“What we were doing back then, was rewriting the rules of being white and working class. We knew exactly what it meant to dance to black music in the era of the National Front and the racist standup comedian. Ours was a rebellion against pub culture, shit music and leery sexist nightclubs. Our weapon was obscure vinyl, made by black kids nobody had ever heard of.” Paul Mason’s recollections of the Northern Soul scene are a must-read on Vice.com
David Bowie Is at the V&A was a brilliant trip down memory lane as well as a peek into the brain of the enigma that is Bowie. However much we see of him, do we really feel like we know the man? Apparently, he kept an archive of everything he had ever done from his early youth.
Every song lyric, sketch, photo, sleeve design was carefully stored for…what? He didn’t know at his early age that he would become an icon of his time, but I guess the ambition was there.
Looking at the vitrines curated by a cast of London creatives at the ICA Off-Site project, ‘A Journey Through London Subculture – 1980s to now’, it’s clear that a lot of people have also kept the ephemeral fragments that sum up their artistic journey. From flyers to Polaroids, to scratchy notes and stickers, what to some looks like old junk, is of intrinsic value, especially in the digital age of cloud storage. (When was the last time you printed out your iPhone photos?) (more…)
“Your jeans would wear out in the crotch area – and we’re wearing very low rise, low waisted jeans – so you’d put the patches right where you want the girls to look. It was all stratgetically done. It was all done so that a girl would walk into a room and couldn’t help but look there. In retrospect, I now know that is what I was doing. At the time you’d say, “No, I’m just mending these jeans because they’re torn or they’re ripped.” But somehow they were always torn and ripped in the exact right place.”
Who doesn’t love a good, heartwarming music documentary? If you enjoyed Searching for Sugarman, you must look out for The Heart Of Bruno Wizard. I caught a screening at the East End Film Festival and am impatiently waiting for distribution news so I can see it again.
Bruno is one of those people that I’ve seen out and about and chatted to over the years but never quite understood what he does. The Heart Of Bruno Wizard is his story, told by first-time director Elisabeth Rasmussen. Of course, this isn’t really a music documentary at all but a heartfelt portrait of an artist. We follow his story from punk provocateur (he called his band The Homosxuals ‘to keep the record companies away’ – brilliant!) to artist, political activist and displaced Londoner. Cheesy as it sounds, The heart of Bruno does indeed come across. He’s an old school poet for the people in the same mould as Joe Strummer who never sold out and still carries his message in whatever art medium he can, to whoever will listen.
There are some excellent talking heads featured in the film, including fellow Warren Street squatters Stephen Jones and Marilyn. The music and archive home movie footage are fantastic too. You can get a taste in the trailer here…