We had a couple of very kind offers of locations for our 50th issue celebration, but when David Death Spray suggested the newly relocated HM Electric art gallery it felt right. It was somewhere we hadn't been before, it wasn't a retail space we were edging into (like we usually do, and are happy to), and it felt different for this landmark issue.
It also tied in with Death Spray creating the cover for Sideburn 50. If that weren't enough, he also came up with the suggestion of making a display of all the covers we've made. There were 62 in total, because some issues have had two covers, or in one case, three covers (two of the doubles were missing. We should have had 64. No one noticed).
The location felt very upmarket. The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. The Royal bit become very relevant as we heard rumours (from BBC insiders) that the Queen had died around 4pm, as we were setting up, but the official words didn't come through until later, after the scheduled 6pm opening.
The gallery has held just one previous exhibition. Keep an eye on HM Electric for more updates.
You can't have a party without a few drinks, and we ordered our beers from Reece at Bianca Road Brew Co. The founder of the company delivered all four pallets of cans on his delivery bike.
We got our hands on some new old stock Metro race jerseys from the USA, and had them printed with Sideburn and HM logos. This is HM's Izzy in hers.
And HM Electric co-owner, Jamie, in his.
We lifted the Sand Flea into the gallery and put Sideburn's version of the Death Spray Cover cake on the bike's Dometic coolbox.
First arrival was a soaking wet Leftie on his Knuckle, bringing some stickers from South London.
Death Spray wheeled out his Church of Choppers-built, Racefit-fitted big twin.
Alex turned up on his high-pipe, smaller twin. The whole street is being dug up and narrowed (like they're doing in a lot of London), hence all the barriers.
Old friends started arriving. Bon Zorro (who features in SB50); master mechanic Toshi - who looks after half of London's early Harleys and now Vincent's too, and, Death Spray himself.
Actor Nicolas Cage was just passing and loved his free, special edition SB50 tote bag.
Tom was heat-pressing flock lettering onto the back of the special edition shirts.
The Brinks got theirs done.
Covers! See every Sideburn cover in our Magazine Archive.
Dometic keeping the Bianca Road brews cold
Andy Jerkyl came al the way from Australia for it. I honestly don't know why I have to pull a stupid face in every photo.
Chainstitch star, Guilio Miglietta, Lucie and the Mighty Maxwell Paternoster.
Thanks to everyone who came out, in the rain, and thanks to all at HM Electric for hosting.
Photos: Paul France, Andy Baker, Sideburn