22 February 2015

Hoe Street enigma

146 Hoe Street is a bit of a mystery, the only shop in the street that isn't there for an obvious purpose. The inside is concealed by casual draperies and for a while all that was displayed in the windows was a collection of bare mannequins. Since then there have been some dresses worn with helmets and ammunition belts, that sort of thing, a sort of Mad Max punk aesthetic moderated for the twenty-first century. Finally a clue: framed album covers from the new Belle and Sebastian 4 LP box set, along with the actual dress used in the photo shoot. Only a clue though, because if you google the band you only find reviews of the music, nothing about the artwork. But every town centre should have something to wonder about.

Until recently the shop was the long-established G White and Sons, Funeral Directors. The sign has gone and so have the leaded-light windows, leaving no hint of its former life. Except in this photo, taken around Halloween last year, the hooded figures are accessorised with a human skull, clearly real. Not, presumably, something that just happened to be lying around.

See the album cover here.