Posted in Advertising, Art, Beauty, Brands, Design, Fashion, PR
Tagged 2013, advertising, art, art direction, beauty brand, blogging, brand, branding, Charlotte Tilbury makeup, Charlotte Tilbury pop up, Christian Louboutin, cool, creative, creativity, cute, design, diesel, Diesel Loverdose, digital, display design, fashion, Gemma Ruse, graphic design, Leonie Cumiskey, London, marketing, Paris, promotion, retail, retail design, retail window, Selfridges, Selfridges makeup, Selfridges window display, set design, shoe brand, shoes, StudioXAG, Topman, Topshop, visual merchandising, window design, window display, writing, Xavier Sheriff
© 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.
Posted in Comedy, Events, Lifestyle, Music, Writing
Tagged 2013, Ben Morgan, blogging, britpop, Camden, Club NME, cool, entertainment, Felix Howes, George Runciman, gig review, grunge, guitar music, indie, indie band, Kanye West, Kate Moss, Koko, Leonie Cumiskey, live music, London, Made In Chelsea soundtrack, new music, nineties music, nostalgia, opinion, photography, review, shoegaze, Storms, students, Topshop, writer, writing, Yacob Andersen
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. Richard Rogers + Architects: From The House To The City by Fiell Publishing
Information Graphics by Taschen
POLPO: 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!
Posted in Design, Lifestyle, Writing
Tagged 2013, architect, beautiful, blogging, Bloomsbury Publishing, book, book binding, book design, branding, branding agency, cool, creative, creativity, design, design agency, design diet, Fiell, food, fun, funny, Google, graphic design, infographics, layout, Leonie Cumiskey, London, media, nice, paper, Polpo, Praline, Praline agency, publishing, recipe book, recipes, Richard Rogers, serendipity, Taschen, technology, writing
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! Photographer 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 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.
Abigail 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‘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’.
In 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.
Posted in Art, Culture, Design, Lifestyle, Photography, Writing
Tagged 2013, Abigail Daker, architectural illustration, architecture, art, arts, Ben Thomas, Ben Thomas photographer, blogging, building, cityscapes, council estate, developments, gentrification, illustration, ink, inner city, Laura Oldfield Ford, Leonie Cumiskey, line drawing, London, Manhattan, Mark Lascelles Thornton, marketing, miniature cities, New York, Patrick Vale, photography, property, property marketing, San Francisco, skyscrapers, tilt shift, tilt shift photography, urban sprawl, work, writing, yuppiedrones
Mezcal 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…Bruja Mezcal
El Buho Mezcal
Mezcal EmmascaradoLa BoticaMezcal Manonegra
Posted in Brands, Culture, Design, Lifestyle, Writing
Tagged 2013, alcohol, alcohol branding, blogging, branding, cool, Crazy Homies, creative, creativity, Dalston, design, graphic design, Leonie Cumiskey, London, mescal, Mexico, mezcal, mezcal mule, Notting Hill, packaging, packaging design, Soho, tequila, Wahaca, writer, writing
It’s May and the weather is still awful and a whole load of other stuff isn’t going so well for me either, but I am seeing Bass Drum Of Death at The Black Heart – a tiny venue in Camden – on Thursday. I’ve loved these guys for two years and I haven’t seen them yet so…yay!
Posted in Events, Music
Tagged American band, Bass Drum Of Death, Black Heart, blogging, Camden, crappy weather, entertainment, exciting, Fat Possum Records, fun, garage rock, gig, indie, John Barrett, Leonie Cumiskey, London, May, Mississippi, music, Print Chouteau, rock 'n' roll
Today I headed up to Walthamstow to visit Chris Bracey’s huge studio on Vallentin Road – God’s Own Junkyard. Peeking through the locked iron gates, it really does look just like a junkyard, but once inside it’s like an Aladdin’s cave of neon treasures.I don’t know whether it’s because of the junkyard’s location, or if it’s because not that many people know about it, but when my friend and I showed up at around 2pm on a Saturday – a peak time for visitors in most places – we were lucky enough to be the only people there.The man who works there, John, is really friendly and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of pretty much everything stored in the studio. He was happy to show us round, pointing out props and signs that had been in various films, like Tombraider, Eyes Wide Shut, and the newest installment of the Iron Man films – a huge ‘STARK’ sign. I really can’t recommend this place enough; I’ve never been anywhere else like it!
Posted in Art, Culture, Design, Film, Photography, Writing
Tagged 2013, art, artist, artist studio, blogging, Chris Bracey, contemporary art, cool, cool locations, creative, creativity, days out, east London, fashion shoot, film, film industry, film props, friendly London, fun, God's Own Junkyard, junkyard, Leonie Cumiskey, light art, lightbulbs, London, neon art, neon lights, nostalgia, old signs, photography, places to visit, props, set design, signage, slogans, something different, surreal, Walthamstow, writer, writing