Sunday 24 August 2008

If you go down to the beach

Yesterday I went to the private view of Purple Snail's latest exhibition, titled 100:50. This, their third exhibition, is a break from previous shows where each of the Snail's exhibited their own work in a gallery, (I say gallery, but in fact it was actually a tea room on Felixstowe prom!) This time they've collectively created an installation on Felixstowe beach to highlight the plight of global warning. If you're in the area it's well worth a look. Head for the Spa Pavilion and you won't fail to see them. Especially at night as it lights up. Unfortunately I had another engagement to attend so couldn't stick around to see them illuminated, but there's a photo on their blog which looks pretty impressive. I'll certainly be heading back one evening when I've more time.

I did stick around to be served a complimentary glass of bubbly and a free ice cream from the van they had organized. Two firsts for me, not only have I never been given a 99 at a private view before but I also have never seen Mr Whippy in a Clash T-shirt! I don't think Strummer had ice cream in mind when he wrote White Riot but I might be wrong.

The exhibition runs until the 15th September, and while you're there you can book tickets for Chas and Dave at the Pavilion.

Saturday 23 August 2008

Prepare to die

Had a look at ages ago. Reading Bill Drummond's 17 reminded me that it existed so I decided I ought to post my wishes.

Wednesday 13 August 2008


Listening to the great Bill Drummond on 6Music this morning made me go looking for his book '45' on my shelves. It's not there. This can only mean I've lent it to someone. I lend stuff all the time and often it doesn't come back. Not through any willful thieving nature on the part of the borrower, more just forgetfulness brought on by our busy lives. I also forget who I've lent stuff to.

I'm equally as bad. I have several DVDs here, (Sin City - Simon A, Sopranos, Night of the Living Dead - Ken, amongst others) that I keep forgetting to return. In fact, I got out Sin City last time Simon came over to return to him but we got so drunk it stayed on top of the piano where I'd put it!

So, as I'm about to buy Bill Drummonds new book '17', if I've lent '45' to any of my regular readers could you remind me who you are. You can hang on to it if you still haven't read it but I'd just like to know it's safe.

BTW, howies, the 3rd biggest clothing company in Cardigan Bay, run their own book and magazine lending service. More details here. And on that note, I'm now off to Ipswich Town Centre Library to peruse their extensive CD collection.

Bill Drummond's website, Penkiln Burn.

Sunday 10 August 2008

C30 C60 C90 Go!

It's a stupid time to think about moving house in the run up to a recession I know. But when something comes on the market that you've been coveting for a while in a location less than one mile from one of your favorite places, an isolated and wild stretch of the Suffolk coast, a place where you've spent summer holidays, wedding anniversaries and countless days out, it's an opportunity too good not to follow up. So as a result I've been doing a little de-cluttering as the house is slightly smaller than the one we currently live in. I took to this process earlier this year for a different reason and either recycled, free-cycled or took stuff I no longer wanted to charity shops.

However, there was little chance of anyone wanting my cassettes in this digital age and our local council won't recycle this sort of plastic, it being too brittle to do anything with. So, unfortunately, I've had to throw them away. Funny, because I was burgled when I lived in Colchester many years ago and I was gutted that the person that broke into my home stole my cassettes. I had so few possessions then, the friend I shared with and I only had a portable black and white TV and a cobbled together stereo system. I guess when the thief searched for stuff to punt on he was disappointed that we had so little and took what he could carry, which other than my extensive tape collection included a tape deck, an amp and my hair clippers. Ironically, he also took the only item of self-defense I kept in the house, an aluminum baseball bat.

I was most annoyed by the loss of the tapes at the time as many of them were irreplaceable; a fair number were of albums that had been deleted, there was a collection of edited John Peel shows, stuff that I'd taped off people I no longer knew and most importantly the only copies in existence of music I'd made. Luckily, or so I thought when I first heard the news, the police caught the guy. When they raided his flat to search for evidence from another burglary, they found all our gear. He had the stereo equipment set up in his flat and all my tapes scattered round. So, I eagerly signed for and bundled all our possessions in to the back of a car, under strict instructions by the police that this was the one and only journey I was to make with the baseball bat in the car, and drove home looking forward to setting the stereo up and listening to some of my tapes. On settling down to an evening of reacquainting myself with the lost sounds, I found the burglar had taped over much of the material with very poor, sub Tim Westward, late night weekday Radio One. What a complete and utter Bastard.

In those days there were times in my life when I had so little money that when I found a new piece of music I wanted to commit to tape, I would trawl through my collection and decide what, if anything, I would be prepared to record over, sticking little bits of masking tape over the protection holes to enable me to do so. To go through all this and then to decide to throw away all these cassettes seems like a travesty, but I haven't listened to them in years, and this seems even more of a travesty. They had been sitting in a cupboard collecting dust, forgotten until now. Many of the albums, the really special ones, have since been bought or burnt to CD. And like I said, we need to de-clutter. So another break with the past. I recycled the card inlays, naturally, and obviously kept the dub and reggae tapes, but past that I'm afraid to say that a large chunk of my listening past has been redirected to a landfill site. I'm not proud to admit it, but it's done now.