Tomorrow (April 30) I have the great pleasure to be DJing for Nick Lowe again.
The venue couldn’t be more different from the Albert Hall; this time Nick is playing for a couple of hundred people at St Paul’s in his stamping ground, Brentford. It’s in a good cause – the money from the sold-out gig will go to the church’s community drop-in centre.
This is the first of a spate of live appearances by Nick this year. In a couple of months he will be in the acoustic tent at the Glastonbury Festival as the only performer to have played the very first Glastonbury Fayre in 1971.
The Brinsleys’ subsequent appearance on the fund-raising triple Glastonbury Fayre set was the next staging post in Nick’s association with Barney.
Barney’s Glastonbury package comprised the tri-fold 24in x 36in card sleeve housed in a sealed printed vinyl envelope with customised labels, booklets and cut-out inserts for the creation of a miniature silver pyramid and geodesic dome.
These scans of the pyramid inserts don’t do the originals justice (they’re shiny silver on black).
However, it’s been fun using the scans (and some silver paint) to create our own versions.
“We can survive on waste – energy, experience, imagination is all!”
“Scavenge and scrounge shamelessly – you are your own architect.”
“Ecology is you.”
“We might need this kind of good, cheap shelter one day.”
We also love the “Astral” visage made by glueing the ornate sci-fi insert borders together.
The Eye Of Horus which accompanies the instructions was a marker of Barney’s abiding interest in Egyptology, and one of the powerful symbols he loved to revisit, sometimes using Nick’s aquiline features.
For example, a decade later he openly referenced The All Seeing Eye, as it is also known, on the cover of Nick’s 1982 album Nick The Knife.
The uncompromising crop on the front of the UK issue (on F-Beat) concentrated on Nick’s angular features to achieve the full effect; as in the case of many another Barney design, the US issue soft-pedaled this with an uncropped and thus more conventional portrait.
Cheekily, Barney responded to comments that the Nick The Knife cover was unforgiving by delivering a totally contrasting sleeve for 1983 follow-up The Abominable Showman.
Here there isn’t sign of a single blemish: the boxed-in portrait of Nick is colourised and airbrushed to the max, though the shadows and his expression once again clearly render…The Eye Of Horus.
Really looking forward to tomorrow night’s show. Sure Nick will pull out all the stops at St Paul’s just as he did at another church, St Luke’s, for the BBC a couple of years back – have a look at him rocking with one of the founding fathers of British popular music Chris Barber in the clip above.