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Searchers 2.0: Found.

just a very quick note to say the recent-ish Alex Cox film Searchers 2.0 which I’ve been moaning on about being unable to see for quite some time was again shown on the BBC last weekend, once again in the wee small hours.

Luckily I was just shutting things down for the night when I noticed it was due to be on at 01:15 on Monday morning. Que an hour spent wiring up and old video recorder in order to get a couple of hours sleep and be able to enjoy it properly*.

Of course, you can watch it on the iPlayer for 7 days it transpres, so that was an hour wasted. Link page is here.

Still, my efforts of setting up the video at least mean if BBC 2 continue last weekends practice of showing interestng and cult films in the early hours I am now prepared [If can find somewhere that sells blank videos.] Last weekend saw screenings of a Charles Burnett film I’d not seen, a repeat of the always watchable Wise Blood And finaly a heartwarmng tale about a chap of shortened growth who just wanted some time to himself, The Station Agent. I could half identify with the protagonist in that, I should add I’m a little over six foot myself.

Anyway I’ve since come down wth a stinking cold so haven’t watched Searchers 2.0 myself yet. But I’m finaly looking forward to it, all good things and all that.

Meanwhile Mister Cox is soon to be treating us to a visualy restored version of his classic [IMHO] Straight To Hell, another film I first saw on video. I have to say it looks fantastic compared to what I remember of the originals quality…

*If it is in fact illegal to record a flim off of the TV to watch later then it was a ‘friend’ who did this, okay?

Lost in Digbeth

Planning to fail or…

Well Lane Car Park

Or How I travelled to the Dirty Bristow Summer Fête and never quite arrived.

i should add in my defense of the following, much of the past week has either been spent either being at, or traveling to or from Hospitals. Or else trying to de virus and eventually wipe my laptop, Oh yeah, while still trying to stay on top of a 9 to 5 job. In short I have become accustomed to running around like a headless chicken on not enough sleep, food nor alcohol…

So I set out for the Dirty Bristow Summer Fête safe in the assumption I knew where it was, in my head it was the same place we saw Suspira at the opening of last years Supersonic festival, this turned out to be, well, wrong.

Things started quite badly when the bus driver of my local First Midlands bus service decided not to stop to pick up any passengers at my stop, this does seems to happen occasionally, the last time it did we were left stranded in Selly Oak but at least there was a pub next to us to kill some time in. Anyway, consulting the timetable it seems that thanks to the non stopping First Midland bus, in combination with their customer friendly timetable, I now had just over an hour to wait until the next one. Incensed by this, the fact the git hadn’t stopped and the fact I hoped to be home early-ish I decided to forsake alcohol and drive. What I should have done is gone home, looked up where the venue was and put my feet up for half an hour but thats hindsight for you.

All went well on the drive in, seems they’ve even resurfaced the dodgy road through Longbridge at long last. I got into Birmingham, parked up and set off towards where I thought ‘the Edge’ was. It took me a missed road to find the place and when I did it turned out that what I had in my head as the Edge was in fact Vivid. I’m not sure why I was sure this was the Edge, tumblers had dropped in place when I saw the name and even looking at the map I recognised a few landmarks and thought, yep, thats the place.

At this point I realised that I didn’t even know what street the Edge was on, but I figured if I went up and down the vague grid system of Digbeth I’d come to it eventually. I was supposedly a few minutes from the city centre and from its name I’d guess it would be on the outer fringes. After about an hour I’d certainly arrived at various Edges of the city however no luck on the venue finding front. At one point I saw a couple of people outside somewhere taking artistic style photos ‘aha!’ I thought but no, it transpired that they we’re just taking photos of the graffiti and posters on display. I realised after a while I was quite enjoying my little jaunt around Digbeth and, it having been such a manic week, a little peace and quiet and some walking was quite therapeutic.

As the sun began to set however I started to have doubts that I would ever find the place. Expanding my search to the other side of the High Street a little, though I was sure from past experience that this side was even more industrial and empty than the other. I walked down Warwick Street and then back over for one more sweep of Digbeth nearer the town, There was a band on at the Waggon and Horses who sounded rather good, if I’d not been driving I might have called it a day and gone in for a couple of pints and some noisy music, as it was I wandered onward. A couple of streets on I saw what I thought might just be the Mayor of Dirty Bristows car, however this was not a help, I even started following likely hip looking punters towards places in the hope someone would lead me there, you know you have little hope when this happens. A brief bit of guitar based indie noise on a an empty street bought a comfortable image of standing in a warm small space, beer in one hand, watching a band, was this it? no, turned out to be a recording studio.

Albert Street Development

As darkness fell I found I’d taken an increasing desperate circuitous route and ended up coming back into the town via Millennium Point and Curzon Street Station. By this stage my enjoyment in walking was on the wain, did I mention I needed the loo earlier? well I did, in fact I had ventured into the new Coach Station, nice as it is in there, they now want 30p for you to have a pee, thats ten pence over the odds, even the famous talking toilets of Much Wentlock are not that expensive. So…

While walking round the only things I could think of to help my situation were to find a computer with internet access [my phone is an antique and doesn’t ‘do’ the internet or else to ask someone, I had no luck in the first and a couple of blank looks in the second.
It probably shows how badly my brain has been working that it didn’t occur to me to phone up someone with a computer and get them to look it up for me.

So I took myself and my home grown tomato back home, I’m not sure how much beer two hours walking takes up but when I got back and offloaded the car I did my best to equal things out.

It looks like the launch was a whole lot of, slightly unusual, fun. I’m gutted I missed it but theres no one to blame but myself for that. I did enjoy my walk around though and hope the magazine breaks even or then some, then maybe there can be an issue 2 launch night at some future point.

If you’d like to make that possible, why not get yourself over to dirtybristow.co.uk and buy yourself a copy, its only 4 quid and its sure to be great given some of the very talented people involved.

Panshanger Revival Day

Jiveswing at Panshanger Revival Day in 2010

had a very enjoyable afternoon at Panshanger Aerodrome last Sunday, or as it is slightly less poetically now called the North London Flying School. Some quite amazing vintage aeroplanes flying along with some vintage cars [and people] all in a very relaxed, low key environment.

I think I can categorically say I will never be able to afford such pursuits myself but it was very nice to see all the same.

The Disco Bed

i‘d never stayed in a Travelodge before. To be honest, when I have been looking for cheap accommodation the example room photos on their website always put me off. Firstly because they aren’t necessarily the room you are booking and secondly because they look a bit, well, grim. They always reminded me of the Birmingham Etap with its wipe clean surfaces and prison like impersonality, though at least the TV in the Travelodge was in one piece… more on that later.

Our destination of choice was an overnight stay near Hitchin, so the Travelodge Stevenage Little Wymondley Hotel was to be our destination. Worryingly it didn’t seem to show up on Google satellite view but it is in fact there, just a little further up the road than Google says. Unfortunately the Little Wymondley Travelodge also doesn’t seem to appear in any of the Travelodge offers, so no £19 a night room for us or even ten percent off the £55.70 price. I’ll admit, I’m a relative cheapskate when it comes to hotel rooms, that is, I like to pay as little as possible for the best room possible. Admittedly this had lead to two nights in The George Hamilton V Hotel in Brighton, as would later be featured on TVs top 10 worst hotels in Britain [and now called the Sandalwood I believe.] and also a night in a hotel room in Barcelona that was straight out of an 18th century slum, it may have had a lot of character but just looking at the shower made you want to take a shower. Just not in that shower.

Read More

Dirty Bristow Summer Fete

coming soon (Saturday the 28th of August to be exact.)

Dirty Bristow Summer Fete Poster

Very exited to be given the opportunity to illustrate a story in the very first issue of the new, no rules, no advertising, magazine Dirty Bristow.

I was exited to get drawing as its been a few months since I did any real ‘artwork’ and as such its great to have a deadline and something to work with. That said, due to some travel problems, remember Eyjafjallajökull?, I lost the best part of a month, that and the fact I was so out of practice combined with a struggle to get a handle on the location of the piece I was illustrating meant that despite spending a fair amount of time on my illustration I wasn’t 100% happy with it at the end. That happens sometimes and often I look back and see I was wrong and everything was just fine, so I’m doubly looking forward to seeing things in print myself. I’m also flattered to be in such good company of some of the writers and illustrators involved.

Anyway the good news is it worked, I was so disgusted with how out of practice I’d become I’ve got several new pieces on the go, so thats a result. Heres some more info on the launch night;

In a display of seasonal awareness to match how Bill Oddie thinks it’s time to watch spring in May, Birmingham City Centre is getting a Summer Fête at the end of August. The Edge in Digbeth will be the venue for Punch & Judy, Splat The Rat, a Tug O’ War, Teddy Bear Bungee, Guess The Weight Of The Cake, and all of the stuff you would expect at a traditional British summer fête — plus music and comedy from some exciting acts.
It’s the launch event for new Brum-based magazine Dirty Bristow The magazine doesn’t carry adverts, in order to give full freedom to the writers and illustrators — and so each issue will hold fundraising events to offset the cost of production. Issue one is packed with literary musings, essays, fiction and art on the theme of ‘birth’, and the only way to guarantee a copy is to come to the fête.

The mayor and vicar of the small fictional hamlet of Dirty Bristow have collected a huge variety of traditional musics, comedy, stalls and games — and have arranged for them to happen:
on Saturday 28th August from 6pm ’til Late
at The Edge in Digbeth
for the tiny tiny fee of £5 — which includes a copy of Dirty Bristow issue one (magazine usually £3.50)
So far confirmed is live music from 8-Bit Ninjas and Glatze and comedy from Tom Lennon and Harry Vale, more acts and attractions are to be announced.

Thats just £5 for a copy of the magazine and whats looks to be a very memorable night outs entertainment, why I spent more than that for a couple of hours parking at the hospital this week and I know where I’d rather be spending my money.

Roadside 10-07-10

number 14 in the series of occasional roadside photos.

Roadside 10-07-10 @ The Dog in the Lane, Shropshire

Fields opposite the humourosly titled ‘Dog in the Lane’ in Astley, Shropshire.

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