Wednesday, January 26, 2005
If ever you are short of something to do in South London of an evening, you are more or less guaranteed some aural stimulation at Windmill. There's far too many events to mention here, but Angular artistes Luxembourg and The Vichy Government are there next Tuesday (1st Feb).
This will take place during the day and night at the Catapult Club, round the side of the Amersham Arms, 338 New Cross Road, the Walpole Arms, 407 New Cross Road, New Cross Inn (aka Bar Alchemy but I think they're trying to quietly drop that one) 323 New Cross Road, and the Goldsmiths Tavern, 306 New Cross Road, which is trying to get a bit of it's old reputation back after changing from a gritty punk venue with boarded-up windows to what resembled, as far as I could see through the glossy windows, a British Legion Club more at home in Camberley than New Cross.
The New Cross Inn has Dirty Pretty Things, cartoon punks Bogus Gasman, the spooky and lovely sounding Gemma Ray, Crowd, Monster Raging Boogie Party and the charmingly named Yellow Snow,
It's a punk/ska a-go-go at the Catapult Club with: Inner-Terrestrials (politico ska-punk band), Pain (I think this'll be the ex-RDF lot gotten noisy, usually spelt P@IN, I think), Headjam, Hoover & Pitman and Short Bus Window Lickers. I would guess this one i will be your best chance of sighting a studded leather jacket, a Crass t-shirt with the sleeves cut out or a green-mohican.
The flyer I have promises "an eclectic mix of blues and jazz sets from new and established local musicians" at the Walpole and Bongo Tom backs that up by saying: "lots of familiar local acoustic groups and musicians, such as the Repertoire Dogs, playing in the Walpole. It'll be a chilled-out acoustic session, gradually getting more energetic through the day and culminating in a jam session." Bongo Tom will be banging his bongos there, apparently.
The Goldsmiths are chilling too with " eclectic mix of blues Redroute, jazz sets from Stone Pony and established local musicians The Sly Ones, the Purples and Stabilisers."
Who is playing when will be listed on the day and that's a lot of bloody interesting music for a fiver. A contact email for the event is redcrossnewcross_at_yahoo.co.uk (swap _at_ for @)
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
The focus for John at present is to leave a shrine on the site of the Cross Bones for the individuals interred beneath. London transport and other greedy developers are attempting to build an office on the site so, at 7pm on the 23rd of each month, John and others go to the gates of the site on Redcross Way, (just north of junction with Union Street), London SE1, (Borough tube, or London Bridge - Borough High St exit), to commemorate those buried there.
to sing the songs of the Goose and Crow...
to perform our own (syncretic not dogmatic) inclusive rituals...
to bring our own offerings - ribbons, flowers, feathers and other totems...
to tie them to the gate, adding our personal sigils to the >self-transforming shrine that has appeared...
to envision the memorial garden that is already taking root, despite the
best efforts of the would-be developers...
to reclaim magic, mystery and true community in the heart of our city...
(after which we all head off to a convenient watering hole to shoot the breeze, conspire with our higher selves and see how the spirits move us). The shrine has recently gained some extraordinary totems, including a piece of stone from the wall of Jerusalem, willow wreaths (for protection), a wand (once waved in through the door of 10 Downing Street during presentation of an SFC petition to reform the draconian laws that punish working girls and boys), and John Crow's 50 year old teddy-bear (with the >straw spilling from the seams) bound with ribbons of power…at recent 23rd gatherings, magic has occurred...
Monday, January 24, 2005
Which is a sad thing to see first thing on a Monday morning because the world needs more love than humanity is currently generating. It’s written in a strange way too; at the end of each word the pen slides back, putting a squiggle through each word as if the author isn’t quite sure that what they write is the truth or that they don’t want it to be true. The thing is, once one has written something down, it is out there in the world and is on its way to becoming truer than it ma have been before. Especially if it’s written in the dingy tunnel at New Cross station and read on a cold Monday morning.
Once that magic has worked what you have to do is move on.
Friday, January 21, 2005
But it was all true and a big, crowded, sweaty affair it was too - they were by far and away the most danceable white band of their genre/period and they still sounded sharper than 90% of groups then or since. Their critical thinking hasn't dated at all (capitalism still exists I'm afraid), unlike some of the more sloganeering bands of that period, and some of their material has acquired new resonances. As John King bashed out a rhythm with a piece of metal on a microwave, intoning the lyrics of 'Ether' -"white noise in a white room" - I was reminded that while the H-Blocks in Ireland might have closed (the song's original subject), torture by British troops is still pretty topical.
When some bands reform they seem embarrassed and half-hearted, but nobody could accuse the Gang of Four of that on tonight's performance, with singer Jon King scurrying around the stage on all fours, guitarist Andy Gill's intense stare, and original rhythm section Hugo Burnham and Dave Allen shaking the stuffed animal heads, marine ephemera and other bizarre decorations in this most idiosyncratic of South London taverns.
Didn't catch the full set list but for any Go4 obsessives out there it started off with 'What we all want' followed by 'Not great men', 'Ether' 'Why theory?', and 'Return the Gift'. Next songs included 'He'd send in the army', 'At home he's a tourist', 'Anthrax', 'Natural's not in it', before finishing up wiht 'To Hell with Poverty'. A short set of encores included 'We live as we dream alone' and 'Damaged Goods', before they came back on again for 'Essence Rare'.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
I first saw it written in the tunnel and on the poster hoardings of New Cross station. Some one was asking, in black marker pen, for someone to ‘Phone Me Slutski’. It got painted over in the tunnel but a new plea appeared a day or so later. ‘Phone Me Slutski’.
Then we were walking up from the Ravensbourne River the other day toward Lewisham and there is was again, ‘Phone Me Slutski’, scrawled across a phone box near the station.
It could all be some sort of art project, of course, there was a chap who would write “Do not move, this is street art” on the fridges, old tires and other stuff that had been dumped in New Cross last year. He did it for reasons that, I’m sure, made sense to him. There were posters pinned to the lamp posts around Goldsmiths and the Marquis of Granby last August pleading for someone called Viv to get in touch with some sorrowful someone and that the sorry one loved (maybe still loves) him or her. It could have been art or it could have been someone writing out their desperation on the streets where their love walked.
‘Phone Me Slutskí’ hasn’t got the manic edge of something like the Viv posters (I wish I’d photographed them), there’s no pleas, no number, just the command: ‘Phone Me’ and the named ‘Slutski’. Maybe a nasty rash, not love, has blossomed between the two, or more, people involved in the Slutski affair or perhaps the Sluteé (as opposed to the Slutski) craves more from the Slutski but the Slutski, as the name suggests, had left without leaving so much as a phone number, PO Box number or details of their regular drinking hole.
Or maybe this a different language for love or lust, one I don’t know. There’s more out there, at least one for every person in the world, and most of them are only understood by those directly involved (if they’re lucky).
Monday, January 17, 2005
The first one for this year is on Wednesday 26th January, from 9pm, and features Richard Sanderson, who has appeared on these pages before in various guises, under the name of 'Richard of Hume'. He'll be indulging his passion for squeeze-boxes and electronica and it should be as interesting as anything a lap-top and melodeon playing, old New Wave Punk Morris Dancer could throw together.
Along with Richard, the London Electric Guitar Orchestra are performing. I have no idea what they sound like but their name conjures up something interesting, doesn’t it? I know that Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth met, many years ago, in Glenn Branco’s Guitar Orchestra so maybe the London group sound like an orchestra of guitars played by at least two people who will, in the future, go off and form a band as good as Sonic Youth. Or maybe they won’t but I think it's worth the risk of seeing them, just in case.
It’s £3 entry and there’s the usual house disco. All proceed for this month go to the Tsunami relief appeal.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
There is a planning application out there to turn the pub into flats but I don’t know if this has gone through yet or if the pub is still open. Here’s a description of the pub, describing it as looking “closed down” already and here’s a website where one intrepid fan visited the pub while on a pilgrimage of SotD locations.
All together now "Dan, dan, dan, duh-dan-du-dan. White lines!"
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
What other front doors round here hide a cauldron of musical creativity (for better or worse)? In the pub last night somebody claimed that The Orb's 'Little Fluffy Clouds' was recorded in a housing co-op flat in Jerningham Road, New Cross. Can anybody throw any light on this? I am doubtful. However The Orb's fantastically titled 'A Huge Ever-Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre of the Ultraworld'(1989) was recorded at 'Trancentral', the KLF's HQ based in Jimmy Cauty's house in Camberwell (not sure of the exact location - again any suggestions welcome).
Monday, January 10, 2005
Now New Cross itself (or herself or himself, I’m not sure if anyone has tried to dowse the sex of the genus loci of our area) is appearing as the star of a film along with some of the band he/she/it cherishes so well. “Rocklands - Live In New Cross” is showing at the (perversly named) Halloween Short Film Festival and features such local musos as: Art Brut, Bloc Party (who I think I saw on Top of the Pops on Friday but I may have been dreaming (or brainwashed by Art Brut records)), Corporation:Blend, The Crowd and The Ludes are among many bands thrashing away in the film.
It’s on Sunday 16th January at 10pm with two other Charlie Productions, the company that made the film. The festival itself describes itself, on their site, as “Punk Rock in it's outlook, and uncompromising in it's vision” which is, of course, what we like here at Transpontine.
On Friday 14th January, from 9pm, south-east Londoners MyEyes MyEyes will be running some short films at the festival too, followed by films presented by the ever-lovely Fortean Times. Who have very little to do with south-east London but I read it every month anyway.
The full program is here, entry is £1.50 Mon-Fri; £2.50 weekends The ICA is at The Mall, London SW1, near where t’Queen lives.
Saturday, January 08, 2005
It all happens at 8 pm upstairs at The Spanish Galleon, 48 Greenwich Church Street, SE10 and costs £2.50 / £1.50 concessions.
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Sunday, January 02, 2005
We headed up to the top of Telegraph Hill park where a couple of hundred people saw in the New Year with bubbly and fireworks, not to mention a fine view of other people's fireworks going off all over London. People have been gathering there every year since Millennium Eve (although a few months earlier, in August 1999, lots of us watched the solar eclipse there). The event isn't advertised or organised - people just seem to gravitate towards the highest local point, and why not?
What did you get up to?