Saturday, 18 April 2015


 Thought I'd show you some lovely recent photos..
taken at the Creative challenge event
at Tanner St SE1 last month... a great shot of the backdrops 
before the PA and drum kit and ridiculous 
singer obscured the view


 I think this was taken by Illustrater Curtis Tappenden..
he posted it on his blog anyway
I hope he don't mind us posting it here...
its a cracker innit!!


 This is by Lorna Milburn a few years ago at 
Hackney  gig with Lark
..a really wonderful tographer, that lady


This is Biscuit
as I made him out of paper
and string and blew on him i did
and suddenly he came to life...
the red beard?

Very Advance Notice!!!

Liver & Lights

is John Bentlys  ongoing off beat hand made chronicle of our extraordinary lives and  times, being 54 Volumes in 32 years; a lifelong celebration of London, her people, their stories and the art of The Book.

For four days only, an amazing exhibition  at Brixton East celebrating the books themselves and in particular their regular transformation from page to performance
featuring the music and primal rock theatrics of the Liver & Lights performance incarnation Bones & The Aft and including stage sets, backdrops, props, costumes, hand made musical instruments, beloved motor vehicles, posters and publications.

The exhibition will culminate in a mini festival of music and theatricals featuring Bones & the Aft and special  guests Hester and Wilde.

The exhibition will also feature the launch of Liver & Lights No 54, a brand new limited edition hand made vinyl Long Playing Record by Bones & The Aft.


Brixton East 1871,
71 Gresham Road,
London,
SW9 7NS

26th - 29th October 2015
12- 7 pm daily
Live Festival Night
Thursday 29th October 7 11pm

stick it in your diaries now.

Before that however
28th May 2015
7- 11pm
Liver & Lights No 53
Railton Rd etc
Live Launch
at the Horse Hospital,
 1 Collonade
London WC2
featuring
Bones & The Aft



Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Next Bones Gig.....
Wed 25th march 8pm
Its private event but there
may be a guest list.....

Sunday, 1 March 2015


Big News!!!

In my last blog I mentioned that the new book 
would be launched in May 
at a venue in Brixton?
well....they 'double booked' us, 
(or had a more lucrative offer more like) 
and that means its been cancelled........
and I'm going to be madly rushing around 
trying to find a suitable alternative..
watch this space, as they say.....

Tuesday, 3 February 2015


Some more prints from
the forthcoming 
Liver & Lights No 53
Railton Road, 
Herne Hill End
2015

searching in the rubbish for enlightenment...



Elaine the Flower lady.....



Ten Pea Please.....




Vincent's old motor.

Railton Road



Thursday, 22 January 2015


Liver & Lights No 53.

Railton Road, Herne Hill End, 2015

Late summer last year, I started writing a poem a day, about the ordinary things that happened in my daily life, occurrences, interactions, events, observations. I had written about thirty of these, all saved, probably for the first time exclusively ( I usually write in notebooks) in a file on my laptop desktop.  One Thursday night we returned home to be met by an open door and the aftermath  of a burglary. The thieves had stolen my laptop, among other things, containing those thirty poems, most of which, of course, I had not saved in any other form. The few  that I had saved were by coincidence all about Railton Road, the street where I live. Trying to be positive, I I took the burglary as a sign from the gods and changed tack, deciding to make the collection wholly about the street. 





After another  month working on this I rather alarmingly began to lose impetus. I am sure this was a delayed reaction to the burglary and involved a sense of mourning for the work I’d lost, but, not for the first, or the last time in my life, I asked myself the hard  questions, does anybody care about this stuff?  Am I deluding myself that there is any merit in this work?

Pretty much all my work has been about observing and recording the ordinary. Maybe the truth is, I’m just boring and ordinary? I was having doubts…a crisis! 






Then…one day, sitting on a wall in Railton Road, Herne Hill end, near the dangerous bend, I saw a battered paperback sitting on a wall. You know - people on our street put stuff out on the street when they don’t want it anymore…for other people to take?  We do it all the time, kitchen tables, printers, cardboard boxes, car parts, jam  jars,….everything we have ever put out is gone within the hour…anyway..back to the book I picked up:

It was called Miguel Street, a book of stories  by Nobel Prize winner VS Naipul. It is a collection of short episodes based on the people and things remembered by the author during his childhood in Port of Spain, Trinidad. I read it and it was wonderful, full of beautifully observed details of ordinary life in that time and place. The ordinary made glorious, and wondrous, to me, to us, ten thousand miles and seventy five years hence. Life is glorious!  It doesn't need to be polished with the fantastical! It is strange enough already, and sad enough and full of mythic portent.





(Later, Candy Tomlinson told me that VS Naipul lives in Stockwell now, just down the road, and that her parents had met him……)

I took all this as being signs from the Muse and continued my own project with renewed enthusiasm, eventually choosing nine poems to make into this book. Nine from about twenty all in all, chosen with some sadness for those I had to leave out. I made these into nine separate pamphlets and obtained for them a smart brown lidded box.


This is my street, now. It may be just like your street, it may be unique. it may be both of those things at the same time. I’ve tried to look and record stuff honestly, editing out floridity and honing the texts down to a kernel of significant incident and illustrating them sparely.  It is not a history book, it is not meant to be objective in any way, it is just what I was looking at, one person’s view. 


The book will be launched at my exhibition at Brixton East in May later this year. It will form part of a celebration of my work over the last ten years, incorporating all the sets, props, costumes, backdrops, books and graphics, posters, invites and suchlike associated with my performing so of course Bones & The Aft will be playing on the closing night party on Thursday 28th of May with some very special guests in a specially constructed set...so put it in the diary now!!

Friday, 26 December 2014


Happy New Year Bones followers....thanks thanks thanks
for supporting us last year, for all your cheers 
and all the pennies you've
spent on books and t-shirts and badges.... 
We really do appreciate it, and we only can do it if
you want us too.... 
Currently we are recording and writing new stuff to
play to you next year, with gigs planned in March and May so far
and hopefully a new album towards the end of the year!!!
New Costumes!! New Sets!! New Singer!  
(only joking!!) 
(about the singer!)

We love you all...




Bones & The Aft is a unique collaboration between 
three eccentrically complimentary individual eartists..
 They are  Admiral Lord Biscuit, 
formerly with Ivich Lives, the Doctors of Love, 
Florence Welch, Rum Shebeen and many others. 
Half accomplished multi instrumentalist and half Mad Inventor, 
he is the current holder of the  London South Bank 
Centre International Piano Scrapheap Challenge trophy. 
Guitarist Ian Mckean made his name in the 
eighties with Generation X offshoot and  
WEA signed Twenty Flight Rockers 
and later the Virgin signed Balaam and the Angel. 
Mckean provides raw yet sensitive guitarscapes 
to contain and enhance the 
passionately observational storytelling of singer 
John Bently, 
a sort of singer of sorts,
provider of words, costumes and hand painted sets.  
Bently is best known for his internationally




 collected long running series of art in book form, 
The Liver and Lights Chronicle. 
Bones and the Aft are these books brought to life, 


by three fearlessly entertaining, memorably passionate performers..

“A mythical metropolis inhabited by a teeming population of sharply drawn, 
richly detailed  characters”. Aiden Dunne. The Irish Times

a world of forlorn high streets whose junk shops 
stock records in the wrong sleeves; 
outsider schoolmates; cheap travel. 
Mining a broadly similar seam of 
Englishness to the late great Kevin Coyne, perhaps…
Stephen Drennan. Book Art Newsletter 2013

Friday, 5 December 2014

bookartbookblog: A Conversation with John Bently

bookartbookblog: A Conversation with John Bently: I’ve been making books since I was 11 years old. My first books were hand made  comics and then a poetry and music fanzine at school....