Illustrator Marcus Oakley was one of 21 contributors to The Blank Tape Spillage Fête, at The English Folk Dance and Song Society, Cecil Sharp House in London. This is what happened:
I really like cassette tapes, I still use them, I still use my Walkman and I use them to record music with on my four track, and so last winter I was delighted when I was invited by Mat Fowler and Matt Hunt to take part in their Blank Tape Spillage Fête project.
Mat and Matt also like cassette tapes and all things analogue and so to create this event, they sent out 21 cassette tapes to artists and musical people, myself included, and kindly asked them to fill the tape with music, sounds, stuff, warblings – well anything really, and then to create packaging and artwork to accompany the music.
The results were heard and seen at The Blank Tape Spillage Fête exhibition, held at The English Folk Dance and Song Society’s Cecil Sharp House – the perfect place for the event as it really is the place that time forgot.
The gallery was set up with the art and listening posts to look like a fête in a village hall, with buntings, trestle tables and paper doilies. The exhibition launched with a gig on Sunday 27 August – an audio smorgasbord of ten sets by bands and solo artists with music ranging from folk, psychedelic-folk and lo-fi through to electronica, noise and electro pop.
My band, The Sunflower Band, was the first to play, so I was a little nervous, as I had never played live before. I thought it might help to wear colourful hats. I made a few mistakes but nothing really bad, and I think that’s part of The Sunflower Band sound. In the end we we had a really good response, lots of clapping, cheering and stamping. So that was nice.