THE OVERGROUND/UNDERLAND CONVERSATION. WALKING IN ONE DAY AROUND LONDON’S RAILWAY NECKLACE.

“While we were plodding, not yet foot-foundered, through Andrew Kötting’s familiar Surrey Quays territory, I told him how much I enjoyed his fragmented contribution to the anthology, “London, City of Disappearances”. All those clashing memory raids and riffs. He has a profound and undeceived sentimental attachment to streets, shops (selling hard hat, big boot, work-fetish kit), Italian cafés, Millwall chants, foot-bridges,  condemned tower blocks, heartstruck courtships, scrap yards, labouring years, gyms, mislaid friends, messenger boy dock-delivery anecdotes, drunk-drowned comedians, cabbies, skinny trees, slack rivers, gay junkshops thick with incense. Re-reading his fat hardcover ‘Deadad’ book, I found it as ripe as his films: a chaotic (but canny) collaboration of peers and siblings and then some potent autobiography, real writing. And so, as we munched our super-spiced slabs – ‘More mustard, more gherkins, more everything,’ he cries – I proposed a viewing of something from the notebooks he filled with such diligent neurosis. Then, moving down the line, and climbing over Peckham Rye, the Kötting memories turned to more explicit favours in remembered rooms, art school knockabout. And I forgot all about my request. Andrew didn’t, despite the wonky knee, the difficulty of hauling himself out of a pub in Kentish Town, for the last crawl, now on all-fours, to Pentonville and Islington and Hackney. Here is what he sent.”

Iain Sinclair

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