The National Portrait Gallery contains this painting of Augustus John (by William Orpen). I like Augustus John- the most technically gifted painter of Edwardian England, generally thought to have wasted his talent or not fulfilled it, and a man with an interesting life, some of it scandalising the Edwardians with his bohemian lifestyle, boozing and unconventional living arrangements. The National Portrait Gallery is a fantastic gallery, not at all stuffy or staid, well laid out and full of interesting art- it even held the interest of some of my 6th form students for a while. And it’s free. There’s a Man Ray exhibition opening next week as well which I want to get back dahn sarf for before the end of May.

I posted a song by 90s folktronic outfit Ultramarine a couple of weeks ago. This one features the vocals of David McAlmont (what happened to him?). There was a version with Kevin Ayres singing it too which I think I’ve got somewhere, lying around on a hardrive.




I’m voting Yes in tomorrow’s Alternative Vote referendum. Although public interest has been minimal and turnout may be lucky to reach 30% the campaign has been nasty, bitchy and full of lies. Par for the course with party versus party and some party’s split internally I suppose. The No campaign has been particularly shitty, one set of posters round here presenting it as a choice between an alternative voting system and a new maternity ward/ equipment for soldiers. I don’t think that’s the choice is it? One of the main reasons I’m voting Yes is because I can’t bring myself to vote the same way as David ‘Call me Dave’ Cameron on anything and if so many Tories are against it, it must be the right thing to do. Of course there are other reasons but let’s not weigh ourselves down with them here and now.
This is Yes by McAlmont And Butler, a coalition from 1995, a glorious, swooping, wide-screen song with huge vocals from The Right Hon. David McAlmont and very un-Suede like instrumentation from Lord of the Privy Guitar Bernard Butler.