Thursday, 17 December 2015

Stump singer is no more (Mick Lynch R.I.P.)

I remember being thrilled when I saw Stump on The Tube. My mother had only recently begun hiring a video recorder. The promo for Buffalo (which I think The Tube paid for)was one of the first things I taped and I watched it over and over again. John Peel gave the band some much needed promotion which led to them being signed and getting on the cover of Melody Maker magazine. My friend Barney bought the band's debut album with record tokens he got for Christmas. I can remember sitting in his bed room listening to songs like "Everything In It's Place" and feeling envious that I didn't have enough money to buy the album myself. When the band played The Deptford Albany Empire my friend and I were the youngest heads in the crowd that night. We didn't stay to the end and I remember we ran from the venue to New Cross station as we were scared something bad would happen to us. Stump's second album featured the near hit "Charlton Heston Put His Vest On" I remember wayching the video on The Chart Show and not enjoying it as much as I want to. C'est la vie. Five years after being hooked on "Buffalo" I met Stump's sing Mick Lynch is Camberwell, South London. I was now aged 18 and was doing a foundation course at Camberwell School of Art - Mick Lynch was working as sort sort of technician. My friend Rowland Smith went over to him and asked for his autograph. After chatting to the Stump singer for a few seconds Rowland went off to the bar, when he eventually came back he explained Lynch had said he would only give him an autograph if he bought him a drink. Rowland showed me what Lynch wrote - it said: "To Rowland, a man with more money than sense." 15 or so years later I put together an exhibition where artists paid tribute to John Peel by doing a painting of a band he championed. Rowland and I had a go at painting Stump. It was a bit of a rush job. Maybe now the time is right to do a better one?
I still love Quirk Out and the video for Buffalo. R.I.P Mick Lynch

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Whose Trolling Who?

In my opinion - dropping bombs in Syria is a terrible, terrible idea. The majority of Labour Party M.P's share my opinion. It's frustrating that a minority of Labour M.P. voted for dropping bombs. But no matter how frustrated you are please don't send angry and abusive e-mails to your M.P. Send lists, send long letters, send jokes but please don't become an internet troll.
Siobhain Mcdonagh is the Labour M.P. for Mitchum and Morden in Greater London. She is a very popular and hard working M.P. who has lived her whole life in the area she represents. I was sad to hear she's been getting unpleasant mail. Mrs Mcdonagh is not alone.
MP Neil Coyle spoke of his fears for his pregnant wife following a Twitter message featuring knife images. “There is this vociferous minority that think that they can make these threats and abuse people,” Mr Coyle told Sky News. “My concern is also for my staff and my volunteers in the local Labour party volunteers who give their time… and are not being told we need security for our events and things like that. That’s unacceptable. “My home address was put online - I have to worry about my wife who’s pregnant. Fundamentally, there is something wrong about people who think it’s OK to make these kinds of threats.” Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy, who has faced threats of deselection, was forced to leave the chamber during Syria debate to deal with abusive phone calls to her office.
John McDonnell said any complaints would be investigated and members using "unacceptable" bullying or abuse on either side of the debate would face disciplinary action. Revealing that he had received a death threat for his anti-war stance, the shadow chancellor said: "All of that intimidation is not acceptable." One thing I would take issue with in Ms Mcdonagh's article for The Standard is that she says huge numbers of Labour Party members are leaving. It appears to me that actually the opposite is true. More and more and joining and although The Conservatives are ahead in the polls Labour are catching up.
The Labour Party was founded in 1900. In July 2008 The Labour membership fell to it's lowest level in the party's history. In a desperate bid to get rid of some of their £18 million debt the party were forced to slash its staff and spending. In an official submission to the Electoral Commission, Labour admitted that its membership at the end of 2007 was 176,891. That is scarcely 40 per cent of the 405,000 peak reached in 1997 when Tony Blair took office. Total Labour membership fell by nearly 6,000 during 2007, the year Gordon Brown replaced Mr Blair as leader. It is believed to have gone on falling. The Conservatives do not publish national membership figures, but in 2006 the party estimated its total at 290,000. According to the commission records, Labour had 213 staff at the end of 2007, down from 302 in the election year of 2005. Labour also recently announced that the party's annual spring conference would be cancelled next year as a money-saving measure. The party is continuing to struggle in the wake of the cash for honours scandal, when it emerged that both Labour and the Conservatives had got around election rules by taking loans at preferential rates from wealthy backers. Membership of the Labour Party has practically doubled since their catastrophic defeat in May's General Election, mostly due to the surprise election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader. Labour now has 370,658 members, its highest total since the halcyon days of 1997. Of these, 183,658 joined since May. The total number of Conservative members is thought to number around 150,000. When left wing candidate Corbyn threw his cap into the ring there was a quick surge of new £3 members, each of whom were then able to vote for him - or other candidates - as leader. However even following his election the number of new members has risen by another 50,000, (October 2015) Corbyn has faced a barrage of criticism from many sections of the media, the Conservatives and even some within his own party due to his uncompromising stance on issues like defence, terrorism and not singing the national anthem. However, even some of Corbyn's opponents seem agreed his emergence into the light after 32 years in the relative shade of Islington North has helped energise young people in particular. Corbyn has given his blessing to the "Momentum" movement which hopes to become a major force for social change. His maiden leadership speech in Brighton was relatively well-received but since then the Conservatives had a strong showing at their own conference in Manchester. Now Corbyn stands accused of snubbing the Queen by not attending the Privy Council. Corbyn claimed he'd already made other arrangements, and will join the council at a later date. However, according to an analysis of opinion polls carried out by New Statesman, the "Corbyn effect" doesn't seem to have had much impact on the wider electorate. Whilst the proportion of voters who said they would vote Labour has gone up, the gap between them and the Tories remains 2.3 per cent.
Vanessa Baird (of The New Internationalist) compiled ten reasons why bombing Syria is a bad idea... 1 Civilians will suffer most. The so-called Islamic State (IS) isn’t stupid. When Raqqa is bombed, IS fighters scurry into their tunnels or into areas of high civilian density. The idea of surgical strikes in this context is fanciful. Read what Syrians have to say about bombing. 2 There is no ‘end’ in sight, no plan for reconstruction or stabilization post bombing Syria. It can only deepen the chaos. Have we learned nothing from Iraq, from Libya? 3 Most military experts don’t think bombing will work – and certainly not without ground troops. French efforts, despite numerous sorties, have hardly been a resounding success. So if he is serious, David Cameron should be calling for permission to send thousands of British troops to fight in Syria. That, after all, is what it may come to if he gets his way with the vote this week. 4 David Cameron’s claim that there are 70,000 ‘moderate’ opposition fighters in Syria, ready to take the ground fight to IS, has been derided by experts. The opposition consists of at least 100 different groups, each with their own aims, not all of which can be trusted to oppose IS. 5 The call for Britain to join France in bombing IS in Syria is a direct result of the Paris attacks. At an emotional level it is entirely understandable. And a robust military response works wonders for the political fortunes of an unpopular leader – as President Hollande is now discovering. But neither provide a rational or moral argument for revenge bombing. 6 The recent globalization of IS activities, exemplified by the Paris attacks, follows a period when IS had been losing territory in Syria and Iraq. On this basis, Western bombing of IS in the region will not make Europe safer. Rather it is likely to recruit more sympathizers to violent Islamic extremism and increase the risk of devastating copy-cat attacks by autonomous cells of homegrown terrorists in the West. 7 The West is falling into a trap of IS’s making. The Salafist game plan is to draw the West into a war that will not end and that it cannot win; to degrade and bankrupt the enemy infidel. 8 The casting of IS as ‘enemy number one’ also suits the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which has killed many more people than IS has, but is now presented as ‘maybe not so bad after all’. 9 The blunt instrument of Western bombing will obscure what really needs to be done to beat IS: to choke its supply line of funding, oil and sympathy. To do that involves following the money and the oil, investigating the activities of Western allies such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. 10 The Syrian civil war has become an immensely complex regional problem. The solution needs to be regional. Western military action is likely to be blundering at best. The West’s greatest ally in the region, Saudi Arabia, is the source of most of IS’s foreign fighters. Despite its anti-IS rhetoric, the regime has only engaged in the most desultory and symbolic military action against IS in Syria. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia continues to bomb neighbouring Yemen to pieces. But that’s another story – or is it? - See more at:
An Open letter to Stella Creasy posted by K Barlow on the 13th of Dec On Sunday December 6th 2015, I attended an event at which Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow, attempted to justify to local residents – the majority of which, by her own admission, opposed the bombing of Syria – why she had voted with the Government in favour of extending air strikes. Stella’s rationale left a number of fundamental questions unanswered, and reproduced below is my email to her following the event: Dear Stella, I was at the meeting on Sunday and unfortunately (frustratingly) didn’t get the chance to ask a question. I felt, fundamentally, you failed to provide an adequate response to the key issue – namely what is the evidence that a bombing campaign is an effective, let alone moral, response to the situation in Syria. Much of what you said consisted of emphasising how evil and barbaric IS is, and how ‘this is an organisation that throws gays off the top of buildings’. That is not the issue – no one contests the brutality of IS’s actions, and simply re-stating over the over the ‘evil’ of IS does a disservice to those opposed to the bombing, and sets up a false dichotomy between dropping bombs and ‘doing nothing’. What is the actual empirical evidence (not supposition, speculation and assertion) that a bombing campaign will either help those in Syria or protect those in the West from terrorist attack? The ‘War on Terror’ has been waged for almost fifteen years now, and what is the evidence that any of the bombing campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have made any positive long-term (or indeed short-term) impact? What is irrefutable is that hundreds of thousands of civilian lives have been lost, millions displaced, and resentment against Western foreign policy has increased exponentially. As for the ‘intelligence’ you refer to that the bombing might help prevent attacks at home, as well as striking at the heart of IS’s leadership, you’ll have to be forgive me my scepticism. We were told that there was compelling military intelligence that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, only for it later to transpire that this ‘evidence’ was based on the testimony of a single, unreliable source who fabricated everything. It also strikes me as curious that you said that it was partly the intelligence that, as an MP, you were privy to (and that we, as mere members of the public, didn’t have access to), that led you making your decision to support the bombing. Jeremy Corbyn, as Leader of the Opposition, would presumably have access to the highest level of intelligence available, and yet chose to oppose the bombing – which would suggest you have a pretty low opinion of his judgement. I was also unclear as to what you see the primary purpose of the bombing as being. Is it to protect those of us in the UK from terrorist attacks? Aside from my incredulity that bombing a foreign country will do anything to ‘protect’ us, that on the contrary will stoke resentment, that the actual perpetrators of atrocities in the West have been mainly citizens of the countries in which they occurred, the fact remains that the number of casualties of terrorism in Western countries is dwarfed by the number of innocent civilians killed by Western bombing campaigns. No matter what spin is put on it, bombing in Syria will kill vast number of innocent civilians. These are areas IS controls, where their fighters will be able to command shelter and refuge from bombing, and those who will bear the brunt of the destruction will be civilians who do not have that luxury. We will be killing a large number of civilians ‘over there’ in order to supposedly protect a smaller number of lives ‘over here’, in effect valuing the lives of those in Western countries far higher than those in Syria. Or do you see the primary purpose as protecting civilians in Syria? Again, for the reasons outlined above – added to the fact that no one, but no one, truly thinks the phantom army of 70,000 is going to turn up to fight in glorious unity anytime soon – I do not believe bombing will help relieve the suffering of the Syrian people, and will on the contrary exacerbate it. To quote Syrian refugee Ahmed, 17, interviewed in the Evening Standard: “The situation in Syria is really bad. If Britain starts bombing too, Daesh will escape but innocent people, children will die. When Nato planes come to Syria, the aircraft destroy everything. They are destroying people’s homes, and only a little bit Daesh. They become stronger, we see that.” Or perhaps you see the primary purpose as being to support our ‘allies’? At the meeting on Sunday, you said we should support the French government in their bombing campaign because a ‘socialist’ administration had asked for our help. I found this comment both disturbing and confusing – are you saying the political hue of the government in power of an allied country should guide whether we offer assistance or not? If the Front National were to gain power in France, would you then call for our support for bombing to be withdrawn? And why should we unquestioningly be expected to offer support to Western European governments simply because we consider them ‘allies’? Our solidarity should be extended to the everyday victims of terrorism, be that in Nigeria, Somalia, Syria or anywhere else in the world, not simply to the governments of countries in the West most like ‘us’. Finally, you repeat the usual mantra of IS being a ‘death cult’ (I’m not even sure what that actually means) that cannot be negotiated with. Whilst it is true that IS as an organisation isn’t open to negotiation, I do not think it helpful to assume that everyone who is purportedly a member of IS is beyond being reached, or is an irredeemable ‘terrorist’. There are men in areas occupied by IS who have the choice of joining IS or being killed. As we have seen recently, there are a number young women in the UK who have attempted to join IS. They may consider them stupid or naïve, we may consider their political views abhorrent, but do we really think that by these actions they are deserving of an extrajudicial death warrant? Do you really have such a nihilistic view of human nature that you believe no one who joins IS can ever again be convinced to leave? Certainly I don’t think those minds are likely to be changed through the bombing of innocent civilians. In sum, despite your assertion that you have explained your rationale for voting in favour of bombing, I still feel at a loss to understand what the evidence underpinning your decision was, beyond the fact you think IS is ‘evil’. Ken Barlow
Merry Christmas!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Interview with Jasper Joffe of Joffe Books

The Rebel Magazine: Were you a keen reader from an early age? Jasper Joffe: "The first series of books I loved, when I was six or seven, were The Great Brain books, which are about a precocious boy in 19th century Utah. I loved all his business schemes and wanted to be as clever as he was! I had a red table next to my bed covered in books (now I store them underneath) and it feels like I have read almost every night of my life before I go to sleep. It's a funny sort of ritual." The Rebel: I understand you are looking for new writers to publish. What kind of writers are you signing up and which kind of writers are you showing the door to? Joffe: "Yes, we're always looking for fantastic new writers at Joffe Books. We're signing high-quality mystery, thriller, and romance novelists. We tend not to be keen on sci-fi, short stories, and erotica. I look for strong characters, an interesting premise, pellucid prose, and a gripping story."
The Rebel: How much of the book do you need writers to send you? Is one chapter and a synopsis ok? Joffe: "That used to be the case when you had to put your submission in an envelope. Now we ask for the whole book plus a short synopsis. It's really important that the author says in the email they send us what kind of book they've written (e.g. a thriller) and what it's about in a few sentences. (I've put some notes below from when I gave a talk about what not to do in a submission!)" The Rebel: What are your 3 most successful Joffe books so far - what kind of sales figures are we talking? Joffe: "Well, our best-selling books recently have been the four Calladine and Bayliss mysteries by Helen H. Durrant. They sold 50,000 copies last month alone!"
The Rebel: How do you edit your writer's work. Have there been any books you've left alone as they were perfect? Any bad reactions to your suggestions of what should be cut? Joffe: "We employ editors and proofreaders, and I sometimes do some editing myself. A few writers don't need much editing, they've really honed everything, and it's hard to move a word. Most writers are happy to have careful editing done and they understand it can make a huge difference. It's really about seeing the book from the outside, how a reader will experience the book, and sometimes that can be hard for the writer to see. Eventually you feel, if you edit a lot of writer's work, that you know all their linguistic quirks and many of their thoughts, which is weird but good. But, of course, you have to respect and amplify the writer's intentions. We've never had a bad reaction (so far!)."
The Rebel: How do you define success? Joffe: "In publishing? or life? In publishing I'm always pleased when we can help a writer earn a living from doing what they love. That's life-changing. It's exciting when a book is published, I get a real buzz out of that, and then thinking of all the people that read them (and the ones who leave reviews) makes me happy. Success, I think, personally, is about building something which reaches people, and learning new things. I feel that Joffe Books has done that."
The Rebel: Do you think Joffe books will keep going on getting bigger and better or do you think you'll get bored and start directing films or staging operas? Joffe: "I do like ballet! I think one thing leads to another, but there's much yet to be done at Joffe Books before we start on the ballets."
Jasper Joffe's Tips For Submissions 1. Put something in the email. A blank email with an attachment isn’t so good. 2. Spell the company's/editor's name right, get their gender right, etc. 3. Read the submissions page, it will help! Do what it says, more or less. 4. Press send once. 5. PDFs: yuck! Word rules. 6. Tell us what the genre it is, what other books it resembles, who will read it, and tell the story in one paragraph. 7. Check your spelling/write in sentences. 8. Find out a bit about what the publishers do. Mention that. 9. Tell them why you’re great or just passionate, but not too much! (or any relevant achievements). 10. Keep it clear, short, simple.
Find out more at: See also: and: facebook "The Laughing Jasper" photograph at top of page is courtesy of Deba Banerjee

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Piper's Son play live in Stoke Newington Friday 27th November

The fantastic Piperʼs Son began around 2010 as an outlet for songs written by musician and artist Thom Driver. Don't miss them play on Friday 27th November!
The Others 6-8 Manor Road Stoke Newington London N16 5SA with Piper’s Son, Secluded Bronte, Lululla, & Static Memories Plus DJ Kingu Bee The doors open at 8.30 pm, entry fee is just: £5
Please note also that Piper's Son are one of the many great bands featured on the new CD compilation: "Combat Cancer" Other acts who have covered a Clash song to help raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust include: Nick Welsh, The Spammed, Mick Jones, Big Jim Patterson, Lynval Golding, The Talks, and Dreadzone!
Find out how to buy your copy by visiting:

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

J.C. and The Labour Party Poll Results

Jeremy Corbyn has been leader of The Labour Party for 10 weeks. Yesterday it was revealed that between 18 and 20 November 2015 ComRes interviewed 2,067 people of Great Britain online and of those that were Labour voters - 20% wanted MPs to replace Corbyn, 56% were happy with him as leader and the rest hadn't made up their minds yet. Depressingly the online surveys findings were that national support for the Conservatives is at a worrying 42 per cent. U.Kips popularity had gone up 2 % whilst Labour had gone down by 2% Only 27 per cent of those ComRes e-mailed said that if there was an election tomorrow that they would vote Labour - obviously this is not cool for cats.
There have been other polls that have been slightly better news - Between the 14th and 17th of Nov 1021 people were interviewed for a Ipsos-MORI poll of voting intentions in which J.C. was the most popular UK political leader (9 points above his nearest rival. In that same poll Labour – as a party – is trailing the Tories by just seven per cent.
Today it was announced in The Times that 66% of Labour members believe Jeremy Corbyn is doing well. "Labour party members back Jeremy Corbyn by a two-thirds margin, The Times can reveal, making it all but impossible for the leader’s detractors to mount a successful putsch. The hard-left party leader was elected in September with 59 per cent of the vote. Now 66 per cent of Labour members believe that he is doing “well”, according to an exclusive poll."
Above are the positive bits from a You Gov poll. Once again it's clear that a more people trust Jeremy Corbyn and think he's a decent man that trust David Cameron. Len McCluskey, the Unite general secretary issued a statement today saying he was fully behind Mr Corbyn’s leadership. “Jeremy has my full support as he develops his alternative programme to that of this disastrous government," he said. "He has opened up debate and democracy across the Labour party and that can only be a positive move for the future...It is exactly his brand of conviction politics and principled opposition that has won him so many supporters and his leadership is stronger for it.” Meanwhile Ed Milliband also recently praised Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and claimed he is fit to be the next prime minister. He said on The Today Programme that "Of course" Mr Corbyn and his shadow chancellor John McDonnell could run the country in 2020. But the former party leader refused to say if Labour would win the next election in his first major interview since he quit in May saying 'after the general election, predictions aren't my thing.' Well, predicting the 2020 result isn't my thing either but I hope and pray Labour get elected. Talking of praying...
"The Third Way" is a monthly Magazine dedicated to Christian thinking on culture, society, economics and politics. Here are some highlights from an interview Corbyn did with Huw Spanner that The Third Way published in June 2015. Huw: Even the Daily Mirror describes you as 'hard left', which for me conjures up an image of an intractable ideologue. How would you characterise yourself? Jeremy: "I come from a socialist tradition. I believe in a society where everyone is valued and cared for and included, and if that makes me 'left-wing', so be it. On economic and peace issues, obviously I am on the left of the Lab­our Party; but I don't apologise for that." On your website, there's a picture of you sporting a Lenin cap. Is that making a statement? Well, you call it a 'Lenin cap'. How about it's just a cap? "But it's associated with Lenin, isn't it? Are beards associated with Karl Marx? It's a cap. I like wearing it. There's a chap on Stroud Green Road who sells them for £9." When did you first join the Labour Party? "When I was 16. I first campaigned in the 1964 [general] election with my mum and my dad, and I joined the Labour Party afterwards. I was very active in the Young Socialists, and also in the Campaign for Nuclear Dis­arm­ament and other peace organisations. If there was any one event that shaped and informed my views, it was the Vietnam War; but it was also issues of in­equal­ity and poverty around the world. I did a lot of stuff with War on Want as a kid. My parents' politics had been formed by the rise of Fascism in the 1930s, by their support for the Spanish Republic - that was, indeed, how they met. They were members of the Labour Party and CND all their lives." You were one of the founders of the Stop the War Coalition in 2001. Are you actually a pacifist? "I would always try to bring about a peaceful solution to any conflict, and so I opposed the Gulf War in 1991 and, obviously, [the invasions of] Afghanistan and Iraq. To say I was a pacifist would be very absolutist…" If you had been of your parents' generation, would you have applauded the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War? "My dad wanted to join the International Brigade, but his health wouldn't allow it. Would I have supported it? You can't translate yourself into a different period; but had the rest of the world properly recognised and supported the Republican government in Spain, would the Second World War have happened? We'll never know. I do have respect for those people that were conscientious objectors in the war. Does that make me a pacifist? I can't really answer that. I'm not sure." In your twenties, you worked for a succession of trades unions… "I worked initially for the National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers, based in [the East End of London]. My job was essentially chasing down companies that had officially gone into liquidation owing wages and National Insurance on behalf of their employees and then reopened under a similar name in order to carry on trading. I also examined company accounts, to find out what the directors were doing, and attended negotiations with the wages council. I met Bernard Weatherill there, who later became a Speaker of the House of Commons. He was actually very nice to me." Wasn't he a Tory? "Absolutely! He was a pretty high Tory, but he was a gent." I thought I'd read that you said you couldn't be friends with anyone who was not on the left… "I would never have said that. I can't remember ever saying that. Somebody asked me if I'd have a relationship with somebody who was not on the left - now, that's different. But any friend, you're not going to agree on everything. It would be quite difficult to have any de­gree of friendship with somebody who holds appalling views - racist, homophobic or something like that - but with people who hold politically different views, yeah, of course. Surely, we need to have a diversity of opinion around us? It's good for us, is it not?" Are you fundamentally optimistic? "Yes, absolutely." What is that optimism grounded in? "In the fundamental good in people, and [a belief] that you can create a society where people do feel valued, do feel involved and can make a contribution. What a waste there is in poverty! What a waste there is in illiteracy! What a waste there is in unemployment!" You advocated talking to Sinn Féin long before it emerged that the Government was actually doing so. You admired Nelson Mandela when much of the media was still saying he should have been hanged. You campaigned for justice for the Palestinians long before that became respectable. You opposed the 'war on terror' long before many other MPs saw the dangers. Do you ever get credit for being ahead of the political curve? "No - but I don't mind. It's not im­portant. The cause is what's important." Looking back, are there major positions you've taken that you think have proved wrong? "Proved wrong…? I don't think so. [On the subject of Mandela,] there was one of those amazing days, when he came to Westminster, shortly after he'd been released, be­fore he became president. Quite a few MPs turned up at the meeting and listened to him for a bit and then went away because they'd got other things to do. Mandela's aide said: 'Nelson, you can finish now. The meeting's virtually over.' He said: 'I will stay as long as there are questions people want to discuss with me.' It ended up with Tony Benn, Nelson Mandela and me sitting round a table having a chat - just the three of us."

Monday, 16 November 2015

Marcus Cope: 'All the Chairs are Broken' exhibition

Last year studio 1:1 exhibited 48 drawings that one of The Rebel Magazine's fave artists Marcus Cope had made during a month in Cyprus. Now Cope has made some excellent paintings and studio1.1 are showing them!
The Rebel: Are you happy? Marcus Cope: "I am as it happens. I'm excited to be alive and enjoying seeing things, I would just like to have a little more time to do everything that I want to be able to do and also have time to relax a little."
What are you reading at the moment? "I'm reading 'Keeping an Eye Open', essays on Art by Julian Barnes. I recommend it highly. It's doing the job of getting my head out of the Guston fog that I have been in since the show at Timothy Taylor earlier in the year. I followed that show up with reading several books on Guston, and in particular reading and rereading Guston's lecture printed in the catalogue for the 2004 Timothy Taylor show of Guston. Reading is one of those things for which I wish I had more time."
What advice do you have for young people? "Oh I don't really. What's the context? I like young people, full of life, open and questioning. Much more fun to be around. I guess the advice is to make your own way, particularly in the art world, and if you think you want something, make sure you know why and be sure about it. Don't be a sheep!"
What are your three greatest pleasures? "Watching or making my daughter laugh has to be top of the list. Watching her grow and develop, it really is something special. There are too many other pleasures in life to be able to rank them so I think we'll leave it at that."
If you could own any one piece of art and see it in your house everyday what would you pick? "I very much like The Sick Child by Gabriel Metsu. I also like his paintings A Man Writing a Letter and A Woman Reading a Letter. Probably one of those, or one of Pieter De Hooch's interiors, the ones with the shock of red, there is one with a bright red chair, I don't recall the name but I like that one a lot."
What music have you been listening to most this year? "I got into the Tune Yards album Nikki Nack at the start of the year, I loved that. I've also been listening a lot to the Avalanches Since I left You. I have listened to that record so much over the past ten years, I just don't ever tire of it, and I think I play it more and more as the years go on."
What was the last great exhibition you saw? "I think I've just alluded to it. Guston. Great exhibitions don't come along very often, and Guston, - many painters favourite - having seen so many in the past, including shows at Timothy Taylor and the retrospective at the Royal Academy a decade or so ago, I wondered if I should bother. It's just mesmerizing how he got it right though and I'm very gad I did see it. You could see in the show that some of the paintings like Head With Bottle where he got it right straight away, had some slighly rubbish colouring-in style paint work, but that didn't matter because he'd got the image down and it worked. In other paintings things were a bit more vague, muddy brushed out bits, some almost ghostly half images, and re worked areas, interesting paint work coming to life and making the picture in a different way. And the boldness of all of it. Direct. Brilliant. There were a couple of pretty rubbish ones too, like the one with the stand of fruit and cherries but that only goes to show the reality of being a painter I think, painting everyday...they can't all be great."
What's next for Marcus? "Marcus has a very busy time ahead as it's the build up to the next Marmite Prize which he runs. There is a lot happening behind the scenes with that, all getting ready for the launch for submissions. He's also got his next paintings germinating in his mind, having had a couple of weeks break from painting since putting the show up."
Is this exhibition at studio1.1 worth a look? "You're asking the wrong person. Of course it is worth a look. For anyone familiar with the space it's changed a little, we've reconfigured the gallery a bit, put in a couple of extra walls, moved the steps and painted the floor black. The paintings are mostly painted in black and white so the darkness of the floor really brings those blacks out. The paintings are also sunk into the walls so the face of them is the same plane as the surface of the walls. I'm so excited about this show, and the paintings. Please do try and make it along!"
MARCUS COPE: 'All the Chairs are Broken' studio1.1 57a Redchurch St London E2 7DJ tubes: Shoreditch High St/Liverpool St/Old St bus: 8, 26, 35, 47, 48, 149, 344, 388 email: tel: 07952 986696 web: open: Wednesday to Sunday 12-6 pm or by appointment Show runs until the 29th of November

Monday, 9 November 2015

Harry Pye C.V.

Above: 6th Former
A student of Winchester School of Art From 1992 to 1995. And then from 1995 to 2000 Harry Pye was the editor and publisher of 20 issues of "Frank Magazine"
Post 2000 c.v "Born To Run: The Story of The Frank Organisation" a 30 minute documentary by Gordon Beswick & Harry Pye is screened over four successive Sunday evenings at The Reliance Bar in Shoreditch. Each evening included a performance from Adrian R. Shaw. "Frank 2000: London Talking" (publication launched at "Funny" an exhibition curated by Peter Harris at The Andrew Mummery Gallery. "It May Be Rubbish But It's British Rubbish"
An exhibition in Glassbox, Paris in May. Featuring more than a dozen artists including Eilidh Crumlish, Christopher Owen, Bruce McLean, Hadrian Piggott, Johnny de Veras, and Adrian R. Shaw. A month later the show takes place at The Stark Gallery in South London and is previewed in The Guardian Guide.
Moving Targets 3
The Bart Wells Gang The A to B of Culture "Why Bother?"
"That's Andy, A Guide To Warhol" Flora & Fauna Fun & Friends Yogurt "White, Middle Class Men"
Viva Pablo
"Pippa: The Magazine For Depressed Women Published By Men" "I'm Shy" 100 Mothers
Slim Volume Dolare
Harry Pye & His Friend's Personal Organsier & Yearbook 2005 "How Men Are" exhibition
Above: P.V. of "How Men Are" exhibition (2007). (Below) 2008: “Sleepless In Sao Paulo” at Thomas Cohn, Sao Paulo (Solo Show)
--- More soon!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

YESvember launch party tonight in Covent Garden

If you're in London tonight and free between 8pm and 11pm you'd be a fool to miss the launch party of YESvember! Celebrating new material, work in progress, trying new stuff and the power of YES! Gigs at venues around Covent Garden featuring the best acts from London's underground and alternative comedy circuit, plus new comedians testing their funny muscles. Tonight's event has been organised by the splendid Sinead Wheeler (pictured below).
All gigs free admission, with a 'Pay What You Want' collection for RoadPeace charity on exit. 50% off main menu, £3 beer and wine at Cafe a la Mode (upstairs) - enjoy the show before or after your meal Launch night line up: Darren Walsh, Trevor Lock, Sindhu Vee, Gary Tro, Andy Holloway, Declan Kennedy, Cressida Wetton, James Bennison The venue is Cafe A La Mode 57-59 Endell Street WC2