On Friday I attended the Plus International Design Festival. I dont consider myself to be a very “visual” person so it wasnt an obvious choice for me, but then its good to play to your weaknesses now and again, plus there was the promise of catching up with lots of interesting people I knew would be attending (thanks to Facebook) and there was also the launch of a new magazine from the lovely people at Fused, the offer of free booze and the chance to pass around some flyers for Project X Presents which is now only two weeks away.

I chatted the night away to interesting people such as Andy Pryke (who now has an RSS feed for his fine blog), Tim Kitchen from fast expanding local Web Designers Made Media, Clare Edwards (looking only slightly harried which is pretty amazing for someone putting on an entire music festival in a fortnight) and Dave from Fused Magazine.

Dave was telling me that Blink is going to run alongside Fused as a more high end and fashion based zine aimed more at the Mailbox sort of market than the Custard Factory. It has some interesting articles and looks smart and glossy and will hopefully further enable Fused to continue being its lovely somewhat alternative and leftfield self.

Poppy and the Jezebels performed but sufferred from a horrible sound mix and looked somewhat uncomfortable playing in an environment where they weren’t the only focus of attention. Having performed in similar sort of situations myself both as a pianist and with Gidea Park, I know how difficult this can be unless you can succesfully adopt the attitude that you’re enjoying playing anyway (cos you enjoy playing) and so it doesn’t matter to what extent you engage the audience. Tricky.

The other band Murdoch had much better sound mix, bags of attitude and pretty good songs, but I think my days about getting excited about Indie guitar bands are pretty much passed. I guess its a generational thing to a large extent – I wasn’t into punk or the Smiths at the time, but got hooked on early Suede, Smashing Pumpkins, Oasis etc in the 1990’s.

And as to the Plus event itself, I enjoyed what I saw of the design on display, my favourite probably being the projections from Clusta which were housed in a cute little tent/module thing which looked like giant brian.

Rich
Xx

Birmingham

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