Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Acid House expose

Cutting edge journalism from the good old days when a load of munted teenagers were the biggest threat to Britain's wellbeing. This vintage clip is from 'A Trip Round Acid House', a Thames TV episode of World In Action from 1988 and was from one of the few weeks when the show wasn't doing the IRA, the Birmingham Pub Bombings or the BNP. Top performances from the back-combed rave girls; "It's different when you walk in… it isn't straight."

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

The suburbs are out of control: Part II

After the previous post on racist pub decor, more horror from the suburbs. Farmers feeding cows their own balls has finally had the predictable outcome, and even the deer of Bushy Park are no longer safe. Nice early Eighties vibe to this sign, though.

Pub decor, suburban style…

Just back from a short holiday, and was pleased to note on my travels that there is a corner of a high street in Surrey where comedy models of 'laughing minstrel guitarists' are still considered suitable pub decor. Jesus christ - the suburbs are just out of control.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Hardcore British folk

Following on from the earlier post about John Martyn, I've been exploring more from the golden age of psychedelic British folk. Best so far has been this beautiful performance of A Heart Needs A Home, by Richard & Linda Thompson on The Old Grey Whistle Test in '75. This version is better than either of the two cuts of it that are on the remastered Hokey Pokey album, mainly as Linda's voice sounds a bit freer on this recording. A beautiful song, made all the more poignant by the fact that, from what I understand, they split a few years later after an American tour which must have been an absolute barrel of laughs for all concerned…

I particularly like the way that even though they're indoors, Richard's all muffled up against the cold. Were the electric workers on strike again that month or something?

Monday, 3 September 2007

Golden age of avant-rock comes to Camden

Saw Sonic Youth on Friday night at The Roundhouse, playing Daydream Nation in its entirety as part of the Don't Look Back series of shows. Pretty great stuff,and a reminder of when indie was all about experimentation, noise, the avant garde and rejecting the mainstream.

Dropped into the Hawley Arms afterwards to be swiftly reminded that indie's now almost entirely about shittily-dressed sub-Alex Zane types, dismal guitar pop and Top Shop women on the hunt for famous people.

My article about the gig, and the general idea of putting alt legends on the nostalgia circuit is in today's Guardian

Declaring war on ugly marketing

This Thursday night Neil Boorman will be appearing at the ICA to talk about the ethics of advertising, alongside documentary genius Adam Curtis (The Trap, The Power of Nightmares etc) and some guy from the Mother creative agency. It's all in aid of Boorman's new book Bonfire of The Brands, which sees him burn a load of designer goods, and then live without them.

Believe me, this was no mean feat for him; I've known Neil a long time, and he was mad as a devil for anything with a label. Peace to the Westwood perforated leather jacket and Nikes with all flames up the side, a'ight?