The living is easy

Update: OK, yesterday’s lesson is that you shouldn’t post on a blog when you’ve had about five hours sleep a night for the last two weeks, and two bottles of cider just before. Camberwell Arts Festival is on Sunday, not Saturday. Other than that, the following is probably more or less right.

No update for a while, as my nephew has come to stay with me to do work experience (staying with me isn’t his work experience, coming to work with me is) and I’ve found myself with little spare time. Light updates for the near future also; more on that later.

So Summer is upon us and it’s time for Camberwell Arts Week. It all kicks off with Camberwell Live! in Lucas Gardens on Saturday, and there’s a full programme of all kinds of stuff until Sunday 24th (stretching the definition of a week, but that’s ’cause we’re bonkers!!1!).

Get out and support it as much as you can, because this is part of what makes us more than just another bland suburb, and why I get cross with stuck-up journalists who don’t bother to look beyond the obvious when they’re seeking out their goat’s cheese crostini.

In case there’s anyone here who doesn’t read, here’s an interesting snippet: the Council’s Licensing Committee are (finally) going to begin consultation on a ‘saturation policy’ — that is, if we have too many off-licenses in the area and are they contributing to the street drinking problem. I would say ‘yes’ and ‘yes’.

As mentioned earlier, there’ll be light updates only for the near future; my web-hosting package is coming to an end and I’ve decided to make a few changes, so I’ll be busy doing technical stuff in my spare time. Part of that will probably involve a redesign of the blog, unless I run out of time. Complain about it now, because everybody hates change; you’ll love it after a week or so, though.

Get out and enjoy the Summer. It’s beautiful.

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

84 thoughts on “The living is easy”

  1. We Are Bonkers. We should could gossip about that.

    Camberwell Arts Festival used to be called Arts Week. It’s not now.

    Has anyone had a thought of Camberwell Festival?

  2. Camberwell Festival — where all the local organisations come together to celebrate their provenance, their existence, their uniqueness, their diversity under one umbrella in June/July. They all work together to make a whole that is bigger than the sum of the parts. They help each other, work in a spirit of cooperation, share markeintg and administrative budgets and burdens, perhaps even share offices, all to the benefit of each other and the wider community they serve.

  3. Hiya,

    I’ve just checked the website and it says Camberwell Live! is on Sunday, not Saturday??

    I will definitely be going along and will probably give the after party at the Funky Munky a go too.

    Have a good weekend everyone!


  4. Next week is busy. It’s also architecture week, so maybe we should wear black polo necks and severe glasses while cycling to the Camberwell Festival???

  5. Hi, Camberwell College of Arts is holding its Foundation and Undergraduate Degree Shows next week. They are open to the public Tuesday 19 — Saturday 23 June, Tues-Fri 9am-8pm and Sat 11am-4pm.

  6. I was cycling along Denmark Hill today and saw a girl on the pavement in a t‑shirt which had the slogan over her breasts, “Never mind the bollocks.” I took heart.

  7. @7pm.…Looks like a major accident (involving motorcycles?) on CNR just north of The Black Sheep, road cordoned off by Plod.

    Anyone have an update?

  8. Seems strange that they had the air ambulance — surely by the time they’ve got up in the air, flown and got down again it would have been quicker to actually drive to Kings? Especially as there is an ambulance station on Vassall Road so it would be there in a very short time. Unless the person injured had an injury that required attention at a specialist unit elsewhere in the country — nothing on the BBC website currently, wait for the South London Press on Tuesday!

  9. BTW- Peter I always find the term “two bottles of cider” strangely calming.

    I mutter it when I’m frustrated with non-appearing builders, or disagreeable bank managers.

  10. TOMORROW is Lucas Gardens do 12–8pm, not as they say in the offical programme. It will be big. I will be there.

    What do people make of the art college show? I have been round there with my partner, 1 yr-old, 4 yr-old & a sister today.

  11. Haven’t had a chance to see the shows unfortunately. Too many rearranging things going on at work preparing for summer barbecues and the smoking ban. And Forum stuff and Camberwell Arts too. Mental actually. Not enjoying much of it.

    BUT we’re getting awnings and outdoor speakers and a covered, decked, all weather section done in the garden, should be a right little paradise ready for 1 July. It’ll be a no smoking area of course. Going to leave the smokers out in the cold.

    I heard a very recent rumour there might be a very highly regarded American female vocalist coming to the Sun and Doves tomorrow (Sunday) night to do a few impromptu songs with Soul Immigrants — the rather accomplished band who are playing the Headhunters on Coldharbour Lane, our new electronica breakbeat funk soul new jazz non Jazz slot from about 8pm. In memory of Herbie Hancock and Richard Pryor. Apparently she’s been doing a show in London, staying in our bohemian neighbourhood and regularly frequenting The George Canning.

    It’s not guaranteed, just possible. You know how these things are.

    On the rumour front Sunday 8 July might be a night to put in your diaries too.

  12. The Peter G cited in the above post is not our own beloved Peter G, but the slightly better known prog rockist and soi-disant “inventor of world music” Mr Peter Gabriel.

  13. Great afternoon, Alan. Our baby like the Congo sound, too. Charles Boyenga. Best Congolese act in the UK. Those dancers, boy!

  14. The moves were a bit raunchy for the family crowd perhaps but no one was complaining.

    There were exactly the right no. of attendees to give a great atmosphere without being overcrowded.

    Made for a very child friendly concert and all the kids were getting into it.

    It was like watching Hi 5 but with better tunes.

  15. I took a walk through earlier, at about 1.30pm, and it was fairly empty around the stage, where an earnest band were playing rather dreary Indian/Central Asian music. Glad to hear it picked up later.

  16. Quick disclaimer: My previous comment is not meant to imply that all Indian/Central Asian music is dreary. Thought I’d better get that in quickly before you, the politically correct mob, tear me to pieces.

  17. Boyenga was flogging CDs. I would never buy a CD at a concert ‑it’s a bit like when you come back from holiday with a bottle of undrinkable liqueur.

    I now wish I had got one though as I can’t explain what the musice was to the missus and I want her to see the impact it had on the baby.

    Thanks for letting me know Dagmar…

  18. This is “truly awful”, Peter, you are bickering with yourself. What sort of clique is that, a clique of one, click, claque, all that.

    Anyway, the Congo vibe (Charles Boyenga Band) that my and Alan Dale’s babies jived to was brill. Their main guitarist was from Burkina Faso. How do they get to play like that?

    We embraced the diversity, it was like being at a diversity university. There was a Chinese chap playing a Chinese fiddle, he was very, very good and dignified in front of some of the crowd’s bafflement. Somali women spontaneously broke into song and dance, and judging by their sense of sauciness, this was not something that the Islamic Courts would have licensed.

    Who went to the Munky do after?

  19. A couple of years back there was a tiny — and I mean stand still and touch the walls — african record shop in Church Street, run by two of the most appealing young ladies I have ever met.

    If they were still in business I would be in there just now buying all tha congolese sounds I could lay hands on. And Burkina Faso…let me at it!

    I’m a big fan of Zimbabwean ‘jit’ sound — plentifully supplied by said ladies — and several years ago, when the incredible Bhundu Boys inexplicably moved to Scotland [for the football?] they played regularly at our Student Union Bar.

    It was indeed Dagmar a hot sweaty jumping cultural diversity university; we danced and laughed and danced some more. It was quite literally an epiphany; music before was like ‘that’, music after was like ‘this’.

  20. I’m with you Drew … (BTW The Bhundu Boys moved to Hawick in the borders because that’s where their manager lived) … theirs is a tragic tales or AIDS related deaths and suicide .…

    Some time ago when I lived in West Yorkshire I went to the Hebden Bridge Trades Club to see a Jit band called Virunga (which sounds more like a skin complaint than a band) I’d never heard of them before but it was one of the best gigs I have ever seen.

    Are you aware of the incomparable ‘Tornados vs Dynamos’ by The Real Sounds of Africa? … without doubt the best football song ever recorded!

    Re the aforementioned CNR accident on Friday — I went past on my bike shortly after it happened and there was a woamn lying in the road with an emergency blanket over her, A motorbike had parker up and a bus had stopped but it wasn’t at all clear what had happened.

  21. That song by Kanda Bongo man from the then Zaire about Roger Milla the Italia 90 Cameroon footballer aged 45-ish, that was a good football song!

  22. I saw the Real Sounds of Africa live in 1987. They wore football kits and kicked a ball around the stage. Best football song recorded is the Wheelbarrow Song. Simple, yet powerful; a sonic Methodist chapel of sound.

  23. dickdotcom — I do indeed have that recording.

    apart from the astounding stamina required to play the jam behind the commentary, i’m afraid that like all novelty records you should hear it only once.

    i used to play a hits from zimbabwe tape in my bookshop and that track .would empty the floor guaranteed.

    the best football record ever is Ally’s Tartan Army by Andy Cameron 1978. anyone saying otherwise is a …

  24. “Argentina here we come.” I had a Scottish ashtray with that slogan on it. How prescient that ashtray was.

  25. Stumbled out of the buckle last night at 1am only to find that I’d missed a massive street party spilling out of the Hermit’s Cave.

    What was that? Looked like students.

  26. If one were the paranoid type you’d think it was the regular monday “we know where alan dale is, and it ain’t in here” shindig.

    I heard it rocks.

  27. Seriously wasn’t it the PV for the degree show?

    It’s years since I’ve been to one; my sister did both her BA and MFA at Glasgow and they were high points in the drunken liggers season.

  28. We went to the art college show in the first day, lots of good stuff. The tied-up Escort Estate 1.6 GLX has not moved. Early on when it was there you could see the car alarm light flashing but that’s now no longer visible. The battery has made an intervention.

  29. Where is it next Monday? Ok don’t tell me.

    They were lucky this week — I was very close to gatecrashing.

    I’ll get you next time Gadget. Next time.

  30. Re Alan @ 35. That happens every year on the crossroads outside the Hermits. It’s students ending their lives at College. The police always find it interesting: there’s never any trouble but it always feels like things might get out of hand.

  31. Nice one. I’ll put it in my Outlook for next year.

    Lots of ladies in the Doves last night. Did you have an art event or something?

  32. Off Topic — but does anyone know any sports club one can easily join in Camberwell? Preferably female

  33. Hello Everybody
    I’ve recently moved into the area and I’m in urgent need of finding an artists studio to paint in; I’m also closing an exhibition this week and will need to relocate one of my large artworks, hence my slight panic…
    I was told this could be a good place to ask around… can anybody help?
    ps — I’ve already tried red gate studios
    Thanks P

  34. Denmark Hill Studios is a good place to start at 47a Coldharbour Lane. Then Vanguard Court 36–8 Peckham Road.

  35. @Phillip — post 44
    This is a longshot, but there is a building that houses an artists studio where Trafalgar Avenue meets Sumner Rd, SE15. It’s a new-build glass and steel affair and has a sculptors studion at ground floor level. You’ll be able to see in from the street. I don’t know if they have any other space available for rent.

  36. Totally off-topic but -

    Why I Love Camberwell (no. 25 in an occasional series)

    I decided to give up on public transport and bought a 50cc piaggio scooter two weeks ago. I now ride it to work each day and what used to be over an hour’s journey now takes just under 25 minutes.

    Straight up Walworth Road, along Borough High Street, across London Bridge and up to old Street. Excellent.

    From Camberwell its easy to get anywhere in central London. Brilliant.

  37. @ 42 Alan — the opening of TIDE — an exhibition of artworks by Jo Lewis. She makes paintings using the tides and water of the Thames to diffuse paint and pigments over paper. The paintings are rather beautiful and, incidentally, rather good value, and beautifully framed.

    She made a two thirds page in the Times 2 yesterday, sold a few last night and had a corporate buyer from A BANK visiting today to look at acquiring some for the vaults.

    Meanwhile the barbecue I ordered from the hire company we use turned out on delivery to be two domestic barbecues instead of the professional one we had all last summer and my day was thrown right out of kilter trying to find suitable substitutes we can actually cook on. Bloody hours spent on that. And still no barbecue. Still it’s been raining.

    44 @ Philip. The studios in Peckham mentioned above are Acme: they are in huge demand.

    You should also try ASC studios:

    Good luck.

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