Much like the Toad in Arrows of Love’s ‘Beast’ of an offering, yet another corporate developer is up to no good. The gentrification of London has run amok for years. Bodies guilty of taking liberties with their rapid eradication of our vital and essential artistic landscapes – those that nourish communities – are at it again: this time planning to replace the Vittoria Wharf Warehouse Studios with a footbridge of all things.
Arrows of Love’s frontman, Nima Teranchi, along with the artistic community that live and work in Hackney Wick’s cultural quarter, has mounted a dispute against the corporate naysayers who dare to think they can pull the figurative and creative rugs out from under their feet, those attempting to delete everything in their path and replace it with another soulless and foolishly expensive edifice.
Arrows of Love knows no bounds and isn’t just limited to their music. During a chat with Teranchi at The Lexington before their single launch party, he spoke about the impetus that compelled him to act and to exert a little public pressure of his own. Fuelled by a civic-mindedness not often found in the alternative rock underworld, he and a few thousand likeminded souls became The Effect (protest) against The Cause (injustice masquerading as progress), galvanised into action by a simple wrong.
Writers, artists and creative entrepreneurs use the wharf for live-work short-term lets – making music, pop-up retail, and reading events – in an environment that provides for them and the community via an imaginative ethos – but this is being overlooked yet again.
At its essence, ‘…it just wasn’t right’, Teranchi says and, supported by thousands of petitioners and one of London’s largest artistic communities, he has made his feelings plain. David now stands toe-to-toe with a corporate Goliath – the odds may be stacked but, even in the face of all this negativity, Teranchi finds reason to remain optimistic, recently discovering a heartening thought in all this murkiness: the realisation that whilst the opponents in this battle may be on opposite sides, the door is open to working alongside each other to achieve that which could be mutually beneficial; learning – just as it is with most things – we are more alike than we are different
Speaking of different, witnessing Arrows of Love in their natural live habitat, delivering a musical performance akin to an exorcism (vital, predatory, chaotic, and exhilarating) their passion is just as viscerally apparent.
An organic call to arms, an all-consuming frenzy influenced by lyrical energy and positivity so pure and authentic, it’s wildly beautiful and supported by a wall of sound as tangible as bricks and mortar. They are capable of delivering a harsh and honest response to the questions of the human condition – life, love, sex, death, politics et al – whilst fucking with your head and making you work for it – a sound that adds yet another branch to alternative rock’s evermore evolutionary, transcendent tree of noisy life. This is one collective that will not be silenced.
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Cover photo by Jamie Morrison