I’ve been really enjoying Nicky Hirst’s It Is Something, It Is Nothing photobook since it arrived sometime in January. I’d been following the series on Instagram for a while, but they work even better in print; the book has a great rhythm across the spreads. Published by the excellent Another Place Press and highly recommended!
Some good things that came by via Twitter and MixCloud through the day:
Fantastic photos of London c.1970-71 by David Wisdom: “I was more entranced by the continued existence, both architectural and human, of a London that stretched back in time before The Beatles, before The Wars, back to the slophouses of Dickens, back to the slatterns and toffs of William Hogarth and back to the Romans.”
News of a new SoulJazz Records compilation: Venezuela 70. A nagging thought in my brain says I can’t just buy everything that comes out on SoulJazz, but there would be worse ways to build a record collection. Anyway, the teaser track sounds great:
Ghostpoet’s Soho Radio show threw up a few great tracks, in particular Herbie Hancock’s Wiggle Waggle, which I’d never heard before – an excellent bit of soul-funk apparently recorded for a kids’ tv show; also Rangda, whose album I’d made a mental note to buy when I heard the single on Soundcloud then immediately forgot about.
Photobook collection addition
Got home to find East End by John Claridge had arrived in the post, published by Spitalfields Life blog, which I’d quite forgotten ordering. It’s good: nicely produced with a lot of images in,and smartly edited. I’m not a huge fan of that blog’s prose style but its commitment to photography, never mind its overall scope of recording the history of Spitalfields – and in particular the history of ordinary people – in detail, is hugely impressively.
Just arrived in the post from Cafe Royal Books, Working Men: Club and Coal is a simply-presented A5 booklet featuring the work of Homer Sykes. It’s nicely printed, and cheap – £5! – but doesn’t have any text to explain when and where the series was shot. This seems a bit of a shame, though doing some research on the web to work it out has led me towards some interesting photography that I’d no seen before. Maybe it’s not a bad thing to be made to do some of the work yourself.
The images themselves are excellent: black & white, unposed shots from collieries and workingmen’s clubs, depicting a part of British that’s a part of many people’s past, or maybe part of an inherited memory, but now looks like ancient history.