Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Devils (1971)

As part of an occasional series of classic British films of the 70s what better than the film based on Aldous Huxley's novel the Devils of Loudon. Starring Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave its basically about a mass possession but in reality it's a tour de force of iconoclasm and disturbing scenes. Worth watching...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Seminole War reenactment

If you like obscure periods being reenacted well then have a look at this interpretation of the Seminole War - a war in Florida in the 1830s - the battle of Dade to be's very good. The background helps a lot by adding to the atmosphere. The bumph reads
On December 28, 1835, Seminole warriors ambushed and annihilated a relief column under the command of Brevet Major Francis Langhorne Dade. Of the 108 members of the column, only one was ultimately able to make it back and tell the tale. The Dade Battlefield Society, a dedicated band of reenactors, has brought this tempestuous time back to life for over the last twenty years. The reenactment takes place in Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, where the actual battle took place over two hundred years ago. The reenactment is well planned and rehearsed and almost everyone has a close-up, ringside seat. The park is located in Bushnell, Florida. More information and schedules for the next reenactment can be found at

Freddy King 'Hideaway'

This is a tour de force instrumental from one of the greats...see how many themes you can recognise in this trip through guitar lick wonderland...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Avril Lavigne and Li'l Mama 'Black Friend'

Bea chose this - it's very funny and of course true... see if it makes you laugh.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Primal Scream 'Can't go Back'

Quite enjoying the new PS album - it's quite poppy like this one - the single - bit summery bit shallow bit easy on the ears, all with nice phat bass and backing vocals... see what you think...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Brigitte Bardot 'Harley Davidson' (1968)

Great song and lovely film - if you haven't seen this before then you must watch it now...don't put it off for another minute...

Count Five 'Peace of mind'

Not their best song but worth watching anyway...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wars of Louis XIV

Hey.... I made a slideshow to promote my Wars of Louis xiv blog. The music is 'Marche du regiment du roi' by J B Lully. It's in answer to any of you who said 'Why Louis xiv?' - it's not so much the man as the era, and the artistic representation of it that is interesting. The music is a rocking item too. Actually the blog is doing pretty well...30 hits a day average stay 5 step I shall invade the Low Countries...

The Shout (1978) trailer

In the old days we used to have conversations where we described certain films that others hadn't seen and they'd go 'Um...sounds good...' now we don't have to bother - we just post the clip up on youtube. But I suppose that isn't really enough for you - oh spenders-of-averaging 58 seconds on my blogperson - you want me to tell you it is an enigmatic British psychological horror film starring Alan Bates, John Hurt and Susannah York. If that isn't enough then I don't know how I can persuade you...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Swansway 'Soul Train'

Peformance from 83 on the Tube. I really liked this at the time and bought the 12 inch single which had, in my opinion a really boring intro but that's 12 inchers for you...Love the song...not sure how you could describe it - Dexy's meet Joy Division? I dunno...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Zardoz (1974) trailer

'The gun is good. The penis is evil.' I'm not really a fan of sci-fi but this film with Sean Connery from John Boorman is an underrated British classic - if you like the Wicker Man you might like this. I think all the parts are up on youtube if it floats your boat...

Ticonderoga 250th footage

This is the best footage I've seen from the Fort Ti reenactment a few weeks ago - if you want to see large units manouevring about this captures it pretty well. I am no fan of the roastbeef cause but this is worth a watch. It gets better as it goes along. I think the practice of the Highland ncos walking facing the line, backs to the enemy is a bit weird... I imagine there is a bit of American civil war influence in there...what do you think?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Watchmen trailer

Need I say more? The film everyone will be going crazy for next year...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Marianne Faithfull 'Song for Nico'

Interesting photo biography to go with this haunting lament for one of the 60s deepest and most artistic of all the female icons - Nico. Recommended. Imagine what it would have been like if Brian Jones and Nico had made a record together?

Junior Wells 'Messin' with the Kid'

Caught the Bad Detectives last night in Bristol - was great of course - thought I'd post something they might like so I chose this virtuoso performance from a great line-up - Odie Payne on drums - Buddy Guy of course... it's an electrifying stampede through the song - marked by some great drum licks - you might want to play it two or three times...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Keoma (1976) trailer

My son likes odd westerns - well they are odd to me as someone who still likes John Wayne - but I admit there are some great soundtracks to the more unusual westerns. This one has some nice harmonica, some operatic warbling and on the soundtrack Lp Franco Nero growling like a toad. First time I heard this it was like 'wtf?' but now I like it and would like to cover it. Hear it here on the credit sequence - other songs are also up for your pleasure

Friday, July 18, 2008

Saturday night in Bristol

Looking forward to saturday night (19th July) when we go to see the Bad Detectives and much more at the Thunderbolt Inn Bristol.
Geoff was telling us he listened to the Bad Detectives radio show from about that? If you missed them they are no doubt archived on Frome FM.

Phil Thomason's Oudenaarde 1708 photos

These are really good quality professional images. Some great shots... links to more photos and videos on my other blog -

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Roky Erickson movie trailer

This looks good. The bumph reads:
This is the story of Roky Erickson: manic frontman for the legendary band The 13th Floor Elevators, creators of psychedelic music and muse to Janis Joplin. YOU’RE GONNA MISS ME is a disturbingly intimate portrait of an imploding family and the struggle between modernized medicine and religion.

Known for his colossal heroin & LSD binges, struggles with "schizophrenia", and an unthinkable term at Rusk Hospital for the Criminally Insane, Roky went missing from the world.

YOU’RE GONNA MISS ME reveals the shocking & triumphant truth behind one of Rock’s great mysteries.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

CSS 'Rat is Dead' video

New song from Brazil's hot export...umm the consensus chez nous is that they have lost something - is it charm, or innocence? Still good but not brilliant...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Haysi Fantayzee 'Shiny Shiny'

Great pop record from 1982. I used to love this group - not sure if anybody else in our little clique at the time liked them much but I think it made me love them all the more. Do they really sing 'I'm a hot retard, Marquis de sade'? I must admit I didn't really like John Wayne is Big Leggy and the album was a bit naff but this moment I do like. There's some interesting demo versions and stuff on youtube - worth spending time on if you like this sort of thing.... fan site

'Time Machine' Jayne County

'I wish I had... a time machine'.... I know some of you heathens don't like punk rock - well you might like this - it's a ballad - it's a great song and quite appropriate for this blog - maybe I should dedicate it to all the people who are fascinated with history...

Oudenaarde 1708 reenactment footage

I know, I know - you think this sort of stuff should be on my Wars of Louis XIV blog - well it is but I thought some of you might also like to see it. Actually I am mostly covering the late 17th century but footage like this is always interesting to look at.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Punk rock's top ten mightiest guitar gods

Interesting list of punks best guitar players... who else might you put in there? In a way the best punk guitarists are the ones that aren't gods I reckon - people like Matthew Ashman (Ants, Bow wow wow) - maybe even guitarists you don't know the name of. Nice to see Robert Quine in the list though.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sonic Youth 'Tunic (Song for Karen)'

Great song - about our theme for the weekend, Karen Carpenter. Lyrics here

Sonic Youth 'Superstar'

If you're having a Carpenters phase at the moment - maybe you should play SY's tribute to the lead sister herself. Original performed here bythe Carpenters. Part one of the controversial Barbie Doll biopic by Todd Haynes here.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Werner Herzog night on BBC4

Save yourself buying Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre Wrath of God by setting your timers for tonight's treat of this master German filmmaker.

Carpenters 'We've Only Just Begun'

Did you see the Carpenters night on TV yesterday? What? You missed it? Ok watch some of it on the BBC i player. Susan reckons they all sound the same - this one I particularly like as it started out as a commercial for a bank. It sort of reminds me of a 70s life I didn't lead.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sir Henry At Rawlinson End Trailer

Classic comedy movie from 1980 starring Trevor Howard - I am sure you all know it... My son is a big Viv Stanshall fan - so he will be glad someone has posted up the whole movie in parts

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Carmel 'More More More'

If you are of a certain age - what a naff intro - but I'll progress anyway - then you will remember this great video directed by the great Lindsay Anderson of British cinema greatness fame - it captures something of the mood of the time I think - not sure how but this video is like 1984 in a box. Cool jazzy pop.

Behind the abbatis at Ticonderoga 250th

If you were wondering what it would have been like on the French side at the Ticonderoga reenactment this video pretty much, I imagine, captures it - the French were behind log walls firing at the British who got shot to pieces...more photos on the Fort Ti website

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Psychedelic Furs 'The Fall'

Great stomping tune from their early period. Excellent stuff - cynical lyrics - should have been a single.

Republica 'Ready to Go'

See if you can spot Dave Barbe on drums (see below) (and audibly) on this hit from ....not sure

Glorious Revolution of 1688

Can you remember what you were doing 20 years ago? I was in the English Civil War Society and reenacting the 300th anniversary of the Glorious Revolution - we did a few interesting things in this almost bloodless invasion - there were minor engagements at Wincanton and Caversham Bridge Reading. This image shows ECWS members reenacting Killiekrankie in 89.
For stuff on this period in its various offshoots visit my new blog - OK... please - I've just put up a counter so I really need those visits...

Bow wow wow 'Go Wild in the Country'

Do Bow wow wow count as punk rock? Are they too upbeat to be counted as Deathrock? Anyway I love them - and this is probably them at their best - we heard from Dave Barbe - the drummer - recently - he has a new musical project that sounds pretty exciting - we'll let you know more when we find out for ourselves. He's played on some big records as well as creating the big drum sound of the 80s as well as having a novel published. He's one the all time great rock drummers and so we were pretty chuffed to meet him last year.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Blog with pictures of the Fort Ticonderoga 250th

Some pleasant photos and a write-up on the weekend's reenactment.

Cavalry Kettle drums

As part of my music and war occasional series I thought I'd post this clip of Household cavalry kettle drums. I have always found these fascinating...the idea of huge drums mounted on horses - they were in the old days considered trophies and were highly prized and if captured would be often reused. Their origins - like most military drumming was derived from the Islamic armies of the Crusades

Monday, July 07, 2008

Bender and David Johansen

Am I the first person to notice that the voices of Futurama Robot Bender and New York Dolls singer/shouter David Johansen are almost identical? See if we can get Johansen to shout 'bite my shiny metal ass' sometime during the current tour - for dates see below. By the way the Futurama movie 'The Beast with a billion backs' is a real treat - lots of gags and cameos - a must see for all fans.

Riot on Sunset Strip (1967) feat. the Standells

This - the opening 5 minutes of the movie which like Blow-Up is also a bit about youthful rebellion in the 60s but from a different distinctly US perspective. Worth watching, honestly...

Yardbirds in 'Blow-Up' 1966

This was one of my favourite things to watch again and again when we first got a video player back in the early 80s - it's a great scene. The set is a mock-up of the Ricky-Tick club and the scene was originally written for the Who but they bailed out - hence the guitar smashing.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Bound for Glory trailer (1976)

This biopic on the great Woody Guthrie didn't really receive the public's interest though it did get some critical acclaim but it seems to have disappeared since then. Time for a revival. Certainly recommend the book too.

Battle at the Bridge of Arcole 1796

Nice clip of the famous battle featuring the young Napoleon.

Battle of Sedgemoor 6 July 1685

Well it was at 10 o'clock at night when the luckless Duke of Monmouth led his men silently out to surprise the Royal army as it lay encamped outside of Bridgwater. One man - a trooper of the Oxford blues noticed something in the gloom and fired a warning shot and alerted the camp. Unable to find a causeway across the ditches that criss-crossed the moor the Rebels were forced to withstand musketry before retreating in confusion to be followed by a deadly aftermath of executions and murder.
More on this period and all manner of late 17th century topics on my blog

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Bad Detectives at the Thunderbolt Bristol

While at the Thekla my pal Graham picked up a flyer - Bad Detectives - didn't you used to be in a bad with that name? I inspected it and felt a burst of pride - 'it's them - they're amazing now - well worth going to - it's all sorts of music - surf, rockabilly, cajun, country - all with a humorous twist - all their own stuff'. They're doing the Thunderbolt, which is rapidly becoming a premiere music venue on July 19th backed with 'Poppy Von Tarte - the girl who can't say no' which I am guessing is a burlesque rock and roll experience. Also the djs look pretty special... I might even venture out of my comfort zone again - see ya there music lovers?
Also the Bad Detectives are back on the radio for the Frome festival from the 4th July - schedules here.
Hear the Bad Detectives on their Myspace

New York Dolls in Bristol

If you know me in RL you might know I don't go out to gigs much - it takes a living legend to get me out of the comfort zone and last night was one of those trips out under the wire to see the New York Dolls at the Thekla. What a night! Scorching singalong songs played by our favourite rock stars. Some nice tributes were paid to Bo Diddley and of course Thunders and they even morphed into Little Walter's Mellow Down Easy during Jet Boy which we loved. I have to say Johansen has possibly the best white blues voices in modern pop - it's still growling and a howling...what a star. People forget how bluesy the Dolls are, with their wailing harp - Sonny Boy and Diddley covers - it is all there... mixing punk with trash ten years before most people even got to hear them. They seemed to be loving playing and the audience lapped it up singing all the whoo hoos and choruses making Johansen grin like a cheshire cat.
We had a bit of a nice tribal gathering of old pals there too - probably hadn't all been together since about 83 so it was quite an emotional evening - I felt tears well up when they did Lonely Planet Boy as the timeless quality of the evening kicked in.... anyway to conclude - get to see them if you can music lovers it's rock and roll par excellence! See them play Dance Like a Monkey and be interviewed on British tv in 2006
The Rest of the Tour
July 3 - Manchester, UK - Academy 3 - Headline July 4 - London, UK - Wireless Festival - Headline Tuborg Stage July 12 - Kent, UK - Down on the Farm Festival July 13 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Club Vega - Headline July 16 - Athens, Greece - Fly Beeyond Festival July 18 - Benicassim, Spain - FIB Festival July 24 - Stezanno, Italy - Druso Under the Sky Festival July 25 - Pinarella Di Cervia, Italy - Rock Planet Club - Headline July 29 - Tel Aviv, Israel - Heatwave Festival w/ Morrissey Aug 2 - Lokeren, Belgium - Lokerse Festeen Festival

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Bo Diddley Let Me Pass (1965)

Another great clip from the great Bo Diddley. I'm always discovering new BD tracks I've never heard before - he was so prolific - looking forward to the ultimate Bo Diddley box set.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Russian Peter the Great era reenactors

I am not the only one who likes to keep up with our Russian guardsmen of the era of Peter the Great friends you know - lots of - well some - folks like to see what is going on over there as it usually looks fun and there's usually a spectacular element to it. These pictures are great - they are celebrating the founding of a town in 1703 - certainly looks quite different to here anyway...
More here
have a look at them rowing and having fun

The town Petrozavodsk was founded in June 1703 and in festivities this weekend.

Wars of Louis XIV figures

I've been investigating figures for the late 17th century for my new blog and have come to the conclusion that Donnington Miniatures 15mm figs are the best range for the job. I want to visually recreate the view of the period as shown in all those brilliant battle paintings that are quite panoramic usually showing miles of rows of tents and thousands of tiny figures milling about so 15mm should be about right to get that effect. The Donnington miniatures range cover all the relevant troop types and are from what I remember full of the right type of poses for pike and shot warfare - that is fairly static. Photos and review soon on my other blog.