Thursday, 16 October 2014

SUPERBLUES & HARDLIGHT

I lived in Sydney for 10 years and one of my strongest visual memories is of the light. Hard, bright, dazzling light.

Some Australian painters caught the light...

Brett Whiteley


Brett Whiteley


Howard Arkley


Howard Arkley


Jeffrey Smart


Jeffrey Smart


Reg Mombassa


Reg Mombassa

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

HAPPY SWITCH


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Saturday, 30 August 2014

NEURONS v PIXELS


Mark Hollis 'Live' 1986
Like somebody else's digital dream..

Recently Kate Bush made a request that concert-goers refrain from taking photos or recording video of her performance. My first reaction was 'That's kinda harsh, bit dictatorial..' but on reflection I totally agree with her. Here's why:

The best concert I've ever been to was Talk Talk at Hammersmith, London 1986. I've seen loads of really good gigs; The Clash supported by Spear of Destiny, Dinosaur Jr at The Mean Fiddler, Pavement supporting Sonic Youth and blowing them off the stage, Firehose in a tiny club in Brighton, and a whole host of others, too many to list here... But it was the total experience of Talk Talk's final UK appearance that was the standout show for me.

The audio was as good as it gets that night, and Mark Hollis's vocals were astonishing, every nuance in his delivery as clear as a bell. The band's musical arrangements and performance were incredible too - a group at the very top of their game with not a note out of place. The venue offered uninterrupted views of the stage and along with a few thousand others I was witness to a gig that felt intimate yet epic at the same time.

And nobody was holding up a mobile phone or digital camera because there weren't any in 1986. The crowd were fully engaged with a band that were equally in the moment, no distractions, no other agenda - a live performance was taking place and that was all that mattered.

It was awesome and I remember thinking even as it was happening that this was special.

I was still buzzing for weeks afterwards, yet there was no instant replay available - there was no internet or social media. I'm sure there was a write-up in one of the music papers at some point but I didn't search it out. Why would I? I'd been at the gig, no need for somebody else's opinion, I was stuffed to the gills with vibrant memories of my own. A while afterwards the BBC did broadcast a recording of the concert which I taped and would listen to now and then. Talk Talk went on to produce two more albums, both increasingly atmospheric and deeply nuanced and not particularly suited to live performance. Which was all fine with me, as simply listening to their music was a profound and satisfying pleasure.

Then they stopped, it seemed Mark Hollis's work with Talk Talk was done and he virtually disappeared.

Like many, I wanted more - the latter Talk Talk output was some of the most sublime music I'd ever heard and I couldn't believe that the sonic journey had come to an end. For a while I hunted down any new or obscure material. A live bootleg of the London gig was eventually released along with a DVD of the same tour 'Live in Montreaux'. I have them both. Ironically the DVD leaves me cold - watching little figures (cringingly 80s style too) on a screen is a pale imitation and can never equal the vivid memories in my head. I thought the internet would add to my connection with Talk Talk. It hasn't. I've come to understand that my love of the music is personal and no amount of pixellation will alter that.

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So I believe that a gig clip on YouTube is not only unnecessary, but actually a disservice to the performance, the band and the viewer.

I like taking photos and I like looking at them too (often post a few up here), but music performed live adds myriad layers, elevating the visual and blending it with the aural, emotional and physical senses - you can't record that. Because of this I agree with the advice - Be in the moment truly and there is no need to pixellate it. It exists forever, because you are there with the band, listening, watching, feeling. That is enough.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

LIKE DUVETS FOR YOUR FEET

... as Spex used to say.


Vans TNT4 - comfy
Vans TNT 4

Sunday, 27 July 2014

DEATH OF A HULA GIRL...

... and other pixels.


busted hula girl
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longboard ale
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godrevy sunset
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palm tree halo
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truro train station bridge
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a30 tail lights
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boyhood movie ticket
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Monday, 7 July 2014

HAD A NICE DAY...


lash-snapper
In the morning, took off on a leash-snapper.


mistyinroots
In the evening, got nicely chillaxed.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

BATTLE SCARS


custard point
Like an old battered sea creature.

My 9'4 Custard Point is about 14 years old now and quite frankly showing its age (we make a good pair). But what a warrior it is - still got the glide despite putting on a few pounds over the years (I refer to it endearingly as 'The Fatty' - & funnily enough I too have gained some extra timber over that period). It is still the board I use most of the time. I know Custard Point aren't viewed as a cool label, but when I bought it I was looking for a heavy traditional wave rider and this board fitted the bill. It is solid, and for a single-fin, trad noserider, it does pretty well in most conditions too.

This long, dry, sunny flat spell is the perfect time to apply a few ding repairs and smooth a bit of resin over the cracks in readiness for when the next swell rolls in.

custard point
Every scar could tell a tale.


custard point
We'll live to ride another day.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

WAX TO THE MAX


waxjob
<<< >>>

... and ready for Summer.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

3 HAWAIIANS


Hawaiians ruling
Still from 'Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau' - Eddie always taking off deepest.

So good to watch loads of great footage of Eddie Aikau absolutely ruling it.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

ACME

Could this be the greatest surf photo ever... ?

eddie aikau - photo: Merkel
Eddie Aikau. Photo: Dan Merkel.

The colour, the smooth sea, flat sky.

Pure; no legrope, no wetsuit, no stickers.

Taut skin, taut surface, rail slicing the blue.

Orange shorts, Hawaiian stance.

Solid. Intent. Timeless.

Look at it, go on. Just look.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

SEXWAX



sexywaxy
The best for your stick - believe.

Mr Zogs Sex Wax is the original and still one of the best - plenty of others out there nowadays but not all of them deliver. Next time you tune up your board, strip off all that old gunk and start afresh with a block of the good stuff and you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, 15 December 2013