Tracey Emin and the Margate Birds


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The Independent Culture

Tracey Emin has long shown a sometimes bittersweet love for her home town of Margate. A keen supporter of the resort's recently opened Turner Contemporary gallery, she is now hooking up with a different group of local artists: the surf-pop gang Two Wounded Birds.

The twanging foursome broke out of Margate last year when they supported their Moshi Moshi labelmates The Drums on tour and cemented their reputation with some well-received, punchy singles. Emin was so taken with them she asked them to get involved with her exhibition in May.

"She said she really liked the video to 'All We Wanna Do'. It's nice, we both want to do something for the area", says frontman Johnny Danger. "I really commend her for not bothering about what people think. She works hard and is quite radical." Danger, who went to the same school as Emin, believes the gallery has had a positive impact on Margate.

"It's nice to have something that helps people appreciate creativity. Margate used to be a bit of a ghost town and now these small businesses have arrived, starting to build a community. We've always stood out here, but now there are people starting to appear from under the floorboards – galleries opening and impromptu acoustic things."

It's not just Emin who is a fan of Two Wounded Birds. The legendary label boss Seymour Stein came to Brighton to see the group, declaring them "the best band since The Ramones". Moreover, on a trip to California, Brian Wilson told Danger he had "a great sense of melody". After Turner Contemporary's successful launch, it looks like Emin is backing another winner.

Two Wounded Birds, Turner Contemporary, Margate ( 16 December