Archive for March, 2018

‘Manchester Icons’ collected – a new print

Posted in Art, celebrity, Culture, Design, Film, manchester, Movies, Music, Pop Culture, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2018 by dc

Between 2013 and 2017 I sporadically worked on fifteen portraits of cultural icons from the city of Manchester. Late 20th century men and women who’d made a real cultural impact on not only the city itself but the world at large.

With lots of help from friends and acquaintances (and lots of arguments later) I came up with the chosen fifteen icons. Stars from the worlds of music, film, TV and comedy. There were notable absentees like Morrissey, Ian McKellen and Liam Gallagher, but hey, you’ve got to stop somewhere, and fifteen sounded about right!

The final fifteen were as follows – Tony Wilson, John Cooper Clarke, Victoria Wood, Lemn Sissay, Mark E Smith, Shaun Ryder, Caroline Aherne, Danny Boyle, Ian Curtis, Johnny Marr, Maxine Peake, Les Dawson, Steve Coogan, Ian Brown and Noel Gallagher. You can view them all individually (and order prints) here.

Anyway, late last year, as some of the prints were getting snapped up as Christmas presents, I thought a nice way to conclude the project would be to collate all the icons in one print. Something for people who like my style and want to celebrate all the icons from across the series – so, here it is…

Manc Icons collected - low res

Low price A4 and A5 giclee mini-prints are currently available (mounted or unmounted) with a limited edition A3 print coming soon. You can order yours here.

Ten NEW bands you should check out NOW…

Posted in Music, Pop Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2018 by dc

Life takes it’s toll and whilst I’d love to be a prolific blogger like five or six years ago, it’s no longer possible. I do like to keep this little blog ticking over though, so every now and again I can highlight some new art, a cracking film or some great new music.

As I creep into middle age, like many folk, I have lots of conversations with people about how, “there’s no good music anymore”. I nearly always baulk at this suggestion, and whilst 2018 probably isn’t going to be remembered as a great year of new music like 1969, 1977 or even 1994 were, it’s certainly started off on the right note.

Just yesterday I was having a chat about new music with a friend and pretty quickly we were able to list about a dozen top new acts that had released debut EP’s, albums or just a song or two in the last few months. The music scene might be starved of money on the bottom few rungs of the ladder but the creativity’s still bubbling and thriving.

I’ve put together a list of ten acts who’ve released debut stuff this year (or for the pedants amongst you, late 2017 and this year), and who I’d encourage you to check out (especially if you think there’s no decent new music nowadays):

MIEN – Their site describes them as, “a Transatlantic four-way collision of considerable force”. Pitchfork have labelled them, “apocalyptic psych rock”. I’d call them, “kraut-psych noodlers with tunes”.

The Fernweh – A Northern three piece whose debut single, ‘The Liar‘ has a late 60’s psych-folk feel to it and loads of charm.

Olden Yolk – A New York four piece crafting catchy motorik influenced folk rock, with some lovely little electronic flourishes and prog rock moments scattered here and there.

Boy Azooga – A cracking new Welsh band who remind me of recent blues rockers like The Black Keys and Royal Blood, but there’s also a playfulness that touches on bands like Can, The Happy Mondays and the Super Furry Animals.

Sports Team – Peculiar UK six piece mixing up elements of slacker rock and 80’s post-punk to create some chest-thumping, wayward excellence.

Andre Bernier – Lovely, mellow folky shenanigans (from a man who needs to upload more stuff onto YouTube).

Cut Worms – This American singer-songwriter has been getting a fair bit of radio play recently. He has a really catchy late 50’s / early 60’s retro sound (think Harry Nilsson sings The Everly Brothers, or vice versa) that kids could probably listen to with their nan without it seeming too odd.

Creep Show – A new collaboration between John Grant and Stephen Mallinder (aka Wrangler) – think alternative 80’s electro-pop meets sinister oddness and dry mirth.

ARTHUR – Avant-garde oddball that hit my curiosity buttons perfectly – I know nothing about him, except for the fact he’s on a London based record label and has two tunes available that both barely scrape over the one minute mark.

Palace Winter – A Danish duo serving up gently dark scando-alt-pop that’s more palatable than that sounds. They’ve had plenty of 6 Music plays, which makes sense.

So, there you go, ten top new bands / actslooking for some love this year. Who have I missed out? Let’s share some new stuff…