Nine surrealist artists about to head out for a night on the town in 1930. On the back row-Man Ray, Jean Arp, Yves Tungay and Andre Breton. At the front Tristan Tzara, Salvador Dali, Paul Eluard, Max Ernst and Rene Clevel. After a pleasant afternoon in a gallery, with some snarky criticism of some of the art, and a couple of quiet pints sitting on the pavement with the newspapers watching girls go by and thinking up new manifestos, things will turn sour. Salvador will get the hump and stomp off, following passive-aggressive messages from the wife. He only returns after a sub-group of surrealists cajole him back with promises of absinthe. After watching the evening match everyone is pissed off that Real Madrid won which puts a downer on it all. Then there is an argument over who pays what at the restaurant and someone is sick in a gutter and they are shouted at by the restaurant owner who threatens to call the gendarmerie. No one owns up but Man Ray’s shoes are splattered with muck. Much later, following a spilled drink in another bar, Yves Tungay has to hold Breton back who is snarling and spoiling for a fight with a sailor on leave; ‘leave him Andre, he’s not worth it (and he’s bigger than you)’. A disagreement about nightclubbing- some of the men just want to go to a bar with a dj but Tzara knows the doorman at a club and reckons he can get everyone in- two for one on drinks as well. They end up in the bar, where the girls are much younger than them and not really interested in a bunch of very drunk, balding surrealists whose suit and tie combos are looking a bit out of place. Plus, the dj is playing vapid happy house. Two taxis are needed to get home, causing further disgruntlement for the men waiting for the second cab, which inevitably is late.

The Wolfgang Press were 4AD’s ‘we are not goths’ band. They were definitely doomy and erred on the darker side of things but also moved towards the dancefloor as time went on, creating some fine records in the process even if they’re not the kind of thing I want to listen to all the time.


I’m off to work today to see how far the government have instructed the exam boards to play politics with GCSE grades and young peoples’ lives.

PiLs, Thrills And Britneyache

I know mash-ups are dreadfully passe but I keep rediscovering ones in my d/l folder that I like- like this one where Go Home Productions does a very good job of mashing Metal Box-era PiL with Britney Spears.


The picture shows Yves Tanguy, French surrealist painter, shot by Man Ray, another oddly contemporary looking portrait. He wouldn’t look out of place in PiL either.