Saturday, July 30, 2022
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
I am always interested in the social/cultural/musical life of radical scenes, here's a report of a London benefit night for the mid 1970s anarchist/libertarian left paper 'Wildcat' (no direct connection to 1980s ultra-left paper I believe). This report is from issue no.2 of the paper, October 1974. Sounds like an interesting line up including music from Lindsay Cooper and Fred Frith from Henry Cow with flautist Clive Bell, and DJing from Charlie Gillett and 'Pete's disco'. All this plus a performance from General Will, a radical theatre company that started out in Bradford and whose members included Brian Hibbard, later lead singer with the Flying Pickets.
The event took place at the Art Meeting Place, which I believe to have been at 48 Earlham Street, Covent Garden. It opened in 1974 and Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P. Orridge were involved with it - indeed they first used the name Throbbing Gristle there. Cosey describes it in her book 'Art Sex Music' (2017):
'The shift in direction to COUM being mainly me and Gen also coincided with my leaving full-time work and connecting with other artists at the Art Meeting Place... AMP, as it was known, was set up by John Sharkey (along with others) in one of the buildings left vacant from the relocation of the Covent Garden fruit, veg and flower market. Other buildings had also been opportunistically acquired by activists for use as community centres and alternative arts spaces. AMP was a kind of Arts Lab that provided free facilities for artists across the spectrum - musicians, poets, film-makers - and was run by the artists themselves, with open meetings every week, exhibitions and performances. Me and Gen became regulars there, using their resources and trying out ideas in the available spaces- as did Anish Kapoor, Carolee Schneemann, John Latham, David Medalla, David Toop and Susan Hiller among others.
Participating in the meetings was always interesting, watching people getting antsy with each other over art or politics, or art being a political act, feminism and Marxism. Some people had great ideas and ideals to uphold but there were time-wasters whose posturing made me angry and I got the sense that they didn't fully appreciate what an amazing thing AMP was'.
Saturday, July 09, 2022
|'A priest and some punks in debate after the speeches at the rally'|
|From the film: 'Whittle Miners Wives Support Group - Coal Not Dole'. Whittle Colliery in County Durham closed in 1987.|
[post last updated 10/8/2022 with addition of report from 'The Miner']
'Sound of police truncheon against body': David Peace's miners strike soundscape
Miners demo in Mansfield 1984
Miners support in Kent
The 'Here we go' chant
What did you do in the strike - my mix of music from the strike
Friday, July 08, 2022
|photo from Astronauts on facebook|
|image from discogs|
|image from Discogs|
|The Astronauts at Club 85 in Hitchin in May 2022|
Tuesday, July 05, 2022
A group of Ukrainian anarchist squatters have occupied their second building in London. The London Makhnovists Centre at 187 Fleet Street opened on 18th June 2022 with a fundraiser gig for victims of the war in Ukraine.
In a statement at their website the group say 'Make Solidarity Louder than Bombs. We occupy this property in protest against the war in Ukraine and those who profit from it.... We're going to gather around art, culture and dancing as a way to direct funding to refugee aid at the Ukrainian border'
|Banners outside read 'Power breeds parasites, long live anarchy!' and #fucktorygarchs|
In March the same group took over a London mansion in Belgrave Square belonging to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, and were evicted by riot police.
[Top four photos taken by me, Tuesday 28 June 2022, statement and bottom two photos from London Makhnovists website]