Back to the Gallery


After spending 9 hours on a bus, I found myself inching frustratingly slowly through a madcap traffic jam between Marylebone & Apsley House. Then, with a burst of speed I was at Victoria, where mi old mate Charlie was waiting. Our tour of India two years previously did the trick, & he is now what you could almost call a model citizen – drug free & healthy-cheeked. After buying a six zone travelcard off a crack-head for two quid at the bus station, we were soon winging our way east on the tube, arriving at the bohemian paradise of the 491 Gallery in Leytonstone at the setting of the sun.


It was Cliff’s farewell bash, my old buddy who I’d been in a band with decade ago. Since then, he’d completely overstayed his visa, lost his passsport & supported himself through cash-in-hand gardening work. For every day, however, he’d lived in fear of the authorities & a summarary deportation. Several schemes were hatched to help him escape the prison that the British Isles had become, including hiring a fisherboat to sail him to Morocco, then travel overland through various warzones back to South Africa. Yet eight months ago a minor miracle took place & his German girlfriend – Nichola – suddenly announced she was pregnant. Roll on to today & Nichola’s family have helped him to get a new passport & a German residency visa! Result!

So tomorrow I am heading off to Germany with him, the beginning of a mad trip that is gonna take me to a reggae festival in Cologne, a gig with the Victor Pope Band in Leeds & a wedding in Cardiff. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with an interview of Cliff … aka brotherman… taken at his leaving bash, which had spilled into a sunny London Sunday…

It was made by Alexander McLean, an enigmatic London-based journalist & film-maker whose Modus Operandi is interviewing artists & politicians such as Henry Rollins, Lydia Lunch, Public Enemy, Cypress Hill & Korn. You can check out his website here…

Alex is on the left - skip mcdonald is on the right
Alex is on the left – skip mcdonald is on the right

Here’s another of his pieces, an interview with Bill Curtis from the Fatback Band, whose song BUS STOP has inspired Tinky Disco…

& here’s the man in full-flow

& to finish, heres a link to Chris Yacksley’s album – a gallery resident & wicked musician – & one of Cliff’s best – pals
a2702000999_2. The photo is taken on the central line after its modern day incarnation peters out somewhere in he Epping Forest a few miles after Leytonstone…

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