Angel of the North revisited

I’ll leave it to my old friend, Nick Lawford, co-founder of Hello Thor records, to explain this one:

It was ten years ago, or more. Probably more. I woke up one morning and announced to my flatmate, Guy, that I was going to drive to see the Angel of the North. I was reading a lot of Bill Drummond at the time and was into doing stuff and attaching significance to it. This would be a pilgrimage; an important journey. Guy was in.

At the time I kept a barbecue and a tent in the back of my car, for eventualities just like this. We formulated the plan as we drove north, unclear exactly how far away the Angel of the North was or how to get there. We would find our way to it, pitch a tent, barbecue a steak, kick a football about, drink a beer. All in the shadow of the Angel. It would make us better people.

We eventually got there. Sun shining, Angel above us, welcoming us, offering us an embrace. We had my Super 8 camera and started filming the huge, imposing – yet friendly – shadow of the Angel. I took some photos too – one is still stuck to my wall. It reminds me of the importance of doing stuff.

The day didn’t end there. In fact it got better. Someone told us it would be a bad idea to camp beneath the Angel, so we drove on through Gateshead and Newcastle instead, stopping at the quay for a drink and a taste of the Saturday night madness. Then we headed up to Whitley Bay where we camped by the sea and barbecued the steak and drank the beer. The following morning we looked round an empty amusement park and visited Tynemouth, wandering around the castle and the priory in the sunshine. For many years I would talk about Tynemouth like it was the most magical place on earth. I should go back.

A few weeks ago I got some old Super 8 film transferred to digital files. Sadly the Angel of the North film got a bit damaged some years ago in my dodgy projector, so it had gone a bit wonky. I wanted to send it to Guy, though, so thought about adding some music to it.

The first song that came to mind was Flaneur by Fists. Oddly enough the fuzzy, windmilling, psychedelic groove of the song seemed to coincide with the juddery, out of focus, beautifully coloured footage. Generously, the band didn’t seem to mind. So, here it is.

Nick, Hello Thor

Angel of the North revisited