Thursday, November 24, 2011

Borodino 2012

This is going to be the big anniversary next year - Russian Napoleonics are very well done as this video demonstrates.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bad Detectives in 1979

Supporting Animals & Men at Newton Park College Bath. Check out their blog here

Friday, November 11, 2011

Adam Ant in Frome

This was a great and entertaining show with lots of old 70s favourites from the Dirk era and beyond. Crowd loved it - so did we. Energetic and satisfying. Reead Venue magazine's review here

Animals & Men play France

2nd December 2011. With the Dreams and TG plus a DJ set from Rosa Vertov. Venue
Les Instants Chavirés
7, rue Richard-Lenoir

Monday, October 24, 2011

I wish you would/It's Hip. - The Terraplanes (Animals & Men) 1981

Playing a battle of the bands at the Granary in Bristol we were required to play one cover - this was our choice Billy Boy Arnold's hit from 1955. The line up was Susan Wells vocals Ralph Mitchard Harp Dave Mackay bass Andy Payne drums

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cider Safari

Inspired by the song off the Bad Detectives new album we thought we'd go on a cider safari to Thatchers in Sandford. Went through Cheddar Gorge to get there.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Bad Detectives 'Look at Life'

Frome's own songsmiths have another cd out. Go here to read more about it - tracklisting etc. Looks good.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

'The Loft' Radstock's newest shop

Hey exciting! Radstock has a new second hand guitar shop - it also sells amps and all manner of musical usefuls including strings, picks etc. Also do second hand vinyl and all manner of sundry items - they're on the county bridge if you want to check them out. I wish them all the best. Website here

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pinballs in Weston Super Mare

Went on a Pinball Pilgrimage to WSM yesterday - there was 4 machines in the Grand Pier - Spiderman, Shrek, Batman (Dark Knight) and Big Buck Hunter Pro. We have heard there's a whole arcade of tables at Brean Leisure Park so maybe a trip there is next on the cards...

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Adam Ant to play Frome Cheese and Grain

Info here. Pre tour warm up on November 10.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Elephant's Leg - comedy play at the Egg

Venue review here
I'd have to be pretty churlish not to mention this - a new comedy play written by my son Red and his pal George Mills. It's showing at the Egg, Theatre Royal Bath from 1st - 3rd September. Tickets available from the Theatre Royal. It all takes place in a kitchen at a party - wait - I'll copy and paste the description from the webpage

A party somewhere in Bath, shy Ted listens patiently to host Josh's joke. And listens, and listens.

The longer it goes on the more difficult it is for Ted to leave before the punch line. In the background the party is in full swing, with lovers’ tiffs, burnt shoes and vodka-pineapples constantly hindering the joke’s completion. Will the distractions ever cease?

Will Ted ever hear the end of the joke and will it ever live up to its extraordinary build up? The Elephants Leg is a manic, comic farce of jokes, drink and distractions.

The Legless Theatre Company is a new young and boisterous group brimming with confidence as it prepares for its debut

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Little Walter 'Little Walter's Jump'

Featuring Hound Dog Taylor on guitar from 1967

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fred McDowell 'Louise'

Great colour footage of the man.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Schleich Wolverine

This is a great new figure from Schleich - well worth buying if you like mustelids.

Susan Wells (Animals & Men)

This was taken by Neil Mitchard at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco July 2011.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Back from the USA

Well our (animals & men) tour went well and we played with some great bands, some really great bands and some extremely marvellous bands. Thanks to Alex for organsing and being a great Tour manager. You can find some links on our Facebook page to some live recordings we made while we were there. Read our interview with the LA Record's Chris Ziegler here

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Animals & Men 'Don't Misbehave In the New Age'

Here's us playing in Frome a few weeks ago - filmed by Paul of the Bad Detectives and Magic Tractor. The gig was promoted by Ultrabreaks, so a thanks to all those mentioned.

See us in the US at

WED JUNE 22nd PORTLAND on the LIFE DURING WARTIME show on KBOO Community Radio
THUR JUNE 23rd PORTLAND at EAGLES HALL w/Future Less Vivid (members of Tyvek, Little Claw), Light Brigade (ex-Quack Rainbow), and Sad Horse
FRI JUNE 24th SEATTLE at FUNHOUSE w/Evening Meetings (members of A-Frames, Love Tan), Witch Gardens, Partman Parthorse
SAT JUNE 25th OLYMPIA at NORTHERN w/Morgan And The Organ Donors, Western Hymn
SUN JUNE 26th PORTLAND at TONIC LOUNGE w/Psychic Feline, Cat Fancy
WED JUNE 29th OAKLAND at SUGAR MOUNTAIN w/Brilliant Colors, English Singles, American Splits
THUR JUNE 30th L.A. at THE SMELL w/Dunes, Wounded Lion, KIT
SAT JULY 2nd SF at BOTTOM OF THE HILL w/Grass Widow, Rank/Xerox
SUN JULY 3rd The CRUSHER FEST at Stork Club in Oakland w/Nikki Corvette, Paul Collins etc.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Top ten Napoleonic movies

I thought it might be fun to make a chart of the best and worst Napoleonic movies - I decided not to include miniseries. Thanks to Mike and Andy for their help in compiling it.
1 - Voyna I Mir (1968) Russian epic that is one of the most expensive movies ever.
2 - Waterloo (1970) great film of the battle. Steiger is good as Napoleon and the various small characters are fun
3 The Duellists (1977) Ridley Scott's directorial debut is a picturesque look at the emnity between two French hussars.
4 War and Peace (1956) Hollywood version. OK Henry Fonda was miscast as Pierre but Audrey Hepburn as Natasha makes up for that.
5 Napoleon (1927) - Silent film about the early career of Napoleon. Impressive tryptich at the end.
6 Master and Commander (2003) Peter Weir's naval adventure.
7 Captain Horatio Hornblower RN (1952)
8 Colonel Chabert (1994) Depardieu plays the title role set in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars. Excellent depiction of Eylau in flashback
9 Adventures of Gerard (1970) Based on a novel by Conan Doyle this rarely seen Brit flick is worth watching.
10 The Battle of Austerlitz (1960) Abel Gance directed this largely studio shot epic. Strange. Watch clip here

Some of the films that didnt make the list are Woody Allen's 'Love and Death', the 'Pride and the Passion' - Sophia Loren in Spain. Kolberg (1945) is a Nazi made epic that is terrible. The 'Scarlet Tunic' (1998) wins a prize for having the lowest budget - investors got parts in the movie in exchange for dough. Watch the trailer here

Thursday, May 12, 2011

War and Peace (1956)

Someone was saying they haven't seen this Hollywood version of Tolstoy's epic novel. I quite like this - it's a different kettle of fish to the Russian version but it is worth a look. Wiki

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

13 Assassins trailer

My son who if you read this blog is a Samurai afficiando is getting ready to watch this Takeshi Miike movie at the cinema so I thought I'd tip you off in case you like Samurai movies...

Animals and Men live in Frome 28th May

Kleenex 'Heidi's Head'

Mississippi records have issued a big vinyl box set of this influential band. Buy it now before they all sell out...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

X Ray Spex 'Identity'

Sad to hear that Poly Styrene has passed on.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dambusters remake

My son spotted this- a remake written by Stephen Fry with 10 full sized replica bombers made for filming - the wiki reads


Work on a remake of The Dam Busters, produced by Peter Jackson and directed by first time director Christian Rivers, began production in 2008. Jackson said in the mid-1990s that he became interested in remaking the 1954 film, but found that the rights had been bought by Mel Gibson. In 2004, Jackson was contacted by his agent, who said Gibson had dropped the rights. The rights were purchased by Sir David Frost from the Brickhill family in 2005.[4] Stephen Fry is writing the script of the film.[5] It will be distributed by Universal Pictures and StudioCanal.[6] Filming was planned to commence in early 2009, on a budget of USD 40 million,[7] although no project-specific filming had begun as of May 2009.[8]

Weta Workshop are making the models and special effects for the film and have made 10 life size Lancaster bombers.[9]

The last living pilot of the strike team, Les Munro, joined the production crew in Masterton as technical adviser. Jackson will also use newly declassified War Office documents to ensure the authenticity of the film.[10]

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

Wiki on the album here

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Le Boucher (1970)

Watched a Claude Chabrol movie on tv this morning The Beast Must Die) and it reminded me how much I used to enjoy the works of this man (1930-2010) who was dubbed the French Hitchcock. Some great thrillers usually with murder not far away these films are very elegant and are accessable. Here's one that I think was my first taste of Chabrol about a schoolteacher in a small town. I shall say no more. Enjoy

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Animals and Men play Salford May 1st

Details here of this gig at the King's Arms Salford. Promoters 'Comfortable on a tightrope'.

The Commissar (1967) (English subtitles)

Wiki on the movie. The bumph on Youtube says. Based on the story by V. Grossman "In the Town of Berdichev".
A female commissar named Vavilova has to leave her detachment for a while. She is expecting a baby... Staying with the Jewish family of a petty artisan, who has many children of his own, and observing the everyday life of those poor but always ready to help people, Madame Vavilova, as she is called by the head of the family, Yefim Magazannik, discovers a hitherto unknown to her world of human joys, the happy pleasures of motherhood and family life. But soon she has to return to the realities of war and leave her newborn son with her new friends...
The fate of the film was tragic. The film was banned for twenty years in the Soviet Union; the censorship board considered it "pro-Zionist" due to its sympathetic portrayal of Jews. IMDB

Leadbelly 1/14 (1976)

This biopic (and you know how much I enjoy musical biopics) of Leadbelly is up on Youtube - haven't ever seen it before but I remember when it came out - around the same time as the Woody Guthrie 'Bound for Glory' movie was around.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Scene from Godard's Weekend (1967)

Lovely scene from this black comedy/experimental film that is considered by many to be Godard's best work. The cars in this clip are great - there's an NSU Prinz or two - this was our first car bought cheaply.

Made in USA (1966)

This is one Godard film I don't think I've actually seen more than once so I don't remember too much about it but it looks great from this trailer. Wiki on the movie. It was the last full length movie that Karina and Godard worked together on so a kind of 'end of an era' movie. Based slightly on the Big Sleep it had copyright issues with a book called the Jugger and wasn't realeased in the US for many years

Pierrot le Fou (1965)

I am going to have a short season of Jean-Luc Godard trailers. This is one my favourites with brilliant cinematography by New Wave legend Raoul Coutard and the great teaming of Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina as leads. So what's not to like? Wiki here

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Monochrome Set

Good to see the Set back in action with all manner of gigs coming this year, which means that Bid has recovered from his brain aneurism - they're playing the Thunderbolt Bristol on June 18th. They have a Facebook page if you're a Set maniac with all their dates including a German tour and a gig at Dingwalls.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Billy Boy Arnold 'I wish you would'

Cool performance of his 55 hit.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Forty-First (1956)

Russian film with English subtitles about a female sniper during the Civil War and her relationship with a White Officer. Wiki here

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Graham Bond Organisation 'Harmonica'

Clip from the 65 movie 'Gonks Go Beat' this has some great simple punk harp playing.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Miracle on the Vistula photos

Some excellent photos here

Revolution Under Siege

I suppose I ought to mention this 2010 Ageod strategy PC game set in the Russian Civil War. There's a few clips on Youtube but it doesn't look like my cup of tea but it might be yours. Website here where there are clips and screenshots

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Soviet Cavalry 1920 in 2011

Still from this website from the forthcoming Jerzy Hoffman film Battle of Warsaw 1920.

Old Russian toy soldiers

This page has some fine old fashioned Russian soldiers from the 70s and earlier - some depicting the Red army...worth a visit. This is the main page

Friday, February 25, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Classic Fall

This is my favourite line up for the Fall - not saying I don't like the modern stuff but these guys were excellent - here they are doing Lost In Music and Why are People Grudgeful. Good performance of a band in their prime.

Red's Samurai movie season

Thought you might be interested in the Samurai movie season my lad has put together for Uni friends and gamers. I am impressed by the list so thought it might be a good idea to give them a wider audience

1. Seven Samurai (1954)

2. Onibaba (1964)

3. Goyôkin (1969)

4. Samurai Trilogy I - Musashi Miyamoto (1954)

5. Samurai Trilogy II - Duel at Ichijoji Temple (1955)

6. Samurai Trilogy III - Duel at Ganryu Island (1956)

7. Kwaidan (1964)

8. Shogun's Samurai/The Yagyu Clan Conspiracy (1978)

9. Throne of Blood (1957)

10. Samurai Rebellion (1967)

11. The Last Samurai (2003)

12. Lone Wolf & Cub 1 - Sword of Vengeance (1972)

13. Seppuku (1962)

14. Yojimbo (1961)

15. The Sword of Doom (1966)

16. Lone Wolf & Cub 2 - Babycart at the River Styx (1972)

17. Kagemusha (1980)

18. Kiru (1968)

19. Sanjuro (1962)

20. Zatoichi (2003)

21. Sword of the Beast (1965)

22. Rashomon (1950)

23. Incident at Blood Pass (1970)

24. Ran (1985)

Freddie King 'Hideaway'

Clip of the great instrumental being played in 66...lots of guitar pieces are 'quoted' in this work - almost jazzy in that respect but enjoy it if you can.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Первая конная (1984)

This film (Pervaja konnaja - a remake of an earlier film) about Budyenny and the First Horse Army is online at Youtube - full movie without subtitles.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Modettes 'White Mice'

Saw this band at Corsham art college about this time - they were very good and we loved this single.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Elvis and Ann-Margaret

From Viva Las Vegas. Note the two drummers.

Wolverine footage

Some good shots of this elusive mustelid. One of nature's greatest hunters.

Animals and Men Vague fanzine interview

Here is an indepth interview from about 1980 with the legendary Tom Vague from his webpage Vague rants.

Animals and Men: Futurist Manifesto

‘Uno, due, tre, quattro, Marinetti, Boccioni, Carra Balla, Palasechi, Marinetti, Boccioni, Carra Balla, Palasechi, Futurist Manifesto, Futurist Manifesto, War is the world’s only hygiene, energy and fearlessness, racing car the beauteous beast, hurl defiance at the stars.’ Another mysterious local band for you – Animals and Men. I know the name reeks of Ants rip-off dated punk, also they come from Somerset, so on the face of it they seem lacking in street credibility. The one thing I knew they did have going for them was that Puddle ex-Stalag 44 drummer and local hero was playing with them. March 15 Puddle brought the rest of Animals and Men over to the Ship one night… They are a very individual bunch leaning on the arty side except Puddle, they’ve renamed him Dean incidentally. Their lead singer Susan Wells does not fit into any Sioux, Styrene, etc look-alike slots, and within the confines of a noisy public bar they are very eloquent and gave us our best interview yet.

Firstly I query Ralph Mitchard, the guitarist and spokesman, about their choice of name: “The name came about 8 months ago, before the Ants’ John Peel session, it’s been a longstanding thing, we haven’t just jumped on the bandwagon. It was intended as a sort of tribute. We thought the imagery of the name suited our music and if we didn’t acknowledge the name somebody would. Anyway, we’re pretty influenced by the Ants and wanted to give them credit, because at that time they were not getting any press. We could have just masqueraded as another band not anything to do with them but we wanted to say we were on their side… We’re more like the old Ants, I like their music but a lot of things about them I don’t like.”

“We started about 10 months ago as a 3-piece, Geoff, Nigel and me, called Psychotic Reaction, that’s a song by Count 5, the 60s psychedelic punk band, good name, it started as a 60s punk orientated thing, influences; Elevators, Mysterons and so on, and American punk rock like the Dolls, Stooges, Voidoids. To a certain extent we bypassed the Pistols. We’ve only done 5 gigs, 2 in London, our bass player (Nigel House) lives in London, one in Frome and 2 in Bath… Our lyrics are more socially orientated, the Ants are more about themselves. We sing about situations rather than feelings – some political, some other things… The lyrics aren’t politically orientated they’re about real life situations… Individualism.” Puddle says he’s got socialist leanings and then goes off to have another game of Space Invaders.

Ralph continues: “We don’t sit down and aim to write a song seriously about a particular subject… Everybody writes the songs – we all contribute – no individuals take the credit.” On the new single: “It’s called ‘Car Crash Blues’.” Puddle: “It’s Siberian reggae.” Ralph: “Cars taken from a cynical viewpoint. A semi-humorous view of cars crashing, parodying the sexual implications of a car crashing.” On their first single ‘Don’t Misbehave in the New Age’: “It’s a tongue in cheek standard 1984 oppression nursery rhyme, very glib and pithy, it was brought across in a poppy way. It shouldn’t have been a single really. ‘New Age’ is more serious but we made it too jokey, even sing-along. People took it on face value. The object was to bring serious songs into a light-hearted aspect, like ‘Young Parisians’.

“It was recorded really cheap, about £20 at a 4-track studio in Porton. It’s got a really trashy production – only took one and a half hours to do. There’s mistakes on the B-side. We wanted the record company to re-record it but they had no intention of doing that. We had 1,000 pressed, all gone, no profit… We don’t have a lot of fun, we don’t enjoy playing.” Sue: “We do – well, I do – everybody else enjoys playing except for Ralph.” Ralph: “I enjoy it better than going to work. We’re not martyrs to any cause except Dean to his sexuality… We’ve lost about £500… We went to London to get the badges pressed and Adam came in shortly after we left. We wrote to him asking what he thought and he consequently replied saying he was honoured and that he liked the single; said it was a pure product, glorious, danceable with great promise, great vocalist, tight rhythm section…”

“We asked if we could support them and we were going to go on the gigs in the south but that’s all fallen through now. Perhaps it was not such a good idea. When we supported Toyah at Bath we had a very poor response, the audience was not interested in the support band… We were going to support Crass in Bath but that fell through. They had wanted to read our lyrics before agreeing that we could support them. But I think Crass are on the right track although I don’t entirely agree with the way they are doing it, whereas Toyah are just another showbiz rock band… The Psychedelic Furs, we’re more like them than the Ants. We’re not necessarily like them, just influenced by them and the Monochrome Set and the Pop Group.” Fave bands: Puddle – Punishment of Luxury, Nigel – the Doors, Sue – the Velvet Underground, Ralph – the Ants.

“I think the Pop Group are pretty commendable, not in the least bit boring. There’s nothing wrong with being naïve. It’s better to be naïve than cynical. I sympathise with them, I’m naïve, Adam’s naïve. If you’re cynical you lack enthusiasm. I think enthusiasm is connected with naivety. The Ants are naïve enthusiasts whereas the Banshees are tailor-made cynics made by the music press. The Ants and the Banshees are the 2 extremes… I’m more influenced by the cinema, by films and directors. I find early silent, 30s cinema interesting. They provide the inspiration to some of my songs. I like Warhol who was anti-art… I doubt if we’ll stay here, we’re not very popular in Frome, only a few people have shown any interest, most of them think we are arty posers, that’s not bad I suppose. If they don’t like us they can fuck off but we’ll probably fuck off instead.”

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mad Dog Morgan (1976)

The full movie - in good quailty. Film is a western set in Australia starring Dennis Hopper. If that sounds like your bag - and my son rates this early Ozploitation movie - then give it a whirl. Wiki on the movie.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

'Captain America the first Avenger' trailer

This summer's superhero movie...looks good.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Love and Death (1975)

Of course War and Peace was satirised in this earlyish film by Woody Allen. Here's the trailer.

War and Peace Battle Scene

2012 is going to be a big year in Russia for battle reenactments - it being the bicentennial of their successful war against Napoleon as depicted in this movie. Expect large scale events - maybe not as epic as this 1968 film but maybe worth going to.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

True Grit (1969)

I enjoyed the Coen's version of this tale - and so did the box office apparently with it becoming the second highest grossing western after 'Dances' . Apparently going back to the original novel but never mind they are both great films - this one is probably my favourite but that's nostalgia for you... wiki on the 2010 movie

Monday, January 17, 2011

True Grit trailer

This current Coen Brothers remake of the Wayne classic looks good but my son who has seen it reckons the mumbling was such that subtitles are needed. Shame.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Attack on Leningrad (2009)

My son got me this film for Christmas - it's very good - this part - the beginning has an excellent action sequence that leads you into the movie. A Russian production but made with an eye to the international market with Gabriel Byrne as a Journalist. Imdb here

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Happy New Year

Here is me and Big Rich playing with the Otis Blackwell song. In our kitchen.