Sunday, 21 July 2013

An Evening of Mystery

 A couple of months ago I was invited to an event; The first ever Evening of Mystery show. It was created by two magicians; Chris Gould and Anthony Black. Chris is one of my old art teachers, and would always entertain us in the classrooms with illusions, mind tricks and quite often by playing the ukelele. I filmed the first of these shows, the video is at the bottom of the interview, and it was a great evening. Read on to find out more about the men of magic themselves.

Tell me a bit about yourselves.

Chris: Chris Gould, a magician who has just spent 25 of his life masquerading as a normal person - but it just did not work out. Now I do just what I want to do and when I want to do it, as a result the Universe provides for me. Anthony is another kindred soul who I discovered (by the wonders of Google maps) to actually live close enough for me to throw a stone at him if he annoys me. 

Anthony: I’m Anthony Black, Magician, Bizarre & Psychic Performer and all round weird guy. I grew up in Birmingham and now live in Tamworth with my better half Jo and our black cat Minky.
I once stole a Hamster.

What is 'An Evening of Mystery'?

Chris: I am not sure I know the answer to that. I know what we intended it to be, but it took on it's own life and now dictates to us! It started life as just Anthony and I mucking around in a local bar, but by the second show we had a bar full of the top performers in the country on the bill. So now it is a once a month gathering where interesting people meet up to talk about magic and get drunk, then in the evening the same people put on a show and get even drunker.
So it is simply the coolest thing that we can do with our lives and for the people coming to the show, simply the best night out they are going to have, period! 

Anthony: An Evening of Mystery to me is becoming THE place to be once a month, Magic and Mystery all under one roof from some of the top performers in the UK. It’s one of the best ‘underground’ entertainment events in the UK, each month is different as we never know who we will have performing.

How did you get into magic?

Chris: Perhaps you should say, 'how did magic get into me'. Some things you have no control over. 

Anthony: I have always been fascinated from a very young age with the paranormal, the weird and the just plain bizarre. I would read books on UFO’s, Big Foot, PK abilities, hypnosis, ghosts and whatever else I could get my grubby little hands on from the local library. I soon discovered the joys of Magic and that became my hobby and obsession for many years until I reached my 20’s when it became my full-time career. 

What type of magic do you practice?

Chris: That really is a difficult one. I know where I am heading and what I am trying to do. That is to restore magic. We live in a grey and miserable world where magic or any form of positive experience is frowned upon. Magic is everywhere, but we are deprived of experiencing it. If we were to perceive the magic that surrounds us, those in control of the world would lose their grip, the result would be that our slavery would end. So, magic has something real to do, to connect you with wonder and liberate you from 'reality'. Magic is art, and like all art is can restore us to a childlike state where all things are once again magical. 

Anthony: Close Up, Bizarre, Hypnosis and Comedy. It just depends on the event really and what they want to book me for.

Do you have any favourite tricks?

Chris: Ones that do the above. 

Anthony: Pull my finger….Nah…erm…that’s a toughie! I don’t really have any favourites, or if I do they change too often to be favourites. I’m always learning and developing new ideas!

Do you have any specialities?

Chris: Attempting to do the above. Using any skills I have to open this to others. Actually the Evening of Mystery is not a good context for this. The evening has become about people just having a good time. So I do not attempt anything too deep. However, if you get a magician come and sit at your table and you can approach it as a child would, you will be transformed by magic and wonder, at least for a short while. 

Anthony: I would have to say Bizarre Magick is both my speciality and passion.

Where has magic taken you?

Chris: Out of the stupefying mundane of the 'normal' world. 

Anthony: Birmingham. No…honestly, Magic is my life. It’s taken me all over the place, both good and bad. It’s how I met my fiancĂ©e Jo whilst performing and it’s given me so many opportunities and allowed me to meet some amazing people whilst doing what I love.

What is your most memorable moment in magic?

Chris: 1. Keeping 5 people on stage for 45 minutes while I fucked a trick up.
2. Performing a routine based on quantum physics to a group of science teachers. 

Anthony: Probably at the last Evening of Mystery, I decided to do something completely off the wall and give birth live on stage…in a big flowery dress and red lippy. That was pretty memorable!
I had a gentleman up on stage from the audience helping me…who I claimed was the father. So I asked him to think the name of ‘our’ baby, he chose ‘Dave’. When I gave birth…the baby had the name ‘Dave’ written on it in big black bold letters! I’m still waiting to hear back off the CSA.

Do you have any other hobbies or projects that tie in with magic?

Chris: Occult studies and art. 

Anthony: Writing. I love to write stories and this helps me create weird and wonderful routines to go out there and perform. I also write books for other performers wanting to learn more about our art, which are quite popular.

Plans for the future/ Where do you hope to take 'An Evening of Mystery'?

Chris: Again, it is more of a case of where it will take us! My plans for the future are to live in a magical universe, to do what I want to do rather than what I am expected to do, to be part of a movement to restore joy into other peoples life. To have as much joy in my own life as I can before this planet goes pop!

Anthony: Total World Domination.

If you are interested in going to An Evening of Mystery, it is held on the Evening of the first Thursday of each month, at Wherever Bar in Tamworth.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Godiva Festival 2013

 For those of you who may not have heard of or been to Godiva festival, it is one of the country's best free festivals, and has been run for 15 years at Memorial Park, Coventry. 

Friday 5th July

 Considering that the festival was cancelled last year due to torrential rain and flooding, the weather this year could not have been any better. It was a phenomenally hot weekend, and still is as I write this, sat as close to the electric fan as I dare. Everyone was dressed in their festivals bests; it may not be Reading  or Glastonbury, but for a free festival, Godiva has a lot of fun to offer.
 Getting on the bus to Memorial Park you could tell that most people were headed there, and got off at the same stop, all ready to spend hours in the heat to experience some great food and music for the evening. The air was full of excitement from people of all ages, which is the great thing about Godiva, it really does cater for everyone; families with young children, grand parents, groups of teenagers, young people and couples.
 As you head in, the first attraction is the fun fair. There was quite a lot there, rides I didn't dare go on, flashing lights everywhere, games to win huge dolls and cuddly toys, and the smell of candy floss and hot dogs gliding through the air while you hear screams coming from the sky around you. 

 We got there sometime after 7PM, the reason we went was to see one of our favourite bands, Echo & the Bunnymen, (whom I've seen twice before, my boyfriend had never seen, and hey, how could we not go when it's free?!) One of my favourite things about festivals like this are the stalls. I just love exploring through all the jewellery. There were some really cute rings, which had little hearts made of stained glass. There were also some great t-shirts that caught my eye, featuring the works of Klimt, Money and Hokusai, these were so cool.
 We watched a local band called Keltik Fish perform for a while. They are young and full of energy and talent, really good to be able to sit on the grass and watch a live band.

 It was fantastic watching Echo & the Bunnymen when they came on, (I've written a review on one of their gigs a while ago from when they played at Symphony Hall in 2011;, but they were just as good as ever, and more exciting to be stood amongst so many spritely fans, under the night's sky on a warm mid summer eve.

 We had an hour long walk home, but in that heat it was so worth it, and for me that it part of what Godiva is about. You have the walk home to carry on the excitement, and take in the summer smells of plants.

Saturday 6th July

 Saturday was even hotter, as we went during the middle of the day. When we got there we went straight to the food stalls for a late lunch. Matt got an ostrich burger, (always wanted to try this myself, so I had a bite), while I went for one of my favourites; soya & nut burger.
 We spent some time chilling at the rhythm tent, listening to a bit of reggae, before heading over to 'Fool's Paradise' for the cabaret acts.

 Most of the acts that we saw in here were really impressive, fun, unpredictable and entertainment I would recommend going to see. My favourite acts were Matt Barnard, Bedlam Oz and Wolly, (which I was surprised about as his character made me feel quite nervous as he came on. Think clown/ tramp). The performances that these individuals and groups put on were great, they persevered through a scorcher of a day and to be honest, a bit of a hard to please crowd some of the time. The things that stuck in my mind from there were, Barnard drinking a pint balanced on his head while juggling machetes, Wolly performing a one handed hand stand on a wheely bin with a lit fire work wedged in his bottom, and giant mating slinkies. You read that right. They produce so fast they even gave birth to the infant slinky on stage.

Ostrich burger versus Soya & Nut burger. My verdict: The Ostrich was good, and rich, but for me it has to be the Veggie option, it's healthy, kind AND tastes unreal.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Featured Artist: Sarah Midori Perry

 As long as I have known Sarah she has always been an artist. Not just skilful at art, but her imaginings and vision are out of this world. I remember sitting in maths class next to her in high school, and also being an artist myself we would sit and doodle all through class, little characters in hilarious situations. I wish I still had some at hand to put into this blog.
 In sixth form Sarah and I shared our art class, my little room I hid away in while making my creepy creations right next to her corner in the bigger room meant that we often shared ideas and had some great experiences, including the surreal character Sarah invented named Timothy, half a mannequin clad in black fabric, a hood, a white plain theatre mask and red scarf which we left around the grounds of the sixth form on misty days to spook our class mates.
 It'd been a few years since I'd seen Sarah, and we have both taken interesting paths, so meeting for the interview was brilliant to catch up on all our creative achievements and I am looking forward to hopefully getting together again for some collaborations in art.
 So here we have it, my interview with Sarah Midori Perry, artist, singer and all around adorable eccentric;

Tell me a bit about yourself.

I'm half Japanese, half English, twenty-two and an artist. I do surreal, psychedelic, magic realism; my work explores the duality of nature and humans.

How would you describe your art?

My art work is... I'm really interested in this Japanese philosophy called Shintoism. [bit about Shintoism]. When you look at a sunset and find it so beautiful, I think you loose your ego, yourself; selfishness comes from having a physical body and the need to put yourself first in order to survive. I think when we see nature that is when we loose that; and that is what I try to express in my art.

A room that Sarah decorated and put together as part of her latest exhibitions.
Photo by Nobuyuki Taguchi

What inspiration is behind your art?

Artists like Pippa Lotti Wrist, [about]. I love her video art and exhibition work. It is about having an experience and interacting. Keith Harring too. I like his graffiti on the subway. Artists that take art beyond a gallery, I prefer art to be spontaneous.

 One of Sarah's creations, a box with her illustrations illuminated inside, which you have to look through a peep hole to see.

How do you feel when creating your art?

After I have created the art, I don't really care about it, but the process of making art is the most important bit. It's a journey for me, mentally and physically.

What are you most recent projects?

I guess the band, I'm designing the logo at the moment.

The three members of band, Kero Kero Bonito
Photo by Tom Lilly 

Tell me about your band.

The band is now a three piece band, it used to be four until recently. There are two guys on synth and electric keyboard, and I sing. We are a Japanese/ English fusion band. We are called Kero Kero Bonito, as the guy who started it loves Japan. They are two words that amused him, 'kero kero' being the sound a frog makes and 'bonito' a fish. The band is the music form of my art work.
We've done a few gigs, and supported Movie Rain. Our first debut gig is coming up on August 21st. I want to make it really arty, I'm making the poster. I want to come on stage wearing a rabbit mask and leave origami cranes all around the venue with messages in them

Where do you hope to go with your art and music?

I really like decorating i-phone covers, shoes and t-shirts. I want to infect everything with my artwork, I want to draw on everything. To make my art more accessible, and the band as well.

Sarah's art Facebook Page: 

Sarah's art Website:

Kero Kero Bonito Facebook:
Kero Kero Bonito Tumblr:
Kero Kero Bonito Twitter:

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Last Four: July

1. Silver velvet t-shirt. One of my charity shop finds; I love anything that reminds me of the moon, and this really does just that for me. I find it hard to resist anything velvet too, and I just love the subtle pattern of circles in this. £2.99

2. Daisy print shorts. Another charity shop find, (you can't keep me out with a stick). I have been looking for daisy print shorts for a while, so was over the moon when I found these. Daisy prints are another Achilles' heel for me, shorts, tops, dresses, accessories. Can never have too many daisies. Oxfam £1.99

3. Bat backpack. I had the same rucksack as this when I was younger, my granny bought it me and I used it all through my preens through to mid-teens, and then it accidentally got sol at a car boot sale. I'd been keeping an eye out for the same one for a few years and finallyyy found it on a whim on eBay. EBay £10.00

4. Original Source Shea Butter & Honey hand soap. This is the yummiest smelling soap ever, it was on sale at my local store. Definitely want to try more of their products now. Tesco £2-£3.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Summer Feeling

For the lovers of the summer's scorching days perfect for exploring, laying in fields and dipping your feet in streams.

Monday, 1 July 2013

July Wish List

So, as one of the new features of Moon Garden I am doing a 'Wish List' for each month. I've not done these on previous blogs, and as this is my first I am keeping it short and sweet.

1. White lace bralet top. These are so pretty and perfect for summer. My favourite thing to do on a scorching day is to laze about in fields, which is great as I live on the edge of town next to the country side, and wearing this top it would all feel very prairie like.

2. True Blood DVD Season 5. Watching True Blood during the summer has turned into a tradition for me over the last few years; humid summer evenings with a tumbler of ice tea sort of make me feel like I am there in Bon Temps. I really need to catch up with the show, and the books too!

3. Lip Smacker Birthday Cake scented lip balm. Need I say more? BIRTHDAY CAKE. On your lips all day, yes it may lead to some very sweet toothed cravings, but it sounds like heaven in a tube to me. Plus look at the lovely colour scheme on the packaging <3

4. H&M Long Tulle Skirt. I'm not going to lie; I have actually already ordered this. I tried on a smaller size in store and it is just the coolest skirt ever. At my degree show I saw a girl wearing it and must have looked like a weirdo as I couldn't take my eyes off it.