All text copyright Stephen Coates 2006 - 2015

LOVE 2010

Here is Edison and those wonderful women re-made over the lead track from the new seasonal mini album 'Seasons Songs' by The Real Tuesday Weld. With that old Churchillian rascal Martyn Jacques from The Tiger Lilles, a sampling of the divine Marcella from The Puppini Sisters, dream diva Mara Carlyle, and that inveterate mischief maker Joe Coles, the six song cd comes as a beautiful limited edition greetings card.

You can send it to someone special (or even to yourself)

Find it here at  Antique Beat


Prompted by Zurich's observation, here are more images from the Austin Osman Spare exhibition at the Cuming Museum.  - these perhaps showing a little more of his strangeness.


In addition to the subterrannean lost rivers, there has always been a deep psychedelic stream flowing beneath London.  I know it, I can feel it.  I used to think it ran south from Regents Park down through west Soho to the river via St James - after all it is no co-incidence that William Blake grew up but a few yards from Carnaby street, the epicentre of swinging London.  But these days I think it is in fact the fracture between the two cities  - the City of London proper in the east and the City of Westminster in the west.  They have different Gods and different religions (money and power respectively).  This fracture is at least as significant as the San Andreas fault under San Francisco - if not as destructive.

But the stream of images and ideas that has flown upwards from it has permeated and powered the dreams and work of many Londoners - Chaucer, Blake, Dickens, Lord Leighton, Beardsely, Eliot. I count some temporary residents  amongst that lineage too - Carlyle, Walter Crane, Robert Calvert - even perhaps Syd Barrett for a couple of years before he fell. Unaccountably, one of the almost forgotten is Austin Osman Spare, the Kennington Blake.  Like Blake, he was prolific, oscillated between grandiosity and despair and died in penurious obscurity.  Why?  Unfashionable, difficult, untruthful, yes.  Mysterious, obsessive, inspired, definately.  A friend for a while of Aleister Crowley, an inventor of his own religious system, a master draughtsman, a mystic, a loner, a fabulist, a war artist, social chronicler. One of the greatest mysteries about him is that he is has been so neglected. 

It seems something is changing though - there is an exhibition of his work at The Cuming Museum not far from where he worked in Southwark.  And in January, our friends the Strange Attractor Press are publishing "Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist" by Phil Baker with a special limited edition.   I imagine Spare would be glad of a growing posthumous fame - like Blake he seemed to fear and desire public acceptance. If you have the money and taste for art dealing, it is a good time to buy I think.  If you haven't the money but have taste for dreaming,the book and  the work is enough. 

He was born in Clerkenwell on Snow Hill next to the river Fleet - the physical correalate of London's pyschedelic undercurrent.