by John Andrews
The Pleasures of an April in Arcadia have been many and almost overwhelming. This year’s explosion of blossom made the winter a memory once and for all. Down every lane, along every avenue in London and especially outside John Betjeman’s house on Highgate West Hill you could see it by day and smell it by night. Through it the birds sang as if conducted by Sebastian Faulks on ecstasy and an owl that lives in an oak on the edge of the Heath joyously hunted rats with deathly shrieks.
The month began with a performance at the Slaughtered Lamb Public House on Great Sutton Street by the high art form that are Goldsmiths’ allumni Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou. They played songs from their forthcoming long player ‘Quality First, Last and Forever!’ as they will be doing elsewhere in the coming weeks and months and if you do only one thing this year, go and see them. It is like seeing the love children of Billy Childish and Sandy Denny perform songs from the secret songbook of Winston Smith and Julia. See them now before they go on Later and the world at large takes them away from you. See them in the meantime on a film someone made during their January show at the Kilburn Tin Tabernacle and uploaded onto You Tube.
Beyond that much else was celebrated: the Feast of the Car Boot Sale a.k.a the Easter Bank Holiday Extension, a growing addiction to the organ breaks and seaside town melancholy of Metronomy, the pouring of gallons of tea, the drinking of yards of ale and evenings of double episodes of Spiral on BBC4. Auction catalogues were read by day and the fiction of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo by night. My jeans were patched by the Empress of Arcadia and delivery was taken of a pair of Blue Serge Dreadnought Trousers from Old Town. Books were found for the Lost Library of Angling and plans made for the ‘World of Andrews of Arcadia’ as Port Eliot felt like a reality each time the sun shone. I dined on hot cross buns baked by the Empress, did one thousand miles and more on English roads looking for Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul and got loaded at the opening of John Richardson’s exhibition of new work at the Tinsmith’s Gallery in Ledbury.
On a blazer of a day in Bethnal Green I had my haircut in the style of Eric Blair meets Edward Fox Uptown by Mr. Natty and spent a night out with the Sideshow crew at the opening of their exhibition at Rough Trade whilst wasting the hours in between watching the carp getting ready to spawn in Highgate No. 1 Pond. I spent Thursdays at Spitalfields and ended the month driving to Norfolk to stall out at a car boot sale on the day of the Royal Wedding.
Oh yes, in Arcadia during the month of April we put the clocks back and had pleasure.