Tuesday, 25 November 2008


If you're in Bristol this weekend (29/30th November) be sure to check out the official Children Of The Can paint-jam on the harbourside, which will feature some of the artists who are in the book painting side-by-side. Theoretically the pieces will be presented in some kind of time-line, starting with the OAP writers like Inkie and me, and moving up through the years...but we'll have to see! The logistics of organising this are hurting my brain a bit, but one thing is for sure, there will be plenty of quality pieces being dropped by some of the city's finest, past and present.
The whole thing kicks off on Saturday morning on the hoardings around the site of the old Industrial Museum (behind the cranes across the bridge from the Arnoflini) and will be running until sundown on Sunday, weather permitting. There will also be an opportunity for some budding young writers to pick the brains of their elder peers and perhaps even add their own contributions to the weekend's proceedings.

Friday, 21 November 2008


Apparently they're running an extra-long interview with David Tennant tonight. How can I compete with Doctor Who?

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


As the official launch of the book draws nearer and the pre-ordered copies start to be sent out, it's time to step the promotion up a gear. So yesterday, thanks to effective PR by Tangent, I recorded an interview for the BBC, with Kirsty Lang for Radio 4's Front Row arts magazine programme. Talk about in at the deep end! It actually went really well, I think, although the 'B' word kept coming up (think about it for a second!) which did slightly eclipse some of the points I was trying to make, but I guess it's inevitable really. I was just grateful for the opportunity to talk about the book and my take on the Bristol graffiti scene (Radio.4: "But what is it about Bristol that makes the graffiti scene there so special compared to other places?" Me: "Errrmmm...ummm...") on a national prime-time, high-brow arts programme. I initially suggested it to Tangent as kind of a joke: like the BBC are ever going to run a story on Front Row about graff! Poetry, serious literature and fine art are normally more their bag. Just goes to show, like my mum used to say: 

"If you don't ask you don't get."

John Nation and Inkie also got in on the action, and hopefully they're going to interview 3D as well, so it should make for an interesting feature. It should be going out this Friday at 7.15pm (although it may be delayed for a week) so if you're near a radio, tune in. 

Saturday, 15 November 2008


After what seems like forever the book is back from the printers in all its glory. Printed in Italy by specialist art book printers, it really does look (and feel) the business. The foil blocking and pink fifth colour on the cover are just the start. The pages feel nice and thick and the colour throughout is deep and rich. And its heavy, physically speaking. I wouldn't want to get one in the side of the head. All in all well worth the wait. Full consignment should be in Blighty next week, ready to start fulfilling those pre-orders. 
NB: to all you Bristol graffiti writers who have been on my case every day for the last month desperate to get their copies, I'm afraid you're going to have to wait a little bit longer. I've only got two copies myself and they're not leaving the house! Sorry. Soon come.


Wednesday, 12 November 2008


Keeping things really old school for this second post of exclusive book content, this piece was on Station Road, Montpelier, in about 1984, maybe even earlier. A certified contender for 3D's crown at the time, none of us knew anything about Tarzan. Apparently he's still around Bristol today, but he must have stopped painting pretty early on as I only ever remember seeing two pieces by him. The other was on the side of the Beaufort public house, on York Road (again in Montpelier). The influence of the Zoro character from Wild Style is there for all to see, but it doesn't matter, we all thought this was so fresh at the time, and we were all biters back then anyway. 

Big shouts to Mr.Frank Drake for this flick. Like Beezer, he was another early photographer to recognise the beauty of what was appearing on the streets in the early '80s. 


OK, I've been holding back on the real gems, but with the book expected back from the printers this Friday and the official launch less than a month away, it's time to start pouring out the juice, methinks. 3D was the first graffiti writer in Bristol, before going on to become an MC with the legendary Wild Bunch, and subsequently vocalist with Massive Attack. He still paints and masterminds the band's visual identity to this day.

3D is also the subject of the first chapter of Children Of The Can. He spoke to me candidly and at length about his experiences, covering everything from painting his first piece right up to gaining global recognition as part of Massive Attack.

This nugget comes courtesy of Beezer, who, along with one or two others, religiously documented the growth of hip hop in Bristol in the early '80s. Beezer is also responsible for his own brilliant book on this era, Wild Dayz, which includes loads of flicks of Wild Bunch parties and everything else that was happening at the time.

HIP HOP CONNECTION ARTICLE 2 (click on image to enlarge)

Monday, 10 November 2008

HIP HOP CONNECTION ARTICLE (click on image to enlarge)

This month's Hip Hop Connection Magazine features a whopping four pages on Children Of The Can. Here's the first two, which include an extract from the chapter on John Nation, youth leader at the Barton Hill Youth Club in the late 80s and early 90s. Big shouts to Ziml and Kid Acne for the hook-up.


Wednesday, 5 November 2008

CLEAN SLATE EDITORIAL (click on image to enlarge)

Barton Hill youth centre's own magazine gives its views on the rash of busts that took place as part of Operation Anderson in 1989. Some things never change. 
An extended extract from the chapter that features one-time Barton Hill youth leader John Nation appears in this month's Hip Hop Connection magazine (oddly dated December, with Eminem on the cover) and features a bunch of photos from the book that I've not yet posted.
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