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London Calypso Tent Final, 25 Aug 2011

I was at this very well attended event at the Tabernacle in Powis Square, London.

Calypso finals are fabulous: the calypsonians know this is their moment and put everything into their performance. Each gets one song. The judges' decision is final, although usually much derided.

Due to the recent riots, political developments in the UK, and the threat to Notting Hill Carnival, this was a more political event than we have seen for some time. This can only be a good thing I feel.

These were the performers. Unfortunately I didn't get a copy of the running order (it seemed they only had one copy) or take notes so this is from memory.

Cleopatra, singing a song along the lines of "give us back the right to beat our children".

Rev B, with his song "Foreigners". This was about how the British are dismissive of foreigners, but when they need someone to work on a building site, clean up, etc. -- "Foreigners" do it. I thought this was the best song of the night.

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Village SOS BBC1

BBC broadcast an interesting programme inspiring others to breathe community back into villages.
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Now In Lemon

Now in Lemon, Issue One. 40 page black and white booklet, A5 approx, RISO printed.

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The Bournemouth Air Show 2011

The mixed feeling of emotion as Bournemouth makes national news twice in one air festival.
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The Bournemouth Proms - Russian Festival

Tickets check, picnic check, meyrick park check, it can only mean one thing - the Bournemouth proms 2011.
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Wimbledon Fine art Degree show 2011

I am trying to be as unbiased as possible when critiquing this show, but it was my favourite out the BA. There are three sections which all specialize, some would disapprove of this and others would say it helps focus on one medium and creates clarity within the pieces. Each department certainly had a different feel to it, it all depends on taste. Their catalogue was well laid out and useful.
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Chelsea BA fine art degree show 2011

Overall I didn't see anything that grabbed my attention at all. I have no idea why but didn't get excited by anything in the slightest bar one artist...
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Central St. Martins degree show 2011

In comparison with Slade I could immediately feel the difference. Flash catalogue (Slade didn't have one at all) and there were actually a lot of students around the work. Signs asked people not to take photos or films but I am going to ask the artists if these images are okay. If they ask me to take them down then sorry if there is a review which is imageless. Many pieces hold the common theme of attention seeking through content but not being worthy of mentioning, if that makes sense. Very loud as in, money was put into it and the form of it was impressive because of that but conceptually quite weak. A lot attention seeking content as well for example, a pair of shit stained pants hung on a wall etc etc. Some peoples cup of tea, but there were some gems. Upon looking at catalogue I think I have missed some the show, due to it not being signposted well but here is the best of what I saw.

If you would to view images of any of these works visit http://bit.ly/onACMc
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Slade degree show 2011

Overall the show was okay. I think the quality of what people make is very good in terms of materiality, all made well, but it is common knowledge that they have one whole year for dissertation and one whole year for the show so I guess I was expecting the work to be a little deeper contextually than it was. Some shabby bits of curation like cramming lots of projector works into a dark space upstairs but one has to take the limitations of a degree show into consideration when thinking about these things.

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It's retro mayhem as Imelda May rocks Somerset House

Somerset House: Imelda May + Big Boy Bloater

The stately surroundings of Somerset House seemed an unlikely place to enjoy the throaty backbeat rockabilly of Imelda May, but it actually proved a pretty classy gig venue.