So 40 years ago tonight I saw Adam and the Ants for the first time. Corsham Art College. Sue was there though she had already seen them in Bristol where they almost got bottled off. We got right at the front as would be our norm. After the gig I spoke with Adam. I remember it well and after the gig the Frome punk gang I was with went to the Hexagon Suite where we got asked by the bouncers to hang about as there was a coachload of lads from Knowle West who were intent on a fight and they wanted some numbers. So we had a brief scrap in the carpark. I was still only 17. Pic by Ray Stevenson. Songs that stood out were Plastic Surgery,, Lou and It doesn't matter (a 12 bar!)
Recorded in Midsomer Norton (Sounds Involved) in December 2017. Vocals - Susan Wells and Celia-Jade Mitchard. Bass Dave Mackay drums Andy Payne and guitar/harp Ralph Mitchard. Written in 1933 by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed
Photos by Joe Simons.
Days of Hope is a BBC television drama
serial produced in 1975. The series dealt with the lives of a
working-class family from the turmoils of the First World War in 1916 to
the General Strike in 1926. It was written by Jim Allen, produced by Tony Garnett and directed by Ken Loach.
Days of Hope (BBC, 1975) was Ken Loach's first historical piece and, although tracing events fifty or more years previous, it was strongly informed by the contemporary situation of the 1970s. Parallels can be drawn between the political and industrial struggles of the 1910s and '20s and the 1970s, particularly in the treatment of the 1926 General Strike and the industrial unrest. "Episode One: 1916" introduces viewers to the four main family protagonists. Pacifist Christian socialist Philip Hargreaves (Nikolas Simmonds) has married into a Yorkshire farming family. While his wife Sarah (Pam Brighton) supports him, other members of the Matthews family are either hostile or apathetic. Despite being warned about the realities of war by a soldier on leave, Ben Matthews (Paul Copley) enlists while Philip is arrested as a conscientious objector and condemned to death on the front-line after other coercive measures (mentioned above) fail. Only a last minute reprieve saves him from execution. The episode concludes with Ben in Ireland witnessing national resilience against the British invaders.
Episode Two: 1921" begins with Ben's desertion from the Army. He joins the Durham Miners in their resistance against oppressive measures introduced by a Government fearing another Bolshevik Revolution. He befriends striking miner Joel Barrett (Gary Roberts) and experiences the lying promises of a mine owner. One scene where the gentlemanly owner offers some miners refreshments is ironically modelled on 1960s Labour Prime-Minister Harold Wilsons "beer and sandwiches" invitations to trade unionists at Number 10, Downing Street. The episode concludes with the betrayal of an agreement and the arrest of Ben and other miners at dawn.
"Episode Three: 1924" begins with Ben's imminent release from prison. He
has now become radicalised and joins the Communist Party along with
Joel. Ben stays at the London home of Philip who is now a Labour M.P.
During this episode the Durham miners meet a Soviet delegation at the
House of Commons and express reservations over the change from "war
communism" to the New Economic Policy. The episode concludes with
Philip's interview with Labour Minister Josiah Wedgewood (John Philips)
concerning charges that Lloyd George's strikebreaking plans were
secretly passed on to the Labour Party now in power. Although Wedgewood
dismisses the charge, a concluding caption shows that this information
was indeed true. The plans were used by Stanley Baldwin's Conservative
Government to break the 1926 General Strike.
The final episode, "General Strike", is the longest (135 minutes) of the
series. It presents a damning indictment of the betrayal of the miners
by treacherous trade union leaders at a time when the Strike could have
brought down the Government and led to a radical change in British
society following a Trotskyite rather than Stalinist model. Scrupulously
researched and historically accurate, despite contemporary charges of
bias, Allen and Loach's series used discursive models of political
discussion adopted later in Land of Freedom to avoid the dangerously
monological approach of most political dramas such as the pro-Israel US
mini-series Holocaust and War and Remembrance. It also illustrates the
political and personal tensions within the Hargreaves and Matthews
families. While Ben and Sarah condemn the Labour Party and trade union
leadership's betrayal of the working-class, Philip pompously follows a
right-wing revisionist line. This line would later characterise future
Labour politicians who left their Party to found the Social Democrats in
the 1980s, to say nothing of Thatcher's real heir, Tony Blair. This
episode also reveals that the BBC under John Reith (the founding
director general) was also a tool of government.