In the 1990s, a group of Australian misfits who made anti-rave music [NSFW audio, present elsewhere, too], influenced by their local Newcastle industrial heritage and the international sounds of gabber. In 1994, they bashed out some tunes and pulled together enough money to make 102 hand-stamped records, officially starting Bloody Fist Records. The label gained recognition world-wide, but abruptly closed shop in 2004, and a decade later Bloody Fist was celebrated in Newcastle with Fistography, an exhibit to the history and legacy of the label. If you missed any of this the first time around, you can stream and buy much of the label's catalog on their Bandcamp page. [more inside]
It starts with a vanguard class of young creative types reclaiming zones of social and economic dereliction, setting up what Ehrenhalt sardonically describes as “projects through which a small coterie of local artists seek to display their sheer edginess to one another”. The hipster pioneers are followed by young couples with bourgeois-bohemian sensibilities – what the French call “bobo” – who breed and fill the pavements with space-age prams. I was that cliché once, wheeling my daughters around Hackney in the gentrificational transition between murder rates falling and Foxtons arriving on the high street. Then come the really wealthy types who like urban edge fully blunted by waves of demographic change. Before you know it a draughty three-bedroom Victorian terraced house in what was once a slum costs more than £1m. [more inside]
The 2013 Dancing England Rapper Tournament was held last March in Burton upon Trent, but rather than featuring quick flows and clever rhymes, were all about five people keeping hold of flexible swords while doing intricate dance figures, often in a pub. [more inside]
Three decades on from the release of British Gangster classic Get Carter Michael Brady revisited the film's locations. [more inside]
A study conducted at Newcastle University (UK) shows that type 2 diabetes can be completely reversed, not with medication, but through following a 600-calorie diet for two months. [more inside]
Cities as Software is an article by Marcus Westbury about Renew Newcastle's low-budget, DIY model for renewing urban spaces. "...You need to start by rewriting – or hacking – the software to change not what the city is but how it behaves." [more inside]
It was one of the biggest riots in the nation's history. An estimated four thousand sailors and locals -- an unlikely alliance of the young and unemployed, the gay community, the rockers -- fought with police, threw rocks and burned cars. [more inside]
His photographs recorded life along the Scotswood Road, the working class district in the West End of Newcastle made famous in Geordie song. James (Jimmy) Forsyth had come to make his home there having volunteered for war work as a fitter in one of the local factories, moving up to Newcastle from his native South Wales. In 1954, aware that change was coming and no longer working having lost an eye in an industrial accident, Forsyth began to document his community and surroundings. A self-taught photographer, Jimmy "picked up a cheap folding camera in one of the pawn shops. There wasn’t much to adjust, just as well, because I’ve never known what to do...I’m just an amateur...just capturing what I knew was going to disappear." Jimmy died last Saturday, aged 95.