Amanda is a nutritionist and author of 'The Food and Mood Handbook'! I saw her to talk about my health. One of her suggestions was to cut out caffeine, which I did and it's had an enormously beneficial effect on my sense of well being. Still craving cup of tea though.
I love the livery on coaches. Really future past now. This big old ant bus thing was taking trees on a sightseeing tour of Monmartre.
This was taken at our favourite Friday night jazz dance session. The DJ was a guest from Helsinki. All the Fridays blur into each other: good music, good times. I don't want to be specific, as I wouldn't want any go-sees turning up to spoil the free form atmos. Dancing to jazz, as an idea, has strongly informed my picture making in the last six months.
I went into Wink on Old Street and my jacket matched the wall. It looks like I'm lying down but I'm not. They have these great bags shaped like classic electric guitars.
On Rivington Street in the heart of fashionable/get-your-self-mugged-on-a-weekend Shoreditch this is, I think, the best art bookshop in London (if you don't include the museums). There are loads of surprises in stock and the owner (Ben) has good taste in what he stocks. The shop has personality, which is pretty rare.
Although I have a mostly vegan (if you can imagine that) diet these days, when abroad I just eat what I'm given because I might not pass that way again and specialisation is for insects. Let me tell you, in case you're wondering, that the mini-tentacle-things (which I managed) taste like spunk. I got off on the idea of loads of guys knowing what spunk tasted like without even knowing it. If you've got a choice its toasted nori sheets every time. Far sweeter. Superb silken tofu.
There's a lot of stuff about Buddhism that rocks my world and so when I go East, I want to connect. Seeing this little furry fella making his/her abysmal, hopeless way across granite steps (only 700 yards from weird inner city cabbage patch) really made me wonder about reincarnation. What the hell is one supposed to do? How did I get here?
It was such a good date today that I had to get an entry. The thing that caught my attention the most were these enormous balls of dust in Hennes. It has to be the dustiest shop (though Gap is quite dusty I've noticed). Now, either this means that 'cheap clothes' lose a lot of fibres or there's such a great turnover that the staff are too busy filling the rails to get the Hoover out or I'm a sad fuck for noticing, when I could've been getting some great affordable style.
Sometimes with my job I just can't believe it. I'd been awake for two days and drank a lot of Guinness. Did Thom's portrait for The Face an hour after he'd made me cry with his new song 'true love waits'. I was so tired I was just shaking trying to load the film and he was just getting on with it, a man who can.
I met up with Mark and Alix for a coffee in town. They always go for this place where you smoke in the basement. The acoustics and atmosphere are fucking awful and if you ever get the chance to pop in just DON'T. Quite a good way to re-install any feelings of cosiness in smug, corporate coffee world.
Today I bumped into Michael whose office is around the corner from SHOWstudio. He took me inside to show me the best photography book I've seen for ages. Published in Japan by Hysteric Glamour. Out Now.
This is Laurence Bell on his 36th birthday. He is the boss of Domino Records and a very gentle, kind man with it. Here he compiles his 10 favourite Domino moments:
Top Ten Domino Moments: A Quick Wine-Fuelled Random reflection from an independent Record Label
1 Sebadoh On Top of the Pops (January 1999) No matter how independent you might be or feel, nothing is quite as exciting as a quick flirtation withda mainstream, when maybe 'your' culture can impact a little on 'The' culture. Sebadoh was the first record we released on Domino, back in '93, so it was particularly satisfying when they became our first and only (to date) band to tear it up on TOTP. Sent me right back to watching the Buzzcocks and other new wave faves as a little 'un, and I got off on the access you get to a generation of kids through this kind of mass exposure, hoping that they all might pick up guitars as a result and emote through music in some better way. This didn't happen but of a few minutes it looked, felt, and was great.
2 Pavement on Suset Strip (October 96) So, your favourite band is looking for a new label, you make the call, wanna make the deal. They say 'we're going down to LA, staying at a hotel on Sunset, come and make your ptich'. So off we fly. Call the hotel, they say they'll leave a cassette of the new album on reception at the Chateau, we should come and pick it up, take it away, listen well and if we dig it, come and lunch with them the following day and tell them why Domino should be their new home. So we do. And we make the deal, fly home victorious, excited and very, very happy.
3 The Pastels with Jad fair at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut (October 96) Jetlagged, just in from the aforementioned West Coast mission and we (that's me and Jacqui rice, my love and longtime Queen of Domino) changed at Hathrow and flew straight to Glasgow, tired and emotional. Our flagship Scottish act The Pastels were playing their annual night at their local, King Tut's. The show was pure and real and for an encore, outsider artist and underground godhead Jad fair joined them to sing 'This Could Be The night', a painfully romantic tune they had cut together 'Back in '91'. Overwhelmed and over tired, tears in my eyes, I have a hard time stopping myself proposing to my true love at that very moment. It was tough by I managed to refrain. I figure she would much rather be proposed to somewhere other than King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, somewhere like a beach in Mexico. Five years on, I still haven't popped the question...
4 Royal Trux at The Garage (April 98) Our favourite band, five years on from starting to work with us were suddenly and finally getting their dues, getting popular. Jennifer Herrema stood tall in her Stetson (soon to be copped by a thousand wannabes), Neil Hagerty made his guitar bleed and the Royal trux laid down the best rock and roll of the times. Packed and hot, the joint came alive, people were awestruck, just incredible. Now they tell me that the White Stripes are hot.
5 Clinic in Caesaria (July 2000) The joys of an invitation to open for radiohead stretch a long way, this time to the shores of the Mediterranean on the coast of Israel. The Roman amphitheatre was stunning and in fact, my Dad had visited it just a s a tourist, to check it out aws part of his historical quest. We got seats in the third row and watched our strange modern art rockers from Liverpool rock the Israeli kids. The stars shot over the stage, which backed onto the Med sea, and I was happy to be there, and I'm now even happier it was last year; not this one. Radiohead were towering too, of course, they work so well in grand settings. This reminded me that there was a big old world out there and music could reach the furthest corners, and with a little luck, we can go to some of these places too. Next year it looks like Domino will be representing itself faraway with events in Istanbul and Moscow. We like that.
6 The wit and wisdom and continuing genius of Will Oldham, Bill Callahan and David Berman. That's Bonnie 'Price' Billy (Smog) and Silver Jews. And all those Drag City princes and paupers that we represent, doing it all the right way, their way, never a dull moment, never.
7 A Beach in Fife (July 2001) Sat around a fire in the early hours on a beach on the coast of Fife this year, a night of strange new folk (people and music) in St. Andrews, of all places. An acoustic guitar was ceremoniously burnt on the fire, which sure stopped the music, but by then I'd met the astounding art and soul of the Lone Pigeon, James Yorkston, King Creosote and all the beautiful new songs they played us this year, and I'm hooked. It's great to find new music in unlikely places.
8 Remortgaging my house. Next week? Next month? Next year? Hope it doesn't come to that by it's gotta be worth it. Right? Right.
9 Domino Translantic (September 2001) This year we started sending the sounds back out to the USA, got a Manhattan address (office is too grand a term for daniel's apartment). It all seems to be going swell. Seemed like a mad idea, but it seems to be working out just fine and it feels good to be roaring our gospel on that supposedly impenetrable continent. Just a shame that the Towers went down two days before our NYC launch in a club at Ground Zero.
10 Kieran Hebden/Four Tet/Fridge (2001-) Just when you start to feel a bit old, someone comes along and makes it all YOUNG and FRESH again. Respect. I would like to recommend the new Jim O'Rourke LP 'Insignificance' and keep a look out for James Yorkston & the Athletes, coming soon.
I had to stay over my sister's in this bed. I dreamt it was the early Seventies and I was a percussionist with Rod Stewart.
Alix is having a baby and part of my project about photographing 'what people are' led me to juxtapose Peter Saville's dying star Joy Division Unknown Pleasures t-shirt with Alix's unknown pleasure within.
I went to Paris to take weird photo' for a Korean client because my agent said I could. They hadn't even seen any of my work. It was pretty stressful but worked out fine. The day after I went to the William Eggleston retrospective, which is probably one of the best photo exhibits I've ever seen. If forced at gunpoint to choose a favourite photographer he'd probably be the one after seeing this. When I came out everything looked kind of Egglestony. More real in the photographic way.
I've done some photo's for Dunne and Raby's Placebo exhibit at the V&A. I was just fooling around with the tape as Fiona unwrapped one of the pictures but I did think at the time it'd be good if you could field off questions like 'how's it going?' with a little badge that said 'a bit dicky' or 'bearing up' or 'don't ask'....
Have you seen him?
Can you help?
When you've been photographing someone all day it can be pretty interpersonal. I'd been photographing this model called Gareth all day and this is the last picture I took. It feels kind of intimate but it's not really. I don't believe in 'portraiture' any more. Photos like this make me feel lonely.
They re-enacted the Norman invasion of England. A really strange idea in light of recent events. Playing at War. 'It's ok, it's happening over there...'
This is Tom at our opening. I was just fooling around and stuck a pink triangle on him because he's not gay but once this was real. I felt kind of dumb about it afterwards because I was pissed and taking advantage of his good nature but I still don't get why I need to force the issue and maybe it gives me an insight into how dumb Ariel Sharon is acting right now.
I went to this gay Hip Hop club, which was about as dumb as a straight Hip Hop club. No flower arranging or anything. These blokes just scowled and acted as un-camp as possible. The music was good though and Noki's decorations were an excellent piss take of the Evening Standard's Right Wing bullshit.
I think the reason I moved to Hove is that it's reassuringly old fashioned. This is the view from the station (platform 1) and I guess it hasn't changed much in a while. I wonder what it is about me that wants to live in a museum. I'm hoping to go to live in Paris in spring and maybe I'll find out.
I've never seen a record collection catalogued by colour! Kevin is pretty thorough and very tidy. His intellectual approach makes me swoon. In case you were wondering, he's quite a soul boy.
I'd had a lost weekend at Chris', just being out of touch and around his good nature. On the way home on the train I met this drunk lady on the way to the funeral of a friend. She was a rather posh ex-alcho Marianne Faithfull type; she was getting more and more pissed and wound up about seeing her family so I threw her vodka bottle out the window.
Sitting on the last train home after a bit of a blarney with my mum bumped into Gordon and Clare. It was lovely to have some company. Gordon gave me some wise words and, job done, fell asleep. Clare sat there looking lovely and I stopped feeling so sorry for myself.
I went to Marrakesh to photograph a man who makes perfume. It was 'really lovely' there but somehow I didn't get into it. Out of all of the places I've visited this year it's the one for which I have unresolved emotions. Visually it's up my street. We had a driver take us to the Atlas Mountains for the day. He introduced us to Mohammed Boushib, who we were to pay to show us his village, to guide us there and back. He was a really charming young bloke who didn't once make us feel awkward about this strange patronising arrangement. We had a scramble up the slope where it levelled out to improvised football pitches. Luckily I had a few pens and a roll of film to give away. When we got back to the village we saw their bathroom and I took this photo of him standing next to it. How would I feel if someone wanted to photograph me in my bathroom? He made me copy his address from his identity card so I could send him the pictures.
I was on the train from Euston to Liverpool Lime Street and this big ginger guy (a personal favourite) sat down next to me. He had flecks of paint on his hands (a personal favourite). He was reading a lad mag with quite a lot of female flesh in it and wrang his hands for most of the way. When I took this picture he turned around and looked at me not really believing I photographed him I guess. Weird. I would have like to have obliged him on the train but then I was a bit pissed.
On the way back from Southampton a pretty ordinary kid sat down opposite me. He wasn't much to look at but his reflection was rather attractive.
Tucked away in pool valley in Brighton near the bus station, this has to be the best teashop for miles with fantastic cakes. All home made and served in a fantastic time warp atmosphere.
Every month I take loads of pictures of our cats being cute which is not a waste of time; I'm just celebrating being alive.
I was engaged to give some lectures on the photography course in Southampton which I had not visited before. It has a fine Civic Centre and the crocus plants were giving it purple in the park. Easily the friendliest college I have ever visited and cold autumn light all around. On the way home I stopped off at Asda for some train snacks where they were handing out smileys without the faintest sense of irony. Let's get brutal! Where's your child?
Alex was having her baby at home and asked if I'd help out; looking after her son Jonah while she and Johnny and the midwife got on with it. Oh yes, and would I mind taking some photos. She gave birth in a tank and Flo came into the world in less than three and a half hours. It was about as mind blowing as you'd expect. There's so much to learn at a birth. I had no idea how big a placenta was or how it too had to be dispelled after the birth. In retrospect, I think I went into a get-on-with-it trance and all the yelling and blood didn't figure as it normally would. The placenta is now in the back garden with a Rowan Tree growing out of it.
Been printing up 100 pebbles for the SHOWstudio limited edition box set project. This is a negative on the baseboard. All so similar but different. 2-D/3-D getting quite blurry. Photography gets trippy and magical and you have to remind yourself that it's just a picture. OK!?
In my sleep-deprived, manic condition I ran around randomly snapping clothing details outside the gig. The style was kind of played down and yet very expressive in an attention-to-detail way like people in Hoxton think they are, I guess. This was my favourite t-shirt.
I met up with these guys after they'd been looking for music and this portrait shows them with their favourite purchase of the morning.
L - R: Konshik Aka Koushik Ghosh:
Jackie McLean and Michael Carvin 'Antiquity'
Manitoba Aka Dan Snaith:
Left Handed Marriage 'On the right side of the left handed marriage'
Four Tet Aka Kieran Hebden:
Don Cherry 'Eternal now'
I saw this guy working on site on my way to the lab and asked him if I could take his photo. I've been trying to photograph people as an idea of what they are. My sister bought me this weird reggae tea-tray-tribute (presumably) to the 70s vocalist in Brixton about 3 years ago and Scott, being a big youth, seemed liked the perfect opportunity to engage in a little big visual pun.
I went to Paris with my sister, Catherine, to see Spiritualized live in concert and had a near as dammit perfect day. Catherine isn't so comfortable with small spaces and heights but she made it to the top of the Sacre Coer, which, I feel is the best 30F I ever spent. How Catherine felt is another matter. Spiritualized are fantastic live in concert. Full on.
Last year I was mostly interested in how my knowledge of photography mediates how I see and take pictures of new places. This year I've been thinking about layers in the digital experience. I've been trying to photograph arrangements that sort of illustrate my feelings about digital aesthetics and procedures.
Alex Rich, the designer, came up with this sweatshirt idea for Flour Power, his local bakery. I bagged one as it's topical and makes sense not cents.
Now this was a strange evening. Luckily the lovely Charlotte was there to temper my contention. I have some photos in there which is a pretty incredible experience. Imagine being smashed off your face on champagne, alone in a room full of Francis Bacon. That's privilege. I got more and more crass and class war about all the old money supping free booze as if they need it anyway. What did it mean? I'm a teenager at heart sometimes. There was this 'party' over the road in the London Institute afterwards that was like 'Night of the Living Dead' with rich people instead of zombies.
I bumped into Jo on the train and she was as beautiful as ever.
I was in Liverpool to photograph the band Clinic and my old friend keith helped out. The night before we renewed our friendship in the Bliss club in Southport, which I might add is an architecturally fascinating town to visit. Bliss is a classic provincial nightclub: all postmodern carpet and UV Dali paintings. This guy and his friend kind of summed up the punters. Nice cufflinks and a fine appreciation of trance. A very enjoyable evening.
I went home for my mum's birthday and in the afternoon visited this nature reserve at Winterton, which is one of my favourite places on the planet. The sea had bitten a massive chunk out of the dunes and the area is likely to flood. This won't be here in 50 years.
After the Richard Wentworth show at the Photographer's Gallery where an artist's eye was rendered so explicit it's impossible not to walk around having moment's derivative of his impulse. I had three such moments that evening.
As I travel about I've been photographing fruit & veg in the wrong places as a sort of photo-tribute to the 'where's Wally?' children's books. One of the loveliest things about Japan was the Japanese. I plonked these fantastic beef steak toms. down on the bridge in our delightfully surreal marriage hotel. Visitors pointed and laughed at the encounter, momentarily ignoring the breathtaking koi looming in the pretend. I felt so happy to be a bit naughty and very alive. Isn't photography grreattt!?