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Alchemy 2018

Alchemy 2018

What a year: Ups, downs, movements that might be described as “lateral”, and everything else besides. Fittingly - for a site that tries, for the most part to be an alchemical combination of many things - it has been a totally mixed bag, of sorts. As such, we thought we’d look back over 2018 and some of our favourite concoctions, in order of ascending delectability. It’s a list type thing. You remember lists? Its a list.

10. Psycho Sombro

Back in April, Pat and I bought some paintings by Rina Sirel. They’re pretty incredible and make a great set, which proved to be a perfect salve for all things OCD related. ‘You Were Never Really Here’ was every bit as good as Phoenix would suggest, particularly the soundtrack, and Ben from Lucky Fret did a number on my favourite “dumpster” guitar.

9. All Your Apartheid

Pieter-Dirk Uys’ one man show at the Soho Theatre was very, very funny and also touching in all the places responsible for feels. The Arctic Monkeys proved that vinyl had never really gone anywhere with ‘Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino’ and E3 happened in a big way. As per, some people got super mad because they are arguably bad people but what’s new?

8. One Honey Snap

Seamus Heaney’s family finally finished his long-sought collection of poems (arguably in a more complete way than possible while any poet still lives), Mudhoney released a new album, and Jon took a whole bunch of 35mm disposables and chucked them in the Caribbean sea.

7. Quarter Queens

After unearthing an original 1977 pressing of ‘Queens Of Noise’ by The Runaways, we couldn’t play it loud enough. Out of hours, The Four Quarters East was the best of nights for any fans of fun. That being said, you have been warned not to enter into any form of Smash Bros with She Who Must Ne’er Be Gamed.

6. Dali’s Spangly Pants

It was an all-hands-on-deck-week for a new order of books at the shop: ‘Yoga For Men’ proved to be a fantastic motivational tool (if not all that instructive), ’Moments’ by Roxanne Lowit gave us the most amazing shots of every Name and Face from the 1980s NYC party crowd, and Paula Yates’ caught one or two icons in their almost all together. On top of that, ‘Design/Play/Disrupt’ at the V&A impressed the hell out of everyone and we made an album featuring…a number of guitars.

5. Wario Blues

The nostalgia bought to bear by 1994’s ‘Wario Blast’ on the OG Gameboy cannot be overstated. We bought a copy on eBay and it was a time for emotions. It turned out that JJ Cale had always been our favourite songwriter, even though we never knew, and Bradley's Spanish Bar - hallelujah - was saved.

4. St Mary’s Garden

Just before we headed into the studio to make that record, we fell head over heels for Netflix’s beautifully drawn ‘Over The Garden Wall’. While we were busy doing that, Dave Grohl reminded us all what it means to play and threw down a mighty, clone-operated gauntlet.

3. Oatmeat

The start of December saw London fall prey to the most amusing shortage of our time and it’s still funny. Jamie and Alison from The Kills both take a great picture, Ralph fucked with the interwebs, The Barley Mow made Nobel Peace Prize winning pie once again, and we prepared both to host the boys and girls and also to lift the curtain on Franz Galo’s live music video for ‘Should I Know’.

2. Silver

Rockstar Games had us on the highest of hooks in anticipation of ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ (it’s good, in case you were wondering), Daniel Levin eventually floored us with is tales of misadventure among the world’s most powerful dolts, and we marked the passing of Anya Silver, who was - like many of us - born melancholy.

1. Maya Have More?

Our trip to Mexico was long, hot and hell-eventful. It was also far too short and cool enough to cry about. From airports that aren’t places, tropical Blackpool/Vegas and white car banditry, over beer-soaked beaches, through otherworldly lagoons and the East End backstreets of deepest Tulum, we made it to the ancient city of Chichen Itza and their crazed magical bird. The Yucatán Peninsula was the stuff of dreams, with the best food, most exotic jungles and raddest of all sea turtles. We will return.

So that was 2018. Like I said; it was a mixed bag and not totally unlike some kind of weird stocking you might stuff with presents or fruit wrapped in tinfoil. Holidays are strange? Anyhow, we hope you had a fantastic year & a wonderland Christmas. We can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store - if it’s anything like the never distant past, it’ll be more of the same and yet completely different in its entirety - and we wish you all the best for it, one day at a time.

Live loud & Prospero.


[Props to Plum leaves for the thumbnail image. Have a wild one!]

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