Saturday, 30 September 2023

Shutter nutter

The Paul McCartney exhibition capped off my London awayday quite nicely last Saturday. Little Venice and the walk along the Regent's Canal to Camden, followed by Covent Garden & Soho were all great stepping stones before landing on the National Portrait Gallery for Macca's Eyes of the Storm collection.

Leaving it till late afternoon meant that the gallery wasn't too busy, so at no time did I feel rushed when walking from room to room. Macca's trusty Pentax (the camera of choice for all four mop tops) recorded the kind of intimate and candid photographs neither the press or indeed anyone else could possibly have recorded.

Every image in the collection captured just what it must have been like to be on the road with a phenomenon the kind of which nobody had witnessed before or since.  It was then a visit to the ubiquitous gift shop for a couple of trinkets before sliding out into London's early evening bustle for a well deserved pint of grog (in a hidden away gem of a pub just off The Strand) before a short tube ride back to St. Pancras. A perfect day.

This is CBS's piece on the show.

Sunday, 24 September 2023

Shameless 2

I've just received my latest batch of Moo
MiniCards - small individual rectangles hewn from high quality card (350gsm) that for all sorts of reasons put a smile on my face. I only hope that those on the receiving end feel the same. Probably not: "Sociopath," they'll probably mutter to themselves whilst simultaneously blocking my number and deleting my contact details. In my defence, they're just a bit of fun.

Thursday, 21 September 2023

Time yet?

If I don't get a move on I feel I may never get to see Sow of Hands live; my fault entirey, not theirs. I mean, they've only been knocking around since 1986. Steve Knightley, Phil Beer & co. really do, to paraphrase Neil Diamond, make a beautiful noise. Maybe next year the planets will align... 
In the meantime, this folk classic has been whirring around around in my head incessantly. 

Show of Hands - Cousin Jack (1997)


Wednesday, 20 September 2023


I've only gone and got tix for Paul McCartney's
Eyes of the Storm photographic exhibition on Saturday! It promises to be a bit special; everyone says so. And it's at the National Portrait Gallery so I'm a bit pumped up about it. It covers a brief window in time (1963-64) when Macca was travelling the world for the first time and playing around with some really expensive, top of the range, cameras. Photographing Beatles; photographing people photographing Beatles. Like I say, I can't wait. I've got a couple of other errands to run as well, so will report back I'm sure.

It would be easy to pluck a Beatles tune, or a Wings tune, even a solo McCartney tune today. Instead, however, I've gone for one of his more adventurous workouts and a perfect companion piece to both Blackbird and Bluebird.

The Fireman - Two Magpies (1993)

Sunday, 17 September 2023

Northern Powerhouse

As someone who is always trying to keep an eye out for new and emerging talent (or new to me), I was pointed in the direction of this lot at the weekend: Sandra's Wedding are a three piece from Goole in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Their songs have a charm all of their own, each one peppered with acerbic lyrics that tell beautiful little northern stories. Not knowing where to pick up the band's back catalogue - they've been going since 2015 - I'm currently dipping in and out of all five of their albums. I'm also quite taken with the accompanying low budget videos: shot mostly in black and white and filmed, it goes without saying, in the north of England. And they're are all mini masterpieces. This one is no exception.

Sandra's Wedding - Given Rain (2023)