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Love rock n roll? Look no further than this fine display

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: December 13, 2013

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Ever fancied landing yourself a piece of classic rock memorabilia? Perhaps even a little-known image of a modern musical icon?

If so, a venue in Clifton, Bristol, should be your port of call over the next few days.

Pop-up shop and workspace LITTLEWHITESPACE is hosting the first incarnation of The Great British Rock n Roll Fair, a brand new selling exhibition of rock and roll memorabilia whose Bristol-born curator is hugely well connected within the music industry.

Adrian Cross has spent years working with and for some key figures in British music.

He's worked with artists and musicians for years in various different roles, mostly in fashion crossovers – for example, setting up collaborative marketing projects with clothing brands looking to reach new audiences by associating themselves with great music icons.

Back in 1999, Adrian used the legendary music photographer Mick Rock (or "the man who shot the Seventies" as he's often dubbed) to shoot an advertising campaign for Tommy Hilfiger Denim.

Since then, he's worked on a variety of other branding projects with musical icons – such as, back in 2002, a limited-edition T-shirt range to commemorate the 30th anniversary of David Bowie's iconic early 1970s persona Ziggy Stardust.

His various experiences and projects at the border of music and fashion have given Adrian an impressive contacts list. Which is where the Great British Rock n Roll Fair comes in.

"A lot of the people I know in the music industry have, over time, hoarded all sorts of wonderful stuff and know others who have done the same.

"But, other than faceless online markets, there are a limited number of ways to get this stuff to market. The aim of the fair is to provide a good, old-fashioned retail experience for customers, and somewhere credible and 'real' for collectors and music-business folk to present their stuff.

"More than just a gallery or showroom, it'll be quite a touchy-feely kind of place."

The collection that Adrian has put together for the LITTLEWHITESPACE show will include striking photographic prints of rock legends alongside limited-edition books, music-inspired clothing, one-off rock furniture, autographed and limited-edition guitars, and plenty more fascinating and desirable rock paraphernalia.

As a nod to the fair's Bristol setting, meanwhile, you'll find some distinctive pieces reflecting Bristol's world-famous and hugely influential music scene, from The Cortinas via Talisman to Massive Attack and Portishead.

Examples of the musical memorabilia on view include Rock's photographic prints of Bowie, Queen, Syd Barrett, Lou Reed, Debbie Harry and more.

Also on view are images by Michael Putland, one of the few photographers who travelled regularly with The Rolling Stones.

Contributions by snapper Danny Clifford, meanwhile, include a poignant shot from 1978 of The Who's Keith Moon, just before his tragic death. By his side is a ten-year-old Zak Starkey (Ringo Starr's son, and Moon's godson) who went on to play drums for The Who, Oasis and Paul Weller.

The decision to hold the debut fair in Bristol was not a hard one. "There is such a rich musical heritage in Bristol, and LITTLEWHITESPACE is a perfect for us – a clean canvas on which we can imprint our personality for a short time only."

There's also the small matter of Adrian's own Bristol connections. Born in Clifton, he was schooled at Clifton College and St Brendan's Sixth Form College: now, after spells in London, Bordeaux and Brussels, he lives in Marlborough, a convenient stop-off between Bristol and London.

"I never really lost touch with Bristol, and on occasions I still visit some of the old live haunts I used to frequent as an impressionable punk, mod and whatever else came along back in the late Seventies and early Eighties. I still remember dark, loud nights at the Granary, Locarno, Dug Out and Colston Hall – not to mention hours spent discussing music with Tony at Tony's Records in Clifton Village. That's where all my money went!"

The Great British Rock n Roll Fair is at LITTLEWHITESPACE, Bristol until Sunday, December 15

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