small-circle-of-friends (small_circle) wrote,
small-circle-of-friends
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  • Music:

I'd rather be with you than flying through space.

Jean Marie Perier is a remarkable photographer, possibly my favourite portrait photographer ever. So when I heard about this exhibition in a gallery in Birmingham, I couldn't resist. I suggest you all do the same. The prints are a trifle overpriced, but to spend half-an-hour with these (I don't want to use this word but it seems unavoidable) iconic images, and the very charming gallery director (who I now owe a Sylvie Vartan comp) was a treat indeed. They even played "Polnareff's" for me! Aahhh.
Having said that, I've always thought it was impossible to take a bad portrait in the 1960s. I guess that people knew how to look great then, whether you were Matt Monro or Michel Polnareff. It's not simply the clothes & the haircuts either; it's all about their faces. In them you can sense the excitement & expectation of the era. In a nutshell: people looked more alive.
We thought we'd make a weekend of the Birmingham jaunt, so after a swift breeze round the Custard Factory and the city centre, stopping once again to look at the architectural marvel of the Selfridge building, and bizarrely running into Matt outside Swordfish, we set off for Hay-On-Wye. Second-hand bookshop capital of Britain, apparently. I'd never been before, but phew, what a trip. Over thirty bookshops crammed into a small village on the Wales border, including what claims to be the largest second hand bookshop in the World (I guess Strand doesn't count). I came away with quite a haul, and could happily have spent the rest of the week there. Just as well the record shop was shut.
Couple of great archaeological sites nearby too, yet another Arthur's Stone and the four stones of old Radnor, both lacking in atmos a little due to the proximity of roads, but at least we didn't have to wade through mud & slurry to find them. And as if things couldn't get better, a drive around Hergest Ridge. Man, I couldn't get "On Horseback" out of my head the whole time.
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