Saturday, 24 June 2017

The debut album by Francis Macdonald and Harry Pye gets its first review

"Bonjour" will be released on July the 7th. On the 15th of June an Independent Scottish magazine called Is This Music made Bonjour their album of the week then a few days later The Skinny premiered a new Macdonald & Pye video... http://www.theskinny.co.uk/music/new-music/francis-macdonald-harry-pye-we-love-mike-love-video-premiere Yesterday Bonjour got it's first actual review thanks to Thomas H. Green of The Arts Desk http://www.theartsdesk.com/new-music/theartsdesk-vinyl-29-beatles-kraftwerk-sikth-esg-alice-coltrane-and-more
Harry and Francis: "old-fashioned, poignant, likeable and offbeat"
(Photo by Aleks Wojcik ) You can pre-order Bonjour here: http://www.francismacdonald.com/work-with-harry-pye/ Or from these people who also say nice things about the album... https://www.normanrecords.com/records/163471

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

New Portrait of Francis Macdonald and Harry Pye

Artist Lady Lucy is currently studying for a PhD at Winchester School of Art. Her practice involves doing portraits of people in exchange for services, gifts and favours. For more info visit the Being Lady Lucy site: http://www.beingll.com/ Last night Francis Macdonald and Harry Pye visited her Stamford Hill studio to get their portrait done.
In exchange for the painting Lucy recieved a pre release vinyl copy of Bonjour, a bottle of Crianza Rioja, some Hot desert from Rasa. The artist said she thought it was a "great deal."
Bonjour is released on the 7th of July.
One of the tracks on the album is "Mike Love Fan Club" the video for this song got it's premiere yesterday courtesy of The Skinny magazine. To unleash the (Mike) Love tribute song click on this link here: http://www.theskinny.co.uk/music/new-music/francis-macdonald-harry-pye-we-love-mike-love-video-premiere

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Last chance to see: The Man with Night Sweats at Kingsgate Project Space

Kingsgate Workshops on Kingsgate road is a short walk from West Hampstead tube (NW6 2JG). The current show there ends on the 25th of this month. It's worth going to see... .
The Man with Night Sweats is inspired by the energy generated within the burgeoning gay/queer cultures that emerged out of the changing political and social landscapes of the 1960s and 70s. It includes works made in the last 10 years that emphasise how this energy persists and transforms amid the constant change of recent histories. It features artists Steve Farrer, Neil Haas, Dietmar Lutz, Mike Silva and Jack Pierson. Through looking at how a particular aesthetic sensibility became reconstructed/reordered as a response to the trauma of the AIDS crisis in the early 1980s, the exhibition brings together works that embody the perspective of a life lived on the peripheries, and yet, which are also expansive and generous in their intentions. We propose that new and influential gay/queer creativities emerged from this era with less emphasis on polemic, exploiting instead a more subtle, codified approach to making images."
About the artists... Jack Pierson was born in 1960 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston in 1984. He lives and works in New York. Pierson has had recent solo exhibitions at Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac – Pantin, Paris, CAC, Malaga and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Soloman R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among other museums worldwide. Pierson is represented by Cheim & Read, New York. Neil Haas was born in 1971 in South Shields and graduated in 2014 with an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art. He lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions include; Spunky Clipper, Almanac, London (2017), Maybe your lens is scratched, The Averard Hotel, Slate Projects, London (2016), Not Really Really, Frédéric de Goldschmidt collection, Quai du Commerce, Brussels (2016) and Folly, Emalin, Stirling, Scotland (2016). Mike Silva, born in Sweden in 1970, lives and works in London. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1994 and was included in the 1995 New Contemporaries. Silva has held solo shows at David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen; The Charlie Dutton Gallery, London; Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin (2001/2000); Anthony Wilkinson Gallery, London (2004/2002/1998/1995); Galeri Bouhlou, Norway (2002) and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London (1996). He has been included in a number of group shows including Lombard Freid, New York, Barbara Gillman Gallery, Miami and Victoria Miro Gallery, London. His work is in a number of collections including: British Council, British Airways, Government Art Collection, Simmons & Simmons and the Saatchi Collection. Dietmar Lutz graduated in 1997 from Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, Germany. Recent solo shows include; Alessandro Raho & Dietmar Lutz, CENTER, Berlin, Germany (2011), Documenta (in collaboration with Kota Ezawa, ARQUEBUSE, Geneva (2008), Tabu, Taché-Lévy Gallery, Brussels, Belgium (2006), and Querelle, Emily Tsingou Gallery, London (2005). Group shows include; Mental Diary, Kunstverein Hannover, (2015), Painting Show, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2012), Sexy Boyfriend, JB Jurve, Los Angeles, USA (2012), Der Letze macht das Licht aus, Freies Museum, Berlin (2011), and Dirty Pictures, The Approach, London (2003). His work is in a number of collections, including: Los Angeles County Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Francois Pinault Foundation for Contemporary Art, Deutsche Bank and the Woo Collection. Dietmar is the founding member of artists’ group hobbypopMUSEUM. Steve Farrer was born in 1951 and studied at North East London Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art, London. He was London Filmmakers’ Co-op workshop organiser and cinema organiser in the late 1970s. Farrer’s work was included in the film programme A Century of Artist’ Film in Britain at Tate (2004) and is in The LUX Collection. Farrer recently had a solo show at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill (2016) and showed work at Tate Live: Expanded Cinema, Tate Modern, London (2009).
Kingsgate Project Space is open every Thursday - Saturday from 12-6pm In the photo above you can see Micko Westmoreland with one of the gallery's youngest visitors:3 month old Gene Joseph Westmoreland.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Group show at the 64a Gallery in Kent

64a is a new gallery in Whitstable that will open this Summer with two great shows. The 27th of July will be the opening party night for an exhibition called "Second Chances" - this show features work by Twinkle Troughton
Gavin Toye
Jessica Voorsanger
Harry Pye
and Claire de Lune
We're delighted to announce Jessica Jordan-Wrench will be writing a text piece to accompany the show. The 2nd show at 64a is called "By The Sea" which will tour to The Mainstream Gallery in Ramsgate (More news as it happens). The gallery's new website will be updated and up and running soon: http://gallery64a.co.uk/ The address is: 64a, Oxford Street, Kent CT5 1DG. The director of the 64a Gallery is Robert Mumby (seen here photographed by Julian Wakeling)

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Beach Boys

"The Beach Boys are quite simply America's finest pop group. Their combination of great melodies, intricate harmonies, intelligent songwriting and sheer fun has ensured that they remain loved and admired throughout the world more than 40 years on." The Rebel Magazine asked a plethora of Beach Boy fans to answer a bunch of questions about why they love Mike Love & co. First question: What's your favourite album sleeve or photo of the band?
Emma Darling: "Any pic of Brian Wilson makes me cry. He's a genius. I love the 20 Love Songs album cover most. Look at Brian in this photo (below)..it makes me sob that people never understood his deep sensitivity."
Billy Smart: "Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)"
John Tozer: "My favourites sleeve is probably The Very Best of the Beach Boys Vol. 2, because I bought it in my early teens and it introduced me to songs of theirs that were some way from the Fun, Sun, Cars, Girls songs, which of course I also loved. Or maybe its the cover to Sunflower."
Simon Love: "(This photo of) Brian in full flight."
Duglas T. Stewart:"I always loved this photo of Brian holding a photo of the other guys or their reflection as a group in a mirror. Either way it feels poignant as he is removed and separate from the others but it's also witty as he is holding them in his hands."
Question 2) Does Pet Sounds show the Beach Boys at the peak of their powers? Would you rather listen to a Beach Boys Greatest Hits compilation? Emma Darling: "Pet Sounds, Yes. I immediately liked Pet Sounds from the first listen. My favourite track on there is God Only Knows." Billy Smart: "Yes, it does. I think its the best balance of Brian Wilson, composer, and The Beach Boys, band, of all their albums, and its got the most fully-realised, interconnected sense of being an integrated work, thanks to Tony Asher. The main problem that I always have with Pet Sounds is that I always find 'I Know There's An Answer' to be a really wretched ham-fisted dirge of a song - the other 12 tracks are great, though. I'd probably chose to listen to 'Stack-O-Trax' above any other Beach Boys album." John Tozer: "Yes, unequivocally. But them at their peak and a Greatest Hits are two different sorts of listening pleasures." Simon Love: "I think "Pet Sounds" hangs together better than any other Beach Boys LP. It didn't help that every LP after the aborted "SMiLe" was a patchwork Frankenstein thing. Even up to "Surf's Up" they were grabbing songs from "SMiLe" Sometimes I think, like "Squeeze" by the Velvet Underground, I think it would've been better off being released as a solo LP. Then he could've knocked off another record of happy teenage feel good for Mike to do his little dance to." Duglas T. Stewart: "In some ways Pet Sounds could be seen as the Beach Boys or at least Brian Wilson at the peak of his powers. It's also a culmination of all of these things he was interested in exploring musically and sonically coming together. Another thing that makes Pet Sounds so powerful is its vulnerability. Brian had been going through emotionally troubling times and these songs captures his fears, insecurities and hopes with great poignancy and eloquence in the lyrics and in the music. When I first discovered Pet Sounds I thought it was the greatest album ever but there are other later tracks that are just as great as what's on Pet Sounds, just as great but different. Albums like Friends, Wild Honey and 20/20 are full of brilliant tracks. And now my favourite Beach Boys album is something else (more about that later).
Question 3) Was "Holland" the last decent Beach Boys album? Since 1973 have any of their studio albums been of any interest to you (Beach Boys Love You, MIU, L.A. Light Album, Keepin' The Summer Alive, Beach Boys '85) Emma Darling: "Yes, Holland was the last great album and one of the tracks is Sail on Sailor which I've always been a fan of." Billy Smart: "That sounds about right, although there are a few interesting things hidden in the later albums, I'm sure although I've never assiduously investigated them." John Tozer: "Holland was not a decent Beach Boys album. The only two decent tracks on it are Sail on Sailor and Leaving This Town, which was really a Ricky Fataar song on a Beach Boys album. The whole California Saga trilogy is embarrassing, and the remainder of the album is just filler. The Actual Last Decent Beach Boys Album was Sunflower, though I've always had a very soft spot for LA (Light Album), highlights of which are the cheesy but delightful Good Timing’, Lady Linda - which sank without trace on its US release but was a big hit over here - and Full Sail. There is an exquisite melancholy to the whole album, beautifully produced by Bruce Johnston, so much so that I can even listen to Sumahama, but perhaps I am a little strange in that respect." Simon Love: "Oh yes. "Love You" has got some nice little songs ("I Bet He's Nice" and "Ding Dang" for me) but "Holland" seems like the last one they were all trying to do something. Even Mike with "California Saga" Duglas T. Stewart: "Holland has some great tracks on it but it's not the last great thing they did. There's good stuff on all of the albums you list above, some are patchier than others but the great stuff is still really great.The Beach Boys Love You is my favourite Beach Boys album. I think some people start listening to it and because it sounds so different to what they expect have a knee jerk reaction to it and write it off without giving it a proper chance. Some of the golden angelic vocals are replaced with croaky damaged vocals and there's clunky, chunky synths instead of the sophisticated blends of "real instruments" on Pet Sounds. But it's still musically very sophisticated and combines that with a wonderful sometimes child like naivety. This album has been a massive influence on BMX Bandits music perhaps more than any other record. It was also our late friend Alex Chilton's favourite beach Boys album. He could play and sing every track on it."
Question 4) Mike Love not only sang lead vocals on some of the biggest hits such as Fun Fun Fun, California Girls, I Get Around but also wrote the words - what do you love most about Mike Love? Emma Darling: "His versatility." Billy Smart: "Its not got much to do with what they went on to become, but 'I Get Around' is a perfect record that I always find really funny for some reason. Maybe its because there's a note of being boastful about not very much in it."I'm gettin' bugged riding up and down the same old strip/ I gotta find a new place where the kids are hip" - you can't argue with that. Mike Love's musical skills and drive continually held the Beach Boys together, even when that took them in tiresome directions. I respect that, though I can't say that Mike love is a figure who inspires much in the way of affection in me." John Tozer: "There is nothing I love about Love. He was a talented wordsmith, sometimes (e.g. Warmth of the Sun), a good frontman for the band when they were on the road, but in all other respects a total arse." Simon Love: "That "Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous" interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlL7-j-IvVA and the fact that he's blissfully unaware of how much of a dick everyone thinks he is. We've got a lot in common." Duglas T. Stewart: "Mike sang some great lead vocals, wrote some great pop lyrics and some beautiful heart lyrics too. He also made some major musical contributions to tracks including Good Vibrations and wrote some really good songs solo. The Landlocked version of his song Big Sur is so beautiful (and vastly superior to the version released on Holland). I don't like his politics but he brought a lot to The Beach Boys."
Question 5) Elvis Costello, Bryan Adams and dozens of others have recorded their own version of "God Only Knows" has any singer recorded a version of a Beach Boys hit that you think improved on the original? Emma Darling: "No, No, No, No, No." Billy Smart: "I'd ban people from covering God Only Knows if I could - David Bowie's version was the single worst recording that he ever made, and that BBC version conspicuously failed to set the world alight. Unless you count early things like Jan & Dean recording versions of certain songs made at around the same time that the Beach Boys themselves did, then nothing springs to mind. The songs that Brian Wilson made with other people are fun though - I think that he felt more at ease without his brothers and Mike Love around him." John Tozer: "Yes, the wonderful Darlin’ from Wild Honey was a cover of "Thinkin’ 'Bout You Baby" which was written by Wilson and Love for Sharon Marie, and FWiW covered again less effectively by American Spring, also produced by Brian Wilson. And, The Wondermints recorded a stellar version of Guess I’m Dumb which, while I love the original, realises the song’s potential in a way the Brian Wilson and Glen Campbell didn’t - though technically the original wasn’t a Beach Boys song, and wasn’t a hit… So maybe the ultimate answer is no? Its like anyone re-doing anything recorded by Ennio Morricone - pointless, given that he had a command of his own material that no-one else could match." Simon Love: "It's not strictly a Beach Boys song but a Brian Wilson original "Go Away Boy" by The Pearlfishers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6nYY80eSn0 Lovely stuff. Or "God Only Knows" by The Langley Schools Music Project which is haunting." Duglas T. Stewart: "None improved on it but I think the PP Arnold version is very worthwhile. It's a really good version. I think the original is unbeatable."
Mike Love's autobiography "Good Vibrations" has been published by Faber and is in the shops now. You may also be interested to know... Duglas T Stewart has just released a new L.P "BMX Bandits Forever" Billy Smart is a regular contributor to: https://forgottentelevisiondrama.wordpress.com/ Simon Love released a brilliant album a few years back: http://www.allmusic.com/album/it-seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time-mw0002858007 Emma Darling has her own site here: http://www.emmastacedarling.com/ and John Tozer is a man of mystery.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About "Bonjour" The debut album by Francis Macdonald and Harry Pye

Next month sees the release of "Bonjour" a ten track record and CD that Glaswegian based musician Francis Macdonald made in collaboration with London based artist Harry Pye. To celebrate it's arrival we have compiled a list of ten astonishing facts that you can impress your friends and fellow music lovers with.
1) The intro on the first track on the album ("Sometimes I Feel Like A Record That's Scratched") features the voice talents of celebrated comedy actor Kevin Eldon. Kindhearted Kevin spent a whole weekend practising his lines to make sure they were perfect.
2) Francis's favourite song on the album is, track two: Sympathy For Jean Luc Godard. Francis and Harry each drew dozens of post card sized images inspired by Godard movies which film maker Gordon Beswick then edited together. The end results were first screened as part of the "This Is Our Art, This Is Our Music" exhibition at The David Risley Gallery in Copenhagen which also included contributions from R. Crumb, David Byrne, Captain Beefheart, The Soupdragons, and Faust.
3) A spoken word track on the album called "Mondrian in Liverpool" has been described as being both "distinctive and affecting" by Paul Carey-Kent (the former editor of Artworld magazine) and "very touching" by Paul Du Noyer (the founding editor of Mojo). The track is a largely about the death of Harry's father, the impact it had on him and how he came to love non representational, minimal paintings. Harry's favourite Piet Mondrian painting is called Broadway Boogie Woogie and it was made the same year that his Dad was born.
4) The silliest song on the album is "Mike Love Fan Club" which is celebration of a founding member of The Beach Boys not known for his modesty. Francis and Harry are both huge admirers of The Beach Boys and they genuinely love Mike Love.
5) Francis composes music for films/TV and has worked with Laura Cantrell, BMX Bandits, Alex Chilton, Robert Forster, Kevin Ayers and Kim Fowley but he is best known for playing drums with Teenage Fanclub. Harry is pro re-cycling and has come up with a new twist on a very old gag.... “What’s the difference between Francis Macdonald and Walt Disney? “Francis plays drums for Teenage Fanclub and Walt Disney.”
6) When Harry met Ray Davies (of The Kinks) they got on just fine
7) When Francis met Mike Nesmith (of The Monkees) they got on like a house on fire
8) One of the tracks on the album is "Paul In Vauxhall" which is a song about Harry meeting up with a friend who lives in the same part of South London that Vincent Van Gogh stayed in. Curiously another track on the album "Come and Stay With Me" is about Vincent Van Gogh moving to the South of France and asking his friend Paul (Gauguin) to join him. Artist Howard Dyke is a fan of "Come and Stay with Me" and described the track as being "fucking beautiful".
9) Most of the album was recorded before Francis and Harry ever met (Harry emailed lyrics and Francis made recordings and emailed them back to Harry).
10) "Bonjour
released on Shoeshine records on May 26th https://bonjour.tmstor.es/cart/product.php?id=31502 It's one of the few albums released this year that ends with a heartfelt tribute to the French artist and philosopher Jean Debuffet.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Eggs 11 show at The Mainstream Gallery

"Eggs Eleven" (currently showing at Ramsgate's Mainstream Gallery) Press Release...
Just as the dairy industry is dependent on rape, eggs are the result of a process of eugenics, ethnic cleansing and extermination on a global scale. Of course, other than a few guilt-stricken and sickened individuals and pressure groups, the human race does not care. Why? Because we deem ourselves the superior species? Because we are made in God’s image? Or is it because those beasts are nameless, and therefore hold no sentimental value for us? Is it because the chicks that are refused the gift of life are so far beyond number they simply, if ironically, don’t count? These questions - of the nazification of the food industry, of Man playing God, of the billions of animals tortured and slaughtered for our nourishment and delight - have been flowing through my mind like a river of screaming vomit, but it is only upon seeing “Eggs 11”, with these life-deprived chicks caged dead in their shells, that I saw our mindless, heartless, casual cruelty crystallised. Seeing the often-childlike daubs decorating or desecrating these innocent eggs - bringing to mind the brutality of babes, the mercilessness of minors - imposing human values (of art, of humour) in an inhuman manner on a non-human entity, I wept. “Eggs 11” is a show that asks more questions than it can ever answer. This show compels you to confront yourself, to emerge naked from your own conformist shell and examine your value system. Or are you chicken?
Text by Paul Hamilton
First Photo: Egg decorated by Arthur Davies Evitt Second Photo: Artist Lee Edwards holding an egg decorated by Buffy Cook
Third Photo (above): Egg decorated by James Lawson Fourth photo (below) Dinosaur egg by Mafruha Ahmed
Fourth photo: Egg decorated by Bronte Jones.
Fifth Photo: Egg decorated by Lee Edwards

Friday, 24 March 2017

Floral Anthology show at Westminster Reference Library (28/03/17)

Joanna McCormick has put together a show that features painting, poetry, flowers and cocktails. "The exhibition Floral Anthology is an exploration of ​the wonder and fascination of floral motifs in our history and a metaphorical description of the power of flowers to uplift and revive the spirit in times of adversity."
"Floral Anthology" at Westminster Reference Library, behind The National Gallery - 35 Saint Martins Street WC2H 7HP... It's this Tuesday March 28th, from 6 - 9pm. Jo will also be there during the day on Wednesday March 29th. At the opening on Tuesday, Jo will be doing a live performance and there will be poetry from Sooz Belnavis, and a special display by flower arranger Carol Campbell. Westminster Reference Library 35 St Martin's Street, WC2H 7 (Please note: The show is on for 4 days only. Closing at the end of the day on March 31st. Opening hours 10am - 8pm)
Above: "Garcon avec une Fleur le meme Couleur comme son Chapeau" (2016) by Harry Pye will be available on the night as 30cm X 40cm CMYK print.
One:
Two:
Three:
Four:
Five:
Six:
Seven:
Eight:
Nine:
Ten:
Eleven:
Twelve:
Thirteen:
Fourteen:
Sixteen:
Eighteen:Harry
Nineteen: Jo