Mr Penfold & Aero Exhibition – Fanboy

I’ve spoken before about how I really enjoy what Fanboy brings to Edinburgh – and last month’s show at their store, the first in the new location, did no harm to their reputation in town.


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Initially starting as a clothing brand (Pieute) but now with fingers in other “pies”, they are admirably determined to avoid the tired ideas that other brands are intent on trotting out.

Instead there’s a heavy focus on setting a direction that’s uniquely theirs, and Edinburgh’s. It really is refreshing to have a successful Edinburgh based brand making a valuable contribution to the local scene, and making a name for themselves elsewhere.

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I am delighted to see them get deeper into organising events, most recently hosting this collaborative affair between Mr Penfold and Aero at their store in the heart of Auld Reekie’s Old Town.

The only slight tinge of regret was the epic hangover that meant I was bed bound for the opening night, which I’m certain was an occasion not to be missed…


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Penfold’s work was among some of the first that grabbed me and brought “street art” to my attention a number of years ago.

His evolution as an artist keeps me interested, particularly with these more abstract compositions, a continuation of that trajectory from “Tabs, Butts and Dog Ends“, the last of his shows I caught in person. The clean bold lines with vibrant colour choices hit the right spots.

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Teaming up with Aero for the show added an extra twist with her Simpson inspired creations among some of my favourite pieces from the show.

Her monochrome t-shirt design (one of a limited run) is worth your well earned cash if you fancy some merch. Her thick lines and bold colour choices play well alongside Penfold’s work.

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The standout pieces from Aero and Penfold, in my opinion, are these two epic larger scale works to the rear of the shop, make sure you get a decent look at them. Wouldn’t mind having these hanging in my flat…

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If you like what you see, make your way to the store on Candlemaker Row sooner rather than later. Once these originals and prints sell out, it’s likely the exhibition will come down. Don’t sleep on it!

Some of the prints are still available, offering the chance to own your own art at decent prices. Likewise there’s a few of the limited run shirts by Penfold and Aero up for grabs.

And, of course, there’s the Fanboy originals to have a look at too. Of the more recent memorable shirt designs, these belters (Heroin & Haggis and Tesco Value Techno) give a taste of what to expect…

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Grey Gardens – Art and Architecture

Quick off the mark, I took in the first day of the latest exhibition at Dundee Contemporary Arts. The trouble is, it’s taken me about three weeks to finally get round to sharing these with you.

Luckily, the exhibition runs until May this year, so plenty of time to take this one in.

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As part of Scotland’s ongoing Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, Dundee’s quite fantastic DCA complex hosts this fascinating exhibition exploring art and architecture inspired by modernity and nature (although, truth be told, it was more the modernity element I was interested in) from the mid 1900s to the present day.


While the whole exhibition is a very interesting, I was specifically drawn to the work on the Peter Womersley designed Bernat Klein Studio in Selkirk, deep in the Scottish Borders. Subsequently, I found out that Gala Fairydean Rovers FC’s main stand is also one of Womersley’s – another structure I’m really fond of (see directly below).

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Described quite interestingly as “a challenging Modernist manifesto of a building”, any time I’ve come across photographs of it I’ve been really captivated by it.

You can almost imagine Klein strolling from his house through the woods to this stark building, set in huge contrast to the forests of the borders, captured in some amazing black & white and colour photography from Colin McLean.

Unfortunately the images were difficult to reproduce without playing a starring role in the reflection…






Having not visited the studio, it was also interesting to take a look around a 1:50 model by Jonathan Middleton.

Clearly no substitute for visiting in person, but allowing you to understand the full construction after viewing the photographs was really helpful to figuring out the size and shape of the building.



Special mention to the really cool video piece by Smith/Stewart, focussing on the Womersley building south of Maidens, near Turnberry in Ayrshire.

It has fallen into disrepair, and while the video piece captures the line it treads between the cliff and the sea, it also catches it as it rides a knife edge between existence and demolition.

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Other highlights that made the trip more than worthwhile were the images of Morris & Steedman’s incredible private modernist creations (see directly below for the most spectacular – difficult to capture this one, however) and David Harding’s art in Fife town Glenrothes.


Within the new towns of Scotland, Harding’s work, early on developing as sculptures – later conceptual, offering memorable landmarks within the uniformity of housing estates.


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Catch some of the other interesting pieces, and check out more of the layout of this exhibition in the short video clip I made while visiting. Better still, make the journey along before May 1st to take this one in – a must for modernist architecture fans, especially within Scotland.


Smug’s latest Glasgow mural goes viral

Completed last week, Sam Bates aka Smug revealed his latest addition to the Glasgow mural scene on the high street. I took a  trip through to have a look on an especially wet day in Glasgow.

The Australian born artist, like many working in contemporary street and urban art circles started his creative endeavours as a tagger back in a small town near Wollongong.

However, it’s his photo realistic murals that have turned him into a bit of a local hero in Glasgow. His latest mural has been shared a staggering amount over all social media channels lately, and here I am throwing in my two cents.

For the Commonwealth Games in 2014 he made even more of a mark in the city with additional pieces to tie in with the sporting spectacle.

The Glasgow City Council also created a handy mural tour – something I’ll be making a trip back through to check out shortly.

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A forgotten Parisian urban utopia

This week I discovered the suppressed architectural alter-ego of Paris. Pretty unusual opener to a blog post.

Forget the Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, and Classical look of the city as we know it. This modernist view is something entirely unexpected but compeletely engrossing.

Local French photographer Laurent Kronental has captured a briefer moment somewhere between the 50s and 80s where a burst of modernist architecture predicted a futuristic utopia. I reckon very few of us living elsewhere would associate this look with the French capital.

As the capital continued to grow with an influx of immigrants and urbanisation, a housing crisis followed and a solution was needed. The answer was to build these imposing modernist buildings, that sadly, within a couple of decades would reflect a forgotten Paris. Younger families moved out, enticed by affluent inner city Paris, older residents stayed put.

This series, titled ‘Souvenir d’un Futur’, looks at the residents of these neglected buildings and what he describes as ‘the poetry of ageing environments’.

Can’t keep my eyes off these.

Really fascinating stuff. It’s almost like a bizarre alternate-universe Paris. I love them, a perfect example of “urban culture” and how a proposed utopia 30 years ago can shift quite drastically from what was envisioned.

What do you think? As always, get in touch in the usual places on social, or in the comments below!

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Images © Laurent Kronental

52 weeks of Fanboy

Fanboy, the evolution of the Edinburgh streetwear brand Pieute, has established itself as a bit of a creative hub in the capital.

Taking influences from graffiti, street art, skating and all things local, as well as a good deal of tongue-in-cheek patter (see the take on the controversial Creative Scotland funded arts project the Glasgow Effect) it’s a perfect example of how things could and really should be in the capital. I’m thinking specifically in terms of clothing, art and events.

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Fanboy Effect by Mr Penfold

Having struck up a strong partnership with Cambridge based artist Mr Penfold, their signature tees emblazoned with “Pieute” and Penfold’s characters, brought a piece of the London pie and made it Edinburgh’s.

My tees were promptly worn until threadbare, proud to be able to say that they were born here. I’m a bit like that though.

Last year with the evolution of the brand into Fanboy, and thankfully the new premises on Candlemaker Row, they have really been working hard to step things up.

A renewed partnership with Mr Penfold saw the guys kick off their ambitious “52 weeks of Fanboy” project, where he has been invited to create a new logo every week of the year for the brand.

On the back of Penfold’s predictably impeccable stint during January, Casey Peckio took the reins for “FanboyFebruary” – his challenge to create a new logo each day of the month. His minimal, clean and colourful designs are an absolute delight, even more spectacular given the tight working deadlines.

These are two of the best continued projects going on over on Instagram right now – follow them at to keep on top of them both.

If I needed to define the sort of stuff I’m into, I’d probably be just as well showing his work. So clean! Too good. An absolute find for Fanboy as well, some of these logos need printing up straight away.

All images courtesy of Fanboy / Casey Peckio

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And if all this wasn’t enough to keep your mind and wallet occupied, join the boys at their Shop in March for the Mr Penfold and Aero exhibition opening. I can’t wait or this one.

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5 Pearson Sound tracks for restless feet

Good news on the clubbing front in Edinburgh this month.

Edinburgh based club night Lezure has been on my radar since first experiencing their parties in May 2015. The trio of Berliners, ItaloJohnson, were invited to play some records at the Mash House, and it’s a night that still sticks in my mind as one of the best sets I’ve heard in person in an Edinburgh club.

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Anyway, I was hooked, so their latest event had me scrambling for my debit card quicker than usual.

Co-owner of the formidable Hessle Audio (alongside Ben UFO and Pangaea), Pearson Sound aka David Kennedy will be giving the impressive soundsystem a workout on Friday 26 February.

If you’re already sold like I was, there are some £7 early birds floating around via Party for the people. Profits go to charity – clubbing for a good cause, everyone wins!


However, at the time of writing, there were still 14 full days of anticipation lying in wait. So I’ve pulled together 5 tracks to help ease those restless feet.

I’ve also tried to put into words why I’ve picked them. However, as with much of his music, I’ve found it really quite hard to put this down in words, so maybe it’s best to let the music do most of the talking…

1. Pearson Sound – Untitled

First Pearson Sound track I bought, and it’s still one of my favourites. Fairly minimal with thudding sub-bass punctuating the track.

I really love the moment early on when the organ and clapping snare combine, as well as the drop with the lurching bass about a minute later. It’s a funny track as there isn’t much to it really, but it also doesn’t feel like it’s missing anything in particular either.

2. Ramandanman – Work Them

Okay, so not strictly a Pearson Sound track. But David Kennedy’s other project, Ramadanman, has more than it’s fair share of highlights so hopefully you’ll let its inclusion slide.

This track starts off fairly quietly with snapping 808 sounds that make way for the “work them” vocal sample and bouncing bass when the track really lifts off. Layered bells, rasps, cracks and chopped vocals give this one it’s dancefloor edge.

3. Pearson Sound – Blanked

Blue eyes has it’s feet firmly in the old dubstep camp of the mid to late 2000s, made clear with the heavy, squelching bass, strings, vocal sample and bleak atmosphere. It sort of reminds me of some of Burial’s work on ‘Untrue’, this one also has a dark urban vibe to it.

4. Pearson Sound – Glass Eye

From the debut L, I first heard this one on Rinse I think and again it’s a masterclass in minimal electronic music. With a stripped back bass line, whipping, wet sounds, this one never really gets into top gear, but there’s something I really like about that.

5. Pearson Sound – Ex

This one’s pumped up, with a biting tempo, gibberish vocal samples laced throughout and a banging bassline. A fine way to leave us hanging on for more until the 26th.

See you down the front!