Highgate Cementery

hg6hg5Last Friday afternoon I had some free time  between two moving and fun evenings watching the Instant Composers Pool at the Vortex so I took a trip up to Highgate cemetery. This came to be as part of a long considered mission to see where Karl Marx is buried. Having failed the last time I was  in London to make it even though I fully intended to get there it seemed like too good a chance to miss. My previous date with it having been given over to the Horniman Museum’s instrument collection in Forest Hill. I took the tube to Archway then walked up the hill past school kids and people getting on and off buses with granny trolleys. Managed to get pleasantly lost and walk pretty much all the way round the perimeter of the graveyard before finding the entrance. The cemetery is surrounded by incredible houses which must date from when Highgate was an outlying district of the city; the area around the graveyard has the real feel of a small hamlet enveloped by London. Once inside it is a strange little world all to itself; a small universe managed by volunteers making decisions by committee. Its easy to move about on the main paths which are paved but all the smaller ones resemble muddy country tracks moving between some wonderful old trees. Graves with roots wrapping round them. It’s a great place. Marx’s headstone is of course something of a social realist nightmare a huge concrete plinth with a sculpture of his head atop. It’s not the original headstone, which was apparently much more modest; the current one was raised by subscription by The Communist Party Of Great Britain in 1954. I spent a couple of pleasant moments there thinking.

hg4Around me two Spanish couples and a group of middle aged German men I imagine to be a Trade Unionists holiday outing from the Ruhr Valley are taking pictures. I walk down the hill stopping off to draw birdsong at Patrick Caulfield’s self designed “DEAD” memorial, Douglas Adams and at a few other points on the many benches dotted about. The day before I’d picked up a really interesting looking double CD of British birdsong published by the British Library and CD by Ostad Elai from Honest Johns in Ladbroke Grove. More on to come no doubt.

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Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra CD “nine doors” now out!

Out as of today 22nd of february! 9 tracks of splendor available from www.concretemoniker.co.uk for a bargain price of £6. Covers are handscreened on to heavy weight recycled cardpackaging, insert contains a super savage collage from Zeke and lyric sheet.

CD release show is this Thursday 25th February @ The Greenroom on Whitworth Street in Manchester. We’ll be performing with performance artist Ken Turner.

Also superpleased that we got Karl Marx back on prime time TV with our brief burst of fame on friday eve. Hopefully the footage will get digitised sooner or later, its currently trapped in the inbetween world of VHS. Ok so sure, Karl didn’t get everything right and people may have done bad stuff in his name but I’d rather see him back on TV than more post-modern brain grinding that degrades even further our slippery grasp of history, the past and what it means to be human and alive.