We like Proud Galleries. They put on wonderful free exhibitions of great rock photography. We like War Child too. Not only do they release great albums, put on their own wonderful free exhibitions, but they’re also a damn fine charity. So when we heard about War Child’s Your Child show at Proud Camden, then we thought we’d take a mosy on down. Just so we could honestly say to you that we think you should too. Before Sunday though.
Scarlet Page’s show captures a host of faces from rock ‘n’ pop, off the telly or out of the gossip columns; with their kids. So you get to wander round a set of family portraits thinking all the things you do when looking at other people’s families: they don’t look anything like him/her or poor kid or ahhhhhhh… and sometimes aarrgghhhh! And all the while you’re going: so that’s what Shaun Ryder’s kid looks like. He looks normal. And happy. And well adjusted. How in feck’s fuck did that happen?
Some of the wee ones are friends, nephews or nieces, such as those who appear with Skin or KT Tunstall. Some haven’t even appeared yet, as with Fran Healy’s unborn. Some look just like their folks, and others have their folks looking just like them; check out Brian Molko and bairn and try tell the difference. There are moments of great tenderness – Feeder’s Grant Nicholas and son, of great humour – John Simm, Jimi Mistry and boys, silliness – the aforementioned Ryder shot, oddness – Sharleen Spiteri and daughter’s stripey socks, and the quintessential family portrait – Page’s own Dad, Jimmy, and kids.
It won’t take too long out of your day, and it’s an easy-going reminder that some of these “rich and famous people” are just like us really. A pleasantly humanising set of snaps, most taken at home or favourite places; posed and yet natural. And if the occasional nappy just isn’t rawk enough for ya, there’s still the Ramones show in the Charing Cross gallery.
And whilst we’re thinking War Child, perhaps you might want to have a look at their Big Swap. The idea is they start with a decommisioned landmine, which they swapped for a signed copy of The Crimea’s first edition Tragedy Rocks. You then offer a swap for that and if yours is chosen you get the prize. Then someone offers a swap for yours and on and on until eventually someone is prepared to swap something for a million quid which goes to War Child. Sort of Ebay meets Swap Shop. Currently offered for the Crimea disc are someone’s virginity (they jest wethinks), Operation, a 1923 five hundred thousand Mark note, a Kenwood Cascade and a Really cool box someone got in Poland. We’re getting addicted already.