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The Edward Francis Blogs

apologies for the lack of recent noise on here, 2011 hasn’t been particularly kind in one way and another so far but it has brought a couple of rather nice illustration jobs. Firstly there is this recent book cover for S. C. Lee and his book Alana Rose: the Edward Francis Blogs. The author had a good idea of the overall composition required which made my job a little easier and it all turned out rather well.

Alana-Rose book cover illustration

The story goes something like this;

This year the geek shall inherit the Earth…literally. Edward Francis is an eighteen year old, part-time, video shop employee with far-fetched dreams of becoming a famous film director. He’s shy (especially around women) misunderstood and friendless, yep, the poor guy just can’t seem to get a break, whether he’s trying to meet his favourite actress Alana Rose (who he fantasises about dating) or attempting to get the local Goth girl to notice him. One thing’s for sure, it won’t be an easy ride for your new favourite blogger. Written in the first person in the form of an online journal, Alana Rose: the Edward Francis Blogs is the journey of a British teenager, growing up in a society that he’d rather forget.

Alana Rose: the Edward Francis Blogs for the Kindle
The book is currently available to buy for the Kindle at Amazon here.

Roadside 17-12-10

number 15 in the series of increasingly occasional roadside photos.

Roadside 17-12-10 - Lost somewhere in the Malvern Hills.

After a nightmare of a time negotiating the ‘a week before Christmas’ traffic I made it out of Malvern town and had a nice drive though some snowy winter hills.

Merry Christmas Redux

Merry Christmas

In lieu of a new piece I’ll re use this one from 2007 and hope nobody notices. Been a hectic year with one thing and another. Aiming for more artwork related type updates and jobs next year!

Merry Christmas one and all.

Beer and bands in Bristol

last weekend was spent in Bristol. A weekend with a mate of mine who normally comes to the winter ATP festival. We’ve found over the last few years we’ve enjoyed ATP less, or more that the experience has changed. While travel to Mineheads Butlins is much easier and quicker for myself, it also means the whole weekend is to be spent in a place with all the atmosphere of a motorway services. The accommodation might be a bit better but the venues are also much, much bigger and the price has crept up and up too. We’ve probably spent more time on the last two visits drinking and catching up in Minehead and Dunster than we have watching the bands. Its kind of a shame as its a great line up this year. Anyway, we figured we’d just have a cheap weekend away, catch some music and have a few beers somewhere else… and thats just what we did.

We landed a decently priced room at the Radisson Blu Bristol via lowcostholidays.com* which turned out to be pretty nice. Great views of the city, friendly staff and a complimentary soft drink on arrival. Win all round. Only bad points were the two lifts for the whole hotel, one of which had a mind of its own and a lack of choice on the radio stations via the TV – I’ve noticed Travellodge are the same, I do miss my 6Music/BBC7 when I’m away sometimes.

The weather was, well…

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Pretty wet for the most part, but we had a good walk round. Was sorry to see all the record shops gone from Park Street now and also to find out that the Bag o Nails pub is closed these days. But theres still loads going on there, we had hoped to catch Sid Griffins Coal Porters band who were due to play but unfortunately the gig got called off. I had a list of things still that looked worth seeing, one night we saw The Crowns, enjoyable though the venue was pretty empty which lost it some atpmosphere and led to a shortish set I think. In fact the whole town seemed a lot less busy than I remembered things.

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Beer and bands in Birmingham

…Or Supersonic Festival 2010

right, I’ve got the CD player loaded up with the excellent Barolo CD, (First heard on the equally excellent Brumcast) and a couple of cds from the 3 for £20 Dirty Water Records Sale. I’ve got half a bottle of wine and a tube of Pringles. God damn it I’m going to finaly finish Supersonic Write up.

You could actually skip this review and head on over to Russ L’s [of Lots Of Things To See And Do In The West Midlands fame] and read his recently posted write up, as he both has a better memory and a more eloquent way with words than myself. Nonetheless, I’ve started so I’ll finish, this write up is brought to you by the photographs I took, the Supersonic Festival brochure and my very poor memory.

The Victoria

I met up with my regular supersonic attendee mate for a beer in The Victoria, a place that always has a decent selection of beers and it didn’t disappoint, one drink turned into four(-ish) and we headed off to check in to our accommodation for the weekend. This was to be the Arc Apartments, same as last year, as it was nice to have some extra space – living room/kitchen/tv/dvd area at not too much extra cost. Check in was confused by the fact I was apparently supposed to bring £200 cash with me to check in, well either that or a credit card. I had neither – there was nothing on any of the booking documents about it – so they agreed to charge my debit card it, this I apparently will get back at some point over the next couple of months, not yet mind, this being further worrying given the list of charges on the table for ‘breakages’ and also the list of charges should you check out more than five minutes late aannnd also given the painting in the room that had been glued back together, the smashed cooker top and the marks all over the walls. Not the most relaxing welcome though the check in staff and the place itself was nice enough.

Anyway, bags dumped we raced off to the Symphony Hall to catch Big Man Clayton who was doing a free show as a part of Birmingham Jazz’ rush hour jazz series of free gigs. It sounded good, and was nicely busy with an open bar – didn’t know what to expect, I’d been aware of the rush hour events for some time but didn’t know it was literally wander over and have a gander. Would definitely go again. That said while it was nice to get a taste of the music it would also have been good to see it in a ‘proper’ venue. After a quick hello to ace photographer and fellow Dirty Bristow contributer eight8all we headed off to the festival. Stopping on route at the recomended, to me, Manzils for some food. Previous Supersonics have always been heralded by some kind of event for us, the fabulously odd ‘school trip-like’ coach trip followed by the exelent Home Of Metal talk in 2008 and then last years free screening of Suspiria. While there were indeed some film screenings on it was nice to have a sit down and a decent meal before proceedings. Food was mostly good, my starter was a bit overdone(and my mate managed to order something which was a scotch egg deep fried with an omelette on the top – but then he always does find these bizarre combos so its no real surprise) the price was right and we both had no ill effects so it was a win overall.

We still had an hour or so to kill so headed for a quick pint in The Old Wharf. Ordering a Guinness we watched a very young band soundcheck. They were pretty good and while clearly heading in different directions genre wise they were a talented bunch. The Guinness had a rasberry tinge as its is oft served in rock venues, we cut it short and headed to the festival.

Okay, to be honest there was a tiny que when we arrived at the Custard Factory, so we headed over to the Spotted Dog for a quick half.

Anyway, we did eventually get to the festival, just in time for Necro Deathmort in the Old Library, which was the new stage for this years, it was a great improvement on both the old Medicine Bar room and the Kitchen as was. A nice space in general with its high ceilings and arches in fact it also had a bar, it would take us a day to figure out that this was in fact the ‘Capsule bar’ and as such, was cheaper, friendlier and had a better choice of beers(In fact by Sunday it was about the only bar with any draft beer left) than any of the others. I remember watching some of and enjoying what I saw of Fuckpig and then Drumcorps, in fact I remember realising it was Arron Spectre and all the great mixes I’d heard of his in the past – just about the time he was finished.

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Bubble Clothing UK

i‘ve recently spent some time helping to create and launch Bubble Clothing UK, a website offering quality custom t shirt printing and embroidery services. Actually its not just t-shirts, its fleeces, hats, hoodies and more.

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All images and artwork copyright ©1998 - 2017 chris hathway, illustrator& Hathway/Creative