Took aprox 850 hours to build. All pieces hand-cut & no electric tools (apart from drill) used. Main panels are marine plywood & most other wood mahogany, oak & ash. Paint used Japlac red-burgundy gloss on main body & canary yellow on underside


OASIS – “D’You Know What I Mean?”

 “Call me naive but I felt something – I’m not quite sure what it was, but I felt it all the same.” – Noel Gallagher on New Labour.

When Tony Blair and Noel Gallagher shook hands in Downing Street that Autumn, they were men facing similar problems: what do you do after you’ve won? Accounts of the first Blair term stress that New Labour never realised, deep down, they were as powerful as they were – Blair stuck to plans which assumed his party would be working with only a modest majority.

Gallagher, on the other hand, believed absolutely that Oasis would be the biggest band in the country. He’d said it would happen by right, and it had. But that didn’t make him any more prepared. If Blair didn’t believe he could tear up his plan, Noel hadn’t seen much need to make one. What do you do after Morning Glory? You do it again – bigger, better, louder, longer, even if the band hate each other and the songs aren’t there. Be Here Now is known as a cocaine album, but just as pertinently it’s a success album. It’s an avalanche of half-worked, muddy, adequate ideas that exist because nobody said they couldn’t and momentum said they had to. Landslide indie: as 1997 as it gets.

The question is whether “D’You Know What I Mean?” is the victory, the hangover, or both at once. As a comeback single, it’s doing two things – reintroducing Oasis’ attitude, lensed as ever through Liam’s vocals, and trying to haul in that massive, nation-spanning Knebworth audience with a big-tent chorus. “All my people, right here right now, d’you know what I mean?” translates simply as “Vote Oasis”. They’re pitching for re-election as the People’s Band.

The Morning Glory follow-up was always going to be a news event, and “D’You Know What I Mean” leans right into that: it’s nothing but event, and away from its context it feels bloated and beached. It’s the 1990s equivalent of Duran Duran’s “The Reflex” – a guaranteed, massive, empty smash built out of a band doing everything they did before but louder and stupider. Oasis (unhappily for them) do not have Nile Rodgers on hand to pull things into glossy shape. But they have the same total, barefaced confidence – tell them it’s nonsense, and aren’t you the idiot for caring? This is an alpha record, built to emasculate criticism – with this big a dick, the Emperor hardly needs clothes.
And critics, notoriously, fell into line. Q’s 5-star review of Be Here Now has been scrubbed from the Internet, but Select’s effort did the rounds a few months ago. “All of rock history has been leading up to this point”, it proclaimed, in one of several moments where ignoring the mark (also five starts) makes the praise slightly less straightforward. Even so, this sort of review has gone down in critical history as a hideous misstep – as fans and even the band backed off from Be Here Now, the adulation tanked reviewers’ credibility. This may be what artist Jeremy Deller meant in his savage summary of Oasis: “they ruined British music, and they ruined British music journalism”.

(Is that fair? Paul Gorman’s In Their Own Write, an oral history of the music press, is silent on the Be Here Now incident, which is odd because it gives a detailed account of its prelude, the set of mostly average write-ups for (What’s The Story) Morning Glory. The press’ change of mind wasn’t just a result of nervous triangulation to placate readers, it was partly down to strongarm tactics from Oasis’ marketing team, backed by the band themselves, who suggested they might refuse access on the basis of the Morning Glory pans. Oasis’ presence meant tens of thousands in sales: the threat worked.)
So had all of rock history been leading here? Not history, maybe, but “D’You Know What I Mean?” is at least a prowl through rock’s wax museum. It subs out meaning for rapid cuts through a haul of reference points – “Blood on the tracks and they must be mine / Fool on the Hill and I Feel Fine” and plenty more. The record benefits enormously from having an engaged-sounding Liam – which means a Liam radiating contempt for his brother’s idolatory: all those old fragments of rock are just bits of gum for him to chew and spit out. 

If all there was to it was that confidence, its behemoth production, a snarling verse or two, and a couple of rounds of the chorus, “D’You Know What I Mean” would do its comeback job. It swaps their energy for bludgeoning aggro, and it doesn’t have the bite or tenderness or angry hope of better Oasis songs, but it might have reminded you that the band could do those things. Instead, the song makes that point then simply refuses to stop. From one listen to Be Here Now it was obvious that Noel Gallagher had made an album of long songs with no good idea how to make a song long beyond hammering the bits he liked best into inertia. “D’You Know What I Mean” has no reason to get anywhere near seven minutes.

Any coherence this has as a song comes down to two things: Liam’s sullen vocal, and the drums, where a slowed-down NWA sample creates a mid-paced stomper of a rhythm, simple and arrogant, and evokes Liam’s slouched swagger anyway. Everything else is a confused, colossal swirl – helicopters, morse code, and every guitar effect Noel Gallagher could overdub on. It sounds nothing like The Beatles. It reaches back deeper, not into the collective past, but into Oasis’ own background. This is a song where those years Noel spent as an Inspiral Carpets roadie suddenly come into focus, the years when British guitar music was all mess and throb. In the soup between the drums and the singer, there are snatches of noise that call to mind Madchester, shoegaze, grunge, warmed-over punk and psychedelia; each effects-pedal soar or swell is another ghost of early 90s indie, crowded around Oasis’ shoulders for their victory lap.

And maybe that’s the best way to enjoy this confused, bullying, almost-exciting sprawl – as a party loyalist, someone just happy to see British rock on top of the charts. But Oasis had mined that particular goodwill for a long time, and Knebworth – two and a half million chasing 250,000 tickets – had been the peak of it. Factions as big as theirs take a while to fade away, but the disappointment of Be Here Now was the end of their country-wide enormity. At their meeting, Gallagher and Blair had success in common, but nothing else: the politician was already planning for re-election; the pop star had just blown it.


@ Carlos/ishikawa
Samuel Jeffery, Kitty Kraus, Lucy McKenzie & Gili Tal
6 July – 12 August 2017 
Preview: Wednesday 5 July 2017, 6-9pm


never made it as a wise man

couldn’t cut it as a poor man stealing

turtlehead rock presesnts:
cloth touching anthems
snuggle down next to that cosy collar

because this is where it comes from incase u forgot


This show has been curated by Chris Thompson  :

PV 27th June

156 Wells Way

Victoria Adam   Ellie Barrett   Billy Crosby
Sessa Englund   Stuart Middleton   Chris Thompson 

In European folklore, a Changeling is a fairy child, left by its otherworldly progenitors to mimic the human child they had stolen, exploiting the parents for one reason or another. In Star Trek, the Changeling is a curmudgeonly Constable called Odo, ready to assume the guise of any inanimate object in order to catch the plucky Quark, whilst struggling with his identity as a liquid in a world of solids and their prejudices.

But what’s a trope?

The well-established, predictable laugh in a rom-com, the baggy jeans of feral youth, the Hieroglyphs in the Pharaoh’s Pyramid. A trope is an established, repeating element within a given cultural context. More interestingly though, tropes are the method by which identity is constructed and the means by which culture is structured and navigated.

Look at the shelves in Aldi the next time you’re in.

Yet the power we invest in our tropes means they can dictate to us instead of define. Folklore provided the tools to keep the monsters at bay, but what about within our current cultural paradigm, where objects have secretly gained runaway agency, vitality and influence, proliferating within our habits, ignorance and culture of stuff? When identity is signified by a series of adopted signs, objects or languages then you have a recipe for a Changeling- the trope object with agency gained through a cycle of use.

This show seeks to tackle this issue, by exploiting the agency of its surroundings. The fetish object is the perfect example of a trope object that’s gained too much damn power, but by no means is the only one.

This show puts together the work of artists who operate within an understanding of this agency. Either by exploitation, exposure or usurpation they aim to offer a re-calibratory experience for our relationship with our inanimate friends, in the same way that tales of fairy children provided the tools for keeping the creatures at bay.

Boiling them alive worked quite well, it has to be said.


Victoria Adam | Ellie Barrett | Billy Crosby | Sessa Englund | Stuart Middleton | Chris Thompson 
156 Wells Way

PV 27th June
28, 29th June 11-4
The pristine white spaces of the ICA have been ravaged! Stupid Middlebottom has torn down the ceiling, stripped the walls and ripped up the floor. Where once everything was perfect, now there is only ruins and decrepitude. He’s transformed the hallowed gallery into an abandoned factory, an empty, unused abattoir. A state of quasi Zoolander Derelict√©. Upstairs, a boring stop motion video shows a sickly dog prowling around a white room, barking and sniffing.  This only looks cool because its big.  If I watched it on vimeo i would think it was rubbish.  I walked in and the first thing that struck me was: what a load of bollocks!

You complete Middlebottom’s installation by walking through it – you’re the metaphorical art livestock, the cornceptual cattle, the imaginary pigs of creativity thundering through the institution, the hungry worker returning home after a ruddy long day to find scraps of cultural nourishment in the old factory. You’re a participant in the grubby, filthy, cultural gallery game. gutted for you.

At least, that’s the generous way of approaching it. But if you’d just got off a pendolino from some cultural black-spot in the north or a brexit heart-land on the Kent coast for your first trip to the ICA ever, you’d walk in and just see an empty room. A bit of a grotty one, with peeling walls and rotting wooden floors, but still just an empty room. Theres probably loads of empty rooms you could have gone and stood in round by yours. The only way that’s explained is through a short story written by the artist. There’s no other concession made to helping you understand what the blue blazes is going on. So you’re just stood there like a silly plonker, coming up with ideas for why this empty room is so empty. And thats not your job is it! And an empty room isn’t exactly a new idea, its been done loads of times. The whole installation is unrewarding, and maybe even a bit silly-sausages.

The thing is, for too long now the caviar slurping big wigs at the ICA have been pulling the wool over our eyes spending tax payers money on shows that are unapproachable, unappealing, utterly ugly and unclassy. They choose interesting young white male artists, but the results are too often completely underwhelming, too ensconced in a bubble of art fart-puff and too locked in a world of ‘La la laaaah we don’t have to explain this because it’s art and if you don’t get it then you’re an idiot doo be doo’ (just to clarify this is the latter AKA pretentious crud. because I cant find any art guff, (well theres a bit on the website) just the aforementioned silly story, which like I said you lot wouldnt get and youd be bewildered and humiliated and then youd be spitting feathers about it, trust me.) Which is fine, and it has its place, BUT NOT IN ENGLAND! What about something decent like a frigging shark in a massive tank or some original-hardcore-punk stuff like Banksy does? or what about something that people can actually understand like the stuff thats on TV for crying out loud? whats wrong with some interesting stuff and then a long text explaining what all that stuff is about that I can read on the tube!? but they must realise how alienating that is to the likes of you. I don’t think it’s Middlebottom’s fault, really. Hes just a guoy. He deserves some your time, (maybe just take 5 minutes to check out his blog its really interesting and cool), but the ICA phat-cats need to think about who theyre trying to appeal to, because right now it's none of you lot.  but its all fair do's because im entitled to my oppinion arent I. cheers
Boxes, models, architectures, aquariums, terrariums. Can we put the exhibition together? Mathis Altmann, Maggie Lee, Tris Vonna-Michell, Tetsumi Kudo, Paul Thek, Mike Kelley, Ajay Kurian, Tobias Madison, Robert Graham, Max Hooper Schneider, Anicka YI, et al.

The box is a headspace, and cardboard is like a reconstituted tree flesh, and the diorama is like an architecture, ventilated to breath, did you know a lot of planning into a building's breathing, it's HVAC, like lungs, controlling moisture, and soggy cardboard is like a rotting flesh, we are repulsed by it, and looking into the flesh pool in the grotto is like the oracle, shimmering like the laptop screen, whose lid can be closed, locked and sent, it is transportable, and it is like a transportable headspace, and these objects are like primitive waypoints between many boxes, models, architectures, aquariums, terrariums we've been talking about.



brum brum off to the eurozone again beep beep parp