Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monochrome Set 'Forever Young'

Footage from the 30th anniversary gig at Dingwalls earlier this year on 08/10/08, featuring Andy Warren, Bid, Lester Square, Jennifer Denitto (drums), Sian Chaffer (keyboards) . Happy New Year to you all...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The great harmonica revival

Seems like everyone I talk to these days is talking about the harmonica. Not sure what this means but it could be that we might have a revival on our hands. Anyhoo here's a virtuoso piece for you to try out - Big Walter Horton's Little Boy Blue.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Smokestack Lightning

More Cadillac Records - this time Chester Burnett aka Howling Wolf. Not a bad facsimile in terms of visuals and sound maybe I can build up the courage to watch the whole movie. Hard to imagine the Chess story in isolation - there was a whole load of labels and artists but I suppose this is a movie not a book. Chicago Breakdown by Mike Rowe from 1973 is worth tracking down though it's long out of print - you'll need the library loan system but maybe it might get a reprint if people get interested in the Chicago Blues scene. Another book to have is Blues Records 1943-66 - a complete guide to 20 years of recorded blues by Leadbitter and Slaven. It tells all the session details, musicians, dates songs of all the post war classics. Maybe a bit trainspotterish but I found it useful.

ESG 'Moody'

Scene from a 1989 movie called the Vampire's Kiss depicting that great band in the background. It's a great way to be immortalised, being in a movie playing in the background, I wonder if there's enough for a short season of clips?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Adam and the Ants 'Press Darlings'

My sister bought us the Adam Ant autobiography on talking book so we've been enjoying - if that's the correct word - listening to him cataloguing his unusual life. It's a great opportunity to perfect the impression...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Psychotic Reaction

Before Susan starting singing and we became Animals and Men we were briefly a 3 piece called Psychotic Reaction doing a couple of covers like 'You're Gonna Miss Me' and a few self penned ones like 'I'm being Buried alive'.
Thought you might like a laugh and see Geoff me and Nigel (left) in our punk rock glory....check the strides....

Swedish Seven Years War era paintings

This jolly Swedish drummer from 1765 is just my excuse to publish a link to these remarkable illustrations from the Krigsarkivet.

Elvis 'Blue Christmas'

I am the least christmassy person in the universe so I am sort of the anti-christ-mas - santa is my satan - but here's my favourite festive song (after Toxic Sonic's I can't stand Christmas) as a way of wishing you a speedy return to normality. Dont forget to listen in to the Bad Detectives on Frome FM tonight

Monday, December 22, 2008

40 Days and 40 Nights

Here's a clip from the new movie Cadillac Records depicting Muddy and Little Walter recording. It's not how I imagined they would be dressed in that era but what do I know? Actually I'm sort of dreading watching this movie for some reason...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Vintage Bad Detectives photo

Image from Newton St Loe in about 79 - that's Charlie dancing...check the BDs out on the radio on Christmas Eve.

The Spirit trailer

The comic based film to see this season methinks

Thursday, December 18, 2008


This is a new comedy movie about a Viking reenactor who loses his girlfriend and then has to win her back. Watch the trailer and see if you think it's any good.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

70 Gwen Party 'The Power Elite'

Hooray! Someone has uploaded more 70 Gwen Party - we love this mid-90s band and Susan is gradually picking up their back catalogue on vinyl for silly prices on ebay - it seems really strange that such a great band is so unfashionable but we don't mind though - 99p for the Devil Wrapped and Ginsung buried' LP? Utter madness...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bad Detectives on the radio tonight

Hopefully the Frome hit factory will be spinning their festive hit 'Cadillac under the Christmas tree' - text em email them and tell them hi from your corner of the world.

12-14-2008 22:30 at Frome FM

An internet only edition of The Bad Detectives Radio Show. Listen live at from 10.30pm - midnight.

Cadillac Records

Geoff spotted this one and its my now must-see movie that's in theatres. It's simply the Chess story. Is that enough for you? It's got Beyonce in it (as Etta James) and characters like Little Walter, Muddy and the Wolf are represented in the movie. If that ain't enough for you then god save your miserable on the movie

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ike's Instrumentals

Maybe you're having a get-together this season and you don't know what to play... know what my suggestion is? Ike's Instrumentals by Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm on Ace - it's just the bees knees to get people moving and a grooving. I would kill to play like Ike with his spangly twanging and tremolo arm bending. The backing is top-notch too...sort of your ideal fantasy backing band. Few people can be considered geniuses in my book - it's a term too often used for plagiarists but Ike was one and we should thank Ace for delivering this perfect package for us to start popularising the cult of Ike.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

animals and men in the garden

Found this old photo from about 80 - that's Geoff holding our kittens - what was going on with his hair? Navy barbers I suppose. Sue tries to duck out the looking stick thin - those were the days.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Radiators from Space 'Television Screen'

One of the great punk 45s this version from 2004 is slow enough so you can hear the lyrics, the original is much faster, I know cos I still play it on my stereo. Still excellent though.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Residents 'I'm Not Crazy'

Our son is off to London this sunday to see the Residents - here's a sample of their live show from earlier this year - hope he has a good time.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

magic hat

Our favourite Seattle radio show The World is a Drag "Tune in weekly Saturday mornings from 9-11 at" sent this out image with a bulletin the other day - it's hilarious and I felt I had to share it with you lot...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Death of Odetta at 77

Someone who was synonimous with the beat generation and one who did the definitive version of the House of the Rising Sun has died. Watch her in 2005 performing it.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Rip Rig and Panic 'Go Go Go'

A sort of Bristol band - a spin off from the Pop Group they were sort of annoying and brilliant in equal parts. This features Neneh Cherry who became a big star in the late 80s. See what you think.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Ike and Tina 'Bold Soul Sister'

Lovely performance from 1970 - funny as the styles of the women are similar to what you sometimes see these days - or am I wrong? Watch them do Land of a Thousand Dances in 1969 here

'Cadillac under my Christmas tree'

Frome's own music factory The Bad Detectives have a Christmas track on the free album 'Black Christmas' available to download for free from Bizarre Mag. Also features Billy Childish and the Flaming Lips and many other people who are pretty famous and Jonathan King. Should get you in the festive spirit.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Recent Bid interview on the Monochrome Set

Interesting stuff indeed covering the history of this influential band from the B-Sides to Scarlet's Well. If this doesn't fill you up there is another interview with Bid and Lester Square on the eve of their 30th anniversary gig here

Warning to punk over medals

Every now and then I type in 'punk' to google news - you get some interesting stories like an interview with Poly Styrene, but this story is worth blogging. Apparently this student was on University Challenge wearing medals he wasn't entitled to and was warned by the police. Wow. Good to see they have so much time on their hands.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Toxic Sonic 'I Can't Stand Christmas'

Toxic Sonic are I think a Pravda side project - which means they're French and great songwriters - this ditty is great and pretty much says it all...


Great Northern War reenactors

Am I good to you lot or what? Here's a recent film of Russian GNW reenactors at Keksgolm (Karela) - looks great - wish I could be there but it's probably too cold for my constitution. Look out for a familiar face (if your name is Red)! See them in the snow at Narva on my other blog
More here

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Booker White Aberdeen Mississippi Blues

I may have blogged this before but what the hell - it's worth watching again. When the musical history of the 20th century is written with a few centuries' hindsight I think one of the most important things will be how sounds made by the poorest and most oppressed of the western world's people changed the character of music forever. There's something incredibly wrong about how people like the Rolling Stones have lived lives of luxury from careers based on outright plagiarism whereas the people who originated that music spent time in prison and lived lives of crushing poverty. Lyrics to Aberdeen Mississippi here

Friday, November 21, 2008

Call of Duty World at War review

This new WW2 FPS looks great - the pacific and the eastern front - plus a Nazi Zombie level...we're there dude..

Jolson Sings Again 'Back in Your Own Backyard'

The two Jolson biopics were huge hits and should have made its star Larry Parks a household name but he was blacklisted for once being a communist - read the wiki on him here. Tribute site here

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Al Jolson 'Toot toot tootsie Goodbye'

My Dad's got this on a wax 78 rpm (the flip is 'Back in Your Old Backyard' if I remember correctly) and as a kid I used to play it to death and tried to copy the whistling solo and I can still sing it by heart - it's a brilliant song if you don't know Jolson give it a whirl. I suppose (adopting an old-timer's voice) there must be hundreds of teenagers around today who haven't seen 'The Jolson Story' biopic or its sequel 'Jolson Sings Again' and so I must do what I can to redress that balance. I suppose a lot of the mastery is in the songs themselves - 'Watch for the mail, I'll never fail - If you don't get a letter then you know I'm in jail' . They don't write them like that anymore...

The Devil's Whore

Last night was the first episode in Channel 4's flagship English Civil War series the Devil's was it any good... did it work for me? Well the costumes were good, the wigs ok though Charles I's stick on beard was laughable, in general the look was good but as to the rest of it I thought it was a joke, a pathetic waste of resources and talent. The battle scenes - shot in South Africa were like 17 a side - and the digital work abysmal. Ok I sympathise with their obvious desire to not to use the Sealed Knot as extras but the end result was, sorry to say...crap. It looked like they watched the film 'Cromwell' for research, and from the clip of next week's episode it is only going to get worse. Only watch it if you have a warped sense of humour or hate history.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Braddock's Defeat film

This short movie about one of Britain's worst defeats at the hand of indians and Canadians in 1755 is worth watching. From the War that Made America documentary series.

Ghost Riders Carnival Float

The West Country's carnival season is now over, but we have the memories - and in this case a film my daughter shot of an excellent western themed float, taken in Radstock - not the hugest of processions but still impressive and worth braving the cold for. The origins of the West Country carnival tradition are lost in the midst of time - I think it probably originated as part of religious festivities around the powerful Glastonbury abbey but who knows?

Pinball with the Pussycat Dolls

I don't want you to think I do nothing but watch pop videos all day but I noticed in the current Pussycat Dolls video there is a pinball - according to a forum it's a Gottlieb Duotron or Magnatron.
Well I am glad someone has responded to my call to get pinballs back out into the limelight. Pity she isn't playing it though...maybe she's just had a really crap game - she looks a little like I feel after a game.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dinosaurs v American Civil War Federalists

If you think this blog has got a bit crap it's probably cos my son is off at Uni and not giving me hints about what to put out. This is his recent suggestion - I think you'll enjoy it...
Dinosaurs v Union? This may sound like a sand-pit encounter in the mind of a 5 year old but it's actually a roadside attraction.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hey! Elastica 'This Town'

Early 80s pop - from Scotland - didn't really make an impact though we liked 'em....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Devil's Whore clip

Channel 4 are screening a new series starring John Simm called the Devil's Whore. The character he plays, 'Sexby' changes side during the battle of Naseby according to the Radio Times - looks like it might be fun.

Manicured Noise 'Metronome'

I wasn't a huge fan but you have to admire this slice of pop that looking back captures the time, the late 70s and the early 80s, pretty well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vivian Girls 'Tell the World'

This band are in this month's Maximum Rock and Roll - like we are or did I already tell you that? Anyway they seem to be creating quite a storm gigging around the US with their unique sound. A sound that takes in the Shangri-Las and shoegaze and still be totally fresh. Give it a spin and I'm sure by the end you'll be hooked. They're coming to Britain in December even getting down to Bristol - see their myspace for dates.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion '2 Kindsa Love'

Whack up the volume. Enjoy this odd video.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Saints 'Know Your Product' 1978

I missed this great record from this Aussie band at the time - I kind of gave up on them after the 'Security' single but it was my loss as this is a timeless piece of rock and roll. Great audio on this.
If you want more Saints there's a great clip from the 78 tv series 'Return of the Saint' in which a kidnapping takes place at a punk gig at the Marquee - the Saints are playing in the background - whoever thought of that - genius!

Another Animals and Men description

Thanks Volcanic Tongue this is better - no 'crap blues guitarist' here... 'psych/blues/prole art' I like!

New on Mississippi Records, a compilation of alla the 45s and early demos from this great UK DIY group based in the Somerset town of Frome 1979-83. Originally dubbing themselves Psychotic Reaction, Animals + Men were a weird group in the way that they applied garage and blues forms to classic nowhere UK-style punk attitude and primitive, sludgy rock songs cut up with keyboard, harmonica and great female vocals. Their first single, “Don’t Misbehave In The New Age” was a Peel favourite and a minor indie hit when it came out in 1980 but by 1981 the original band had split and morphed into The Terraplanes who went on to release three further 45s that expanded on the primitive psych/blues/prole art feel of the original group. Some of the demos here turned up on a Hyped 2 Death/Messthetics release but it feels great to have alla the best-loved material from this obscure collective pulled together on one slab of vinyl. Comes with an insert with liners, pics and track commentary.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Captured by Indians

We haven't had much of this era - the French and Indian war - for a while - this is two excerpts from 'The War That Made America' and they deal with the subject of white settlers being captured by natives and their fate.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A crap blues guitarist?

Course it's not all good when you have a record out - people write things about you like on this site ' A crap blues guitarist quit his band after being inspired by punk & needed a new & young vocalist'. Ouch! Funny really...something else to put on my Facebook description other than 'I am a miserable git' which I currently have...

Punk Harmonica 'Evil Going On'

Someone came onto this blog searching 'Punk Harmonica' which I must admit got me to thinking about that whole concept and so to celebrate the release of our lp Never Bought Never Sold I thought I'd post this clip (again) of us in the early 80s as my attempt at punk harmonica. We dropped the guitar entirely for a single with fairly disastrous consequences at the time as people just wrote it off but I think now people judge it to be pretty good.

Harmonicas on the web

Harmonica is not everyone's cup of tea. With it's associations with blues and folk music it is an instrument that will always have a thing with the 60s - after all the Beatles, Stones, Dylan - all featured the tiny gob iron. As the 70s rolled on it went into decline as guitar-based blues a la Led Zep became most band's model and until Lee Brilleaux of the Feelgoods got people enjoying amplified harp it was distinctly unfashionable. I think it's time for a revival and I do try and feature harp music on this blog as I try to do battle with the tyranny of the guitar gods. If you want one - try this company - supplier of harmonicas and mics to the Bad Detectives no less.

La Chambre des officiers (2001)

A lot of world war one stuff in the media at the moment as it's 90 years since the armistice. I'm going to throw in my contribution - a trailer for a French movie that has to be the grimmest of all the Great War films and believe me that is no easy thing. It's the story of a young French officer who has a chunk of his face blown off by shrapnel and it's very moving and quite difficult to watch. The trailer may be enough for most people - but as I often say 'trailers are the busy person's movie'...actually I just made that up but they are aren't they? Condensed to the point that sometimes actually watching the whole film is superfluous.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Coasters 'What is the secret of your success?'

Glory be! At last someone posted this great clip - and it coincided with the opening of the first of this season's home made pickled onions - wow!

Where have all the pinballs gone?

I only recently became aware of this scary slide to extinction. We must band together to get them back where they should be - in cafes, pubs, youth centres - anywhere where people gather. If you need to know where the pinballs are these days try Pinformer - a map of Britain telling you where they all are - I learnt that there is one in Exeter at the Cavern club - must try and get a gig there. We'd be there before the punters and in hog heaven...

Stereolab 'Ping Pong'

One of the 90s more interesting bands in my opinion. Never seen this video before or seen them live so it's interesting to see what they look like. I suppose I ought to sell the band to you a bit in case you haven't heard them - John Peel used to play them a fair bit - just give it a try - it's very appealing intelligent pop. They write great lyrics and were Marxists I think - this song Ping Pong has the great lines - it's alright 'cos the historical pattern has shown how the economical cycle tends to revolve in a round of decades three stages stand out in a loop a slump and war then peel back to square one and back for more bigger slump and bigger wars and a smaller recovery huger slump and greater wars and a shallower recovery

Fuzztones 'Ward 81'

The Fuzztones are playing the Dirty Water Club in London on November 8th! Should be a great night for garage fans...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bo Diddley Road Runner at the London R'n'R Fest

Great clip from the early 70s... Teds seem to be trying to emasculate themselves by throwing their genitals against the hard floor - why?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Fallen Leaves

If you are a fan of early Subway Sect you will certainly know the distinctive guitar of Rob Symmons - jagged spikey strumming in groovy little riffs that go around and around in a cool whirl - well he's back in the Fallen Leaves giving it to us again old style in a band that sounds like classic timeless raw stuff in the vein of the Downliners Sect. They've done an excellent session for WFMU - if you check out their Myspace you'll be able to hear them and see some videos - well worth the time I assure you...

The Scarlet Tunic (1998) part 1

If you like Thomas Hardy or films about the Napoleonic wars you might be glad some kind soul has uploaded all the parts of a 1998 adaptation of the Scarlet Tunic. Filmed in Dorset and set in the Napoleonic wars it tells the story of a forbidden love between a German Hussar and a local girl. So it's maybe Tess of the D'Urbevilles meets the Duellists...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Haunted 1-2-5

More punk vamping in this classic that would have to be on my jukebox selection - listening to this might make me play air harmonica...

The Fairies Anytime At All

Our son is off at Exeter Uni - been gone about a month - we miss his djing skills and of course the opportunity to say check this out. I think he would enjoy this 60s freakbeat beauty that has some lovely punk harmonica on it.

Orange Fuzz 'Our Love Will be There'

O.F. hail from Middletown Ohio and specialise in unearthing 60s garage classics and playing them in their own punky style - this is a version of the Troggs 'Our Love Will Be There' which I think you might like... Watch more Orange Fuzz on their Youtube channel

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Animals and Men play London

29th October - Club Wanderlust. Looks like a great evening... hope to see you there...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Titfield Thunderbolt (1953)

I'd like to think that for every town, village or city there is some movie that has been filmed there. Obviously some more than others - I was talking to someone from Brooklyn who gave a whole list of movies filmed there but I'd also like to think that even fairly remote places like Radstock where we live have some cinematic glory. This sequence from this railway comedy classic is in my opinion our place in the sun... if you notice in the background a conical hill - that's a slag heap of coal - a batch and that places this scene along where the Colliers Way cycletrack runs. If you like old transport give it a whirl.
Actually I was talking to my parents about this film and they told me 'Jiggles' Orchard - a local rag and bone man had quite a bit of screen time in this film as his horse and trap was at a level crossing during one of the shots.

Gene Vincent 'Ain't that too much'

This b-side from 66 would be on my ideal jukebox selection - there's something about it that just hypnotises me - that riff? Waiting for the harp solo? Pump it up and see if it gives you the same pleasure that I get. I heard the Bad Detectives on Frome FM last night and they played some GV - wonderful.

Downliners Sect 'Glendora'

My current pinball interest led me to thinking about juke boxes and what you might put on it - and so to play in the background while we played pinball Susan and I made up a jukebox playlist - singles that you didn't mind hearing again and again if needs be - obviously a lot of them have appeared on this blog in the last few weeks and this is one of them. Classic stomping intro followed by a witty song possibly about someone falling in love with a shop dummy I don't know - lyrics here it's classic Downliners Sect who were quite the musical mavericks in the pantheon of British beat groups. I recommend the album of A and B-sides as it contains the classic ep of 'sick songs' ... not your usual moptop fair.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Doo Rag 'Trudge'

I'm sure if you take the time to watch this you'll love this. John Peel used to play Doo Rag a lot - they were part of a wave of people doing wild stuff with the blues in the early 90s. I loved them - do me a favour and watch this and tell me you're not inspired...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dr Feelgood 'Boom Boom'

Great clip from 75 with Wilko singing. Lee Brilleaux on harmonica. I was reading about the Canvey Island Monster, one thing led to another and I found this stomping clip. The crowd are interesting - note the Feelgood silk scarves...very typical of the period...

Metal Urbain 'Numero Zero'

MU - the French punk band - have a new album out - I think it's mostly old songs redone - but that'll do for me's an example of what they're like these days...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

John Adams miniseries

Any of you watching the HBO John Adams miniseries on More4? Produced by Tom Hanks it is really good - one of the best things I've seen on the American Revolution for a long time. Here's the trailer anyway - you should get a broad idea of what its like from this. Visual effects film here

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bob McFadden and Dor 'The Beat Generation'

Wierdsville. Written by Rod McKuen... the flip is 'I'm a Mummy' which I'm sure we'll feature in the future. Ok the future is now - also check out the follow up the Son of the Mummy here.

KLF 'Last train to trancentral'

We used to love the KLF. They had a crossover appeal back in 91 that meant they appealed to all sorts and all ages. This video is their crowning achievement in my opinion with its strange set and model railway. I know a lot of people spend a lot of time interpreting the background of the ideas behind this music but I suggest you just enjoy the musical ride.

Bad Detectives and the Cerne Abbas Giant

If you're a fan of the Bad Detectives you'll be glad to hear that they have a new album recorded - expect the usual mixture of culture references and jokes over rock and roll beats - the top track for them is a ditty entitled 'The Cerne Abbas giant turned my baby's head'. If you don't know, the Cerne Abbas giant is a chalk figure carved into the hills in Dorset, most notable for his erect phallus. Historians debate as to the date of its creation - it could be intended to represent Cromwell or could be a lot older than that. They intend to shoot a video in spring so something to look forward to there.
My son used to wear a t-shirt to school with this image on it - the teachers felt they couldn't censor him as it was ancient history!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Abel Gance's Austerlitz (1960) and the first sub

Have you ever seen this movie made by the great director of the silent classic 'Napoleon'? It's terrible - all shot in the studio - even the battle and bivouac scenes - almost as if he became mesmerised by dialogue and forgot his lessons as a silent director. Such a shame but I am sure there are fans of this movie out there - it has a cameo of Orson Welles as inventor Robert Fulton who tries to sell Napster the idea for a submarine...which is the best scene. Fulton was commissioned to make a craft 'Nautilus' for Bonaparte - some steampunk author could have a great time with 'what ifs' if the Napoleonic wars had featured an undersea dimension. Imdb on the movie

Bow wow wow 'Aphrodisiac'

Starts off with an interview. One of the most exciting live acts I ever saw, Bow wow wow were to me the best pop act from the early 80s - they had everything - including a predatory manager when they started. Great musicians, an uncompromising attitude - young, hip and about as real as you could get.

B A Robertson versus Bow wow wow's Annabella

This is a great clip of B A Robertson getting ripped to shreds by Annabella - she is absolutely right of course - see the clip and hope things are better for women in music nowadays... watch a better interview with Ms Lwin from 83 here.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Oblivians/Gories tour?

There's a story out there that next year - spring or summer the Oblivians and Gories are touring Europe. Is this true? I shall be there if it is... until then enjoy this vintage clip from 96 of the Oblivians doing 'I'm not a sicko there's a plate in my head' which is quite a stormer.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Howlin' Wolf 'My Mind is Ramblin''

Not that well known this ode to the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 car is one of the Wolf's greatest sides. It has some great lines and should be heard more.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dr Feelgood documentary

I saw this on Henry's blog Bad Detective and thought maybe you'd like it - it's about the Southend scene and its place as an influence on punk - particularly featuring Dr Feelgood - one of the most influential bands of the 70s in the UK at least.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Animals and Men LP out

Animals & Men - Never Bought Never Sold [MR024LP]
Yes indeed - a 12 inch vinyl long player is out on Mississippi Records. Tracks are
Side A
Don't Misbehave In The New Age.
Waiting For My Stranger.
I Never Worry.
Terraplane Fixation.
Shop Talk.
Dreaming Of Babylon.
Treasure of the Damned
Side B

Evil Going On .
It's Hip.
We Are Machines.
The Man With The Spiked-Toed Shoes
You Excite Me Baby.
Shell Shock

In the US it is available through Bistro Distro, Feral Ward, Midheaven Mailorder and Forced Exposure.In France it is available through La Distro from Lyon and Moloka out of Dijon.
There's also an interview with Susan in issue 306 of the magazine Maximum Rock and Roll - wiki on the mag here

Friday, October 03, 2008

Eddie Cochran 'Teenage Heaven'

Eddie Cochran would have been 70 today apparently so let's watch him rip up a storm with this slightly odd song about shorter hours at school, having a private phone - all reasonable requests...not sure if having a Coup de Ville is desirable...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Shadows of Knight 'Gloria'

Great version of the Them classic by Chicago High-school youngsters. I like a few of their rhythm'n'blues style hits - 'Dark Side' the flip of this is an excellent ballad, and 'Gospel Zone' is a stormer.

Perrys plastic Napoleonics

They're now available. 28mm French infantry in the Bardin regulations. £15 for 42 figures. Excellent stuff.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Black Robe (1991)

Set in the early years of New France and shot in Quebec this is one of my favourite of the rash of films in the 90s dealing with Indians. It tells the tale of a Jesuit missionary who goes out to convert the Hurons. The music is stunning and it captures the feel of the early years of the French colony in Canada really well in my opinion. If you have never seen this Canadian/Australian production before then watch this clip to see if it captures your interest.

Time travel at Schloss Fasanerie

I haven't posted much about reenactment recently - but here's a great little film of the 18th century event at Fulda - held every august it is Europe's premier get-together for the period. This bit deals with the American Revolution in particular the Hessian aspect as this is where the event takes place. I do get invited every year - one day I'll go...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dion 'Ruby Baby'

Here's a great vintage clip of Dion di Mucci singing - or rather miming to his version of the Drifters' Ruby Baby.

Russian Detective - Zeppelin attack

Scene from a recent mini-series showing a Zeppelin bombing a Russian battery in the Great War. Zeppelin's weren't very successful as bombers in daylight raids being too vulnerable to ground fire.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wii pinball - Gottlieb classics

In the quest to get even closer to the original pinball experience we purchased this game for the wii. It works really well - there are plenty of mind boggling 90s tables and veteran ones from the 50s to keep you amused. Lots of information on the games and their history also come with this package.

Albatros - German biplane of the Great War

Most people would easily identify the Fokker with its assocation with the Red Baron but the Albatros was probably the plane in which Richthofen got most of its kills and was in general a more influential fighter. This short documentary tells the tale.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Red Baron (2008)

Just to bring you bang up to date on our short season of biplane movies here's a trailer for the recent German movie 'Der Rote Baron'. It's available on dvd in Germany already though there's been no release over here yet. It had mixed reviews but it looks like a fine film to me. The Red Baron is one of the most iconic of all the aces celebrated in all manner of media - see the Red Baron in Popular culture wiki - fascinating - Wiki on the movie here

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Comic art in Bath Gallery

The forthcoming exhibition at Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Victoria Art Gallery showcases some of the greatest comic artists of the 20th century. The Exhibition, entitled Comic Art, runs from 13 September to 19 October at the gallery next to Pulteney Bridge in Bath.

The work on display in this exhibition ranges from the early days of the 1940s, through the Marvel Comics of the 1960s and 1970s, when the recognised geniuses of the field expanded the craft, to the finest artists working today.

Artists in the show include:

Jack Kirby: The King of Comics – During his prolific lifetime, Kirby created thousands of characters and genres, from Captain America during WWII to a whole universe of concepts that made Marvel Comics in the 1960s.
These include The Hulk, Fantastic Four, The X-Men and many more.

Steve Rude – One of the most accomplished comic artists working in the field today, Rude has won many awards for his hyper-detailed, clean-lined artistry. He has forged a career independent of the main publishing houses Marvel and DC Comics and his creation – Nexus – is regarded as his supreme achievement.

Gene Colan – With an art style that borrows from the cinema, Colan worked for both Marvel and DC in the 1960s and 1970s on such titles as Iron Man,
Daredevil, Howard the Duck and Batman.

The Victoria Art Gallery, near Pulteney Bridge in Bath, is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday 1.30pm to 5pm. The Gallery is closed on Monday. Admission is free.

For more details call 01225 477233 or visit the Gallery’s website at

Wings (1927)

As you can see from this silent claasic starring Clara Bow the classic stringbag movie cliches are already in place. How many movies show the same old shots? - the machine gun bullet holes ripping up through the fuselage fabric, the exploding airship... seen one ya seen 'em all - but still we come back for more...

The Blue Max (1966) 'attack'

This may be a deleted scene - I'm not sure I recognise it but it is quite a staggering sequence with music by Jerry Goldsmith. Showing German planes supporting infantry assaults, presumably during the Michael Offensive, it is, to my mind, one of the best World War One depictions in recent cinema.

Richthofen and Brown (1971)

Due to popular demand I will extend my Great War season with a few more biplane movies - this one was directed by Roger Corman. It uses a lot of the props from the 1965 movie The Blue Max. The entire collection of aircraft, uniforms and supporting equipment was purchased from 20th Century Fox by ex-RCAF pilot Lynn Garrison. He kept the collection together in Ireland under his company, Blue Max Aviation, Ltd. Over the following years they played a part in You Can't Win 'Em All, Darling Lili, The Red Baron (1971), Zeppelin, Von Richthofen and Brown, plus a number of television commercials

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Aces High (1976)

This film starring Malcolm Mcdowell is the last in my short season of Great War movies. I really rate it - it's based on the play Journeys End and it has quite a cast including David Woods who was also wih Mcdowell in 'If...' so it has a strange connection with that film. Also on board is Peter Firth fresh from the Double Deckers so more slightly surreal casting but on the whole this film stands up well with other stringbag movies. I was thinking the other day what with the new Red Baron movie and the recent Hollywood offering 'Flyboys' there is a good spread of films about WW1 airman - enough for an all-nighter - you could call it 'Chocs away' or something. There is a kind of generic synopsis for them all - if you have seen one you have seen them all but I really like them and would like to see more. Maybe it's time for a Biggles revival.
Wiki on the movie Aces High here

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Light Horsemen (1987) - attack on Beersheba

Australians in one of the last successful cavalry charges, ever. Wiki on the movie here

Monday, September 22, 2008


An amazing clip. Part of a short season of world war one movies. This sequence has to be seen to be believed - an assault of armoured men - Ned Kelly style - attacking in the Great War. This actually is based on fact if my Funcken book is correct.

Microsoft Pinball Arcade

I'm a little late catching this but recently I have been taken into its spell. It basically emulates a series of classic D Gottlieb pinball machines (one from each decade) with frightening real you believe you are playing a 3d game with silver balls and all. You can revisit your pinball past without having to give up half your living space with clunky machines. Of course there is no better than the real thing - and they're not that expensive either...there is one - featured in the Microsoft game 'Spirit of '76' up on ebay for 600 quid. We did have a couple of pinball machines back in the early 80s before we had kids - many happy hour was spent bashing those balls about the table...happy days.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Art prints of Bushy Run (1763)

This is a slideshow of art by Randy Steele featuring the battle between Woodland Indians and Highlanders - part of Pontiac's Rebellion which was a kind of footnote to the French and Indian war. These are great images and worth a look if you like frontier history and great artwork.

Gorilla in a toy shop

My daughter works at Eric Snook's - Bath's largest toy and nursery shop - and as you might imagine working in a toy shop can be quite fun. She made this movie with her gorilla costume and the staff there - I was asked to put some music and I chose the Ideals 'Go Gorilla'...I think the results are pretty good - check it out and see what you think...

New 28mm hard plastic Napoleonics

Victrix - a new company have just released sets of hard plastic British Napoleonics with French in bicorns to follow. Work out at 38p each. Excellent news indeed. With the Perry Waterloo French coming along I can see that this is working out well for those companies that have invested in this medium.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

'I asked for water' Houston Stackhouse

From the Devil's Music tv series from the mid 70s this great clip shows the man playing Tommy Johnson's big hit 'I asked for water and she gave me gasoline'. Houston Stackhouse never really achieved great fame but he will always be remembered for his work with the King Biscuit Boys and other ensembles.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Civilization IV Colonization

A new game based on the Sid Meier classic from 1994. We used to play the original all the time - even when on the phone - we used to know all the catchphrases by heart 'You can kiss my pinky ring' is one that comes to mind. Basically you have to bring a colony from one of the major European powers and build it up gradually until you eventually declare independence. I'm not sure how many of you remember this game - but it certainly looks worth revisiting.

BBC's new Tess of the D'Urbevilles

Having a gloomy disposition means that I am pretty susceptible to a bit of Thomas Hardy and though the story of this is well familiar I sat down with relish for some fresh Dorset rural misery. It was really well done - possibly the best adaptation there has been to date - the locations, interiors and of course the acting was all top notch and while I usually find the BBC's costume dramas all posh frocks and Mr Darcy (that is nothing to do with real life for the majority of us) this at least showed some of the lower classes, their lives and their lot. Recommended
Watch episode one on iplayer here

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007)

Amazing overhead scene - surely inspired by Bondarchuk... I've been a bit ill this weekend so I finished up watching a lot of telly including my backlog of movies - first on the list was this one based on the famous book. It is of course quite depressing but impressive nonetheless and certainly kept my attention for the length of the film. All the great Native American actors are there including a small performance from Wes Studi as a Ghost Dancer prophet. I have to say I also watched Major Dundee (1965) Pekinpah's cavalry western so it felt like a balanced diet...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

B-52s 'Funplex'

Well this is something to celebrate - a new B-52s album - their first for some time -this is the single from it - and really good it is too - a fine return to form.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Sticks

One of the bands we played with this weekend - this clip is from the Westhill Hall Brighton taken by Susan. You might be able to detect a bit of a Monks influence in there...

'Mao Mao' Claude Channes

With English subtitles... from the Jean-Luc Godard movie La Chinoise. I dare you to watch this and not have it bore into you like an ear worm. One of my favourite movie songs... it's not often you get lyrics like this...savour them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Frank Frost 'My Back Scratcher'

More in my 'when blues goes pop' series this groovy number would have no doubt been a jukebox favourite - kind of like Slim Harpo meets 'Pass the Hatchet' - give it a go - you might just like it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Jimmy Rogers If It Ain't Me

Sue's got fed up with all the rockabilly I've been playing and wanted a bit of Chicago has to be said Rockabilly is a bit like blues before its balls dropped and to illustrate this I thought I'd post this fine 1956 band offering with backing by Walter Horton, Robert Junior Lockwood, Otis Spann and Fred Below - pretty much a dream team playing this mid pace piece of blues pop. I like the pop blues of the 50s - attempts by Chess to break into the teen market - purists tend to hate them but I love them. Expect more on this theme.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Animals and Men in London and Brighton

Here's us at Ryan's Bar in Stoke Newington bashing out our old hit 'Don't Misbehave In the New Age'. Thanks to the organisers and people who came along...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Dale Hawkins 'Little Pig'

I'm having a bit of a Dale Hawkins revival at the moment. Excellent 1958 rockabilly from one of the greats - that also usually includes James Burton on guitar. This song is so catchy I can't understand why it wasn't a huge hit. I dare you to play it.

'Aly, Walk With Me' The Raveonettes

Interesting video to a pleasant song by this Danish rock and roll duo. They have a cool twangy sound on the guitar, which I like and the song is simple enough to enjoy first time around.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Performing Ferrets 'Rouse Rouse'

Messthetics band from Maidestone 1980-2. This is a short film made to promote their cd on Hyped 2 Death and very good indeed it is too. I would recommend anyone who has an interest in those times to watch this as it is a gem.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) trailer

This movie is actually in colour - John Ford's first film in that medium - sadly overshadowed when it came out by Gone With the Wind - it was not a commercial success. It tells the story of newly married couple, the Martins, as they try and live in the Mohawk valley during the American Revolution. One of my favourite films I am really glad to see this trailer up. We actually did an event at the Ulster American Folkpark based on this movie and I was pretty pleased with the outcome.

Carl Perkins 'True Love'

Staying with the rockabilly theme I thought I'd post this little sequence showing the highly underrated Perkins doing one of his great hits. Funny seeing him play a Les Paul - nowadays it's all semis for rockabilly but a lot of the greats did play the solid bodied gibson...can't think of any at the moment...James Burton maybe? No I just checked - he played telecasters... let me know if you can think of any Les Paul playing Rockabilly artists...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Cheaterslicks

Saw a great rockabilly band last night - the Cheaterslicks - a trio (upright bass, guitar and drums) and what a night it was. Turning up in their band transport - a beautiful '51 Mercury with white wall tyres it set the tone for the evening - hot rod inspired authentic scorching white hot rock and roll. With their own compositions and classics from a diverse range of sources from Link Wray to Johnny Cash they stormed the place and took no prisoners, it was quite simply amazing. The West Country seems to be the home of some great rock and roll and rockabilly... a lot of them on Western Star great to see a line up of them all - a festival or something.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Big New Prinz The Fall

From 88 - introduced by the late Tony Wilson. Great clip. I used to think the chorus was 'he is nuts...appreciate it' as opposed to 'he is not... appreciated' and I thought the verse was 'drink the launderette' instead of 'drink the long draught'.

Ray Harryhausen creature list

Bos lent me this great book The Art of Ray Harryhausen the other day - it is an amazing book of concept art, 3d models and, most tantalisingly. artwork for films never made. This short video purports to show all the creatures by this master of stop motion animation in chronological order. I think they may have missed a few out but it's a cracking 4 and a half minutes. Recommended.

'Do the Clam' Akire Fuse and the Blue Comets

I'm a little obsessed by this tune. It's amazing how many of Elvis' songs are about shellfish or crustaceans - the Shrimp Song, Crawfish, actually I can only think of two now I'm thinking about it. This is a great version of this classic beach party song with some shamelessly awful dancing.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Animals and Men 'Primitive'

Here's us practising for our forthcoming gigs in London 5th September(Stoke Newington Ryan's Bar - tickets from here) and Brighton - Westhill Hall on the 6th. As you can see Geoff is back from Dubai and firmly back in the drum seat. This song was originally done by the Groupies. We don't usually do covers but this song has a special appeal for us. See ya soon?

Monday, August 25, 2008

'Having a Wild Weekend' trailer

This Dave Clark Five vehicle was one of the best of the 60s pop films - probably as it had a certain John Boorman as director. Recommended.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Billy's Blues

Hear Jody Williams (see below) on this - 2nd guitar Bo Diddley - a song that was ripped off by Mickey & Sylvia and became Love is Strange. Listen and see if you notice the plagiarism... of course pop music is all about ripping people off - why should we get upset about it?

Jody Williams 'Return of a legend'

If you have a reasonable knowledge of Chicago Blues you will have heard Jody Williams as he was session guitarist on all sorts of hits from Howling Wolf, Bo Diddley, Billy Boy Arnold as well as recording some scorching solo tunes - mostly stinging instrumentals. Anyway he's back - he gave up music many decades ago fed up with people stealing his licks and became a xerox repairman, but recently - has returned with two brilliant albums that have ensured his anonymity was a thing of the past. Here he is earlier this year playing his signature tune 'Lucky Lou'.

Caveman (1981) trailer

This comedy with Ringo Starr and host of other actors passed me by in 81 - never heard of it till now. Looks like a classic flop.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Crazy Gang 'Alf Button's Afloat' (1938) extract

Maybe it's time for a little classic British comedy.

The Move 'I can hear the grass grow'

This isn't a call to get out and mow the lawn by the way. It is a slice of British psychedelia which on the whole I don't like as a rule but this track is good enough to be considered alongside the US nuggets bands in my opinion. I think the Fall's version alerted me to what a good song it was - which is what a good cover should do. Apparently references Chesney Allen in the middle 8. According to the wiki on the Move, because the publicity material for 'Flowers in the Rain' had a cartoon of Harold Wilson (PM at the time) and Marcia Williams in bed together, after a court case which the band lost all royalties for the song were awarded to a charity of Wilson's choice - still in force after his death in the 90s. That's a bit harsh isn't it?

Sara and Hoppity (1960)

Susan was saying yesterday that much of her early childhood was spent swinging on a gate which reminded me of this programme - one of my earliest tv memories. It's actually really frightening - disturbing even - with some classic bad parenting - 'if she was my child I'd give her a good hard smack' and 'have some jelly and cream but don't tell mummy' and so on. LIke as not you won't remember this slice of ghoulish puppetry - hope it doesn't give you bad dreams...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Somerset cider

Many of you have drank our cider at gigs and parties - this is where we get it from - our local cider farm 'Creedies' - we made this film just for you. We're also buying a lump of cheddar cheese - really tasty it is too. Music is 'Cider' by Social Security, a Bristol punk band. And Yes, we will be bringing a few gallons to our gigs in Stoke Newington and Brighton (5th and 6th September - see below). If you want to buy cider online - go to Thatchers website.

Animals and Men live in Brighton

Yes indeed... with the Sticks and Go Faster DJs... See ya there music lovers? We're playing the preceding night at Stoke Newington, if you live in London...why not go to both?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Saints live in 1977

This is a little gem - the Saints playing This Perfect Day, Run Down and Erotic Neurotic. Anyone from Frome from the old punk rock days has a soft spot for this band for they provided many magic moments of crazy dancing...never got to see them live but this almost makes up for it.

The Dils 'I Hate the Rich'

Classic US punk rock from back in the old days. I really liked this single and bought it - didn't know anything about them or the other single I had 'Class War' but they seemed really on the button. If you like great frantic punk give this a spin.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rattles 'The Witch' video

This bit of German pop is pleasant on the ear and eye... quite atmospheric in a sort of budget horror movie type of an outtake of Psychomania.

Austro-Prussian war reenactment slideshow

As you know I am very impressed by the Austro-Prussian war reenactment scene in Europe - it seems so well done - it's like a breath of fresh air compared to a lot of the rubbish reenactments going on - have a look at these images and judge for yourself...these pics are 2005-7 so it's probably even better now...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lulu 'Love loves to love'

I'm a tiger here

Joël Denis - Vas-y dis-lui

This song from 1965 is a French Canadian version of Mickey Lee Lane's Shaggy Dog - and if that don't make you want to listen to it then I can't help you. Filmed on the streets of Quebec. Another one here.

The Fabulous Wailers 'Hang Up'

Fantastic garage rock and roll or whatever you might call it from one of the originators set to scenes from the 69 film 'Astro-Zombies' - great song great visuals.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Revolution (1985) battle scene

Huzzah!! Someone has posted the battle scene from the Goldcrest movie Revolution...a film that was a terrible flop for all involved but for me revived my interest in history. It was filmed in the UK - this scene is on Exmoor so it doesn't really look like any other American Revolution movie but I still love it - please watch this and make up your own mind - you might like Donald Sutherland's Yorkshire accent - you might like the props... the uniforms are all pretty top notch... make my day and watch it... I personally think this sequence is one of the best 'redcoats in battle' bits going - the atmosphere, the shadows, the wintry landscape... all very beautiful in my view.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stupid questions at English Heritage sites

EH have published a list of dumb questions asked at their sites. Not sure if that's a wise idea - sneering at the paying punters....but they are funny.

Bob Dylan 'Don't Start Me Talkin''

I love this version of the Sonny Boy classic - shows Bob Dylan can 'do' the blues I reckon...

Lew Lewis Reformer live in 1980

This is a bit of a gem - canvey harmonica genius Lew Lewis live on stage in 1980... if you like this sort of thing and want to see Lew Lewis play with the Hot Rods in 2008 go here...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Inglorious Bastards

This Italian war film from 1977 is to be remade with a stellar cast by Tarantino so I thought it might be time to look at the trailer. I wonder what the soundtrack will be like? Tarantino said
But the thing is, I won't be period specific about the movie. I'm not just gonna play a lot of Edith Piaf and Andrews Sisters. I can have rap, and I can do whatever I want. It's about filling in the viscera

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Animals and Men gig in London

Ryan's bar - Stoke Newington 5th September with Electricity in Our Homes and the Pheromoans. Tickets from Rough Trade East in person and We Got Tickets. It's a fairly intimate venue so grab a ticket while you can.