25 years ago – UFOrb

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Twenty five years ago my friend David Vallade and I traveled to Brixton to see The Orb, being poor students we ended up buying last minute tickets from a tout outside. When it came to entering the venue David got in and I didn’t as my ticket wasn’t deemed valid. Gutted, I returned home and David was left to do the all-nighter on his own. Above is the flyer, found online earlier this year, a fly poster version of which I had on my wall for years with its early typography by The Designers Republic that was later changed for the album artwork.

David Klein, illustrator

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Whilst combing the web for something else entirely I stumbled across the work of the late David Klein. I’ve always been envious of artists who can seemingly use every colour in the palette and not make the result look like a dog’s dinner and there are some wonderful combinations here. His travel posters are lushous examples of a bygone era that occasionally resurfaces when illustrating period pieces like Mad Men. His psychedelic version of Alice In Wonderland is one of the best I’ve seen and there’s an oddity of what looks like six unused prelims for The Exorcist in there too. Visit his website to find out and see more…

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The Last Jedi trailer and poster

I’m sure it’s been noted all over the net as fanboy analysis videos pick apart ever inch of this trailer but it seems to mirror parts of the first Force Awakens trailer with the sudden ‘jolt’ appearance of an out of breath main character at the start, Vader‘s melted helmet replaced by Kylo Ren‘s and the flying craft skimming the surface shot. There may be more but those were the ones that stuck out to me. Not a lot to get excited about here at the moment for me, those new ships look a bit like B-Wings, is that Carrie Fisher from behind? Glad to see Phasma back, I hope they’ll actually use her this time. Nice nod to the original Star Wars poster in this teaser too.

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Seen out and about in Penge

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I found myself in Penge today, which is a rarity, and there was plenty to see in the quiet South East London suburb. The Penge / Pengeuin paste up above doesn’t really trip off the tongue but it’s always nice to see the orange logo. A little further down the road was a fascinating shop, with a colourful mural outside, that looked like it had been shut for many years. Inside the grilled window were old lamps, bottles, heads and all sorts, stuffed to the rafters but locked up and inaccessible.
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Next were a brace of shops with fresh murals on side walls and shutters.
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The local charity shops threw up a couple of fabulous covers, brilliant in their unstyled glory.
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Later, up the road in Crystal Palace, I came across this amazing stained glass window on a church.
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Announcing Further at the Portico Gallery

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Announcing a new venture put together by myself and old friend Pete Williams (Eikon / Out Of The Wood) – a collision of Light, Sound and Design… Further.

An irregular event held in different places, it’s not a club night, it’s not monthly, there’s no dance floor. It has got all the things we love in it though: experimental music and film, food and drink, socialising and a bit of record hunting.
The first event is on May 6th at The Portico Gallery, a hidden treasure in the heart of West Norwood and a venue very dear to us that offers an extremely adaptable space to project, perform and present our guests in.

We have Jim Jupp (Belbury Poly) and Julian House (The Focus Group) from Ghost Box Records playing an audio visual set and Howlround sound tracking Steven McInerney’s short film, ‘A Creak In Time’.
Pete and I will be pulling all manner of projections, films, slides and FX out to illuminate the gallery at the beginning and end of the evening to compliment our DJ sets.

There will be food on sale from local café Pintadera, a fully licensed bar and plenty of seating. Michael from the nearby Book & Record Bar will also have a stall selling hand-picked stock for the event.

Venue: The Portico Gallery, 23 Knights Hill, West Norwood, London, SE27 0HS
Doors: 7.30 and we’re all done by midnight. Let’s go Further…

V. limited early bird tickets are on sale now through Eventbrite

Facebook event page here

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Eduardo Paolozzi at The Whitechapel Gallery

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Continuing the Paolozzi love on this blog, I visited the new retrospective of his work at the Whitechapel Gallery in East London. Over 250 of his works are on display and it’s more than worth the price of admission. Prints, sculptures, paintings, textiles, photos, films and collages stretch over two floors and the breadth of his work is amazing. What’s also apparent in most of it is that it’s barely dated and is quite timeless, his early Pop Art collages being the only exceptions which can be forgiven as he was one of the originators. The technical level achieved in the screenprints is beyond anything I’ve seen as well, I would love to see the original screens for these or the prints that went wrong. Two mediums I hadn’t seen his work in before really stood out: the textiles and a couple of works in wood, the latter, made with different kinds and varnishes, were gorgeous. Highly recommended.

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Beyond 2000AD exhibition glimpse

Beyond2000_poster Beyond2000_progs Beyond2000_records1 Beyond2000_records2 Beyond2000_TimeOutI finally got time to pop into Orbital Comics and see their small but packed exhibition of 2000AD offshoots, tie-ins, cash-ins, memorabilia, music, magazines, toys and so much more. Not having an opening party because it would clash with the comic’s own 40th celebration a couple of weekends ago they’ve decided to have a closing party on Friday March 10th where there will be a podcast recording and music by yours truly among others.
I also just guested on the Big Mouth podcast pre-record, talking about the comic’s legacy which will be available online this coming Sunday. More details as I have it.

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Ghost In The Shell posters

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Some really nice Ghost In The Shell posters appearing recently. Still don’t know what to make of it from the trailer, it looks great but it seems to have all the hallmarks of any number of Hollywood blockbusters. That could just be the way the trailer was cut though. At least they don’t have one of those classic 80s pop songs reinterpreted in an emo style in it.

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An Ambient Evening with the Orb and friends

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I’m very pleased to announce that I’ll be part of The Orb‘s ‘An Ambient Evening…’ at the Royal Festival Hall on April 21st alongside The Orb (of course) Youth, Roger Eno, Metamono, Gaudi, George Holt (Cakelab), Micheal Johnson (The Book & Record Bar) and more. As part of the ever-growing local South London crew that have gravitated to the West Norwood Broadcasting Company (WNBC) operating out of The Book & Record Bar, Alex Paterson invited us to be a part of the evening to showcase some of the people within this community. Tickets are on sale now .

Not only that, Pete W (Out Of The Wood radio/WNBC) and myself will be unveiling the first outing of our new venture into sight and sound: Further.

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We’ve been kicking this idea around since last summer, wanting to create a space where music and visuals come together in different social settings to form an environment with as much emphasis on the visual as the musical. We’ve gathered an arsenal of analogue kit to make this happen, multiple slide and oil projectors, 3″ cassette effects and all manner of antique controllers to trigger them, with the aim of going back to some of the pre-digital practices that are being lost as we advance into a virtual world. It’s also a chance to showcase the kind of music we’ve been playing in the record shop, on the radio show and in venues like Spiritland over the past year or more – a willfully obscure blend of anything goes from the deepest, unexplored corners of our record collections.
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The idea is to install Further into different places, working with different layouts to make each one different and fresh. Musical and visuals guests will be invited and given space to do their thing and and we’ll provide the environment for them to fit into. Think the 60s UFO club meets a 70s Arts Lab meets the 90s Land of Oz nights with a leftfield audio/visual agenda. We’re currently talking to various different people about the possibilities of staging one of these events in their venue so if you think this could work for you then please get in touch: [email protected]

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What is The Delaware Road?

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The Delaware Road currently exists in several forms; an actual road in London where the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop was originally situated, a compilation released in 2015 by the Buried Treasure label and a multi-faceted performance piece based around a story created by the label’s founder, Alan Gubby and David Yates aka Dolly Dolly. The Radiophonic connection is no coincidence, being that the piece that ties the music contained on the album and play together is loosely based on two key figures working at the BBC Workshop at the height of its powers. Gubby describes it as, “…a work of fiction based on actual events & some unusual anecdotes gathered whilst researching for archived electronic tape music albums released in recent years”.

The story is situated in London, the possibilities of technology and tape are being stretched by inquiring minds and the swinging sixties are upon us. “Two pioneering musicians compose electronic themes for television & radio. They discover a recording that leads to a startling revelation about their employer. Fascinated by the occult nature of the tape they conduct a studio ritual that will alter their lives forever.” Add in dashes of psychedelics, orgies, spirits summoned via stone tape theories and the relentless march of progress and you have the ingredients for a wild ride through the middle of 20th century London, from analogue to digital as the 80s approach and new ways replace old.

The live staged version of the concept album is narrated by the incredible Dolly Dolly, sitting stage right at his desk throughout the performance, suit and tie in place, illuminated by a single anglepoise lamp. His earnest delivery ties the acts together that sonically illustrate the different chapters in the piece, his speeches becoming more animated as the story progresses, enhanced by oil and video projections. The first performance was held at the South Street Arts Centre in Reading and featured a host of acts using tape manipulation, analogue synths, ancient percussion and home-made electronic devices, each in roughly chronological order as the years played out. There was even some jazz on the menu and the whole thing was book-ended by Jonny Trunk and Pete Wiggs playing suitably-themed tunes for the occasion, I covered the night for Shindig! magazine at the time and you can read my review here.

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The album suffered distribution problems upon initial release, as did other Buried Treasure output, but a new deal should mean greater availability and a re-release is planned, there’s even talk of some kind of illustrated version too with various artists being commissioned to bring scenes to life. I can’t recommend the record enough as it perfectly soundtracks the piece put together to showcase it and there’s nary a bad tune in its 20 tracks. Listen to it and buy via Bandcamp.

Which brings me to the reason I’m writing this now as a second performance will be taking place on July 28th, this time at the Kelvedon Hatch Nuclear Bunker site in Essex. Tickets are on sale now but places are limited, there’s even a chance to book a place on a double-decker bus that will take you to the venue from the nearby Brentwood station and discounts for groups of four people. I’m also delighted to reveal that I will be opening and closing the event in a DJ capacity too! I’ll be bringing visuals and delving into my collection for a suitable selection to mark the occasion.
Follow the event and the bands playing it on Facebook, this is going to be a very special evening.
The line up so far is: DOLLY DOLLY, HOWLROUND, TELEPLASMISTE (Mark O Pilkington & Michael J York), RADIONICS RADIO, IAN HELLIWELL, GLITCH, SAUNDERS & HILL, CONCRETISM, SIMON JAMES (The Simonsound), THE TWELVE HOUR FOUNDATION, LOOSE CAPACITOR, DJ FOOD.

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