Picked up a copy of this yesterday… looks an interesting read – a full review will follow. It’s available on Amazon here.
Check out my Reading list.
I 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.
I’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.
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.
All images featured in this post are used with permission and are copyright ©Dammo Photography 2014. All rights reserved.
In light of The Currant Bun dropping it’s long running topless Page 3 feature… here’s a track by The Lambrettas. Any excuse, me.
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
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. © 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.
Anybody who attended a scooter rally in the 80’s or 90’s will know the name Tony Class. A larger than life character who loved the scene, the music and the scooters, Tony was one of the few who kept the scene going through difficult times. He sadly lost his battle with illness last month. Scootering magazine has written a piece here.
My condolences to his family and many friends.
These videos are worth a watch too.
I’d never heard of Nelson Mandela, until I heard this song (video below). I don’t think most of my peer group had either. At the time words like ‘terrorist’ were being used about him, although initially he was a follower of the non-violent school of protest, he became a the militant. But who wouldn’t be, against a regime as oppressive as that of the South African one. Anyway, because of Jerry Dammers, and the Special AKA, I read deeper than the stories in the Daily Express, and found another side to the story. On a side note, whenever I walked past South Africa House, in Trafalgar Square, back in the day… (as I did last night too), I was never asked by the demonstrators to sign their petition… I assume because of my close cropped hair, Flight jacket, and polished cherry red DMs. But stop and sign I always did, despite their prejudices.
Anyway. Enough of that. This is about Mr Mandela… and how he helped transform South Africa from a racist, aparteid regime into a rainbow nation. Without the “bloodbath” that was not only predicted, but seemed to be a forgone conclusion. Are things perfect in South Africa? Probably not. But they are certainly better that what the majority of the world thought was going to happen. How much of this was down to Jerry Dammers and the Specials? I suspect more that we think. After this song everybody knew the name Nelson Mandela in the UK, and the UK played a huge role in leading world opinion. The song went on to be known and sung around the world. Can ‘pop music’ change the world? Not very often. But sometimes, sometimes it can. RIP Mr Mandela, thank you Mr Dammers.
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