Monday 23 December 2013

Mon 23rd Dec: It's Christmas in Hackney! - Guest Post by Charlie Milton

It's Christmas in Hackney! - Guest Post by Charlie Milton
"If you're not in the Christmas spirit yet - a trip to Hackney will have all of the answers. Hackney Council has invited five local Fashion Designers to create their own Christmas tree. As part of their ‘Make Hackney Sparkle’ project. 

Holly Fulton’s tree which is displayed on Prince Edward Road in Hackney Wick, is decorated with cut perspex. Emulating her strong graphic approach she is known for with regard design. 
House Of Hackney have completed a tree like you’ve never seen before, which is on display in Hackney Central, outside the Town Hall.
Loud and Prominent Designer Louise Gray’s tree is located in Dalston Square. You really can’t miss this tree, its a huge bundle of colour - something to really get you into the festive spirit! It’s decorated beautifully with assorted neon coloured material. 
Piers Atkinson’s tree located on Old Street in Shoreditch is decorated with Cherries and Bow ties.
Last but not in any way least Emma Cook’s tree is displayed outside the Fire Station on Church Street, in Stoke Newington.

I found the trees to give a real special quality to Hackney. They sparked huge interest in the local areas, were topics of conversation between strangers. And I have to say that Emma Cook’s Bright Pink tree was drawing attention from every little girl who walked past - and the brilliance of it being bright pink next to a fire station! I’d recommend viewing them at night too - the lights are so pretty!"
Top to bottom:  Emma Cook, Louise Gray, House of Hackney, Holly Fulton, Piers Atkinson 
All images by Charlie except Piers Atkinson studio images from the team.

Thursday 19 December 2013

Thurs 19th Dec: Rainbow Hair by FUDGE

 Thanks once again to the genius Tracy Hayes at Fudge for colouring my hair and creating a rainbow for me!  This is the best yet - my ultimate dream!  

Monday 16 December 2013

Monday 16th Dec: Africa Express "Maison De Jeunes" launch

Last Monday evening Africa Express reunited for the launch of their new album Maison De Jeunes at a gig in London with international guests Songhoy Blues from Mali and Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) from NYC.  The evening began with a film screening of last year's UK train tour, followed by a Q&A with this year's contributors Brian Eno, Ghost Poet, Olugbenga and organiser Damon Albarn himself.  The album was then brought to life on stage as the musicians combined in the various formations for each track.  It was the London debut for the artists who Stephen Budd had invited from Timbuktu, and their exuberant energy and excitement meant they couldn't leave the stage!   This music was all written and recorded one week in October at Bamako's "Maison De Jeunes", when the international collective joined forces with selected local talent.    Here you can hear the first few releases ft. the family of artists including Abdou Traoré, Andre de Ridder, Bassekou Kouyate, Brian Eno, Cid Rim, Damon Albarn, David Maclean from Django Django, Djigui, Ghostpoet, HOLY OTHER, Jeff Wooton, Kankou Kouyaté, Lil Silva, Madou Sanogo Djembe, Modibo Traoré, Nick Zinner fromYeah Yeah Yeahs, Olugbenga, Pauli the PSM, Remi Kabaka, Samba Kouyaté, Sammy Jay, Seye, Two Inch Punch, Yacuba Cissoko...........

 ‘Rapou Kanou’ performed by Malian rapper Tal B Halala, produced by Two Inch Punch..................

Songhoy Blues - Soubour, produced by Nick Zinner

Sunday 15 December 2013

Sunday 15th Dec: FELABRATION 2013

Here are photos from last night's FELABRATION 2013 gig,  in celebration of the album release for "RED, HOT & FELA"honouring Fela Kuti's 75th Birthday & Life.  THE DELE SOSIMI AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA kept the tunes going all night whilst special guests took it in turn to take stage for lead vocals inc. SHINGAI SHONIWA ( of The Noisettes ), BALOJI, OLUGBENGA ( Metronomy ), BLAK TWANG and ESKA accompanied by the GOLDSMITH VOCAL ENSEMBLE.  It was an awesome experience to be able to listen and dance to the tracks I know but never had a chance to see live - with the crescendo of everyone of stage for the closing number "Water No Get Enemy".   Here is the beautiful Eska with her Fela inspired makeup for the evening, and Shingai who looked like a radiant queen in a gold beaded onesie and hair adornment.   The energy on stage was infectious and easy to see how the original band would have played ALL night………….. if only we could step back in time and take part in that party!  To see what I mean, watch this documentary on the Fela story …… here.

Friday 13 December 2013

Friday 13th Dec: Teds Draws vs. Work It

Time for T ……….. t-shirts ……….. and Teds Draws ………… in a collaboration with Work It as the latest merch to come from the girl's label.  Ted is known for penning a particular style of caricature of pop-culture icons from Steve Bucemi, Christopher Walkin to Snoop Doggy Dog and Missy Elliot.  The first colour variant to his signature monochrome illustrations is the pink inked portrait of Lil' Kim.  The launch took place at local treasure trove Pelican's and Parrots Black where Loren recently picked up a winner Versace print body-con mini-dress.  Head over to their site to snap up this limited edition celebration of the Queen of r'n'b.

(Images from both the launch party, invite and snaps at the artist's studios)

Friday 13th Dec: Christmas at Andrew Logan's Glasshouse

From Nelson Mandela's portrait in South Africa via the last post, to his legacy prophetically immortalised in reflecting bright lights of Andrew Logan's mirror sculpture.  Every Christmas Andrew opens the doors of his glasshouse in Bermondsey for a festive get-together and chance to invest in a piece of his unique cosmic work.  The installations are constantly moving and changing - with the latest face to take centre stage on the stairwell being Nelson Mandela.  I wonder where this wonder will end up one day………….. genius.
(Photos include Kose Jean's metallic marbled shoes, me wearing a Kitty Joseph glitter print neoprene box jacket, La Touche snapping hats on Keely Hunter and Kitty)

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Tues 10th Dec: South Africa via Alex Cunningham

In the tradition of my Uncle Travelling Mac style features where I ask friends who are travelling to send me snaps from their adventures - here are Alex Cunningham's photos from Johannesburg where she is on location for a shoot.  It's happened to fall at the pivotal time of Nelson Mandela's death … … ..  which I'd like to mention on the blog - and here is the perfect visual opportunity for insight into the city this last week.

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

"A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination."