As we prepare to kick the ass of 2020 goodbye. I’d like to share one of my efforts, which has enabled me to maintain a certain level of sanity through this challenging year and in the absence of the 2020 Glastonbury Festival.
Once it dawned that we were in this for a long haul I assembled a small craft studio, under the stairs and started to track down, refurbish and rebuild vintage models and dingy cars…..with an added little twist.
Things started rather slowly after discovering a vintage Saturn 5 rocket kit online. Still, the rocket found a happy home pretty quickly. Since the rocket, 10 months in and 10 little projects are on their way to being completed, each project is aligned with one of my favourite bands/artists or reflect my personal politics. They all have an individual back story which I will share.
Where an individual model reflects a passion for a particular band or artist I have been in contact with them and the plan is to auction them off during 2021 with some additional merch to raise funds for two local charities in Bristol.
I don’t class myself anywhere close to being a master model maker, far from it, where my father had honed his skills since his childhood. My skill level is rather basic, albeit deployed with enthusiasm and a rye sense of humour. With all the shit going down, I just wanted to find some time and some way to give a shit.
17.10.18: Those who don’t know the Thekla venue in Bristol. It can be an uncompromising place for bands to play. There is no hiding place and over the years I’ve seen several a band and artist who’ve ventured out of their bedrooms, garages, and studios to perform at the Thekla and find their abilities stretched and exposed to the elements of this old ship anchored in the Mud Dock, Bristol. Tonight there is an air of anticipation, willing anticipation from the 400 capacity sellout audience to witness Glasvegas perform their 2008 self-titled and platinum-selling debut album. A decade has vanished, but the album still holds as a classic blending guitar feedback that marries the harmonies of the Ronettes with James Allen’s brittle lyrics of loneliness, love, and loss. There no sinking tonight. The first 30 minutes are as near a perfect rock n roll show one could ever envisage and by the end of the night, it is fair to say they Glasvegas had nailed it with 400 people singing word for word the lyrics of each song causing the band to pause their performance, stand back, listen and embrace the feedback and importance many hold their seminal piece of work.
16.10.18: Ding, ding, round two and back in the ring with Idles after first experiencing their rapturous performance on 8th April this year (here) at the Komedia in Bath. A lot has happened in that 6 months. A second album, which achieved a top-five slot upon release, a world tour, TV/radio exposure and now a sold out UK tour, which has cemented them as the most essential band to emerge from these shores in recent years. It’s loud and fast here at SWX, Bristol as Idles rip through their set like the Village People on acid. Support is provided by the ever impressive Heavy Lungs. At the Bath gig, the live energy of the band carried them through their set, but here tonight with growing audiences their confidence is high and rightly so. It takes confidence for a band to bring audience members onto their stage, but it takes absolute confidence for band members to then hand over their instruments to audience members. The resulting noise is a complete shambles, a beautiful shambles, which adds to the raw energy of a band who are just on top of their game at the moment. There is a special relationship between band and fan base here. A relationship I’ve not seen since the heady days of punk in the late 1970s, or the stage invasions of early Smith’s concerts. Idles concerts are a celebration of positivity and life with all its faults and beauty. Something, so badly needed in an era where hate has become mainstream and fashionable. Tonight a rock band had their audience eating out of the palm of their hands, nothing new about that, but its rare in today’s over-produced, clean packaged musical output for a band to actually mean something beyond the product on sale. Thank fuck for Idles.