LONDON STREET ART JANUARY 2018

As you will have seen from my previous blog post, I was in London over the previous weekend. It wasn’t exclusively for Street Art, but it would have been rude not to get some photos.

I had been to London previously before, so I knew where I wanted to go. Camden and Shoreditch were high on my list.

As my train from the Airport was terminating at Liverpool Street, this gave me a great opportunity to check out Shoreditch.

Well, it would have, if I didn’t wander about and get lost.

I cheated a wee bit by referring to London’s Tourism Website, which informed me that Spitalfields was a good place to visit. I had passed it on my travels, so made an about turn and headed for there.

How right it was. I spotted one piece, decided to walk to the end of the street, then saw more pieces on the next street, and decided to walk to the end of that street to see what there was …. and repeat. I think I covered every street in Spitalfields, which included pieces by Falko and Dan Kitchener, who have recently done pieces in Belfast.

I stumbled onto more Street Art and eventually found Shoreditch. From previous experience, Car Park Attendants were a bit dickish when I tried to snap pieces in Car Parks, so I had to do quick snaps of those pieces rather than setting myself up.

Smokers are a pain in the arse at the best of times, but they all decided to congregate outside Mercure Hotel in Shoreditch, denying me the opportunity of shooting a mural outside it.

There was also a piece with Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un being in a band called The Psychos.

By the middle of Friday afternoon, I already had enough Street Art photos to fill a blog for the entire weekend.

On Saturday morning, I headed to Brixton to see the David Bowie mural in it’s current form. I had previously seen the mural, finding it by accident, when I visited Brixton in 2014. It is a rarity amongst David Bowie murals in that it was actually painted when he was alive.

When he died in 2016, the mural became a shrine and meeting point for fans to share their grief.

The core of the mural is now covered in Perspex due to the number of fans writing messages over it. There is now a sign asking fans to write around it and not on it, as well as flowers left by fans at the bottom of the mural.

Not far from the Bowie mural is a mural of the poem The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe, though that has fallen into a state of disrepair.

I walked around Brixton, and stumbled upon some pieces around Brixton Market, including a tribute to various Rappers.

I then headed to Camden, a hotspot for Street Art and found a lot of pieces walking from Camden Underground Station to Camden Lock.

Camden Underground Station is exit only, so I had to travel to Mornington Crescent Underground Station for my onward journey, and the diversion was a stroke of luck, as I spotted more pieces, although it was hard to get photos due to parked vehicles causing an obstruction.

Sunday was spent visiting the more clichéd touristy parts of London, so I didn’t get as much photos as in the previous days, though I did spot a mural just off Carnaby Street.

Heading home on Monday night, Monday was never going to be a busy day, but I made a point to visit Leake Street Tunnel near Waterloo Station, a tunnel dedicated to Street Art which has multi-coloured lighting, which made for some decent photos.

As stated in my main blog about London, I was tempted by the idea of a day trip to Brighton at some point, as it would have been nice to have visited there for the day and get some Street Art photos.

Can’t complain about my lot. Every time I visit London, I seem to find more and more hidden Street Art gems. Hope you enjoy this round-up.

Photo Album 1

Photo Album 2

London Street Art 2016

London Street Art 2014

Camden Street Art 2013

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THE FRIDAY FIVE – 8.12.2017

1. Amy MacDonald – This Christmas Day
2. Imelda May – Should’ve Been You
3. The Charlatans – Love Is The Key
4. The Divine Comedy – The Pop Singer’s Fear Of The Pollen Count
5. Donald Trump ft Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime

THE SOUND OF 2017 : 76-100

It’s that time of year folks where I count down the best songs of the year. It’s a bit later than usual, but it will be worth the wait.

I’ll spare you the usual crap about how it was a great year for music and all that. There were some good songs and some bad songs, so I spent a Sunday afternoon trying to put the good songs in an order.

Here’s the first batch. Enjoy

76. Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott – I Gotta Praise
77. Rose Elinor Dougall – Hell and Back
78. Shed Seven – It’s Not Easy
79. Benjamin Clementine – Jupiter
80. OMD – Isotype
81. Robin Bengtsson – I Can’t Go On
82. The Amazons – Black Magic
83. Tove Lo – Being Boring
84. Metallica – Don’t Look Back In Anger
85. Miley Cyrus – Malibu
86. Joy Williams – Ordinary World
87. Matt Maltese – As The World Caves In
88. The Killers ft Paul McCartney – Helter Skelter
89. Rag n Bone Man – Reach Out I’ll Be There
90. Gorillaz – We Got The Power
91. Kasabian – Ill Ray
92. Paul Weller – Woo Se Mama
93. Donald Trump ft Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime
94. Barry Manilow – New York State Of Mind
95. Maggie Rogers – Alaska
96. Hurray For The Riff Raff – Living In The City
97. Shed Zeppelin – Good Times, Bad Times, Disco Down
98. Blossoms – In Da Club/Careless Whisper
99. Imelda May – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
100. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Interlude (Wednesday Part 1)

EAST BELFAST WALL OF LEGENDS

Anyone passing through East Belfast recently will have noticed some painting going on around the back of East Side Visitor Centre on the Newtownards Road. As more was painted, it started to become clear what it was, a collage of legendary people and landmarks of East Belfast such as George Best, Van Morrison and Holywood Arches.

A full list can be found beside the mural, as well as online here.

For information, the piece was painted by an artist called Dee Craig.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t do a complete progress piece due to it being too dark after work to get decent pictures, so the progress pieces I was doing was once a week, so I visited on successive weekends to get photos until it was completed.

Unfortunately, if you want to get close to it, you’ll have to wait, as there’s railings around it. When the area becomes open to the public, i’ll return to get some better photos.

In other Street Art news, I was out on my lunch on Thursday and spotted Donald Trump. It is to advertise a Burrito company in the City Centre, with the tagline “Make burritos bad ass again”. These are the sort of policies that got him into the White House.

The piece is done by Visual Waste.

As a bonus, there is a video of how the piece progressed from start to finish.

You’d better be quick if you want to see it, as it is on a board which is hiding building work, at the back of Belfast City Hall and next door to Ten Square Hotel.

East Belfast Wall Of Legends Photo Album

KT TUNSTALL – LIVE AT MANDELA HALL 30.10.2016

It’s great when a gamble pays off, and this was a gamble that paid off.

When KT Tunstall announced a tour for October, Belfast was a conspicuous absence from the schedule. That would be become clear in late June when she was announced to play Belsonic.

Great you think. Unfortunately, it was as support to The Corrs. Yep, i’d have to go to a Corrs concert if I wanted to see KT Tunstall.

I decided to take a gamble, having an idea of how Music PR works. I suspected that there would be a Belfast gig on the October/November tour, but that the announcement would be embargoed until after the Belsonic concert.

In fact, it was announced during that concert, by KT herself. The gamble had paid off.

I’ve been a fan of hers since her debut in 2005, when I saw her performing Black Horse And The Cherry Tree on Jools Holland. Around the same time, a work colleague was raving about her. She also introduced me to James Blunt, but don’t hold that against her.

Her concert in Dublin the following night, 31st October, was marketed as a Halloween Party.

Not to be left out, the Belfast concert would soon be marketed as a Halloween Party, but a bit short notice as not a lot of people were in fancy dress.

One member of the audience came dressed as Donald Trump, jokingly shouting “Make America great again” when she spotted him in the crowd, replying “i’m fucking trying”. She lives in America these days. More of that later.

She entered the stage to the sound of We Will Rock You by Queen, not because she was here to rock us, but because she was in fancy dress as Freddie Mercury.

If you need to know, it was the 1980s Mercury with the moustache. Nobody ever goes as long haired 1970s Freddie Mercury.

Of course, she had a moustache, announcing that she didn’t expect the tache to stay on her face for more than three songs. It didn’t even last one song.

She opened with If Only, then following it up with an anecdote about being backstage at a festival in America when a hairy man in a golf cart drove towards her, shouting “TUNSTALL!!!! FIRST SONG, SECOND ALBUM. IT ROCKS!!!!!”.

It was none other than Dave Grohl, accompanied by fellow Foo Fighter Taylor Hawkins. That song, she then played, Little Favours.

It was one of many stories shared, the show bordering into stand-up at times. The music was almost feeling like a bonus at times.

She was claiming this as a hometown show as her dad is from Belfast, though she has never met him.

Tunstall is now living in America and spoke of the cultural differences, such as strangers talking to her and the standard response of “Fuck off” isn’t as acceptable in America as it is in Scotland.

She told of how she walked past an Irish Bar and a band was playing one of her songs, making eye contact with the guitarist to give her approval, and he didn’t recognise her.

As well as KT Mercury, her crew were in fancy dress. One dressed as a banana, one dressed as Lady Gaga wearing a ham dress and her drummer was dressed as a member of Devo.

One of her band claimed he was dressed as James Bay though he didn’t look anything like him, it was purely for him to take on the James Bay role when performing Two Way, a duet between them on her new album.

There were some treats for fans, including covers of Walk Like An Egyptian and Seven Nation Army, the latter being played with a kazoo.

There was a treat for two members of the audience called Stephen/Steven and Tracey/Tracy (covering all bases to avoid spelling their name wrong) who shouted to request a selfie with her and she obliged, even though she did say it would “open the floodgates”

Signing off with Suddenly I See, she told the audience “See you soon”.

We can only hope.

Photo Album