Friday, 3 April 2009

Malicious Damage

Last night saw me wander down into south London - Clapham to be exact - which is a rare thing for me (unless visiting the Battersea beer festival) and so I was having to rely on the Good Beer Guide for some clues as where to drink.

I opted for the Manor Park - a nice little boozer off Clapham High Street - and I was delighted to see five handpumps. All good stuff too, including Landlord, Summer Lightning, Ringwoods Best and Downton's Honey Blond. I have to admit I wasn't very adventurous and stuck to the tried and tested, Landlord.

And there were couple of pub dogs for good measure including one sad looking Labrador with a sign round his neck saying "Please Don't Feed Me". Bless...

One of my London Miller chums, Andy Leng, joined me and we continued to drink the Landlord for a couple of hours - Andy suggested the Honey Blond was good but I'm not a great fan of honey beers.

The reason for our being in this neck of the woods was to attend the first of two nights celebrating 30 years of Malicious Damage - an independent record label at the Arch Bar.

This sort of place is not the sort where you'd find me - no hand pumps (no surprise) - but they had some decent bottles - Sam Smiths Organic Ale and Lager, Whitstable Oyster Stout, Vedett (a Belgian brew), Brewdog's Punk IPA and some of the Meantime range. All far too cold of course but needs must.

The blurb promised a night "multi-media cross-pollinated aural & visual orgy of art, live bands, djs, videos and more...". Blimey.

However the main reason we were attending was to look at some of the iconic artwork that has been produced by the label which is probably best known for releasing Killing Joke albums.

(left) Andy surveys the Killing Joke wall

As some DAFTS will know from my t-shirts, I'm a fan of Killing Joke as is Andy and so this was too good a chance to miss.

And dear reader, we even have a Darlo connection!

The artist responsible for the artwork is Mike Coles who was one of the founder members of the label but who now runs it on his own. And Mike hails from Darlington and is a Darlo fan.

(right) Mike Cole and my new piece of art

Or he was. Having been down in London for over thirty years he started taking his son to QPR - his nearest club - and they're now season ticket holders. He retains a fondness for Darlo of course - who wouldn't? Be thankful he didn't succumb to the corporate allure of Chelsea or Arsenal but I doubt that was ever likely.

The exhibition itself was excellent and I couldn't resist purchasing one piece of artwork - not sure where we'll hang it yet - but it is of the first KJ record I bought, the 10 inch Turn To Red EP, back in 1979.

Likewise, Andy also too a shine to a piece and finally managed to justify buying it - whether his wife will be persuaded remains to be seen!
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Once we'd got the buying out of the way, we could relax and chat to fellow aficionados as well as watch a few of the acts, all of them on Malicious Damage.

And we couldn't leave until Andy had his photo taken with Alex Paterson - former Killing Joke roadie in the very early days but now well known as the main man in the Orb, those pioneers of ambient house.

(left) Andy and Alex say 'cheese'

Alex being the lovely chap he is was more than happy to oblige and so we all went home happy...

You can read an interesting interview with Mike Coles here.

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