My Saturday morning ritual usually consists of waking up an hour before Pauline and watching the tv show called Grand Designs. It’s hosted by Kevin McCloud who isn’t the usual pretty face that provides a segway between ads but a qualified architect who knows all the right questions to ask. The show follows people who are building their own home or gutting an existing one over the duration of the build. I find it great viewing and when I’m not sick or hungover it actually inspires me to go and do stuff around the house. Normally the show is just about normal everyday people so I was surprised one day to see a minor celebrity that I recognised from my youth.
In the late 80s and early 90s prefab pop was still a hit and miss affair (they hadn’t perfected their “lets saturate the airways so people think they made a choice about liking a song” approach. For every Take That there was a Brother Beyond who lost the manager a tonne of money. Tom Watkins was one of those svengali managers who had success with Pet Shop Boys, East 17 and Bros. Obviously the man knows design and marketing as all three artists are highly stylised performers. I know that Bros are pretty uncool, but the album covers are actually incredible works of art. I can’t think of any pop band since that has it’s own font!
Since I’d spent so much money on Bros as a Brosette in my teenage years, it was cool to have an opportunity to see what Tom Watkins was doing with the portion of my hard earned money spent on Bros paraphenalia. He and his partner Darron decided to build a Big White House on the Sussex coast a few doors down from where they were living. Tom and Darron were big collectors of modern art so they wanted a gallery type home to show off their purchases. I am blown away by the entire project and would love to live there myself. There was not one design decision that I did not like. This makes me wonder if this svengali manager who pulled the strings of a pop band in the 90s also formed my sense of style and design in my influential teen years? (Of course anyone who knows me knows that I don’t mean sense of clothing style. 😛 )