ORGAN THING: Doomed gallery, the evolution of Zines, the Radical Bookfair takeover and…

Monday Monday, that was a full on week, even by the full on Organ standards – radio interviews, #365ArtDrops by the river and down in Borough and over in Broadway, Kayo Dot in town, Warehouse juggling, radio shows, punk rock football, artist-herding, and that’s only the bits that can be mentioned here.

Schizo-Culture

Schizo-Culture

The notion of Zines is a whole different thing these days, back when Organ started zines were the lifeblood of underground culture, zines were where you read about the left-field music the mainstream (outside of John Peel) wouldn’t cover, where you found out about activism, counterculture, underculture, anarcho punk rock, diy attitudes.  Zines were where ideas formed, where alternatives were explored, you needed zines to find out about diy bands self-releasing albums on cassette tapes, to get your free festival lists, to get those addresses to send off for more zines or tapes or distro lists. Zines are where you found the seeds of opinions and ideas, zines were the signposts to possibilities, to alternatives, to communities and networks. Mostly powered by cheap photocopiers and (broken) typewriters, back room low-budget printing presses.  We had zine networks fueling mailorder distros, tape trading, diy art, squat gigs.  Zines were about creativity and communication, zines were vital.  Of course it all changed when the internet kicked in and tape trading became file sharing and the concept of giving a band a reasonable couple of quid for the cassette they’d made or shelling out 50p for a zine became an alien one. The glory days of the zine all but ended back in the last century (we still have boxes and boxes of them – Forearm Smash, Urban Guerilla, Hagl, Phoenix Militia and a thousand others that left ink stains on your fingers and hope in your heart. .

Schizo-Culture

Schizo-Culture

Zines, it would appear, are a whole different ballgame these days, not saying that’s a bad thing, just making an observation. Good to see the idea of zines on the rise again as we bring you some news from the good people at Doomed Gallery, good to see diy creativity evolving, good to see things happening. Zines these days are mostly personal art things, publications produced in short runs, some of them very hand-made and sewn together, some of pristine and ‘professional’, photography, poetry, personal thought, personal feminism,, these days you don’t need a zine to tell you when the new Civilised Society album is going to be ready to mailorder with a postal order and a couple of (soaped) stamps  or when Webcore are playing that free festival or that Hellbastard or Tamarisk or Dagaband have a new tape out or to tell you what happened to those activists after the Conflict gig last month or… zines have evolved again. Did a little bit of talking about zine culture and Organ on the radio…..

organcover27If you missed it yesterday when it went out live, the News Agents radio show interview where I was a guest talking about Cultivate, the London art scene, the beauty of Huge Baby, running a record label, painting leaves (that some may see in other ways), art drops, affordable art, exclamations, artists being proactive and doing it themselves, Peter Predergast and more, is now up on line to listen to in your own time should you wish to.. big thanks to the News Agents, to Rebecca and Resonance for putting up with me for an hour, it was a pleasure. Here;s the mix cloud

 

The News Agents - 25th April 2015 by Resonance Fm on Mixcloud

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“Hi there, We’re an independent photographic gallery in Dalston, London and we are asking for worldwide, postal submissions of photographic zines for an upcoming exhibition. We would really appreciate you sharing this with you community and whoever would be interested in submitting. I’ll include the press release and poster in this email, Thank you very much and hope to hear from you soon”.

ZINE WORLD POSTER_lo_resDoomed Gallery and The Photocopy Club presents  ZINE WORLD, Photography edition.

 With self publishing, DIY culture and photography ever-growing around the world, Doomed Gallery and TPC have come together to present a world-wide exhibition of photographic zines. Building an exhibition platform and community for photographers to share their images in the zine format to people and places that may not get the chance to see them.

This call out for submissions is for photographic zine makers, from every corner of the globe. The exhibition will take place in June 2015 at Doomed Gallery in London. Doomed and TPC will then work with other independent galleries around the world to keep this amazing exhibition of zine making on the right track to be seen by as many people as possible./Please spread the word and support the project in any way you can. DIY OR DIE. – Doomed Gallery, 65-67 Ridley Road, London E8 2NP  –  www.doomedgallery.com

Don’t you miss the days when zines were sold by hand at gigs, there was a time when you couldn’t go to a gig without buying a zine off someone walking around the crowd with a bag full, that or a flyer for a protest meeting or a FIN Cell newsletter.   I liked it back then, far less formal, you didn’t have to go to galleries or book fairs to find a zine. Do like that he idea of a zine is alive again and do rather like Doomed Gallery, good on ’em, they have some good shows in their space, nice ot zee them doing the zine thing…

Meanwhile the London Radical Bookfair 2015 is coming up.  The Tanner St Takeover is on  Saturday 9th May (12-7pm), should be more zine culture and lots more to explore there should you feel the need. Here the link

takeover_image016 And while we’re here, do go check out Housmans radical bookshop over in London N1, we haven’t mentioned that fine establishment for a while…

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ORGAN: “Kayo Dot fire sale!! We’ve run into a glut of unexpected hardships on this crazy Europe tour, so….”

kayodot_tourflyerKayo Dot, one of the finest bands out there making cutting edge challenging progressive music right now, need your help. The Brooklyn band are out there doing it all themselves, no big corporate label, no real press support, just word of mouth underground and people coming together to make things happen. They were on exceptional form earlier this week in London, they really are doing it hand-to-mouth though, they need some help, but hey, by helping them you’re helping yourselves, check them out and grab yourself a treat or two  Leader Toby Driver just posted this….

“Kayo Dot fire sale!! We’ve run into a glut of unexpected hardships on this crazy Europe tour, so for the next week, all albums on our bandcamp, including Kayo Dot albums, side projects, and even albums that were previously unavailable for download, are being offered for a mere $5!!! Help us cover some of these insane petrol and toll costs so we can actually make it home!!!!”

There’s loads of brilliant music on the bandcamp page right now, go have a listen, these three here are just the tip of their glorious iceburg. …

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ORGAN: Enticed into the witchery of the new Cold In Berlin album. Every Sons of Noel and Adrian album available for free download.

Things?Exploring the new Cold in Berlin album has been the thing of the day today, but first, a bit of Sons of Noel and Adrian, and yesterday’s part of the ongoing #365ArtDrops piece…

#365ArtDrops Part 90

#365ArtDrops Part 90

Every Sons of Noel and Adrian album available for free download – For a very limited time only, all three Sons of Noel and Adrian albums are available for free download over at Bandcamp.

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The band are hoping for a few donations to help finish off their upcoming album, they write “We do need a few hundred pounds to finish off the next album (which has been 95% complete for such a long time). You are able to give donations if you choose and every single pound adds up and really helps. But this is optional.”

 

coldinberlin_coverCold in Berlin have announced their new album, The Comfort of Loss and Dust will be released on 4th May by Candlelight Records. “10 tracks of unprecedented scope and power, recorded at Gun Factory Studios, London” so say the words on the screen. Let’s have a listen and find out for ourselves….

They’ve been quiet for some time, they seem a lot heavier, far more doomy, moody, darker, a lot less of their 80’s flavoured post-punk Bauhaus-tinged goth past in evidence now, still those hints in there but they feel more like a full-on old-school treacle-churning heavy rock band now. Cold In Berlin have always been favourites around these parts, we expected something good, wasn’t quite expecting The Comfort to be like this though, this has caught us a little off guard.    The Bell is twisting Jefferson Airplane gone to the witches coven to feast on some Candlemass, vocalist/lyricist Maya is sounding as powerfully demanding as ever, more than ever actually, she really is the centre of attention now, those big riffs projecting her… kind of settling in for a doomy heavy rock album when  Mysterious Spells catches things off guard, walking naked over your thoughts, a pause that shifts direction, treading on and trampling, casting mysterious spells that crawl in your belly

“A black mass of doomy punk rock awaits the listener, fired by the Gothic imaginings of vocalist/lyricist Maya. With its dark soundscapes spun in haunting imagery and a feeling of the uncanny, The Comfort of Loss and Dust plays like the aural accompaniment to a Hermann Hesse nightmare”. not sure where they get the pun krock bit from, this is full-on70’s ritual,  the down-tuned guitars and powerful drums create a tide of sound; that carry Maya’s vocals as “she twists and writhes through the murky waters of love, loss and bone-shaking lust”.

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Coming Back For More is a little more like the Cold in Berlin we already knew, Pray For Us, is just menacing doom and will I get out of here and on your knees,   The Comfort of Loss & Dust is a massive sound, a demanding album, an album that might catch those already familiar with the past beauties of Cold In Berlin out a little – they’ve certainly evolved, they’ve got blacker, more organic, there’s more of a menace, they’re disturbing, a brooding sound, a darker set of rituals, hold me as I bleed she demands, but you kind of feel it might be your blood she wants to drain. Wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to go in and partake, to sit there with her, with them, with those big riffs, there’s a lot of big riffing heavy rock bands out there already,  it starts to etch itself though, in there deep within your skin, andno, there isn’t any one else quite like this, this is different, I like it in here in the colour of the darkness and the doom and the edge of it all, deep within, can’t scratch it out, disturbing, I like it in here, this is good, more cold in the forest and never coming back than cold in Berlin, I like it here…. pray for us…   (SW)

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The new Cold in Berlin album The Comfort of Loss & Dust is out May 4th on Candlelight Records. The London album launch is on May 3rd.

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#365ArtDrops Part83

#365ArtDrops Part83

More of this tomorrow…. maybe

ORGAN THINGS: A bag load of music, drummers without kits, Taffy, Steinhest, drummers without sticks, Seven Impale, Public Enemy messing with the status quo and…

Taffy

Taffy

Thing of the day? We’re busy juggling other balls in other place right now, dipping in to the mountains of e.mail in between bouts of organising shows and throwing paint and and digging holes (but not to the pit of any souls), throwing on new music, rejecting most of it. Rather like this band Taffy in a throwback to the 90’s and Curve and Angel Cage and Breeders and Veruca Salt and insert the names of many guitar peddle loving indie bands here kind of way. “Following the widespread and critical success of their third album last year, along with a full UK tour, Japanese indie-pop four piece, Taffy return with their brand new EP, ‘Darkle’, out May 4th

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.Time to explore a little of The Leidenfrost Effect. The Leidenfrost Effect is a collaboration between poet and artist Jude C Montague and Dutch composer andarranger Wim Oudijk.

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And what are Seven Impale doing? is there a better prog band out there right now? Here’s what they say today…  “The members of Seven Impale are not sitting back and relaxing when not being… a member of Seven Impale!  Enjoy this track from the newly founded Drone band Steinhest. You hear Fredrik (drums), Tormod (bass (here on 5 string double bass)) and Stian (guitar or here on fretless baritone guitar) alongside their good friend Henrik Skauge (Mandola and tapes).It goes deep….”

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How many times have we been here?   drummers who don’t bring their drums to the gig, artists who don’t pick up their work from shows or miraculously expect you to attach a painting with no fittings to a wall when they turn up with it ten minutes before a show opens (or five minutes after).  We once had a drummer sit behind a borrowed kit, ready to start a gig, crowd all in place, rest of the band ready to go, only to shout at the very last minute “Has anyone got any sticks?”. You get to a point where one more soundcheck will result in a killing spree, bands who turn up late with no strings on the bass, bands who can’t get the simplest things together, painters who may make potentially great art but they’re just not worth all the hassle and the turning up late on the wrong day at the wrong gallery and full of their self-importance, Enough of it all, things to do….  more tomorrow, maybe? What about that time a band turned up to see another band they liked only to see their name on the poster, the fools had forgotten they’d been booked to do the support slot, the look of horror when they realised was priceless, they spent the whole gig blaming each other. And then that time when the drummer blew himself up in the soundcheck, that German band, weren’t in tune with playing in small venues, thy were already big in their homeland, forgot about the pyro in his…. boooooom, call the ambulance….

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Whatever became of Angel Cage anyway?

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ORGAN THING: The Minesweeper Collective, The French Connection…

Today we hand over the Organ page to  the Minesweeper Collective.  Who are the Minesweeper Collective? A collective of artists and musicians based on an old Minesweeper on the Thames and, well, why not go see for yourselves   That Broadway pop up show was a real pleasure to take part in, good people with the right set of attitudes, shame it was an event marking the demise of yet another art space. There’s a whole bag load of Organ photos and words from the show here   All about artists coming together and making things happen while we still can.

 

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And while we’re here, have some French Connection…. French Connection est un groupe de rock basé à Paris. Tristan Coindet a créé French Connection avant de disparaître à l’intérieur. French Connection aime les vinyles, les guitares vintage, les vieilles boîtes à rythme, Brian Eno, Gang Of Four, David Lynch, The Beatles (…) Stanley Kubrick, Lou Reed…

 

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ORGAN THING: Who are the News Agents? Resonance FM has the answer

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So what or who are the News Agents?  News Agents is a series of weekly radio broadcasts,  a hybrid news-arts programme curated by artist and musician Jude Cowan Montague and her team.  A radio show, broadcast every Saturday afternoon via London’s rather unique arts radio station Resonance 104.4FM  where arts meets news that each week features “guests from the worlds of reporting and art”.  Last week they featured the oral histories of Henry Mayhew who in the 1840s documented street life in articles for the Morning Chronicle, there’s a Soundcloud of the show here.

News Agents

News Agents

For this Saturday’s show “improvising artists Ivor Kallin and John Bisset join Jude Cowan Montague for a reimagining of her new album ‘The Leidenfrost Effect’ with Wim Oudijk released on Folkwit Records and Disco Fair”.

Past shows have featured things like Sonic potatoes & readymade performance : with Geraldine Gallavardin and Agnes Varda, or poet and musician Jenny Lewis in conversation, or  Leila Segal on Voices of Freedom and Shahed Saleem on the development of the British mosque of Lara Pawson on the Jimmy Mubenga Trial / Glenn Fitzy Fitzpatrick on making art post Charlie Hebdo….Each week issues and artists and as you’d expect with Resonance Fm, the unexpected.

For or more information see thenewsagents.blogspot.com. or check out the Facebook page.

ORGAN THING: Something new from David Gedge and Cinerama, a short film of Luke Jerram’s powerful fishing boat installation…

Things are a little busy around here today, cooking up some events in big warehosue spaces and such, that and dropping things (carefully and such. Here’s what David Gedge, he of the Wedding Present and such is doing, that and some footage of Luke Jerram’s powerful fishing boat installation by Drew Cox.

Here you go then, the new video from Cinerama, the project from David Gedge of The Wedding Present. Cinerama have a new album called ‘Valentina’ on the 18th May on Scopitones

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We’re busy today, no time for Organ-grinding, here’s the cut ‘n paste press release telling you what Mr Gedge and company are doing. Always got time for whatever David Gedge is doing, I blame John Peel for that, or thank him or something. Damn lazy of me to just fire the hypesheet at you, but hey, you get the facts in there with all the hype, you can drag out the information you need from it….

Cinerama, David Gedge’s ‘other’ band

Cinerama, David Gedge’s ‘other’ band

“Cinerama, David Gedge’s ‘other’ band, are set to release a brand new album, ‘Valentina’, on the 18th May via Scopitones. Best known as the guiding force in indie rock legends The Wedding Present, ‘Valentina’ is a radical reworking of The Wedding Present’s eighth studio album, released in 2012 to critical acclaim.

Harbouring a long-term dream to record one version of an album as The Wedding Present and another (with reworked songs) as Cinerama, David’s initial plan was to release two albums simultaneously but soon realised that this was a project that would take many years to accomplish. So after deciding on using ‘Valentina’ for this ambitious project, the decision was made to stagger the releases to complete the complex arrangements involved with the Cinerama version.

Orchestral and cinematic in sound, ‘Valentina’ still maintains the classic pop sensibilities in which David Gedge and The Wedding Present made their name. Inspired by his love of film scores and classic pop music, the album is unfettered by the traditional wall of raging Wedding Present guitars. From the first blast of horns to the last twinkle of piano keys, the record sparkles; a total departure from the original version, as David intended it to be.

From album opener ‘You’re Dead’ with its delightful, easy listening lounge feel to the up-tempo, literate pop of  ‘Back A Bit…Stop’, carefully crafted lyrics and delightful vocal melodies blend effortlessly; part orchestral, part big band setting. Gedge shines in his alternate guise as a chanteur – his personality, poetry, vulnerability and resilience evident on such tracks as the piano ballad ‘Mystery Date’ and the baroque pop of ‘Deer Caught In The Headlights’.

He recruited Spanish indie legend, Pedro Vigil, to assist with arrangements and add some Las Vegas style swagger to the record. Recruiting musicians from his local area of Asturias, the album was mixed in the picturesque town of El Puerto de Santa Maria with another legend… Paco Loco. Paco, in an impassioned dinner time speech, declared David’s voice on the record to be one of his ‘favourite vocals ever’.

Forming The Wedding Present in 1985, the band released 5 critically acclaimed albums over the course of a decade. Loved by the British music press, they caught the attention of John Peel, who said: “The boy Gedge has written some of the best love songs of the rock’n’roll era. You may dispute this, but I’m right and you’re wrong!”

With songs typically based around drums, bass, guitars and Gedge’s vocals the band was never afraid to experiment, even recording an entire album of Ukranian folk tunes called Ukrainski Vistupi v Johna Peela. They also displayed a taste for TV themes and film-score music, recording covers of the themes from Shaft and Twin Peaks among others.

Putting the band on hold in 1997 to concentrate on his new project, Cinerama, Gedge elected to take a different path musically. Together with his then-girlfriend Sally Murrell and Wedding Present co-writer Simon Cleave, he went on to record three breathtakingly good Cinerama albums and celebrate them with multiple live tours until The Wedding Present ultimately returned in 2004.

Alongside The Wedding Present and Cinerama, David runs his own record label, curates his own festival and publishes an autobiographical comic book series; ‘Tales From The Wedding Present’, essentially his memoirs in graphic novel style.

Cinerama, complete with 12 piece band, strings and additional instrumentation, will be performing a special one-off show at the O2 Academy Islington, London on Saturday 6th June.

On with the #365ArtDrops

On with the #365ArtDrops

Meanwhile, always have time for whatever Luke Jerram is doing, especially with fishing boats…

Installation by artist Luke Jerram in Leigh Woods, Bristol. Summer 2015. A film by Drew Cox.

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That’s it for today, we’re busy cooking things up in a beautiful big empty shell of a London Fields warehouse in deepest East London

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ORGAN THING OF THE DAY : Milton Melvin Croissant III creates an animated video for Rubik…

Who is Milton Melvin Croissant III then? Milton is an artist who lives and works in Baltimore, MD, over there in USA, he’s just created this “surrealist” animated video for a piece of Rubik‘s  music called ‘Duet’. Rather fine video, rather fine piece of music….

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“Seemingly inspired by the off-colour unnerving vocals and orchestrations on loop…the video takes us on a journey alongside two disembodied wiggly arms, each ending in a cartoonish gloved hand holding an eyeball, as it crashes through various bastions of capitalism before reaching a strange afterlife, all of it a big dadaist collage in 3D-rendered net-art stylings.”

More from Milton, and a 2014 video made for “Death After Life I” from the Album “Death After Life” by Thug Entrancer (Software Records).

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More of this tomorrow or later or the day after, maybe

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ORGAN THING: A slice of musical beauty from Inti Rowland, that Kayo Dot tour with Botanist is almost here…

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But you can’t stay here with every single hope you had shattered…. Thing of the Day? Not sure why? Just bits of music, bits of art, bits of underculture, things that pass this way, bits worth sharing, bits of this and bits of that, no big deal, just a simple page or two and some sharing of things like this rather beautiful song

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That Kayo Dot European tour, with Botanist in support, has started already, they hit the UK next week, the London show, at the Macbeth on the 21st, also features Guapo, promises to be one of the gigs of the year, surely?

kayodot_tourflyer“Hello, friends! Kayo Dot’s 2015 European tour has begun! Here are the rest of the dates – come check us out!

14.04 Gothenburg, Sweden @ Fangelset.  15.04  Berlin, Germany @ Magnet.  16.04 Prague, Czech republic @ Vila Stvanice 17.04.Geneva, Switzerland @ Undertown. 18.04 Milano, Italy @ Anteprima Solomace. 19.04 Nice, France @ La Zonme.  20.04 Paris, France @ Espace B.  21.04 London, @ The Macbeth. 22.04 Edinburgh @ Banshee Labyrinth. . 23.04 Manchester  @ Islington Mill 25.04 Plymouth @ The Underground 26.04 Caen, France @ tbc.  27.04 Essen, Germany @ Panic Room.  28.04 Warsaw, Poland @ Mozg Powszechny. 29.04.2015 Budapest, Hungary @ GMK.     Hope to see you out there! And if you are a concert promoter with an offer for one of the empty days, please let us know. Much love, Toby Driver on behalf of Kayo Dot”

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More of this tomorrow, maybe……

ORGAN THING: Who are The Stylish Kids? What’s this Up The Bracket Alley thing about then?

up_the_bracket29Those Libertines never really meant that much around these parts, especially back when you couldn’t turn on the radio or pick up a paper without them being rammed down your throat by someone insisting they were better than the Stones, the Kinks, The Who and every other vaguely English sounding band ever.  When you could divorce yourself from all the hype and that bloke in the hat being in the paper and all over the news every day then there were, and still are, some decent moments.

So why are we on about The Libertines today? They’ve not done anything for ages have they? Why are we bothering with them today? Well because there’s an alley we often cut through, behind The Hare in Bethnal Green, just up from Vyner Street here on the Hackney/Bethnal Green borders . It isn’t your usual street-art drenched East London back alley, sure there’s a big Sweet Toof high up on one of the walls, and yes, now and again a D7606 paste-up phone box or a bony looking Skeleton Cardboard piece or something familiar will appear, but this is not your usual street-art hang out, something different happening here.

What’s all the marker pen graffiti about, why are people apparently coming from all over London with their pens and their bits of song lyrics and demands for a new Libertines album? What’s with the stickers from football teams that usually don’t mean a thing around here? Charlton Goons, Brentford Casuals? Every time we walk along it the alley has changed again, cut through again yesterday, and there’s more lyrics, more messages for the band, bits of real primitive stencil work that would be laughed down by any serious street art follower, but this is different, I’m no Libertines fan but this alley is intriguing, I like it here… .

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Seems that the alley, a stones-throw from the Albion Rooms, the venue for the infamous spontaneous gigs, the  name given to the dilapidated flat that Pete Doherty and Carl Barât shared back when it was all happening, seems the alley has become some kind of shrine for the seemingly still devoted fans of the band.  Apparently the flat where the Albion Rooms were isn’t there now, well nothing that can be made out as a place of importance to the fans who quite clearly still need a place to gather. The Albion Rooms have been cleaned up and whitewashed away, turns out  that a few minutes’ walk away, ‘Up the Bracket’ Alley is still very much intact.

Turns out that The Libertines filmed the video for ‘Up the Bracket’ in the alley, it looked a lot cleaner then, Seems that since the band split in 2004 it’s become The Libertines’ version of the Abbey Road crossing, a place of pilgrimage for fans with their marker pens, football stickers and beer cans…. I’m no fan of the Libertines, have they reformed now? Everyone reforms, I’m no fan, but I can get what this is about, this alley is intriguing, this is music culture at its best, the primitive bits of graff, the slogans, the hints of turf wars. kind of of reminds you of the days when Robbo (R.I.P) was just an Arsenal hooligan with a can of paint rather than a street art legend. Something very much in the spirit of the Libertines and English youth culture and punk rock and the streets around old school football grounds here, I tend to cut through the alley even when I don’t need to, might even go back and give those Libertines another go now they’re not being rammed down my throat…   (SW).

click on an image to enlarge or run the slide show….