Flight of fancy: Tallinn’s Seaplane Harbour Museum is an atmospheric triumph

Far the greatest thrill at Tallinn’s Seaplane Harbour Museum, is the building itself. It has the vast, mysterious quality of a Ken-Adam-designed James Bond film set. Its scale and proportions are those of a modernist cathedral on steriods with a shadowy atmosphere to charge the imagination. Standing on a strategic […]

Sauce For The Goosesteppers

Review of As A Man Grows Younger at the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre 19 – 23 February 2019 Calling out resurgent fascism is a recurring trope on the left. Some manifestations uniform themselves unambiguously: the National Front, the British National Party and Tommy Robinson among them. Others are opaque and […]

Double magnum: the conception of Robert Capa and photojournalism

Review of TARO, at the Brockley Jack Theatre 19 January – 16 February 2019 The defining moment of darkroom photo processing occurs in the tray of developer. In to this pungent liquid slides a white sheet of paper revealing no sign of infused light, or the anticipatory anxiety that wills […]

Chief constable shoots the messenger as gun men roam free

Picture Northern Ireland’s most senior police officer, George Hamilton, settling down to watch the film No Stone Unturned. It must have left him worried, angry and possibly betrayed. It certainly landed a big decision in his lap. The documentary feature, made by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney, and originally a BBC co-production, […]

Positive about The Negatives

Watching BBC’s Informer last night a snatch of music unearthed deeply buried memories. The song was ‘We’re From Bradford’ by The Negatives – a band who were together for less than a year, never performed outside Yorkshire and who released one single in a 500-copy pressing. It did not feature ‘We’re […]

No saviour at Godless West Ham

A memory of Billy Graham on the occasion of his demise in his 100th year. A version of this piece originally appeared in Nearly Reach The Sky by Brian Williams My one visit to Upton Park left me with a single overwhelming conviction: there is no God. I travelled to […]

Roast Peanuts, how Charlie Brown introduced me to girls

June 1976 What I enjoyed about ‘Peanuts’ is hard now to say.  Charles Shultz’ strip cartoon appeared in The Observer’s colour magazine, which my parents bought on Sundays, and each week, I devoured the four-panel tale. Snoopy’s fantasy’s life as a pilot, Peppermint Pattie’s obdurate athleticism, and Charlie Brown’s fruitless […]

Better by design

With nearly eighty bicycles on display, in the Design Museum’s Cycle Revolution exhibition, enormous variety is the initial impression.  Even among those created with a single purpose in mind – going very fast around a track for a short space of time – design technology has moved in leaps and […]