May 29, 2007


I haven't done many gig reviews here but I thought I'd try and write something about Chik Budo who I saw by accident last year at Camberwells Bonkersfest and finnaly caught up with again last night.

A live combination of two sax, a fuzzy punk bass player, and keyboards- no guitarist. They start with a dance music sensibility in the forefront, bringing in drums and keyboard stabs as you might hear on any stripped down techno track. Then they lift off into the most refreshingly nutty, live frenetic punk jazz all of their own. To me this is the cutting edge of the sort of post-rave/post-rock dance music I want to hear.

Its fantastic to see five very individual musicians enjoying the breadth to pitch their stuff at each other and ride each others riffs. They don't need a singer, they don't need a guitarist, they don't even need to speak to the audience or for the audience to look at them. They just make you dance. You know- fuck the verse chorus milarky- FUCKING DANCE.

They should be bloody huge. If you're a bit jaded with the verse/chorus/guitar solo gravy train you could do no better than to get down to see Chik Budo for free at this years bonkersfest on saturday. They are on at 6:15.
UPDATE: Bonkersfest was OK ish, The soundman took two numbers to get Chik Budo sound remotely accurate and then some stupid bitch compare pulled them off stage ten minutes later. What is the point of booking a band if you don't let them fucking play? It might have been free but WE WAS ROBBED!

May 27, 2007


Renowned BBC journalist Rageh Omaar has agreed to come and speak at a
meeting of Camden Stop the War Coalition. He has recently filmed a
documentary in Iran where he tries to show the country through the eyes
the ordinary people who live there. We will have an edited copy of the
documentary, and Rageh will lead a discussion. We will also have other
were involved in the making of the film at the meeting, including the
director, Paul Sapin, and Ziba Mir Hosseini from the London Middle East
Institute who made a lot of it possible.

This will be a fantastic opportunity to hear about Iranian society
the images we see on the tv.

Thursday 14 June, 7pm
London Irish Centre
52 Camden Square
off Camden Rd

May 26, 2007


I was really looking forward to the Temporary Autonomous Art show last week. We arrived to find it canceled by Police who had cordoned off each end of the road, keeping everyone inside under siege.

The danger of this event continuing was considered enough to divert a sizeable portion of the already understaffed central metropolitan police away from the Saturday night chaos of central London.

We went off to the Urban Voodoo Machine party at the Gypsy hotel in Dalston. I used to squat in Dalston 10 years ago and it was nice to be back in Turkish 24 hour land.

I had to laugh the other day reading about David Cameron taking his own party on about grammar schools. Now when there is talk of fast tracking plans for new Nuclear Power stations and out of town Supermarkets I read somewhere that he was telling government off for being in the hands of big business. What is the Tory party?

John Bird, founder of the Big Issue wants to challenge Red Ken for London Mayor. I have no opinion as to either of them being any good but I would enjoy seeing some sort of spat between their rival publications.

In other non news, why are the papers not full of the search for the South london Arsonist? The Cutty Sark might have been the most famous of recent fires but it's actually the third or the fourth of recent weeks. We had to close all our windows for two days only a couple of weeks ago as a huge amount of tyres went up locally. Seriously, there is someone going around setting alight to everything. Why aren't the papers on the case?

May 24, 2007


Well, as you may have read by now, our premiere of "Sicko" at the Cannes Film Festival has been an overwhelming success. The 2,000 people inside the Lumiere Theater were alternately in tears and laughing during the two-hour film -- and when it was over, they gave it a standing ovation that seemed to go on for nearly 15 minutes! Many came up to me and said (and critics seem to agree) that this is my best film yet. I don't know about that, and it seems weird to compare any of these movies in the first place. But I do feel safe in saying that I am very, very happy with this film and I can't wait to show it to you when it opens on June 29th.

Cannes is a crazy place. There are film lovers here from nearly every country in the world. And then there are the people in "show business." These dark forces have virtually ruined this art form (invented by the French and nurtured to brilliance by the country I call home). There are so many bad, awful films now and less and less people are going to the movies. Many who run Hollywood believe that the American people are too stupid to enjoy a film that respects their intelligence.

At the press screening for "Sicko," the Wall Street Journal reported that hardened reporters and critics wept. Even those who have been harsh to me in the past, or who have not agreed with my politics, were moved. Aside from my stated desire that "Sicko" ignite a fire for free, universal health care (and a larger wish that we, as Americans, do a better job of treating each other with a true sense of solidarity and respect), I continue to hope that I can make a contribution to the art of cinema and give people a good reason to get out of the house for a few hours.

May 13, 2007


HELSINKI, Finland (Top40 Charts) - After one of the most exciting votings ever, Serbia won the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Molitva. Marija SERIFOVIC received 268 points from telephone voters in 42 countries with her potent but simply-staged ballad "Molitva", or "Prayer"! The winning song was written by Sasa MILOSEVIC MARE and composed by Vladimir GRAIC. Serbia will now be charged with hosting the event in 2008. Following her win, Ms Serifovic told reporters "a new chapter has opened for Serbia. I am so proud. All my success is made by singing."

The Ukrainian drag queen 'Verka Serdyuchka' into second place. Russia came third and Turkey finished in fourth place. British act 'Scooch' managed only 29 points with their tossy song, Flying the Flag.

Still its all going to plan;

Nine years agothe Israelis – hardly the most sexually forward-thinking country in the world – fielded the Yemeni postop transsexual Dana International. She won. So while other countries are fielding omnisexual third-sex taboo-busting divas, we’ve sent over Scooch. In flight attendants’ hats. We’re actively trying to retard the contest...

...Every year, without fail, we send whatever is lying, slightly fuzzy, at the bottom of our Pop Fridge. It’s always an act so awful that it’s awfulness looks suspicious – as if we’re fielding the opposite of a ringer. A dinger, maybe, or a minger. The fact that there was a public debate on whether to field Morrissey – one of the greatest pop iconoclasts this country has produced – before, for some reason I still don’t understand, binning him off in favour of Scooch (who look Albanian), is just proof of our Eurovision-wrecking plan.

I thought Bulgaria should have won it. Its a bit of a Juno reactor circa 1994 rip off but I'm told that Juno Reactor ripped off Bulgarian folk music to start with so this is payback.

UPDATE: I wasn't sure if Scooch were so badly rated because they were so shit, because they just weren't shit enough or maybe they were just the wrong type of shit. Apparently I'm wrong on all counts. The real reason we failed? IRAQ:

Britons believe the reason their entrant in this year's Eurovision song contest placed second last comes down to politics, not a disinterest in dancing airline crews and flashing airplanes.

Pop historian Paul Gambaccini told the ABC's AM program the four-member UK band Scooch received so few votes because of Britain's role in Iraq.

"There's an elephant in the room here which no one is talking about, that is the war in Iraq. Britain's votes plummeted with the invasion of the war and they have stayed in the cellar with the occupation."

May 10, 2007


What with filming the NF, watching This is England and now seeing such a well put together program as The Seven Sins of England has been really good for me.

May 07, 2007


Conditions of Membership:

  1. You must be over 14 years of age.
  2. You must be of white parentage.
  3. Your spouse or partner must also be white.
  4. No homosexuals, male or female, are allowed as members.
  5. You must not be an illegal drug user.
  6. You must be a British Nationalist first and foremost.
  7. You must not be a member of any other political party in Britain.

Its a shame that most of the commenters on my film about the National Front seem incapable of debate. Maybe unsuprisingly, the most grief I get personally is from people who are against the NF. On the subject I saw This is England last night. I reckon this is one of the best films I have ever seen in my life. The kid who stars in it- all of the actors- are amazing. Everyone who has an interest in the National Front or anyone who grew up in the eighties should watch it. The action and attitude of the characters puts a totally different perspective on the accompanying footage from the Falklands war.

Obviously there were more people against going into Iraq than there were going into the Falklands...but the shame I carry as a British resident, was that it was a war handled in the media as if it were a World Cup summer. Like when England go into the World Cup, there are Union Jacks on the papers, and you can look at headlines from the time and it sounded just like that. Ultimately, I was privy to footage from ITN archives – that wasn’t shown on television – of the people we were fighting, and it was shameful. It was bullying. It was really horrible. How could we have been proud of winning that? It was the equivalent of putting Mike Tyson in the ring with a 7 year-old kid from an infant school. So that was always running in the back of this film – the root level of that horrible racism, that bullying and violence that exists in someone can also be inherent in a nation without us knowing it.

May 02, 2007

JAWAD AKBAR: "I think the club thing you could do, but the gas would be much harder. Club stuff - there's people who even get in yeah, with like they're searching stuff yeah, but it's only the bouncers that search you."

"Bruv, just before we thing, you don't think this place is bugged, do you?"

OMAR KHYAM: "No, I don't think it's bugged bruv, at all. I don't even think the car is bugged. What we're doing, if they knew about it they wouldn't wait a day bro, they wouldn't wait one day to arrest me, yeah, or any of us."

Very sobering. Very chilling to read. I actually popped into this trial a long while back but didn't blog about it because of reporting restrictions. I got a horrible feeling that I had actually spoken to Anthony Garcia outside the mosque in Finsbury park. Its horrible to think that whilst I was fairly flippantly filming around Hamza's posse, cynical about any idea of home grown Muslims meaning us harm, two plots were actually being hatched. Its horrible for me as a fairly liberal British person to read words of terrorism in the "street language" of my country. I heard Hamza over and over preaching against bombing innocents here and Abdullah had me convinced, even as I was reading about the people of Al-Mujaharoun justifying terrorist acts in Europe. It doesn't mean of course that others around them didn't feel differently, and the security services have to distinguish between them. Good luck. I'm sure conspiracy theorists will take the unexplored link with the 7/7 bombers and the refusal of the authorities to launch a public enquiry as evidence of "false flagging". Fuck knows. I'm a long way out of all this. I just want to play my guitar.