February Antidotes

Things that diverted, engaged or otherwise distracted me in February.

 

 

 

January Antidotes


I tend to think that anything interesting achieved in January counts for double. The month started with a mildly-hungover bang as my band played ‘Park It In The Market’ in Greenwich Covered Market (above!). Fears that the cold would put everyone off proved unfounded, and a good crowd of locals and tourists gathered round while we knocked out some rockabilly amongst the classic cars; by halfway through the set my fingers had warmed through enough to play something like I meant to.

Next we played the biggest show we’ve done, to 600+ Elvis fans at the O2 Arena (ok, the Brooklyn Bowl in the O2 Arena). And then…nothing. Such is the glut and famine of gig bookings juggled with full time jobs.

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I’ve been boring on about the joys of swimming at Charlton Lido for at least 3 years now, and I don’t intend to stop any time soon. This is the first winter that it’s stayed open since its refurbishment (and as a heated pool), and recently they’ve been opening late on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The experience of swimming outdoors in the dark on a frosty evening is incredible: the air chilly, the pool warm, and – if you’re lucky (and swimming backstroke) – the stars and moon visible above. The dash to the locker and the changing room when you’ve finished swimming isn’t pleasant, but the feeling of exhilaration afterwards is unbeatable. And, of course, the smug sense of otherness as you do something that seems on paper to be fairly ridiculous, while most people are indoors, can’t be denied.

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I saw J Mascis do his acoustic show at the Scala; as brilliant and frustrating as you might expect. The songs off his last kind-of-acoustic album stood up really well, and he played some amazing guitar. But all we saw of him was the top of his baseball cap as he sat on a low stool at the front of the stage. I’d forgotten what an attractive venue the Scala is, in parts.

Any month with a new Alasdair Roberts album is a good one, and this new album is sounding very good on early listens:

 

Goodbye Aldgate; hello Canary Wharf

For better and/or worse my work has just moved to Canary Wharf. It’s an easier commute, a much-need change of routine, and a nicer office; on the other hand, it’s Canary Wharf. Next year’s challenge is to find ways of photographing the area that don’t look like tedious stock photos or illustrations in magazine articles about the evil or brilliance of bankers. A tough ask, I suspect.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/803/11577174/files/2014/12/img_3811.jpg Outside the old office.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/803/11577174/files/2014/12/img_3897.jpg Outside the new office

November Antidotes

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Greenwich Park, autumn
Some highlights from a damp month:

The Basement Tapes Complete – not sure I’ve changed my mind much from my initial impressions, but it is an amazing piece of work; I expect to be digging into for years to come.

I saw the Jesus and Mary Chain play the whole of ‘Psychocandy’ (plus a short Greatest Hits set) at the wonderful Troxy in Limehouse, and it was brain-janglingly fantastic.

Don’t Make A Scene ‘zine turned up in the post – a really inspiring guide to promoting DIY gigs. It’s got me thinking about some of the musical things I want to do next year.

October Antidotes

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A quiet-ish October, settling into a new routine with daughter at school; the weather first autumnal with a late freakish twist for a Halloween that could have been in June.

A half term trip to the North Kent coast, notable for a walk along the beach at Seasalter, the consumption of – at various times – beer, coffee, fish’n’chips and doughnuts on the beach in Whitstable, and a visit to the Turner Contemporary in Margate for Jeremy Deller’s excellent English Magic.

Went to a PhotoForum event held at Calumet, featuring talks by Homer Sykes and Brian David Stevens, whose They That Are Left series is particularly worth looking at. It was great to hear photographers talking about the process of making their photos in a straightforward fashion, with a seeming deliberate de-emphasis on the technical side; it’s given me a nudge to think about taking more care in my photography – hopefully 2015 might afford more time to go out with a camera that isn’t my iPhone.

 

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