snap snap


The spring cold is certainly miserable, but after spending most of last week cooped up in my apartment alone, alternating between sleeping, sneezing and working, I was desperate for some human interaction. Alessandra had just finished her degree and she was getting together with some friends for a finale celebration of sorts. For the past year and a bit she had been organizing this event called spzw after getting the taste of reading her poetry in front of an audience (it had been part of one of her classes). So she started getting together with her über cool friends to read poems or short pieces of prose that they had written, strum their guitars, recycle jokes from more talented comedians and support the local economy with their beer-swilling.

This was the seventh and possibly final spzw event, and it was also the only one that I was actually available to attend. So sickness be damned. I telephoned Tom and asked him if he wanted to accompany me, thinking that we could also fit in some nighttime shots once the poets and troubadours closed up shop for the night.

Alessandra and her beatnik gang used to meet at Hulbert's in Belgravia before it closed down, but eventually they found a more regular home at The Underdog on Whyte. It's a fitting location, small, dark and intimate... shadowy enough to have quiet conversations about existentialism but too small to express yourself in dance form like Audrey Hepburn.

the brothers pettifor and their fans

The evening started off with the Brothers Pettifor singing a little ditty with brother Cole on guitar and brother Fraser providing backing vocals. Later on in the evening Fraser sang a Pettifor original backed with the soaring falsetto harmonies of his brother. Sandra describes the Pettifor's as the cutest family in the world. They'd be cuter if they played the banjo.

the poet and the wannabe muse

Once the proverbial ice was broken, it didn't take to much coaxing for Alessandra's boy toy Warren to deliver his piece about Adam and Eve and the missing period.

the beatniks

And so the night continued. The beatniks had a strong presence, but they were kept humble by contributions from the writer, the joker, the musician, a last minute poet, and a reluctant comedienne.

the writer, the joker, the singer, the poet and the reluctant comedienne

The darkness did make it a little difficult to photograph. Even with the beast in high ISO I felt it necessary to convert the images to b&w. I shot a few second video clips here and there and strung them together in a bit of a longer piece. No fancy camera work, no crazy editing here. Just a little something for my sister so when she loses herself to the corporate jungle she can look back and remember when she was a ringleader of beatniks and a motley crew of artistes.