Sunday, 31 July 2011

Actor in Session. The Cherry Orchard at the Tabernacle.

Acting in Session run weekly acting classes at the Tabernacle W11, St Peter's Hall W11 & the 20th Century Theatre W11. Under the direction of Christopher Obi; a passionate man about theatre if I am any judge. I've sat in on rehearsals before and was invited to attend today's 'Exercise'; A production of chekov's Cherry Orchard.I was pleasantly surprised by what the group produced after just 12 weeks. Chekov is not the easiest of playrights and From experience can attest to the fact that Cherry Orchard can be more difficult than most.

It was an interesting exercise made slightly confusing by mid play cast changes, but I got the hang of it.

If you are looking for some acting classes in West London Actor in Session would be worth checking out. Website:

The Eyes of Jarvis Trench

This story first appeared here:

The Eyes of Jarvis Trench

I called at the house to view the motor bike. It was a 1967 Triumph Tiger Cub. I had owned a similar bike in my teens and fancied that it would make a project for the winter.

I was early. Mrs Trench answered the door in a flustered state but ushered me inside and led me to the living room. “You will have to excuse me,” she said. “You are early and it is time for my therapy but it won’t take long. Can I get you a cup of tea?”

The filth that surrounded her encouraged me to decline the offer. “No thank you,” I said.

She offered me a chair. I sat and looked about the room. It was littered with orange coloured objects I first took for balloons. I soon realised they were football bladders. There were perhaps 20 of them; each one sported a number of puncture repair patches. The patches on each bladder occupied positions on the same latitude. If they had been globes I would have estimated that they were on a line occupied by Stockholm. The patches circled the bladders. There were a number of deflated footballs, the old fashioned ‘lace up’ variety, and two or three repair kits. A professional-looking pump stood beside the chair she sat down in.

“Won’t take long,” she repeated as she took up one of the footballs and a bladder. There was an image painted on the ball but I was unable to make it out. She slowly and carefully fed the bladder into the ball, took the nozzle of the pump and inserted it into the bladder. With her right hand she worked the pump while steadying the ball with her left and her knees. As the ball inflated I saw that the leather was painted with a likeness of a man. He had bright blue eyes. She looked at me as the ball became tight and said, “I used to do the lacing once but don’t feel the need anymore.”

Gripping the ball between her thighs she took up two long needles then carefully and simultaneously forced a spike into each pupil.

As the needles entered she intoned the words: What are you looking at now, Jarvis Trench? She removed the weapons and laid the sighing ball on the floor beside the chair.

“The motorbike,” she said as she rose and I followed suit. “It is in the shed, it is not locked. Why don’t you go and take a look? It ain’t been used much. My husband only rode it to and from his camera club and he ain’t done that since the day he left his darkroom unlocked.”

Galicia, Pizza East Portobello; The thin end of the wedge.

A splendid afternoon yesterday spent at Galicia on the Portobello Road. The restaurant closes forAugust leaving some of the locals in a state of panic and despair; there is nowhere quite like Galicia.
Across the road is the recently opened Pizza East, part of the Soho House fast food chain. It is a very pricey cheese on toast shop with ear splitting acoustics guaranteed to maintain a fast turnover of tables. The discount key ring thing is interesting. Many people believe this place to be the thin end of the wedge as far as Golborne goes.

Pizza East, aware of this too, have used the wedge in their branding. I cannot decide if it is ironic or just plain stupid.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Drum, Albino Boa and pink chair.

Save Portobello Market benefit at the Pop up Cinema.

Last nights benefit featured a screening of 'Stall Stories' a short film made by Colville School pupils and featuring some of the stalwarts of the market.

An entertaining little film.

Passport to Pimlico was screened later but I passed on that preferring the Mangrove Steel pan rehearsals at the Tabernacle.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Leaving me. A poem for a fairytail punk.

She said don't jump

I said I can't jump
If I jumped
I'd rise
I'd rise above you

And the last thing I want to do
Look down on you.

She said don't jump.

Monday, 25 July 2011

12 Bar Blues.

We fought
She left

guitily later I searched

the gold
the Star
Cock & Bottle
Ground Floor
Mau Mau
Muse Elgin
the Union
& Westbourne

Of course I had a drink in each.

Now I've got the 12 bar blues & can't remember who I'm looking for.

The Van Susans at the 100 Club.

I hadn't been to the 100 club in years. My visit to the lavatory on Friday night went part of the way to explaining why.

I took along a friend I hadn't been to a gig with since our teens 40 years ago; the two support bands convinced us that nothing has changed in 40 years. We haven't grown up, Rock n roll hasn't aged but sometimes you wish it would die. I'm sure the band members were having fun and we were content to reminisc and wait for the Van Susans.

We were there for the launch of their EP 'We could be scenery', out on Beatnik Geek Records now. I'd not heard of them before but was told they were worth a listen. so we listened.

Described as a PopCore/indie band (no help to me but I'm not their target audience) Van Susans are a good looking sextet with a charismatic frontman Olly Andrews and a violin wielding woman, I'm partial to a violin in a band ever since the Velvet Underground. so far so good.

And well worth the smelly loos and indifferent generic support it was too. the band have some good songs with some intelligent narratives, harmonic melodies and a sense of fun. I'm not a musician, I'll leave that stuff up to other more qualified reviewers, I'm part of an audience and all I can write about is being there.

We will hear more from this band, they reminded me of someone or something but it may have been that they just reminded me to see them again.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Amy Winehouse, 27, found dead at her London flat

Amy Winehouse has been found dead. she was 27. 27. You have to make it past 27. R.I.P. Amy.

She probably is in peace for the first time in a long time.

In rehab at last.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Carl Gabriel, carnival artist.

I found Carl setting up some of his amazing carnival pieces at the Tabernacle today.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

‘Live on Stage: Rock Photography from Dylan to Dubstep’

Dylan to Dubstep.

An exhibition by Ellen Doherty and Keith Baugh
at the West Bank Gallery, LondonAugust 12th. 2011

West Bank London is at 133 - 137 Westbourne Grove. W11.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Ashley Noot at the Tabernacle.

Ashley Noot is an american singer-songwriter. She is best known for her single "Oh no what" from her debut album "Throwing away your love songs."

Ashley Noot was sitting in the Tabernacle being interviewed on video to promote her debut album. I said hello... I said come back and do a show here. I hope she does.

You can find her music on itunes at;

Old Commonwealth Institute on High Street Kensington.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Lithuania takes over the Tabernacle kitchen

Called in to the Tabernacle this afternoon to find the aesthetics of the kitchen improved considerably by a trio of Lithuanians preparing Cepelinai: a traditional dish.

I'm hanging around for the tasting.

Bicycle Shrine and westbourne Park Road Latin Dog.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Et in Arcadia ego. Idle Bakes.

I don't know who is responsible for this blog but it tastes like arcadian bliss. click HERE

Friday, 8 July 2011

Kingsland Butchers leave Portobello road & Home deliveries.

Sadly kingslands have gone. I don't know the reasons for the departure but it leaves us without an affordable good butchers. You need to re-mortgage the house to use the butchers up the road (I'm not going to name them, they ain't getting any free publicity from me).

The good news is that Kingsland Edwardian Butchers will continue to do home deliveries in the area twice a week; Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call them on 01932 241815. Or visit their Website HERE

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Suspiciously, Elvis spotted in Notting Hill again.

Is he recording again. Basing Street Studios. One time home of Island records.

 At Founded & co, Portobello Road
 Is Elvis nesting in the area. Or perhaps a present for the mystery blonde.

I spotted him leaving this Boutique Hotel in Colville Road. W11
I bribed the concierge for this picture.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Portrait of a poet dying before his mother.

Do not let me die yet
I need another ten years at least
I'll cut a deal
I'll destroy that painting in the attic
That painting of my mother.

suspiciously Elvis in Notting Hill

Suspiciously Elvis is at the Tabernacle W11 on Friday evening. Here is a taster.

Monday, 4 July 2011

A crazy week in Portobello.

It has been a busy week. Last Wednesday was Gus Robertson's (razorlight) birthday party at the Portobello Gold. It was a suitably rock n roll affair with a hint of the Viper Rooms about it. Good to see Gary from the Rotten Hill gang and Legendary Club man Gaz Mayall. Especially good to bump into my favourite actress Honeysuckle Weeks who was absolutely glowing in the late stages of pregnancy.

                                           Photos: Marie Elena Ely

I popped into the Castle further down the road to catch James Simmins and friends playing there. Another good thing.

Friday was a little bonkers. I called in to the Westbourne Studio's to catch Wade Bayliss who is putting on a weekly thing there with his band. I managed a rendition of the rock n roll poem with trombone solo which was a pretty interesting experience.

Then on to Delphi's birthday party at the Retro Bar, 50 Bosworth Road North Kensington London W10 5EG [map ] Where Adam Masterson was playing as well as the birthday girl herself. delphi's set was fantastic and full of energy. A lovely night in an interesting new venue.


Saturday Night was Loco Cabaret at the Grand Union W9. Great fun. Did the rock n roll poem Video HERE, with a band comprised of Roger Pomphrey, Jonno, James Simmins and others. It was a little on the crazy side. The rest of the acts were great including a virtuoso performance from 'Fishslice' accompanied by Paul Browse.

All in all a great week.