The Don Bradmans

The Don Bradmans, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

Finally got to see The Don Bradmans at the Cowley Club on Saturday night. Arrived at the mosh pit just as they launched into 'Hunting Tigers out in 'INDIAH''. They also did other Bonzos songs, including 'Mr Slater's Parrot' and 'By a waterfall', as well as their infamous MySpace ditty 'Bill Oddie's Body' and a song for Nick, called 'I'm Nick'. Nick bought me one too many pints of Straw Dogs so I was a bit drunk. Thoroughly enjoyed it tho, despite being lashed by flailing dreadlocks. This was after watching Joe Boyd and Robert Wyatt chew the fat about the 1960s at the Corn Exchange with the delectable Miranda Sawyer (who is a Turner Prize judge next year). Joe read from his book White Bicycles and told some amusing anecdotes about Jimi Hendrix jamming with Miles Davis. Robert Wyatt couldn't seem to remember much about the 60s, which is ok, cos as they say if you can remember it, you weren't there!

Blogging me, blogging you

I get a mention in Stephen Drennan's blog: steviecat: Friday 26th May 2006. There's also a photo of Mark Pawson in action on the RAG website. Other hot news: The Dragonfly House was voted Best Open House at a ceremony last night, more to follow!


Mark Pawson

Mark Pawson, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

My neighbour John Dilnot very kindly invited me to the PV of Mark Pawson's 'Hand Printed in my Living Room' exhibition at the diminutive Permanent Gallery on the Hove border. If you like postcards, badges, rubber stamps, stickers, ephemera and all that mail-art paraphernalia – and FREE stuff, you'll love this exhibition. Mark has temporarily relocated his work desk to Brighton and will be demonstrating his intrigueing printing technique using the enigmatic Japanese Gocco machine. He'll also be assembling postcards into Bucky Fuller-inspired pentagonal dodecahedrons (it's all down to that initial Y-shape). And selling Aggressive School of Cultural Workers T-shirts. Plenty else to buy too, including books, badges and his 'Print more post cards' set, featuring Gocco prints by John Dilnot and others. Get down there sharpish – it's only on until Sunday 28 May. More photos on Flickr.


Open House podcast

My latest podcast on Open House Online 2006, interviewing Jackie Jones, Kate Osborne and Des Buckley. This one was mixed in GarageBand (I did an online tutorial voiced by a very nasal American lady!) but I think Bill must have improved the balance between the interviews and my voiceover!


John Shuttleworth

With the Duke of Yorks, a perfectly good cinema serving interesting beers just round the corner, what am I doing sitting on a hard seat in the Komedia's versatile theatre space (which only last week served as a dance floor for David Devant) supping a three quid pint of piss in a plastic glass and watching a DVD playing on a tiny screen? Why, it's John Shuttleworth with his film 'It's nice up North'! We didn't actually see John in person (tho he made the announcements from back stage), but Graham Fellows did a Q&A at the end and introduced some DVD extras, including the excellent animation 'Unaccompanied Lady', and signed autographs in the bar - curiously he signed my DVD 'John Shuttleworth'! Hmmm... The film has been tightened up and has a different ending from the version I saw in Edinburgh last year, and if anything was even funnier second time around. Despite this being southerly Brighton, he did get a very warm reception, despite the unseasonable weather. It was my idea of a gig at the Cowley Club last Saturday, with Pog headlining a great line up, including Philip Jeays (the Jacques Brel of Brighton, Asbo Derek (who had a fine selection of badges for sale - Plums!) and Kevin 2 Sheds, all of whose backing bands seemed to contain Paul Stapleton, his sister, or a combination of the two. Free entrance and real beer (Festival and Straw Dogs) at 2 quid a pint. Top night out. The Don Bradmans next week!


Another podcast

This podcast, on Open House Online 2006 is a little more ambitious than the last one -- it is three interviews strung together and linked by voice-over. Bill Black did the joining up! Just wait until I get the hang of GarageBand!


Freddie Garrity RIP

Singer Freddie dies in hospital: "Freddie Garrity, the lead singer of the 1960s pop band Freddie and the Dreamers, has died in hospital. The 69-year-old, originally from Manchester, had been receiving treatment for what were described as 'circulation problems'." I got my nickname Fred at school from Freddie - he was short and wore glasses! His great album was one of the first I ever bought, on Bury Market for 37/6d and I saw him a couple of times at Bury Palais. Happy memories...

Chuck Sperry

Chuck Sperry, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

Well, after another stint of invigilation at The Dragonfly House. I got down to the Argus basement in time to catch the Chuck Sperry workshop and made my own silk screen poster!


Big Iron

Big Iron, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

The last time I saw Andy Roberts, he was on the stage of the Astoria in January taking part in the Bonzo reunion. Tonight he was sitting in a cage providing the music for Big Iron, a cowboy extravaganza by The Last Word Theatre Company upstairs at the Prince Albert. I'm no theatre goer but it was pretty entertaining, tho I got there just as it was about to start and didn't get a seat! It was hot as hell in there too. Take a fan, and don't sit in the front row. Yee har!

Mr Solo

mr_solo2, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

It was the annual gig of David Devant and his Spirit Wife at the Komedia Upstairs last night and I'm still in heaven. None of my worthless words can describe how happy I feel listening to my favourite live band. They were ably supported by Mr Solo, who strikes a remarkable resemblance to The Vessel (and apparently they share make up tips). His single 'Home sick home' should go straight to Number One, or there's no justice!


French fireworks

French fireworks, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

Joined what felt like the whole of Brighton in Preston Park at 10pm last night for a free performance by pyrotechnic performers Groupe F and The World Famous. Seemed to be something about the destruction of earth by petrol, but involved lit-up people with catherine wheels on their heads flying round an inflatable globe to the weird sounds of Mad Max-type instruments and lots of fireballs. Should have taken my camcorder, cos I haven't yet got the hang of snapping fireworks with my digital! 'Experience the unimaginable' said the Festival brochure, hmmm it wasn't that different to the last one they did, in 2002, except I was a bit closer this time. Try to imagine the smell of all that burning fuel? Took ages to get out of the park!

Gig posters

Gig posters, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

After a stint of invigilating at the Dragonfly Open House at 48 Ditchling Rise, I wandered into town for a quiet coffee and toasted teacake at Capers. Unfortunately Brighton was full of ex-drama student twats on stilts pretending to be surreal. 'Expect the unexpected', says the Festival brochure, oh no it's the Streets of Brighton! Oh how I hate audience participation, so i was intensely irritated by a pair of 'street artistes' running off with my bike, and then having a c**t steward in day-glo tabard tell me to move out of the way of the performance! All you can do is grin and endure it! So I escaped to the Argus basement for a wonderfully unexpected (genuine this time) Brighton Fringe exhibition of gig posters (thanks to Dan Thompson of RAG for the tip off). Why I wondered have I never seen fantastic posters like this on the street? Because, with a couple of exceptions, they are all from the US of A! It's an art that seems to have been lost here since the psychedelic sixties, despite artists like Jonny Hannah and Chris Watson producing silk-screened work. Just missed the workshop by Eleanor Grosch (Dan was seen clutching tight a free poster he'd made himself!), but I'll be back next Saturday for Chuck Sperry. BTW not sure about the name of the show, Sub Screen Sonic... but they are all for sale and apparently 50 have been postered up around the place. You find one, you keep it!


Engineerium saved

Tycoon's £3 million museum deal: "Mr Holland, 58, bought the £2 million British Engineerium building and its unrivalled collection of steam engines and engineering artefacts, valued by Bonhams at about £1.2 million, just after 10am yesterday."


Letter: Old and new need to be balanced

Letter: Old and new need to be balanced: "We are losing the Engineerium and the West Pier owing to the inactivity of a majority but we are also in danger of losing King Alfred and Falmer Stadium because of the overactivity of a minority." Good point!


Arthur Brown

Arthur Brown, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

Last night I went to Telscombe Village Hall to a party organised by Alan Baker and Jo Moore to raise funds for Charlotte's good works in Africa. There was a splendid covers band called Tongue and Groove playing everything from Bowie to the Kinks, even making a spirited attempt at 'I am the Walrus' - they certainly knew how to keep the oldies on the dancefloor. There was a guest spot from none other than 'The God of Hellfire' himself Arthur Brown in fine voice, who gave us 'Please don't let me be misunderstood', 'Hoochie Coochie Man' and 'I got my mojo working'. More photos on Flickr. I had to leave before the end to get a lift back to Brighton, but I've since heard he didn't come back to do 'Fire' - the art auction, raffle and donations raised £1903 for SOS and Save the Children in Zambia and Uganda. Telscombe must be the most isolated village in Sussex, being at the end of a very long cul-de-sac lane with magnificent views of the Downs.

It was a busy day yesterday, with the PV of The Dragonfly House in the morning, invigilation from 12 until 3, then a trip to Patcham. Sold a print, but bought a gorgeous Brian Grimwood ink drawing of a frog! Clarion ride today from Hassocks to Fulking and back. More PVs tonight...



PVs, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

Well, it's the first day of the Brighton Festival and last night saw the beginning of the PV season proper. Started at the Brighton treasure that is the Sussex County Arts Club off Bond Street (established in the 1920s), part of Central Brighton Artists trail. President Simeon Stout was on show, along with Bill Donohoe, Lucy Parker, Richard Newman and Darvish, who was exhibiting some of the rudest oil paintings I've ever seen!

Then cycled up the hill to 6 Clifton Street, one of the top Open Houses with a glittering list of some of my favourite artists: Gary Goodman, Jonny Hannah, Victor Stuart Graham (pictured above) and Judy Stevens herself. I got so intoxicated by the wine and company (met some old friends there I hadn't seen for years) that I bought one of her gorgeous linocuts of Shoreham Harbour. If you do go there, have a play with Johnny Weaver's drawers! Hours of fun. Now I'm dashing off to Angie Meaden-Bonnel's morning PV at The Dragonfly House up the road, where my modest efforts are occupying a small dark corner!


Bonzo Reunion DVD

The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band 40th Anniversary Celebration is due out any second. Shame about the missing tracks, which by my reckoning are: Hunting Tigers Out In 'INDIAH' On her doorstep last night Ali Baba's Camel Look Out, There's A Monster Coming Humanoid Boogie Tent Can Blue Men Sing the Whites Narcissus Promoter Bob has been on at me again about my photos on Flickr, which as a goodwill gesture I've made private, except for the one that decorates my blog (see January 2006 archive).

Shuttleworth demos

This website -- WFMU's Beware of the Blog: Audio Hoaxes and Urban Legends, Part 2: The Shuttleworth Family (MP3s) -- purports to contain early demo tapes of John Shuttleworth. See what you think...