Tag Archives: London

Instagram IRL

Real Life InstagramBrazilian Street Artist InstagramInstagram Art ProjectBrazilian artist Bruno Ribeiro has been creating and placing actual Instagram-style filters in popular London spots since September 2013. The project is ongoing – see the latest ones on the Real Life Instagram Tumblr.

Neon Dreams

Mount St Window/Louboutin/London/Jan 2011Set up in 2009 by Xavier Sheriff & Gemma Ruse, StudioXAG is a creative studio specialising in art direction & display design for retail. Some notable examples of their work includes the Louboutin red sole Christmas tree, and a Diesel U:Music installation, which saw a whole branch of Diesel transformed to look like a huge boombox! No matter what the season or occasion, this duo always seem to be able to work in a splash of bright fluoro colours or neon lights. I’ve picked out some of my favourite projects below…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChristian Louboutin window, ParisFluorescent TopshopTopman Studio XAGTopshop / TopmanDiesel Loverdose Studio XAGDiesel LoverdoseCharlotte Tilbury Studio XAGCharlotte Tilbury pop up at Selfridges, London.

Tigers On Tinder

I’ve noticed that a lot of men on Tinder are quite fond of tigers…ImageThis trend is so prevalent that there is even a Tumblr dedicated to it, called Touch My Tiger! Kudos to these guys for noticing it first. Unfortunately, as with any trend, you always get a few bandwagon-jumpers who just don’t get it right…Tinder WannabesGuys, you’re doing it wrong! It’s got to be a REAL tiger. Don’t try and get a picture with a tiger in the wild, though. That would be stupid and dangerous. It’s essential that your tiger prop has been sedated so that annoying backpackers can pose with it. Safety first, and all that.

Review: Storms at Club NME

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© KOKO London / Charlotte Davidson 

Ahh, Club NME at Koko. In its heyday, this weekly guitar-fuelled orgy was a place where trilby-wearers could find a safe haven of acceptance, and spoilt girls who dressed exclusively in the Kate Moss for Topshop range could kid themselves that they were going to find their future rock star husband here. Now, Club NME is a bit stale – indie music just ain’t what it used to be, the playlist doesn’t sound too different from the Geordie Shore soundtrack (okay, that’s unfair, maybe it’s more Made In Chelsea) and the drinks are still horrendously expensive.

Not that tonight’s headliners, Storms, really give a fuck about any of that. They’re not here to relive the, err, ‘glory days’ of The Libertines, nor are they trying to peddle some chart-humping shite that sounds like a collection of rejected Owl City songs. Nope, Storms have drawn their musical influences from arguably the best genres of the ‘90s – grunge, shoegaze and Britpop. As the sound of Kanye West fades away and the band take to the stage, a wave of gratitude washes over me. Opening song ‘Special’ fills the auditorium with heartfelt lyrics, even if these sombre tales of society’s lower echelons are masked by an anthemic riff. The crowd doesn’t seem to mind much though, and they sway along happily in a Jagermeister-induced stupor. “Nobody’s special!” they wail in unison, blissfully unaware of the sad truth they seem to be confirming.

The next track, ‘Words’, with its slow, layered guitars and crunchy reverb, is a definite nod to bands like My Bloody Valentine and Spacemen 3. Launching straight into new song ‘Swell’, lead singer George Runciman showcases stronger vocals that range from high-pitched yelping to Cobain-esque roars, supported by a thumping drum beat and thunderous, guitar-backed choruses. By the time the song is over the band appear to have created a bizarre kind of festival atmosphere, as a noticeable amount of girls have actually clambered onto their boyfriends’ shoulders, hands in the air like they’re trying to clutch on to the last of the summer.

The penultimate song of the evening, ‘Plague Machine’, is easily my favourite. With just the right mix of yearning, lust and anger, it’s got a frustrating familiarity to it; the classic influences are there, but you can’t quite pinpoint what they are. Essentially though, it’s a blend that is all Storms’ own.

It’s clear that Storms already have some loyal fans who showed up especially to see them, but you can’t help but wonder if the depth of Storms’ lyrics and their range of influences might be a bit wasted on the people who also enjoy the likes of Bastille and Everything Everything. Perhaps the idiots are still winning, but the enthusiasm for tonight’s performance shows that this lot at Club NME aren’t lost causes just yet.

Tasty.

I’ve just discovered this agency called Praline, and they’ve done some beautiful stuff, mainly in publishing. Check out some of my favourite publications below. Praline Richard RogersRichard Rogers PralineRichard Rogers + Architects: From The House To The City by Fiell Publishing

Information Graphics PralineTaschen PralineInformation Graphics by Taschen

Praline Polpo BookPolpo Book PralinePOLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts) by Bloomsbury Publishing

Admittedly, when I was Googling “praline”, I wasn’t looking for a design agency…I was obviously looking for some indulgent recipes. Then I got distracted by Praline’s amazing body of work and soon found that my cravings for sweet things had vanished. Weird. Maybe that’s going to be the next big dieting fad – the design diet? Although if that worked, surely I’d be skinny as a rake by now!

Bright Lights, Big City

Having recently finished a role working in property marketing, I’ve got a newly-ignited curiosity about the city I live in, and cities in general. I’ve seen some amazing cityscapes on my travels around the, umm…Internet, so here they are! Ben Thomas LondonTilt Shift New York Ben ThomasBen Thomas San FranciscoPhotographer Ben Thomas uses tilt shift in his photographs to make the urban sprawl of London, New York and San Francisco look like mere children’s toys.

Patrick Vale NYC DrawingsThe Shard Patrick ValePatrick Vale is an architectural illustrator whose washes of colour are beautifully defined by thick black outlines. I love his combination of stylised panache and intricate detail.

East London Abigail Daker St Pauls Cathedral Abigail DakerTrafalgar Square Abigail DakerAbigail Daker keeps thing simple with her monochrome line drawings of London, which are amazingly precise. She also specialises in hand-drawn maps, which she has produced for the likes of Winkworth estate agents and Viking River Cruises.

Laura Oldfield Ford Brutalist estateWapping Laura Oldfield FordLaura Oldfield Ford‘s neon-smeared sketches aren’t so all-embracing of the city’s built environment. Her subject matter is mainly the urban squalor of council estates, or the dystopian rundown areas under threat from regeneration and new developments – which she has branded ‘yuppiedrones’.

Mak Lascelles Thornton Happiness Machine London Mak Lascelles Thornton Happiness MachineIn contrast to Oldfield Ford’s stance, Mark Lascelles Thornton‘s ‘Happiness Machines’ series focuses on the hyper futuristic London landscape that dominates The City, with more and more Manhattan-like corporate skyscrapers springing up in the financial district each year. I really like the flashes of colour in his tight pen drawings, and think that skyscrapers possess a kind of terrifying beauty.

Mmm, Mezcal!

Mezcal SietesMezcal has been fashionable for quite some time now, with London locations like Bodega Negra, Wahaca and Mezcal Cantina selling this smokey, curious South American since they first opened. I ordered a mezcal mule at Crazy Homies in Notting Hill, without knowing much about mezcal, but it was delicious. Its rise in popularity sounds almost similar to cider in the UK, which used to be a drink reserved for 15-year-old scallies and country bumpkins. Mexicans once considered mezcal to be a scummy kind of drink, too – strictly for country folk and the poor. In recent years, however, it has become one of the coolest and most popular alcoholic drinks in Mexico, with more than 150 different brands now on the market. The multitude of mezcal varieties mean that there are a lot of artisanal brands, each with its own packaging and identity. Here are some of my favourite designs…Mezcal BrujaBruja Mezcal
El Buho MezcalEl Buho Mezcal
Mezcal Emmascarado
Mezcal EmmascaradoLa Botica MezcalLa BoticaMezcal Mononegra by Sociedad 6Mezcal Manonegra