Sunday, 29 January 2012

David Cameron and a mysterious death.

GUEST BLOG by Lachlan.

One day at school I had the pleasure of meeting David Cameron. It was weird because the temperature was 60 degrees Celsius and there was an atmosphere full of terror. There was a failure because one of our classmates died in a mysterious accident. People say that someone captured him and gave him the disease.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Der Rosenkavalier at the London Coliseum.

I'm not an opera fan, not because I don't like it but because I had never been.... Until Wednesday night when I was lucky enough to snag a ticket for the dress rehearsal of Der Rosenkavalier at the Coliseum.

I had expected to be bored (it is nearly four hours long) but far from it, it was great. I felt that the first act was overlong but the girl on girl snogging throughout held my attention. Things got better in the second and third acts culminating in not one fat lady singing but three slim ladies singing together. This 'trio' is, I am informed the famous bit of the opera.

The set was delightful, the music splendid and I lasted the full four hours.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Photography in the Amazon at the Tabernacle W11

Friday - January 27th 6.30 - 10.00 - Open View

Campbell Picks presents...Photography in the Amazon
Following the journey of photographer Eloise Campbell through Peru, the Amazon basin and into Brazil at the end of 2011. This exhibition brings the people and places she encountered on her journey to one of West London's premier galleries. 
Whilst working as part of the team for music-based charity Keys of Change (, Eloise encountered the continents powerful beauty, it's wonderful people, and it's awe inspiring hold over any who journey there with a camera.
The photographer will be in attendance for this one night only viewing to talk about her experiences.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Portobello Music, Pete Doherty and smashed guitars

Walking down All Saints Road this morning I stumbled upon this scene:

Neil; Proprietor of 'Portobello Music'  strumming a guitar in the street.

Turns out it is Pete Doherty's guitar which had arrived at the shop wrecked (it would be interesting to know how it got smashed in the first place) and Neil had the thing reconstructed. I witnessed it's first public strumming in the January sunshine!

Neil can be heard performing at 'LOCO': at the Retro Bar on Saturday nights from the 4th of February onwards.

Portobello Music's website is here:

Friday, 13 January 2012

Eurozone crisis and the solution. Self burying undertakers.

Friday the 13th and Europe is bust. The Euro is now worth 10 pence. Great news for us as our holiday in Torremolinos will now cost peanuts and Fiats will be given away with the purchase of a jar of Dolmio sauce.

However. What about the 50 euro note I changed for a bloke in the pub last week, now worth nothing rather than being my retirement nest egg.

Looks like I'm going to have to continue working long after my death. As will the rest of the population of Europe.

 Undertakers will be burying themselves soon!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Portobello panto 2011. Mick Jones sings 'Should I stay or should I go'

The last night of Robin Hood, this year's Portobello Panto at The Tabernacle, saw local hero Mick Jones, of the Clash, play Good King Richard and do an impromptu version of "Should I Stay Or Should I Go". The evening also saw Keith Allen and Tom Hollander do turns alongside the regular stellar cast.

Rusty, the Diva and weeping into whisky!

Rusty called round last night close to tears and within five minutes I understood why he wanted no water in his whisky; he was copiously diluting it with tears.

"What's up? Rusty". I asked. He told me the following tale.

"I've met a woman, her name is Estella, she is an opera singer, she is my love, my sun and moon, my compass, my mettle detector, I was born for her and she for me and now I have lost her.

My friends warned me about her. Told me that she was hard as nails, a bitch, a diva like no other but I ignored them for she was none of those things to me. The only problem I had was that she would not let me hear her sing, when I asked her she flatly refused and asked me not to press her on the matter. I have to admit that I became jealous of all the other people who were able to hear her sing; such was the beauty of her voice that all men would forgive her divaish behaviour in order to hear her golden voice.  She would not sing for me!

Until last night, fired with jealousy I demanded she sing for me. I threatened to leave her if she would not sing.

She, tears streaming down her cheeks, sang for me. There are no words to describe the beauty of her voice, I must leave it at that!

When she had finished I dried my eyes and said: "That was beautiful. Why could you not sing to me before? What was the problem?"

She replied: "Right you arsehole, you have heard me sing, you are no different from the others now. Fuck off!"

She will not speak to me or see me.

Rusty and I spent the rest of the night weeping into whisky listening to the Diva on the CD player.  Bitch!

Monday, 9 January 2012

London Soundscape on Radio 2

London Soundscape


Next on:

Today22:00 on BBC Radio 2


Episode image for London Soundscape
Charles Hazlewood and Mick Jones lead an impressionistic portrait of London between the 1948 Olympics and today, mixing voice, archive, and music to create a beguiling introduction to Radio 2's Olympic year.
Other voices heard include those of Barbara Windsor, composer Lionel Bart, architectural historian Dan Cruickshank, and many ordinary Londoners, from cab drivers to costermongers.
The songs featured in the two shows are a veritable greatest hits of England's capital. They include London Calling by Mick Jones' own band The Clash; London's Brilliant Parade by Elvis Costello; Carnaby Street by The Jam; Streets Of London by Ralph McTell; Soho Square by Kirsty MacColl; and London Is The Place For Me by Lord Kitchener.

Thandie Newton and Noel Fielding read Go the fuck to sleep.

A charming video made by Piers Thompson. The poem is by Adam Mansbach. I love it!

Cannongate Books are also working with that naughty Russell Brand and his 'Tricksters Tales'. Check it out:

There is also a series of videos from David Byrne worth checking out:

Destructive criticism on Portobello Road.

What's this all about then?

At the north end of Portobello (between Cambridge Gardens and Golborne Road) there is a wall; formerly part of the convent, which is used as an exhibition space on a regular basis and jolly good it is too. Last year we had a massive record collection running the length of the wall.

 This was recently replaced by a similarly sized hoarding produced by a local gallery: Three days later the thing was partially torn down, seemingly an act of mindless vandalism.

"Fucking yobs" I hear you cry!

But wait, there is there more to this than meets the eye (or doesn't meet the eye any more)? It seems that the Gallery in question has a very dark past (and present), earning itself a lot of detractors. This thoughtless act of vandalism is in fact a considered and premeditated comment on the Gallery and its principal.

Who writes:  “This neighbourhood is a catalyst to a wide range of creative expressions. The diversity of cultures, ideas and languages creates a climate that stimulates contemporary creative tensions and why we chose to locate our gallery here. 

It is interesting to see that the installation has indeed stimulated contemporary tensions! There will be more about this emerging over the next few days I'm sure.

A curates Annus.

2011 certainly was something of a Curates Egg; part Annus Horribilis (the best place for that is behind me), part joyous (hopefully continuing).