Saturday, 2 October 2021

Found Objects: Which Magazine. Anorak or Parka

Found Objects: Which Magazine. Anorak or Parka: From September 1976 Winter fuel bill worries Pension worries Out of Work Unemployment Or Anorak and Parka?  ...

Test Transmission Archive Reel 46

 

Dark old October is here, and the end of the year is edging closer. So to keep you going as the evenings draw in, here is a selection of tunes that will hopefully keep you all snug over the coming months. So this time round we have Axxess, Simon Heartfield, Carole Ward, The Equals, Man or Astroman, Anika, Morecambe and Wise, Sleaford Mods, Faust, Simple Minds, Andy Roberts, Cult of Wedge, Pulselovers, Be Bop Deluxe, ToiToiToi and loads more. There will be a themed Test Transmission Archive Reel at the end of the year, but until then goodbye for now.

Sunday, 15 August 2021

Alice's Wunderland

 

"Good eventide, earbandits. You are invited on a journey of shelf discovery, as you take a trip to Wunderland - the Poundland of magical realms. It’s a kingdom much like our own, yet also nothing like it in the slightest" Alice's Wunderland is a Comedy sketch show written and performed by Alice Lowe, narrated by Marcia Warren
I 1st became aware of this funny and magical series via Bob Fischer's Haunted Generation.
Bob interviewed Alice Lowe and in the interview Bob asked Alice about his favorite episode of Wunderland. "Can I ask about your radio show, Alice’s Wunderland? There’s one episode in particular that I love, and it ties in with lots of things that we’ve talked about. It’s the episode with the ghost of a child who has died in 1977. And everything is in there: there are Public Information Films, creepy school assembly songs, pantomime dames… was that episode a nice way of chucking all of your favourite scary 1970s things in there?" (Bob Fischer Haunted Generation)
The whole series is really wonderful and a joy, but this episode (Series 3 episode 2) really is spot on with its 70s public information references, Panto Dames as Police Men, creepy things. A Child Ghost who died in the 70s after being killed by a speeding icecream van and also getting his PE bag tangled in a drunken moped belonging to a stranger who handed him a hot sparkler which he touched without gloves, then in hospital threw a frizzbee to his friend which went into the pathway of oncoming cows. Then he got squeshed. Trapped in time with the same haircut the Child Ghost enlists Alice to help him solve his murder. Lots of fantastic nods to many other series "Oh for a kind lady with a Scandinavian  accent and forensic pullover".  Very funny and superbly written.
All episodes available on the iPlayer
Interview with Alice Lowe (Velvet Onion 2012)



Thursday, 22 July 2021

Test Transmission Archive Reel 45

 

Welcome to Test Transmission Archive Reel 45. The temperature is on the rise outside and getting very hot. So to keep you entertained here are some weird wonderful and footapping tunes to keep you all going throughout the long old summer.
Audio wonders from Billy Nomates, Television, Terry Thomas, ELO, Eccentronic Research Council, Drew Mullholland, Cyril Ornadel, The Inmates, Hattie Cooke, Altered Images, Maximilian, Concretism, Bellprover, Babe Ruth, Sandy Nelson, Beautify Junkyards & Belbury Poly a hint of Gregory's Girl and even Charlie and Lola.
As usual have no idea when the next one will be, so until then…all keep safe and look after yourself’s.

Saturday, 3 July 2021

Quatermass and the Pit (Ending)

 I have for a very long time been quite fascinated by the bleak and very minimal ending of the Film version of  Nigle Kneale's Quatermass and the Pit (5 Million Years to Earth, US Title) I remember the 1st time I watched this film. It was Christmas sometime in the 1970s. My Dad said I could stay up and watch it with him. When the film finally finished, the ending intrigued me. A while back I mentioned this ending to a friend, he knew instantly what I was talking about and felt the same. I have watched the film many many times and probably have just watched the ending even more. The last sentence spoken in the film with 4:51sec to go is “You’ll have to go round and stop her” a few words said after that but no sentance, no great speech at the end or smiles of relief  that its all over, no warnings for the human race to beware in case it all happens again. Its just this. London has been saved, Andrew Keir (Quatermass) turns the corner and see's Barbara Shelley (Barbara Judd) sitting head hung low, they barely acknowledge each other...if at all. Quatermass stands while Barbara Judd sits. Both look worn out, lost speechless, and completely done in. There is no dialogue. Sirens and a dog barking in the distance the music creeps in and the credits roll, while the end footage of the two of them standing and sitting is looped. This continues until the credits are complete. This ending is very different from the original 1958 BBC version which finishes with the warning "If we cannot control the inheritance within us, this will be their [the Martians'] second dead planet." 
Film ending Credits sequence

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

CiS Whitby Nov 2021 Levitation

 Despite running a Record Label and having a day job, the mighty Colin Morrison (the man behind Castles in Space Record Label) has now organised a live event in Whitby on the 5th and 6th of November 2021 at Flowergate Hall Whitby. I am really always baffled and impressed by how Colin manages to fit all this in.  Playing live on the two nights are a number of CiS artist: The New Obsolescents, Dohnavur, Simon James, Warrington Runcorn New Town Development Plan, Polypores, Fieldlines Cartographer, Concretism and Richard Norris. A few years back I visited the Deleware Road event and had a lovely time, bimbling around meeting so many wonderful people. I was rather hoping to pop up for the two days and do the same, but unfortunatly being this far South, getting there and booking a room is looking very problematic. Its really is going to be a cracking event. Tickets and info

Friday, 7 May 2021

Broken Folk 10inch EP available now on Bandcamp

I am pleased to say that there is now a limited number of copies of the Seatman & Powell (featuring Belbury Poly) Broken Folk 10inch EP, available from Bandcamp. Previously only available from Ghostbox Records, Belbury Music Shop. A five track EP of collaborations with folk singer Douglas E. Powell /Bellprover selected from my albums, A Rest Before the Walk and all hold hands and off we go. It opens with a remix of the title track Broken Folk by Ghost Box veterans, Belbury Poly.
Melancholic and subtly psychedelic, these songs are redolent of supernatural short stories and winter afternoons out on English landscapes. In these dark rustic reveries, Seatman builds a dense collage of electronics, fragmented melody and found sound, around which Powell weaves his dreamlike lyrics. The 10” is pressed on translucent green vinyl with sleeve art by Belbury Poly's Jim Jupp. It’s released on Seatman’s own label KS Audio and is produced in association with Belbury Music. 
Broken Folk* (Belbury Poly Mix)
Boxes with Rhythms In
Broken Folk
Mr Metronome
My Morning Ritual

All instruments
Keith Seatman (& Jim Jupp on * ). Vocals Douglas E Powell
Produced by Keith Seatman & Jack Packer.
Except * produced by Jim Jupp
Written by Seatman & Powell.
Except * by Seatman, Powell & Jupp
Mastered by Jim Jupp
Cover design by Jim Jupp
(P) & (C) K S Audio 2018
Belbury Music

Broken Folk 10inch EP available now on Bandcamp

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Beautify Junkyards & Belbury Poly 30th April


Released on 30th April on all digital channels and on heavyweight vinyl 7” with beautiful gatefold sleeve artwork is by Ghost Box Records in house designer, Julian House. The A side is a cover of The Incredible String Band’s Painting Box, originally written by Mike Heron. It’s a collaboration between Beautify Junkyards and Belbury Poly and produced by Jim Jupp. The flipside is an original by Beautify Junkyards, Ritual in Transfigured Time, produced by João Branco Kyron. Both have a delightfully disorientating sound. The artists complement each other perfectly with their through-the-looking-glass electronic psychedelia. Release Date 30th April 2021

Saturday, 17 April 2021

New Album Update CiS093 (Feb 2022)

Due to many unforseen circumstances which really cannot be helped. The release of my new Album Sad Old Tatty Bunting (CiS093) has had to be put back to Feb 2022. The Artwork (Nick Taylor) has been completed and the album mastered (RedRedPaw) but at present the turnaround times at pressing plants are very very long with lots of extra complications which I will not go into here.
Have agreed with the mighty (and very hard working, I do not know how he does it) Colin Morrison at CiS that a Feb release would be best option at present. I have a been asked to contribute to a few other projects so there will be a couple of new tunes surfacing before then + some Video teasers, by Jez Stevens (who made the Avoid Large Places Video for Time to Dream Album)

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Test Transmission Archive Reel 44.

Welcome to Test Transmission Archive Reel 44. All the music here, was released between 1970 and 1976. The reason for this is a bit long winded but I will explain. There was always a lot of music in the house I grew up in. My older sister in her room, Mum and Dad playing records downstairs and then my room and my little mono record player which by 1975 had been retired and replaced by my 1st stereo. Then there was the radio, Radio One Two and Luxembourg were the stations that were always on. Late Sunday afternoon/eve we would all gather and listen to the Top 20 countdown and of course Thursday was Top of the Pops and then there was The Old Grey Whistle Test. In 1970/72 my very young record collection consisted of anything I had been given, A Peter and the Wolf LP, Scooby Doo and the Snowman Mystery various very scratched Beatles singles The Monster Mash, Dave and Ansell Collins Double Barrel and Top of the Pops, Hot Hits LPs. But I started to notice different and strange music coming from my sisters room. In the space of a year it had changed from David Cassidy to David Bowie. The very 1st single I ever bought with my own pocket money was Sparks, This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us. Purchased at Weston Heart. My sister’s records and tastes in music were moving and changing fast. John Peel’s Top Gear was on Saturday afternoon plus Sounds of the seventies which was mostly album tracks. I was lucky as my sister worked part time in an independent record shop (Just called record shops back then) and would come home with records, some with very odd looking covers and sometimes these were passed onto me. I had no idea who some of the bands were, but I excepted these odd and fine donations anyway. Another interesting thing passed onto me were the Record Label Catalogues /brochures. I had a pile of these and again I would flick through and wonder who a lot of these bands and musicians were. In school holidays and weekends myself and friend would loiter in the record shop randomly picking out albums and getting my sister to play them. As the 70s creaked on the Music Magazine Zig Zag appeared in the house to accompany the Melody Maker, Record Mirror, Sounds and New Musical Express (NME) There is no real order to the tracks in this mix, all just randomly thrown together as my brain half remembered sounds, extracts comments and moments that were corrected and/or confirmed by my Sister. That said the last 3 tracks had to be at the end. Signalling that something new was yet again being listened to in the house and drifting along the passage into my room.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Clarks Wayfinder Moonshot Shoes

 Did I have a pair of Clarks Wayfinder Moonshot shoes????? I sure did and at the time I was well chuffed. The shoes were part of Clarks Wayfinder range (I had style 38) The original Wayfinder Range had animal tracks on the soles...but Moonshots had silver soles with moon craters (very practical) and a magnet in the heel??? The Magnet was a spare one in case you lost the one you would use to move the space capsule around on your Shoebox Moonscape Panorama (with added action space transfers). After a few short walks to school the silver soles were fairly scuffed and after a bit longer the Lunascape on the soles looked pretty knackered.  I remember being informed very sternly by my Mum that they were very expensive, and twice the price of the standard shoes I would normally get for the school year.
The following year no Moonshot Shoes


Not my Wayfinders.
Just the standard good value, should see me through the school year shoes.

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Children's Poetry, Spoken Word, Nursery Rhymes & Folk Tales LPs

Over the years I have acquired.....and lost a number of LPs that have contained some very interesting Children's Poetry, Spoken Word, Nursery Rhymes/Folk Tales and general strangeness. Here is a selection of some of my favs.Voices was on the Argo label and was part of a series of 6 volumes of sound music and speech, released in association with Penguin Education. I found one of my copies lurking about in a shop in Lynton. The Searching Years on Abbey was another interesting car boot find. The album consists of Childrens Poetry, Spoken Word, Orchestral and Organ pieces. All intros on The Searching Years are by Robert Gittings
Music for Children by Carl Orff was originally released in 1958 and re-released by Trunk Records. The copy I have is a 1958 version, which I found in the back of a box in a charity shop.
 

Saturday, 13 March 2021

Two New Tunes:

Sleepy Time Rest and Tricks and Facts and Finding are unmastered new tunes. Recorded Jan and Feb 2021.
Both these tracks are not on the new the album Sad Old Tatty Bunting (later 2021 on Castles in Space) When I completed both Tracks I decided they should go onto Soundcloud. Might work and tinker more on them at a later date...might not.

Saturday, 27 February 2021

The Wonderful World of Quentin Smirhes

 I first became aware of Quentin's surreal and wonderful work via Jim Jupp at Ghostbox Records. Jim sent me a link to two of Quentin's Youtube Videos (Bird Box Orchestra and Picture Box extended ending) I became quite obsessed with watching these (last time I got like this was when I kept watching Salad Fingers)  I should point out that Quentin is the creation of writer, film-maker and performer Sean Reynard. Tap his name into Google and you get this wonderful description. Quentin Smirhes, created by writer and film maker Sean Reynard is the febrile re-imagining of children's school TV from the seventies cupboard. It's like 'Vision On' directed by Jan Svankmajer. Bob Fischer had a very in depth and lovely interview with Sean Reynard for his excellent Haunted Generation site.
For all Quentin's wonderful videos go here 
You can purchase Quentin some Luncheon Meat here.

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Test Transmission Archive Reel 43

 

Its Feb so time for the 1st Test Transmission Archive Reel of 2021. This time round we have music from Mount Vernon Arts Lab, Sandra Kerr & John Faulkner, The Beutify Junkyards, Field Lines Cartographer, Wolfen, Brian Prothero, Wings, The Damned, Twelve Hour Foundation, Simon Heartfield, A Certain Ratio, The Precisions and Something from The Why Don't You. Loads of other Oddities and such lurking about in there as well. So sit back put your feet up (or maybe not...you just might want to have a dance) Until next time. Keep safe and please look after yourself.

Friday, 15 January 2021

Fantom Book Titles

Very interested to find out recently from the rather wonderful A Year in the Country that Fantom Publishing had been very busy reissuing some novelisations of ’70s children’s television dramas.
These are The Children of the Stones, King of the Castle, Sky, Raven and Moon Stallion. They also have the follow up to Children of the Stones, Return to the Stones (1st published Nov 2012) set 25 years after the events at Milbury, Matt returns to visit his Father who now lives in the Manor House...and all is not well.