I really really enjoy the Lush Cabaret, recently someone put on their TripAdvisor that they laughed so hard at the cabaret that they thought that they were going to eject a kidney. That’s a lot of laughter.
Terrorism is a fact of life, well a fact of my life anywhere. When I was 7 the IRA blew up the toy-shop I used to buy Action Men in, which was next to one of the pubs that they attacked in Guildford Surrey. When I was a teenager, I remember going to see the broken windows at Harrods following the bomb that the IRA placed there in 1981 or maybe 1982.
In the 1990’s I saw French soldiers hassling a man of North African appearance after a series of terrorist outrageous in Paris. At the same time I remember the complete disappearance of public waste bins after the IRA, again, had taken to leaving fire-bombs in the railway station bins. London’s streets really suffered after these outrages, the streets were filthy.
I have been at the edge of latest bought of terrorism, when I was at Edgware Road tube station 2 hrs before the 7/7 explosions and then had a really difficult time trying to reach my darling sister who worked in the City at the time.
So, it should really come as no surprise to see anti-terrorism measures around London. But, but, but, despite seeing anti-terrorism measures on nearly every London Bridge over the Thames, I was terribly shocked and stunned to see anti-terrorism, anti-suicide and anti-wild driving barriers around Leicester Square.
The blocks are somehow beautiful, somehow terrifying, somehow stunning. It makes me really sad to see them.
For me, Leicester Square is a centre of fun. When I was 18 I went to see my first X-Rated film there, Risky Business – Tom Cruise (It’s really not that racy), I have been clubbing in the Square, met friends in the Square and bought theatre tickets in it to. There are also pretty nice public loos there too. Leicester Square is also the spiritual home to The Burly Photographer. I have shot Burlesque Idol umpteen times at the Hippodrome Casino. I have probably taken something like 20,000 images there. To have the Square barrackaded like a fort seems almost obscene.
It is obscene, but it is logical
But – lets look at this another way round.
Leicester Square is a centre of entertainment, it is fun messy, smelly (sometimes) and the place where fun begins. We should want to defend the ability to have fun, if we cannot have fun, have a laugh, get pissed and make fools of ourselves, then terrorism has completely won.
So we have to defend it – the fortress is unfortunate – but it has to be done – Es Liebe Madness……..
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine said that she was interested in becoming a model and asked whether I would take some shots of her so that she could practice.
We played around with poses and decided to do a daylight shoot without the aid of flash.
One of the ideas we played with was the use of a headscarf, I think that I had recently been given a book of photos by Steve McCurry and was inspired by his headscarf photos. His photo of an Afghani woman uses a red headscarf, which we didn’t have.
But, Fede – who was modelling that day, managed to pull something quite special off that day.
Last week, or maybe a couple of weeks ago I went to see the Don McCullin exhibition at the Tate Britain – Again. If you haven’t been you really should go.
Anyway, I was feeling inspired by McCullin’s people and street photographs. I was wandering in the streets behind the Tate looking for a Boris Bike to take me to the Extinction Rebellion demo and I heard a guitar playing.
I thought I would investigate and I met Francois, who was happy to let me take his picture while he played. I hope that I have done him and his playing justice.
Hopefully that got your attention. I was thinking about the photographs I have taken and realise that I have taken pictures of some of those that had led us in the early part of the Century and a few other ‘famous’ politicians in the last couple of years.
So here’s a few of the pics I have taken of those that have led us, influenced us or sought to lead us.
David Lammy 2018
Angela Rayner MP 2018
Angela Rayner MP 2017
Owen Jones 2017 (Again)
Sir Keir Starmer MP and Matt Rodda MP 2017
Chukka Umunna MP 2016
Jonathan Aitken 2014
Diane Abbot MP 2014
Lord Neil Kinnock 2014
Lord David Blunkett 2014
Paris Lees 2013
Owen Jones 2013
Lord John Prescot 2010 – Reading
Eddie Izzard 2010 – Reading
Rev. Jessie Jackson 2008 – A long time ago and a bit soft
Do you remember when we thought that occupation could change the world?
In 2011 the City was occupied, Billy Bragg played an impromptu gig in front of St Pauls and we thought that there was a chance that the world might change. The Arab Spring had just happened and there was hope in the air.
Ok the Arab Spring turned very sour, and Occupy has changed the City not one jot, but it is sometimes nice to simply remind ourselves that there are people who were willing to make a stand and willing to hope for a different future.
Below are some pictures from that year of Occupation in the City, with 2 sites, one infront of St Pauls, another on Finsbury Square and also of the smaller Occupy Nottingham.