Author Archives: Dirt Cheap Magazine

Children of Zeus


Currently killing stages all over, Children of Zeus (Konny Kon & Tyler Daley) are a neo-soul group hailing from Manchester. Here is a small sample of their work, but you REALLY need to go see them live…

Rock you internally

“You just got to check it…” – Jazzie B (of SoulIISoul)


“This is my jam. You need this shit in your life…” – Lenzman

Push Push On

“The light skin, Street, UK Maxwell… I like it” – Dres (of BlackSheep)

Konny Kon – All vinyl Soul Food Selection

With audiences and listeners loving the tracks and live shows (picture the whole audience singing along), and now legitimate soul LEGENDS, and renowned musicians coming out saying this is some of their favorite contemporary music – Big things are just around the corner we are sure…

Check them out further on their Soundcloud and via Facebook.

Jack Flash x TED talks

Our long time friend and associate Jack Flash (former EOW world champ, etc etc) was recently asked by TED to host a talk. You will probably be aware of the wide ranging, educational and entertaining talks hosted around the world by TED (find out more here).

Here Flash chose to base his talk on his lyrics and how the audience and himself relate, using the format of reading and then dissecting each lyric in turn.  An intriguing idea that I have seen few similar examples of, but really like the format.

The main basis is seemingly how he has matured as an artist, how he learnt to overcome his fears and really begin to create much more personal lyrics without the facile, cliche content much of the genre is defined by…. and as he mentions within, this is not a slight on others’ content – but more a recognition of his true voice coming through finally, after years of honing his skills. It’s great to see and much respect to him…

Take some time and elevate your mind a little….

Pink Pig Sketchbooks

So pleased to announce a number of our friends at Dirt Cheap are now representing Pink Pig Sketchbooks!

High quality, artists sketchbooks delivered direct to your door in a variety of paper weights and in economy and ecologically sound ranges.

Some members of the team you should follow…










The quality is truly great and many of the artists (including myself) have been using these books for over 10 years before becoming a member of the team. Stay tuned for much more content and exciting projects coming soon from the team.

You can purchase Pink Pig Sketchbooks and papers on their website here and also on Amazon here.

Get 10% off your order by entering the code ‘OSmith10’ at the checkout!

Blissfields 2015


Okay, So we know we are a little late on getting this up! But here is an extensive photo report on our trip to the stunning Blissfields Festival 2015! Enjoy!


After quite a long trip to London from ‘Up Norf’, it was then a further intense trip (…don’t you love megabus?) down to Winchester – so by the time we entered and were greeted by this parade of gold clad fellas I was quite ready for a little drink and a dance…


This bus formed the ‘Blisscotheque’ stage, and pumped out a great little range of sets – blasting out feel good Motown and Funk as soon as we arrived.



The festival had a number of really cool independent boutiques and stalls, Nadia found her favourite in Kouk & Feather Tree – a great collaborative business selling African print clothing (2-pieces in dazzling colour, made in Kenya), with Jewellry, feathers and embellishments from Feather Tree.

A great little business run by a really friendly couple!



The ‘Back of the Bus’ stage provided some really good Hip-hop and general party vibes throughout the whole weekend and was a constant chill out spot for many.




Camping facilities were excellent, with plenty of well maintained water points, toilets and bins. The festival is also dedicated to Green ideas, and they have schemes including a £5 payment if you fill up the rubbish bag you are given with your wristband.





For a relatively small festival, there were quite a number of installations and large scale decorations, it was clear that there had been much thought and effort put in to creating the whole look of the festival grounds, and I was very impressed. Easily surpassing many larger festivals in terms of artwork and interesting visual installations.



Headliners included huge acts such as The Horrors, John Grant, Simian Mobile Disco, Grandmaster Flash & Ghostpoet. Really quite impressive when seen alongside the many, many other acts!


At night, as is the way, the whole feel and experience of the festival changed. It was really exciting to see the way Blissfields had taken this into account – with much use made of lighting, projections, UV and constructions. The whole place really came alive at night, and it looked superb.







Another, not quite surprise, but definitely out of the way, is the ‘Hidden Hedge’ stage, squirreled away along a winding path and only coming alive at night, this was the destination for many of the people swaying through the darkness.



Nadia even found her hero stenciled on the entrance!





Featuring an outdoor DJ booth surrounded by tripped out visuals and the ‘Area 51 Stage’ (above), this was where we ended each night, the enthusiasm of the acts made for a great atmosphere upon finally getting there.



Apart from the obvious beautiful setting you can see in the pictures of the campsite/festival ground, it was surrounded by even more lush landscape, including a huge forest. The setting, for me was one of the biggest bonuses of the festival – it really is a stunning location.




Free hammocks in the centre of the festival ground, were highly sought after – and became bases for groups of friends as they took it in turn. Many funny conversations were overheard as people relaxed in the midday sunshine.








Apart from one grey morning, the weather was faultless – Bright and hot, to a Northerner it was quite a nice shock. (I’m still pink).


Watermelon smiles were a must for the midday heat!


Another good point, and a rarity, was the food available – couldn’t fault it! Instead of just the usual greasy spoon offerings at £20 for a bacon butty, mainly I would say they were all high standard and served much more interesting and healthy alternatives (though you could get a greasy butty too ….I sure did)






This guy was not only a showman, he made bloody awesome pizzas! super nice, some of the best I’ve had (find them here Pommarola Pizza Gardens). Really worth a mention, plus, check his skills!



One of my favourite acts of the whole festival ‘Ibibio Sound Machine‘ absolutely rocked it on ‘Singularity’ (the main stage). So good!!





One of the notable aspects of the festival was how well kids/families were catered for – and not in a separated sense of different areas (though there were lots of specifically kid friendly areas), everyone seemed to enjoy themselves throughout the festival at all ages. It really had a great atmosphere of families and young festival goers all mixing together with a very relaxed feel.




For kids and big kids alike (Nadia), there were many activities popping off across the grounds throughout the event. Here Nadia’s arm was twisted (barely) into joining a giant water fight hosted by Tracksuit and Tie.








…and then promptly got floured in the face for her efforts!





Having areas shaded by trees was a huge bonus, it was nice to be ‘in’ nature as opposed to just the bare grassy fields of most modern festivals. They were, of course a magnet for the many families to escape the sun.


An unexpected surprise and probably my favourite performance of the whole festival came from Loyle Carner – a London MC who performed to a crowd of about 3 people initially. Still, he wasn’t phased and dropped a set of smooth, heartfelt hip-hop over some sublime beats. Everything about this set was perfect for me, and the crowd soon grew with heads appearing from all sides of ‘The Den’ tent.

The tunes were great and heads were nodding, and people singing the hooks almost immediately… great presence on stage from a talented and modest pair.

One to watch!






In conclusion – Blissfields, a ‘big enough’ small festival, with a HUGE lineup of headliners and underground artists, set in BEAUTIFUL surroundings, for a TINY ticket price.

It has also been going for 15 years, a testament to this is how smoothly the festival ran (not one mistake/problem with sound lighting etc that I saw) and still remains limited to 4000 people, and retains the ‘feel’ of a small festival – people are friendly, helpful and relaxed.


Specifically good for families, and for people who are sick of the corporate mega-festivals and all the rubbish that goes along with them…

Blissfields 2016 – GO, …JUST GO!



Until next year, We out…

Words and Pictures by Oliver Smith & Nadia Amini.

Find out more about Blissfields on their website, and Facebook.

Thanks to all the staff and press liaison Alex, who looked after us.

What goes around comes around

Some really well executed typographic pieces by Charles Williams.

Fortune Magazine – 500

The Very Grey Matter Of Edward Blank

Press Up – Rise

See more of his work here.

Blissfields 2015


This week sees Blissfields 2015 kick off, and Dirt Cheap Mag will be there to cover the festivities, enjoy the vibes and (hopefully) the good weather!


Now in its 15th year Blissfields has grown in scope, if not in size, with an intimate audience of only 4000 and with over 160 acts playing this must be one of the most packed lineups this year! Big on green values the festival encourages litter pickup with each ticket purchase, and features a wide array of acts and activities beyond the musical offerings; including arts & crafts, yoga, lectures, film screening and circus performances.

The setting, in rural Winchester, has to be one of the biggest draws – surrounded by beautiful hills and wooded areas this is the perfect location for a relaxing and family-fun event. With this years event themed ‘Somewhere in Time’ now’s the chance to get creative with some wacky costumes – aliens, cavemen and knights come out to play!

You can still purchase tickets (at a very pocket friendly price of just £95 for an adult weekend ticket) here.

Stay tuned for the full report to come soon.

Amadeus Magazine Issue 5 Launch

The good people at Amadeus Magazine are launching their 5th issue, if you are in the LA area you should go check it out. All Vinyl DJ set by PRES, Live art by Jennifer Korsen and free beer from House Beer.

Issue 05 artists include:
America Martin
Clay Hickson
Damien Tran
Fred Stonehouse
Hannah Stouffer
George Heaven
Loro Verz
Kate Mitchell
That Thing


Friday, May 29at 6:00pm – 11:00pm in PDT
Imperial Art Studios
695 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, California 90021
Facebook event info here.

Keep Helping Nepal

Thanks so much to all who have donated, shared and spread the word. The original print is now SOLD OUT – with ALL proceeds going to people on the ground in Nepal.

The terrible news that another quake has hit Nepal is another reason to continue to collect and give generously.

Remaining designs – PURCHASE HERE.

50% of proceeds from the remaining posters in my shop will also be added to the total.

The very kind people at will also be donating £2 from every single and combo pack sale made during the month of May – They make super cool, secure, stretchable phone protection.

Phone Hug example.

So please, please, please get buying the prints or the Phone Hug; do something charitable AND get a useful product of piece of Art to hang.

Shares etc appreciated…

Help Nepal


Due to the devastation in Nepal I am selling my remaining ‘3 Whys Men’ prints at a reduced £10 – with ALL profits going to charity.

I made the original image whilst in Kathmandu, and I can say that the Nepali people are the most welcoming, friendly and generous people I have ever met, even though they are some of the poorest.

Instead of just donating a tenner, add the postage costs and get an original signed limited edition print by me.

Larger donations are of course welcome. Please share.

Purchase here.

One love,
Oliver Lancaster

Love Has No Labels

It’s time to evolve, to truly become civilized – beautifully shown in this simple but effective ad from Ad Council.

While the vast majority of Americans consider themselves unprejudiced, many of us unintentionally make snap judgments about people based on what we see—whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability. This may be a significant reason many people in the U.S. report they feel discriminated against. Subconscious prejudice—called “implicit bias”—has profound implications for how we view and interact with others who are different from us. It can hinder a person’s ability to find a job, secure a loan, rent an apartment, or get a fair trial, perpetuating disparities in American society. The Love Has No Labels campaign challenges us to open our eyes to our bias and prejudice and work to stop it in ourselves, our friends, our families, and our colleagues.

Find out more at Love Has No Labels.