Friday, 10 September 2010

Music journalism: band overview

Written for Venue magazine, July 2010

A Glimpse of Hope

With Massive Attack putting her smoky vocals to use earlier this year, Hope Sandoval has added yet another name to her collaborations list. Teaming up with ex My Bloody Valentine, Colm Ó Cíosóig to form the Warm Inventions in 2001, last year saw the release of their second album, Through the Devil Softly, a record sure you sweep you away to dreamland with its delicate eddies of strings and percussion.

Dirt Blue Gene appear on the album, as well as this year’s tour, and influence a sultry digression from Sandoval’s back catalogue with tracks like Trouble and For the Rest of your Life, which beautifully compliment the rest of the bell and chime encrusted tracks.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Art Exhibition overview

Written for Folio magazine, June 2010.

Soma Overview

Fiona Hamilton brightens up Clifton Arcade with her display of prints, ceramics, textiles and jewellery supplied by local and established artists. 
“I opened in 2004 and originally it was just prints,” she recalls. Mainly attracting budding illustrators at the time, contributors have gone on to establish successful careers. Early prints by Rob Ryan, Graham Carter and Anthony Burrill have all turned into highly sought-after pieces, and up-and-coming artists Anna Marrow, Ian Chamberlain and Peskimo are all hoping to follow suit. Fiona’s view on mainstream culture is evident in the unique pieces she chooses to sell: “they’re personal works and not layered by advertising,” she says. The success of her gallery speaks for itself, having branched into the realms of gifts and fashion. Creators of stylish stationery, badges, bags and cushions have all been drawn to the gallery and their products can now be found alongside the dynamic selection of prints.

Soma caters for all tastes, from those looking to spice up their walls, to serious lovers of art, so expect an eclectic collection of limited edition prints and crafts. The gallery is due for an autumnal revamp in September, so for your last chance to see this summer’s offering, drop by now for a browse.

Soma Gallery Clifton Arcade, Boyces Avenue, Clifton, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 973 9838,

Friday, 3 September 2010

What's On/ Panel Pieces

Produced for Folio magazine, June 2010

Heritage City

BANES council are really upping their tourist game this summer by er, plugging, the city’s noble reputation.

Plunge into the historic waters of Georgian Bath (okay, the aquatic puns will stop here) with a late(ish) night visit to the Roman Baths, whose managers have pledged to keep the doors open until 10pm throughout July and August. Entry is free for locals who can prove their residence – a few fifty pound notes falling from your wallet should do that – or £11.25 for adults otherwise. Concessions available.

If you’ve travelled from lands afar, determined to enjoy an affordable day, why not invest in a combined ticket at the price of £15, which allows you entry to the Baths and Fashion Museum. If you’re around on 17th July, you can drop by the image-conscious museum to view a collection of Princess Diana’s very own dresses. Whilst the 80s saw us mere mortals running around in Mr Motivator-style lycra and neon, Lady Di was wise enough to resist the headbands and leg warmers, and instead opt for the likes of the 1880-style silken frock or sequin studded chiffon number that you can catch at the museum.

For those budding Tony Robinsons with a penchant for dirt, rust and your grandmother’s grandmother’s broken crockery, the Portable Antiques Scheme comes to town on 19th July. Finally you can convince the world that the lump of blackened metal rotting away in your pocket since you last walked Rover will get you that villa in the Maldives. If you’re not fortunate enough to have your own little piece of history, you can bumble over anyway, and find out what they forget to tell you in Antiques Roadshow.

Bath Heritage Services July-Aug, Roman Baths; Fashion Museum, Bath. Ffi: 01225 477785,; 01225 477736,