GIGS, n WORDS, n ROCK n ROLL x

Art, Film, literature, Poetry, spoken word, sylvia plath fan club

Since launching the anti-literary Sylvia Plath Fan Club in 2015, I’ve been doing more gigs, as a poet.  What does that even mean, huh?  Basically, I stand up on stage – often between bands, MCing, introducing, doing poems – y’know?   Come see me…and you’ll get it…

I published my first collection late last year – got it on billboards outside the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch.  Thanks Daylite LED Media. So easy.

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The cover was designed by Luke McLean – one of my fave people, and designers (Supergrass, London Field Brewery, Wrangler etc).  You can buy Unedited on the Cold Lips website, or from me at gigs for a fiver… [here’s something nice on it by fellow Lazy Gramophone member, the brilliant skateboarding performance poet, Mat Lloyd].

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Lovely to get invited onto James Meynell’s Garage show on internet station of the year, Soho Radio.  Listen back below, and the post continues underneath…  

My nearest gigs are tomorrow – Thursday – the last night of the residency I’ve been doing with Saint Leonard’s Horses at the International Club’s Winter Conclave at the George Tavern in Whitechapel, then on Saturday 18th, I’m doing my first out of town gig for Cultural Traffic.

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Sometimes I do readings with film – this is work in progress…

My first reading was for Ambit, nearly 10 years, I was terrible – it was a 2000 word short story, called Lyla, and I just got up and read it cold to some poor  darlings above a pub in Soho.  After that, my  ol’ pal Salena Godden started the Book Club Boutique.   I’d been working on my novel, and needed to break up the style, and found poetry a good way to find a more honest voice, away from the corporate writing, and paid media work I’ve grown up doing.

Now people say nice things:

Kirsty Allison is the most rock n roll poet in LondonKelli Ali

Wordsmith wizardryAdam J Harmer, Fat White Family

Her poetry is the only that gives me goosebumpsDelilah Holliday, Skinny Girl Diet

She’s a modern day Patti SmithJohny Brown, Band of Holy Joy

x kirsty

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SYLVIA PLATH FAN CLUB #1

books, literature, spoken word, sylvia plath fan club

Films for words

From the first meeting of the Sylvia Plath Fan Club:

Kelli Ali   Erik Stein from Cult With No Name Anne McCloy   Gil De Ray Tim Wells  Tony White   Tony Bears

Gary Fairfull Janel Forsythe and me…

(Gary’s film currently embargoed by Slack Alice Films…)

INAUGURATION: 5th NOVEMBER

literature, Nightlife, Poetry

The Sylvia Plath Fan Club

Head-in-oven

Please join us to celebrate the inaugural night of the Sylvia Plath Fan Club at the Arts Club East aka Gary’s Place, 64 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JJ.

NOVEMBER 5th 2015

Words (stolen or otherwise) from the gorgeously rebellious mouths of:
Gail Porter (bigger than any politician, projected on Parliament in the 90s, the former kids’ TV presenter hurtled through a rockstar marriage and the bedlam which ensued – exclusive preview from her forthcoming book), Kelli Ali (once upon a time there was a band called the Sneaker Pimps, but punk bands before that, and so much since – pure poet, dying by the sword), Anne McCloy (she has the answers, Some Product, artist, professor, everything), Tony White (true gent of London’s literary scene, author of novels including Foxy-T, much published, amazing mind), Erik Stein (Cult With No Name, recently completed the hugely lauded Blue Velvet Revisited soundtrack, film to follow next year), Gil De Ray (rock n roll’s finest), Gary Fairfull (the guv’nor), Kirsty Allison and you?

dj@kirstyallison.com

Doors open from 4pm, we’ll start by 8pm.

DJ til late.

LE GUN of LE EAST, SAMUEL JOHNSON & THE SOCIETY CLUB

Art, books, london

LE GUN are my fave collective of illustrators:  their drawings and installations rip through urban horror like Hogarth on a bender with Hunter S. Thompson.

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Getting in early on the Christmas pop-up scene, they’re strapping us into a dentist chair to inhale a Le Gun kinda Halloween in Notting Hill of the East: Clapton.*

29th November – 1st December: 33 Chatsworth Road, Hackney, E5 OLH

*Yeah – I’ve heard there’s a Hackney House opening up on a council estate…(part of the Soho House group).  That’s what happens when a ‘fashion hub’ gets invented around the Burberry, Aquascutum, Anya Hindmarsh outlet.  Hackney – from murder mile (other than that shooting in the butcher’s the other day) to Bicester village – how lovely.

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These black ink superstars started at the RCA, before creating their own worlds as installations in Brick Lane, Red Gallery, V&A, Shakespeare and Company and far beyond –  I interviewed two of the original founders, Robert Rubbish and Chris Bianchi for the book I wrote for RED GALLERY – the interviews took place in 2012, when Shoreditch’s visible colonisation by the evil overlords was nowhere near capacity…

Chris Bianchi rolls along Rivington Street with an up-all-night glide.  He’s tall with humble shoulders.  His eyes catch me like the wells of ink that create the tribal, post-psychedelic stories of his art.  Around in the Bricklayers’ outdoor yard, the Summer 2012 Artist-In-Residence of RED tells me he sees the world in cartoons, and a ‘lil more:

Where are you from, originally?

CB: Malta, born and bred – 1977 – there was no art school there, I had to come here.  I started off in a basement in my parents’ house and used that as a studio, making paintings, I had a darkroom, made music, had friends there, and it got to point where I was 18 or 19 and came here and went to Chelsea, then Camberwell, then finished at the Royal College.  I tried to stay in art college for 8 years – I’m an art college whore!  But at the Royal College I met the Le Gun – it was good to find like-minded people because I didn’t have an art college education at a young age.  It took me a while to find myself; here in secondary school you have art classes, but not in Malta, so it came from me.  My old folks helped me out because I built myself an easel, and they saw it as a sign of commitment, and they were serious, wish I still had it, probably still in the garage.  My dad’s a lawyer.  Mum did a bit of social work but has loads of grand-children, she plays cards and they’re all Maltese.  The education’s in English over there, it’s like a suburb of England, everyone speaks English, although they’re trying to change that…it’s got a population of 250 000.

There’s an island off Malta called Gozo, there are weird things and weird people there, I’m half from there, there’s an isolation to it.  They take a roundabout, and a guy will start drawing on this public place, makes it nicer, they do a lot of that.  In Malta there’s a lot of rural strangeness, decorating farmhouses with old dolls and wind chimes made out of old toys, there used to be a lot more.  That’s getting lost, in the fields they have machines that set-off to scare the birds.  It does take over, technology.  I was in Sri Lanka, and there were all these amazing scarecrows, handmade, they look like people, scary.

So from Malta you came to a bigger island?

Robert [Rubbish, from Jersey] and I always used to say: two boys, two islands, two reprobates, two drunks – it carried on like that, we’re both from small islands and wanted to escape, Jersey is about the same size as Malta, everyone knows you, we were both trying to escape that.  In London you can be whoever.

Where in London did you live to start off?

I lived in a flat in Fulham and every time you took a bath it leaked into the kitchen, really crazy flat, crazy people.  And I knew some people from Malta, who knew all these rich people in penthouses in Chelsea, with billiard rooms and coke, and thought: this is great!  This is London!  Then moved into Camberwell and my vision was shattered, ha.  But five of us were living in a flat down in Camberwell, with two hundred people coming to parties, and our landlord was an E dealer, and there’d be a pile of pills outside his door upstairs where he’d pulled his keys out.

I was cagey about being at art school and the change of being here as an immigrant, so met some guys who I’m still very close with, Harry [Malt] and I stayed in touch, we got a studio together in 2008 and started Bare Bones, and did shows with RED.

With Bare Bones, I wanted to do something that was more immediate.  Le Gun had a formula – we did ten issues of Bare Bones, then Harry wanted to move to the country.  He lives in Walsingham in Norfolk where there’s a shrine to Mary.  He grew up around there, in Hoe.

When you’re here and on your own, you start new families: your friends become your family, if you need any help, you have them, my real family are three thousand miles away and I’ve been with Steph [Von Reiswitz, also an illustrator and part of Le Gun] for 13 years.  She’s pregnant:  it’ll be a new chapter, inspire new thoughts, ideas, feelings, as a human, good to experience.    

So Robert [Rubbish] came through Soho, did it have that much of an impact on you?

Soho was more Robert and Neil [Fox]. I used to like walking around Soho alone, and when there was stuff to discover, then Robert and Neil showed us around, it lost its mystery.  It’s changed, it used to be rougher, there were more dives and social clubs – nudie dancers for a quid.  The charm of it is meeting it, and Robert and Neil had a B-line of hangouts, where famous people drank.  Neil’s work’s about that, and Robert did the Rubbishmen of Soho [a band].  It’s fun but not the beginning and end for me.  They like olde worlde stuff.

So the Max Nog Shop, the first installation…

We wanted to make a drawing you could walk into.  It took about two months, we were papering the walls, everything.  I think we called it International Festival Le Gun.  It was all about making then, y’know, we’ll work out what it is and what it means later, and have fun with it.  Nog shop became a club where bands would play, take a few cans, he called it the Cave.

That’s what Faris’ club (from The Horrors) was called…

Maybe he came down, saw it.

Nog stood for something stupid, Nuclear Organic Graphics or something.  I think [Max Nog’s] mum was married to a Visconti, so every time he got broke, he’d just go and sell a house in Rome.  He had a skate park in his house, he pissed off a lot of people, he was in New York in the 80s, friends of Madonna, William Burroughs.  I think he liked young boys.

I’m not really into the fame thing, if you become notorious, people are taking photos, Pete or Amy Winehouse, it’s not very nice looking at someone coming out of a club off their head.  Yet, you need to be part of it – I haven’t got a Facebook account, but do have one for BareBones.  And you need to tweet or you get left behind – but I think you can rebel against it – someone like Robert, he didn’t do it until a year ago and now he’s all over it.  I’d rather stay away from social media and see what happens, but you need people to know about it and you get to 3000 people at the hit of button.

I found the best way: I did a show at RED and I was there from eleven in the morning to eleven at night and talking to the people buying your work, I don’t think it gets better than that.  You can go global on the internet – if someone buys my art I like to talk to someone.  Most collectors like to know the artist, it’s important.

I’ve been listening to Grayson Perry, the Reith Lectures.  You get your art, your handbag, and your car.   Sol Campbell was at Frieze.

Is it a strength that you came from illustration?

Street art, boundaries, high art, low art, whatever.  Banksy setting up a kiosk, selling it for forty quid, it’s challenging, he’s playing with that, he’s concerned that he doesn’t get that freedom, he’s the papa of street art, it’s stencil art, but he’s social commentary, he’s like a Hogarth of our time.

I’d rather go to the National Gallery and go see old paintings, I see the world in pictures, that’s how I see the world, in cartoons, that’s why I did illustration.  I like the primal instinctive – if you look at my paintings they’re coming from that old school – the iconography.  Symbols and metaphors and making your own symbols…

I met a woman the other day, at a private view, Gaynor O’Flynn – performance artist – she said: What do you do, I said: A bit of an illustrator/artist, she made me think I’m just gonna say: I’m an artist.  I make money as a commercial illustrator, but do my own art.  Andy Warhol did commercial art, it’s all about adapting to your environment.  I’m not an accountant, I quite like Visual Artist – I quite like the constraints of commercial work, coming up with solutions for things that aren’t your own ideas.  Sometimes, as an artist, you can do anything, so it can get narcissistic.  I like to make interesting images that make people think and get a reaction.

I’ve been writing for the last few years, I’m a closet writer and poet, and I was going to burn them and thought these are quite good, that’s something new, but I was dyslexic and scared of words and reading,  I’d rather listen to an audiobook, because if I read, I’d jump massive sections.

Would you perform?

Performance would be too much about me, the drawings are performance.   Would I do it though?  If I came up with an idea I liked….

Le Gun –  are you doing much now?

I took a break for the V&A show because I wanted to find myself a bit more, thought I was getting a bit lost, so wanted to do the [solo] show at RED.

And I was doing Bare Bones and Le Gun together for a while, so was doing a lot on others, not myself.  I feel I can go back now, reinvigorated, and with an understanding of how I fit in the gang.

Will hipsters kill East London?

They have.  It doesn’t mean that East London’s dead – the truth will always be stronger, and there’s always going to be people doing strong stuff, but that’s not the end, just got to learn how to live with them, it’s a bit annoying that rent’s getting more expensive because artists wages haven’t gone up.  Maybe more support would be good.  We should get the corporations to pay for studio spaces and be given more of a helping hand, stop it being so elitist: ten people making loads of money and then thousands struggling.

I think there’s an attitude of: you’ve chosen to do it, live with it…

Yeah, deal with it.  I used to do a bit of teaching but there’s no part-time and the colleges are a bit broke. With Le Gun we set up a shop and have had to turn it into a business but should we, as artists, be the businessmen?

Do you think there’s space for countercultures in London?

It’s suppressed, they look at people who protest and they’re terrorists.

…I spoke with Robert about the Poverty/Organic divide…

It’s always been split, what can you do?  I feel privileged, I’ve never come from a poor background, middle-class norm, I’ve never experienced it – but I struggle to pay my rent and my brother became a lawyer.   He’s got the Volvo, the pool, but I do have a richer life.  I dunno, when he can do what he wants – I hope it won’t be like this forever.  I’ve never paid NI, I think I pay enough, you pay tax on everything you buy, on council tax, on and on.  I don’t make that much so why should I pay more, and then big corporations skimming…

Consume or be consumed.

Yeah, and all they’re doing is making money.

Yarda [Krampol] and Giuseppe [Percuoco], they take me out for lunch, when I’m doing a bit of art for them, and they’re starting it from scratch – there has to be money if you’re spending money…

What do you think of the way RED runs, as a vague co-operative of ideas?

I think RED, if you explain an idea, they give you space and don’t ask too many questions.  They’re supportive, and financially – they’re there for you – I did all the work in a week, for the show and they liked it – so they did the catalogue, I gave them a bit of artwork, they gave me a space.  I’ve been speaking to Yarda about spreading a residency programme over Napoli, Prague, and London.  Rather than an application process, I hate those people.  It would be nice to approach [artists], make it more exciting.

And then speaking to Yarda about pop-up galleries, there are spaces for it – you have business rates, so if you do pop-ups, it avoids it, and the landlords, that’s in the pipeline.

So projects with me and Yarda and Giuseppe, they’re not paid jobs but there are some artists, like a Turkish guy who I really want to do a show with, I really like his paintings, and he’s sort of trying London out, it’s not easy to just come here in two years, a lot of people have to leave – it would be good to support people who are here.

I think RED do goody-goody causes, sometimes a bit too many and the graff art, it’s getting worse and worse, I think it should be controlled – it can be quite rash – it could be really important.  I don’t know that scene but if that was curated better – and spend some money on getting really good people, it could be a lot better.

I live near Toynbee Street, people have moved up to Stamford Hill.  I have this thing where I really like London and social problems, I don’t know if we are getting pushed out or if it’s because we’re getting older, I don’t want to move to the countryside, I think maybe it’s time for another city – I can make it in new cities, my wife likes comfort.  I like the South, somewhere in the Mediterranean, or maybe as an artist, go and look at the world more.  I was in Madrid recently and you go two stops on a train and it’s gypsies, and it’s wild, and no one works, I was there for this festival, San Juan, 25th June – it’s a different scene.  I went there twice in a row, gypsies singing for a week.  I’d like to do some work about that: belonging, and where we fit.   I don’t think I could live anywhere but London and fit in.  Maybe San Francisco rather than LA.  In LA people buy [art] out there, it’s a bit older – we need a gallery who could do that, maybe organise doing something.  We did China, Istanbul, Berlin and Paris, and it’s fun to take what you do to new places, we spend a lot of time working with the space and working it out.  It’s good fun.  It’s that thing of talking to people, living and breathing the space.  I feel like a traveller – I don’t think I’ve found my home yet – I don’t want it stop here.  But y’know, I leave my house – I can have Chinese, sushi, Thai, whatever in a very close period of time.

I like the city.

But you have to blend with your environment, in this toxic city.

That’s a good name for a show, Toxic City.

http://www.chrisbianchi.co.uk

http://www.legun.co.uk

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Robert Rubbish’s facial hedging swirls in puffs of dandy, tweedy smoke around us.  His ebullient stature lumbers through the gates of RED Market, like a Churchill of yore.   A confident statesman for Le Gun, he painted the MAKING SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING mural behind the sandpits for the shoot we did for Freestyle magazine over the summer of 2012.   

Where are you from, originally?

I’m from Jersey.

And how did you end up here?

I came first off to Bristol to do a BA in Illustration in the mid-90s, although I’d lived in London in the early 90s, living with a mate, but progressively slipped into mundanity and went back to Jersey, did a course that got me to Bristol because I’d left school with an art GCSE because I’m dyslexic, eventually moved back to Jersey for a couple of years, then in 2003 I moved back to London to go to the Royal College of Art to do a master’s in visual communication…

What did you get out of that?

I got in a lot of debt but good friendships.  I met Le Gun guys and we started a magazine.  I went there to expand my work but ended up collaborating a lot, and it was a meeting place for all these new people, and I’ve been here since.

Where did you live to start off?

I lived in Hammersmith and moved East in 2005, we were going to Soho a lot…

That’s where I got a lot of my education…

Yeah, us too, and there was stuff going on East and after college we got a collective studio space where we worked together on Le Gun, it was near the London Fields pub on Mare Street.  We’d have parties there.  It was probably better around there then: it was a bit crap, and I couldn’t afford a space, but when we had a big project we’d work there together, so it was a hub of where we were hanging out, and it carried on after college, some of Le Gun are still there.  There was six and now there are seven.  Steph [von Reiswitz] , Chris’ [Bianchi] girlfriend didn’t go to the Royal College so she got involved later, she’d been doing other stuff…and it was around then, 2006, that we met Yarda [Krampol].  We did that thing in Brick Lane in the Max Nog gallery on Brick Lane, where Yarda was working – a black and white cave of drawings, and we did a back room.  That was good for us, he was a bit of weird slippery guy, though, Max.  He gave us free reign which we couldn’t quite believe, and we thought he’d come along and say he didn’t want this or that.  We covered the ceiling in chequered paint, glossed the floor.  We were building a world and we thought it would last a month, but it was there for longer, and it was a nice place to hang out, and made us think we could actually build stuff.  It was quite immersive, you could tell it was our sort of thing and it was better than a sterile gallery.

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Is it a strength that you came from illustration?

I think individually we’d worked on separate things, but together we were putting on parties to fund the [Le Gun] magazine, so we’d do a six-foot drawing to sell in the Royal College bar, then we’d hone it, and realise we could do a better by drawing and embellishing it for each other, and we sold it, and that would fund the magazine.

How does the physical process of building an installation, such as the one at RED, occur?

First off, an idea, whether it’s Le Gun, or a commercial project, we think of the idea, and then see how feasible it is, if there’s a budget we’d cost it – say here, we did a twenty-five metre room in there, which has now toured everywhere, but we need a set builder or carpenter, price up the wood, and that starts a story.  With the RED one, we did a drawing of a story and the drawings turn from 2D into 3D, there’s not one person that’s good at this, people don’t go over each other’s work, but someone might shadow it, add to it.

It’s very instinctive.  When it’s taken back down to a commission or a drawing it gets tighter and more annoying because they say: Can you move that?  But it’s a free-for-all if it’s just us…

We did a Bare Bones show here first, then Le Gun and Bare Bones.  Both times we had parties in the basement, but it all comes from parties.  We got to know Yarda better because after the Nog shop, we did a Le Gun party in a block in Cambridge Heath where we had a studio, Yarda did the door for us, and he started doing stuff here, and introduced us to Ernesto [Leal].

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Will hipsters kill East London?

Yeah – they have already.  In my view.

I think all of London, there’s a bit of a problem.  Without sounding very, very negative, the hipster thing is causing problems because it’s areas that people went to because they were cheap because other areas in centralised areas were too expensive, so cheaper areas create artist colonies out of economic reasons and it results in the trendification of East London.

I like that word: trendification.

It’s making out something is creative when it’s just capitalism.

Consumerism.

Yeah, and it’s just all they’re doing is making money and pushing people out of areas, not just artists, I don’t understand where people go to.  It might be doing some people a favour!  But price wise, my experience in London: I now live in Stamford Hill which is South Tottenham which is nothing, and it’s never going to be.

Shoreditch is obviously too expensive to rent.  Dalston, Hackney, wherever, they get regenerated, revived, whatever, but where’s the choice, like you get organic or nothing.  On Mare St, we used to have a caff there, where you could just buy a meal but now there’s a burger place that’s dressed up, it’s got writing saying THIS IS AN EXPERIENCE or whatever but it’s just a burger place, instead of where you could get a meal, there’s either really shit fast food, or that.

Poverty or organic.

These two cultures living together, one is survival, the other is affluence dressed up as something else.  You’ve got to have a certain amount to buy into that kind of lifestyle, and it’s just money driven.  I don’t think it’s creative, I’d like to see artists making money from it, but it’s entrepreneurs opening up Things.

Central London will become everything up to Tottenham and parts of the South and it will be unaffordable to most people.

Y’know Shoreditch Box Park, it’s not temporary but it’s sold as a pop-up experience, but it’s just the high-street dressed up to be something else.  Somewhere else, it’s just like: this is a shop.  I think people are being made to buy into the mythology of recent past history.

People in London buy into areas that become a product of their success and then the real people can’t afford to be there.

I think East London was bombed catastrophically, and it’s been used as a toilet for immigration.  The East London thing is not the same as regentrifying Notting Hill or Chelsea.  There wasn’t a cash machine here when I first moved in the 90s, and the contrasts have always been hyperbolic.

This band I used to manage in South London have a thing called Yuppies Out, in Brixton, which is a bit misguided but they are scumlords fighting back, half of it is funny, but half of it ridiculous, that there are fromage and champagne street parties now in Brixton.  The band are Fat White Family – they’re unruly, but I was managing them for a while but got my fingers burnt.  The lead singer I’d been working with was in my film and we’d been working for a while, but the band had drug problems and I had this first-hand insight, everyone’s on heroin, on crack, none of them had train fare to get to the studio – and I made them a video and artwork and it got somewhere but I was giving myself to them, and I loved what they were doing but they’re so like that, they don’t give a shit about themselves or anyone else, but there was a hostile takeover from another guy and I love what they’re doing, but had to depart, and you see what you see, and you know if you go into the lions den, that’s what it is…

Is that like London?

The things that are dangerous and scary would attract me when I was younger, and London’s got a lot of it. The band were the last bastion, I found it exciting, and all the older people behind them were in Brixton holding banners around Thatcher’s funeral…London creates those people.

There are a lot of pricks to kick against here.

It’s attractive in some ways but it’s good to look at it from a distance, unless you’re bulletproof.

(We run in from the rain, resettling in the RED Market marquee.)

We’ve changed sides…so yes, inside here, the RED Gallery are willing to give people a chance, to do an exhibition, a crazy night, when I was doing that mural there, talking to Yarda and Greg [Konready], they both grew up in Communist countries and Ernesto was going on about doing a hammer and sickle but what they were saying was critical, yet they’re all doing a…

Co-operative.

You are drawn to what you like, even though you don’t even know what that is, Greg’s view on Communism and the west, he’s harsh about communism.   What’s nice about Le Gun is we share money and we work as one, and that’s the same as here, they use a bit of business…

They give this space away for free.

And they’re in the centre, I enjoy what they’re doing, and it’ll take groups of people like this…

I’m reading a book at the moment about Rebel Cities, and city centres needing autonomous places to form ideas.  Chatting to Gary Means, from Alternative London, he’s like, you couldn’t replicate this where he’s from, in the Isle of Wight,  because there aren’t enough people to make it diverse.  

I think I was growing up in extreme capitalism, in Jersey, but in the late 80s, early 90s, they had free parties, and we’d go there to smoke weed, take acid, but all the nutters, all the druggies and no-one was fighting. Like skinheads or rockers.  So it was interesting for a while.  The police didn’t know what to do, but they banned it – Jersey can pass their own laws in about three weeks, so they made one where you’d get imprisoned.

The background I come from, it’s only drugs that allowed us to crossover into that world of rich people, but they can’t keep their kids away from hooligans, in the same way.  We ran this club, through a grammar school, and it had a private members club, where you could sign people in, so I’ve always been interested in, I guess, collectives.

Collectives sound like a bad jazz funk band.

Yeah!  It does.

It can be horrible working with people and their moods but it can be amazing, and you eat, party and work together…

I think if we tried to label what we do, it gets complicated and money has never been our driving force, so if you’re excited about something, you can worry about the money later.  Money taints it.  But that’s how people make money, and some will leave.

I’ve been living hand to mouth for so long…not everyone can cope with that…

I want to live a life that’s interesting.  It’s more important than amassing fortune, but maybe some more balance would be good.

Ha! 

It’s exciting and it’s shit.  The agony and the ecstasy.  Throughout history I like the balance of you’re broke but partying with whoever, where the world is blurred.  I used to be friends with, did you know Sebastian Horsley?

I met him in the last three weeks of his life. 

An interesting three weeks…

I was quite reserved in the friendship because I thought it was going to be one that lasted…

I knew him for quite a while, and someone I considered a good friend for a while and, of course, there was bravado but genuine compassion, he was fascinated and fascinating.

He introduced me to this filmmaker once and he was like: “The reason I love him is because he’s got nothing.  He’s got nothing!  And I was like, what do you mean?  What he was saying was that broke isn’t a badge of honour but this guy was doing what he wanted to do, whatever the consequences, and couldn’t get on in whatever world.  I think if you look at the old dandy thing, of two amazing looking guys smoking in poverty…

Like Rimbaud and Verlaine, or Withnail and I…

Yes…it’s all about those ideas.  London’s got a big history of that.  And that is the best quality, where genuinely good ideas get attracted to it, from toffs to the people on the street, they all gravitated towards Sebastian.

Our British attitude towards culture is not embracing like France, here we don’t put creatives on a plinth.  We get shat on, it encourages imperialism…

I think England is a very interesting place because of our working classness.  Deep down, I think they want to be ruled and oppressed.  They’ll never have a revolution, certain things will happen but they won’t connect, or think they’re the same because there’s so much suppression – my theory’s not watertight, but the British get really into football, not getting rid of poverty, not getting rid of the Tories. When Margaret Thatcher died people were saying you can’t say this or that, but she ruined whole communities and those communities are being victimised by the new Conservatives for not having jobs.   She destroyed lives, industry.  Now they’re supposed to feel bad about what was done to them, and media maybe works really well here, but there is not a mass uniting to save the NHS, and I think in British culture there’s an affluence issue.

Affluenza – Ernesto came up for a word for it: Arrivista – in French/Spanish, it’s a cuss in Spanish, means you think you’ve arrived and look down on others.  Always looking up, hegemonic culture…

Always being ruled and being oppressed.  Coming from a small island, London always feels like there’s an immense amount of freedom, some people say you’re on CCTV, the police etc. but I feel very free.  I’ve walked across the city, at 5am, coming down from whatever, and I’m the only person here.  I like walking across the city in Paris too but here, you’ll meet someone you know but also have the anonymity to drift across it and that feels better than walking in the hills and country.  I find it has a lot of spirit.  I think maybe I’m out of touch, but there will be a way for the young, as long as they aren’t victimised for being poor or living somewhere.

Could RED be replicated in Jersey?

No.  Architecturally, no, you couldn’t do it – there was a funny incident when Le Gun were invited to go and do a show in an old magistrates court and the police cells, it was part of the Branchage Film Festival, my friend was organising it and I found it weird that I’d been there before with friends who had been sent to prison and we did a show in the old cells, and took this guy, Lord Bath [aka Paul Vincent Lawford, not “thee real Lord Bath”] to DJ, after the Mayor of Jersey had done his speech, playing Fuck Da Police, and it was going really nuts, like Chris was getting kids to skateboard along the parquet, and it was proper nuts, and it brought a little bit of something but then we’d probably be arrested, so for one night, maybe…

If you tried to recreate this in Jersey, they’d find something to really hate, and be negative about, and you’d get ten people and a dog there. I think this is unique but if you took these characters and gave them an opportunity there, they’d make something, but something else.  I think they’ve made a lot just out of the building, from the Bare Bones show in November with no heating, freezing hands, thinking why are we doing this, then when they started to get electrics it grew, but that non-permanence…

Do you think that’s part of its appeal?

I think because it’s not going to be here, it would have to be run established as an arts space where we had charitable studios, which kinda happens.  It’s like Berlin-past, a bit rough and ready.  I think what they’ve done is allow people to curate their own space, and that works when you have good people involved.  I think it’s an interesting thing.  Out the back of my mind I always think it’s going to be turned into a hotel with a Banksy in perspex, and they’ve done so well, for what it was, it was all a bit shit.  So when it changes into a hotel, you’ll think, wow, that was a good space, but London is layers upon layers upon layers.  Every room in Soho has layers and things reoccur, like this was something in the 60s, it’s been everything and now it’s something similar – I mean could this work somewhere else in London?

Blue in West London, my husband’s joke.  They did a successful pop-up in Ladbroke Grove…

In this space, when it began, with all the agro with The Foundry, the squat, they were looking at these guys in one way, and I think the whole of London is becoming more friendly to consumers, so Soho is like Covent Garden…

The world is like that, you’ll walk down streets in Madrid, Barcelona, Tokyo, and all the same brands’ll be on the same streets…

In Soho there are going to be some major architectural changes.  City Road is changing really quick, with canalside developments.  I think progress is good but having something of the past is good as well, that’s when London works, I don’t know how new flats culturally improve something.  My vision of the future is that there’s a circle being drawn around London, and you won’t be able to live in it.  In Paris all the estates are out of the city, it’ll be reversed here.

Do you consider yourself to be tech friendly, or a luddite?  Where do you fit with TechCity?

50% luddite, 50% technology.  The problem I have with technology is the same problem I have with my dyslexia, like if you showed me how to do something on Photoshop, I couldn’t remember it.  I find Social Media fine, but technology to aid my art is frustrating, and I have no logic in that area, but we’re in interesting times with technology, you can do films and stuff you couldn’t have done 5 years ago, it’s bringing an affordability to making things, but the gatekeepers and distribution problems still exist.  I think technology is good and empowering but frustrating and I don’t think it’s going to make anyone more creative than they are, it’s a tool.  You could get the best camera ever, and call yourself a photographer…

Some people would say the democracy of the internet allows everyone to hear it, but I think it would be possible to record the best album ever and remain obscure.  It may be that rising population combined with a wider access to cheapened technology means there is more content, but indie stuff is always battling mainstream distribution…

You can make a print but may spend ten years getting that money back.  Or you could ask someone else to sell it, make half the money, and have more time.

I made a film, a seventy-minute psychogeographical detective story, purely narrated because I didn’t have any sound equipment, I don’t give a shit what happens with it.  I went to see festival doctors, it’s not my world, but I’m fascinated with having it exist.

You have to be certifiable to work in film…

I agree, it is the nuttiest world, and there’s development money flying around, and technology has enabled it.   It’s very emotionally draining.

It’s like Laura Mulvey, it gets a lot bigger than you.  And £100K minimum publicity and advertising budget is essential to even remotely play in the arts cinemas.  So why bother making something in that format if it’s never going to make it.  Even the Netflix/HBO/Amazon series – it’s all getting sewn up by the same gatekeepers, so as indies we have to find our own way.

I was like: I’m going to make this film, and I’d have meetings with people trying to do it the right way, and they’d say, you need a crew of fifteen people.  And in the end I was like, right, I can make something but it’s not the same way they’d make it.  I’m with you that you can’t expect mass cinema release.  There is interesting stuff, but you have to be a Social Media fanatic, it’s something I feel I should be doing more than I want to.  You can get people to do that.

Technology is not going to improve creativity.  It does enable it, you can make a film that looks alright that is digital, but you can make a film on a video camera and make it look good, I think if you can get a good balance with it, it’s good.

I think it’s more useful to have the internet in the country than in the city.

Yeah, John Reith saw communication as a way to educate and inform farmers.  

It’s all regional, but linked.  The human race will survive and adapt but technology may not be used for entertainment – Social Media was used in the Arab Spring for something amazing, and in the West it’s used for privileged entertainment to make sense of our stupid lives.  Taking pictures of food.  People call themselves foodies, like, we’ve all gotta eat…

I did ten years without food!

We’ve all eaten tissue paper, for our time in the catwalk, ha, but it’s fascinating I was only on Facebook this year, to promote my film, but I got suckered in, and it’s funny, that’s exactly what they’d do if you were sitting with them, so people do connect in the same way, in social entertainment, it could be used for good to help isolated people, it would have blown my mind on Jersey as a boy.

I got that through magazines, The Face, reading i-D.

I don’t know if we knew what we looking for – you’d get a record, read the sleeve notes, it was manual.  I think digital is interesting but it’s like anything [is available], I’m not going to listen to stuff on a valve amp ‘cos it’s authentic, or Modern is Bad.  Because we live in the modern, some of it is shit, but computers have helped me personally in some respects but can be a bit annoying if I’m there with my girlfriend, and I’m on Facebook.

I’m time obsessive and it kills me how much time it leaks.  

We do like to kill time though, boredom, we have to be entertained…

http://www.robertrubbish.co.uk

http://www.legun.co.uk

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IF YOU GET THIS FAR:  HERE’S THE PROMISED SAMUEL JOHNSON, from 1738…

Tho’ Grief and Fondness in my Breast rebel,
When injur’d Thales bids the Town farewell,
Yet still my calmer Thoughts his Choice commend,
I praise the Hermit, but regret the Friend,
Resolved at length, from Vice and London far,
To breathe in distant Fields a purer Air,
And, fix’d on Cambria‘s solitary shore,
Give to St. David one true Briton more.

For who would leave, unbrib’d, Hibernia‘s Land,
Or change the Rocks of Scotland for the Strand?
There none are swept by sudden Fate away,
But all whom Hunger spares, with Age decay:
Here Malice, Rapine, Accident, conspire,
And now a Rabble Rages, now a Fire;
Their Ambush here relentless Ruffians lay,
And here the fell Attorney prowls for Prey;
Here falling Houses thunder on your Head,
And here a female Atheist talks you dead.

While Thales waits the Wherry that contains
Of dissipated Wealth the small Remains,
On Thames‘s Banks, in silent Thought we stood,
Where Greenwich smiles upon the silver Flood:
Struck with the Seat that gave Eliza Birth,
We kneel, and kiss the consecrated Earth;
In pleasing Dreams the blissful Age renew,
And call Britannia‘s Glories back to view;
Behold her Cross triumphant on the Main,
The Guard of Commerce, and the Dread of Spain,
Ere Masquerades debauch’d, Excise oppress’d,
Or English Honour grew a standing Jest.

A transient Calm the happy Scenes bestow,
And for a Moment lull the Sense of Woe.
At length awaking, with contemptuous Frown,
Indignant Thales eyes the neighb’ring Town.

Since Worth, he cries, in these degen’rate Days,
Wants ev’n the cheap Reward of empty Praise;
In those curst Walls, devote to Vice and Gain,
Since unrewarded Science toils in vain;
Since Hope but sooths to double my Distress,
And ev’ry Moment leaves my Little less;
While yet my steady Steps no Staff sustains,
And Life still vig’rous revels in my Veins;
Grant me, kind Heaven, to find some happier Place,
Where Honesty and Sense are no Disgrace;
Some pleasing Bank where verdant Osiers play,
Some peaceful Vale with Nature’s Paintings gay;
Where once the harass’d Briton found Repose,
And safe in Poverty defy’d his Foes;
Some secret Cell, ye Pow’rs, indulgent give.
Let —— live here, for —— has learn’d to live.
Here let those reign, whom Pensions can incite
To vote a Patriot black, a Courtier white;
Explain their Country’s dear-bought Rights away,
And plead for Pirates in the Face of Day;
With slavish Tenets taint our poison’d Youth,
And lend a Lye the confidence of Truth.

Let such raise Palaces, and Manors buy,
Collect a Tax, or farm a Lottery,
With warbling Eunuchs fill a licens’d Stage,
And lull to Servitude a thoughtless Age.

Heroes, proceed! What Bounds your Pride shall hold?
What Check restrain your Thirst of Pow’r and Gold?
Behold rebellious Virtue quite o’erthrown,
Behold our Fame, our Wealth, our Lives your own.

To such, a groaning Nation’s Spoils are giv’n,
When publick Crimes inflame the Wrath of Heav’n:
But what, my Friend, what Hope remains for me,
Who start at Theft, and blush at Perjury?
Who scarce forbear, tho’ Britain‘s Court he sing,
To pluck a titled Poet’s borrow’d Wing;
A Statesman’s Logic, unconvinc’d can hear,
And dare to slumber o’er the Gazetteer;
Despise a Fool in half his Pension drest,
And strive in vain to laugh at H—y’s jest.

Others with softer Smiles, and subtler Art,
Can sap the Principles, or taint the Heart;
With more Address a Lover’s Note convey,
Or bribe a Virgin’s Innocence away.
Well may they rise, while I, whose Rustic Tongue
Ne’er knew to puzzle Right, or varnish Wrong,
Spurn’d as a Beggar, dreaded as a Spy,
Live unregarded, unlamented die.

For what but social Guilt the Friend endears?
Who shares Orgilio‘s Crimes, his Fortune shares.
But thou, should tempting Villainy present
All Marlb’rough hoarded, or all Villiers spent;
Turn from the glitt’ring Bribe thy scornful Eye,
Nor sell for Gold, what Gold could never buy,
The peaceful Slumber, self-approving Day,
Unsullied Fame, and Conscience ever gay.

The cheated Nation’s happy Fav’rites, see!
Mark whom the Great caress, who frown on me!
London! the needy Villain’s gen’ral Home,
The Common Shore of Paris and of Rome;
With eager Thirst, by Folly or by Fate,
Sucks in the Dregs of each corrupted State.
Forgive my Transports on a Theme like this,
I cannot bear a French metropolis.

Illustrious Edward! from the Realms of Day,
The Land of Heroes and of Saints survey;
Nor hope the British Lineaments to trace,
The rustic Grandeur, or the surly Grace;
But lost in thoughtless Ease, and empty Show,
Behold the Warriour dwindled to a Beau;
Sense, Freedom, Piety, refin’d away,
Of France the Mimic, and of Spain the Prey.

All that at home no more can beg or steal,
Or like a Gibbet better than a Wheel;
Hiss’d from the Stage, or hooted from the Court,
Their Air, their Dress, their Politicks import;
Obsequious, artful, voluble and gay,
On Britain‘s fond Credulity they prey.
No gainful Trade their Industry can ‘scape,
They sing, they dance, clean Shoes, or cure a Clap;
All Sciences a fasting Monsieur knows,
And bid him go to Hell, to Hell he goes.

Ah! what avails it, that, from Slav’ry far,
I drew the Breath of Life in English Air;
Was early taught a Briton‘s Right to prize,
And lisp the Tale of Henry‘s Victories;
If the gull’d Conqueror receives the Chain,
And what their Armies lost, their Cringes gain?

Studious to please, and ready to submit,
The supple Gaul was born a Parasite:
Still to his Int’rest true, where’er he goes,
Wit, Brav’ry, Worth, his lavish Tongue bestows;
In ev’ry Face a Thousand Graces shine,
From ev’ry Tongue flows Harmony divine.
These Arts in vain our rugged Natives try,
Strain out with fault’ring Diffidence a Lye,
And get a Kick for awkward Flattery.

Besides, with Justice, this discerning Age
Admires their wond’rous Taients for the Stage:
Well may they venture on the Mimic’s art,
Who play from Morn to Night a borrow’d Part;
Practis’d their Master’s Notions to embrace,
Repeat his Maxims, and reflect his Face;
With ev’ry wild Absurdity comply,
And view each Object with another’s Eye;
To shake with Laughter ere the Jest they hear,
To pour at Will the counterfeited Tear;
And as their Patron hints the Cold or Heat,
To shake in Dog-days, in December sweat.

How, when Competitors like these contend,
Can surly Virtue hope to fix a Friend?
Slaves that with serious Impudence beguile,
And lye without a Blush, without a Smile;
Exalt each Trifle, ev’ry Vice adore,
Your Taste in Snuff, your Judgment in a Whore;
Can Balbo‘s Eloquence applaud, and swear
He gropes his Breeches with a Monarch’s Air.

For Arts like these preferr’d, admir’d, carest,
They first invade your Table, then your Breast;
Explore your Secrets with insidious Art,
Watch the weak Hour, and ransack all the Heart;
Then soon your ill-plac’d Confidence repay,
Commence your Lords, and govern or betray.
By Numbers here from Shame or Censure free,
All Crimes are safe, but hated Poverty.
This, only this, the rigid Law persues,
This, only this, provokes the snarling Muse;
The sober Trader at a tatter’d Cloak,
Wakes from his Dream, and labours for a Joke;
With brisker Air the silken Courtiers gaze,
And turn the varied Taunt a thousand Ways.
Of all the Griefs that harrass the Distrest,
Sure the most bitter is a scornful Jest;
Fate never wounds more deep the gen’rous Heart,
Than when a Blockhead’s Insult points the Dart.

Has Heaven reserv’d, in Pity to the Poor,
No pathless Waste, or undiscover’d Shore?
No secret Island in the boundless Main?
No peaceful Desart yet unclaim’d by SPAIN?
Quick let us rise, the happy Seats explore,
And bear Oppression’s Insolence no more.
This mournful Truth is ev’ry where confest,
Slow rises worth, by poverty deprest:
But here more slow, where all are Slaves to Gold,
Where Looks are Merchandise, and Smiles are sold,
Where won by Bribes, by Flatteries implor’d,
The Groom retails the Favours of his Lord.

But hark! th’ affrighted Crowd’s tumultuous Cries
Roll thro’ the Streets, and thunder to the Skies;
Rais’d from some pleasing Dream of Wealth and Pow’r,
Some pompous Palace, or some blissful Bow’r,
Aghast you start, and scarce with aking Sight,
Sustain th’ approaching Fire’s tremendous Light;
Swift from pursuing Horrors take your Way,
And Leave your little All to Flames a Prey;
Then thro’ the World a wretched Vagrant roam,
For where can starving Merit find a Home?
In vain your mournful Narrative disclose,
While all neglect, and most insult your Woes.

Should Heaven’s just Bolts Orgilio‘s Wealth confound,
And spread his flaming Palace on the Ground,
Swift o’er the Land the dismal Rumour flies,
And publick Mournings pacify the Skies;
The Laureat Tribe in servile Verse relate,
How Virtue wars with persecuting Fate;
With well-feign’d Gratitude the pension’s Band
Refund the Plunder of the begger’d Land.
See! while he builds, the gaudy Vassals come,
And crowd with sudden Wealth the rising Dome;
The Price of Boroughs and of Souls restore,
And raise his Treasures higher than before.
Now bless’d with all the Baubles of the Great,
The polish’d Marble, and the shining Plate,
Orgilio sees the golden Pile aspire,
And hopes from angry Heav’n another Fire.

Couid’st thou resign the Park and Play content,
For the fair Banks of Severn or of Trent;
There might’st thou find some elegant Retreat,
Some hireling Senator’s deserted Seat;
And stretch thy Prospects o’er the smiling Land,
For less than rent the Dungeons of the Strand;
There prune thy Walks, support thy drooping Flow’rs,
Direct thy Rivulets, and twine thy Bow’rs;
And, while thy Beds a cheap Repast afford,
Despise the Dainties of a venal Lord:
There ev’ry Bush with Nature’s Music rings,
There ev’ry Breeze bears Health upon its Wings;
On all thy Hours Security shall smile,
And bless thine Evening Walk and Morning Toil.

Prepare for Death, if here at Night you roam,
And sign your Will before you sup from Home.
Some fiery Fop, with new Commission vain,
Who sleeps on Brambles till he kills his Man;
Some frolick Drunkard, reeling from a Feast,
Provokes a Broil, and stabs you for a Jest.
Yet ev’n these Heroes, mischievously gay,
Lords of the Street, and Terrors of the Way;
Flush’d as they are with Folly, Youth and Wine,
Their prudent Insults to the Poor confine;
Afar they mark the Flambeau’s bright Approach,
And shun the shining Train, and golden Coach.

In vain, these Dangers past, your Doors you close,
And hope the balmy Blessings of Repose:
Cruel with Guilt, and daring with Despair,
The midnight Murd’rer bursts the faithless Bar;
Invades the sacred Hour of silent Rest,
And plants, unseen, a Dagger in your Breast.

Scarce can our Fields, such Crowds at Tyburn die,
With Hemp the Gallows and the Fleet supply.
Propose your Schemes, ye Senatorian Band,
Whose Ways and Means support the sinking Land;
Lest Ropes be wanting in the tempting Spring,
To rig another Convoy for the K—g.

A single Jail, in Alfred‘s golden Reign,
Could half the Nation’s Criminals contain;
Fair Justice then, without Constraint ador’d,
Sustain’d the Ballance, but resign’d the Sword;
No Spies were paid, no Special Juries known,
Blest Age! But ah! how diff’rent from our own!

Much could I add, —— but see the Boat at hand,
The Tide retiring, calls me from the Land:
Farewel! —— When Youth, and Health, and Fortune spent,
Thou fly’st for Refuge to the Wilds of Kent;
And tir’d like me with Follies and with Crimes,
In angry Numbers warn’st succeeding Times;
Then shall thy Friend, nor thou refuse his Aid,
Still Foe to Vice forsake his Cambrian Shade;
In Virtue’s Cause once more exert his Rage,
Thy Satire point, and animate thy Page.

SAME AS IT EVER WAS

AND HERE IS MR KIRSTY IN A BEAUTIFUL MEMBERS CLUBDSC02888 DSC02892It’s the closest to our house…next to me:  Danielle Kendry aka Porcelain, of Porcelain and Red – my fave vintage shop ever, next door to The Society Club.  x

Digital Mondrian, London

Journalism, london, Nightlife

The artist formerly known at K-ROCKA went digital, 29.04.15 at the London launch party for the incredible How The Light Gets In PhilosOPhy festival, which runs aside Hay Literary Festival, 21-31 May.  This feat of tech-transgression from DJing with vinyl was guided by one badass rockchick, Kristy Harper at the Mondrian’s Rumpus Rooms overlooking the city of London.  Thank you, Kristy, may light shine on your path.

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The artist formerly known as K-ROCKER on the Rumpus Rooms rooftop

I put together a mix on Garageband for the event, live-ramping some of it up, and used a laptop and phone on two channels with a mixer (demonstrating extreme heights of DJ skillz – ha) – everything from the Dracula-inspired Kelli Ali x Ozymandias to an assortment of Feral is Kinky, Major Lazer (of course) and haaaawt new demos from Gil De Ray & ‎Ösp Eldjárn.  Also paid tribute to the recently departed, Alan Wass.

I love the Mondrian Hotel – Tom Dixon bronzes everywhere.  Situated in Sea Containers House, this area has a special place in my heart, as it’s where I first got a gig as a journalist in my teens – IPC Tower is now being converted into luxury flats.

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The walk along the Southbank always makes me feel like the whole of my life is ahead, at 21 or 22 I had an office in a newspaper office with a Thames view.  One of the many things I’ve lost.  Looking out to the dark river, I always feel a tinge of LIVE NOW – as it’s where my schoolfriend Mandy Wright’s father was taken by the Thames whilst in a boat with a secret lover.  Mandy, sadly, fell after, from a window, tragically, 20 years ago.  RIP.

BUT BEYOND DEATH – I take every opportunity to live a distinguished life – so had the pleasure of joining the Schrager legend on the Southbank for my birthday (back in Pisces season) at the Mondrian Hotel.  (Ian Schrager co-founded the only disco of the 70s, Studio 54, before moving into the hotel business.)

THIS PLACE – Agua Bathhouse + Spa – is less of a hang out, more of an urban treatment rehab.  Likely faster than 28 days and promises to die for.  Feet up, newspapers, placed under crisp, hotel-starched duvet.  HEAVEN.  Best massage I’ve had in London, thank you Motoko.  Think it’s called the Guru treatment,  personalised mix of essential oils after a consultation.  AND I AM ALL ABOUT ESSENTIAL OILS.

Agua Bathhouse and Spa Kirsty Allison

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It’s a copper funnel funhouse – Clockwork Orange, sci-fi modernism in the basement – and they brought me cake – I AM A ROLLOVER.  That’s Mr Kirsty reading the FT.  He also had a Guru, to whom he shall return.  High praise.FullSizeRender_2 FullSizeRender_1 FullSizeRender

Inferno - Kent Baker

Inferno, backstage at the first Dante show – Kent Baker

The lovely Lou Winwood at Inferno, Foyles, 19.03.2015

The lovely Lou Winwood at Inferno, Foyles, 19.03.2015

Birthday shenanigans continued at Foyles’s bookshop for the launch for a McQueen book published by Olly Walker (I interviewed him on Resonance FM about his previous stencil art book).  And onwards via a classic pub on Tin Pan Alley (AKA Denmark Street), and further into the Thursday night with the cabaret of darlings at Hoi Polloi.

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Cabaret darlings of Hoi Polloi

Also had a lil get together at Vout O Reenee’s – the members’ club run by Sophie Parkin, who wrote the book on the Colony Rooms, which I had long coveted, and was kindly gifted, alongside membership.  Vive Sophie,  and all like her.   And the wonderful friends able to join us…

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Underground

ROCK CHICKS - Kirsten Telfer-Beith, Erika Ts, Nina Pall

Lilith 'Lagerfeld' Bussfeld, Nickque Patterson

Kate Clews & Melanie Sturge

Sam Dayeh, Rebecca Minney-Bartels

Kirsten Telfer-Beith, Fiona Cartledge

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COLONY

Born FREESTYLE

Journalism

 

HOT IN THE CITY, HOT IN THE CITY – it was, when Jason McGlade, editor and publisher of Freestyle, parked up in my mate’s gallery, RED, blogged me with this picture, and it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, awwwww….

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Producing an entire issue of a magazine which is ROUND and comes in a FRISBEE – from the back of their converted van – FREESTYLE needed a journalist for a feature about RED and this is what we made:

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I’ve done a LOT of sit-ups since seeing that picture…

THE AMAZING ARTWORK is by LE GUN‘s Chris Bianchi and Robert Rubbish.

FREESTYLE IS AVAILABLE FROM GOOD STORES & ONLINE, get in touch with them to find out more.

This is issue 4, and was crowdfunded.  Previous collectable frizbees designed by Paul Smith, Eley Kishimoto, Matthew Williamson – this edition is all Berlin black vinyl and has a super-fly, augented reality app – showcased in the video above…

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#kissme party – kindly hosted by Beige at W Hotel, London

Art, Film, Nightlife, Press

Shot by artist, Tony Pronier (pictured below)

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The psychedelic shots below are by me – the ones with the snazzy flash are by Josh Chow.

Thanks to Lilith Bussfeld, without whom this event could never have occurred.

Kirsty Allison & Kelli Ali

Kelli & I

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by Kirsty Allison 18.13.14 KissMeCleopatraWHotelInvite10small k6 k5 k3 k2 k1 cherry cherry smile tears queen love love last hypnotise high heart heart last fire burn bedsit by Alexander Snelling 00983 by Leigh One Little Spaceman_131747 copy by Alexander Snelling 00955 by Alexander Snelling 00968 by Alexander Snelling 00977 by Alexander Snelling 00979 by Leigh One Little Spaceman_151319 by Leigh One Little Spaceman_151807 by Alexander Snelling 00988 by Alexander Snelling 00993 by Alexander Snelling 00995 by Alexander Snelling 01001 by Leigh One Little Spaceman_162246 by Kirsty Allison 16.59.28 by Alexander Snelling 01013 by Alexander Snelling 01024 by Alexander Snelling 01023 by Kirsty Allison TEARS high queen hypnotised burn fire heart LOVE Bedsit queen heart last chorus love last chorus MUNROE 1 Mun2 Mun3 Mun4 TABOO k4 SHAKE MUNEY MUNEY Shake 2 trio shake Mun 5 mun 6 Muney de Hav Kelli 1 KELLI 2 Kirsty gfx 1 MUNI kelli 3 kelli 4 muni huni muni trio Mo Muni

WATCH THE KISS ME KLEOPATRA FILM

Photo Art Fair 2013//London//

Art
Seagirls love chips by Elaine Constantine

Seagirls love chips by Elaine Constantine

I loved the Photo Art Fair 2013* sooooo much, I went back after the VIP launch - and it was interesting to see who'd racked up those gorg red dots - there were more on these beauties by Elaine Constantine than a Yayoi Kusama painting.

I loved the Photo Art Fair 2013* sooooo much, I went back after the VIP launch – and it was interesting to see who’d racked up those gorg, red SOLD dots – Elaine Constantine’s looked like a Yayoi Kusama painting.

Skins & Punks

Skins & Punks by Gavin Watson – pure legend – he’s so in with his subject, it’s like being there.

Tri-Colour/Closet by Zanna

Tri-Colour/Closet by Zanna – I AM LOVING HER PRINT PROCESS – in FCPX, the editing kit I’ve been getting my head around recently, there’s an effect called Prism which I frickin adore – as you will see, once the pop film I’m making for Kelli Ali is finished.

Sisters series by Marlene Marino

Sisters series by Marlene Marino – these are so grunge, and feminine – they remind me of Nick Waplington & Phil Poynter‘s series they did at Hotel 17.

The New Gypsies by Iain McKell - a lovely chap I see down at KHMC, but first met at the Sanctum in Soho.  His work has been published everywhere but he's currently going on Saturday night missions to capture Blackpool with the brilliant photographer, Dougie Wallace.

The New Gypsies by Iain McKell – a lovely chap I see down at KHMC, but first met at the Sanctum in Soho. His work has been published everywhere but he’s currently going on Saturday night missions to capture Blackpool with the brilliant photographer, Dougie Wallace.

*Photo Art Fair, 3-6 May, Victoria House (where the Vauxhall Fashion Scout shows are in Fashion Week), London…Photo Art Fairs are industry pow-wows – they happen all over the world like film festivals, offering meet n greets with agents, buyers, sellers…London’s just got its first – defo going back next year…great place to collect beautiful, future classics.

Berlin SubCulture to London NoCulture

Art, Journalism, Money, Music, Politics

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I’d been going on at Ernesto Leal to programme Danielle De Picciotto in his Red Gallery in London’s Shoreditch, and am super-proud he invited me to steer this panel.

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I knew this picture of Danielle De  Picciotto (with her husband, Alexander Hacke, of Einsturzende Neubatten) prior to knowing much else about her…

It was Chris Bohn, editor of The Wire magazine, who turned me onto Danielle – he was reading her book (The Transgression of Beauty – which I whole-heartedly recommend – she’s a true inspiration, the type of woman I don’t find enough of, and trust her schedule will allow her to perform at Red later this year…) – Alexander Snelling – my boyfriend and I were meeting with Bohn and his girlfriend, Keiko, to discuss a film Alex is directing about psychedelic-techno maverick, Manuel Gottsching (the Berliner who went up a mountain with LSD-guru, Timothy Leary, managed to come down to be chased by Nico, recorded with Ashra Tempel, and made this, the definitive Balearic track, sampled on Sueno Latino, nicked by countless inferiors, re-sampled by Derrick May, who, incidentally, believes Techno is a power greater than the mechanical consciousness feared by The Frankfurt school – which I’ll get to – but let it be known, Gottsching is the DUDE).

So we’ve visited Manuel’s scene in Berlin – and I’ve fallen in love with the city’s embrace of techno-academic philosophies guiding ART (I’m a long-term fan of Christiane F- Hacke’s first girlfriend, and I love the Helmut Newton gallery by Zoo Station, and just knowing that Iggy Pop & Bowie hung out in West Berlin kills me – I’ve been lucky enough to visit amazing private views over the years and have a few of Sven Vath’s Harthouse records, a couple of Kraftwerk, some Detroit, Belgian, some of Jeff Mills Underground resistance and old Tresor records in my collection…) but the biggest appeal to Berlin for me is the rationalisation and need for structural understanding of  CULTURE in the programming at festivals such as Transmediale, and discussions at squatted buildings which support discussion as an essential element of progressing thought and practice – call it Neo-Marxism, or techno-democracy, stemming from The Frankfurt School (which I have State-lectured in – under the guise of Contextual Studies for Media – in the old syllabus for undergrads, before Marxism disappeared from the current outline, which came out shortly after the current government – NB – how the fuck can you discuss technological and democracy without Marxist-models is beyond me – but I find it easy to blame the State’s need to have conforming, non-questioning workers who love life in the Mall – another soapbox/blog, another day)…however, the German need to evaluate is likely the intelligent evolution stemming from their post-Nazi situation, I find an inherent German characteristic is logic and REASON (I don’t care if nationalistic identification is perceived as rascist, again, another soapbox, another blog) AND I love working with Germans for this, in my experience, Germans deliver – and progress is why, when I used to write for NME, DJ, Mixmag and many other publications including The Face, Sky, Dazed and Raygun (before DJing and going onto make music documentaries for BBC Radio) – I was always on about the ELECTRONIC VANGUARD, and that’s what Ernesto’s events have always been about – which is why we’re drawn to each other – but aside from Ecstasy, Peace, Love & Unity, the aspects of rave culture shared by the British and German scene-are people came together from different worlds – when the Berlin Wall fell,  the former-Soviet East and the Western bloc (which had been broken into districts ruled by the ‘Western Allies’, France, the US and Britain – with consultation with West Germany), having parties in warehouses in former GDR-land (German Democratic Republic/Soviet) where ownership and legislation was murky, dancing under initial idealistic ideologies of anarchy and optimism in much the same way as we did around the M25, in pre-Criminal Justice Bill Britain – before super-clubs, capital super-greed and State taxation were instigated by the devisive mega-minds at the top of the power tree –  so what evolved, particularly in the grimy warehouse clubs of Berlin such as E-Werk, and all the ‘stay up forever’ principals of Doctor Motte’s LoveParade, was the Techno philosophy of Newness being the Future.  Space – the final frontier…

Ernesto has a pre-occupying theme of gentrification, which becomes as explosive as Shoreditch rents when combined with Berlin’s 90s trance culture and the MASS POSITIVISM which accompanied the WHITE LIGHT/WHITE NOISE-TOTEM championed by DJs such as Paul van Dyk, a discovery of Mancunian, Mark Reeder who was drawn to Berlin in 1978,  having started The Frantic Elevators with a certain Mick Hucknall – before becoming Factory Records label rep in Berlin, moving into East Berlin – the nutbag – started managing and engineering bands like this female punk band, Malaria!


He formed the band which toured with New Order, Die Unbekannten (as Shark Vegas – a more pop version) with Alister Gray and Thomas Wylder, who went onto drum with Die Haut and Berlin lurkers, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds:

Setting up a label “Masterminded For Success” MFS – the initials of the Stasi, Ministry for State Security in East Berlin, in 1990 – he encompasses a brilliant musicological ‘rock family tree’ –  stemming from this post-Geniale Dilettentan (Martin Kippenberger-style post-Dada transdisciplinary movement), post-punk East Berlin-isolation, into electronica and trance.  I’m delighted to get the chance to hear him because cultural entrepreneurialism around the delapidation of the Berlin Wall echoed the rave scene I became involved with in London at the age of about 14 – despite a folk-background, I became a wildchild, aware that acid house had the counter-cultural Power to stand as the last revolution against kill sprees and capitalism, to achieve what Flower Power had failed to…sadly, the fantasy failed again -being part of Thatcher’s youth, I was one of the apolitical monghead tools who thought going to a Spiral Tribe rave was a political dancefloor move (huh hurr), but, it meant a generation led the following generations to float in the bland mediocrity of existence, coupled with Generation Fear – those brought up wary of Bin Laden and if not watching Big Brother, being filmed on CCTV- that no-one can ever be bothered to watch (another soapbox – I’m reaching for the stars on those boxes today).

Our economy has been on a downward spiral since acid house – I don’t blame the drugs,  I’m with the half-glass full, Nobel prize-winning economist, Paul Krugman, who suggests LURVE will get us out of our current financial straits – basically, positive spending energy encourages positive energy – embrace, LoveWorks – bring it on, let’s just get in debt forever, it will always be future debt.
I’ve previously said I believe there should be a Global Charter of Corporate Social Responsibility (with relative social ‘taxes’ – not wholly binary, or financial – more altruistic and community-based) and with this in mind, should base-level creative projects, such as bars, clubs, and galleries, and those feeding from their existence such as property people and businesses, support the underground matrix of artists which offer them credo – (Shoreditch being a prime example of essential co-existence – if Westwood and McQueen have lots in Redchurch St, will they want to stay there without a little of the grit that attracts hipsters to Boy – or will East have moved South by then – I suspect the rents will have pushed them there) but an alternative model could perhaps exist through something in the grasps of corporations: Land, and the provision of it to artists – seeing as we cannae squat civilly nae more – from September it will be a criminal offense to squat in the UK,  I would suggest areas encouraged giving land to artists to aid gentrification, perhaps if their taxes and business rates aren’t doing so well, what with all these empty shops – but if it is done borough by borough, communication can exist in a real sense between those who need to be provided for in some sense by those bigger than them – let’s call it the the parental duty of the 1% if they can be philanthropic enough to assist, but we know it’ll never work – as long as there is greed and need…
But I hope THE INNOVATOR, DIMITRI HEGEMANN (who’s the key speaker) can spread some advice here – he gives grants to artists, supports them with one job to lead to another, a good guy – labelled a Techno activist through, what I suspect will be a belief about DIY-ism, he had the Fishburo bar, turned it into the UFO club, before setting up Tresor -does his embrace of Techno side along using the Internet and whatever private-app based networks we can think we’re underground communicating upon – to achieve this – because what this talk at the Red Gallery sets out to do, is explore the relationship between Subculture and Creative Industries – Tresor, being a prime example of a Creative project, so passionate in its advancing of the techno arts that it became a philanthropic sport of Hegemann to provide lifeblood to the underground matrix of artists.  Is it as simple as Subculture being another word for Lifestyle – so said Alvin Toffler, the futurist who is cited by Detroit-Juan Atkins (Cybotron, Model 500) for inspiring him with his writing on ‘techno rebels’ in his book, The Third Wave.  Is it true the underground no longer exists in our networked world, and instead, the choice is Lifestyle – and whose we’re buying into, because Money Corrupts Equality.

And if we have to be part of a Lifestyle, can we do it without guys like Dimitri investing in progressive artists in an era where it’s Google vs The World?  (They have  Orwellian-powers you do not want to believe) –  where does the capital fit in with art?  Currently through gallerists – bless their sweet souls, but howabout musicians – it’s hard out there, and writers – wow – well, I lecture, and have a PHD is Ducking n Diving.  Is it as black and white as being either DIY and thoroughly indie-pendent, is there a rainbow of opportunity to find support through sponsorship as a working class artist – or one that has to work.  To offer complete autonomy to artists takes a truly maverick brand, and in my experience, there are very few who don’t want to imprint some level of Ownership, and a corporate-instigated belief system or another bullshit masquerade.    I love the principals of GEMA (the copyright society of Germany) who are responsible for ‘protecting artistic works’ but such are their endeavors, to protect the artist as a creator, they are superstrict – and German YouTube is not as liberal in content as elsewhere (another blog -Creative Commons etc and the need for ownership).  Is freedom of expression the same thing as freedom of audience – in Idealistic times, yes.  Which seem historical by their very notion – amoral times, ladies and germs (that’s a Garfield-ism, he was my philosophic hero when I was growing up).

Is there a middle ground of compromise where artists don’t have to do as De Picciotto and co did – which was recluse to a castle, only to have a hundred skinheads as their door- or is the point to co-exist, to log-in to culture and leave the studio as and when required, rather than build a wall around culture, forcing us to totally DIY it, leaving our small castles to get attacked – do we need to be more unSocial than Social – UNwiring ourselves to the networks where corporate/capital cyber-control leave Analogue the only freedom fighter in the ongoing flotilla of post-modernism – because even private networks will always be hackable, because people and artists will always be buy-able.  Let’s all go and buy an island of ideals.  It couldn’t possibly be this planet.  What is the revolution?  As I read in Vanity Fair’s current issue, Woody Allen has endorsed Smirnoff, Kurt Vonnegurt – credit cards, Hitchcock- Western Union and Salvador Dali – Alka Seltzer (!) – Bobby Gillespie sold his soul to Uniqlo – if you’re stupid enough to buy it, you’re stupid enough to believe it – but free economy… (another box of soapsuds, another blog).
As I draw to a close, I would suggest the corporate wave of digitalisation has overthrown the Techno dream of a democratic internet, and new-tech or old-school are the NU NEW.  All power to Anonymous, or maybe not an oligarchical portion.  Folk jumpers and the craft they represent worn with iPhones continue into the next season, my darlings…(iPhones, I know, still – despite a recession, what can everyone sport?  The symbol of not being lonely.)
So the velocity of techno-times have passed, to be replaced by the arguments for living anti-Socially whilst being wired in – PHEW – had to get that out –
Techno-culture was always the melting of new forms, dripping towards a virtual existence – we are in that place – where morals have been replaced by armageddon.  The devil’s playground, which is what the underworld and new world’s can offer – Money and art, and where the twixt wane, cultural capital and it’s involvement with the state – let’s embrace the arts and intellectual like a fist full of dollars and challenge and progress at this event on Thursday 7th June.  Which is full  – but message me if you’re super-keen and I maybe able to swish you in under my magic cape…or stay tuned on here, Twitter and my mailing list, and I hope to upload the discussion soon…
My mind is sure of one thing, there needs to be cultural friction, such as that caused in the competition for Berlin to reclaim its capital status against Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg and the riches of Bavaria – cultural friction causes us to fight for progress, unless we’re just creating, man, either in a fog of auteurism and drugs – what Simon Reynolds enchantingly labels some aspects of techno as, “A full-scale retreat from the most radically posthuman and hedonistically functional aspects of rave music toward more traditional ideas about creativity, namely the auteur theory of the solitary genius who humanizes technology,” or in other words, the bedroom DJ – a precursor to the ‘Dead Boys’ of Japan, who are called so because they literally do not interact with society – and this is the darkside, the last frontier, or crossroads that an artist has to do a deal with the devil at in order to create a new beginning…perhaps the Techno dream has come true.

Crossroads and fringes have to shake their tassels right back to the core to have any effect -Techno was a reaction of modernity, a quest for the future, to live on spaceships, in clinical, scientific beauty – away from the wishy-washy drug music of psychedelia – whether Berlin can continue to do this now that the wall’s come down remains to be seen, or as British politics currently suggest, there is, in fact,  a dark secret that if you Build walls, spectacular things will occur, but only once they’re destroyed.

Where are you moving to next?  I heard Athens is pretty cheap…Britain overlooked the importance of allowing people to live as artists to produce exportable merit.  We’ve been drugged goddamit.  And all nanny wanted to do was help.  I take responsibility…TECHNO FOREVER!!!


(the intro track to this, Sugar Daddy, is made by my ex, Kris Needs – he was double my age, I was young, dumb – and errr, full of…blonde ambition – seriously, I was only just out of my teens…don’t do it, Kids, never mind how much you want to learn…)

DO CHECK THIS SELECTION OF TRAX- THEY WERK…

YUMMY

Kirsty Allison, London, June 2012

Neon Nights

Fiction, Nightlife, Poetry, Travel

This was recently published in the London Zine – a magazine I facilitate, sponsored by Islington Council (through Springboard/CSV, providing media access and training).

It felt so exclusive to ride through the London night,

The N11 bus rode higher than the net held by those fishing in crack pipe light

This confident orange roar swirled and licked at parties behind closed doors,

The elusive promise of London, every kiss and shop begging more, more, more.

But across the window panes of the silver flanked stairs of Trafalgar Square

Christtelnacht terror reigned in the reflection of Nelson’s hard glare,

The Queen struck her gilded telescope down her drive of old Pall Mall

Had her people revolted, or was her CCTV feed plain unwell?

Evil orange burned along the glass with Schwartzenegger power,

Was it an inferno from the moon, shooting shards of marigold flowers?

The National Gallery’s collection froze, oil eyes of history in despair

The stories their pictures told could soon be polluted air

The homeless laughed almighty as the fire licked their tinnies and sleeping bags

They’d lost far more than priceless canvases fizzling under the ferocity of the nation’s flags

But as the window panes danced, shining, ready to break

It was clear London city will never burn again, it just bathed in a neon lake.

For nightlights are the only reflection upon the streets and atop the plinth

Nightlife is guided by these torches to steer us through the city labyrinth

This shit is blogoholic

Money

Kirsty’s Glamorous Life.  ENTRY NUMBER ONE.

Yo, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.  I first used the internet in like, the seventies, when it was ARPANET when I was working as a cruise missile seeker for the secret police, but then I went underground, and had to pretend to be uncomputer literate, so I’m now here, 10 years later than planned.  I’ve now revoked my seeker status and feel I have some answers.  Some of which I hope to share with you, dear dear reader…

It’s been a crrrazzzy week at Slack Alice Heights.  Executive Pioneer of Creative Genius, Alexander Snelling, is making a Sex Pistols film with Julien Temple – director of Absolute Beginners, Filth and the Fury, Earth Girls are Easy and the Strummer film which won a massive award recently. My duties are cooking and cleaning and making polite conversation.   I’ve also had to hop to fashion shows for my exciting life earning money in the glamorous world of media.  Actually I earn very little, despite huge wafts of experience and talent…shucks.  But I get to interview people I like and think that I’m in the same league as them by sharing their air!  Cool, huh!

Tonight I’m getting ready to go out to my fabulous friend Fee’s party at the Truman Brewery (which she, like, invented when Hoxton was just fields)…

KEEP IT LOCKED MAN!

I:M GONNA MAKE YOU A BLOGOHOLIC!

______________________________________________

28 Jun 2007

CANARY WHARF

I’ve chosen to submerge myself in hell.

Well tailored suits, well groomed women, the gauzed snort of money and not having to smell their own shit. This is a fucking epidemic of blind greed. Lonely people trussed up in Louis Vuitton working their wiggles to freedom. Money baby. Show me the fucking money. I’m gonna rip it up and watch your eyes follow their loss. It’s all over for you. American Psycho has stalked the best of us and it’s finished. I got my warehouse penthouse in the eighties, my yacht in the nineties. I lost them. I put on weight. It all fucked up. I’m fucked up. What am I doing in a suit talking about hyper-inflation. Oh, I work here. I sell to sell, I’m the ubersalesman, the dreammaker, the heartbreaker. I gamble with your money every day. I am God. And I am your control. Outside the FTSE index scrolls past up and down, up and down legal and general Lloyds, Man Group up, Marks & Sp Up National grid up Next Up, Northern Rock up, Gen Inc of Humanity down. Gutted.

In the shopping centre when you leave Carluccios without paying, you will rise to me, I will show you my power. TopShop will tempt you, and I will win. I am capitalism and I rule the earth, from the bottom of the Thames to the mud flats that create the foundations for this techno shopping mall you’re amazed by. You think you’re in an airport, you’re right, it looks like one, but where are you going? Fucking nowhere. So why don’t you buy shit. Fill your house with shit that makes you think it looks pretty, stuff your face with my fancy tarts, drink organic and forget to wipe your arse because you want to be the people who surround you. You want to be the people that surround you. You want to be the people that surround you. You’re so easy to manipulate so easy to please. You have no strength of character. Look you’re trying on 10 things in TopShop and buying 4 of them. Look, you know you want to, you know you’ve got to. Why wouldn’t you want to get better? You know there’s something wrong with you, don’t you? You know you’re broken and fucked and don’t fit in to my temple of consumption and soulless futility. Where are you now? Shopping? I hope you bought some nice things.

©Kirsty Allison May 2007