I have received the first draft of the interview booklet we are putting together for the event LONDON: WINTER TALES we are organising in London on 27th February 2016.
Matt ArtPix has done a stellar job!
There are still a few interviews missing and a few bits and pieces to work on, but it is coming together nicely...
The downloadable booklet will be made available to ticket holders before the event in February!
This little blog was supposed to be written the first week of November, but then I left for my writing residency in Dorset a day later and my computer promptly went bust once there... It's taken me all that time to get it repaired and catch up with things...
So this is going to be short on words, but I can say that it was a truly fantastic evening; all the bands were excellent and had their very unique, distinctive identity.
I have added some videos so you can see and hear for yourself!
How many times have I seen bands play at The Electrowerkz? I am not sure I know... True, it has changed quite a lot since I first started going there in the late 90s and is now more... shall we say, salubrious, but it still houses the legendary Slimelight club and has kept its industrial feel (it is also known nowadays as the Islington Metal Works).
Anyway... It has become one of the latest music venues under threat in a London that seems to have acquired a death wish and that wants to tear its very soul apart... Or has it? Things are not exactly clear, but I would keep an eye out on things...
It was nice to be back there to see three acts we had never seen live before (The Vultures unfortunately didn't make it on the day due to illness).
First on were the superb Ultra Grand Supreme. It was wonderful to see Crispin Gray again (I mean, I think I've seen Queenadreena on stage up to at least a dozen times, and The Dogbones were very, very good too!).
Here's a video from the performance, complete with stage invasion (the same young lady later did the same during Deadcuts' set wearing less clothes than this (and no, I don't have any footage of it).
Next were Cauldronated, fronted by the extremely charismatic Eva Menon, who is also the drummer of The Underrunners (who were supporting Devilish Presley in London back in early October, you can read my blog about the gig HERE.) Also featuring Dave Barbarossa on drums and Andy Duke on bass, Cauldronated are a very interesting proposition: a mixture of punk attitude, techno, dance beats and socially engaged lyrics. Captivating!
Deadcuts are intense, esoteric and are absolutely 100% dedicated to their art. Their world is dark, dangerous and sexy, and this explosive mixture made indeed quite an impact on one particular audience member who ended up writhing topless on stage.
That's rock'n'roll, darling.
Klub Wicked's organisers are putting together a festival called Alice's Wicked Tea Party in my favourite county, Dorset, and the line-up is varied and really exciting. 2016 will be the second edition of the festival, and it promises to be quite something...
I'll see you in the field in June, then!
Oil 54 and Arcane Publishing are delighted to present:
LONDON: WINTER TALES - a special and intimate evening of readings and music to warm you up on a long, cold winter night.
We have an eclectic line-up of talents, all from very different backgrounds and with a wide range of experiences but with one all important thing in common: fierce dedication and passion for their art(s). They also all have their own unique way of telling stories…
Every ticket holder will be sent a downloadable (and printable) PDF booklet featuring interviews with all the performers and information about the organisers.
We are incredibly honoured to have the wonderful author, poet, performer and singer Rosie Garland as our headliner. Rosie will be reading some of her poetry as well as extracts from her superb novels ′The Palace of Curiosities′ (Harpercollins) and ′Vixen′ (Borough Press), and will talk about her work. She has also gracefully agreed to do a signing session!
It is an immense pleasure to announce that the superb Black Volition will also be gracing the stage at the Harrison! BV was founded by Reza Udhin (Inertia, Killing Joke) and Will Crewdson (Rachel Stamp, Scant Regard, She Made Me Do It, The Selecter, Adam Ant and more!). They are sometimes joined by other musicians for their live performances…
Which line-up will you get? All will be revealed before Christmas!
The mysterious You The Living will be painting the venue black with tracks from their visceral first album (out now!) ′XXXI′. We are thrilled to have this intense trio with us for this event!
Simon Satori’s Hi-Reciprocity mixes “Goth, Neo-Folk, Poetry, Comedy, Tragedy, Steampunk-oddity.” What’s not to like, we say?
Joanna Vale: Joanna is a London-born poet and wordsmith with a love of the visual arts. She recently curated Voices of the Winter Hearth, an immersive mixed media exhibition blending folklore with the iconic imagery of a Dark Ages winter. She also collaborated on the exhibition Tales from the Autumn House in 2014, providing poetry and prose to the artwork by artist Renaud C. Haslan. She is inspired by the forest and seasonal change, always looking for the mysteries in Nature, and the powerful impact it has upon our lives. At this event Joanna will read from her poetry collection written for the winter exhibition.
Bradley James: Bradley is a poet, a short-story and novella writer as well as a film maker (two of his short films have been selected for the Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner).
Steev Burgess: Steev has had a very interesting life, and is (among other things) a professional photographer, an artist, a songwriter and a very experienced and incredibly talented poet. He will be paying tribute to the winter season in style!
Danni Antagonist: Danni will be performing the chillingly beautiful track ′The Rain′ with her friends Black Volition, and she will read from her two collections ′Empty Threats′ and the brand new ′Like Diamonds, and poison′.
Carya Gish: Arcane Publishing author Carya Gish will talk about “Occulture” and read an extract from her work-in-progress (and third novel) ′The Right Place′, set in Dorset and inspired by the landscape and PJ Harvey’s song ′The Wind′.
There will be a merchandise stall with books, CDs, art…
We do hope you will join us on what promises to be a wonderful winter evening!
The Winter Tales posters and booklet are all designed and typeset by designer Matt ArtPix (www.mattartpix.com and http://www.mattartpix.blogspot.co.uk/ )
This event will be seated only with a limited number of tickets available for the evening.
Ticket information and availability will be posted in the next few days.
For videos, links, updates and more, go to the LONDON: WINTER TALES Facebook Event Page HERE.
If you are not on Facebook, check the Arcane Publishing Events Page HERE, where I will post updates.
Betty Linley: mystery solved!
Back in 2011, I posted A BLOG about a wonderful picture purchased at the National Portrait Gallery.
All I knew was that the woman portrayed was an American actress named "Betty Lindley" (the name was misspelt!).
I see the picture everyday as it hangs on the wall of my little study, just above my desk.
Then a few weeks ago, out of the blue, I received the following email:
I just came across your blog from 2011 this morning as I sit here on a visit to New York City. Last night I went to a play at The Helen Hayes theater and it got me thinking about my Great Aunt Betty Linley who had been an actress here and I decided to google her. To my surprise I found that her last name had been spelled wrong in some places and that quite a few people seemed to be curious about her. She was 24 in the photo you posted of her. I have never seen that photo before. I LOVE it!!! I will contact the NPG in hopes that can correct the spelling of her name.
How absolutely amazing it that?
The e-mail was signed Jennifer Linley Taylor, a multi-talented American artist, interior designer, singer-songwriter and film producer (among others).
I am really interested in Jennifer's project of bringing her grandmother's book, Chain of Amber to the screen. It would make a visually stunning, epic movie!
“Touring in a theatrical company in India and the Far East; marriage to an American mining engineer; living in Korea under Japanese occupation… these are some of the beads in this Chain of Amber.”
Quote taken from the website page dedicated to the film project
An English garden in the rain
An English Garden, Sol Invictus
Whilst walking around the grounds of Norburton Hall, where I have just spent the first month of my writing residency, I couldn't help thinking about the deliciously eerie song by Sol Invictus, An English Garden (you can listen to the song at the end of this blog if you fancy it!). It is definitely the perfect soundtrack for my second book, the Gothic novel The Book of Thoth, but contrary to the book's Whitemoor Hall, Norburton Hall is very real indeed...
Located on the edges of the beautiful village of Burton Bradstock in Dorset - with the sea a mere 15 to 20 minutes walk, 10 if you run! - Norburton is now a successful business catering for people who want to spend their holidays in comfort and surrounded by the understated beauty of an English manor house.
Originally part of a farming estate built in the 1640s, the house was entirely renovated by its new owner, the Sanskrit scholar Edward Toronto Sturdy in 1901 (Sturdy is a fascinating character and I still have to read up on him in more detail!). With the help of his cousin, the architect Philip Sturdy, Edward turned the house into a splendid Arts and Crafts country retreat.
We have been lucky enough to be given a tour by the lovely owner Karen Venn (you really couldn't get a warmer welcome!) and we have been able to admire the stunning Main Hall. There, a large Portland stone fireplace bears the Theosophists's motto in Sanskrit, which translates as: ‘There is no higher religion (or law) than truth.’
In what is now the Breakfast room, we saw the gorgeous Arts and Crafts fireplace designed by Walter Crane and featuring a proud peacock...
Go to the Norburton Hall website to have a look at some more pictures of the interior and read more about the estate's history!
The owners of Norburton Hall are great supporters of the arts, and I really cannot thank them enough for allowing me to spend two (yes, TWO! I am going back in January...) months in such an inspiring environment (as I explained in previous blogs HERE and HERE)...
I felt at home immediately (sometimes, I had to remind myself that no, I hadn't moved into a new house in Dorset just yet...) and enjoyed the peace and quiet I needed to finally unlock all the ideas that had been swirling around in my head for months on end...
I will try and capitalise on this burst of energy and carry on writing throughout December, even though my environment here in the South East is not exactly conducive to literary inspiration...
I will leave you with more pictures taken around the estate (obviously on different days) - all pictures by my partners in crime, SabineT Art and Matt ArtPix!
And the song by Sol Invictus mentioned earlier... Listen to it whilst looking at the images!
I think therefore I write.
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