Thursday, March 29, 2007

I'm From Barcelona and I have balloons

I'm From Barcelona played a fantastic gig at Koko the other night - possibly the most cheerful, happiest, least pretentious gig I've ever been to. There were balloons! confetti! kazoos! It was great. This much I was, in the far hopeful reaches of my mind, expecting – but there were also some lovely surprises;

- a stagedive in the first song
- a bit of a moshpit (albeit a friendly cuddly one – a new experience in itself)
- a Bryan Adams cover
- a partial Like A Prayer cover
- a fairly heavy rock band playing support (?!)
- a happy song about chicken-pox
- and what can only be described as a 'new rave' ending (although just using that phrase makes me feel too Nathan Barley to be comfortable) by Adventure Kid, doing a chip-tune-type cover of We're From Barcelona.

Also supporting were Connan and the Mockasins (sounded interesting, very unusual. With a proper stand-up bass! A described them as being like "a bag of chihuahuas" which is pretty apt) and Paris Motel who are always good but were particularly great - they played some wonderful new songs. Their 071 E.P. is one of my favourites but I really can't wait for the new album, a little bird tells me it's lovely.

My previous I'm From Barcelona post, with a lovely yellow & grey video.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Martin Parr

Martin Parr: 'CupOfTea' (1995)
London Independant Photography hosted a talk by Martin Parr the other night.

I'd seen most of the photographs he showed before but it was interesting to hear him talk about why and how he does certain things. It would be so great to get to that point in your career where you can go around the world photographing whatever you want to, and then Magnum pays you for it.

There was a 'questions' bit at the end which was a bit weird, it seemed to be mostly either photography students saying things like "don't people get mad at you?!" or "what flash do you use?", or a few other people would raise their hand and then launch into this massive review of his life's work, summing up with "you're early stuff was much better" which just left him to go "err, ok". He seems like he is quite used to being very defensive, which was not entirely surprising but I felt stopped him from going very deep in his answers. Still very interesting though. It's unusual to find an artist with a sense of humour!

He also talked about how overlooked non-commercial photography is in Britain, and how that is (slowly) beginning to change, particularly with a major show at the Tate this summer.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Olivier Goka

I stumbled across these on Flickr - I love this guy's work, it's all consistently fantastic. Les Humains are my favourites but
Le Bestiaire and Robotheque have the same great characterisation. See his portfolio here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Alan Kitching at St Brides

What a nice surprise - went to St Brides type library the other night with the intention of simply mooching around the Alan Kitching exhibition, only to find he was giving another talk that night! And it was fantastic. Hearing someone talk about their work seems to bring a whole new level of detail to it, and an insight into someone else's thought process is always fascinating, I find. Truly inspirational. I didn't really get chance to sneak any pictures but there are a few here.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Kew Gardens

Even at a (fairly) mature age, having paid money to get into Kew Gardens and see plants and trees, people will always be far more fascinated with the residents than with even the wierdest plants. Just look at the goose harassment going on here.