Wednesday, 29 December 2010

And we are back...

After a week snowbound in an unheated cottage with Jan and Rusty it is good to be back in London dusting off the tuxedo in preparation for New Year's eve. I shall be attending the Rotting Hill Gang bash at the Tabernacle as well as popping into the Cow for a beer or two.

Between now and then is time for a rethink on where this blog is going in 2011...

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Portobello Panto 2010. It's behind you.

The Portobello Panto is an institution... In the hands of producer Piers Thompson it is a lunatic asylum.

The panto of old was a self indulgent plaything for a little clique of hillybillys; self referential and full of itself. The buzz earlier this year was that the panto was dead and about time too.... then along came Piers and Director Roger Pomphrey.

OK. The Panto of old made it's presence felt like Marley's ghost in the shape of an old turkey of a script by Kevin Allen from the 90's which was jazzed up with a dollop of cranberry sauce and of course the children. Notting Hill stalwart Ray 'Roughler' Jones made an appearance. The 'house band' featuring  Roger was worth the entry fee alone, the Tabernacle really came alive for what is it's raison d'etre, the fairies were brilliant as were their yummy mummies (the Fox school got a mention, why not!) and there were no new jokes to confuse the audience.

The high point for me was the cameo role from my scrabble nemesis and BBC star (you gotta have a star at Christmas) Simon Jack; I knew he was versatile but nothing prepared me for his jacket... IT shone.

The rendering of a living fire by a child was one of the most moving theatrical events I have ever witnessed... Bravo.

There is no point going into the plot or the characters; everything was as it should be in Pantoland, the evil character was of course a woman, the men were fools, the Princess was a valley girl, and yes! Oh no it's not, it's behind you!

Full marks to Piers and crew for assembling what was to me the dreamcatcher in the window of Notting Hill and a truly entertaining night.

If Pantomime is the closest thing to an honest snapshot of modern society... God help us all.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Ringo in Notting Hill

Starch, Psychopaths and Panto.

And we're back...

After two weeks of bedrest and the well starched attention of  nurse Hope I am finally up and about again.

Just in time too.  It is the last night of the Portobello Panto at the Tabernacle... Certainly not to be missed; more later. There are still tickets available for this afternoons show at:
panto+flyer.jpg (509×720)
The psychopath is off my back; focusing elsewhere no doubt.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Ryan O'Reilly, the Cow, Claudia Schiffer and whelks.

After a day dealing with the psychotic bitch in my life the Cow called...

Guinness, molluscs, bivalves, winkles, oysters, prawns and whelks with Ryan O'Riley of the Ryan O'Riley band and the man in a pink hoodie who looked as if he had lived enough this week without the burden of the upcoming days.

Ryan told the story of how a copper had tried to move him on in Portobello Road for waking Claudia Schiffer up.... It's ok Claudia, Ryan and the band are going on a European tour soon.

The winkles tasted of Eastbourne according to the man in the pink hoodie.

One of us cannot be wrong.

I had not heard this before... I have now.

Blake Edwards has died... RIP.

Harrods Christmas sentiment... In lights.

‘Fuck off Harrods’ done by a disgruntled employee, fired by Harrods from his job as the toy department’s Father Christmas, took revenge last night in spectacular style.
Gaining access to a maintenance control room, Lloyd Hudson, 35, from Ilford, Essex, was able to locate the chart and corresponding switches for Harrods’ 10,000 external lights.
Barracading himself in, Hudson disabled the correct lights until he could spell out his feelings to Harrods bosses and Christmas shoppers alike. He was removed by security guards after an hour-long stand-off, then handed over to police.
“He had drunk the best part of two bottles of whisky,” said a spokesperson for the iconic London store, “and it’s that kind of behaviour that got him the sack in the first place.” Hudson has since been released on police bail.
Knightsbridge visitors were stunned.
“Honestly, I am disgusted, ” said Irene Rider, 59, from Gary, Indiana. “I was with my grandchildren. We had just gotten off the bus. I said ‘look everybody’ and pointed up to the lights – but you know what the lights said? They said f**k off. And that is not an appropriate message for a child.  At least not at Christmas time.”

I love that 'at least not at Christmas' bit...   And of course Santa got the sack; Santa got the toys in the sack... even doctor Zeuss knows that. That Santa got the sack…..

None of the above is true of course. It is photoshoppery from The Poke.

Rachman at his height...

Click HERE for more from Ladbroke Grove 50's - 70's

Cutting Coke with Gold dust in Notting Hill.

A night out with the new Muse; Honesty. where do they get their names from these mid-western girls?

I asked her that. She replied: 'My dad got it from a seed catalogue'.

Anyway, once we's got off the subject of horticulture and how big her dad was and what kind of shot he used in his 12 bore and the fact that her leopard skin leggings were itching up a storm I excused myself for a pee.

Can't tell you where we were but I can tell you that the loo's were liberally sprinkled with gold dust... Shit! I thought. They are cutting the Coke with gold these days...  I took a sniff from a non urinal area; I wasn't that drunk.

Jeez.... Tinsel.

They are cutting the Coke with tinsel for Christmas.

They are not however cutting the bullshit.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Inadequates and drug problems.

Why do inadequates always cite drug problems as an excuse for being inadequate?

They were inadequate before they took drugs; the drugs just compound the inadequacy.

'Poor me'. They say. 'I am a victim of society'.

Bollocks.... They prey on society, demanding attention and compassion. They give nothing back.

If you cannot handle your drugs don't do them. Simple as that.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Jan Nieupjur writes on Student Demonstration.

Due to the ill health of this blogger Jan Nieupjur is guesting today. As I have previously stated,  his views and mine are not necessarily the same:

A number of youths sit in a central London pub.

Youth #1: "Let's pretend to be outraged by government policy and go to the demo. See if we can wind the police up enough to get them on the attack".

Youth#2: "Yeah".

Youth #3: "Power to the people, right on".

Cut to:  Some time later on the street: youth #1 is sitting in the road with a look of outrage on his face holding a Che Guevara bandana to a scratch on his forehead.

Youth#1: "Fucking monstrous. That copper hit me. It's not fair".

Youth #2: "Yeah".

youth #3: "I'm telling my mum".

Listen... If you go to the barricades you must expect the worst. You must have no consideration for your own safety (bloody hell! Liberty got her kit off for the cause). You are there to abuse authority and authority has as much right to freedom of action as you do.

Stop fucking whining!

Within a collective action the acts of each individual represents the whole; if one idiot is balaclava'd up and gratuitously smashing a window then you are, by being there, all part of it. Expect to get hurt.

Of course you have the right to voice your convictions but the bloke in the uniform you are lobbing bricks at has an equal right and might to over-react and smack you on the head with a truncheon.

If your mum had any sense (and wasn't down the pub) she would clip you round the ear and send you to bed without your beans on toast and with a copy of 'A Tale of Two Cities'.

I was interested to see that the Press snappers were doing most of the 'egging on' as usual.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Jane Bussman, The Young Satellites and Rose Royce.

Last night saw me off To the opening of the 'Young Satellites' exhibition at the Atom Rooms at the top end of Portobello. A great little gallery presenting a collection of very, very good, young (and I mean young) photographers.  Go and see this if only to reaffirm the fact that YES photography is ART... And in this case, good Art.

Then to the Tabernacle for Jane Bussman's one woman show... I was expecting a shaggy dog story. We got a dodgy shag story... Despite the technical glitches she did it well if perhaps a tad overlong.

In the bar during the interval I learnt that Gwen Dickey (the voice of Rose Royce) is performing at the Cobden Club on Thursday night.  Got to go and see that.

Portobello Road: Spectrum. Cool baby.

This is from A facebook group well worth visiting if you are interested in the area...

Spectrum: Portobello road from Brian Jones on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Young Satellites

Ladbroke Grove between the 50's & 70's.

Brian Nevill has started a goup thing on facebook looking back at the area, the people and the music of those times... It is early days for the site but will be well worth a look for the remeniscences as well as the images....

Click HERE for the link.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Gallery 'pop up' in Cafe Ravenous, Portobello Road.

Some sort of Phoenix is rising, albeit temporarily, from the ashes of the notorious Cafe Ravenous. Sabrina Rowan Hamilton and others are running a pop up gallery from Thursday until the 24th... 

Art, chai and cupcakes, among other things, replacing iniquity (I am informed) plus more than likely a ghost of the  mayhem of old will put in an appearance. 

David miles
Sabrina Rowan Hamilton
Luke Dickinson
will be popping up an exhibition stroke cafe
where you can drink chai and fairy cakes or buy art
at (bargain basement clear out the studio time prices)
its christmas time

Times and info HERE

Murray Lachlan Young's TMS Ashes Poem

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Naughty and Nice,Tabernacle, Paradise Point, the Island experiment, Blair and very naughty at Maison Du Chien.

Ok. Friday night. Cold but not too cold to get up the road to Naughty and Nice at the Tabernacle; a party put on in order to collect toys for needy children at this time of year.  The toys go to kids in hostels for Women suffering from domestic violence. Please check out the web site. and make a donation.

the Tabernacle in winter begins to look less like a church and more like a place to party. First up were 'Paradise Point'; a young and I understand unsigned band that will not remain so for much longer; A bunch of (all importantly) cool looking guys who are happy to put on a performance with some great up beat songs - a very pleasant change from the usual 'blokes with beards and guitars singing about dead things'- there was joy in the room.  A celebrity dad in the audience seemed pleased even though there was a technical hitch or two. A great new band. check them out.

Wade and his Island Experiment crew brought his blend of bonkers somewhere south of the borders madness followed by Blair.

I'd never heard of Blair... I have now.  check him out too!

I popped into Maison Du Chien on the way home (this is why I love Notting Hill, it really is on my way home) and took in some of Mat's Cabaret du Jour: in this case a brilliant New Yorker called Sxip Shirey with a bizarre musical act that needs to be seen and heard to be believed, followed by a 'fan dance' that decency does not allow me to describe... Fantastic. (Oops a pun). Hopefully these acts will be performing at Medium Rare at Christmas.  Medium Rare is Mat's Big thing, I'm going!  A free entry to the first person to ask. email me.

Trouble with the Muse.

I'm not having much luck with the Muse these days. The last one was definitely less than the sum of her parts.

Jan 'phoned from Antwerp suggesting I stick to painting by numbers in future.

I told him I was feeling pretty numb as it was but that is probably down to my new tipple; a splash of Jack Daniels in a glass of fizzy white...

I've turned to Art again, putting together a piece incorporating the most dangerous toothbrush in London alongside a portrait of the Virgin Mary.

The toothbrush is yellow!

The Lexi Cinema and Sally Wilton.

I didn't know too much about the Lexi until I read this in the FT

Star of the green screen

By Penny Wark
Published: December 3 2010 22:09 | Last updated: December 3 2010 22:09
Sally Wilton
Grounded: Sally Wilton with Lickers the cat
:We all make assumptions, and one of mine is that if an entrepreneur has sold a business for £21m she will live in
a swanky house. So why am I standing outside a pleasant but ordinary Edwardian end terrace in London’s Kensal Rise?
The clue is in the shy woman who opens the door, and the quirky building a few hundred yards away that announces on 
its front wall, “I AM CINEMA, LOVE ME”. This is The Lexi cinema, a thriving art house centre that serves as a focus for the
 community around it, and sends its profits to Lynedoch, an eco village in South Africa. Sally Wilton is the chief executive, 
although these days she works for nothing. Or at least not for personal gain. READ MORE

Ethically fabulous in Nottingt Hill.

Ethical Just Got Fabulous

Get Christmas wrapped up early with Ethical Just Got Fabulous
Magic 105.4 has joined forces with Ethical Just Got Fabulous to host the first ethical pop-up department store in Britain. Held in Notting Hill’s glamorous 20th Century Theatre over Saturday 4 – Sunday 5 December, Ethical Just Got Fabulous’s unique event will feature A-list stars and boutique brands, including Livia Firth of Eco-Age and award-winning designer Izzy Lane.
Shoppers will be able to browse a unique selection of gifts, as well as clothing, accessories, homewares, jewellery and handpicked stocking fillers. Visitors will be treated to live jazz, mulled wine and a raffle for a chance to win a Fabulous Christmas Hamper worth £1,000. Proceeds from the raffle will go directly to Magic 105.4’s Cash for Kids, find out more here.
Showcasing the very best ethical brands that embody both fair trade principles and essential style, doors open on Saturday 4th December 10am - 6pm and Sunday 5th December 11am – 5pm and it's free entry for all. So why not pop down and get Christmas wrapped up the fabulous way!

For more information click HERE

Friday, 3 December 2010


Naughty or Nice.

Troy Davis Campaign by Amnesty International

Troy Davis: Making the invisible visible
Troy Davis: Making the invisible visible
About this video:
"Troy Davis has spent 19 years on death row in the USA despite doubts about his conviction. German street art collective Mentalgassi have teamed up with Amnesty International to highlight his case by creating unique lenticular fence posters across London. Take action for Troy at:

Thursday, 2 December 2010

I'm in love...

I received this lovely email yesterday... It is a joy to know that there are still honest and genuine women out there.

I especially like the 'cheers' at the end; so romantic.

This reminds me of being hit on by Clive Cooke's favourite daughter.

anna wea

My name is Miss Anna ,
I am a nice young lady seeking for my heartthrob and love because i am tired of loneliness and dull life i searched and saw your contact on google and accepted you believing we match each other for love and friendship .

I look up to you to extend your hand of love and friendship as i did . Remember that distance , race , age , language , color , tradition , creed , religion and culture are no barrier to our relationship of real love and lasting friendship . It is only our positive interest of love that matters . I will tell you more about myself when i receive your reply .

Cheers ,
Miss Anna .

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Medium Rare at Christmas.

facebook abuse; paedophiles, fraudsters, groomers and lotharios. Oh. And Cocaine.

Yesterday I received a warning from the 'Morality Police' at facebook, informing me that they had removed my 'Cocaine at Christmas' group; A group I set up to link to a blog asking Coke heads to give the price of a gramme to charity this Christmas. Apparently someone took offence to it, didn't read it, just took offence. So fb pulled it.


 to me


The event "Give cocaine to a child this Christmas" has been removed because it violated our Terms of Use. Among other things, events that are hateful, threatening or obscene are not allowed. We also take down events that attack an individual or group, or advertise a product or service. Continued misuse of Facebook's features could result in your account being disabled.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can visit our FAQ page at

The Facebook Team

This is the same facebook which allows paedophiles, groomers, perverts, sad idiots and fantasists to sneak around their network using aliases by the dozen, preying on the lonely, the sad, the insecure, the needy, the mentally ill and the downright gullible.

Facebook continues to allow these people access knowing full well that they are hiding behind aliases; some of them so obvious that a two year old child would recognise them as fraudulent, such is its desire to amass 'members'. There is absolutely no control over who joins under false names.I am putting together a list of those people known to me to be using aliases for nefarious reasons. I will publish it at a later date.

You can report these frauds but fb does nothing.... However post a photograph of a nursing mother and you are howled down by the 'Morality' police out there; after they have finished ogling over page 3 girls in their daily Sun of course.

Example: A pathetic accounts clerk working for the Social Services in a provincial Local Authority spends his working day on fb using an alias by which means he grooms sad, lonely and vulnerable women for his sexual gratification. The worst aspect of this is that he works for the Social Services; surely the last place you want this kind of person.  I am not making this up, I have statements from previous 'Victims' as well as reams of transcripts from his fb page. I also have copies of emails sent by him during office hours in which he is continuing his 'grooming' organising B&B's for meetings etc.  Some of them are quite obscene and not what you would want to expect from a civil servant.  This man also has at least three other aliases including an email address in a woman's name.  He also uses fb for stalking purposes. I wonder who's computer he is using?

I am led to believe that this man is now under investigation by his employers. Let's hope so. I will be asking for their comments on this matter.

I am also taking legal advice as to whether I can publish his false names on this blog... Surely I can as he is clearly contravening the fb 'rules' and obviously breaking his employment contract by conducting this business during company hours. (All the fb and email transcripts are helpfully timed and dated).

All said and done fb is not a responsible organisation and as such should not be allowed to police itself. And how do you remove the abusers? Easy in Britain; you demand individuals N.I. number as proof of identity rather than relying on a simple email address.

Problem solved.

Oh. You Cokeheads out there. Give the price of a gramme to charity this Christmas and go play in the real snow.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Slappers Club at Crazy Bear - Live Music & Performance Party

OK. I know it isn't in Notting Hill but I do occasionally venture out into the wilds of Central London (despite arctic weather and the tail end of a tube strike) and Clifford did the pianistic honours at the St Georges Day party at the Cow earlier this year so there is a legitimate local connection.

It promises to be worth the journey. I'll review it for you here.

And the tube strike ends at 6.30 so there should be no problems there.

Slappers Club” relaunches at Crazy Bear.

The legendary live performance party, Slappers Club, together with the Crazy Bear Group, is bringing you a series of free acoustic showcase nights in the comfort of a stunning and intimate private members club in the centre of London, with Clifford Slapper at the piano, plus many guest singers and other artists. This will also be an industry night to encourage networking for all professionals and artists in music, comedy, the arts and entertainment as well as the hospitality industry in general. There will be special drinks offers and promotions on the night.

Launch party: Monday 29th November, 8pm-11pm – and then EVERY Monday, 8pm-11pm. FREE ENTRY (though all names must be pre-registered for entry).

READ MORE and gain entry 

Ella Montclare - I Surrendered at the Island Experiment.

I'm still shaking...

For Honey. Hallelujah

I saw this on facebook first but was blown away.... An e card if ever I saw one.

Honey. Take care and have a good Christmas ( I know it is early but there are lights up in Oxford Street so it is ok). You are not only my most reliable reader but my best loved.

And just for you there are no f words or rock and roll.

For once.

Happy Christmas.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Watch Art Bubble

This post has been removed because it was boring and badly written.

Book Slam and the Minds Ear Orchestra.

Last nights Book Slam could have been something of an anticlimax; the last event of the year promised us Diane Athill (I had seen her at 5X15 earlier this year and was looking forward to another slice), but sadly Diane was forced to cancel due to poor health.

However I need not have worried. Both Geoff Dyer and Rupert Thompson read well from their respective books... I especially enjoyed Ruperts' somewhat scuzzy excerpt; I shall be buying the book. I noticed a brisk trade at the book table set up in the auditorium, it seemed that others were of the same opinion.

The evening finished (after Patric Neate, the MC, had delivered on of his poems) with the 'Minds Ear Orchestra'; a 20 strong orchestra controlled by volunteer members of the audience. Hilarious, entertaining and if you will excuse the pun: A real ear opener!

My one caveat... the music played during the breaks was not my 'bag' but it is a small quibble.

Snow in London. Blizzards hit Notting Hill.

The air 'cracks' in Notting Hill today as reports come in of  'Cocaine Blizzards' hitting West London. Drifts of Colombias' finest 'snow' are making parts of Portobello Road impassable. Police are advising the public not to take refuge in lavatories.  A spokesperson said: Once upon a time it was yellow snow that caused the problems!

'This is the final straw'. He said. Waving a rolled up Ten Pound note.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Tom Baxter, Murray Lachlan Young and Vashti Baxter.

Ok. Murray is a friend and I've worked with him too but it is my blog! I don't know Tom or Vashti so this is a 60% unbiased review...

Vashti Baxter; legs, black tutu, black wig, electric guitar!.. Perfect. Backed by a drummer Vashti delivered a set of good songs that had no need of artifice (no faux American accent needed here) with intelligent lyrics and looking pretty comfortable doing so... Followed by:

Murray Lachlan Moung; legs, black garb, unruly hair, MCing himself out of the crowd, he's already one of us! Oh no he isn't. there is only one Murray; funny, very clever, a great performer and a blessing to poetry. And he can sing too!  great stuff.

Tom Baxter hit the stage alone but was soon joined by his band, and later by sister Vashti (talented family) and pleased everyone with his singular take on the 'bloke with a beard and guitar' which in other hands can be tiresome and hackneyed. At times there were hints of the late, great John Martyn; the benchmark for all blokes with beards and guitars for all time. Tom and crew filled the Tabernacle two nights running; testament to the quality of the acts. 

Notting Hill (Not The Film!) by Ella Poyner

A 3 minute documentary on Notting Hill focussing on Notting Hill Carnival and Multiculturalism.

Filmed in October 2010 by Ella Poyner, Gareth Maggs and Davey Peacocks who are students at London College of Communication on the Media Practice Course. 

Featuring Gaz Mayall - legendary DJ and club night host, Ray Roughler-Jones - local personality, author + presenter of Rougler TV and Tom Raphael-Eaves - writer and manager of El Camion Restaurant on Portobello Road. 

Music - London Calling by The Clash
Bam Bam by Sista Nancy
Message to You, Rudy by The Specials.

Filmed in and around Notting Hill including - 
El Camion Restaurant
The Uxbridge Arms
The Fat Badger
Portobello Road

Molly Parkin 0 - Chris Evans 1. The Radio 2 Christmas Quiz.

I was invited to see (hear, I don't know) Molly Parkin at Ronnie Scotts this evening. While I was umming and ahing; mostly umming to be frank, Chris called from the Tabernacle and invited me down to sit in on the BBC Radio 2 christmas quiz recording hosted by Chris Evans.

You know, THAT Chris Evans. The bloke designed by God to wind up  middle aged, middle class Britain and be a warning to us all.

Heads up folks.  In the intervening years since I last really clocked the guy he has turned into the consummate broadcaster and a master of stagecraft (radio stage ok). He is very very good.

It was a funny, light-hearted, well managed evening. Obviously the audience was partisan (they asked for tickets) and happy to oblige with preordained applause and cheers. I on the other hand being a steely hearted fucker would not clap on cue but clapped a few times because I wanted to.

The contestants collectively; Tony Blackburn,Patrick Kielty, Janice Long, Kate Thornton (cor),Trevor Nelson, Simon Mayo were, of course, a BBC 'jamboree bag'  (remember those, ones first experience of a 'curates egg' but invariably having something to smile about (even a curates egg had a yolk; boom boom)), but it worked... the troopers trooped without too much gloop and Chris kept the train on the tracks.

Tony Blackburn obliged by cracking a freedom pass joke that was in itself entitled to a freedom pass.

I talked to Chris Evans briefly afterwards, a little bit of polite Hampstead remember the days stuff, but I was interested to note that he was the one 'celeb' to stay behind and actually have some time for his audience... I'm impressed.

The thing finished early enough for me to grab a pint at the Cow followed by a little bit of mid-week Cabaret courtesey of 'Maison Du Chien' at Bumkin in Westbourne Park Road.

That is just a Wednesday in Notting Hill.

The Radio 2 quiz is being broadcast on Christmas day; the old bloke trying not to laugh in the background.

That's me!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Yasmin Lebon statue (or is it a Mannequin?) shock.

I will not be going to the 'unveiling' but this is what it looks like.

Quite fitting really that it resembles a department store Mannequin.

Cross pollenisation of a poetic nature and stalking poets.

Dear Poet credit the muse.

Dear poet
I saw your flyer for a show I couldn't get to
You look like everything
I think my stalker will be
when I first invite him into my home.

You see my stalker
far from being the man waiting for me
will be the man I am waiting for

The man my father warned me about
and then gives me to.


Monday, 22 November 2010

Tom Baxter, Murray Lachlan Young and Vashti Baxter at the Tabernacle.

Tom Baxter, Murray Lachlan Young and Vashti Baxter are at the Tabernacle tonight. Last night's sell out show was excellent although it is a shame that some in the audience, late arrivals especially, feel that it is acceptable to talk loudly during Murrays' set to the point where it felt as if Murray was a lobby between two music rooms. I get the feeling that the same boors would talk through the whole evening if they could be heard over the amplification.

There are tickets still available for tonights show.  Get there for the start. It is well worth it.

Read the review HERE

Life in Stone at Mara Sculpture, W2.

Yes, bits of Notting Hill are in W2...  Check this out

Gabby Young & Other Animals.

                                                 Photograhs: Christopher Scholey.

Gabby Young threw a party at the Tabernacle on Saturday night. Mind you I sense that she throws a party every time she performs.

A young, 'buzzy', dressed up crowd; lots of legs and shoes and a few long dresses thrown in, were there to party too. Small stalls on the balcony selling what was described as 'Gabberdashery' added to the the atmosphere.

Gabby is a gem; comfortable on stage, dressed in what appeared to be a pale blue cloud, supported by a tight and happy 8 piece band, horn section included, she joyfully presented her eccentric mix. Which to me came across as bonkers Balkan gypsy jazz cabaret with a little bit of everything thrown in from Mexico to the Souk! Halfway through the proceedings extra brass was brought on, including bassoon and for her encore she wheeled on a string quartet... Classy.  

This was a party for all ages. At one point a 5 year old in the audience was wished a happy birthday by all. On top of that it was clever, refreshing and professional cabaret of a high order.

All in all a lovely night.

This was Gabby's last performance of the year. Definitely catch her in 2011.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Dack Dydes Birthday Bash.


A few of us have been toying with the idea of internet radio lately. Then this was sent to me by Bruce Mack in the US.
Check it out. is an international alliance of independent producers dedicated to presenting music and music-related programming on the Internet 24/7. Each program host is autonomous and presents only the music he/she wishes to present. Our audience is anyone who enjoys an eclectic and adventurous mix of music. taintradio is listener-supported but we don’t do on-air fundraising. Our listen button works for anyone with a high-speed broadband connection; our website has a tip jar to which we sincerely hope you will choose to contribute.
Currently our programs originate from North Carolina, Georgia, Maine, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, London, Paris and St. Croix, V.I. Additional programs are in development from various locations throughout the world.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Boiling water.

It begins:

'I walked away from it and headed north. Towards evening on the second day the snow came, two hours later I was seeking shelter. Without snowshoes my progress was laboured and awkward.  I came across a cave in a narrow ravine; a drift of smoke and footprints in the snow from someone coming from the north; small footprints, a woman or a child.

The cave was lit only by the fire but enough for me to see the woman, dressed in grey, sheen of her hair like a well oiled gun, a woman from an unknown tribe, sitting, heating water. 

The makings of some ritual tea ceremony were laid out on a rock.

Startled but unafraid she silently watched as I found myself a place to rest opposite her, the fire between us. In perfect English she said: 'We will wait for the water to boil. I will make tea'.A shoulder gesture indicated the paraphernalia on the rock beside her. 'Then you must leave'.

We sat in silence but for the fire as something foreign to us both crept into the cave and settled within us. 

As the water in the pot trembled close to boil she she added a ladlefull of ice cold snow-melt. We sat on in silence.

As the water in the pot trembled close to boil I took up the ladle and added snow-melt to the pot. we sat on in silence.

Into the early hours we sat watching that pot never boil. Finally, having covered me in a blanket, she lay nearby. We slept.

I awoke to find her making coffee. We talked; each to the other brought magic.

On the second morning we departed, heading South. In the cave on a fire rested the pot of water. 

Singing as it boiled.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Bevis Griffin's Rawhead TechX _ Thunderdome

This found me via a Canadian friend. I like it.

Kyoki, Umami and paint you can eat.

Kyoki arrives in an excited state this afternoon, (her days start in the afternoon and end in the morning and it is the night in which she is most comfortable) after making a cup of her instant coffee and lighting a cigarette she produces a paint tube from her bag.

'Paint'.  I said. 'you know I am not painting at the moment'.

'It is not paint. It is Umami paste. Umami is the 5th taste. You eat it'.

We spent the afternoon exploring umami; not a simple task. Each tasting led to another discussion on what exactly was in it and why it had its chameleon like ability to change as and when its fellow ingredients demanded.

A bit like Kyoki really: Inscruitable. Controlled yet controlling.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Rare Jimi Hendrix.

Please be patient. This takes a few seconds to upload... it is worth it.

Don't ask me where I got it from and no it is not on youtube.

Skye Nicolas, The Explicit Artisan.

 I found this image online in An interview with Skye in Frank 151It is well worth a visit. Skye is New York based so what is the Notting hill connection?  Marlon and the Cow!

Wills and Kate: Not so much a Royal wedding, more an impending divorce.

Caught up in the National euphoria over the idea of a royal wedding I immediately asked my 'Princess' to marry me.

'It's an idea'. She said. 'At least you wouldn't be able to give evidence against me in court.'

It strikes me that, such is the track record of royal marriages that they would keep the damn thing quiet; give two human beings the opportunity to make something almost impossible (in this day and age) work.

I bet the bookies are already laying odds on when the divorce takes place.


                                Photo: the Urban Island

I don't know how this is going to work out.

I've had so many problems with unruly Muses of late (the muse is never satisfied with her initial role and quickly tries to take over) that I decided to go online and find an Avatar Muse... Kyoki.

I do not know which planet she is from, my stellar charts do not have the necessary range.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Alain De Botton at 5 X 15.

Bloody hell.

I'd gone along to 5 x 15 with the sole purpose of listening to, and looking at to a lesser degree philosopher Alain De Botton.
He arrived on stage, announced himself as Swiss (images of Orson Welles and Henry Cotton on a big wheel in Vienna flooded my brain) then promptly tried to sell us holiday lets. He tried to convince us that 'new build' was Modern and therefore good.he failed to convince me that he was anything other than another property developer on the make. reminding me somewhat of the 'Britart' movement in his desire to capitalise on gullible admirers.

5 X 15 in the first part this evening was hijacked by an overstretched property developer selling puppies.

Alain. New does not mean modern and modern does not mean new. Snake oil is snake oil however you label the bottle.

Interesting to see a good architect in the audience wincing philosophically as the philosopher tried to do convincing Architecture. And failing.

The rest of 5x 15 lived up to expectations; All of it was not every ones cup of tea but it was well brewed, well blended and well poured.

Hilary Spurling dispensed, along with Michela Wrong, enough to convince me that, forgive me; wrong was right. Suddenly 15 minutes was enough, not because it was badly presented but because it was, as a human animal, hard to bear.

Simon Singh hit the spot with his codes.

Valerie Grove convinced me that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It is not an oncoming train, it is Valerie coming back to 5 X 15.

At the end of a splendid evening I got to reminisce about Stig of the dump, followed by humming the guitar solo from Comfortably Numb on my way home.

And none of this happened in the West End where theatres were full of tourists being told by translators that the butler did it!.

Tony Butcher photography.

In The tabernacle, to the left of the bar is the Gallery; Rather under-signposted and tucked away (but I gather that is about to change) and used as a showcase for both local and more established Artists and Photographers. Well worth popping in for a look.

Currently photographer Tony Butcher is exhibiting his studies of the black male in the form of dancers, and they are an energetic collection of young men; hardly a foot on the floor in the entire show and plenty of rippling muscle. There is no Mapplethorpe edginess or homoerotic undertone to proceedings though, just a keen and professional eye at work on an obviously well liked subject.

To quote Tony: 'My photographic journey began in 1989, progressing to a fellowship of the royal Photographic Society in 1990, with a panel of images of the black male.

"Studies in black" have been published in many books, magazines and journals throughout the world as well as my monograph of the same title. Exhibitions have taken place in San Francisco, Amsterdam, Paris, Birmingham and Oh yes, The Tabernacle, Notting Hill'.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti & Hein Hoven. Sometimes During Eternity.

In the early hours; an email from Hein (now in California), you know. The man who brought his own Hill. It read: 

 too much time on my hands. I took this off of your FB page Tristan.
                                  It inspired me to write this bit of nonsense.

                                  Lawrence Ferlinghetti reading "Sometime During Eternity"

                                  Hh x

The internet can be a truly wonderful thing in creative minds and hands.