Saturday, June 19, 2010

Deptford's Dreaming

Visitor to Deptford's Dreaming; photo by Val PhoenixIt's all happening at the Old Police Station. Last night saw the opening of Ben Graville's photo exhibit, Deptford's Dreaming, in the Metropolitan Tea Rooms. The word "characters" was used a lot in the conversation of guests, as they pointed out local figures of renown or notoriety. Tea Rooms boss Jaine Laine, who presides over the yet-to-be realised Deptford Museum, which will eventually house Graville's photos, struck a sombre note as she lit a candle to honour one subject who was murdered. Graville's eye is drawn to the more marginal areas of life, the "before", rather than the "after" of local gentrification. Photos of security tags on clothes, drug paraphernalia and piles of rubbish probably aren't the face that the local authorities wish to showcase, but they reflect a scruffy defiance of homogenisation.

As guests mingled inside, perusing the pictures and quaffing wine, outside in the courtyard an array of "characters" was drawn to the window, through which the England game played on the tiniest of TVs. Rain fell, a vuvuzela was tooted and one man played guitar as a discordant accompaniment. Extraordinary.

Golden Disko Ship in session at Amersham Vale Studios; photo by Val PhoenixThe courtyard houses a collection of freight containers-turned-rehearsal spaces, one of which is now a recording studio, having been opened by royalty-in-residence Jaine Laine last week. The newly dubbed Amersham Vale Studios hosted its first session, as Berlin one-woman-band Golden Diskó Ship recorded five songs for my show on Optical Radio. The session will air next month. I could not be prouder, as it has been my aim to get more live music on the show, another step in our upward surge and, well, scruffy defiance of homogenisation.

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