Last Saturday the ArtPix and Arcane Publishing teams had a staff outing to London.
We were off to see the mighty KILLING JOKE, but first stopped off at Portobello Market, as we hadn't been there for a while.
A couple of years ago there were dark reports in the Evening Standard of property developers buying up bits of the market and inevitably turning them into flats. But I'm pleased to say that doesn't seem to have happened ... YET!!!
It still has its brilliant vibe, with the gorgeous houses and tiny antique arcades all crammed with amazing bits and pieces. Traders in the streets were braving the dipping temperatures and huge crowds, with yet more tempting vintage delights.
I've always been intrigued by the market, to me it feels like a timeline of London.
You start at the top of the street, with the very elegant Georgian and Victorian townhouses and their pastel shades, where you'll find the traditional old-English style of antique shops.
The further down the street you go, the style of houses, sounds and stalls gradually change. The houses start to look slightly ramshackle and Dickensian, and the stalls have a modern and diverse range of art and food, reflecting all sorts of cultures.
You then finally get to the Westway, that huge flyover teeming with cars above you, and it has changed completely, with fantastic dub reggae booming out, cool clothes and record stalls everywhere, and a yet more diverse range of food.
It really is a reflection of how London has progressed and changed over the decades, with new people and cultures adding to the mix. A great place to go and curiously this is where Killing Joke first met, formed and immersed themselves, adding that unusual dub and dance edge to their music.
Just around the corner is another of my favourite old haunts, the Music & Goods Exchange shops in Notting Hill Gate. Back in the early 90s I used to work near them and spent virtually every lunch hour in the record shops!!!
I'm pleased to note that these haven't changed either, with that slightly Heath Robinson and relaxed air about them. I've only sporadically gone there in the last few years, so was good to have a proper root around. I came away with a few unusual and very cheap albums.
Then on to the main event of the day ...
The gig at the Camden Roundhouse was their last date on a truly marathon tour.
I've lived my whole life through music, my alternative world view, fashions, knowledge have been influenced by some truly extraordinary bands that have opened my eyes to things no news programmes could ever do.
And above and beyond all of them are KILLING JOKE, who when I first heard them, changed me forever. No more mainstream music for me anymore!!!
So like me, and everyone else there, their concerts are a celebration.
They are currently riding the wave of a renaissance, finally getting the recognition that, actually, they really did know what they were talking about all along!!!
And also the fact they are astonishing musicians, still no-one can play a guitar like Geordie Walker, and fascinating people off stage.
So if you feel inclined, please do check them out!
Here are a few piccies, as taken by Carya Gish ...
Jaz Coleman conducting the mayhem, with Youth on bass.
In full flight now ...
A good view of the cavernous Roundhouse, the ever increasing gap between stage and audience, and the usual array of slightly bemused looking security.
Geordie can just be seen on the left, behind him is his legendary guitar tech Diamond Dave.
Unfortunately we were too far over to get a glimpse of drummer Big Paul Ferguson and keyboardist Roi.
Can't wait for the next tour ...