The venue for the one night only appearnace of ROUGH = The Designers Band gig was ” The Cinema”, part of Tom Dixon’s abandoned theatre premises exhibition area within DesignJunction Milan 2015
Tom Dixon’s band ROUGH played at the Cinema for an eager crowd at the Design Junction after party
Rough performed at Salone 2015, with a special guest appearance from Bradford Shellhammer ( ex FAB.com /now Bezar ) who will be doing lead vocals ( he has been practising hard for this gig – so he said )
Rough @ Salone Milan 2015 = Bradford Shellhammer lead vocals, Tom Dixon bass guitar, Steph Hannah keyboards and vocals , Robert Violette drums and Eran Kendler acoustic guitar
You can catch a glimpse of oh-so-early ’80s Dixon just behind the groovy moves of the vocalists.
When he was 20 years old, Tom organised events on the ‘fabulous’ English party scene before creating his first objects at the age of 25, becoming one of the most talked-about avant-garde designers.
He recorded an album with the band “Funkapolitan” in Jimmy Hendrix’s studio in New York.
It was in 1982 when hip-hop and rap just started. They made it to No. 39 in the UK chart and had a few minutes on Top of the Pops.
8-piece funk band from London, England.
They released one LP and three singles during the early 80s.
The LP was produced by August Darnell and the sleeve designed by Peter Saville
hey were one of the early UK acts to introduce rapping to their music
Amongst Funkapolitan’s band highlights was that they supported “The Clash” at a gig in New York, and played at Glastonbury Music Festival in 1982
During the same period he started to run rap clubs in the London club scene.
Unfortunately a motorbike accident stopped him from playing bass guitar, which forced him to leave the band.
Instead he spent more time working for various nightclubs doing promotional activities.
When Tom ran a disco in Berkeley Square they put on many different events, including live welding on stage. This got him back into the craft and design and rest is history – as they say !!
This period of Tom’s life helped informed a lot of his later thinking about design in general.
Being ‘untaught’ was something that was made visible to me through music. In London, everyone seemed to be in a band and created their own music, wrote their own songs and made their own posters for their gigs. They were self-propelled, with no certificates and no parental approval. I transferred quite a lot of that home-made creativity into what I was doing with objects.
The idea that you could make something yourself without being a professional, you could get out there and create your own aesthetic, and potentially sell it, came from there.