Monday, July 31, 2017

What are you taking pictures of? - Lewisham '77 photo exhibition

As mentioned here before, there's a whole series of events led by Goldsmiths coming up in next couple of weeks to mark the 40th anniversary of the 'Battle of Lewisham'  when, on 13 August 1977, the far-right National Front (NF) attempted to march from New Cross to Lewisham town centre, leading to violent clashes with counter demonstrators and the police.

For the whole of August there will be a photography exhibition 'What are you taking pictures for?' in the Kingsway Corridor  of the Richard Hoggart Building at Goldsmiths (that's the main old building on Lewisham Way):

'For the first time, photographs documenting the events of 13 August 1977 are exhibited alongside ephemera and newly discovered archive material. This exhibition brings together striking images featured in radical photography journal Camerawork and rarely seen photographs taken by some of the most important photographers documenting life in Britain in the late 70s.

Featuring work by Mike Abrahams, Peter Marlow, Chris Schwartz, Syd Shelton, Chris Steele-Perkins, Homer Sykes, and Paul Trevor.

Opening event with drinks reception: 6pm on Thursday, 3 August. All welcome'.

Image below by Chris Schwartz, I think this is New Cross Road taken from Clifton Rise - building on left is New Cross House, the car place (The Motor Way Centre) opposite is on corner of Laurie Grove is now the Word Bookshop. Banners visible include a couple of anarchist ones ('Struggle' and 'Anarchist Black Cross - Oxford Group') and 'Socialist Challenge' (newspaper of the International Marxist Group).


Thursday, July 27, 2017

They Will Have to Kill us First - Mali music movie in Catford

Coming up at Catford Constituional Club on Sunday 31 July 2017 (7:30 PM - 10 PM), Catford Film are showing 'They Will Have To Kill Us First',  Johanna Schwarz's feature length documentary about Mali's musicians and their struggle to survice and perform under Islamist rule which banned their music. The event, which is being screened in support of of Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network ,will include an interview and Q+A session with the Director at the end of the film. Admission is free, but let them know at their facebook event page if you are planning to come so that they have an idea of numbers.

Synopsis of film:

'Islamic extremists have banned music in Mali, but its world famous musicians wont give up without a fight. They Will Have To Kill Us First tells the story of Malis musicians, as they fight for their right to sing. With a specially commissioned soundtrack from some of Malis most exciting artists, the film features musicians: Khaira Arby, Fadimata Disco Walet Oumar, Malian superstar Amkoullel, Moussa Sidi and introducing Songhoy Blues.

Music is the beating heart of Malian culture, but when Islamic jihadists took control of northern Mali in 2012, they enforced one of the harshest interpretations of sharia law in history: They banned all forms of music. Radio stations were destroyed, instruments burned and Malis musicians faced torture, even death. Overnight, Malians revered musicians were forced into hiding or exile where most remain, even now. But rather than lay down their instruments, the musicians are fighting back, standing up for their cultural heritage and identity. Throughout their struggle, they have used music as their weapon against ongoing violence that has left Mali ravaged. They Will Have to Kill Us First sees musicians on the run, tells the story of the uprising of Touareg separatists, reveals rare footage of the jihadists, captures life at refugee camps where money and hope are scarce, charts perilous journeys home to war-ravaged cities, and follows our characters as they set up and perform at the first public concert in Timbuktu since the music ban'.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Elle Fanning in Brockey?

Walking past Brockley Social Club yesterday I noticed that there was a film shoot in progress. Quick bit of investigation - OK I looked at the sign on one of the vehilces - and it transpires that 'Teen Spirit' is the movie in question. Directed by Max Minghella, the film stars US actor Elle Fanning

According to Hollywood Reporter: 'Teen Spirit tells the story of a shy Eastern European teen who dreams of pop stardom to escape her small town and shattered family life. With the help of an unlikely mentor, Violet (Fanning) enters an international singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition. Fred Berger (La La Land) is producing alongside Brian Kavanaugh-Jones under their Automatik banner, while Jamie Bell, who helped develop the screenplay with Minghella, will executive produce'.

The Social Club has been used a location before for its 1970s decor. I saw some filming there last year which I think was for the TV series Guerrilla, starring Idris Elba, which also has scenes shot in Deptford High Street.  I assume on this occasion it is standing in in this film for an East European small town drinking den.  

Elle Fanning in 20th Century Women (2016)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Music Monday: Peter Perrett 'How the West was Won'

'How the West was Won' is the new solo album from Peter Perrett (Domino, 2017).

Perrett is best known as the former lead singer of The Only Ones, responsible for one of the greatest songs of the punk era 'Another Girl, Another Planet'. He  was born at Kings in Camberwell in 1952, and after being kicked out of boarding school ended up at school in New Cross: 'My first school was called Bancroft’s on the edge of Epping Forest. I got a scholarship to go there because I was brainy. I got expelled from there when I was 15 and then went to Haberdashers’ Aske’s in New Cross. One of my classmates was [Cockney Rebel singer] Steve Harley – called Steve Nice back then. He was one of the only two people who were into Dylan; the difference was he was a skinhead and I was a longhair'.

After The Only Ones split up in 1981, Perrett 'vanished from public view. Sequestered in a crumbling gothic house in Forest Hill that he fortified against police raids, Perrett took and dealt heroin' (Alex Petridis, 2007)). I believe this house was in Manor Mount, SE23.  Perrett once told Mojo Magazine that while living here 'On two or three occasions we had the police living opposite us, for a period of months. I mean, they spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on operations to bust us, and they got close on a couple of occasions. Luckily, we lived in a fortress, it was impossible to get in. We’d watch them try and break the door down but the door was at the very top of a steep flight of stairs. So, they would have to try and run up the stairs, and they could never get full contact on the door with their battering ram – it just used to slide off'. Barney Hoskyns mentions that in this period he visited Perrett 'in his huge decaying home in Forest Hill, though my efforts to help him... were wholly in vain' (Never Enough: a way through addiction, 2017). I think Perrett later moved to Norwood.

The new album is not dissimilar to The Only Ones output of nearly 40 years ago- songs of love as a metaphor for addiction and vice versa, performed in a world weary tone. But this time underpinned by a note of defiance as a survivor; as he sings on 'Something in my brain':

'Just like the experiment with the rat,
He could choose food or he could choose crack.
Well the rat he starved to death
But I didn't die, at least not yet'

Sunday, July 16, 2017

I Want Your Love

'I want your love' - tape on metal box, Peckham Rye/Nunhead Lane junction.
But are they referencing Chic or Transvision Vamp?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Music Monday - Tom Misch - South of the River

Tom Misch has a new single and it is a proper transpontine neo-soul anthem entitled South of the River. It has a bit of a disco feel to it including a nice violin line from Tobie Tripp as a one man Philly string section and a fusiony keyboard solo from Rob Araujo (which put me in mind of Joey Negro's Universe of Love)

The East Dulwich multi-instrumentalist and producer is definitely going places, headling venues like Somerset House when he hasn't even released a full album yet. Tom Misch has though put out lots of great material on his soundcloud site, collaborating with artists including Loyle Carner and Carmody. If you like this track check out his 'Beat Tape 2' and more recent 'Revere' EP.

Update 24 August 2017

There's a great video for this song now, stcitched together from clips made by Misch enthusiasts from around the world. The Catford cat gets a look in...

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Green Onions and Red Lion - healthfoods, vinyl and coffee in Clifton Rise SE14

Tucked off the New Cross Road in Clifton Rise SE14, Green Onions has been going for about 18 months offering a great combination of healthfoods and vinyl.


Out front there's vegan goodies, gifts and all the tea bags...

Head to the back though and there's racks of vinyl from Spotty Vinyl Records... some great finds to be had for all you crate diggers, with new stock every week.

I was sorely tempted by a couple of disco 12"s, maybe next time. Don't think they had this soul classic though...

Green Onions is open every day, including until 7:30 pm Monday to Friday, so handy for popping in on the way to or from New Cross Gate if you're commuting.

Also in Clifton Rise you can now get a really good coffee (not to mention plenty of food) at the new Red Lion Coffee Company. I know there's no shortage of cafes in the area, especially up near Goldsmiths, but lets just say coffee quality can be variable if you are as fussy as me.

Red Lion is on corner of Clifton Rise and Batavia Road near to Fordham Park.