Paul Gorman is…

Punk London announced at Be Reasonable Demand The Impossible: Vive le Punk! Vive art schools! Vive London!


//Central Saint Martins student poster feature college head Jeremy Till//


//Discussing the McLaren/Westwood fashion legacy with writers Lou Stoppard and Dean Mayo Davies//


//Neville Brody’s logo for the 2016 celebration was unveiled for the first time at our event on Friday//

Our event Be Reasonable Demand The Impossible on Friday night was an out-and-out success, attended by hundreds from all walks of life, including students of London’s Central Saint Martins for whom it was primarily organised.

We were honoured that the London Mayor’s Office selected Be Reasonable to unveil Punk London,  the year-long calendar of exhibitions, gigs and events in the capital in 2016.

More details will be forthcoming at the end of the month; the GLA’s ‘cultural partner’ Marcus Davey of Camden venue The Roundhouse gave a few hints and showed for the first time the logo designed by graphic artist Neville Brody.


//Brighton students sold Beck + Cornford’s No Future t-shirts//


//Page from McLaren’s mid-70s notebook shown as part of Paul Burgess’ presentation//

Marking the 40th anniversary of the live debut by the Sex Pistols (at the old St Martin’s School Of Art in the West End’s Charing Cross Road), Be Reasonable’s evening of talks, screenings and presentations was conceived by my wife the architectural consultant Caz Facey to bring the momentous gig into the present as the focus for discussion of Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren’s insistence of punk as an attitude, as well as art schools as continuing places of possibility and London’s standing as an international creative hub.

It was important that the event was free to access, since one of the main tenets of punk is that it is not for sale; you may buy and make money from the physical manifestations across music, design, fashion, etc, but no commercial value can be attached to an attitude which is alive and kicking today in all of  these areas as well as politics and social activism.

So everyone gave of their time for free; the only commodities to purchase were the No Future Malcolm McLaren art school tour t-shirts, created by contributors John Beck and Matthew Cornford. These were sold at cost – just £5 each – and have all been snapped up.

After his thought-provoking introduction, our host Jeremy Till, CSM head and vice-proctor of University Of The Arts London, engaged in a lively debate with Beck and Cornford (who teach humanities courses at Westminster and Brighton universities respectively) about the “noise, anger and creativity” he identifies in the current generation of students.

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Next up was the premiere of director Danny Kleinman’s excellent specially-commissioned film about the Pistols’ first gig (Kleinman was guitarist in headline band Bazooka Joe), followed by eye-witness testimony from those who were there: Glen Matlock, the Pistols bassist who booked his band into the gig as a St Martin’s student, and designer Sebastian Conran, who was one of the few attendees.

Pistols authority Paul Burgess presented an intriguing look into one of the jewels in his private collection: manager Malcolm McLaren’s notebook from the group’s formative years 1975-76, when he was also operating Sex at 430 King’s Road with Vivienne Westwood.

And then fashion commentators Lou Stoppard of SHOWStudio and writer-at-large Dean Mayo Davies discussed the lingering influence of McLaren and Westwood’s fashion legacy  – designer du jour Claire Barrow is very much on everybody’s lips – after footage from their early 80s catwalk shows was shown along with an excerpt of a lecture given by McLaren in the 00s.

The arguments, conversations and exchanges continued long into the night in the CSM central avenue known as ‘The Street’ and in the bars, interspersed with dancing and all-round merriment. Among the other notables in attendance were Bertie Brandes of Mushpit magazine, designers Brody and Morag Myerscough, DJ Pippa Brooks, Fiona Cartledge of Sign Of The Times, teacher/producer Anthony Chapman, Mayor’s Office cultural envoy Mike Clewley, fashion consultant Emma Davenport, men about town Johnny Deluxe and Philip Sallon, Architectural Association deputy director Phin Harper, curator and architect Sam Jacob, architecture journalists Andrea Klettner and Tom Wilkinson, photographer Sarah Lee, gallerist Robert Gordon McHarg III and Rob Tufnell, rockabilly Luke Morgan, actress (and Jubilee’s Queen Elizabeth I) Jenny Runacre, screenwriters Nick Vivian and Neal Purvis and journalists Richard Cabut, Peter Culshaw (also campaign manager on McLaren’s 1999 mayoral bid), Edward Quarmby and Chris Salewicz.

Caz and I would like to thank Jeremy, Stephen Beddoes, Laura McNamara, Ged Matthews and the CSM team for helping us realise a hugely enjoyable event.

Photos from Instagram pages including @opsandops + @kitmarnie.

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