Police and Thieves – Junior Murvin

notting hill carnival
Carnival crowd make room for two police women as they dance

My Music Monday choice this week is: Police and Thieves , which is my favourite reggae song of all time. First recorded on Island Records by Jamaican falsetto singer Junior Murvin in 1976. Every rebel must have bought the single and Murvin did many re-releases and there have been many cover versions in Jamaica, USA and Britain.

1976 saw one of the hottest recorded temperatures in the UK and that same year this song became an anthem in the UK after London’s Notting Hill Carnival erupted into a riot between blacks and police.

This led to an independent enquiry lasting many years that eventually meant a recruiting drive for more blacks and other ethnic minorities as well as gays and lesbians joining the Metropolitan Police Force, especially in roles where decisions were made.

A big effort was made to keep the carnival peaceful in the years to follow and nearly every press photo showed white police and scantily-clad black women dancing together in bump and grinds. Notting Hill quickly became a trendy place to live and as white upper-middle classes moved in. House prices escalated, forcing many black families who had lived in the area since the 50s out.

In 2015 with police on high alert for terrorists, the Carnival saw around 100 arrests, mainly for agitators and people with drugs or weapons.

No-one knows what the atmosphere will be like this year. Brexit has brought about a number of racist groups in clashes with anti-fascist ones and people are worried about terrorists and that the happy days collaboration between police and crowds is long over. It is still a big pull for tourists to Britain, but like most things here – so much may depend on the weather.

Time Out Guide to Notting Hill Carnival August 2016

Street Art and my local scene

Street art causes a reaction. It is effective. I have been appalled and moved to tears by various street artists. So this is an important category for this blog.

Street art has been around since streets started. Early frescos are being preserved in countries like Italy and Mexico. To me street art is especially important — when we are bombarded with advertising posters and commercial signs that we have no control over. I feel that gifted people who have no money to advertise or exhibit should be allowed to display their images too.

I had planned to do quite a bit on street art. However, it seems to be pretty well covered by the people I follow on WordPress, especially by my favourite, world-wide, street-art hubber Frankie Bean, who devotes time to finding the latest, greatest street art to share almost daily with web surfers. To visit: https://frankiebeane.wordpress.com  

So eventually I will cover historical aspects of street art, but for now, here are some offerings with a few thoughts on street art in Southampton, where I live…

Commissioned painting on wall of the Tokyo Club in Bedford Place, Southampton
Commissioned painting on wall of the Tokyo Club in Bedford Place, Southampton
Banksy added a girl with a balloon to someone's "No Future" slogan. A popular anarchist slogan from a group  who used to call themselves Class War. However it was whitewashed over and did not last long.
Banksy added a girl with a balloon to someone’s “No Future” slogan. A popular anarchist slogan from a group who used to call themselves Class War. However it  did not last long and was whitewashed over.
St Mary's Stadium Commissioned art. Home of 'The Saints' football team
St Mary’s Stadium Commissioned art. Home of ‘The Saints’ football team
James Street mural depicting story of Sir Bevois and other local legends in the St Mary's area of Southampton
James Street mural depicting story of Sir Bevois and other local legends in the St Mary’s area of Southampton
Painting temporary art on empty shop windows during a festival in East Street, Southampton, 2015
Painting temporary art on empty shop windows during a festival in East Street, Southampton, 2015
Local artists paint business history on closed-down shops on Northam Estate, Southampton. Part of a series I will highlight later.
Local artists paint business history on closed-down businesses on Northam Estate, Southampton. Part of a series I will highlight later.
Tag on a house in Southampton. The owner is happy to leave it
Tag on a house in Southampton. The owner is happy to leave it
Spitfire detail of mural painted on boarded up shops in the City Centre
Spitfire detail of mural painted on  a boarded up nightclub in the City Centre
Mural on closed down Jonglers Nightclub in the city. Homeless people sleep in doorway.
Mural on closed down Jonglers Nightclub in the city. Homeless people sleep in doorway.
Yarn Bombers at the Southampton Common People Festival 2015
Yarn Bombers dress a large tree at the Southampton Common People Festival 2015
A street art movement, heralded by the Women's Institute is yarn storming or yarn bombing. Here is a free street work shop during the East Street Arts Festival 2015
A street art movement, heralded by the Women’s Institute is yarn storming or yarn bombing. Here is a free street work shop during the East Street Arts Festival 2015
Graffitti by French Prisoners during the Peninsular wars on The Dancing Man Brewery Wall. The building was built in 11th Century by Cistercian Monks to house wool on the Port of Southampton.
Graffitti by French Prisoners during the Peninsular wars on The Dancing Man Brewery Wall. The building was built in 11th Century by Cistercian Monks to house wool on the Port of Southampton.
The political quoters. This person seems to write quite a bit in the Southampton area. At first I thought they were being politically correct with the man or woman 16th Century quote, but there are a number of versions of this http://www.wealthandwant.com/docs/Goose_commons.htm
The political quoters. This person seems to write quite a bit in the Southampton area. At first I thought they changed the text to be politically-correct with “man or woman” in this 16th Century quote, but there are a number of versions of this http://www.wealthandwant.com/docs/Goose_commons.htm

I have no time for graffiti artists who just draw penises or badly scrawl their team’s name. However one street artist assured me that people’s tags are a way of saying, “I am here!” However they do not move me as much.

Graffiti on the graffiti. A poorly designed tag in an allowed area for spray artists in a Southampton subway. This was quickly sprayed with white paint (note the lack of white space) with the words 'Pedestrian'. This could mean either that pedestrians are hitting back or the tag is bland.
Graffiti on Tags.  A poorly designed tag in an allowed area for spray artists in a Southampton subway. This was quickly sprayed with white paint (note the lack of white space) with the words ‘Pedestrian’. This could mean either that pedestrians are hitting back or the tag is bland.

And the minute someone paints something in a public place, someone will want to destroy it.  Banksy usually times how long one of his works lasts before it is scrawled on, de-tagged or whitewashed over. This does not seem to bother him that so long as a few people get to see it he gets to take a photo first.

Selgascano Serpentine Pavilion 2015

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 is designed by Selgascano

Each summer the Serpentine invites an internationally renowned architect to create their first-build structure in England.

The brief is to design a 300 square metre pavilion that is used as a cafe by day and a forum for learning, debate and entertainment at night. A maximum of six months from invitation to completion. There is no budget for the project: it is realised through sponsorship, in-kind support and the sale of the pavilion.

P1130283

P1130277P1130276P1130275P1130274P1130288  P1130279 P1130278

P1130290

P1130287

\P1130293

P1130289