Review of the exhibition of visionary artist William Blake at Tate Britain, September 2019. The exhibition is arranged in eight rooms of the downstairs gallery spaces of Tate Britain, low-lit, maroon-painted walls, a very comprehensive collection of a highly original and complex visionary creator. Blake’s parents ran a successful hosiery and haberdashery shop in Broad Street Soho, in a local inhabited by well-to-do middle classes; bankers, fashionistas, gentry. Born in 1757, Blake felt his calling was to art from childhood, and he was encouraged by his parents purchase of colours, paints and casts, and support for his studies at the Royal Academy. His early studies, carefully completed works from the figure show a degree of competence and conscientious determination. It is precisely here that the original vision is inseminated: the pale grisaille ink and watercolour conceptions plant classical statuesque models into a supernatural arena of unfettered imagination. The canon of Western art, of Titian, Veronese, Michelangelo, Raphael, are absorbed by Blake but regurgitated as something quite alien and spectral, subject to a passionate and individual sensibility. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Christopher Selbie. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/169774/bk_acx0_169774_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
When I opened my office in Archer Street, Piccadilly, London, business was very slow. I then started booking all the beat clubs and coffee bars in Soho. But the business only became a success when I focused my efforts on colleges and universities. I then formed College Entertainments Ltd. I was managing director until 1972 when I married the love of my life. That is when I sold the company after enjoying 12 hectic years of rock music success. That period from 1960 until the early '70s was an exciting, explosive, crazy roller coaster ride. It was a frantic time. The start of unadulterated rock music. I started out with nothing. I was broke and lived on Tulse Hill estate in Brixton. Homeless people have been known to refuse accommodation on that notorious estate. I go into detail about my rock music adventures later. But here are some tasty intro tit bits. Some rock hors d'oeuvres to keep you going before I introduce the main menu. Led Zeppelin: Back in 1968 their manager, Peter Grant, phoned me and said that as I had been one of the best agents for The Yardbirds, I could be the first agent to book new incarnation, Led Zeppelin. Within the hour of Peter Grant's call I had booked them for their very first gig at Surrey University. And the fee was just a few hundred pounds. They became an iconic rock band and Led Zeppelin will live for evermore. Much of it is down to their tough, shrewd manager. And to think the young Peter Grant, in the late 1950s, was the doorman at the 2i's coffee bar in Old Compton Street. Before I started my rock music agency I was a young representative for Jukebox Distributors Ltd in Wardour Street. Because I was a crazy teenager crazy about pop rock music, they let me select all the records for that big famous Jukebox in the 2i's, I seem to remember it was a Wurlitzer. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Mark Willis. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/061540/bk_acx0_061540_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Forget the wannabes. Discount the twenty-something reality-TV stars. Here, for a change, is the story of someone who's actually lived a life... and it makes for one hell of a listen. Almost a Celebrity is the no-holds-barred autobiography of radio megastar James Whale, a man who, for over 30 years, has never been afraid to say the unsayable. Written (and now spoken) in his typically deadpan style, Almost a Celebrity charts James' rise to the top – with plenty of trademark rants along the way – from his Surrey childhood, where he avoided school by hanging out in Soho strip joints, through his humble beginnings in local radio, via the eponymous TV which made his name, to his current status as late-night king of the airwaves. Whether discussing his encounters with celebrities or his involvement in tabloid scandals, the book is crammed with extraordinarily frank revelations. There are also unexpected twists: James' former career as an international spy and a dark family saga that brought him into contact with a hit man. Yet James is no stranger to controversy. His outspoken opinions have led to numerous TV and radio watchdog enquiries, death threats, and even his arrest. In 2000, he confronted his toughest opponent so far when he was diagnosed with cancer and given only months to live. An inspiration to millions, James Whale is a genuine man of the people. And – as usual – there's no stopping him from telling his story in his own engaging, inimitable way. Although slightly abridged, this audio edition contains brand new asides and off-the-cuff additions from James in the studio – nothing less than you'd expect from the radio master! 1. Language: English. Narrator: James Whale. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/isis/001296/bk_isis_001296_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Bury your enemies, and bury them deep. John Milton thought he was done with Avi Bachman. The most dangerous man he's ever known has been incarcerated in Angola, the brutal Louisiana prison. Inmates rarely leave Angola. Once you go in, the only way out is in a box. But Bachman is no ordinary prisoner. He was an assassin for the Mossad, and he has favours to call in. Milton is in the Australian outback with an old friend and his flirtatious kid sister, looking for a summer’s peace to put his troubled mind to rest. But Bachman has other plans. He thinks that Milton killed his wife, and now he wants revenge. From Australia to Israel, from Hong Kong to Croatia, here is the conclusion of this brutal chapter in Milton’s life. The two headhunters are on a collision course, and only one of them will walk away. Don’t start this audiobook in bed - you will lose sleep. Mark Dawson has worked as a lawyer and currently works in the London film industry. His first books, The Art of Falling Apart and Subpoena Colada have been published in multiple languages. He is currently writing three series. The John Milton series features a disgruntled assassin who aims to help people to make amends for the things he has done. The Beatrix Rose series features the headlong fight for justice of a wronged mother - who happens to be an assassin - against the six names on her kill list. Soho Noir is set in the West End of London between 1940 and 1970. The first book in the series, The Black Mile, deals with the (real-life but little-known) serial killer who operated in the area during the Blitz. The Imposter traces the journey of a criminal family through the period; it has been compared to The Sopranos in austerity London. 1. Language: English. Narrator: David Thorpe. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/025921/bk_adbl_025921_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Pat Donaldson (b c 1943, in Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland) is an English bass guitarist. The 2i's Coffee Bar in Old Compton Street, Soho was a legendary hang-out for early rock artists of Britain. It was here that Tommy Steele, Cliff Richard and Terry Dean played. Albert Lee and Pat Donaldson played here while they were members of "Bob Xavier and the Jury". They recorded only one single, "All of Me/ I'd Steal" in 1962. The artists they subsequently performed with reads like a "Who's who" of British blues-rock and folk-rock. They met once more, as members of "Head Hands and Feet" in 1971. In 1970, Donaldson became a member of Sandy Denny and her husband Trevor Lucas's short-lived Fotheringay. On many occasions in the 70's he was paired with the band's other two members, drummer Gerry Conway and lead guitarist Jerry Donahue and described as "the Fotheringay rhythm section". Of the group's five members he is the only one never to have been a member of Fairport Convention.
Born on the small Greek island of Melos, Joseph Georgirenes became a monk on Mount Athos and was consecrated as Archbishop of Samos in 1666. Five years later he left his diocese and travelled to Europe, visiting Rome, Paris, London and Oxford. Scholars such as Antoine Galland in Paris and Thomas Smith in Oxford invited this Greek Orthodox priest to take part in their theological discussions. Until now, Georgirenes has been best known for having established the first Greek Orthodox church in London in Soho, and for publishing a detailed account of the condition and practices of the Orthodox church living under Ottoman rule. This booklet - A Description of the Present State of Samos, Nicaria, Patmos and Mount Athos - was published in London in 1677 and is republished here for the first time in England. Caught up in the Popish Plot, Georgirenes left England in 1682 and it was not known what happened to him. For the first time, however, this biography reveals the extraordinary further adventures of this much-travelled priest.
From Holbein to Hockney, from Norman Rockwell to Pablo Picasso, from sixteenth-century Rome to 1980s SoHo, Robert Hughes looks with love, loathing, warmth, wit and authority at a wide range of art and artists, good, bad, past and present. As art critic for Time magazine, internationally acclaimed for his study of modern art, The Shock of the New, he is perhaps America's most widely read and admired writer on art. In this book: nearly a hundred of his finest essays on the subject. For the realism of Thomas Eakins to the Soviet satirists Komar and Melamid, from Watteau to Willem de Kooning to Susan Rothenberg, here is Hughes-astute, vivid and uninhibited-on dozens of famous and not-so-famous artists. He observes that Caravaggio was 'one of the hinges of art history; there was art before him and art after him, and they were not the same'; he remarks that Julian Schnabel's 'work is to painting what Stallone's is to acting'; he calls John Constable's Wivenhoe Park 'almost the last word on Eden-as-Property'; he notes how 'distorted traces of [Jackson] Pollock lie like genes in art-world careers that, one might have thought, had nothing to do with his.' He knows how Norman Rockwell made a chicken stand still long enough to be painted, and what Degas said about success (some kinds are indistinguishable from panic). Phrasemaker par excellence, Hughes is at the same time an incisive and profound critic, not only of particular artists, but also of the social context in which art exists and is traded. His fresh perceptions of such figures as Andy Warhol and the French writer Jean Baudrillard are matched in brilliance by his pungent discussions of the art market-its inflated prices and reputations, its damage to the public domain of culture. There is a superb essay on Bernard Berenson, and another on the strange, tangled case of the Mark Rothko estate. And as a finale, Hughes gives us 'The SoHoiad,' the mock-epic satire that so amused and annoyed the art world in the mid-1980s. A meteor of a book that enlightens, startles, stimulates and entertains.
Shindig didn't know it but her reputation with the boys of Soho had been made that day. It was one of those occasions when time had gone into free fall, everyone watched as he arced gracefully through the air and fell to the floor. He was quickly dispatched out into the courtyard. Sharks would discover him soon. The Rendezvous Club is a squalid little gaff off a slippery courtyard. Here, you'll always find a gathering of the 'boys' of Soho. These are men's men; mostly one syllable names: Vic, Stan or Reg, and definitely not how you would expect gangsters to look - no Bogarts or Greenstreets here. From the 'meat rack' in the Dilly to Joe Lyons Corner House at Coventry Street or the Sunset Club on Carnaby Street, it is startling how these places fit in and complement deviant life and villainy. Soho, in the 1950s, was a centre for misfits and petty criminals. Surrounded by this unusual brew of characters, Shindig seems to fit right in. That is until things change for the bosses up west and the powers look to be shifting in Soho's underworld... Jake Arnott meets Nell Dunn in this gritty accolade to Soho and to deviants of every ilk. 'Critical Mass' says: A fantastically gritty read - unputdownable!
Industrial Enlightenment explores the transition through which England passed between 1760 and 1820 on the way to becoming the world's first industrialised nation. In drawing attention to the important role played by scientific knowledge, it focuses on a dimension of this transition which is often overlooked by historians. The book argues that in certain favoured regions, England underwent a process whereby useful knowledge was fused with technological 'know how' to produce the condition described here as Industrial Enlightenment. At the forefront of the process were the natural philosophers who entered into a close and productive relationship with technologists and entrepreneurs. Much of the evidence for this study is drawn from the extraordinary archival record of the activities of Matthew Boulton (1728-1809) and his Soho Manufactory. The book will appeal to those keen to explore the dynamics of change in eighteenth-century England, and to those with a broad interest in the cultural history of science and technology.