Friday, November 28, 2008


This beauty arrived this morning..... my holy grail, my first signed Banksy print, Nola. Yes, I'm showing off, but I think it's justified in this case. I'm so very fortunate to get it. A case of right place at the right time. There are 289 of these around and it sold out from POW in a few seconds. I'm chuffed to bits to say the least. Now to think about framing her.

Sorry about the picture quality!

Creatures from Outer Space

Ace and I went on mission yesterday in search of Space Invaders on the streets of Kilburn and Notting Hill. A little background.... this French guy called 'Space Invader' buys lots of little mosaic tiles and sticks them to walls as space invaders. He came to London and stick up seven waves of invaders between 1999 and 2007 totalling 101 of these little artworks. And so armed with an A-Z went pottered through some pretty dodgy areas and some rather posh ones too as we made our from Queens Park tube station to Kensington.

This is number 001, the first he put up, still there to be seen by all in Kensal Town. difficult to get a close up on this one with a camera phone. I like the positioning though.

Some were easy to find, others much more tricky with a lot of back tracking and head stratching. Our aim was to find all the ones in this part of town, about 16 in all and all but one were found. Curse you 002! I will find you though!

Here's the remains of 045, it's seen better days.

Quite a few had been removed, a few more were just painted over, but it's good fun to go on a little treasure hunt to find these invaders, a good adventure.

This one is outside Notting Hill tube station.

Notice the Banksy tag, a nice little link to how we finished our day, Ace showed where this piece of urban decay was. A clue in the background!

Returning to the subject of creatues from outer space our wander through Notting Hill was interrupted by an opportunity for me to try my hand at becoming a member of the pararazzi. Here's my effort, once again on a camera phone.

And we saw Jason Orange from Take That too.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A trot round Bristol.

Guided by Jellya, we hit the streets of Bristol yesterday for a top up of graf spots, some new additions to the city and a couple of very old ones.

I’m not even going to pretend that this bit isn’t a direct rip off of Jellya’s post on his blog of exactly the same Sickboy. But, it rightly deserves highlighting, it’s the nicest temple I’ve seen. The beauty in it is in the location and the natural decay that has happened to it over the years. The paint is flaking, the back street it’s on is charismatic for its run down vibe, the background colours complement the temple nicely and the batoning adds a little something extra, overall a top-top temple.

We trotted onwards and found some cracking other pieces, Mudwig, SPQR, Dan, Nick Walker, 45rpm, Sweet Toof were all to be seen. This great combination by Cept and Cyclops in Stokes Croft… lovely. It was a new one on me.

Not far away Jellya pointed out this very faded Banksy ‘Heavy Weaponry’.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The race for Parla.

It's time to resurrect this blog and what better reason than Jose Parla.

Woke up quite late yesterday, ummmed and arggghed for a while, shall I go to the Parla Adaption / Translation show, can I be bothered? All this deliberation really ran the clock down, but at 11:35 I decided that yes I should go. That gave me 1 hour and 25 minutes to hot foot it on various forms of public transport from Reading to the Elms Lester Gallery in central London, it was going to be close. Parla was doing a book signing until 1:00.

Started off well, walked quickly, (don't do running) to the bus stop at the Junction, the bus arrived almost straight away, good stuff, no hold ups so far, all on course. Next bit was to get from Jackons Corner to the train station, a good 5 minute walk. Just round the corner temptation stood in my way. A bunch of Morris Dancers were hopping around bashing their sticks, there were even hobby horses, there's nothing like a good old bit of pagan bopping and I nearly stopped for some photos, but I had to be focussed, I needed to get to London on time. There would be other chances to see Morris Dancers, meeting Parla was a rare opportunity. I ventured on, to the station, the queues for tickets were long. I needed to decide whether to join the queue, very precious time eating exercise or risk the machine, gamble on having the mental capacity to navigate the screens and hope that it would accept my wrinkly £20 note. Fortune was on my side, the machine didn't play up and I manage to score a travel card. Grabbed a coffee for the train and walked quickly to platform 5. The train was delayed though, 12:05 it arrived, I had 55 minutes, it was still a close call, but I remained optimistic. Settled into a nice seat and the train pulled out. It was staright through to Paddington, all was well, that is until Slough! The train crawled to a.... um, crawl, really slow, something to do with track mending or whatever. After a long old time, we sped up again and landed at Paddington, it was 12:35, gave me twenty five minutes to get there, this was so tight. Walked quickly, still not running, to the tube, past slow, wide, corridor blocking people to the central line, onto the tube train to Oxford Circus felt like a longer journey than usual, quickest change I could manage to Tottenham Court Road, I had 5 minutes left. I broke into a run. I had one chance to remember where the gallery was, I'd been past it once before whilst looking for Space Invaders, I knew it wasn't far and picked a road and I was right, I trotted up to the door, all hot and puffy.

The security man on the door informed me that Parla would not be signing anymore books, I was a minute or two late. I shamelessly explained my journey and my dissappointment, but was gracious in defeat, he let me in. I joined the signing queue anyway, I planned to speak with the till person to try to blag just one more signing, how could they refuse. I heard mention of an hour and a half journey round the corner, didn't really think anything of it or pay much attention, certainly didn't link it to me. But, the security man came up to me and gave me a ticket for the signing, he'd had a word with someone, what a star, he didn't need to do that for me, heart of gold. So, I'd made it, just by the skin of my teeth. I legitimately joined the queue to meet Parla.

Considering he'd been there for 2 hours signing books for strangers he remained a really friendly and welcoming man, it was a pleasure to meet him. He took time to sign my book, we talked of my journey and nearly missing the signing, here's his message to me...

This show was breathtaking, all the work without exception was so beautiful. The layers and layers of paint and calligraphy meant that there was so much to see in each piece. You could stare at a piece for hours and notice new bits, they are so intricate. The best way to describe them is that they are images of decayed walls, where paint and graffiti tags have been built up on top of each other for years and years, posters remained in parts, bits of plaster had flaked off. There is a real beauty in this. Other pieces were lines and lines and layers and layers of calligraphy. Please got to see this show, words or photos cannot do it justice. You have until the 8th November to see it, do yourself a favour...

Here's some of the pics I took, not very good I'm afraid, just done on my camera phone but gives you a hint of the beauty, but fail miserably to come close to the pieces in reality.

Take a look at the link to Jose Parla's site for a better idea!

Just to let you know that not all was well with the day. I managed to spill some coffee on the book on the train on the way home. It's ruined the loose leave pictures you get! Karma I suppose. I've mailed Elms Lester to see if I can get replacements.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Gogol Bordello - Hammersmith Apollo

I'm a little sore today, the reason? Jumping around last night under the illusion that I'm in some way fit, comparatively young and indestructible!! Last night was another visit to the world of Gogol Bordello, this time at Hammersmith Apollo. Our merry band of party-goers wound our way there through illness and fatigue and we were all jolly glad we did.

No idea who the support were, no-one cared, no-one watched.

For those of you who have no idea who Gogol Bordello are, be introduced to the world of gypsy punk and the finest live show ever. A night with Gogol is party night. It's new years eve mixed with a St Patrick's day atmosphere and a lot of jumping around. It's the best fun you can have. Phil Jupitus described them on 'Later' as 'The Clash and The Pogues having a fight in eastern Europe' and he's not wrong.

The sound wasn't great, but that didn't stop the inevitable, there's no fighting the lure of the front and off Josh and I bounded. Traditionally, I always go slightly to the right, for Pam. But this time there was more middle action as Pam didn't stick to the Pam plan of sticking to her side. So, the usual two or three songs, then a breather for several while I tucked my lungs back into where they should be, then back to the jumping around.

Lots of new songs this time, I mean new to the live shows for me from their latest album 'Super Taranta' and to be honest, they don't compare with the older ones. I'm a traditionalist, the set from this time last year was best. To be fair, there was a good load of the old played stuff and they were just as good as ever and worth it for them alone. The old favs, Mishto, Undestructable, 60 Revolutions, Not A Crime, Think Locally... and of course the crowd pleaser Start Wearing Purple (not a personal favourite, but good for a jig about) plus my far and away favourite Baro Faro, others too East Infection and Bordelllo Kind Of Guy.

A bloomin' good evening it was. What's great about Gogol gigs is the smiles, everyone has a big smile on their face and it's one big party, everyone loves one another. It's always fun to watch the security at the front, they start off all hard and tough, a few songs in there's a twinkle in their eye, 7 or 8 songs in and they are in full on party mood too, they don't care about looking tough any more, they are having a good time, there seems to be a sense of wonder and disbelief in their smiles. They've been security for years and years, but you can tell that they've not experienced anything quite like this before.

How did this one compare? Well, it has to be said that this wasn't anywhere near as good as Oxford or Paris last year, they will be very hard to beat. In terms of all the Gogol gigs I've seen, it was well down the list, due in part to the bad sound, the set and the lack of intimacy with the band these larger venues deliver. Perhaps a big chunk of the old becoming a victim of their own success was starting to shine through. However, not all is lost and it was a great night I wouldn't have missed, compared to other Gogol gigs it was mediocre, compared to other gigs from other bands, it blew them out of the water.

If I have no other purpose on this planet than to urge any of you people to go to a Gogol Bordello gig then it's all been worthwhile. Please go and see them, but please go soon before it's too late.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Got round to some framing at last!

Framed up two prints today, thought it was about time! Nipped to my local Habitat, didn't even realise I had a local Habitat until the other day. First one up for the treatment was this....

LV Child by Beejoir, from the unsigned charity run of 400.

And my very first print... Wotulookin-At by Eelus.

Now I've just got to decide where to hang them.

The plan was also to frame the Faile refund print, but I cut the mount too big and it kept falling through the hole! I'd had enough by that point, so back to Hobbycraft tomorrow for another mount and another go!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Latest arrival - Miss Bugs

This is my latest arrival:

'Wonderful Angel of Death' by Miss Bugs from an edition of 30. This is the second print she's released I think, but having a look at the website, there's some good stuff on the way. The strange blobs that look like jellyfish aren't visible unless you look really closely, it's just that the flash on my phone picked them up.

Each one is hand touched up with bits and bobs found on the street. This is number 2 of 30, so a nice low, low number. But what's best is that it's Wonder Woman (she's a wonder) and one of my earliest crushes, fantastic!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Shepard Fairey / Obey Show

Went to the Shepard Fairey show at Stolen Space with Ace today. Bit of a struggle to find the flippin' thing, but it was worth the hunting. Some of the pieces were mind blowing, enormous and very beautiful. Even Ace was moved to express some sort of passion about the work, therefore it's very, very good indeed!

This one was my favourite (If anyone wants to donate 30k to me?).

Do yourself a favour and go and have a look. It's in the old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane until 25th November.

Banksy busted!

You may have heard that Banksy was caught painting his new piece, the photo was published in several papers.

Why can't people just respect his anonymity?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Xenz Show

Had a great night last night. Jelly Antler was gracious enough to invite me to the Xenz preview show at the Forster Gallery. Xenz, what an artist, he's not a typical graffiti scrawler that's for sure, he travels his own path and creates some lovely stuff on the way. After a few free beers, the plunge was taken and one of the prints released for the show was purchased. It's lovely, we both fell for it as soon as we saw it, it had to be bought, so it was, it's huge too. The colours are so nice. Framing should be interesting.

One of the pieces at the show, couldn't fit it all in, it was in a corridor and I couldn't step back far enough!!

Carrying the print home was troublesome though, a couple of heavy, cumbersome flat packed (in MDF) big prints. Through the east end and the underground we went, then train to Reading, but we made it.

Faile refund print

My Faile 'refund' print arrived earlier in the week. I've never been so relieved to have missed out on a print on release. It's a long story..... don't ask! So, a proper Faile, one from NYC, very pleased with it.