THE STREETS ARE ALIVE!:
A day that didn’t stick to the schedule, a day made of randoms &
recognised opportunities – travelling different roads.
It started in the fields of South Essex, a train, a tube, a phone call on
a street corner in NottingHill. An after party woman loading boxed
wine glasses into a hybrid car watched by a kindly grey gentleman
as three men stood close, negotiating the price of a tiny piece of
real-estate. A phone call received, a forgotten promise that generated
stress & self loathing, waves you could feel across a small room growing
pastel Mondrian shelving. Tangled wires & rhythms.
There was obvious enthusiasm for staying right there & making music.
Maybe it was foolish, but a door opened with a path on the other side,
a suggestion there was something not to be missed, a suggestion was made,
a fuse was lit, a phone call made, a plan was changed. A tube ride with
a borrowed guitar, no longer inconspicuous in the street. A man in a red cap
provoking glances (surely it couldn’t be ‘him’ riding down here with the rest
of us?). A speed drawing on a cellphone in a crowded carriage.
Stepping out of an unfamiliar underground station, new marks on the walls,
new cracks in strange rhythms. Fresh combinations of images & words,
posters advertising stuff we don’t have in Essex. Crossing to another culture,
community, the way people walk in the street – It was vibrant, stimulating.
We we greeted with hand shakes though we were strangers, greeted with smiles like neighbours. Feasted on Jerk Chicken, red beans, rice & salad, sat down at tables made from logs to create titles of unwritten songs from the names of shops under a large loud flat screen tv. You turned the sound down to let us think, I noted how you took control over the room, a soap opera on a loop screwed high into a fake wood wall. Fabulous posters of uncelebrated legends, churches, congregations gathered on pavements, fabulous vegetables & fruit with the dirt still on. Fresh things in unfamiliar natural forms, the world outside of GM luxury styling.
The names of small shops & family businesses, all full of shoppers queueing
to buy. Through metal gates we were led into a small windowless room
that used to be a take-away & behind metal shutters we found drum & bass
& mint tea.
For the rain today I think Jaessica Slighter’s album, ‘Fear and the Framing‘