Monday, December 31, 2007

The Spotnicks 'Rocket Man theme' 1962

You may laugh at their space suits but this Swedish band is still going and have sold over 18 million albums. Official site

Mance Lipscomb 'Sugar babe it's all over now'

Texas songster - from the era when 'whupping your woman' was being sung about - absolutely brilliant vocalist and guitarplayer even with a finger bandaged as here, he still manages perfect picking. Watch him play pocketknife slide on the old Blind Lemon song Jack O' Diamonds Hard Card to Play

happy new year

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Magic Sam

1960s era blues suffers a bit from a bad image - mostly thanks to idiots like Clapton so I try to convince you otherwise and what better person to convince you than the late great Magic Sam, part of the late 50s early 60s 'new wave' of West Side Chicago players who took the brassy soul sound and played it on guitar creating something wholly amazing. Magic Sam never got the credit he deserved as his label Cobra couldn't compete for airplay with Chess and the boss Eli Toscano was to go under in a gangland murder. Watch these two songs - please play it to the end as he lets rip with his version of Junior Parker's Feelin' Good and he cooks up a storm - close ups of his fingers will give you the shivers. Using no picks Magic Sam was a cracking guitarist and seering vocalist - so sad that he died of a heart attack when he was so young. Check out the Cobra Records Story cd for more of this and the other great artists who for a while challenged the big boys. I Can't Quit You Baby Otis Rush

Bad Detectives live at the Griffin

If you're in the Frome area then tonight why not pop on down to see local heroes the Bad Detectives and the Stiffs play the Griffin Inn at Milk Street. The BDs have had a great year with serious airplay for their album 'B-Movie Beat' and lots of exposure locally including their own show on Frome FM.

Punk's dodgy debut albums

While listening to the Cortinas' debut and only album 'True Romances' I had a thought - how many otherwise decent punk bands brought out totally pathetic debut albums? Quite a few when you think about it. I know - I was there - I remember the phenomena so well - great band - great live act but once they got a deal to do an album went totally rubbish bringing out some sanitised version of what their basic career had been up to at that point. I will now produce my list of over produced and disappointing debuts and see what you think. 1. Slits 'Cut' 2. Siouxsie and the Banshees 'The Scream'. 3. Joy Division 'Unknown Pleasures' 4. Ants 'Dirk Wears White Sox' 5. Only Ones 6. Subway Sect 'What's the Matter Boy' 7. Cortinas 'True Romances'
8 X-Ray Spex - that's what I come up with off the top of my head - I am sure you can think of some too - you might disagree with some of my entries but all of these bands if you took Peel sessions and live tracks to make their debut would have made a more honest record of what they were about to get an album deal in the first place. I suppose part of the reason was time - by the time these bands had got into the studio for the big one they had stopped being the thing that we all knew and loved. Or something.

Friday, December 28, 2007

'If....' (1968)

One movie I got this Christmas was this classic from Lindsay Anderson - set in a boys public school - it was filmed at Cheltenham College thanks to a bogus script cooked up by Anderson to deceive the Head. My schooldays were pretty similar in certain aspects - got caned a few times and I think looking back probably thought of myself of a Mick Travis character while I was actually at school though I was probably a much more horrid type in reality. The Malcolm Mcdowell site has some great insights into this great British black comedy and its follow up movies 'O Lucky Man' and 'Britannia Hospital' all of which form a trilogy which is in my mind a work of genius.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Abel Gance's Napoleon

History fans are in for a treat. Pump this badboy up to full screen. It's the tryptich (three screens) sequence of Napoleon addressing the army of Italy in Abel Gance's 1927 epic masterpiece. I saw this with orchestra on the 3 screens once - phenomenal - it really captures the ragtag look of the French revolutionary army so well it's like watching history. Dieudonne who plays Napster is masterful too...playing Napoleon slightly deranged this actor and he became obsessed with him.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Johnny Moped live in the back garden 1974

Merry Christmas to all you readers of my blog - thanks for dropping in - enjoy this slice of punk history as my gift to you... Johnny Moped live in the Back Garden 1974

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Son House 'Death Letter Blues'

Stomp your feet to the great Son House - I bet you'll like it - very accessible rhythms - great everything - it's about time someone made a movie about Son House - he spent time in Parchman farm for shooting a man - had the whole religion thing going on - field recordings - fading into obscurity - rediscovered in the 60s - fame and success. Wiki on Son House

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Johnny Moped 'Incendiary Device'

Clip from 2007 with the legendary Johnny Moped giving it some. JM have been the subject of a reissue compilation entitled 'Basically... the Best of Johnny Moped' that brings together the Chiswick studio recordings including the should-have-been-a-hit of 'Darling Let's Have another Baby' and some of their anthems of madness - quite a unique act. Legends follow Johnny Moped most of them apparently true. It makes a pleasant change to listen to stuff as full of fun as this - if you are a fan of the Damned and the more light-hearted pubby side of punk then you need this album. Interview and Biog here Johnny Moped Myspace

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Eddie Cochran 'Money honey'

Probably my favourite white rock and roller Eddie here does a great cover of Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters' 'Money Honey'. Great song - great performance.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

HaT 1/72 French infantry (1914)

These look promising.

World War One Cannon blog

This is an excellent blog based on surviving examples of 14-18 artillery pieces still out there in the world at large. It's well worth going through the pages seeing some of these monsters in their final resting places - some well cared for some hideously neglected. Also see the Lovett collection for some restored beauties.

Joyeux Noel

Trailer for a film set at Christmas 1914. I haven't seen it but it got good reviews and it would be a surprise if it wasn't good from this trailer. See what you think.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Front Rank 40mm American Revolution figures

Cycling and the Great War

As someone interested in cycling AND the Great War I am very interested to see someone actually putting the two together. Check out the article on how they did it on the The Army Cyclist Corps and The Khaki Chums.

Joy Division 'Shadowplay'

Here's the real thing from 1978 on Granada television. When we saw them I was quite shocked to see the bass player had a beard! It sounds to me like he's singing 'To the centre of the city where there's roast beef waiting for you' in the opening line - see what you think. Lyrics here

Some jokes in Control

After some consideration there were quite a few jokes in Control - I just forgot them - there's one where someone says 'where's my 20 quid?' and is answered 'In my f**k off pocket' which we thought hilarious and one where they say 'cheer up - at least you're not the lead singer in the Fall' which was a ribtickler. Here's a clip from the film set in the studio showing how they got the swishing sound in She's Lost Control. (French subtitled version).

carol singers

Last night some carol singers called and as we knew in advance they were coming quickly filmed them and uploaded it onto youtube. Why? Not sure but I bet in 50 years time someone will care. If you want to feel all festive give it a spin - can't see much but the sound quality is good.


I'm thinking about trying my hand at sculpting figures again - not sure what scale yet - probably 42 or 54 mm - I'm thinking 1914 at the moment - maybe using dollies this time - noticed Irregular Miniatures do naked figures (in the scenics/accesories sections) which would make life easier simply having to just sculpt the specifics.
HaT Masters for 1914
Anyway these masters and schematics of 1/72 1914 German troops from Hat are pretty interesting to me - backpacks large enough - things look good. Doubt my sculpts will be as good. 1914 Jagers here.

Friedland 2007

I haven't posted anything about the Napoleonic wars for a while so here's some footage from this summer's reenactment of the battle of Freidland (June 14 1807). Fought between the French and the Russians this clip is pretty good - worth watching if you have an interest in the subject.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Energy Drinks

I am old school enough to be a bit suspicious of these energy drinks - they're banned in many countries. The French Scientific Committee concluded that Red Bull has excessive amounts of caffeine. They also can contain taurine - why is it called that? It was first found in Ox bile, that's why. Ugh. French ban on Red Bull upheld by European courts.

Hanged Men Dance

On a totally different note this band from the southeast of the US are well worth checking out. Their own description primitive beats, out of tune guitars, spacey slide, catatonic urghs, arghs & La La LAs, out of tune and in (((STEREO)) sums them up pretty well. I love it - reckon they'd do really well if they get to gig over here. Kind of bluesy in a good way. Recommended.

No Jokes in Ian Curtis Biopic

I watched the Ian Curtis biopic 'Control' last night. Thought maybe the story of a working class youth afflicted with epilepsy killing himself wracked with guilt might make me feel a bit festive but it didn't work. Just joking. Still it is a great film well done but well short on laughs - a few references to flatulence was about all you got for humour in this monochrome and gritty slice of cinema - in a way reminding me a little of the kitchen sink dramas of the 1960s but then I suppose it wasn't that long after that era that it was set. Period detail was good though I can't imagine a scenario where the Velvet Underground would be coming out of a pub jukebox at that time, but I suppose they didn't want to ruin the soundtrack. Shame they didn't use the song At A Later Date in the Electric circus bit as its lyrics are pretty interesting in a way
Only thing I'm thinking of is why are we all here ? There must be more to do at nights than drinking rotten beer. The world's a very shady place, and you can't trust a soul. "grin and bear it" seemed the thing, when it just gets a hold.
In a way an unmissable film if you are interested in the music of the era but don't expect to feel at all fuzzy after watching it. Did I tell you we were at Joy Division's first ever London gig? There wasn't many there as depicted in the film - it was just after Christmas - according to a website only 30 people paid the 60p admission price but we certainly did. I wish we'd spoken to them now but being Mancunians we probably felt that they were from a different planet. Incidentally if you want to get the Ian Curtis trenchcoat look as featured in the film it's a US army ag-274 raincoat - they're still quite cheap on ebay.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Civil war bubblegum cards

Do you remember these? I still have a few knocking around the house - you used to get them with real confederate money - I must have been about 4 or 5 years old - some of them are particularly grisly... excellent fan site here - there was also 1 a world war 2 set that was heavy on the scenes of torture.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

'Somerset Railways' by Colin Maggs

This new book looks worth getting if you are looking for a gift for the steam enthusiast. Review here

Death of Ike Turner

One of the all-time greats Ike Turner died today. Shame he will always be remembered for the dark days rather than his massive musical achievements.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Marche pour la cérémonie des Turcs (J.B. Lully)

The other day I was so shocked to see they made a movie about Lully - court composer to Louis XIV I failed to really convey my enthusiasm for the music of Louis XIV's court so I thought I'd go back to this clip from Tous Les Matins Du Monde with the great Depardieu and let the music speak for itself. A fascinating man Lully the son of a miller and a libertine who made some great works of music though long in the shadows - he seems to be getting something of a revival - about time. Go Lully. Shame he had to die from spiking himself in the toe and getting gangrene - (see clip below from le Roi Danser). Watch it also being played here

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Spanish Civil War RTS!

Getting some controversy this is - for a game...
Sombras de Guerra - Shadows of War. This looks really interesting - an rts game based on this pivotal conflict in the 30s. Can't find much in English but the various sides and their technology trees and troop types are in the section marked Bandos. Looks well researched and interesting. Shall be able to review it soon. Maybe controversial but I like the idea - why is WW2 acceptable and SCW not?

Monday, December 10, 2007

(Look Out) Here Comes Tomorrow The Monkees

The Seven Years War dioramas of Rüdiger Fischer

These are amazing - really bringing the period to life. Works of art.

'The Young Franc-Tireurs' G A Henty

And Their Adventures in the Franco-Prussian War. (1872)
This is one of Henty’s first books and is based on his experiences covering the Franco-Prussian War as a correspondent and from interviews he conducted with French veterans. G A Henty wiki
By the way Franc-tireurs are 'free-shooters, French volunteers, chiefly peasants, who carried on a guerilla warfare against the Germans in the Franco-German War; were at first denied the status of regular soldiers by the Germans and mercilessly shot when captured, but subsequently, having joined in the movements of the regular army, they were when captured treated as prisoners of war'. Nuttal (1907) Picture by Knotel here
Thinking about it this would be a good fun project for a bunch of French people living in the region - recreating Franc-tireurs...anyone out there do it? Images of Franc-tireurs here
Photos of Franc-tireurs here

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The pickelhaube is back!

For German football fans at least it is - buy them here.
Read about the historical originals here

Vehicles by Aroutcheff

These are really charming - vehicles from BDs by Aroutcheff.

The Fnords '21st Century Malaise'

This Scottish three piece mixing garage rock and roll and punk rock are excellent. Give them a spin - I think you'll agree... another one here 'Non Verbal Adjective Agreement'. Rock and roll at its best.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

La Débâcle (the Downfall)

Novel by Zola set in the Franco-Prussian war. Project Gutenberg English language version here. My Christmas reading sorted. Wiki on it here. It starts thus:
In the middle of the broad, fertile plain that stretches away in the direction of the Rhine, a mile and a quarter from Mulhausen, the camp was pitched. In the fitful light of the overcast August day, beneath the lowering sky that was filled with heavy drifting clouds, the long lines of squat white shelter-tents seemed to cower closer to the ground, and the muskets, stacked at regular intervals along the regimental fronts, made little spots of brightness, while over all the sentries with loaded pieces kept watch and ward, motionless as statues, straining their eyes to pierce the purplish mists that lay on the horizon and showed where the mighty river ran.

'We're All Going to Die' Malcolm Middleton

'Malcolm Middleton comes in to Radio 1 for a session with Colin Murray to promote his push for a Christmas number 1'. Great song. I support this wholeheartedly - not just because I am a miserable person but it's actually quite a Buddhist concept that - acceptance of this fact will ultimately liberate you. Malcolm Middleton Myspace

The War of 1870-1 in pictures

This is my favourite website at the moment. Every winter I get interested in some historical war or another - it's a bizarre form of escapism but I don't go reading loads of boring campaign histories any more instead I like absorbing images and this site has plenty. Postcards, chocolate box images, photos... it's all here - check it out if you like this sort of thing. This image of German Uhlans is from the section Menu des pages "curiosités, images et textes divers

Paris' new bike scheme

As fans of the bicycle (which we think of as the transport of the future rather than a relic of the past) we're pretty pleased to see Paris getting a success with its bike loan scheme. Let's see some British cities take this on.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Le Roi Danse (the King is dancing)

A film from 2000 set in the Court of Louis XIV about the relationship between the Sun King and the composer Lully. I used to always look out for Lully discs years ago and they never had them even in the classical music shops that Bath has a lot of - and now they have made a movie about him and it took me 7 years to hear about it. Suppose it shows how few friends I have. Anyway watch this clip - it's great - I'm going to get it - this is an era depicted also in Depardieus Tous Les Matins du Monde.

Reg Presley interview

Troggs frontman Reg Presley is interviewed on his music on this audio podcast. It's a brilliant interview as he talks humorously and intelligently about the music, coming from Andover and all manner of interesting anecdotes. Mentions the now fashionable DDBMT...
Here's them in their heyday.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Zouaves of the World Blog

Image 3ème Régiment de Zouaves
Global Zouave community. A great blog for Zouave fans like me. Lots of interesting links to all the groups who recreate these African-inspired elite infantry and all manner of articles about the worldwide phenomenon. Did you know a Zouave invented cigarettes? Apparently during the Crimean war a Zouave soldier broke his pipe and used cartridge paper instead creating a global craze - this is why you see a Zouave on Zigzag rolling papers. Anyway check out the links - there's some interesting groups out there - the 3eme Zouaves from Germany look the business - doing the brilliant idea of doing Civil War as well. This image is from the reenactment of Thionville from the Franco-Prussian war. Not featured but of interest to me is the new US based 2nd Zouaves recreating French troops of the period 1852-1918.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Taras Bulba

This Russian epic historical movie isn't out until next year but it looks interesting - based on the famous novel about Cossacks by Gogol. The 1962 Hollywood version starred Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis and was shot in Argentina. Let's hope this version is an improvement.

Turkish Gambit

If you like Russian historical films this clip from the 2005 movie Turkish Gambit might be up your street. Based on the novels by Boris Akunen which are published in English they tell the story of a 19th century spy. This scene depicts the storming of Plevna in the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-8. Review of the book here - Review of the film
The siege of Pleven wiki

Monday, December 03, 2007

Great War blog - a French perspective

If you have an interest in the French perspective of the Great War you must get over to this site - it's full of excellent illustrations by André Jouineau that are a breath of fresh air on the subject and its a fascinating look at the 14-18 war from a different angle. Don't be put off by the language - it's heavily illustrated.

Balaclava helmets

While on the subject of the Crimea take a look at this bad boy - a 1940s balaclava helmet - Susan found it on a friend's myspace and tracked down the pattern and is going to make me one as she is a good knitter. The earholes will be great for headphones - I will put up a picture when it's done.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Charge of the Light Brigade Documentary

Documentary on the Charge of the Light Brigade written and narrated by Terry Brighton for The Queen's Royal Lancers Regimental Museum. Excellently done it uses clips from one of my favourite films which is on tv this week. The Channel 4 documentary on the Crimean war is worth a look too - its here.

New Bob Dylan biopic 'I'm not there'

If you enjoyed Todd Haynes' Velvet Goldmine you might be intrigued by his latest project - Bob Dylan being played by 6 or so different actors including Cate Blanchette, Heath Ledger and Christian Bale. Quite a brave take on the biopic genre. Article here . The soundtrack also looks interesting with folks like Tom Verlaine and Yo La Tengo.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

'I'm Bad Like Jesse James' John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker in 1986 playing in his great menacing style a minimal groove that shows his style off well. Jesse James must have inspired more songs than any other western figure. Some good ones out there...any suggestions? Last fm Jesse James playlist

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

What a title? You're probably sick of hearing about this movie already but it is supposedly a critical success and I have to say I am a little curious to go to the flicks to see it as there's nothing quite as much fun as a western on the big screen however longwinded and boring it might be. Heaven's Gate was brilliant and that was pretty epic in length. Goes with the territory, getting saddle sore at the cinema watching cowboy films.
Wiki on Jesse James

Astrud Gilberto 'Girl from Ipanema'

More 60s easy listening this time the bossa-nova classic - sounding strangely melancholic in my opinion but nevertheless one of the great female vocals of all time.

Wide Boy Awake 'Chicken Outlaw'

A band from the early 80s led by ex Ant bassplayer Kevin Mooney and managed by Jordan if I remember right. I think he got kicked out of the Ants after mucking about during a Royal Variety Performance but I imagine the fact that he wasn't much of a bass player also had something to do with it. This style mixes electro-pop with cajun and was pretty much on the button at the time being a bit like Hayzee Fantayzee who were popular at the time. It wasn't a hit nor was Bonaventure, another single. Interview with Mooney

Friday, November 30, 2007

Pikes at Bila Hora

I'm quite a fan of the pike - the weapon that is, and I've often looked on youtube to see if anyone has posted some good pike fighting clips but all there is is the inauthentic wigwams done so often in the UK until this clip from the reenactment of the Battle of White Mountain turned up that is. Bila Hora was fought outside Prague in 1618 kicking off the 30 Years War. This segment was very pleasing to this old pikeman - at last seeing it done properly. Notice the crab-like gait of the unit in the background. Excellent. More clips here here and here.

Bad Detectives on Frome FM

Managed to catch the BDs on Frome FM last night - it's the last night tonight if you want to tune in - amusing stuff with plenty of good sounds...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

World War One RTS?

I've been wondering if there are any WW1 real time strategies out there - after all the Great War was the ultimate war of attrition and I imagine it could be great managing your resources and come up with a know the sort of thing. First one I found is a new one called Aggression: Europe 1914 which goes from that date up to the 50s with the atomic bomb.
Trailer here
This was made by the same company who released Entente - a 1914-18 Rts - from 2003 so likely to be a little out of date but maybe worth a try.
Anyway I'll keep looking - anyone know of any more?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Everett True reviews our gig in Brighton

Yes indeed - here you can read about Animals and Men's foray to Brighton in a write-up by the legendary Everett True.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Skip Jensen 'On My Trail'

This raw slice of garage is from Montreal one man band Skip Jensen. I love it. Give it a shot. One man bands can operate a great monotonous beat where drummers would get bored hence they can get a great minimalist groove going. The Myspace songs are well worth listening to - sort of raw and traditional but also modern - touring China at the moment.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Crimean War photographs of Roger Fenton

Hank Mizell Jungle Rock

Pan's People dance to this classic side - it's one of the best songs ever combined with one of the naffest dance routines ever - that enough for you? This obscure record was a hit in the 70s when it was reissued by Charly - story here - I absolutely love it - bassline, percussion, the monotonous vocals, - I also remember it being on the Youth Wing jukebox and we used to bump it so replayed all night. Hank Mizell wiki

Campaigns of 1914

This clip from the acclaimed BBC 60s documentary series the Great War focusses on the French army of 1914 with its Victorian uniforms and outmoded dedication to the attack in an era when the firepower favoured the defensive. I have always had a bit of an obsession with 1914 - in a way a completely different war to the later trench phase with all sides fighting a war that was based on theory rather than fact. So much enthusiasm existed in all levels of society in all of the major European powers that was soon to dissipate as high casualties reduced their fine armies into shadows of their former selves as a war of attrition set in bleeding them of the flower of their youth. I love the insanity of it all. Only a long period of relative peace would make people so war hungry. Such forgetfulness. I could watch these old clips - mostly with the sound down, I admit, all day - watching history from almost 100 years ago as you see these scenes unfold is marvellous. Plan VII wiki

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Die Hölle von Verdun

If you are interested in the Great War you might find this German language documentary by ZDF on the battle from the German perspective worth watching. I didn't understand most of it but it is visually impressive. Quite a few parts - 9 I think ... reconstructions are good quality.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Home-made pickled onions

These turned out to be pretty intense, our home-made p'onions that is. The first thing you notice is the sweat forming on your brow and top lip and then the chest palpitations start till your heart is pounding like a jackhammer. Really harsh, but strangely moreish... I am making some more and giving them out as gifts...

La forteresse assiégée

I am making some ICM 1/35 Franco-Prussian infantry at the moment so I thought I would look for something on Youtube to go with my current interest and found this little video of images shot during the making of the movie set in that era - quite colourful and worth a look - might track down the movie... La forteresse assiégée

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Subway Sect

I'm an early Subway Sect fan - I didn't really like the What's the Matter Boy album much - it seemed like power pop and a little ordinary so I lost interest. I always held fond memories of the scratchy early punk rawness of Nobody's Scared and the early tracks which appeared on comps so I was interested to hear that there is a release of a redone version of the 'Lost album' from 1978 - redone because a studio flood destroyed the masters. New musicians recreating the original feel, sort of thing. Pretty exciting - looking forward to buying it - and I also noticed they are playing the Thunderbolt Inn on Bath Road Bristol on Saturday December 8th. I shall definitely toddle along to that. Postman Punk article
Vic Godard Myspace

Monday, November 19, 2007

'Monk Chant' The Monks

Our gig in Brighton went well if you're wondering - anyway just noticed how similar this song by the great outsiders of the 60s the Monks is to the Adam and the Ants song 'Dog Eat Dog'. Probably just a coincidence.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sonny and Cher 'And the Beat Goes On'

We're getting excited about our gig in Brighton so apologies for all these music postings. This is 60s easy listening at its best I suppose - lyrics here. I remember them being on the light programme radio all the time - they did the original of 'Bang Bang' and I think them quite charming in about 19 per cent of their output. OK so they are Las Vegas hippies or even Fake-niks really but they do sort of fill a gap between some middle of the road folk rock and the Spector sound. I am sure many 60s suburban housewife's identified with Cher and wished their husband was like Sonny Bono. Baby Don't Go clip on youtube

Tomfoolery on the set of Sovereign's Servant

Watch behnd the scenes mucking about by the extras of this 18th century Russian epic here - and here - and here

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sam the Sham 'Monkey See Monkey Do'

'Woolly Bully' hitmakers in a segment from the film 'When the Boys Meet the Girls' from 1965. I think it is worth watching - might make you laugh. The film itself also has Herman's Hermits and Liberace as well as Louis Armstrong!

Letters from Iwo Jima

I don't usually like movies about World War 2 - in general I avoid them like the plague - everything has been done and been done badly - but this had a different approach to all the usual rubbish by showing the action on Iwo Jima through the eyes and letters of Japanese soldiers speaking their native tongue as they prepare to receive the American invasion of their island. Obviously still a Hollywood film it was nevertheless a giant leap in the depiction of historical events with subtitling pretty much throughout and very little focus on the Americans.

The Avengers 'We are the One'

Great simple clip of this great American punk band from 2006 performing the song that I first heard about thirty years ago.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Somerset and Dorset railway

If you are interested in old railways you'll be glad to see someone has uploaded the documentary 'Return to Evercreech Junction'. Shot in 1985 it has at its centre impressive colour cine film shot by Ivo Peters going from Bath onwards with the rest of the documentary revisiting the sites seeing what was left. Part 2 and 3 also up. This railway used to run at the bottom of our garden in Radstock but I don't think our house is on it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Ghost In the Invisible Bikini (1966) trailer

This is one of the best trailers I have ever seen. If you wondered what Boris Karloff and Basil Rathbone were doing in 1966 look no further. If you want to see the sequence with Nancy Sinatra doing Geronimo its here. It's basically a beach party movie set in a haunted house and is the last in the genre. It bombed. Wiki on it here

Go Faster blog

If you like 60s punk and garage obscurities pop on over the Go Faster Blog - it's full of amazingly obscure non hits of yesteryear to listen to. It's part of Go Faster Radio which is on streaming radio every thursday 8-10.
On the page they mention that there was something like 40,000 garage bands in the US in the mid sixties so pretty fertile ground for a radio station...

MGM's Peace on Earth (1939)

For my Armistice posting I thought I would put up this classic anti-war cartoon - the story is told of the human race's apocalyptic bent by a family of squirrels living in harmony long after the extinction of mankind after a series of terrible wars over relative trivia. There's some fine rotoscoped depictions of trench warfare worth waiting for - the sentiments are very laudable and the whole thing rings very true even today. Apparently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize this was the first cartoon to deal with a serious subject. Rotoscoping wiki

Friday, November 09, 2007

Minnie the Moocher Cab Calloway and Betty Boop

Many films have been vaunted as the first pop video but this must be the strongest contender - Cab Calloway rotoscoped into a walrus singing with a bunch of skeletons - if you haven't seen this Max Fleischer classic you're in for a treat - obviously an influence on Robert Crumb. Minnie the Moocher wiki

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Monkees 'Mary Mary'

"The Monkees are what the Beatles pretend to be." Pete Shotton. With the Beatles' Help! movie out on DVD we got to thinking about the Monkees and what great punk rock songs some of their output was - if only to stop our son playing Beatles records we dug the Monkees out - this one was written by Mike Nesmith and was eventually covered by Run DMC. If you haven't heard it give it a spin - it's a well crafted piece of trash rock and roll.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Yo La Tengo 'I Feel Like Going Home'

High quality music and visuals mark this clip out as an excellent introduction to the Hoboken 3 piece capturing them in all their melancholy beauty - the clip shows music in the making and is one of the best live clips I've seen for quite a while. It didn't go amazingly well when we met them but we're from very different worlds - us the gutter - them the stars. Official site


Maybe I should drop my hostility towards the fantasy genre when that fantasy is from 700 AD as is the case with this digital extravanganza from Zemeckis based on a Saxon text. I dunno though - I am suffering a bit from digital effects overload these days - I've seen enough flying monsters to keep my 'seeing flying monster desires' well satisfied, thank you. Official site

Channel Four on demand

To celebrate their 25th anniversary Channel 4 have uploaded some of their archives for free - now you can watch Adam and Joe, Black Books, Peep show and all manner of cutting edge comedy for free. Give it a try.

Canada: A People's History

This is for all the history fans - all three of us - the Battle of the Plains of Abraham 1759 from the Seven Years War is recreated in this well made episode - other episodes are also up - excellent stuff. Drums of War deals with the causes behind the SYW and Invasion the siege of Louisbourg. Quality reconstructions. Ideal length for youtube.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Mary Weiss

The lead vocalist with the Shangri-Las is back! She's done an album with the Reigning Sound - check her webpage for details and information on this icon of the 60s. Her Myspace is here. Listening to the stuff on her Myspace - it sounds great - a little like the Detroit Cobras but that's a good thing right? Actually her and the Reigning Sound is one of those perfect team-ups - a marriage made in music heaven - shows she's still got good taste.
Clips of her playing with the Reigning Sound on her youtube channel. Go here for a documentary on the Sh-Las, George Shadow Morton, their producer/songwriter with some excellent old photos and clips.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Effie Briest 'Newly-Weds Song'

Our new favourite band! On tour at the moment. Susan read a review of them in the Guardian of all places and tracked them down - they're brilliant - absolutely amazing. Noticed Everett True gave them a good review in Plan B. They're from Brooklyn. There is a quality here that is missing from most bands - they have something unique and it works.
This song is a cover of Native American Jim Pepper's song based on a peyote chant which I haven't heard but the chanting made me look up, having a familiar ring to me having done more than my fair share of listening to Indian songs and chants. Check out the version on their Myspace it is spot-on. The A-side is great too. If their name is familiar it's a German classic novel and a Fassbinder movie starring Hannah Schygulla. Punkcast info on the performance Hear Jim Pepper original here

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Cops 'The Lowdown'

Susan's taken up the djing duties at our house - it's always been me but I am having a welcome break hearing different stuff for a change - anyway one of the albums that she cued up recently was Wire's debut Pink Flag album which is a great record and the best song on the album in my opinion is the Lowdown. Couldn't find a version by Wire but happened on this spirited rendition by Seattle's the Cops...very good indeed - give it a whirl - it finishes up sounding a little like the Oblivians but that's a good thing right?

First World War Blog!

'This blog is made up of transcripts of Harry Lamin's letters from the first World War. The letters will be posted exactly 90 years after they were written. To find out Harry's fate, follow the blog!' Wow...sounds really interesting....

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rolls Royce Armoured Car

Like this image of the Queen on the back of a Rolls-Royce armoured car or is it just me? Article on the vehicle below -

10mm World War One

I've been thinking of getting some 10mm wargames figures - maybe Pendraken's World War One - don't know - I'll have to buy some to see what they're like as there's no photos on the web. Vehicles would of course be micro in size.
Irregular Miniatures 10mm range
Noticed that Irregular have started a range in this scale. Early war Germans to start with - see pic.
There's a trench system available too from Mark Biddles. This small scale would be suitable maybe I'll actually buy something but it might be just another project I don't get round to.

Gang of Four 'To Hell With Poverty'

Great song. Great lyrics. Crap dancing.

Movie tanks

While on the subject of replica vehicles for film and so on, there's an interesting blog called Filmpanzer which has lots of behind the scenes info on how vehicles are backdated to look like old ww2 tanks for movies and reenactments. Lots of stuff on the site for world war one fans including information on the tank used in Indiana Jones and the replica seen recently in NZ. It seems like New Zealand has become a place for outstanding replicas as Peter Jackson's interest in the period and Weta Workshop's work for the Omaka Heritage centre means that there is plenty going on there of interest. This tank is built by Weta partly from wood and is based on a bulldozer. Article on NZ air display from where this photos from.

Rolls Royce Armoured Car

(Pic is of a replica recently sold by Bonhams)
If you like early military vehicles you might enjoy these clips of the classic Rolls Royce in action. Very much a symbol of imperial rule in the 20th century it was used in all sorts of places from the Middle East, to the General Strike of 1926 in the UK. If you go to the Tank Museum's article on their RRAC there is a hilarious picture of the Queen waving from one - worth a look honestly. Photo of replica at the Michael Collins centre. Film of one in New Zealand is at youtube.
If you want a model of one then for 1/72 scale the best place to start is the Reviresco range.
Wiki on Rolls Royce Armoured Car
Car of the month Armoured cars of Great Britain

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Sadly I missed this Italian 8 piece ensemble when they played the Bell at Walcot Street Bath the other day but this clip is some sort of consolation. BIOG here They play music inspired by the Italian Renaissance on all manner of interesting instruments and make a lovely sound. Give this one a try - wait for it to really get going because by the end it's kicking like a mule. You'll not believe how good bagpipes and bass can sound. Inspiring. Maybe they should do the music for my Dancing Mania movie. Sound a little like Blowzabella if anyone knows them.
Their Myspace
Lazag - Gaudeamus

The Creation 'Painter Man'

Another British beat group for all to enjoy in the theme of 'bands that are like Dave Dee Dozy Beaky etc' - the Creation followed a pop art theme with their music and this anthemic song starts with the lyric
Went to college, studied art
to be an artist. make a start
studied hard, gained my degree
but no one seemed to notice me
- brilliant stuff - though this clip seems a little tame by today's standards although the suits look a little Hivesy. Creation wiki

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Troggs 'Can't Control Myself'

If you are into Dave Dee Dozy etc you might want to try this other great West Country beat band from the 60s here playing a thumping live version of this proto punk anthem in front of a groovy audience. Reg Presley grinding is not a pretty sight but this is an excellent clip.

TK Tankette in action

On the whole I am not a big fan of WW2 reenactment - not sure why I'm not keen - but it seems in the UK at least a bit dull. But this clip showing a Polish TK tankette is great - it's very short but worth watching. These tankettes were popular in the early years of armoured warfare but were obsolete by WW2. If you enjoyed this action recreating 1939 watch this reenactment clip of Polish cavalry charging a German armoured car - you'll have to watch to the end though...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Great War event near Moskow

Lots of well equipped and dedicated reenactors of the First World War gathered near Moskow at the weekend braving the cold and bringing some amazing bits of equipment likes these items shown here. Eastern front and Western front scenarios were enacted. Wish I was there but I would probably just be sat in the armoured car keeping warm drinking tea.
More Photos here
Russian news story on youtube here

Richard Hell

Did you see the ITV Punk documentaries on last night? Pretty good all in all, I thought. Nice to see how people have aged - some looked great like Gaye Advert. I was glad to see Richard Hell getting some of the credit he is due for inventing the punk style and attitude - if only he was such a shameless self publicist like Lydon we'd all be sick of hearing about it all by now. On the subject of age Richard Hell has some reflective autobiographical discourses on age among other things up on his youtube channel. Worth watching if you are a fan and interested - his monologue on age reflects a career long interest in time and ageing as in such songs as Destiny Street, and of course Time. Wish he'd make more music but I don't suppose it would be the same without Akron's own Robert Quine on guitar. Richard Hell's Official site

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Animals and Men's Danse Macabre

Some pics from our gig on Friday - as you can see we got to live out a fantasy of having horror movies and images showing in the background. Next gig is the 17th Westhill Hall Brighton with the Pheromoans and friends.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Joe Meek Festival

Newent in Gloucestershire is host to the first festival celebrating record producer Joe Meek. Featuring a band called the Triumphs.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Control trailer

This movie about the early years of Joy Division frontman is currently at cinemas - it's at the Little Theatre at Bath locally. If you can't be bothered just watch the trailer - I expect you'll get most of the good bits. Burglars look away - I have a copy of the vinyl ep in the clip - worth a mint - must sell it before the Joy Ds go out of fashion - if you think that's unlikely think how fashionable the Doors are these days. The Guardian had a feature recently about how to get the Ian Curtis look - all 300 quid shirts and expensive labels, soon it will be someone else - line up to become the next icon - kill yourself first though.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dancing mania

Did you know about this phenomena? From the 14th to the 17th century groups of people would be gripped by a dancing hysteria, speaking in tongues and so on. Fascinating. Wiki on it here. People would play music along with the crazed dancers which only served to make it worse. According to another page The first major outbreak of dancing mania was in Aix-la-Chapelle in July of 1374. A group of people were seen to dance uncontrollably in the streets, foaming at the mouth and screaming of wild visions. They kept on dancing until they collapsed from exhaustion, but even then they flailed about in agony until forcefuly restrained. The dancing caught on, and spread rapidly throughout France and the Low Countries. There is a lovely poem there
Amidst our people here is come
The madness of the dance.
In every town there now are some
Who fall upon a trance.
It drives them ever night and day,
They scarcely stop for breath,
Till some have dropped along the way
And some are met by death

It sounds like some form of poisoning - some explain it as ergot - a fungus that gets blamed for everything from the Marie Celeste to the Children's crusade. I'm not sure what was going on but I think it would make a great movie...
Rethinking the Dancing Mania

John Cooper Clarke 'Health Fanatic'

John Cooper Clarke pops up on the Ian Curtis biopic 'Control' movie soundtrack doing 'Evidently Chickentown' - not sure where in the movie it is as I haven't got off my arse to see it yet but it's a brilliant and witty poem and it took me back to the time when he seemed almost everywhere. I had kind of completely forgotton about this Manchester, or more correctly Salfordian punk poet but he was great live supporting various punk acts and his rapid fire poems often bitingly funny or seriously depressing but always fascinating. Where was he now? Alive and well and living in Colchester according to the piece on him in The Independent - he's actually touring at the moment so maybe he'll get some acclaim as I think as in inspirer of others he has to be lauded for doing what he did so well. Before JCC there wasn't really any culture for spoken word stuff but now with hip hop and it's commercial success people have woken to the spoken. This poem 'Health Fanatic' deals with the kind of health nut who seems to have proliferated these days. Check out youtube for other clips including 'Chickentown' from Neil Innes' show and his bizarre Sugar Puffs ad.

Della Bella

Looking for images for our Halloween party on Friday night to project onto the wall and came across this by accident - it's a picture of a comedy actor from the 1640s by Della Bella - freaky though isn't it or is that just me?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Celebrate the humble onion

On H R Stuffnshit's blog is some thoughts on the Onion. Actually one of the most popular marching songs of the army of Napoleon was 'I like Onions Fried in Oil'. It flew in the face of the official patriotic songs they were supposed to sing. Sometimes when the army was called on to shout 'Vive L'Empereur' the troops shouted 'Vive le Pomme de terre' instead.

Images of Frome

A few images of Frome to encourage you to come to town for our Danse Macabre on Friday. The Masonic Hall is opposite the Museum. Frome is home to quite a vibrant music and arts scene with plenty of cafes and galleries. You might even see the Bad Detectives shooting one of their videos (see below)

Bad Detectives promos

Here are 3 clips from promos done by the Bad Detectives - Frome's rock and roll superstars as heard on Radio 2. They show a real flair for this sort of thing - the promos are well worth watching - having a budget of zero these mini films are the bees' knees and very funny. The songs are B-Movie Scientist (off the new album), Alligator Rosie (looks like it was filmed at Vallis Vale), and Surfing the Severn Bore - the Severn bore being a huge annual tidal wave on the River Severn. Excellent, quality stuff.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Elizabeth the Golden Age trailer

Cate Blanchett as the Virgin Queen in this good looking movie out now. I find it reassuring that they still knock out movies that have as their centrepiece the Spanish Armada.

Billy Boy Arnold 'I ain't got you'

Burglars don't read this: We got a new pc with speakers on it today that boom out so to celebrate that fact I thought I'd choose something a bit different, and as the BBC Four Newport Folk Festival evening has set me in a blues mood this week I thought I'd post this clip of Billy Boy Arnold playing the classic 'I Ain't Got You' backed by the Blasters. One seriously underrated blues musician BBA is a musical bridge between the Afro-American rhythms as purveyed by Bo Diddley and the traditions of John Lee Sonny Boy Williamson, his harp mentor. Not sure if Jimmy Reed did the first version but it changed vehicles from an Eldorado Cadillac to a Maserati GT I think when the song crossed the Atlantic to be covered by the Yardbirds.

Viking comic

Myspace comics gives you the first glimpse of an epic sage set in the Viking age by Brian Wood. It looks really good with excellent artwork.

Monochrome Set Mr Bizarro live in 1984

Will I be able to make Monochrome Set fans of any of you? Here's a croony number with elements that sound a bit like a 1920s tango that was originally a B-side to one of their Rough Trade singles.

Sergey Letin

Another great Russian illustrator - see his Napoleonic work here
A reknowned authority on the Guards of Peter the Great he sadly passed away in 2005. If you look at the large version of this print you can see the detail and workmanship that has gone into these paintings - a three dimensional knowledge of all aspects of equipment, clothing and their construction are required before attempting something like this.

'To Be Or Not To Be' aka 'the Hitler Rap' Mel Brooks

Lyrics here Brilliant song from 1983 when Brooks remade the 40s classic with Jack Benny

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kolberg (1945)

Perhaps the greatest movie folly of all time this film, available in full on Google video, tells the tale through the eyes of Goebells of a German town's resistance to Napoleon. Intended to be an epic along the lines of Gone With The WInd it was shot in Agfacolour and used thousands of troops. It was a hugely expensive undertaking. When it was premiered it was already all over for Germany with most theatres already bombed out of existence. Lots of absurdities abound in the making of this film like the 100 railway wagon loads of salt being sent to Pomerania to shoot snow scenes in the summer - anyway if you just want to watch the 'money shots' or the battle scenes they start at 1 hour 8 minutes in. If you don't speak German or French the synopsis is on the wiki. You have to laugh really - it's the last thing that you'd think would be needed in 1945 - a war film!
Wiki on the movie here

Alexander Nevsky (1938)

If you like old battle movies with a propaganda twist then check out this small section from the Ice Battle in Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky. A film that makes a comparison between the Teutonic knights and Nazi aggression it was the inspiration behind many battle sequences made since including the Hoth battle in Star Wars and it was rotoscoped for the battle of Helm's deep for the animated Lord of the Rings. Wiki on the movie here Watch the whole movie on google

Gig in Brighton 17th November

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Frederick the Great movies

History is often hijacked for propaganda purposes - everyone does it and did it from Birth of a Nation through to Henry V and the Alamo - one of the themes Germany used in the 20s and 30s was the saga of movies about Frederick the Great - the Fridericus Rex films. Starring Otto Gebühr they span the silent era from 1920 until this one, the final film, a remake Der Groesse Konig in 1942. It depicts the battle of Kunersdorf - a disaster for the Prussians against the Austrians and Russians. Anyway watch the clip - it conjures up an 18th century battle reasonably well and fairly spectacularly too. Hitler associated himself with Frederick the Great and watched these movies for relaxation after a hard day's trying to rule the world.

Kings of Leon 'Charmer'

Kings of Leon do a Pixies impression. Actually I quite like this single but I imagine it would get annoying after a while. Why is it that every band you see on telly these days has either a Rickenbacker or a Thunderbird. Whats the matter - ordinary basses not interesting enough?

Capitaine Conan (1996)

I haven't seen this French movie but from the trailer it looks well worth tracking down. It's a film by Tavernier set in the First World war with what looks like some excellent action sequences in an unusual theatre - the Balkans. Imdb says of the plot Bulgaria near the end of World War I: Conan, warrior and wolf, leads a band of 50 ruthless French fighters who love hand-to-hand combat. Their motto: "We forgot to take prisoners, Captain." At war's end, the unit goes to Bucharest, where Conan tries to keep them out of trouble, defends them when they behave as warriors, and finds he's unsuited for peacetime. His friendship with Norbert, a teacher turned lieutenant, is tested when Norbert accepts a job as court-martial prosecutor because he's learned that Conan will be facing charges and he wants to protect his friend. When they are sent to the Russian border to fight Bolsheviks, Conan is back in his element and Norbert is off the hook

La vie et Rien D'autre (1989)

'Life and nothing else' is a film by Tavernier. Set in 1920 it deals with the aftermath of the Great War as a burial party led by Phillipe Noiret have to select a soldier for the Unknown Soldier tomb at the Arc de Triomphe. A melancholy love story but well worth watching

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Razor's Edge (1984)

The first in a series of great movies dealing with World War One. Based on the book by Somerset Maugham taking in the Great War and the 20s this forgotten movie of the 80s was a straight role for Bill Murray and his only screeenwriting credit. It is a rare remake that surpasses the original - starring Tyrone Power. Keep your eyes peeled for this great movie that is extremely underrated. Visit the Fansite here - full of interesting articles....

Nico and the Velvets 'Femme Fatale' live

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Kaiser

Scene from the remake of All Quiet on the Western front featuring the Kaiser. There was a homosexual scandal attached to the early years of Kaiser Wilhelm II's reign which started when a military type while wearing a tutu dancing a pas seul died in the Kaiser's presence. Called the Harden-Eulenberg affair it was a contributory cause of the First World War. Strange.

Whistling Jack Smith 'I was Kaiser Bill's Batman'

A hit from 1967 - info here - a lot of the easy listening hits of the 60s confused me as a child when I heard them on the radio - I used to take them quite literally - 'Windmills of your mind' what was that all about? (According to the wiki on it 'The song illustrates a person's mental state after a romantic break-up, relating the way emotionally charged thoughts and memories can run in tortured circles'. Oh. Nothing about windmills like 'A mouse that lived in a windmill in old Amsterdam' then')?Similarly this hit - who was Kaiser Bill and why did he need someone to dress up as Batman for him?

Adam Ant on 'This Morning' 09/28/07

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Steve Weston's 1/32 A7V out

Looks excellent - take some painting. Wiki on A7V Sturmpanzer.
Ideal for wargaming in the garden. The Germans only made 20 of these - they also use captured British tanks.
Let's hope Weston's produce a Renault FT-17 next - useful for French and American forces as well as French Foreign Legion...Spanish Civil War, WW2 .... people will buy multiples too...well when I say people I mean me... Armies in plastic 1/32 ww1 figs pics here and here
Here's a link to an excellent Ft-17 site
- all manner of photos, plans - basically a fansite to the Ft-17.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cross the Green Mountain Bob Dylan

The American Civil War battle by Soskan is on at the American museum Bath this weekend so to follow that theme here is Bob Dylan - who seems to be undergoing a revival with his song Cross the Green Mountain done for the movie Gods and Generals.


Noticed this by accident - a short film that is a result of a collaboration between Salvador Dali and Walt Disney, abandoned in the 40s but released in 2003. Looks interesting....only 6 minutes though.

Eylau 1807 from the Napoleon Miniseries (2002)

Interesting depiction of the Battle of Eylau fought 300 years ago - it's a Spanish dub but you get the idea. A bit rubbishy in the modern digital sense. Not a patch on Bondarchuk...

H R Stuffnshit

Bea's started her own blog! Amusingly titled it has kicked off with an article explaining the concept of Last FM and explains what scrobbling is. Let's hope she posts loads of crap like I do. Watch intro to 60s kids show H R Pufnstuff here

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Waterloo 1815

This Italian company has been producing figures relating to Italian history for a while and are about to release 1/32 WW1 italians and Napoleonic Prussians. Some interesting things on the site though it's often not clear what scale they are, for example the Sahariana.

Great War TV series

Studying and understanding the Great War has just got easier - some kind soul has uploaded the whole series of the acclaimed 60s BBC documentary series in majestic black and white. I picked this episode about the hellhole of Verdun as an example of the quality of filmmaking that went into this series with many interviews of survivors and excellent maps making this military history at its most accessible. Of course you might find it depressing to learn about this sort of thing but on the other hand it might make you appreciate the life you are living a little more and that's a good thing right? Earlier episode about Brave Little Belgium

Oleg Parkhaev

This Russian illustrator's work may be familiar to you having been featured on cards published in the late 80s. As Russia became more international and Russian reenactors started travelling to the West these cards were used to get spending money off people like us and gratefully received they were too. A nice archaic style with uncluttered backgrounds they carry the information well. More here - 4 links at the top will take you to many more examples.

Bad Detectives on Radio 2!

Frome's rock and rollers The Bad Detectives were on Steve Lamacq's show on Radio 2 last Saturday, you've got until Saturday to listen to it here (it's about 45 minutes in):

Actually I kind of won a bet to myself - I guessed the track that they played ('I'm In Love With the Mole Man's Girl') - that was a stand-out track of choice for us too... actually I am dead impressed by this achievement - well done...from Frome FM to Radio 2 on a saturday in one leap...if this was a pop boardgame I am sure they have just thrown a double six!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tis the season to watch telly

There's two things worth watching on our tv screens in my humble opinion - the Tudors and Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe. The first features my wife's favourite Jonathon Rhys-Meyers as the young Henry VIII and the drama focusses on his athleticism on the tennis courts and the bedchamber as opposed to the usual stuff of TV monarchy. I enjoyed it - surprising for me as I usually hate all the history dramas I have seen about Kings and Queens but this one had something going for it that it was difficult to pin down but a fine cast, good locations and an inobtrusive soundtrack helped. Next episode is on friday night. Wiki on Tudors Renaissance romping with Henry and his ratpack NYT
Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe is a marvellously cynical look at the world of television - The blurb says 'Brooker is an expert at disassembling TV... peeling away each layer of the supposed mystique until you can see what a horrible place the world of media really is'. Brooker is the man behind Nathan Barley, Gaurdian columnist and some of the best cutting edge comedy and creates an acidic portrayal of the industry that is long overdue with all the current scandals. If you miss this you can watch them on Youtube. Wiki on Brooker