Yep you read that title correct, last night I ventured over to The Beehive in Bromley By Bow, its this pub which looks and feels like its be held in time, one of those proper east london pubs, where people pay money into the Juke box and listen to Frank Sinatra while downing pint after pint of Stella.
While all that is happening out the front of house, in a small door which is also connected to the Womens toilets, theres a small 10 meter by 10 meter black room where last night you could have found some wild post rock beats mixted with the odd grung song. It wasnt a massive crowd but that doesnt really matter when you think about it.
The bands that played last night where the Desert Clouds, Ditsea Yella, The Anderson Tapes and the Heros Of The Last Age. it was the music I want to focus on for my photography project, it was those bands that dont play to massive audiences and their music is there hobby not there main income. I definitely feel that these bands are the reason for London being such a cool place to live, they are the creatives and expressionists that live and work in everyday London, who on their own are just a little bit quirky but when you have a few thousand quirky individuals all of a sudden its a movement.
I don’t want to show off to many photos from last night as I need to send them onto the promotor who sorted me out with the gig and let him post them all over social media but obviously I need to show you three photos. The Promotor who’s gig I was at is called Spoons Event sound Solution, its kind of an punk / rock promotor so the gigs aren’t your capital FM pop music stuff, its all heavy and completely off the beaten track in a way. really cool music and I’m looking forward to more gigs like it.
There was meant to be two parts to this post today, the first part is a pretty serious thing. Yesterday I was at the Grenfell memorial at St. Pauls. Im not going to write more than that about it, ill just show you the photos I took. This isn’t the time for me give you my opinion or facts, it just all comes down to the people and faces you see. The second well Ive decided not to post that, it was going to be about a gig I went to yesterday, but I just post that another time.
With (fun)employment being so real right now I’m trying to get a good balance of Netflix and being productive. Its important I enjoy the quite time but also keep my brain ticking over. That’s why today I decided to venture out in to the world of my Photography project on London’s music scene.
I travelled over to Denmark Street, its basically where if you like guitars you buy your guitar, every one from your local guitar teacher to the legends of The Beetles and the Rolling Stones. No Toms Vintage and other guitar shops along Denmark street or as its otherwise known Tin Pan Alley isn’t just a place to pick up a guitar, its on of the birth places for London, Britain’s music, it’s the place that the likes of Jimmy Hendrix and Jonny Rotten would run around jamming to music and creating the stories that everyone in the todays pop culture wants to hear more of. British music carries its self differently to other music, its got more depth to it, when you watch back The Beetles movies and archives, they are literally paving the way of a life style that people like Oasis took to levels that pushed the boundaries of what is and isn’t expectable, But because they make such good music its allowed. Not like if a footballer gets caught driving drunk but more like they get kicked out of Holland for being to drunk and diverting a ferry. That’s kind of the levels which they hit.
But at the end of it all, they were only as good as the albums and songs they produced and that’s what really mattered, the jams, the hours and hours of perfecting a song or solo. That’s what really mattered here. And when the touring stopped or they need supplies most of the time they would head to Denmark street and speak with the people who know those instruments the best.
Walking around Tin Pan Alley you really start to admire a guitar and the beauty that goes into it, you start to acknowledge the culture and the style it has created. It’s the epicentre for what British music was and is. Back in the days it used to be not only shops but also recording studios which have since disappeared and either turned into extra shop space or places to learn the Guitar.
My idea of this photography project was to uncover the underground music scene and the people that really push it, those passionate music lovers who travel on a crappy Wednesday night to listen to good raw music and I feel that Denmark street is probably the best place to start, its at the root of the London music scene. This definitely wont be my last time to Denmark street I will be coming back for one of their events and capturing those “one time moments” with my camera.
As for now, its back to Netflix for the rest of the day and to enjoy my funempolyment. But tomorrow is a new day and I’m planning on being active the whole day. I’m not sure how yet but ill figure it out.
Yesterday I watched an interview with Noel Gallagher, where he talked about streaming music and how now days music is for rental, where as music should be for sale. a Transaction between the artist and fan willing to part with money to buy the music and art that comes on the front cover, its a way of telling the real fans from the one time listeners. and I kind of agree with that, but I do have a Spotify account and I do use it daily, who doesn’t?
With my project I’m currently doing focusing on London’s music scene it would be wrong of me not to explore the world of record shops and the passion that goes into them, in todays market owning a record store is like putting two figures up to the internet and counting on those passionate music fans who will trek out to you store during a cold winters night to buy a record or CD, when they could just as easy stream it on Spotify then go an buy it off the Amazon App and have it at their house the next day.
But once you step into the a record store like the one I went to yesterday you soon realise why people do it, its an experience. your welcomed by thousands of actual objects all of which have a story, most have bumps of signs of wear but that just adds to the fact your standing in a musical archive flicking through all those years and years of history and culture. its this weird thing that makes you feel closer to the artist or band, your now physically scrolling through their work, trying to find that gem that no ones else has found yet, and not only are you not sure if its worth it but you cant listen to it till you get home.
My trip yesterday took me to Music and video exchange in Notting Hill, just by the Russian embassy, I wanted to go to some where out of central London, where the shop has no choice but to let the music do the talking. my first thoughts where to head into Soho or even Brick Lane but they would of been busy with people and most are pretty new shops, where as this one in Notting Hill is like stepping into a time portal and heading back 50 years.
If you have a chance go to your local Record store and just say Hi and listen to some music, I guarantee you’ll enjoy it and might even find something you weren’t expecting. I ended up buying a CD by The Manic Street Preachers and as I write this I’m listening to it, and trust me its a whole different way to experience music, before it was an automatic thing, just stream it on my phone and listen to hours of music going in one ear and out the other. Now its a physical thing and its something that has much more of an impact. Oh and I literally paid £1 for it! you cant even get a bottle of water at the shop next door for that!!!!!!
Heres my photos from inside the store, I hope you like them.
8am Monday Morning. temperature, 5 degrees. weather, rain / snow. What better way to start the day?
Thats literally what I said to myself as I walked out my front door and headed to Camden yesterday for a meeting, its hard to find a positive about the weather yesterday when the snow didn’t even set but I do quite like the rain in London, especially when I have my camera mainly because taking photos of people when its raining becomes so much better, everyone literally walks around like the are allergic to water and that makes for some cool photos. Don’t get me wrong I love to sun and the summer and would much rather be taking photos from a beach in the Mediterranean but that wasn’t an option yesterday.
After my meeting I decided to take a long walk back to the train station and grab some photos of the area, Camden is this cool part of London, which kind of feels like its separated from the rest this city and made its own set of rules and its own way of life. its kind of where punk rock has decided to plot up and fight the likes of TopShop and River Island and to some miracle punk rock seems to have won.
Josh’s Top Tip: If you ever find yourself in Camden that chances are your going to want to eat some food, now what most people would do is end up at the world food market and grab some sort of pizza of Naples or maybe a burrito for Korea but what I think is by fast the best option is to head down to the original camden market and pick up some of that Bang Bang Chicken, the food isn’t really fried chicken that you might get at KFC its more Chinese but possible the best Chinese you can get hold of. that stuff is completely out of this world and the guy who sells it might even sing you the Bang Bang chicken song. Trust me, there is a song.
Sunday night and now heading back to London, my plan is to get this post done on the train so tomorrow morning when I wake up everything is done and ready to go. Its been a really good weekend and enjoyed the little break but now I’m ready to get back to London and prep for next week.
Today started off with a breakfast at this place called Back to the Garden which is this café place in Holt, Norfolk where they basically serve up proper food that’s all locally sourced, with in the Café they have like a mini super market that’s got all the goods and the place to get hold of the legendary Stokes Ketchup. Trust me once you get hold of Stokes you’ll never see Heinz the same again. Its literally a different class of condiment.
For some reason I feel pretty ill, I’m not sure if that’s the Hangover talking or if its got something to do with how bad my diet has been recently but next week I’m going to up my game and start to eat healthy again, no more Pringles and cheese bagels for breakfast, its going to be all about the porridge and fruit. I really haven’t felt good this afternoon and to be honest I don’t have time to be ill. So I think ill keep this one short and sweet, I need to try and sort myself out.
But my plan for the week ahead also includes getting my Christmas presents sorted, its starting to scare me how much shopping everyone else seems to have done and Im no closer to having it sorted. If I can just get 80% of the presents sorted this week ill be a happy man. I really don’t want it to be a last minute amazon prime thing!
Back in Norfolk seeing Amy’s family, haven’t been up here since August so its good to get back out into the country side and just eat food and chill out. one thing is for sure, the weather up here is definitely colder than it was last time I was here. Amy told me to bring loads of layers and over course I took that information on board and completely forgot. Could of done with some extra jumpers and maybe some thicker socks, but I suppose now Ive just got to get on with it.
So of the reassuring things we did yesterday was go to the Toy Super store Symths, I seriously had thought that those places didn’t exists since the likes of Amazon and Ebay where ruling the world, But business was booming. It was pretty cool to walk around looking at all the toys and see the ones that I used to play with still going strong. and to see kids running around playing with all the toys, just like they should do. I must actually sound so old when I say this, but its so true.
After the little flash back shopping trip, there was only one place to go now and that was for a bite to eat. and since I missed Amys birthday (I was working and also on the other side of the world), we went back to the pub where she had celebrated her birthday and had some food there. the pub was called Black Boys and it was unbelievable. I obviously went for the Black Boys Burger and it was just how a pub burger should be, massive and full of everything you need, Onion rings, tomato and some good blue cheese. but I did end up getting some food envy over the pan fried stake, that was definitely worth a try next time. It looked like something special.
After food it was time to hit the sofa and watch movies and sleep. well I slept, a lot. but how can you blame me when theres a log fire and a really comfy sofa to sit on.
anyway its now early Sunday morning and I think its a jammed packed day of taking photos for a christmas calendar and eating more food. Heres my photos of yesterday, Enjoy.
From North Carolina to Shanghai, every build is different, foundations change, tactics differ and people’s ideas get thrown around. If you stand on the street in North Carolina, not in the city of Raighley, but on the outskirts in the suburbs. Things you take for granted like shops and restaurants are built quick and for maximum capacity’s. They are basically practical places to get done what you need to get done, they do what they say on the title. No messing about.
If you travel to some where like Kensington in London, that little part of the UK where a flat will set you back £1M or will all of a sudden be standing in a building that’s meant to not only stand the test of time but built to look like something from Mary poppins. Red brick the works.
Then you travel 12,000 miles to China and end up in Shanghai and all of a sudden you starring up at an upside town temple that looks like it’s been carefully put together out of 100 meter look match sticks. It’s literally like something that a baddest budist has dreamt up.
What I like about that all these buildings is that they all serve the same purpose really and that’s for people to use to eat a task done. It doesn’t matter if that task is to pray, live in or some where to wash there clothes. A lot of the time, I’ll just get from city to city and not really look up, even in London a place I’ve lived my whole life, I just walk around and don’t really take it all in. but if you actually just stop for a second and look around, everything is actually pretty cool in its own weird way.
Here are some photos that I’ve taken from the places I’m talking about. It’s a bit of a rushed post today, but we all have days like this right?
As yesterday was a working day, and I don’t want to be one of those guys that runs round a venue taking personal photos and then posting them online. I decided to have some thing stocked up in the bag ready to show you guys, Im talking about the warm up band for the other nights gig at the Seabright Arms. its the band HAZY JANE. this band are the kind of people that pop up at 3am in a music festival around that camp fire and all of a sudden your its 6am in the morning and your now best friends with a stranger talking about all the things you guys are going to get up to in the future. thats the type of band these guys are.
What makes it even better is that this band is based out of Hackney, so pretty local to where I live they play British Folk /indie music so all pretty chilled out accoustic sets. One thing I love is that they set up a crowd funding page to raise some money to record their first single “Us On A Wire” and even now have like a mini UK tour planned for April next year and will be playing all round the London, Norwich and Brighton. trust me if you see that they are playing at a gig near you, get down there and give them a listen. you cant go wrong.
As my christmas break has started and if I dont find some sort of project todo then I will spent probably the next 2 months sat on a sofa eating Pringles and watching Netflix. no seriously that is genuinely a possibility. Then im going to try and get myself down to as many gigs as possible and just try to photograph music and be around music for the next 2 months.
So last night I ended up going to a gig at the Seabright Arms on Hackney Road (Someone lied to me and said this place had shut down, its not. this place is open and ready for business!) the band playing were some guys called Strange Hellos, relatively new Nordic band they have just realised their first single, its kind of a mix between XX and something like Circa Waves. Nordic Review said this about the bands new single:
“We Are Trouble’ is a blistering 3 minute fusion of power pop and shoegaze, and they’re the second Norwegian band (the other being Pyke) to recently remind me in their sound of UK band Lush. This is just such a catchy track, with a real energy – great melodies, vocals, guitars and pretty much everything…..”
Heres a link to the band on youtube, have a peep:
This is one of my first posts about a band Ive just seen so maybe I need to actually sit down with this one and think about what I need to write about, I don’t want to be “fake news”. At the moment Im just turning up taking photos and not thinking about what im going to write about, maybe its time I upp’d my game. but for now Im just going to listen to Strange Hellos Sound cloud and see where I end up.
Ive now downloaded an App called Dice, which tells me about all the gigs going on in my local area, the plan is to get down to at least 2 gigs a week, while Ive got no work on.