Yes, it’s over 10 weeks since I blogged anything about the City of Culture.
That’s not because there’s been nothing going on.
That’s not because it’s been shit.
That’s not because there’s some underhand, devious plot to silence me.
It’s not because I’m frightened of falling off the guest lists that have made attending so many events this year plausible.
It’s simply because I haven’t blogged anything.
And looking at the list of the things I have seen and experienced over those 10 weeks, the temptation is not to bother to document it on here (it’ll be on twitter if you’re familiar with that rather more succinct way to witter on about stuff).
What kind of stupid mindset was I in when I reckoned I’d blog every day of the year (like I did for, um, 8+ years)? Why didn’t I take notes? Why would I take notes – it’s not like I get paid for this drivel.
So, I reckon a list is easier. I’ve been out a lot and another weekend awaits (Where Are We Now? – “a gathering of time-served trouble-makers, spoken word rebels, artistic mavericks and left-field music pioneers”. Y’know, those people that you swerve in the pub).
Yes, a list. It’ll save you the bother of having to read a stupidly lengthy post, me the bother of having to write it, and avoid the fallout from makers and shakers should I mention that any of it’s been underwhelming, or from the ‘countercultural’ bullshitters should I overstate that I like something.
So, a list it is. Which is a shame, because I do have extensive thoughts on what the list contains, and bubbling away somewhere is some kind of overarching sense of how the year’s shaping up, now we’re five months in, and the team delivering it. But fuck it, this is a free service. Commission me if you want the full story.
This list is not necessarily definitive. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some stuff. And there’s been some work that falls outside the official programme that I’ve been to that’s not included here.
Height of the Reeds: a sound journey for the Humber Bridge. Music by Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang, the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North; field recordings by Jez Riley French; voices of Maureen Lipman, Barrie Rutter, and Katie Smith. Musical arrangement by Aleksander Waaktar.
Fountain 17. Armitage Shanks, Hull School of Art & Design and a load of artists celebrate the dual anniversaries of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain (100 years) and Armitage Shanks (200 years). Toilets, etc.
John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux: Songs from Smoky Bay. Four days of Scandinavian and Icelandic musicians, including GusGus, Susanne Sundfør, Lindstrøm, Sóley, Sykur, Prins Póló, Nordic Affect, Ragga Gisla, Fufanu, Ghostigital, descending on Hull at various venues. With the added bonus of Cobby & Litten.
Slung Low’s Flood: Abundance (Part 2). The second quarter of “an extraordinary year-long epic”. Outdoor theatre in the Victoria Dock basin. With headsets.
ReRooted – Hull Time Based Arts. A two-day takeover of Hull’s new Humber Street Gallery. All free.
SKIN: Freud, Mueck and Tunick. What the half of Hull that got their kit off has been waiting for. With added delights including Ron Mueck’s mind-bending sculptures of the human form.
Depart. An atmospheric Circa Production in General Cemetery (one of Larkin’s favourite haunts).
Richard III. Northern Broadsides and Hull Truck co-pro. Marking 25 years of Broadsides, with added drumming from Hull Samba.
Jason Singh workshop. We learned how to beatbox and make the sounds of waves lapping, saws buzzing and foghorns blasting.
Lego Daffodils. Daffodils. Made of Lego.
BBC Radio 1 Academy – Piano Sessions hosted by Huw Stephens and Greg James that saw Two Door Cinema Club’s Alex Trimble, Oh Wonder, Ghetts & Shakka and Blanaevon stripping back their work and making it a bit more plinky plonky.
BBC Radio 1 Academy – You Me At Six
BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend. We went on the Saturday.
Poppies: Weeping Window. Several thousand handmade ceramic poppies, from the somewhat more impressive installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London, oozed out of the Maritime Museum.
Grow. Hull Truck’s artist development programme for artists of all ages and at all stages of their careers. Now in its fourth year. Launch event and First Time Out, which included brand new work by Junior Adults, End of the Line and The Roaring Girls.
Raft of the Medusa/Somewhere Becoming Sea. Lucy and Jorge Orta’s multi-sensory installation on the ground floor of Humber Street Gallery, while upstairs international artists, including Simon Faithfull, Lavinia Greenlaw, Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen and Isabella Martin, reflect on how expanses of water that divide countries are also channels that connect them.
Jeremy Corbyn Rally: Zebedee’s Yard. This was a 2017 event, right? With the added bonus of Cobby & Litten and that poem by Shane Rhodes.
What I didn’t get round to blogging about previously:
Coum Transmissions exhibition. The first exhibition of materials drawn from the personal archives of Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge.
Coum Transmissions: Cosey Club. Richard Clouston and Perc in the Tunnel Bar.
What I wish I’d been at:
I wasn’t fussed at the time but Periplum’s Seven Alleys in East Park sounds like it was fun.