Events | Past Events
excellent flyer by The Quill.
POPART IS FIVE
Or ‘So Much For The Five Year Plan’ Weekender
16 BANDS PLAYING LIVE:
SATURDAY: And What Will Be Left Of Them?, Brontosaurus Chorus, Subliminal Girls, Bicycle Thieves, Metro Corskol, Gamages Model Train Club, Part Rocket, Dirty Fingernails
SUNDAY: Laurel Collective, Mr Solo, Abdoujaparov, MJ Hibbett, Keith TOTP, The Seven Inches, Evilwitch and The PopArt AllStars
Saturday FREE before 8pm, £5 after
Sunday FREE all day
They said it would never happen, but we’re celebrating FIVE YEARS of PopArt Indie-Pop prankery with a massive TWO DAY event. And it might just be our best ever line up – a stellar collection of absolute musical legends who, over the years, have become firm friends of PopArt. We’re calling them “Legfriends,” but we’re not sure it’ll catch on. And forget Pulp; there’s more than one reunion here that sets our hearts a flutter. Because it’s our birthday, it’s all for free so long as you get there before 8pm on Saturday.
You know us; we always want to do more than stick on some bands (amazing as they are) so there’ll also be:
PopArt DJs with all sorts of indie-pop, alt rock, stadium fillers, lost classics, glam stompers, sweet soul music, hip hop, punk, theme tunes and stuff we’ve found down the back of the sofa all weekend, including a disco until 3AM on Saturday night.
PopArt compere beyond compare Leicester’s Funnyman ‘The Bullet’ Dave Rees on hand with puns to make your eyes water and the long awaited return of the LIVE game show Indie, Celebrity Win, Lose or Draw.
We’ve had an amazing five years of events, releasing records, dancing, falling and laughing. Building everything around ridiculous puns, tenuous themes, unworkable game shows and scribbled notes from pub based board meetings. Generally saving popular culture in our lunch hours with “all passion; no pretension,” always our mantra. We’re very proud to have played a part in putting on and recording some incredibly talented and bloody lovely people, and sharing it all with you, our darling Smart Kids. Because without you, it doesn’t work. So we want, no, we NEED you to come and celebrate with us and help work out where our youth, money and long term job prospects have gone.
I wipe a tear from my eye and raise a glass to you as I say:
Keep A Little PopArt in your heart x
THE PopArt DJs
Among others like to play songs by The Cure, The Clash, Dinosaur Jr,, Pulp, Wu Tang Clan, The Smiths, Belle & Sebastian, Tamla Motown, Bangles, Prince, Super Furry Animals, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, David Bowie , Suede, The Pixies, Kenickie, Ramones, Lemonheads, MGMT, Roots Manuva, Outkast, Queen, Violent Femmes, Blur, Madonna, The Replacements, Ash, The Cribs, The New Pornographers, Kiss.
And What Will Be Left Of Them?
The classic line up are getting the band back together to kick out the clatterpop jams one more time for us and drag everyone into their delightful, sexy, noisy world of dance, drink, synths, guitars, drink, solid gold hooks and drink. AWWBLOT? are perhaps THE best live band in the country; their on stage chemistry and musicianship are testament to the fact they have been living the DIY dream for so long, but they launch into every song like it will be the first and last time it is ever heard, like these are the only two and a half minutes of past, present or future that matter to them. And once you’ve seen them, every song is the only two and a half minutes that matter to you. Until they tear into the next one. AWWBLOT? are perhaps THE best live band in the country; their on stage chemistry and musicianship are testament to the fact they have been living the DIY dream for so long, but they launch into every song like it will be the first and last time it is ever heard, like these are the only two and a half minutes of past, present or future that matter to them. And once you’ve seen them, every song is the only two and a half minutes that matter to you. Until they tear into the next one. That’s all the beautiful people you hear singing and playing on their album “The Hi Fi Low Life,” (still available on PopArt London, kids). We always thought AWWBLOT? were perhaps THE best live band in the country; their on stage chemistry and musicianship testament to the fact they have been living the DIY dream for so long, but they launch into every song like it will be the first and last time it is ever heard, like these are the only two and a half minutes of past, present or future that matter to them. And once you’ve seen them, every song is the only two and a half minutes that matter to you. Until they tear into the next one.
Chorus Performing their debut album “You’ve Created A Monster,”
Over countless shows, loads of singles and two albums (most releases still available on PopArt London, kids) we’ve seen the Chorus evolve from a boy, a girl, a laptop and a pinch of inspiration into a mighty EIGHT PIECE octopop behemoth. Anyone who has seen eight members of the Chorus invade a stage and go to town live will know what a treat that is. It offers everything from brittle, sparse melancholy to euphoric, string laden, trumpet soaked joy. With new album “Owls,” the Chorus have undoubtedly taken a darker twist, but their classic catchy pop sensibilities and perfectly placed sherbet bursts of choral energy have not departed them in any sense. This is about staring those cold winter months, and monsters, ghosts, fear, pain and heartache square in the face and grinning, drinking and dancing all the same, with a renewed energy and vigour that comes from the wisdom of knowing how precious those moments are. With the release date of Rob’s first child imminent there are whispers of a certain boy returning from standing alone on mountaintop for guitar duties.
Brought their catchy, sneering, witty synth punk pop to the first widely distributed PopArt single “Self Obsession Is An Art Form,” (download still available on the label PopArt London, kids) and having reformed for a handful of shows recently our favourite bubblegum cynics will be leading us once again, with a spring in step, into the dark heart of London.
Classic folk-tinged pop gorgeousness will steal your heart if not your bike. They played at the first EVER PopArt Monthly back in the heady days of '06 and return with their gorgeously heart warming acoustic pop and stunning boy/girl vocals that challenge the likes of Isobel and Mark to cheer the hell up.
Also veterans of early PopArt circa ‘06. The three girls and boy drummer of Metro Corskol have been coaxed out of retirement for a blistering set of alternative tinged punk pop.
Model Train Club
We’ve always loved having the swirling, woozy energy of Gamages on a PopArt stage and we’re delighted they’ll be here for our birthday bash.
Part Rocket, no vocals, all brilliance. Atmospheric, beguiling instrumental sounds, with intricate, raggedy guitar lines. Their influences are “Broken equipment. Beards. Pedals. Puns. Black framed glasses. Steven Seagal's Thunderbox. Most definitely not the fucking Chilli Peppers.” Which is a fairly complete description of any PopArt event.
We love their “Purely sophisticated pop with a touch of The Clash here, a touch of the Beatles there and a good time synth-pop party all over the place,” (Fly Global Music). They say their music is all about “walking the streets of North London,” and “Bubblegum.” They have provided a fine remix of the Brontosaurus Chorus single ‘Louisiana’ available with the original song (still available on the PopArt London website, kids).
Let it be clear; we’ve loved Laurel Collective from the night the massive gang of them first turned up to play one of the first PopArt gigs and struggled to squeeze onto the stage, through numerous storming PopArt sets including rocking the rafters at our packed out New Year party. Hailing from Wales, England, Nigeria and Italy and expertly fusing a myriad of influences, we used to call them The Genre Spanners but that sounded like an insult. The twin vocal attack of Bob and Martin is endlessly engaging, being so different yet so complementary. You haven’t seen or heard anything like the Laurel’s indiesoulphyschdancepoprock carnival cocktail or anything that makes you want to jump and dance and shout and sing in quite the same way, as you watch every member of this motley crew throw themselves (sometimes literally with Bob) into every song, weaving every bit of their love and passion and personality into an irresistibly uplifting, euphoric, get-up-offa that thing magical whole. Yeah, as I say; we love Laurel Collective.
Oh! The famous one pint too many, woozy adrenalin rush, end of the night joy of the PopArt AllStars. Over the years, many of our themed events have seen us roping in a collection of some of the wonderful musicians and singers who populate our address book into and ever shifting, monstrous, bouncing cover version super group and paid our own special tribute to the bands and artists we love. Those that were there will forevermore tell tales of the legendary pairing of Mr Solo and a bemused to terrified Monica Queen to duet on ‘Lazy Line Painter Jane’ at Bowl & Sebastian. And Les Carter giving a fantastic rendition of Bowie’s ‘Suffragette City’ at The Man Who Bowled The World, casually throwing and arm around PhoeniX PhiL on guitar a la Ziggy. We’ve recreated the heady, mad ferrit glories and abominations of the 90s Britpop Wars at three BritPopArts, and rocked all over Christmas from Macca and Slade to and Wizard and Band Aid. This is a best of the best, most pissed of the pissed AllStars retrospective. The last band on Sunday. Put down your coat, have that extra pint and dance and sing to your favorites like nobody is watching. We will be.
Words like ‘enigmatic’, ‘maverick’ and ‘genius’ are distinctly over used, but all these and more apply to the wonderous Mr Solo. At once singer, visual artist, cabaret performer and magician, Mr Solo has delighted and beguiled us PopArters in many ways over the years. Under the alter ego of The Vessel he was lead singer of cult heroes David Devant & His Spirit Wife and he’s whipped up a glam storm with Eddie Argos of Art Brut as Glam Chops. We never know quite what to expect from Mr Solo, which is one of the reasons we love him. He might park a projector on stage to accompany his set with films and animations, he might burst out from behind a painting (catching twee royalty unawares), he might give his pink ‘flying V’ ukulele an airing, he might be dressed head to toe in a sparkly black jumpsuit like the bastard offspring of Elvis and Bowie, he might emerge from beneath a huge black cloak. What we can be sure of is that he will surprise, entertain, confuse and charm in equal measure. And he will be sporting an unfeasibly large quiff. Novel as he is, Mr Solo is no novelty act. I think MJ Hibbett perhaps put is best when he said following a PopArt All Stars supergroup set “That guy can SING.” His touching, open hearted songs are full of joy and wonder.
Bone fide indie royalty Les has been a hero of ours since we were callow teenagers and he was bothering the top ten and Phillip Schofield with Carter USM. We’ve been privileged to have his current bands Abdoujaparov/iDou perform at PopArt and share a stage when he sang with the PopArt AllStars. If they weren’t so bloody lovely we’d still be mutely star struck. The most joyous and shambolic electronic tinged punk fun you can imagine.
Since 1999 MJ Hibbett has been delighting us and many others in towns and cities all over the country with funny, touching and above all TRUE tales of modern life. He’s had a record of the year in Rolling Stone, had over two million people download one of his songs and most importantly whipped the crowd into a lovely FRENZY, like a big rock CUDDLE, at lots of PopArt events. In his solo incarnation MJ commands more attention than a man alone with a guitar has ever managed without being called a JUDAS. There is no crowd too moody or too intent on posing by the fag machine that he cannot bend them to his will and gently convince them to provide ‘the music of the future’ or give him a full throated cry of “Oi! Hibbett!” at the appropriate time. It’s like being given a rock n roll HUG whilst standing on someone’s feet as they DANCE you around until your head is pleasantly SPINNING. Expect a fun filled set full of awkward love in the digital age, teaching your mum how to dance to the Pixies properly and the simple but life affirming and joyful assertion that being HAPPY doesn’t make you stupid.
A true Renaissance man who is often found making other people’s records or performing in a bewildering array of bands, Keith sings accomplished songs that also somehow seem dashed off on the back of an envelope. Sometimes bitter, sometimes dark but never bowed or beaten.
Boy vocals, girl vocals, trumpet, melodica and foot tapping, singalong pop poetry perfection from start to finish. With wit and style and emotion and above all a sense of fun they are what PopArt is all about.
Some of the AWWBLOT? crew have been making a glorious new racket for two years now, with cynicism as sharp as their guitars tempered with joy as uplifting as their harmonies and energy as explosive as their hitting of drums.
Saturday 29 Jan 3pm – 3am and Sunday 30 Jan 2pm – 11pm
Kingpin Suite, Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes WC1H 9EU
click here for a bigger map - but remember the entrance to the Lanes is on Bedford Way!
Events | Past Events