Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Suburban Berlin

Monday, 10 September 2012

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Interview | Grand Forever

When playing live, these four Belfast to Bethnal Green based boys, Tim, Neil, Luke and Ian represent youth and enthusiasm, and their particular blend of instrumental, wordless tracks, pinging synthesizing beats are just the ticket for a grand party.
Allow me to introduce you to the band. Neil is the taut and nimble drummer while Tim is the, occasionally semi-naked, guitarist, Luke reins over the synth, and Ian drives the melody via the bass. Together, they compose Grand Forever. However, even though they are not new to the music scene, they haven’t yet garnered the attention they deserve. Not sounding how you expect them to at first glance they simply deploy a nonchalant cool garage-jam-demo aurora that we have exclusively been invited to.
But Grand Forever are working hard to get heard and their gigs are more than just crowd-pleasing. The band have released three EP’s, entitled, Ace It, Kappillan and Don’t Go Easy On Me. Grand Forever’s melodies’ are faithful to various styles which have been ingeniously blended together: instrumental disco, hazy electronica, post-punk, and alternative rock and roll which are all faithful to the original textures. Their dexterity produces tracks that are crisp, tranquilizing, disco-tech yet grungy. The track Wild Man is an example of their clever music merging and “Half A Hundred Kicks” is a dreamlike tune. Their variety of melodies is also shown onstage. When the track calls for slinkiness, the boys of the band bend into rippling curves. When it demands toughness, they adopt a hard-ass, fierce posture. Although I can now draw comparisons between Grand Forever’s waves of synthesizing sounds and guitar riffs, which are reminiscent of Joy Division’s Ceremony or Incinerate by Sonic Youth and have more in common with M83, Grand Forever’s equation of sound stands alone. Each instrument is played with force and attitude and the band plays with authority and clarity.

I had a quick-fire chat with Tim from the band:

Q: What are the 4 things people should know about Grand Forever?
Grand Forever: Luke, Ian, Tim, Neil

Q: What's the best thing about being in a boy band?
GF: The pussy. And all the attention from Louis Walsh (can be considered one and the same).

Q: What's 'Grand' about your hometown, Ireland?
GF: You can't leave Dromore without going up a hill; it's literally a hole

Q: What key sounds have influenced your style?
GF: Instrumental sex wave, streets of rage.

Q: How would you make a 'Grand' (as in £££) Forever?
GF: Scratchcard. Don't live a little, live a lotto.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


Monday, 6 February 2012

First Impressions?

“This is so joyous, it makes my heart sing” this was the first comment I overheard as I walked into the first of the thirteen galleries displaying David Hockney’s seasonal paintings. It was not the last complement I eavesdropped into either. Praise was splattered left, right and centre. And it was so easy to understand why.
One is immediately confronted with a painting composed of sixty canvases exploding a colour palette of red, orange, yellow and purple in Hockney’s A Closer Grand Canyon, 1998, which was an introduction to the exhibition.

Then it came to the showstoppers; Hockney’s Yorkshire paintings. Similarly to the landscape paintings of Claude Monet, Henri Rousseau and the realist painter Gustave Courbet, Hockney has painted like a master. Double East Yorkshire, renders the canvas with hypnotic swirls of overlapping tones of green creating a fierce and enchanting picture that can leave anyone dreaming of a cozy, wild country walk. This notion of mesmerising landscape is familiar to many of his paintings in this exhibition with undulating quiet lanes, which are all a leap away from Hockney’s Californian, poolside paintings.

Moreover, among artists today Hockney holds a unique position. In the 1960s he was the frontrunner of British Pop Art that had a sensibility of being cool and kinetic. Now, he has taken art to a new canvas. He has used an array of mediums ranging from the tradition oil on canvas, charcoal sketching, photocollage, watercolour, film to drawings on i-pads. The Arrival of Spring gave me time to breathe from Hockney’s abstractness in the previous galleries, with mystic and mellow ipad printed paintings. However, I preferred to witness Hockney’s dabbing and flicking of the paintbrush and following the slick strokes that have been eliminated with this modern technique.

The first two months of Hockney’s exhibition have sold out and those who want it see it should embrace the lingering queues.