Retrospective Scooters Open Day

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Beat the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) – Go ELECTRIC!

If you’re in London this weekend, get yourself down to our Retrospective Scooters workshop/showroom in Walthamstow for their open day.  The focus of the day is the forthcoming London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and how you can get around paying the £12.50 a day that you’ll get charged for riding your nasty dirty old ‘non-compliant’ scooter. One of the options is to convert your classic Lambretta (or Vespa) to an electric one – I featured the kit in a post, here, a little while ago. They’ll have lots of electric scoots charged up and ready to test ride.

On the day there’s;

  • Test ride one of the many electric Vespa’s and Niu scooters.
  • Get advice from the Retrospective Scooters team of experts – ask how to convert your classic Lambretta with a custom conversion kit
  • Freshly cooked food from local stalls
  • Craft beer from a neighbouring brewery
  • Listen to DJs spinning the decks all afternoon

So get yourself down to Unit 1, Lockwood Way, Walthamstow, London E17 5RB from 1pm this Saturday.

While we’re on the subject of Electric Vehicles, rumours are reaching Lambrettista Towers that the new Electric Lambretta Vendetta, (as well as a very exciting sounding 325cc petrol variant) is due to come to market shortly. Stay tuned. When I hear more, you’ll hear more. That’s a promise.

 

 

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The Scooterist Movie Trailer

A forthcoming film about the UK scooter scene, THE SCOOTERISTS focuses on the theme of scootering being a ‘way of life’. This film delves into the world of scootering at it’s roots and told passionately by those who ride them.

THE SCOOTERISTS celebrates everything scooter – the lifestyle, the music and the oil! A true British movement that’s still moving.
They’re currently raising the finances to start shooting this year. If anyone is interested, visit the Facebook page for more updates on how you can get involved, or read the ScooterLab interview with director Andy Hylton, here.

Durand Jones & The Indications

IMG_20180518_062449I don’t often post about music on here. But occasionally something or somebody comes along that I have to share… And you need to check out this Band. I was lucky enough to catch Durand Jones & The Indications last night, in a great venue – The Waiting Room – a tiny room beneath a pub in Stoke Newington (can’t remember the last time I paid £6 for a gig either – bargain of the century!).

They blew me away. Durand Jones’s vocal is up there with all the great soul singers I love – on occasions, it was as if he was channelling Donny Hathaway, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding – and these are not names I bandy about lightly. He’s really that good. He’s got a great, authentic delivery, and you really felt he was experiencing the essence of every song.

The band were tight – really tight – working as a unit – the drummer was an absolute machine. The rhythm section reminded me of Muscle Shoals’ finest – and the horns – tenor sax and trumpet – were Stax like in their attack – but mellow and gentle when they needed to be. There were shades of King Curtis as well – really nice stuff. Under it all was some beautiful floaty, hammond style keys.

The Indications have more than one great singer in the band – When the drummer Aaron Frazer guested on the lead vocals (Check out “Is It Any Wonder” below) it was incredible – think Sam Cooke meets Smokey Robinson – and as Durand himself said “The voice of an angel – how do I follow that?” he DID though!

It’s hard to say enough good things about this band… I’ve seen a LOT of bands at a lot of gigs over the years. I’m not into comparisons and superlatives – BUT I reckon this is the BEST band I’ve seen, and the BEST gig I’ve been to.

If you get the chance – do yourself a favour – and go and see these guys. Buy their records. They’re the real deal.

Durand Jones and The Indications Website
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Damm fine photography

lightbox_brightonI’ve often featured the work of talented photographers on the blog, and Dammo is the latest of the bunch. Dammo specialises in capturing British subcultures with their inherent diversity, quirkiness and definitive style. The majority of his work reflects his own personal interests in music and cultural movements: be it Northern Soul, Mod, Rockabilly, 50s R&B or the Scooter Scene. However, individual commissions will be considered.

Photography with Soul.

Dammo’s photography is stylish, crisp and detailed, in terms of tone and colour, offering a document of time and place. There is a vintage flavour to his work, but with a fresh modern perspective, demonstrating a graphic designers eye, combined with a photographers passion for the subject and the art of making the observer feel present in the event. He offers bespoke quality pictures depicting events and people in a way that illustrates the emotion and intrinsic timeless nature of British sub cultural movements, whether it be for editorial purposes, display or web.

Book him, Dammo.

For photographic enquiries you can call Dammo on: 0777 219 7276 or email him hereAlteratively, follow him on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with his latest work.

All images featured in this post are used with permission and are copyright ©Dammo Photography 2014. All rights reserved.

 

After the rainfall…

Nice little vid, posted by Sticky Features Website… After the Rainfall… “Driving beats, keyboard abuse and intense guitar. The Little Notes deliver British Indie with hints of The Charlatans at their best…from album So High Down available here

I think it’s rather good (the music AND the vid) 🙂

Highland TV

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I was sent this fantastic pic last week, by Steve Mason.  Although I have been a fan of his music for a while now, (He was the lead singer and one of the founding embers of the Beta Band, more recently releasing musing as King Biscuit Time, Black Affair, and under his own name) for some reason I never had him down as a Lambrettista. In fact he’s been riding Lambrettas since 1987… his first being a “bucket” of a SX 150 he picked up for £175. We all know that £175 was a lot more in 1987, but you can’t help thinking “those we the days!”

If you want to catch Steve Mason live, At the Festival No. 6 in Portmerion, and then he’s at the Blackheath Festival.  After that he is DJing at The Social in Little Portland Street, London W1, on Saturday 13th September. You can follow him on Twitter @SteveMasonKBT or on his website.

In the meantime, here’s a track off his last Album, Monkey Minds In The Devils Time. http://youtu.be/2jvF2eIfk3c

Pop Artist

If I said the name Horace Panter you would probably think of The Specials, at least if you have a decent taste in music and you’re of a certain age! As Sir Horace Gentleman, he was (and still is) the bassist for one of the most iconic bands of the ’80s, spearheading the 2-Tone movement. What you may not know is that Horace and Jerry Dammers met at Art School… where they were both studying  Fine Art.

Today, Horace is very much a painter as well as a musician. He paints in a very Pop Art style… following the mantra of ‘elevating the mundane’, taking a fresh look at the familiar, encouraging the viewer to see ‘everyday’ objects/people with new eyes. I can see influences of British Pop Art’s leading figures, Peter Blake, and also of one of his pupils… Ian Dury (also an accomplished artist) in his work.

Horace’s paintings are often inspired by random events and people. One such painting, ‘The Scooterist’ resulted from a chance meeting with a posse of scooterists outside Coventry’s Transport Museum.The Scooterist © Copyright Horace Panter Art 2014

Horace was asked by local filmmaker, Richard Wood, to participate in promoting a charity event to raise funds for Clare House Hospice in Liverpool. This involved the car, HERBIE (from the eponymous film) being driven from Liverpool to Monte Carlo and Horace joined Lady Godiva (Pru Poretta) on its journey from The Ricoh Arena to the Transport Museum. This short journey was accompanied by a whole raft of vintage VW’s and an honour guard of local scooterists.

It is generally true that scooterists are fans of The Specials so while they were all busy snapping photographs of Horace, he decided to reciprocate and turned his camera on them. Sifting through his photographs later, he turned his attention to the remarkable detail on the scooters and decided to paint one with its rider on board in his typical icongraphic style. He says: ‘There were some amazing scooters … really detailed. All that stuff about pride in appearance, everything just right in terms of both scooter and scooterist, I love it.

Horace didn’t know who the rider was so he put out a call on Facebook and Twitter to ask if anyone could identify the mystery scooterist. Within minutes, responses started to come in and they weren’t all the same! However, half a dozen people pointed to Carl Barlow from the Low Numbers Scooter Club in Leamington Spa. 
It was definitely him, as other photos testified. Horace then contacted Carl by sending him a message on Facebook but by then Carl had had dozens of texts and emails from his friends to tell him that Horace had painted his portrait. Happily, mystery solved. Carl says ‘Over the moon that Horace has chosen to do the pic of me; it’s a real honour! I’m thrilled that he will be letting me have a print. It’s a wonderful painting … not just because I’m in it!’ I’m with Carl on that. There is a real ‘iconic’ feel to the work.

The original painting has been sold. There is a limited edition of 35 prints (40 x 23 cm) available from the galleries listed on Horace’s website: HoracePanterArt, where you can check out his other work, including his series of ‘Cassette’ paintings. You can also check out his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter.

A big thank you to Clare in helping me put this post together.