As the memorial roll grows longer this year for artists that have shaped and inspired such creativity as we possess, it is some comfort to see that P J Harvey's latest album, "The Hope Six Demolition Project", went straight in at #1 last week, her first, long overdue, taste of the top spot:
Predictably it was bounced by Beyoncé this week, but it's to be celebrated that grown up music such as Polly's can still reach a commercial pinnacle after a career of sticking to musical principals. And playing on the record, an integral part of the band, is James Johnston - one of our newest clients, who happens to live across from Bedlam Mews, and is becoming a fast friend. This week we deliver his suit for the tour. Polly likes her band in black.
James' own band is Gallon Drunk, and he also does duty as a Bad Seed for Nick Cave. The first time he came over with his missus Nicola, to choose fabric and be measured up, we were beguiled, not to say fooled by his gentle way and lovely manners. Being slow on the uptake, we went to check out Gallon Drunk only to find that everyone we know had already "liked" and "followed" them. Not sure how we missed that memo. Anyway, thinking it only polite to get up to speed we watched them on Youtube and were slammed to the wall by the power that James unleashes onstage! Take a look, enjoy:
But wait, scroll back through the years, and what did we find in their archives?!?! Only a song called "Bedlam"! It was written in the stars, or on the back of a beer mat anyway, that we would one day dress James. Here it is to get your Monday roaring:
In the same weekend, Gregory Porter, a smoother songster to calm you down again, was on Channel 4's "Sunday Brunch" show (photo below), wearing his three-piece Bedlam suit in the John G. Hardy "Alsport" tweed, as promotion for his new album "Take Me to the Alley" went into fifth gear. It's released this Friday, May 6th, so here's hoping G can now spring Beyoncé and have his turn at #1.
Then came the broadside news about Prince on April 21st. Gregory was chosen to lead the tribute on the BBC's Later with Jools Holland on April 26th. Again Gregory was wearing the waistcoat from his suit, but showing you don't have to precious about mixing up the pieces with other separates. It looks great under his blue jacket and we felt a little tingle to see a bit of Bedlam doing its bit during a moment of tender drawing-togetherness.
My own personal Prince recollection was of going to a club in London one night with my flat mate of the time, who was possessed of a rare beauty that could possess a man's soul in turn (where are you now Jodie?). Prince appeared with his Sumo sized security and settled into a dark booth. Dark enough for us to not see in, but clearly he could scan the room for soon a Sumo plodded over and declared, "Prince would like your number." This was in the days before cell phones so our shared land line was inscribed and delivered. I didn't leave the flat for days, hoping to play receptionist-pimp, but sadly, it never came. Ah well. So much pleasure he gave me, I shall forgive him that.