Before Walt Disney moved in to Times Square it was a hotbed of Grindhouse cinemas, peep shows and seedy motels making it 200 times more exciting than the over-sanitised commercial heavy tourist hotspot it is now. So it is up to Alan Wolfson’s Miniature Urban Environment sculptures to take us back and capture a glimpse of the darker underbelly of urban landscapes pre-gentrification. His meticulously crafted photo-real replicas of times gone by offer a snapshot of what once was.
Describing my work to someone who has never seen it can be a bit tricky. I usually have to start by saying; ‘…well, it’s not painting and it’s not traditional sculpture…’ Although there are aspects of those crafts that go into my work. The work is a hybrid of several different disciplines. For simplicity I refer to them as Miniature Urban Environments. Because they have a narrative component to them, there are also theatrical elements involved. I never include people in the works, but use inanimate objects to tell a story. Things people leave behind (garbage, graffiti, a tip in a restaurant, a door left ajar…) help the viewer to imagine what just happened there. The lighting (which is built into the pieces) helps to set a mood for the scene. In many ways, my process is similar to building a set for a movie or stage play – you have the scenery, the props and the lighting.
I’ll think about the piece for a long time, visualizing, problem-solving; by the time I get ready to start something, I’ve usually thought about it for months. I’ll take photographs and do as much research as I can on the details of the location. I’ll make a couple of scribbled thumb-nail sketches, and then draft out the architecture and build a cardboard mock-up. That allows me to check the sight lines and see where the walls are going to go and figure out if everything’s going to fit. I’ll also determine where I’m going to hide lighting and how to make it accessible. The piece has to be as simple as possible to disassemble so you can maintain the lighting, if necessary. Once I get the mock-up the way I want it, I’ll start building sections of the piece. Most of what I do is built out of plastic. Sometimes I’ll just start tearing the mock-up apart and substitute plastic walls in place of the cardboard ones.
Being a voyeur in the scene…
Writers have said that my work creates a safe way of being a voyeur. There’s something mysterious and intriguing and even attractive about those environments, but I don’t know how comfortable most people feel in them in real life. Creating them gives me a window into them but also allows me to maintain control over them; the viewer can have the experience of having been to these places without having to confront the people who inhabit them. It’s true that almost every piece I’ve ever done, in my mind, is a night scene. I’m a night person, and I think there’s more potential for an interesting story at night. A woman once asked me why I did these kinds of scenes. I said, “What do you think I should be doing?” She suggested cathedrals. That sent a chill up my spine. I thought, why would I want to do that? I find these environments far more interesting than a lot of others. They may not be pleasant, but there’s something about them … And I do feel a certain impulse to preserve some of our architectural past. I find it offensive that there is little or no effort whatsoever to do that. So many great old buildings have been bulldozed to make parking lots. It’s unforgivable.
Inspiration from the environment…
I seldom replicate an environment exactly as it exists. I might take details from several different locations and incorporate them into one environment. More often than not it’s a combination of different elements from existing locations along with architecture I make up. Even if I’m replicating an existing location I almost always end up changing something in the environment. Not everything in the real world is visually interesting. Times Square… Although much of what Times Square used to be was distasteful to most people, it was a genuine representation of the subculture that exists in the city. Instead of making Times Square the tourist mecca it now is, it would have been nice if the politicians put some resources into dealing with some of the social problems instead of just relocating them to other places. When I go to Times Square now, I’m reminded of being at an amusement park. Everything seems planned and scripted; nothing can go wrong — everything is wonderful. It’s not the real world.
Although I’ve lived away from New York for several years I am still inspired by the city. I go back there often, and as soon as I get off the plane at Kennedy, I feel as though I never left. It’s all very familiar to me. Despite the changes in the architecture and that Times Square has been transformed into a ‘tee-shirt emporium’, the city is still an amazing place to be. I love going to the museums and galleries and just walking around the different neighborhoods. I usually return home from NY with ideas for a new project. Despite whatever changes have been made – the thing that will never change is the energy of that city, and I do find that inspiring.
There are several artists who have influenced my work. A few that come to mind are: Edward Hopper, Joseph Cornell and Edward Kienholz. Of course I’m not a Photorealist Painter but I’ve always been inspired by the Photorealist movement. Richard Estes’ work has inspired me both for this urban subject matter and his attention to detail. Probably the thing that influenced me the most was the fact that my father was an artist. I grew up visiting the art museums in New York, and was always encouraged to continue drawing and building things when I was a kid.
Voodoo Rhythm talks in block capitals and broken English. It is loud, batshit crazy and it really doesn’t give a damn about you. The website voodoorhythm.com will tell you that it is a record label. Don’t believe it. No-one walks around wearing EMI T-shirts, with Parlophone tattoos on their sleeves.
No, this is a movement, a cult – a religion. It is the life’s work of one man, Reverend Beat-Man; rector of rock, shaman of soul. In 1992 the Swiss rock ‘n’ roll enthusiast set up Voodoo Rhythm Records as a way of promoting the music he loved. Somewhere along the line heaven and hell came calling, and Beat-Man has been leading them on ever since. “I have both sides in me,” he says; ‘God and the devil. I’m constantly fighting with both of them and it’s a lot of fun.”
If you wanted to get pigeonholing then you might define it as rockabilly, psychobilly or something similar. The Reverend isn’t really interested in that though. ‘Our bands all have their own genres, he says. ‘Primitive rock ‘n’ roll is one of them and blues trash we made up.’
Good food and drink play an important part in the Voodoo Rhythm philosophy. Commandment #4 of the Blues Trash Church is that you sample local cuisine whenever you’re on the road. Commandment #3 is that the drug of choice is beer, not ‘sissy wannabe superstar snow’ – an interesting rule for a record label whose call to arms is ‘we make a junkie out of everybody’.
More than that, Voodoo Rhythm is about the beast with two backs. Rock ‘n’ roll was a euphemism for getting it on way before it got messed around and watered down. Voodoo Rhythm is definitely putting the sex back. Releases have included ‘Get on your knees’, ‘Hormone hop’ and ‘I like going topless’. Bands on their roster at one time or another include the Sixtyniners, The Pussywarmers and the Juke Joint Pimps.
The most important thing, though, is the music. There is no better way to tap into the human psyche than with the wail of a guitar; fast and dirty. Voodoo Rhythm knows this, and is raising two fingers to auto-tuning, overproduction and electronic gizmos. It is a back-to-basics approach that takes things to a primal level.
“It’s something like if you are a bit crazy in your head and you constantly hear someone talking to you,” he says. “That’s exactly how important music is to me. It was always there and will haunt me day and night. No escape at all.”
In a way theirs is an almost tragic story – one of finding your calling only to discover that the world at large doesn’t really care. Put simply, Voodoo Rhythm Records doesn’t sell anywhere near the amount of music that an organisation with that much passion should. It’s like Beat-Man himself said in their documentary: “I have to play guitar, I have to go to the office and put out records nobody buys. I just have to do it. I don’t know why.”
Click here to view the embedded video.
At some point or other the apostle of a religion has to face up to the fact that not everyone is a convert. Some heathens just don’t want to be saved. No matter how many denominations there are in your church, or how many preachers you’re packing, you can’t make them do something against their will. Many people don’t choose to listen to Voodoo Rhythm records, but some do; those that do listen with a passion. “We have a wide spectrum of music,” says Beat-Man, “and if people can take that, that means we have free people with a free spirit: People who can take a chance to experience something completely different. That’s what we want.”
Fifty years earlier they would have been right on the money. These days they don’t even have the hope of some hipster revival to raise their profile. Perhaps it’s for the best though. Bern is a long way from Kreuzberg, just as primitive rock ‘n’ roll is a long way from
commoditisation. Music, sex and religion are all free. Long may they stay that way.
Last weekend team Fused took over the Southside district of Birmingham to curate a festival of visual popular culture called Eye Candy (of course). We picked a selection of amazingly talented artists and let them do what they do best on windows, walls and giant umbrellas in the area. Here’s what they got up to…
Check out more images over at the flickr account.
Super-stylish brand Urban Outfitters opens its 40th European store this month and here at FUSED we have a very nice prize for a winner to go on a spending spree to celebrate. Based in Nottingham’s Victoria Centre, this new Urban Outfitters store will offer an eclectic range of the most up-and-coming Women’s and Menswear brands alongside own-label collections, accessories, footwear, homewares, music and gifts. It’s a true habitat for trend setters!
The store opens to the public on Friday 15th November and there is a launch party the night before (Thursday 14th November from 5-9pm) and YOU are invited! With a DJ set from the Boiler Room’s Bradley Zero and Dollop DJs there will also be complimentary drinks from Flat Cap, a transfer tattoo parlour, photo booth and the chance to win a £500 store card by smashing the piñata!
Shop at the new Urban Outfitters store first, 3-4pm on Thursday 14th November – with a friend and enjoy £150 gift card to spend with access to the Urban Outfitters style team to help you out.
What’s more you can enjoy drinks whilst you shop and take away an exclusive Urban Outfitters goody bag. You’ll also get guaranteed access to the store launch party that evening, 5-9pm.
HOW TO ENTER
Just answer the following question: What is Urban Outfitters ‘Twitter’ name?
Send your answer along with your name, address, telephone number and date of birth (entrants must be over 18) to competitions at fusedmagazine dot com.
Deadline for entry is Sunday 10th November 2013 at midnight GMT and make sure that you are free on Thursday 14th November to attend and spend!
Ts and Cs
By entering the prize draw (the ‘Prize Draw’) you agree to these terms and conditions.
Prize consists of access to Urban Outfitters Nottingham 3-4pm on Thursday 14th November with a friend. The winner will receive a £150 gift card to spend during this hour. The winner and friend will enjoy drinks whilst they shop and have guaranteed access to the store launch party that evening, 5-9pm. The winner will take home an Urban Outfitters goody bag containing a selection of merchandise.
This prize does not include any additional costs such as travel or accommodation.
The Prize is non transferable, non refundable and non negotiable. There is no cash alternative. Urban Outfitters Europe reserves the right to substitute the Prizes for one of its choosing which has a value the same or greater than the original Prizes in the event of circumstances outside of its control.
The Prize Draw closes Sunday 10th November 2013 at midnight GMT. All valid entries must be received by the closing time or they will not be entered.
One winning entry will be chosen at random on Monday 11th November 2013. Urban Outfitters Europe will notify the winner via email by 12 noon on Monday 11th November 2013.
If the winner does not reply within 24 hours from being emailed, Urban Outfitters Europe reserves the right to award the Prize to an alternative winner. Urban Outfitter Europe’s decision shall be final and binding in all respects on all entrants.
Urban Outfitters Europe reserves the right to (i) cancel this Prize Draw, (ii) cancel or refuse any individual’s entry and (iii) amend these terms and conditions and will use reasonable endeavors to notify changes to entrants and potential entrants.
If you really want to get away from it all, and in style, you’d do no better than to try the Sherwood Hideaway. The set of log cabins are a newly expanding retreat set in Sherwood Forest, in middle England’s Nottingham.
Driving 2 hours there from Stoke-on-Trent, also in the Midlands, my partner and I decided to go for our year’s anniversary as a way to escape city life. So we swapped pottery for wood, this winter and took to the ribbons of tarmac to take us on our great escape.
On arriving the first thing we notice is that it’s set, yes within the forest, but within that what seems to be an estate or large car park. It’s not till we pick up our keys and drive further down, finally entering our cabin, that the five star luxury hits us like a Champagne cork popping.
Entering in the dead of night, we notice cool surroundings once our cabin is lit – all very modern and clean with cute details such as the mock-log wallpaper, Austrian-style bed linen and window shutters.
We picked a VIP package for our stay – well worth it – and on cracking open the champagne left for us in the kitchen (with chocolates) check out the hot tub, which sits on the decking, next to a table and chairs, at the back of the cabin.
You’d be forgiven for feeling a bit like a character in the horror-parody film, Cabin in the Woods. We have no reception on our phones. We arrive to find we’re quite isolated with no means of communicating with the outside world – the nearest cafe is 2 miles away.
But this makes our dip in the hot tub, shadowed by trees and overlooking Sherwood Forest, all the more secluded. It’s cold and wet when we go and there’s something very comforting about resting in warm, bubbling water as the rain tumbles down.
It’s a relaxing retreat that’s working too – there are currently new cabins being built as the Hideaway expands.
Nearby village Thoresby has great free guide in all apartments to let you know what cultural happenings are on (though it’s a good 7 mile walk). We just decided to explore the back garden on our stay – the forest.
Our trip is a long weekend. It’s self catering so we bring plenty of food and drink – all the company we need while holed up in our deluxe den.
As part of the Eye Candy Festival, local neer’dowell Danny Smith is offering a free taster session of his forthcoming Artiseasy drawing lessons that will be starting in November. The session will introduce you the joys of line, and the drama of tone with class demonstrations, quick drawing exercises, and one to one supervision. All in the achingly cool confines of LeTruc, art *is* easy, but it’s a hell of a lot easier with a drink in your hand.
Artiseasy started as a series of informal drawing nights Danny started hosting backing up his twitter claim ‘there is no such thing as talent – drawing is a skill. I could teach anyone to draw.’ Danny has been drawing since he was old enough to put a crayon to the wallpaper; he completed his Hons degree in Fine Art in 2008 and has been working in schools since 2009.
“Some people are frightened of clowns; I’m reasonably frightened of drawing. However Danny’s belief that ‘art is easy’ translates into an enlightening couple of hours for those of us who never managed to learn the rules of drawing let alone how to break them. He’s a bit brilliant at demystifying & enthusing without being in the least bit try hard. If you too have the making (rather than appreciating) art fear, Danny is the man you need to see.” Jenny D.
There are 8 places open and the session lasts for two hours, all material provided but bring your own stuff if you feel like it. Turn up to Le Truc and join in from noon.
We’ll also be hosting our French Icons event too where artists are invited to draw their favourite icon live on walls for display in Le Truc.
ART IS EASY & FRENCH ICONS LIVE DRAW
Le Truc, The Arcadian, Ladywell Walk, Southside, Birmingham
Sunday 3rd November from 12noon
Eye Candy Festival runs from 31st October – 3rd November throughout Southside, Birmingham.
More info here.
2013 is a landmark year for Amsterdam. While it celebrates 400 years of the start of construction of the magnificent canal ring it is also the year that the Rijksmuseum finally reopened following extensive renovations. Packed with cultural milestones and new buildings, as well as the Eye Film Institute and Stedelijk Museum, it has never been a better time to visit, and November is positively brimming with great events.
The Tolerant Home
Having visited Amsterdam and walked past the beautiful 18th Century canal houses with their iconic window shutters and stunning views we pondered; what they might look like inside and who is lucky enough to live in them. And now you can find out thanks to an innovative new exhibition called ‘Chambres des Canaux – The Tolerant Home’ which allows artists to take over some of the houses to exhibit their work.
From the 1-17 November 20 of the canal-side properties (both private and public) will open their doors to the public who will get the chance to view works by 35 invited international contemporary artists. Mixing the contemporary with heritage the theme for the event is tolerance; a word that runs deep in the veins of the city.
EYE Film Institute
With a broad programme of festivals, exhibitions and screenings the stunning EYE building opened in 2012 and has since received hundreds of thousands of visitors. With four film auditoriums, viewing pods and a large, versatile exhibition space it is a great way to spend a day. The current exhibition by Peter Forgacs sees the filmmaker and artist delve in to the immense home movie archive of Eye to take us through everyday life in the Netherlands East Indies at the height of the colonial period. Looming Fire runs until 1 December. Even if the current exhibition isn’t to your liking it is worth the visit to take in lunch at the restaurant. With its tiered seating, floor-to-ceiling glass windows and vistas across the water it is a unique place to eat in the city. Entry to the institute/restaurant is free but the exhibitions and screenings are charged.
Dedicated to modern and contemporary art and design Stedelijk is another show-stopper of a new building in the city with immense space and a fine permanent collection. The current main exhibition is of the works of Kazimir Malevich and the Russian Avant Garde which, with over 500 pieces of work, is one of the largest surveys to explore the artist’s work in many years and brings together significant collections.
Take a steady stroll along Haarlemmer Houttuinen with its indie boutiques, bars and coffee shops and at the end Westerpark comes in to sight. A few minutes in to the park and Westergasfabriek appears; a sprawling space of buildings that are home to creative tenants, art galleries and events.
How to explore:
Take a boat tour (from outside Central Station) and discover the canal ring. You will get to relax and see some of the beautiful canal network and buildings in a glass covered boat without fear of being run over by a bike.
Where to eat:
We ate at D’Vijff Vlieghen (The Five Flies ). Spread across numerous floors and rooms (one with its very own Rembrandt etching) the interior may be traditional but the menu is modern with creative interpretations using typically Dutch ingredients.
We drank at:
Mata Hari Vintage furnishings, a good amount of taxidermy and low-lighting make for a comfy hangout right in the heart of the Red Light district. Avoid the tacky, tourist driven bars and head here for a refreshing De Koninck. We shopped at: The Nine Streets (theninestreets.com). A network of cool, independent and quirky boutiques, vintage & homeware stores, bars and eateries. Just off the main shopping area of chain stores but as far removed in style as possible.
How to get there:
We flew to Amsterdam from Birmingham with KLM
Where to stay:
We stayed at the centrally located Amrath Amsterdam. An imposing and grand art deco building with beautiful windows and impressive features. The large, spacious ‘Deluxe’ rooms are in an art-nouveau design with high ceilings and large windows includes complementary use of the mini bar and the wireless internet as well as the possibility to indulge yourself at the wellness centre.
Eye Candy Festival of Popular Visual Culture is back for a second year and taking place in Birmingham. We’ve picked a load of our favourite artists and asked them to come and help us brighten up the Southside district of the city with newly commissioned works, events, films, talks and a very cool art fair on bikes. We’ve also got our own Mobile Vintage Cinema for the whole weekend and it is all FREE to attend.
Vintage Mobile Cinema (pictured above)
Hippodrome Square, Hurst Street
Friday 1st November: 12-8pm, Saturday November 2nd: 12-8pm, Sunday 3rd November: 11-4pm
The beautifully restored 1960’s Vintage Mobile Cinema comes to Eye Candy to showcase a series of free films, documentaries and animations about art and visual culture.
This is a chance to experience a unique slice of cinema and automotive history, which combines to give the audience an exciting film viewing experience unavailable anywhere else. The 22 seat movie theatre is in the sound treated, fully upholstered and climate controlled rear of the vehicle, with carefully tiered seating to ensure everyone gets maximum viewing pleasure.
Bicycle Basket Bazaar
Le Truc, The Arcadian, Ladywell Walk
Saturday 2nd November, 12pm-5pm
Curator Trevor Pitt has hand-picked a unique array of artists, illustrators and designers who will transform each of their bikes into an emporium of delights – kind of like an art fair meets car boot sale, but more compact and kinder to the environment.
The bazaar will take place in the convivial and lively atmosphere of the wonderful Le Truc where you can hang out with the artists and your get your hands on affordable original artworks and editions from this stellar line up: Jane Anderson, Stewart Easton, Meeno, Lizz Lunney, Husky Organic, Ben Javens, LumberJackJoe, Mini Moderns, Dawn Painter, Simon Peplow, Claire Scully, Keep and Share, Abject Records, Luke Thrush.
Est. 2006 by artist Bill Pollard, BBB is all about Bicycles, Creativity and Good Cheer.
The Culture Cart
The Arcadian & Hippodrome Square
Saturday 2nd November from 12pm-8pm
The Culture Cart is a pop up art workshop, gallery and space for creative dialogue. Hosted by an English gentleman on a vintage bicycle the hand crafted cart is a workshop on wheels that allows the public to create woodcut prints, bespoke postcards and greeting cards, as well as one off screen printed items. Every workshop is inspired by each bespoke event, and the historical and cultural heritage of every town they visit!
Tue 29/10, (time TBC)
Film Screening / Talk, BCU Parkside
Thu 31/10, 6pm-9pm
EYE CANDY Launch
Launch Party & Networking, Le Truc
RSVP at https://eyecandyfestival2013.eventbrite.com/
Sponsored by Red Stripe
Sun 3/11, 12-4pm
French Icons Live draw event, Le Truc
Here are some of the artists that have been commissioned to take part in the event this year. More to come…
Alicia Dubnyckyj, Centre City (Hill Street)
Bringing instantly recognisable skylines to life Alicia’s distinctive cityscapes have been exhibited extensively throughout the UK, US and Europe and are held in private collections all over the world. The newly refurbished foyer at Centre City will be home to her latest specifically commissioned large-scale piece which visitors will be able to see at the beginning of December.
ANNA GARFORTH, Loft Lounge Car Park (Corner of Bromsgrove & Lower Essex Street)
Unique inter-disciplinary designer Anna Garforth’s client list is one that many artists would understandably be envious of. Commissions have ranged from international magazines to brands like Converse and even political parties (her beautiful moss illustrations were used to promote a campaign for the Green Party). For Eye Candy Anna has been commissioned to present a new, large-scale piece of work that will be situated on the side of Wynner House.
BILLY IS ALEX, Fireside (Pershore Street)
Living between the UK and Germany the curiously named Billy is Alex makes vibrant works that certainly get noticed. Playful and fun Billy is Alex’s pieces adorn walls, shutters and hoardings throughout Europe. For Eye Candy Billy is Alex will present a piece of work on the front of the Fireside building.
JEREMYVILLE, Billboard (Fireside Car Park between Hurst Street and Pershore Street)
Spreading the love of his daily Community Service Announcements we’re delighted to have the wonderful Jeremyville take part again in the second Eye Candy event. This year we’re upscaling the size of his work to Billboard status. Whether at home in Bondai Beach or in his NYC downtown SoHo studio we bring a touch of Jeremyville to Birmingham for one weekend.
SAM PIERPOINT, Fireside (Claybrook Street side)
Inspired by culture, travel and Mother Nature, Sam’s work encapsulates the beauty and serenity that the natural world offers. Working across different media (including shoes) she’s taking on a wall at Eye Candy to share her beautiful work to passers-by.
STINA JONES, Banana Leaf (Smallbrook Queensway)
Stina Jones is a freelance character illustrator from the West Midlands. Her imagery is as cute and fun as it is a little bit strange. For Eye Candy Stina will present a new piece of work on the window of the old Banana Leaf cafe.
TANKPETROL, Fisher & Ludlow (Lower Essex Street)
After braving the cold wastelands of Poland, Tank decided to park up in Manchester with his weapons of choice: spraycans, stencils and his secret technique. Initially working on canvases, Tank found himself surrounded and influenced by graffiti and soon started to create work with street art elements, but a unique Tank flavor. Tank creates work inspired by women’s portraits, mixed with geometric shapes and animals.
UCLA bring some of the freshest UK Hip Hop and Grime talent to Birmingham’s Rainbow on the 17th October and we have tickets and some sharp UCLA clothing to giveaway. Hosted in The Garden within the Rainbow Venues in Digbeth, ‘UP CLOSE’ will be celebrating its first event that includes appearances from Star Slinger, Mic Righteous, Lunar C, Mr Faiz, Bill and Will.
Manchester born Star Slinger will be mixing tracks from Kendrick Lamar to H-Town. With his pop-culturally voracious remixes, Star Slinger is the perfect man for getting the dance floor moving. Many people would recognise Star Slinger from supporting A$ap Rocky on his tour over the last year.
Headlining the night for the MC acts will be Mic Righteous. Mic, known for his clever wordplay and storytelling, will be playing a 45 minute set that can simply be described as ‘Lyrical Genius’. Getting noticed in the earlier days with his ‘Fire in the Booth’ sessions with Charlie Sloth, The Margate hailed rapper is now claiming his deserved mainstream success.
Bradford born Lunar C has gained recognition after an impressive winning streak battling in UK rap battle league ‘Don’t Flop’ in 2010/11. After winning two trophies for ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Performance of the year’, Lunar became the highest viewed battler in that period. Lunar has continued with rap battles but has also progressed as an artist by getting involved in a lot of collaborations as well as solo projects.
Mr Faiz (previously named Mr Faizer) enjoys his grime beats to coincide with his rap lyrics. Picked up by SB.TV in a killer ‘Warm Up Session’, Mr Faiz has also been a repeated feature on SB.TV’s ‘F64’ sessions.
Bill and Will are the collaboration of two London based producers (Bill Posters and Will Power) warming up the crowd and bringing the beats to the dance floor. Their recent release featuring London rapper Mikill Pane has projected them into mainstream attention, with the single featuring on Radio 1 and 1xta frequently.
UCLA have given us: 4 x tickets to the ‘UP CLOSE’ Event, 1 x Colin Hoody and 1 x Powell Tee from the Exclusive ‘Pitch Black’ range.
To win just tell us on what does UCLA stand for?
Send your answer along with your name, address, telephone number, clothing size and date of birth (you must be over 18 to enter this competition) to competitions at fusedmagazine dot com.
Deadline for entry is: 15th October, 2013.
Tickets are available for purchase through FootAsylum Stores in Birmingham – FootAsylum Birmingham High Street, Birmingham Fort and Birmingham Bullring stores.
UCLA Clothing and FootAsylum goodie bags will be available on a first come first serve basis.
For more information about the event, visit the event page https://www.facebook.com/events/650698561621103/
Sweet sixteen is a significant number for rising star and singer songwriter Laura Marling. In her new, short but perfectly formed tour, she not only has only sixteen dates, but she also performs sixteen songs.
The first of her set at the Symphony Hall tonight being “the long one,” she tells the audience, a melody of new material which sees Marling as she is at her best – her and her guitar.
You see, she doesn’t need all the glitz and groin you associate with many artists of her age. She dons a simple long grey skirt and white shirt as she takes the stage tonight, eschewing all the clichés of youth culture and modern music.
Her performance here at the Symphony Hall sees her touring to support her forth album Once I Was An Eagle and her supporting act, Nick Mulvey leaves audience members on their feet. For, his mastery of complex sounds weave diverse influences such as Jeff Buckley and Jose Gonzalez with a sort of Spanish-sounding twist.
We become part of Mulvey’s folksy narrative tonight too as he takes a picture of the audience waving back at his bearded, white face, flicking peace signs and waving hands high into the auditorium. It’s a moment, like his cover of a 90s rave track, that brings his humour to the fore.
What both artists have nailed is the strong voice with a lullaby-feel. They’re more relaxing than smoking dope, though I suspect neither succumb to the usual vices associated with musicians of our generation.
Though after her second track, disaster strikes – Marling’s guitar string snaps – and I suspect she could have done with a drink at that moment. Not shaken, nor stirred, she continues her performance on her “grumpy old man guitar” which she explains is so because she “traded it in for a younger model.”
Like Mulvey she has humour, never more so than when she’s interrupted by a single, loud clap as she makes her way to Ghosts, the third song of the evening. But cheers are echoed around the Symphony Hall – a cacophony of musical excellence with its gleaming new literary neighbour – as she introduces us to a familiar face – Sophia, a song from her album, A Creature I Don’t Know.
But Marling is a creature we know well. As with previous gigs she announces she doesn’t do encores, and plays her final song Where Can I Go?
She’s been playing the guitar since she was five years old but tonight was an achievement of youth brought to you by the sweetest of sixteen.
Team Fused stayed at staying cool’s home from home boutique apartments in the Rotunda, an iconic building that forms a symbol of Birmingham’s past, present and future.
No Way Back is a Birmingham based clothing brand offering a range of limited edition, hand-printed, ethically sourced t-shirts and sweatshirts. Helen and Chris created the brand from a mutual passion for music and design. Helen (AKA The Lovely Helen) has DJ’d up and down the country and had a residency at the legendary Birmingham club, Wobble. Her background in fashion retail and her love of music led her to set up No Way Back with Chris – a graphic designer and artist.
Visit No Way Back’s website at nowaybackstore.co.uk or follow them on facebook.com/NoWayBackStore. If you are interested in fashion and design their Pinterest board is full of cool stuff: pinterest.com/nowaybackstore
No Way Back’s blog regularly updates on all the cool happenings in Birmingham and beyond. They also post regular mixes and design/art/music related niceties.
WIN £150 in vouchers
Tell us which club did Helen DJ in?
Send your answer along with your name, address and date of birth to competitions at fusedmagazine dot com.
Deadline for entry is the 18th October, 2013.
This festival from Capsule, the curators of Supersonic (which returns in April 2014), is part of the Discovery Season to celebrate the brand new Library of Birmingham which opened at the beginning of September. The highlight is Dinos Chapman, one half of contemporary art duo The Chapman Brothers. Now a “sonic performer”, Chapman combines experimental electronic music with videos produced to accompany his new album.
Experimental, or perhaps challenging, is the watchword for all the acts appearing at Bring to Light festival. Other acts include Shangaan Electro, Josephine Foster, Masaki Batoh, Robedoor, Zomes, High Wolf, Kogumaza, Richard Dawson, Sarah Angliss, Delia Darlings and Hordes.
Friday’s programme will see performances in the industrial space of the Rainbow Warehouse in Digbeth, while for the rest of the weekend dynamic new music will invade the Library of Birmingham.
In addition the weekend will host new work inspired by Coventry born electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire.
Line up: Dinos Chapman / Shangaan Electro / Josephine Foster / Clipping / Deafheaven / Masaki Batoh / Robedoor / Zomes / High Wolf / Kogumaza / Richard Dawson / Sleaford Mods / Sarah Angliss / Delia Darlings / Laurence Hunt / Hordes
For more details visit the website here.
This AW13, the iconic Northern Soul brand, Gabicci proudly celebrate their 40th year in business, since opening their basement door in Maddox St. London back in 1973. To mark the occasion the brand have gone back to its roots and unearthed the archive design books from the very beginning. In addition, to mark this incredible milestone, the brand has also produced a limited edition archive collection with the legendary DJ, Norman Jay MBE, to create a very unique collection that reflects his personal and nostalgic memories of the brand.
This exclusive collection features all of the original and iconic detailing you would expect from a signature Gabicci piece, defining their look throughout the 70’s and 80’s. Suede panelling, heavy knitwear and gold detailing feature heavily with a smart casual nod to Northern Soul. To complete the look each piece comes with special labelling and Norman’s signature embossed on every hang tag.
The definitive Gabicci ‘look’ incorporates Italian inspired styling with an air of authority and class. Attention to detail and originality is always at the forefront of every collection. Loved for unique fabrics, buttons and most significantly the heavy Gold ‘G’ that remains such an iconic symbol in so many circles today. This soulful look is as strong as ever today, with a new generation seeking out heritage brands to fulfil revival trends.
Following in the footsteps of the mods, rude boys, suede heads, Rasta’s, northern soul and acid jazz boys, demand for the brand is at an all time high.
As part of there 40th year celebrations Gabicci have given us a selection of clothes to give away so you can be the sharpest dressed man about town.
HOW TO ENTER
To be in for a chance of winning just tell us: What is the name of the London Street where the Gabicci brand started?
Send your answer along with your name, address, date of birth and size (S, M, L) to competitions at fusedmagazine dot com.
Deadline for entry is the 18th October, 2013.
The seventh annual Oxjam music festival kicks off its launch events in London next week with its most diverse line-up to-date. The sold-out events lead on to the nationwide Oxjam events that happen throughout the UK.
Full line up details:
Monday 23 Sept: Dry the River, Roosevelt, Josephine more TBA
Tuesday 24 Sept: Gemma Cairney presents in association with the Fox Problem: Eliza Doolittle, Chloe Howl, Fuse ODG and more
Wednesday 25 Sept: 2manydjs, NYPC, Chad Valley, The Invisible (DJ set)
Thursday 26 Sept: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs B2B Skream, Kindness DJ set, Psychemagik, Zero 7 (DJ set)
Want to get your creative on? Come and join us paint walls, windows, derelict buildings! Here are this year’s Eye Candy Commissions…
We’re looking for artists to produce live painting on windows around the district. We have several empty buildings that we can use that vary in size. Painting should be direct on to the windows.
Commissions available up to: £800 (dependent on size of window)
OUTDOOR WALL SPACES
We have several spaces of varying size to produce works. This can be works painted direct on to walls or other ‘structures/materials’ placed on the walls.
Commissions available up to: £2000
This piece is ideal for an artist collective/small group. This high-profile piece consists of around 14 large boards that have been used to cover window spaces. We are looking for a cohesive piece to be placed on the boards. Please note that painting direct on to the boards is not allowed. The pieces would need to be ‘fixed’ in to position.
Commissions available up to: £2500
The current mural at Nightingale Club has been in situ for 4 years. The owners would like it refreshed. The image should somehow reflect the LGBT community of the Gay Village. The piece should be painted direct on to the wall.
Commission available up to: £1000
ARCADIAN – free standing boards
We’ll be displaying works on 10 x free-standing boards (4ft x 4ft approx) throughout the Arcadian over the weekend.
For the temporary outdoor gallery space we are looking for a limited palette of colour use to reflect the traditions of the Chinese community.
Commission available up to: £1000
We are looking for a set of large illustrated character designs for the lampposts of Hurst Street. These will be printed and ‘wrapped’ around the posts.
Commission available up to: £1500 (there is a print budget for this project)
A large-scale artwork is required for one of Southside’s flagship business office blocks. The new foyer of Centre City is a blank canvas and an artist is required to produce a large-scale indoor piece. Ideally a painting or print.
Price to be confirmed on agreed commission proposal.
LE TRUC – French Icons
9 x artists are required for an afternoon of live drawing at Bar/Restaurant Le Truc. The theme is ‘French Icons’ think Bardot, Chanel, Daft Punk…
Please note that there is no fee for this event but materials, food and drink will be supplied for participating artists.
The fee includes all materials, artists time, production of work (unless otherwise stated).
Expressions of interest
If you are interested in being commissioned please send us:
-Images of past works including large-scale pieces (preference will be given to artists who have previously produced large-scale works so please include your experience).
-Links to your work / website
-A brief outline of what you would like to do
-A cost outline for production/fee/total costs
-Please state which commission you are interested in (please do not say any or all)
Email to kerry at fusedmagazine dot com
Artists must be available to install work from the 31st-2nd November, 2013.
Deadline for expressions of interest is: Sunday 22nd September 2013.
This opportunity is jointly funded with Southside Business District and the European Regional development Fund through its Investing in the City Region project managed by Marketing Birmingham.
London Fashion Week is go and we have a live stream of some of the shows so that you can get the best FROW in the house. The schedule is throughout the weekend and times are below.
Friday 13th September
15:00 – Christopher Raeburn
17:00 – Jean-Pierre Braganza
20:00 – PPQ
Saturday 14th September
9:00 – Zoë Jordan
10:00 – Sister by Sibling
12:00 – Holly Fulton
13:00 – John Rocha
15:00 – David Koma
17:00 – Ashish
19:00 – Mark Fast
Monday 16th September
16:00 – KTZ
Tuesday 17th September
11:00 – Simone Rocha
14:00 – Emilio de la Morena
16:00 – Maria Grachvogel
We’re pretty sure this a first for Birmingham – or perhaps anywhere – and we’re really not surprised because foodie /arty experimentalists Companis never do anything that has been seen before. Always pushing the boundaries this time they are asking audiences to immerse themselves in the tempting and naughty RUDE FOOD FIESTA.
Companis has commissioned food producers Pop Up Dosa, Honeycat Cookies, Bearwood Pantry, Albert Smith the Comedy Baker, and earth oven artist/chef Lizzy Bean to create bespoke food and drink for the event (think Big Jugs Cocktail Bar, Glory Hole Pies) and furthermore there’ll be a selection of limited edition cakes by the incredible cake-artist Annabel de Vetten-Peterson of Conjurer’s Kitchen.
Curated by three filthy minded females Rude Food Fiesta promises to “engage its visitors in a food-related programme of food, art, performance, competition and music. The event will be challenging, memorable and spiked with humour.” With attendees being encouraged, and expected, to throw themselves right in.
So what to expect:
Visitors will enter/exit the festival through a specially designed orifice which is sure to make them laugh out loud, the festival then opens out into the ‘alimentary canal’, and winds up at the Grand Union Canal!
Vagina pasta-making demonstrations led by ‘Margot Clunge’ – a sexually frustrated Fanny Craddock type character.
“This one’s for you!” is an exclusive performance, where only a few ticket holders will have an opportunity to experience an intimate one to one with Performance artist Kate Spence as she dances, ‘just for you’, to the soundtrack of your own choice, whilst you enjoy your chosen food.
National Storyteling Laureate, Katrice Horsley, will be reading smutty excerpts from found paperbacks throughout the event, and the whole fiesta.
Wile away the afternoon supping some specially brewed ales – created by Greg Cox and brewed by locally based Fownes Brewery or sample some experimental whisky cocktails (“Harvey Gangbanger anyone?”) by Birmingham’s famed Whisky Miss - Amy Seton.
Moselele provide the sonic backdrop while Sam Underwood performes with his ‘augmented’ tuba and other garden implements and Beth Bellis ‘Rude Food Quartet’ will provide a soundscape for competitions. The day will climax in a fabulous cheesy set by Charity Shop DJ.
Companis Food Provocateurs present… Rude Food Fiesta: It’s a bit of a mouthful!
Saturday 14th September, 4pm till 11pm
Edible Eastside, Fazeley Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 5RS
Tickets £15 (http://rudefoodfiesta.eventbrite.co.uk/)
Live_Transmission: ‘Joy Division Reworked’ is an electro-orchestral and visual reinterpretation of one of the UK’s most influential bands, Joy Division, that tours the UK this Autumn. This sonic and visual spectacle turns the tables on the conventional concert experience. Rather than classical interpretations or cover versions, Live_Transmission is a fearless dismantling of Joy Division’s visual and musical motifs, creating a hugely powerful immersive event that pays homage to the signature spirit that defined the group as one of the world’s most progressive bands.
We caught up with Chris Wheeler (co-founder of Heritage Orchestra) to talk us through it.
Tell us, how did the project come about and why?
The orchestra has a history of unusual collaborations and inventive re-interpretive work, from projects with Aphex Twin, Antony, Bryce Dessner, Amon Tobin, UNKLE and DJ Yoda, and so Laura Ducceschi (Creative Producer, Brighton Festival) approached us, the Heritage Orchestra, to create a new work based on the music of Joy Division.
How did you come up with the idea and concept?
From the initial idea of a Joy Division inspired show, the process was truly unpredictable and certainly wasn’t conceived in one sitting, but was more like Chinese whispers, where the idea grew and grew into something that nobody could have imagined. First of all, Musical Director Scanner, deconstructed the classic Joy Division tunes into new electronic demos, these were then brought to life in the studio and developed by Matt Calvert (guitar) and Adam Betts (drums) – both members of instrumental noise-rock band Three Trapped Tigers, and John Calvert (bass). After the music was well and truly dismantled, orchestrator Tom Trapp transcribed these live sessions, creating a score with this core band, strings, two female voices, brass and percussion. We didn’t know what it would really sound like until the first ever gig, but thanks to Jules Buckley our esteemed conductor, the whole show came together rather well. I can’t speak for how the visuals were conceived – suffice to say that Matt to captured the essence of Joy Division and somehow manages to project it onto multiple screens that surround the orchestra – it’s incredibly powerful to look at. The whole combination is most certainly progressive rather than nostalgic.
What does it mean to be touring the UK with this project?
There are really no projects like this that get to tour in the UK. It’s experimental yet accessible, it has the punk ethic and includes a young amplified orchestra, and there’s a massive visual installation. Venues are quite risk averse at the moment but there is still an appetite for the alternative and progressive, and the venues who have booked this show have the foresight to present exciting new-works. But it’s only because of the Arts Council that this tour could even be achieved, so they must see some importance in this kind of production getting a wider audience.
Why Joy Division? What makes them so special and exciting to ‘rework’?
Why not?! It’s an unlikely marriage really, and fraught with danger – messing with a cult bands music and slamming it with an electronic musician and orchestra… it should never work! But the problem is that everyone has a perceived notion that orchestras working with a band is just that, an orchestra with a band. We are not doing straight covers of Joy Division, we are reinterpreting and reimagining some great music in way that respects it whilst taking it somewhere else.
Is this the first time you have worked with visual artists as well as musicians? What do you think it brings to the project?
We’ve worked with several visual artists and tend always to have a strong visual element to our performances – which is not the norm for an orchestra at all. But then we don’t play any classical repertoire and will more likely be found recording a session with The XX or performing with Aphex Twin at the Barbican than playing Beethoven or Brahms. Other orchestras can do that.
Done properly visuals transform a performance, we had great success with our cover version of the Blade Runner soundtrack at the Sydney Opera House recently – this didn’t show the film but included suggestive and reminiscent imagery that was simply mind blowing. For this Joy Division show Matt Watkins visuals provide the icing on the cake, without it we would lose a visual connection, and the visuals definitely help immerse the audience in a super -scope world of Joy Division.
Why should people come and see the show? Any highlights they should expect or anything in particular to look out for?
I should probably tell them what not to expect! It’s not a covers concert – the music has been transformed and reworked into an aggressive, very loud, electro-orchestral odyssey, with massive Joy Division inspired visuals of course. However, there’s plenty of recognizable material for fans to raise a cheeky eyebrow to, it just won’t be what they expect.
What made you consider collaborating with the artists involved in particular? Why? Had you worked with any of them before?
Laura Ducceschi at Brighton Festival suggested both Matt and Scanner as collaborators, and after properly checking them out we thought, yeah they’re pretty cool. I was keen to have an electronic artist as our sounding board and main musical cohort. For us, working with people from different artistic backgrounds is crucial to an exciting and effective collaboration.
This is the Heritage Orchestra’s 10 year anniversary this year isn’t it? How have things changed since you began? What is next?
Well, we started playing in a small club called Cargo in East London ten years ago, with about 40 of us packed on stage, and since then we’ve supported major artists on arena tours, produced our own new shows, recorded with all sorts of people, and rocked two different shows at the Sydney Opera House in one week. The only thing that’s changed with us is that we’ve got better at what we do, and strongly believe in pushing the orchestral format into new territory. It’s just annoying that a lot of managers and artists don’t realize how good their orchestral shows ‘could’ be if they took us on, with our approach to orchestral sound reinforcement, orchestration, and general ability to merge with any artist at a world class level.
Any other bands you would like to ‘rework’ similarly?
If Beck hadn’t done that really cool thing with David Bowie recently, I’d say Mr Bowie. And also Portishead, but they’ve been down the orchestra road before. It would also be good to mess around with other bands like The Horrors, The Irrepresibles, or an electronic artist like Burial or Caribou, or something ridiculous like Red Hot Chili Peppers, even if was only Flea the bassist!
What is next for the project? It was premiered at Brighton Festival, has been to Sydney and is about to tour the UK, any plans for other performances?
No more plans yet! Keep your eyes peeled though! Right now we are just looking forward to sharing this project with all of our UK audiences on this upcoming tour.
We have a pair of tickets to giveaway to the Birmingham date on the 28th September. To enter just tell us what was the name of the bass player in Joy Division?
Send your answer along with your name, address, date of birth to competitions at fusedmagazine dot com. Deadline for entry is 13th September, 2013.
21st Sept – London Royal Festival Hall
23rd Sept – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
24th Sept – Northampton Royal & Derngate
25th Sept - Bristol Colston Hall
26th Sept – Cambridge Corn Exchange
27th Sept – Basingstoke The Anvil
28th Sept – Birmingham Symphony Hall
29th Sept – Salford Lyric Theatre – The Lowry
30th Sept – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
1st Oct – Edinburgh Usher Hall
2nd Oct – Gateshead The Sage