The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
The Hydra is a new series of club nights organised at various warehouses across east London running up to the new year.
With the closure of so many clubs in the capital that used to house regular nights the need to find alternative space has become an increasingly uphill battle for many promoters and programme makers.
As exciting and essential as this project is the Broken & Uneven crew - once responsible for organising nights at legendary clubs The End and Cable - will need to do a lot better than Wapping's Unit 2 if they are to seal the long-term success of the project.
The opening night in Wapping saw an exciting bill of Berliners from the Ostgut Ton label, including headline act Marcel Dettmann, a phenomenal techno DJ who grew up in the former GDR.
Marcel Fengler, Prosumer and label founder Nick Hoppner also performed and our very own Brummie Surgeon completed the line-up.
But Unit 2 was not the right choice of venue to host such high-calibre DJs.
Broken air conditioning made it uncomfortably hot, one toilet for men caused queues lasting more than half an hour, white paint on the floor coated everyone's shoes, a cash-only bar and a no re-entry policy - need one say more?
Dolan Bergin, one half of Broken & Uneven along with Ajay Jayaram, concedes that the logistics of finding venues has been tough. "Every conceivable problem" has been encountered along the way and finding a permanent home has been virtually impossible.
But a few exciting options are lined up as the duo try to deliver something new for London.
There are plans to develop a second Hydra series from autumn next year as well as appearances at European and London festivals.
Let's hope the problems experienced at Unit 2 were just a one off.
The next Hydra event is on September 15 with deep house DJs from Dial Records including Pantha du Prince and Efdemin. Details at www.brokenanduneven.com