Meanwhile: Point Me Toward the Real

Posted inCreative Voices

1 — Popped down to London last week, primarily to see Ezra Furman at the Camden Roundhouse, but managed to squeeze in all sorts of extra-gigular activities while I was there. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s squeezing the most out of a topped-up Oyster card.

2 — Stuffing a random paperback from my tsundoku pile into my overnight bag, I finally got around to starting Stephen King’s On Writing on the train down. Part memoir, part lesson; I don’t want it to end. If you write, read this.

3 — The Chris Killip retrospective at The Photographers’ Gallery blew me away. A black and white journey through the industrial landscape and inhabitants of 70s/80s Northern England; it’s so good seeing these images off-screen and in all their printly glory. Massively recommended— it runs until 19th of February, do catch it if you can. And if you can’t, the mammoth book version of the exhibition is rather nice.

4 — Loitering in the gallery shop (one of my favorite pastimes) with physical media still on my mind, I kept coming back to the new Polaroid Now+. Sure, it’s some way from the beauty of the collapsible SX-70, but it’s still satisfyingly real. The addition of app-enabled manual controls lifts it above a mere point-and-shoot. Might have a word with Santa.

5 — After some getting lost in the shifting Dark City streets of Soho, I managed to find Gosh! Comics and laid down my pocket money for the rather splendid first issues of the new Secret Invasion and Fantastic Four runs. Both written by Ryan North— after bingeing my way through The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl earlier this year, I will gladly gobble up anything he puts his name to. Which reminds me, I really must learn how to take over the world.

6 — Still clinging to that teenage notion that going to the cinema in the West End is the very height of glamour, I popped into Picturehouse Central to see The Banshees of Inisherin. I have mixed feelings about Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards… but this was just beautiful. Everyone in it is great, but if Jenny the donkey doesn’t win an Oscar, there’s something profoundly wrong with this universe.

7 — Oh yes, and Furman was incredible. All the songs I love, played with soul and rage and love. Plus I firmly believe all gigs should feature one cover— no more, no less— and her version of “Because the Night” was sensational. One of the best shows of my life, up there with PJ Harvey at Somerset House and That Time Dina Carroll Definitely Made Prolonged Eye Contact With Me While Singing “Don’t Be A Stranger.”

This was originally posted on Meanwhile, a Substack dedicated to inspiration, fascination, and procrastination from the desk of designer Daniel Benneworth-Gray. Header photo by Tomas Anton Escobar.