Thursday, April 29, 2010

Leningrad siege: now and then

Interesting piece of photo journalism here showing scenes of the terrible siege of Leningrad during WW2 overlaid with scenes at the same location in modern-day St Petersburg. Check it out to see what I mean.

Red Dawn remake

If all this Red Army propaganda makes you nervous you will be happy to know the 1984 John Milius movie Red Dawn is being remade. Instead of depicting a Soviet takeover like the original with Patrick Swayze it now has the Chinese coming to invade the land of the free. Wiki here.
The original as far as I was concerned was a must-see piece of schlock with some great performances like Harry Dean Stanton 'Avenge me!' and Powers Booth - a kind of ultimate 80s trashfest - can the new one live up to that? My advice? Get hold of the original.

Белая Армия, черный Барон White Army, Black Baron

More fascinating animation of the heroic kind for the subject of Red Cavalry. I am guessing this is maybe 70s or 80s - I really like it. I think its a combination of several animations but it works well. With English subtitles. Where are the British seas?

Красная армия (Red Army)

Strap on your buds and enjoy this video from probably the 60s - looks like a similar hand to the Tachanka song posted a while back. This has subtitles so there's no excuse...

Первая Конная 1984

Just to give you an update on my relationship with this Soviet film about the First Horse Army - the Red Cavalry movie. I am hoping to make a Youtube video with all the good action bits set to music. The music - I am working on a punk version of the song 'We Are the Red Cavalry' but I am a little worried that when I post the clip people will say 'what's that crappy music' so my tiny ego might make me choose someone else but then I might get copyright problems. We'll see. Favourite choice for 'someone else's music' is 70 Gwen Party's 'Walkabout' - it's suitably apocalyptic but then maybe I ought to just make sure 'We are the Red Cavalry' is a great song. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

'Get Out of Denver'/Horseplay' Hot Rods with Lew Lewis

This is like the Holy Grail if you are a fan of 70s British r'n'b...the Hot Rods at their rocking best with the legendary Lew Lewis on harp. What a scorcher. 'You look just like a commie and you might just be a member baby'....oh this brings back great memories - we used to do these songs when I was in the Bad Detectives.

Down at the Doctors - Dr Feelgood

This is one of my favourite post-Wilko Feelgood tunes - there's a great Brilleaux harp solo in here and some great guitar work from Gypie Mayo. Something about this song that makes you go 'Oh yes' or something.

'Roxette' Dr Feelgood

I really enjoyed the Oil City Feelgood movie when I saw it the other night - one ommission we thought was this song - not really featured which is a shame as it was possibly their best song IMHO - I don't think the singles market was something serious bands bothered about then but it could have been a big hit methinks.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

War Rhinos

According to this article it is a myth that Rhinos were used in warfare. Sad.

Ball tanks

Interesting article - strange tanks 2 which tells the tale of the rolling ball principle of tank design that didn't really take off.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Paper soldiers of the Red Army

These are amazing. Just the job. More here - may take a while to load but it's worth it. They date from around 1910-20 so I suppose some of these are Imperial Russians.
It might be that noone who reads this blog will enjoy this as much as me but there ya go.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New book on the early Red Army

Dayosh! (Give Me)! This great new book looks just what the Doctor ordered. Must get a copy. For fans of the Red Army. Buy it and details here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Richard Cory Simon and Garfunkel

Great anti-capitalist folk song - not sure who wrote it - Them did a version, but it's not up on Youtube - Van Morrison probably spends all day online making sure nobody can listen to his music for free.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Charley Patton 'Troubled 'bout my Mother'

Well you can trust Papa Charlie to nail it - in this case aided by the fascinating Bertha Lee Pate.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Something Else

Eddie Cochran 50th anniversary

Today we are celebrating the life of Eddie Cochran - killed 50 years ago today just outside Bath.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

South Bank Malcolm McLaren from 84

This documentary is a great time capsule that shows the man in 84 promoting his rap-opera crossover. With comments from people like Boy George and Adam Ant. Definitely worth the watch. He's very much in love with himself but its fun to watch. Bow wow wow in part 2.

Malcom McLaren 'Boys Chorus'

This song reminds me of my school days. Such a great artist. There was a South Bank show documentary on the making of this 'Fans' album if I remember rightly and they did a version of this. I thought it should have been a single.

Propaganda art blog

Got this poster from this blog which has some fascinating images.
1919 poster, "Mount your horses, workers and peasants! The Red Cavalry is the pledge of victory."

Red Cavalry - the movie

Первая Конная (1984) Pervaya konnaya 1984. I have now seen this Mosfilms epic. It is stunning. OK the talking bits being in Russian and no subtitles are a bit confusing and boring but the plot is basically the lives of several men and women of Budyenny's First Horse Army. It ends in a colossal battle with flying Cossacks, tachankas, everything - very large and what you expect from a Soviet era historical film and worth sitting through the dull bits for. You may wince at the amount of carnage meted out to the poor stuntmen and horses but this omelette was worth breaking a few eggs for. The music is strange - kind of 80s synth - like the sort of music you get in European horror movies but it does not jar too much. The cinematography is fiirst rate with the dusty columns, nurses bathing, and waves of Cossacks - all having a beautiful wistful look. The actor playing Budyenny Vadim Spiridonov has a striking moustache and persona fitting for a hero of the Revolution and the historical detail seems good to me though I'm not an expert in this field. All in all if you are a Red Cavalry fan - get this movie pronto.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Amyl Nitrate 'Rule Britannia'

Great intro to this clip. How prophetic the words he says are.

Early Subway Sect footage

I don't think we have had this clip before. Be good to see more of this.

Animals & Men interview

Local legendary post-punks play hometown gig

Piece from the local paper from the end of last year.

Svoy sredi chuzhikh, chuzhoy sredi svoikh (1974)

If you want a version of this scene with English subtitles go here. A Soviet film from 74 - set in the Civil War era. English title "At Home Among Strangers, Stranger at Home". Apparently they were only given so much colour stock by Mosfilms so they had to film some scenes in black and white or sepia. Imdb here. Looks like a well shot film and worth tracking down in the search for Red Cavalry movies.

Zulus on a Timebomb - Malcolm McLaren

Sad to hear of the death of Malcolm McLaren. A man who pushed the musical envelope and was a real innovator. What a great musical legacy to choose from - here's one of my favourites.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Fall 'I'm not from Bury'

So the Fall are playing the Frome Cheese and Grain May 15th? For other tour dates and other news go here. The new album 'Your Future Our Clutter' is getting rave reviews across the board so maybe we should make a hospital appointment for the tinnitis we're gonna get the next day and go soak up the noise. It's been a while since I saw a decent band.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Reenacting the Russian Civil War

You might think with all this about the RCW I would be wanting to reenact it - well we tried that a few years ago. There is/was a group up North called the 1914-21 Society (website not up at the moment) which was a great group that had RCW weekends - we went to one and thoroughly enjoyed it. But our interest kind of waned. In Russia apparently there's not a lot going on - there's some White groups who are overly political (politics and reenactment don't mix well) and that's about it. There is however a thriving WW1 scene as I have covered on this blog before and I hope that when the centennial of the Russian Revolution and the Civil War come along maybe some of them will get involved. Here are some images of such a group - a WW1 group doing a Civil war event. Looks good. More here and here

Monday, April 05, 2010

Red Army Fleet by Lebedev 1920

Wiki on the artist here

Soviet posters

From here
This one is excellent and the site tells us that it's

A. (Skif) Apsit: Long Live the Three-million Man Red Army! (1919)

Apsit's panoramic vision of c victorious Red Army streaming across the great plains of Russia was produced in late 1919, before he fled from a Moscow threatened by the White Army. Apsit lived to see his early Soviet posters denounced as stylistically bourgeois in their idealism and lock of socialist realism.

Land and Freedom

Easily the best film on the Spanish Civil War - directed by Ken Loach and written by the late great Jim Allen. I'd really like to see their 'Days of Hope' again - a tv series on the early Labour movement through the General Strike and all - will I ever?


The Russian rifle for all of the major conflicts of the 20th century. Wiki here.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine

Aka The Black Army. Not sure if this footage is genuine - there is some tachanka footage at the end that looks staged but all in all its worth watching this film of the Anarchist Black Army.
Of course Makhno will always be associated with his invention, the Tachanka, this one is one used by Makhno on display in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. The slogan reads: "Death to the black robber baron Vrangel!"

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Singing Guitars - 'Tachanka'

Yes - I think this is the same song as in the brilliant 1936 animation. A Russian beatgroup from 1969 singing a song about a machine gun cart - blogging doesn't get much better than this,,,(a joke)

Maxim Gun documentary

Russian language film about this gun from 1910 up to the end of the Second World War.Incidentally you can buy a deactivated one for about 500 quid if you have a cart and want to have your own tachanka.

The Nine Lives of Nestor Makhno" - trailer

Interesting looking film about the famous anarchist - watch out for the Tachanka bits!
Promo trailer for the Russian mini series "The Nine Lives of Nestor Makhno", which tells about the leader of the Ukrainian anarchist "Black Army" during the Russian Revolution and Civil War. Subtitles for this trailer are on the Youtube page.

Jaybee Wasden - 'De Castrow' (1959)

This is a strange song we heard on Ichiban. What is it? Anti-Cuban Rebel sentiment? It's not very often you get stuff about 'cutting your throat from ear to ear' in a song.

Armoured trains

We should mention these as they were part of the warfare of this era. Armoured train list wiki.

Trotsky's Red Sotnia

One of the many outlandishly attired units in the Russian Revolution period this was the armoured train guard for Leon Trotsky dressed head to toe in red leather getting the jump on the New York Dolls for a few decades. Sotnia means 'Hundred' - it's an old Cossack designation. Makhno, the Anarchist leader (who invented the tachanka incidentally) had a Black Sotnia.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Early Red Army

This page seems to have some useful info - you'll have to translate it but it seems worth it from what I've read. It's quite frustrating really my lack of knowledge on the Russian language...

'Who Do You Love?' Official trailer

What's this? Another movie about Leonard Chess? The movie Doppleganger effect strikes again! You wait for ages for a movie and then two come along. This one though has Bo Diddley going for it - check out 1:30 in for some music.

Black leather 'bud' on ebay

Now you know I don't lust after objects...much... but there's something on ebay I want - trouble is starting bid is over 500 dollars. It's a 1920 budenovka - hammer and plough badge - oh well maybe I could get someone to make a repro.
Read the wiki on the hat and its usage.

Françoise Hardy - Catch a falling star (1964)

This is brilliant - I have it on a vinyl ep bought from a Charity Shop. Long wanted to do a cover of this but we aren't really a covers band (shame) but the thought is there ok? Without the best version of this song I've heard.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Austin armoured cars

Of course the Soviets in the 20s were still using the family of Austin armoured cars. You can see some in the movies below. Presumably there are some working replicas somewhere? This one at the Kubinka museum was built in the 50s though I presume it doesn't run any more. Wiki

Reconstructing a Ford FT-B

The Ford FT-B was a Polish armoured car built on a Model T-Ford chassis. It was a successful design that saw action in the Soviet-Polish war. This page will take you through the process of creating a replica as done by a group of enthusiasts using a Model T-Ford chassis. Excellent stuff.

Cantinières and Vivandières of the French Army

This is a first so I am putting this on this website as well as on my Warfare in the Age of Steam blog... a new book and website dedicated to the Cantinières and Vivandières of the French Army.
Excellent and groundbreaking stuff.