23.12.04

Dull Men's Club: full of interesting trivia, like the origin of the word trivia! Talking of which, I was fascinated to find out that 'naff' was polari for Not Available For Fucking, that 'nonce' is an acronym for Not On Normal Courtyard Exercise, and that berk as in 'you stupid berk' is rhyming slang for Berkshire Hunt.
Dick Heckstall-Smith RIP: saw him in the Graham Bond Organisation at Manchester's Oasis club in 1965 -- even got his autograph!
Why get cross about Xmas? -- Merry Xmas everyone!
Letter: Existing rail link already avoids central London -- save the Brighton to Watford line, quickest way to get from here to Manchester!

17.12.04

Burchill flats get go-ahead: 30s houses make way for 'affordable housing', ie blocks of ugly flats! Can't believe I'm on the side of the tories on this one!

9.12.04

Prizewinning artist's debt to professor: Turner prize winner Jeremy Deller studied for an MA in British art history and critical theory at Sussex University in 1992"

6.12.04

Max Fleischer - The thin black line: fascinating insight into the creator of Betty Boop and Popeye the sailor.

26.11.04

Burchill blasts 'hypocrite' opponents: developer Julie's money-making scheme for so-called 'affordable housing', ie flats, runs into opposition.

25.11.04

Letter: Congratulations on City of Brighton Excellence award: dear old Gavin, former Director of the Brighton Festival, gets a CBE.
Towering vision for station site: now we'll know what they plan to put on the old railway works site -- should have been the Albion stadium in my opinion!

8.11.04

Fred Dibnah loses cancer battle: another loss -- a great character who lived not far from where I were brought up..

6.11.04

Letter: Service at risk: this is the Brighon to Watford service that I use to get to Manchester -- not only does it avoid central London but qualifies for a cheaper Virgin ticket. Call this progress??

31.10.04

Went to see the seven-piece Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain last night at the Lewes Live Lit festival. Very amusing in a muso knowing sort of way, and a hugely diverse repertoire: from Kate Bush to 'Satellite of Love', to 'Running Wild' to 'Je t'aime' to a cossak version of 'Leaning on a lamp post'! Every tune a delight -- they can sing too! Earlier went to see Glen Baxter (also v. amusing) and get my books signed.

22.10.04

The world of bicycles: great photos from around the world. Never realised Brooklyn Bridge had a cycle path!

21.10.04

West Pier is big draw for artists: great day for Brighton Illustrators Group and Cartoon County -- we were on the BBC local news too.

19.10.04

101 years in 101 words: chav is the word for 2004!
Great David Devant & His Spirit Wife gig at Komedia upstairs last night, better than the mosh pit downstairs last time. Quite civilised. But no spectral roadies and grated carrot! Great songs tho and I can't wait for 'About it' to go to No 1! And £3.20 for a pint of warm lager? Komedia -- NO!

15.10.04

Went to Felix Dennis's 'Did I mention the free wine tour' at Komedia last night. Very odd event -- a bit more like a wedding reception than a poetry reading! Lots and lots of (very nice) wine and waiters coming round with canapes -- I got quite drunk. Dennis read his rhyming poetry like a gruff bingo caller from a lectern, with the words appearing on a screen behind him. He got shirty with a heckler (who wanted to light up a gasper, like wot he was doing). Recommended. All poetry readings should be like this!
Starbucks cup fault - product recall -- how to make a Starbucks coffee cup say 'Fuck off'!

14.10.04

End of an era looms for historic hotel: The Ocean Hotel in Saltdean is to be demolished! I seem to remember it having splendid Art Deco murals in the dining room.

8.10.04

Travel writer Pete McCarthy dies: another obit.
Pete McCarthy RIP terrible news -- I went to all his recent readings at the Greys -- and went on his 'Black magic and boredom in Hove' coach tour (pub crawl) soon after I moved down to Brighton -- also remember the Hangover Show with free Bloody Mary -- his two books were great and I believe there was another in the pipeline...

28.9.04

Collecting Ladybird books: a guide from Sunday's Indy.
Fair trade protesters greet delegates -- I was there! Did a few Labour Party conference fringe meetings last night too -- saw Tony Benn and mingled with Gordon Brown at a Spanish do. Too many hotel sandwiches and much too much red wine!

24.9.04

eBay item 2491045552 (Ends 03-Oct-04 16:45:00 BST) - 1961 Ford Consul Classic 315 de luxe 4 door saloon: finally put my classic car up for sale! ;(
Queen of Burlesque Stella Starr shakes a tassel at Toulouse-Lautrec's cabaret drawings and tells us what it really feels like to be on stage. Her essay 'wot she wrote' on the Courthauld Institute website.

20.9.04

My photos of the demolished buildings on New England Street, part of the Station Site, and the demolition of Preston Place have been uploaded to My Brighton and Hove.

16.9.04

How watercolor brushes are made -- fascinating facts about where our brushes come from... errr fluffy little animals!
Letter: Nan Tuck's tavern: there should be a law against changing pub names! And removing beer pumps! And charging over three quid a pint for p*ssy continental young-person's lager! And removing all flock wallpaper, plush, carpets and comfy chairs that used to absorb the sound of chattering! And having resident DJs to add more noise! Don't get me started...

15.9.04

Went to the Barbican Art Gallery yesterday to see Rick Poynor's 'Communicate: British Independent Graphic Design since the Sixties' exhibition. Great selection, must've been hard deciding what to leave out! Saw a strange 1960 film by Bruce Lacey -- very Spike Milligan! Also had the good fortune to hear Daniel Libeskind talk -- his exhibition is downstairs.

14.9.04

Had a nice cup of tea and a sit down (a small cappuccino actually) with Nicey from the Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down website -- Mmmm Nice -- yesterday at the Off Beat in Sidney Street. He was down in Brighton, not for the TUC conference, but a publishers and bookshop jolly to celebrate his forthcoming book. Did a brief tour of the teashops, but as it was past 5pm, most were closed.

12.9.04

An Evolutionary Architecture by John Frazer: An Evolutionary Architecture was published in January 1995 to coincide with an exhibition of the same name at the Architectural Association and is now available online.
Stumbled in to the fascinating Blip art-science forum at the art school on Saturday, discovered through a listing in the Insight. Pleased to see a mesmerising Paul Brown piece and a talk by John Frazer on evolutionary architecture, back from Hong Kong and working with Frank Gehry. Julia Frazer was there too.

8.9.04

Ocean's deep in history -- the Ocean Hotel in Saltdean is about to close? Another Deco disaster?

1.9.04

Blip art-science forum -- intersting looking exhibition etc coming up. Features Paul Brown -- one of my favourite computer artists.
Letter: The best idea yet for the West Pier -- more support for Nick Cave's idea.

26.8.04

Sussex pubs ban hats -- outrageous!! I was once asked to remove my hat at the bar of a pub in West London...

15.8.04

Edinburgh Art Festival: the formation of the Edinburgh Art Festival is a great encouragement to us in the Open House movement in the May Brighton Festival. Nick Dodds, the director of the Brighton Festival, has been ruthlessly adopting the 'Edinburgh Festival model' here -- ie inventing an artificial 'Fringe' in which to offload and marginalise anything not 'officially programmed', including almost all the visual arts. Maybe Richard Demarco's remarks may help him reconsider his snubbing of Brighton's unique selling point -- the thousands of artists who live, work and exhibit here, through the hundreds of Open Houses.

14.8.04

Art world attacks festival's musical focus: Edinburgh's art world has hit back at what it sees as the 'patently absurd' exclusion of the visual arts from the Edinburgh international festival. Richard Demarco, the veteran programmer who has been a key figure in the city's arts scene for decades, co-founding the Traverse Theatre and enticing such artists as the late Joseph Beuys to Edinburgh, said: 'You are morally responsible for including visual art - or you mustn't call it the greatest festival in the world'. Brighton Festival already has a vibrant, yet under-appreciated, visual arts component -- the Open Houses -- though you could get the impression that Nick Dodds wished it would quietly go away! As a dedicated follower of the Edinburgh Festival model, might we now see a change in Dodds' policy of snubbing the visual arts?

13.8.04

Romantic ruin -- my letter about the structure that was formerly the West Pier.

31.7.04

21.7.04

Letter: What's the point of demolishing the skeleton structure at the end of the pier? Good point!

19.7.04

The Times didn't like it!
Went to see Michael Nyman's opera Man and Boy: Dada at the Almeida, London. Not the best Nyman, no good tunes and I can't get to grips with the opera convention of singing conversations in vibrato. Not impressed by the grid of cubes on stage, tho the video backdrop was quite interesting. Nearly 30 quid a ticket up in the circle; beer 3 quid a bottle! But how nice the old bus tickets were...

13.7.04

2.7.04

Staying out for the summer is a sarcastic piece by Caroline Sullivan in the Grauniad in which she describes an 'anorak' who plans his entire life around summer music festivals, working at short-term IT jobs in the winter to fund his habit. The person in question is based on a friend of mine (she is his landlady!), although he says he would never be seen at the bland, corporate rock nonsense of V, T in the Park, or Reading. She presumably would be horrified at the thought of getting her feet muddy to actually attend the gigs she reviews?

25.6.04

Pier's concert hall collapses: "The concert hall on Brighton's crumbling West Pier finally crashed into the sea as storms pounded Sussex yesterday." Time to stop talking about 'restoration' and think of new uses for the remaining structure? A reef perhaps?
My letter to the Argus Letter: No excuse: First published on Thursday 24 June 2004: Letter: No excuse I was outraged by Southern's blanket ban on cyclists using its trains last Sunday. The first I heard of it was a recorded announcement on Friday at London Road station, which stated that no bikes were to be allowed on any train to any destination in the region for most of the day. I was aware of the ban on cycles taking part in the London-to-Brighton ride but why such a widespread ban? The excuse given was that the new 'improved' trains cannot have seats removed but, as any commuter will tell you, the older, more flexible slam-door trains are far from out of service yet. And I did read recently that slam-door trains were to be kept on stand-by in case the city had to be evacuated after a terrorist attack. Why couldn't these be brought back into service for just one day in the year? -Alan (Fred) Pipes, Brighton"

22.6.04

Just been up to Hull for the weekend, for Rick Welton's summer party, on fabulous Hull Trains. Managed to take in some culture on Sunday at Hull Time-Based Arts: Anna Myatt singing concrete poetry etc (highlight for me was Cathy Berberian's 1966 Stripsody) alternating with more spoken word and sound loops from Scott Langthorp mixing and scratching four decks assisted by blobs of Blue-tack. An open-mic session after at the Lamp with Audrey, who introduced us to rude soca, such as 'Ah Fraid Pussy Bite Me', possibly by Mighty Sparrow?
Another letter about Brighton's soapbox anarchist
Letter: Russian was a prince among men: a blue plaque for Kropotkin?

18.6.04

Royal stamp for man of letters: Eric Gill, local lad! His lettering (Gill Sans) will appear on one of a series of stamps being issued to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA)

11.6.04

Ray Charles, father of soul music, dies at 73 RIP. One of my first ever singles was 'I Can't Stop Lovin' You' -- not particularly characteristic of Charles, but a lovely song nevertheless. Another 1962 purchase was James Darren's 'Conscience'.

10.6.04

Mort Walker coined various words to describe cartoon effects: words like emanata, plewds, squeans, briffits and lucaflect.
The Nike Swoosh logo was designed in 1971 by student Carolyn Davidson for $35.
The CND logo also known as the peace symbol was designed in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a professional designer and artist and a graduate of the Royal College of Art. The symbol incorporates the semaphore letters N(uclear) and D(isarmament).
Added Chris Ware pic to my Fred Pipes flattering photos page.
I've posted some pix of Neil Innes and Kevin Ayres in Brighton on my music page.
Went to the 'secret' British Sea Power gig at the Freebutt last night. Nearly didn't get in -- the doorperson couldn't find my name on the list, even after two searches -- then the other doorperson spotted it! Caught the end of Morton Valence (quite good), and saw all of Beaver County (guitarist kept whinging about the amount of talking and threatened to do only one number!). I was near the front, but when BSP came on, lots of tall young men pushed to the front and started moshing vigorously! So I retired to the back, eventually standing on a chair vacated by Lisa Wolfe. No twigs, no merchandise, no encore, but a loud, exciting and dynamic set in this tiny venue.

9.6.04

I can heartily and thoroughly recommend Paul Stapleton's comic book 'i must rise above these divs + defects'. I read it cover to cover this morning -- not because it's short, but because it's very unputdownable and also very funny. Available at Pussy and various comic shops. Paul is lead singer in Anal Beard amongst other things... Comic books -- the highest possible art form!
An excellent idea for the West Pier to be reborn as a Peace Pier -- hopefully incorporating a reef underwater?

Ballpoints, Chris Ware and Seth

Went up to London yesterday on the hottest day of the year (30 degrees C?) and the transit of Venus. Took a 52 bus to Notting Hill and saw the Ballpoint exhibition at Pentagram -- if you ever feel like moaning about the cost of art materials, just pick up a (free) ballpoint and be inspired by these guys! Then took a few buses via Paddington and Oxford Street for a couple of sub-two quid pints of Samuel Smiths with Nick at The Chandos near Trafalgar Square - also had some revolting chip-style snacks called 'spiral fries' full of fat and salt and probably not much potato! It's salads for me for the next few days, to make up! Then over to the ICA for a Chris Ware and Seth talk, a launch of a special cartoon issue (no 13) of McSweeney's and a couple of lovely Seth books: 'Clyde Fans: Part One' (not about Glasgow!) and 'Bannock, Beans & Black Tea'. Chris did a slide show from his Powerbook of the layout and content of McSweeneys and Seth spoke from the lectern with a little 'dinger' to indicate that Chris change to the next 'slide'. Paul Gambaccini moderated but seemed to be obsessed with how miserable cartoonists seemed to be -- 'the Leonard Cohens of art'. Saw an enlightening French film on Ware, which he seemed to hate! Afterwards queued outside in The Mall to get my Quimby the Mouse book signed (the bookshop had closed!) and asked him various techie questions. He asked me if I was a cartoonist and I replied 'illustrator'. I should have added that I'm too damn lazy to be a cartoonist!

8.6.04

Interview with Vessel from David Devant and His Spirit Wife at vanity project

6.6.04

Looking forward to the Vivian Stanshall prog on BBC Four on Friday. here are some clips.

5.6.04

According to Andy Roberts - News & Information it seems that Andy and Neil Innes have fallen out: "It's a great dissapointment that we have to report that Andy Roberts will not be part of any future Rutles performances." Come on guys! Let's make up and be friendly!

30.5.04

Went to see a couple of new Rough Theatre plays at the Open House pub on Friday night. First off: it's not far from home and they do a decent pint of Harveys for £2.40. John (fringeguerilla) said get there by 7.30, so I did, but they weren't open. So I went out in the garden by the railway where Jonny the ex-lodger and his chugger friends were drinking. Went up again and was admitted. I was the only member of the audience!! Sat 3 rows back on the groom's side of the aisle -- on my own. Thankfully 5 other people arrived and sat on the bride's side before off. First up was 'Picaresque' by Alan Morrison, a poem for 4 voices a la Under Milk Wood about a dossers' night shelter seen as a pirate ship. A bit hard to follow for me, especially with the throbbing young persons' music downstairs. After an interval, a couple more punters arrived and we got 'Graduates anonymous' by John O'Donoghue -- much more entertaining. It was about a support group for graduates having to live at home with parents. Some very funny lines in it (tho apparently the actors missed a few chunks out!). A new Abigaile's party? Nice chat and another pint with the writers, audience and actors, most of who seemed to be students of journalism at the City College.
What to look for when collecting old Ladybird books -- a fascinating read! I've a long way to go with my collection!
Review of David Devant at Tunbridge Wells, 29 May 2004. They got a mention in the Indy today on p25 of the ABC section.

28.5.04

Saw Gorgeous George on TV last night promoting RESPECT - The Unity Coalition. Yo! respect! what a good idea...
Georgian fireplaces lost in art store blaze: "Rare fireplaces worth £1.2 million, removed from an historic house in Brighton, were lost in the warehouse blaze which destroyed works by modern artists Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst."

27.5.04

Great :-: Anal Beard :-: gig last night at the Richmond, errr I mean Pressure Point, to launch their fab new CD 'Din Noir'. Caught the end of Eastfield's set and bought their single (on green vinyl) of 'Ooo Ahhh just a little bit'. Des B and his Port Slade posse spotted in the rather thin audience.

25.5.04

City bids to bag winter festival cash: "Brighton and Hove will stage a new winter festival if plans for a spectacular series of shows are supported by the Government." Pie in the sky or another gravy train??

21.5.04

Cycled through the tailend of a thunderstorm last night to see David Darling and the Bunun Singers at St George's church in Kemp Town. There was DD at the back against a badly creased backdrop of mountain forest, a string quintet (including a bass player just called Jub) and about 30 swaying indiginous Taiwanese chanters in national costume. There was also an irritating ambient soundtrack of chirping, birdsong and treefrog noises, which along with dripping water from the roof gave us the rain forest experience. The men paraded out with rifles!! Blimey, hope they weren't loaded! First song was a 2001 A Space Oddesy type men-only circle dance ascending chant emulating bees and praying for a good millet harvest with which to make beer. Then the Bunun women came on and we had a more polyphonic Hawaiian type sound with DD adding a bluesy feel. All in all, a very unusual sound -- quite spiritual in a way. It was a called a collaboration, but I imagine the Bunun boys and girls were just doing their 'traditional' thing, and DD and Quietus were joining in. We also got one very short experimental solo piece from DD, and some of his singing! Wine sales (no millet beer!) in the interval went to Amnesty International.
Our Open Houses First published on Thursday 20 May 2004: Letter: Our Open Houses Pardon me, but I have a better claim than Norma Binnie to having begun the Open Houses. In 1982 I was Ned Hoskins' co-conspirator in opening the first Open House in Brighton. At the time, Brighton Open Studios (which Norma cited as synonymous with the Open Houses), were dying. The previous year, Ned and I did visit the diminishing number of open studios but rather than vowing to continue a tradition, we opted for something new. Our open house concept was to show a variety of original works of art in a domestic setting and to offer the works for sale at an affordable price. This was quite different from inviting study of an artist's work and studio techniques. Today, with the advent of working from home, many artists' studios are in their houses and visitors can catch them at work. But this is not the main reason they flock to the open houses. They're also looking to purchase unique artwork directly from their host or one of their guest artists. They also want to be entertained and educated. They crave inspiration, social interaction and, perhaps, some exercise as they walk from house to house. Sorry, Norma, but the Open Studios didn't bring this about. You weren't there when we burnt our furniture in the garden and hung our first show. You had nothing to do with our early efforts to generate publicity, sponsorship and visitors. And, to my knowledge, you've not been involved in the subsequent development of the Fiveways Group or the wider promotion of the open house concept. Enduring successes do attract groupies but without Ned Hoskins there would be no Open Houses and nothing to hijack. -Stella Cardus, Creative director, Desktop Display Limited, www.display.co.uk"

17.5.04

After hearing an item on Melita Dennett's show on Radio Reverb, Saturday morning, I cycled down the front yesterday to see an exhibition at Medina House, a strange half-demolished building next to Marrocco's ice cream cafe that used to be a turkish baths, now squatted. The exhibition was called 'Secret erotic flock box' and comprised female erotic art (oo-er!), 'flock' wallpaper of the Pavilion and little exquisite secret boxes. Also watched our new cycle bobbies at work along Hove Esplanade, visited an exhibition by Red Hen (who?) in the newly restored St Andrew's Church, Waterloo Street, bought some spices at Taj Mahal, spotted an Anal Beard CD next door at that gallery whose name escapes me (Permanent?), shopped at poshy-poo Waitrose and not so poshy-poo Robert Dyas, visited Andrew Mockett's exhibition at Ian Brown's house on Rosehill Terrace and had a glass of something fruity at Judy Martin's pv on Viaduct Road. Had a night in!

15.5.04

Great Neil Innes gig last night in the packed Spiegeltent, on Brighton's pavilion lawn, despite a late start and short sound check (caused by previous show over-running). Neil and friends (weirdy beard Tom Fry on double bass and JJ Jones on drums) did all the usual Neil things plus a couple of Python songs -- the minstrel song and the philosophers song -- because Carol Cleveland was in da house! He even put the duck on his head for an encore of 'How sweet...' But... pissy beer at £3 a pint and no toilets!! Mind you, the noise ban for the Festival Club seems to have been lifted -- lots of loud Tamla to dance to....
Letter: Our Open Houses are not her Open Studios First published on Friday 14 May 2004: Letter: Our Open Houses are not her Open Studios Pardon me, but I think Norma Binnie is in error (Letters, May 12). As both a former member of Brighton Open Studios and a founder member of Fiveways Artists' Open Houses, I feel I must write in support of my friend and fellow artist, Ned Hoskins. Brighton Open Studios (B.O.S.) would have been B.O.S.H. had it had the word 'houses' attached to it, which it didn't. When I joined in about 1979, the organisation was already all but defunct and I have never knowingly even met Ms. Binnie. By then, not one artist opened their studios and what exhibitions were put on were all at 166-168 Kings Road Arches. I know the three other former members of B.O.S. who have since joined Fiveways Artists' Open Houses would agree that the concept of showing your own and others' artwork in your home was Ned's and Ned's alone. The legacy of Brighton Open Studios is in its name above its premises on the seafront which has just celebrated its 25th anniversary, whereas the legacy of Ned's first 'Open House' in 1982 is now all over the city of Brighton and Hove and beyond. -Philip Dunn, Ditchling

10.5.04

Been trying to compile a list of all the songs The Beatles covered in their early days. This website -- The Roots of the Beatles -- has already done some of the leg work!

5.5.04

3.5.04

I got sent Saga Magazine unsolicited the other day. Blimey, I thought, am I that old? I was about to chuck it away when I started to browse and actually found it quite interesting! Not only was there an article about Raymond Briggs and lots of gag cartoons, but an interview with Wendy Cope. Love her lines about parties from 'Being boring': I don't go to parties. Well, what are they for, If you don't need to find a new lover? You drink and you listen and drink a bit more And you take the next day to recover. I can empathise with that! At least with private views there's usually something to look at!

2.5.04

The Brighton Festival kicked off yesterday (notice I don't use the word 'fringe'!) and I sold three of my linocuts in the first morning! They are in The Dragonfly House, part of Beyond the Level -- scroll down to the bottom of the page to see an example. Also went to Ditchling to the opening of the Picture Book exhibition, starring Chris McEwen and Carol Lawson, John Vernon Lord, Val Biro, Jane Hissey, Alan Baker, Justin Todd, Leo Hartas, Chris Riddell and many others. Well worth a visit, and you get to see the Eric Gill stuff as well in a quirky old-fashioned museum.

30.4.04

Ladybirds at the Towner

Went to Eastbourne on the train with Karen Donnelly to see 'Another time, another place' -- Ladybird artwork on show at the Towner, featuring Martin Aitchison and John Berry. This is the same exhibition that started at Simon Finch Art in Portobello Road (in the Grauniad on 28 February), not the 'Art of Ladybird books' that was on at the Cheltenham Art Gallery in 2002 and was going to tour around. Wonder where it is now? It was great to see these little gouache pictures close up -- mostly from Key Words reading scheme books and the People at work series. They are photographic, but still reveal the hand of the artists, in painterly dabs and marks. Great details that they probably wouldn't get away with now, like Donald Duck and Birds Custard. Nice to see how the pictures were reworked by the same artist from the staid 60s to the more right-on 70s. Prices were around the £1200 to £2000 mark. My favourites were Berry's engineering ones with stark white and grey almost abstract interiors. Also checked out the Ravilious section and, thanks to a tip from the curator (who liked my hat), we had an excellent lunch in Sussex's oldest pub The Lamb, opposite -- carrot and coriander soup with tons of granary bread followed by spotted dick and custard (just like Peter and Jane might have had) washed down with Harvey's light mild. Get a bus to Safeways from stand K if it's raining!

29.4.04

My first book as illustrator for monday 2 friday books has just arrived -- The Good Pirate. Hope it sells well!

28.4.04

Can Blue men sing the Whites?: had a trawl through my old diaries yesterday and can positively say I saw the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, supported by Dave (David?) Anthony's Moods on Saturday 1 October 1966 in the great hall of Battersea College of Advanced Technology/University of Surrey (designate), Battersea Park Road.

27.4.04

Woo! Yay! my modest blog has been linked to by the blog of Simon Thornton: A Mutual Misunderstanding -- one of the first people in Brighton to be on the internet and a great mac tech help to me when I was starting out! A handful of us Pavilion/Mistral pioneers used to meet in the Greys (we had to sit outside cos Tom Hadfield, inventor of Soccernet was only 12 and Tom Shepherd was only 16!) -- I was the oldest there -- but I don't think Simon ever turned up!
'Can you spare five minutes for charity?' -- the chugger debate rattles on -- why don't they ever stop me and ask me for dosh? Maybe I don't look rich enough....
Peter and Jane go the art gallery -- the Ladybird travelling exhibition finally hits Eastbourne. Hope to go on Thursday.

26.4.04

I've been setting down my recollections of the British Blues boom of the mid-1960s. Post-punk next!

23.4.04

Kevin Ayers is appearing at Brighton's Komedia end of May. In Edinburgh last year I had a fit of nostalgia and bought one of his early CDs Shooting at the moon at Fopp, followed by another one back in Brighton (lots of extra tracks!). What a line-up: David bedford, Lol Coxhill and a very young Mike Oldfield! The babies on the cover of Whatevershebringswesing was coloured in by Adrian Boot -- I was round his house when he was doing it!

22.4.04

Natasha Kaplinsky features in one of the songs on my nephew-in-law Richard's band Anal Beard (which apparently isn't rude but a reference to obsessive record collectors). I'm going to write to her for an autograph!
Searched high and low for an Endofstory book yesterday, even went on a wild goose chase to the Marina cos a lady in the One-stop bus ticket shop at the bottom of St James's Street said there was a Waterstones near Cliff Richard's Walk of fame plaque. There is no Cliff plaque and no Waterstones at the Marina! Eventually got one thanks to a BBC Southern Counties compo, which I just picked up! Was on the wireless yesterday at the crack of dawn talking about cycle lanes...

16.4.04

Another wildcard for the festival and a chance to see inside Embassy Court: Stories High.
My wildcard for the festival: Save Fische!, an exhibition in ex-German minesweeper on Shoreham riverbank

5.4.04

A good resource for finding that quiet real-beer pub down the back streets of central London: fancyapint? - the guide to London pubs
Some photos I took on my APS Canon Ixus of The Rutles at 100 Club, 30 March 2004. We missed the encore to run for the 12.05 train back to Brighton. According to fellow blogger Nick, I missed: Let's be natural, Get up and go, and Back in '64 with Barry Wom doing his paper-tearing routine! Support was Wreckless Eric and I bought his autobiography from the man himself, signed and all. Bit of a long day -- up for a meeting/lunch in the Channel 4 canteen, then on to a combo ticket at Tate Britain for Pre-Raphaelite vision (disappointing mainly landscape paintings, lots of toffs with magnifying glasses) and In-a-gadda-da-vida with Damian Hirst et al. Liked the big fish tank with (plastic?) meat; the rest a bit puerile, esp. Sarah Lucas's Smam 'n' ciggy stuff. With a pint or two on the way, finally at a pub with amazing stained glass windows and ample portions of chips called The Champion.

3.4.04

The first full-frontal portrait of an Egyptian pharaoh has been discovered -- also an early use of the grid!

31.3.04

My review of the Billy Bragg concert at the Dome last Saturday in Virtual Brighton Magazine.

28.3.04

A new blog by fringeguerilla planning a protest over the fragmentation of the Brighton Festival and the amount it costs to get into the brochure!
Jack Vettriano�s just an illustrator � and the problem is? - [Sunday Herald] Muriel Gray on why galleries prefer vacuous conceptualism to breathtaking art!

25.3.04

It was only yesterday when Brian Grimwood dropped his slides off for tonight's BIG meeting that I discovered that one of my favourite illustrator/artists -- Glynn Boyd Harte -- had died! Here are some of his own words, written just before his last exhibition Apples and Artichokes. RIP.

24.3.04

My review of Lambchop at the Dome Monday night. Photos of Alison Lapper in the Founders' Room.

22.3.04

Bought John Lennon's jukebox from Amazon -- great selection, but disappointing that The Big Three's 'Some other guy' is on there rather than the original (which was on the South Bank Show!). What I'd like to see is a compilation of all the originals covered by the beat groups of the mid-60s...

19.3.04

Went to the launch of the Brighton Festival Fringe brochure last night at the Sallis Benny -- top nosh from Moshi Moshi and Redeli, lots of good red wine and congenial company. Shame they chopped the festival in two tho: an elitist set of concerts in the Dome complex for the toffs with parades and fireworks for the plebs in the main festival; and everything else marginalised into a Fringe ('the biggest in England'!).

18.3.04

At long last!! David Devant and his Spirit Wife have a new record out!! on the Outstanding Records label.
Pregnant applause? -- an Argus feature about the Marc Quinn sculpture of Alison Lapper due to fill the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square. I remember vividly seeing her degree show at Brighton Polyversity of photographic self-portraits -- initially a bit shocked but now full of admiration for her bravery in sticking up for non-standard people.

16.3.04

Great piece of scheduling last night: on Five at 7.30pm, Demolition Squad blew up three magnificent cranes in Liverpool, while at 8pm, over on Channel 4, Salvage Squad restored... a crane!

12.3.04

plz stfu bitch: scene at the call centre -- cruel but one can't help laughing!
My dear Manchester friend Lois Blackburn has done some cards and e-cards for Darlington -- gorgeous!
Forget Starsky and Hutch, went to see the bizarre 70s film Thundercrack at Brighton's other art cinema, Cinematheque. It wasn't at all the two chairs and a video TV (as in Monkey Dust) I imagined, but a comfy little cinema with proper seats and real film. Stella Starr and entourage were there, her shrieking with laughter thoughout this odd and very rude film. The great Stewart Home, author of Cunt and publisher of Smile, amongst many other works, has a website -- at least I think it's his.

10.3.04

Well! an old photo of me made the front page of a nostagia site called Potato Academy -- my potato year was 1968!

8.3.04

My old Guildford chum Jackie Wills gets a good mention in this Argus piece on poetry: It's poetic justice for women wordsmiths
Great video clips of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band on this Associated Rediffusion and Rediffusion London - Programmes (TV Ark) website -- doing Monster mash and The sound of music with Viv Stanshall never looking camper. We want a DVD and we want it NOW!!!!

29.2.04

The Field installation by Richard Box of several thousand fluorescent tubes 'planted' at the foot of a Bristol electricity pylon looks amazing -- shame I'll miss it.
An exhibition of Ladybird book illustrations called Happy days opens in London soon.

22.2.04

Never heard of the Tijuana Bibles before! Spotted a reference in today's Indy. Very rude!

13.2.04

Great animation -- simple but very effective.... and poignant!

12.2.04

Popped in to see Gavin Turk's maze at the White Cube -- not for the claustrophobic! Also some bronze painted binbags and a sleeping bag -- according to the handout, there was something called But, but I must have missed it. Was up in Town for an AOI Rights Grab seminar at the AOP. A street nearby had been dressed as Old Compton Street in the 50s/60s complete with old police cars and mocked up massage parlour. London, eh. Bomb scare at Farringdon tube on way home...

6.2.04

Historic railway in line for revival -- Volk's railway could solve some of Brighton's transport problems -- and it's been staring the planners right in the face all along!

5.2.04

And now Johnny has had enough and has left the jungle!
MediaGuardian.co.uk | Broadcast | Swearing -- useful chart on what words to avoid when on TV! Johnny Rotten said 'fucking cunts' the other night during the live bit of 'I'm a celeb, get me out of here' when they tell who's gotta leave...

2.2.04

My review of Daniel Kitson last Friday. The laconic guy on the front row was my chum Toyboy Toni! Action-packed weekend: first the PV of Jon Mills metalwork and Andrew Mockett woodcuts at the Museum -- about time they had some art in there, and local art to boot! Then Kitson round the corner at the Pav Theatre. Saturday did a fab bookbinding workshop with Open House regular Nicola Jackson and then down the Freebutt to see Avy's band The Fuck You Planet Earth with Shark... Car gone for its MOT today -- not looking good!

25.1.04

BBC - Burns Night - Homepage -- och aye! it's Burns night -- sadly I couldn't find a veggie haggis at Sainsburys so had to pay the extra at Sunny Foods. My neeps (swede) and tatties are at the ready, as is my wee dram of malt.. Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie, O, what a panic's in thy breastie!

20.1.04

Just been to see Lost in Translation at the Duke of York's -- wonderful film -- can't praise it enough -- the perfect love affair: grumpy old man (like me) and gorgeous young girl, ends after the first kiss... bliss!
Cartoon Laws of Physics -- defying gravity and Newton's Laws of Motion plus other assorted weirdness in the cartoon universe.

17.1.04

Gill Pyrah interview with Vivian Stanshall -- Christmas 1988 on a London radio station, probably LBC, reprinted in Mojo magazine as Viv promoted the Stinkfoot musical.

9.1.04

7.1.04

Last night I was invited to the the Dragonfly House of Marc and Angie to partake of a Galette du Roi from Brighton's Real Patisserie. Yum! Louis found the kangaroo and thus wore the crown. It's a French custom for Epiphany -- Twelveth Night. Who were the Three Kings? Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. And what on earth is myrrh?

6.1.04

American Splendor | Fine Line Features -- went to see American Splendor at the Duke of York's last night with Rick and Toni -- not as good as I was expecting (what DO you expect to see in a film about an irascible old man and his nutty wife?), tho good to see R Crumb's graphics -- and got a free cool 'Genuine nerd' badge or two in the bar. Not exactly the same as the one in the film, but never mind! Even worse!!! -- when I staggered home I caught the contestants in Shattered -- C4's see-who-can-stay-awake-longest version of Big Brother -- life drawing a (not young) nude model! The art teacher was a real cliche -- with a Viv Stanshall ginger beard and faded patchwork shirt!! (Where do art teachers get their shirts??)
BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Canary Island whistles again -- the ancient whistling language of the Canary Islands is to be made compulsory at school.