I don’t know about you, but personally I have all sorts of (entirely justified) prejudices against the artsy crowd that seems to neverendingly descend upon North and East London like repeating tidal waves, just over and over and over. You think there couldn’t possibly be any more left in the world and whooosh another flood of Shoreditch dickheads arrive. Neverending.
I lived in Hackney for over 5 years and have now been in Camden for about a year and a half and it’s not much better. In Hackney them creative types seem to mostly consist of unemployed graphic designers with questionable personal hygiene (move slightly further into Highbury & Islington and this slightly morphs into unemployed lawyers or legal-types-of-some-sort with questionable personal hygiene and a soft spot for second hand bicycles).
Here in Camden every 1 in 3 people seems to be a terribly self-obsessed undernourished unemployed singer-songwriter wearing black skinny jeans, a black fedora/ trilby with battered brogues and dyed black hair, a pasty complexion, a black Moleskin notebook (to capture those split seconds of non-genius in real time I presume) and an acoustic guitar strapped to their back with the dream of being the next Pete Doherty. And no, don’t call me a hater, I know I’m not and I love a lot of people and have a lot of time and love for the arts in any shape and form, but even my patience is limited. The main problem is that all these fame-hungry wannabe fake creatives give the real artists a bad rep if you ask me. Oh well.
So yes, being this wonderfully judgmental and cynical you can just about imagine how impressed I was to be introduced to someone at a friend’s dinner party with the announcement: “he is in a band!!”. Who is not in a (failing) band in Camden I ask you. Shoot me now. I might want to spend the rest of the evening at the other end of the dining table just to be safe.
I had visions of yet another privileged countryside child lacking any sort of depth of character to have any real material for songwriting whatsoever let alone the slightest bit of musical sense, talent, skill or musical education prancing around East London claiming to be God’s gift to humanity (and YES, I say this with my own complete lack of any musical sense, talent, skill or musical education, this does not negate the fact that y’all are still complete wankers).
SO then imagine how awfully, terribly shocked I was to find out that this probably-unmusical-self-obsessed-untalented-wanker actually turned out to be quite a nice guy who can actually hold a conversation about (many) things other than his band and not only studied music but is a classically trained pianist and organist (I repeat – ORGANIST – I’m not quite sure how to express the immense pleasure I derive from this in written words on the interweb without supportive facial expressions). I think he is maybe not a complete wanker? Obviously I can’t be completely certain yet, so this is yet to be confirmed, but so far so good I suppose.
So yes, he does live in Dalston and yes he is terribly skinny, wears black skinny jeans, buttoned up floral shirts, bright socks, terribly early 90’s suede vintage leather jackets and comes across as a bit-moody-because-he-is-just-so-much-better-than-you-mere-mortal BUT – he can actually play different instruments, he is actually classically trained, he actually studied music and now tutors as well. He plays the organ in Church. I repeat – he plays the organ in Church. Organ. Church. Organ in Church. Yes.
On top of all this skill he can actually sing and actually has a really nice singing voice. I can actually voluntarily listen to his music multiple times over and over and actually still want to actually hear it all over again. How many times can I use the word “actually” within one sentence and still feel like I need to add it in a few more times? Is it maybe just possible that not all artsy East London wankers are necessarily untalented self-obsessed wankers? What. How. What. Huh. I-am-so-confused.
To be continued.