Artist in Residence Handover
March 28, 2014 | by Faber Social
Next weekend at House of St Barnabus in Soho we will celebrate Andrew Weatherall’s year as our inaugural Artist in Residence with an afternoon and evening of literary conversation and music curated by the man himself. Over the course of his tenure as AIR Andrew has embraced the role with huge generosity and the kind of intelligence and imaginative vitality you would expect of a man with his myriad talents. Mix-tapes, lino-cuts, original soundtracks (to Unreal City, which will be performed in the Barnabus chapel on Saturday) and book reviews have all enriched our archive. Our relationship will no doubt continue and mature as Andrew’s year’s residency comes to a close. He has made a mockery of his characteristically bluff retort to my original invitation to him: ‘Does that mean I get a load of kudos and don’t need to do much?’
So as an early chapter in the annals of Faber Social closes, we’re thrilled to announce that our incumbent AIR is Green Gartside of Scritti Politti. Over the course of three decades, since the Camden squat days of the late seventies, Green has consistently reinvented pop through the prisms of first postpunk, then soul and most recently hip hop. Scritti’s first single, Skank Bloc Bologna remains an angular masterpiece; they are most eloquently celebrated by Simon Reynolds in his classic study of postpunk, Rip it Up and Start Again as ‘the icons of DIY, supreme exponents-cum-theorists of a wilfully fractured style of music-making: ‘messthetics’, as Green christened it in the manifesto-song of the same title.’
Scritti’s most recent album, 2006’s Black Bread, White Beer, is arguably their finest achievement: a textured pure pop marvel which reminded the pop cognoscenti of Green’s visionary talents as a songwriter in the tradition of Robert Wyatt. As we wait (patiently) for the new Scritti Politti album, I’m delighted to introduce Green as our new Artist in Residence for 2014/15. Like the duties of his predecessor, Lord Sabre, his brief will be his to write, but I’m sure ‘the brainiest man in pop’ will lead us into yet further and darker corners of enlightenment. Here’s a beauty from Black Bread, White Beer to enjoy.
The official handover of the Faber Social Artist in Residence role will take place when Green interviews Andrew at House of St Barnabus this coming Saturday.