My India -
Here’s a reblogged post from my friend Elz, I enjoyed reading it, you may too? Hold tight for an update from yours truly in the near future.
I miss the annoyance of having a power cut ever 2 seconds and running out of water. Washing my body from a bucket, washing my clothes the same way too. Putting tissue in the bin not down the loo. The blazing heat as it would fustrate me, drinking 5 litres of water a day and sweating the same…
The all knowing gospel of easily digestible ‘fact’; Wikipedia, gives nine disambiguations of the noun ‘hiatus’.
Amongst them are these:
The linguistic meaning; used to describe the lack of a consonant between adjacent phonetic vowels in a word i.e; ‘arrears’, ‘cooperate’ and ‘hiatus’ itself is an example. That took me back to A-level English Language.
There’s a Belgian ‘crust punk’ band named so. Go on, I challenge you to wikisearch that genre.
Musically it can refer to a minuscule shift in pitch.
In broadcasting it can refer to a break of several weeks in scheduling.
It can even be used in an anatomical sense, referring to a natural fissure in a structure. Who would’ve known? Thanks Wikipedia.
I am a product of my environment, of sorts. I believe we all are to an extent. When I think of a ‘hiatus’, my thoughts shift instinctively to scenes of the snotty nosed groans of misunderstood artistic youth. Disappointed and confused expressions fractured and contorted through the large crack in a recording studio window. The trashed interior of a Cotswold cottage. A press release that often contain lack lustre grumblings of ‘musical differences’ or ‘solo projects’. I have a severely modern take on the term; an action describing when a musician abandons their doting audience. A hiatus, to me, can be a term intrinsically linked with the action of giving up, retreating from the people and fans who’ve propped ones pedestal; cashing in your chips early.
If the term stirs within yourself any elements of the above? I instruct you to throw that imaginary rule book far, far out of your window, down the drain, in a skip, shred those small print clauses, start afresh. I have encountered a state of creative hiatus in recent months, in the demonstrative sense I might add, my mind still whirs over actively. Moreover my body and thus mind has found itself inexorably marching into new and exciting situations, encountering new people, ideas and experiences in which I have found my time swallowed by. I have not disbanded this page in which you view, nor have I given up on writing. I am dedicated in my cause, I have simply been too busy in my pursuit of positive change. The all consuming notion which has powered me forward.
Many people say they bore and tire of London, and the same may happen to me, but presently I’m still skipping upon the grimey pavement of this giddy honeymoon of change. In short: ‘I’m lovin’ these ends bruv!’
On Saturday evening, the 7th, I had the pleasure to attend this months secret cinema.
Find info on it here: (Although because the core of the idea is secrecy it won’t tell you anything in detail, other than the basis upon which it operates.)
The basis of the event is an evening of theatrics and location immersion based upon the unique theme of the film which is shown at the end of the evening. It is a real experience, actors participate with the audience, food and drink is available, all in theme of course. Maybe a month in advance clues about what the theme of the film could be appear online; where to meet, but more importantly what to wear. I won’t ruin it for those of you who will potentially still go but here are two pics taken inside the Victorian Tunnels, underneath Waterloo station. It was eerie, a little disconcerting and took me to another continent.
Anyways I’ll cease my gabbling for now. My first couple of months in this ‘ere city is partially summarised in a selection of photos I have expertly captured on the 5 mega pixel marvel of modern tech wizardry that is the Samsung Jet. Captions below pictures will explain scenarios/people/eccentricities.
Renowned street artist Ben Eine creates these images around the city, this 40 ft piece is near Covent Garden.
This peculiar spectacle is near Carnaby Street.
The perks of being good mates with the management of a cinema, guitar hero after hours!! Cecilia and Gooders.
Cecilia shredding… Ok, maybe not.
A street just off Brick Lane, East.
I thought these trees looked peculiar especially with this dramatic backdrop.
I’m proud as punch when I cook a decent meal, this was decent.
Ol’ Jimmy John Junior Woolley visited, wax jackets and pancakes was the order of the day.
Good friend James Measom had the privilege to be asked to film the opening of Dave White’s exhibition; Americana. It was held at the Coningsby Gallery. He invited me too. White’s work showcases real talent. I urge you to check more of his work.
A different take on a handrail.
James Measom and Jessica Smith discussing art in depth, obviously.
One pictorial from the motherlands: Good friends Benny and Dan have opened a new store in Exeter; Minerva.
Here’s their website link, very, very good products: http://minervastreetwear.com/
Easter Sunday Hampstead Heath and cider, yes.
‘Gooders face inertia’
Adidas event at Scala, Kings Cross. Props and handshakes to Doystman, you know who you are.
Example, I think. Ahem.
Ol’ J Measom thrives upon the commute.
Until next time people, stay tuned………
I was eight years old, maybe nine, anyway my age is irrelevant in this tale. My father was a naval officer, he spent many months at a time away from home on varying vessels, sailing this watery sphere on Her Majesty’s fleet. Destinations he has visited include Hong Kong, Arabia, Egypt, the U.S.A, most of Europe - France, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway the list goes on. He landed on his feet with his job and thus career, and provided well for us. Being of such a young age however, these far flung destinations were only encapsulated in picture books or cartoons. And the goods he brought back…
So, as the young mind would have it; a new concept, or in this case country that is introduced to a developing mind holds only a representation by what he or she has seen or experienced of it. In other words Egypt to me was purely a place where Dad would bargain with pirates for VCR tapes (pirated tapes). A place where you could gain a vast amount of bad quality VCR cassettes, a Disney warehouse of sorts. I’d view the globe and its countries as a series of specialist market stalls. Arabia was a salesman of intricate leather wallets, China a fan and rug boutique and Norway a quartz crystal museum. Whereas the U.S of A, for all it’s foibles, had etched the perfect image in my young mind; a NIKE AIR FESTIVAL of sorts!! A super cool New York utopian sidewalk scene, where all the pedestrians were rocking out a pair of the freshest trainers and hippest get up.
That’s right my obsession started at a young age. Those that know me, know. Those that don’t should know; I, Justin Mark Beats subscribe to the church of ‘sneaker worship’. Yes, I have an unhealthy interest in footwear. Currently totalling at 33 pairs, admittedly this remains at an all time high, due in part to my current employers; size?. But yes, I have always had an eager interest in footwear.
*Can I just take a moment to attempt a justification of such a pursuit. Ahem (clearing throat), many people have interests; clay pigeon shooting, hornby train sets, collecting nazi memorobilia, stuffed animals, cross stitching, Birmingham city programmes etc etc. This is how I consider a footwear collector. I don’t consider myself a hardened collector, believe me there are REAL collectors out there. I consider it a mere fancy. I think of it as a nostalgic catalyst, a means to remember the good times, reminding us of bygone fashions, values and lifestyles.
Ah… my first pair. I remember it well. Father arrived back from a visit to the U.S, prior to which I had harangued and hounded the poor man for a pair of Nike Air trainers, any would do. I needed firstly to keep up with my peers, as we all did, but secondly fulfil my dream image as some kind of Marty McFly/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle/MC Hammer breakdancing Ray Ban wearing hybrid dude. I of course wouldn’t achieve the cliched image but shit, were these trainers good. They were a variation of the ‘Nike Air Trainer SC’. Pictured below. Good memories. I was so chuffed!
So, as the years have progressed, so did my footwear taste, and as fashion and style so often does it has in some senses come full circle. Here’s a a few visual highlights:
I got a pair of basic ellesse deck/skate type shoes, I must have been 10. I remember P.J (Anthony McPartlin) wearing them in Byker Grove along with Stussy caps, varsity jackets and what not. Their styists were killing it! Resultantly I saved my pocket money and had to have them. These pictured below aren’t the model I had, but they are very similar.
Other highlights from ages 10 to 12 were a couple of pairs of Reebok hexalite’s and Nike air max ST - still a premium price even back then. At 13 I had my first flirtation with skate footwear a pair of Vans and Airwalks. Then my chav faze - having a series of Nike cortez, still a mainstay in poularity, and of course Reebok classics.
Aged 14 I found skateboarding in a big way. Begin the start of a 7 year obsession! Saggy and ridulously baggy denim, fat shoes and long t-shirts. What it was to be a grom! The es sword and Eric Koston 1 models were a specific highlights but I had far too many trainers to recount, going through around five or six pairs in a year. Oh, not forgetting the Rowley GTX pro model; reminds me of an era of under age drinking and getting into scrapes!
In the mid noughties, (is this what people refer to it as? Or is that just channel 4??), Nike was to make a well executed come back in popularity. How? Through the skateboarding market primarily. Releasing retro versions of trainers that were first skated before skate specific trainers were introduced. Ironically they applied new materials and manufacturing techniques to old styles giving them a whole new lease of life. NikeSB (Nike skateboarding) were the forerunners. The Nike Dunk model was their staple revival shoe. A once generally overlooked basketball trainer. To some it seemed the anti-christ of the skateboarders ideology; a mainstream brand cashing in on a re-release of a product. To me it opened a whole new door to footwear, fashion and I’d go as far as to say lifestyle. Nike SB was the revolution. Old school was back. Skinny jeans and floppy hair ensue.
Once gaining my current job my footwear interests intesified further, as it did to my colleague’s. And here I am today:
The state of affairs two months back. I am trying to curb it!
Anyways, I guess the purpose of this post is a rather self indulgent one. A rudimentary glance into my past through the medium of ‘trainers’. I hope it made for an interesting read??? All feedback welcome.
And a quick update about the present; I’m off to LAAAANDAAAANNN very soon! Yes, yes, yes and more yes’s!!! 12th of Feb is the move date. I’m just a little excited.. Until next time.
(Images taken from:
http://uk.ebid.net/for-sale/trainers http://uk.ebid.net/for-sale/trainers http://bakati.com. http://purchaze.com. http://www.discountcyclesdirect.co.uk http://www.sportsdirect.com http://www.allthehotkicks.com. http://www.comparestoreprices.co.uk. http://www.comparestoreprices.co.uk http://skate.lshoes-koston-1)
Scandinavia, you know the place. North of north, can conjure images of rosy cheeked Arian types sledding happily in a vast forested crystal white landscape. And yes these stereotypes are somewhat true but there is a whole lot more to the place. I recently visited rural Sweden for eleven days and spent two days in Stockholm. I have always been intrigued with what Scandinavia was, what it represented, what it offered how it differed to Blighty and the like. I think there is a general feeling of the unknown to what Scandinavia is, one of which I was guilty of too. Well I can’t speak for the whole of Scandinavia but of Sweden, I have nothing but praise for the country.
Cecilia is half Swedish, her mother is a Swede. She spent much of her childhood in Sweden, all of her holidays spent with her extensive Swedish family. It sounded, for want of a better term, enchanted. Cecilia’s parents have recently acquired a quaint cabin in the region of Dalanra which they very generously let us use.
Dalarna is a county in central Sweden, it’s viewed as a traditional representation of the true Sweden. It is very Swedish. Probably the most recognised symbol of Sweden is produced a forty minute drive from where we were staying; a small hand carved wooden horse decorated in traditional blood red paint and flower patterns - the ‘dalahäst’, translation; dala horse. They have these things bloody everywhere, in every shop, in everybody’s window sills sits one or two or a family of four. Even larger 4-5ft specimens stand assertively on people’s lawns, honestly it felt like I was being stalked by an army of eyeless red equine. The Swedes are a very patriotic nation, but not in a wanky sell out way. Many residents have large flag poles erected on their pristine lawns where they proudly display the national flag. It’s a refreshing statement though, a real honest pride in the country’s traditional values, something in which they hold close and adhere to alongside modernities. If I see the same scenes in England I can’t help but recoil with distaste. Personally I feel there’s something tarnished with the English national identity, something, as much as I hate to admit; chav-like about the St Georges Cross. Who’s to blame? Who knows? You can’t blame football for everything that’s for sure. This is a debate for another time. I’ll entitle that post Broken Britain’s Brittle Being.
Anyhow I digress, we stayed on Sollerön, google map it, it’s a small island on lake Siljan; one of the larger lakes in Sweden. It was breathtaking. The cleanest air I have encountered, the kind of air that cleanses the bloodstream. September is a transitional month, by the end of October there would be a chance of snow, for the most part of our trip it remained at a brisk 10-15°C with clear skies. Perfect outdoor pursuit weather for an outdoors pursuer such as myself. Sometimes I’m told I’m old before my time, this is probably true.
Here are some pictorials.
Here’s a view of Sollerön from the summit of Gesundaberget, I coughed up part of my aorta from this ascent.
I think I was trying to replicate some gnarled up biker mice from mars skid. Epic.
One of the many lakes. This was at the mid point of a 40k cycle. Serious quad workout. I had a fixie bike, no joke.
Daily coffee, sarnies and above all cakes is a massive Swedish tradition, we spent around 89.3% of our time doing this.
Day eleven rolled around far too quickly, but this did signal an exciting two day trip to Sweden’s capital; Stockholm. Having not read up on this city, apart from watching a Jamie Oliver programme back along, I didn’t really know what to expect. The city is made up of fourteen archipelago islands. It’s a beautiful city that rivals a number of European cities I have visited with one defining difference, the lack of people. Sweden has a population of around 9.4 million people spread across it’s land mass which is the third largest in the EU. Stockholm felt busy, it felt like a true urban hub but not to it’s detriment. You know, it wasn’t the kind of busy where you’re forced into muzzling an obese, balding businessman’s armpit or shoulder barging a big-issue seller.
The people who inhabit this unblemished city execute ‘total steez’, similar to the footballing term ‘total football’, the most beautiful example of the game, they portray pure style. Stockholm’s residents have honed their fashion credentials, with a nonchalant westerly glance towards London. I think I now understand where much of current London style gains influence from. The shops and boutiques reflected this. Architecturally the city is spectacular too, our hostel was situated on the ‘Gamla Stan’ island which dates back to the 13th century, it contains the Royal Palace amongst other regal buildings. Anyways, I could wax lyrical for a while here but I’ll cease now and expect you to get your eyes around these pixels.
Philadelphia and jam on weird flat scone things with free refill coffee is the best way to start any day.
They have large diners within their department stores that serve an array of delectable set meals. Thick, almost gammon like, bacon = taste win.
Back to the grind now, and an all mighty push to change these circumstances. Stay tuned.
As I mentioned in my last post I was off to Reading festival. This was my first time to the festival after many years of wanting to go. Ok, so admittedly I only went for the Saturday, but what a line up Saturday boasted for an indie loving shmuck such as myself. The Futureheads, Hadouken, The Maccabees, The Cribs, The Libertines and Arcade Fire!! I’m an unashamed fanboy of both The Libertines and Arcade Fire so seeing them both in a matter of hours was the equivalent of a prolonged orgasm.
I made a long weekend of it and stayed with my good friends Craig and Milton in Golders Green; north London. I went to Uni with both of these fine rapscallions. Milton’s actual name is Stuart he’s named MIlton because he hails from the illustrious new-town famed for concrete cows; Milton Keynes. Ingenious, I know. Craigy is a proud bonny Scot whom embarked upon the same undergrad course as myself, a fervent young gent with curly locks, rosy cheeks and thirst I have seldom witnessed in a human. I very much enjoy my twice/three times yearly visits to London and their humble abode which is universally known as ‘the gaff’. With a quick visit to the infamous FAB’S off licence it can and does tend to get very, very messy. With the addition of Reading festival and Milton’s birthday falling on the same day, there could only be one conclusion.
The night of my arrival, supposedly a quiet night as to save ourselves for Saturday’s exploits, saw the consumption of three bottles of wine and eight Tyskie Polish high strength beers between myself, Craig and his lovely other half Hannah. We cavorted through Russell Brand at the Hackney Empire and Russell Brand Scandalous. I’m often outspoken when using superlatives alongside Brand, but I think he deserves credit, perhaps not for his actions but for the delivery of his material. I enjoy his overblown, farcical use of cockney Victorian expressionism alongside contemporary filth talk. It makes for an intriguing and unrivalled arrangement.
Saturday. What better way to start the day but with a a nice can of Tyskie handed to me promptly after brushing my teeth by sir Craig Lynch, pictured with green hat.
This set the theme for a ridiculous day. Following in this vein we boarded our train from Paddington for the short train journey to Reading, finding it teaming with festival goers and no seats available we upgraded to first class. Slurping back on the second bottle of what the boys knowingly refer to as ‘rocket fuel’ (7.4% M&S Pear cider), my head felt as if it was reaching the stratosphere. Time check; 12.15pm.
Things were getting hazy. We glided from the station to the festival site only a twenty minute walk away. Always time for a quick Jagermeister shot from a roadside stall. Another twenty minutes and we found ourselves draining another pint whilst absorbing the Maccabees set. Our viewing line up thus followed; Hadouken, The Cribs, Dizzee Rascal, The Libertines and Arcade Fire. All of which executed their sets with verve and vigor, excluding Hadouken who in my opinion have strayed from the form that brought us there refreshing debut album. Here are some pixels for you:
More Cribs. Apparently their last performance for a while said lead man Ryan Jarman.
The guy on the right raced over and began beating down punches on this board, he was crying hysterically and clutching his iphone complete with charger hanging from it. His good friend soon followed, calmed and consoled him. Definitely worth a pap moment.
In the bustle of it all shone a red beacon, that beacon was Ron Weasley. Real name Rupert Grint. In Milton’s world he wasn’t an actor at all but a real wizard worth berating. Once Milton had discovered his presence he wasted no time in prodding him manically, grinning ear to ear, exclaiming; ‘look Beats it’s Ron, it’s Ron. Harry’s better than you, he’s better. You’re nothing without Harry, etc etc….’ He then began a Ron chant, blowing his cover, that lasted around a minute. Young Rupert didn’t look much impressed. My gut hurt from laughing.
My 5 mega pixel camera circa 2004 hasn’t the capacity to shoot anything at night. I won’t give a review of the final two acts, those that were there know how good it was. I went into seizure at Power Out by Arcade Fire.
The following day we spent at ‘Bok bar’ on Baker Street recounting the evenings events and abiding to a hair of the dog ethos. They do really tasty Thai food.
Milly proudly displaying his new Ron wallpaper.
I made my journey back to the westcountry the following day. I always spend this journey in a pensive, reflective state. Plymouth is a very different place to London. Fingers massively crossed and if all goes accordingly I could yet be a NW11 resident in the near future.
I won’t post now for a couple of weeks as I’m off to Sweden!! Farväl!!