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.
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.
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.
This post is a bit late, I kind of over slept this morning and have only just work it, its like 11:30, its literally felt so good to sleep but I hate waking up at this time. Im going to try and get today back on track and get productive in what ever I do. Yesterday was a proper early start and when your drinking red bull at 8am you know the next day is going to be tough so I suppose its ok to sleep in till this time.
yesterday I worked on my first E-sports championship, thats basically where people battle it out on Iphone games, the worlds best at Clash Royals came together to complete for the grand prize of £150,000!!!!! thats people playing an Iphone game to win £150k! I never thought this would be the future, but computer games are now big business, I actually got really into it, I still haven’t downloaded the game but I think that could all change this afternoon.
the other thing that was pretty good about yesterday is I got to ride a bike down the cannel on my way home, its was an earlish finish and I was on my way at like 4:30, so the light wasn’t completely dark yet, when I could run I spent quite a lot of time on the cannel in the dark, either in the morning or at night, so it was good to be back on this path way. I really wanted to get a good shot of this place but unfortunatly I couldn’t get the camera still enough to slow the shutter down enough to grab all the light, but I still think I did an ok job.
My plan now is to take some amazing photos and really up my game for today, but before I can go out an play with my camera I’ve got a fair bit of paperwork to get through. hopefully I get everyone done my 4ish.
A few months ago amy brought some tickets to see the Kooks play in Brighton, they are a band Ive wanted to see for ages and something which I’ve been excited for since she told me we were going. but before we can go to an amazing gig we had to do something that turns girls like amy into monsters / dictators, I’m talking about is IKEA. Yesterday we had to venture over to the warehouse of nightmares and shop till my credit card pops.
I saw a side to amy which scared me and it happened in the cushion department, we were trying to work out what colours go with what pattern and what fabric would work with the sofa. I never new that cushion shopping was a thing, I just thought they came with a sofa and that was it. who wrong I was. cushion shopping involves panic attacks and a lot of tongue bitting. Apparently my opinions will be taken into consideration but in the end they will be ignored, she even let me pick a cushion that she chose.
After cushion gate has finished it was time to hit the road and head down to Brighton and meet some good old chums and put the whole ikea experience behind us. the kooks smash it they were literally amazing the lead singer is a guy called Luke Pritchard and he knows a thing or two about performing and somehow have managed to hold down a top spot in British indie music since their album Inside in inside out was released in 2006. what was amazing about the show for me was when the blue curtain came down and he performed an acoustic set, for some reason when you bring the curtain down mid set it really makes the gig feel intimate. if you have the chance to see the Kooks definitely get down to a gig, tonight they are playing in Cardiff and if I could get down there I would.
As I spent the day running round doing a million and one things, all my photos were taken on my phone.
P.s Amy thanks for taking me around Ikea, you’ve given me the interior design bug and also for getting the Kooks tickets!!!!!