Tag Archives: “ben jones”
It’s that time of year again. Medway Eyes is three years old in October, and what a long way we’ve come. Three years of art, music, photography, community and fun can only be a cause for celebration, so that’s exactly what we’re going to do. In grand tradition, we’ll be releasing a download album of Medway music at midnight on Friday 7th October. You’ll be able to pay what you like for the album, and every penny raised will go to Oxjam. The album will be available via http://www.medwayeyes.co.uk.
We’d like to thank the following lovely, fluffy bands and musicians for contributing to the album we have so imaginitavely entitled ME3: The Ambience, Arcelia, Archie Wah Wahs, Baron Von Marlon, Ben Jones, Billy Wears Dresses, The Blissful Mop, Bob Collins, Brigadier Ambrose, Crybaby Special and the Monsters, Damsel, Dave Read, Didi Bergman, Falling Lucid, Firstborn Heroes, The Flowing, Frau Pouch, The Galileo 7, Glenn Barnes, Groovy Uncle, Houdini, James Doyle, The Kids Unique, Los Salvadores, The Love Family, Lupen Crook, Maker, Mr Bridger, One Eleven Edmund, Porlie Eidolon, Reavsey, The Reg Varney Trio, Science Noodles, The Shagmonroes, Simon Bunyan, The Singing Loins, Stuart Turner and the Flat Earth Society, Survivors Of Suki, Tape Error, Theatre Royal, Thomas Turner and the Contents, Tyrannosaurus Alan, Unlucky Fried Kitten, UpcDownc, Wheels, Wolfgang Riot and Z-Stacks.
That’s 47 tracks. Not bad for a dead music scene, eh? We’ll be plugging it shamelessly when we take over Fizzer’s show on Radio Sunlight between 8pm and 10pm on Monday 3rd October.
We’ll be celebrating the launch of the album at the Nag’s Head in Rochester from 8pm on Friday the 7th, in the splendid company of Singing Loins, with support to be announced soon. It’s the landlady’s birthday that day, so expect a top atmosphere. And get there early. It might get a bit busy.
UPDATE 02/10/2011: We are delighted to announce that Singing Loins will be supported at Friday’s gig by Crybaby Special and Gary Robertson of The Love Family. That’s two more reasons to come along!
Desolation Row is an ongoing collaborative multimedia project that is Medway Eyes’ response to the regeneration that is taking place in Medway despite a lack of sufficient public consultation.
We believe that respectful management and preservation of a place’s heritage is the key to a successful regeneration, yet we have seen the Theatre Royal demolished, Aveling and Porter groundlessly condemned, and Sun Pier left to ruin. The council can see Sun Pier from their plush new offices. We’ve asked them when it is going to be fixed. We have not received a reply.
We also observe that regeneration in other areas has opened up waterfronts. Not here though. The waterfront will be covered in flats and closed off from the town by a bus station in the wrong place.
Sunday 15th March saw an assortment of creative locals – musicians, photographers, film makers, writers, artists and designers traipsing around the forgotten stretch of the Chatham/Rochester Hight Street. The plan for the shoot was to make it up as we went along and then go to the pub.
Our only disappointment was that the Bob Dylan which had been stencilled onto the side of the Jade Garden (by Redlock, we subsequently discovered) had been painted over. A real shame as it was the only thing breaking up the ghastly shade of Dull that the rest of the building was painted in. Anyway, thanks to our vigilant photographers, we’d heard of a second Bob Dylan painted on Bath Hard Lane. We found Bob to be wonderfully photogenic and a
real hit with the ladies. We did the second Desolation Row shoot two weeks later. We filmed some interviews and singing by the river and drank more beer.
Unfortunately, there was one thing missing; Bob Dylan. The second Bob had been painted over too. He’d been stencilled onto a filled-in railway arch on a scrubby bit of wasteland, so who would paint over it and why? Given that other graffiti had been left behind, including an indecipherable, artistically devoid tag about six feet high, we could come to only one conclusion; the council had been out with the whitewash again. It seems we were right, too. Medway Eyes photographer, Garry Jenkins was in the papes again for the second time in a week. The caption beneath his photo read “This Dylan image has since been painted over by council workers”. While they were at it, the council painted over another historic piece of graffiti; a tribute to Thee Milkshakes which had adorned the wall by the railway bridge for more than twenty-five years. You see, the council can’t have the general public seeing validity in vandalism. How will it manipulate us into believing that Medway needs regeneration if the crappy tags have to compete with artistic graffiti? So they painted over Bob and the Milkshakes leaving the rubbish behind in the name of making Medway a “cleaner and safer place”. The council whitewash is not for our safety, it is a tool of censorship, used to blunt our senses to its persistent cultural vandalism.
We’re letting this project find its own path and allowing it to take as long as it needs to to record change. There will be video, music and maybe a book. It is possible, but unlikely, that a physical gallery exhibition will accompany this project, so don’t be upset if there are no postcards of the hanging. The chances are we’ll manage another gig.
See the Desolation Row page on our website for more information.