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 www.victoriagal.org.uk

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 realism...so 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 blues...it 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...