Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Mark Wallinger's White Horse

Literately everyone who is alive today is talking about "Bonjour" (Francis Macdonald and Harry Pye's debut L.P.) I wonder how many of the millions of people who've bought Bonjour and stared lovingly at the cover have wondered about the life sized statue of a white horse? Well, wonder no more - here are some fascinating facts... Way back in 2014 The British Council Collection commissioned Turner Prize winning artist Mark Wallinger to make the sculpture which they then put outside their offices in The Mall for approximately two years. Mr Wallinger part owns a real horse called Rivera Red. His horse was put into a white line scanner and the scan was moulded into a robust resin, marble and steel structure. The ambitious Mr Wallinger will one day make a 50 metre high version of the same horse which will be the biggest piece of public art in the whole of the United Kingdom. He's been given the permission to build the giant horse in Ebbsfleet Valley in Kent but doesn't have the funds to realise the project. Some estimate building the statue could cost as much as 15 million pounds.
When Mark saw a C.D. of Bonjour for the first time he exclaimed "Good Heavens!" and seemed pleasantly surprised.
Here are some other recent reactions to the album... "Would make perfect Summer listening, if there was a Summer." - Ian Rankin "A thoughtful collaboration with Macdonald providing the elegant soundtrack to Pye's lyrics on art appreciation, nostalgic reminisces and the simple pleasures." Fiona Shepherd, The Scotsman Newspaper. “Punky vignettes, fusing spoken word with classic pop, easy listening and more” - Robin Murray (CLASH magazine) “Old fashioned, poignant, likeable and offbeat. Macdonald is a dab hand with sweet melodic easy-listening indie numbers, while Pye contributes spoken word anecdotes that are perfectly written, clumsily delivered and gripping” – Thomas H. Green (The Arts Desk) Sympathy For Jean-Luc Godard is “shimmering and radiating feel good vibes” Mark Barton (God Is In The TV website) “Delightful stuff.” Roland Monger (Listen with Monger website) "Odd but good" **** (Jenny Bulley Mojo Magazine) “I Feel Like a Record That’s Scratched is pure catchy power pop... a work of art.” Calum Craig (Is This Music? Website) “Wonderfully quirky” – Flux magazine “The results of their collaboration will make you want to smile” – Carlos Benito (El Correo website).
Bonjour
the art pop album which costs a lot less than 15 millions pounds is available on i-tunes, Spotify, Amazon, Rough Trade in London, Monorail Music in Glasgow and all good record shops in UK/Europe. For signed copies visit: https://bonjour.tmstor.es/

By The Sea exhibition at Gallery 64a

Gallery 64a is a small independent exhibition space on Oxford Street in Whitstable, Kent CT5 1DG The opening party for the gallery's second show will be on Wednesday the 6th September.
Above: Bullock on a Beach by Harry Adams
Above: Horizon by Gordon Beswick
Above: Stokes Bay by Beverley Daniels
Above: At The Harbour by Charlie Day
Above: Worthing Statue by Mikey Georgeson.
Above: At Brighton Beach by August Kunnapu
Above: Sea Witch by Sarah Sparkes The exhibition is curated by Harry Pye and will feature paintings, prints and drawings by; Harry Adams, Gordon Beswick, Billy Childish, Emma Coleman, Beverley Daniels, Charlie Day, Peter Doig, August Kunnapu, Joanna McCormick, Sarah Sparkes, Tom Shedden, Geraldine Swayne, Sandra Turnbull, and Agnieszka Zapala.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Q & A with "Legs" Larry Smith

"Legs"Larry Smith is best known for being the wonderful drummer of the legendary Bonzo Dog Band. In 1967 The Bonzos appeared with The Beatles in the film Magical Mystery Tour and on the TV show Do Not Adjust Your Set with members of Monty Python. The Bonzo's single I'm The Urban Spaceman was a top five hit in 1968. After The Bonzo's went their separate ways Larry went onto work with Elton John, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and John Cale. The Bonzo's reformed in 2006 and a year later released a 28 track album of new material called Pour l'Amour des Chiens. Yesterday Harry Pye pleaded with Larry to do a fun size interview via e-mail. Now read on...
Harry: "I tend to play Bonzo records when I need cheering up.Could you list a few things that make you happy? Are there any records you put on, old films you re-watch or books you re-read? Larry: "When I’m not dancing with the arts or being a Daddy to my darling twin girls Rebecca and Delphie – my passion is Horse Racing. Re films: George and I would watch Mel Brooks; ‘The Producers’ most every night over at Friar Park – but may I suggest a movie that seems to have slipped under the net? ‘Walk Hard’ – quite breathlessly funny, brilliant."
Harry: How is your health these days? Will you ever be able to perform the Wilbury Twist again? Larry: "My health is fine, thank you. I’m looking younger each day – thanks to coconut oil and 2-stroke petrol. A girl arrives to do my feet every couple of weeks. She files, trims, shapes, moisturises and massages – (and that’s just my eyebrows). Seriously, feet are important – a gracious and noble path to all the senses."
Harry: Your lead vocals on Let’s All Go To Mary’s House was one of the highlights of The Bonzo album released in 2007.Do you sing in the shower? Do you find singing seems to help a troubled soul? Larry: "I sing in the shower – but generally it’s to attract the attention of my Mexican maid – ChickitaRyvitaSleepsweeterBournvita®,(she always knows where the soap is). But frankly, I talk in the shower. Much more fun."
Harry: "I love “Legs Larry at Television Centre” what can you tell me about John Cale? The Bonzos and The Velvets were releasing albums at the same time – do you remember how you became aware of him or your first meeting? Larry: "John also produced a version of ‘Springtime For Hitler’ – which further endeared me to him. We had dinner in Amsterdam a couple of years back but he seemed somewhat ‘distant’. He’s a melancholy boy. He married my ex-girlfriend Miss Cynderella from the GTO’s. I recall Moon and I drove a somewhat serious and dare I say ‘normal’ Lou Reed out to Heathrow airport and bunged him on a plane to the States. Then, good Lordy – a couple of years later he arrives back in England as the ‘Ultra-COOL’ (‘Walk on the Wild side’) Lou Reed. A change of image, of wardrobe, of style – and why not? I’m currently dressed as: ‘A Garden Shed’ – (Caban de jardin) and drinking a fairly boisterous weed-killer – I’m hoping that ‘Homebase’ will sponsor me for the Book Tour.PS. We didn’t pick him up (Lou Reed) from the airport."
Harry: David Hockney shares your passion for digital art. Do you think the work Hockney makes now using his i-pad is as interesting as the paintings he made on canvas in the 60s and 70s? Larry: "Nope. He’s a good draughtsman – which is rare these days,but I find his current work flat and predictable."
Harry: Rodney Slater has raised the money to record and release his first ever solo album (Parrots Parrotopia) do you keep up to date with what your Bonzo chums are up to and listen to their new stuff? Larry: "I guess that we catch-up when we Tour, which is great fun, but generally my ears are not for sale."
Harry: Has your autobiography been completed or are there still a few final touches needed? Has writing your memoirs been a happy experience? Larry: "I think it’s complete; it’s now in the hands of my literary agent. When it meets a publisher – who knows what will happen. I like to imagine a couple of boardroom brawls. However, closely following the memoirs I have a film project which might well set the business on-fire. In closing, to have written my memoirs has been a joy. To write is a joy."
Harry: What’s the best bit of drumming you did that got recorded? Who are your percussionist heroes? Larry: "My drum-break in ‘Jazz Delicious Hot – Disgusting Cold’. Heroes of the dreaded drums? Has to be Moon and Buddy Rich. They’re both what I call ‘fiddly drummers’ – maybe they overiced the cake. They jumped about wildly but they always got back inside – on the beat, or very slightly ahead (of the beat). For we must never be bad to the beat."
Harry: In 1982 George Harrison released “Gone Troppo” but didn’t tour or do any promotion for it. When he asked you to make artwork for the album did you get the feeling he’d had enough of showbiz or that he felt he had nothing to prove? Larry: "I was thrilled when George asked me to design the ‘Gone Troppo’ project – the album cover, the songbook and a poster or two. He loved and admired my artwork and we had a couple of rare painting classes atop one of the towers at Friar Park.But the bonk on the head was his song for me: ‘His Name is “Legs” Ladies and Gentlemen.’ And the fun we always had in the studio. Maybe George was a trifle ‘Troppo’ at the time (Troppo being an Australian term for ‘crazy’ – or mildly bonkers) he fell under a lot of pressure; it was a constant state of affairs."
Harry: What do you think about Shirts? Do you think they are still necessary? Larry: "A crisp white shirt (event) worn with a beautiful girl underneath, (with just an occasional glimpse of her silk undies) is a heavenly sight to see, officer. But ‘The Shirt Event’ – is one of my favourites. A piece of recording history. How dear Gus managed to pull the faders and press those devilish buttons as the song unfolded is a mystery – for we were all rolling about the studio floor and peeing our pants, as Vivian grabbed those darling passers-by. It was set in a mild London, a caring London. A London that has sadly vanished. (Sob!)"
(The song Shirts appears on The Bonzo Dog Band's Tadpoles album produced by Gus Dudgeon for E.M.I records)
For more info on Larry and his forthcoming autobiography contact: clare@lordlarrington.com

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Reactions to "Bonjour" the debut album by Francis Macdonald & Harry Pye

"A thoughtful collaboration with Macdonald providing the elegant soundtrack to Pye's lyrics on art appreciation, nostalgic reminisces and the simple pleasures." Fiona Shepherd, The Scotsman Newspaper. “Punky vignettes, fusing spoken word with classic pop, easy listening and more” - Robin Murray (CLASH magazine) “Old fashioned, poignant, likeable and offbeat. Macdonald is a dab hand with sweet melodic easy-listening indie numbers, while Pye contributes spoken word anecdotes that are perfectly written, clumsily delivered and gripping” – Thomas H. Green (The Arts Desk) Sympathy For Jean-Luc Godard is “shimmering and radiating feel good vibes” Mark Barton (God Is In The TV website) “Delightful stuff.” Roland Monger (Listen with Monger website) "Odd but good" **** (Jenny Bulley Mojo Magazine) “I Feel Like a Record That’s Scratched is pure catchy power pop... a work of art.” Calum Craig (Is This Music? Website) “Wonderfully quirky” – Flux magazine “The results of their collaboration will make you want to smile” – Carlos Benito (El Correo website). Bonjour the art pop album that everyone is talking about is available on i-tunes, Spotify, Amazon, Rough Trade in London, Monorail Music in Glasgow and all good record shops in UK/Europe. For signed copies visit: https://bonjour.tmstor.es/
The photo below of Francis and Harry at Tate Britain standing under "Forms in Space…by Light (in Time)" by Cerith Wyn Evans was taken by Gordon Beswick.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Bonjour Vauxhall

Yesterday art fans flocked to Vauxhall in south London to see The Art Car Boot Fair. The ACBF began in 2004. The founders of the event are Karen Ashton and Helen Hayward. Find out more by visiting here: https://www.artcarbootfair.com/ Every artist The Rebel magazine spoke to was excited about "Bonjour" the debut album by Francis Macdonald and Harry Pye - and who can blame them?
Above: Sir Peter Blake CBE R.A.
Above: The fantastic Jessie Voorsanger
Above: The outrageous, the controversial, the provocative Marcus Harvey
Above: Glasgow's Godfather of Pose: Bruce Mclean
Above: Bob & Roberta Smith OBE R.A.
Above: Britain's Top light Entertainer and rising art star: Vic Reeves
Above:The fantastic and wonderful Geraldine Swayne
Above:The lovely Dan Coombs
Above: The irresistible Raul Pina Perez
Above: The artist Darren Coffield who is also the author of "Factual Nonsense: The Art & Death of Joshua Compton"
Above: amazing Australian artist and Artlyst contributor Martin Brown
Bonjour the art pop album that everyone is talking about is avavilable on i-tunes, Spotify, Amazon, Rough Trade in London, Monorail Music in Glasgow and all good record shops in UK/Europe.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

"It's A Friendly, Friendly World With Team Beswick and Pye"

Gordon Beswick and Harry Pye have been collaborating with Jonas Ranson (of Blacklisted Editions) on a set of prints. "It's A Friendly, Friendly World with Team Beswick & Pye" opens on Tuesday the 18th of July at Gallery Below. The private view will be short and sweet - it will start at 5.30pm and end at 6.30pm! However the prints will stay up on the walls for at least a month. The cafe is open for breakfast (Monday to Friday) from 7.30am until 10am and open for lunch (Monday to Friday) from 11.30am until 2.30pm). Cafe below is situated in the 1,000 year old crypt of St Mary Le Bow Church which houses the famous Bow Bells that are mentioned in the story of Dick Whittington.
To find out more about Jonas & Blacklisted editions visit: http://www.blacklisteditions.org.uk/ To find out more about Galley Below visit: http://gallerybelow.co.uk/ To find out more about Cafe Below visit: http://www.cafebelow.co.uk/ The address of the gallery is: St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, EC2V 6AU It's a very short walk from Bank tube station. Below is a print Jonas made of Beswick & Pye's painting "The Life Drawing Class" (After Matisse).

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Near Jazz Experience plus Micko Westmoreland & The Mellotronics (June 27th 2017)

It may have been a rainy night in Whitechapel but everyone who showed up at INDO to see both The Near Jazz Experience and Micko Westmoreland & The Mellotronics had a splendid time.
Above: The Near Jazz Experience
Above: Micko Westmoreland
Above: Terry hands out egg shakers
Above: Shake along with me
Above: Mark "Bedders" Bedford on Bass
Above: NJE's Simon Charterton on drums.
Above: Mr Mellotronic: Nick Mackay
Above: The mighty Micko & The Mellotronics featuring Brian Pistolesi on bass. Listen to Micko and chums perfom their track "Freaksville" here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne15QIHhUW8 Find out more about Terry here: http://www.terryedwards.co.uk/ Find out more about Micko by visiting here: http://landlinerecords.com/artist/micko-westmoreland/ Indo 133 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1DT

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The debut album by Francis Macdonald and Harry Pye gets its first review

"Bonjour" will be released on July the 7th. On the 15th of June an Independent Scottish magazine called Is This Music made Bonjour their album of the week then a few days later The Skinny premiered a new Macdonald & Pye video... http://www.theskinny.co.uk/music/new-music/francis-macdonald-harry-pye-we-love-mike-love-video-premiere Yesterday Bonjour got it's first actual review thanks to Thomas H. Green of The Arts Desk http://www.theartsdesk.com/new-music/theartsdesk-vinyl-29-beatles-kraftwerk-sikth-esg-alice-coltrane-and-more
Harry and Francis: "old-fashioned, poignant, likeable and offbeat"
(Photo by Aleks Wojcik ) You can pre-order Bonjour here: http://www.francismacdonald.com/work-with-harry-pye/ Or from these people who also say nice things about the album... https://www.normanrecords.com/records/163471