Last night's excursion to The Merchant's Hall in Islington was fun; Gina and Caroline were there, and we watched Zillah Ashworth's film, She's a Punk Rocker
, sitting on a motley collection of old chairs. The sound wasn't up to much (strange speakers I suppose) and it was bloody freezing until Zillah's partner Sid fixed the enormous gas heater blaster thing which then roared like mad and made it even harder to hear, but the film looks great- it's really colourful and does the whole subject justice.
Afterwards, Ginger Baker's daughter Ginette read from her book. The microphone wasn't up to much either and in several people's opinion the reading went on for too long; one audience member told her afterwards that she had reduced punk to just fashion and f*cking which made it just the same as any other subculture. I think she had; but then I also think that it was the sort of subculture that had room for everybody.
That was the point.
So for her , if it was just about finding a sexy boyfriend and dressing up, that was OK.
Her Mum was great- she came and took the microphone afterwards and talked about her other daughter, who played guitar in Zillah's band, and who was constantly being asked by guys she was trying to be in a band with if she was 'foxy'. The Mum was incensed by this, and articulated her feelings very well. Gina wants to interview her for her documentary!
We met one of the artists; he told us that he painted the right hand side of the paintings and his partner painted the left side. What a great idea! He was rather pleased, as he was obviously a better painter than his partner; he let us discover this for ourselves, which I thought was very funny.
Rob Ayling, who runs Voiceprint (that's the label that releases my records) was sitting in front of us, much to my surprise; but he's distributing Zillah's film on Voiceprint and that's why he was there.
We talked about crying when cats get put down, which wasn't much of a business-like conversation, but the whole evening was slightly surreal, with a black labrador wandering around trying to get in the photos.
The chap sitting next to him was probably famous: as he left he said 'I've got to go, I'm producing Leonard Cohen's new album at the moment'. That is the sort of thing probably-famous people say, isn't it?
This is how I know I'm not; the thing I say is 'I've got to go, I haven't had any dinner yet and I've got last night's curry in the fridge'. If that changes, you will know I have crossed the divide and become a star.
The photographs are of Zillah and Ginette (and the paintings- you can see my fave of John Cooper Clarke and the budgie), and Gina sitting next to Gina, painted by the left-hand-side artist, which is why the painting looks like somebody else.
These screenings and talks are fun. Go if you get the chance.
Oh yes! I am supporting John Cooper Clarke and Don Letts in Hereford later this year! I am really excited. Years ago, Helen and the Horns supported John Cooper Clarke at Ronnie Scotts. I remember Molly Parkin pursuing him hotly, and, I think, rather a snog going on. The man is a genius, and put him next to Don Letts- that's a dream gig to see, let alone to play at.