Tag Archives: Red Gallery

2015 ➤ Hot revelations from the Flexipop book party

Flexipop, pop music, London, Swinging 80s, books,Barry Cain, Tim Lott, Red Gallery

Flexipop founders: Tim Lott and Barry Cain at Red Gallery last night. (Photographed by © Shapersofthe80s)

◼ THREE DECADES AFTER the maverick monthly music magazine Flexipop closed, guilty names were named during last night’s book launch at Shoreditch’s coolest new venue, the Red Gallery. During a Q&A with the mag’s founders Barry Cain and Tim Lott, they confessed that the three most difficult artists to deal with in those heady days of Britain’s burgeoning pop scene were. . . [X-Factor-style pause] . . . Tears for Fears and . . . Paul Weller and . . . the American new-wave band Blondie! Lott tactlessly remarked that what surprised him most was that singer Debbie Harry had “a huge head out of all proportion with her body” – which clearly means he really had a thing about blondes.

Whinging hosts apart, guests at their party were distinctly more polite. Generating tidal waves of affection was the original 2 Tone rude girl Pauline Black, who was happy to chat about this summer’s new album titled Subculture 36 years after her band The Selecter set out, having survived two splits and reunions, and now poised for a UK tour. . . Exchanging gossip beneath the “Free hugs” notice we found veteran 80s popsters Christos Tolera (Blue Rondo à la Turk) and Phil Bloomberg (Polecats). . . Catching up on the music du jour were the gifted jazzer Mark Reilly (Matt Bianco, still going strong and knocking out albums every few years) and the ubiquitous Andy Polaris (Animal Nightlife, long defunct) who these days injects magic into the windows of the UK’s trendiest Oxfam in Dalston. . .

Click any pic below to launch slideshow


Powering through the crowd was photographer Neil Mackenzie Matthews, eager to push his exhibition of pop-star photos printed on smart Somerset paper and selling at very affordable prices. He produced some flopsy-bunny big ears which apparently was the prop he invited stars of the 80s to wear in front of his camera. We saw immortalised on a poster the playful chanteuse Toyah Willcox, though Neil recalled how, despite having bought the ears as a gift for the precious Ian McCulloch of Echo and The Bunnymen (geddit?), he refused outright to see their entertainment value.

It was Flexipop’s belief that all celebs should be humiliated at every turn. As further proof, souvenirs of the magazine’s heyday were visible everywhere, including a blown-up cartoon strip satirising Marc Almond as a “sex dwarf” and Dave Ball his partner in Soft Cell as a beer-swilling “mega-hunk”. Writs for libel were due to be served at midnight.

Flexipop’s trademark plastic 7-inch discs were being dispensed free, after unsold supplies were recently unearthed in Cain’s mum’s garage – and “still playable”, assuming you have a wind-up gramophone.

Apparently Paul Weller couldn’t get along to the party as he was collecting some award as Modest Mod-father of Them All.

➢ The big public Flexipop! book launch party
for charity starts at 7.30pm tonight 25 Sept at the Red Gallery, London EC2A 3DT – tickets £20 at door

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2011 ➤ i-D Now reveals trade secrets and catches up with Scarlett from Cha-Cha

i-D NOW, pop-up exhibition ,Red Gallery ,photography, fashion,style,

i-D NOW: a pop-up exhibition at the Red Gallery in Hoxton

❚ THE ORIGINAL FASHION AND STYLE BIBLE, i-D, has decided to celebrate its 31st birthday with i-D NOW. This is a pop-up exhibition of historic covers, plus interactive events featuring industry-leaders, in conjunction with the Taschen anthology, i-D Covers 1980–2010, which was published last year. The event aims to give a behind-the-scenes look at how some of those covers and their hallmark winks were created.

Scarlett Cannon ,Helen Carey ,i-D magazine, i-D Now, exhibition

Straight-up from i-D issue 003: Scarlett Cannon and Helen Carey photographed by Thomas Degen

Details are being announced tantalisingly via Twitter but known tasters include past i-D fashion editor and broadcaster Caryn Franklin leading a discussion about fashion.

There’s a musical treat from boilerroom.tv and photographer Billy Ballard is staging a couple of Beauty Now shoots while i-D makeup expert Lucy Bridge does the styling. Other contributions will come from i-D family members including Terry Jones, Richard Buckley, Pat McGrath, Nick Knight, Simon Foxton and Edward Enninful.

i-D magazine,Scarlett Cannon,Head to Toe Guide,1982

i-D issue 008: Scarlett photographed by Thomas Degen

Coincidentally, by way of promoting the pop-up, i-D Online catches up with a couple of style-setters who first appeared together in a straight-up shot for the magazine’s third issue back in 1981. This was the height of the Pose Age when Scarlett Cannon and her startling haircut fronted the ultra-hip Cha-Cha club and she subsequently became the cover girl on i-D’s eighth issue.

Helen Carey with her own unique hairplay worked with designer Martin Degville in Kensington Market, where she was pictured here by Shapersofthe80s. They’re still up for striking a pose 30 years on, during which time Scarlett tells me she been “in full-blown glamorous gardening mode” as a garden tutor and food-growing consultant, among other things. For i-D she talks about her friend Helen’s business Vintage Vacations, which offers holiday retreats in classic silver American trailers.

➢ Read Scarlett’s piece Take A Vintage Vacation at i-D Online

➢ i-D NOW is a pop-up exhibition at London’s Red Gallery, 3 Rivington Street, EC2A 3DT (Sep 1–18, 11am–8pm, closed Sundays). For minute-by-minute updates visit #iDNOW on Twitter

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