And so the sun had barely set on the first day of the New Year and I had already burnt my dinner. It seemed that this was maybe a bad omen of things to come for this year but before I could descend into a negative outlook the oil began to evaporate in front of my eyes producing the smiley face above. Surely this was a sign? A message to stay positive and be happy? I decided to take it as one although fully aware that the decision was mine. As it always is for all of us all the time on everything. We cannot control what happens around us but we can control how we process them. Shakey (‘speare not stevens) probably said it best: “Nothing is bad. Only thinking makes it so”. But the same is true in both directions in all situations. At each and every turn you have a choice how you perceive things. The world is of our own making. Worth remembering as we shape the coming year…first internally, then externally.
Happy New Year! Let’s make it a good one…
Me and my camera wishing you all a very Merry Xmas and a happy New Year!
And so we come to the end of the year and all there is to say is..thank fuck that’s over! 2o17 started with such doom and gloom and it never really abated. The world went to the dark side and rarely emerged out of it. The future looked so unbright it made me switch to black and white photography. Everything just seemed greyer, no colour & no glimmer of hope. Black and white also felt like the perfect way to mirror the stark polarisation of societies around the world as everyone got into their own respective and opposing camps. Everything went very black and white with the disappearance of the middle ground in favour of major lunges towards hostile extremities.
The misery inducing forces of Brexit and Trump and the sense of global meltdown driven by the refugee crisis and the continued and worsening climate chaos got so bad it actually made me switch off the news completely for the first time in my adult life. Consequently I didn’t look at a single piece of news anywhere for the first six months of this year as it felt over-powering and this combined with a feeling of utter powerlessness made it too much to bear.
The only reason I got dragged back was Maybot calling the snap election and then it felt impossible to ignore the relentless self-destruction of this country. And so it continued. Hope gave way to horror and common sense got annihilated by populist opinion riddled with bullshit and lies. The fact this year gave birth to the concept of fake news shows just how far from the truth we have strayed. And we had also clearly veered off the path of morality and decency into an uncaring world where the plight of the needy and the desperate, both abroad and at home, were no longer a concern for western democracies.
And yet, having said all that, I’m kinda done dwelling on the shite. Regardless of what is happening we still have a choice what we choose to focus on which is why this week I have shown a series of photographs all taken during the last few days showing people having a good time, united by music and showing that humans can be brilliant together, full of love and togetherness and joy. And all in colour! I had a great time at lots of different nights out with lots of different groups of people but what they all had in common was a demonstration that hate and division is definitely NOT a requisite of human interaction. It can be so very very different. Enjoying life might not seem very productive in the scheme of things but it is way more constructive than being destructive. We can all sit at home and bemoan the plight of the planet and its population or we can just go out and rinse existence for all its worth…
The last few weeks has been a fairly non-stop party fest for me and it really showed me that even when everything goes to crap and things look grimmer than they ever have the human spirit cannot be extinguished. We forge on no matter what always in the hope that things will improve. And hope might be a misguided delusional notion but its all we have and it might just be enough. So let’s leave the shit to the shits and the rest of us can do what humans do best – hang out, be good to each other and have fun…all in favour..raise your hands!
See you in 2018!
P.s This photograph was taken at the Soulwax gig at the roundhouse at the weekend. If you want to see the full gallery please click here
Me and my camera in my home town, my capital city, my london nights…
This couple were rocking out at the Elephants Head in Camden on Sunday night and thought they looked so great, individually and as a couple and told them so too. They were full of beans and were up dancing to everything from human league to the sex pistols to rock ‘n’ roll. It was a good ole fashioned knees up and there were lots of great characters in there too and even though Camden has changed so much over the last few years it was great to see some of the old spirit and style still surviving…
p.s bit tardy today as festive season is affecting my time keeping…normal service might be disrupted…
I did a post recently on the demise of london nightlife so I am actually pleased to be able to completely contradict what I said by using the Loft Party I went to last Sunday as a wonderful beacon of hope to show there will always be cool shit to go to in this city. The Loft Party has been going a long time but it has just taken me an awful long time to get there. It was started by the legend David Mancuso who is now sadly gone to the great disco in the sky but he has left an amazing legacy that continues on in his absence and the fact that it exists without him with the same essence and crowd is such a great testimony to what he set out to create.
This event is all about good vibes and uplifting knock your socks off disco tunes. I don’t think I have ever been in a club environment in London where there has been such a friendly and laid back attitude. This was possiby because it wasn’t in a club at all, but in a very unassuming community centre on a quiet residential street in Dalston. Like all great parties you would never have known it was there unless you knew about it.
Walking in they gave you free sweeties, there was a free cloakroom, free soft drinks and a free buffet. It was like walking into someone’s home and you were made to feel like a most welcome guest. No searches. No excessive doorman bullshit. Up till 7pm (started at 5pm) even kids were allowed in and were bouncing around to the tunes & playing with balloons. I wouldn’t have normally chosen to have the underage in this type of scenario but it just made it feel relaxed and homely. In any case they soon disappeared and the floor filled and the dancing began and it never stopped from that point on.
The Dj, Colleen Cosmo Murphy was a protege of Mancuso and he taught her the ways of the force and she now carries on his good work delivering amazing records to a joyful and highly receptive audience. Like he did before him, she does not mix, she allows each record to play till the end and the crowd normally applaud at the end of each song, which, weird at first, feels very normal by the end. You are showing your appreciation for the music rather than praising the dj. It feels in keeping with the positive vibes emanating from all sides. There was nothing but happiness all around and everyone bust their moves till the very end which was at midnight.
And the sound system is phenomenal. Like in the tradition of the great disco parties of the 70s like the Paradise Garage sound quality is everything and it was crystal clear and heavenly to the ears. Like Despacio it was power without distortion and you could chat next to speakers and not have to shout. They had apparently spent a couple of days to set up correctly and it was pretty bang on perfect. The warmth of the system and the vinyl filled the room and super smiley faces all around showed it had all been worth it.
I was talking to a guy at the end and we were both raving about it and he said he never been before to which I responded ”me neither” and I then said I was never going to miss one again to which he replied “me neither!”. Its a total no brainer. Best night I have been to in a long time and proof that the nightlife in this city cannot and will not die. The venues might close, the areas might change, the demographics might alter but there was always be life in London. No matter how hard they make it.
P.s I thought after my negative tirade on friday it was maybe important to show a positive experience that had happened amidst the doom and gloom. Life is truly mostly drudgery with occasional fleeting moments of beauty and this was definitely one of them..