The last train to Arcady

The art and poetry of Steev Burgess


Ask me anything  

(a very concise) ART RANT

Looking at Tumblr for 3 years has taught me that the world is full of amazing artworks by excellent living artists, almost none of whom find their work in major municipal galleries and very few in private ones. Things from the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, yes, but since then, very little. What is wrong with our curators and gallery owners? Why are they buying and selling such dull rubbish? Could we not perhaps, enhance this world?

I seem to be waiting on so many other people before I can proceed or progress with anything, I may as well be in the waiting room at Arcady station (above). I’m on the point of giving up so much right now.
Meantime, I’m thinking of giving my presence  on Tumblr an overhaul. Maybe dividing up certain stuff as, after 3 years of it, there is much to view. I’ll let you know.

I seem to be waiting on so many other people before I can proceed or progress with anything, I may as well be in the waiting room at Arcady station (above). I’m on the point of giving up so much right now.

Meantime, I’m thinking of giving my presence  on Tumblr an overhaul. Maybe dividing up certain stuff as, after 3 years of it, there is much to view. I’ll let you know.

"Dancing just like Jesus to the chattering of a Westbound train". The Jesus referred to in this picture is a character that used to go to gigs five times a week in London and danced alone, barefoot with a tambourine, looking like the western Jesus. He could have been called "Mr Tambourine man" but "Jesus" seemed to stick. He seemed to "dissappear" and I wondered where he went, maybe to the countryside, who knows.

"Dancing just like Jesus to the chattering of a Westbound train". The Jesus referred to in this picture is a character that used to go to gigs five times a week in London and danced alone, barefoot with a tambourine, looking like the western Jesus. He could have been called "Mr Tambourine man" but "Jesus" seemed to stick. He seemed to "dissappear" and I wondered where he went, maybe to the countryside, who knows.

"The Birds". A collage kind of inspired by a photo of the poet Fran Lock feeding birds in the park. I’ve deliberately used the title of the Hitchcock film which gave birds a bad name. There is also a irrational hatred of pigeons among some people in London and I feel it’s my duty to show their loveliness in art.

"The Birds". A collage kind of inspired by a photo of the poet Fran Lock feeding birds in the park. I’ve deliberately used the title of the Hitchcock film which gave birds a bad name. There is also a irrational hatred of pigeons among some people in London and I feel it’s my duty to show their loveliness in art.

"Exit Exeter" One more for the football series of collages looking at "fetishes" of Englishness. Yes, I now know how to work the libraries new scanning system. I could hold lessons, well almost.  :)

"Exit Exeter" One more for the football series of collages looking at "fetishes" of Englishness. Yes, I now know how to work the libraries new scanning system. I could hold lessons, well almost.  :)

"Ocean Mails and Sailors Tales" A slightly new departure in my collages.

"Ocean Mails and Sailors Tales" A slightly new departure in my collages.

The Five O’clock British football poem

A twist of cream by a brown Bakelite sunset
Click
A glowing valve
Or a glistening transistor
"Its five o’clock and it’s time for sports report"
Deh deh deh deh - deh deh deh deh deh
(a brass band plays a jaunty tune)
"And here are the classified football results,
With James Alexander Gordon”
Football league division One
Arsenal nil - (raised tone) Chelsea Won
Blackpool One - Aston Villa (pause) One
And so it went, for forty years,
The Disembodied voice, that told no lies,
Brooked no argument
Abused no referee
Classified, forever.
The soothing vowels step down the leagues
Pouring like honey over bitter divisions
And rumbustious local rivalries
As velvet as night enveloping the blazing pylons
Amber street terraces
And silver city glow It crosses the nation
Effortlessly
No sweat, no pain,
Torquay United Three - Scunthorpe (a lowering of voice) Nil.
With pools coupons carefully checked at Zetters across the road
By a team of black girls,
The voice unknowingly heads north
Across the border
Purring with the reliability of John Steed’s Bentley
Celtic Three - Heart of Midlothian one,
Hibernian Four - Partick Thistle two
We would try to guess the scores from the length of a pause
And a barely noticable inflection,
Sometimes losing concentration In contemplation
Of what life was like in Cowdenbeath
Or Stenhousemuir,
My mind conjured up each teams colours,
As I knew them all.
For decades some of us hoped for a result
That never happened,
As we listened for two clubs
With not a thousand spectators between them,
Who would have created the ultimate football tongue twister
East Five four - Forfar athletic five.
S Burgess

PHILIP JEAYS “The Bunjies test” - a review

There are some folk I know, that on hearing certain of Leonard Cohen’s later works, have said “I wish I could hear that song just with a guitar”, preferring the arrangements to be stripped away, especially any electronics, to reveal Leonard’s usual guitar “chops”. There may be some who feel this way about Philip Jeays (although I’m not one of them), as all he really needs to excel is an acoustic guitar, a chair to rest said instrument on his knee and his exceptional voice and lyrics. For those people and anyone who likes seeing an artist sketch book or a poets notepad, or songs stripped down, this album is a downloadable steal at £5. 

"The Bunjies test" refers to the now defunct acoustic music cellar in central London where some of the greatest and influential songwriters the city has seen took to it’s shallow stage. It has seen the boots of every one from 60’s Donovan to 90’s punk wordsmith John Cooper Clark and of course, Philip Jeays. 

And so, we have this “crowdfunder” type album of 10 songs to raise money for Philip’s eighth, full, studio album. Don’t be afraid that it is half finished, as it is packed with ten fully crafted songs. The soaring emotional voice that for some of us has become so familiar, haunts as ever, Autumn skies from a rescued suicidal lover at Waterloo to distant “Eric Rohmer” summer loves on French coastlines. This album is what New Yorkers I know seem to call “adult alternative” in style, ranging from loungy love songs to what we know and think of as the traditional left leaning French chanson.

Jeays laments of loves lost as he envisages being old and looking out of a high window on oh so English seasons past  ”….I could have been someone better, or just someone better cast but folding time has creases, that hold us to it’s past….” which all take place against the idiocy of world events, and the spin of shalllow artists, politicians and religious bigots laid bare in the eyes of a troubled child in the song “The age of the naked emperors” .

The British elite and their self-serving life moving from quadrangle to quadrangle selling off the nations silver and treating the people as wage slaves come in for a heartfelt tongue lashing in another song “…they say that inequality motivates the poor, you have to give them less if you want them to soar, yet to motivate the rich somehow - you have to give them more…..” but the real targets of this frustrated song are the fools that go along with the whole scheme and allow the divide and rule tactics to succeed by voting selfishly.

I’ll say little more and let you explore, all in all this is Philip Jeays album, with all the self deprecating humor, wit and wisdom you’d expect. Seek out his website if you don’t already know him, and give songs like Arles and the Great War a quick listen, if you like what you hear, then join in on this project  if you can and keep this show on the road. Steev Burgess

CREATORS AND DESTROYERS

These photos are of a street artist’s work who I beleive is called Icarus. He’s fairly new to the streets of London so far as I know and came to my attention because of the two installations by the Regents canal in Camden, near to where I live. Within a few weeks of the Penguins and Amy Winehouse going up, they have been vandalised, and to do so the person spoiling them would have had to either get hold of a boat, use a 20 foot ladder (Amy) or scale fences and a steep thorny looking canal embankment (Penguins). 

What is it that moves someone to such lengths to indulge in such hostile, destructive behaviour ? What pleasure does someone get by spoiling something made by someone else ? Couldn’t that effort have been directed into creating something of their own ?

I feel a sense of revulsion rise up from deep inside of me from my primary school days which were long ago. There was an incident when the school bully Tommy B***ock (you make up the rest) hammered his fist into a model I’d carefully been putting together. I wasn’t singled out, I wasn’t bullied generally but the anger from this tiny issue still burns within me and I don’t know why. Every time I see anything I like ruined either by bombers, vandals, town planners, architects I feel the same.

Someone once suggested it was because it reminded me that everything will, in time, be ruined and there is no such thing as posterity. I heard on the news this morning that in March 2880 there was a chance that an asteroid could destroy the Earth. I care about that too, but not with such force. Perhaps things that happen to children just make more of an impact?

Reblogged from themysticandthepigthief

themysticandthepigthief:

"I am the man of La Mancha, my dream is impossible…"

.

And the first video teaser for The Mystic and the Pig Thief is up. With many thanks to Jack Varnell, the emotional orphan, for collaging images, editing sounds and generally beavering away to make this happen. If you enjoyed this, share it.

(via emotionalorphan)