I was really pleased that I went to Ladywell (in South London) tonight and got a glimpse of Gilson Lavis and his exhibition of portraits. Gilson Lavis is famous for his amazing skills as a drummer. Squeeze have always been one of my favourite bands and his vital contribution to their greatest records and legendary shows is enormous. When Squeeze split he continued to collaborate with Jools Holland and he plays a big part in both the "Later" TV series and Jools Holland's big band orchestra. Lavis makes black and white portraits of both the musicians he's worked with and the people he admires. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - my opinion is that this sincere work, all painted in acrylic, demonstrate a lot of skill and a lot of love. I chatted to him very briefly at his private view. I asked him about Roland Gift and Amy Winehouse and what they were like to work with. He heaped praise on them both and talked a little about his aim of making work that looked good from a distant as well as close up. He said he had no desire to work in colour - he likes the smokey, retro look he's made his trade make. I asked him why there were no paintings of the legendary Rico Rodriguez in his show and he promised it was on its way.
Gilson is a self taught artist. He started drawing by copying Marvel Mags. His drumming career and other lifestyle choices were getting in the way, so Gilson stopped painting or sketching for 40 years. Starting again only 4 years ago, he has sold many originals and prints of his distinctive work.
Here is a list of SOME of the artists Gilson has played drums for...
Adele - Alanis Morissette - Alison Moyet - Allen Toussaint - Amy Winehouse - Annie Lennox - Arthur Connely - Badly Drawn Boy - Bailey Rae - Barry White - BB King - Belinda Carlisle - Betty Wright - Beverley Knight - BJ Cole - Blind Boys of Alabama - Bob Geldof - Bobby Whitlock - Bonnie Tyler - Bono - Boy George - Brian Eno - Bruce Forsyth - Bryan Ferry - Bryn Terfel - Buddy Greco - Buddy Guy - Cee Lo Green - Cerys Matthews - Chaka Khan - Charlie Watts - Charlotte Church - Chas 'n' Dave - Cher - Chris Barber - Chris Difford - Chrissie Hynde - Chuck Berry - Courtney Pine - Craig David - Cyndi Lauper - Dave Edmunds - David Gilmour - David Gray - David McAlmont - David Rotheray - David Sanborn - Desre - Dick Dale - Dionne Warwick - Donovan - Dr John - Duffy - Eddi Reader - Eddie Floyd - Edwin Starr - Eliza Carthy - Eric Bibb - Eric Clapton - Five - Florance and the machine - Gabrielle - Gary Brooker - George Benson - George Hamilton IV - George Harrison - George Melly - Georgie Fame - Glen Tilbrook - Huey Morgan - Hugh Cornwall - Ian Hunter - Imelda May - India Arie - Irma Thomas - Jay Kay - Jeff Beck - Jimmy Cliff - Jimmy Scott - Jimmy Somerville - Joe Brown - Joe Strummer - John Cale - Johnny Dankworth - Julian Joseph - Julio Iglesias - Kate Nash - Kate Rusby - Katie Melua - Kelly Jones - Kirsty MacColl - KT Tunstall - Kylie Minogue - Larry McCray - Lemmy - Leo Sayer - Lily Allen - Lionel Richie - Lisa Stansfield - Lonnie Donegan - Lulu - Macy Gray - Manfred Mann - Marc Almond - Mavis Staples - Mick Hucknall - Neil Sedaka - Nick Cave - Noel Galagher - Norah Jones - Paloma Faith - Paolo Nutini - Paul Carrack - Paul Heaton - Paul McCartney - Paul Rogers - Paul Weller - Paul Young - Peter Blake - Peter Gabriel - Pops Staples - Prince Buster - Rachard Hawle - Raul Midon - Ray Davies - Rico Rodriguez - Robert Palmer - Robert Plant - Robin Gibb - Roger Daltrey - Roisin Murphy - Roland Gift - Ronnie Wood - Roy Wood - Sam Moore - Sandie Shaw - Seasick Steve - Shaggy - Shane MacGowan - Shaun Ryder - Sheryl Crow - Shingai Shoniwa - Simon Le Bon - Slash - Smokey Robinson - Solomon Burke - Squeeze - Steve Earl - Steve White - Steve Winwood - Sting - Suggs - Taj Mahal - The Corrs - Tom Jones - Tommy Cooper - Toots Hibbert - Ute Lemper - Van Morrison - Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer - Vinnie Jones -
Gilson's "Black Thoughts White Memories" runs until the 25th of November at The Misty Moon Gallery, Ladywell Tavern 80 Ladywell Rd Se13. The gallery is open mid afternoon till late.
For more info: http://www.gilsonlavis.me.uk/