Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Whole Blues - track of the day

Lonely Avenue / 4 O'clock in the Morning (live medley) by Van Morrison with Jimmy Witherspoon from Best of Van #3

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Van duets on the train (from Best Of, Vol 3 - a model Best Of)

The fresh potatoes cooked by Luis (with oregano and garlic) at the barby on the allotments

Walking around the hood with D on scooter in the autumn sunday afternoon sun - including a quick visit to Black Gull bookshop

Yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Kicking a conversion over at the Garden Suburb rugby pitch with N & D

Reading Life Class by the balcony

Writing a Doors/Bible mash-up, vaguely poetic

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sweet soul - Track of the Day

Marvin Gaye - Just to keep you satisfied

Life class - Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Reading Pat Barker's Life Class on the way home

Lunch chat with the Creative Accountant (Sydney Levinson)

Listening to Tom Ravenscroft on Channel 4 Radio - a chip off the old block (John Peel) in a not-yet-fully-formed sorta way

In the picture - yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Going to the pictures with my gal - Michael Clayton with George Clooney

Kick-off meeting for Medicine Men Online with Zam, Livio and Mike - very excited about this one

Walky talky via the Tate with Jonathan Holmes - a quick epic burst of John Martin

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Talk talk - yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Talking about young documentary-makers' work with Nick Broomfield, Molly Dineen, Patrick Uden and Peter Dale

Talking Public Art with Peter Jenkinson

Getting an advance ticket for Anton Corbijn's Control at the Phoenix, East Finchley with Joy Division's Pete Hook in attendance (3rd Oct)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Track of the Day

And It Stoned Me - Van Morrison

The next generation - yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Contributing to the Byron Review - a first encounter with Dr Tanya Byron

Visiting Finchley Catholic High School with N

Contributing to the FilmFour Working Group

Monday's Happiness Experiment entry

A guided walk by David Rosenberg around the radical Jewish East End with my step-father, a member of the anti-fascist 43 Group (and later the 62 Group), and my son (already a staunch anti-nazi of his own volition)

An empty market (Wentworth Street) at twilight, with all its shades

N's Tintin haircut

Friday, September 21, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Chatting with Alfie Dennen, street survivor and make-up artiste extraordinaire

The allotments at night - viewed from under a sodium lit tree

Sinead O'Connor's voice

Track of the day

Kingdom of Rain by Sinead O'Connor and Matt Johnson of The The

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my horse

"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."

Iris Murdoch

"Don't forget the trusty old steed, Iris."


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Track of the day

Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa

Memories of an unlabeled black cassette swopped with a GI in Germany - "What the fuck" I thought "is this?"

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Views along the Tyne (I love a good river)

Doing a speaking gig at the Sage in Gateshead - keynote speech for Digital Film 2.0

Remembering the BLink shoots/road-trips - the last time I was in Newcastle was on a shoot with Roddy & Eddie of Emerald Productions - what larks!

Park life - yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Empire's Children ( picking up the Y Design Award for Best Community website at the London Design Festival

Walking across Hendon park (once in the bright morning, again in the dark) where many years ago I played football in a purple jersey

Getting N's first iPod up&running

South Bank show - Tuesday's Happiness Experiment entry

Sitting outdoors outside the Queen Elizabeth Hall/Purcell Room on the South Bank where I was giving a talk on Big Art Mob ( and designing for online community as part of the London Design Festival/iDesign - chats in the sun with Nikki Barton, Alfie Dennen etc.

Walking across Hungerford pedestrian bridge above the sunlit Thames

Those leather chairs in the Purcell Room - 50s jet pilot style

A message for martyrs from dear, dear Oscar

"A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it."

Oscar Wilde

"There are some very stupid men in the world prepared to die for lies or make-believe"


Monday, September 17, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

David Sylvian's singing and Steve Jansen's percussion playing - live at the Festival Hall with Neil B

The backstreets of Westminster towards sunset

The carpet, colours, boxes and interior wonderfulness of the Festival Hall

Track of the day

Snow borne Sorrow by David Sylvian (Nine Horses) as performed this evening at the Festival Hall, London (my first visit since its revamp - what a brilliant building)

So we made it our own
This snow borne sorrow
And this love that stutters and splinters

Let the children come to me

Friday, September 14, 2007

Southward Ho! - Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Arriving at Mariners Quay to the strains of Led Zep - after recent upgrade of the facilities

Loading up N's fiirst iPod - a blue Shuffle for his birthday

Watching World Cup rugby

Track of the Day

(Smells Like) Teen Spirit by Nirvana - heralding roadtrip to Brighton

Veneer of the Week

In the absence of Shadbolt's, just a space now as we pass by on the way to Brighton, I'm going to decide my own Veneer of the Week:

Light Derry Oak

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Power of Art - Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Working in Tate Modern - memories of photo-expeditions when it was an empty old powerstation in a wind-swept no-man's-land

Chatting to Will Gompertz

Listening to Mark Kermode's podcast (aka Mark Fairey, a bigger boy at skool) and enjoying his banter with Simon Mayo

44 - yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Getting a card from the enfants terribles depicting a scene from DV8's Cost of Living film (commissioned by Jan Younghusband at Channel 4) - we all saw the film in the evening on the big screen at the Channel 4 Arts 25th Anniversary season at the Barbican

Meeting Malcolm Garrett at BAFTA, designer of Buzzcocks record sleeves and fellow student with Pete Saville in Manchester in the good old days

A birthday dinner outside the Barbican by the fountains, heron and reeds at sundown

Yesterday's Track of the Day

What Do I Get by the Buzzcocks

To celebrate meeting Malcolm Garrett who designed great sleeves like A Different Music for Another Kitchen

Monday, September 10, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

The streets behind Tate Britain - walked through them on the way to a meeting with Will Gompertz of Tate Media

Kevin Rowland's voice

Finishing Exodus

Track of the Day

Celtic Soul Brothers by Dexy's Midnight Runners

I'm falling in love with Kevin Rowland's voice

Excuse me please, you're standing in my space,
So step aside, now your time's up.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Slow Sunday - Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Breakfast with Matteo - catch up over beigels and coffee in the cool light of day

Lunch outdoors by the canal at the Black Horse at Great Linford, Bucks.

Giggling at the traffic lights listening to Just a Minute

Yesterday's Track of the Day

Out on the Weekend by Neil Young from Harvest

Think I'll pack it in and buy a pick-up

Take it down to LA

Find a place to call my own and try to fix up

Start a brand new day...

Party Line - yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Seeing Matteo Fox after a good while and having an old time fiesta together

Aislinn's speech for her dad's 50th, and Rose's Corinne Bailey Rae duet - plus the live blues (including Folsom Prison Blues) at the party

An hour solo in Camden Market - including the comic shop and picking up some 60s football boot style trainers

Friday, September 07, 2007

Track of the Day

Billie Jean by Michael Jackson - watching the first moonwalk with D + N - that fella sure knew how to shake a leg

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Watching dance vids on YouTube with the boyz - even learnt how to moonwalk

Bourne and Maria reuniting in Greece - love her dimple

Chatting over al fresco lunch in Highgate with Robin Hamman of BBC community/blogs - ended up costing me £950 (for a new Mac Book)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

My street at night

Reading my Dad's old copy of Exodus

Hatching art plans with Fiddian Warman of Soda on the terrace

Star spots #332

05/09 Jeremy Isaacs
06/09 the Irish fella from The IT Crowd
(ages ago) the curly haired geek from The IT Crowd
06/09 Victor Lewis Smith
(all in the office)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Extra Track of the Day

Down in Missisippi by Mavis Staples with Ry Cooder

Awesome sound - halleluyah!

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Walking the enfants terribles to skool, first day back (aargh!)

Setting up Big Art Mob China

My iPod Shuffle - small, orange, loud and perfectly formed - and right now playing Sympathy for the Devil live in 68

Track of the Day

Sarah by Thin Lizzy

Some rather dated 80s instrumentation but Philo's voice rings loud and true

Jim on Friends

"A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself - and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is."

Jim Morrison of The Doors

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Track of the day

Knowledge of Beauty by Dexy's Midnight Runners

Promo shot by Jack Hazan of Solus Enterprises

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Walking through St James's Park at twilight - thanks tube strikers

Talk by Kevin Spacey in the old City of London School building (now JP Morgan) courtesy of the British-American Project

The Big Art Mob / Map broaches Italy

Old School Joke

Why have elephants got big ears?

Because Noddy won't pay the ransom.

yesterday's Track of the Day

Cracklin' Rosie by Neil Diamond - enlivened by memories of Shane MacGowan's rambunctious version

Hitchin on a twilight train
Ain't nothing here that I care to take along
Maybe a song
To sing when I want
Don't need to say please to no man for a happy tune

Reflections - yesterday's Happiness Experiment

Chatting with a 6 year old on the plane and sharing my iPod with him

Saying goodnight to my fellas after a couple of days apart

Watching eddies in the river

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Ladies of the Lake - Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Boat trip to Vevey (latter day home of Charlie Chaplin) with U and Celine

Hotel room romp

Flea market - bought an old rubber stamp kit in a wooden box

The high life - yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Illuminated fountain with flowers (below the Cafe de l'Hotel de Ville)

A Campari and soda by the lake

Reading Mojo

Back to the Stone Age

I was last in the Millennium Dome back in 2000 when it was full of empty stuff. Before that it was in 1999 when I was filming in the empty structure - someone had parked a double-decker bus in the very centre where the performance area was located (where Peter Gabriel's show was performed on millennium night). It was necessary to have that red bus there to get a real sense of the scale. We were shooting from the top of a three or four storey building, one of several such structures already within the Dome, and it still felt pretty empty.

Courtesy of Yahoo!, the other evening I had the pleasure of seeing the Rolling Stones fill the Dome in North Greenwich with their charm and charisma. I had low expectations. I'd never seen the Stones live before, reckoned it would be a good idea to catch them before they died or had hip replacements, but assumed they were long past their prime. As it was, they turned out to be plenty hip.

Mick performed with the enthusiasm and generosity of the best of them - he was having a good time and he was giving 100% to make sure we did too, right from the first strains of Start Me Up as he followed Keef and his opening riffs onto stage. It's always struck me what consistently great openings the Stones have to their songs.

It was my great good fortune that this particular performance, my first, was itself a closing - the very last night of a two year tour, the Bigger Bang tour.

Keef played up to his Captain Jack image, at one point eating an unlit cigarette to take the mick out of Greenwich Council who had given them a hard time about lighting up on stage the week before. He reaffirmed his deep commitment to the Blues by performing vocals on a couple of old blues numbers in the middle of the set. That they hadn't strayed far from their roots in their love of the Blues was one of the most striking things of a great night.

Besides how much of their 19 year old selves they'd retained (if you averted your eyes from the big screen you could imagine it being their young sixties selves - Mick still has the moves, which is as astonishing as Bruce Springsteen's elder statesman energy), besides that, Ronnie Wood's immense charm was the other surprise of the night, adding a distinctive warmth to the perfect chemistry of the band.

The undoubted highlight of the night was Sympathy for the Devil. What was striking about the Stones live is that at moments throughout the set you really felt rock'n'roll as the devil's music, a sense of that dark, chaotic, dionysian vibe. Paint It Black followed to complete the crescendo. I was transported and stoned immaculate.