Archives for posts with tag: Van der Graaf Generator
La Rossa, 2015

La Rossa, 2015
Street photography and digital manipulation

From the moment I started taking street shots in earnest, I wanted to see them next to abstract paintings. It seemed like it would make an interesting fit. Since then I have taken a lot of street shots and developed a more abstract way of working with the images I take. So it seemed natural to bring the two strands of what I do together. La Rossa is a work in progress, or rather an element of a larger work. Having taken the step of combining works I discovered what La Rossa is missing is another element: a tabletop sculpture…back to work.

La Rossa (I), 2015– La Rossa (I), 2015 –

La Rossa (II), 2015– La Rossa (II), 2015 –


La Rossa is the third track on Van der Graaf Generator’s 1976 album, Still Life. You can listen to the song (9:54 of sonic heaven) here.


Leon Hart, who has been a friend of TFIPM for a long time and been thrice captured in street portrait form, (the last time being here) has an exhibition of his paintings from the last two years coming up at the Leyden Gallery in London 24-28th November 2015. Leon’s work is great, so this is a must see.

Leon Hart Flyer 2


And finally, Ashley Lily Scarlett and I are engaged in a conversation in pictures and it’s called Between Scarlett and Guest. Check it out!


After The Flood, 2015– After The Flood, 2015 –

On 20th December 2014, Ashley Lily Scarlett and I started a conversation in pictures called Between Scarlett and Guest. Ashley is based in Sydney, Australia and I’m in Beckenham, UK – we have never met (although we nearly did once). But we trade pictures on an almost dailyy basis. After The Flood has not appeared in BSAG yet, (but it’s only a matter of time). Below is my side of the conversation from 27th August to 19th September 2015. It incorporates archive images and those taken specifically in answer to one of Ashley’s shots.

You can start “reading” Between Scarlett and Guest from any point (and read backwards or forwards) and it should still make some kind of sense.

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After The Flood is the sixth and final track on Van der Graaf Generator’s 1970 album, The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other. You can listen to it here.

Last Frame, 2015– Last Frame, 2015 –

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From now now TFIPM is going to be smaller, but more perfectly formed. There will be posts on Thursdays and Sundays only (with occasional special extra posts on other days). Ithangyow!

The title of this post is taken from a track by Van der Graaf Generator from their 1977 album, The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome. You can listen to it here.

See you Sunday.

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Ashley Lily Scarlett and I are engaged in a conversation in pictures and it’s called Between Scarlett and Guest. Check it out!

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Sparrowfall (2), 2015– Sparrowfall (2), 2015 –


There is a wilful lemminglike persistence in remaking past successes time after time. They can’t make them as good as they are in our memories, but they go on doing them and each time it’s a disaster. Why don’t we remake some of our bad pictures – I’d love another shot at ‘Roots of Heaven’ – and make them good?

– John Huston


Ashley Lily Scarlett and I have started a new blog called Between Scarlett and Guest. It’s a dialogue in pictures. You can read/ eavesdrop on the conversation here.


Lemmings #1, 2013

Spider clawed at the thick fingers around his throat. He stamped at the pedals, the floor of the car, and the door, but he couldn’t seem to get the message through to Quinnell that he did not want to die. “Stop struggling,” said Quinnell. He gave Spider’s head a hard slap and Spider did as he was told. The Mustang’s windows had steamed up. From the darkness a short-bladed knife consolidated itself and glittered in the rear-view mirror.

“Mr Quinnell,” Spider hissed.

“You mucked everything up,” said Quinnell with a tone that sounded like regret. He pressed the tip of the blade to Spider’s throat. Spider yelped.

Quinnell’s face was flushed. Even the red in his moustaches seemed to have intensified. Following the curve of Spider’s throat, the blade moved slowly and with great deliberation, not too soft and not too hard. Momentarily, it left behind a neat red line. Then it got messy.

Spider spluttered something that sounded like f_k. “You didn’t have to do that,” he rasped. He squirmed in his seat. There was blood down the front of his yellow jumpsuit.

“It’s been a long day,” said Quinnell.

Spider tried to turn his head, but Quinnell did not want him to turn his head. So he hit the side of Spider’s head with the hilt of his knife to keep it where he wanted it.

“How did you find me?” said Spider.

“I’m asking the questions,” said Quinnell. “You lied to me, Mickey.”

The slight movement of Spider’s neck Quinnell’s fingers allowed suggested he wanted to shake his head. “Why?” said Quinnell. Spider sniffed.

“Of course, you’re not going to tell me anything. Not for nothing; that would be against your principles,” said Quinnell. “But I could torture the answer out of you.”

“Who’s your boss, Mr. Quinnell?” Spider hissed.

“You’re the one who knows everything; you tell me,” said Quinnell.

“Detective Superintendent Pankhurst,” said Spider. “Think about it.”

“Pathetic. That’s your answer?” Quinnell relaxed his grip. But the knife blade remained. “Very weak, Mickey,” he said.

Spider chanced turning his head to face his interrogator. “The culture’s changing, Mr. Quinnell,” he said. “And Bamtree’s changing with it. Our old arrangement was good, but someone made me a better offer.”

“Who actually paid you?” said Quinnell.

“No money involved.” Spider laughed a tight little laugh, which turned into a cough that rattled through him and shook the car around them. When the fit subsided he added, “Just be glad you didn’t hurt me too bad, Mr. Quinnell. I’ve become an asset.”

“You’re a prick,” said Quinnell. “Tell me who paid you.”

“I can’t do that, Mr Quinnell. As you know, words is my business, and those words would cost me dear.” There was a sour chemical taint to Spider’s breath. He turned back round so he was facing the windscreen. “Please don’t make a mistake here that we’ll both regret.”

“Mickey, you are no longer under my protection. May God help you.” Quinnell withdrew the knife. He slid back in his seat, folded the knife away, swung the car door open and climbed out. It had all been for nothing – paying the kid in the squad car – the bloody car-chase. Quinnell blinked in the darkness.


Lemmings (Including Cog) is the first track on Van der Graaf Generator’s 1971 album, Pawn Hearts. The original album was a massive three tracks long, the whole of side two being taken up by A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers (23:04). The album reached the number one spot in Italy. When the band toured the country to support it in 1972, riots broke out. Exhausted on their return to the UK, the band split. And reformed in 1975. Split again in 1978. Reformed in 2005 and are still going today (minus flute/ sax player David Jackson). The remaining members (Peter Hammill, Hugh Banton and Guy Evans) are touring this year and have promised to play A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers in full. You can see the song being performed on Belgian TV here. But, you know, buy the album.


Just after I ran into Jimmy Clancy, I met up with David Cook. I’ve known David since 1986. We were at art school together in the nineteen (mutter, mutter, mutter). He’s an artist and runs a great blog about art in London here. I was very jealous of David’s red jacket (not the reason this photograph is B&W). Anyway, thanks for letting me take your photograph, David! Hope you like it.

David Cook, 2013



ifetime #1, #2, 2013

The Sleepwalkers, 2013

The Sleepwalkers is the fourth and final track on Van der Graaf Generator’s 1975 album, Godbluff. It was the band’s comeback album, having split after 1971’s Pawn Hearts (which contains a 23 minute song called A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers), and some hectic times in Italy where they were cult stars. Anyway, Godbluff is near peerless and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who likes to invest time in their music, and has a penchant for rock music made with drums, vocals, organ, sax and flute. I’ll be writing more about VdGG…

All That Before, 2013

The Undercover Man, 2013

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To see some great abstracts head over to my ace collaborator Richard’s blog, CK Ponderings. Richard’s posting our next collaboration there on Sunday.

Contempt, 2012

Garage, 2012

Sleeper, 2012

Commuter, 2012

Nobody’s Business is the fourth track on Peter Hammill’s 1975 album, Nadir’s Big Chance. Nadir was my way in to Peter Hammill and Van der Graaf Generator’s work. I’d admired the record sleeves for a long time before – they were outlandish and ugly in some ways, but I loved their rejection of “normal” imagery, and I was sure the music would reflect this obtuseness. I listened to Nadir’s Big Chance twice before deciding it wasn’t for me. A bit too seventies, and a bit well not exactly proggy but pretty difficult to listen to. I put the album aside for a good year and got on with my life. Then I got ill and spent a lot of time in bed, listening to old CDs and Nadir somehow made it to the top of the pile. Argh, I thought as I listened to the first track, this again, but track two, The Institute of Mental Health, Burning was just the right side of strange-sounding and had laugh out loud lyrics. It was the lyrics that hooked me. They were written by Chris Judge Smith to whom I am very grateful, because I listened to the track over and over, and eventually made the leap to listening to and then loving the whole album (and from there the whole of Peter Hammill’s catalogue and everything by Van der Graaf Generator). You can read more about the album here.