I would be very surprised if this is not the most indicative shot ever taken of the Australian summer. To rattle off the icons we have (in no particular order):
1. The hills hoist washing line- an Australian invention arising from the abundance of space in almost every suburban back yard.
2. The blow up swimming pool- required to cool off in the sweltering 30 degree plus afternoon heat (that’s Celsius my friends)
3. Uncle Chad in the pool.
4. Uncle Chad having a couple too many beers in the pool.
5. Uncle Chad spraying young Noah with the hose in an effort to reduce the little fellow’s core temperature to a safe level.
6. Eucalyptus and wattle trees in the background.
7. Thongs in the foreground. (This is what Australians call flip flops, the rubber sandals with the bare minimum of strap to sole ratio. People from new Zealand call them jandels.)
8. In the left of the shot we see the asbestos panelling once ubiquitous as a building material and now infamous for causing a terrible form of lung cancer. There was so much of it used in Australia back in the day that the shit is still all through residential properties even though it’s been illegal and unavailable for about 30 years.
9. The back yard cubby made from coppers logs. Erected by drunk Samuel (Noah’s dad) and drunk Uncle Chad. And just out of shot:
10. BBQ cooking snags (sausages)
11. Esky (cooler) full of ice and cold beers for drunk Samuel, drunk Uncle Chad and drunk yours truly.
Needless to say, this was a particularly fun afternoon and the food (mainly thanks to Alison the great entertainer and no thanks to drunk yours truly) was absolutely delicious.
For a drummer this really is a kick arse hat. I can just cruise around the city late at night like an ordinary citizen but I’m ready to save the day with some dope beats at any point. No need you say? I beg to differ. Ever seen a band where the drummer was stinking the place up? Just call and I will hurry to the rescue. Ever been at a party and the vibe was just really demure like everyone kind of wishing they were somewhere else? Holla and the night is saved. Instance dance floor full of grinders.
The best part is I remain totally incognito until the crucial moment then I can just whip them out and “boots, cats, da boots ah cats”* its all good!
*Say the stuff in quotations out loud if you want to be a beatboxer.
Nothing screams photo opportunity like a no photos sign. Especially when the subject matter is so fucking mundane that it is hardly even worth as much as a fleeting glance with thine eyeballs. This is a used furniture store (shed) in east London and it is open to the public but is apparently so prestigious that they think their carefully crafted public image would be sullied by opening up the flood gates to the hordes of photographers just wishing they could capture the nuances and many moods of such an interesting subject. To be fair the guys who work there are quite a bunch of east end characters and are probably just sick of tourists trying to document the time they went to an edgy part of London.
Of course I have no way to be sure of the statistics on this poster but even if they are incorrect by a factor of 2 it really puts things into perspective.
This is the lastest project from one of the greatest film makers of our time, VINNIE LADUCE. The clip is for an Ash Grunwald song The Botlle. Who would have thought that barbie dolls were so sexually charged with all their massive breasts and thin waists and long legs and in the case or Ken Barbie (or is that GI Joe) rippling abs and biceps?
This masterpiece was shot on location in the Languedoc region of southern France known for its malbec wines and the birthplace of the French Resistance in World War II. At the completion of what could only be described as a gruelling shoot the crew spent a week on the French Riviera. Fuck Yeah!!!
we went to the british museum the other day and i have to say it just gives me the creeps. it is full of all this awesome stuff from around the world that has basically been stolen back in the day. all of it is of cultural significance especially to the people it was aquired from. this statue is in the greek section next to whole sections of the parthenon. surely the world has matured to the stage that this kind of thing is unjustifiable. all i can think about when i am walking around is armed forces making off with all the goods from stunned locals. i know i am not the first person to write this kind of thing down but it really is astonishing that the place still exists in its current form. the photo below is the blurb about the ownership of the statue with the obvious omission that the motherfuckers stole it in the first place! a lot of the exibitions are free but the number of patrons indicates that the museum is quite a big puller of the tourist dollar even if it is just indirect.
And here is the next installment from those same stupid geezers from lower down the page. What bullshiiit will they come up with next?
These guys were absolutely killing it. They made me feel like a fat middle aged guy with no control over my limbs. Not a very nice feeling but amazing to watch. Just as I turned up the guy with the long hair did a solo display that was mind blowing. I didn’t get it on camera. They were basically busking and after a while one of the guys walked around with a hat to collect a few coins. Well you should have seen all the fucking cheap skates scatter. The music alone was worth paying for let alone the incredible dancing. I gladly chipped in a couple of euros and was on my way, checking out what else was on offer on such a beautiful day in Amsterdam.
just some fooling around with my old mate ash grunwald. he makes music too and can sing a building to the ground with his thunderous vocals. i have been lucky enough to play quite a few shows with him and play drums and keys and mpc on his last album. this was just after he got to london to embark on a european tour. we hired a van and threw in some surfboards and went from london to croyde (devon), pembery (south wales) back to london then to bournemouth, hossegor, san sebastian, barcelona, wervik (belgium), ingelmunster (belgium), den haag (holland) amsterdam, brugge, dunkerque (france) then back on the ferry to london. it turned out to be a hell of a lot of driving even for a couple of aussie geezers but it was a lot of fun and the kilometers were nearly exceeded by the number of new beers we got to try along the way, especially thanks to those super generous and expert beer craftsmen, the belgians.
we did a couple of other geezer clips but i will put them up one at a time to give everyone enough time to catch their breath from laughing their arses off. stay tuned……..more geezer stuff to follow………
This is The Hawks. They are a real nice bunch of geezers. I have been playing drums for them lately. They play rock and fucking roll. Nico on the right is from Cyprus and he’s the singer, Jimmy in the middle is from Dublin and he plays bass, Marco is from Corsica and plays a mean guitar. I am from Australia. We are all living in London. This was after a rehearsal and everyone is looking particularly rock and fucking roll (to repeat a phrase).
i felt like posting up the new artwork for the remix album as i think it looks real coooool. the album is free and you can download it here.
If you are old enough you will remember how much fun monkey magic was back in the day. I took this photo while I was waiting for sound check the other day (soundcheck is so fucking boring it’s ridiculous and usually it’s a waste of time because everything has changed on the engineers console by the time you play anyway). The sound was down on the huge tv so I was not sure what was going on in this episode but it was really trippy. Some very cool cheap special effects and crazy LSD looking graphics. It’s worth pointing out too that the music in this show is absolutely off the hook. The musicians are all motherfuckers and the music is as funky as it gets with an abundance of spacey synthesizers and killer grooves. This episode featured the new piggsy. I was never a fan of his work compared to the original guy. The true piggsy was selfish in a kind of ‘leave me here monkey so I can play with these beautiful ladies’ and he had a kind of cheeky allure. The new guy was kind of just a whinger but it’s always hard to replace a character. Especially someone with the incredible acting nuances of the real piggsy. He just killed it in those scenes with the girls.
Give me some fucking sting. When you write spicy on your nuts they should be a little bit fiery. These were delicious but the generally accepted definition for spicy in the food menu industry is ‘hot as in spicy’ not ‘spicy as in a bunch of different spices have been added to change the taste a bit’. Gotta love the heavy metal font though. Kind of Spinal Tap. It doesn’t get much more rock than a snack sized bag of cashews although to be fair we were eating these at a studio in the late afternoon having already downed several beers while cranking a synthesizer through an 8 foot high speaker stack. Fuck yeah.
I took this shot at the Brick Lane markets and at the time I thought it sucked. I was sifting through some lenses that one of the highly reputable merchants had for sale and found one that looked like it may work. Usually if you hold an SLR lense up to your phone camera the image is blurred because the focal length of the lense is not suitable for the digital sensor (neeeeerrrrd alert). As you can see it was a pretty sunny day so when I looked at the shot I didn’t realise it was kind of cool because I was not expecting anything of quality. When I got home and flicked through and found it I was impressed. It’s like one of those lucky shots from back in the film days that are technically wrong but there is something pleasing about them. It reminds me of The Beatles for some reason and it’s really wierd how there is so much stuff in the shot but no brand names which gives it a pretty timeless feel. I find these happy accidents to be rare with digital but things like hipstamatic sure increase the frequency of cool looking shots. The guy wanted 15 squids for it which I think is steep even now I know how cool the shot turned out but at the time I considered it highway robbery. The lense will most probably never be used again.
Regular readers of this bullshiiit will be well aware that I have had 2 super cool bicycles stolen in the last 12 months. Both were under lock and key too. Well may I introduce the fire engine red, BSA folder. This thing really is as comfortable to ride as it looks and the very sturdy drum machine rack over the back wheel is not even an aftermarket add on. It is part of the original. The black box on the back does indeed house my drum machines as this shot was taken just before sound check for my last gig in East London. Now anyone who has been to East London will tell you that if you want to cut it with the cool kids you gotta run a fresh set of spokes. Fixies are all the rage but the real cats ride ladies shopper bikes and snigger at the big wheelers.
This is my good friend Matt Redlich. This is him in his studio. He is very talented sound engineer as well as being a great musician and songwriter and producer. His studio is packed full of gear that most producers would covert. Most of it is old and expensive and some of it he made himself with a soldering iron and a lot of patience. The funny vacuum tube thing in the foreground is a guitar amp that he made. A lot of it breaks down regularly but he keeps it all running smoothly as he knows the value of all of this real gear as opposed to computer plug-ins. This shot was taken on the day I was playing drums for a recording session with my sister’s project Laneway. You can check out the outstanding result at Laneway’s website. And you can find some more examples of Matt’s work here. He is also a great photographer and uses a medium format film camera for some of his work. Check his photos out here. As a side note too, the piece of rack gear at the bottom to Matt’s left is the compressor I used for the drums on the push album. He lent it to me for about six months which was supercool. It is still the most amazing sounding compressor I have used and maybe one day I will buy one but like most of the real cool old stuff you have to be lucky enough to find one in the first place.
If ever there was a haunted church this would be it. This church is around the corner from my place in east London. It is on the route taken by the tour guide that shows interested people around the places that Jack the Ripper used to hang out at way back in the day. I have never taken the tour myself but I can say that on more than one occasion while quenching my thirst in a pub that is known to be one of the places old Jack used to meet prostitutes, I have seen the tour guide outside pointing in the general direction of the steeple and revealing some inthralling information to a bunch of very attentive serial killer enthusiasts.
So we were all on a bit of a high after playing a really fun gig in Brixton. Then I realised something terrible had transpired. Some absolute cocksucker had stolen the strap off my cymbal case. Jimmy searched in vain in the dark recesses of the stage to no avail. It was a kind of homemade strap that enabled me to sling the case over my shoulder while riding my bike. The strange part is that it was almost worthless. You can buy a pack of two on any high street for about one pound. The cymbal case is worth about fifty pound and the cymbals are worth a small fortune to a man like me. Why the individual took off with the strap and nothing else is quite a mystery to me but in some strange way I felt like I had luckily gained my cymbals rather than lost my strap.
This is a friend whose name happens to be Patrick Wilken. He takes some real cool photos. This particular night we were drinking free coriander infused cocktails at a new basement bar in Soho. The bar was no more than a non discript offering of the usual fare and the tunes were pretty unimaginative but I defy anybody not to be moved by Beyonce’ Crazy in Love. Having said that, the drinks were delicious and how can one turn down a free cocktail? For some reason I always think its interesting to take a shot of a photographer taking a shot. It can really cut through the smoke and mirrors and reveal a truer scenario. That’s not the case with this shot but I still like it. You can check out Patrick’s photos here.
This is a sign on the door of a studio I went to a couple of days ago. Apart from looking very cool in a Basquiat kind of way I found it intriguing that as soon as I read it I had an uncontrollable urge to push the door to try my luck. The studio is in north London run by these really nice old school cats. It’s the kind of place you can still chain smoke and get drunk while playing and instead of telling you off the proprietor will knock on the door and ask if there is anything else you need. It’s also the kind of place where everyone looks very 70’s rock and roll and the tiny tv in the foyer constantly plays the 4 remaining vhs cassettes of Led Zep, The Who, late period Beatles and Pink Floyd in repeated rotation.
This guy was the pizza chef at a restaurant we dined at on Saturday night. His name is Dave. Every half an hour he would step out from the kitchen with an accordion for a set of 2 to 3 tunes. He was a motherfucker on the thing too. His choice of tunes could be described as eclectic and I can easily imagine an accordion purest being a little put off but it was hard not to be impressed by his dexterity on the keys and his obvious enthusiasm. He worked the room like a true pro and paid special attention to the ladies in the crowd, naughty little bugger. The pizza was pretty good too.
Following last night’s show in soho, the crew and I decided to have an informal, impromptu after party. We made our way to a tragically hip bar in the east end where they serve slightly overpriced drinks and reasonably priced pizza in a room decorated by the Shoreditch artist of the moment. Pretty cool. As I approached the bar to place an order I was greater with something very interesting. As regular readers will be aware, I am happy to admit I am addicted to coffee. And as my friends know, it doesn’t take a UN delegation to convince me to have a beer. On offer was a beer brewed over arabica coffee beans. A fusion of two of society’s oldest vices. Unfortunately I can’t really say if it was a good result or not because the beer got in the way of the coffee and vice versa. I was a bit boozy by this stage so I forgot to check the label to see if there was actually any caffeine in there but it sure tasted like it.
Today I decided to move a couple of suits on to a more appreciative audience. I got on my new push bike to head to brick lane which is an institution in the east end of London. Thousands of people go there every Sunday for the markets that sell everything from the most delicious moroccan food to a worthless mobile phone charger from 1993. It used to be the case that you just turn up, lay out your wares, crack open a red stripe and while away the afternoon trying to make some beer money by selling your ex girlfriends high heels. Not the case anymore. The fucking ‘man’ has decided that the east end must be cleaned up. The day I decide to make a few squids the fuzz turns up and starts nicking everyone who does not have a traders licence or some buuullshit. Maybe it’s just me but the reason brick lane is/was cool was the seeming lack of regulation and the fact that everyone got along just fine regardless. The only argument I have ever seen there is between somebody just doing their thing and a moron in a uniform enforcing some kind of no fun law. So in conclusion, I failed to convert my suits into beer money but I did evade the ‘man’ with my street smarts.
this is a really lucky shot taken on the edge of a cliff at sunset in portugal. nothing to say about it really except that its real cooool. that’s an actual kid in the photo too by the way.
here is the mighty VW that we hired in portugal. i will forever be looking at these things and giving the occupants a confident and all knowing nod of approval because i have now been forever changed by my few days cruising the coast in a cliche’ comby with surfboards and sun and not a care in the world. not that anybody else in portugal seemed to have a care in the world. a cruisier society i have never come across.
the view from the above camp site can be seen in the photo on the right. the landscape and coastline is very much like western autralia.
we grabbed a coldy after a nice afternoon surf in portugal. i was throwing down some really impressive east london slow motion bogs so i thought i had really earned the 1 litre long neck. mike opted for the 200ml stubbie. there is something for everyone in portugal. i officially love the place as they virtually give away espresso at every tiny little snack bar (between 50 and 65 cents). this is life changing for an addict like myself who is always short of a buck (maybe all addicts are always scrounging around for their next hit) but not in portugal, no sir. i stopped the VW at one coffee shop, opened the door to get out and was greeted by 50 cents glinting in the dirt below me. it was enough to get me high and see me through to the next bout of cravings!
I was walking to a gig this afternoon when I came upon a ray of sunshine reflecting off a white wall. I had tricky playing on my head phones and it really made me think about the time and place that he made the album. I think he was in south London and I was in the north but north London is a lot more similar to south London than south fingal. It was the first time I had really listened to the album on the street in London and it gave me a whole new perspective on the music. The album is awesome in any context but it was surreal listening to it in London in the cold afternoon and it made the people all look like they were walking in slow motion.
Well this is where I would have locked my bike if some cocksucker did not steal it. Cats drive around the streets at night in London in vans and cut bikes free from their locks with battery powered grinders then sell the bikes at the markets on the weekends. I guess they need the money pretty badly because it’s a hard and risky way to make a living. I hope they used my bike to finance some nutritional purchases from tesco and not a large can of super and some bad knock off Pierre Cardin denim. Although that’s not as bad as the government using my taxes to buy amo for the armys guns, is it.
Something strange happened in London today. The sun was kind of almost out and I found myself squinting. You generally don’t need a pair of sunglasses in the east end which is a real pity as everyone knows how cool they look. Even at night. But you almost feel like you’re trying too hard in the fashion stakes if you do run a pair because hardly anybody has them on and it can be hazardous when negotiating the cobble stoned alleyways. Not because of the cobble stones but one must be continually on the look out for dog shit.
This is a photo I took at sydney airport just before doing the summer festivals with ash grunwald. We were all meeting up again (in the no standing zone) for a mini tour after a bit of a break. It was great to pile into the camper again. We did about 40000km in that bitch on the hot mama vibes tour from cairns to tasmania to wa. Not one plane flight which is very rare in australia due to the distances involved. So it feels like a second home away from home away from home.
I just left a bizzare cinema that was like a bigger cinema cut in half, straight down the middle of the screen. There were seats to the left of the screen but on the right they finished in line with the edge of the picture. To a young chap’s disgust we pushed passed and sat right in the middle of the projection. After watching the black swan I thought I would give it a review. The acting by the actors was very good indeed. Natalie Portman was very convincing as was the very famous actor playing her crazy mum (mom) and the french guy from la haine was smooth as a motherfucker as always. The editing and soundtrack created an intense sensation almost the whole way through. There was a girl sitting beside me who needed to be comforted as the credits rolled. I would recommend it. Yep. But it could have been a bit more thick in terms of plot. Kind of a mash up of two old stories.
I was having a beer in a great old pub in the east end the other day. This guy’s name is Alan and he got up with the band and sang a cracking version of ‘save the last dance for me’. I tell you what there were more than a few horny ladies in the place by the time he sat back down to his cold pint of carling.