03 May 2012 (gig)
16 May 2012
Thursday week ago saw the opening bash for The Class Of 72 exhibition at the Flood Gallery, Greenwich.
Celebrating some of the icons of the glam rock era of 1972, the exhibition displays artwork inspired by performers like David Bowie/Ziggy (Jermaine Rogers), Alice Cooper, Mott The Hoople, T.Rex (Casey Burns), The Rolling Stones (Glenn Barr), Roxy Music, Slade, Lou Reed (James Flames) and Black Sabbath (Alan Forbes). It also features artwork inspired by Curtis Mayfield (Munk One), Neil Young (Justin Hampton) and The Eagles (Jeff Wood) but… how did ‘glam’ ever enter those acts?
While artistically not quite on a par with the gallery’s previous Led Zeppelin – IV at 40 exhibition, there is much to geek and drool at the current one. Rather imaginative is Jermaine Rogers’ piece depicting Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’ alter ego. As the artist explains: “My print is based on the idea that Bowie slips in and out of personalities, like a shell. Ziggy was the bridge between ‘Space Oddity’ and ‘The Thin White Duke’… both lifeless until he slipped in.” Equally interesting is Munk One’s piece of Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Super Fly’. Stylistically, the artwork pays homage to the 70’s blaxploitation movie genre, depicting the actor Ron O’ Neal (who played the lead part in the film).
Less convincing (in my humble opinion) are the pieces inspired by T.Rex’ ‘Slider’ album – it doesn’t really bring the spiritual essence of Marc Bolan across, while the Alice Cooper piece looks like a pretty portrait but little else. Then again, other viewers may beg to differ.
The launch party saw a good turnout despite cold and gusty weather. If anyone was still freezing, the free drinks and freshly prepared complimentary paella ensured that every single guest felt quickly warmed-up and well looked after.
Surprise of the evening was live music provided by Too Rex during the second half of the launch party. This definitive T.Rex tribute act (not to be confused with T.Rextasy and their androgynous singer Danielz – the world’s only OFFICIAL tribute act to Marc Bolan!) demonstrated during a one-hour set why Too Rex are one of the best loved party- and pub bands in the country. Energetic despite the gallery’s limited space, frontman Bobby T and fellow Rexters blasted through Bolan’s greatest hits – quickly spreading a party vibe that extended to visitors sitting outside the gallery. Backed by the Stetson sporting Zapper on guitar (he sure knows how to work his instrument), Johnny Ray on electric bass and wild mane hard hitter Steevi Bacon on drums, the petite-build Bobby T had fun goofing about with his guitar. Occasionally starting a song with riffs from other hits such as The Sweet’s ‘Ballroom Blitz’ or The Stones’ ‘Satisfaction’, he then hooked into the Bolan groove. The strongly magenta-hued spotlights didn’t always work in harmony with Bobby’s glitter n magenta dungarees – resulting in a lightshow that seemed more purple haze than multi-coloured cosmic vibe. After the show, I wanted to ask him about his fascination for T.Rex, and which might be his favourite pieces amongst the exhibition. Alas, in true glamrock manner, he seemed busy swanning around and difficult to get hold of. Eventually I managed to track him down. With a cheeky smile and in between attending to his equipment, he revealed that it was absolutely great to be playing at the opening bash. And there you have it.
More drinks followed, as did more guests and curious on-lookers. The final part of the night was spent networking, mingling and getting cosy with like-minded glamsters, art- and music lovers.
THE CLASS OF 72 exhibition is currently on show at:
The Flood Gallery
8 Greenwich Market
London SE10 9HZ
You can contact the gallery directly on 020 8269 0372 or email them at email@example.com to find out more about the above-mentioned portrait prints.