Sunday, December 30, 2018

Bo Diddley's 90th birthday

Bo Diddley would have been 90 today. Saw him in Bristol. My brother's first ever gig - he reminded me when he was last visiting. He came with us and was well underage. We went into a pub beforehand and I apparently said be discreet and he promptly knocks a pint over Sue's legs. Funnily enough that memory had been extinguished. Was supposed to be playing Frome but had a stroke. Sad

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Gene Vincent Rock and Roll Singer 1969 UK Tour Documentary

Very engaging documentary about one of his last tours. An early fly on the wall it's quite tragic. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Fighting Radstock

Moses Horler's recollections are an insight into early Radstock before the coming of the railways in the 1860s. Extracts are printed in the book Radstock reminisces available from the Museum.
'However, I am sorry to be obliged to tell you, that when I was quite a boy, there was a great deal of fighting amongst the colliers here at Radstock and neighbourhood, and remember it as quite a common thing for these fights to last nearly an hour, and sometimes if the battle was not finished on Saturday nights, it would actually begin again on Monday, and they would even lose a day's work to finish it, and some of the gentry would go and see those fights, and I am afraid they sometimes helped to keep the battle going, by backing up one side or the other.'

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Difazio's of Frome

Andy Westlake wrote the above article for MCN.

Friday, November 23, 2018

All Good For the High Street - the Terraplanes

This is our new CD. Buy here. It was recorded in Midsomer Norton High Street hence the title. Music Post-punk. 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Bands at Coleford British Legion

Back in the 60s the small mining village of Coleford Somerset hosted some pretty memorable gigs. Lulu & the Luvvers, Them and the Pretty things are some of the names from the 60s.

Monday, November 12, 2018

No Thankful Village Chris Howell

The Great War centennial was good and popular. Yesterday BBCTV screened Peter Jackson's documentary 'They Shall Not Grow Old'. This made me dig out this book on the impact of the Great War on Radstock and Norton and surrounding villages. It's a great read and still available from Radstock Museum.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Totally Wired Thekla Bristol

A couple of Saturdays ago we went to Bristol to see Brix & The Extricated - a band made up of ex Fall members. Daughter Celia got invited to dance onstage and this film captures that moment wonderfully. 

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Peterloo movie

Saw this last night. Very impressive. Best historical piece I have seen for ages. The cinema wasn't packed which is a shame so go see this flick and support good filmmaking. Starts a bit poorly with a Waterloo sequence but don't let that put you off.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Little Johnny Guitar - the terraplanes (Animals & Men)

Song off our new album 'All Good for the High Street'. This song is dedicated to Johnny Thunders.
Band are Susan Wells Celia Mitchard vocals Ralph Mitchard guitar Dave Mackay bass and Andy Payne drums. Recorded by Minho Si at Sounds Involved Midsomer Norton, All rights reserved 2018.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Gene Vincent playing pinball

On the anniversary of his death

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Eddie Cochran 80 th birthday

Last weekend enthusiasts marked this occasion by having his memorial in the A4 refurbished and improved.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

RIP Otis Rush

One of the truly great blues guitarists has passed away.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Thunders Room 37 (2019)

A movie about Johnny Thunders' last days in New Orleans. The above video has scenes from it.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Mindsomer Norton High Street

Old days when it was a brewery.

Bob's Palais in Midsomer Norton. The Swinging Blue Jeans and Tornadoes played there. My Uncle Graham tells me the queue was for the cinema the Palladium. See below

Friday, September 14, 2018

Midsomer Norton Wetherspoons Palladium Electric

Today we visited the new Spoons in Norton. We had free meal and drinks vouchers it doesn't open til Tuesday. Was very good - it's in the old cinema which opened in 1913. It's about 2 doors from 
Celia 's new salon so we hope it brings in new footfall.
Pic by Shane

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Celia's Place Midsomer Norton

Daughter is running her own salon. 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Military Miniatures (1966)

Interesting feature on the wargames world in its infancy. 

The Guardians | Official UK Trailer | Curzon

Xavier Beauvoir, the director of OF GODS AND MEN, returns with a breathtaking look at the bucolic but challenging lives of the French women who held up society during World War I.At cinemas now. Looks very good.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Lavender Blue

Loved this Gene Vincent version but did you know the song originates from the 17th century? Read the wiki entry to learn more

Friday, August 17, 2018

Sampford Courtenay 1549

Shirt film - 3 minutes. Ignore the bit about pitchforks - weapons were bills and bows The Battle of Sampford Courtenay was one of the chief military engagements in the Western Rebellion of 1549.The Prayer Book Rebellion, Prayer Book Revolt, Prayer Book Rising, Western Rising or Western Rebellion was a popular revolt in Devon and Cornwall in 1549. In that year, the Book of Common Prayer, presenting the theology of the English Reformation, was introduced. The change was widely unpopular – particularly in areas of still firmly Catholic religious loyalty (even after the Act of Supremacy in 1534) such as Lancashire. See Prayerbook Rebellion living history

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Peterloo Anniversary

From Thomas Payton
August 16, 1819 - The Peterloo Massacre
At St Peter's Field, Manchester, England, sixty cavalrymen of the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 people who had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation. About 11–15 people were killed and 400–700 were injured, including men, women and children. One of the dead was a two year old child.
Image: A caricature by George Cruikshank depicting the charge upon the rally. the text reads: "Down with 'em! Chop em down my brave boys: give them no quarter they want to take our Beef & Pudding from us! - & remember the more you kill the less poor rates you'll have to pay so go at it Lads show your courage & your Loyalty!"

See below for trailer

Sunday, August 05, 2018

John of the Sword

I thought I would write about this video as it's been pretty popular and quite a few people have said they've seen it and it made Video of the Week on Maximum Rock and Roll.

It was when we were living at Lower Whitelands - 2 enormous ranks of miner's cottages that has a communal feel to it. The idea was to have a 'Fun Day' and meetings were held to plan it. We decided to throw our eggs in and participate and so suggested a musical element. Our next door neighbour's kids had a band and were keen to play so we went to Frome and borrowed the Bad Detectives PA system. Before the bands Bos did some deejaying and held a spray paint graffiti thing for the older kids. Rachel did face-painting. It was well attended and the boys band whose name I forget played a set, Then it started to rain. Well drizzle. I had promised the Bad Detectives that if it rained we'd go indoors so we did. The rain wasn't so hard that everyone went home but they went down into the gardens and lit fires. We blasted off to about 6 people one of which James Bona had been given our camcorder with instructions to film a few songs. We filmed the lads before us but they chose not to put the footage up. While we were playing one of our neighbours came up and said 'They can hear every word you're singing'; and Sue said 'Good'. We weren't appreciated. I think we didn't provide something wanky enough for the drippy parents but we got a good video out of it so a win. It was fun meeting people who had seen it - whether in the States or somewhere like that.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Black 47 trailer

Black 47 is an upcoming thriller film, set during the Great Irish Famine in 1847. It is directed by Lance Daly and stars Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, and Moe Dunford.[3][4]
It premiered at the 2018 Berlin film festival, where it impressed critics.[5]

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Peterloo by Mike Leigh

This is my most eagerly awaited piece of cinema of this year.

Germinal (1994)

One of my top ten movies. The whole thing is up on YouTube for a few quid. Recommended This lavish adaptation of Emile Zola's epic novel about striking coal miners, star Gerard Depardieu as Maheu, a simple miner who struggles to make a life for his wife and seven children whilst working in the mines of Le Voreux. When Etienne Lantier, a Belgian outsider, comes to town

Sunday, July 08, 2018

HSM from Kazakhstan. tanks for Barbarossa

This range of 1/43 tanks are interesting

The Day the Earth Caught Fire 1961 Full movie

One of my favourite sci-fi movies. Oddly appropriate for the current heat. 
When the USA and Russia unwittingly test atomic bombs at the same time, it alters the nutation (axis of rotation) of the Earth.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Frome Unzipped: from Prehistory to Post-Punk by Crysse Morrison

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Hobnob Press (2 July 2018)
  • This is a great book about Frome. It's original in its treatment interviewing people from Frome's artistic and cultural scene as well as the history of the Somerset town. Buildings are written about but also the artists and musicians, shop owners and all manner of people.
  • Of course I am biased as I was interviewed for the book . 
  •  Order from Amazon

Wrześniowe Drogi - Trailer

Poland 1939 - lots of interesting equipment. I am not too sure what the English title or date if anyone knows?

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Ralph and Sue's 1978 in Frome

So what were we doing 40 years ago? Living in rooms above Sue's Dad's tool hire shop at the top of Naish's street opposite the Globe. The rooms were not supposed to be habitable the street was set for a major refurbishment but Sue and I needed a place after I left home on my 18th birthday.The places were pretty run down. Pour buckets of water down the toilet after use - no bathroom etc. We had two cats which we got from Nigel's farm.
Here's Sue in the out buildings with our cat Roxette. We had plenty of space so used to have big water pistol fights in one long room - bucket either end. (The old weaver's cottages were joined on the top floor so work could be easily moved from house to house). Mayhem. We kept ourselves to ourselves - our next door neighbour was a witch and was a little scary chanting and so forth. We had a PA so occasionally the Bad Detectives would drop by to borrow it.
Sue and Tina Naish's street 1978
We had electricity but it was very cold during the winter we lived there - Nigel stayed the night once and declared it the coldest he'd ever been.
The Globe Inn was right next door which was a  problem as it was the hang out of the Frome punks and they used to try and drop in.
Us in 1978 - photo booth
Naish's street
   Naish's street was part of the Trinity area known locally as 'Chinatown' - weaver's cottages from about 1700. In the War black GIs were allowed in Chinatown but not the centre of town but I digress. At the time of us being there most people were squatting and this drew attention from the Frome youths who resented the incursion. There were night battles between squatters and youths and Sue and I just watched out the window. Dreadful really.
   Eventually we had to move out and rented a kosher flat in Frome. This was when Animals & Men started. But that's another story.
The door and window  were the off licence for the Globe Inn. Landlord Keith McKeckney
Where the building on the left has a green street sign was the door to the shop

Monday, June 18, 2018

150 years of the Radstock Co-op

Bought this from ebay recently - my Dad used to do a delivery round for bread like this back in his youth.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Waterloo (1970) original trailer

Nearlly time to dig out this classic. I remember seeing this trailer at the cinema and it blew me as a ten year old history fan away. Go here to see some 'lost' scene stills

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Battle of Warsaw 1920 (2011) English language trailer

This old style epic is worth watching if you are interested in the subject. 

Monday, June 04, 2018

Monday, May 28, 2018

June 24 2011 - when Animals & Men played Seattle

 These photos are of when we played the Funhouse Seattle. Amazing place and a great crowd. Very futuristic but with pinball and a basketball court. People who we knew from the Internet showed up and introduced themselves. Thanks to Alex.

Forthcoming book on Frome

A few months ago I was interviewed by local writer Crysse Morrison about the punk era in Frome. It looks like the book (called  FROME UNZIPPED - from Prehistory to Post-Punk) is nearly finished - read about it on her blog which has lots on the art scene in Frome. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018

May '40 Miniatures

Today the 10th of May Hitler invaded Holland Belgium. There is a company creating 28mm figures for this comflict. Here for the blog

Radstock In the 1921 Miner's strike

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Frome rated as number 1 stylish place to live

Monday, May 07, 2018

PANFILOV'S 28 (2016) Trailer Eng Sub (Battle for Moscow)

Panfilov's 28 Men (Russian: 28 панфиловцев, translit. 28 panfilovtsev) is a 2016 war film based on a Soviet propaganda legend about a group of soldiers – Panfilov's Twenty-Eight Guardsmen – heroically halting and destroying Nazi tanks headed for Moscow before all perishing together on the battlefield.[3] It is set in the Eastern Front of World War II and covers the 8th Guards Rifle Division operations during the 1941 Battle of Moscow.[4][5] On DVD, it is also known as Battle for Moscow. WIKI

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Zvezda Art of Tactic Blitzkrieg 1940

While on the subject of Zvezda - I presume the reason why they produce 1/100 vehicles are for this board game based on the Germans v British in 1940. These games are ok - I bought the Samurai one for my son one Christmas.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Zvezda 1/100 scale snap together tanks and vehicles

These are pretty damn good. Go here to see what is available. Bought these from Frome Model Centre. If you don't have a model shop try Ebay. Most of the range is German and Soviet but they do some British products. They fit together really nicely and they cost under a fiver for most of the models. So can you game with them? There is quite a bit of stuff available for 15mm which is compatible - the Plastic Soldier company has a range of 15mm vehicles and figures. In metal and resin there's Peter Pig.