I’ve never been particularly interested in art. When I was a kid, visiting the UK with my family, I remember near-terminally long visits to the National Gallery – the principle purpose of which always seemed to be to buy prints from the Great Masters (Van Gogh, Constable etc) for our house in Malaysia. I was always hopeless at actually creating anything, which I think served to dim my interest and aspirations in that direction, despite Mr Kwan and Miss Genting’s best efforts at our art classes – at home and at school.
However, in my Urusen fan-dom (of which you’re no doubt familiar), I grew quite fond of the artwork on the album covers, done my my friend Ben’s cousin, fellow band member and professional illustrator, Peter Beatty. Amanda bought me a print for Christmas which now has pride of place in our living room, and suddenly (alongside the comic book art I’ve long since been a fan of) I have slightly more engaged artistic appreciation. Is that what I needed to kick me off on a trend of artistic collection and appreciation?
Long time readers and old friends will know how much I rate the music of my friends at Urusen; Ben and I shared a course at university, have jammed a few times over the years, and we played one of their songs as the first dance at our wedding. So it’s with absolute delight that I note that they’re back in the studio (Real World Studios, no less), and are being featured on the Society of Sound – a member’s club of (as happenstance would have it) my favourite speaker company – Bowers & Wilkins. They’re featured on the B&W blog with a video clip detailing their recording session at Real World (read about it here), and the video is here.
There are also new clips on their Myspace page, for fellow fans. Ben & gang – when can I buy the new album??!
My friend Ben Please (of Urusen fame) and his brother Michael recently won a BAFTA â€“ which is pretty awesome. I havenâ€™t been able to find the full short animated film online (presumably itâ€™s still doing the circuits at festivals etc) but the trailer follows below. Michael talks about it here.
I think Michael is the mastermind of this rather than Ben, and whilst Iâ€™ve not met Michael Iâ€™d previously encountered via his work on the Urusen music video, Nosediving â€“ also below. A lovely song.
I’ve blogged before about the amazing Urusen, my friend Ben’s band and purveyors of wonderful, melodic folk-pop-rock (it’s a hard genre to define, go listen and decided for yourselves).
It’s v. exciting news that they have finished work on a new album, but whilst I wait for them to publish, Ben’s worked on another album with Beth Porter and Poppy Pitt, published exclusively through a Bath independent bookstore, Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights. The album is lovely. Preview, more info and purchase details here for those interested in folky goodness – think Urusen + Joni Mitchell sort of thing.
Disclosure: I fully intend to pay for it, but Ben’s not given me payment details yet, so currently I’ve been listening to it for free. This does not negate from its goodness.
Longtime followers will know I’m a big fan of my friend Ben’s band, Urusen, who have a bunch of new tracks up on their Myspace page today, including a COP 15 special (“Wish it was”) – all brilliant, as ever with them. Check them out.
If you’re more into the environmental side of things, my friend Damian is reporting from the conference for Prospect (and has been writing for the BBC in the run-up to it). All worth checking out, and a great overview of some of the issues under discussion and (on Prospect) a feel for the show.
Sorry for lack of posts of late. There’s been no new soup, work’s been manic, as has the Christmas routine which has seen us away most weekends. Expect blogging between Christmas and New Year, as I attempt DIY and to resume my fitness regimen.
If you’re not festivalled out by Glastonbury next week and fancy another one in mid-July, my friend Ben of awesome band Urusen (who I’ve mentioned before) is organising a cool mini-festival near Bath this year. It’s not expensive (Â£30), will be fun and includes lots of great stuff. See below for more – its a secret, but tell your friends.
Iâ€™m helping promote a mini secret festival in Bath this year called EyeFest, over the weekend of July 18th/19th. They have a great line up of bands, DJs and film for the Saturday. Included in the price is tea and cakes in the afternoon, Hog roast in the evening, and a fry up breakfast the morning after (also veggie options), and all for Â£30.
EyeFest is not advertising publicly, so itâ€™s all word of mouth between friends to make sure we have a really nice crowd. Thereâ€™s lots more info / videos / pictures at www.myspace.com/eyefest
If I have sold it to you (yeay!) then here is the link to buy tickets –
The festival is run by some friends of mine to raise money, which this year goes to three watery based charities (more details on the myspace page), hence this yearâ€™s theme â€œNautical but Niceâ€.
For those who are super keen, EyeFest are also running an offer whereby you can buy 5 tickets for the price of 4 discounted tickets.
Feel free to spread the word around close friends / friendly who you think might be keen to come (and you would like to be there – I trust your judgments), you can direct them to the MySpace page, or send then the links above.