Saturday, 28 February 2015

I Think I've Hit My Mid-life Crisis - a Vinyl Obsession

So, as I alluded to in my previous blog post, I seem to have hit my mid-life crisis. Whilst I haven't ruled out getting a ridiculously fast car, or running off with someone half my age, my crisis seems to have centred itself around an obsession for vinyl. Having bought a replacement turntable a few months ago, I am now searching out punk, post-punk and new wave records from the late 70's and early 80's in London's second hand record shops, as I used to do as a spotty teenager. Some are records I never had at the time, whereas others are ones that I foolishly sold for next to nothing and am desperate to get hold of again.

One of the most exciting finds was Where's Captain Kirk by Spizzenergi, which was a party favourite back in the day, but that I seem to have either lost or sold over the years.

Spizzenergi - Where's Captain Kirk?
Spizzenergi - Where's Captain Kirk?

Other finds include a couple of early Human League singles, from 1979, way before they asked us Don't you Want Me Baby. I had downloaded a version of Empire State Human a while back, but had completely forgotten about Being Boiled, so was very pleased to come across this one too.

The Human League - Being Boiled
The Human League - Being Boiled

I don't know why I had never heard much of Eddie and the Hot Rods apart from Do Anything You Wanna Do. I certainly never had any of their records when I was growing up, so was delighted to find a couple of their early singles, Media Messiahs and Quit This Town during my searches.

Eddie and the Hot Rods - Quit This Town
Eddie and the Hot Rods - Quit This Town

It's hard to pick which of my recent finds gave me the most pleasure as they are all special in their own way, but if I had to choose one from my recent haul then it would have to be Gates of the West by The Clash. The version I came across was actually a two track Canadian demo copy of the Cost of Living EP, so just in a plain sleeve as opposed to the magnificently colouful sleeve below, and only two of the four tracks.

The Clash - The Cost of Living EP
The Clash - The Cost of Living EP

So, in between my Urban Wanders, or indeed as part of my urban wanders, I shall be spending time searching through racks of vinyl over the coming weeks and months until my thirst is quenched and my crisis is a more manageable state. Stay tuned folks.

    

Monday, 23 February 2015

Another return Urban Wander around Shoreditch, London

Well, firstly welcome back to the internet. I have been without proper broadband for over 2 weeks now, but now thankfully today we are fully connected again, and at a super speed. I have however been busy during my period off line, and activities have included several urban wanders, of which this post chronicles a small part, and also listening to my old vinyl records on my recently purchased Denon turntable ... more of which I will cover in a subsequent post pondering my mid-life crisis.

So, as alluded to above, this post will be split into two or three parts. All the contents are taken from a recent, return visit to Shoreditch and its surrounding areas, but there's quite a few photos so I thought it best to split into parts rather than blast you all with one large post. I did originally think of collating them into some sort of categorised grouping, street art, ghost signs, abandonment, etc., but instead just decided to post them in chronological order, so here goes ...

First up we have a mix of billboard posters and street art. Not sure what the building that's been adorned is but looks like it's been disused a while.

Street art, Shoreditch, London
Street art, Osborn Street, Shoreditch, London

Either this next building a little further down Osbourn Street has been recently abandoned, or the corrugated iron is temporary and allows access to whatever is hidden behind it. 

Abandonment, Osborn Street, Shoreditch, London
Abandonment, Osborn Street, Shoreditch, London

I particularly like this street art, possibly commissioned by the cocktail bar whose shuttered doorway it adorns.

Street art, Shoreditch, London
Street art, Shoreditch, London

Unfortunately this next picture did not come out quite as I'd have liked and the lettering in the brickwork is only barely visible, but I think it says

YE FRYING PAN

which I presume was once a pub, and is now a Bangladeshi restaurant.

The old and the new, Shoreditch, London
The old and the new, Shoreditch, London

As Osborn Street becomes Brick Lane, it's still not especially bust at this end of the road.

 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, London

Presumably an old theatre or cinema, now home to an Indian restaurant and a lettings management company.
Old cinema or theatre, Brick Lane, Shoreditch, London
Old cinema or theatre, Brick Lane, Shoreditch, London

I'm not sure how long this old sign has been exposed for, but it has been impeccably preserved behind whatever newer signage more recently covered it.

Ghost sign, corner of Brick Lane and Fashion Street, Shoreditch, London

Ghost sign, corner of Brick Lane and Fashion Street, Shoreditch, London
Ghost sign, corner of Brick Lane and Fashion Street, Shoreditch, London

Ghost sign, corner of Brick Lane and Fashion Street, Shoreditch, London
Ghost sign, corner of Brick Lane and Fashion Street, Shoreditch, London

Having been completely distracted by the ghost sign on the corner, I almost overlooked the view down Fashion Street.

Fashion Street, Shoreditch, London
Fashion Street, Shoreditch, London

Another old meets new with a new(ish) sign for an Indian restaurant affixed on top of an old pub sign, well I think it's a pub sign as the first word looks like it says

WATNEYS

Hidden ghost sign, Shoreditch, London
Hidden ghost sign, Shoreditch, London

And now on to the street art part of the wander ...

Street art, Shoreditch, London
Street art, Shoreditch, London


Street art, Shoreditch, London
Street art, Shoreditch, London

Street art, Shoreditch, London
Street art, Shoreditch, London

Thanks for reading. Second and third installments to follow in the next few days now that I have an internet connection again.

    

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