportunity to grab each and every lash for a more dramatic effect, without having to mess about with false lashes. Clinique
have launched a bang on trend collection of super hot plums for the Autumn. The new Black collection has expanded from a single lip gloss, Black Honey, originally brought out in 1971, to a full collection of Blush, £24, Brush On Cream Liner, £13.50, Dual Ended Almost Lipstick and Long Last Glosswear SPF15, £17, and a Colour Surge Eye Shadow Quad, 81 £23. Plum hues are going to be a huge story over the autumn season, so run out and grab this today!
Clarisonic. Although not strictly make-up, I have to give this a mention. There really is nothing more important than great skin for a flawless face, with or without makeup, and this handy little tool is everyone’s key to amazing skin. I got asked a lot about this, so decided to give it a try. So what is it? Well, in short it’s a face cleansing tool that uses the same sonic technology as your sonic toothbrush. With this deeper cleansing action, up to six times more make-up is removed versus ‘manual’ cleansing, and it reduces the appearance of pores, fine lines, and will ultimately help whatever products you use absorb more effectively. My face looked ‘clearer’ after only a week of usage, and I cannot imagine going back to manual cleansing. The unit itself is sealed so you can use it in the shower, and run it under water without fear of electrocution. There is a choice of brushes, varying in intensity from sensitive to more firm for a thorough cleanse. The Pro model even comes with a body brush, and another speed setting in addition to the two already available. Portable and extremely effective this really is a miracle product! Prices start at £155, and it’s available from Space.NK, Selfridges, Harrods, and Clarisonic.com
Ultimate face cleanser..
words : Rebecca Rutt | images : Barry Macdonald
LONDONs BUSKERS In a week in London you might pass by 10 or 20 buskers along your journey and by Sunday night they’ve most likely all blurred into one. If you’re a devotee to your ipod you might not have even noticed their presence but you can guarantee they were there – playing music or singing – on most of the major street corners you passed.
Busking is an age old tradition which traces back hundreds of years and this ancient art of street performance has evolved and still lives on throughout London and all over the world. However, it’s usually only when you’ve got a spare moment to stop and think that you might notice these talented performers. While commuting around the city most of us will be plugged into our ipods and will shell out huge sums of money to catch live bands playing – but there are talented musicians throughout London which we can see for free. George Owen, 29, from London has found a solution to our desire for new and raw talent. He created Busker Tales about a year ago and has since spent a lot of time working on the website and aligning the traditional aspect of street performance with social networking feeds and new media. As a talented cameraman he’s been able to film buskers across the city and these are on his website, buskerstales.com. As he says: ‘These days we might throw a busker a few pounds if they’re really good but we’re more likely to grumble about the disturbance to our journey to work.’ But nine times out of ten those street musicians are producing better quality music than you will hear on the radio. This is where new music is springing up – every day – and you can find it literally on the pavement outside your house. Not only is Busker Tales a place for new music – it also gives the musicians a voice and the chance to build up an online community and following. The buskers on the site have their own video clips and visitors can watch these, make comments and follow the buskers using
social media sites. The Busker Tales twitter feed(@BuskerTales) lets you know exactly where buskers are performing so you can get the alerts directly to your phone or computer and instantly go and listen to these great acts live. It’s almost a step ahead of anything that exists in the music industry. The buskers are there because they love what they do and they want to share that talent with other people. They’re not charging you a fee to watch or listen to them and there’s no guest list to let you in. Owen has enrolled the help of Andy Thorne and Richard Noble in his task to develop Busker Tales. They are the passionate creators behind Busker Tales who have given up hours and hours of their own time to create it. Although still in the early stages, the website is impressive and is growing every day. However, Owen admits it hasn’t been an easy ride so far though. Although most of the buskers they have approached have jumped at the chance to be a part of Busker Tales, managing a free site which you do basically for love, not money, is always difficult with other commitments. But, Owen’s passion for the website is infectious and he says: ‘I have found it to be hugely rewarding ad I’ve met some amazing people with fascinating stories.’ One of the buskers, Mr Jamie West was so impressed with the style of the Busker Tales videos he asked the team to produce a commercial video for his new single which they jumped at ( www.buskertales.com/another-guy-music-video/). For this the guys filmed West in a café in North London and different shots around Spitalfields Market. Busker Tales was also involved with the Rhythm of London Busking Underground
competition organised by the Mayor of London office. Owen and his team had the chance to film on the underground (which is usually banned) and captured some of London’s finest buskers including a beatboxing flutist, a brilliant Spanish guitarist and a busking rapper. Double platinum album artist Newton Faulker was also playing for the event and the team capture him at London Bridge. On the website there’s a whole host of buskers from different countries, backgrounds and music styles. Take 23-year old Aliyah, a musician based in north-west London. She recorded her first album when she was just 18 and now fronts the upcoming alternative-indie band, Kit Asylum or there’s also guitar-strumming, ukuleleplucking Finnish singer/songwriter Alba Sun. Owen is interested in the idea of busking as a culture and the stories behind the people who busk. ‘I feel often we tend to walk past buskers and they and their music will only form a very small part of our day. It’s rare we stop and listen to someone playing for a while. I wanted to give people more of an insight into the lives of buskers using video and blogs to raise awareness of the really good musicians on our streets.’ There is a negative stigma surrounding buskers – people may think busking is just for people trying to make money. However the reality is most people on the streets are not busking for money – many of them are there for a sense of community or to try out new material and to raise awareness of themselves. Many buskers can’t afford the kind of
publicity of getting their name and music heard so this is a good way to start. Although the website is mainly London based Owen has also filmed in Cambridge (which he says is a very busker friendly city) and hopes to take it further afield in the future. Under the surface it’s not just singers or guitarists on the streets. Although the portability of both make it much easier for the buskers, Owen has filmed harpists, flutists, young rappers and street poets – even a beat boxing flutist once. He wants Busker Tales to become an interactive experience - where people can follow the busker they are interested in and interact with them online. At the moment there is some way to go with the technology but they’re slowly building it up. The website is the opposite to any kind of shiny pre-packaged pop act you will
hear from your radio. It’s new and original and the videos on the website are not finished with a professional edit. As the Busker Tales team will simply turn up, film the busker and record a video blog any mistakes often end up in the video. This gives it a very genuine look and shows the busker for who they are and their performance on the day is what goes up on the site – without any post-recording tweaking. So where in London do you find them? Well pretty much everywhere. Any tourist spot will be mobbed and many buskers have their own pitches and can be very territorial over them. Head to Piccadilly Circus or speaker’s corner and you’ll be falling over them. Fights have even broken out between buskers heading into another busker’s territory and most will know each other. The busking world seems to grow by word of mouth – but with smart phones and social networking Owen wants to bring this online.
On the tube there have always been buskers but recently TFL has introduced stricter rules making the whole system a bit harder to get around. There are only a limited number of licences available for people wanting to perform on the tube and you need to apply and audition for these. Anywhere else it depends on the individual council and the rules they set. Owen has successfully combined our obsession with the internet and social networking with our love of music and the desire to find out about things first. Busker Tales is a small website but it’s in the stages of becoming a hugely successful online forum bringing together talented musicians with people who appreciate good music www.buskertales.com/buskers/
‘I get up when I want, except on Wednesday’s, when I get rudely awakened by the dustman, I put my trousers on, have a cup of tea and I think about leaving the house’
OUR social every day life words : Francesca Baker | image : Jo Polski
Everyone, from Damon Albarn to Dickens has documented the daily grind. Dickens wrote pages and pages on the domestic and social everyday life of Victorian England, (literally, Bleak House clocks in at an eye straining 414,000 words) and in Jacob’s Room, Virginia Woolf argued that ‘It’s not catastrophes, murders, deaths, diseases, that age and kill us; it’s the way people look and laugh, and run up the steps of omnibuses.’ Think about it – someone may die from a heart attack, but it’s the forty a day habit followed by a few swift pints over the last fifty years that was the main contributor. For every murder and car crash that happens in Albert Square, the viewer only cares because they have spent 30mins, four days a week in the cafe with a cuppa and the Eastenders characters. Are daily habits really revealing, or would time be better spent looking at the big things? Surely a nation is made up of cataclysmic events like the bombs of a war, policies of a politician, not their love of a cup of tea or apparent addiction to queuing. It’s in societies where things happen, people that build up a society, habits that build form a person - when the habits and thoughts of a group coincide, react, interact, that is when changes happen. Whilst we may currently dismiss the scrutiny of daily goings on as something best left to nosey market researchers and avid Big Brother viewers, it has long formed the basis of numerous ‘isms’ and ‘logies’. Think about the work of an archaeologist or historian – the burial of a comb with the Anglo-Saxon grave, the snapshot of life captured in the debris of Pompeii, the letters sent from the World War One front lines home to their sweethearts. And the application of the every day is not just valid when looking to the past – habits are highly revealing about the society in which we live today. A quick look at the Urban Dictionary reveals only two definitions of habit. 1.‘shit you’re mad used to doing’ 2. ‘a trend that will last’. This is the fundamental distinction, and the point at which your weird quirk moves into being a trend. Where the individual becomes subsumed into the mass is when people watching moves from a way to while away the time, even being nosey, to politically and socially useful anthropology.
A habit is unaware, it feels strange to perform self-analysis whilst brushing teeth, indeed one would go mad. But looking at habits and patterns can be revelatory. In fact, 95% of everything we think, feel, and do is a result of learned habit, suggesting that the way society is set up perpetuates these habits, and thus by understanding these, statements can be formed about the collective, not only the individual. This was the premise upon which Mass Observation was founded. Set up in 1937 by the anthropologist Tom Harrisson, poet Charles Madge and film-maker Humphrey Jennings, the original purpose was to understand the true reaction of the population of the Coronation of George VI, in contrast to the press speculation that Britain’s love of the monarchy was forever tarnished as a result of Edward VIII’s relationship with Wallace Simpson. Going far beyond this simple disproving the reporting of the press, Mass Observation eventually evolved into a group that believed that by gathering facts about the thoughts, habits and activities of ‘normal’ men, women and children, they could raise awareness about people who were believed to be otherwise silenced, whether by media portrayal, the government stifling through policy, or actual ignorance. In capturing the ordinary habits, every day quirks and spoken anecdotes of the woman and man on the street, they hoped to create an ‘anthropology of everyday life’, in one swoop converting the daily cup of tea and gripes of a person into a social science, the application of which is capable of informing changes. Taken to its conclusion, a comprehensive overview of workers lives could provide a new basis for social democracy, and indeed the Mass Observation project has played a pivotal role in social and political policy. Mass Observation’s work in observing reactions to the Keep Calm and Carry On campaign in World War Two was influential in shaping public policy, and the Organisation were regularly commissioned by the Ministry of Information. In post war Britain a study of saving habits were used by John Maynard Keynes to successfully argue for tax policy changes. The original Mass Observation Social Research Org ran from 1937 to the early 1950s, and the University of Sussex has been collecting information continuously since 1981, as well as running various ad hoc projects, and have informed studies and schools of thought on everything from immigration to education. Over the years studies have spanned topics: the original Bolton Working Class Life to the more recent Children’s Millennium Diaries, the boundary exploring
‘Everyday use of social relaxants and stimulants’ and the downright pervy ‘Sex’ surveyed, 1949 - 1994) And as much as we may dismiss habits as everyday normality, and thus by default dull, this desire to share our experiences may be innate. This first ‘Mass Observation Day’ of May 12th 1937 was replicated again in 2010, and the findings are a fascinating snapshot into the anxiety over the economy, the diversity of media habits, environmental concerns and the fragmentation of the family evening. Advice to participants of the study was to ‘write as much as you can about what you do, who you meet, what you talk about, what you eat and drink, what you buy or sell, what you are working on, the places you visit, the people you meet, the things you read, see and hear around you and of course what you yourself think.’ Sounds intense doesn’t it, but this is exactly what millions (750 million apparently) do on Facebook, Twitter and the like everyday. Inviting people to judge us almost, although of course we dismiss those who do. The records we leave online, through our general media footprint mean that the habits of the masses are known to researchers, advertisers, governments and the like, and will be known to historians in the future far more easily than those of the Anglo Saxons.
’ There are more truths in twentY four hours of a man’s life than in all the philosophies’
Far from shying away from intrusion people flocked to be involved in Mass Observation day, a trend that Kevin McDonald exploited to create his recently critically acclaimed film ‘Life In A Day’ which captures the moments that made up the randomly chosen July 24th, 2010. Inspired by Mass Observation, when McDonald requested that people on Youtube send footage of ordinary moments in their day over 80,000 videos were sent in from around the globe. Through technology it is possible to look at the habits of the individual and the world, in every way that a community or group exists.
We all judge by appear ances and habits are an extension of our appearance
There must be something behind this. Surely we go about recording, editing and broadcasting our life stories through technology and social media for a reason? Presumably it says something about us, and this simply confirms what anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, and a whole host of other ‘ists’, have known all along.
Conclusion: Ashford needs more coffee shops, and the media has it wrong if they think young people are to blame for brand domination. Example : Based upon my small sample, and gleaned from scanning around, the average age of a festival goer seems to have increased. Now around 5% of people have children with them, and the number of wellies has decreased considerably.
In ‘The Revolution of Everyday Life’ Raoul Vaneigem states that ‘There are more truths in twenty-four hours of a man’s life than in all the philosophies’, and I would certainly argue that my daily duties and the documenting of these online, probably reveal more about myself than the box I tick for political leanings. Whilst we may use social media tools as a way of showing just how unique we are and illustrating our personalities, it in fact acts as a perfect aggregator of activity across people and places.
Conclusion: Festivals are becoming more mainstream and corporate, suggesting the era in which they were bywords for peace and protest is over. Festivals will collapse in the next few years.
In their book ‘The You Code – What Your Habits Say About You’ Judi James & James Moore argue that the way you eat your food sends out subliminal messages about your sexual habits, and the decoration of your desk helping has a big impact upon the likelihood of a promotion. We all judge by appearances, and habits are an extension of our appearance. The practice of taking a group of people, looking at their habits, and forming opinions from these is something that we all do. The British talk about the weather, the French can’t queue. Teenage girls all shriek into their phone, whilst their male counterparts can only grunt. If we can judge so much about the way we eat a sandwich, think what can be gleaned by escalating both the scale and depth of the research.
Example : By doing a ‘wordle’ of my Facebook feed at 8.34 pm on a Monday evening I discovered who had won the apprentice, the thoughts of a population of 18-30 year olds on the future of media following the News Of The World scandal, and that er...Pret A Manger are doing a new sandwich.
In Kate Fox’s ‘Watching The English’ she refers to their being a particular ‘grammar’ to the English way of life, and woe betide those who put a comma in the wrong place, by speaking on the London Underground, telephoning someone after 9pm, or eating a cheese sandwich without pickle. In Harrison’s original 1937 study of Bolton he aimed to ‘pick up the threads of mass life in Britain in much the same way as one does when visiting a little known country’. If we feel we can learn something about other populations, then why not our own?
Analysing every little action, from brushing your teeth to climbing into bed on the right hand side would of course drive you mad. But what about if you started to piece things together, think what it could reveal. As mentioned previously, scientists have estimated that 95% of habits are learned – therefore presumably there’s a whole host of other people doing something similar, and these trends could be revelatory. Try it yourself. Rather than stereotype, conduct some of your own people watching – sorry mass observation - studies of your own. It might not lead to anything new and revolutionary, you may not alter social policy or change the world, but you might discover something new and interesting that whets your curiosity about the world and its inhabitants. Which is always a worthwhile outcome. Example : A Saturday spent in a Starbucks in a home town in Kent revealed a vast majority only purchasing normal tea or coffee, and younger people who were spending their time complaining that there was nowhere else to go.
Conclusion: I’m sticking to egg mayo.
FURTHER READING AND WATCHING A Fay In The Life Trailer Link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bT_ UmBHMYzg Mass Observation Archive : www.massobs.org.uk The Revolution of Everyday Life by Raoul Vaneigem is available on Amazon: www.amazon.co.uk/Revolution-Everyday-Life-Raoul-Vaneigem The You Code – What Your Habits Say About You’ Judi James & James Moore available at Random House. www.randomhouse.co.uk Kate Fox’s Watching The English available at Hive. www.hive.co.uk
IF I WERE A SUPERHERO I must’ve had this conversation with friends around the table in a pub numerous times. And it never gets dull. If you were a superhero, what would you want your superpower to be?
For me it’s an easy one. Well, it is now I’ve thought about it for hours - in bed, on the train, at my desk, etc etc - and I would undoubtedly choose teleportation. ‘The transfer of matter from one point to another, more or less instantaneously.’ If you read on you’ll realise just how great it would be. Then, if you’re anything like me, you’ll start believing it could actually happen. And that’s when you have to go and find someone to talk to, just to stop yourself going insane. I really enjoy my job, but when my alarm goes off at 5.30am, all I want is to be sat at my desk. Straight away. ASAP. Fast-forward past the shower, the tooth-brushing, the walk to the station, the train journey, the stroll the other side (because I’m running late), and BAM! I’m a work. Preferably not in my pyjamas – I’d need to have some sort of built in shower/clothing setting, but surely that’s not too much to ask? Or how about when all I want to do is go and visit my friends from uni way up north, but hours spent travelling after a long day of work just isn’t appealing. Plus, think how much money I’d save! No more forking out hideous amounts of cash on a crap rail service, or spending more than £30 every week on a London travel card. Teleportation would also make holidays a lot simpler, significantly less stressful, cheaper, and would give me even more time in the sun to maximise my tan. Did someone say shallow? The only downside? I’m not sure when I’d do most of my people watching. Because as I’ve previously discussed, public transport’s an absolute dream for spying on weirdos, getting hold of great gossip and overhearing entertaining conversations. I’d also miss the Guilty Pleasures section in the Metro. But I think I could get over it. I have spent time, of course, weighing up my desired super-talent against others. One of the most obvious alternatives has to be invisibility. But I reckon I’d just be made to feel like a pervert. Of course I’d want to creep into rugby players’ changing rooms and movie stars’ trailers and Dermot O’Leary’s dressing room…but that would officially make me a weirdo perv. Like, if my invisibility superpower escaped me mid-admiring Dermot slipping into his suit, I’d be arrested. And that would be humiliating. Invisibility would of course mean that I could go into a shop and take anything I wanted. Imagine how great my wardrobe would be. (Of course, if I was invisible most of the time nobody will have a clue what I was wearing). However, I’m moving into shoplifting territory here. And I’m not sure my conscience could handle it – I never even stole a coke bottle (the fizzy kind, not the glass kind) as a kid. And they were only a penny back then. Flying would be a cool power, except I hate birds. I don’t want to have to be close to them, and if I’m soaring through the sky I’d inevitably meet the odd pigeon (eurgh…rats with rings) or sparrow, or blackbird, or whatever - and that scares me. I do
NOT want to be mixing with birds. I do not want to be their friend, thank you very much. And wings would look so unsightly on me. A less obvious but rather tempting power is the inability to feel pain. Because I really hate it when I hurt. I’m a total wuss. I wouldn’t choose it though. I believe we feel pain for a reason, and it helps us realise when something is really pleasurable. The ability to hear peoples’ thoughts scares me. Have you seen What Women Want? I seem to have accidently watched it about 10 times. It’s ALWAYS on. Anyway, I don’t want that. I have no desire to hear that a man thinks I’m fat or ugly, that a friend thinks I’m dull or that my boss thinks I’m a bit hopeless. Terrifying. Ignorance is indeed bliss. Superhuman intelligence is bound to get people thinking that I’m a freak, the ability to predict the future might make life a little dull, and super-human strength would result in me looking like one of those freaky bodybuilding women off that Louis Theroux programme. The only guy that would have me is a freaky little dude with a fetish for muscly women and a desire to be dominated. Immortality could be cool, but how would I age? I wouldn’t want to be hobbling around, way past my prime, making a 89 nuisance of myself forever more. It would also be pretty awful to watch all my friends die around me. Yeah, scrap immortality. I don’t want that. An obvious superpower I’ve missed off is time travel. But I’m not sure how much I’d enjoy this. OK, so I could travel back to primary school when my greatest concern was the 10-word spelling test or grabbing the toffee yoghurt at lunch rather than getting stuck with apricot. Other worries included fulfilling my duties as that month’s plant waterer or being in charge of handing out hymn books at the beginning of assembly. But though they seem trivial now, they were very real concerns back then. Year 11 was fun, but I did a crazy amount of revision for GCSEs. I guess if I went back with the knowledge that they really aren’t that important, I could spend more time hanging out with my friends rather than studying the OCR Biology revision book with its poor jokes to attempt to pull you out of your depression. I could travel back to when my dad was a kid - just to see all the stories I’ve heard play out in real time. Or I could check out my mum’s childhood to see whether her dad – my grandpa – was actually as strict as she said. Was she really forced to keep her hair short like a boy’s or did she actually just think it looked good? Or I could go forward to when I’m (hopefully) married with kids. Because I am SO intrigued. But, I think I’d rather wait and see. Yes, give me teleportation any day. Because I should’ve been in the park with friends about half an hour ago, but I got carried away daydreaming. And I’m going to be late yet again. Time keeping is certainly not my strong point.
London V Queensland Each month we take a look at what other cities from around the world have going for them. This month Laura swaps London for Queensland Words: Laura hIlls Otherwise known as Australia’s ‘Sunshine State’ Queensland is becoming increasingly popular with back packers, expats and tourists alike. With it’s white sandy beaches, rain forests and vibrant city centres it sounded a bit too good to pass up the opportunity of a visit. So when Who’s Jack was invited to check out three of Queensland’s finest areas we could hardly say no. Here’s what we found…
Air Asia… Named the world’s best low cost airline for three years running. They offer reasonably priced flights in comfortable surroundings. Upgrade and go Premium Economy where you can enjoy fully reclinable seating with a partition so you don’t need to bother with any awkward small chat with the person next to you. www.airasia.com
The Gold Coast :
With the second largest population in the whole of the state it stands to good reason that the Gold Coast would have a lot to offer. It is also a major tourist attraction thanks to Surfers Paradise, which is situated there. Forget the hustle and bustle that tourists create in Oxford Street, the Gold Coast is way too chilled for that, tourists here can be found sunbathing on the beach, taking a surfing lesson or drinking a glass of wine outside one of the many bars, restaurants and cafes. But it’s not only topping up your tan and afternoon drinking that’s on offer in the area.
The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary :
We don’t exactly have the best wildlife selection here in the UK so on a trip to Australia it’d be rude not to see what inhabitants they have. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary houses hundreds of native Australian animals all on display in natural bush land and rainforest. The not-for-profit organisation gives visitors the chance to feed Kangaroos, hold a Koala and watch Tasmanian Devils, snakes, free-flight birds and crocodiles in their natural habitats. www.cws.org.au
Hot Air :
One of the best ways to see the Gold Coast is from the air. Hot Air not only picks you up from where you’re staying they also offer you the once-in-a-life-time opportunity to view the Gold Coast Hinterland at sunrise. Oh and they also take you after for a champagne breakfast at the O’Reilly’s Grand Homestead & Vineyard. www.hotair.com.au
Moving more in land you find several different theme parks including Sea World, Movie World and Dreamworld, which takes the title of ‘Australia’s Favourite Gold Coast Theme Park’. With a water park, thrill rides and a wild life area that puts on shows all day long there’s plenty there to keep you entertained. www.dreamworld.com.au
Beach Bum :
You can’t go to Queensland and not have a surfing lesson. Beach Bum offers a whole surfing tour. After a surf lesson in the morning head to biggest and cheapest surf factory outlet in the Australia then to some of the Gold Coasts natural wonders including rock pools and waterfalls. Return transport is included.
Stay at QT Gold Coast Hotel :
In the heart of Surfer’s Paradise the hotel offers great views and a brilliant selection of places to eat including their market style kitchen (www.qtgoldcoast.au) or for a cheaper option head to the Komune Resort, an up market back backers hostel with stylish accommodation including villas and a penthouse, a swimming pool and a bar with regular parties. www.komuneresorts.com
Tangalooma Island Resort :
A short ferry ride over the water is Morton Island where the Tangalooma Island Resort is based. Not just somewhere to sleep and eat, the resort also offers dolphin feeding, sand tours, whale watching and more (think quad biking, diving, kayaking, sunset cruises, Segway tours and helicopter rides to name a few). The first thing that greets you when you step off the ferry are sandy beaches as far as the eye can see and dolphins playing in the water. There’s pretty much nothing not to like.
Desert Safari Tour :
As this is, after all, an island there’s a hell of a lot of sand around and the desert safari tour is the best way to see it. A bus take you to the sand dunes where, if you have enough puff in your lungs you can climb to the top and toboggan down at speeds of up to 40km per hour.
Tangalooma is lucky enough to have a group of wild dolphins that come to the shore each night for feeding. Head down to the shore as the sun is setting to hear a talk about the dolphins as well as having the chance to feed them. Their dolphin conservation centre has all you might like to know about the animals.
4WD Northern Safari Tour :
A tour of the Western Beaches of the island, covering the towns of Cowan Cowan and Bulwer where houses are selfmade. The tour takes 4 hours and includes a trip to the lighthouse (the oldest in Queensland) and morning tea. www.tangalooma.com
If cities are more your thing then Bisbane is for you. The capital of Queensland is diverse with the perfect mix of green, sky scrapers, shopping areas and theatres as well as a buzzing nightlife full of clubs, boutique bars and restaurants. It’s a bit like London but greener and cleaner.
The Story Bridge Climb :
One of only three bridge climbs available in the world, the Story Bridge is the perfect way to see everything from a birds eye view. Anyone can do it, there was an 85 year old woman in my group. It takes about an hour and throughout the climb you have a commentary about Brisbane via a head piece. www.storybridgeadventureclimb.com.au
Gallery Of Modern Art :
Brisbane has an area known as the Southbank (it even has it’s own wheel) and one of the main things to see here is the Gallery of Modern Art, a visual arts institution and a leading art museum nationally. The galleries aims to connect art and people. With an impressive roster of modern and visual installations there will be something to spark your interest. www.qag.qld.gov.au
Stay At The Mantra South Bank : With studios, apartments and hotel rooms and just a short walk from the city centre The Mantra is in the perfect position and also includes a swimming pool, spa and gym for the times in between exploring the area. www.mantra.com.au For more information on Queensland head to www.tq.com.ac
London’s top underground food and drink venues
words: Rebecca Rutt
The sheer size of London means you’re literally falling over new places to eat and drink but it can be hard to pick the cool and trendy from the pretentious and over-priced. This month we’ve gone below ground level to pick out our favourite spots to eat and drink that are not so obvious from the street. Throughout the city there is an underground world of venues serving delicious cocktails and mouth-watering food to entice you under the surface and away from street level.
5 6 a minty mix of brandy and whiskey served in a classic metal cocktail tin.
1.The Basement Gallery Underground dining in every sense of the word – this restaurant is the answer for cash-strapped Londoners looking for something away from the mid-week restaurants you have to use a voucher to dine in. The Basement Gallery was set up by St Andrews graduates Tom Fothergill and Alex Cooper and gets pretty booked up so plan in advance. In the their stylish basement flat in Brixton the two friends have set up a small underground restaurant with quality tasting menus with a price tag that won’t push you into the red. Examples of recent delights include; peppered tuna steak on a daikon relish or roast banana parfait with peanut brittle and passionfruit sauce. www.thebasementgalley.com
Set beneath its fancier sister restaurant, Trullo downstairs is a funky Italian tapas bar with a small, but impressive, menu of sharing platters and individual dishes. The restaurant is dimly lit and the décor is quirky – if you desire you can even sit in one of its private booths, slightly reminiscent of a war bunker but incredibly intimate. The food is superb and although priced slightly steeply – it’s well worth it. Make sure you try the panacotta, even if you’re not a desert fan this will convert you.
www.detroit-bar.com 35 Earlham Street, wc2h 9ld
4.Hush Although Hush is two minutes from the crush of Oxford Circus – you could easily forget it while sitting in one of its private dining rooms. Upstairs is a cocktail bar, hidden away from the street view, and worth a visit for the ice teas spiked with Hendricks gin alone. The perfect place for dinner or cocktails (or both) but make sure you reserve an area first to avoid queuing.
www.trullorestaurant.com 302 St Paul’s Road, London N1 2LH
8 Lancashire Court W1S 1EY www.hush.co.uk
The setting of this bar would fit well with an American gangster movie from the 1950s and the bar has featured in several films namely because of its alluring décor and intimate surroundings. The cocktails are renowned by some as the best in London and they come close. It’s also lacking in the kind of pretentiousness you might expect. Don’t miss the Detroit julep
On most occasions spending the night in a disused London toilet wouldn’t be the number one choice but Cellar Door has successfully changed this space into a quirky cocktail bar with live entertainment. It’s tiny but somehow works – just be careful you know where the mirrors are to avoid any accidents. The cocktails
I just got back from a small, awesome festival in Somerset. Bruton, actually, which sounds terrible especially if you’ve never been before. You pass places like Blandford and think: what am I doing? Why am I in a car driving away from London? Is this going to be like a shittier Wolf Creek? If I follow that sign for fresh strawberries am I definitely going to get murdered? Or just get strawberries? POISON strawberries? The countryside is weird and bewildering. Farmfest has been going for six years now. Sadly, one of its organisers, Gavin, passed away this year. I wasn’t a close friend of Gavin’s but I did know he was well loved, and really good at organising festivals on Gilcoomb Farm, Bruton. With this in mind it was worth braving the local yokels and fitting as much local scrumpy down my throat as possible. Some other festivals are dick-waving contests about who’s got the skinniest drainpipes, but not this one. Even though the bands are generally pretty obscure it is a fun time and worth the very cheap admission price for a full weekend.
are luscious and from 9pm there are live acts including comedy and cabaret. It’s also a great people watching spot but don’t go if you get claustrophobic . www.cellardoor.biz Zero Aldwych WC2E 7DN
6.The Loft Project Whereas The Loft Project is not strictly speaking physically underground this exclusive supper club still fits the bill. It was founded by Nuno Mendes, of Viajante, and it originally started out as his test kitchen before he opened it up to other chefs to cook in the space. The atmosphere is very cosy as diners all sit on a big 16-seater communal table and during the meal you’re free to wonder into the kitchen and watch the chefs in action. The food is always changing and chefs are invited from top kitchens around the world to host dinners. Along with its exclusivity is a hefty price tag of £120 per person but it’s unlikely you’ll be disappointed. www.theloftproject.co.uk Unit 2A Quebec Wharf, 315 Kingsland Road, E8 4DJ
Driving from London to the West is an eye opener. You hear people complain about the lack of green space in England but there’s actually loads of it, peppered with the occasional service station. I know, mind blown and stuff, right? As you navigate through places like Hayes that no one should ever live in there’s a weird transition into countryside. The chicken shops fade and are slowly replaced by suburban houses on motorways and bus stops with buses that don’t go anywhere except to other bus stops near other suburban houses on motorways. Five, six service stations and a couple of hours later, you’re driving on tiny, narrow roads, with little to no artificial lighting, covered by the sun-speckled shade of tall trees in a most bizarre maze, trying to unearth small, pretty villages you had no idea even existed.
& PERILS PERKS
There will be no great revelations in this column (or the next one, or the one after that), but I’ve got to say there are some really great things about the countryside. It’s a cliche, but you honestly can breathe easier. By contrast, sitting on the Circle Line at Tottenham Court Road feels like having two small guys uppercut coal into your nostrils. Completely oppressive and smothering. And the pissing. Don’t forget the pissing! OK, there’s a bias here, but as a man with the lucky privilege to be able to relieve himself, for better or worse, wherever I point my hose you can really take advantage of that in the countryside. I’m not saying piss all over the windows of the one post office in the village. But when you’re on a tall hill, staring into the horizon with nothing to see but fields and trees and empty space, the piss-anxiety melts and by fuck it is liberating. Bad things about the countryside include having to drive to pubs - I am 99% certain most of the countryside just drink drives everywhere. Cash points don’t exist outside of one shop. The take-away sucks. Bruton isn’t even on Just Eat, and the one Chinese place, Bruton Rickshaw, looks like an actual rickshaw but really big. You will automatically step on the toes of the locals at either of the two pubs in the village. This is because they are proud of their farm and they don’t like the fact that some group of dickwads you don’t even know went to the same festival and destroyed the scenery by leaving half a pack of Doritos in a field. It feels pretty isolated and that can get freaky. Then again there is a ton of stuff about city life that reeks as well. I get the feeling that most violence in rural, rural England is just scrumpy-fuelled punch-ups in a back garden over which Wurzel was the best one. No one asked me my postcode, which was great, because I’ve always thought it weird and typically English that - of all the things we could fight with each other about - we plump for postal administration. Maybe it does happen, I don’t know. A friend told me about a tool-shed ruckus among 15 year olds in Devon, organised on Myspace. I’m not going to make any more arguments against London. It’s better than the countryside. There are 24 hour barbers, you can get around it relatively easily, and there is always something to do if you want to or don’t want to. There’s anonymity and there’s camaraderie, take your pick. From my experience, the countryside has its merits - granted mostly nice air and easy pissing is what you’d think I’m into from the above - and I’m sure people like it there too. At least it isn’t Hayes.
P I C K OF THE MONTH LONDON & LIFESTYLE
ere at Jack HQ we do like to
keep you updated with what’s new and what’s great in London. This month we have a little collection of both hidden jems and pop up events for you in and around the city so that you know what you can get up to this month
Sea fish Upper Street, London, Islington N1. Telephone: (020) 7354 0276 The story behind this fish and chip shop is great. Once a normal Eastenders style chippie but everything changed when the owner won a decent amount of money on the lottery. He decided to make his fish and chip shop the best it could possibly be with his winnings. The outcome was Sea Fish. Still at reasonable prices with a large cod and chips setting you back around £9 the interior is that of a restaurant but the vinegar bottles still remain the same on the tables. Retro seating and a mix of painted wood and brick walls makes this a charming option for your much loved fish and chips. Cyber Candy 3 Garrick Street 29 Upper Street Hair Organics Notting Hill Specialising in Organic hair products the Hair Organics Salon is tucked neatly behind Notting Hill Gate. The salon is small with only 4 staff working at any one time which lends to an enormously welcoming atmosphere with Terry the owner on hand most days to either advise or to cut or colour. We went to this salon to try out the current dip dye trend, one that looks great but can easily wreck your hair. Terry showed us how his organic bleach option, free from ammonia didn’t smell and didn’t dry out the hair and above all was still as powerful as any chemical product. The few hours that the hair took flew by with Organic cups of tea and friends and regulars of the salon popping in to have chats. Before we knew it we were walking out with a head of half dyed blue and purple locks that looked amazing. www.hairorganics.co.uk
Something we have realised this month is the need for more Root Beer stockists. After several conversations with several people that made our cravings larger and larger we had to go on a hunt. And what did we find? Cyber Candy. A wonderland for anyone with a sweet tooth for imports. Here you can find the age old favourite Lucky Charms, the rudely pulled out of production white chocolate covered pretzels, Twinkies, Tootsie Rolls and most importantly Root Beer. Just don’t make yourself sick yeah? And if you do, it’s not our fault, we warned you. www.cybercandy.co.uk
The Salisbury Green Lanes 1 Green Lanes, London Telephone: 020 8800 9617 Another North eatery is The Salisbury. Just a short way up from Finsbury through to Green Lanes is the large pub full of strange old TVs and stuffed animals that is the Salisbury. The main reason this pub needs a visit is that firstly you will always find a seat with its ample room and secondly it does the best chicken burger we think we have ever had. Try it, you’ll see. Dante Fried Chicken Taco Shack (main image) This September sees the return of Dante Fried Chicken run by the man himself. Dante. Dante is well known for both his Ride or Fry food truck which travels around the states and his web show which kick started the likes of artists such as Santigold, Mos Def and Coco Rosie. Now the pop up Dante Chicken taco shack comes to us at 18 Hewett Street. The shack is open from the 2nd-4th September and will be serving some of Dantes most well known dishes like Sock-It-To-Me Friend Chicken Tacos and Blueberry Guinness Smoked Brisket. On Sunday tamales will be added to the menu before Dante shuts up shop and heads to Silverlake to open the LA-shack. www.dantefriedchicken.com
Feng Susi With chains in Fulham, Borough Market, Kensington, Notting Hill Gate, Chalk Farm and at Royal Festival Hall it would appear that Feng Sushi is becoming one of London’s quickest growing sushi chains. And with good reason. Who’s Jack popped to their Royal Festival Hall branch on the Southbank to see what all the fuss was about. Offering both traditional and modern dishes Feng Sushi offers a more relaxed sushi dining experience, there’s no sign of having to crouch over a conveyer belt from a stool that’s much to high here, all service is table service and the staff are friendly and refreshingly knowledgeable about the produce they have on offer. We shared a mix of dishes on our visit including the vegetarian tempura and the pici-pishi mixed sashimi topped off with a mix of their temaki rolls. Ideal for sushi lovers all over London.
The Hawksmoor You will find two Hawksmoor restaurants in London. One in Spitalfields and one in Sevendials. In short The Hawksmoor is a perfect choice for steak and especially perfect for boys that want to eat steak. Highlights are the option of bone marrow sauce and surprise, surprise, the steak which we have on good recommendation to be near on the best in London. The vibe is cosy and relaxed with uber friendly staff and a cocktail bar ideal to distract a lady from your real intention - to eat so much meat that you feel sick. Finally and not by any means to be forgotten, they do an amazing puddling selection with offer like pop corn sundays to whet your palette if you can manage it. www.thehawksmoor.co.uk Punchdrunk And Sony Team Up To Scare Us Senseless Here’s a brief over view of who Punchdrunk are in case, for whatever reason, you’ve not heard of them. They are a theatre production company who take great pleasure in putting on audience interaction based pieces in abandoned buildings and scaring people senseless in the process. Now they’ve teamed up with Sony Playstation to celebrate the release of Resistance 3 for an event that will combine gaming, theatre and as much crazy, scary shit as you could possibly wish for. It’s taking place between 1st – 4th September under the Waterloo arches and you can head to www.facebook.com/ playstationaccess.
Sensory Lab Opens In Oxford Circus
Finally workers of the Oxford Circus area have a bit more to choose from than just Pret or Starbucks. Sensory Lab is a new coffee shop that’s opened on Wigmore Street and comes complete with seating that overlooks the local area as well as the opportunity to pick from an extensive list of esteemed roasters including Square Mile and HasBean. There’s also a dedicated brew bar where baristas will mix up drinks from their coffee flavoured menu.
Crafty Fox Market Returns To Brixton
75 Wigmore Street, W1U 1QD www.sensory-lab.co.uk
The Crafty Fox Market is returning to Brixton this September and to celebrate 95 they are hosting a special Night Market at The Dogstar on 1st. Launched last year as a way of providing a platform for emerging designers the market always has plenty on offer. As well as stalls selling all the usual homemade trinkets you’d expect there will also be the Crafty Fox Night School where you can learn to make a bow tie or a fascinator. The Dogstar, 389 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LQ www.craftyfoxmarket.blogspot.com
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Published on Aug 31, 2011