20 Mar 2010
17 Mar 2010
bold = I have done it, say it or know it.
1.You call the cathedral part behind Colmore row pigeon park (who doesn't?).
2. You used to/or still do sit in pigeon park for no reason whatsoever, unless you are not an emo/goth/scene kid, then the only time this is acceptable is in the summer.
3. You have to adamantly protest that you are not a yam yam because you don't talk like you're from Dudley or Walsall.
4. You have had/or regularly have had a mooch in Oasis market.
5. You've always wanted to play hide and seek in the bullring.
6. You've either humped/sat on/had your photo taken in front of the bull.
7. You have realised by now all of the big Issue sellers are complete weirdos, especially the old man that grumbles. And the foreign woman who is usually outside Sainsbury's or Waterstones shouting 'vig ishlee'.
8. You been wrecked clubbing on Broad street and sung along to 'Wonderwall' with the hobo that plays his guitar there on a Saturday night.
9. You been on/or are too scared to go on the big wheel in Centenery square at Christmas times.
10. You love that the McDonalds on the ramp is open 24 hours on a Friday and Saturday, what a life saver!
11. You miss the Carling Academy.
12...and Toys R Us!
13. You call Primark, Primarni.
14. You used to wander round the Bullring/Selfridges after school, stealing the jellybeans.
15. You have seen the old white man who dresses like a pimp in his matching suits and hat. :)
16. You have seen the TALL black guy in the dungarees who's constantly walking through the Pallasades dragging his suitcase is a very strange way.
17. You have done the whole route of the 11 bus (outer curcle), or at least attempted it.
18. You know what the floozey in the jacuzzi is, and have often played in it as a child.
19. You still call House of Fraiser 'Rackhams'.
20. You call Birmingham city centre 'town' even though it's a city, and when you say 'town' to people, you expect them to know which one.
21. You've seen the black guy with the guitar/basketball in the Pallasades, the one who thinks he's Michael Jordan.
22. You think the guy that draws caricatures by the ramp is terrible!
23. You always see the three random people shouting about God outside Primark. There's the black woman, the old white man with the dark hair, and the other white man with the jacket that says 'Jesus' or something on the back.
24. You are proud to be the second biggest city in the UK!
25. You've seen the grey statue man who drops his balls and waits for people to pick them up.
26. You can't wait for the German market to come round every year.
27. Your school trips as a child were to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Thinktank and the Sea Life Centre.
28. You danced along to the steel pan men outside HSBC.
29. You think TWM charge stupid prices for buses that don't even run on time, and you dread every January when they put the fare up more.
30. You've used the lift at New Street to go under the barriers so you don't have to pay train fare.
31. When you're offered a Shortlist/Style magazine every second of the bloody day when they come out!
32. You get offered a mixtape cd every time you walk past the Odeon.
33. You wait for the red Krispy Kreme sign so spin in the Bullring so you can get you're free donut.
34. You take a leaflet off one of the people at the bottom of the ramp, look at it and drop it immediately.
35. You know what a cob is.
36. You say 'mom' NOT MUM!
37. Everywhere you go you hear those bloody bird whistles.
38. The black man with the weird hat wants to give you a 'FREE' leaflet that you need to donate money to have. >_<
39. You know what a gambol is.
40. Your front door has more than three locks.
41. Police sirens are just background noise.
42. You call the off license the 'outdoor'.
43. You have been to Latifs warehouse and bought something youdidn't need just because you thought you were saving money.
44. You hear the speaker on the ramp announce; 'please keep to left when moving along this ramp'.
45. You've been to Cannon Hill park and the nature centre as a child or even as an adult.
46. You can't wait for the beach to come round every summer by central library.
47. You know who mad Malik is.
48. You call ketchup 'red sauce'.
49. You know we take Christmas lights very seriously when loads of people get crushed and they cancel any future light switch ons.
50. You call potato fritters 'scallops'.
51. You pronounce it 'scon' not scone.
52. You've LOL'd at the reggae sax man outside HSBC with the dancing cat.
53.You go all the way to the AMC rather than Odeon or Cineworld purely for the fact that it has arm rests that you can lift up and create a "sofa".
54. You're constantly complaining about the teenagers that play music at the back of the bus. Get some earphones!
55. You cannot walk through town without being harassed to 'spare a minute of your time' to sign up to a charity.
56. You carry an umbrella just in case! And you're always moaning about the crap weather.
57. You remember the cream statue of the people and buildings that used to be outside the Rep theatre that got burned down.
58. You've seen the stickers on the bus that look like there's a policeman sitting at the back of the bus.
59. You know what tiptops are.
60. You know what bobbles are.
62. You call fizzy drink 'pop' and cordial 'squash'.
16 Mar 2010
Photos from show: FLICKR SET
So we are here again, or rather I am... writing another review on the Australian band that is just starting to make waves here in the UK - and about time might I add. The last Karnivool (or Vool as the fans say) show I attended was the infamous (for the best of reasons) first ever UK headline show which they did at the end of their support stint with Skindred. That particular show was at the Islington Academy 2 back in October 2009, photos from that show can be seen here and I didn't think anything could top the performance, I think I have been proven wrong.
I arrived at the venue at approximately 6pm, a venue which I had never been to before and I was somewhat confused as to why there was no queue an hour before doors - turns out I was first to arrive, oh the shame but also the sheer relief when I knew I would be at the barrier (or rather front, since there was no barrier at the Academy 2 show, for another Vool show. I was elated, and even more so when a wonderful Finnish fan I met at the show last year turned up not long after myself. Picture the scene, one crazy Vool fan and another huge fan but not so committed since I didn't go to any other show this tour. There was a nice italian place right next to the venue which I ran in to to ask to use the loo and subsequently had to pay £1.50 for a cake as the loos were only for paying customers... typical, but the cake was nice. There are plently of local amenaties around the immediate area including a bank, newsagents and a bar - sorted, especially for those who much queue up for shows (not this night, however!).
Once we entered the venue I realised that we were in store for a long, and tedious wait for the first support act (a word like.ATTACK) as the time schedule on the door stated an 8:15 start time, doors at 7 and the first band on over an hour later? yes, the show was sold out so maybe they allowed such a long time to get anyone in? anyways, by the time AWLA hit the stage everyone who was inside were just eager for something other than cd's played over loudspeakers. I hadn't heard of this band prior to the show, I didn't know there were gona be any support acts until I got outside the venue so I was moderately suprised with the band I watched. They are not my cup of tea, but then again most would argue that Karnivool don't fit my "taste", although I would beg to differ. The songs were catchy enough, but I felt as though I was perhaps 5 years too old to be "bopping" along to the choruses, they reminded me of a cross between Gallows, Bring Me The Horizon and another band I can't quite put my finger on... but don't hold me to it, I really am not one to judge a band I do not know. I enjoyed their set suprisingly and I have got to say, they were an attractive bunch!
By the time Karnivool hit the stage after some apparent technical difficulties the crowd were practically foaming at the mouth, eager to see the masters at work.
As soon as the intro of Simple Boy kicked in I felt the atmosphere in the venue lift, the aches and pains of standing around for what felt like hours (45 mins approximate after AWLA got off the stage). Understandably a favourite of mine had been cut from the setlist since the last time I saw them, perhaps due to it not "fitting in" with the sound of recent Sound Awake material, but there were still some "old" favourites such as "Themata", "C.O.T.E" and "Roquefort" to keep the fans happy, all of which come off the album "Themata" which was preceeded by the EP "Persona". I was desperate to hear "Fade" from Persona live, but since the band save the older material for the home fans back in Oz my dream never came true... and nor did I get to hear L1fel1ke, one of my favourites alongside Shutterspeed.
The crowd on the night were nothing but extraordinary, singing along to every song.. every word, as though Kenny was the conductor and the crowd the singing band. From the look of the band during the set I think they enjoyed every second of this foreign audience singing along to their finely produced songs that music fans over here are finally starting to appreciate. "C.O.T.E" brought the first major reaction, with "Set Fire To The Hive" which followed afterwards reducing the crowd to a mass of jumping jacks, it was brilliant to be a part of it. Usually when I go to see a band I like with only a small UK following the crowd doesn't seem to participate - but with Karnivool the crowd ALWAYS participates, and especially tonight with fans from Greece, Finland, Ireland and elsewhere in Europe congregating in London for a spectacular show.
This band has what I can only describe as character... they are "different" in every sort of way you could imagine. You can headbang, sway, jump, clap or do anything along to the music and it feels right, there are so many elements jumping off the stage and into your ears that you lose all control of what you are doing, or so it felt like as I was effectively crushed on numerous occasions throughout the set. This is what made it feel as good as it did, I worried back in October as to what the crowd reaction would be to a relitively unknown band from Australia - and I needn't have worried, because the crowd loves them as much as I do.
Even though I knew what I was going to hear, I knew what I was going to see - I still couldn't get over the showmanship and how elated the band looked to be on stage. Dancing, grinning - you name it they did it, and it's nice to see a band enjoy their slot on stage compared to those who see the business as just that, a business - a job. Karnivool clearly enjoy what they do, and they much enjoy coming over to a country where they can play small venues without being mobbed.
All in all it was a great show, well worth the ticket price and so much more. I did tell people to catch the Vool next time they toured, and it seems to have worked - last time they were supporting Skindred, this time they had their own headline tour albeit still in clubs, I don't think it will be long until we see them in standard size venues and I can look back at these club shows and think how lucky I was to catch them when I did. These guys are already huge news in their native Australia, and I don't see any reason why this wont be the same for them in Europe, we love us some catchy alternative rock - or whatever genre you media types would shove the band in to, we just like Karnivool and that is how it will stay.
There are a few things I can thank one person in my life for, and discovering this band is top of the list - I can't believe I hadn't heard of them before, and I can't believe they are still trying to make it over here - if you're reading this get off your ass and order Themata and Sound Awake, and come back and tell me what you think. DO IT.
MORE PICS HERE
Now what, do I give such a great live band out of 10? well, no band is perfect - and I will reserve the 10 for something utterly spectacular (and don't get me wrong, Karnivool are completely there - but I think overall the setlist could have been longer and other little snipes I could make). I do feel that the night as a whole including the band, the sound, the venue and crowd deserves a solid 8, if not an 9 - and this is what i'm running with.
I don't think any audience should be held for an hour for a show to start, and 45mins after the support act is excessive for a stage switcharoo - i.e. support kit OUT and Vool equip hooked up, that is all... and then further waiting. Kenny was on good form, his voice is amazing - I hope to god he knows this, and the ambience of the night was fab so yes, an 9 out of 10.
I would have given a 10 if Shutterspeed was on the setlist ;)
15 Mar 2010
I need a macro lens, I need a wide angle lens and I need a 35mm camera and film.... SORTED!
I started going to "art school" to improve my wrok output and become more knowledgeable about art in general, with like minded people - I didn't start going to art school to be in an evironment where there's cliques and well, I would say competitiveness but it's not - so I wont.
14 Mar 2010
East India House
109-117 Middlesex St
London, E1 7JF
Tel: 020 7247 5050
The location, situated right in the center of the Square Mile, (according the the website) and in very close proximity to Brick Lane, Spitalfields Market and Petticoat Lane Market. This is a bonus as if you're like us, as like to arrive somewhere early in order to figure out where the place is and get parking, it gives you somewhere to burn some time. I could write an essay about Spitalfields in particular but I wont, I just expect you to visit there for yourself - today in particular was impressive albeit smaller than I remember. I purchased some goods, chatted to some creative people, pissed my parents off - the usual... but back to the resturant aye?
I made a reservation very easily through lastminute for 2:30pm but since we arrived outside the very inconspicuous at 2:00pm sharpish we decided to head inside and see what we were letting ourselves in for - and I for one was not disappointed. The interior is quite marvelous, but considering this was the first "upper class" resturant I had ever stepped foot in I guess I am not one to judge, but it was well put together lets just say that. There appeared to be one room, on the lower ground floor while a raised area which I assumed was for private functions or bookings, was situated at the end of the room and higher up (accessed up stairs, obviously). The bar was quite swish, and had a wide range of spirits and whiskey on the shelves - my brother would be pleased, but since I do not drink I didn't pay much more attention than that.
The menu was not dissimilar from the set £34.50 menu - while there were some changes (I figured since the price was reduced the more costly plates (10oz steak replaced with an 8oz) were reduced in size or removed entirely. I was not impressed with the lack of Eton Mess from the menu once I had sat down, even though I am dairy intolerant I was still looking forward to gorging on dairy products since it was a treat. Personally I think that, even though the bookings for the day were made as a special offer and were slightly "cheaper" than usual, if anything on the menu was going to be changed then the reservation makers should be informed (i.e. a separate menu for the day? how hard would that have been?).
The starters, i'm not going to type out the French title, were interesting. I personally chose the Potted Duck with green peppercorns as I love duck and peppercorns and thought it would be the wise choice (and as my dad chose the Gravadlax and my mom the Cream of Cauliflower soup) I wanted to choose something different, but alas I swear there were no peppercorns (no taste of anything like a peppercorn, but plenty of gherkin... odd). The dish was quite greasy, yes it's duck and i'm not one of those who criticises food without having eaten the produce before so I know duck can be greasy, but I just didn't expect to have to wash my hands straight after eating. The gravadlax looked very tasty, it appeared to be slices of salmon on a plate? I had to google the word in order to find out what it was meant to be and that wasnt what I got on google images. According to my mother the Cream of Cauliflower soup was divine, but the sheer fact that it did not come with bread (other than what was put on the table PRIOR to ordering starters) ruined the ambience at the beginning - but the food was nice enough, for a "posh" resturant.
The staff were attentive enough, but only since we aren't a very demanding family - we're quite happy to sit there talking and not be pestered to order immediately after finishing a course. The food, personally, improved a lot when it came to the main course - I chose Spatchcock with Chipolatas, onion rings and triple cooked chips - which was very very nice. I knew what a Spatchcock was prior to going to the resturant since I am an avid watcher of cooking programs, and it really didn't disappoint. My father chose Calf liver and bacon, boiled potatoes and spinach. I dont like liver, that's all I can say. My mother chose the steak and I guess all I can say is that she ordered medium rare and that is exactly what she got, not one drop of blood. Side dishes are £3.75 a dish, this included the chips, spinach and new potatoes - onion rings and tomatoes were included with my own and my mothers' meal whereas my fathers came with god knows what - I was too busy eating and trying not to smell the liver! the food was great, very nice - just what I expected and I was happy for my family to enjoy the food when I was so worried about them not being impressed (high standards usually!).
The deserts, now - this is where things get interesting, the chocolate fudge cake was gorgeous - end of story. BUT, and it's a bit, capitalised but - I am pretty darn sure we were charged twice for the deserts. The SET menu was £29.95 or something and yet on the bill the deserts were added manually, but since the staff were clearly busy and not of English nationality my father decided to send and email just to make himself feel better once we got home. I don't really need to say much about desert since I really wanted the Eton Mess and it wasn't on the menu so "BOO", but on the whole the desert, along with the meal was spot on and just what we wanted after a long day walking around markets and spending money.
I would go again, for sure - but would make sure the set menu is actually a set THREE COURSE menu prior to ordering, instead of being typically English and not saying anything.
7/10 - would have been a point higher overall if we weren't effectively ripped off, and for £160 I expect a lot.
12 Mar 2010
I want to see how far I can push this idea, how many memories I can find in snapshots. Influences regarding project ideas may be similar, but my memories can never be invaded by others - the times I remember and value. I loved being a kid, I had no responsibilities - and now? I want to be responsible for what i've become and what I might remember. No one can take that away from me
9 Mar 2010
I'm falling out of love with being open and talkative, maybe I should be a miserable shit like most of the infamous and fabulous artisans are? maybe there is a reason a lot of influential creative minds are reclusive?
...I had a lovely afternoon lazing infront of the sofa watching daytime television.
Anyways, since I felt like I haven't done much today I figured i'd share some guy I found online.. I love most of his work, it's exactly what I want to do, I want a website with everything i've ever dreamed of doing on - one day I will achieve this.
blog title taken from this.
I like his work very very much, it's a pity you can't get Polaroid film/cases anywhere... I have two 600 series Polaroids, I am very tempted to use them.
8 Mar 2010
These images are the result of a bit of an experimentation with an Infrared filter and my DSLR - even though there's no filter on the flash the effect is still quite noticeable (some self portraits on flickr page). As soon as the other bits and bobs arrive that I bought off ebay I can get this project properly on the road but the basis of this project is memories lo and behold, the mighty Nesquick spoon.
It's a long story, better typed on a computer I think.
I would much prefer being at home or on my way to purchase a IR filter for my DSLR out of desperation, peer assessments next week.. Eek!!
Wow this film has over 40mins left, my stomach is rumbling like crazy - yawn!
7 Mar 2010
Before I start I must confess that we didn't go to see the film in 3D, it plays havoc with my eyes and head and my mother is not a fan either - so instead we opted for the 2D version at a local cinema (Odeon Chatham). The showing we were in was the 17:15, perfect timing for a chinese buffet straight afterwards.
I must say I have been looking forward to this film for quite some time, ever since I heard that Burton had got his wonderfully creative mits on the film - and do what he does best, make stories that extra bit darker. I was, or rather am a fan of the original animation - the lucid colours and ridiculously surreal story soften my heart, but I was eager to see a feature length "acted" version, even with high amounts of digital animating which is evident in most recent Burton films. I was also eager to see none other than Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, as for some reason it excited me oh so much and I grew quite fond of seeing Mr Depp plastered in every newspaper with ginger hair and psychadelic eyes.. and i've got to say, after seeing the film in its entirety still think he looke fabulous.
Now, to the opinionated part - and I shall try to be as neutral as I can but be warned - I am a Depp fan and at a push a Burton fan, I love the majority of the films they have done together (Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood, Sweeney Todd, Edward Scissorhands) and of course the features they have worked on separately... and I know for a fact that a lot of reviews will centre around the "Depp/Burton/Bonham Carter" saga of creating masterpieces but I instead want to give my thoughts on the film as it stands and not just on my love for the cast.
Actually, I am lying as I have got to say - without giving any spoilers the cast of the animated creatures (voice overs, etc) were spectacular, Barbara Windsor as the doormouse - Stephen Fry as Cheshire Cat the list goes on! even though I knew which actors/actresses voiced which animated marvels I still didn't feel as though they were separated... to me it felt as though the characters were genuine, real - even plausible to be realistic but then again I do have quite an imagination and I am a sucker for the original Alice in Wonderland, so I think my joy at seeing the characters rendered into better quality made me quite giddy - either that or it was the bottled water I had.
I am going to continue in short point as I just noticed the time and I do feel quite tired after such a long day - I will edit at a later time (ie. tomorrow) if I feel the need.
The main thing I noticed was the storyline, I felt quite lost - I figured the film was perhaps a mish mash of both Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass since I didn't think the first story included Tweedledum and Tweedledee, nor the Jabberwocky - but then again I haven't read the books for quite some time!
The unknown actress who played Alice was perfect, I couldnt help pick up notations of sarcasm and wit - whether that be intentional an in the script I do not know but it lightened the mood somewhat during the more chaotic scenes. The lady is stuning, perfect to play Alice and I am insanely jealous of her hair!
The Cheshire Cat, March Hare, Rabbit and other creatures were really well executed, as in... animated, they just appeared perfect, especially the rather odd March Hare - and I have major love for the cat, I am a bit of a Fry fan too so that has clouded my judgement a tad... plus the fact I have no technical knowledge in animating or anything film related, I am winging this review as an extension of my opinion.
The ending felt rushed, I wont go too much into it as people get annoyed when they catch a major spoiler... but even though it was a fictional film, fictional storyline - it still felt a little farfetched... and the stand off between the white and red queens' was not well enough explained (along with Alice's history, the relationshi with her father and Wonderland, her situation (I didn't get the whole proposal thing, we didn't know enough) etc etc.
I think maybe it could have had another half an hour on it easily.. it was barely 2 hours long (not postive on this, just what it felt like) and I would have easily sat there for a bit longer for a more inventive opening scenes and ending.
Over all I really enjoyed the film, regardless of the negative points i've picked out (mainly cause i'm tired) - I can't help wonder what the difference is with the exeperience between 2D and 3D, I can imagine the shrinking and growing would be more impressive - along with several other aspects of the film.
Okay so if i'm gona review films more often I guess i'd better start scoring, so out of 10 I give Alice in Wonderland 2D a respectable 8/10 - mainly due to the overall appearance and creativeness of the film, and the fact that the cast were well chosen (regardless of what people think of Burton for working with the same people. If I was judging the film merely on the flow and storyline the score would be lower, probaby a 7/10 since I didn't feel as though it flowed, and the Jabberwocky scared me a little bit so marks down for that (this is a PG film, there are some animated violence that families should be aware of).
4 Mar 2010
Here are some images I have found on flickr that I find to be along the lines of what i'd like to achieve.
"Dead" - flickr set
"warm to the touch" flickr set
"what do you see?" flickr
"salvaged IR" - flickr
The main thing I love about Infrared black and white photography is how dreamlike the images can appear, depending on the exposure an light used to light the object/figure. Natural light appears to give a "softer" appearance, whereas studio lighting gives a harsher (relative, since Infrared film seems to be softer) white highlights.
When I start shooting I will experiment with both natural light and harsh flash light, but in different locations or rather - situations. I will be shooting with flash in darkness, complete darkness if possible - and will fire the flash with a "makeshift" infrared filter attached (processed unexposed slide film), invisible light anyone? I think this will result in two sets of images with a definite differing feel to them.
I haven't yet decided whether I will shoot on location (at "home") or in a studio, since I will be working with important objects to me - i.e. sentimental value and breakables, I may shoot at home.
I now need to find somewhere that processed infrared film, hmmm
3 Mar 2010
I present to you several grainy, out of focus, dull contrast images taken with my trusty Konica point and shoot (F4, ISO - 100/400) ...it really is indestructable, I dropped it twice while in Germany (with film in, plastic broke off the camera) and both rolls came out okay. I love the grain.
[More images can be found HERE]