In my endless dredging through dodgy mid-70s detritus, i fell upon this lot. I knew them as one of those bands that tried to make it in the time exactly when punk emerged, and were thus pushing against a closing door. I knew the single (“5705”) and never particularly bothered. I find this video compelling for it’s antique quality, and can imagine any of them saying, over a pint when we fall into discussing music in the pub, “it’s a shit business”.
There’s lots of interesting archive stuff on iPlayer including this – which has the BBC Everyman documentary revisiting the hippy ideals of 1967 and seeing how they play out in 1978. The opener, with the hippy Cult member turned dead-eyed IT student is straight out of Scarfolk/Ghost Box and quite chilling. Then Vashti Bunyan crops up. Much talk of ‘Selling Out’ or ‘Copping Out’ which in my lifetime was always levelled at Punks – so it originated with the Hippies. Great bit of 70s TV where they point a camera at something and and unlike today you’re not really being shoved in any particular direction but you’re given enough information to make your own mind up about what became of the ideals of 1967. The eyes and body language tell their own story. Lots of nervous shifting in seats and furtive glances…Felix Dennis for instance, mid-interview visibly seems to become jarringly aware of how far he’s moved from the land of Oz. Timothy Leary, strutting through NYC and waving at everyone like they’re an old acquaintance is priceless at the end. And of all that in just 35 very watchable minutes.
Hawkwind’s tour in May was a treat for fans, with them supporting themselves as an unplugged act, This CD has both the more familiar trippy bikerdelic space rock (I will use “bikerdelic” until it is officially adopted) and some of the earlier acoustic set, a mellow section which was rather more enjoyable than I expected, being personally generally suspicious of acoustically style rock. They left “psi power” off this disc, but you can’t have everything. The album was recorded at the spiritual home of the 70s London Underground, the Camden Roundhouse, where Hawkwind last played in 1977, doubtless at an “all-dayer”. Camden has lost the alternative edge it once had (Compendium Books, etc) for a depressing mix of gentrification and student tat, but Hawkwind did their best to bring it back for the evening, and probably played better and with better gear (no snickering, hopheads) than back in the day.
Soon we are back with the more familiar swirling synths, echoed vocals, recited science fiction-poems, stentorian chords and riffage, with hypnotic jams bringing on flashback moments for some listeners. Those jams … anyone who met “Julie” back in the day, will most likely remember her if they listen to » Continue Reading.
Well this looks very interesting. The first of a two volume work on the darker side of pop culture in the 70s and 80s. The author is self publishing through www.lulu.com. The physical copy is black and white but he plans to give away a free, full colour e-book with every physical copy sold.
There’s a review on the blog link.
For those around here who think my path never crosses the paths of new music… well, you’d be *almost* entirely right. But I was contacted recently by David Meagher (Meagre Dave? It would be a great punk name…) about his band the Sons of Southern Ulster and their new album ‘Foundry Folk Songs’.
This is the lead track, ‘The Pop Inn’, and I guess anyone who lived in a small town in the 70s will know where he’s coming from. Where he’s *actually* coming from is County Cavan, a place known for pretty much nothing… except the Sons of Southern Ulster. So he’s made a difference already.
It really shouldn’t be my thing, but I like this, and I hope others round here will check them out. Website link attached.
There are few music genres whose starting point can be so accurately pinpointed. It was 11th March 1971. T.Rex performed Hot Love on Top Of The Pops. Well, they mimed it. Drummer, Bill Legend, can clearly be seen thwacking his thigh with his fist rather than actually striking the snare drum and the cymbals remain strangely motionless. As a twelve year old, I was fascinated by the size of Steve Currie’s left ear. My dad probably enjoyed Pan’s People. Normally, they danced to a hit song when they couldn’t persuade the act to appear but, on this occasion, they performed a little prance to liven up the prolonged coda and keep the audience interested. The key thing was Marc Bolan’s face. It took a while to notice, but a couple of minutes in, he raised his eyes towards a spotlight above him and something caught the nation’s eye. Chelita Secunda had added two spots of glitter below his eyes. They looked like teardrops. He appeared to be conflicted with deep emotions. A million, young female hearts fluttered. Glam Rock was born.
Marc declared Glam Rock as dead in 1973, when he was promoting his soul influenced album, Tanx, but it » Continue Reading.