Dossers, dancers, ghosts and light
Listen to Ghosts of St Leonards & a few dates...
I appear to have gifted you a track. There is a little bit of swearing on it, apologies if you have ears that are sensitive to such things - the music is exquisite. It features Danielle de Picciotto on violin, music by Gil De Ray, production thanks to Kelli Ali, likely some input from Malik Crumpler. I seem to remember (I pulled everything down on Bandcamp for some bizarre twisted logic a while ago). I wrote it following a tour of the crypt of Saint Leonard’s in Shoreditch by the old father there, who did so much in the area for the homeless and destitute and strippers, and gave wholly STRONG service. The church is actually square. The gardens are the site of Shakespeare’s original theatre. I crunched bones as I walked around the large tomb.
Quick note to say:
I’m in Brighton tomorrow night – c/o the brilliant Dorothy Max Prior (the one who got Cosey Fanni Tutti stripping, and played drums with Psychic TV, and the was in the short-lived RemaRema, I may watch that documentary tonight, or the Nick Broomfield on Brian Jones). I love ‘Max’’s recent book on Strange Attractor Press (paperback is out now!). It adds a non-binary gaze to the punk narrative, dives into the Soho world that birthed Marc Almond and all that ensnared me into the Phoenix Arts Bar, the Coach and Horses, the old Dirtbox nights in warehouses along Charing X Road, where I first had a poet, Phil Dirtbox, read something he’d written into my ear – whirling my way through the underground of equality in freaks and createurs in all the clubs down stairs, rarely up tbh...although there’s a triptych of tales about the rooftops…
Joined by luminaries tomorrow night. Yes, Dunstan Bruce is the guy who made a zillion, aside Björk, for OLI Records as Chumbawumba. John Marchant is the agent for Jamie Reid, who did the Sex Pistols artwork, and Eve Lunny is a harpist on Bella Union records.
Tune in! Drop out! Get up again! Slack City Radio live at 6pm GMT, or come down to the sea - tickets are free. I’m looking forward to seeing some Brighton friends. x
I’m feeling a lot better, after a period of moderate catatonia post-Ambit. Have just written an epic poem, which feels pretty Black Psych and it feels great to be back at the seat of this desk.
I was fortunate to be in France last week, missed the train back - waiting on train linguee nombre, not the quai - je suis un idiot, oui - peaking too early on the information, and instead of going from Amiens to Paris (having toured up through the gardens that sit on water, a small web of waterways connect to collect garden produce for market - the Venice of the Nord, with cute sheds and beautiful dilapidation surrounding an overshadowing cathedral larger than the population) I had to wing it to Lille, as there was no availability on the train from Paris to London. I hadn’t been outside that station since snogging a goth on a French exchange. Eurostar were kind enough to accommodate me with no extra charge. The kindness of St Christopher (OMG that was the goth’s name) and all the saints of the universe who help us on way.
I made it back to roll into a shrine for Psychomachia with just enough leeway for a crew of about 20 Book Club Baddies AKA dream readers to have been to the bar, in an archway in Peckham. The lights went with the cover and the walls were black. It was a truly magical occasion for me. The night was everything I could wish for and more. It’s given me a confidence. The art they’d made on work photocopiers was just the cutest. They’d also made cupcakes. Total serendipity - they atted me on socials, realised I was local, so invited me down for a Q&A. It was a beautiful kind act to be selected from a fine list to be read by this amazing group of slaying young womxn and non-binary folk. Their questions were the bomb. Saying they’d wished it was on the syllabus, and was “relatable” - vive la literature, the 90s are forever. x.
Following night, Rachmanioff and Scriabin at Royal Festival Hall. It was incredible. Double army of Philarmonic, lights as Scriabin has envisioned (which messed with me synesthesia a little)…but the undulations. I felt a bit Cate Blanchett in Tár looking at the footwear in the stalls, but the conductor’s shirt was nice.
I wrote THIS for paid subscribers recently. Decent response, thank you, so have made it available for all. CLICK HERE or scroll back when you get a second - it took about a week to do, hence putting it behind a paywall. As ever, my deepest thanks to paying folk here.
(I also love the Hilma AF Klimt at the Tate atm. If we hadn’t had WW2, imagine what women could have done for the 20th century, and us, now - the Ether room is devastatingly cool.)
Also in recent news for the KMA desk, I was hosting a chat with writer and actress, Joanna Pickering a few weeks back - I’ll share more from that soon - just been waiting for our diaries to align so she can sign-off something which is SO triggering we need to check it - although I’m delighted to meet a fellow gal who understands exactly what art should do. Great to collab with someone who’s pushing boundaries. I’ll look at my I F**ked Harvey Weinstein essay again for that, and share. x
And there’s a story on Tunisia where I make some recommendations should you want to visit there - and so much more to say. I get shy.
Finally, first weekend of June, I’ll be performing at Gallery46. Will confirm date on my socials and here in due course. It’s with the indefatigable Johny Brown (Band of Holy Joy).
Vive la rock, and all who sail with us. xx