Bottle Alley

21st November 2011

Out. To the seaside. On a modernist pilgrimage. To shoot the delightful bottle alley. Before it is closed down. By health and safety. In their hi-viz waistcoats. I wonder how many babies have been concieved down here. How much piss. How much blood. Has run down these gutters. How much life. How much love. How many arguments. How many first kisses. How many last moments. How much sunshine. This place is a beauty. For all it’s entropy. This place is a beauty.

Tongue And Groove

17th November 2011

It’s amazing how, in London city, the buildings remain constant as the cultural geography changes around, and in, them. Tonight we are at 123 Bethnal Green Road. Four years ago this place was a gun shop masquerading as, well, actually, a gun shop, but selling bad guns rather than good guns, if you see what I mean. Anyhow, now, as adjoining Redchurch Street awaits the arrival of Gucci and Paul Smith, 123 has been transformed into a shopping mecca, the Liberty of the East, selling local stuff, all British goods, new designers, and cool desirables like shaving brushes (want – for no good reason, I only shave once a week, with foam). Slowly, over the last couple of years, like tongues slotting into grooves on the wood panelling on the walls, this building and this area have been transformed into a new kind of lovely, post coked-up members club, post post modernism, post crash, post brash, some kind of understated cool epitomised by the Disappearing Dining Club events called Too Much Is Never Enough . Even though, of course, it is. But let’s forgive them their exaggeration and celebrate their dedication to exquisite detail, pure indulgence, fine food, great stuff and altogether good times.

More signs from the City

14th November 2011

Monopoly

10th November 2011

I feel so like I have been sitting here before, writing these same words on this same piece of paper after a night out on the town. It feels so familiar, this, what? A sense of ending. A sense of being an observer of some sort of last act. I’ve been spinning up West, playing other people’s music for money while people eat and drink, but mostly drink, a lot, and then some more. Kind of like there’s no tomorrow. Tonight in the restaurant, the theme is Monopoly. The ultimate capitalist game where the aim is to buy everything, then charge people for occupying your land till they all go bust. In the game, of course, at this point you have won, and you can carry on, make a cup of tea, chat with your friends and family and forget about the glee you felt watching your youngest daughter borrow money from her mother so she could pay you for sitting outside one of your several hotels on Park Lane. In the restaurant the rules are a little different. There’s a drinking game with a big fluffy dice and an unidentified blue liquid; there’s a fire eating lesbian stripper and an S&M Asian violinist to spice things up, but the end result is the same. Feed the people booze till they’ve spent all their money then send them packing. In this game they wake up the next day with a sore head and few embarrassing photos on their phone. No real harm done, just another bump on the credit card and a fuzzy feeling between the eyes. On the way home, out on the real streets of London all is calm and autumn dark. A van with SECURITY written on the front in bright red letters follows me for a while as I navigate the back streets of Kensington. Just in case, you can hear the man behind the wheel thinking as he attempts to keep up with the bike, discreetly. You never know about people on bikes do you. Why don’t they drive? Maybe they want to charge me for using the road. Maybe it belongs to someone else now. Maybe it belongs to a bank or an organisation or another country. Out here in the misty air, in the quiet heart of the beating city, I ride and I wonder. What happens at the end of the big Monopoly game, the one that is played out across the country, across the continent, across the world. What happens when the big players have all the money and nobody else has any? Do they just stop the game, make a cup of tea, and carry on, or is that just the end? Europe, done that, pack it away will you darling, I’m not making anything from it anymore, I’ve done it, it’s done, finished, over.

This is a life

29th October 2011

The black turntables, the beer and the girls, the Maceo Plex and the Sister Nancy. The faders, the channels, the booth monitor, the Skintologists, the 78 Edits, the collaborators, the conspirators, the hastily scribbled notes and ideas that grow damp in the back pocket on the ride back home. The Brick Lane Beigel, the so strong tea, the broken glass crunching on bare-foot girl feet, chubby hands clutching too high heels, the furtive whisper – taxi, taxi – the Junior Murvin, the clash, The Clash, and remember not to forget – enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think. The black turntables, the ones and the twos, the endless vari-speed merry go round of nights out in the city. The hugs and the kissing, the between song pissing, the terrible rhymes, the return of hard times, the jet black headphones, the long way home. Take me out, tonight, because I want to hear music and I want to see lights. She’s a model and she’s looking good. You were working as a waitress in a… My life in songs and rhythms and dances, Witness the Fitness, deliver, deliver, nothing left to believe in but these things. The black turntables, the spinning, the spinning, the spinning, the spinning, till we’re all so dizzy we can’t stand up and we can’t fall down so we dance and dance till the lights come on… We dance and dance until it’s gone.