Saturday 28 March 2009

TOMO photography: Let the RANDOM(ness) ensue

On Monday gone I attended a party hosted by Random Magazine to celebrate the launch of a photography exhibition by one of their most talented contributors and coincidently founder and editor-in-chief of Random; Tomo Kembery.

Held in the beautiful and surprisingly grand Cobden Club on Kensal Road, W10 myself and my date for the evening H wondered up and down the street several times before finally realising that the party was situated within and old gentleman’s club that we had discounted several times previously. Once inside and rescued from the tingling chill we were ushered up to two floors of merriment.

Once inside we were greeted by beautiful and well heeled ladies with delicious looking pink cocktails ready for the taking, but alas these were not my bag. Once coats were safely deposited within the cloakroom I headed towards the bar looking for a more typical and robust drink such as red wine or beer only to discover that the only drinks available were the aforementioned raspberry martini or a vodka martini. Needless to say I chose the latter which was so strong that I proceeded to wince after every sip (which was shocking even to me as I can usually take my alcohol!).
After quenching my thirst we wandered around the central staircase where Tomo’s work was displayed and marvelled at how brilliantly jovial, colourful and bright his images were. Reminiscent of iconic LA photographer David Lachapelle’s work the light hearted nature of the imagery gave me high hopes that it was to set the tone for the night, which I’m pleased to say it eventually did.

On the first floor there were copies of Random scattered around on every surface visible ready to be read while eager revellers waited for the live music to begin. Myself and H settled at a marble topped table at one end of the room and as if by magic were within reaching distance of the bar. Between sips (and splutters) of vodka martini we poured over the many fashion pages for a good quarter of an hour which reflected a truly bizarre and unique blend of photography and styling featuring the work of the man of the hour Tomo. With subjects ranging from body builders to fashion models what I loved most about the pages of Random was the diversity that was clearly encouraged by Tomo and the ethos that anyone could be part of creating such a unique fashion and art glossy which I feel is unrivalled.

After looking through the magazine cover to cover, we wandered upstairs to see what thrills awaited. As we walked in I was wondering where the buzz was that I was so looking forward to with invitation having promised live bands and sexy trannies in attendance. Upstairs was even emptier than the floor below however we did spy a few of the advertised trannies walking around ready to host the bands a little later on.

Feeling rather out of place as we could not distinguish many other fashion types within the crowd myself and H decided we’d be very glamorous and head out for some food to kill time and also to soak up all the alcohol burning a hole straight through our stomachs. After getting directions from the bouncers we were once again in the cold and were a little surprised to see a line of paps standing around doing their usual chain smoking and pacing at the tender hour of 8pm. Wondering what we could possibly be missing we headed back up towards Ladbroke Grove and relented in our quest for hot food, instead settling upon a Sainsbury’s supper.

A little while later; once fed and watered we were back inside and found the first floor empty, with everyone taking their places upstairs to see the first band. Not really my cup of tea and rather brilliantly we grabbed a seat on a leather sofa near the front (stage left) just as their set was drawing to a close.

Next up on the stage was a gorgeous blonde tranny who was filling the gap whilst trying to locate the next band. Soon to take the stage were a rather dashingly dressed male who I had spotted earlier looking to approach him for a photo of his very well put together outfit (alas I did not get the chance) and his partner (later identified as Chuckles) who took his place behind the turntables. Pleasantries over The Correspondents began their set by playing that song which is synonymous with the Jungle Book, ‘I Wanna be Like You’ which they sampled beautifully.

A mixture of swing, hip hop and a bit of drum ‘n’ bass thrown in for good measure; The Correspondents completely blew me away. Not at all what I was expecting with the very comfortable and confident front man MC Mr Bruce bounding around the stage with such enthusiasm for dancing and swing music that it was impossible to ignore their energy or the fantastic 1920/30s-esque music that was reverberating around the room.

Enticing his audience with his cabaret banter and dapper dandy charm Mr Bruce became my most recent object of lust as was agreed by H as you could tell that he put a lot of his personality into his performance which made him instantly loveable. So much did we like the Correspondents that we stayed until the end of their set enjoying their unique music in addition to a couple of youthful men who were making us giggle by pouting to the extreme and doing poserish movements which are more commonly associated with dancehall music, which made them stand out like a sore thumb.

Alas it was the last train home for me, but all in all a fantastic night was had by all, and I would definitely recommend that you check out The Correspondents music.
Flyer and artwork courtesy of Tomo Kembery.

No comments:

Post a Comment