Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Soul Cellar face lift...Secret Wars stylee!!

Here we have it, the new Soul Cellar Paint job. A big thanks to Raymondo for helping, the guys at Soul Cellar for their support and of course Monorex and the artists...ENJOY!





Here we go...Series 2 draw!!

The draw has taken place and the dates are booked and set in stone. Make sure you get them locked into your memory, your diary, your Abi Titmus calendar, your swish iphone, your annoying blackberry, whatever your date recording device is, get these dates in there -

1st Round - Thursday 25th September
Gustav Vs VoN

2nd Round -Thursday 6th November
Gustoh Vs Vents

3rd Round - Thursday 27th November
Pykee Vs Mecha One

4th Round - Thursday 29th January
Rem1 DNK Vs Oliver Harud

1st Semi - Final - Thursday 26th February
? Vs ?

2nd Semi - Final - Thursday 26th March
? Vs ?

Final - Thursday 30th April
? Vs ?

We've got a batch of fresh artists, new to secret wars, but not to the illustrating game, all eager to draw blood from defending champion Gustav, who last year blitzed his way to the top spot. Trust me when I say, from looking at each individuals submissions, the bar has been raised. These artists are guaranteed to titillate your artistic taste buds...mmmmm tasty!

See you there, bring a bib!

Battle Royale...without cheese

Like the opening event for the World Cup or Olympics, we decided to try something different. Sadly both Charlotte Church and Reeps were fully booked, so we had to make do without the national anthem.

There were two teams on the night. Team A and Team B. On Team A, led by defending Champion Gustav, we had Vents and Mr RoRo. On team B captained by Dirty 30, we had SU 1 and E.T.

Music wise, Mr Muffle and R-Kid decided to play a really filthy set. When I say filthy I mean bacteria infested, virus spreading filthy!!! I had to have 6 showers and a skin peel, down to my bones before I felt clean again. The crowd were feeling the tunes and the art work as both teams worked hard to out do eachother and after 90 min the first battle came to an end.

We decided to leave the judges out for this and left the decision down to the crowd. The calpometer, came out from its long slumber to help pin-point who had won....the winners were....TEAM B. Well done Dirty 30, SU1 and E.T.

One last note...because Southampton is a town dependant on the student community, we've decided to push the first battle back to Thursday 25th September. Despite being the most original night to hit Southampton, there just doesn't seem to be enough people around. So put the date in the diary. Artists and battle dates will be announced soon.

All Artists Welcome!!

To kick off Series 2 in Southampton, we've decided to start off with a mammoth art jam! On Thursday 31st July we'll be giving artists the opportunity to get up and do their thang on the newly made wall. Music will be provided by residents Mr Muffle and R-Kid. Doors open @ 8, if there's anything else you need to know get in touch at Southampton@secretwars.co.uk.

Southampton Final...Gustav Vs Reeps 1...Get in there!!!

Its taken some time, but here’s the report on the first Southampton Secret Wars Final. Gustav Vs Reeps 1!!

Originally when setting the dates, I didn’t take into account that the huge Southampton student population would be away because of the long, long Easter break. It wasn’t until the actual day of setting up that I realised it was a bit of a ghost town. I actually saw some tumbleweed roll passed the Soul Cellar. Needless to say the toilet and I became great, close friends as nerves began to take over me.

All was set and ready to go, I was adamant it wasn’t going to be busy. Everywhere else was dead, Zombified…extinct! I wish I could say it was down to luck, or thanks to a number of prayers made whilst on the toilet. But the truth of the matter is Secret Wars has developed a huge following resulting in a packed out venue. Students had come all the way back especially for this and artists from previous stages turned up to see who would be crowned winner. Would it be Gustav who reached the final through SU1 and Zadok or would it be Reeps 1 who debuted his edding fighting skills in the Southampton Wars??

Nobody can say there was one clear favourite, each artist had to battle hard knowing that if the judges came up with a draw, their fate would lie with an even crowd shout. Of course C-Monts was in control of the flow, again displaying why he’s such a favourite with the Secret Wars camp. Mr Muffle and DJ R-Kid kept the tempo going as it seemed pretty even on the boards.

After the 90 min and after a few extra seconds to mop up the sweat (We at Secret Wars believe in Health and Safety) the judges were announced. Mary Allen (Manager of Addict, Brighton and illustrator) and of course Seeds from Birmingham’s Secret Wars. The first vote rested with Mary – GUSTAV!!! The second vote went to…wait for it…..REEPS 1!!!

This meant the controversial clap-o-meter had to come out. However I can honestly say despite Gustav being on home turf, Reeps had impressed and captured the hearts of the audience throughout the tournament….awww, it’s like a Disney moment. So this wasn’t going to be an easy victory for anyone.

C-Monts built up the tension, tighter than Jackie Stallone’s face-lift! The first cheers were for Reeps – a high score. The second bout of cheers for Gustav were a little bit higher, meaning Gustav was crowned the Southampton Secret Wars winner!!

This had been a great start to which will lead onto Series 2. We’d like to thank everyone that followed it and supported what we were doing and a big shout out to the all the guys from Birmingham that came down, to our sponsors, to the guys at Soul cellar who let us get paint on their lovely floor, Lloyd for making the set up and cooking me food when I got hungry, Terry for coming up with the idea and of course to ME!

Until the next series…. ciao for now


Reeps 1 Vs sObac 2nd Semi Final

Well, it’s finally drawing to a close and it’s getting extremely difficult to not quote from the movie Highlander, but, there can only be one….winner and that winner will either be Gustav or Reeps 1 after he defeated s0bac in the last semi.

Little is known about s0bac; in fact he’s the Secret Wars equivalent to Top Gear’s ‘Stig’ only more illusive. One thing we do know, he can definitely hold his own against any opponent. So this was always going to be an interesting battle.

The night got off to a good start, it always helps to have the artists turn up on time and the crowd were ready to be entertained. I have to say it wasn’t the best battle we’ve had. Don’t get me wrong Reeps and s0bac worked hard, but when it all ended it left people wondering what they had drawn. S0bac’s illustration was clean, detailed and nice, but I didn’t get it. Reeps again had covered his board with interesting and very abstract pieces, but again failed to deliver a killer blow. In the end the words, “s0bac…so what’ went in his favour and helped tip the balance as he was declared the winner by both judges.

Reeps did say afterwards he was in his own little world up there, but will be putting a lot of thought into his next piece against Gustav. He looks set to deliver a special move straight out of Street Fighter 2…Turbo edition.

As for s0bac, he was pleased to have come this far and it was a shame his final piece didn’t do him justice. Looking at his previous work, he looked like the possible winner. But it just wasn’t his night. However I’m sure it’s not the last time we’ll see or hear of him. But then again, he is the ‘Secret Wars Stig’

Watch out for the Southampton Final between Gustav and Reeps 1 on Thursday 27th March @ Soul Cellar…78 West Marlands Road.


Zadok Vs Gustav 1st Semi-Final......

The first Southampton Secret Wars Semi-Final was always going to be the talk of the town, but even I had no idea how controversial it was going to be. Zadok Vs Gustav was a battle all Secret Wars fans were looking forward to. Even King Terry made the journey down…the Soul Cellar was packed; the artists were ready and so began the show.

I’d love to tell you all, that this was a heated battle, but the truth is Gustav was the only one representing. With Zadok disappearing in the middle of the battle, it allowed a member of his 54 crew to scrawl over his piece. Gustav, not leaving the stage or loosing focus continued with his work, closely supported by the crowd and the rest of The Undergrowth Collective.

It was clear by Zadok’s piece he had no intention to go through to the final. If the Vote for Gustav suggestion wasn’t a big enough clue his final actions in the remaining minutes did more than prove it. With a couple more minutes to go, Zadok grabbed a pink spray can, and marked the words “graffiti is dead, secret wars killed it”.

Of course rules state that this is strictly a Black on White contest and no other colours are to be used, resulting in Zadok to be disqualified. An all time first for Secret Wars. The only thing missing from the night was a classic Eastenders cliff-hanger drum roll at the end, which would have been perfect.

The night raised a lot of issues, a lot of questions and many opinions, which is what makes this event stand out from anything else out there. As with anything that reaches the masses and becomes popular, there are always going to be those who have been in the scene for years objecting to what’s going on. Whether they believe Secret Wars has in some way taken away something important from the art form, like putting it up on a stage instead of a protected building, isn't certain. But it is in no way a crash course in graffiti techniques, open to all for admission. It's an illustrator’s battle, yes many of the guys who compete do come from a graff background, but the fact of the matter is, it’s completely different. It’s as far removed from the graff scene as Paul McCartney is to Heather Mills. Secret Wars gives artists a platform to launch themselves and show what their capable of. It also introduces a whole new art form to people that wouldn’t usually get to see something like that. Am I wrong? Answers on a postcard.

Anyway, enough of that…………..

The crowd carried on partying to the sounds of Mr Muffle and R-Kid and the rest admired and discussed the work up on stage. All in all, it was another great night for Southampton.

Gustav will now meet the winner of the next Semi-Final Reeps 1 Vs s0bac on Thursday 28th February @ Soul Cellar (78 West Marlands Road, Southampton)

Gustav Vs SU 1 Series 1 Round 2

This was always going to be a tough battle, for whoever the winner would be, their next battle would be with Zadok. Putting that thought to the back of their minds Gustav and SU1 came face to face. Gustav - a secret wars veteran and member of creative collective 'The Undergrowth' was pegged as the favourite to win, but SU1 who has been a long time Secret Wars supporter and artist had a lot to prove.

After 90 min, a lot of sweat, a few tears and plenty of cheers from supporters of 'The Undergrowth' and the Basingstoke alliance (not actually known by that name, but sounds pretty cool) the job was down and it was all left in the hands of the judges. Vote 1 - Gustav Vote 2 - GUSTAV! Gustav wins and faces Zadok in the first Semi which is set for Thursday January 31st @ Soul Cellar.

Next up another Undergrowth favourite Chris Le Blanc battles our very own secret wars favourite Reeps 1!!!

Secret Wars @ Soul Cellar Series 1 Round 1

This was the night that officially kicked off Southampton's very own Secret Wars tournament and what a way to go. First up was Zadok getting down and dirty with Basingstoke's very own Dirty 30. With Zadok's track record this battle was labeled the David & Goliath round, but sadly for Dirty 30 there wasn't a sling shot big enough to bring the man down.

Zadok was the clear winner, despite a mix up with the judges, both voting for Dirty 30 after they'd wrongly mistaken his piece. After a slap round the face and a quick explanation, victory was handed back over to Zadok, who will battle the winner of the next round between Gustav of the Undergrowth and another Basingstoke artist, SU 1, which will be held on Thursday 18th October @ Soul Cellar!!

However, just when the crowd thought that was it, good ol' Reeps 1 showed up, brandishing his deadly skillz and of course his harmonica. The crowd were more responsive than my grandad after a heavy dose of viagra. He rocked it harder than...well my grandad after another heavy dose of viagra!

Anyway, enough of my horny relatives, for more info on the Southampton Wars, keep hitting the secret wars website and make sure you check back at the monorex blog!

Monday, 15 September 2008

Extra, extra read all about it!


All the latest news, artist features and sw reports will be posted here...