Even by my frenetic standard Saturday was busy. Sian and I had decided to have a day in London to see the Stanley Kubrick exhibition at the Design Museum followed by the annual trip to the RA for the Summer Exhibition.
The Kubrick exhibition had sold out but we’d pre-booked tickets. It was packed which occasionally made it difficult to see things but it was crammed with so much amazing content that there was always something to see. I wish I’d had a bit more time to read the letters but the ones I did helped to contextualise Kubrick as a working artist dealing with logistical problems. I didn’t spend much time in the in the Barry Lyndon sections but lingered in the ‘A Clockwork Orange’, ‘The Shinning’ and 2001 rooms. Of note were the gorgeous art work for ‘Orange’ the original typewriter from The Overlook and creeping final 1920s group photo and pretty much everything in the 2001 room. I was very taken with the magazine which contained the original Arthur C Clark story which piqued Kubrick’s interest, with its ‘Tyrant and Slave-Girl on Planet Venus’ lead story.
We tubed it across to Green Park to the RA. There’s something reassuring about my annual visit, regardless of what else is happening in my life I manage to make the time to go. Having said that it wasn’t a vintage year after the heights of Grayson Payson’s curated exhibition last year. , For the last time I look at some of the paintings and thought ‘Well my painting was at least as shit as that! Mine should have got in!’ They do like there message in the summer exhibition and this year there was a broad theme of immigration good/Brexit bad. I suspect they might have been pushing against an open door with that one and the way that – and an ecological message – were portrayed were as subtle as a brick. There were a couple of things I liked, and the addition of a temporary bar certainly helped to lubricate the show for me.
We met up with Bill in a surprisingly good pub in London and then the train back to Cardiff. I arranged to meet Steve Dixon in Tiny Rebel for the third act of my day, ‘This is the Kit’ playing Clwb Ifor. Much to my surprise and chagrin I was refused entry to Tiny Rebel when one of the bouncers said he’d just thrown me out. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it’s never argue with a bouncer so I just stood there looking pathetic when he eventually let me in. Steve Dixon wasn’t there so I just left and went to Clwb Ifor. Rosi Plain was supporting from 8 so I just went in, bumping into Mike from my annual Record Store Day on the way, then Steve D turned up as did Steve Ford, and so we had the full Record Store Day massive in effect. Word. Rosi Plain’s band were basically This is Kit but with different lead singers and very good they were too. After a brief interlude Rosi and Kate swapped mikes and This is the Kit were on.
Gradually and without knowing This is the Kit have crept on me and become of my favourite recent bands. It’s quite something to have seen them come from being third on the bill at The Glee club a few years ago (can’t remember who were head lining) to play to a packed out top floor at Clwb. There was a lot of love in the room for the band, the music is so full of joy and Kate Stables aka Mrs Kit is so ebullient that her smiley between song chat lifts the room. The audience was completely 6Music/Radio 2, fair enough, that’s my life now. The set ended with ‘Earthquakes’ which is a personal favourite.
Being a fan boy I hung around after to get an album signed – I may have all the albums signed now, don’t judge me – and to get a photo with Kate. I’m not one for photos, but I wanted to document a day of art and music. The Record Store guys were bemused at how faffy and shy I was, but eventually I managed it, she was lovely but seems to have a problem spelling ‘Cardiff’.
It was out into Womaby Street and a lift home from Steve Ford. I did briefly think about popping into The Moon across the road for a free gig that another mate was at, but blimey I was on my knees and it would have been gilding the lily somewhat. What a great great fun exhausting day.