The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'saint etienne'
Bob Stanley, one third of indie-dance Londonists Saint Etienne and occasional music journalist, writes in The Quietus about the ideology of modern architecture:
I live in High Point. It was built in 1935 by the Tecton Group. Berthold Lubetkin was the architect. It's the best modernist block of flats in Britain. He deliberately designed it so that anyone who was sniffy about modernism would walk in and instantly be impressed by the huge lobby. The flats are blank canvases, it's got underfloor heating and there's no clutter. I can't imagine living anywhere better. There's so much light, which is really important. The Victorians thought having too much light was wrong, they equated it with a liberal lifestyle. So in the 80s when you got that architecture coming back it made sense, this Thatcherite, self-flagellating idea that you shouldn't have too much light in the house. That seems to have stuck with the Barrett Homes style of building.
There was a GLC plan to have all cars at ground floor level, and all people at first floor level, all across London, but it was kept secret, which is something we want to make a film about. It was called the pedway, and the only place you can really see it now is the Barbican. I don't think I'd have wanted the whole of London to be like that, but the areas that were completely decimated in East London, that would have been really interesting if they'd persisted. Instead it's a mess, one massive tower block in the middle of an area of grass, and then a little old Victorian street that goes around like that, and stops with a couple of bollards at the end. What a mess.
This week's street press has some interesting articles; InPress has interviews with members of Saint Etienne (who say their new album Finisterre is a concept album about London, and that they have a set of short films that goes with it), Mogwai (who once printed T-shirts reading "BLUR ARE SHITE", and then found out that Japanese and US fans tend to be people who are into all British indie/alternative music as a genre), and Ninetynine, talking about the odd varieties of bands they've been booked to play with on their various tours (i.e., in Europe they have played with hardcore/metal bands a lot, not because they're metal as fuck but because of the pop bands all being signed to labels and them being independent). And there's another Ninetynine interview in Beat as well, which makes a Krautrock comparison; hmmm...
(I've noticed the Mogwai thing, about non-British UK-indie fans clustering into "Anglophile" subcultures, as well. Take for example Steve Wide's show on 3RRR, which plays everything from Oasis/Radiohead-wannabe bands to pill-popping dance grooves to French/Icelandic bands liked by UK-pop fans; or a UK-indie list I lurked on once which was mostly wannabe-Mods exchanging trainspotter-like lists of classic swingin'-60s movies and talking about their scooters. Or cliques of US-based "Anglophile" kids exchanging in-jokes on band-related mailing lists.)