Mostly Sky – Bestival 2012

10th September 2012

What’s it all about, Ducky

Back from Bestival with the usual: a tingly hangover, a memory card full of amazing sounds and images and a head full of, well, amazing sounds and images from a hectic day of DJing and watching some great acts play wonderful music and generally having the most fine of times humanly possible. On Saturday I played three sets, one on Bestival Radio with my compadre Pete Gooding and a live performance from the main man of ambient folk, James McArthur; one in the now legendary Wishing Tree (house); and one in the totally fabulous Ambient Forest (slow dancing).

A few edited festival highlights: How does it feel… rushing past the main stage as New Order played Blue Monday; Tythe in the Ambient Forest; wearing a unicorn mask while DJing; dancing like a ducky to Greg Wilson; the boy W and his boys in the Wishing Tree; Sleeping in a Tipi with our friends; strong coffee; sunshine and more sunshine; pole dancing to SBTRKT; Dirty Beaches’ short, brutal set; Four Tet in the Psychedelic Worm.

Some pictures (mostly sky) and the two DJ sets are posted here.

Up On The Roof

1st September 2012

Today we are up on the roof high over Soho, staring down on secret London, the hidden gardens and meeting places, so far away from the windy canyons down below. Nick and Andy are here to sing Word, I am here to speak words about Word and other songs on the Freedom Street album. The song sounds good and the view is magnificent. Afterwards we go to the pub. It’s like old times before computers and worries. A good day in London town.


31st August 2012

You’re Welcome To Dreamland

30th August 2012

On the train, down to Margate aka Dreamland aka Traceyland aka Turnerland for a night of art at Turner Contemporary. Margate is closed down. Walk out of the station in the drizzle and that’s the first and second and third impression. The sky is giant, and inspiring (ask Turner) but the town is a little less so (ask Emin). Unless you are into beautiful desolate, which I am, so it’s kind of run-down great, dirty brilliant, faded glory +. The plus is this bloody great gallery on the other side of the bay, kind of biting its thumb, (ask Shakespeare), at the poor of the town, splashing around in the sandy shallows, searching for some kind of living. And thanks to Turner and Tracey, gentrification is on its way, come to save the town from total shut down, come to mock the meek, depending on your viewpoint. Like a mouth where somebody has suddenly, after years of neglect, started to clean the teeth. But not all of them, just the odd one or two, here and there. So there is a closed down shop next to a closed down bar next to the closed (and burnt) Dreamland, next to a closed down shop next to an open bar called Electronic Elephant or Ancient Aubergine or some such absurdity, either way it’s definitely run by JD Weatherspoon (that’s a pub company not another not so famous artist). Then, round the corner, in the old town, there’s an art shop next to an upmarket nic nac emporium next to a cup cake shop next to an art shop. The people from up London, where the house prices are crazy stupid, are selling up and opting for the quiet life, by the seaside, in a mansion, that they can afford to buy from the profits of the sale of their modest homes in Streatham Hill or Forest Gate. So I, DJ from up London, photographing walls and piss alleys for arty kicks, eat a chilli and chorizo (pronounced chori-tho) pizza on the harbour wall and chat to a really nice middle class lady with a camper van and a really big dog and a wood fired pizza oven who has been here for 12 weeks, just, absolutely, really, loving it. And the rain passes and the sun sets into the sea through the broken cloud. I play music from CDs Sunset 1-6 and Post Dubstep 1-4 from my up London DJ wallet. And it’s kind of calm and really beautiful (ask Turner), because, well, it’s the seaside and there’s a sunset and it can’t be all bad. And the evening’s great, despite the showers and the wind off the North Sea, and it is sort of inspiring because, well, it’s the seaside and there’s space and light and beauty between the cracks. By this time I am a little drunk and a little floaty, so I buy haddock and chips and take a sobering walk to the station. And the truth is I have had a lovely time, but the truth is I am also really glad to be on the last train out of this one gallery town, back up London with its bustle and blast and its reassuring noise and fumes, digital images of despair etched on walls and natural beauty splashed across the sea and sky safely stored on the Leica.

North of the Border

25th August 2012

A trip to Edinburgh. Stills from the proverbial never to be made movie. Moments of beauty. Love this city like a brother.