Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Open your Eyes to Pope Joan....

We first stumbled across Brighton based “Art-Pop” band Pope Joan at last summer’s Hop Farm festival in deepest Kent. Playing on one of the small stages, their angular, stylish sound reminded us of a slightly 80’s/early LCD Soundsystem/Micachu/maybe a bit of Roxy Music (all in a good way) and was a refreshing contrast to the folksy stylings of Laura Marling, Mumford and Sons etc. ,the sing-along rambling of Pete Docherty and the disappointing croaking of Dylan (Villagers were good though).
Since that first encounter they’ve been gigging sporadically, recorded some new tracks and a video or two, and we’re pleased to note have just released a single “A Drowning/I Can’t Stand You At All” with a rather lovely video for A Drowning you can see here:

We’re reliably informed that you can download it from i-tunes should you feel inclined.

If you’re not feeling flush and fancy a free track from the band you can download an earlier song “Matthias” here:  

They’ve got a couple of gigs coming up too, one on 31st March at Bread and Roses in Clapham, London and their first gig outside the UK on 6th May in Tours, France supporting “Publicist” a side project of one our other favourite bands-Trans Am. Should be a good night.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Yohji Yamamoto at the V&A

Yohji Yamamoto is one of our favourite designers, not just for his innovative cutting and detailing but also for showing up in Paris in the early eighties and shocking folk. Daft as it seems now the the things that upset people were big shapes, head to toe black and flat shoes on girls!
 At the V&A's Yamamoto exhibition you can watch videos of his early Paris shows, the clothes are unconventional (particularly for the time) you can see that the models of the eighties don't quite know how to deal with them. In later shows Yohji starts to makes his mark and soon hits his stride with non models and unconventional catwalk presentations- a celebrated one being AW04 featuring Madness doing a bit of a dance and Terry Hall looking pretty cool and very grumpy.
 Very little is in a vitrine here so you can get up close and examine how the clothes are put together. We love Yamamoto's use of "crafty" methods like tie die, hand knitting, stencilling and felting, the results are highly engineered and thankfully not hippyish. Take pleasure in the plain trims: buttons, YKK zips and the total lack of branding and bling. Although dating back to the early eighties many of the garments are timeless, go with a friend and play guess the year- we were wildly out with some pieces.
 The only disapointment for us was with some of the menswear exhibits - there were not enough of them and some had aged badly (nasty embroidery on suiting!). One of the other things we love Yohji for is black and navy our iconic Yamamoto men's look would be a big navy suit and there isn't one here. Every man in the "creative industries" in the 80's had one as far as we remember.