Gogol Bordello gig Hammersmith Apollo

Last night Lucaman, Niko and I went to Gogol Bordello gig in Hammersmith Apollo, London. There was a mad story that had to go on, cuz of course we felt a bit gipsy inside. We got to the place with some rhum into da stomach and as soon as we got into the huuuuge arena and noticed that we could not jump down in the dance hall from the sits we had we realized we had to invent a genial great escape. We tried all fire exists but they all brought us outside. So we went back to the dance hall entrance and I managed to jump in (very naughty). So I get into the dance hall and the guys get back upstairs find the fire exit get the fuck out and get the fuck in again from the dance hall fire exit that I opened for them from in.
And then just - three hours of the best energy a music group can ever give its audience.
Thanks Gogol Bordello - never stop your supertheory of supereverything cuz you get me joyful.

and I promise my marriage will never end up like this.

However we did end somehow fucked - we were wet as if we had just came out of a bath. We, thus, took our tshirts off and kept only sweaters on.
When we went back into the tube we, therefore, did our 'loundry'.

Have you ever been to American wedding?
Where is the vodka, where's marinated herring?
Where is the supply that gonna last three days?
Where is the band that like Fanfare.
Gonna keep it goin' 24 hours

Super taran-ta taran-ta ran-ta ta

Instead it's one in the mornin'
and DJ is patchin' up the cords
Everybody's full of cake
Staring at the floor
Proper couples start to wonder
That it's time to do
People gotta get up early
Yep, they gotta go
People gotta get up early
And she'd gotta boyfriend
And this whole fucking thing
Is just a one huge disappointment


Nothing gets these people going
not even Gypsy Kings
nobody talks about my Supertheory
of Supereverythings!
SO be you Donald Trump
Or be an anarchist
Make sure that your wedding
Doesn't end up like this

I understand the cultures
Of a different kind
But here word celebration
Just doesn't come to mind


December 07 column for Kazin

‘This is not a bar’ – bears an old wrecked black door on Sclater St, a cross road of Brick Lane.
Suddenly, with a squawk, the old door opens and a funny jovial face twinkles from behind: “Come in, it is a bar!”
Jenny and me look into each other’s eyes, say “why not”, and walk in. A whole mysterious world opens up for us: the black painted walls are decorated with the most improbable objects, from crucified teddy bears to mannequins decorated with bondage and all sorts of ornaments.
Behind the bar counter – which is actually a overturned closet – is an old Jamaican man all formally dressed up; brown hat, glasses, tie, brown coat and a soft groomed white beard. He would be the perfect grandpa I never had and looks like a rose among rabbits, completely out of place.
We get some rhum and coke and start chatting with some guys. Behind us is an amazing fireplace with a real real fire – not like those fake gas fireplaces that every London’s house bears as totem.
The place looks a bit as those cabins hanged on the peak of a snow-covered mountain in which people love to spend New Years Eve.
But there is no snow, no mountain, no new year, just a bunch of highly differentiated drunken people with a different skin colour and sight.
The atmosphere is of the most intimate ones – only candles’ light illuminates people’s smiles and chats and I, inspired by it, find myself wrapped into political and humanitarian conversations with people I never met before but – it seems – I knew from a past life.
Sip after sip Jenny and me surprise ourselves drunk and while turning on others we notice that the whole place is an ensemble of laughing happy people. It was long time I didn’t feel so good, I feel like screaming of joy. All problems seem to have disappeared because I have found the place I have been searching for too long in London. Pubs are always full of loud drunk violent people that cannot even talk to each others because the volume of music is too bloody high – so, in absence of communication, they end up beating each others up.
Clubs are cool, of course, but also the most alienating places on earth in which a crowd of droids move all in the same ways following a same music. I love to dance, but remember – dancing in London clubs is perfect if you wanna stay with yourself, only.
And then there is ‘this is not a bar’, a squat, an illegal venue but still the bar of my dreams, in which everything is permitted – painting around, smoking, chatting, dancing – and where the only rule to follow is socialization.
The whole alienation of the metropolis is cracked down in a 50 metres square – not even – squat. And I love that, tonight. When, from the main room I walk into the minor one I find Sean, one of the bar tenders, painting over a strange object – something like the back of a white skin sofa or head support of some hospital’s bed - and I am still wondering what the hell was that thing.
However, Sean was writing ‘this is not a bar’ on it, using a mixture of oil, spray and acrylic colours.
He then turns and give me the only brush available. I go on painting a landscape of London and writing some other funny sentences such as ‘new culture of peace’. While doing that I hear I whisper on my neck “this is so sexy” – obviously this has been what I heard after too many rhum and coke, reality perception is twisted and sphongled. I turn and encounter a weird charming man with big 1980s glasses and a typical British style of speaking and moving. He picks up the brush and while saying “it is so sexy to see a woman painting” paints a kind of teeth plate. I open my mouth (after having recognize that symbol which decorates many walls of East London) and say: “Wow, so it is you who paint those teeth around!Why do you paint teeth?”
“I love teeth I think they are so attractive – and I got arrested so many times because of following my passion.”
I feel a mixture of surprise and joy – I just met one of the most famous graffiti artists of London. I had been wondering months upon the identity behind those teeth graffiti and now the mind who creates them was there, in front of me, smiling from behind his huge glasses.
He goes home and I start meeting new people and people I had met in other occasions too. It is incredible how East London can pick up the same dynamics of a village when squeezed into ‘this is not a bar’ squat.
The old black painted bricks of the place even remind me of the tavern of my home town and they contribute with making me feel at home. Because this is what ‘this is not a bar’ bar makes people feel like: being into your house living room. Obviously a bit of a revised one – but with a bit of imagination, using as base the fireplace, sofas and wooden floor of it – you can really feel embraced by peace. People in there are peaceful, maybe because they are not forced to scream in order to exchange some ideas. This is why every time I walk out of it (most of times when sun is rising and a new day is greeting the city) I feel like a pirate with a new plunder – it being a new strategy for stop poppies cultivation in Afghanistan, an artist showing me her amazing sketches or a Japanese break dancer planning his trip to Venice. It had happened, then, that at 5 in the morning of a Saturday I ended up doing make up for the actresses of a music video. All boosted by ‘this is not a bar’ creative vortex. Our present, while passing our nights there, is history. Soon or later the Council of London would make ‘this is not a bar’ not a bar anymore, abandoning its skeleton among skyscrapers.
But our memories, as puckish ghosts, will make him company – for ever.


fifth column for Kazin

My name is Oliver and I am an urban explorer.
You must all wonder what does that mean. Well, my favourite hobby is going around cities and exploring abandoned places. What got me into it is the attraction towards the derelicts that our progress leaves behind. I do not know if you ever entered an abandoned factory – the atmosphere that reigns inside it is simply surreal. It is an artificial place in which different stories had happened and the weight of all the activities that the place hosted give an identity to the place as a defined being. There was something of post modernity in the fashion of building huge sumptuous lofts in old factories. There was an amazing beauty in seeing features of skyscrapers and old houses face to face. But now, today, in the London that is getting ready for the Olympics there is something sick about building up. I live in Shoreditch, east London. Off Shoreditch you find Brick Lane – what was called few months ago the new heart of London. Now, this is a heart that is hosting the best experiments of postmodernism in terms of architectural rearrangement of internal spaces of old fabrics. Brick Lane was in fact the biggest area of brick factories of the city. Today it is a place that hosts the coolest pubs, clubs and venues. The last derelict buildings are about to die. In the whole area the massive wish to build more and more is condemning to death some gorgeous houses. One of those, located in front of the Tea Bar, that is on its last days. They have already demolished a third of it. This is the case in which an urban explorer gets into action. Digital camera and craziness is all an urban explorer needs. Then is just him and the space to explore. Up on scaffolding we were two urban explorers getting more and more emotional the more we would climb up the house. We then reached the roof and spoke to the house. “We feel sorry you will cease to exist in a week time”, my friend said.
From the roof the panorama it was breath taking. But there is something of an immense beauty and an immense ugliness at the same time: the new skyscraper of London. Behind it is the cucumber of Norman Foster. However the new skyscraper will be massively high and it is already facing the sky in a way no other buildings do here. All glass and height. Simply glass and high as if we are transparently admitting our wish to touch God. And to do that – look how funny – we are destroying our memories, our roots, our small old houses.
Bricks. Why should we keep using bricks when we can just do a steel and glass stairway to heaven?
Let’s do a bet. Go to pass your fingers on an old brick wall and pass them on a glass wall. Brick Lane against Moorgate. Try the difference. Feel the texture. There is a weird smell of history bumping out of the humid bricks of old houses. On the other hand the glass will tell you much – a bit of an artificial perfume. A rose from a garden against cheap and chic by Moschino. Both amazingly poetic. When I go back home and I watch the pictures that I took during the exploration I just feel good. I have some memories trapped in my computer. I can print them: the building (a creature) will keep living in those images. Memories. Memories. And memories can become a creature again in the form of a picture. I dream of a big open air exhibition around the whole of Hackney in which my pictures will be printed as big as the huge advertising of Intimissimi and in stead of naked women posing there people will walk the streets and see the buildings that once where there. Imagine…Imagine a time in which the City of London will be composed of glass – only glass – and the walls of it will be decorated with huge pictures of the old brick buildings. Such a high poetry elevated to the sky. In the dream of scratching god mind I will hope to see the ghost of hackney road’s old buildings (that will be all demolished in few months time) elevated on the wall of our skyscrapers. Because we have to scratch the sky. Get up to god. To the minor god of a multiple multinationality of a big mixture of all cultures and all dreams. London is a bit of this: a mixture of all dreams of all humans. And I. And I love to explore that tunnel.


messenger conversation between me and vlora

I was telling her something but she was busy and she told me to wait. But look how it came out.

me: "I would love to have more time to read these globalization stuff more in depth. But I don't have time."

vlora: "wait"

fourth column for "Kazin"

Tonight I was bored of London and human beings.
I went into a cool place on the corner between Old Street and Great Eastern Street: there are scaffolding around but the owners are that creative that they folded with wood and graffiti.
You pass by there and feel the urge to get in.
However, I had pass in front of it for a whole year and never entered, I waited for the right occasion.
If you pass by, do it soon – not like me.
Then you enter and you are suddenly embraced by one of the most incredible places I ever been to.
And you feel you are not bored of London anymore, and you think that human beings could actually be captivating.
Big television cables are used as ceiling and among some old sofas there are artists and short wooden tables.
On a wall there are pictures of Africa, while on the opposite some intriguing maze like paintings.
On the side of the counter a small space for the dj is created with walls done with old broken computers.
If you follow the cables you get to a big basement of four big rooms full of art installations and weird people playing improvised music with guitars, violins and clarinet flutes.
I sat there with a friend from Nazareth and I started telling him about London. Look at us, I said, we are here and we pretend not to see all these interesting people surrounding us. I would love now to talk to them. But we never get the chance, because everyone in London is supposed to live in his small world. London is a universe of small worlds. You can meet everyone, but you do not. We walk everyday elbow to elbow and we pretend to be stranger, we pretend that that physical contact did not take place – that physical contact is not a contact.
But this is absurd, people are alienated and their only way of surviving is becoming more and more alone – more and more stranger to others.
If from one side people are trying to gather together they do it in antisocial places like clubs, for example. And they take antisocial drugs, like amphetamines. Synthetic drugs belong to a synthetic world and a synthetic music of which London is the empire. An empire of loneliness.
Too much together but nothing gets shared. If you actually go and walk the streets of London you will get a lot of sights, emotions, sensations, smiles from people but all these contacts are sudden and when you lie down in your bed at night you feel full but empty.
So I thought we should create in London a different place – and there is one up in Kingsland Rd, the Melange Collective. But, I think, we, Londoners, we should create another one.
There are too many clubs in London and they are all so standardized. It is impressive – synthetic world with synthetic sensations people are searching their souls but they get it lost again by taking amphetamines in prisons – clubs.
If you actually think about it you might have fun dancing in a London club but after a bit you will feel just the four walls of that artificial cage of fun and the sweat of people.
So, I think we should create a new place. I had a vision of this new place. I want a place in which people can gather together and not be bored of each other, in which the creativity of each of us will come out and shine of uniqueness. I want a place in which you do not need to take an amphetamine to find your soul because you will be there to donate your soul to others. I want a place covered up in art.
And now I tell you how.
It will be a place that will have not real walls. It will be build up with old screens of computer and from the outside it will be just covered with a particular metal foil. Around there will be a garden with coloured lights and their colours will reflect in dozen of imaginary lullabies dancers.
Then from the inside each computer screen will have a different video art record and the whole place will just look like a harmony of colours and images. The floor must be just wood and the ceiling, oh, I would love a glass ceiling to see the stars out of it. I do not want any clocks because the time should not be counted in there. Music will flow among screens and huge speakers and people will dance happy. There should be a basement all white where everyone can paint on the walls and around, play, do theatre or whatever installation.
I would love people to know that by building such a place, we would avoid the dumping of all our old computers to the third world.
I would love to see people happy because of this, I would love to see people understanding that our objects do have a soul too. That we cannot just use a computer and when we do not like it anymore we dump it to Nigeria. One day, that computer will come back to us. He will knock at our doors.
I would build a disco labyrinth done up of computers and leave the Third World clean.
I would love to see Londoners happy to dance inside a labyrinth of computer and souls, and smile, hand in hand.