In three weeks time, I’m going to be front and centre of the Cockpit Theatre, putting London radio legend, Gary Crowley in the hot seat. This irrepressible raconteur has gone from teenage punk fan to schoolboy fanzine editor to record plugger to NME receptionist, from whence he moved onto radio and TV during the magical years of 80s indie and pop.
He’s run a fanzine from a phone box, was the first to play Wham! on the radio (and became their tour compere), helped bring hip-hop and Brit pop to the masses and schmoozed with Soho’s fashion and music finest during the Wag Club heyday. (more…)
“I think it’s key for songwriters to be faster than media. There’s no reason for the news to be quicker and more hip than a song. Your computer and your smartphone are tools as well as toys. So I encourage artists to always stay awake, and stay aware. And you can get your art and your expression through the clutter of it all by just being very solid, and to the point, and trying not to look at the results, because I think metrics and analytics mess things up. They only measure more, and more is not better.” Chuck D, narrator of Spotify’s podcast on The Clash, talks about creativity versus metrics, and social media for self expression, not self promotion, NBC News(more…)
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…)
Last weekend I went to my first proper festival and now I think I get it. OK, we didn’t camp, but we did get arse-deep in mud, bounced around to some amazing bands, got acquainted with the festival portaloo experience (the only chance to sit down in 12 hours) and discovered the joys of a tech-free weekend*. (more…)